Pastry for the Working Classes (Belgium, 1880-1914)

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The paper studies the working-class consumption of fresh pastry and viennoiseries in the decades before the Great War. These goods had been the privilege of the rich up to the 1880s. Investigating the diffusion of fresh pastry and viennoiseries, viewed here as an exam- ple of inclusion of a bourgeois good into working-class consump- tion, may clarify the pace of dissemination of new consumer goods among broad layers. The production of pastry by the socialist cooperative Vooruit (Ghent, East-Flanders) is studied, which gives a political dimension to the paper. Based on original documents, the paper concludes that prior to 1914 there were three successive waves of diffusion of pastry sales by this cooperative, shaped by price policy, advertisement campaigns, the organization of the sales, and the desires of consumers. The socialist cooperative lar- gely contributed to the diffusion of hitherto luxury goods among the working classes.
Translated title of the contributionTaart voor de arbeidersklasse, België 1880-1914
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Food History
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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