The Comfort Food Panel's Critical Reads

July 7th, 2017

The perfect collection for anyone seeking to understand the cultural importance of comfort food, 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. Lucy M. Long, Barbara Banks, Phillis Humphries, Charlene Smith, and Susan Eleuterio discuss Comfort Food: Meanings and Memories on Monday, July 10, 6pm at the Co-op.

More on Folklore Approaches to Food

Culinary Tourism, edited by Lucy M. Long (Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 2004)

Ethnic and Regional Foodways in the United States, edited by Linda Keller Brown and Kay Mussell (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1984)

Rooted in America: Foodlore of Popular Fruits and Vegetables, edited by David S. Wilson and Angus K. Gillespie (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1988)

The Food and Folklore Reader, edited by Lucy M. Long (NY: Bloomsbury, 2015)

The Taste of American Place: A Reader on Regional and Ethnic Foods, edited by Barbara G. Shortridge and James R. Shortridge (Landham, MD: Rowman & Littefield, 1998)

Other Food Studies Books

Baking as Biography: A Life Story in Recipes, by Diane Tye (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2010)

Remembrance of Repasts: An Anthropology of Food and Memory, by David E. Sutton (NY: Berg, 2001)

Another Collaboration by Susan Eleuterio and Lucy Long

Honey: A Global History by Lucy M. Long, with Susan Eleuterio (London: Reaktion Press, 2016)

Website: Center for Food and Culture