You know, I really like food. I eat every day (usually at least 3 times). However, aside from taking a bite out of a juicy steak or letting that chocolate melting cake (those delicious desserts on cruise ships) slide down your throat, food can provide other things for us. Ok sure, some food — like Doritos — provides great kindling of fire, the things I am referring to is. . . of course. . . history. I’m not saying research the history of ice cream, although that would be a pretty paper to research. What I’m talking about is using food to help set the context for a particular situation. How did people eat during the Great Depression? What does the diet of a feudal peasant in England tell us about the life of the peasant? Setting up these types of questions through cuisine provides a rather unique — and stomach filling — perspective on the time researched. I remember going to Craven Hall, a home where George Washington stayed during the Revolutionary War, and there were ladies dressed up in what I thought were totally weird clothes — I was in 5th grade give me a break — making food in a pot not an oven. Using food provides a great teaching technique. In fact, http://teachinghistory.org has made a post about it. Here is just a taste (sorry for lame pun) of what they have to offer . . .
We need food to live, but don’t always think about where food that comes from. We carry foods and foodways with us as we immigrate, emigrate, or migrate. We share food and celebrate with it. Every bite we eat has a long history involving geography, trade, science, technology, global contact, and more.
Take advantage of this rich history by asking questions about the foods students love. These seven links can get you started on taste-testing the past:
- Reenactors make colonial foods at Colonial Williamsburg’s History is Served—from pink pancakes to chicken surprise.
- Time to eat out! The Miss Frank E. Buttolph American Menu Collectionfeatures restaurant menus from 1851 to 1930.
If you enjoyed that free sample (ok I think the puns are over), you can view the full course (ok, fine they aren’t over yet) of material that the site offers here!
Bon Appetit (Ok last one),