Posts from the “July Food Holidays” Category

The official 2020 ‘Food Holiday’ list

Posted on February 26, 2019

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The official 2019 ‘Food Holiday’ list

Posted on January 1, 2019

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Celebrate! July 31st is National Cotton Candy Day / 🍡🎡🎢#NationalCottonCandyDay

Posted on July 31, 2018

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Happy National Cotton Candy Day!

5 Facts about Cotton Candy:

  1. Cotton candy was originally called fairy floss.
  2. Cotton candy contains only one ingredient: sugar.
  3. The process by which cotton candy is made has been around for over 100 years so chances are you could ask your grandparents about their first encounter with cotton candy and they’ll tell you at great length how much it cost and how neat it was back in the day.
  4. It was forgotten for a while several decades ago, but cotton candy became an instant hit when suddenly it was mass produced and became readily accessible to everyone – not just the ones going to a fair or circus.
  5. Cotton candy doesn’t contain all that much sugar – merely as much sugar as one would get drinking a can of an average soft drink.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1714 Queen Anne of Britain, the last of the Stuart dynasty died. She had grown so large that her coffin was almost square.

1790 The first U.S. patent was granted to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont. The patent was for a process for producing potash and pearlash . Potash was used in soap and fertilizer. Pearlash was also used in baking. It produced carbon dioxide gas in dough, used in the first ‘quick breads.’ (Commercial baking powder was not available until 1857 [phosphate baking powder]).

1921 There are reports that it rained frogs in Sterling, Connecticut.

July 30th is National Cheesecake Day 🧀+🍰=😋/ #NationalCheeseCakeDay

Posted on July 30, 2018

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Happy national Cheesecake Day!

Today’s 5 Facts about Cheesecake:

  1. Pennsylvania Dutch-style cheesecake uses a slightly tangy type of cheese with larger curds and less water content, called pot or farmer’s cheese.
  2. Philadelphia-style cheesecake is lighter in texture, yet richer in flavor than New York style cheesecake.
  3. Farmer’s cheese cheesecake is the contemporary implementation for the traditional use of baking to preserve fresh cheese and is often baked in a cake form along with fresh fruit like a tart.
  4. Country-style cheesecake uses buttermilk to produce a firm texture while decreasing the pH (increasing acidity) to extend shelf life.
  5. Lactose free cheesecake may be made either with lactose-free cream cheese or as an imitation using Vegan recipes combining non-dairy cream cheese alternatives with other lactose-free ingredients.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1739 Caspar Wistar founded the first successful large scale glass factory in the U.S. in Allowaystown, New Jersey.

1838 It supposedly rained frogs in London.

1849 Jacob Perkins died. Perkins was issued the first U.S. patent for a refrigerating machine. It used sulfuric ether compression.

1963 Lisa Marie Diane Kudrow was born. American actress, her first major TV role was as the strange waitress on ‘Mad About You.’

July 27th is National Scotch Day / #NationalScotchDay

Posted on July 27, 2018

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Happy National Scotch Day!🥃

Five Food Finds about Scotch

  1. Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from 100% malted barley and distilled at a single distillery.
  2. Blended Scotch Whisky is made by blending together a number of single malts and grain whiskies.
  3. 90% of all Scotch whisky sold in the market comprises of Blended Scotch Whisky.
  4. The whisky in ‘Scotch Whisky’ is always spelt without an ‘e’.
  5. In Britain, the term ‘whisky’ is taken to mean Scotch whisky only, unless it has been specified otherwise.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1880 A.P. Abourne patented a method for refining coconut oil.

1910 Large hailstones fall in Todd and Wadena counties in Minnesota, some weighing as much as 5 pounds.

1931 A swarm of grasshoppers destroyed thousands of acres of crops in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. The corn fields were totally destroyed, without a stalk left standing.

1931 Auguste-Henri Forel was born. The next time you are on a picnic and become overtaken by ants, think of Forel. If you would like to know about ants, find a copy of his 5 volume ‘The Social World of the Ants.’

1940 Bugs Bunny makes his screen debut in ‘A Wild Hare.’

1962 Conrad Arnold Elvehjem died. An American biochemist, he identified nicotinic acid as one of the B vitamins, and that a deficiency caused the disease pellagra.

July 26th is National Bagelfest

Posted on July 26, 2018

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Happy National Bagelfest!

