The Sistah Vegan Project

Food Porn or Food Erotica….? Sistah Vegan in Europe Part I

Breeze Harper eating her Vegan Wurst Sandwich from Heart of Joy, coming back from Salzburg, Austria on the train.

Breeze Harper eating her Vegan Wurst Sandwich from Heart of Joy, coming back from Salzburg, Austria on the train.

I have to admit that I am not a fan of the use of ‘porn’ in describing food. But, that is just me. I prefer the word ‘erotica’ instead so….

Today I will be kicking off my Sistah Vegan in Europe series with “Food Erotica” as a way to share my experiences in Europe. Today I share with you Salzburg, Austria.

I am hyperaware of the commodities I saw that obscure the resources and people exploited to make these items possible. For example, so many cocoa products with no indication of how the cocoa was sourced, showered store case displays in Salzburg. I am quite confident that this means that a majority of the cocoa was sourced from child slave labor in West Africa, but the “happy” images of “Holiday cheer” (i.e. hundreds of chocolates Santa Claus items, Xmas trees, ornaments, etc) are strategically used to sell ‘nostalgia’ and ‘pleasure.’ Who wants to see pictures of actual enslaved African Children making ‘our’ holiday cheer and tourist attractions possible!? What a drab! But of course, I know it is a tourist town and myth is what makes a town a successful tourist town. Hence, I can’t be surprised by this and won’t say more…

Oh, and I did end up finding 2 organic cafes with vegan food options. The first was Bio-Burger . I ate a housemade vegan burger and potato chips. The last picture is a vegan apple cake that I ate at Heart of Joy. As a main meal I ended up eating a vegan wurst sandwich (first picture above).

And lastly, saw 4 other black folk there in the entire tourist packed town, but that is not surprising. I did see representations of “blackness” in the city, via a place called Afro Coffee. Apparently Black people are really cool to look at while drinking coffee and eating food from Africa– especially images of Black folk with ‘retro’ fashions from the 1960s with very large afros. Seriously, check it out! I want to know the meaning behind this and would love to do an ethnography of the cafe. But come on, how can you have an Afro Cafe and there ain’t any black people there as patrons! ha ha (well, there weren’t any there at the moment I passed by, so who knows!?). Anyway, seems to be food “from Africa” that was sold there and I really did dig the images of afro wearing Black folk that decorated the place.

Here are the photos of food I took at various shoppes and cafes.

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Bio-Burger's Vegan patty.

Bio-Burger’s Vegan patty.

Vegan organic yumminess.

Vegan organic yumminess from Heart of Joy.

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9 thoughts on “Food Porn or Food Erotica….? Sistah Vegan in Europe Part I

  1. Sistah Vegan in Europe series – yeah! :-) if you’d visit Switzerland, let me know! Very tasty looking food erotica.

  2. Wow, this AfroCoffee place has some pretty outrageous (in the negative sense) stuff going on. I’d love to read how you deconstruct this place, good grief. Where to even begin? These are just a couple of first-impressions after looking at the website for literally one minute:

    1) Take a look at the phrase to describe business vision statement of the the place (use google translator): “I have a dream….”???? WTF. Who owns this place?

    2) The photograph in the advertisement is pretty revealing–all white people sitting down to eat in the “company” of black folks (never mind that they’re painted on the wall). Customers “feel good” about being “open-minded.”

    3) The decor, to me, reflects a mentality among Europeans in regard to black people (which, BTW, I have personally witnessed among several, university degree-holding European folks who pride themselves in their “progressive” outlooks). First, the 60s kitsch semiotics: liberated, happy, musical. Pair this with the black people on the wall, afros, a woman in a bikini (wtf?) and you have: “happy, entertaining, colorful, musical, sexually uninhibited Negro and Negress.” Yes, I am using those terms deliberately because it captures the meaning.

    4) So, this place sponsors black people as musical performers (” hey, black people can sing and dance” mentality). Does this place let black people speak?Is this place involved in any way to facilitate speakers, dialogue, conversation? Does it provide a forum for black people to speak or only to “dance and look colorful” while people eat their soup?

  3. Hey GD, how about you look at that website for more than ‘literally one minute’ before you write an essay about it? :-p

  4. All of that looks delicious!

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