Arts & Culture
8:06 am
Sat December 21, 2013

How Did Immigrants Keep Old World Food Traditions with New World Ingredients?

Lake Effect material culture contributor Gianofer Fields explores ethnic food traditions of 19th century immigrants.

When we put out the spread for our holiday parties, it usually includes one or two traditional dishes - but what did our immigrant ancestors serve?

Imagine what it was like for immigrants coming to the New World. What ingredients did they have to bring with them to keep these traditions going? Did they incorporate any new ingredients they found in the New World?

For answers to these questions, material culture contributor Gianofer Fields traveled to Old World Wisconsin in Eagle. There she spoke with interpreter Karl Kaphengst about how early settlers adjusted their special recipes to accommodate New World ingredients.

She also talked with historic gardener Marcia Carmichael about the challenges of raising Old World Plants in the New World - and preparations for the journey. Carmichael is also the author of Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin's Early Settlers.