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Culinary Historians of Canada: Speaking Cod: A History of Cod Fishing & Cod Eating from the Vikings to Now

September 21, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


How one humble fish changed the world. Elisabetta Giacon talks about her ongoing research into cod history. With recipes!

How could one humble fish change the history of the world? From the Norse Viking era when Europeans first learned about the huge codfish stocks in North American waters to the times of the south Italian Normans (1000 C.E.) to the first collection of Italian recipes, to a time when the wealthy and the less wealthy embraced the consumption of cod, researcher Elisabetta Giacon looks at the history of cod and the ancient “cod people” who continue to have an impact on international cuisine.

She explains how cod cuisine has moved and adapted to various diverse cultures with new and traditional ingredients, in time entrenching a regional way of preparing either dried or salted or frozen or fresh cod.

Cod history is one still in the making, in Elisabetta’s view, and her trip to Canada is part of her ongoing research into the history of cod, cod fishing, “cod people” and the cod recipes.

Her talk on her research will include photos, maps, bibliographical references and recipes! And we are hoping to have some cod-based snacks to accompany the talk.

Born in Northern Italy, Elisabetta Giacon, has been a charter member of the Culinary Historians of Washington, D.C. since 1997. After studying in France, England and Austria, she obtained a second degree, in American Studies, from the University of Maryland. Elisabetta’s food writings have appeared in newspapers, magazines and food encyclopedias and she has worked as a cookbook translator for over 20 years. In 2002, Elisabetta was part of a team who assisted in setting up Julia Child’s Kitchen at the Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

In 2019, her book La Cioccolata dei Missionari (Chocolate of the Missionaries) was published in Italy. It explores the ways missionaries, especially the Northern Italian “Padre Kino,” contributed to the “Columbus Exchange” and how that has affected northern Mexico and Arizona’s cuisine and economy. Her most recent research is focused on cod and the ancient “cod people.”

The event room in the building is on the first floor. We ask all participants to wear masks. Thanks for taking care of our immune-compromised members!


Culinary Historians of Canada
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Victoria Park Avenue & Danforth Avenue
757 Victoria Park Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M1L 1B1 Canada
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