By Manos Angelakis
Pantry and Palate
Ethnic cuisine is an expression of the history and culture of a specific group in response to terroir and climatic conditions, trade connections, religious beliefs, and community history.
The “Pantry and Palate” book written by Simon Thibault, delves into the culinary history of the Acadians, the earliest European settlers of Eastern Canada.
The Acadians were a French group that left France in the 17th and 18th centuries and settled mostly in the areas now called Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island; plus a number of them settled in the French colony of Quebec and a few settled in Northern Maine. They farmed the land and interacted without problems with the native tribes. In 1755 they were expelled from their land by the British, when the community would not sign an oath of allegiance to the English Crown. Many fled to Louisiana, and they eventually evolved into the group now called “Cajun”, a corruption of the word “Acadians”.
While in Louisiana, they tried to retain much of their own culture and culinary traditions but in due course they incorporated Spanish and African ingredients and cooking methods from the communities around them, added local seasonal ingredients and the dishes eventually developed into what is now known as “Cajun Cookery”.
Simon Thibault, the author of this book, is an Acadian insider with deep cultural and ancestral roots in the Acadian community of Nova Scotia. The book is an insight into the memories and cultural traditions and wisdom of Acadian cooks and the recipes have been retrieved and, some, reinterpreted for modern day practitioners of the culinary arts. Although a number of these recipes, like salting to preserve meats and vegetables, are no longer necessary in the age of refrigeration and freezing, the flavors generated by salting food to preserve them, are hard to replace.
For more on our Nova Scotia trip see the story in the Destinations section of LuxuryWeb.
© December 2017 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.