Digestible Bits and Bites #81, January 2020

Digestible Bits and Bites

The monthly newsletter of the
Culinary Historians of Canada
Number 81, January 2020
A rare gathering of almost all of CHC's Honorary Lifetime Members, on the occasion of Julian Armstrong's receipt of her certificate. Back (L-R): Fiona Lucas, Elizabeth Baird, Mya Sangster, Elizabeth Driver, Pat Crocker. Front: Julian Armstrong and Mary Williamson. Not present: Dorothy Duncan and Anita Stewart. Photo by Mark D'Aguilar.


  1. CHC News and Upcoming Events

  2. News and Opportunities

  3. Food for Thought (book reviews)

  4. Events of Interest

  5. Upcoming International Conferences

1. CHC News and Upcoming Events


Julian Armstrong Is Our Newest Honorary Member
From time to time, CHC extends an Honorary Lifetime Membership to a member who has demonstrated a long commitment to Canadian culinary history. Our 2019 choice is Julian Armstrong, who has been reporting on food for the better part of five decades. She was food editor of the Montreal Star and then of the Montreal Gazette, for which she now writes three weekly columns. She is also the author of two books: Made in Quebec: A Culinary Journey and A Taste of Quebec.

This honour is generally extended at our Annual General Meeting in Toronto, but our 2019 recipient was not able to travel from her hometown of Montreal at the time, so instead we organized a small gathering at Le Papillon on Front Street in Toronto on December 11. It was attended by a selection of CHC board members and past honorees. Julia said she was truly honoured and admires the work of CHC. (She's a faithful reader of the newsletter.)

On the night of the dinner, Julian drew the name of one lucky CHC member to receive a copy of her book Made in Quebec. The winner was Sharon O'Meara.

CHC Refreshments Co-ordinator Sherry Murphy kindly provided diners with little table favours consisting of a pair of cookies baked from Julian's recipes. These are Galettes à la mélasse (Molasses Cookies). Photo by Sherry Murphy.
CHC Programming Chair Sylvia Lovegren (left) with guest speaker Lenore Newman.
In Search of Lost Foods
Report by Sylvia Lovegren

On Wednesday December 4, Dr. Lenore Newman kicked off the Toronto launch of her new book, Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food, at the Culinaria Research Centre at U of T Scarborough. The sold-out audience gathered in the comfortable teaching kitchen, where Dr. Newman talked about the foods that humans have literally loved—or are loving—to death.

Lenore Newman is always an interesting speaker, and with a fascinating subject and a very engaged audience it was a lively night. She explained that what had got her started on the research behind this book was reading about the last passenger pigeon on earth, Martha, who died in the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914. Martha had been one of a pair, the last chance for breeding the pigeons in captivity, but her mate had died a few years before, and Martha never had offspring.

The world went from having literally billions of passenger pigeons to one lonely sterile bird in a few hundred years, as a result of countless small decisions made by millions of humans over that period. When naturalists finally realized what was happening to passenger pigeons, it was too late. Dr. Newman looked at that progression as symbolic of what has been happening in our food chain today, and asked us all to decide to do something before it, too, is too late.

The event was co-hosted by CHC and Culinaria, and samples of some of the foods Dr. Newman talked about were explained by our Culinaria host, Prof. Ken MacDonald, and ably prepared and served by Culinaria staff Beatrice Lego and Kelsey Kilgore. Featured were “real” chicken fingers (made from industrial chickens) alongside vegan chicken fingers; three different kinds of pears (showing the changes foods have made as they leave the land of their genesis) served with organic honey from the bees at U of T Scarborough; and a sampling of vegan beef and sausage (meat production being a topic of some interesting discussion).

Finally, we had the crowd-pleasing soy-coconut vanilla pudding, highlighting the fact that vanilla is another of the foods being affected by climate change and habitat degradation.

Thanks to Dr. Newman for a fascinating evening, and congratulations on the great press Lost Feast is getting! And many thanks to our co-hosts at Culinaria for their hard work and for helping to make this event so enjoyable.
CHC Directory
Every year, CHC circulates its membership directory to members in good standing. It will arrive in members' inboxes as a PDF today. Please let us know if any corrections or additions should be made by contacting Sarah Hood at

Upcoming CHC Events
  • Stay tuned!
Join the Culinary Historians of Canada!

The membership year runs from one annual general meeting (usually in October) to the next. Download a membership form here and join us today! 

