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Digestible Bits and Bites #27 - July 2015
 


Digestible Bits and Bites

The monthly newsletter of the
Culinary Historians of Canada
Number 27, July 2015
Time for a trip to the County!

CHC News and Upcoming Events


New Positions Open on CHC Board of Directors
CHC seeks to fill these three positions. As members of the Board of Directors, these Coordinators attend Board meetings (held more or less once a month) and contribute their ideas to discussions and activities. If you feel these descriptions fit you to a tee, please contact President Fiona Lucas (fiona@culinaryhistorians.ca or 416-781-8153—evenings only). We’d be happy to include you!

Publicity Coordinator: A member of the Program Committee who supports the Committee and the Program and Event Chairs in creating public and member awareness of new initiatives and programs by:
  • taking the lead in drafting press releases
  • designing program flyers
  • acting as the primary media contact for publicizing upcoming events and programs 
  • advertising upcoming events on a timely basis through different media channels
  • maintaining a database of journalists, bloggers, writers and other opinion leaders with broad community connections
Refreshments Coordinator: (This position could be shared by two people. At least one of them should possess a Safe Food Handling certificate.A member of the Program Committee who supports the Committee and the Program and Event Chairs in overseeing planning and provision of refreshments at events by:
  • taking the lead in selecting menus, purchasing ingredients, and coordinating the provision of refreshments at programs and events
  • assigning and supervising volunteers to help prepare, serve and clean up refreshments at programs and events
Volunteer Coordinator: A member of the Program Committee who supports the Committee and the Program and Event Chairs in identifying and coordinating volunteers to help deliver programs and events; maintains a database of volunteers.

Members' Picnic in Prince Edward County
On Sunday, July 19 from noon to 4 p.m., CHC members and their families are invited to meet for a potluck picnic at CHC member Liz Driver’s 1860 farmhouse near Milford in Prince Edward County (pictured above). Those who wish to attend should RSVP with any questions to Liz Driver (liz.driver@sympatico.ca) by July 13, indicating whether they will be bringing a main course or dessert. She'll respond with driving directions.

Guests should provide any serving implements needed for their dish. Wine, soft drinks, plates, glasses, cutlery, serviettes and so on will be provided. To offer or request car pooling, contact Luisa Giacometti (luisa@culinaryhistorians.ca).

Dairy and Beef Farm Visit and Cidery Tour
On Saturday, August 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., join CHC for a visit to a member's dairy farm. We'll meet at 10 to view the milking  process. At noon, we'll eat lunch together at Spirit Tree Estate Cidery, a cidery, bakery, kitchen and farm store nestled among the rolling Caledon Hills. The menu includes soup, sandwiches on house-made artisanal bread, salad, baked sweets and coffee, tea or sweet cider. After lunch, the "More Spirited Tour" of the Cidery and tasting of three ciders, then a visit to a beef farm.

Directions from Toronto: Take the 401 to Mississauga Rd (#336). Turn left onto Old School Road. Just before Heritage Road, turn right down a long driveway. For more information or to offer or request car pooling, contact Luisa Giacometti (luisa@culinaryhistorians.ca). Admission: $30. Pre-registration required; tickets are available online.

9th annual Mad for Marmalade, Crazy for Citrus!
Mark your calendars; on Saturday February 20, 2016, CHC will present the 9th edition of our annual exploration of all things citrus, in partnership with Fort York National Historic Site. The 2016 theme will be Persian. Stay tuned for more details regarding exciting workshops, dynamic speakers, Marketplace, and the popular marmalade 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 membership@culinaryhistorians.ca to find out more.

News and Opportunities


A Taste of the World Food Events
CHC member Shirley Lum is offering unique food events in Toronto this summer. Pre-registration is required: A Taste of the World, 416-923-6813.
  • Saturday, July 4: Kensington Food Roots Tour: Multi-Ethnic Summer Bounty: Peel back layers of immigrant food roots and history while tasting multi-ethnic summer bounty! 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Meet at 350 Spadina Avenue.) Admission, including snacks: $50 (adults). $45 (students and seniors). $35 (children).
  • Sunday, July 5: Second Chinatown Food Tour: Discover Toronto's Chinatown's food history over a tutored dim sum tasting, bakery and grocery with a focus on the Lotus Festival. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Meet at Lucky Moose Mart, 393 Dundas Street West.) Admission, including snacks: $50 (adults). $45 (students and seniors). $35 (children).
  • Sunday, July 26: Lost First ChinatownDiscover Toronto's Chinatown's food history over a tutored dim sum tasting, bakery and grocery with a focus on the Lotus Festival. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Meet at Lucky Moose Mart, 393 Dundas Street West.) Admission, including snacks: $50 (adults). $45 (students and seniors). $35 (children).
Historic Kitchen Blog
Master student Leah Moncada invites us to check out her blog Historic Kitchen, which explores historic recipes of many eras. It's one of several blogs authored by Masters students in the Museum Studies program at University of Toronto. She says "I look forward to hearing from interested people, and hopefully corresponding with you through my journey."

