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  • The sample calendar is limited to the past three months.

Food Section and Recipes

Claire Hopley
Amherst, MA 01004
email: claire32@juno.com

The foods included in the Food Section and identified with a particular cultural or religious group are meant to be samples only. They are not a comprehensive discussion of all the foods associated with these cultural or religious events. In addition, foods associated with one group may have been incorporated by others due to the proximity and/or mixing of different cultural and religious communities. Regional differences also make it difficult to make generalities about what foods are important for which groups; northern and southern Chinese, northern and southern Italian, and Eastern European and Mediterranean Jews share many cultural and religious similarities while at the same time favor very different foods both in general and for times of special observance. For some entries, we have included the colors used for decorations when celebrating the event.

One of the themes that emerges from the discussion of foods is that the same holiday may be celebrated with very different foods in different cultures. On the other hand, sweet foods seem to be important at all seasonal holidays for Jews and Muslims, and meats that are uncommon daily are central to celebrations in poorer countries.

Note: Foods for which there is a recipe in the recipe section appear as links. Click the link to view the recipe.

Author Biography

Claire Hopley has spent the last fifteen years writing about food for The Boston Globe, The Washington Times, Yankee Magazine, British Heritage, and The World and I. She is a frequent guest on Annie Copps’ Table Talk broadcast in Boston on 96.9FM Talk Radio, and is a frequent lecturer on seasonal cooking and culinary history.

She is the author of New England Cooking: Seasons and Celebrations (Berkshire House, October 2001). Nation’s Restaurant News selected the book as one of the 10 best cookbooks of 2001.

Claire Hopley is a member of the Culinary Historians of Boston and the International Association of Cooking Professionals.

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