Loyal Nine’s Marc Sheehan Cooks a 17th-Century Meal (Plus Three Other Historical Food Events)
On September 7, our fair city celebrated Charter Day—a day that commemorates the event in 1630 that established Boston as the capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. As part of the celebration, the Partnership of the Historic Bostons has planned a week’s worth of events centered around the food of 17th-century New England. And if that seems like a bit of a tangent, bear in mind that food had a monumental impact on the colonists’ decision to settle in the location that would come to be known as Boston: Facing starvation in Salem, an expedition of bedraggled, scurvy-ridden Puritans wandered 20 miles south—and the rest is history. So what were these early colonists eating back then? You’ll have four ways to find out this month.
Repast from the Past – A Taste of 17th-Century New England
Forget the paleo diet. In this colonial tasting event, you’ll be given a taste of the pilgrim diet. Plimoth Plantation culinarian Kathleen Wall will be preparing, discussing, and serving authentic dishes of the time Regarded for her thoroughly researched recreations of Thanksgiving dinners, you can be sure that the food will be made to the Puritan standard. But be warned: According to event organizers, there will be “no forks allowed—they weren’t popular until the late 1600s!”
The food comes courtesy of Cambridge’s much-buzzed-about new restaurant Loyal Nine—whose chef, Marc Sheehan, has harbored a long fascination with New England colonial diets, and features plenty of throwback fare (though with a focus on the 1700s). On tonight’s menu: thirded bread; fresh pumpkin spread; Indian pudding; and pease porridge with marinated Cape Cod mussels, buckwheat, and husk cherries.
$25 per person, September 18, 6–8 p.m., First Church, 66 Marlborough St., Boston. Get tickets at bcd2015tasting.eventbrite.com.
Food and the Founders: A New Walking Tour
Already done the Freedom Trail? Disappointed with its lack of concern for culinary history? Suffer no more! The 2015 Food and Founders tour puts a new spin on the Puritan folk tradition of assembling large groups to clog Beacon Hill sidewalks.
The new food-focused route will not only provide participants with a fresh take on the city, but it will also touch upon the origins of classic Boston dishes such as baked beans and clam chowder. And did we mention it’s free?
Free, September 20, 1–2:30 p.m., Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon St., Boston. RSVP at bcd2015sunday.eventbrite.com.
The Proof Is in the Pudding: New England’s First Food Fight
Although it’s widely known how the Native Americans helped the Puritans survive the “new world,” many often overlook just how quickly this alliance turned sour.
To those of you looking for a little more grit in your celebration of Charter Day, look no further. Moderated by the director of public history at the Bostonian Society, this debate—centered on whether Indian pudding is appropriation or tradition—will debunk the idealized conception of Pilgrim-Native American relations.
Free, September 21, 7–9 p.m., Old State House Museum, 206 Washington St., Boston. RSVP at bcd2015foodfight.eventbrite.com.
Fueling New England’s Iron Age: Food at the Saugus Iron Works
Though more known less for food than its legacy as America’s first successful industrial site, Saugus Iron Works is the former “workplace”—and feeder—of Scottish prisoners of war. As one might expect, pre-industrial revolution metalworkers were treated to a steady diet of malt and mackerel, among other things.
In this tour, you’ll discover how workers at the Saugus Iron Works ate, drank, and lived, along with discussions of the technology of the time and a hearth cooking demonstration in the forge.
Free, September 26, 10 a.m.–12 p.m., Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, 244 Central St., Saugus. RSVP at bcd2015saugus.eventbrite.com.
For the full schedule of Charter Day events, visit historicbostons.org.