Writing | Research | Consultation | Presentation

Bagging History | The Woodbridge Tide Mill Flour and the Heritage Economy

An exploration of the relationship between cultural heritage and food tourism through a sociocultural analysis of a bag of Tide Mill Flour as an item of foodways material culture. As a ‘living museum’ The Woodbridge Tide Mill (Suffolk, UK) is funded to promote and undertake activity with volunteers, education and tourism. Running parallel with the Tide Mill’s role as this ‘living museum’ is its enterprise as a working mill producing artisan flour.  Within this context the flour can be seen as a blend of food tourism and heritage food.

How does a bag of tide mill flour embody aspects of agricultural tradition, local culture, non- industrial food, sustainability and healthy eating? What markets the flour and make it desirable to the consumer. The perception of the flour through its packaging and story becomes more complex because of the reality of the flour’s actual production using both water driven and electric driven stones. The medium does not always communicate the complete message. Through this analysis I propose that the food tourism industry is dependent upon the image of heritage and its underlying nostalgia.