Five Food Finds about Bagels

  1. Bagel history dates back to 1783, according to popular belief. They were created to honor King John III Sobieski of Poland, after he protected Austria’s people from an attack by Turkish invaders.  Rumor has it a local Austrian baker created the bagel in the shape of a stirrup to honor the renowned horseman, and named it a “beugel” (the Austrian word for stirrup).
  2. Bagels are the only bread that are boiled before baked. Once the bagel dough is shaped into a circle, they are dipped in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. After that, they are drained and baked for about 10 minutes.
  3. That little hole in the center isn’t just for looks. Rumor has it the age old “role with the hole” design is rather efficient! The bagel hole comes in handy to thread multiple bagels onto a dowel, making transport easily, especially for street vendors selling the doughy delights.
  4. Too busy to down breakfast and your morning cuppa Joe? Try combing your caffeine fix with your breakfast bite with a Buzzed Bagel! Molecular biologist Robert Bohannon created a bagel that actually contains the caffeine equivalent of one to two cups of coffee.
  5. Believe it or not, despite the myriad bagel flavors available from blueberry to the “everything” bagel, the most popular choice is plain, followed closely by sesame.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1856 George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright, was born. You will find many food related quotes from his works on the Food Reference Website. Quote: “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”

1866 Beatrix Potter was born. English author of children’s books, her first and most famous story is ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit,’ originally written as an illustrated letter to a sick child.

1922 Blake Edwards, American film director and producer. Among his films are ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ ‘Days of Wine and Roses,’ and ‘The Tamarind Seed.’

1926 Roquefort cheese is the first cheese designated with an appellation d’origine controlee. Only cheese that is processed in Roquefort, France and aged in the caves there may be called ‘Roquefort Cheese.’

1989 Leslie Merry was hit with a turnip thrown from a passing vehicle in London. He was knocked down and suffered a broken rib and a ruptured spleen. He died of respiratory failure, due to the accident.

July 25th is National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

Posted on July 25, 2018

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Happy National Hot Fudge Sundae Day🍨! #NationalHotFudgeSundaeDay

Today’s 5 Facts about Fudge:

  1. Fudge is a type of Western confectionery which is usually very sweet, and extremely rich. It is made by mixing sugar, butter, and milk and heating it to the soft-ball stage at 240 °F (116 °C), and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency.
  2. The components of fudge are very similar to the traditional recipe for tablet, which is noted in The Household Book of Lady Grisell Baillie (1692-1733).
  3.  The term “fudge” is often used in the United Kingdom for a softer variant of the tablet recipe.
  4. American-style fudge (containing chocolate) is found in a letter written by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, a student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York.
  5. Word of this popular confectionery spread to other women’s colleges. For example, Wellesley and Smith have their own versions of a fudge recipe dating from the late 19th or early 20th century.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1871 Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York was issued a patent for perforated wrapping paper.

1872 It was reported to have rained black worms in Bucharest, Rumania.

1874 Sergey Vasilyevich Lebedev was born. Lebedev was a Russian chemist who developed a method to produce synthetic rubber on a commercial scale, which used potatoes and limestone as raw materials.

1948 Bread rationing ends in Britain.

1993 Vincent Schaefer died. A U.S. research chemist, he invented ‘cloud seeding’ with dry ice to cause rain or snow.

2008 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that will ban trans fats in restaurants and retail food establishments. The ban goes into effect on January 1, 2010. California is the first state to ban trans fats in restaurants.  There are several cities that have banned them, and California and Oregon have previously banned trans fats in school meals.

July 22nd is National Penuche Day

Posted on July 22, 2018

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Five Food Finds about Penuche:

  1. Penuche (Italian: panucci) is a fudge-like candy made from brown sugar, butter, and milk, using no flavorings except for vanilla. Penuche often has a tannish color, and is lighter than regular fudge.
  2. It is formed by the caramelization of brown sugar, thus its flavor is said to be reminiscent of caramel. Nuts, especially pecans, are often added to penuche for texture, especially in the making of penuche candies.
  3. It is primarily a regional food, found in New England and some places in the Southern United States, though in the latter it goes by different names, usually “brown sugar fudge candy”.
  4. Penuche is also used as a boiled icing flavor. Once very popular in Hawaii, its name was localized as panocha or panuche.
  5. Panocha is said to come from the Spanish word for raw sugar (but also Spanish slang for “vulva”).

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1376 Rat Catcher’s Day. The Pied Piper got rid of all the rats in the German town of Hamelin. When the townspeople refused to pay, the Pied Piper led all the towns children away.

1461 Charles VII of France was born. His mistress, Agnes Sorel, was a celebrated cook who created several dishes, and had several culinary creations named in her honor.. (Agnes Sorel soup garnish, Agnes Sorel Timbales, etc.).

1822 Gregor (Johann) Mendel was born. 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 know as the laws of heredity.

1915 Sir Sanford Fleming died. He devised the present system of time zones while working for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

1956 Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland) died. At the age of 84, he leaned too far out of his window and fell to his death. French writer, novelist, biographer, and gastronome. Curnonsky was known as the “Prince of Gastronomes,” a title he was awarded in a public referendum in 1927, and a title no one else has ever been given.

