Dec. 2, 2021

Paul Van Reyk – True to the Land

Paul Van Reyk – True to the Land

A great conversation with Paul about his new book True to the Land – A History of Food in Australia. 

Available from Booktopia, Angus & Robertson, and Dymocks bookstores. 

Paul is a food writer, a regular presenter at the Symposium of Australian Gastronomy, and is passionate about our food history and foodways. His wonderful book travels far and wide to tell the interwoven stories of the history of the food of Australia, spanning 65,000 years from its beginnings with the First Nations people and of the impacts of colonization on those foodways and people. It’s a fascinating story that shares tales and linkages to show how our foodways and change within them are closely interwoven with social, political, and immigration policies, twists and turns over time, as well as the influences of scientific and technological advances that together shaped and got us here to ‘Modern Australian’ food.  

With Michael Symons and others, Paul contributed to the first Symposium of Australian Gastronomy that was held in the early 1980s, and Michael’s book, One Continuous Picnic: A History of Eating in Australia (published in 1982) was, until now, the most comprehensive food history of Australia. Paul pays tribute to and builds upon the work of Michael and many other great chefs, food writers, and researchers. 

As Paul shares in conversation, a driving passion was to include more of the story of the foods of First Australians (and impacts on them), of migrant Australians, and of everyday women – oft-neglected –  in how our diverse food cultures and love for them evolved and is shared. And the environment, the land – and how true to it – our foodways have been and could be in the future and is also close to hand and mind throughout this great book.        

“From millennia-old fish traps to television’s MasterChef Australia, by way of damper and mutton, lamingtons and Anzacs, True to the Land charts the evolution of Australian food and agriculture, acknowledging the contributions of the many cultures that make up contemporary Australia” 

Barbara Santich, Professor Emeritus, The University of Adelaide

Website/links

True to the Land:  https://www.booktopia.com.au/true-to-the-land-paul-van-reyk/book/9781789144062.html

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