Food is, arguably, an anchoring aspect of group identity for Polish Americans, with certain foods like kielbasa and pierogi “speaking” Polish in this country.1 It is significant that Polish Americans’ ways with foods speak for them, often without words. This paper utilizes the food voice, a term that I originated during a qualitative study conducted in the late 1980s and early 1990s with Polish American families. During ethnographic fieldwork, I intensively observed, coded, and analyzed their foodways, and in a dynamic reframing of collected data, I saw how foodways serve as channels of communication and avenues for expressions of individuals’ identities for, in this case, members of Polish American families. Shedding light on aspects of ethnic identity, agency, creativity, health, economics, gender, the food voice sounded in a wide range of chords for individuals, in families, within communities and in their surrounds.

In the later 1980s, while pursuing a...

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