1967 The rock group Vanilla Fudge made its concert debut in New York

July 21st is National Creme Brulee Day

Posted on July 21, 2018

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Happy National Creme Brulee Day!

5 Facts about Creme Brulee:

  1. The custard base is traditionally flavored with vanilla, but is also sometimes flavored with lemon or orange (zest), rosemary, chocolate, coffee, liqueurs, green tea, pistachio, coconut, or other fruit.
  2. The earliest known reference of crème brûlée as we know it today appears in François Massialot’s 1691 cookbook, and the French name was used in the English translation of this book, but the 1731 edition of Massialot’s Cuisinier roial et bourgeois changed the name of the same recipe from “crème brûlée” to “crème anglaise”.
  3. In Britain, a version of crème brûlée (known locally as ‘Trinity Cream’ or ‘Cambridge burnt cream’) was introduced at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1879 with the college arms “impressed on top of the cream with a branding iron”.  The story goes that the recipe was from an Aberdeenshire country house and was offered by an undergraduate to the college cook, who turned it down.
  4. In Catalan language; Crema catalana (‘Catalan cream’), crema cremada (‘Burnt cream’) or crema de Sant Josep, is a Catalan dish similar to crème brûlée. It is traditionally served on Saint Joseph’s Day, March 19, although nowadays it is consumed at all times of year. The custard is flavored with lemon or orange zest, and cinnamon. The sugar in crema catalana is traditionally caramelized under an iron broiler or with a specially made iron, not with a flame.
  5. Crème brûlée is usually served in individual ramekins. Discs of caramel may be prepared separately and put on top just before serving, or the caramel may be formed directly on top of the custard, immediately before serving. To do this, sugar is sprinkled onto the custard, then caramelized under a broiler/salamander, with a butane torch (or similar), or by flambéing a hard liquor on it.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1694 Georg Brandt was born. A Swedish chemist, he discovered the element cobalt in 1730. Cobalt is used in steel making, and is an essential part of vitamin B12.

1873 It rained ants in Nancy, France.

1983 A new low record temperature was recorded at Vostok Station, Antartica, -128.6 F

1988 An Indian Airlines Boeing 737 was charged by a bull while landing at Baroda Airport in western India. The bull lost.

1994 A smoking ban in restaurants and bars in Maryland began today.

July 20th is National Lollipop Day

Posted on July 20, 2018

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Happy National Lollipop Day🍭 / #NationalLollipopDay. Named after a race house of the time the lolli-pop of 1908

A candy named after a race horse!

5 Facts about Lollipops:

  1. The world’s largest lollipop was made in June 25, 2002. It was as tall as a Giraffe(15 feet tall) and about the weight of 23 full grown tigers. Oh ya it was Cherry flavored.
  2. There are many things named after Lollipop, movies, songs, paintings etc.
  3. The original lollipop machine would produce 40 Lollipops per minute but the modern ones make 5,900 a minute.
  4. Lollipops were first made in 1908, in Connecticut by George Smith. He had named it after a horse he fancied, Lolly Pop.
  5. In the Midwest Lollipops are known as Suckers.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1801 Elisha Brown Jr. pressed a 1235 pound cheese ball on his farm. He presented it to president Thomas Jefferson at the White House.

1836 Sir Thomas Clifford Allbutt was born. An English physician, he invented the short (6 inch) clinical thermometer. Before this a foot long meat thermometer was used that took 20 minutes to determine a patient’s temperature. Ouch!

Thanks Sir Allbutt

1851 The first cheese factory in the U.S. to make cheese from scratch was started in Rome, New York in 1851 by Jesse Williams. He had his own dairy herd and purchased more milk from other local farmers to make his cheese. By combining the milk and making large cheeses he could produce cheese with uniform taste and texture. Before then, companies would buy small batches of home made cheese curd from local farmers to make into cheese, each batch of curds producing cheese with wide differences in taste and texture from one another.

July 19th is National Daiquiri Day

Posted on July 19, 2018

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Five Food Finds about Daiquiris:

  1. The Daiquiri cocktail, made of rum, lime juice and sugar, takes its name from the village and iron mines of Daiquiri near Santiago, Cuba, where the cocktail  originated around 1900.
  2. It was named either by American engineers working there, or by the U.S. troops who arrived there in 1898.
  3.  At least one source claims it did not appear until after World War I.
  4. Thirsty partygoers and responsible parents lookin’ for a frosty, fruity thrill can find drive-thru strawberry daiquiri stands just about anywhere in New Orleans.
  5. Drive-thrus now limit customers to only one straw per visit, and they can no longer pack adult-strength strawberry daiquiris with kids’ meals.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1104 Flitch Day. A married couple who can prove to a mock court with a jury of bachelors and maidens, that they have ‘not wished themselves unwed,’ are awarded a ‘flitch’ of bacon (half a pig). The origins of this custom are in Dunmow, Essex, England, details are not certain, but references to it go back to 1104. It has been a regular civic event in Dunmow since 1855. Now held every 4 years, and frequently televised.

