Thursday, October 12

V4-06 Asphalt Kitchens: The Communal Meanings of Roadside Food

Thursday, October 12, 8:00 am–10:00 am

This live event will not be recorded.

Chair: Shelley Ingram (University of Louisiana, Lafayette)

8:00 am
Hot Food, Pretty Cashiers: A Brief History of Gas Station Food in the US South
Shelley Ingram (University of Louisiana, Lafayette)

8:30 am
A Taste of Nostalgia: The Ubiquitous Candy Lady in Black Communities
Constance Bailey ()

9:00 am
Junction 14: Walking, Driving, Eating, and the Relational in Motorway Services in Britain and Ireland
Willow G. Mullins (University of Edinburgh)

9:30 am
optional discussion time

For the traveler, roadside or gas station food allows a brief respite and the comfort of hot food while away from home. But for locals, such food places are an important and relatively stable part of their culinary landscape, particularly in rural communities. Conventional thinking may identify such meals as not being “good to eat,” to use Marvin Harris’ phrase, but these roadside options are often prepared with care and offer tasty alternatives to homogenized snack foods. The presentations on this panel will explore different facets of roadside or convenience foods in three different locations: gas stations in Mississippi, neighborhood roads in Georgia, and rest stops in Britain. Taking ethnographic, personal, and scholarly approaches to the topic of convenience food, our panelists will think deeply about how knowledge of community, class, race, and leisure can be gleaned from food in the most transitory of spaces.