Posts from the “101 – lessons in food” Category

February 17 is Café au Lait Day

Posted on February 17, 2015

myvirtualcoffeehouse.com

myvirtualcoffeehouse.com

Here are today’s five thing to know about Café au Lait:

  1. In Europe, “café au lait” stems from the same continental tradition as “café con leche” in Spain,
  2. In Poland it is referred to as “kawa biała” (“white coffee”)
  3. In Germany it is referred to as “Milchkaffee” (“milk coffee”)
  4. In The Netherlands “koffie verkeerd” (“incorrect coffee”)
  5. In the French-speaking areas of Switzerland, a popular variation is the “café renversé” (“reverse coffee”), made by using the milk as a base and adding espresso, in reversal of the normal method of making a “café au lait”.

Daily Quote:

“True Love is a hard nut to crack, but it has the sweetest kernel.”~Spanish Proverb

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Today’s Pinterest Board : Foodimentary

dvdr1

Today’s Food History

  • 1665 Rudolph Jacob Camerarius was born. A German botanist, he showed the existence of sexes in plants, and identified the stamen and pistil as the male and female organs.
  • 1876 Canned sardines went on sale in the U.S. for the first time. They were packed in oil.
  • (Some sources say 1873).
  • 1889 H.L. Hunt, the pioneering Texas oil millionaire (Hunt Oil Company) was born. He carried a brown bag lunch to his office each day and considered himself as ‘just plain folks.’
  • 1958‘Sugartime’ by the McGuire Sister topped the charts.
  • 2002 New regulations to go into effect this year require German pig farmers to spend at least 20 seconds every day with each pig, 10 seconds in the morning and 10 seconds in the afternoon. I do not know about what regulations there might be for spending time with German cows, sheep, chickens and other farm animals.
  • 2008 The USDA announced the largest beef recall of 143 million pounds of frozen beef from a California slaughterhouse.

 

Origins of the Margarita

Posted on February 22, 2014

 

 Origins of the Margarita
 
 
  The following are perhaps the most commonly repeated tales of the creator of the margarita cocktail:
 
1.Sammy Cruz, 1948
According to the promotional flyer for the legendary Balinese Room in Galveston, Texas, head bartender Santos Cruz created the Margarita for singer Peggy (Margaret) Lee in 1948.
 
2. The Balinese Room was opened in 1941 and was Texas’s finest nightclub with A/C, casino gambling, superb food and drinks, and stellar entertainment until the Texas Rangers finally shut it down in 1957.
 
3. Barman “Willie” from Mexico City, 1934 in the employ of the Melguizo Family Marguerite Hemery lived in the Rio Grande Valley since the 1930s and went to a restaurant in Matamoros called Los Dos Republicas. She was friends with the owner and, as the story goes, his bartender composed a special drink for her.
Danny Negrete, 1936
 
4. According to Salvador Negrete, the son of Daniel Negrete, the family story goes that Daniel opened a bar at the Garci Crispo hotel with his brother, David. The day before David’s marriage, Daniel presented the margarita as a wedding present to Margarita, his sister-in-law. It was a combination of one-third Triple Sec, one-third tequila and one-third squeezed Mexican lime juice. The drink was not blended and was served with hand-crushed ice.
 
5. Enrique Bastate Gutierrez, early 1940s
Gutierrez, who lived in Tijuana, Mexico, boasted to have created the Margarita as a homage to actress Rita Hayworth, whose real name was Margarita Cansino. Other versions of the story claim the Margarita was indeed named after the actress, but in the 1930s, before she adopted her screen name. As a teenager, Margarita Cansino worked as a dancer at the Foreign Club, in Tijuana, where she supposedly inspired a bartender.
 
 
 
 
 

Mysteries of the Raisin

Posted on April 30, 2012

Did you know? Raisins are typically sun-dried, but may also be water-dipped, or dehydrated. “Golden raisins” are made from sultanas, treated with sulfur dioxide (SO2), and flame-dried to give them their characteristic color. Raisin varieties depend on the type of grape used, and are made in a variety of sizes and colors including green, black, blue, purple, and yellow. Seedless varieties include the sultana (also known as Thompson Seedless in the USA) and Flame grapes. A particular variety of seedless grape, the Black Corinth, is also sun-dried to produce Zante currants, miniature raisins that are much darker in color and have a tart, tangy flavor. Several varieties of raisins are produced in Asia and, in the West, are only available at ethnic specialty grocers.…

Know your shrimp!

