The Toronto Reference Library is currently showing an exhibit called Local Flavour: Eating in Toronto, 1830-1955, which runs until from January 1 in the TD Gallery. I was downtown last week and popped in to check it out. The exhibition features 125 years of cookbooks, advertisements and photographs that look at Toronto’s history through cooking and dining. On display are early Canadian cookbooks, household appliances, the preliminary manufactured and convenience foods, and old restaurant menus. Photographs of grocery stores, fish markets, victory gardens, and an unrecognizable Toronto water front take you back in culinary time. There is also a copy of "Cook Not Mad", the first know English language cookbook published in Canada on display. While you are there check out Andrew Hunter's installation located outside the gallery. It's called The Ballad of the Golden Squirrel and uses documents, photographs and artifacts (some real and some fabricated) to tell a whimsical and tragic tale of the last of the giant squirrels of North Toronto, supposedly hunted to extinction. The installation is complete with photographs of hunting parties, testimonials of the last person to have eaten the extinct squirrel, and serving platters and antique cruets for a specialized service of the delicacy. And of course an original edition of The Joy of Cooking opened to my favourite section "how to skin a squirrel." Don't forget to sign up to have the foodie-file delivered directly to your e-mail inbox, I have four more cookbooks to give away!