Ordering tasting in a restaurant : experiencing, socializing, and processing food

Sometimes there are moments in which German speakers will state that something schmeckt gut [tastes good]. Focusing on a family celebration in a restaurant in Austria, the paper considers how in three schmeckt gut moments, participants variously order “tasting” as a process of experiencing, socializing, and processing. It argues that while it is possible to analyse how a person simultaneously experiences sensual qualities inherent in a particular dish, socializes with others, and processes food, these aspects are not equally relevant for the people involved in the “tasting”. Different modes of ordering “tasting” can exist next to each other such that a “tasting together in difference” takes place. Following from this, this paper suggests further investigation into the practical achievement of a “tasting together in difference” and the enabling role of care in this process. By shedding light on how tasting is done in practices of eating out in Western Europe, it contributes to a growing set of ethnomethodologically oriented studies on how tasting and taste are done in practice.

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