Digestible Bits and Bites #19 - November 2014
Below: Autumn harvest at Toronto's Leslieville Farmers' Market
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Digestible Bits and Bites

The monthly newsletter of the
Culinary Historians of Canada
Number 19, November 2014

Upcoming CHC Events

Tuesday, November 11, Noon to 1 p.m. and 4 to 5 p.m.
CHC at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
For Remembrance Day, The Royal has created special features throughout the Fair to pay tribute, educate the public and remind them of the sacrifices and contributions made by our military. The Culinary Historians of Canada will be featured on their Royal Food and Lifestyle Stage for two presentation / demonstrations.

Visitors will learn about life during World War I, including the challenges of preparing food despite rationing. Demonstrations of these wartime recipes will give visitors a first-hand experience of the sacrifices made to fuel the war effort.

Cooking Up Heritage Preserves
This year, CHC joined up with The Royal to create heritage categories within the regular preserving competition. Fourteen people entered the heritage jam or jelly category, out of the 49 who submitted a total of 229 jars of jams, jellies, marmalades, conserves or preserves overall.

In the heritage pickle category, there were 11 exhibitors out of the total of 30 entrants who submitted a grand total of 150 jars of pickles or chutneys for judging. The winners will be announced on the RAWF website at noon on November 7.

Jonathan Tam is the winner of a pair of tickets to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, through our contest on the CHC Facebook page. His tickets will be held at the Will Call desk throughout the Fair.

Sunday, November 30, (AGM: 3:30 p.m. Party: 4 to 5:30  p.m.)
CHC 20th Anniversary Party and AGM!
Campbell House Museum (160 Queen Street W, Toronto, 416-597-0227)

Amazing: the Culinary Historians of Canada is now 20 years old! We're holding a party to celebrate, with a slide show about the last 20 years with CHC, an overview of the extraordinary jump in the popularity of food history, and some simple down-hearth cooking.
Join the Culinary Historians of Canada!

CHC members are part of a network of people dedicated to exploring Canada’s culinary history. Benefits include discounts on special events and access to members-only activities like the Picnic in the County. In addition, members are listed in the CHC directory and receive their own copy. The membership year runs from September to August. Join us today!
  • Regular Membership: $30 (1 year) $55 (2 years)
  • Supporting Membership: $55 (1 year) $75 (2 years)
Download a membership form here or contact to find out more.

News and Opportunities

2014 Taste Canada Award Winners
On October 20, Taste Canada–The Food Writing Awards announced its winners:

Culinary Narratives/Narrations Culinaires
  • The Stop: How the Fight for Good Food Transformed a Community and Inspired a Movement by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis (Random House Canada)
  • Les saveurs gastronomiques de la bière by David Lévesque Gendron and Martin Thibault (Éditions Druide)
General Cookbooks/ Livres de Cuisine Générale
  • The Flavour Principle: Enticing Your Senses with Food and Drink by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • Dans la cuisine de Danny St-Pierre by Danny St Pierre (Les Éditions La Presse)
Regional/Cultural Cookbooks
  • Toronto Star Cookbook: More Than 150 Diverse and Delicious Recipes Celebrating Ontario by Jennifer Bain (Appetite by Random House)
Single-Subject Cookbooks/Livres de Cuisine Sujet Unique
  • Gastro Grilling: Fired-up Recipes to Grill Great Everyday Meals by Ted Reader (Penguin Canada Book)
  • Les Règles d’or des épices by Philippe  and Ethné De Vienne (Éditions du Trécarré)
Taste Canada’s Hall of Fame Award for 2014 was conferred upon Michel Lambert, author of the multi-volume tome L’Histoire de la cuisine familiale du Québec.