Cooking Workshops for Beginners
CHC member Sarah Hood (author of We Sure Can! How jams and pickles are reviving the lure and lore of local food) is teaching two classes at the new Pitchfork Company space at 1322B Gerrard Street East in Toronto, a local-produce shop owned by the founder of the Fairmount Park Farmer's Market.

The two sessions are "Easy as Pie: Traditional Pie Crusts" on July 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. and "We Sure Can! (Seasonal Fruit)" on July 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. Other upcoming classes in the Pitchfork School series include "Handmade Onigiri with Abokichi" (Japanese rice balls, July 6), "Cooking with Lentils" (July 9) and "Simplicity of Sprouts - Grow Your Own" (July 13). All classes are $40, with savings for multiple-class purchases and student discounts. Pre-registration is required.

Events of Interest

 
JULY 2015
  • Closing Date TBA: You Go Girl! The Dutiful Housewife 1840-1960 (Burlington, Ontario). Ireland House Museum presents a glimpse into a woman’s world through the objects, advertisements and published material created to help her establish a happy home life, like the Kenwood ad pictured above.
  • Wednesday, July 1: Canada Day 2015 at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum (Ottawa). This event highlights Canada’s birthday with lots of exciting activities for the whole family, including demonstrations of ice-cream making, dairying, baking and livestock care.
  • Wednesday, July 1: Canada Day Celebrations at Scarborough Museum (Scarborough, Ontario). Visitors can try croquet, sample historic foods and watch the annual pie-eating contest. A Celebrate Canada event supported by a grant from the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage. Admission: Free
  • Friday, July 3: Eat to Feed Toronto, 7 to 10 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). In partnership with Good Food for Good, Montgomery’s Inn presents an eclectic three-course Prix Fixe menu with all profits going to the Food Share Toronto. Taking inspiration from Toronto’s cultural diversity, this bimonthly event features dishes from around the globe, with a dessert provided by the Inn’s historic kitchen. Admission: $45+HST
  • Saturday, July 4: A Culinary Celebration of Canada 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Toronto). Casa Loma presents an event as part of the Summerlicious Festival: guests can stroll through the picturesque gardens while sampling a variety of traditionally Canadian dishes including wild Bison sliders, waffles with Ontario maple syrup, summer stone fruit crumble and hand-carved Niagara prosciutto. Admission: $35
  • Saturday, July 5: A Culinary Celebration of Canada 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Toronto). See July 4.
  • Saturday, July 11: Blue Ribbon Baking, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Pickering, Ontario). Pickering Museum invites visitors to sample their way through the village and vote for their favourite baked good at the General Store.
  • Saturday, July 11: A Culinary Celebration of Canada 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Toronto). See July 4.
  • Saturday & Sunday, July 11 & 12: War of 1812 Re-enactment Weekend (Morrisburg, Ontario) Upper Canada Village invites the public to step into the authentically recreated camps of the British and American army during the War of 1812 and meet period craftspeople, artisans and sutlers who come together to create a large display of living military history.
  • Saturday, July 12: A Culinary Celebration of Canada 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Toronto). See July 4.
  • Sunday, July 12: The Etiquette of Downton Abbey, 12:30 p.m. (Toronto). Spadina Museum invites all Downton Abbey fans to live the drama and opulence of the 1920s in a tour of Spadina Museum, Toronto's Downton Abbey, comparing and contrasting the fictional life of the Crawleys with Spadina's Austin family on a tour from the simple servant quarters to a drawing room elegant enough to impress the Dowager Countess! Admission: $10+HST (adults) $7+HST (seniors)
  • Wednesday, July 15: What’s Cooking Wednesdays, 1 to 4 p.m. (Burlington, Ontario). Ireland House Museum invites visitors to see what they’re cooking or baking on the 1850s hearth! Admission: $4.50 (adults). $4 (students & seniors). $2.25 (children 5 to 12). Free (children under 5). 905-332-9888
  • Saturday, July 18: Totally Tea, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Pickering, Ontario). Pickering Museum invites visitors to sample different teas, learn some tea etiquette and listen to the Village Singers.
  • Sunday, July 19: The Etiquette of Downton Abbey, 12:30 p.m. (Toronto). See July 12.
  • Sunday, July 19: Ice Cream Festival (Ottawa, Ontario). Canada Agriculture and Food Museum invites the public to explore the journey from cow to cone and get the scoop on ice cream and dairying.
  • Wednesday, July 29: What’s Cooking Wednesdays, 1 to 4 p.m. (Burlington, Ontario). See July15.
  • Thursday, July 30: Thirsty Thursday, 7 to 10 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery's Inn welcomes visitors to Thirsty Thursday tavern night at the Inn, where they can enjoy a glass of beer, cider, wine, or a Thomas Montgomery speciality in the restored 1847 barroom with Irish stew, fresh baked-bread and live traditional music. Admission: free. Cash bar, $5 for a bowl of stew while supplies last.
 
