The role of alcohol in Canadian family food practices: Commensality, identity, and everyday tastes
The authors use an anthropological lens to examine the role of alcoholic beverages and their consumption within everyday food practices of contemporary Canadian families. Anthropology and anthropologists have a long history of interest and fascination in the ceremonial and ritual use of alcohol within a diverse range of societies and cultural groups. The focus has typically been on the positive social and cultural values of these practices. In this exploratory study, the authors draw on data gathered from a cross-Canada project exploring Canadian family food practices. As part of this study, participants were asked to take photographs of images they felt represented their everyday family food practices. The authors examine participants’ discussions of photographs they took containing images of alcoholic beverages. Findings represent three themes which suggest the diverse and changing roles that alcohol may have within a contemporary Canadian context: commensality and the taste experience; everyday tastes; and taste and identity change.