TIL Roundup Vol. 26

When you edit an encyclopedia, you learn something new every day. Sometimes it’s mundane, but other times it’s something fascinating that must be shared, like the fact that not all beavers have tails. Therefore we’re collecting all of the fascinating things we’re learning as we comb through and edit The Canadian Encyclopedia. Here’s this week’s roundup of our “Today I Learned” (TIL) moments.

TIL Roundup Vol. 26

A law forbidding the export of pemmican in 1814, led to violence and nearly full out war. Don’t mess with pemmican.

Elizabeth Driver, a culinary historian, notes that the meat in tourtière would have traditionally been cut into small pieces with a knife. Many cooks today use ground meat instead, which “changes the texture and one’s appreciation of the dish.”

One species of mosquito may overwinter as larvae in water-filled leaves of the purple pitcher plant. In some areas of Canada, these larvae may be ice-bound for 6-7 months.

Robert Gourlay, the Upper Canadian polemicist, was twice acquitted of libel, he was banished for sedition in 1819 after a trial in which it became clear that his mental health had failed. Not to be confused with Robert Goulet, whose “virile attractiveness, stunning showmanship and magnificently rich voice which combine to produce an impact on audiences that can be likened only to the matinee idols of the 1920s.”

Image: Pemmican, flickr/cc.