LOOKING AHEAD (August 2015)
  • Wednesday, August 5: What’s Cooking Wednesdays, 1 to 4 p.m. (Burlington, Ontario). Ireland House Museum invites visitors to see what they’re cooking or baking on the 1850s hearth! Admission: $4.50 (adults). $4 (students & seniors). $2.25 (children 5 to 12). Free (children under 5). 905-332-9888
  • Thursday, August 6: Kids in the Village: Snickerdoodles, 10 a.m. (Pickering, Ontario). Pickering Village Museum offers children the opportunity to bake a classic but simple cookie and go home with the recipe. Admission: $8 per child. General admission (adults). Free (Season Pass holders)
  • Friday, August 7: Fascinating Flappers, 7 to 10 p.m. (Toronto). Spadina Museum offers visitors a chance to get ready for the August 15 Speakeasy event at this hands-on workshop where they can create a fascinator or cocktail hat to complete a 1920s ensemble. $30+HST including tour and light refreshments. Pre-registration required (416-392-6910).
  • Saturday, August 8: Harvest Supper, 6:30 p.m. (Pickering, Ontario). Pickering Village Museum presents world-class humour served up with a full-course meal circa 1850. The evening includes interacting with a costumed hostess as she prepares an authentic mid-1800s meal, the quaint ambiance of the museum village's rural inn, 19th-century amusements and a full meal based on the season. Admission: $60
  • Sunday, August 9: The Etiquette of Downton Abbey, 12:30 p.m. (Toronto). Spadina Museum invites all Downton Abbey fans to live the drama and opulence of the 1920s in a tour of Spadina Museum, Toronto's Downton Abbey, comparing and contrasting the fictional life of the Crawleys with Spadina's Austin family on a tour from the simple servant quarters to a drawing room elegant enough to impress the Dowager Countess! Admission: $10+HST (adults) $7+HST (seniors)
  • Sunday, August 9: Ukrainian Day 2015, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Edmonton, Alberta). Ukrainian Heritage Cultural Village and Ukrainian Canadian Congress celebrate Alberta’s vibrant Ukrainian community with activities including the chance to taste pyrohy (perogies), kovbasa (garlic sausage) and borshch (beet soup).
  • Saturday, August 15: Harvest Supper, 6:30 p.m. (Pickering, Ontario). See August 8.
  • Saturday & Sunday, August 15 & 16: Food Lovers’ Field Days, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.(Morrisburg, Ontario). Upper Canada Village presents a day of shopping, dining and sampling the wares of regional food, wine and beer artisans in an outdoor market setting, with special-guest chef demonstrations, heirloom garden tours, heritage cooking demonstrations and taste testings. On Saturday afternoon, the second annual Iron Pan Competition pit local chefs in a battle to create the best dish with a box of local mystery ingredients and a single cast iron skillet.
  • Saturday, August 15: Spadina After Hours: A Speakeasy, 7:30 to 11 p.m. (Toronto) Spadina Museum invites visitors to kick up their heels, dance to live 1920s music and enjoy a classic cocktail. Admission: $10 including refreshments. Cash bar. Pre-registration and pre-payment required (416-392-6910).
  • Wednesday, August 19: What’s Cooking Wednesdays, 1 to 4 p.m. (Burlington, Ontario). See August 5.
  • Sunday, August 23: The Etiquette of Downton Abbey, 12:30 p.m. (Toronto). See August 9.
  • Thursday, August 27: Thirsty Thursday, 7 to 10 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery's Inn welcomes visitors to Thirsty Thursday tavern night at the Inn, where they can enjoy a glass of beer, cider, wine, or a Thomas Montgomery speciality in the restored 1847 barroom with Irish stew, fresh baked-bread and live traditional music. Free admission, cash bar, $5 for a bowl of stew while supplies last.

