Local Flavour

Local Flavour 22_Final

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LOCAL FLAVOUR FALL 2022 A M A N I T O B A F O O D I E ' S G U I D E T O D E L I C I O U S D I S H E S View online at winnipegfreepress.com/lifestyles Inquiries: 204-697-7390 A SUPPLEMENT TO THE omemade is a collection of recipes from 150 Manitoba home cooks. In honour of the 150th anniversary of the Free Press, the book also highlights the overall food culture in our province. Defining Manitoba's food culture can be described with just one word — diversity. That's the view of Eva Wasney, Free Press arts and culture reporter. She discovered this as she was researching and compiling her recently released book Homemade: Recipes and Stories from Winnipeg and Beyond. Homemade began as "a fun way to mark the 150th anniversary of the paper," says Wasney. Recipes were submitted from around the province. Wasney ran a regular monthly feature that was written about a reader- submitted recipe. She visited the home kitchen of the reader, created the dish and took pictures. From there, the articles promoted the project. There was also a Facebook group sharing submissions. From these two initiatives, more than 400 submissions were collected. "This far exceeded my expectations," notes Wasney. But having such a great response posed a new issue — how do you choose the content? To tie into the Free Press anniversary theme, 150 recipes were chosen. Each recipe has an explanation of why it's important to the home cook. "It's fun to read through those," Wasney says. "These recipes are nostalgic for people." Take the large number of jelly salad recipes entered. While atypical to everyday menus in 2022, these salads are still served at large holiday gatherings. Wasney has experience with this; her aunt serves a Polish head cheese dish at local family gatherings. Other repeat recipes included things such as fruit cake, vinaterta and borscht. When choosing the recipes, the only true guideline was that the recipe had to come from Manitoba home cooks. So, this book is a true representative of Manitoba's food culture. Many of the submissions came from outside of Winnipeg. This gave Wasney an added benefit. "Photographers went on road trips to take photos and sometimes came back with little bits to try," she says. The book not only provides anecdotes about each recipe, but it also highlights the involvement of the Free Press in more than 150 years of food journalism. There was a time when the paper was the main source of news. This included — and still does — food-related stories. The first popular food columnist at the Free Press, explained Wasney, was Madeline Day. During the 1930s she was "like an influencer," says Wasney. Thousands, mainly women, would come to her cooking demonstrations where Day would make and comment on food. She also tapped into one of the first forms of advertorials. Brands sought her out to mention their products such as "dish soap, furniture, linens and clothes." And for decades the Free Press ran a recipe-swap column. It ran what was popular, notes Wasney. The book also touches on the cyclical nature of food culture in Manitoba. "It ebbs and flows over the years, depending upon what's popular," she says. During the 1930s, being economical and stretching a dollar with food was important. In our food inflation era today, that certainly sounds familiar. We've gone from sourcing food locally to experiencing a great deal of internationally sourced food and then back again. "It's come full circle," Wasney notes. She experienced this firsthand with one of the recipe contributors. He took her fishing on Lake Winnipeg, caught a fish and then invited her back to taste it the next day. You can't get more local than eating what you've locally caught or gathered. When reflecting on the book as a whole, she says it's a "refection of Manitoba food culture." It delves into what people eat now and what they've eaten over the years. And the recipes are incredibly diverse. Recently, Wasney spoke about her book at McNally Robinson, and she was surprised by the response. Many of the recipe contributors were present to share in the event. When asked if she had a favourite recipe, Wasney maintained her journalistic integrity. "It would be unfair to say," she says. However, these recipes were submitted because they were "somebody's favourite," she adds. This book shows that Manitoba indeed has its own food culture. You only have to refer to a dessert slice as a dainty to confuse a non-Manitoban to understand this. But Homemade further proves the case. Homemade: Recipes and Stories from Winnipeg and Beyond by Eva Wasney is on sale at the Free Press website and McNally Robinson Booksellers. store.winnipegfreepress.com/books Homemade COOKING FOR 150 YEARS Eric Labuapa's Ginatann na Walleye (pickerel) Photo by Ruth Bonneville 01 02 03 04 05 Tabouleh Photo by Jessica Lee Cowboy Caviar Photo by Ruth Bonneville Paella Photo by Mikaela Mackenzie Nalysnyki Photo by Ruth Bonneville Muskeg Pudding Photo by Ruth Bonneville "Recipes are nostalgic for people." - Eva Wasney Homemade book launch with Free Press copy editor Jill Wilson and author Eva Wasney. Homemade is a reflection of Manitoba food culture. As it chronicles the history of Manitoba home cooking, readers will learn about the evolution of what Manitobans love to eat. It'll also give you recipes you'll like to try yourself! H store.winnipegfreepress.com/books Photo by Jessica Lee

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