Digestible Bits and Bites #32 - December 2015

Digestible Bits and Bites

The monthly newsletter of the
Culinary Historians of Canada
Number 32, December 2015
Left to right: CHC members Shirley Lum (chair of programs - occasional), Fiona Lucas (president), Karen Millyard, Luisa Giacometti (chair of programs - annual), Patricia Bremner and Carolyn Crawford (secretary) at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on Remembrance Day 2015.

CHC News and Upcoming Events

Board News
Big thanks to Carolyn Crawford for stepping into the position of Secretary on the CHC board! We still have some spaces open; please consider offering your services as Vice President, Chair of Publications, Chair of Electronic Resources or Refreshments Coordinator. To find out more, contact Fiona Lucas at or 416-781-8153. Our current executive officers for the period from September 2015 to September 2017 are as follows:
  • President: Fiona Lucas
  • Treasurer: Sylvia Lovegren
  • Secretary: Carolyn Crawford
  • Chair of Programs (Occasional): Shirley Lum
  • Chair of Programs (Annual): Luisa Giacometti
  • Chair of Membership: Mackenzie Bodnar
  • Coordinator of Volunteers: Mackenzie Bodnar
  • Coordinator of Publicity: Samantha George
  • Newsletter Editor: Sarah Hood
November Wrap-up
It's been a busy month. On November 11 (Remembrance Day), CHC members presented a session on "Entertaining in the Twenties" at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, handing out tasting samples to an eager crowd. We also sponsored three heritage categories in the RAWF canning competition (see results below).

The sold-out Cooking From Rare Books event at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library on November 24 was a special event in more ways than one for lucky ticketholders and volunteers. We had opening remarks from Anne Dondertman, the Associate Chief Librarian for Special collections and Director of the library, and remarks from CHC president Fiona Lucas thanking our hosts. Shirley Lum, CHC's new Program Chair (Occasional), who curated this event, opened her remarks with a quotation from Lindy Mechefske's recently published book Sir John's Table: The Culinary Life & Times of Canada's First Prime Minister: "Culinary history, a topic once largely overlooked, is increasingly well respected as an aspect of cultural heritage."

Many enjoyed the fabulous Holiday Food History presentation by Elizabeth Ridolfo, Special Collections Projects Librarian. Some folks were fortunate enough to have a chat with Mary Williamson, an honorary life member of CHC, who donated many of her personal collections to the library, as they sampled seasonal baking based on recipes from some of the books on view (like Sherry Murphy's Soft Gingerbread, pictured below in the photo by Shirley Lum).

For this special occasion, Elizabeth Ridolfo displayed some unique books; how frail, old and rare were some of these books lined up on display? There was Bartolomeo Scappi's 1570 Opera dell'arte del Cucinare, and the first edition of Hannah Glasse's 1747 The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy. Some folks enjoyed having a glimpse of several manuscript recipe books. 

It was an evening where under one roof we had historic cooks, authors, entrepreneurs and students. Many thanks go to those who worked behind the scenes: event organizer Shirley Lum; Michael Elliott for social media; Sherry Murphy, Mya Sangster and  Sarah Hood for refreshments, and event volunteers Sherry Murphy, Christine Sanchez, Sylvia Lovegren and Karim Bhaloo, as well as to 1847 Stone Milling for their generous donation of artisan flour. Special appreciation goes to Elizabeth Ridolfo for creating the presentation and display of books and the Thomas Fisher library staff members who stayed late on our behalf.

RAWF Preserving Winners
Here are the results of the heritage categories at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Canning Competition, sponsored by the Culinary Historians of Canada. Congratulations to winners Robert Henderson (who also won Grand Champion Jam and Jelly Maker and Judges' Choice!), Carline Loucks and Tom Boyd!