The Hall of Fame Posthumous Award went to British Columbia-born cookbook author and television personality Mona Brun (1920-2013). This award was sponsored by the CHC for the first time. Mona Brun (neé Lee) is forever associated with the Golden Era of the famous Woodward’s Food Floors in Vancouver. Warm-hearted and witty, Mona was a stay-at-home mother until 1960, when she entered the workforce and quickly established a culinary career extraordinaire. From food demos for Star Weekly and Dairyland, she soon moved to CBC Radio’s Food Facts, then CBC TV’s Cuisine 30 Show.

By 1963, she was starring on Woodward’s Culinary Capers TV show. For the next three decades, she brought her good cooking to families across Western Canada on this show, her own Creative Home Cooking show, and other TV broadcasts. In 1977, Cooking with Mona appeared, an intimate bestseller that captured the essence of B.C. cooking in that period, including her most popular recipes, such as Mona’s Hungarian Goulash and Hale and Hearty Hamburger Soup.

Taste Canada used the occasion of its Gala Fundraiser to acknowledge the massive contribution to the culinary community of Toronto’s Cookbook Store, which closed its doors this past winter after 31 years in business. As author Rose Murray remarked, “It was the little store that thought big,” and in the process, it became a Toronto institution.

Taste Canada also announced the creation of a new award for 2015, The Food Blog Award, to be presented and administered in partnership with Food Bloggers of Canada.

Submission Call: Food and Museums Book
CuiZine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures has just announced the launch of its latest issue, Speaking in the Food Voice. Contributors to CuiZine 5.2 explore how identity is spoken through food choices. This issue offers an eclectic menu – including cornbread, pumpkin pie, raw milk, and “Like, Pasta, Pizza, and Stuff” – way of exploring a variety of food voices. How do communities and cultures communicate using a food voice? How has the food voice evolved through an increasing online presence?  And, how might one interact with unfamiliar food voices in new spaces?  

Submission Call: Gender and Contemporary Food Culture
The journal Women, Gender & Research  (Kvinder, Køn og Forskning) seeks submissions of 5,000- to 6,000-word articles for an issue on the theme of Gender and Contemporary Food Culture.

They write that food and gender have always intertwined in complicated and ambiguous ways. On the one hand, food has been at the very center of domains that have worked to maintain gendered stereotypes and social inequality between the sexes. On the other, however, food has historically also been used as a means to resist the gendered order and promote female creativity and empowerment in different arenas, for example through real-life hunger strikes or in well-known works of fiction such as Babette’s Feast.

This issue will spotlight how this increased importance and interest in food interplays with contemporary gender issues and negotiations. Interdisciplinary submissions are especially welcome. Contributions should be in English. They could consider the relationship between food, gender and masculinity, sexuality, class, religion, nation, ethnicity, technology, body and consumption, as well as consider theoretical perspectives on the intersection between doing gender and “doing food” and intersectional analyses of food and food cultures.

The deadline for abstracts (maximum 400 words) is January 1, 2015, with final article deadline on March 1. Abstracts shuld be sent to to sub-editor Matilde Lykkebo Petersen at Complete guidelines are available online. Questions may be sent to theme editors Katrine Meldgaard Kjær of the Department for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark ( or Jonatan Leer ( of the Department of Education, Aarhus University.

Submission Call: Food and Museums Book
Irina D. Mihalache, Assistant Professor of Museum Studies at the iSchool at the University of Toronto and Nina Levent, a museum professional based in New York City, are seeking submissions of  up to 6,000 to 8,000 words for a book about food and museums. It will include discussion of museums of all sizes and types and their engagement with food-related trades. Its target audience includes academics, museum professionals and food hobbyists.

A brief abstract (maximum 150 words) and an author bio are requested as soon as possible, with first drafts due by the end of May 2015. For more information, contact Irina D. Mihalache at 416-946-5364.

Cornell Fellowship
The College of Human Ecology at Cornell University is accepting applications for the 2015 Dean's Fellowship in the History of Home Economics. Faculty members, research scholars, and advanced graduate students who are eligible to work in the United States with demonstrated background and experience in historical studies are invited to apply for this post-graduate opportunity.

