The Cuisine of the Tundra: Towards a Canadian Food Culture at Expo 67

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Abstract:

During the long decade of the 1960s, Canadian cultural icons were sought as a means of crystallizing a cohesive national identity. At Expo 67, Canada's centenary celebration in Montreal, the Canada Pavilion—the principal display area of the host country—was uniquely positioned to frame the idea of "unity and diversity" among the nation's subcultures, and its two restaurants can be interrogated as displaying what may be described as a national culinary narrative. The goal of this paper is to investigate how this conceptualization of a Canadian cuisine was an inclusive endeavor accommodating dishes and practices derived from the diverse ethnicities of the country; from the incorporation of "modern" practices related to food and eating; and from the legacy of Canadian history. At a regional scale, restaurants in the pavilions of Ontario, the Atlantic Provinces and Quebec, reveal similar themes. In this way, mid-twentieth century Canadian food culture can be demonstrated as resonating with wider manifestations of national consciousness.

Keywords: CANADIAN COOKBOOKS; CANADIAN FOOD CULTURE; CULINARY HISTORY; CULINARY LANDSCAPES; EXPO 67; FOOD AND NATIONALISM

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/175174408X347874

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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