|© The Canadian Centennial Library 1966|
I've been re-reading the The Centennial Food Guide: A Century of Good Eating, Comprising an Anthology of Writings About Food and Drink Over the Past Hundred Years by Pierre and Janet Berton, which was part of the Canadian Centennial Library project back in 1967. My folks bought the series and I read most of them to one degree or another. My favourites were the book on a century of Canadian humour (from Sam Slick to Stephen Leacock and beyond) and the Food Guide.
The Food Guide had pages of antique illustrations and countless short and long excerpts of people writing about food in Canada over the previous hundred years. I thought I'd share some excerpts with you over the course of the coming week. First up, a short piece from famous Canadian economist John Kenneth Galbraith with his memory of the early years of the cocktail:
Once a commercial traveller from Toronto had called for a cocktail and gave instructions on how to make it. The patrons were outraged but Johnnie McIntyre quieted them down and went out for ice. This he got from a little iceberg by a tree in the yard. It owed its origins to the dogs who frequented the tree and to the Canadian winter which quickly converted all moisture to ice. Johnnie thought this would return the man to whiskey and so did those to whom he quietly confided the stratagem. the man from Toronto praised the flavour and called for another.