The fellowship recipient will receive an award of $6,500 for a summer or sabbatical residency of approximately six weeks to use the unique resources available from the College and the Cornell University Library system in pursuit of scholarly research in the history of Home Economics and its impact on American society. 
At the conclusion of the residency, the fellowship recipient will provide a final report to the dean, including a bibliography of research pursued, and preservation recommendations for pertinent library and archival holdings. In addition, the recipient will be invited to give a public presentation on their research at a later date.  Research projects should be intended for publication.
Relevant historical subject areas may include, but are not limited to history of food, nutrition, housing, the family, child development, clothing and textiles, and history of women in higher education, among other key topics in American social history. The deadline for receipt of all application materials is March 3, 2015. Additional information is available online.

CHC Needs You!
CHC is seeking a new Treasurer, a new Membership Engagement Chair and a new Publications Chair. Are you the member we are seeking? The other Board Members would love your participation. We convene every two months for a board meeting and converse by email regularly. Together we share and discuss ideas for implementing programs, making improvements, increasing membership and managing our finances. And, naturally, we share food, stories and laughs together. These positions are important for the ongoing growth of your organization. If you are interested, please contact Fiona at or 416-781-8153 (evenings).

Events of Interest

  • Friday, November 7 to Sunday, November 16: The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Thursday, November 13Winter Warmer, 7 p.m. (Toronto, Ontario) at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Expert Julia Rogers leads a sampling of five local cheese varieties, each paired with a robust winter craft beer, along with homemade root chips and fresh-baked bread. Admission: $33.95+HST per person, $29.95+HST (members). 416-667-6284
  • Saturday, November 15: High Park Conveyance Day, 12 noon to 4 p.m. (Toronto, Ontario) at Colborne Lodge. On November 15, 1873 John and Jemima Howard signed the conveyance to transfer their High Park property to the City of Toronto. Join Colborne Lodge in celebrating the Howards' generous legacy and sample treats from the historic kitchen in the spirit of the Howards' wishes for "wholesome" refreshments in the park. Details.
  • Sunday, November 16: Christmas Fayre, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Toronto, Ontario) at Fort York. Using period recipes and techniques in the 1826 Officers' Mess Kitchen, participants will discover, make and taste historic recipes for Sawse Madame (a Roast Goose from The Forme of Cury, 1390), an 18th-century Plum Pottage and a 19th-century Plum Pudding with pudding sauce. Admission: $75 +HST (includes lunch and recipe package). Pre-registration and payment required. 416-392-6907, ext. 221
  • Saturday, November 22 to Sunday, January 4: Christmas at Colborne Lodge (Toronto, Ontario). Warm up by the hearth at Colborne Lodge and take in the sights and smells of a Victorian Christmas. Enjoy the natural greenery decorations, toast the season with a glass of hot mulled cider by the wood stove and nibble on special holiday treats. Holiday admission prices apply.
  • Saturday, November 22 and Sunday November 23: Christmas Cookie Decorating2 to 4 p.m (Etobicoke, Ontario). at Montgomery’s Inn. Master Baker Monika Paradi will prepare you for Christmas with this hands-on workshop. Kids ages 6 to 12, along with their parents, learn to decorate seasonal cookies like a pro and leave the workshop with a half dozen decorated goodies, recipes and the inspiration to create your own edible Christmas treats!
  • Tuesday, November 25 to Sunday, January 4: A Victorian Christmas (Toronto, Ontario) at Mackenzie House. Enjoy a sample of mulled cider and a biscuit in the warmth of the historic kitchen. Discover the story of how families celebrated Christmas in 19th century Toronto as you tour the Mackenzie home, which is dressed in greenery for the holidays.
  • Tuesday, November 25 to Sunday, January 4: A Roaring Twenties Christmas (Toronto, Ontario) at Spadina Museum. Experience a 1920s Christmas on a guided tour of Spadina. In the kitchen, visitors will enjoy holiday treats made from original recipes and sip mulled cider warmed on the Art Deco gas range.
  • Wednesday, November 26: Can You Can? Holiday Gifting, 7 to 8:30 p.m. (Ottawa, Ontario) The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum welcomes Chef Emerie Brine from Bernardin to demonstrate how to preserve fall harvests and turn them into great gifts. Admission: $10 per person; reservation required at EventBrite or at 613-991-3053.
  • Thursday, November 27: Thirsty Thursday, 7 to 10 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn presents Thirsty Thursday tavern night with beer, wine, or a Thomas Montgomery specialty in the restored 1847 barroom along with Irish stew, fresh baked bread and live traditional music. Admission: free. Cash bar, $5 for a bowl of stew, while supplies last. 416-394-8113
  • Thursday, November 27: Open House, 5 to 7:30 p.m (Toronto, Ontario) at Colborne Lodge. Tour the Howards' 1837 home decorated for a 19th-century Christmas and enjoy period refreshments by the hearth in the winter kitchen. Free admission.
