Eating Versus Selling Authenticity: Negotiating  Toronto's Vietnamese Culinary Landscape

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Huynh, Nancy
Authenticity , Race , Commodity Culture , Vietnamese , Food Geography , Toronto , Entrepreneurship
Despite the popularity of Vietnamese cuisine in Toronto, there is limited understanding of how this culinary cuisine is socially constructed through its consumption and production. This thesis research examines the production of Toronto’s Vietnamese culinary landscape with the aim of unpacking the discursive power relations between consumers’ and purveyors’ construction of authenticity through the processes of racialization. It also highlights the identities created through racialized consumption and production practices, and how such identity constructions are constitutive of Vietnamese culinary culture. To this aim, consumers were surveyed and in-depth interviews were conducted with owners and managers. Results from the fieldwork process demonstrated that both consumers and producers construct authenticity and images of Vietnamese culture for their own benefits but had different, and sometimes confounding, understandings of how such constructions are interpreted and practiced.
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