1863 Curtis Fletcher Marbut was born. An American geologist and one of the founders of modern soil science. He was with the U.S. Bureau of Soils for 25 years.

1947 Bernie Leadon of the music group ‘Flying Burrito Brothers’ was born

1996 Mervyn Hugh Cowie R.I.P. Cowie was a British wildlife conservationist, founder and director of Kenya’s Royal National Parks.

July 18th is National Caviar Day

Posted on July 18, 2018

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Five Food Finds about Caviar:

  1. True caviar comes from the icy waters of the Caspian Sea where the environment is most conducive to producing the finest sturgeon.
  2. Today with sturgeon facing extinction caviar will remain a delicacy and very expensive.
  3. The United States imports approximately sixty percent of the total world caviar supply.
  4. Caviar is full of proteins, vitamines, low in calories and thus is a complete meal by itself.
  5. Caviar is being given to patients after surgery to aid their recovery.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1867 36 inches of rain fell in 36 hours at Sauk Center, Minnesota.

1892 Thomas Cook died. In 1841 Cook hired a special excursion train between Leicester and Loughborough in England for a temperance meeting. The beginning of Thomas Cook & Son, the worldwide travel agency.

1936 The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile is invented. It is a giant hot dog on wheels. Invented by Carl Mayer, nephew of Oscar Mayer, it was built by General Body Company at Chicago, Illinois. There are now a fleet of six.

1949 Wally Bryson of the music group ‘The Raspberries’ was born.

1968 ‘Grazing In The Grass’ by Hugh Masekela is #1 on the charts

1994 Crayola introduced scented crayons.

July 17th is National Peach Ice-Cream Day

Posted on July 17, 2018

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Five Food Finds about Ice-Cream

  1. It takes 12 lbs. of milk to make just one gallon of ice cream.
  2. The U.S. enjoys an average of 48 pints of ice cream per person, per year, more than any other country.
  3. The ice cream cone’s invention is linked to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. An ice cream vendor reportedly didn’t have enough dishes to keep up with the demand, so he teamed up with a waffle vendor who rolled his waffles into cones!
  4. In 2003, Portland, Oregon bought more ice cream per person than any other U.S. city.
  5. The biggest ice cream sundae in history was made in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in 1988, and weighed in at over 24 tons.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1763 John Jacob Astor was born in Waldorf, Germany. His descendants built the Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

1845 Charles Grey, 2nd Earl R.I.P. Grey (also Baron Grey and Viscount Howick) was given the recipe for Earl Grey Tea by a Chinese mandarin with whom he was friends (and/or whose life either he or another British diplomat saved).

1867 Harvard School of Dental Medicine was founded in Boston, Massachusetts. It was the first dental school in the U.S.

1948 Mick Tucker of the music group ‘Sweet’ was born.

1955 Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California.

1959 Mary Leakey, wife of Louis Leakey, discovered the oldest human skull in Tanganyika (Tanzania). It is about 1.8 million years old.

1961 The Supremes first single recording was released, ‘Buttered Popcorn.’

July 16th is National Corn Fritters Day / #MondayMotivation

Posted on July 16, 2018

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Five Food Finds about Corn

  1. One bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds – more than a large bag of dog food.
  2. Corn is America’s largest crop and accounts for more than 90 percent of the total value and production of feed grains.
  3. Family farmers grow 90 percent of America’s corn.
  4. The United States produces 40 percent of the world’s corn, more than any other country.
  5. In the United States, 87 percent of all the corn is grown utilizing only naturally occurring rainfall.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1439 In an effort to stop the spread of disease, kissing is banned in England.

1827 Josiah Spode II R.I.P. Inventor of Fine Bone China (Spode porcelain). It became the standard English bone china.

1867 Reinforced concrete was patented by F. Joseph Monier. He was a Paris gardener, and developed reinforced concrete to use in garden tubs, beams and posts.

1951 The controversial novel ‘Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger was published.

1967 Arlo Guthrie performs a new song, the 20 minute ‘Alice’s Restaurant’, at the Newport Folk Festival.

1980 The California Supreme Court rules that Ted Giannoulas can appear in public in his San Diego Chicken suit as long as it does not have the call letters of the radio station (KGB) that first used it as a promotional gambit.