  • Saturday, November 29: A Barnyard Bazaar, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Ottawa, Ontario) at the Canadian Agriculture and Food Museum. Shop for handcrafted items and local food products as you visit the animal barns and exhibitions. Free with Museum admission
  • Sunday, November 30: Victorian Tea12:30 and 2:30 p.m. (Toronto, Ontario) at Gibson House Museum. Enjoy an authentic Victorian tea, finger sandwiches and sweets in Mrs. Gibson's parlour. All ages welcome; pre-registration required.
  • Saturday, December 6: Step into a Victorian Christmas (Toronto, Ontario) at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Join in the holiday festivities! Bathed in the glow of lamplight and dressed in its finest holiday décor, Black Creek comes alive with live music, food and activities. Program only or with dinner options available.
  • Saturday & Sunday, December 6 & 7: Fort York Frost Fair: A Vintage Christmas Market, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Toronto, Ontario) at Fort York. Feel the excitement and charm of the festive season in Upper Canada some 200 years ago, when the local Christmas Market was one of the social and shopping highlights of the year. Wander through the historic buildings of Fort York, where merchants will be selling quality goods inspired by the 18th and 19th century. Try your hand at one of the many activities scheduled throughout the day, including printing your own Frost Fair souvenir. Warm yourself by the bonfire or in the cheerful warmth of the Officers' Mess Kitchen. Free with regular Fort York admission.
  • Sunday, December 7: Christmas Dinner (Toronto, Ontario) at Black Creek Pioneer Village
  • Sunday, December 7: Christmas in the Village, 12 noon to 3:30 p.m. (Pickering, Ontario) at Pickering Village Museum. Visit with the inhabitants of the pioneer village as they share their holiday customs. Enjoy Scottish Hogmanay, Welsh traditions, Victorian English Christmas celebrations and Squire Jonathan's Christmas Ball, or walk in the woods to see how Pickering's first settlers struggled in the wilderness. 905-683-8401
  • Saturday, December 13: Step into a Victorian Christmas (Toronto, Ontario) at Black Creek Pioneer Village (see December 6.)
  • Sunday, December 14: Christmas Dinner (Toronto, Ontario) at Black Creek Pioneer Village
    Saturday, December 20: Step into a Victorian Christmas (Toronto, Ontario) at Black Creek Pioneer Village (see December 6.)
  • Saturday, December 20: Christmas Cookie Creation for Children, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. (Toronto, Ontario) at Colborne Lodge. Children will have fun making unique and tasty treats for the holidays in this historic baking workshop that uses a Canadian gingerbread recipe from the 1830s. While their cookies bake, participants will tour the house and discover Victorian Christmas traditions and stories. Participants will then take home the Christmas cookies they've made. They might even want to save a few for when Saint Nick comes to visit!  Pre-registration required, call 416-392-6916.. $22.50 + tax (includes supplies and a dozen cookies to bring home).
  • Sunday, December 21: Christmas Dinner (Toronto, Ontario) at Black Creek Pioneer Village
  • Sunday, December 21: Christmas by the Hearth, 1:30 to 3 p.m. (Toronto, Ontario) at Colborne Lodge.Youngsters (5 to 7 years old) will enjoy the warmth of an historic Christmas by decorating gingerbread cookies prepared from an 1831 Upper Canadian cook book followed by an enchanting interval of Christmas stories from long ago, snuggled by the kitchen hearth. Afterward, the children will go upstairs to peek at the Howards' Christmas tree and the presents underneath. Pre-registration required, call 416-392-6916. $17.50 plus tax (includes light seasonal refreshments).
  • To December 1, 2014: The Life & Death of Gourmet, the Magazine of Good Living, 1941 - 2009 (Ann Arbor, Michigan). An exhibit of one issue per year of the iconic magazine at the Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan, accompanied by a lecture by Jan Longone, Adjunct Curator, Culinary History on November 18, 4 to 6 p.m.
  • To December 2014: Bon Voyage / Bon Appétit (Vancouver, British Columbia). The University of British Columbia's Rare Books and Special Collections and historian Larry Wong present 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
  • To January 4: Christmas at Colborne Lodge (Toronto, Ontario). Warm up by the hearth at Colborne Lodge and take in the sights and smells of a Victorian Christmas. Enjoy the natural greenery decorations, toast the season with a glass of hot mulled cider by the wood stove and nibble on special holiday treats. Holiday admission prices apply.
  • To January 4: A Victorian Christmas (Toronto, Ontario) at Mackenzie House. Enjoy a sample of mulled cider and a biscuit in the warmth of the historic kitchen. Discover the story of how families celebrated Christmas in 19th century Toronto as you tour the Mackenzie home, which is dressed in greenery for the holidays.
  • To January 4: A Roaring Twenties Christmas (Toronto, Ontario) at Spadina Museum. Experience a 1920s Christmas on a guided tour of Spadina. In the kitchen, visitors will enjoy holiday treats made from original recipes and sip mulled cider warmed on the Art Deco gas range.
  • To August 2015: Made in Toronto: Food and Drink Manufacturing in Our City(Toronto, Ontario). An archival exhibit exploring the story of food and beverage production in Toronto, featuring materials from the Toronto Archives, Weston Corporate Archives and the Toronto Public Library, and artifacts loaned from Toronto Museum Services. City of Toronto Archives, 255 Spadina Road, 416-397-5000.