CONTINUING
  • To August 2015: Made in Toronto: Food and Drink Manufacturing in Our City: (Toronto). 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
  • To September 13: Delicious? (Goderich, Ontario) Are the favourite foods of our ancestors still our favourites today? Visitors can explore recipes, cookbooks and kitchen items from the Huron County Museum & Archives collection. 519-524-2686
  • Sundays: Gibson House Tea and 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.

Academic Conferences

July 3 to 5, 2015 (Oxford, UK)
FOOD & COMMUNICATION

The 2015 Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery explores all aspects of food production, preparation, presentation and consumption from the earliest times to the latest—from painted prey-animals on the walls of the Lascaux caves to the byways of Wikipedia.

July 8 to 10, 2015 (Leicester, UK)
FOOD AND DRINK MARKETS: THE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION OF ALTERNATIVE MARKET PRACTICES AND NARRATIVES

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.

September 7 to 9, 2015 (Brussels, Belgium)
TRUSTING THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU

The interdisciplinary research group Social & Cultural Food Studies (FOST) of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel presents "Trusting the hand that feeds you. Understanding the historical evolution of trust in food" with keynote sdpeakers Prof. Dr. Alessandro Stanziani of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) and the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Prof. Dr. Martin Bruegel (Unité de recherché 1303 alimentation et sciences sociales) and an introductory speech by Prof. Dr. Peter Scholliers of FOST.

October 14 to 16, 2015 (Paris, France)
FOOD HERITAGE AND CULINARY PRACTICES
Deadline for proposals: July 10, 2015

The French National Museum of Natural History presents this international and interdisciplinary symposium that will bring together researchers from all fields around the core theme of cooking in order to collectively understand the construction process of food heritage. It will examine specific combinations of ingredients and techniques from daily, festive or professional cooking that create the textures, flavours, aromas and aesthetics peculiar to a social or cultural group. This event will engage physicists, chemists and biologists who work on ingredients, their origins, their properties, their processing and their impact on physiology and health, along with anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, historians and archaeologists who work on terroir, food processing techniques, old and modern recipe books, consumption patterns, representations, cultural expressions, identity and, of course, heritage.
 
The conference will be held in French and English. Papers may address topics such as:
  • Products, techniques and identities
  • Construction and development of food heritage
  • Marketing and food markets: quality and health issues
To submit a proposal, send a title, abstract under 400 words in English or French, a brief CV and contact information before July 10 both to Esther Katz (katz@mnhn.fr) and Christophe Lavelle (lavelle@mnhn.fr). Authors of selected proposals will be notified by end of July. Further information is posted online.
 
October 17 to 18, 2015 (Guelph, Ontario)
ARTIFACTS IN AGRARIA

The University of Guelph hosts a conference dedicated to the exploration of artifacts of the agrarian past, which will be explored as a valid historical source that gathers meaning when understood in the context of surviving written records, family history, fashion trends and international commerce.

October 23 to 25, 2015 (Harvard University, Boston, USA)
THE FUTURE OF FOOD STUDIES

The first biennial conference of the Graduate Association for Food Studies (GAFS).  Food studies has arrived. It is hard to imagine that two decades ago, scholars seriously considered food only in a few disciplines, usually at the margins. As food studies has exploded across disciplines, the field now boasts its own professional associations, journals, and undergraduate and graduate programs at institutions around the world. In addition, the past decade has seen a surge of public interest in food, from food trucks to urban farming to The Hunger Games—even as food security remains unattainable or elusive for billions of people. Food has never been more relevant to academic inquiry.

