Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of American Studies
Asian American voices are lacking in discourse about North Carolinian food, yet their narratives belong to the state’s culinary traditions and history at large. “Fried Chicken, Orange Sherbet, and Teriyaki Tacos” examines the ways in which Asian Americans in North Carolina navigate their identities through food. Oral history interviews with Sayaka Matsuoka, Monique Truong, and Elva Bennett provide three case studies where food plays an important role in identity formation. Research in the Asian American studies field examines how Asian Americans create their identities and negotiate their relationship to racialization and ethnicity. With food studies and folklore literature, I examine this negotiation of the self through the lens of food. Ultimately, this thesis shows food reflects the ways in which Asian Americans in North Carolina create their identities based on their relationships to racialization, ethnicity, place, and time.