Learn history, meaning behind regional sweets at Nov. 14 talk

Oct 28, 2013
Julie Harrison

Take a mouth-watering journey through the history and meaning of sweets across the state of Washington at “A World of Sweets” lecture presented by the Snohomish County Arts Commission.

Anthropologist Julia Harrison will lead the discussion beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Fog Dog Gallery, 223 N. Olympic Avenue in Arlington. The lecture is free and open to the public.

From bienenstich to bánh xu xê, marzipan to mochi, the diverse range of sweets we enjoy across Washington state reveals much about our shared history and culture.

Ingredients illustrate trade routes and trends, recipes record migration patterns and special forms point to special occasions. By showing how familiar favorites correspond to and differ from examples in other communities, Harrison will encourage a deep level of understanding about the ways in which sweet foods shape our relationships and reveal our priorities.

Julia Harrison is a trained anthropologist and avid traveler for whom all roads lead to sweets. She has traced Turkish delight to Istanbul’s oldest lokum store, elbowed into a crowded cafe for London’s best Portuguese-style egg custard tarts and experienced the perfect watermelon during an accidental lunch at a Japanese temple.

Harrison currently is creating an online multimedia map of bakeries, desserts and candy-makers around the Puget Sound. She will curate a 2013 exhibition for the Wing Luke Museum on Asian sweets in the Pacific Northwest.

She received a master’s in applied anthropology from Macquarie University and did two years of additional study on material culture theory and methodology at University College London.

The Snohomish County Arts Commission cultivates and enhances a vibrant community of artists and arts organizations by connecting citizens with a range of cultural opportunities to celebrate, appreciate and participate in the diverse arts and culture of the County. Learn more at www.snocoarts.org or wendy.becker@snoco.org.

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