Foodways and Folklore
A Handbook
by Jacqueline S. Thursby
March 2008, 220pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-34173-1
$61, £46, 51€, A88
eBook Available: 978-0-313-34174-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Gives broad introductory coverage of the folklore of food, with special attention to the diverse ethnic food traditions of the United States.

In every land, various traditions, customs, and legends have developed around food. And because these diverse traditions are central to the multicultural character of the United States, ethnic foodlore permeates American society. From early Native American cultures to the modern influx of Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants, this book is an accessible introduction to foodlore and foodways. Culturally and ethnically inclusive, from soul food to Navaho fry bread, the volume looks at basic Jewish and Islamic food traditions and Asian, Latin, and European influences on the foods of America. The book begins with definitions and classifications of food folklore. This is followed by a range of examples and texts, along with a review of research on foodlore. The book then looks at foodlore in the works of artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers, and others. The volume closes with a glossary and bibliography of print and electronic resources. While the book focuses on the foodways of the United States, in doing so it also gives considerable attention to the ethnic food traditions fundamental to American culture.


"[A]ddresses a wide range of culture present in the United States through the perspective of food. Agriculture, cooking styles, and traditional dishes for holidays and every day are among the subjects covered. Much of the focus is on the foodways of regional cultures, such as Cajuns and people of the Maryland coast. Ethnic cuisines presented in more detail, with origins and American permutations, include Irish, Scandinavian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, and Italian. Each chapter contains its own bibliography, and the volume also offers a glossary and an index."—MultiCultural Review, September 1, 2008

"Thursby's handbook provides a clear path to explore foodways, the folkloric study of foods. . . . Thursby has fashioned an excellent framework for the exploration of foodways by offering the basic knowledge and scholarly apparatus needed for formal study along with enough fascinating stories and examples to pique anyone's interest in learning more."—ARBA, March 1, 2009
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