Today’s Food History
on this day in…
1792 John Montague, 4th Earl of Sandwich died. Captain Cook named the Sandwich Islands after him (now known as Hawaii). He is supposed to have invented the sandwich as a quick meal so as not to interrupt his gambling sessions.
1904 The Louisiana Purchase Exposition opened in St. Louis (St. Louis World’s Fair). It was at the Fair that the ice cream cone was supposed to have been invented. The hot dog and iced tea were also popularized at the Fair.
1952 Mr. Potato Head is introduced to the world. Mr. Potato Head is the also the first toy to be advertised on television.
1955 ‘Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White’ by Perez Prado hits number one on the charts.
1981 Dunkin Donuts opened its first store in the Philippines.
on this day in…
on this day in…
1789 The most famous mutiny in history took place on the English ship, ‘Bounty’, against Captain William Bligh. The ship was sailing to Tahiti to bring back breadfruit trees.
1796 ‘American Cookery’ by Amelia Simmons is published in Hartford. It is the first cookbook written by an American. This is one of the classic cookbooks that can be found on the Food Reference Website.
1899 The comedy short ‘Stealing a Dinner’ was filmed by cameraman G.W. ‘Billy’ Bitzer for the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company. (Mutoscope were ‘peephole’ motion pictures on cards mounted on a rotating drum turned by hand.)
1940 Italian operatic soprano, Louisia Tetrazzini, died. Chicken Tetrazzini, created by an American chef (San Francisco?), was named in her honor.
1944 Alice Waters was born. Executive Chef and Owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant, opened in 1971 in Berkeley, California
1953 Howard C. Rossin was issued a patent for an overcoat built for two (or Siamese Twins).
2005 Loaded Burrito Scare: Clovis, New Mexicao police were called to a middle school when someone saw what appeared to be a weapon being carried in by a student. Police did not find any weapon, but finally an 8th grader realized that what someone had seen was his extra credit commercial advertising project – a 30 inch long steak burrito wrapped in tin foil and a T-Shirt.
on this day in…
on this day in…
1785 John James Audubon was born. Ornithologist, naturalist and artist, known mainly for his paintings and sketches of North American birds.
1877 Minnesota held a state day of prayer to plead for an end to a 4 year plague of Rocky Mountain locusts. In southwestern Minnesota, locusts had been eating crops, trees, tobacco, fence posts, leather, dead animals, sheep’s wool – everything but the mortgage. Two days later a snowstorm moved through and the locusts were never seen again. No one knows what caused the locust plague, nor why the Rocky Mountain locust became extinct after the plague.
1947 Pete Ham of the music group ‘Badfinger’ was born
1962‘Mashed Potato Time’ by Dee Dee Sharp is #1 on the charts.
1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Ukraine explodes. The worst nuclear disaster in history. In addition to the human toll, agriculture and livestock was contaminated by radiation in large areas of Europe for years to come.
1989 Lucille Ball died. Two of the funniest food related comedy routines ever done were the chocolate factory and the grape stomping episodes from her TV show, ‘I Love Lucy.’
2005 A herd of buffalo escaped from a farm and wandered around a Baltimore, Maryland suburb disrupting traffic, and shutting down several major highways. Police eventually herded them onto a nearby tennis court.
2006 Chicago banned the sale of foie gras.
on this day in…
Happy National Picnic Day!!
Here are today’s things to know about Picnics:
Did you know that a “picnic” ham is really not a true ham? It is cut from the upper part of the foreleg of a pig – a true ham is cut from the hind leg.
Italy’s favourite picnic day is Easter Monday. It is called “Angel’s Monday” or Pasquetta (“Little Easter”).
Today’s Food History
1564 and 1616 William Shakespeare was born. He passed away on the same date 52 years later. There are many references to food in Shakespeare’s works. “Let the sky rain potatoes.” (‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’). “Tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers.” (‘Romeo and Juliet’).
1895 Purdy and Peters were issued a patent for a “design for spoons.”
1947 Glenn Cornick of the music group ‘Jethro Tull’ was born.
1982 The Conch Republic (Key West & the Florida Keys) seceded from the United States to protest an INS (Immigration & Naturalization Service) roadblock on the only road into the Keys.
