Pride and Food Shame in Southern Appalachia

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Samantha Castleman


Through interviews with western North Carolinians and an analysis of the discourse in online articles, this essay first argues for the importance of foodways research into one insular culinary practice by acknowledging its use in community identity formation. Livermush, a square, sausage-like product made of pig liver, face meat, and cornmeal, is closely related to scrapple but only available in the western portion of North Carolina. Often when locals try to introduce the food to others they are met with disgust, causing shame for the food and the community who eats it. This essay examines food shaming reactions to livermush both in person and in print to detail how capitalizing on these negative judgments has allowed locals to manifest representations of regional pride that are changing the tradition by allowing livermush to be used both as an ordinary food and a reason for celebration.

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Research Essays, Notes, & Queries


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