UNESCO-UNITWIN International Conference edition:3 location:University of Barcelona, Spain date:16-19 June 2014
How does one become a ‘citizen of the world’? It is widely believed that a cosmopolitan outlook or disposition—a desirable contemporary form of cultural capital—is acquired largely through experience, especially through transnational travel. Cosmopolitanism, so we are told, requires tolerance, respect and enjoyment of cultural difference. Consequently, what could be a better sign of the willingness to engage with ‘Others’ than to eat their food? This idea is also pervasive in the tourism sector, where plenty of opportunities are developed for tourists to taste ‘exotic’ cuisines, both at far-away holiday destinations and closer to home. This paper critically analyses and qualifies the assumed connection between cosmopolitanism and culinary tourism.