1985 Coca-Cola announced it was changing its 99 year old secret formula. New Coke was a big flop.
1992 The first McDonald’s in Beijing, China opened. It is the world’s largest McDonald’s, with 28,000 square feet, seating for 700 and 1,000 employees.
1993 R.I.P. Cesar Chavez. He was the founder of the United Farm Workers Union.
Happy National Jelly bean Day!
Here are today’s five things to know about Jelly Beans!
Each year in the U.S, there are 16 billion jelly beans manufactured just for Easter. This is enough to circle the Earth more than 3 times if they were laid end to end.
1662 John Tradescant died. He succeeded his father as naturalist and gardener to Charles I. 1818 Cadwallader C. Washburn is born in Livermore, Maine. In 1866 he built a flour mill at St. Anthony Falls, Minnesota and his Washburn-Crosby Co. (forerunner of General Mills) would market Gold Medal flour.
1832 Julius Sterling Morton was born. He was the founder of Arbor Day, first observed in Nebraska on April 10, 1872. Over one million trees were planted.
1889 The U.S. opened Oklahoma to homesteaders and the Oklahoma land rush officially began at 12 noon.
1913 Thomas Wright of New Jersey patented a method to load ice on to refrigerator railroad cars.
1948 Prosper Montagne died. Montagne was one of the great French chefs of all time. He is mainly remembered as the creator of Larousse Gastronomique (1938), a comprehensive encyclopedia of French gastronomy.
1964 The New York World’s Fair opens in Flushing Meadows on the same site as the 1939 World’s Fair. I had my first Heineken beer at their exhibition there. As a matter of fact, I spent every weekend there from April to October for the 2 years the Fair was open. I sampled music, food, beer and wine from around the world, and it helped to inspire my interest in cooking and food history.
1970 The first Earth Day was celebrated. Is our environment better or worse today?
Here are today’s five things to know about Cashews:
The pistachio, mango, cashew and poison ivy are in the same family.
Cashews are native to Costa Rica and Central America.
The fresh cashew nut has a substance inside that produce a big burn and rash in skin and mouth, at the same time this is a highly valuable product known as Cashew Nut Shell Liquid or CNSL, ingredient that have special structural features for transformation into specialty chemicals and high value polymers, this is important considering the fact that, since this is a renewable resource, is better than synthetics.
The cashew nut and the cashew Apple are completely different things! Thank his last one is a kind of fruit to which it’s attached the nut, this fleshy fruit has an aroma some people love while others dislike, the most common way of preparation of this fruit is doing a tasteful juice mixed with water and sugar.
Cashews in Costa Rica are harvested in March and April.
Today’s Food History
1878 The White House hosted the first Easter Egg Roll. Previously, the activities had been held on the Capitol grounds. Congress passed a law banning the practice due to a limited maintenance and landscaping budget (Bah humbug!). President Rutherford B. Hayes was asked if children could hold the activities on the South Lawn of the White House and he enthusiastically agreed. The event has been held there ever since.
1910 R.I.P. Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain. American author, pen name Mark Twain, who wrote ‘Tom Sawyer’, ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,’ etc. There are many quotes and descriptions about food and dining in his works. An example is: “A man accustomed to American food and American domestic cookery would not starve to death suddenly in Europe, but I think he would gradually waste away, and eventually die.” (From ‘A Tramp Abroad’).
1962 The Top Of The Needle restaurant in the Seattle, Washington Space Needle, was officially opened. It was the second revolving restaurant in the U.S. It seats 260 and rotates completely once every hour. (The world’s first revolving restaurant was the La Ronde Restaurant built in 1961 atop the Ala Moana building fronting the Ala Moana shopping center. The restaurant has since closed down.)
1963 The Beatles and the Rolling Stones met for the first time at the Crawdaddy Club.
Here are today’s five things to know about Pineapple Upside-Down Cake:
The term ‘upside down cake’ wasn’t used very much before the 1900s, but the style of baking dates back to the Middle Ages.
Early recipes for fruit upside down cakes were made in cast iron skillets on top of the stove.
