American Gold

I had six of them hidden in my luggage under the bed.  Mailed from the US to Germany, these 6 boxes of gold were a secret I would not share. Perhaps ‘boxes of gold’ sounds over-the-top, but they were truly precious. And anyway, the neon orange packet glowed fluorescent when I sprinkled it over the…

Food + Trauma: “In Memory’s Kitchen”

Though only just beginning my thesis research on how food is used as a response to trauma, I have found in cookbooks several impressive examples of how people experiencing and recovering from traumatic events have used food as a means of coping with the unfathomable. In Memory’s Kitchen is a published collection of recipes, edited by…

Reminiscents: Greek Mountain Tea, Scent, and Memory

I hold the tea like a bouquet of flowers, thumbing the soft fuzz of leaves and buds clinging to brittle, woody stalks.[1]  I breathe in and smell incense: the inside of a small church on Monastiraki square where I stop to light a candle; a censor waved by the German teens who dress up as…

nostalgia, νοσταλγία, and saudade

“Which kinds of memories does food have the particular capacity to inscribe?” (Holtzman 2006, 363)             Holtzman reminds us that memory is multiple, that “what we homonymically label as ‘memory’ often refers to an array of very different processes” (2006, 362). In this exhortation for diversity, I read a call for nuance in types of…

Place and Time in Food Memory: Reliving the AFHVS / ASFS 2018 Panel

I’m still basking in the glow of chairing and presenting on my first panel at an academic conference – the joint annual meeting of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society and the Association for the Study of Food and Society.  The panel topic was Place and Time in Food Memory: Migration and Nostalgia, and I…