Digestible Bits and Bites #16 - August 2014
Below: Apricots at Bizjak Farms, Beamsville, Ontario
View this email in your browser

Digestible Bits and Bites

The monthly newsletter of the
Culinary Historians of Canada
Number 16, August 2014

Upcoming CHC Events

Sunday, August 24, noon onwards
Potluck Picnic in the County
Prince Edward County, Ontario

CHC members will enjoy a potluck lunch (wine and non-alcoholic beverages provided) at a 100-acre Cultural Heritage Landscape farm property in beautiful Prince Edward County with an 1860 brick farmhouse, early barn and other outbuildings. New features since the last CHC visit are a 1905 Royal Jewel wood-fired cookstove and a new extension with modern waterworks to augment the traditional outhouse!
Free with a contribution to the potluck. RSVP to Liz Driver at, letting her know what you will be contributing to the meal; she will reply with a map and driving directions.

Sunday, October 5, 1 to 3 p.m.
Cookery of the Great War
Eldon House (481 Ridout Street N, London, Ontario, 519-661-5169)

While more than 600,000 Canadian troops were mobilized and sent overseas during the First World War, those left behind wanted to do their duty too. Women were asked to work in factories, help out on farms and raise funds to help supply soldiers with both necessities such as socks and luxuries such as chocolate. They often held fundraising teas. In the Eldon House kitchen, chef and culinary historian Angel Commins will demonstrate several WWI-era recipes that would have been served at such an event 100 years ago.
$15+HST per person. Registration: 519-661-5169

News Roundup

CHC Launches Heritage Jam and Pickling Competition!
Are you a champion food preserver? In partnership with the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (RAWF), CHC is introducing Heritage Jam and Pickle categories to the annual preserving competition. Compete for prizes, ranging from $30 for third prize to $150 for Grand Champion Pickle or Jam Maker!

Rules: “Heritage” is defined for this competition as 1967 and earlier. Competitors must submit two Mason-type jars with a $5 fee and a full recipe (indicating canning and processing techniques) for each category entered. Canning and processing techniques must meet current food-safety standards, even though the original recipe may not (no paraffin!) Complete competition rules are posted online at both and
  • Mon Sep 29: Deadline to submit entry form. Participants will be mailed a confirmation form, number tag, and stickers for each entry.
  • Mon-Fri, Oct 20-24, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Jars must be couriered, mailed or personally delivered to RAWF’s Agriculture Products Clerk.
  • Tue, Oct 28: Judging date
  • Fri Nov 7-Sun Nov 16: Winning jars are displayed at the Harvest Path in Hall B at RAWF.
Call  for Papers: Digest: A Journal of Foodways and Culture
Digest, the journal of the Foodways section of the American Folklore Society, is seeking submissions of material from any field or discipline that explores food and foodways. This open-access, peer-reviewed journal is published twice yearly. Submissions for the upcoming fall issue should be emailed to Diane Tye ( They should not have been published elsewhere or be under concurrent consideration by any other journal. For further information, consult the Digest website; questions may also be directed to Diane Tye or Mike Lange (

New Food History Course at U of Winnipeg
Janis Thiessen of the University of Winnipeg’s Department of History will offer a new third-year course in the History of Food (HIST-3007) in 2014-2015. Topics include domestication of plants and animals; the spice trade; the Columbian exchange; transportation; sugar and plantation slavery; cooking; dining; food processing; food advertising; “ethnic” food; migrant agricultural labour; coffee; alcohol; snack food; scarcit, and abundance. Students will present their original research at the third annual Canadian Food History Symposium in Winnipeg.
New Graduate Association & Call for Journal Submissions
The Graduate Association for Food Studies is a new organization for students doing food-related study sponsored by Harvard University and Boston University’s Gastronomy Program. It is open to any graduate student; membership ($20 per year) offers various benefits, including a print copy of the Graduate Journal of Food Studies, the chance to attend the association conference in fall 2015, and exclusive resources and advice about food studies and graduate school.

The new association is taking over publication of the Graduate Journal of Food Studies, which is moving to both print and digital format. Carla Cevasco, a PhD candidate in American Studies at Harvard, has been appointed as the new editor of the journal, which is now accepting submissions of articles and book reviews for its second issue, with a deadline of August 31, 2014. For more information about the association, the journal and the submissions process, visit the association website:

Food History Appointment at U of T 
Jeffrey M. Pilcher will start in the fall as a professor of food history at the University of Toronto Scarborough. For the last 20 years, he has taught classes on the history for food and drink at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, The Citadel, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Gastronomic Sciences. His books include Que vivan los tamales! (1998), Food in World History (2006), Planet Taco (2012), and the Oxford Handbook of Food History (2012). He is a co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Global Food History.

