January 14 – Today’s Food History
National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day
Daily Trivia: Pastrami was originally created as a way to preserve meat before modern refrigeration.
For pastrami, raw meat is brined, dried, seasoned with various herbs & spices, then smoked or steamed
- 1814 The last London Frost Fair on the frozen Thames River. Entertainment, and a large selection of food vendors on ice.
- 1841 Juliet Corson was born. A cookery teacher and writer, founder of the New York Cooking School in 1876. She wrote many articles and several cookery books, including ‘Cooking Manual’ (1877), ‘Twenty-five Cent Dinners for Families of Six’ (1878) and ‘Miss Corson’s Practical American Cookery’ (1886).
- 1861 David Wesson was born. Wesson was an American chemist and in 1900 he developed a method to make pure cotton seed oil palatable, and formed the Southern Oil Company. Wesson Oil was the first vegetable oil used in the U.S. Cotton seed oil is noted for its lack of taste, which allows the flavors of foods to come through. It is used in margarine, salad dressings, and in commercially fried foods.
- 1890 Rolla N. Harger was born. A biochemist, he invented the first successful test machine for blood alcohol content, the Drunkometer, in 1931.
- 1948 T-Bone Burnett, record producer and artist was born.
- 1984 Ray Kroc died in San Diego, California. Ray Kroc sold blenders for milkshakes, and one of his customers was a restaurant in San Bernardino, California owned by Maurice and Richard McDonald. Kroc set up a chain of drive-in restaurants based on their efficient assembly line production kitchen. He opened his first restaurant on April 15, 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois. By 1961 he had 228 restaurants and he bought out the McDonald brothers. When he died in 1984 there were over 7,500 McDonald’s restaurants.