Academic Conferences

Friday to Sunday, October 31 to November 2, 2014 (Mumford, New York, USA)
Besides our Toronto emissaries' presentation on pastry, this three-day event offers practical workshops in practical skills, including Civil War cookery and the making of food items like green sage cheese or gum paste and pyramids, as well as related areas such as making a cheese basket, a tin nutmeg grater or a double-ruffled style day cap of about 1810-1815. The Genesee Country Village & Museum hosts. Admission: $75-$90 for the full  day on Saturday. Individual Friday and Monday workshops $35 or $60 per person. Some optional lunches are available for $6. The registration form is online; late fees apply after October 15.

November 2-4, 2014 (Williamsburg, Virginia, USA)

Guest speakers include Dr. Howard-Yana Shapiro, one of the world’s top cacao scientists. Dr. Michael Coe, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, Yale University, will discuss the place of chocolate in early Mesoamerica. Ruby Fougère, Curator of Furnishings, Collections and Conservation Supervisor, Parks Canada, will look at chocolate in French Canada. Foodway staff will offer a presentation on chocolate in 17th- and 18th-century Europe and North America. Dr. Deanna Pucciarelli, Program Director, Hospitality and Food Management Program, Ball State University, will explore how chocolate production methods evolved during the 19th century, and John and Tracy Anderson of Woodhouse Chocolate in St. Helena, California, will delve into modern artisanal chocolate making.

November 20-23, 2014 (Baltimore, Maryland, 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.

