Sunday, July 19, my husband and I attended the summer dinner of the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor (CHAA), held at the Ladies’ Literary Club of Ypsilanti clubhouse that was built in the 1840s. While this was our first time attending this event, most of the other people present have been participating in CHAA dinners for years or even decades. The theme was “Under the Southern Cross: Foods from Countries on the Equator or Below.”

Contributions ranged widely around the lower half of the globe: African peanut soup, South American chicken and beef dishes such as arepas from Venezuela and Columbia; a dish from Borneo, Indonesian salad with peanut sauce, Indonesian spice cake, and several selections from Australia and New Zealand. I didn’t keep careful notes about all the foods, but I enjoyed every one that I tasted, especially those flavored with the spices from the spice islands and other southern places. A really delicious selection!

The Culinary Historians were founded in 1983 by Jan and Dan Longone and a group of Ann Arbor food lovers. Repast, the CHAA newsletter, has been published since 1987, and enjoys a strong reputation among culinary historians nationwide. CHAA monthly meetings — open to all who are interested — are (of course) announced in the Observer calendar.