Queen's University

The Thanksgiving Feast

2010-03-19

Heather Evans, professor of English and expert in the relationships between the symbolism of food and our culture, is available to speak about the history of the Thanksgiving meal, the cultural significance of feasting, and wartime cooking and eating.
“Gathered together this weekend to share roast turkey with gravy, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie, Canadians will initiate the festive season throughout which we will become obsessed with food as we unearth family recipes, shop, cook, eat, and diet,” says Dr. Evans. “Ritualized feasting allows us to step away from our day-to-day eating patterns and food concerns, as it reinforces the relationships and social status of individuals, families, and communities. This year, the performance of food rituals will be complicated by recessionary concerns and anxieties about Canada’s relationships with countries abroad.”
She adds, “On November 11, halfway between our Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas goose, Canadians will pause to remember the sacrifices of millions of Canadians past and present. But we might also remember and draw inspiration from our predecessors’ experiences with wartime food shortages and rationing. At a time when many people’s culinary knowledge is disproportionately low compared with the abundance of information about food available to us, we would be well served by a taste of the culinary wisdom of the past.”
To arrange an interview with Dr. Evans contact Jeff Drake, 613.533.2877, jeff.drake@queensu.ca, Queen’s News and Media Services.

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