Food and Culture

In: Other Topics

Submitted By kyimari
Words 983
Pages 4
Kyimari Reeves
Food & Culture
Dr. Daryl White
December 12, 2014

My Family’s Culinary History: A Multigenerational History and Autoethnography

When you think of or smell a certain food, what comes to mind? On one hand, the sight or smell of that food might trigger hunger, or even a memory of the last time you shared that meal with a loved one. The smell or sights of our favorite foods trigger a different thoughts or feelings in each of us. This is an example of Semiotics. Semiotics is defined as "anything that can stand for something else." Roland Barthes was one of Europe's most renowned theorists of semiology. Barthes believed that in order to generate a complete sign, there were two parts that have to work together. These two parts are known as the signifier and the signified. A good example of this is the favorite food we thought of earlier, it would act as a signifier, and the thought that came to your head when thinking of this food would act as the signified. For some, that equates food memories. My family and I have created many food memories for us as well as followed the foodways crafted for us by previous generations.
Coming from a rather diverse ethnic background, we have different variations of traditional African American foods. I have many memories of family reunions and all the interesting dishes my relatives would prepare. But when it came to certain meals my mother was very traditional in preparing it, and it had to be done a certain way or it was ruined. She wanted to maintain our family’s culture in each dish she prepared. She felt as if by doing this it kept our ancestor’s memories and foodways alive. My mother, originally from California, has always done everything she could to make every dish she prepares memorable. As she prepares a dinner of Fried Chicken, Macaroni and Cheese, Corn, and Rolls, she explains how when she was…...

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