Presented by Joyce Cauthen, director emeritus of the Alabama Folklife Association
Food traditions are among the most enduring forms of folklore. Because the preparation and eating of food is central to our family life, our richest customs, sayings and stories are created and passed on at the dinner table–be it at home, at a church supper or at McDonald’s. Cauthen discusses food folklore and its importance as a means of preserving family, community and regional identity and gives examples of dining traditions that she has collected across the state in previous AHF presentations. She talks about holiday foods, unique names for foods coined by children, table graces, superstitions associated with eating and cleaning up after meals, and foods associated with funerals as well as food traditions that are unique to various towns and counties in Alabama. She concludes by asking audience members to share food stories and practices that are meaningful to their own families.