Current CHC Events & Projects

CHC Call for Papers

Be part of Culinary Chronicles: Occasional Papers of the Culinary Historians of Canada: Forgotten Foods and Flavours. Foods and flavours fill our plates, our senses and our imaginations. An errant whiff of spice transports the memory to a long-gone cozy kitchen. A radio jingle instantly recalls a favourite childhood cereal. A jellied salad at a funeral commemorates a dearly departed aunt. An inherited handwritten recipe card recalls a celebratory occasion of long ago. A grandfather’s bitter comment reveals an unknown food scarcity.

From such moments come personal insights. Culinary techniques rejected but now reclaimed. Mysterious ingredients utilized by historical cooks. Cookbooks rescued by republication. Restaurants now the subject of historical plaques. Street foods from distant cities and cultures absorbed into very different multicultural suburbs. From such acts of remembrance emerge scholarly investigations.

CHC seeks papers both personal and scholarly for inclusion in the second issue of Culinary Chronicles: Occasional Papers of the Culinary Historians of Canada. The theme is “Forgotten Foods and Flavours.” Your subject can be familial, local, regional or global; your tone can be nostalgic or critical or investigative—provided you see through a Canadian lens.

You might memorialize a grandmother’s recipe or recall a personal Proustian moment. Perhaps you are involved in a community project reviving some forgotten cooking technique. If you are a PhD candidate, you could summarize your investigation into food trends of an earlier decade or generation. What are your first memories of encountering pizza, avocado, falafel, jerk, spaghetti, perogy, Yorkshire pudding, dim sum, kiwi, moose mouffle, burfi, teriyaki, tikka masala?

Are you embracing foods your Indigenous grandparents were forced to forget? If your ancestors came as settlers to Canada, did they bring their food traditions or neglect them as part of the willing or unwilling assimilation process? Are you reclaiming the foodways heritage of your Punjabi, Jamaican, Bolivian, Kenyan or Ukrainian ancestors?

Final papers can be from 500 to 5,000 words, plus full endnotes instead of a bibliography. Recipes and images are welcome. Student papers are welcome. All communications should be directed to Fiona Lucas at fiona@culinaryhistorians.ca.

Deadlines:

Proposals: February 1
Acceptance by CHC: February 15
Submission of papers: May 1
Publication: October 1


Saturday, January 15, 2022, 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Salt-Rising Bread Workshop

Start the year with a new culinary skill! On Saturday, January 15, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. EST, Salt Rising Bread author and researcher Genevieve Bardwell will lead us in a workshop on making this unique bread. (Lots of history, too!)

Salt rising bread is a uniquely North American bread that originated in the Appalachian region during the 1700s. This bread tradition was passed down orally through the centuries and shared across West Virginia and Western New York—and right up into Canada, where Catherine Parr Traill made it in Ontario—as well as Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina.

In addition to a workshop showcasing how this unusual bread is made, Bardwell will share theories about how the bread got its name: from coddling a “starter” in heated salt to the use of chemical salts (potash, baking soda, table salt) that establish a unique alkaline fermentation, enabling the bread to rise. Stories reveal a heritage rich in folklore as well as baking skills. Often a salt rising bread starter was passed among neighbours, while recipes were handed down through the generations. Comparisons with similar Indigenous breads from other world regions will be discussed. Q&A will be ongoing during the workshop.

Genevieve “Jenny” Bardwell lives in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania, USA, an Appalachian community where salt rising bread has been a part of life for over 200 years. In her quest to understand this beloved heritage bread, Bardwell and her colleague Susan Ray Brown spent decades extensively researching its history, lore and science. This quest has taken her to bread museums, bakeries and science laboratories across the United States, Europe and the Middle East, as well as into the kitchens of many elderly salt rising bread bakers.

Bardwell started Rising Creek Bakery in 2010 in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania, which continues to specialize in salt rising bread, shipping hundreds of loaves weekly throughout the US. With Brown, she co-authored the only book on this bread: Salt Rising Bread: Recipes and Heartfelt Stories of a Nearly Lost Appalachian Tradition (2016. St. Lynn’s Press, Pittsburgh). She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and earned a Master’s in Plant Pathology from the University of Massachusetts. She continues to conduct research on wild fermented breads and teach classes about salt rising bread.

Admission: $19.10 (general); $11.34 (paid CHC members in good standing). Tickets are available on Eventbrite.



March 2022

Ceramics & the 19th-century Canadian Table!

A collection of ceramic tableware on view in Toronto’s Gardiner Museum depicts idealized scenes of 19th-century Canadian life. Manufactured in England, these objects and others like them participated in the colonial project by imagining and asserting both national and colonial identities.

In this lecture and gallery tour, Sequoia Miller, Chief Curator at the Gardiner, will discuss how seemingly decorative objects engage complex questions around colonialism, political economy and cultural authority. Dr. Miller will also consider the role of museums in offering new and critical interpretive strategies for thinking through problematic historical objects. Look for details of time and date on the CHC website soon.


Sunday, October 1, 2022

CHC Annual General Meeting