Dakar food: between permanence and change. Adaptation to environmental context - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2014

Dakar food: between permanence and change. Adaptation to environmental context


In Senegal and Dakar in particular, overfishing and fisheries management policies focus mainly on export and generation of economic flows which lead to scarcity of fish in the sea and on the Dakar markets. Some species such as thiof are now endangered. Fish is a very important component of diet in Dakar. What impact do these changes have on Dakar inhabitants’ food? How do people adapt and react to this situation in terms of food? Conducting a qualitative study on Dakar's consumers has allowed us to identify trends in the behaviour of dietary adaptations. Subsequently, a quantitative study enabled us to clarify the results by quantifying these trends. The mobilization of the food social space of Jean-Pierre Poulain (2012) helps us to describe the different dimensions of food and bring out the dynamics of each dimension. Concerning fish, the context described causes pressure on produce at landing and wholesalers, vendors and people of Dakar dispute the content of pirogues. The food system, especially fish, is affected: Some products travel many kilometres before reaching the consumer; yet are close to the sea. The edible space of most people of Dakar is composed of two staples: rice and fish, and peripheral foods. The situation leads some individuals to turn to meat and millet dishes with curd milk. This reduces the influence of cooks on the food of family members and change configurations of conviviality. These ‘away from home’ consumptions also affect the rhythms and daily food temporalities. The flexibility allowed by street consumption, less formal than consumption at home, enable people to escape the constraints imposed by the family rhythm. Food temporalities also appear during the season, very different in terms of supply of various products such as fish and vegetables. In terms of social differentiation, the consumption of fish plays an important role: the use of noble fish denotes a comfortable situation, which can be permanent or temporary, while the exclusive presence of small fish such as sardines in dishes refers to financial difficulties. Finally, whilst Dakar's rich diversify their diet, Dakar's poorest maintain the structure of the national dish: rice with fish (ceebujen) while impoverishing it.
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hal-01212874 , version 1 (07-10-2015)


  • HAL Id : hal-01212874 , version 1


Julie Leport. Dakar food: between permanence and change. Adaptation to environmental context . Asia Euro conference 2014 in toursim, hospitality and gastronomy - Creating Opportunities Through Innovation: The Future of Tourism and Hospitality in Asia, May 2014, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. pp.127-132. ⟨hal-01212874⟩
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