History Through Food is a new club that aims to combine food and history to tell a story about historical diets.
President and junior Sherry Lam wanted to create a fusion of two topics that people usually would never associate together to spark interest.
“At the moment, [I’m] focusing on opening discussions about the circumstantial cultural impact on food in the time period,” Lam said.
The idea to put together food and history came partly from a seventh-grade social studies project that Lam’s friends did, where they made videos showcasing historical recipes and how to make them.
“Another factor was influence from my sister who shared popular medieval Europe recipes with me,” Lam said.
Lam wants to be able to make the food and gain knowledge of the significance of food history.
“Generally speaking, I am interested in the living experiences of people from the past—their clothing, vernacular, habits, and routines—because of the differences and similarities that reflect their impact on how we live modern life,” Lam said.
Vice president and junior Stephanie Tran says that food can tell a lot about a person’s culture and background, and it operates as a way of preserving cultural identity as people bring their own traditional style of cooking wherever they travel or move.
“For example, the hoecake was a sort of pancake, consumed by slaves, made from corn, water, and fat,” Tran said. “Its simple taste, ingredients, and preparation [tell] you a lot about what was available and unavailable to the people of that era.”
Tran wants people to be able to take away some sort of an experience from their club.
“Maybe they can even start to get into the habit of thinking about the background of food they consume on a daily basis and learn to appreciate some of the food they may often take for granted,” Tran said.
Besides discussions about how recipes or diet changes were affected in the time period, Lam also aims to open people’s minds to topics rarely talked about.
“I hope that this club will encourage people to start expanding on topics they have never considered before, such as the impact of circumstance or culture on the development of food,” Lam said.
Meetings are every other Thursday during lunch in SA-6.