Why are foodways important?

Foodways is the study of what people eat and why. Why we procure, prepare and serve the food we do has cultural, sociological, geographical, financial and political influences.



Why is recognition of diverse foodways valuable?

Preserving our past and present for the future by research, documentation and oral histories. It is culinary anthropology on the hoof, paw, root and leaf.



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Iowa State Fair, 2014


Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance


Picnics and Family Reunions

Iowa State Fair

August 15, 2014


winners iowa state fair greater midwest foodways alliance

(Image Catherine Lambrecht)


Contestants entered their best scratch family heirloom recipe suitable for a family or community dinner.  Recipe should originate before 1950.


Contestants brought a prepared dish along with a brief story of who passed the recipe down to them, ethnicity, if relevant, number of years the recipe has been in their family and any interesting information about their recipe.



Taste: 50%

History: 40%

Appearance: 10%



1st place - $150.,  2nd place - $100.,  3rd place - $50.



Competition was conducted on August 9th, these are the results:


First Prize:

Grandma’s Cherry Pie

Shelby McCreedy, Atlantic, Iowa


cherry pie hexagon pie plate iowa state fair greater midwest foodways alliance




Second Prize:

Grandma B's Homemade Mincemeat

Joyce Larson, New Market, Iowa


mincemeat pie iowa state fair chicago foodways roundtable alliance



Third Prize:

Potato Salad Secret Family Recipe

Heather Nelson, Des Moines, Iowa


potato salad family pictures iowa state fair greater midwest foodways alliance




Grandma's Chocolate Ice Cream

Cheryl Larson, Clarinda, Iowa


chocolate ice cream tulip dish iowa state fair greater midwest foodways alliance