Heritage Jam (professional category)
Pictured below; photo by Shirley Lum.
  1. Robert Henderson: Apple and Raspberry Jam
  2. Joanne Holt: Black Currant Jam
  3. Heather Rhymes: Apple Butter (Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook)
Heritage Jam (amateur category)
  1. Caroline Loucks: Raspberry Jam
  2. Caroline Loucks: Strawberry Jam
  3. Caroline Loucks: Apricot Jam
  4. Hayley Craig-Barnes: Pear Ginger Conserve
  5. Mary Ann Slowka: Tomato Jelly
  6. Tom Boyd: Traditional Crabapple Jelly
  7. Irene Wilson: Bluebarb Jam 1939 (blueberry & rhubarb)
  8. Caroline Loucks: Sour Cherry Jelly
  9. Jan Freedman: Tomato Jam (Harrow Fair Cookbook)
  10. Wendy Mahoney: Gooseberry Jam
Heritage Pickle
  • Tom Boyd: Nine-Day Sweet and Crisp Cucumber Pickles
  • Natalia Lobach: Watermelon Pickle
  • Adele Schroder: Gram B's Mustard Pickles
  • Joanne Holt
  • Joe Bush: Keeping the Harvest Green Beans
  • Cristan Farms: Pickled Beets
  • Tom Boyd: Nanny's Green Tomato Pickle
  • Heather Rhymes: Lady Ashburnham (New Brunswick Home Economics Cookbook, 1958)
  • Wendy Mahoney: Bread & Butter Pickles
  • Lori Kirkpatrick:: Mabel's Chili Sauce
  • Jan Freedman Piccalilli (Fannie Farmer Cookbook, 1967)
  • Irene Wilson: English Piccalilli
  • Cindy Taylor: Meme Chili Sauce

We're grateful to all those who answered our call to suggest CHC events for next year. Stay tuned for a diverse and exciting roster of activities in 2016!

CHC on Facebook
We've just passed the 250-member mark on our Culinary Historians of Canada Facebook site, and the conversation's getting pretty lively! It's a "private" group, but we welcome new members.

CHC Events Calendar

Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6

CHC at Fort York Frost Fair

CHC president Fiona Lucas will offer a talk on sugar-plums, and CHC will present a cookbook sale and information table at Fort York Frost Fair: A Vintage Christmas MarketJoin us at Historic Fort York; volunteers welcome!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mad for Marmalade, Crazy for Citrus!

CHC's 9th annual celebration of all things citrus, held in association with Fort York Historic Site. This year, it is Persian-themed, and we have Ariana Bundy, TV chef and author of Pomegranates and Roses: My Persian Family Recipes and Sweet Alternative, as our main presenter.

We also have some interesting workshop leaders, including Shayma Saadat from the blog Spice Spoon and pastrychefs from Red Rose Patisserie in North York, among others. We will be providing the final list of workshops and the day’s activities shortly. Check the CHC website for updates, and in the meantime, think of submitting your favorite marmalades, citrus jams or baking for the jam competition.
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 Prince Edward 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

Taste Canada Seeks a Project Coordinator
Taste Canada – The Food Writing Awards, a not-for-profit organization that recognizes excellence and creativity in Canadian food and beverage writing and publishing, seeks a part-time Project Coordinator who is well organized, able to work with minimum supervision from a remote/home office and self-motivated, with a working knowledge of WordPress, general computer skills and a solid understanding of social media platforms. The position supports all aspects of the work required to facilitate the project, the planning of the awards gala and the culinary competition "Cook The Books".

Duties include website maintenance, management of Eventbrite or a similar online ticketing platform, communication with reception chefs, shipping, and assisting with email communications with schools, students, authors, venue and sponsors involved in Cook the Books. Compensation: $4,000 honorarium. Please send letters of interest and CV to Karen Baxter, executive director at

Launch of CuiZine 6.2
CuiZine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures has announced the launch of its latest issue. What is good food and how does it contribute to a "good" life? Since its inception this journal has engaged with the diversity of food cultures. It began with a focus on the multiple food cultures within Canada, but soon moved to see this as a model for broader exploration of comparative food cultures. This year's two complementary issues bring together contributions addressing this pressing question.

