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Eating the Past

USU history department hosts delicious event series open to the public

By: Kelsie Holman, CHaSS Communications Journalist

The Utah State University history department has created a series of events in order to show off their impressive historic cookbook collection. The cookbook collection is one of the best collections nationally and contains cookbooks from many eras and countries, and the broad scope of the collection contains sub-sections covering everything from rare cookbooks to global cooking. 

“Students who attend the events will get a good sense of both the history of the United States and the globe and a sense of why cooking and foodstuff matter,” said Tammy Proctor, one of the co-creators of the event.


Click to catch past recordings and find more information about this event series.

Visit Event Series Page

These events are cooking show style, where faculty members take historic recipes and adapt them to modern day cooking, while also educating attendees on the historical context and history of the recipe. The series covers everything from 18th century cakes to modern day Jell-O recipes. 

The events cover both the familiar and the unfamiliar aspects of these recipes, so students will get to see what has changed with cooking overtime.

These events also cover the contrast between different eras of cooking. A recent event covered the broad differences in types of recipes, with someone making a wartime dessert and another person making an elaborate dessert recipe from Julia Child.

“Everyone has been spending more time in the kitchen, so this series gives students and faculty a chance to reconnect with food in a way they haven’t before,” said Jennifer Duncan, co-creator of the events.

There is one event left in this series, but interested students can also watch the recordings of the past events. The last event will take place on April 15th at 7pm.

“We are excited to show students what we’ve cooked up and hope that students see why this subject is worth studying,” said Proctor.


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