At The Toast, Every meal in Jane Eyre in order of severity, Every meal in Wuthering Heights in order of sadness, Every time the narrator very nearly has tea in Rebecca, and–just this morning!–Every sinister meal in We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Dangit, Mallory, writing about food scenes in public domain fiction is MY jam.
I think this Awl piece does a nice job of teasing out some of the layered class and race implications of “new” Southern cuisine. The article a long read, it’s complicated, it points out plenty of problems and offers no easy answers–in other words, I think it does the topic justice.
Along the same lines, The News & Observer considers the race and class of cornbread–sweet or unsweet, cake-like or corn-centric.
You know, I often read Southern food studies like these with a feeling of wonder and surprise. There is more distance than I know between the years that I ate Southern food in the south and the years that I’ve cooked Southern food in the north. I definitely grew up eating sweet Jiffy mix cornbread and I’ve definitely made some unsweetened bacon-fat cornbread in my own adult home, but in neither case did I have a sense that I was participating in one form of cultural identification or another. Nonetheless, the divide exists. That’s what has always drawn me to food studies, I think; there are so many factors that influence what we learn to eat and enjoy, and so many of them operate under the radar until history or literature or sociology draws the patterns out.
Alex Watt is ready to step up and place the blame for all the problems in his life where it belongs: on processed foods.
Keep an eye on the April Blogs of the Round Table at Critical Distance, which will be adding links to posts about food in video games throughout the month.
If you have some spare change, you might consider contributing to Render: Food and Feminist Quarterly’s Kickstarter.
(For the definition of olitory, check out the Alimentary Lexicon.)