In the first issue of 2015, CuiZine heard answers from friends and neighbours—including home cooks in New Zealand and artisanal food producers and salespeople of Vermont. With this second issue in 2015, contributors look to answers voiced by Canadians, who define good food by what they choose to grow, prepare, serve and savour. Read CuiZine 6.2 online.

Note: CuiZine editor Nathalie Cooke writes to let us know that as of January 1, 2016, Renée Desjardins of Université de Saint-Boniface will take over the editors' reins from her. She is to be congratulated heartily for all her work on the publication!

Casting Call
Jes Clarke, Casting Coordinator for 3 Bird Media, has contacted us for help with the development of a television series called Back in Time for Dinner Canada (based on a popular BBC concept), which send a family back in time to experience the foodways of successive decades.

She writes: "We now have one of Canada's largest broadcasters on board in our development stage. We are looking forward to getting back in touch with you once we are ready to cast our experts for the show; however, our main priority at this time is to find the perfect family to experience this culinary journey. I'd love to chat with you to see if you know of any families who meet our criteria. We are looking for a family with two or three children between the ages of 8 and 19 who live in the GTA." Contact her at 416-992-9633 or

Book Contributors Wanted
Dr Cecilia Leong-Salobir, Research Fellow in the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts at the University of Wollongong (New South Wales, Australia) is seeking chapter contributors for the Routledge Handbook of Food in Asia. Consisting of 25 chapters, it aims to illustrate the different methodologies and theoretical approaches that scholars on food in Asia have employed in the social sciences and humanities. Eight broad themes are envisaged: Food and the Nation State, Food Cultures, Food and the Asian Diaspora, Food and Politics, Culinary Legacies of Colonization, Globalization and Food, Food Trade and Literature and Film.

The deadline for chapter submissions is December 1, 2016, with a target publication date of 2018. Interested authors should submit proposals for chapter submissions of 5,000 to 8,000 words to Cecilia Leong-Salobir at Each proposal should include title, 100-word abstract, brief author biography and professional affiliation. Complete submission details are available online.

Book Launch: The Johnson Family Treasury
On Monday, December 14, Campbell House presents “A December Restorative” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. This special event celebrates the recently published The Johnson Family Treasury: A Collection of Household Recipes and Remedies 1741-1848, which is based on a manuscript found in an archival collection and contains recipes for foods and other restoratives, plus remedies for a range of human ailments, reflecting a time when “every man was his own doctor.”

Sample some sweet treats, check out a remedy for insanity, and hear a brief discussion by Professor Nathalie Cooke about some of the secrets this collection contains. Admission is free, but space is limited. RSVP to or

Scarborough Fare
Save the date for the 2016 Food Studies Conference "Scarborough Fare", hosted by University of Toronto, Scarborough from June 22 to 26, 2016! This is a joint conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, Agriculture Food and Human Values and the Canadian Association for Food Studies. The call for proposals, registration details and other conference news will be posted on the Canadian Association for Food Studies site as they become available.

Workshop Leaders Needed
JoAnne Himmelman, curator at the Lennox and Addington County Museum and Archives in Napanee, Ontario contacts us to let us know that Allan Macpherson House, an 1830s historic house with a working hearth and beehive oven, is seeking people interested in conducting hearth cooking workshops as part of a change in direction for the operation of the property, towards a greater focus on the heritage arts and learning opportunities in hearth cooking and other domestic arts. If you're interested, contact her at 613-354-3027, extension 3506.

Commemorating a Significant Meal in Charleston
News from Common-Place, the journal of early American life: "This issue’s First Person feature focuses on reenactments of Charleston’s 1865 Reconciliation Banquet, a sumptuous feast hosted by Nat Fuller, a formerly enslaved man who was one of Charleston’s most famous chefs. Fuller invited black and white residents in Charleston, South Carolina to sit down and enjoy a meal, even as the city reeled from the destruction of the Civil War. This roundtable features the voices of the guests, of the culinary scholar who helped put the event together, and of the chef who stood in Nat Fuller’s place as he cooked the food and welcomed the diners." Read it in full on the Common-Place site.

