culinary diplomacy

According to Quanjude, which boasts of having sold 196 million ducks around the world, the dish has played its part in Chinese international relations. Its chefs would accompany Chinese diplomatic missions and pictures in the museum show Henry Kissinger and Richard Nixon, who made a landmark visit to China in 1972, eating duck.

Mention China and most Westerners will think about its food. This is not surprising given the popularity of Chinese cuisine in the West, where some countries have more restaurants serving Chinese dishes than the traditional local fair. Perhaps this is why China appears exotic and wondrous to many Westerners.

With a swelling franchise of 44 international restaurants, Gastón Acurio has made the varied food of Peru its proudest export.  Then Gastón Acurio opened his first restaurant in 1994, and began remaking gritty Lima into the culinary capital of South America.

While Castillo is not a diplomat, the gregarious restaurateur has made Caribeno a cultural outpost for his country. Chinese and expats come not only for the food but the lively music and the recently organized Friday-night salsa performances. Photos on the wall include ambassadors and entrepreneurs from many Latin countries, as well as scenes of Havana life, Caribbean beaches and icons like Che Guevara, who looks across the restaurant from an enlarged print of a Cuban 3-peso bill.

“Our hawker food is famous throughout the world. “Many people come to Penang mainly for its food. “If we lose it, then Penang is finished. We must maintain our branding as the top street food destination in Malaysia,” he said, adding that anyone, including foreigners, could provide their feedback.

America is still sore after its World Cup dreams came to an end last week. Aside from the humiliation, it has another reason to be upset – it owed pancakes to the Belgians. In the diplomatic heartland of London, a bet was made this month between U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun and Belgian Ambassador Guy Trouveroy. “Since we are both soccer (football) fans and our two countries’ teams face each other tonight in the World Cup, I thought I would offer up a friendly wager,” Barzun wrote. 

Utilizing foods and showcasing favorite cuisines is a powerful tool of global diplomacy. Historians confirm that the historic importance of food goes back to the time of the Greeks and Romans, when opponents used food to resolve and mend disputes. Recognizing the growing importance of food industry in foreign policy around the world, this diplomacy gets the name "Culinary diplomacy." "Sharing a meal can help people excel boundaries and build bridges." 

One way to the world’s heart is through its stomach. That’s the thinking behind Brand USA’s Discover America campaign. The agency has launched a tasty marketing campaign inviting tourists from all corners of the globe to experience America “one dish at a time.”

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