1981 Shukuni Sasaki spins 72 plates simultaneously.

2004 The City Manager of Key West, Florida fired its Official Chicken Catcher. Armando Parra was hired in January to catch and relocate some of the more than 2,000 ‘wild’ chickens that roam this small island city. They did not feel he would meet his contract quota to relocate 1,000 chickens by September.

July 13th is National French Fry Day / #NationalFrenchFryDay

Posted on July 13, 2018

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Five Food Finds about French Fries:

  1. French fries are, perhaps, poorly-named, since they originate in Belgium and are most popular in America.
  2. In England these are referred to as “chips”
  3. Though French fries were invented in Europe, the potatoes, from which they are made, originated in the Americas and were imported.
  4. Leaving the potato skin on French fries actually leaves in important vitamins that are lost if the skins are peeled away.
  5. The first occurrence of French fries in America may have been at a diplomatic dinner hosted by Thomas Jefferson.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

  • 1568 The Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral developed a method to bottle beer.
  • 1794 James Lind R.I.P. Lind was a Scottish physician who recommended that fresh citrus fruit and lemon juice be included in the seamen’s diet to eliminate scurvy. The Dutch had been doing this for almost two hundred years.
  • 1864 John Jacob Astor IV born. Great grandson of John Jacob Astor, who founded the family fortune. John Jacob IV built the Astoria section of what would become the Waldorf Astoria Hotel (1897) in New York city (this was on the site where the Empire State building would be built in 1929). He also built the Knickerbocker and the St. Regis hotels. He died on the Titanic.
  • 1937 The first Krispy Kreme doughnut is sold in Salem, North Carolina.
  • 1940 Paul Prudhomme was born in Louisiana. Chef and restaurateur, he owned his first restaurant at the age of 17, and in 1979 opened his world famous Cajun restaurant, K-Pauls. He has also written several best selling cookbooks. 1977 Frustrated by an unsuccessful attempt to obtain funding for a water project, Kinney, Minnesota ‘secedes’ from the United States and applies for foreign aid. In support, Duluth’s frozen pizza king Gino Palucci donates 10 cases of frozen pizza.
  • 1977 A power blackout hit New York. Power was out for about 25 hours.  There was widespread looting, unlike the calm of the 1965 blackout.

 

July 12th is National Pecan Pie Day

Posted on July 12, 2018

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Five Food Finds about Pie:

  1. Approx. $700 million in pies (approx. 186 million units) are sold in grocery stores every year.
  2. Pumpkin pie was first introduced to the holiday table at the pilgrim’s second Thanksgiving in 1623.
  3. Pie was not always America’s favorite dessert – in the 19th Century, fruit pies were a common breakfast food eaten before the start of a long day.
  4. More than one-third of Americans have eaten pie in bed.
  5. Boston Cream Pie is a cake, not a pie.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1730 Josiah Wedgwood was born. English inventor, artist, world renowned pottery designer and manufacturer. His daughter, Susannah, was the mother of Charles Darwin.

1817 Henry David Thoreau was Born. American author, philosopher, and naturalist. Author of ‘Walden; or, Life in the Woods.’

1859 William Goodale of Massachusetts patented a paper bag manufacturing machine. At one time this was a very hot field of research.

1861 or 1864 George Washington Carver was Born. African American botanist, educator, agricultural chemist and innovator. He developed hundreds of uses for peanuts, soybeans and sweet potatoes. He established the George Washington Carver Research Foundation at Tuskegee, for agricultural research.

1873 It is reported that it rained frogs in Kansas City, Missouri.

1934 Ole Evinrude R.I.P. He invented the first practical outboard motor in 1909. The idea came to him while rowing a boat to a picnic one day. He decided there must be an easier way to move a small boat on the water.

1948 Richard Simmons was born. Weight loss program, ‘Sweatin’ to the Oldies’. (A very unique person).

1962 In Pennsylvania, a garbage dump begins to burn underground, and the fire spreads to nearby coal mining tunnels. It was still burning in 1984. It may still be burning.

 

July 11th is National Blueberry Muffin Day

Posted on July 11, 2018

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Five Food Finds about Blueberries:

  1. The blueberry muffin is the official muffin of Minnesota.
  2. If all the blueberries grown in North America in one year were spread out in a single layer, they would cover a four-lane highway that stretched from New York to Chicago.
  3. The blueberry is the second most popular berry in the US (the strawberry is number one).
  4. Blueberries contain anthocyanin, which is good for eyesight.
  5. Blueberries contain significant quantities of both antibacterial and antiviral compounds, and have a reputation in northern Europe of fighting infections. They may also help protect against heart disease.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1792 The first issue of the ‘Farmer’s Almanac’ was published by Robert Bailey Thomas. (Now called ‘Old Farmer’s Almanac’). [Some sources list October 13].