Posted on April 29, 2012

Did you know?  All shrimp were not created equal.  Here are a few tips on telling the good from the bad. Shrimp are marketed and commercialised with several issues in mind. Most shrimp are sold frozen and marketed based on their categorisation of presentation, grading, color, and uniformity. The main forms of presentation are head on shell on (HOSO), shell on (SO or “green headless shrimp”), peeled tail on (PTO), peeled undeveined (PUD), peeled and deveined (P&D), and butterfly tail on (BTTY-TO). Sometimes a letter ‘F’ is placed in front of these abbreviation for the presentation in order to state that the shrimp comes from a farm (example: FSO – farmed, shell on). European and Asian markets prefer the HOSO presentation (which is a…

Everything You Need to Know about Blueberries

Posted on April 28, 2012

Did you know that blueberries are one of the only natural foods that are truly blue in color?  You won’t find many others! Maine is the blueberry production capital of North America and produces almost 100 percent of all berries harvested in the country. America’s favorite muffin is blueberry. July is national blueberry month because that is the peak of the harvest season. The pale, powder-like protective coating on the skin of blueberries is called “bloom.” The annual harvest of North American blueberries would cover a four lane highway from Chicago to New York if spread out in a single layer. The anthocyanin present in blueberries is good for eyesight. Blueberries contain more antioxidants than most other fruits or vegetables and may help prevent…

Origins of the Pretzel

Posted on April 26, 2012

Did you know that pretzels got their start in the early church?  As early as 610AD at a monastery somewhere in Southern France or Northern Italy, where monks used scraps of dough and formed them into strips to represent a child’s arms folded in prayer. The three empty holes represented the Christian Trinity. As with a lot of foods, the exact origin of the pretzel is unknown. The monks offered the warm, doughy bribe to children who had memorized their Bible verses and prayers. The monks called it a Pretiola, Latin for little reward. From there, the pretzel transformed into the Italian word, Brachiola, which means little arms. The Pretiola journeyed beyond the French and Italian wine regions, hiked the Alps, wandered through Austria,…

Food Finds about Zucchini

Posted on April 25, 2012

Did you know that a Zucchini is little more than an Italian squash?  It didn’t reach great popularity in the United States until after the name was changed from “Italian squash” to “Zucchini”. Food Finds about Zucchini The zucchini naturally grows to about a meter in length, but is usually harvested before it reaches this size. In culinary terms, the Zucchini is treated as a vegetable.  Botanically however, it is a fruit.  The Zucchini is the swollen ovary of the plant it comes from. Zucchini grows on a vine, not underground as the carrot does. Despite being Italian in origin, the Zucchini’s ancestors are American. “Zucca” is the Italian word for squash and “zucchina” is its diminutive (carrying a meaning like “little squash”), becoming…

Origins of Pigs in a Blanket

Posted on April 24, 2012

Did you know that pigs-in-a-blanket may be as old as the 1600’s?  Despite rumors that it is an invention as modern as 1957, field laborers in the England of the 1600’s had what was essentially the same dish.  Putting meat inside of dough was an obvious solution for a quick and nourishing meal on the go. The earliest written record of the modern dish is in Betty Crocker’s “Cooking for Kids”, which was published in 1957.  However there are various personal testimonies claiming to have enjoyed this dish before the book’s publication. There is a trucker legend that puts its creation at an even later date, some time in the 1960’s, attributing its creation to a diner along route 66 in Oklahoma. Still other…

Origins of the Picnic

Posted on April 23, 2012

Did you know that the first picnic may have been put on by crusaders?  The origin of picnics is not known. We do know that picnics were around for the time of the Crusades because the Knights Templar arranged a grand picnic to celebrate their first non-European member. While some used to believe that the word referred to the act of lynching African Americans while onlookers watched and ate packed lunches, this is not the true origin of the word.  The story began as a political parody that got out of hand.  The word originally meant an “outing with food” that was held indoors, sort of like a modern-day potluck. However in the 19th century that picnics moved outside. The word’s roots were borrowed from French…

