April 2 – Today’s Food History
National Peanut Butter Jelly Day
Today’s Food History
on this day in…
742 Charlemagne was born. Charlemagne, Charles I, Charles the Great, King of the Franks, Charles le Grand, Carolus Magnus, Karl Der Grosse, King of the Lombards, master of Western Europe, Emperor.
Some of the food related ‘facts’ I have come across related to Charlemagne:
* the peacock was first served in Europe during his reign;
* Sauerbraten was invented by Charlemagne;
* Roquefort cheese was a favorite of his;
* the knife began to be used to eat food for the first time during his reign (rather than the fingers);
* Roses were used to cover tables for meals.
I have no real corroboration for any of these ‘facts’.
1819 The periodical, ‘American Farmer’ was founded by John Skinner
1827 Joseph Dixon began manufacturing the first lead (graphite) pencils. Necessary to write recipes and menus
1840 Emile Zola was born. French writer and critic who was also known as a gourmand. His detailed descriptions of simple meals, banquets and eating in his novels are among the best to be found anywhere. He was also known for his own luxury dinner parties. “What will be the death of me are bouillabaisses, food spiced with pimiento, shellfish, and a load of exquisite rubbish which I eat in disproportionate quantities.”
1863 THE RICHMOND BREAD RIOTS – Shortages of food caused hundreds of angry women gathered in Richmond, Virginia to march on the governor’s office and then on the government commissary to demand bread. It ended in a riot when they broke into the commissary and then other shops & buildings and carried out anything they could carry. Even the hospital reported losing over 300 pounds of beef. Arrests were made, but at the request of authorities, the newspapers downplayed the incident, and records were later destroyed when the Confederate government fled and burned much of the town behind them.