a peer reviewed scholarly journal on literature and art in the German speaking countries after 1945

ISSN 1093-6025

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Carlisle, PA

G l o s s e n: Artikel

Beyond Currywurst and Döner: The Role of Food in German Multicultural Literature and Society
By Heike Henderson

In a socio-political treatise which otherwise has little to do with food, Cem Özdemir uses "Currywurst und Döner" as a symbol for integration in Germany.[1] Of course Özdemir is not the first person to use food metaphors while talking about multiculturalism, other terms which immediately come to mind are melting pot and salad bowl. What makes this case so interesting is that neither Currywurst nor Döner are original "German" dishes, and yet they have become the quintessential German fast food. The question that begs to be asked is the following: Is this success of "ethnic" food indeed a model for successful reconciliation, a signifier for a shared future, or does it merely gloss over serious problems and concerns?[2]

After outlining some striking similarities between ethnic food marketing and multicultural literature, I intend to analyze the role of food in contemporary German literature and society. Specifically, I will look at two texts by Rafik Schami ("Kebab ist Kultur") and Uwe Timm (Die Entdeckung der Currywurst). In both of these texts, food plays a crucial role. In "Kebab ist Kultur," food is a marker of difference and alterity. In Die Entdeckung der Currywurst, food is the impetus to trace history - personal history as well as the history of postwar Germany. Questions related to cultural differences, history, and memory have been highly contested within German society, and I am therefore convinced they will continue to play an important role in German literature and German studies.

Despite its immense cultural importance, food has only recently started to receive the scholarly attention it deserves. The last ten years have seen a significant increase in the number of journals, books, and panels at conferences devoted to this topic. Most of this scholarly attention, however, has been outside the realm of German literature.[3] This comes as a surprise if one considers that food metaphors have been used extensively to convey a wide array of feelings and ideas. Obviously, this article can only touch on a small area within the larger field of food and literature.[4] In this essay, I am particularly interested in issues connected to the social meaning and implications of "ethnic" food.

Similarly to clothing and language, food is of primordial importance for the social and personal development of identity. Food is as much a part of our everyday lives as it is connected to special occasions. Food is a social signifier embedded with many layers of meaning. The production, preparation, and consumption of food touches upon many aspects of our lives. The sensory aspect of food triggers memories and initiates storytelling. Who cooks, who eats and how much tells us a lot about gender, social, and often ethnic and racial relationships. Far from being just work, although it is important to keep in mind that for many people cooking is first and foremost work, cooking affords the possibility for creative expression. In this regard it is similar to writing, with the major difference being that many more senses are involved. Food embodies culture, it brings people together, and sometimes it also marks disagreements and misunderstandings - as will be obvious in the two texts under consideration here.

Both ethnic food marketing and multicultural literature have to be placed into a broader socio-political context of social exclusion and marginalization, and simultaneously of exotic culture hopping and commercially extremely profitable desire. In recent times, the effects of social exclusion and marginalization have been widely discussed. Less attention has been given to the fact that multiculturalism sells quite well - in the form of books, clothes, restaurants, and as a culinary-literary crossover: ethnic cookbooks. What this form of capitalization on "otherness" means not only to the immediate participants of these transactions, but also to society at large, has yet to be studied in detail.

While Döner was introduced to Germany by Turkish migrants, and at least originally was known as a "Turkish" food, it is not available in Turkey in the same form. It is a hybrid product born out of migration and adapted to German tastes.[5] The same, I would argue, holds true for migrant/minority/multicultural literature in Germany, despite the fact that occasionally these books are still being shelved under Turkish/Arabic/nation of origin literature in bookstores. Multicultural literature in Germany is, with few exceptions, being written for a German public that includes migrants and minorities as well as ethnic Germans. It is informed by memories of the past as well as by visions for the future, and it reveals new insights not only into the lives of migrants and minorities but also into the makings of German culture today. The longstanding and far-reaching debates about terminology and classification are indicative of the underlying dilemmas about referent, representation, cultural identity, and agency.[6]

