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Traditions in American Food

Key Ingredients, America by Food exhibit on display at the Museum of the San Rafael

Key Ingredients comes to the Museum of the San Rafael.

A traveling exhibit is on display now at the Museum of the San Rafael in Castle Dale. The exhibit entitled "Key Ingredients, America by Food," is on loan from the Smithsonian Institution and sponsored by the Utah Humanities Council. The traveling exhibit is being displayed in Castle Dale first on its tour of Utah. It will also be displayed in Huntsville, Springdale, Richfield, Tooele and West Valley City from now until March 20, 2004.

Key Ingredients delves into the historical, regional and social traditions that merge in everyday meals and celebrations at the America table. America teems with food production from the fisheries off the coast and in the Great Lakes to the rich farmlands of the midwest and the grazing lands of the mountain west.

The vastness and diversity of America's landscape, climate and people lead to the diversity of foods. States even claim a food item as their own such as the Georgia peach, Idaho potato and green jello for Utah. The Industrial Revolution restructured America and the American diet. America hosts a variety of events with food preparation and eating at the core.

Fish fries, lobster boils, clambakes, chili cook-offs, dutch oven cooks and the list is endless. Sharing meals deepens relationships and reveals common values. Food is central to culture. Culture is central to identity. It all begins at home. Table manners, china patterns, cookbooks and traditions all converge at the Thanksgiving table.

The display will also include local exhibits and programs that are unique to Emery County. An opening reception and program is being planned for June 5 at 7 p.m. and will include a tasters table. On June 17 at 7 p.m. the Begay family will present Native American family and food traditions with a tasters table. On June 24 at 7 p.m. the theme will be pioneer traditions and cowboy tales with a tasters table. Each Friday at 10 a.m. there will be a pioneer story time for children at the Pioneer Museum for children 4-9 years of age.

The people from the other museums who will be hosting the exhibit were on hand in Castle Dale on May 27 to see how the display was set up. They were treated to lunch by the volunteers at the Museum of the San Rafael.

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