Identifying and Interpreting Occasional Aspirations in Recipes and Cookbooks
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of English Undergraduate Research Theses
Cookbooks, in a particular moment, become aspirational. When people utilize cookbooks and recipes, they often fall within three major categories. The first is that people want to make things that they have never made before. When cookbooks are utilized in this way, they become a vehicle of freedom. These recipes give us the opportunity to step into another culture, another moment, another life. They become tools of exploration. The second category is that people want to make things that are familiar to them. When cookbooks are utilized in this way, they become vehicles of comfort. They allow us, in this particular aspirational moment, to step backwards into our own culture, our own moments, our own lives. They allow us to recover the lost arts of our childhoods, and even the childhood of our parents; by connecting us with our pasts, they allow us to recover a common history. The third category, though more ambiguous than the first two, is that of voice. Recipes – and their introductions – give those who create them a space to share their yearnings, griefs, struggles, and joys in a format that is relatively unique to personal writing. The idea of food and the idea of storytelling are more closely intertwined than they initially appear; through the vehicle of voice, we are able to see the ways in which our cookbooks become avenues of personal history and story.
Academic Major: English
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