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THE ‘VERDUN’ PROJECT 1918 & 2018: the ‘reconstructional bake’ of a Jacob’s Army biscuit with Wendy Williams, Maeve Casserly and Darren Harris
2 October, 2018 @ 6:30 pm
Throughout the First World War Jacob’s biscuit factory in Bishop Street contributed to the Allied cause by devoting most of their manufacturing capacity to feeding the troops and by supporting workers who enlisted. Wendy Williams, curator of ‘An Assorted History: Jacob’s Biscuit Factory, Dublin’ talks about the company’s various efforts, including Army biscuits, ambulances and edible propaganda! She describes the genesis of The ‘Verdun’ Project, the ‘reconstructional bake’ of a Jacob’s Army biscuit recipe from 1918 and the challenges of researching the recipe and the ingredients.
Darren Harris, lecturer in DIT’s School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology talks about his part in the realisation of The ‘Verdun’ Project. In April 2018 Darren accepted the challenge to recreate Jacob’s ‘Verdun’ biscuits, and developed this as a test baking project with a group of DIT Culinary Arts students. He describes how the project evolved and the trial bake day, when the first tray of Jacob’s ‘Verdun’ biscuits emerged from the oven after 100 years.
Historian in Residence, Maeve Casserly, explores the impact of the First World War on the kind of the food that ordinary people ate everyday. Increased food prices and rationing meant many people had to ‘make do’ with a lot less. There was fear of another famine. At the same time, nutrition became a focus of national interest as the government needed everyone to contribute to the war effort.