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Sociologist Explores How Food and Culture Shape Each Other

tofuttibreak, flickr
Heirloom tomatoes
Credit University of Chicago Press

From The Botany of Desire to The Joy of Cooking to Kitchen Confidential, books about food fill our bookshelves - if not literally our stomachs.

For Milwaukee sociologist Jennifer Jordan, it was her introduction to an heirloom tomato that piqued her interest in how food shapes culture, culture shapes food, and how both inform personal and cultural memory. Her newest book, Edible Memory, is the result.

"I've always been interested in the connections between collective memory, our sort of shared understanding of the past, and the material world. So heirloom food and heirloom tomatoes, antique apples - these things in particular seemed like a really great place to try and understand how we connect memories with that material world," says Jordan.

Jennifer Jordan is a professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.