Food and class distinction at Israeli weddings: New middle class omnivores and the "simple taste"

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Despite a legion of studies on the omnivorous consumption patterns of the new middle class, the actual tastes of omnivores in particular social settings remain understudied. In this article, I differentiate three types of food omnivorousness (diversity, experientialism and knowledge), before identifying the classificatory schemes of omnivores in Israel through food at weddings, perceived not as individual lifestyle practices but as a locus of class distinctions, where class tastes are formed, manifested and reproduced. The culinary choices made by both the new middle class consumers and producers I interviewed were governed by what I term the "simple taste." My respondents invoked simplicity mainly, though not exclusively, through a close-to-nature rhetoric. I show that the "simple taste" enables the new middle class to mitigate the conflicting cultural strategies of elitism and pluralism, and in so doing, bridge between obligations to one's self and others. I conclude that the "simple taste" is part of a new, classed taste regime premised on personal authenticity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-264
Number of pages20
JournalFood, Culture and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Distinction
  • Israel
  • New middle class
  • Omnivorousness
  • Taste
  • Weddings


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