Archive | Heritage and Indigenous Foods

Heritage and Indigenous Foods

Pemmican

Pemmican Empire A recent article about Chef Shane Chartrand poses the question “How can one claim to be Canadian and never tasted pemmican?”[i] .  Pemmican is included in Feast: Recipes and stories from a Canadian road trip (Anderson & VanVeller, 2017). The television show and blog “Wild Kitchen” gives recipes and instructions for what has […]

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Chop suey and ginger beef – Chinese Canadian cuisine?

Chop suey and ginger beef – Chinese Canadian cuisine? Almost all small Canadian towns have a Chinese restaurant.  “Chop Suey Nation” published in 2019 and written by Ann Hui, mentions chop suey and ginger beef, two popular menu items in Chinese Canadian restaurants from Victoria, BC to Fogo Island, Newfoundland. These constructed dishes have more to […]

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Community Cookbook Analysis – “Personal Recipes”

Community Cookbook Analysis – “Personal Recipes” – All Saints Anglican Church, Vernon, BC Old cookbooks are endlessly fascinating. They cause us to remember events and occasions of the past and when we thumb through them we may remember aromas, first tastes, traditions, failures, good and bad times. Community cookbooks provide a window into women’s lives […]

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Indigenous Food Practices 1875-76

Indigenous Food Practices 1875-76 The careful observations of an early geologist in British Columbia provide a unique window into how BC’s Indigenous peoples lived local and off the land. My reading has recently taken me to The Journals of George M. Dawson: British Columbia, 1875-1878. The Journals are two volumes edited by Douglas Cole and […]

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Chokecherries

Chokecherries Years ago when I was teaching in Hazelton (Gitksan territory), I remember children coming to school in the fall with mouths all purple from eating the chokecherries that grew on the paths to school. I tried one then and realized why they got the name. They are known for their astringency. The Gitksan name […]

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Elder Flowers

Elder Flowers have almost finished blooming in the Okanagan Valley but as you gain altitude up Silver Star Mountain the bushes are plentiful and many are yet to bloom. I learned this week about Elderberry Fizz from a friend who was out searching in the early morning for the perfect elderberry blossoms. She says early […]

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Salal

Salal is the last traditional food plant I will discuss for this month. I found salal (Gaultheria shallon) among the cedar trees just steps from our property.  This sturdy evergreen shrub grows along  the Pacific coast where it spreads quickly to form dense thickets. It loves to grow in coniferous forests from the seashore to […]

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Evergreen Huckleberry

  When I saw this Evergreen Huckleberry bush in my new neighbourhood, I immediately felt at home.  I came across this lovely plant as it struggled for survival in the midst of logging debris, choked out by blackberry brambles. In one of our previous residences we planted an “edible hedge” along one side of our […]

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