The classic American ‘Pineapple Upside Down Cake’ dates to sometime after 1903, when Jim Dole invented canned pineapple.
The Hawaiian Pineapple Co. (now Dole Pineapple) held a pineapple recipe contest in 1925 with judges from Fannie Farmer’s School, Good Housekeeping and McCall’s magazine on the judging panel. The 100 winning recipes would be published in a cookbook the following year.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake by Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery in New York, NY.
Today’s Food History
1770 Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo died. Born in Belgium, this ballerina danced with the Paris Opera. Escoffier named many gourmet dishes in her honor.
1841 Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’ was published, the first modern detective story. This has nothing to do with food, but I am an avid fan of both detective fiction and Poe.
Rice balls preserve very well, and can even be used to preserve meats or other foods within its airtight seal.
The rice ball is traditionally Japanese.
Typically the rice is soaked in vinegar and made to stick together. Dipping it in soy sauce will cause it to fall apart again.
Rice balls date back at least as far as the 11th century.
Another word for the rice ball is “Onigiri”, a word commonly misused to refer to sushi.
The famous Barnum’s animal crackers box was originally a Christmas ornament hung by a string. The string can still be found on boxes.
A box of Animal Crackers sold for 5 cents in 1902.
Animal Crackers originated in England where they were known as animal biscuits.
54 different animals have been created as animal crackers. The most popular brand, Barnum’s Animal Crackers, has featured 37 different animals since 1902.
The most recent addition to the Barnum’s animal crackers is the Koala bear.
Over the years, the only ones that have survived the entire lifetime of the product are bears, elephants, lions and tigers.
Shirley Temple sang “Animal crackers in my soup, Monkeys and rabbits loop the loop,”, but rabbits never found their way into a box of Barnum’s Animal Crackers.
The name referred to P. T. Barnum (1810-1891), the famous circus owner and showman.
Happy National Ham Day!
Here are today’s five thing to know about Glazed Ham:
On the Apollo 13 mission, the crew managed to create a functioning CO2 filter out of duct tape and glazed ham.
Chicago artist Dwight Kalb made a statue of Madonna from 180 pounds of ham.
Names of some of the better known hams of the world include: Smithfield, prosciutto, Westphalian, Parma, Virginia, Kentucky, Country, Canned, Bayonne, York, Mainz, Prague, Asturias, Toulouse, Dijon, Black Forest, Bohemian, Serrano, presunto, Bradenham, Estremadura, Prazska sunks, and szynka.
*Created in the 1950’s to sell Canned Peaches for Spring Celebrations.
The Cookie of Good Luck.
Typical to southern and southeastern China, these almond cookies are usually enjoyed around Chinese New Year, and are given as gifts to family and friends.
In some Chinese restaurants, they are served to cleanse the palate after several courses, rather than being regarded as a dessert.
Yuan-Shan Chi declared these cookies “as Chinese as blueberry pie.”
o 1626 R.I.P. Sir Francis Bacon. An English statesman, philosopher and author of ‘Novum Organum’, a work on scientific inquiry. Some also claim he wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare. He died after having stuffed a dressed chicken with snow to see how long the flesh could be preserved by the extreme cold. He caught cold and died from complications about a month later.
o 1682 Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle discovered the mouth of the Mississippi River and claimed the whole Mississippi Basin for France. He named it Louisiana, in honor of Louis XIV of France.
o 1770 Capt. James Cook discovered Botany Bay on the Australian continent.
o 1850 R.I.P William Prout. An English chemist, he was the first to classify food components into 3 main divisions – carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
o 1872 Samuel R. Percy of New York received a patent for dried milk.
o 1965 The entire cast of the comic strip ‘Peanuts’ was featured on the cover of TIME magazine
o 1513 Ponce de Leon landed in Florida while searching for the Fountain of Youth. He thought it was just another island of the Bahamas.
o 1862 John D. Lynde of Philadelphia patented the first aerosol dispenser.
o 1873 Alfred Paraf received a patent for the first commercially viable margarine manufacturing process.
o 1879 The Echo Farms Dairy of New York began selling milk in glass bottles, the first in the U.S.
o 1946 ‘Catfish’ Hunter, baseball pitcher, was born.
o 1992 R.I.P. Benjamin Eisenstadt. He invented the artificial sweetener, ‘Sweet ‘n Low’ (granulated saccharin and dextrose).
