Archive | Heritage and Indigenous Foods

Heritage and Indigenous Foods

Before potatoes there were….parsnips

Before potatoes  there were….parsnips. This homely root vegetable was popular up to the 16th century in Europe when the potato finally made its way across the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Columbian exchange. Parsnips are first cousins to carrots and native to Eurasia where they have been eaten for thousands of years.  Their botanical […]

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Early Contact Foods of BC

Early Contact Foods of BC In this post I want to share a few gleanings about BC food history from some general history books of the 18th and 19th centuries. A story emerges from this era of explorers and traders bringing to the Northwest seeds and plants from their home country, of them being introduced […]

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Okanagan Bitterroot

Okanagan Bitterroot This week as part of RespectFEST[i] in Vernon BC, I listened to Mollie Bono, an Okanagan elder, speak on the History of the First People: Pre-Contact. She spoke about the traditions of everyday life among the Okanagans, especially from a woman’s perspective and their relation to the land and their food sources. She […]

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Trading Fort Foods

Trading Fort Foods  Lately I’ve been reading a lot of 19th century history of British Columbia, trying to understand the traders, sea captains, drovers, packers, sappers and others who ventured here in those days. References to food appear occasionally among these readings. This blog discusses trading fort foods, from ships biscuits to salmon. In the […]

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Cariboo Sunflowers

Cariboo sunflowers are a beautiful marker of spring and in the not-too-distant past they were also an important food crop for the First Nations peoples of the BC interior. This plant, also known as arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata), is a member of the aster family. Nowadays it grows plentifully on hillsides and grasslands.        […]

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Wild Mushrooms

Wild mushrooms that grow in British Columbia have wonderful names; Hideous Gomphidius, Blewit, Fat Jack, Shaggy Parasol, Lion’s Mane, Tippler’s Bane, birch polypore.  They were some of the surprise findings on a recent wild mushroom tour I took with Charles Reuchel of Elements Adventures , based in Vernon, BC. Mushrooms are fascinating on many levels. The […]

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