2. News and Opportunities

Compiled by Lori Jamieson, Julia M. Armstrong & Sarah Hood

2020 Taste Canada Call for Submissions
The call for submissions for the 2020 Taste Canada Awards will open on Thursday, January 16 and close on Thursday, February 13. Cookbooks authored by Canadian citizens and published from January 1 through December 31, 2019, are eligible. Book categories, further information about eligibility details and entry forms are posted on the Taste Canada site, and even more detail with be available on January 16.

Read the Winning Oxford Symposium Proceedings!
The collected Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery have won the 2020 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for best series about food published in the UK. The Proceedings will now compete for Best in the World. The Gourmand Awards honour food and wine publishing around the world, and the award is for the whole collection. Volumes from symposia prior to the most recent three years are available on Google Books and as free downloads at the Oxford Symposium site. The 2020 symposium, coming up in July, is on Herbs and Spices (see International Conferences, below).

Vintage Holiday Recipes
January 1 is only the eighth Day of Christmas (the traditional 12 days run from Christmas Day on December 25 to Twelfth Night on January 5, the day before Epiphany). Library and Archives Canada is inviting the public to "travel back in time and experience cooking in a whole new way" with its online exhibit Twelve Days of Vintage Cooking. "From psychedelic jellied salads to brandy-fortified fruitcake, welcome to a fun, festive, food frenzy from yesteryear!" The recipes include Quick Jellied Salad (1959), Grandmother's "Sugar Cookies" (1943), Tourtière (1966), Marshmallows (1915), Potato Latkes (1977), Egg Nogg (1879), English Christmas Cake (1915) and, pictured above, the rather scrummy-looking Cranberry Upside-Down Cake.

Montreal Invites the World to Dinner
On November 11, nearly 100 people involved in culinary industries gathered in Montreal to share ideas about how to position the city internationally as North America's food capital. Among the recommendations were suggestions about highlighting the quality and diversity of Quebec products and emphasizing Montreal's distinctive reputation as a festive destination.

Apart from this recent meeting, consultations with industry experts have been underway for several months, and the work will culminate this spring with the publication of the Montreal Food Scene Development and Promotion Plan. In the meantime, industry stakeholders can share their ideas on the topic by writing to
2020 Milk Calendar
Now in its 43rd year, the famous Milk Calendar features dairy-inspired recipes from some of Canada’s most beloved chefs and local food luminaries, including Afrim Pristine, Vikram Vij, David Rocco, Abbey Sharp, Brad Long, Anna Olson, Andrew Bullis and CHC member Emily Richards.

Ontario residents can sign up online to receive a free calendar; and those who do are eligible to win a year’s supply of Ontario cheese, a Cheese Lover’s Gift Basket, a $250 gift certificate to a local Feast On restaurant, cookbooks from 2020 Milk Calendar contributors or Ontario Artisan Cheese Wheels.

Not an Ontarian? You can still view the recipes, such as these Portuguese Custard Tarts.

What's Cooking? (Member News)
CHC MEMBERS: Please let us know what you're up to! We'll publish all suitable news items received at by the 25th of each month. (Please write your announcement directly into your email window, with no attachments except a photo. Be sure to include a web link for further information!)

CHC member Chef Scott Savoie is the founder of Toronto Food Tours Inc., which programs culinary experiences throughout the year, ranging from foodie walking tours to wine tastings and Maritime lobster dinners. His next big program is tied in with Toronto's Winterlicious food celebration, which runs from January 31 to February 13. He'll present several editions of his Savour St. Lawrence Market event, which begins with a glass of Ontario sparkling wine and appetizers from market vendors. A behind-the-scenes historical tour of the market whets appetites for a four-course dinner and cooking demonstration that features the bounty of the market paired with local Ontario wines and craft beers. The entire program costs $100 per person.

In early November, CHC co-vice-president Sherry Murphy was invited to The War Time Radio Show at Hope United Church in Toronto, and she contributed four loaves of authentic 1940s War Cake, a rationing-friendly recipe designed to provide a taste of sweetness while conserving ingredients like butter, sugar and eggs.

John Ota's new book will be released in just a few weeks by Penguin Random House. In The Kitchen: A Journey through History in Search of the Perfect Design, he describes his quest across North America to explore examples of excellent kitchen design throughout history. His stops include the homes of such notable figures as Thomas Jefferson, Julia Child, Georgia O’Keeffe, Elvis Presley and Louis Armstrong. The book will retail for $25, and CHC is hoping to program a book launch event with him later in the year.

