Comfort Food: Meanings and Memories

Front Cover
Michael Owen Jones, Lucy M. Long
University Press of Mississippi, 2017 - Comfort food - 254 pages

With contributions by:

Barbara Banks, Sheila Bock, Susan Eleuterio, Jillian Gould, Phillis Humphries, Michael Owen Jones, Alicia Kristen, William G. Lockwood, Yvonne R. Lockwood, Lucy M. Long, LuAnne Roth, Rachelle H. Saltzman, Charlene Smith, Annie Tucker, and Diane Tye

Comfort Food explores this concept with examples taken from Atlantic Canadians, Indonesians, the English in Britain, and various ethnic, regional, and religious populations as well as rural and urban residents in the United States. This volume includes studies of particular edibles and the ways in which they comfort or in some instances cause discomfort. The contributors focus on items ranging from bologna to chocolate, including sweet and savory puddings, fried bread with an egg in the center, dairy products, fried rice, cafeteria fare, sugary fried dough, soul food, and others.

Several essays consider comfort food in the context of cookbooks, films, blogs, literature, marketing, and tourism. Of course what heartens one person might put off another, so the collection also includes takes on victuals that prove problematic. All this fare is then related to identity, family, community, nationality, ethnicity, class, sense of place, tradition, stress, health, discomfort, guilt, betrayal, and loss, contributing to and deepening our understanding of comfort food.

This book offers a foundation for further appreciation of comfort food. As a subject of study, the comfort food is relevant to a number of disciplines, most obviously food studies, folkloristics, and anthropology, but also American studies, cultural studies, global and international studies, tourism, marketing, and public health.

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About the author (2017)

Michael Owen Jones has authored more than 160 publications and served for many years as editor of the Folk Art and Artists Series published by University Press of Mississippi. For forty years he taught at UCLA on food customs and symbolism, folk art, organizational symbolism, folk medicine, and other topics. Lucy M. Long taught ethnomusicology, folklore, and popular culture for over thirty years, primarily at Bowling Green State University, where she pioneered food and culture courses. In 2011, she founded the nonprofit Center for Food and Culture. On the topic of food, she has produced numerous documentaries, educational materials, articles, and books, including Culinary Tourism (2004), Regional American Food Culture (2007), Ethnic American Food Today (2015), and The Food and Folklore Reader (2015).

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