Spring is on its way. Or at least that’s what the latest issues of magazines like LouLou and Glamour are telling us. Their glossy pages show bright colours, fun playful heels and light jackets that are the new must-haves for spring. Meanwhile here in Canada, at a balmy -20C, we’re still choosing what toque to wear with our parka.
Funny thing about the toque; it’s a Canadian thing. Eh? According to this National Post article about Canadian-isms, the word toque is only used by Canadians. Apparently every culture that has cold weather (and access to sheep) has some national variant of the knit cap: Afghans have pakols, Americans have beanies, ski caps and toboggan caps; and we Canadians have our toques.
Did you know that toques were popular from the 13th to 16th century in Europe? Although they didn’t look exactly the like the toques we know today, I can see the resemblance. Can you?
Did you also know that the toque was worn in France? By chefs? They chose to wear white toques as it was deemed “more sanitary”. The chef hat we know today was called a toque blanche aka white hat. Feeling smarter yet? According to the ‘all knowing’ Wikipedia, the modern toque was credited to French chef Marie-Antoine Carême, who was thought to have created the original toque blanche. Take that and stuff it in your French beret!
Of course today’s toques have come a long way from the puff-pastry looking chef’s hat. Thankfully for those of us living in sub-zero temperatures right now, there is a plethora of styles to choose from. Check out these Canadian sites below for playful, fashionable and patriotic options. Happy shopping!
The Canadian Pook Toque. Bonus: it’s reversible!