Food History: A Case of Bangkok Street Food Stalls in the Michelin Guide

20 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2021

Date Written: November 5, 2021

Abstract

Food history, as contained in tourist publications, is important as it can impact on the image of a country, as well as its economic growth. The Michelin Guide is a leading culinary tourist guidebook that has selected and promoted high quality food in leading tourist cities. In the Bangkok tourist food areas, the description of street food stalls, which were first promoted as Thai-ethnic local food in the Michelin Guide 2018, shows how and why this prominent group of Thai-Chinese daily food deserves to be consumed. This study aimed to analyze the historical background and construction of the Bangkok street food stalls as narrated in the Michelin Guide 2018 by applying the concept of food history as the main methodology. The concept is to examine the history of food that is related to the cultural, economic, and sociological impacts of food promotion in Bangkok tourism food areas. With respect to the formation of modern food history, compared with Asian street food listed in other Michelin Guides, Bangkok street food is a Southeast Asian culinary heritage that has a unique origination and innovation handed down by Thai-Chinese families in a Thai food cultural context. This has been the main influence on the establishment of the culinary street food culture in Bangkok. In data sources, the history of each stall represents the engagement of generations of families and their encounters with globalization, the heritage of culinary techniques, the philosophy of chefs represented through their own stories, along with their relationship to the old communities in Bangkok. These components represent the image of Bangkok as a city with a globalized food culture, with the identities of Thai-Chinese chefs as the gurus of old and precious recipes, as well as new values of consumption in tourist areas. The main stream food history of Thailand, which has long been focused on royal and elite culinary stories, is paralleled with stories of ordinary people and fast food, based on the process of reconceptualization of the idea of cultural significance and eatery styles in urbanized Bangkok, as well as the promotion of Bangkok street food as popular consumption.

Keywords: Food History, Michelin Guide, Bangkok Street Food

Suggested Citation

Phongpheng, Vannaporn, Food History: A Case of Bangkok Street Food Stalls in the Michelin Guide (November 5, 2021). Rian Thai International Journal of Thai Studies, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3957363 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3957363

Vannaporn Phongpheng (Contact Author)

Mahidol University

Institute of Human Rights and Peace studies Tax I
Salaya
Putthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom 73170
Thailand

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