Food and Foodways

The Aftertaste of Empire: Food and Decolonization

By Amanda Banacki Perry

“I’m not getting curry powder at all. Being a Brit, we eat a lot of curry, and I don’t taste it in this.” As I was watching Food Network’s Spring Baking Championship, this comment by Lorraine Pascale, one of the judges on the show, jumped out at me. Her comment, which drew on a legacy of presumed British culinary expertise concerning curry, carried a clear message: Brits know their curry.[1] And yet, the process by which curry became one of the most popular dishes in modern Britain is a complicated one of imperial appropriation, invention, and transformation.

How WWI History Changed My Views about Peanut Butter

I hate peanut butter. As a kid, I wouldn’t touch a PB‘n’J, PB & banana, or PB & anything sandwich. The legume spread had no redeeming traits, I thought, until historical research in American World War I cookbooks broadened my mind.

Food is central to the history of American involvement in World War I. The war disrupted Europeans’ ability to import, produce, and distribute food. Well before the United States entered the war in 1917, Americans were providing humanitarian assistance, including food aid, to European civilians, who would have gone hungry without assistance.

November 19, 2014