‘Do I smell Pfefferkuchen?’: Oma’s Gingerbread and Family Folklore


Anna Reepschlager (Memorial University of Newfoundland)

This paper examines my family’s multi-generational Pfefferkuchen (German gingerbread) tradition. Through a combination of auto-ethnography and an interview with Angela Reepschlager, this paper follows the foodways traditions that surround each stage of making the cookie: 1) preparing the dough, 2) decorating the cookie, and 3) eating the cookie. I examine the meanings expressed by each of these stages and the ways that they have adapted to our changing circumstances. I find that they act as a means of remembering through preserving patterns of speech, and as a means of expressing and reinforcing cultural identity.

Part of 05-13 Food and Identity, Friday, October 14, 10:30 am–12:30 pm