Though the book was a collaborative effort among multiple people, Anne Marie Lane-Jonah and Chantal Véchambre were the main authors. When Véchambre, a chef from France, got to Canada she started to research the link between French and Canadian cuisine, beginning with Québécois cuisine.
“Food is an immediate way to connect to visitors. They understand more what life was like when you tell them what they ate,” says Lane-Jonah, who is a historian for Parks Canada at the Fortress of Louisburg National Historic Site.
The whole thing started with the question of chocolate in the governor’s apartment. They wanted to know why he owned so much chocolate and how he ate it. This led Ruby Fougère, acting curator/collections manager at Parks Canada, to start researching the subject.
Lane became part of the project when Lane-Jonah emailed her sister to show her the list of wine.
Lane-Jonah was responsible for coordinating the writers.
Véchambre had pieces she wanted to write for each era, says Lane-Jonah.
“And I saw it coming together as a combination of the history of the French in Atlantic Canada and the history of French cuisine – all of the eras,” says Lane-Jonah.
Fougère says the group was surprised to learn there was such a variety of food and wine.
“And the resources that these people had in order to make life more bearable for themselves at Louisburg,” says Fougère.
She adds the book isn’t about haute cuisine but everyday cuisine.
Lane-Jonah looked at archeological reports to find out what people were eating. She says the Quebec experience is different from those of the French and Atlantic.
“Louisburg is a French fortress and trade community that existed between 1713 and 1758, and it was in its day one of the busiest North American seaports,” says Lane-Jonah.
Parks Canada supported the book for the Fortress of Louisburg’s 300th anniversary.
To find out more about the Fortress of Louisburg, visit http://www.fortressoflouisbourg.ca.