Food and Identity Food as a Symbol or Cultural Icon May 7th, 2013
Covered Readings: Neustadt, Kathy, "Born Among the Shells": The Quakers of Allen's
Neck and Their Clambake” (WEB)
Lewis, George H., “The Maine Lobster as Regional Icon: Competing
Images Over Time and Social Class” (WEB)
I. Icon: Historical or Popular
II. Folk food Outlets
III. Temporal Nature
In food studies, it is impossible to think of or be with food without considering their
First icons were religious: rainbow, snake, cross, fish, wine, communion wafer
An icon- representation of something well-known/widely accepted
o An I-phone can represent consumerism, capitalism, globalization, communication
o French icons- baguettes, wine, escargot
o Gilroy, CA- "garlic capital of the world" festival around garlic.
Source of pride, bring community together, attract outsiders, tourism, raise
economy, use food as a vehicle to spread ideals (similar to Hare Krishna
Icons can be determined by insiders and outsiders. Neustadt
Neustadt-folklorist. Writes on the Quakers in Allens Neck and the Clambake tradition
which is passed from generation to generation.
Allens Neck normally has a small Quaker population (~20 active members). Their
existence is threatened.
Have the clambake every third Thurs. in August. This cyclical nature promotes continuity,
solidarity, and remembrance similar to Thanksgiving.
People at clambake include inner circle, family that moved away, and curious
outsiders/vacationers- culinary tourists/imperialists
o One might argue that food is turned into a spectacle, commercialized product
similar to Lardo. There is a tension between financial b