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Washtenaw County Launches Online Culinary Tour Celebrating Local Food Traditions & Cultures

Recipes & stories highlight rich food heritage and cultural diversity in greater Ann Arbor & Ypsilanti area

Washtenaw County has launched a new online “Foodways” story map celebrating local culinary traditions and locally grown food: www.ewashtenaw.org/heritagetours

This self-guided online tour highlights more than a dozen recipes rooted in a variety of historic eras and cultural groups, ranging from traditional Native American foods to the Abolitionist Movement and from Home Front life during World War II to recent social protests marking the 20th century. 

Compiled by local historians Melissa Milton-Pung and Melinda Schmidt, Foodways is based on original research in the cookbook archive at the University of Michigan’s Longone Culinary History Collection. 

“We’re proud to see the completion of this project,” said Andrea Plevek, Director, Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development. “The Foodways story map is a great way to explore the culinary history and recipes of the many cultural groups in our community over time.”

Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development is committed to ensuring Washtenaw County residents have access to resources that enhance quality of life. 

PHOTOS

Victory Garden during WWII, Ann Arbor (source: AADL Old News Archive)
CAPTION: Victory Garden during WWII, Ann Arbor (source: AADL Old News Archive)


Black Action Movement (BAM) rally on the steps of Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan, c. 1970, Ann Arbor (source: U of M Online Exhibits

CAPTION: Black Action Movement (BAM) rally on the steps of Hatcher Graduate Library at the University of Michigan, c. 1970, Ann Arbor (source: U of M Online Exhibits). After the Civil War, many African Americans migrated north bringing their culinary knowledge to established black communities or founding their own. Decades later, as African Americans formed Civil Rights groups; traditional southern food remained part of their identity. With the mainstream popularity of Soul Music in the 1960s, African American food was also dubbed Soul Food. 


Home Economics Class, c. 1910, Ypsilanti (Source: Ypsilanti Historical Society)

CAPTION: Home Economics Class, c. 1910, Ypsilanti (Source: Ypsilanti Historical Society)

 

CAPTION: Post-Civil War Era Cookbook by Malinda Russell, 1866

CAPTION: Post-Civil War Era Cookbook by Malinda Russell, 1866


About Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED)
In service to our belief that Washtenaw County is stronger when all people are able to fully participate in our community and economy; OCED is committed to stepping out of traditional government roles to drive long-term system changes that increase equity and opportunity. Informed by data and resident voices, we deliver services, invest resources, develop public policy, lead initiatives, and amplify the impact of community partners to that end. To learn more, visit www.ewashtenaw.org/oced

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