Research Papers about Midwestern Foods and Foodways



This modest collection of research papers represents the ingenuity that has been brought to bear on the history and science of foods and foodways in the Midwest. It begins with the work of John Bennett and his colleagues. Their work in Southern Illinois was a pioneering effort meant to shed light on American food habits through the lens of social anthropology.



Food and Culture in Southern Illinois-A Preliminary Report

John W. Bennett, Harvey L. Smith, and Herbert Passin. American Sociological Review, Vol. 7, No. 5 (Oct., 1942), pp. 645-660.


Food and Social Status in a Rural Society

John W. Bennett. 1943. American Sociological Review, Vol. 8, No. 5, pp. 561-569.

Folklorist began to take notice of American food traditions in the 1970s, and soon communities in the Middle West captured their imaginations.


The Paradox of Pride and Loathing, and Other Problems

Simon J. Bronner. 1981. Western Folklore, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Foodways and Eating Habits: Directions for Research), pp. 115-124.



In recent years historians have become particularly active in the study of foods and culinary traditions. Rich traditions of eating and drinking are now being documented in areas throughout the Midwest.


Buckeyes, Corncrackers, and Suckers: Culinary Episodes in Ohio History 

Alan J. Rocke. 2002. Western Reserve Studies Symposium, No. 17. Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.


Riverworld:  The Vanished World of the Illinois Riverfolk

Bruce Kraig. 2006. Authenticity in the Kitchen: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. Richard Hosking, ed. Blackawton, Totnes, Devon: Prospect Books, pp. 283-291.