What do the fashionable food hot spots of Cape Town, Mumbai, Copenhagen, Rio de Janeiro, and Tel Aviv have in common? Despite all their differences, consumers in each major city are drawn to a similar atmosphere: rough wooden tables in postindustrial interiors lit by edison bulbs. There, they enjoy single-origin coffee, kombucha, and artisanal bread.
This is ‘Global Brooklyn,’ a new transnational aesthetic regime of urban consumption. It may look shabby and improvised, but it is all carefully designed. It may romance the analog, but is made to be Instagrammed. It often references the New York borough, but is shaped by many networked locations where consumers participate in the global circulation of styles, flavors, practices, and values.
This book follows this phenomenon across different world cities, arguing for a stronger appreciation of design and materialities in understanding food cultures. Attentive to local contexts, struggles, and identities, contributors explore the global mobility of aesthetic, ethical, and entrepreneurial projects, and how they materialize in everyday practices on the ground. They describe new connections among eating, drinking, design, and communication in order to give a clearer sense of the contemporary transformations of food cultures around the world.
Fabio Parasecoli is a professor of Food Studies at New York University, Steinhardt. Mateusz Halawa is an ethnographer investigating the cultural dimensions of economic life and a doctoral candidate at the New School for Social Research.