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Garlic Capital of the World
Gilroy, Garlic, and the Making of a Festive Foodscape

By Pauline Adema

192 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 32 b&w illustrations, 3 maps, bibliography, appendix

978-1-60473-121-7 Paper $30.00D

Paper, $30.00

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* In 2018-2019 University Press of Mississippi will close for the holidays on Friday, December 21, 2018, and will reopen Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Orders sent by Paypal through Friday, December 14, at 11 a.m. Central will ship in time for Christmas. If you are not ordering for the holidays, please leave us a note in Paypal. After December 14, customers desiring shipping before Christmas should call 1.800.737.7788 and ask for rush delivery. Please be prepared to pay extra for rapid shipping. Orders that come to our website after these dates will begin shipping on January 2, 2019.

How a local festival celebrating the odoriferous lily gave a town a marketable identity

According to Pauline Adema, you smell Gilroy, California, before you see it. In Garlic Capital of the World, the folklorist and culinary anthropologist examines the role of food and festivals in creating a place brand or marketable identity. The author scrutinizes how Gilroy, California, successfully transformed a negative association with the pungent bulb into a highly successful tourism and marketing campaign.

This book explores how local initiatives led to an iconization of the humble product in Gilroy. The city, a well-established agricultural center and bedroom community south of San Francisco, rapidly built a place-brand identity based on its now-famous moniker, "Garlic Capital of the World." To understand Gilroy's success in transforming a local crop into a tourist draw, Adema contrasts the development of this now-thriving festival with events surrounding the launch and demise of the PigFest in Coppell, Texas. Indeed, the Garlic Festival is so successful that the event is all that many people know about Gilroy.

Adema explores the creation and subsequent selling of foodscapes or food-themed place identities. This seemingly ubiquitous practice is readily visible across the country at festivals celebrating edibles like tomatoes, peaches, spinach, and even cauliflower. Food, Adema contends, is an attractive focus for image makers charged with community building and place differentiation. Not only is it good to eat; food can be a palatable and marketable symbol for a town or region.

Pauline Adema is staff folklorist for the Dutchess County Arts Council in Poughkeepsie, New York. She teaches at the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, New York) and is a culinary anthropologist-consultant.

Photograph--courtesy the author

192 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 32 b&w illustrations, 3 maps, bibliography, appendix