The primary function of food is to regulate basic body processes and support its functions. However, the role of food is more than just the satisfaction of physiological needs. Food and foodways are important elements of each culture deeply rooted in individual and collective memory. They define specific ethnic groups and mark particular cultures. The aim of this paper is to show multidimensional roles that food plays in the lives of the community and an individual on the example of Brick Lane by Monica Ali. An emphasis is put not only on the psychological, cultural, aesthetic and social functions of food but also on the constructive role of nostalgic food memories. Food and culinary rituals play a crucial role in the protagonist’s life, as they symbolically accompany the process of the identity formation and the personal transformation she undergoes.
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