Featured Program

Coming Up Next:

May 6, 2015 – “How Corn Changed Itself, Then Changed Everything Else” Presenter: Cynthia Clampitt

Product DetailsAbout 10,000 years ago, a weedy grass growing in Mexico possessed of a strange trait known as a “jumping gene” transformed itself into a larger and more useful grass-the cereal grass that we would come to know as maize and then corn. Nurtured by early farmers in the Oaxaca region, this grain would transform the Americas even before First Contact. After First Contact, it would span the globe, with mixed results, but for newcomers to North America, it expanded its influence from rescuing a few early settlers to creating the Midwest. Today, it is more important than ever. As Margaret Visser noted in her classic work Much Depends on Dinner, “Without corn, North America-and most particularly modern, technological North America-is inconceivable.” Copies of Cynthia Clampitt’s book, Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland, will be available for purchase at the meeting.

Cynthia Clampitt  is a writer and food historian. A fourth generation foodie, Clampitt has always considered food a topic worth studying. She has pursued her love of culture, history, and food in thirty-seven countries on six continents (so far). She is the author of Midwest Maize: How Corn Shaped the U.S. Heartland, published by the University of Illinois Press. Cynthia is a member of Culinary Historians of Chicago, the Society of Women Geographers, the Agricultural History Society, the Association of Food Journalists, and the history section of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
Please join us 7:15 pm at the Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St, Madison, WI

Future Programs

June 3, 2015 - Eat Their Words: A Food Writers Panel Discussion

Tonight’s program features three Wisconsin writers who will explore the pleasures and pitfalls, the tales and techniques of writing about food. Representing a journalist and editor’s perspective is Milwaukee Journal Sentinel food editor Nancy Stohs. Award-winning novelist Michele Wildgen, author of Bread and Butter, co-founder of Madison writer’s studio and executive editor at Tin House Magazine, shares her expertise on using food in fiction and non-fiction. Rounding out the panel and representing the social media side of things is a yet-to-be-announced food blogger from Madison. The evening’s discussion will be moderated by Wisconsin food writer and CHEW member Terese Allen.

July 1, 2015 – “CHEW Birthday Party”……Members only…Location to be announced

Please join us for CHEW meetings at 7:15 pm  on the first Wednesdays of the month at the Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St, Madison, WI.  If you’re coming to the meeting, why not bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Goodman Center food pantry!  The Center is giving out food as fast as it can take it in and the need has never been greater. Items needed: tuna, beans, shelf-stable milk, juice, canned fruits & vegetables, macaroni & cheese, peanut butter, cereal, infant formula, baby food, diapers, soup (not tomato), rice, can openers. Financial donations also welcome.


Membership - To be come a member of CHEW click here Newsletter – to receive our email newsletter, just send us a note at chewwisconsin@gmail.com Meetings – Meeting place and time, click here. Depending on speaker/topic, location can vary, please check the monthly meeting for location if different than the Goodman Community Center.


CHEW Library - One advantage of coming to a monthly CHEW meeting is access to CHEW’s traveling library. Our collection totals almost 60 titles – ranging from the esteemed Ovens of Brittany Cookbook to Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food. We have copies of the books written by virtually every guest speaker we have had in the last ten years, e.g.,  Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin’s Settlers by Marcia Carmichael, chief gardener at Old World Wisconsin; Kathleen Kline’s People of the Sturgeon: Wisconsin’s Love Affair with an Ancient Fish, and Cluck: From Jungle Fowl to Chicks by Susan Troller. To peruse all the book titles on the CHEW web site, click Culinary. You can put in an “order” for a specific book by emailing chewwisconsin@gmail.comand the book will be brought to the next meeting, if it hasn’t already been checked out. Several titles will also be featured at each meeting–you’ll hear a short review and will have the opportunity to check one of the featured titles out for a month. We are happy to provide this personal service.

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