Sarah Hood also has a book coming out in 2020. Jam, Jelly and Marmalade: A Global History will be published in late July as part of the Edible Series produced by Reaktion Books out of the UK. Board member Sylvia Lovegren recently contributed Melon: A Global History to the same series.

3. Food for Thought

Have you missed a book review? You can read reviews from all our past issues online. If you are a CHC member who would like to contribute, please contact Elka Weinstein at or Sarah Hood at

Kitchen Party by Mary Berg (Penguin Random House, 2019), reviewed by Elka Weinstein (pictured above).
Subtitled Effortless Recipes for Every Occasion, this book is full of simple recipes with a twist for the home cook. It is obviously a labour of love, and Berg’s introductions at the beginning of each recipe are personal and warm. The recipes themselves demonstrate her hope to make everyone comfortable in their own kitchen. Many require fairly basic cooking, such as her Baked Steel Cut Oatmeal and Classic Roast Chicken, but the more upscale recipes are made easy enough for a basic cook to master with a couple of tries.
Mary Berg was the first woman to win Master Chef Canada, and also the first winner to host her own cooking show, Mary’s Kitchen Crush, which began airing on CTV in April 2019. CTV has committed to 30 episodes, which is a big commitment for a TV show, but the company has confidence that Berg will be popular with people her own age. After her MasterChef victory, Mary’s fan base grew with appearances as a food expert on other CTV series like Your Morning and The Marilyn Denis Show, as well as an eight-episode Gusto program called Mary’s Big Kitchen Party.
Hosting a party can be daunting without help. The idea here is to make it easy and relaxed, while serving up delicious food and drink. The introduction, “Preparing for a Party,” helps the host to organize menu, ingredients and timing. Berg’s tips and tricks for relaxed hosting are reflected in the chapter headings: Brunch Parties, Cocktail Parties, Dinner Parties, Special Occasion Menus, and Party of Two. Instructions are geared toward the modern kitchen, where baking sheets lined with foil, food processors and stand mixers are everyday items used in preparation.
Mary’s bubbly personality and vibrant look (red hair, red lipstick, bright green horn-rims) certainly add to the attraction of this book and to her presence onscreen. Photos of her eating with family and friends are interspersed with lovely food styling. The recipes are solid and could become favourites in your household, too! I would recommend this book for aspiring cooks in their 20s and 30s, as well as for cooks who want to expand their party chops.

Canadian Spirits: The Essential Cross-Country Guide to Distilleries, Their Spirits, and Where to Imbibe Them by Stephen Beaumont and Christine Sismondo (Nimbus Publishing, 2019). Reviewed by Gary Gillman (pictured above).

Stephen Beaumont is widely known for his decades-long writing on beer, travel, and other drinks. Christone Sismondo has an academic and journalistic background and has written extensively on cocktail culture and Prohibition history. The authors’ respective introductions explain well the purport of the book: to give a snapshot of the national spirits market, particularly in light of craft distilling hitting, as Sismondo puts it, "a critical mass." The book will appeal to a broad readership by avoiding over-emphasis on the technical. The focus is on the products, their taste and the people who make them.

It starts with a brief history of distilling in Canada, with an explanation of the recent rise of some 170 craft distilleries, tiny in relation to the massive “legacy” distilleries such as Hiram Walker (Wiser’s) in Windsor, Ontario, and Seagram in Gimli, Manitoba. Still, small-scale distilling offers great creativity and variety, often in the face of regulatory obstacles that make finding their products a challenge.

The book then describes the legacy distillers with taste notes for representative products. There follows an impressive cross-country tour of craft distilling as it stood in mid-2019, a province-by-province tourney of the country’s small spirits plants. Producers and their principals are briefly described—often too the natural setting in which they appear—with taste notes on the vodka, gin, whisky, fruit spirits or rum (among other products) produced.

A wide variety of both traditional and more innovative spirits is made, limited only by the distillers’ imagination. Some surprises emerge; for instance, there is relatively little grape brandy (Cognac-type) distilled even in provinces known for wine production.

Each province is divided into sub-regions, with Yukon included with B.C. We learn, for example, that Ironworks Distillery in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, makes a rich-bodied Bluenose Rum, which fits well into the longstanding rum tradition of the Maritimes. At the other end of the country, Legend Distilling in the Okanagan makes two styles of gin and an orange-and-sumac-flavoured liqueur.