As food studies has risen to prominence, scholars have emphasized that we can use food as a lens to examine nearly any topic. Yet it is clear that food studies must grapple with many questions, including questions about the field’s own identity. With food studies becoming increasingly institutionalized, how will the discipline continue to evolve? What new subjects, methods, or theories will reshape the study of food in coming years? What areas of food culture and politics urgently need academic attention? And how can the discipline stay relevant when public interest in food inevitably wanes? Emerging scholars at the forefront of the discipline offer exciting answers to these questions.

This conference seeks graduate scholarship that presents original approaches to food studies, whether applying creative theories and methods to established questions or subjects, or interrogating unconsidered topics in novel ways. We welcome papers from the fields of anthropology, history, sociology, cultural studies, gender studies, economics, art, politics, pedagogy, nutrition, the natural sciences, philosophy, and religion, as well as other disciplines and interdisciplinary approaches. We encourage those interested in participating in the conference to submit an abstract for consideration.is hosting their first biennial conference.

November 6 to 8, 2015 (Mumford, New York)
DOMESTIC SKILLS SYMPOSIUM

Genesee Country Village and Museum presents its second annual exploration of traditional cooking, sewing and other home craft techniques. Presentations include a historic pastry workshop by Toronto culinary historians Mya Sangster, Rosemary Kovac, Amy Scott, and Kathryn Tanaka.

November 18 to 22 (Denver, USA)
CONTEMPORARY CHEFS & CULINARY TRANSFORMATIONS
Panel discussion at the American Anthropological Association 2015 Annual Meeting. Anthropologists have long known about the importance of culinary transformations such as those that occur when raw ingredients are made into cooked foods or when the eating of prescribed dishes ushers people through stages in their life course. In contemporary affluent societies, chefs are entrusted with a different transformational potential; they popularize "strange" and "super" foods, defamiliarize commonplace dishes, revitalize neighborhoods, catalyze dietary change, and educate audiences about nutrition, culture, and ecology. Yet chefs and cooks are themselves transformed as they engage in their work—through their interaction with consumers, critics, colleagues, and the media; as a result of economic and resource limitations, and broader trends in consumption and production.

This panel examines the present-day role of chefs—cooks who operate with a significant degree of freedom due to their position in the upper strata of the professional culinary hierarchy—and the culinary transformations in which they participate. We ask: What is different about today's chefs and what do contemporary societies expect from them? How have chefs been transformed by their celebrity? To what extent and in what ways can they initiate change? How do gender, class, ethnicity, and identity politics play a role in chefs' culinary transformations? What roles do government, media, corporations, and NGOs play in these transformations and how are they served by celebrity chefs? We seek papers that explore specific cuisines, chefs, and fieldsites, interrogating the role of contemporary chefs, their ability to transform as well as their own adaptability and willingness to let their envisioned futures and messages be transformed.

January 15 & 16, 2016 (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
FIRE, KNIVES AND FRIDGES

Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam hosts the third Amsterdam Symposium on the History of Food, on the topic of Fire, Knives and Fridges: The material culture of cooking tools and techniques, inspired by the renewed interest in traditional cooking and preservation techniques, such as baking and fermenting, but also by innovations like sous-vide cooking and molecular gastronomy. Since prehistoric times humans have used tools, such as fire, grindstones, and knives to transform raw ingredients into edible food.

Anthropologists such as Claude Lévi-Strauss and Richard Wrangham have suggested that it is the discovery of cooking which sets humans apart from apes and makes us a “cooking animal”. The symposium aims to explore how cooking techniques, skills and tools as a form of material culture have shaped food cultures and eating habits—and vice versa. For information, contact Dr. J.J. Mammen at j.j.mammen@uva.nl.

May 31 to June 1, 2016 (Dublin, Ireland)
FOOD AND REVOLUTION
Deadline for proposals: January 16, 2016