The Art of Food for Festivals
From October 13, 2015 to March 13, 2016, the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles is presenting an exhibit titled The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals. Elaborate artworks made of food were created for royal court and civic celebrations in early modern Europe. This exhibition, drawn from the Getty Research Institute's Festival Collection, features rare books and prints, including early cookbooks and serving manuals that illustrate the methods and materials for making edible monuments, such as the illustration of 17th-century pastrychefs below.


Events of Interest

THIS MONTH (December 2015)
  • December 1 to 23: Christmas Dinner at the King’s Head Inn, 6:30 every evening plus noon on December 5, 6, 13 & 20 (Prince William, New Brunswick). King's Landing Historical Settlement presents its beloved annual tradition, when the Inn will be dressed for a 19th-century Christmas to welcome Christmas dinners by candlelight. Guests are met with Christmas music in the pub or by the fireplace in the Simeon Jones room before the call to dine upon roast turkey, goose or beef with Yorkshire pudding and soup, King's Landing bread, vegetables, dessert and postprandial port, walnut toffee and donut men. Admission: $41.99 (adults). $31.99 (children). Reserve at 506-363-4968 or
  • Friday, December 4: A Taste of Christmas Past, 6 to 9 p.m. (Burlington, Ontario) Ireland House Museum presents traditional Christmas food and beverage tastings from classic recipes: delicious sweets, savoury treats and festive beverages such as mulled wine and holiday punch in the beautifully decorated historic house, along with other entertainments, illuminated by candlelight and a roaring hearth fire. Admission: $25. Not recommended for children under the age of 16. 905-332-9888 or 1-800-374-2099 
  • Saturday, December 5: Wassail by Candlelight (Picton) Macaulay House invites visitors to travel back in time to the 1850s holiday season, where the kitchen hearth, aglow in candlelight, will offer an array of heritage foods to sample. Admission: $5 (Free for children under 5) 613-476-2148 ext. 258
  • Saturday, December 5: Kensington Festive Roots Tour, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Toronto). Join culinary historian Shirley Lum of A Taste of the World in celebration of the diverse Festivals of Lights while peeling back the layers of festive immigrant food roots of Kensington Market. Participants honour the Market's founding family and the successive waves of immigrants through the food and drinks connected with Diwali, Hannukah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa and Twelfth Night. Do not eat big breakfast prior to event! Limited to 12. Meet at 50 Spadina Avenue (one block north of Dundas). Admission: $50 (adult), $45 (students & seniors), $35 (ages 3 to 12). Preregister with Shirley Lum, 416-923-6813
  • Saturday, December 5: Christmas by Lamplight, 6 to 9:30 p.m. with optional dinner seatings at 5:30 & 8:30 p.m. (Toronto). Black Creek Pioneer Village invites visitors to visit the homes and workshops decorated to celebrate the season while enjoying traditional folk music, Christmas carolling and choirs, craft workshops and food samples to the magical glow of lamps and lanterns, flickering candles and cozy fireplaces. An optional dinner is served in the Historic Brewery Restaurant's Canada West Room. Admission. $26.95 to $34.95 (adults). $22.45 to $29.95 (children under 12). Program with full dinner: $68.35 to $80.95 (adults). $45.23 to $55.25 (children under 12). 416-667-6295
  • Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6: Stirring Up the Christmas Joy!, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Pickering, Ontario). Pickering Museum Village invites visitors to make and take away a traditional plum pudding and cedar swag and enjoy lunch in the 1850s inn, a talk with the PMV Costumer and a behind-the-scenes tour and costume fitting. They can return the next day to wear a costume, share in the pre-event bustle, pose for a photograph, for Christmas in the Village, Winter in the Woods. Space is limited. Admission: $175 per person; purchase tickets online.
  • Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6: Fort York Frost Fair (Toronto). Stroll through the historic 1812 buildings of Fort York, where merchants will be selling their heritage inspired reproductions, Regency fashions and holiday greenery. Enjoy heritage cuisine and visit with the Fort York Volunteer Historic Cooks in the Officer's Mess Kitchen as they prepare late 18th and early 19th century recipes. In the new Visitor Centre, shop for unique Christmas gifts for friends and family from local artisans and Etsy sellers. Visit a Sugar Plum demonstration and talk by the Culinary Historians of Canada, sample historic negus ice and ginger ice cream during your visit. Savour gourmet pretzels, handmade shortbread, heritage chocolate and more. Enjoy dance performances and Christmas carolers all weekend long. Regular admission.
  • Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6: Victorian Christmas Open House and Carriage House Gift Sale & Mossie’s Tea Room (Brampton). Historic Bovaird House welcomes visitors. Admission: Free. Tea or cider and goodies: $8. 905-874-2804
  • Saturday & Sunday, December 5 & 6: Wassail (Prince Edward County). Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association pays tribute to the age-old tradition of celebrating the harvest before the arrival of winter, when merrymakers would travel from house to house singing, feasting and quenching their thirst with local grog. This modern version of Wassail is a time to visit wineries, sing a seasonal tune and be treated to free tastes of mulled wine, comfort foods and sweet treats. Bus tours available from Huff Estates.
  • Sunday, December 6: Christmas in the Village, Winter in the Woods, noon to 3:30 p.m. (Pickering). Pickering Museum Village presents holiday customs of the pioneer village like Scottish Hogmanay, Welsh traditions, Victorian English Christmas celebrations and Squire Jonathan's Christmas Ball. Admission: Free with entrance to the museum
  • Sunday, December 6: Christmas Dinner at Black Creek Pioneer Village, seatings at 1 and 4 p.m. (Toronto). Tour the Village and enjoy Butternut Squash Soup or Arugula Salad, Roasted Turkey or Stuffed Acorn Squash and Warm Apple Blossom or Pumpkin Pie at the Brewery Restaurant. Admission: $54 (adults). $27 (children). 416-667-6295
  • Sunday, December 6: Yuletide Pudding Workshop, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Picton). Friends of Macaulay House and Museums of Prince Edward County present Tammy Lloyd of Lady Victorian Historical Presentations, who will demonstrate the art of pudding making including a traditional Scottish Clootie dumpling. Bring your own brown bag lunch, as the hearth will be busy boiling your pudding creations! Admission: $65, including a pudding to take home. Limit: 6 participants. Pre-register at 613-476-2148 ext. 258.
  • Saturday, December 12: Desserts by Lamplight, 6:30 to 9 p.m. (Scarborough, Ontario). Scarborough Museum presents a magical evening of lamp-lit rooms, decadent desserts and carolers. Admission: $25. Pre-register at 416-338-8807
  • Saturday, December 12: Kensington Festive Roots Tour. See December 5.
  • Saturday, December 12: Christmas by Lamplight at Black Creek Pioneer Village (Toronto). See December 5.
  • Sunday, December 13: Christmas Dinner at Black Creek Pioneer Village, seatings at 1 and 4 p.m. (Toronto). See December 6.
  • Monday, December 14: A December Restorative, 7 to 8:30 p.m. (Toronto). Campbell House presents a special event in celebration of The Johnson Family Treasury. See news item above.
  • Wednesday, December 16: Holiday Farmers' Market & Gift Sale, 2 to 7 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery's Inn presents a special extended holiday edition of their regular Market Days with fresh bread from the bake oven, preserves, local fresh and prepared foods, plus the famous festive fundraising fruitcakes ($10 each). Admission: Free
  • Friday, December 18: Georgian Christmas Supper, 7 to 10 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). York Regency Society presents your chance for an actual taste of Jane Austen’s world at Montgomery's Inn. Enjoy the pleasures of the Georgian table during the festive season, supping by candlelight and the comfort of an open fire. Sit at an elegant table and eat the foods Austen and her contemporaries knew. A blend of the familiar and the intriguingly different, these utterly delectable dishes show us a lesser-known aspect of her time. Historical clothing is optional, but encouraged. Admission: $45. Tickets must be purchased by Friday, December 11 by phone at 416-578-1031.
  • Saturday, December 19: Christmas by Lamplight at Black Creek Pioneer Village (Toronto). See December 5.
