Anna Zeide joined Virginia Tech’s “Curious Conversations” to chat about the history of foods traditionally connected to holidays occurring during the winter months, as well as the nature of developing personal traditions. 

About Zeide

Anna Zeide is an associate professor of history at Virginia Tech. She is also the founding director of the Food Studies Program in the College of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences. She studies food as a way of understanding environmental change, dynamic cultural practices, consumer behavior, technology, health, and justice.  

Three takeaways from the conversation

  • In modern America, the holidays are one of the few times society collectively recognizes home cooked food and the labor that goes into making it.

  • Winter holiday foods tend to include ingredients that aid with preservation and flavors that produce a warm or light feeling.

  • Food traditions related to the winter holidays tend to have less uniformity than a holiday like Thanksgiving.

Learn more

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These foods tell America's story

Cookie swaps, gingerbread, peppermint, and more: Holiday food history uncovered

About the podcast

"Curious Conversations" is a series of free-flowing conversations with Virginia Tech researchers that take place at the intersection of world-class research and everyday life. Produced and hosted by Virginia Tech writer and editor Travis Williams, university researchers share their expertise and motivations as well as the practical applications of their work in a format that more closely resembles chats at a cookout than classroom lectures. New episodes are shared each Tuesday.

Written by Travis Williams