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Folkways Goes... Foodways

Folkways Goes... Foodways
Folkways Goes... Foodways | Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

In the field of folklore, "foodways" is the study not just of food itself, but the wide range of social and cultural practices surrounding food—from cultivation and harvesting to preparation, feasting, and even songs sung during those processes. In fact, foodways could be considered the most visible and daily "folkways" of a community, so it follows that the Folkways catalog boasts a wealth of songs—traditional, original, and experimental—pertaining to food. In these tracks food can be a source of enjoyment, desire, labor, community—or a metaphor for something else entirely! This curated playlist by feminist record label SPINSTER, which recently explored the connection between food and sound on their 2023 compilation Measure, Pour & Mixtape: Music for Cooking, brings together food songs from across the Folkways catalog for a sonic meal of snap beans, potatoes, cornbread, pie, singing turkeys, and more, paired with blueberry wine and served by a well-tipped waitress.

SPINSTER is a radical feminist record label founded in 2018 ⁠and owned and operated by Michelle Dove & Emily Hilliard. Grounded by their backgrounds in music, folklore, writing, and art, the label supports a diverse range of musicians who explore territory across the traditional, radical, and experimental. SPINSTER and its releases—which include Yasmin Williams' Urban Driftwood, Rosali's No Medium, and the food-themed compilation Measure, Pour & Mixtape: Music for Cooking—have been celebrated by press outlets including The Guardian, The New York Times, NPR, Pitchfork, and Rolling Stone.
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