The Role of Food in Redefining the South
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The volume examines southern food stories that speak to the identity of the region, explain how food helps to build identities, and explore how it enables cultural exchange. Food acts rhetorically, with what we choose to eat and serve sending distinct messages. It also serves a vital identity-building function, factoring heavily into our memories, narratives, and understanding of who we are. Finally, because food and the tales surrounding it are so important to southerners, the rhetoric of food offers a significant and meaningful way to open up dialogue in the region. By sharing and celebrating both foodways and the food itself, southerners are able to revel in shared histories and traditions. In this way individuals find a common language despite the divisions of race and class that continue to plague the South. The rich subject of southern fare serves up a significant starting point for understanding the powerful rhetorical potential of all food.