Do food cultures define a place or the other way around?
“As mom’s cooking”: the taste of home and the formation of Vietnamese identity
In recent years, “as mom’s cooking” has become a popular term used widely in Vietnamese communities in Vietnam and elsewhere when talking about home-cooked food. The term has been used as a magical word in marketing and food writing in different senses to evoke people’s nostalgia in order to sell their products.
It is also used as a confirmation of how true/correct a thing or statement is in informal daily oral and written context. Within this context of language, literal food related or not, the mother figure and her food have been exploited extremely well to perform a heavily socio-cultural gendered duty which happens to become the aesthetic of food, eating, knowledge, and all other life’s matters to the Vietnamese. In this paper, I explore the way in which this term has been used in Vietnamese popular culture, food related subject and beyond, in forming and expressing Vietnamese’s identity, where everything must be “as mom’s cooking”.