November 29 to December 1, 2014 (Wellington, New Zealand)

"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. Its sessions 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.

December 4-6, 2014 (Montánchez, Spain)

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”.

March 6-8, 2015 (Little Rock, Arkansas, USA)
Deadline for proposals: October 31, 2014

The conference will examine ways living historians can collaborate with different groups or each other to further the interpretation of history.

March 26 & 27, 2015 (Tours, France)
Deadline for proposals: December 15, 2014

The European Institute for the History and Cultures of Food (the IEHCA, Institut Européen d’Histoire et des Cultures de l’Alimentation) is organising its first annual conference within the scope of a continuation of the IEHCA’s work over the last twelve years, carried out through its publications like the "Food & History" and “Table des Hommes” collection), its support for research and its facilitation of networking opportunities among food studies researchers. All researchers are welcome. Two types of submission on the broad theme of food history will be accepted: individual submissions and submissions for panel sessions on a given theme. Proposals should include speaker name(s) and history, their institution(s), the title of their paper, contact details and a 250-word abstract. Papers must not exceed 20 minutes in length and can be presented in English or French. Submission should be sent to Loïc Bienassis at

June 3-5, 2015 (Montclair, New Jersey, USA)
Deadline for proposals: January 15, 2015

Montclair State University is the first U.S. institution to host ICCAS. The 2015 theme is Opportunities and Challenges for Food and Eating in Society. In addition to developing the central thrust of the conference, presentations will focus on food heritage; foodservice and hospitality; food systems and politics; food science and safety; food marketing; food habits and consumer behaviour, and nutrition and wellbeing. Two types of abstracts are being accepted: 4,000-word abstracts for publication and 250-abstracts for listings. Please consult the guidelines for further information.

June 19 to 23, 2015.
Deadline for proposals: December 1, 2014

Doing & Telling: A Living History Toolbox
The 2015 ALHFAM (Association of Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums) Annual Meeting and Conference invites participants to share and compare the variety of tools, both physical and interpretive, that they use to create dynamic Living History experiences. Whether they’re providing a hands-on opportunity in a garden, presenting a dramatic scenario, furnishing a period room, or interpreting a decisive battle, they must select the best tool for the job. That tool might be a long-handled hoe, an exciting script, a period print, an electronic map or a Windsor chair. Proposals for papers, presentations, posters and workshops that reveal the contents of the Living History toolbox are hereby solicited. Proposals may address any facet of living history or museum work, but those with a special emphasis within the general conference theme will be given preference.

July 8 to 10, 2015
Deadline for proposals: January 31, 2015.

The Conference stream of the 9th International Conference in Critical Management Studies will take place at the University of Leicester. Food and drink markets are situated at the intersection of the global and local, the economic and cultural, the political and passionate. Amidst growing concerns about food-related security, safety, environmental degradation and social injustice, we are witness to a proliferation of alternatives. These are rediscovering, inventing, adapting and developing different approaches to the production, distribution and procurement of food and drink.

The socio-cultural significance of food for individuals and groups means that the viability of alternative food and drink markets is intertwined with consumers’ desires for goods, services and market relations that offer a sense of authenticity and identity in a global marketplace otherwise crowded with homogeneous, standardized offerings and instrumental modes of exchange. Examples such as Slow Food, CSA schemes, foraging, food swaps, and biodynamic production underline two concurrent dynamics. First, the crises facing the hegemonic global food system are inseparable from the systemic and perpetual crises of capitalism. And second, the possibility for alternatives is being practised in the here and now.