A related similarity between food marketing and multicultural literature applies to image and self-classification. While in the past most owners of Döner Imbisses marketed their product by accentuating its Turkishness or exoticness, in recent years many have downplayed all ethnic connotations. This is especially surprising if one considers the fact that demand for ethnic food has actually been increasing. According to Çaglar, this change in marketing strategy cannot be explored from within a framework which only takes into account market forces, but rather has to be placed into a broader context of German Turks' social exclusion and quest for social mobility in Germany.[7] Here again we see an interesting parallel to literature: many authors now downplay or even object to all ethnic connotations, despite the fact that multicultural literature has been more popular than ever before. Instead of presenting themselves as ethnic writers, many prefer to be perceived as cosmopolitan Weltbürger instead. One of the most successful cross-cultural ambassadors in Germany today, writer and actress Renan Demirkan, states on her personal web-page her nationality as neither Turkish nor German, nor any combination thereof, but instead as "Cosmopolitin."[8] This attempt to defy marginalizing categories is intended as a push towards inclusion and openness, and yet, by seemingly requiring a self-image free of ethnic markers, I would contend that this stance is not unproblematic either.

The issue of globalization, especially in the form of global capitalism versus local agency and local tastes, takes center stage in Rafik Schami's short narrative "Kebab ist Kultur."[9] Already in the title of this story, the Syrian-German writer Schami equates Kebab with culture. Clearly the word culture in this context is not a solely descriptive term, referring to cultural practices of a distinct group of people - although it does that too. "Kultur" implies positive achievements, and these value judgments are consequently transferred to the food in question. This notion of Kebab as a signifier of culture and cultural achievement is reinforced by the subtitle of the story, which also clearly expresses the author's point of view: "pro Mahmud contra McDonald's."

In this context, McDonald's stands as much for a globalization of tastes and capital as Kebab stands for culture. Jeremy MacClancy, in his influential study Consuming Culture: Why You Eat What You Eat, has succinctly shown how "as the fast-food chain spreads its corporate net further and further around the globe, the hamburger comes to symbolize not just American culture, but American cultural imperialism as well."10 Schami's story, as it speaks out against a standardized world without local peculiarities and quirks, clearly follows this line of thought. Of course at least in Germany, the popularity of Döner Kebab (still?) outweighs the appeal of McDonald's - which in turn might help the appeal and success of Schami's story.[11]

Mahmud, the main character of "Kebab ist Kultur," is a self-described Kebab-Artist. This artistry stands in clear opposition to McDonald's, which MacClancy describes as "not a 'restaurant', but a smoothly functioning assembly line manufacturing a uniform and reliable product."[12] But even compared to his local competitors, whose preparation of Kebab is governed by speed and efficiency, Mahmud follows a strict ceremony reminiscent of magic as much as of cooking. He puts his heart and soul into cooking and takes it as an insult when somebody does not treasure his creation. His identification with the food he prepares goes so far that he attributes a soul to the meat - a soul which, in his opinion, his competitors destroy by using an electric meat grinder or electric refrigeration. This is an example of Schami's use of exaggerations and cultural stereotypes which, one might argue, is problematic in so far as it reinforces certain negative cliches about others. I would submit, however, that besides exaggerating the descriptions of Easterners and Westerners, these cultural stereotypes are being used in a quirky and humorous way. Schami's reliance on humor is one of his trademarks, and it has certainly contributed to his continuous popularity.

Despite Mahmud being the only one who does the actual work, cooking is not a solitary endeavor for him. He requires the participation of his customers, who have to dutifully admire the meat itself and Mahmud's preparation of the dish at the appropriate moments. By moving the act of cooking out of the confinement of the kitchen and involving the customers/eaters, Schami emphasizes the community building aspect of cooking. It is the praise of the eaters that sustains the cook and gives meaning to his efforts, and it is this communal effort which turns cooking into more than a service rendered to paying customers.

The central conflict of this story occurs when four American tourists enter Mahmud's store. After taking many photos of the stereotypical Arab shopkeeper, the just-as-stereotypical Americans, wearing brightly colored, inappropriate clothes, proceed to order the local specialty Kebab. At first, Mahmud is very pleased and envisions this as an opportunity to let everybody know that he is the best Kebab-Artist in the whole world. He therefore tries very hard to impress his customers by not only ensuring the highest quality of the finished product, but also by stepping up the performance character of his cooking. All goes well, until the American tourists unknowingly and unintentionally commit a major insult by putting ketchup on their Kebab.

What is at stake is clearly more than a question of taste - although taste is generally regarded as a significant marker of ethnicity. David Bell and Gill Valentine, in their seminal study Consuming Geographies: We Are Where We Eat, have discussed how "[c]ultural definitions of edibility in terms of foodstuffs and the order and combination of foods are time and space specific."[13] Consequently, food is one area in which boundaries between communities get drawn and insiders and outsiders distinguished. While the American tourists' desire to eat the local specialty signals a certain openness towards "other" or "ethnic" food, they simultaneously show their cultural ignorance by not knowing the "proper" way to eat Kebab. As Pierre Bourdieu has analyzed in Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, taste and "knowing the proper way to eat a certain food" is usually associated with class.[14] The reason for these tourists' faux pas, however, is culture rather than class.

The tourists' predicament, of course, is not restricted to intercultural encounters, it is one of the general pitfalls of dining out. Bell and Valentine, among others, remind us that "in a restaurant, everything we eat and the ways we eat it are on constant display, under continual surveillance."[15] For many Americans, not running into problems like these is one of the great advantages of eating at McDonald's: As MacClancy has pointed out, there is "[n]o need to worry about your table manners, or lack of them."[16] Of course, what exactly constitutes proper table manners is just as culturally specific as taste. A visit to a McDonald's restaurant might be so common place to most Americans that the question of "proper behavior" requires nary a second thought. Skills like how to place an order, find a table, and eat without embarrassing your friends cannot be taken for granted, however. James L. Watson gives the following example to illustrate this point: "During McDonald's first week of operation in Moscow, employees distributed information sheets to people standing in queues, telling them how to order and what to do after paying."[17] Employees at this particular McDonald's outlet further had to reassure customers that smiling at them was only supposed to convey the message that they were happy to serve them, and did not imply laughing at them.[18]

To go back to Schami's story, the customers' ignorance of local food practices is of course only one reason for the ensuing altercation. The other reason is Mahmud's outrage at his customers' behavior. He is not about to accept that his customers eat their food in any way they please. Having worked hard to bring out the best flavor of the meat, he knows that these efforts would have been wasted by the overpowering taste of the ketchup. He thus perceives that his work was in vain. Instead of his tourists being so impressed by his skills that they would tell everybody about it, they probably would not have known the difference between superior and mediocre Kebab. They are interested in the "ethnic" eating experience, without possessing the necessary background or even inclination to differentiate between various kinds of food that are all "foreign" to them.

Mahmud's fault, of course, was that he assumed that his customers would share his own sense of taste. But taste, as I have pointed out before, is culturally specific - and even McDonald's has had to go to great lengths to alter local tastes, which has proven more cost effective than adapting the menu to local tastes. With the use of culturally specific marketing strategies and appeals to children, whose tastes are not yet biased against the American menu, McDonald's foreign partners have been very successful. This success extends to places like Hong Kong where "the pessimism was pervasive. The consensus was that the Chinese eat rice, not hamburgers."[19] There are, of course, some small modifications to the standard McDonald's fare in different countries: beer in Germany, espresso in Italy, and a mutton-based Maharaja Mac in India, to name just a few.[20] All in all, however, "McDonald's had better luck changing local eating habits than adapting its menu to fit them. [...] In effect, McDonald's realized that it could only be successful abroad if it stuck to the very same menu and store design that worked at home."[21] As a result, McDonald's has been widely acclaimed (or bedeviled, depending on the critic's point of view) for its standardization and homogenization of taste.

While unappreciated work and different tastes are the basis for the altercation in "Kebab ist Kultur," I would argue that the issue at stake goes beyond these two aspects. Mahmud's enforcing of the (only) culturally acceptable way to enjoy his Kebab is a local attempt to stand up against the globalization of tastes by the almost worldwide availability and marketing of mega food-suppliers like McDonalds. Interestingly, these local pockets of resistance, as outlined in this story, coincide with increased efforts by McDonalds to position itself as a global link between diverse ethnic communities. As Elspeth Probyn has shown, the 1996 McDonald's ad campaign "It's MacTime Now" represents McDonald's as "the agent that hyphenates different locales into a global vision of one big happy family." While seemingly foregrounding the localism within the global, it is ultimately the very universality of McDonald's that emerges across these locales.[22]

In Schami's story, Mahmud is not willing to submit to this form of Americanized globalization - which aligns him with critics like Pheng Cheah, who has pointed out that globalization in the form of economic transnationalism is often "U.S. economic nationalism in global disguise."[23] This puts Mahmud in contrast to his neighbor, the hairdresser, who tries to explain the tourists' behavior with the slogan "other countries, other customs." Mahmud's response to the hairdresser's reminder of the culturally determined nature of customs and tastes is thus a sound "Ja, Mann, aber das hier ist unser Land!"[24] While this reply could be read as a narrow prescription for culturally acceptable tastes and behaviors, it can also be seen as an attempt to preserve the plurality of distinct flavors and tastes grown out of different cultures against homogenizing entities like McDonald's. And after all, as Carole Counihan reminds us, "[m]anners and habits of eating are crucial to the very definition of community."[25]

These intersections between eating and community are also the driving forces in the second piece of literature under consideration here. Despite its title, Uwe Timm's Die Entdeckung der Currywurst is not primarily a book about food.[26] It is first and foremost a book about memory. Setting out to learn all he can about the discovery of Currywurst (sliced sausage with ketchup and curry powder), the narrator in Timm's novella learns even more about the war and postwar time in Germany. He visits Lena Brücker, a now retired snack bar owner in Hamburg, who is rumored to have invented the Currywurst. At least according to Timm's legend, people in Berlin are convinced that Berlin snack bar owner Herta Heuwer invented Currywurst in 1949.[27] In Die Entdeckung der Currywurst, old Mrs. Brücker tells her story during one week of afternoon visits, while having coffee and cake. Impatient at first, the narrator soon learns that hurrying Mrs. Brücker along won't work. The narrator wants to find out about the details of the invention; Mrs. Brücker's main interest is in telling her story.

This is not the only book by Uwe Timm which uses food as an impetus for story telling. The novel Johannisnacht recounts the narrator's research into the history of the potato.[28] In both of these books, the narrator is closely patterned after Uwe Timm himself. There are also other characters who show up in both books: Uncle Heinz, the potato connoisseur in Johannisnacht who is the stimulus for the narrator's research into the potato, also allegedly accompanied the narrator when he tasted his first Currywurst. In both books, research into food provides the occasion for a multitude of stories and experiences. Interwoven in Lena Brücker's story are the stories of many other people, and also the story of Germany 1945-1947.29 Like the act of cooking (and inventing or rather discovering Currywurst) itself, personal history is always embedded in socio-political history. Many different people contribute to this story/history/discovery, and when the narrator finally receives the original recipe, a page ripped out of an old magazine with the ingredients for Currywurst scribbled on its side, he has obtained much more than a recipe.

Die Entdeckung der Currywurst highlights the contributions of many different people and circumstances to the development of a specific food. This also points to the fact that nobody "owns" a recipe. People modify and adapt recipes; they add, subtract, and substitute ingredients; they combine ingredients in new ways, which might lead to the claim of having invented a new recipe, but they always base their modifications on existing recipes. This raises the question of when a recipe is rightfully considered "stolen" versus when it is "borrowed" or "collected." Lisa Heldke astutely remarks: "A cookbook author is described as having 'stolen' recipes only if they have previously appeared in published form - a form of communicating that privileges people on the basis of class and education as well as race, and often sex."[30] This truth is acknowledged in the literary text itself: "Die meisten bezweifelten, daß die Currywurst erfunden worden ist. Und dann noch von einer bestimmten Person? [...] Sind solche Speisen nicht kollektive Leistungen?"[31] Furthermore taking into account the accidental nature of Brücker's discovery - she trips on a staircase, breaks three bottles of ketchup, and spills the curry powder she has just received in her postwar black market trades - "Entdeckung" (discovery) is indeed a more appropriate term than "Erfindung" (invention), the term customarily used with recipes.[32] The culinary discovery of Currywurst is shaped by chance and coincidence, and consequently the "recipe" is anything but straight forward.

