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This is how food is used in foreign policy

This is how food is used in foreign policy

In 1992, George H.W. Bush, the US president at the time, also visited Japan during his Asian tour. One of his formal programs was a formal dinner where raw salmon, caviar and roast beef with pepper sauce were served. It is not possible to know for sure whether it was caused by food or an illness (according to the official announcement, it was gastroenteritis), but Bush made history by becoming the first American president to vomit on a Japanese prime minister. Keichi Miyazawa In his embrace.

A somewhat less disturbing, but still very embarrassing, incident occurred when Barack Obama hosted his French counterpart, François Hollande, at a state dinner. Caviar was also on the menu at the White House — not surprising, of course, at such a high-level diplomatic meeting — while the French president's Socialist government was awkwardly trying to ensure it did not stir up discontent in its political policies. Opponents, who call the left caviar, and in opposition voters.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton considered food to be the oldest diplomatic tool in international relations. This certainly also applies to Margaret Thatcher, the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, who approached the case from a slightly different perspective: in 1979, at a European Council meeting, French President Giscard d'Estaing really wanted to eat, but the Iron Lady refused to suspend the trial until a conclusion was reached. To a final decision. Unsurprisingly, d'Estaing suddenly became more cooperative.

The way to people's hearts is through their stomachs

Foreign affairs representatives and politicians are well aware of this. There is so much truth in this saying that an entire branch of diplomacy has evolved for the sake of the that individual countries can strengthen their international relations by meeting one of the basic needs of the people, increasing gastronomy and food products For economic, tourism and commercial recovery.

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Although the term stomach diplomacy was first coined Economist magazine used it in 2002, and this practice is not new at all. Even Winston Churchill knew very well (sorry in advance) that a growling stomach has no ears, and he liked to organize his most important meetings around the dining table. Richard Nixon is also a soft diplomat He was a believer. When he had dinner with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in 1972, he achieved a major breakthrough in the development of Sino-American relations with one small gesture, which was considered rare in Western countries at the time: eating dinner with chopsticks.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin celebrate Churchill's 69th birthday at a joint dinner during a conference in Tehran

Of course, as in most relationships, it's easy to run into culinary diplomacy if only one party is willing to make the effort. When the second. Erzcibet visited Belize in 1985, and her hosts prepared her a menu that included fried acorns – a nocturnal rodent that locals consider a delicacy. However, while the Queen praised the chef, British tabloids reported on the event by saying that the King had been served a rat. This greatly angered Belizeans, who gained independence from Great Britain in 1981, who accused journalists of racism and insensitivity, and the nut suddenly gained stronger symbolic meaning and higher status in the Central American country.

Donald Trump also made himself uncomfortable in Asia with his inability to swallow his hatred of vegetables when he visited India in February 2020, which is mainly inhabited by Hindus who revere cows as sacred animals. His foreign hosts usually have his favorite menu item: steak and ketchup They tried to influence The former US president, but his Indian colleague, who is known to be a vegetarian, kept doing everything to please him. At Narendra Modi's residence, palace chefs prepared the menu especially for Trump. The fish tikka was served with Cajun spices instead of garam masala, and the beef he loved so much was replaced with goat — but the First Gentleman of the United States didn't really appreciate the efforts. However, during her visit to Ahmedabad, neither she nor the First Lady tried the special vegetarian menu, when celebrity chef Suresh Khanna filled the samosas with broccoli and corn instead of the traditional potatoes and peas.

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It is very easy for someone to deceive you

The Obama administration and the Iranian government spent 20 months trying to conclude the nuclear deal in 2015, which Donald Trump has since canceled. The tension was clear, and not by the way, the two sides ate separately at each meeting. But on July 4, American Independence Day, the Iranians invited representatives of the United States to their table, and the two sides are said to have already agreed to this. He started treating him as a partner The other. An agreement was reached within 10 days, and experts from both countries were convinced that an agreement had been reached through a joint meal.

The growing number of food diplomacy initiatives indicates that it is becoming more and more clear to world leaders that the way to the hearts of their foreign partners is through their stomachs. The emergence of culinary diplomacy is a direct result of globalization, and it tries to attract not only politicians, but also Internet users and traveling gourmets, who are happy to travel to a country to experience the culinary arts and buy local delicacies.

For example, in Denmark, new wave cuisine has earned a prominent place on the world's gastronomic map for the Scandinavian country's best chefs by making ingredients and practices that were almost lost to obscurity once again fall in love with world-traveling gourmets. . Peru has created its own culinary brand, Marca Peru, with support from the public and private sectors. So there is a life beyond the mainstream Chinese buffets, pizzerias, tacos and kebab shops, and it is worth trying the lesser-known dishes of other countries, in this way we can not only enrich ourselves with unforgettable culinary experiences, but also learn about them. Every nation from a new side.

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