  • Sunday, December 20: Christmas Dinner at Black Creek Pioneer Village, seatings at 1 and 4 p.m. (Toronto). See December 6.
  • Wednesday, December 23, 2015: Victorian Tea & Talk, 2 to 3:30 p.m. (Toronto). The Market Kitchen, in partnership with the Market Gallery, presents an illustrated talk on the changing history of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood in the Market Gallery, site of the former council chamber, followed by a Victorian Tea inspired by historic recipes. Admission: $12+HST. Pre-register at 416-392-7604 or email
  • Wednesday, December 30: Hogmanay! A Scottish New Year Celebration, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Toronto). Mackenzie House presents an evening of Scottish music and foods at this traditional celebration of the New Year. Admission: $22.50+HST. Preregister at 416-392-6915.
LOOKING AHEAD (January 2016)
  • Saturday, January 9: Twelfth Night: An Ancient Midwinter Celebration, 8 to 11 p.m. (Cambridge, Ontario). The Mill Race Folk Society celebrates this unique and ancient holiday at the British Club (35 International Village Drive) with a festive buffet, live music, dancing, a traditional Cornish Mummers' Play, Father Christmas and The Green Man. Cash bar. Costumes encouraged. $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
  • Tuesday, January 19: Iordan - Feast of Jordan, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Edmonton). Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village celebrates one of the most important holy days of the Ukrainian church calendar, Iordan, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany. The Friends of the Ukrainian Village Society will be offering food services featurig kutia (boiled wheat sweetened with honey and poppy seed), borshch (beet soup), pyrhoy (perogies) with roast fish, and pampushky (doughnuts).
  • Saturday, January 21: Queen Charlotte's Birthday Ball: Queen Charlotte Salutes Scotland, 1 to 10:30 p.m. (Toronto). Fort York National Historic Site presents this annual event celebrating a significant moment in Toronto history: a ball offered by officers of the Garrison at York (Fort York) in 1817. Enjoy an afternoon dance demonstration and workshop; attend an illustrated talk about the period; then sit down for an elegant Georgian-inspired buffet dinner and an evening ball with live musicians. Costumes encouraged! Admission: $88.50+HST. Afternoon workshop and speaker only: $26.55+HST. Dinner and ball only: $66.37+HST. Pre-registration required 416-392-6907, ext. 221
  • Thursday, January 28: Thirsty Thursday, 7 to 10 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn presents Thirsty Thursday tavern night with beer, wine, or a Thomas Montgomery speciality 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
  • Sundays: Gibson House Tea & Tour, 1 to 4:30 p.m. (Toronto). There's tea, cookies and a seat for you at the harvest table in the 1850s historic kitchen every Sunday. Free with regular admission.
  • To December 23: Christmas at Black Creek (Toronto). Black Creek Pioneer Village presents special Christmas programs on weekends, including explorations and tastings of traditional foods like Christmas puddings, mincemeat tarts and apple cider.
  • To December 24: Food for Thought (Toronto). Toronto's Harbourfront Centre presents five free art exhibitions that explore food in all its complexity, from the celebration of the meal to food politics.
  • To January 3, 2016: BEER! The Exhibit (Kitchener, Ontario). Waterloo Region Museum presents an exhibit on the history of brewing and the selling and consuming of beer in Canada, with a focus on over 175 years of brewing tradition in Waterloo Region.
  • To March 13, 2016: The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals (Los Angeles). The Getty Research Institute presents an exhibit on the elaborate artworks made of food that were created for royal court and civic celebrations in early modern Europe.
  • To Fall 2016: Food Will Win the War (Ottawa). The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum presents an exhibition on the story of food on the Canadian home front during the Second World War. Focusing on shopping, eating, conserving, and volunteering, it shows how Canadians fought a “war for food” to support Canada’s overseas war efforts. Admission: Free with entrance to the museum. 613-991-3044 or 1-866-442-4416

