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Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social JusticeFrom Loncheras to Lobsta Love$
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Julian Agyeman, Caitlin Matthews, and Hannah Sobel

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262036573

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262036573.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use (for details see www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 September 2018

Is It Local … or Authentic and Exotic? Ethnic Food Carts and Gastropolitan Habitus on Portland’s Eastside

Is It Local … or Authentic and Exotic? Ethnic Food Carts and Gastropolitan Habitus on Portland’s Eastside

Chapter:
(p.285) 15 Is It Local … or Authentic and Exotic? Ethnic Food Carts and Gastropolitan Habitus on Portland’s Eastside
Source:
Food Trucks, Cultural Identity, and Social Justice
Author(s):

Nathan McClintock

Alex Novie

Matthew Gebhardt

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262036573.003.0015

In this chapter, examine the location of ethnic food cart owners within Portland, Oregon’s food cart scene, and within the broader paradigms of local food and sustainability for which the city is known. Through an inventory of food carts, interviews with cart owners, and a case study of the Portland Mercado food cart pod, we explore how the everyday practices of ethnic food cart owners on Portland’s eastside reflect and differ from those of other food cart owners. Drawing on Bourdieu, we demonstrate how their practices in turn reshape the wider “gastropolitan” field of foodie tastes. We argue that cart owners unsettle the eco-centric values dominating Portand’s foodie culture by emphasizing authenticity and exoticism. The ability to capitalize on a particular set of gastropolitan values – local and organic or authentic and exotic – is geographically uneven, however; it depends on both the physical agglomeration of food carts espousing a particular set of gastropolitan values, and on their location within the foodscape, a position very much tied to economic processes of gentrification and displacement bifurcating the city.

Keywords:   Bourdieu, cultural capital, ethnic food, food carts, foodie, habitus, local food, Portland, uneven development

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