The return of the moveable feast
Monday, May 11, 2009 | 10:02 AM ET
By Tara Kimura, CBCNews.ca
Britons are stocking up on scotch eggs and sausage rolls to stuff into their picnic baskets this year, according to a recent survey, reported by The Guardian.
According to the report, consumers in the U.K. are expected to spend a whopping £250 million ($435.9 million Cdn) on picnic items this year. Analysts attribute the rise of the humble picnic to an anticipated hot summer and the flat economy – which will likely force more people to take small day trips over far-flung, weeklong holidays.
With a comparable Canadian outlook, are Canadians planning on packing up meals and heading outdoors too? Are you planning on hosting a family or community picnic this year?
Taking a look back, the Canadian picnic has been a long-celebrated summer tradition that has been carefully documented. For example, this virtual exhibit, includes a photograph of an extravagant summer picnic taken circa 1900. The photo, taken before the guests have arrived, features huge cakes sitting on long tables under a generous arbour in Prince Edward Island.
In the photograph below taken in the early 1900s, three ladies take shelter from the sun under parasols while enjoying a picnic in Harbour Grace, Nfld.
(Reuben T. Parsons/Library and Archives Canada)
And, in the 1960 photograph below, two happy couples sit on a classic, red-checkered picnic blanket and share sandwiches and bottles of coke released by the National Film Board and the Canadian Travel Bureau.(National Film Board/Canadian Government Travel Bureau/Library and Archives Canada)
Tell us about your favourite picnicking events (church, family, country) in the comments section below. Also, tell us about your favourite places to have a picnic and if we have enough submissions, we'll plot them on a cross-country map. Email your pictures and include information about where the photo was taken to email@example.com. Please write "FOOD BYTES - Picnic tips" in the subject line.
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About the blog
From trends and culture to politics and nutrition, Food Bytes serves up tasty tidbits about food and the issues surrounding it that flavour our everyday lives.
About the writers
Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.
Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.
Tara Kimura is the consumer life reporter for CBCNews.ca, covering a wide range of issues that range from rising food costs and the growing organic movement, to new trends in the marketplace.
Andree Lau is a CBC web reporter in Calgary. Her journalism career includes seven years as a CBC-TV reporter. Her own blog called "are you gonna eat that?" chronicles her eating adventures (including sampling snake and camel hoof tendon).
Jessica Wong is a CBCNews.ca writer who loves to eat and cook, as well as discuss, read and watch programming about food, sometimes all at once.
Kevin Yarr, CBCNews.ca's writer in Prince Edward Island, wrote about food and beer for national and regional magazines before joining the CBC. He acquired a desire for new tastes on his first trip to Europe, and an appreciation of eating locally and in season when he finally settled down on P.E.I.
Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.
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