Canadian Food Adventures
500 pounds flour
200 pounds bacon
3 dozen yeast cakes
15 pounds evaporated apples
100 pounds beans
1/2 gallon lime juice
5 boxes matches
That’s quite a shopping list. Any guesses as to what it was for?
Well, according to the 2021 book Gastro Obscura, these were just a few of the supplies that the T. Eaton catalogue encouraged gold prospectors to bring on their trips to the Klondike in the summer of 1896. Indeed, the law in Canada stated that all headed to the Yukon must pack enough food to last one year.
‘Klondike Supply List’ is just one of the Canadian food anecdotes that authors Cecily Wong and Dylan Thuras offer in this Food Aventurer’s Guide from the Atlas Obscura series. These authors also explore the regional and historical context behind Canadian specialties like: Muktuk, Sourtoe Cocktails, Caesars, Saskatoon Berry Pie, Blueberry Duff …
Of course, Wong and Thuras extend their view beyond Canada to the Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, the US… Gastro Obscura, they say, is ‘a collection of forgotten histories, and endangered traditions, obscure experiences, culinary ingenuity, and edible wonders.’
Here Atlas Obscura tours a Belgian sourdough starter library which is home to samples – labelled 104, 106 and 107 – that date back to the Klondike Gold Rush.
Header: Edgar Castrejon