1826 John Fowler born. Fowler was an English engineer who helped develop the ‘steam-hauled’ plow and several other specialty use plows.

1985 Dr. Harlan Stone announced he had developed zippers to use in place of stitches after operations on patients who might require a second operation.

1987 According to the U.N., world population hit 5 billion.

July 10th is National Pina Colada Day / #NationalPinaColadaDay

Posted on July 10, 2018

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Happy Pina Colada Day!

Five Food Finds about Pina Coladas

  1. The piña colada, a drink created in Puerto Rico (Spanish: piña, pineapple + colada, strained) is a sweet, rum-based cocktail made with rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice.
  2. The piña colada was created on August 16, 1954 at the Caribe Hilton’s Beachcomber Bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico by its alleged creator, Ramón “Monchito” Marrero.
  3.  Apparently, the hotel management had expressly requested Monchito to mix a new signature drink that would delight the demanding palates of its star-studded clientele.
  4. Monchito accepted the challenge, and after three intense months of blending, shaking and experimenting, the first piña colada was born.
  5. This story is more credible because the piña colada contains coconut cream as one of the primary ingredients, and the coconut cream of “Coco López” (which is the pioneer) was invented in 1954 in the University of Puerto Rico by Ramón López Irizarry.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1720 Mrs. Clements invented a method of preparing mustard flour or powder, which was known for a long time as Durham Mustard. Until then, mustard was made into balls with honey and or vinegar, and then mixed with more vinegar when needed. (Some sources give the date as June 10).

1839 or 1842 Adolphus Busch was born in either 1839 or 1842 near Mainz, Germany. He founded Annheuser Busch in 1866 with his father-in-law, Eberhard Anheuser. Annheuser Busch is the world’s largest brewer.

1866 The indelible pencil was patented by Edson P. Clark of Northhampton, Massachusetts. This was the equivalent of the ball point pen of the time. It was non-erasable, and you didn’t need an ink well. Used for bills, prices, etc., you could also place a damp sheet of tissue paper over the writing to get a mirror image. It must have been time consuming to get a receipt from a restaurant.

1871 Marcel Proust was born. Marcel Proust was a French writer. On January 1, 1909, he ate a piece of tea-soaked toast whose taste caused on a series of childhood memories. In his 7 volume allegorical novel ‘Remembrance of Things Past,’ the character Swann has a similar experience when he bites into a lemon cookie (a madelaine) which evokes a similar torrent of memories. This is one of the most ubiquitous (i.e., widely-quoted) allusions in literature.

1892 The first concrete paved street is built in Bellefountaine, Ohio. This makes food shopping much easier. They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot for the supermarket. We have lots of paved parking lots (no more oyster shell parking lots), but paved sidewalks are still not very common here in Key West, nor are Street name signs at corners. For a small island, we are not very pedestrian friendly.

1913 The highest temperature every recorded in the U.S., 134 F. in Death Valley, California.

1920 Edward H. Lowe born. He invented Kitty Litter in 1947.

1941 Musician ‘Jelly Roll’ Morton died.

1947 Arlo Guthrie was born. Woody Guthrie’s son, he is most known for his ballad/story ‘Alice’s Restaurant.’

1958 The first parking meters are installed in England.

1985 Coca-Cola announced it was bringing back the old formula ‘Coke’ as Coca-Cola Classic, but would continue to sell the ‘New Coke.’

1989 Mel Blanc (Melvin Jerome Blanc) died. Blanc was a voice actor for Warner Bros. (and other) cartoon characters. Some of the characters he ‘voiced’ include Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and Sylvester the Cat.

1999 Aaron ‘Bunny’ Lapin died. Lapin was the inventor of whipped cream in an aerosol can (‘Reddi-Wip’) in 1948.

July 9th is National Sugar Cookie Day

Posted on July 9, 2018

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Five Food Finds about Cookies:

  1. American cookie jars evolved from British biscuit jars and first appeared on the scene during the Depression in the 1930s when housewives began making more cookies at home, rather than buying them at the bakery, and needed containers for them.
  2. Early American tinsmiths began making cookie cutters by hand back in the 1700s.
  3. The U.S. has a National Cookie Cutter Historical Museum located within the Joplin Museum Complex in Joplin, Missouri.
  4. In 1989, New Mexico named the ‘bizcochito’ its official state cookie. Bizcochito, derived from the spanish word ‘bizcocho’ which means biscuit, is a delicious shortbread cookie flavored with anise and topped with cinnamon sugar.
  5. The U.S. leads the world as the biggest cookie bakers and eaters, spending more than $550 million annually on Oreos alone.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1766 Jacob Perkins was born. Perkins was issued the first U.S. patent for a refrigerating machine. It used sulfuric ether compression.

