Food, Funerals & Mourning in the American South – An Interview with Ashley-Anne Masters

My current research is around the areas of food and death and the rituals around both. We talk so much about food being a huge part of life but it is also a large part of death and the rituals we have developed to help us cope with loss. The American South is well known for its traditions and rituals around food and funerals and funerary practices so I interviewed Ashley-Anne Masters, a Presbyterian Pastor from North Carolina and we discussed how food can bring us together in grief just as it does during times of great joy.

I found this an incredibly comforting and uplifting discussion even though we were discussing nominally sad topics. However, we do talk openly about death, grief and the loss of a family member so if you are not in the right space for that right now, you may want to wait before listening.

We also discussed how food and humour and ritual can really be of help during difficult times. Ashley-Anne is a wonderfully warm, incredibly kind human being and I cannot thank her enough for taking the time to share her thoughts, experiences and memories with me.

If you want to know more about Ashley-Anne, you can find her on Instagram @theofficialaam or her blog: