Does food shape your family's identity?
To support your argument, collect some family stories and/or
recipes. The following questions should elicit family stories that
will be useful to you. Composing your own questions might be even
more successful, especially if you base those questions on your
knowledge of your family chronology and history.
- Does your family have signature dishes that are always served
at particular occasions? Secret recipes handed down from one
generation to another?
- What is your informant's favorite dish? What was his/her
mother's favorite dish? father's favorite dish?
- How do people in your family drink coffee or other beverages?
Do their preferences say anything about their personalities?
- What is the best meal your informant ever ate?
- Who is the best cook in your family? Is that person training
anyone to follow in his/her footsteps?
- Has it ever been difficult for people in your family to
change their eating habits? Do people in your family often go on
diets? Has a doctor ever told someone in your family to change
their eating patterns?
- Has anyone in your family become a vegetarian? How did the
rest of the family feel about it?
- Was there a particular time when people in your family got
interested in nutrition and healthy foods?
- Do people in your family follow religious rules about food?
If so, how important is it to them?
- What kinds of grocery stores have your family shopped at?
Were they small or large? friendly or impersonal?
- Do people in your family hunt or fish or eat meat they've
butchered themselves? Does that shape the way they feel about
- Have there been changes in your family in the number of
restaurant meals people eat? changes in the kinds of restaurants
they go to?