1792 S.L. Mitchell was named as the first Professor of Agriculture, at Columbia College, New York City.

1815 The first natural gas well in the U.S. was discovered by accident, near Charleston, West Virginia. They had been digging a salt brine well.

1850 U.S. president Zachary Taylor died. He supposedly developed peritonitis after eating too much of a new dessert treat, strawberry ice cream, at a 4th of July celebration.

1869 Henry Tibbe invented the corncob pipe. The pipe was made from a white kernel corn that was used to make taco and tortilla flour. (But can you roll a cigar with a taco wrapper?)

1872 John F. Blondel of Thomason (Thomaston?), Maine, patented the first doughnut cutter.

1887 John Dickenson introduced paper napkins at his company’s annual dinner.

1894 Percy Le Baron Spencer was born. Spencer developed the microwave oven in 1946, after he noticed that some chocolate in his pocket had melted after being accidentally exposed to radiation from a magnetron tube he was working on at the time.

1957 Actress Kelly McGillis was born. McGillis has a restaurant here in Key West, Florida called Kelly’s Place

1982 Diet Coke was introduced.

2004 Jeff Smith, TV’s ‘Frugal Gourmet,’ died at age 65

July 8th is National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day

Posted on July 8, 2018

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Five Food Finds about Almonds:

  1. The protein in almonds is more like the proteins in human breast milk of all the seeds and nuts, which is why it is the choice of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine as the base for its baby formula.
  2. Almonds are the most nutrient-dense tree nut. One ounce of almonds (20-25 almonds) contains 160 calories and only 1 gram of saturated fat and no cholesterol.  Almonds are also an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium, and a good source of protein and potassium.
  3. The Jordan almond is a large plump variety of almond from Malaga, Spain, considered to be the finest cultivated almond. The are frequently sold with a hard colored sugar coating, or salted.
  4. It takes 1000 pounds of almonds to make 1 pint of almond oil.
  5. The world’s largest almond factory is in Sacramento, California. It processes 2 million pounds of almonds a day.

 

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1497 Vasco de Gama left Lisbon with four ships, to search for a sea route to India. He was the first European to sail there (notwithstanding Columbus’ valiant try), and he opened the area to Portuguese trade (and colonization).

(Pondering Point: Columbus sailed to America on his way to India. Wrong Way Corrigan flew to Scotland on his way to California).

1810 Gabriel Gustav Valentin was born. This German-Swiss physiologist was the first to discover the digestive activity of pancreatic juice. (Something I’ll bet you always wanted to know!).

1831 John Styth Pemberton was born. Pemberton was the pharmacist who invented Coca-Cola in 1885. (Pharmacists used to have a much more interesting life!)

1844 Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln was born. She was the author of the original Boston Cooking School Cook Book, before Fanny Farmer took it over. 1887 A riot breaks out at the saloonkeepers picnic in St. Paul, Minnesota.

1881 The Ice Cream Sundae was invented. Edward Berner of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, supposedly invented the Ice Cream Sundae, when he served a customer ice cream topped chocolate syrup (used to flavor ice cream sodas). It was a Sunday, and flavored soda water was not served on Sundays to respectable people.

1886 It rained snails in Cornwall, England. (Sounds like a description of a Monty Python skit). July is one of the best months for raining all sorts of living creatures.

1949 Wolfgang Puck was born. Chef, formerly of Spagos in Los Angeles.

1957 William Cadbury, chocolatier died at age 89.

1989 ‘Good Thing’ by Fine Young Cannibals is #1 on the charts

 

July 7th is National Strawberry Sundae Day

Posted on July 7, 2018

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Happy National Strawberry Sundae Day!

Five Food Finds about Strawberries:

  1. In a test, subjects who ate nitrate rich foods like strawberries, before exercising burned 100 more calories than those who did not.
  2. Over 53 percent of seven to nine-year-olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit.
  3. In France, Strawberries were thought to be an aphrodisiac.  A soup made of strawberries, thinned sour cream, borage, & powered sugar was served to newlyweds.
  4. Folk lore states that if you split a double strawberry in half and share it with the opposite sex, you’ll soon fall in love.
  5. In medieval times, strawberries were served at important functions to bring peace & prosperity.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1307 King Edward I of England died. King Edward I of England (ruled: 1272-1307). His coronation feast included 278 bacon hogs, 450 pigs, 440 oxen, 430 sheep and 22,600 hens and capons. I believe he had invited some guests to his coronation.

1550 The first chocolate arrived in Europe.

1568 William Turner died. William Turner, an English naturalist and botanist, is known as the ‘father of English Botany.’ His best known work was ‘A New Herball.’

