restricted access "Eat the World": Postcolonial Encounters in Quebec City's Ethnic Restaurants

This article examines intercultural contact in Quebec City’s ethnic restaurants. The results of this multisited inquiry show that ethnic restaurants have developed rapidly, representing microspaces of intercultural encounter and exchange, places where people can see, touch, and consume the cuisine of the "other." More specifically, this article explores the ways in which eating reduces difference and distance; how it evokes cultural and geographical appropriation. Ethnic restaurants represent deterritorialized "ethnosites" in which the foreign is made familiar and the global miniaturized. They provide the opportunity to "taste" difference and to "eat" exotic cultures from faraway places without leaving home. In the same way that the bourgeois restaurant of the 19th century was a site for the consumption of the nation, through the presentation of regional cuisine, the ethnic restaurant has become in postcolonial societies a place for the consumption of the world.