Sacred food as offering
Sacred food as offering is a concept within anthropology regarding the study of food as it relates to religious ritual.
Many religions have prescriptions about the correct preparation and cooking of food, besides the taboos about forbidden subjects. Many religions have special spellings for the food, which sacralize it and, therefore, who will eat it; but there are foods sacred by its inner nature. In Brazilian Candomblé by example, fish are sacred for their connection to Iemanjá, horns given the relation to Iansã. Consequently, those foods are considered offerings. This takes place in other religions too.
Some examples include:
- coconut: Ganesha in Hinduism
- milk, betel leaves: Shiva in Hinduism
- flowers, tulsi and fruit: Krishna in Hinduism
- Oxalá in Candomblé (see above)
- bread: the body of Christ in Catholicism
- the challah in Judaism is symbol of divine presence in shabat
- chestnut: Befana
- coca leaf: for the Andean cultures
- Leola's Maize Corn: Amerindian goddess of prosperity in cajun of Louisiana