The pursuit of balance pervades everyday life in rural Yucatán,
Mexico, from the delicate negotiations between a farmer and the
neighbor who wants to buy his beans to the careful addition of sour
orange juice to a rich plate of eggs fried in lard. Based on
intensive fieldwork in one indigenous Yucatecan community,
Predictable Pleasures explores the desire for balance in this
region and the many ways it manifests in human interactions with
food. As shifting social conditions, especially a decline in
agriculture and a deepening reliance on regional tourism, transform
the manners in which people work and eat, residents of this
community grapple with new ways of surviving and finding pleasure.
Lauren A. Wynne examines the convergence of food and balance
through deep analysis of what locals describe as acts of care.
Drawing together rich ethnographic data on how people produce,
exchange, consume, and talk about food, this book posits food as an
accessible, pleasurable, and deeply important means by which people
in rural Yucatán make clear what matters to them, finding balance
in a world that seems increasingly imbalanced. Unlike many studies
of globalization that point to the dissolution of local social
bonds and practices, Predictable Pleasures presents an array of
enduring values and practices, tracing their longevity to the
material constraints of life in rural Yucatán, the deep historical
and cosmological significance of food in this region, and the
stubborn nature of bodily habits and tastes.