Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food

Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian FoodHaving lived most of my adult life within sight of Acadia National Park in Maine, I’m familiar with the history of the Acadian people of the Maritimes and their relatives in Louisiana, the Cajuns. In his lovely new cookbook Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food, Simon Thibault tells the story of his Acadian ancestors through the foods they harvested, prepared, preserved, and ate. It’s fascinating, and I truly enjoyed reading this book.

Pantry and Palate is a cookbook in the broadest sense—it is a collection of recipes, but each recipe and many of the ingredients are discussed and described with respect to their history and use. And although the book is centered around food, it’s also about people, because the food and the people (mainly women) who made it are inextricably linked. Because many of these people are the author’s direct ancestors, the book comes through as a deeply personal food adventure.

Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food

Simon Thibault is a lucky man in that he knows his family history, and his family history is part of the larger history of the Acadians of Nova Scotia. What makes him an extremely lucky man is that he has the handwritten recipe-filled notebooks of the cooks in his family. These precious heirlooms bring his grandmothers and other relatives right into his kitchen with him, guiding him through traditional Acadian recipes. “Guiding” is the operative word here, as many of the recipes in the notebooks are simply lists of ingredients with no accompanying instructions, and not all of the ingredient lists even include amounts. Thibault explains how he developed complete, modern recipes from the ones in the notebooks, making the journey to each recipe equally as interesting as the recipe itself.

Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food

I know I’ll never make certain recipes (Seaweed Pie, for example), but that doesn’t hamper the enjoyment I get from reading them and imagining the cooks who have been making them for generations. The recipes I have marked to try include:

• Bran Bread, page 67
• Salted Green Onions, page 51
• Cranberry Pudding, page 193
• Scalloped Cabbage, page 155
• Chicken Fricot with Potato Dumplings, page 122
• Potato Pancakes, page 152
• Rhubarb Custard Pie, page 199

In particular, I’m looking forward to making the Salted Green Onions. It’s a simple way of preserving fresh scallions with copious amounts of salt, in order to use the finished product to add a salty onion flavor to all sorts of dishes throughout the rest of the year. It sounds delicious to me!

Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food

I found this book to be extremely moving. The author’s description of his mother’s hands and fingers making pie dough actually brought tears to my eyes. Similarly, I could almost feel the slickness and warm water on my own hands as Thibault described a sense-memory when washing his hands after rendering lard.

Last but not least, Noah Fecks’ photography adds a beautiful visual layer to the narrative of Pantry and Palate, bridging past and present. Aside from the gorgeous pictures of food, the images of the hand-written recipes heading many of the pages give a real sense of the people behind the dishes.

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Giveaway: One lucky winner is going to win a copy of Pantry and Palate thanks to Nimbus Publishing.

Giveaway Details: This giveaway is open to residents of the US ONLY age 18 and over. Please read our Terms of Service & Disclaimer Policy before entering. This giveaway will close on February 1st, 2018 at 11:59 pm EST time. No purchase necessary to enter or win.

Bailey

Disclaimer: A. Bailey received a complimentary product for review purposes & feature on The Classy Chics blog. No monetary compensation was received. A. Bailey’s thoughts, opinions and words are 100% her own. Your thoughts may differ. Please read the blog’s terms of service policy before entering any giveaways. The Classy Chics are NOT responsible for prize fulfillment or shipping of any items won from this blog.

Comments

  1. Jana Leah says:

    Following on Bloglovin via user Jana Leah.

  2. Jana Leah says:

    Following on Instagram via user janaleah64.

  3. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    I repinned Reese’s Chewy Chocolate Cookies recipe to my Recipes board as jopb.

  4. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    I follow simonathibault on Instagram as jopb490

  5. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    I follow TCC on BLogLovin as Jo-Ann Brightman

  6. If I Had an Old House on the East Coast

  7. I’d like to have The Accidental Farmer.

  8. I re-pinned HERSHEY’S S’mores Pieces Cookies Recipe.

  9. I would like Nova Scotia at Night.

  10. followed on instagram as loveforcoupons

  11. Follow on Bloglovin/pollylee

  12. My grandson would like There Were Monkeys In My Kitchen. Looks like a fun read for him.

  13. I repined Pantry and Palate on pinterest.

  14. I live in Florida. I have never heard of Acadian food. I need to expand my horizons. I love to cook and eat unique foods. I will have to look into this.

  15. I like the idea of the ‘Grandma Says’ by Cindy Day book.

  16. I follow on Bloglovin.

  17. I follow on Bloglovin: alice faris

  18. I follow on Instagram: alicefaris

  19. I would like to read the book Grandma says.

  20. I follow on Bloglovin.

  21. The Flavours of New Brunswick.

  22. Peggy Nunn says:

    I signed up for BlogloI followed them on instagram with frogslopin with Crafty Nunn

  23. Peggy Nunn says:

    I signed up for Bloglovin with Crafty Nunn

  24. Peggy Nunn says:

    I repined the image Best Rated Pocketed Coil Innerspring Mattress Review

  25. Peggy Nunn says:

    I would like to have the Big Book of Lexicon Vol 4, 5, 6 book

  26. I think the Grandma says book would be interesting.

  27. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    I would like the book From Seed to Centrepiece

  28. I went to the sponsor’s site and I would also love the book called On South Mountain.

  29. 22 years of 22 minutes looks interesting; i would like that one.