Transformation Processes toward Low-Impact Pleasure: Rethinking Culinary Art with Karen Blixen’s ‘‘Babette’s Feast’’ (1950)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Taking Karen Blixen’s short story ‘‘Babette’s Feast’’ (1950) as the starting point of reflection, this article examines the role of culinary pleasure in relation to social and environmental transformations. Combining literary criticism and food studies, the article explores the transformative potential of culinary art both as it is represented in the literary text and as it might affect people in real life. While Blixen in her story makes the case for culinary pleasure as an experience of abundance and extravagance, the article argues that we need to rethink pleasure according to sustainability criteria, including frugal practices. By presenting a method that engages in processes of change by both examining a literary food text and reflecting on a cooking workshop as a speculative exercise on how to create low-impact pleasure, this contribution seeks to introduce an integrated approach to literary criticism, food studies, and socioecological transformation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
JournalGastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)36-45
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024
EventCooking workshop: Celebrating the transformative kitchen - Kitchen Collective, Copenhagen
Duration: 10 Mar 2023 → …


WorkshopCooking workshop: Celebrating the transformative kitchen
LocationKitchen Collective
Period10/03/2023 → …

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - green transformation, culinary pleasure, literary food studies, Danish literature, Karen Blixen

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