Opening tomorrow Gusto!, the State Library’s latest exhibition, celebrates our city’s longstanding love affair with everything culinary.

While exhibition curator Tracey Judd Iva admits being daunted by the task, she regards the exhibition as an amazing project where weird and wonderful things popped up. One of these discoveries was an army biscuit from 1917, sent home from the battlefront during World War I with the engraving, ‘A SOLDIER HAS TO HAVE GOOD TEETH’.

Also on display will be photos, books, paintings, posters, menus, a short film and even medicinal remedies for headaches and snakebites dating back to the late 1800s. Look out for back editions of Women’s Weekly, handwritten recipes from Mietta O’Donnell and the first Australian cookbook published in 1864.

“No language is more universal than the language of food,” says Judd Iva, who expects the exhibition to cater to everyone from foodies and historians to kids.

Judd Iva was “gobsmacked by the generosity” of members the food and wine industry, many of whom where enthusiastic to be involved in the exhibition. As such, Gusto! features some of Victoria’s most significant culinary figures, including Jacques Reymond, Guy Grossi and Stephanie Alexander.

The exhibition will be complimented by a full program of events and activities that includes Look-Stop-Taste – an event that will allow people to discover a taste of contemporary Melbourne by sampling a dish and beverage at restaurants and cafes throughout the city.

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Gusto! runs from Friday August 3 until Sunday April 28, 2013 at Keith Murdoch Gallery, State Library of Victoria (Main entry, Swanston Street).