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Let's Eat!: Historical culinary exhibit opens in Moncton


Acadian culinary traditions and the history behind them are on display right now at the Université de Moncton in Moncton, N.B.

"Let’s eat! An Exhibition to Savour" is a peek into the past of Acadian kitchens and dining rooms.

Andrée Godin, curator of the Acadian Museum at the university, said the exhibit touches on themes surrounding food in Acadie like traditional meals and family celebrations.

“It’s great to be able to somehow preserve all of these meals that our ancestors or people before us, or even know where the meals that we still do eat, come from. And so it enables us to understand another part of our material history,” said Godin.

The exhibition showcases around 100 artifacts like utensils and dishes, old cookbooks and popular grocery store items from the not so distant past.

There’s even a preserved wedding cake from 1919.

Godin said poutine râpée, a dish that usually consists of a boiled potato, dumpling and a pork filling, is one of the more well known dishes, but it’s also a good example of regional differences throughout Acadie.

“That is something that is anchored or well loved in the Moncton, southeast region, but not so much in other places in New Brunswick or even the rest of the Maritimes or Atlantic Canada,” she said.

Brian Cormier knows a thing or two about Acadian cooking.

He has an Acadian food Facebook group with over 20,000 followers and he’s the author of "Acadian Recipes and More," a cook book that’s available in both French and English.

Cormier thinks people love to stay in touch with their past and Acadian food reminds them of their childhood.

“People kind of got away from that a little bit and now they’re kind of coming back. Vintage and retro is in and traditions are back in,” said Cormier. “People are really, really interested in getting back to the authentic recipes of the past and you can’t buy everything everywhere. You can get a hamburger on every corner, but you can’t necessarily buy Acadian food on every corner.”

Godin wants people to have great experiences when they come to the museum and be able to relate to their own family whether they’re Acadian or not.

“We all eat. We all have food. We all have families and family members that have prepared food for us so it’s really universal,” said Godin.

"Let’s Eat!" will be on display at the museum until December 15 and guided group tours can be arranged through reservation.

More information about the display can be found online.

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