The first coffee cakes are thought to have originated in Germany. These were more like sweet breads than cakes.
o 1727 Michel Adanson was born. Adanson was a French botanist who developed a system of plant classification based on physical characteristics. His system was opposed by Carolus Linnaeus, and was not widely used.
o 1857 A cold front barrels over the U.S. and snow falls in every state in the country.
o 1860 Will Kieth Kellogg was born. Founded the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co. (later the W.K. Kellogg Company) to manufacture cereals (cornflakes were the first) developed by his brother John Harvey Kellogg.
o 1869 David Grandison Fairchild was born. An American botanist and agriculturalist, he was responsible for introducing many useful plants to the U.S. Author of ‘The World Was My Garden,’ and ‘Exploring for Plants’.
o 1933 The beginning of the end of Prohibition. On this day 3.2 percent beer sales were allowed in advance of Prohibition’s ratification.
o 1943 Mick Abrahams of the music group ‘Jethro Tull’ was born.
o 1948 The World Health Organization (WHO) was established.
o 1967 ‘Happy Together’ by Turtles is #1 on the charts.
o 1859 Massachusetts created the first Inspector of Milk position in the U.S.
o 1869 John Wesley Hyatt patented celluloid, the first synthetic plastic.
o 1896 Opening day of the first modern Olympic games. The last Olympics were held 1,500 years ago.
o 1930 ‘Twinkies’ go on sale for the first time.
o 1932 C. Glen King, at the University of Pittsburgh, isolated vitamin C from lemon juice.
o 1938 Roy J. Plunkett accidentally discovered Teflon.
o 1947 John Ratzenberger, actor, was born. He played ‘Cliff Clavin, Jr.’ on the TV series ‘Cheers.’
o 1954 TV dinners are introduced. C.A. Swanson & Sons introduced the first TV dinner: roast turkey with stuffing and gravy, sweet potatoes and peas. It sold for 98 cents and came in an aluminum tray, so you could just open the box and heat the dinner in the oven. (No microwave ovens back then).
o Supposedly executive Gerald Thomas came up with the idea when the company had tons of leftover turkey from Thanksgiving (Didn’t we all?). The idea for the aluminum trays came from the trays used for airline food. They were an immediate success, and Turkey dinners are still the most popular Swanson frozen dinner. Swanson stopped calling them TV dinners in 1962.
o 1988 McDonald’s opened its 10,000th restaurant in Dale City, Virginia.
o 1764 The Sugar Act passed in Britain, placing new restrictions on the import of molasses to America.
o 1806 Isaac Quintard patented the apple cider mill.
o 1858 W. Atlee Burpee was born. Founder of the world’s largest mail-order seed company in 1876.
o 1881 Edwing Houston and Elihu Thomson patented a centrifugal separator, which could be used in separating milk.
o 1981 Bob Hite died. Singer with Canned Heat.
o 1994 Andre Tchelistcheff died. Tchelistcheff was a Russian-born U.S. enologist, was a pivotal figure in the revitalization of the California wine industry following Prohibition (1919-33) and used his Paris training in viticulture and wine making to pioneer such techniques as cold fermentation and the use of American oak barrels for aging. He was also an authority on the types of soil suitable for growing various grape varieties.
o Encyclopedia Brittanica (CD-2002)
o 1998 The Spice Girls first U.K. concert in Glasgow
Savory mousse dishes were an 18th century French achievement. Dessert mousses (generally fruit mousses) began to appear much later, in the second half of the 19th century.
The first written record of chocolate mousse in the United States comes from a Food Exposition held at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1892.
Chocolate mousse came into the public eye in the U.S. in the 1930s, about the time as chocolate pudding mixes were introduced.
By law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts.
Peanut butter was first introduced to the USA in 1904 at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis by C.H. Sumner, who sold $705.11 of the “new treat” at his concession stand.
A 2002 survey showed the average American will have eaten 2,500 of these sandwiches before graduating from high school.
* 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’ think ‘truthy’