Feb 1, 2022Liked by Culinary Historians of NorCal


I appreciate that you have taken a hiatus to retool and revamp the organization and that you kindly mentioned my name. I will subscribe to stay in touch with the organization, however, I’ve always felt that those of us outside the SF Bay Area have been excluded from participation and made to feel the bastard stepchild. The SF Bay Area and its nine counties have contributed greatly to our regions rich culinary history, but 39 other counties exist in Northern California. We provide most of the food that fills our larders and boast the fastest growth in California. Northern California extends from Monterey to the border and has a megaregion that includes four geographic designations including the Monterey Bay, Sacramento, San Francisco Bay and Northern San Joaquin Valley regions. The Shasta Cascade region also contributes greatly to Northern California’s rich culinary history and should not be excluded either. Especially when technology allows us to connect in so many ways outside the confines of a newsletter or urban bookstore. Some of the most exciting work being done today in food history is occurring at UC Davis, for example. Faculty, librarians, students, researchers, and food historians have contributed greatly to our understanding of the linkages between food, identity, politics, power, gender, race, and socio-economic status. Food professionals throughout the foothills are changing the way we cook, grow, and feed the world -- many who have escaped the Bay Area to find more fulfillment and success. Which is my very long way of saying – I hope you find a way to be more inclusive this go around and encourage our participation. Maryellen Burns.

PS -- the Hangtown Fry was cooked up first, here in the hinterlands, before it became a mainstay of San Francisco restaurants.

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Duty noted. Many thanks for your nuanced feedback. The desire to be more mission-driven and flexible with social impact and reach (both substantively and geographically), certainly factored into the incorporation process.

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