Knowledge for better food systems

History of Food Symposium on the topic of taste in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

The Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food is an annual point of assembly and an exchange of knowledge in the field of the food history. This year’s Symposium aims to address the notion of taste: its characteristics, its cultural evaluation, and its history.

From the organisers:

Making Sense of Taste
From which angle does a scholar approach the concept of taste? Is it primarily an objective, chemical quality, or should it be considered a product of culture? And are these perspectives wholly incompatible? The physical quality and flavour of food and drink preoccupy molecular biologists, gastronomic professionals, and bon vivants. Chemists, among others, construe classification systems, aspiring to help us understand the complexity and the possibilities of flavour. Mediators and their audiences may oftentimes embrace subjectivity, by detailing their intimate and embodied experience of taste. Neither approach is new: historically, classification systems have had major cultural and religious significance, whereas the conception of ‘good’ food – as opposed to ‘bad’ food – and its application in mechanisms of social distinction is at least as old as class-based societies themselves. Clearly, discussions about taste have always been informed by an array of physiological and psychological experiences, not just our palates.

Symposium fee is €60 (reduced fee €40). It runs from Friday, 17 November to Saturday 18 November 2017.

For more information and to register, see here.