Bars and restaurants that specialize in spirits and cocktails are recommended in sidebars. Who knew, for example, that Vancouver is the best place in Canada for a gin crawl? A few cocktails encountered on the authors’ journey, a glossary and a bibliography complete the book.

The book is well designed, with a retro (late-19th-century-style) brown cover. The text is enhanced by excellent photography, but due to the compact size of the volume, the pictures are sometimes hard to appreciate. No doubt this resulted from the modern economics of print publishing. Hopefully, in future years, further editions will better present the images.

Also, albeit dated, Michael Jackson’s landmark 1987 The World Guide to Whisky should, in my view, have been included in the bibliography. Its discussion of Canadian distilling traditions was groundbreaking and is still highly informative.

Review Contributors
  • Luisa Giacometti (Toronto)
  • Gary Gillman (Toronto)
  • Sher Hackwell (Vancouver)
  • Sarah Hood (Toronto)
  • Fiona Lucas (Toronto)
  • Susan Peters (Morrisburg, Ontario)
  • Sonja Pushchak (Toronto)
  • Laura Reilly (Comox, British Columbia)
  • Elka Weinstein (Toronto)

4. Events of Interest

Compiled by Julia M. Armstrong, Jane Black, Lori Jamieson & Sarah Hood
THIS MONTH (January 2020)
  • Friday & Saturday, January 17 & 18: Frost Fair, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Fri.) & 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sat.). Fort York National Historic Site and The Bentway invite visitors to discover the winter beauty of Fort York’s 1812-era buildings blanketed in snow, with an evening lantern tour and samples of historic treats and drinks from the 1826 kitchen hearth. Admission: Free.
  • Friday, January 31: David Gibson's Favourites: A Farmhouse Supper, 4 to 7 p.m. Gibson House welcomes historic cook and interpreter Sheena Westcott Sykes to cook hearty recipes inspired by the favourite foods of David Gibson, the original owner of Gibson House. Visitors will work around the open hearth fire with Sheena, learning about life on the Gibson farm and early Victorian cooking techniques, and then share the meal in the historic dining room by candlelight. Guests should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Admission: $50. Pre-registration is required.
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)
  • Saturday, January 4: Twelfth Night Party, 1 to 9 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn hosts a day devoted to a lively exploration of an old Christmas tradition, dating back to Scrooge’s time and even further: wassail. Led by dance teacher and historian Karen Millyard, this celebration features Twelfth Cake, roasted chestnuts, carolling, seasonal games, fiddle music and dancing. Guests will enjoy a festive meal and a lamplit tour of the inn, learn dances and play games of Dickens’ time! Admission: $50 to $70 + HST. Pre-registration is required at or 416-578-1031.
  • Saturday, January 18: Queen Charlotte's Birthday Ball, 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery's Inn hosts this annual recreation of a ball that was organized by the officers of the Garrison at York (Fort York) in January 1817, including a Georgian dinner served by liveried servants. Admission: $85. 519-939-8116.
  • Thursday, January 23: Community Oven Nights, 3 to 7 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn opens its doors to community groups for a night of shared cooking and eating, using its kitchen, tea room and outdoor wood-burning oven. Admission: Free. Pre-registration is required at 416-394-8113.
  • Thursday, January 30: 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.
Other Regions
  • Wednesday, January 1: Hogmanay, 1 to 3:30 p.m. (Peterborough, Ontario). Hutchison House celebrates Scottish traditions with a first-footer to be "piped in" at 1 p.m., followed by "Burns’ Address to a Haggis." Visitors will be treated to the music of fiddle, bagpipe and drum, Highland dancing and tastings of Scotch black bun, clooty dumpling, Scotch eggs, potted salmon, cheeses, oatcakes, shortbread and haggis. Admission: $10 (adults), $5 (children), $20 (2 adults with 2+ children). 705-743-9710.
  • Tuesday, January 28: Culinary Curiosities – Fermentation, 7 to 8:30 p.m. (Ottawa). Canada Agriculture and Food Museum presents Chef Daniel Halden leading an exploration of fermented foods and beverages. Participants will learn how to make kimchi, sourdough starter and kombucha scoby. Admission: TBD, including samples and recipes to take home. Participants must be 15+.
LOOKING AHEAD (February 2020)

