Join Christina Ward to celebrate Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat:
An American History on Friday, October 13th, 7pm, here at Quimby’s!
“Holy Food doesn’t just trace the influence that preachers, gurus, and cult leaders have had on American cuisine. It offers a unique look at the ways spirituality—whether in the form of fringe cults or major religions—has shaped our culture. Christina Ward has gone spelunking into some very odd corners of American history to unearth this fascinating collection of stories and recipes.” — Jonathan Kauffmann, author of Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat
Religious beliefs have been the source of food “rules” since Pythagoras told his followers not to eat beans (they contain souls), Kosher and Halal rules forbade the shrimp cocktail (shellfish are scavengers, or maybe G-d just said “no”). A long-ago Pope forbade Catholics to eat meat on Fridays (fasting to atone for committed sins). Rules about eating are present in nearly every American belief, from high-control groups that ban everything except “air” to the infamous strawberry shortcake that sated visitors to the Oneida Community in the late 1800s. In America, where the freedom to worship the god of your choice and sometimes of your own making, embraced old traditions and invented new ones.
Holy Food looks explores the explosion of religious movements since the Great Awakenings birthed a cottage industry of food fads and at the obscure sects and communities of the 20th Century who dabbled in vague spirituality and used food to both entice and control followers. Ward skillfully navigates between academic studies, interviews, cookbooks, and religious texts to make sharp observations and new insights into American history in this highly readable journey through the American kitchen.
Holy Food features over 75 recipes from religious and communal groups tested and updated for modern cooks. (Dough Gods! Funeral Potatoes! Yogi Tea! Mother F*cker Beans! The Source Family’s infamous Aware Inn Salad!) Also includes over 100 historic black and white images.
Christina Ward is an independent food historian, a Master Food Preserver (Wisconsin), and writer who works in the publishing industry. www.christinaward.net
For more info see: info(at)processmediainc(dot)com • www.processmediainc.com
Free Event at Quimby’s Bookstore.