|From The Publisher*||Like many businesses, Taste Detours ground to a halt by mid-March. Food became everyone's obsession in these early pandemic days. If we weren't trying to find it, we were seeking to make it. Stress baking, quarantine baking — that need for calm could be satisfied by following step-by-step instructions. This notion of a virtual cookbook sprang to mind for several reasons: What else was Taste Detours to do? Boxed food delivery services weren't what we did. The restaurants and food purveyors were facing severe losses, and fast, so there was an urgency to help keep our local, independent food friends top of mind while attempting to remain relevant ourselves. Something for free was a nice thought in this time of panic too. Ultimately any idea needed to be true to the mission of the company; thus Little Bites: Tastes from Isolation Cookbook was born.
Since the inception of Taste Detours, I've wanted to share a love for our region by pointing out the links between our rural food heritage and the growers and makers of today. All of Taste Detours' experiences harness the power of locally flavoured storytelling. Celebrating our heritage in this way allows us to tell the stories of the people and the places we visit through their food and drink. Our aim is to facilitate connections between these tastemakers and their use of the surrounding agriculture. Connections between each other too, by simply slowing down and breaking bread together as humans do all over the world. Doing so within this crisis seemed particularly poignant — reaching out to each other online and through food amidst the pandemic fear and confusion.
There was the added benefit of drawing together strangers. New connections were made. One such kindred spirit is the book's illustrator, Jenna Kessler.
Through this #IsoCookbook, we've attempted to continue a conversation similar to one we'd be having together across a table on our tours. We gain a bit of insight into who these people are, and why they chose a particular recipe to represent themselves. This is our chance to hear their stories. We imagined something like the community cookbooks of yore, where people sought new ways to connect and swap recipes. There were few requirements for the book. I simply requested a recipe to represent the business, plus a bit about themselves. The result is beautiful. Varying cuisines and traditions are represented, no elaborate equipment required, and all ingredients relatively available — these recipes are accessible. There are no meticulously styled photos, and the recipes took on a heartfelt and personal approach to documenting life as it was in that particular COVID-spring. Of course, not all of our partner businesses had the capacity to respond to this idea, busy as they were with simply surviving.
To download the free recipes, visit here: https://tastedetours.ca/category/recipes/.
Lynn Broughton, Founder