History, Food and Literature
It’s a New Year! And we are staring off this New Year with one of my favorite topics! The connection between food, history and literature in cultures. Okay, that sounds a lot like the title of a high school or college essay.
But to be honest, when I was contemplating the topic I had picked out for this month, I was slightly unsure about how to go about writing about it. Food, history and literature are my three great loves, but it seemed a little difficult to try and wrap it all up in one month’s time! Though they are all topics that I could write about forever. Which is why I have this website 🙂
However, as I pondered on these three topics, I realized that often people don’t understand the significance each of these topics hold for the other. Of course, food and history are unquestionable linked. Mankind doesn’t make history without food to sustain him. But how does literature or stories fit into it all?
Working at a library gives me a firsthand look at what people of all ages are reading and talking about and it may surprise you how many novels, children’s literature and non-fiction books are written about food. And I don’t mean cookbooks! I have decided that food is one of mankind’s favorite topics.
The link between food, history and literature can be traced back to the earliest days of mankind. Tribes of native people across many cultures used the time around their campfires and hearths at night to explain through folk tales how some of their everyday foods came into existence.
Every culture under this sky has some type of creation story. And with food, mankind’s history on this world began. Eve eating an apple, remember? Or the Central American creation story of mankind being created from stalks of white and yellow corn after the Life Givers had tried everything else like stone, clay and bark. Stories abound in every country from India to the Pacific Islands to North America about how different foods common to that culture came to be like the coconut, strawberry, mango, chili peppers, beans and pumpkins.
I think the link between mankind, history, food and literature or stories is here to stay. 🙂