Food Finds about Pineapples

Posted on April 20, 2012

Food Finds about Pineapples Pineapple skin, core, and ends are used in the making of alcohol, vinegar, and animal feed. Each pineapple plant produces just one pineapple per year! Unripened pineapples taste terrible and are poisonous to humans, causing irritation of the throat and having a powerful laxative effect. Pineapples can take up to two years to reach their full size (20lbs), so generally people pick and eat them before they are done maturing. Standing a pineapple upside down (leaf on bottom) will cause it to ripen much faster. Pineapple juice is a diuretic, and it has also been used to induce labor. The Bromelain enzyme in pineapples breaks down proteins. This means that you can use pineapple or pineapple juice as a meat tenderiser.…

Origins of Sushi

Posted on April 19, 2012

Did you know that sushi was the world’s earliest form of Tupperware?  Sushi became popular when Japanese fishermen realized that you could wrap fish and other meats inside sticky rice to cause it to ferment much more quickly.  The fermentation of the meant prevented damaging bacteria from being able to thrive within it. Sushi has a very interesting origin that has lasted for centuries and continues to be a very popular food source today.  Sushi is made with a combination of shellfish, cooked or raw fish, vegetables, and seasoned rice.  Although Sushi is most commonly linked to the Japanese heritage, it actually began in China during the 7th Century. At that time, any fish caught had to be preserved.  The only method possible was by fermentation.  Raw fish was cleaned,…

Origins of Animal Crackers

Posted on April 18, 2012

  Animal Crackers refer to a particular type of sweet-tasting crackers that are shaped into various circus animals. In the late 1800’s, animal-shaped cookies (or “biscuits” in British terminology) were introduced from England to the United States known as “Animals”.  The earliest recipe of “Animals” we found in print appeared in a commercial cooking book published in 1883. “1 bbl flour, 40 lbs sugar, 16 lard, 12 oz soda, 8 ozs ammonia, 6 3/4 gals milk.”-Secrets of the Bakers and Confectioners’ Trade, J. D. Hounihan, April 1, 1883 (p. 96) The demand for these cookies grew to the point that bakers began to produce them domestically. In 1902, the most popular product we know today as Animal Crackers (Barnum’s Animals Crackers) was officially introduced…

A History of Cheese

Posted on April 17, 2012

Did you know that cheese is one of the oldest and most diverse foods in the world?  Every major civilization in history has records of their creation and use of cheese. Archaeologists have discovered that as far back as 6000 BC cheese had been made from cow’s and goat’s milk and stored in tall jars. Egyptian tomb murals of 2000 BC show butter and cheese being made, and other murals which show milk being stored in skin bags suspended from poles demonstrate a knowledge of dairy husbandry at that time. Cheesemaking, thus, gradually evolved from two main streams.  The first was the liquid fermented milks such as yoghurt, koumiss and kefir.  The second through allowing the milk to acidify to form curds and whey.…

Origins of Eggs Benedict

Posted on April 16, 2012

Did you know that historians attribute the invention of Eggs Benedict to two different events?  It seems that, in a great coincidence, there are two verifiable stories surrounding their invention which both occurred within two years of one-another.  Humanity’s palette must have been craving the dish! 1860s -Credit is given to Delmonico’s Restaurant, the very first restaurant or public dining room ever opened in the United States. In the 1860’s, a regular patron of the restaurant, Mrs. LeGrand Benedict, finding nothing to her liking and wanting something new to eat for lunch, discussed this with Delmonico’s Chef Charles Ranhofer (1936-1899), Ranhofer came up with Eggs Benedict. He has a recipe called Eggs a’ la Benedick (Eufa a’ la Benedick) in his cookbook called The Epicurean published…

Food Finds about Pecans

Posted on April 14, 2012

Did you know that the pecan is American in origin?  The name “pecan” is a Native American word of Algonquin origin that was used to describe “all nuts requiring a stone to crack.” The pecan is heart healthy and contains antioxidants, 19 vitamins and minerals, fiber and “healthy fats.” One of the mineral components is zinc, which is important in producing testosterone in both males and females, key in sexual desire. Native Americans utilized and cultivated wild pecans in the 1500s. It is the only tree native to North America and is considered one of the most valuable North American nut species. Originating in central and eastern North America and the river valleys of Mexico, pecans were widely used by pre-colonial residents. Pecans were…

