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'Food for Thought' exhibition tempts Auckland's tastebuds

Published: 13 October 2020

Take your tastebuds along to Food for Thought at the Central City Library and prepare to leave feeling hungry.

You'll learn about the enterprising vision of Auckland restaurants and food innovators like Troika, Le Calestano, The White Lady and Angus Steak House.

You'll discover our changing eating habits and cultural influences in photographs, books, manuscripts, menus and posters.

You'll see a collection of 18th-century cookbooks and witness an extraordinary image of the Great Māori Feast where six thousand Māori and Pakeha guests dined together on the slopes of Mt Hobson in Remuera in 1844.

Who knew that before 1950, muesli, avocado, wholemeal bread, broccoli and teabags weren’t seen on the shelves of Auckland food stores?

Fish and chips and Chinese favourites, dating back to the gold-mining years in Central Otago, were the only takeaways on offer, and the Edmonds ‘Sure to Rise’ Cookery Book was fast becoming the second most published book in New Zealand history, after the Bible.

An extensive history of New Zealand food is on display in an exhibition called Food for Thought curated by Auckland Council Libraries and free for the public to view at Central City Library until the end of January 2021.

Food for Thought is designed to recognise the role food plays in family, belonging and culture with stories of Auckland life from kitchen table to restaurant banquet. The exhibition looks at what we eat, where, why and how.

Born in Scotland, Councillor Cathy Casey, Deputy Chairperson of the Parks Arts Community and Events Committee, says food traditions carry special memories.

“In my family, my Italian mother’s delicious home-made ravioli was a feature of every family event. The dish always brings back memories of those times.”

“Food plays such a big part in our lives beyond simple nutrition. It also says a whole lot of things about who we are and helps to make connections between us.

“This exhibition is a fascinating glimpse into how we express ourselves through food and a chance to reflect on how our food choices have shaped us,” she says.

Head along to Food for Thought. Your appetite will be taken on a journey of imagery and information about eating at home and eating out, cafés, takeaways, nutrition, diets, food anecdotes, picnics and feasts. It’ll make you hungry!

Read more: Arts Libraries

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