Focus and Scope

Digest: A Journal of Foodways and Culture is a forum for scholars, writers, ethnographic documentarians, and the public to share interests in foodways and to encourage and learn from each other’s work. Foodways include the intersections of food and culture ("folk ways" + "food") and explore group dynamics, individual identities, intersectionalities and positionalities, artistry, occupational lore, beliefs, customs, and traditions of food from production and distribution through display, cookery, consumption, and disposal. The journal embraces a broad audience--anyone interested in foodways, whether from academic, culinary professional, or popular perspectives. Digest publishes 1) scholarly articles that present significant research and theoretical analyses related to foodways; 2) research notes that describe, report on, or seek information about foodways-related fieldwork and other projects, productions, research, or artistic work; 3) announcements of foodways exhibits or festival productions, historical or ethnographic culinary collections or archives, or updates regarding contributors to the study of foodways; 4) reviews that critique and report on books, films, websites, exhibits, or more; and 5) an eclectic range of shorter "amuse bouche" entries that examine or present foodways from more creative and artistic modes such as poetry, creative writing and storytelling, photography, recipes, and contextualized historical materials like prints and menus.

Peer Review Process

Prospective lead essays are sent out for double-blind review by two reviewers recruited for appropriate scholarly expertise. Reviewers respond with standard Accept/ Accept with Revisions/ Revise & Resubmit/ or Reject decisions and are asked to provide extensive, productive evaluations of quality and thoroughness of scholarship, appropriateness of topic for the journal's audience, and quality of communication. Peer reviewers typically require a minimum of 1-2 months to complete and return responses to the editors.

Publication Frequency

Annually or biannually

Open Access Policy

Digest provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Digest does not yet require an article processing charge (APC) to make content open access. However, American Folklore Society Foodways Section members urge any interested and regular user, as well as any author who publishes in the journal, to support the journal by joining or donating to the Foodways Section on the American Folklore Society website via Dues presently are $15 annually.

Journal Sections

Letter from the Editors

  •  introduction, commentary, updates from the editors about the current issue and related matters 

Lead Essays

  • offer significant research and theoretical analyses related to foodways, and undergo double-blind peer review
  • no more than 8,000 words, including notes and bibliography, in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (rtf)

Research Essays, Notes & Queries

  • describe, report on, or seek information relevant to foodways, whether fieldwork, projects, productions, research, or artistic work
  • 6,000 words or less, in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (rtf); variable types of editorial board and peer review

Announcements, News, & Collections

  • announcements, updates, and news of note to foodways aficionados, researchers, professionals, including such matters as exhibits, festivals, historical and ethnographic culinary collections, collections of ethnographic documentation, and more


  • may cover books, films, websites, exhibits, and more, and run between 750-1,000 words

Amuse Bouche

  • aims for a smorgasbord of shorter pieces, including creative writing and poetry, photographs and photographic essays, recipes, and annotated historical materials, such as prints and menus; published at editor's discretion


  • short professional biographies for the issue's authors, and the current editors and editorial board members


Journal History

Digest: A Journal of Foodways and Culture, founded in 1977 by the Foodways Section of the American Folklore Society, has been an open-access digital journal since 2012. It was published in hard copy in 20 volumes through 2008 under several versions of its present title.