Sunday, 29 January 2012

Canadians At The Table: Food, Fellowship & Folklore - A Culinary History Of Canada

This is an introduction to the diverse culinary history of Canada. We learn about the lessons of survival of the First Nations, the foods that fuelled the fur traders, and the adaptability of the early settlers in their new environment.

As communities developed and transportation improved, waves of newcomers arrived, bringing their memories of foods, beverages, and traditions they had known, which were almost impossible to implement in their new homeland. They learned instead to use native plants for many of their needs.

Community events and institutions developed to serve religious, social, and economic needs -- from agricultural and temperance societies to Women's Institutes, from markets and fairs to community meals and celebrations.

One New World food, pemmican -- a light, durable, and highly nourishing blend of dried and powdered buffalo, elk, or deer meat that is mixed with dried berries, packed into a leather bag, then sealed with grease -- was introduced by the First Nations to the fur traders coming to Canada.

Small amounts of pemmican replaced large amounts of regular food, freeing up precious hunting and food preparation time and allowing more space to carry additional furs and trade goods. From the self-sufficient First Nations and early settlers to the convenience foods of today, this book gives us an overview of one of the most unique and fascinating food histories in the world and how it continues to change to serve Canadians from coast to coast.

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