Does God have a recipe?Holy Food
explores the influence of religious
beliefs from mainstream to fringe on modern American food culture. Author
Christina Ward unravels the numerous ways religious beliefs intersect with
politics and economics and, of course, food to tell a different story of
America. It's the story of true believers and charlatans, of idealists and
visionaries, and of the everyday people who followed them--often at their peril.Holy Food
explains how cataclysmic disasters of all types are connected to
faith pioneers' personal journeys and reveals the interconnectivity between the
sects and their leaders.
where the freedom to believe whatever you want and worship the god of not only
of your own choice but of your own making embraced old traditions and invented
new ones. 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 (one should fast to atone for committed sins).
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.Holy Food
looks at how the explosion of religious movements since the
Great Awakenings (the nationwide religious revivals in the 1730s-40s and 1795-1835)
birthed a cottage industry of food fads that gained mainstream acceptance. And
at the obscure sects and communities of the 20th Century who dabbled in vague
spirituality that used food to both entice and control followers. Ward
skillfully navigates between academic studies, interviews, cookbooks, and religious
texts of hundreds of groups to make sharp observations and new insights 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.