Academic Conferences

January 15 & 16, 2016 (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam hosts the third Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food

February 19 to 20, 2016 (Vancouver)
Interdisciplinary examinations of the ways in which Canadian writers and visual artists use food to articulate larger historical and cultural contexts, as well as personal sensibilities, coinciding with the launch of the public art exhibition Artful Fare: Conversations about Food, featuring the collaborative art projects of KPU Fine Arts and English students as they engage in creative-critical dialogues about food in Canadian poetry at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Richmond campus.

May 31 to June 1, 2016 (Dublin)
Deadline for proposals: January 15, 2016

The biennial Dublin Gastronomy Symposium. To suggest a paper, send a 250-word proposal to Mairtin MacConiomaire ( An authors' style sheet is available online.

June 22 to 26, 2016 (Toronto)
Deadline for proposals: TBA

University of Toronto, Scarborough hosts the joint conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, Agriculture Food and Human Values and the Canadian Association for Food Studies.

Food for Thought


The Cultural Histories Series (Bloomsbury Academic, November 2015)
A Cultural History of Food presents an authoritative survey from ancient times to the present. This set of six volumes covers over 2,500 years of food history and presents the most authoritative and comprehensive survey available on the subject. Each volume discusses the same themes in its chapters: food production; food systems; food security, safety and crises; food and politics; eating out; professional cooking, kitchens and service work; family and domesticity; body and soul; food representations, and world developments. The six volumes are:
  • A Cultural History of Food in Classical Antiquity (800 BCE-500 CE) by Paul Erdkamp
  • A Cultural History of Food in the Medieval Age (500-1300) by Massimo Montanari
  • A Cultural History of Food in the Renaissance (1300-1600) by Ken Albala
  • A Cultural History of Food in the Early Modern Age (1600-1800) by Beat Kümin
  • A Cultural History of Food in the Age of Empire (1800-1900) by Martin Bruegel
  • A Cultural History of Food in the Modern Age (1920-2000) by Amy Bentley
The Edible Monument: The Art of Food for Festivals edited by Marcia Reed with contributions by Charissa Bremer-David, Joseph Imorde, Marcia Reed & Anne Willan (Getty Publications, 2015)
Published to accompany an exhibition at the Getty Research Institute, The Edible Monument considers the elaborate architecture, sculpture and floats made of food that were designed for court and civic celebrations in early modern Europe. These include popular festivals such as Carnival and the Italian Cuccagna.

Ephemeral artworks made of food were not well documented and were challenging to describe because they were perishable and thus quickly consumed or destroyed. Drawing on books, prints and scrolls that document festival arts, elaborate banquets and street feasts, the essays in this volume examine the mythic themes and personas employed to honor and celebrate rulers; the methods, materials and wares used to prepare, depict and serve food, and how foods such as sugar were transformed to express political goals or accomplishments.

Slaughterhouse: Chicago's Union Stock Yard and the World It Made by Dominic A. Pacyga (University Of Chicago Press, November 2015)
Marking the 150th anniversary of its opening, Slaughterhouse tells the story of the Union Stock Yard, chronicling the rise and fall of an industrial district that, for better or worse, served as the public face of Chicago for decades.

Pacyga grew up in the shadow of the stockyards, spent summers in their hog house and cattle yards, and maintains a long-standing connection with the working-class neighborhoods around them. He looks at the Union Stock Yard's political and economic power and its sometimes volatile role in the city’s race and labor relations. He traces its decades of mechanized innovations, which introduced millions of consumers across the country to an industrialized food system, and takes readers to present day, showing how the manufacturing spirit lives on.

(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.
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