In Search of New England Food History

New England blogger friends recently asked, “Where have you two been?” Clearly, we have not been maintaining our writing cadence. “On a fascinating journey,” we remarked. Since last fall, we have been researching the origins New England food, which has taken us to libraries, bookstores, docks, museums, farms, root cellars, markets, and pantries across our six northeast states. We’ve met food historians, librarians, archivists, chefs, farmers, fishermen, family cooks, and various foodstuff purveyors, all of whom are helping us weave the strands of a fascinating story.

Union Oyster House
Union Oyster House in 1920s, Boston, MA

With books, journals, maps, menus, cooking instruments, and other regional food paraphernalia now festooning our home office, we realize how intertwined our New England history is with food. And it’s not all glamour either. History never is.

Though the New England food journey is deep and diverse, it helps us better understand who we are, where we came from, and why we’re willing to argue over such things as maple syrup, fried clams, pizza, oysters, whoopie pies, johnnycakes, scrod and beer. Stay tuned because we’ll be sharing our discoveries.

-The Two Palaverers

Photo Credit: Union Oyster House, Boston, MA


4 Replies to “In Search of New England Food History”

  1. I can’t wait to read the book! What a wonderful project to work on! A few years ago, I read “Salt,” “Cod” and “A Basque History of the World” by Mark Kurlansky. All three books were about food (to a large extent) and all three had a connection with New England — particularly “Cod.” But a history of food in New England — now that is something I just can’t wait to read. As soon as it comes out, I’ll be reserving several copies for Christmas gifts!

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