January 6th is National Shortbread Day!
Here are today’s five things to know about Shortbread:
Scottish shortbread evolved from medieval biscuit bread. Eventually butter was substituted for yeast, and shortbread was born.
Since butter was such an important ingredient, the word “shortbread” derived from shortening.
Shortbread may have been made as early as the 12th Century.
It’s invention is often attributed to Mary, Queen of Scots in the 16th Century.
Petticoat Tails were a traditional form of shortbread said to be enjoyed by the queen.
Traditional round shortbread was flavored with caraway seeds, baked and cut into triangular wedges.
Today’s Food History
- 1884 Gregor Johann Mendel died. Mendel was an Austrian botanist whose work was the foundation of the science of genetics. Working mainly with garden peas (some 28,000 plants over 7 years), he discovered what was to become known as the laws of heredity.
- 1901 Philip Danforth Armour, died. American industrialist who pioneered the use of refrigeration and meat canning. Armour & Co. became the largest meatpacker in the world and this helped Chicago become the meatpacking capital of the world. (The fact that Chicago is the ‘Windy City’ may have helped also).
- 1910 ‘Kid Chocolate’ (Elgio Saldana) was born. He became Cuba’s first world boxing champion in 1931 after defeating Benny Bass for the Jr. Lightweight Championship.
- 1929 Sheffeld Farms of New York began using wax paper cartons instead of glass bottles for milk delivery.
- 1936 Warner Bros. Loony Tunes character ‘Porky Pig’ makes his debut.
- 1988 The famous Paris restaurant ‘La Coupole’ was sold and eventually replaced by an office building. It was famous for its Welsh rarebit, and had been frequented by James Joyce, Henry Miller and many other notable Americans.