Like "Kebab ist Kultur," Die Entdeckung der Currywurst tells about the power of food to bring people together. Not coincidentally, food is the topic of narration as well as a catalyst for storytelling. The tale of the discovery of curried sausage is told while consuming food. Talking about food requires the simultaneous consumption of food. And cooking, as Schami's short story has already attested to, requires willing eaters. Likewise, Timm's heroine Brücker only starts to enjoy cooking once she is cooking for somebody who enjoys eating her food, in this case the deserted sailor Bremer who she harbors in her apartment. It is this same ability to enjoy food that the narrator ascribes to Brücker while she is eating the cakes and pastries he brings to her. In contrast to this Genussfähigkeit, Brücker attributes the fact that previously she never enjoyed cooking to her own father who used to shuffle food into his mouth without paying attention to what he was eating.33
Eating curried chicken in India was the highlight of Bremer's life, which otherwise was dominated by war and hardship (98). In India, he experienced curry as a remedy against depression and heat rash. Similar healing qualities are ascribed to other spices like chili, ginger and cardamom (132). Later, after Bremer inexplicably lost his sense of taste, it is Brücker's curried sausage that lets him taste food again for the first time. Other customers at Brücker's newly opened snack bar have a similar reaction; they long for the sweet and spicy taste that makes life among the ruins bearable and, even more important, that makes them feel alive again. Timm thus gives a compelling testimony to the power of food.

Similar to Döner Kebab, which is a hybrid product born out of migration and adapted to German tastes, Currywurst is a signifier for foreignness and Germanness at the same time. "Exotic" curry powder gives spice to the most "German" of German dishes, sausage. Currywurst, as Timm's narrator states, "verbindet das Fernste mit dem Nächsten, den Curry mit der Wurst" (12). Of course curry powder itself is not the "typical" Indian spice as which it is being sold in Germany, but rather a colonial British fabrication. Uma Narayan astutely describes the British incorporation of curry as follows: "They were incorporating not Indian food, but their own 'invention' of curry powder."[34] This, according to Narayan, involved a "fabricated entity that was incorporated on the self's terms."[35] Timm's story raises similar questions about the social meaning of "ethnic" food in German or more generally Western society. First of all, are we talking about ethnic or "ethnicized" food? What are the implications of cultural incorporation and food colonialism? And is it still colonialism, even when our food adventures are guided by the desire to experience and learn about other cultures?[36]

Taken to a different level, what are the implications of literary colonialism? Like food, literature is often charged with building bridges and fostering understanding. Only recently has there been a turn against this instrumentalization of multicultural literature, which often reduces "ethnic" literature to this function at the expense of aesthetics and artistry. So the question at stake is not only about the insights food and literature bestow upon us, but also about the pleasures they contain and bring forth. Maybe the most important question, however, is the following: what can "ethnic" food or literature reveal not only about the other, but about the self? How does ethnic food or literature challenge and change our understanding of Germanness, instead of just "adding" to it?

In his detailed history of Döner Kebab, Seidel-Pielen praises the intercultural connections made possible by ethnic food like Döner: "Nicht in den Volkshochschulkursen und an den Stätten der Hochkultur, sondern an der Imbißbude kamen Hans und Mustafa ins Gespräch, reiften die Pläne für die erste Türkeireise."[37] While maybe overstating the communicative potential of snack bar encounters, Seidel-Pielen successfully analyzes the effect Döner has had on the cultural landscape of Germany. He thus moves away from a study of the "other" to an analysis of the self. He does, however, neglect to ask some crucial questions: What are the differences between food appreciation and appropriation? And what does it mean that Döner is now being considered a quintessential German dish? Does this really challenge and change our definition of Germanness, or is it just an appropriation of select aspects of a "foreign" culture made palatable to German tastes?[38]

I would also like to add the following caveat: While eating ethnic food, similar to traveling or reading multicultural literature, might indeed be the first step to meaningful intercultural communication, more often than not it is merely a substitute for seriously dealing with the social, political and cultural aspects of migration and globalization. One just has to consider the increase in popularity of ethnic food in the 1990s, at the exact same time that racial/ethnic discrimination and violence against minorities in Germany increased, to realize that the mere act of eating ethnic food does not create a more equitable world. Without trying to disparage the good intentions of cultural committees and international student organizations, the ever-popular ethnic or international food festivals therefore cannot be the only answer to ongoing problems and concerns. In a similar vein, and contrary to the beliefs of many well-meaning Germans, having dinner at the local Italian restaurant does not constitute an active contribution against Ausländerfeindlichkeit.

Applying the food metaphor to society at large, cultural critic Bell Hooks worries about the commodification of otherness. When the cultural other is appropriated, "ethnicity becomes spice, seasoning that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture."[39] The same has happened, I would argue, in respect to multicultural literature. Ethnic literature is being praised as enlivening and rejuvenating the "bland" German literary landscape. As a telling example, see Lerke von Saalfeld's introduction to foreign writers in Germany: "Durch diese Autorinnen und Autoren gelangt eine Lebendigkeit und Vielseitigkeit in die deutsche Literatur, die den hausgemachten Eintopf zu einer wohlschmeckenderen Kost verwandelt."[40] While certainly meant well, this is exactly the type of commodification Hooks warned about. "Foreign" writers are being praised for giving spice to "German" literature and culture, without seriously questioning the meaning of Germanness.

