Booker has, over the course of the last few years, informed me that certain types of eats fall under the category of "Chesapeake Heritage Foods". I'm sure others who are familiar with the breed (I'm looking at Chas and Chad) have encountered this phenomenon.
Considerable thought has led me to conclude that Chesapeake Heritage Foods are those things that are particularly appealing to Chessies because of the role those foods played in feeding Chessies and proto-Chessies over the development of the breed. Basically, some things speak to the Ur-dog, some flavors call up the memory of generations of water dogs in the past and are, accordingly, particularly appealing to the Chessie of today.
Some Chesapeake Heritage Foods are not particularly surprising given the breed's long association with coastal areas and parts of the South- for instance, oysters, fried fish and hush puppies are very clearly Chesapeake Heritage Foods, the latter so strongly favored that they are known to us as "corn dogglers". In fact, Booker prefers a hush puppy to a piece of fish out of the same oil. However, other items that qualify as Chesapeake Heritage Foods call for a little research about the history of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers in the U.S. and, in turn, American history.
A recent example is spruce tips. Booker assures me that these are, in fact, a Chesapeake Heritage Food.
I surmise that spruce tips (which are quite tasty and no doubt good for you) probably entered the category of Chesapeake Heritage Food through the experiences of Seaman, who, while not a CBR, was a Newfoundland, one of the breeds that went into creating Chessies. Thus, spruce tips got in at the ground floor of the breed, so to speak, as Seaman no doubt shared spruce tips with the rest of the Corps of Discovery during their various times of privation, and possibly during times of plenty as a bit of change of pace as well. A famous dog when he got back (sturdy from lots of elk, bison, and Vitamin C from spruce tips), Seaman most likely contributed to the foundation stock of CBRs, directly or through a couple of removes. That genetic memory no doubt has led to the popularity of spruce tips as a Chessie snack today.
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