Jewish Food in the Global South will explore the historical trends and current cultural practices surrounding Jewish food in and of the American South. Appealing to both public and academic audiences, this symposium will feature dynamic presentations by Jewish foodways and cultural scholars, culinary critics, and James Beard award-winning chefs. Panel discussions will investigate what makes a food “Jewish” in the diverse social and cultural contexts of the United States, and how that designation affects the lives of its creators and consumers. Through examination of specific ingredients such as pastrami, iconic foods such as the knish and hummus, and particular cooking traditions that negotiate the laws of kashrut, participants will discuss how the distinct social, economic, and political dimensions of different regional cultures determine how Jewish foods are prepared, eaten, and interpreted, particularly in the context of the Jewish South.
Distinctively, this symposium brings together hands-on cooking demonstrations and food tastings with scholarly conversations about Jewish foodways traditions today. Scholars and chefs will highlight the innovation within contemporary Jewish culinary traditions that perpetuates specific tastes and customs, and that expands an understanding of how Jewish culinary traditions influence, and are influenced by, the larger social, regional, and cultural environments in which they are embedded.