Share a Story - Change the World
Is anyone interested in the roles food plays in folktales?
I've done a bit of research on this theme in relation to a PhD on Storytelling (yes, some people are that crazy) and found its quite fascinating. I've posted an excerpt below and would be happy to share the whole paper if someone could tell me how to post it.
It is possible to identify some of the key usages of food and the emblematic roles they play. The lack of food as well as the appearance of food in stories generally signals a start of a quest or achange in the dynamics. There is a certain ambiguity surrounding food, one and the same thing (i.e. Apple) can relate to both good and evil, life and death. Sacred food brings about an altered state of consciousness and food here becomes a vehicle of initiation. There is an obvious link between food and magic in relation to the world of elemental-beingsand the Sidhe of Celtic folklore, as well as to the healing of illness, poisoning and even to the overcoming of mortality. In some tales the abundant appetite of a hero or heroine is reflective of their great strength and generosity, just as gluttony is suggestive of evil and ruthlessness. Willingly sharing personal food is the hallmark of the heroine and the hero, as is the protection of communal food from theft. Divine artifacts provide nourishment in abundance; while the self-sacrifice of a divine being, paired with the integrity of a mortal hero and heroine can lead to the sustenance of their people.
 Gnomes, Undines, Sylphs, Salamanders connected to the four elements, earth, water, air, fire respectively