Nevertheless, the increased acceptance of ethnic food, literature and other cultural "products" is certainly a good development. The same acceptance, however, does not always extend towards the people behind the products. Reforms in regard to citizenship, increased political participation for all members of society, and protection from discrimination are only slowly coming in Germany. As Leslie Adelson has pointed out, intercultural encounters today are taking place within German culture, not between German culture and something outside it. In her article entitled "Against Between: A Manifesto," Adelson argues that "the trope of 'betweenness' often functions literally like a reservation designed to contain, restrain, and impede new knowledge, not enable it." She further maintains that "(c)ultural contact today is not an 'intercultural encounter' that takes place between German culture and something outside it, but something happening within German culture between the German past and the German present."[41] Food has played an important role in these encounters, and our understanding of the significance of food will contribute to our understanding of society. By critically analyzing and appreciating the role of food in literature and culture, we might gain surprising and rewarding insights about ourselves that move beyond reifying celebrations of ethnicity. As these literary examples have shown, food can be the language of conflict as well as of dialogue and reconciliation; it always contains traces of the past; and it also offers enticing visions for the future.

1 Cem Özdemir, Currywurst und Döner: Integration in Deutschland (Bergisch Gladbach: Gustav Lübbe Verlag, 1999).

2 Since all foods derive from national or regional subcultures, they all could be described as ethnic. My use of the term follows Warren J. Belasco's definition of ethnic foods as "those that are consciously perceived and felt to be tied to a specific land or region." Significantly, Belasco also points out that ethnicity is subjective and relative. Warren J. Belasco, "Ethnic Fast Foods: The Corporate Melting Pot," Food and Foodways 2 (1987): 24.

3 For the most important scholarly work to date, see Carole M. Counihan, The Anthropology of Food and Body: Gender, Meaning, and Power (New York and London: Routledge, 1999), Carolyn Korsmeyer, Making Sense of Taste: Food and Philosophy (Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1999), Sherrie A. Inness, ed., Pilaf, Pozole, and Pad Thai: American Women and Ethnic Food (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 2001), and Lisa Heldke, Exotic Appetites: Ruminations of a Food Adventurer (New York and London: Routledge, 2003). The only major treatise on food in German literature has been Alois Wierlacher's fundamental study Vom Essen in der deutschen Literatur (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1987). This detailed and thorough examination of food as a literary motif focuses on German fictional texts, especially novels, from 1774 to 1977. Noteworthy articles concerning food and German literature are Marjanne E. Goozé, "The Interlocution of Geographical Displacement, Cultural Identity, and Cuisine in Works by Jeannette Lander," Monatshefte 91.1 (1999): 101-120 and Beth Linklater, "'Unbeschreiblich köstlich wie die Liebe selber': Food and Sex in the Work of Irmtraud Morgner," The Modern Language Review 93.4 (1998): 1045-1057.

4 I am currently working on a book-length manuscript with the tentative title Mouthwatering Feasts and Gastronomical Disasters: The Role of Food in Contemporary German Literature.

5 See the very interesting case study by Ayse S. Çaglar, "Mc Kebap: Döner Kebap and the Social Positioning Struggle of German Turks," Changing Food Habits: Case Studies from Africa, South America and Europe, Ed. Carola Lentz (Amsterdam: Harwood, 1999) 263-283. For a detailed history of Döner in Germany, see also Eberhard Seidel-Pielen, Aufgespießt: Wie der Döner über die Deutschen kam (Hamburg: Rotbuch, 1996).

6 For the latest additions to this debate see Leslie Adelson, "The Turkish Turn in Contemporary German Literature and Memory Work," The Germanic Review 77.4 (Fall 2002) 326-338, and Gerd Bayer, "Theory as Hierarchy: Positioning German Migrantenliteratur," Monatshefte 96.1 (2004) 1-19.

7 Çaglar, "Mc Kebap" 277-278.

8 <www.renan-demirkan.de/biogra/bio.htm>.