Events of Interest

  • Saturday, August 2: Anita Stewart’s Food Day Canada (national). Numerous food events celebrating Canada's unique food culture across the country in honour of our own Food Day Canada
  • Saturday, August 2: Food Day Canada (Ottawa, Ontario). Special celebrations at  at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, 613-991-3044 or 1-866-442-4416
  • Saturday, August 9, Harvest Supper, 6:30 pm (Pickering, Ontario). Pickering Museum offers world-class humour served up alongside a full course meal circa 1850 shared with an intimate group. Reserve your place at the table at the museum's e-store. Cost per person is $57. 905-683-8401.
  • Saturday, August 16, 2014, 6:30 pm: Harvest Supper, 6:30 p.m. (Pickering, Ontario). See August 9, above.
  • Saturday & Sunday, August 16 & 17: 2nd Annual Food Lovers' Field Day, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Morrisburg, Ontario). Upper Canada Village hosts an outdoor farmers’ market with Ontario food, wine and beer producers, as well as heirloom garden tours, tastings in three historic kitchens and demonstrations of traditional food crafts like milling, baking and cheesemaking. Historic Willard's Hotel Restaurant will serve a special $20 menu. (Call 613-543-0660 for more information or reservations.) This year’s event theme is cast iron cookware (a skillet-throwing competition and iron pan cooking competition are planned!) Admission: Free with regular entry to Upper Canada Village. 613-543-4328
  • Sunday, August 17: Fruit, Fools and Compotes Historic Cooking Class, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Toronto, Ontario). Using seasonal fruit and 18th- and early 19th-century recipes and techniques, participants will prepare (and sample!) a variety of delicious dishes such as fruit fools, creams, tarts, pies, waters, ice creams or compotes in the 1826 Officers' Mess Kitchen at Fort York National Historic Site. A salmagundi will also be prepared and served for lunch. Admission: $75+HST (lunch & recipe package included). Pre-registration and payment required. 416-392-6907, ext. 221
  • Tuesday, August 26: Can You Can? – Corn Relish, Pickles, and Tomato Preserves (Ottawa, Ontario). The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum presents Chef Emerie Brine of Bernardin Ltd, who demonstrates how easy it is to preserve harvest vegetables and turn them into corn relish, pickles, and tomato preserves. 613-991-3044, 1-866-442-4416
  • Wednesday, August 27: Can You Can? – Pressure Canning (Ottawa, Ontario). Pressure canning has come a long way since your grandparents’ generation. The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum presents Chef Emerie Brine of Bernardin Ltd, who demonstrates how simple it is to can your own vegetables, meats, and sauces. 613-991-3044, 1-866-442-4416

  • Thursday, September 25: A Spirited Affair: Celebrating Beer, Whisky and Wine, 7 p.m. (Toronto, Ontario). Travel back in time to the Victorian 1860s at Black Creek Pioneer Village's annual fundraising event, where ballroom dancing and traditional ales were all the rage, then get whisked into the early 1960s to listen and dance to music from the Beatles and the "Rat Pack" era while sipping on cocktails and enjoying fine foods. These two time periods come to life with costumed character actors, live music and dancing, while participants enjoy craft beer, whisky and wine paired with local gourmet food. Proceeds help restore historic buildings at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Admission:$80. Buy tickets at
  • Sunday, September 28: Recipe for Victory: Food and Drink at Home and Abroad During the First World War, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Toronto, Ontario). Fort York National Historic Site
  • Tuesday, September 30: Ontario Genealogical Society's Oxford County Branch 35th Anniversary Celebration, 6 p.m. (Woodstock, Ontario). Blogger, historian, genealogist and cook Carolyn Blackstock presents "Cooking the Books: Using Local Historic Cook Books"at South Gate Centre (191 Old Wellington St.) Admission: Dinner & speaker $30. Speaker only $15. 519-4421-1700 or
  • To Sunday, October 5: Collecting Culinaria (Calgary). Historic Lougheed House presents an exhibition on prairie recipes, cookbooks and domestic manuals from the Victorian era to the 1970s. The items on display are chosen from the 3,000-strong holdings of the Linda Miron Distad Culinaria collection at University of Alberta in Edmonton. 403-244-6333. View the fascinating companion piece, an online exhibit titled "Culinaria: A Taste of Food History on the Prairies" at It's replete with facsimiles of the holdings, like the Ukrainian-English cookbook and the CPR-Ministry of Natural Resources brochure pictured above.
  • To December 2014: Bon Voyage / Bon Appétit (Vancouver). The University of British Columbia's Rare Books and Special Collections and historian Larry Wong are presenting an exhibit of menus from the Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s ships, trains, planes and hotels, curated from UBC Library’s Chung Collection of more than 1,000 menus from the 1890s to the 1980s. Most are in English, but some are in Chinese, Japanese, French or German. 604-822-2521

Academic Conferences

September 18-19, 2014 (Hampton & Norfolk, Virginia USA)

The Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center of Norfolk State University & Hampton University present a conference on Early American foodways. Further information:

October 30 to November 1, 2014 (Moscow)

Lomonosov Moscow State University's Center of National Intellectual Reserve and the Academy of Gastronomic Knowledge and Culture jointly present the first research and practice symposium in Russia focused exclusively on the history of food and eating traditions of different nations. Further information:

November 20-23, 2014 (Baltimore, USA)

The 2014 joint conference of the American Society for Theatre Research and the Theatre Library Association  (ASTR/TLA) explores the everyday meaning of the performative acts of cooking and eating and questions how theatre and performance studies can help us understand the daily shape of eating on a dying planet. Further information:

November 29 to December 1, 2014
Deadline for proposals: October 1, 2014

"Ferment" is a joint meeting of the New Zealand Food History Society and the Australian Symposium of Gastronomy. It aims to bring together scholars, cooks, food writers and armchair foodies to discuss ideas in modern gastronomy. The possibilities for presentation and discussion encompass the full breadth of 21st-century gastronomy, from economics, sustainability, organics and globalisation to indigenous foods, foraging, fermentation, fadism and, of course, the future. Abstracts of about 500 words should be submitted to Further information:

December 4-6, 2014 (Montánchez, Spain)
Deadline for proposals: October 15, 2014

The 39th ICAF Conference  (International Commission on the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition) explores food culture in the age of virtualization and the virtual relationship around social networks. The internet reveals food manners, social and ethnic identities, new behavioural patterns and eating habits, while creating neologisms like “foodporn”, “gastrosphere” and “instafood”. The organizers welcome 200- to 300-word abstracts for papers in Spanish, English or Portuguese that discuss the role of the internet on food and nutrition in modern culture. Abstracts should be emailed to with a brief biographical statement. Further information:

Food for Thought

Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge Ethnobotany and Ecological Wisdom of Indigenous Peoples of Northwestern North America by Nancy J. Turner
(McGill-Queens Press, 2014)

Nancy Turner has studied Indigenous peoples' knowledge of plants and environments in northwestern North America for over 40 years. Drawing on information shared by Indigenous botanical experts and collaborators, the ethnographic and historical record, and from linguistics, palaeobotany, archaeology, phytogeography, and other fields, Turner weaves together a complex understanding of the traditions of use and management of plant resources in this vast region.

Volume 1, The History and Practice of Indigenous Plant Knowledge, presents a historical overview of ethnobotanical knowledge in the region before and after European contact. Volume 2, The Place and Meaning of Plants in Indigenous Cultures and Worldviews, provides a sweeping account of how Indigenous organizational systems developed to facilitate the harvesting, use, and cultivation of plants, to establish economic connections across linguistic and cultural borders, and to preserve and manage resources and habitats.
Harrison McCain, Single-Minded Purpose by Donald J. Savoie
(McGill-Queen’s Press, 2014)

The only rival to Harrison McCain’s entrepreneurial success was his deep attachment to his Maritime roots. From McCain’s beginnings in Florenceville, New Brunswick, the early mentorship he received from K.C. Irving, to the global success of his corporate empire McCain Foods, Donald Savoie presents a compelling and candid biography of one of the most famous and down-to-earth figures in Canadian business history. Savoie, a longtime friend to McCain, describes a driven, charismatic, and energetic man who had a keen wit and a deep commitment to his business and hometown..
Food Will Win the War:The Politics, Culture, and Science of Food on Canada's Home Front by Ian Mosby
(UBC Press, 2014)

During the Second World War, as Canada struggled to provide its allies with food, public health officials warned that malnutrition could derail the war effort. In response, the state asked citizens to put their diets on a war footing through food rationing, menu substitutions, and household production. Posters asked women and children to "Eat Right, Feel Right" because "Canada Needs You Strong" while cookbooks helped ordinary housewives become "housoldiers." Food Will Win the War explores both the symbolic and material transformations that food and eating underwent on the home front and the profound social, political, and cultural changes that took place in Canada during the 1940s.

(Descriptions based on information provided by the publishers)
Across the far-flung regions of Canada, a lot is happening in the fields of food and history. This monthly digest is a forum for Canadian culinary historians and enthusiasts to tell each other about their many activities. This is a place for networking and conversation about Canadian culinary history happenings. Each month, Digestible Bits and Bites is shared with members of the Culinary Historians of Canada and other interested persons who request to be on the distribution list. Everyone is welcome to submit items for publication, as long as the information arrives in the editor’s inbox at by the 25th of the previous month.
The Culinary Historians of Canada would like to share this digest with a wide audience. You are encouraged to post or forward this information. 


  • Submissions to Digestible Bits and Bites are welcome at, although inclusion is at the editor’s discretion. Links to relevant websites are appreciated but not essential.
  • Past issues of Digestible Bits and Bites are posted onthe Culinary Historians of Canada website.
Copyright © 2014 Culinary Historians of Canada, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp