Ovens on the Edge; An Experimental Archaeology of Baking
Both English and French colonists on the Atlantic coast of North America described bread as the "staff of life" and went to considerable lengths to ensure themselves a steady supply. However, few practical details of baking endeavors are to be found in either period chronicles or archaeological reports.
Food historian Paula Marcoux will describe how she pieced together the story of the earliest colonial ovens by complementing traditional approaches to historical research with experimental oven-building and baking trials. This presentation provides very specific, physical depictions of how various folks deployed an array of strategies and adapted their technologies, and ultimately their expectations, to local conditions. The investigation and recreation of Cape Cod's earliest documented French pastry (1606) proved pivotal in Paula's research.
Paula Marcoux is a food historian who lives in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The author of Cooking with Fire (Storey, 2014), she has worked professionally as an archaeologist, cook, and bread-oven builder. She is food editor and columnist at edible South Shore & South Coast magazine, writes on food history topics for popular and academic audiences, and consults with museums, film producers, and publishers. She is the director of the Plymouth Center for Restoration Arts and Forgotten Trades (CRAFT), an educational non-profit focused on the transmission of hand-skills, where she leads workshops on natural leavening, historic baking, and wood-fired cooking.
Date: August 23, 2017 1:00 PM-2:00 PM
Location: Cape Cod Museum of Natural History | 869 Main Street Route 6A, Brewster, MA 02631
Event website: ccmnh.org