What can we learn from the specific practices and narratives of alternative food and drink market actors, and the forms of organizing and identity that make the production and consumption of such markets possible? Relevant contributions include but are not limited to such topics as:
  • Alternative market narratives: How is "doing things differently" made intelligible and credible to others?
  • Alternative market devices and approaches: How are alternative markets practiced?
  • Alternative market identities: How do producers’, consumers’ and intermediaries’ identities enable alternative modes of operating?
  • Alternative futures: How scalable are alternative approaches, and to what extent do they disrupt and/or reproduce existing market relations, inequalities and values?
  • Mainstreaming alternatives: How credible are alternatives when their wares start to occupy supermarket shelves?
  • Alternative points of view: Case studies from the perspective of practitioners are welcome.
Abstracts should be 500 words maximum, saved as a Word document, and should include affiliation and contact details for author(s). They should be sent to Jennifer Smith Maguire at Questions may be directed to her or to John Lang ( or David Watson ( Authors will be notified of the outcome of their submission by March 20.

October 17-18, 2015 (Guelph, Ontario)
Deadline for proposals: January 16, 2015

The University of Guelph hosts a conference dedicated to the exploration of artifacts of the agrarian past and invites proposals that begin with a material artifact of everyday life, either made or used, and explore it as a valid historical source that gathers meaning when understood in the
context of surviving written records, family history, fashion trends and international commerce. Submit a 400-word proposal and one-page CV to C. Wilson at Further guidelines are available online.

Food for Thought


Food in Time and Place: The American Historical Association Companion to Food History ed. Paul Freedman, Joyce E. Chaplin and Ken Albala
(University of California Press, October 31, 2014)
Food in Time and Place delivers an unprecedented review of the state of historical research on food, endorsed by the American Historical Association, providing readers with a geographically, chronologically and topically broad understanding of food cultures – from ancient Mediterranean and Medieval societies to France and its domination of haute cuisine. Teachers, students and scholars in food history will appreciate coverage of different thematic concerns, such as transfers of crops, conquest, colonization, immigration and modern forms of globalization.

Paul Freedman is the Chester D. Tripp Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination and editor of Food: The History of Taste. Joyce E. Chaplin is the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University. Her publications include Round about the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit and Benjamin Franklin’s Political Arithmetic: A Materialist View of Humanity. Ken Albala is Professor of History at the University of the Pacific. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including Eating Right in the Renaissance; Beans: A History; The Banquet, and The Lost Art of Real Cooking.

A Curious History of Food and Drink by Ian Crofton
(Quercus, October 7, 2014)

Ever wondered where noodles came from? How Worcester Sauce was invented? Or even who the "Cucumber King of Burma" was? Beginning with the hippo soup eaten in Africa in 6,000 BC, through to the dangerous blowfish enjoyed in contemporary Japan, A Curious History of Food and Drink reveals the bizarre origins of the food and drink consumed throughout history.

From pheasant brains and flamingo tongues scoffed by the Roman emperor Vitellius to the unusual uses of licorice (once a treatment for sore feet), Crofton makes use of original sources – including journals, cookbooks and manuals – to reveal the bizarre, entertaining and informative stories behind the delicacies enjoyed by our ancestors.

Tortillas: A Cultural History by Paula E. Morton
(University of New Mexico Press, October 15, 2014)

"The ordinary tortilla was an extraordinary bond between the human and divine. . . . From birthdays to religious ceremonies, the people of Mesoamerica commemorated important events with tortillas. One Maya tribe even buried their dead with tortillas so that the dogs eaten as dinner during life would not bite the deceased in revenge." – from Tortillas: A Cultural History

For centuries, tortillas have remained a staple of the Mexican diet, but the rich significance of this unleavened flatbread stretches far beyond food. Today, the tortilla crosses cultures and borders as part of an international network of people, customs, and culinary traditions.

In this entertaining and informative account, Paula E. Morton surveys the history of the tortilla from its roots in ancient Mesoamerica to the cross-cultural global tortilla. Morton tells the story of tortillas and the people who make and eat them – from the Mexican woman rolling the mano over the metate to grind corn, to the enormous wheat tortillas made in northern Mexico, to 21st-century elaborations like the stuffed burrito. This study – the first to extensively present the tortilla's history, symbolism, and impact – shows how the tortilla has changed our understanding of home cooking, industrialized food, healthy cuisine, and the people who live across borders.

(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.
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