  • Sunday, February 2: Wartime Food: Expect the Unexpected, noon to 2 p.m. Todmorden Mills opens its 1940s cottage for a demo and sampling of wartime recipes. Guests will learn how rationing affected menus and experience the unexpected flavours and food combinations of Cheese Cube Relish, Canada War Cake and Tomato Soup Cake. A recipe booklet of the offbeat dishes from the workshop, and a few bonus ones, is included. Admission: $20. Pre-registration is required.
  • Wednesday, February 5, 12, & 13: Dinner with the Mackenzies, 6 to 9 p.m. Mackenzie House invites the public to join William Lyon Mackenzie and his wife, Isabel, for a Victorian-inspired four-course meal prepared by Daniel et Daniel’s awarding-winning chef Karen O'Connor and served by candle and gaslight in the restored 1858 dining room. Guests will hear the state of Toronto affairs in 1861 from the city’s first mayor and learn about Mackenzie’s long and colourful career. A souvenir menu printed on the 1845 Washington Press in the restored print shop is included. Admission: $125. Pre-registration is required.
  • Thursday, February 6: The Austins Entertain, 6 to 10 p.m. Spadina Museum presents an exclusive party inspired by the Jazz Age. Guests will get an inside look at the life of the Austins and step back in time to enjoy live music, food and drink demonstrations, games, and a specially curated tasting menu of small plates and historic cocktails (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) based on period cookbooks and the museum's historic collection. Period attire encouraged. Admission: $95. Pre-registration is required.
  • Thursday, February 6: Community Oven Nights, 3 to 7 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn opens its doors to community groups for a night of shared cooking and eating, using its kitchen, tea room and outdoor wood-burning oven. Admission: Free. Pre-registration is required at 416-394-8113.
  • Friday, February 7: David Gibson's Favourites: A Farmhouse Supper, 4 to 7 p.m. Gibson House welcomes historic cook and interpreter Sheena Westcott Sykes to cook hearty recipes inspired by the favourite foods of David Gibson, original owner of Gibson House. Visitors will work around the open hearth fire with Sheena, learning about life on the Gibson farm and early Victorian cooking techniques, and then share the meal in the historic dining room by candlelight. Guests should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Admission: $50. Pre-registration is required.
  • Saturday, February 8: Historic Tavern Meal, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Montgomery’s Inn presents the fascinating history of an 1840s Toronto tavern and a typical 19th-century tavern meal in a unique historic setting. The meal includes peppermint shrub cocktail, artisan cheese, freshly baked bread, pickled and preserved vegetables, hearty meat and potatoes and a selection of historic desserts, all prepared according to authentic early Victorian recipes. Beer and wine will be available at the cash bar. Also, Richard Fiennes-Clinton, author of Muddy York, will speak about the history of inns in early Toronto. Admission $35. Pre-registration is required.
  • Sunday, February 9: Hungry for Comfort: Celebrating our Food History, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Fort York National Historic Site welcomes guests to explore how different peoples survived and thrived in Canada’s bitter winter. This year, the spotlight is on the Jewish community across Canada, with speakers, demonstrations and workshops. Participants will enjoy tastings and a catered lunch of Jewish recipes. A special feature that coincides with this event is the Baking & Preserving Competition; anyone can enter a favourite recipe in any of four categories. The winners will be announced during the event. Admission: $75. Pre-registration is required.
  • Wednesday & Thursday, February 12 & 13: Dinner with the Mackenzies, 6 to 9 p.m. See Wednesday, February 5.
  • Saturday, February 29: Exploring our Culinary Roots: African-Canadian Cuisine Then and Now, 2 to 5 p.m. Fort York National Historic Site invites the public to explore African-Canadian cooking then and now, with a lantern tour of the Officers’ Mess, where soldiers once dined and relaxed, a tasting of a historic punch from Robert Roberts’ 1827 cookbook, A House Servant’s Directory, and visits to the 19th-century kitchen and the Blue Barracks for historic cooking demonstrations and samples. Admission: $25. Pre-registration is required.
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)
  • Thursday, February 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.
Other Regions
  •  Saturday, February 14 to Sunday, February 23: Fort Gibraltar at Festival Du Voyageur (Winnipeg). He! Ho! Watch interpreters recreate life at Fort Gibraltar at the height of the fur trade, including demonstrations of pounding pemmican and outdoor cooking. Admission: $10 to $75
  • Monday, February 17: Family Day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Galt, Ontario). McDougall’s Cottage drop-in program for Family Day will have classic family-friendly games, fun crafts and tours of the Cottage. McDougall’s popular Family Day Café will be open from 1 to 4 p.m., offering samples of tasty and traditional Scottish treats like shortbread, Scottish toffee and more. Free recipes will be available. Admission: By donation.
  • To January 5, 2020: Auld Lang Syne: 19th-Century New Year's Celebration (Toronto). Mackenzie House presents an exploration of the Hogmanay rituals of 19th-century Scottish Canadians and how they parallel New Year's celebrations in other countries and cultures. Visitors can tour the restored house, learn about the Mackenzie family and New Year's traditions, and taste cider and cookies, among other activities. Admission: $5 to $8.
  • To January 19, 2020: Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment (Toronto). The Gardiner Museum presents a multifaceted exhibit that explores the ways food and dining were transformed in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment, and how these profound changes still resonate today.
  • Daily: Historic Afternoon Tea & Tour at Fort Langley National Historic Site, tea 1 to 2:45 p.m.; tour 3 to 4:30 p.m. (Fort Langley, British Columbia). An elegant afternoon tea at the Little White House Salon Café in the coach house of the historic Marr House. Fort Langley, a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, was first established in 1827. On the tour, visitors will hear about local historical characters and explore the homes and workshops of the people of the trade. Admission: $15.68 per person (plus admission fee for groups of 15–30), including tea and tour. 604-513-4799 or
  • Daily: Fishing the West Coast and the Canning Line, 10 a.m. to  5 p.m. (Steveston, British Columbia). The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site offers exhibits on the development of fishing on Canada’s West Coast and modern fishing practices, too. Admission: Free.
  • Sundays, Tea and Tour of Roedde House, 1 to 3:15 p.m. (Vancouver). A tea tasting of Roedde House blend by Metropolitan Tea Co., along with a tour of the museum. Admission: $8. No reservations required.
  • Saturdays & Sundays: Tour & Taste Weekends, 1 to 4:30 p.m. (Toronto). Gibson House offers tea, cookies and a seat at the harvest table in the 1850s historic kitchen. Admission: Free with regular admission.
  • Daily: Demonstrations at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Ottawa, Ontario). Participate in a full day’s schedule of activities, including cooking with oats, butter making, milking and grinding grain. Admission to museum: $8 to $10, free from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Indefinite run: Beggar’s Banquet (Louisbourg, Nova Scotia). Participants enjoy an 18th-century maritime meal while dressed in period clothing.
  • Sundays, Tea Time at the Inn, 1 to 4 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn offers a spot of tea and a taste of history in the Tea Room, including in-house baking and unlimited tea service. Tea served and goods baked by the dedicated Montgomery's Inn volunteers. Admission: $8.

