Saturday, March 27, 2010

“Scotch-Irish Foodways in America”

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(NB: If you're reading this on Facebook, the original post is from my blog). Ulster-Scots food? The usual knee-jerk response to this is some sneering comment about battered Mars Bars, the obvious haggis - or perhaps the glorious egg & onion sandwich! As ever with Ulster-Scots subject matter, in between the scorn - and the trivialisation - there's a deep and important story to be told.

Mary Drymon is an American writer, historian, museum educator and curator who has recently published an important book called “Scotch-Irish Foodways in America”. (I am glad she stuck with the historic term "Scotch-Irish" and didn't adopt the recent "Scots-Irish") She has based the book on the recipes known to have been used by Ulster-Scots emigrants who arrived in Maine in the early 1700s. Mary's research indicates that it was Ulster emigrants who brought rhubarb to America - as was the case with potatoes.

> Here's a brief article about the book
> Here's Mary Drymon's blog
> Buy the book on Amazon

There's a great quote on Mary's blog:

"Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food"

3 comments:

Colin Maxwell said...

My mother, back in 1961, refused to give me any baby food from those wee jars on the principle that she wouldn't give me what she wouldn't eat herself. Hogstown Road wisdom there in all its Ulster Scots glory.

Fair fa' ye!

paul said...

I been reading your blog for sometime now and this post prompts me to ask a question I have wondered about for a while....you ever read "Albion's Seed" by Prof. David Hackett Fisher?

Mark Thompson said...

Colin - excellent advice, pre-made baby food looks worse in the jar than it does when the wean spits it back oot!

Paul - yes, I have. Prof Fisher gave me permission back in 06 to reproduce a map from his book. Are you in the US or the UK?