Summer Course: Culture and Cuisine of New England

Looking to add another course to your summer schedule, but unsure how to choose? You might consider Netta Davis’s course, Culture and Cuisine of New England. Without fail, this course receives rave reviews from all who take it — from students who have lived in the region for years to those who moved here just for school.

This course explores the unique culinary culture of the New England region.  From history and anthropology, to archaeology, material culture, and folklore, this course employs an interdisciplinary approach to learning about regional dishes, their origins and meanings, the extraordinary people who developed New England cookery and food industries, and the intimate relationship between the land, (and sea!), the inhabitants and the foodways that evolved.

The encounters between Native peoples and Europeans brought forth succotash and “indian” pudding, (but maybe not Butterball Turkeys); Immigrant communities added linguica sausage to clambakes and Cranberry Chutney to the Thanksgiving table.  From Yankee Pot Roast and Eel Pie to Moxie, Maple Syrup and Sam Adams, New England culture and cuisine is a rich and tasty subject for study.

Netta in plimoth

This class will include several field trips or site visits. Previous classes have visited Plimoth Plantation, including the Wampanoag homesite and working grist mill, and Woodman’s, in Essex, which lays claim to being the birthplace of the fried clam. Plimoth has amazing expertise and resources on both Wampanoag and colonial foodways. Depending on how many students have already visited Plimoth Plantation for a class or research, the class may also consider a trip to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center in Connecticut.

Culture and Cuisine of New England will be offered through Boston University’s Summer Term 2. This class will meet on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, beginning on June 30, with a final class on August 4. To register, please visit http://www.bu.edu/summer/courses/gastronomy/ .

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