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Eating Her Curries and KwayA Cultural History of Food in Singapore$
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Nicole Tarulevicz

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038099

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038099.001.0001

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The Pizza of Love

The Pizza of Love

(p.92) 6 The Pizza of Love
Eating Her Curries and Kway

Nicole Tarulevicz

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how cookbook authors tried to use food and food preparation to define a Singaporean national identity by looking at cookbooks that claim to represent authentic Singaporean cuisine. The range of recipes—specifically, their method and explanation—across time reveals a shifting national cuisine, reflecting demographic and class shifts yet working to establish rules about what constitutes national food. However, in a society where the kitchen has a diminished role, the purchase of a cookbook takes on a new meaning. When a cookbook is not being used to provide recipes, its function as an indicator of social status or of aspirationalism and as a signifier of traditional values becomes more prominent. The chapter then shows how food gives people an illusion of cultural connection that ultimately serves the government by endorsing a notion of racial harmony based on multiracialism, not multiculturalism.

Keywords:   Singaporean national identity, authentic Singaporean cuisine, national cuisine, national food, Singaporean cookbooks, racial harmony, multiracialism

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