9 Rafik Schami, "Kebab ist Kultur," Der Fliegenmelker: Geschichten aus Damaskus (Kiel: Neuer Malik Verlag, 1993) 11-24.

10 Jeremy MacClancy, Consuming Culture: Why You Eat What You Eat (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1992) 194.

11 See Seidel-Pielen's comparison of sales figures for Döner and McDonald's Germany. Seidel-Pielen, Aufgespießt 13.

12 MacClancy, Consuming Culture 189.

13 David Bell and Gill Valentine, Consuming Geographies: We Are Where We Eat (London and New York: Routledge, 1997) 45.

14 Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, transl. Richard Nice (Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1984).

15 Bell and Valentine, Consuming Geographies 124.

16 MacClancy, Consuming Culture 191.

17 James L. Watson, "Introduction: Transnationalism, Localization, and Fast Foods in East Asia," Golden Arches East: McDonald's in East Asia (Stanford: Stanford UP, 1997) 27.

18 Watson, Golden Arches East 28.

19 John F. Love, McDonald's: Behind the Arches (Toronto, New York, London: Bantam Books, 1986) 433.

20 Watson, Golden Arches East 23-24.

21 Love, McDonald's 435-437.

22 Elspeth Probyn, "Mc-Identities: Food and the Familial Citizen," Theory, Culture & Society 15.2 (1998): 155-173.

23 Pheng Cheah, "Introduction Part II: The Cosmopolitical - Today," Cosmopolitics: Thinking and Feeling beyond the Nation, Ed. Pheng Cheah and Bruce Robbins (Minneapolis, London: U of Minnesota P, 1998) 31.

24 Schami, "Kebab ist Kultur" 23.

25 Counihan, Anthropology of Food and Body 13.

26 Uwe Timm, Die Entdeckung der Currywurst (Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1993). Paperback edition: Kiepenheuer & Witsch,1995.

27 Herta Heuwer even patented her spicy "Chillup" Sauce. A special memorial plate for Heuwer, the "inventor of the Currywurst," was unveiled on June 29, 2003. <www.charlottenburg-wilmersdorf.de/wissenswertes/gedenktafeln/heuwer.html>.

28 Uwe Timm, Johannisnacht (Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1996).

29 For a detailed reading of Die Entdeckung der Currywurst as an individual perspective of historical events, see David Basker, "'Die Wandlung des Alltags in Bedeutung': Social History and 'Die Ästhetik des Alltags,'" Uwe Timm, Ed. David Basker (Cardiff: U of Wales P, 1999) 82-110.

30 Lisa Heldke, "Let's Cook Thai: Recipes for Colonialism," Pilaf, Pozole, and Pad Thai: American Women and Ethnic Food, Ed. Sherrie A. Inness (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 2001) 184-185.

31 Timm, Die Entdeckung der Currywurst 12.

32 Unfortunately, the otherwise excellent English translation of this novella uses the term invention instead of discovery. Uwe Timm, The Invention of Curried Sausage, Trans. Leila Vennewitz (New York: New Directions, 1995).

33 Timm, Die Entdeckung der Currywurst 41. Following references to this book will be cited parenthetically.

34 Uma Narayan, "Eating Cultures: Incorporation, Identity and Indian Food," Social Identities 1.1 (1995): 65.

35 Narayan, "Eating Cultures" 66.

36 For the most concise and insightful treatise on this topic see Lisa Heldke, "'Let's Eat Chinese!' Reflections on Cultural Food Colonialism," Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture 1.2 (2001): 76-79.

37 Seidel-Pielen, Aufgespießt 9.

38 The same question could be asked about multicultural literature.

39 Bell Hooks, "Eating the Other," Black Looks: Race and Representation (Boston: South End Press, 1992) 21.

40 Lerke von Saalfeld, ed., Ich habe eine fremde Sprache gewählt: Ausländische Schriftsteller schreiben deutsch (Gerlingen: Bleicher, 1998) 23.

41 Leslie Adelson, "Against Between: A Manifesto," Contemporary German Writers: Zafer Senocak, Ed. Tom Cheesman and Karin Yesilada (Cardiff: U of Wales P, 2003). Also in Salah Hassan and Iftikhar Dadi, ed., Unpacking Europe: Towards a Critical Reading (Rotterdam: NAi Publishers, 2001) 244-255.


copyright: Glossen, Oktober, 2004