Writing Prompts: Gastrodiplomacy

Today’s prompt is delivered (heh) by Dictionary.com, and it is a word that is relatively new to the literary scene: gastrodiplomacy.

You are probably wondering what this mash-up of a word means. It is not (as I first thought) the art of feeding diplomats and dignitaries with good food, so as to butter them up. Well, it is not only this. Gastrodiplomacy might also be employed by a nation that seeks to impress a visiting dignitary with culinary creations from the visitor’s country. Such an act (for example, presenting Italian food to a diplomat from Rome) may help put the weary traveller at ease.

We turn to food as a means of negotiation and courtship all the time. It is not uncommon for a first date to involve dinner. The, um, inviter, will hope to dazzle their date with the good food at their chosen restaurant, or they may silently pray that between the food and the restaurant’s ambience, their date will feel comfortable and happy. As a relationship progresses, couples will often cook for one another, as an expression of love and romance. In some respects, this is a form of diplomacy!

The use of food to establish relationships, be they romantic, friendly or professional, dates back centuries. Using it for diplomacy is also nothing new, though it would appear giving that notion its own word is a recent development. I don’t think I will have much use for gastrodiplomacy, but you never know…

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