Here’s another book about Canada – a fun book this time – Canadian Food Words: The Juicy Lore & Tasty Origins Of Food That Founded A Nation by Bill Casselman. Amusing names and facts - this book may explain some of the unfamiliar words seen in your family's old letters, diaries or receipt books.
The author is well known in Canada, first as a broadcaster and producer on CBC Radio and TV and then as a writer. Some of his other books that may be of interest are: Canadian Sayings, Casselman’s Canadian Words and Canadian Garden Words.
Thinking about food words in British Columbia, Nanaimo Bars do come to mind right away! I’ve always thought those served at Sam’s Deli on Government St. in Victoria, our province’s capital, are the very best, but maybe I’ve never had a ‘real’ Nanaimo bar in Nanaimo. I notice Bill skirts the largely undocumented history of the Nanaimo Bar altogether, but there’s a link below with recipes and some information.
Lots of older food words are discussed more completely in this book, however, like brown sugar houses (poorer inns or other travellers' accommodations), Marquis wheat - hybridized in Manitoba, Canada at the turn of the century, Ragged Robins -a meringue dessert from Prince Edward Island, cottage roll (boned, rolled cooked ham – we had this often when I was growing up) and vinegar pie, a prairie or wartime recipe with vinegar and lemon or orange extract substituted for real fruit juice. Lots of meringue probably topped these pies though, as long as the chickens were busy and the sugar lasted.
Canadian Food Words: The Juicy Lore & Tasty Origins Of Food That Founded A Nation by Bill Casselman ( Toronto: McArthur & Company, 1998)
Bill Casselman’s website: http://www.billcasselman.com
You Say Nanaimo. Words, Praise and Lore on the Heavenly Nanaimo Bar, Cakespy.com: http://www.cakespy.com/2008/05/you-say-nanaimo-words-praise-and-lore.html