Stories from Chester’s Early Kitchens shared on March 2, 2014

In Chester CT Events on February 24, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Chester is famed for its plentiful restaurants. From pizza and vegan to Italian and French, there’s no shortage of food being professionally prepared and savored in Chester today.

There was no shortage of food in the old days either – but it certainly was different!

Stories from Chester CT KitchensChester Historical Society photo
Hunting filled an important need for food in Chester, 
especially during the Depression. 
Shown here are four Chester men 
who were known for their hunting skills:  
Fred Walden, Layton Kelsey, Curt Bishop and Eddie Carlson.

Squirrel and rabbits. Polenta. Ravioli. Minestrone. Eels and river shad. Home-grown vegetables. Weekly Sunday dinner for the entire family at Grandmother’s. Friday night food sales in front of the bank, and side-by-side supermarkets and meat markets “downstreet.”

The Chester Historical Society invites you to “Stories from Chester’s Kitchens,” a program of memories shared by longtime Chester residents of the town’s cooks and their kitchens, food sales, and plentiful food markets. The program will be Sunday, March 2 at 4:00 p.m. in the Chester Meeting House (snowdate, March 9).

The program will revolve around the popular crackerbarrel format that has been successful for so many Historical Society programs. Audience participation is encouraged – we want to hear everyone’s Chester food memories, such as how fast your aunt raced to the food sale to buy Jennie Scalia’s Lemon Meringue Pie and how famous Helen Zanardi was for her Minestrone. We’re also looking forward to hearing how easy it was to food shop in Chester.

And when you need a prompt for your food memories, we’ll be showing historical photos to whet your appetite. This will be a great program for all ages, so bring your kids!

The program is free. Refreshments will include treats made from early Chester recipes. More information at

 markets chester ctChester Historical Society photo
Chester Center had a good many food stores in the past, 
including the A&P and Checkers Store (shown here), 
plus several meat markets. 
Residents never needed to leave town to shop for dinner.

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