Sweet talker maps trade routes, trends

  • By Andrea Brown Herald Writer
  • Monday, June 3, 2013 2:52pm
  • Life

She’s an anthropologist with a sweet tooth.

But that candied shiitake mushroom, Norwegian sour cream pudding and bubble tea are more than treats for anthropologist Julia Harrison.

She studies the impact of trade routes, trends, migration patterns and customs linked to sweets.

She’ll tell all about it on Saturday at the Mukilteo Library, 4675 Harbour Pointe Blvd.

Samples will be served at the free program, “A World of Sweets in Washington State,” which covers the diversity of confections, and the ways communities celebrate, adapt and interact.

“As an anthropologist you try to find some way to open a window in other peoples lives,” Harrison said. “I use sweet food as a way of navigation and motivating to get out and explore.”

Her interactive map of sweet shops in the Seattle region has audio and illustrations. Click through it to scout out new places and hear shop owners tell their sweet stories at on the SweetMap at www.juliaharrison.net/sweets.html.

“Each business represented on the map took eight or nine hours of my time. It is very much a labor of love,” Harrison said.

“Try something you might not have tried before and understand it in a new way,” she said.

There’s still lots of room to savor the old.

“Sweets tap into our emotions and memories,” Harrison said.

She looks back at the treats she took for granted as a kid growing up in Kentucky and Tennessee.

“Sweets are a snapshot of a point in time that don’t necessarily last,” she said.

Like the lemon icebox cake from the Kentucky cafeteria that no longer exists.

“I can still taste it,” she said.

Seating is limited. To register for the talk, visit www.sno-isle.org or call 425-493-8202. For more information about Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau, visit www.humanities.org.

Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com

More in Life

Artist Justin Hillgrove, creator of Imps and Monsters, in his studio. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Where the wild things are in Snohomish

Step into the studio of Imps and Monsters creator Justin Hillgrove for a Black Friday sale.

Meet Nellie, Thor, Raven, Lola, Jasper, Gunner and Bella

These six dogs are waiting for loving homes.

Did you know? Bats edition

Worthwhile Everett library reading and viewing about bats of the animal, sport and hero varieties.

Don’t forbid friendship with back-talking neighbor kid

Q: Our 8-year-old has suddenly developed a very sassy mouth. She picked… Continue reading

How birds stay alive in winter and what you can do to help

When the weather turns chilly, columnist Sharon Wootton’s thoughts turn to birds coping with cold.

Don’t get scammed: Think before you click on email links

An email that was supposedly from iTunes is a scam that targeted busy parents.

Sweden’s Glass Country sparkles like a hand-blown bauble

You can blame my Norwegian heritage, but I’m not so hot on… Continue reading

The pros’ snow: Lake Tahoe a big draw for skiers of all stripes

North Lake Tahoe is home to one of the largest concentrations of ski resorts in North America.

Teen idol David Cassidy remains in Florida hospital

The former pop star is dealing with multiple organ failure.

Most Read