Foodways and Identity in Faith, Family, and Fiction

Ben Widdison (University of Oregon)

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (aka, the Mormon Church), traditional foods have long been passed down through the Relief Society Sister’s various cookbooks; funeral potatoes are a prime example. Descended from mid-western potato dishes, this cheesy comfort food stands at the cross-section of the Mormon identity: faith, family, and “fold.” Despite this, rising interest in funeral potatoes throughout the 21st century has given way to commercialization that may reshape their meaning to church members. Funeral potatoes are an important signifier for Mormon identity, which is how they have found their place within their religion and faith.

Part of 06-08 Foodways and Identity in Faith, Family, and Folktales, Friday, November 03, 2:30 pm–4:30 pm