The biennial Dublin Gastronomy Symposium 2016 explores the theme of Food and Revolution. The study of gastronomy is uniquely multidisciplinary, and indeed transdisciplinary, encompassing the arts, humanities and both the natural and social sciences. Of course, the organizers will be celebrating the Easter 1916 Revolution in Dublin, but the symposium will cover such topics as:
  • Food and war, trench food, siege food, food as a weapon of war
  • Impact of the French Revolution on restaurants and hospitality
  • American Revolution—Boston Tea Party
  • The Industrial Revolution and its effect on food and drink
  • Health Food Revolutions—from Galen to the Paleo diet
  • Influence of Service à la Russe
  • Revolutionary chefs, cooks, food producers and food writers of the present and past
  • The green-organic revolution
  • The microbrewery and artisan distillery revolution
  • Revolutionary food and beverage pairings
  • Revolution in culinary training
  • The rise in Food Studies programs—revolutionary topics and methodologies
  • Can revolution unify citizens under a common cuisine?
  • Revolutionary Food Science and Technology—molecular gastronomy to locavore nutrition
  • Podcasts, blogs and Instagram: food and the new media revolution
Those interested in delivering a paper, should send a 250-word proposal to Mairtin MacConiomaire (mairtin.macconiomaire@dit.ie) by January 15, 2016. Completed papers should be submitted by May 1, 2016. Papers should not exceed 5,000 words (excluding references). An authors' style sheet is available online.

Food for Thought

                  
The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites 
by Libby O'Connell  (Sourcebooks, 
paperback release: September 1, 2015)
Did you know that the first graham crackers were designed to reduce sexual desire? Or that Americans have tried fad diets for almost two hundred years? Why do we say things like "buck" for a dollar and "living high on the hog"? How have economics, technology, and social movements changed our tastes? Uncover these and other fascinating aspects of American food traditions in The American Plate.

Dr. Libby H. O'Connell takes readers on a mouthwatering journey through America's culinary evolution into the vibrant array of foods we savour today. In 100 tantalizing bites, ranging from blueberries and bagels to peanut butter, hard cider and Cracker Jack, O'Connell reveals the astonishing ways that cultures and individuals have shaped our national diet and continue to influence how we cook and eat.

Peppered throughout with recipes, photos, and tidbits on dozens of foods, from the surprising origins of Hershey Bars to the strange delicacies our ancestors enjoyed, such as roast turtle and grilled beaver tail. Inspiring and intensely satisfying, The American Plate shows how we can use the tastes of our shared past to transform our future.

Nazi Hunger Politics: A History of Food in the Third Reich (Rowman & Littlefield Studies in Food and Gastronomy) by Gesine Gerhard (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, September 16, 2015)
During World War II, millions of Soviet soldiers in German captivity died of hunger and starvation. Their fate was not the unexpected consequence of a war that took longer than anticipated. It was the calculated strategy of a small group of economic planners around Herbert Backe, the second Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture. The mass murder of Soviet soldiers and civilians by Nazi food policy has not yet received much attention, but this book is about to change that.

Food played a central political role for the Nazi regime and served as the foundation of a racial ideology that justified the murder of millions of Jews, prisoners of war and Slavs. This book is the first to vividly and comprehensively address the topic of food during the Third Reich. It examines the economics of food production and consumption in Nazi Germany, as well as its use as a justification for war and as a tool for genocide. Offering another perspective on the Nazi regime’s desire for domination, Gesine Gerhard sheds light on an often-overlooked part of their scheme and brings into focus the very important role food played in the course of the Second World War.

The Comic Book Story of Beer: The World's Favorite Beverage from 7000 BC to Today's Craft Brewing Revolution by Jonathan Hennessey, Mike Smith and Aaron McConnell (Ten Speed Press, September 22, 2015)
A full-colour, lushly illustrated graphic novel that recounts the many-layered past and present of beer through dynamic pairings of pictures and meticulously researched insight into the history of the world's favourite brew.

Starting from about 7,000 BC, The Comic Book Story of Beer traces beer's influence through world history, encapsulating early man's experiments with fermentation, the rise and fall of Ancient Rome, the (often beer-related) factors that led Europe out of the Dark Ages, the Age of Exploration, the spread of capitalism, the Reformation, and on up to the contemporary explosion of craft brewing. No book has ever told the story of beer in a graphic format as a liberating or emancipating force that improved the life of everyday people.

Visually riffing on abstract subjects like pasteurization, "original gravity" and "lagering", artist Aaron McConnell has a flair for cinematic action and demonstrates versatility in depicting characters and episodes from beer's rich history. Hand-drawn in a classic, accessible style, The Comic Book Story of Beer makes a great gift, and will appeal to the most avid comic-book geek and those who live for beer.

(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 cadmus@interlog.com 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. 


Administrivia 

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  • Past issues of Digestible Bits and Bites are posted onthe Culinary Historians of Canada website.
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