Know Your Pie

Posted on April 13, 2012

Pie is an extremely diverse dish.  There are thousands of varieties worldwide that are sweet, savory, salty, or any flavor you might imagine.  What makes a dish qualify as a pie is simply having a filling wrapped with dough (usually pastry).  The difference between pie and cobbler is that a cobbler only has dough (usually biscuit) on top. Twenty-Five Pie Finds Mince Meat Pie Chicken Pot Pie Strawberry Pie Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Blueberry Pie Blackberry Pie Cherry Pie Apple Pie Peach Pie Apricot Pie Pear Pie Shepherd’s Pie Coconut Cream Pie Banana Cream Pie Pumpkin Pie Vanilla Cream Pie Chocolate Cream Pie Apple-Sour Cream-Raisin Pie Boysenberry Pie Turtle Pie Pecan Pie Crab Apple-Currant Pie Pudding Pie Cheeseburger Pie Raspberry Pie  

10 Things You Should Know about American Cheese

Posted on April 12, 2012

Did you know?  The process we currently use to make American cheese was actually invented by a German chemist.  The term “American cheese” was originally used as a general descriptor for any cheese made in America (as the literal meaning would imply).  However, today it refers to a specific style of cheese, and that style is distinctly German in origin! American cheese is typically white, but it is often dyed to look yellow. It was originally made from a mix of blended cheeses, but today it is manufactured from a set of ingredients. It is illegal to sell American cheese as “cheese”.  It must be sold as “processed cheese” or “cheese product”. In Canada, the exact same product is often sold as “Canadian cheese”.…

A History of Licorice

Posted on April 12, 2012

Did you know that the licorice plant grows like a weed?  That’s because it is one!  The licorice plant, a shrub, is officially a weed. It is about four feet tall with purplish flowers and grows in hot, dry places. Licorice root is one of the most popular herbs in the world. Its botanical name comes from the Greek words meaning “sweet root.” The ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, and Hindus recognized the natural medicinal qualities of licorice. Licorice helps relieve the pains that accompany certain types of ulcers, and it is good for the adrenal glands. Carbenoxolone, a compound derived from licorice root, may help slow the effects of aging on the brain. Licorice root is a botanical ingredient in modern Chinese medicines used…

A History of Fondue

Posted on April 11, 2012

The delicious dish that we know as Fondue was actually invented out of necessity in the 18th century. Swiss villagers, separated from large towns by the long, freezing winters, were rarely able to enjoy fresh food. Instead, most of the villagers relied on foods like bread and cheese, which were made in the summer and had to last through the fall and winter months. Stale cheese (and bread for that matter) becomes very hard and doesn’t taste that pleasant. The villagers found if they heated the cheese over a fire it improved the taste and was much easier to eat. Furthermore, they discovered that the hard bread would soften when dipped into the cheese. Soon they began mixing in wine and other seasonings to…

Everything You Need to Know about Cinnamon

Posted on April 10, 2012

Did you know that most cinnamon you buy in the United States is not cinnamon at all, but actually a spice called “Cassia”?  Often referred to as “real cinnamon” or “true cinnamon”, Ceylon cinnamon  is native to Sri Lanka. This cinnamon is lighter brown in color, papery and brittle and the bark coils into a single spiraled quill.  Ceylon cinnamon is rarely found in United States and has significantly less of the phenolic compound cinnamaldehyde, which imparts the spicy cinnamon flavor and aroma desired by American palates. Instead, this cinnamon has a more delicate and complex flavor, with citrus, floral and clove notes.  There is an Indian type of cinnamon as well known as Dalchini.  In India, where it is cultivated on the hills…

March 14 – National Pi(e) Day

Posted on March 14, 2012

National Pi’e’ Day  [3.14]

Pi day was originally observed March 14 because of the date being 3.14, a number very close to pi’s value.  The holiday was created 1988 by Larry Shaw to celebrate the San Francisco “Exploratorium”.  In recent years it’s become a day for making a pie as well as celebrating the ancient mathematical constant that relates the length a circle’s circumference to the perimeter of a square of the same area as the original circle.  March 14 is also Albert Einstein’s birthday.


