Salmon aquaculture, cuisine and cultural disruption in Chiloe
Hayward, P 2011, 'Salmon aquaculture, cuisine and cultural disruption in Chiloe', Locale: The Australasian-Pacific Journal of Regional Food Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 87-110.
La Isla Grande de Chiloe, located off the southern coast of Chile, is the second largest island on the Pacific coast of South America.1 2002 census figures identified the population of the island and its smaller outliers (henceforth referred to collectively as Chiloe as close to 155,000,2 representing approximately 1% of Chile’s overall population. An undeveloped regional ‘backwater’ for most of the 19th and 20th centuries, Chiloe has risen to play an increasingly prominent role in the national economy since the establishment of commercial salmon aquaculture in the region in the early 1980s. This article examines the environmental, social and cultural impacts of the salmon industry in Chiloe with particular regard to regional food culture. Assessing these impacts, the article also analyses the manner in which local artists and writers have deployed traditional folkloric figures and motifs to critique the industry. In these regards, the article addresses the tensions and intersections between two contrasting impulses: the modernisation/industrialisation that has resulted from the region’s incorporation within a global salmon aquaculture enterprise; and a more cautious local engagement with modernity that attempts to value and sustain aspects of pre-modern Chiloe culture in contemporary contexts.