In Newport, much like anywhere else in the world, we love food. Just as the375 restaurants spanning our nine coastal towns. And while it's not often that we stop to consider the history of the lobster mac & cheese we are devouring, or how it has shaped our present, we're glad someone thought to do so. Newport Historical Society has introduceda new initiative, Newport Eats, which explores the past and present roles of food in Newport's expansive history. Rhode Island is a gastronomic state, explains Society Executive Director Ruth Taylor, and Newport has long been known as a center for fine dining and good food. Newport Eats, our history of food initiative, features programs and exhibits that explore the role of food in Newports rich and diverse history. We will be looking at the lived experience of the past through food, and using that information to think about the future as well. As part of the initiative,created ultimatelyto capture a 21st century food movement,the Society is collecting and documenting current menus for restaurants and events to both add to its collection and to feature in an upcoming exhibit. A call for menus was put out to local restaurants, and Bens Chili Dogs, Fluke, Mission and Ristorante Mamma Luisas are a few of the many who have already responded. Other aspects of Newport Eats include exploring menus and recipes of the past through a series of recreated culinary events, and putting all of these meals in historical context through lectures and other educational programs. Newport Eats will look toward the future, using the past to discuss ideas about healthy and sustainable eating in the 21st century, Taylor concludes. Image:A2015menu from Fluke Wine Bar & Kitchen pictured beside an historic menu from an 1892dining party on board the Alva, a yacht owned by William K. Vanderbilt.