Project Evaluation

At the end of the semester, after they had researched and written recipes and seen how chefs-in-training interpreted their work (via pictures I took at Kingsorough’s culinary arts program) I asked students to reflect on whether or not it was useful to learn about food in a history course. They wrote their thoughts down in class with no advance warning that they would be asked to do so. Here are a selection of answers:

“Thinking about food in a history course is so important. I never knew how important it was until I actual this history course. There’s a history behind every ingredient and behind that history we could know where and how everything came about. In this history course I realized also that eventually food created a cultural diffusion and also showed proof of many other findings through the whole world.”

“With learning about the history of food I can understand a little bit more as to why certain trades for spices were important to many countries and depending on what area of the world you were living in there had been a certain dish that people ate. Without having some knowledge of how certain foods were discovered or why it was important back then you can never really appreciate the dishes you enjoy each and everyday.”

“It is not exactly worthwhile to talk about food in history. It is interesting to learn the different styles of foods and methods to how they would get it but taking a history class about food, isn’t exactly something that I want to learn about.”

“I think it is worthwhile to think about food in a history class because when you look at what peopple eat and how they eat it, it can help to define the times that they lived in. It can also tell you a lot about where and how they were living in those times. Everything from the ingredients they used to how they prepared the food can tell you a lot about where they are from and what social or economic class they were from. I think that the way people cook can tell you a lot about who they are and where they come from, not just in the world, but what kind of family they were raised in as well”

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