Accepted paper:

Recipes for a better life

Authors:

Hanna Snellman (University of Helsinki)

Paper short abstract:

The aim of my paper is to introduce and analyze early Finnish cookbooks published in North America during the first two decades of the 20th century. The primary purpose of my study is to analyze the context in which the cookbooks were used. In my analysis, I will discuss what purposes the cookbooks served.

Paper long abstract:

The aim of my paper is to introduce and analyze early Finnish cookbooks published in North America during the first two decades of the 20th century. The primary purpose of my study is to analyze the context in which the cookbooks were used. In my analysis, I will discuss what purposes the cookbooks served. Were they compiled for Finnish immigrants who needed information about ingredients that would work in the American kitchen and names of the ingredients in English, or were they merely guide books for Finnish women working as maids in American families? That, I hope, can be concluded from the recipes in the cook books. I will also discuss whether the cook books also have advice on how to behave in North America, how to become "a decent American". Even though a lot of research has been written on experiences of immigrant women lately, that field still is neglected. Focusing on cookbooks contributes to a gendered understanding of the social processes involved in migration. Cookbooks were primarily even if not solely used by women.

panel Food001
Culinary heritage as an island of well-being (Panel of SIEF working groups 'Historical approaches in cultural analysis' and 'Food research')