Ellendale one of 12 ND towns hosting Smithsonian exhibit

Farm Forum

A Smithsonian Institution exhibit that explains our country’s diverse regional cooking and eating traditions opens Saturday in the historic Opera House Lobby in Ellendale, N.D.

“Key Ingredients: America by Food” runs through June 16. It is presented by the Ellendale Historical Society.

“Key Ingredients: America by Food” is part of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program, which shares the Smithsonian’s resources with rural America. The program is hosted by each state’s Humanities Council and is exhibited in small communities with populations of 500 to 20,000. Ellendale is one of 12 North Dakota communities to host this Museum on Main Street project.

According to a news release, “Key Ingredients: America by Food” investigates “how culture, ethnicity, landscape and tradition influence foods and flavors we enjoy across the nation. It demonstrates how food on the American table is rooted in centuries of continuous borrowing and sharing between people across the generations, across cultures and across the land.”

The exhibit is comprised of five kiosks, which interpret “Land of Plenty,” “Local Flavors,” “Dynamic Delivery,” “Festival of Feasts” and “Home Cooking.” Informational panels, pictures and artifacts provide information from every area of the country.

In addition to the exhibit, the local Smithsonian Committee will have other exhibits. Those include an apron project from the Ellendale fourth-graders, the history of various well-known food labels from an Ellendale High School Family and Consumer Science class, historic newspaper ads from former restaurants and grocery stores, a salt and pepper collection display, a cookbook display and DVDs showing the preparation of ethnic foods in the area.

Partnering with the Ellendale Historical Society are the Organization of the People in Ellendale for the Restoration of the Arts, the Ellendale Area Arts Council and the city of Ellendale. The state sponsor is the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Hours for the exhibit are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and by appointment.

For more information or to schedule a tour, call Ken Schmierer at 701-349-2490.