As tourists become more mobile, so does the food they eat. Food, culinary styles and the increasing differentiation of dishes and cuisines in tourism destinations have developed. Global drinks and foods are emerging, such as Coca-Cola and McDonald's, and local and regional food is thriving, and new 'fusion foods' are also being created to feed the 'global soul' (Iyer 2000). Tourists themselves are contributing to gastronomic mobility, by creating a demand in their own countries for foods they have encountered abroad.
Gastronomy has developed considerably through the years. Gastronomy is not only extremely difficult to define, but the term, just like 'culture', has become more heavily laden over time. As Scarpato shows, the original definition of gastronomy has broadened in recent years. The Encyclopdia Britannica (2000) defines gastronomy as: 'the art of selecting, preparing, serving, and enjoying fine food'. Gastronomy was for the nobility, but over time the concept included the 'peasant food' typical of regional and local cuisine. The serving and consumption of food has become a global industry, of which tourism is an important part. Mass tourist resorts can often be divided spatially on the basis of cuisine. One can spot English tourists in English pubs, German tourists in the Bierkeller. Some tourists still engage in the habit of taking their own food with them on holiday.
Food is a means of forging and supporting identities, principally because what we eat and the way we eat are such basic aspects of our culture. Given the strong relationship between food and identity, it is not surprising that food becomes an important place marker in tourism promotion. One of the basic reasons for this is the strong relationship between certain localities and certain types of food. As Hughes (1995:114) points out there is a 'notion of a natural relationship between a region's land, its climatic conditions and the character of food it produces. It is this geographical diversity which provides for the regional distinctiveness in culinary traditions and the evolution of a characteristic heritage.' This link between location and gastronomy has been used in a number of ways in tourism, including promotional efforts based on distinctive or 'typical' regional or national foods.
In a gastronomic landscape, the forces of globalization and localization are both exerting pressures on our eating habits. The rise of fast food has come to characterize the globalization of culture and economy encapsulated in the term 'McDonaldization' (Ritzer 1993). McDonald's franchises more than 25,000 outlets in 120 countries worldwide. The Big Mac has become a culinary product that it is used to measure the purchasing power parity of national currencies (Ong 1997). The cultural capital that we develop on holiday regarding foreign food is utilized in our leisure time to develop our identity. The fact that many people seek the comfort of the familiar on holiday is one factor that helps to support the spread of global foods. At the same time, however, there is a countervailing force towards more localization in what Castells call the 'space of places' - the local environments in which the bulk of the world's population live their everyday lives. A resurgence of the local is also being stimulated by growing