5. International Conferences

Compiled by Julia M. Armstrong


March 26 to 28 (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Program: Building on a 16-year tradition, the schedule includes mix of short presentations and interactive pedagogy-focused workshops. Read more about the conference ethos.
Of note: See the conference site for resource lists on food in film and literature, and more.

May 26 to 27 (Dublin, Ireland)
Theme: Food and Disruption: What Shall We Eat Tomorrow? Disruptors in food history can include people, movements, technological advancements and disasters.
Of note: Browse the contents of past symposiums.

May 27 to 30 (Athens, Georgia)

Theme: Cultivating Connections: Exploring Entry Points Into Sustainable Food Systems. 
Host: The University of Georgia’s Sustainable Food Systems Initiative.
Call for proposals (deadline 31 January): An invitation to envision a more sustainable and equitable future by critically engaging with the histories and legacies that have framed agricultural food landscapes over time.

June 21 to 25 (Sturbridge, Massachusetts)
Theme: 50 Years of Living History.
Venue: Old Sturbridge Village, New England's largest outdoor living history museum.

July 10 to 12 (Oxford, England)
Theme: Herbs & Spices.
Venue: St. Catherine's College, Oxford.
Deadline for proposals: January 31; see information here.

September 23 to 25 (Antwerp, Belgium)

Organizers: International Society for Ethnology and Folklore.
Theme: Food, People and the City: Comparative Perspectives. A look at food production, distribution and consumption as cultural practices, in different periods and societies.
Deadline for proposals: January 31; see information here.


May 13 to 15 (Guelph, Ontario)

Kitchen Table Talk to Global Forum.
Venue: University of Guelph.
Of note: The RWSA is an international association that promotes and advances farm and rural women’s/gender studies in a historical perspective.
Deadline for proposals: May 31, 2020; see conference website.

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 ask to be on the distribution list. 
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