Hangover, be gone! The five things to know,

Posted on February 22, 2012

Five Foodimentary Finds about the common Hangover

 The 5 Things that seem to work

1. Eating bananas the morning after a night of heavy drinking provides lost electrolytes like any food would, but it also specifically replenishes the body with lost potassium.

2. Avoid caffeine. A weak cup of coffee may be fine but too much caffeine can dehydrate your body even more.

3. Sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade actually will help.

4. Taking a cold shower switching from hot to cold will help balance your body temperature.

5. Next time try to drink equal amounts of water with every drink.

Origins of the Margarita

Posted on February 19, 2012

February 22 is National Margarita Day

 Origins of the Margarita
 The following are perhaps the most commonly repeated tales of the creator of the margarita cocktail:
1.Sammy Cruz, 1948
According to the promotional flyer for the legendary Balinese Room in Galveston, Texas, head bartender Santos Cruz created the Margarita for singer Peggy (Margaret) Lee in 1948.
2. The Balinese Room was opened in 1941 and was Texas’s finest nightclub with A/C, casino gambling, superb food and drinks, and stellar entertainment until the Texas Rangers finally shut it down in 1957.
3. Barman “Willie” from Mexico City, 1934 in the employ of the Melguizo Family Marguerite Hemery lived in the Rio Grande Valley since the 1930s and went to a restaurant in Matamoros called Los Dos Republicas. She was friends with the owner and, as the story goes, his bartender composed a special drink for her.
Danny Negrete, 1936
4. According to Salvador Negrete, the son of Daniel Negrete, the family story goes that Daniel opened a bar at the Garci Crispo hotel with his brother, David. The day before David’s marriage, Daniel presented the margarita as a wedding present to Margarita, his sister-in-law. It was a combination of one-third Triple Sec, one-third tequila and one-third squeezed Mexican lime juice. The drink was not blended and was served with hand-crushed ice.
5. Enrique Bastate Gutierrez, early 1940s
Gutierrez, who lived in Tijuana, Mexico, boasted to have created the Margarita as a homage to actress Rita Hayworth, whose real name was Margarita Cansino. Other versions of the story claim the Margarita was indeed named after the actress, but in the 1930s, before she adopted her screen name. As a teenager, Margarita Cansino worked as a dancer at the Foreign Club, in Tijuana, where she supposedly inspired a bartender.
 

Doritos Locos Tacos worth 8 hours on a plane…every minute!

Posted on February 16, 2012

Today may not live in infamy, but in fast food, it could be close.

The team at Taco Bell reached out to me a few weeks ago asking if I would be interested in trying out some new food items.

I read hundreds of food blogs and knew that they were tinkering with the doritos taco…I had to take them up on it!

I flew to Irvine, Ca from New York where I was attending the New York Social Media Week

the next day I, along with a few other social media guys, were treated to a full out presentation and poof…the tacos were presented!

Yes, a kid in a candy store.

The shell is firmer than a normal shell and that’s a good thing.

you know the gold powder of Doritos, it’s got it!

thought this was a great comparison between the old and the new

Taco bell has set the release date for midnight March 8

They also are having a contest which is story of neat.

 Whomever gets the most retweets about  Dorsitos Locos Tacos(say that 3 time quickly) gets a truck full of them sent to their town.

Contest Link

NOTE:

Just to clarify that I’m not some kind of sell out. I had several in-depth discussions with the head of  Taco Bell and the rest of the team about their food.

I asked if they were expanding their lower calorie line, which they are.( I’m a huge fan)

They told me about their new Cantina line with all fresh ingredients. They were revamping and introducing many flavorful items like roasted corn and new salsas.

I asked if they were thinking about choosing local growers and suppliers for their chain,

They assured me that they were working on that and cited many things they were working on.

I feel like I did the best I could to emphasis what responsible consumers  are looking for.

All in all I had a great experience. They said in closing that the Doritos Locos Tacos will sell over a billion tacos in it’s first year.  Their numbers showed that in test markets over 80% of ALL orders had at least one Doritos Taco and I can tell you first hand…I understand why.

A Valentine to the Foods of Love

Posted on February 13, 2012

Valintine’s Day is upon us. Could there be a BETTER time to stock up on the foods of love.

Daily Quote: Forget love, I’d rather fall in chocolate.

Here are the Five Food Finds of Love

  • Champagne: considered for centuries the “drink of lovers”  It lowers your inhibitions and causes a ‘warm glow’ in the body.
  • Chocolate: containing sedatives, lowering inhibitions and stimulants to increase physical desire. Did you know chocolate was banned in some convents and monasteries for centuries?
  • The aroma of love: the perfumes of almonds and vanilla are natural pheromones that help communicate emotions via smell.
  • Oysters: Studies are mixed but many believe that since oysters change their sex from male to female and back again during their lifetimes, helps to appeal to both sexes, the masculine AND feminine sides of love.
  • Unlikely but true, Asparagus: Throughout the centuries, asparagus has been served to bridegrooms because of their claimed aphrodisiac powers. Some have said even wedding cakes were made of asparagus or decorated with asparagus themes.

 Happy Valintiene’s Day

from

John-Bryan Hopkins, the @Foodimentary Guy

Who needs the Super Bowl when you have World Nutella Day?

Posted on February 4, 2012

World Nutello Day

Nutello Facts:

A.  Nutella, a chocolate & hazelnut spread, outsells ALL brands of peanut butter worldwide

B.  Hazelnuts were originally used as an inexpensive filler. sales increased and soon became it’s trademark flavor.

C.  In the aftermath of World War 2 Italian stores offered a service called “smearing”, which allowed local children to bring in a slice of bread on which they could have some Nutella spread.

D. In Europe the Nutella jar is usually made of glass, whereas in North America it is made of plastic.

January 16 – Today’s Food History

Posted on January 16, 2012

International Hot & Spicy Food Day Daily Trivia:  People who are regality eat spicy food are considered pyro-gourmaniacs. also: National Fig Newton Day Today’s Food History on this day in… 1868 William Davis, received a patent for a refrigerated railway car. First used to ship fish. Later ushering in the age of portable cold produced & foods. 1920 Prohibition began in the U.S., banning the sale of all alcoholic beverages. Allowances were made to produce wine for “religious purposes.” 1965  Searchers’ “Love Potion #9” peaks at #3 1958 A grasshopper plague causes serious damage across the state of Colorado & neighboring states. This “plagued” farmer’s crops; costing millions of dollars in damage. some content is courtesy of www.FoodReference.com, used with permission

November 29 – Today’s Food History

Posted on November 29, 2011

National Chocolates Day

also: National Lemon Creme Day
National Rice Cake Day

  • 1627 John Ray (Wray) was born. A leading 17th century English naturalist and botanist. He contributed to the advancement of taxonomy, and established the species as the basic unit of taxonomy.
  • 1968 The Who release ‘The Who Sell Out.’ One of my favorite Who albums, with commercials for some real and some fictitious products, including Heinz Baked Beans.
  • 1997 Plastic bags are a serious danger to marine mammals. A 65 foot, 70 ton finback whale died off the coast of Spain. Its digestive tract had been blocked by 30 plastic bags, and several hard plastic objects.
  • 1997 Reports from Chile about giant rats, that had been feeding on the droppings of hormone fattened poultry, were attacking farm animals near Santiago.

 

November 28 – Todays Food History

Posted on November 28, 2011

National French Toast Day

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

  • 1837 John Wesley Hyatt was born. He developed the process for making celluloid, the first synthetic plastic. He also invented a water purifying system and a sugar cane mill.
  • 1863 Thanksgiving was first celebrated as a regular American Holiday.
  • 1869 W.F. Semple of Mount Vernon, Ohio, was issued the first chewing gum patent in 1869.
  • 1930 After a sandstorm in Morocco, there was a rain of mud in Paris and yellow sand fell in Spain.
  • 1942 Coffee rationing began in the U.S.
  • 1948 The first Polaroid Land Camera went on sale in Boston. This was the first successful self-developing camera; it took a photo about 1 minute to develop.
  • 2006 Texas Republican state Rep. Betty Brown filed a bill (HCR 15) in the Texas legislature which would declare Athens, Texas as the “original home of the hamburger.” Residents of New Haven, Connecticut strongly objected. 
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