1862 The first Land Grant Act was passed. Public lands were sold for agricultural education. This was the start of many state universities throughout the United States

1891 The Travelers Cheque was patented.

1912 The first Horn & Hardart Automat in New York City is opened. (The very first Automat Horn & Hardart opened was in Philadelphia on June 9, 1902).

1928 Otto Frederick Rohwedder spent many years working on a bread slicing machine beginning in 1912. He finally perfected it, and the first sliced bread was produced and sold at M.F. Bench’s Chillicothe Baking Company, 100 Elm Street in Chillicothe, Missouri. According to the story, Mr. Bench assisted Rohwedder in the fine tuning the new bread slicing machine. The Chillicothe, Missouri Constitution-Tribune of July 7, 1928 carried a story of the new machines first use.

1930 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died. Creator of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes would go for days without food while working on a case.

1936 Henry F. Phillips patented the Phillips-head screw and screwdriver.

July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day / #NationalFriedChickenDay

Posted on July 6, 2018

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Happy National Fried Chicken Day!

5 Facts about Chicken:

  1. The greatest height a chicken egg has been dropped from without cracking is 700ft.
  2. This bird was probably first domesticated for the purpose of cockfights, not as food.
  3. Chickens aren’t completely flightless—they can get airborne enough to make it over a fence or into a tree.
  4. These birds are omnivores. They’ll eat seeds and insects but also larger prey like small mice and lizards.
  5. With 25 billion chickens in the world, there are more of them than any other bird species.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1615 Furuta Oribe died. His original name was Furuta Shigenari. He was a Japanese master of the tea ceremony who studied under Sen Riky. His ideas influenced the tea ceremony, teahouse architecture, tea-garden landscaping and even flower arrangement.

1766 Alexander Wilson was born. Scottish naturalist, ornithologist and poet. Founder of American ornithology.

1849 Minnesota’s first brewery is opened by Anthony Yoerg in St. Paul.

1869 Agoston Haraszthy de Mokcsa died. Agoston Haraszthy de Mokcsa imported 1,400 varieties of grapevines to California in 1862 and planted the first large vineyard in California in the Sonoma Valley. After the devastating phylloxera blight decimated the European vineyards, some of these same vines, now on resistant American root stock, helped rescue the European vineyards.

1886 Horlick’s of Wisconsin offered the first malted milk for sale to the public. Horlick’s developed the process to dehydrate milk, and patented it in 1883, calling it Malted Milk. The company originally produced a food for babies and invalid’s, that could be shipped without spoiling.

1985 ‘Raspberry Beret’ by Prince & The Revolution is #1 on the charts

1990 Nathaniel Wyeth died. Wyeth, an American chemist and inventor, received a patent for PET (polyethylene terephthalate) beverage bottles. These were the first plastic bottles strong enough to hold carbonated beverages.

July 5th is National Apple Turnover Day

Posted on July 5, 2018

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Five Food Finds about Apples:

  1. The crabapple is the only apple native to North America.
  2. Apples come in all shades of reds, greens, and yellows.
  3. Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
  4. Apple blossom is the state flower of Michigan.
  5. A medium apple is about 80 calories.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1794 Sylvester Graham was born in West Suffield, Connecticut. He advocated vegetarianism, temperance and the use of coarse ground whole wheat (graham) flour. He also invented the Graham cracker in 1829.

1826 Joseph-Louis Proust Died. Proust was a French chemist. In 1799 he was the first to extract sugar from grapes, and proved it identical to sugar extracted from honey.

1841 Thomas Cook hired a special excursion train between Leicester and Loughborough in England for a temperance meeting. The beginning of Thomas Cook & Son, the worldwide travel agency.

1942 Oskar Bolza died. German mathematician noted for his work on the reduction of hyperelliptic to elliptic integrals.

1958 ‘The Purple People Eater’ by Sheb Wooley is #1 on the charts.

1966 Large hailstones fell on Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. One hailstone measured 1 foot in diameter.

1996 The record catfish caught with rod and reel weighed 111 pounds and was caught in Tennesee.

1996 Dolly, a sheep, was born at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland. Dolly was the first animal cloned from an adult animal.

July 4th is National Barbecue Day / #BBQDay

Posted on July 4, 2018

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Happy National Barbecue!

Five Food Finds about Barbecue:

  1. Barbecues have been a White House tradition since Thomas Jefferson. Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th president of the United States, hosted the first barbecue at the White House that featured Texas-style barbecued ribs.
  2. The most popular holidays for barbecuing are, in order, July 4th (71 percent), Memorial Day (57 percent), and Labor Day (55 percent)..
  3. The most popular foods for cooking on the grill are, in order: burgers (85 percent), steak (80 percent), hot dogs (79 percent) and chicken (73 percent).
  4. The side dishes most commonly prepared on the grill are, in order, corn (41 percent), potatoes (41 percent), and other vegetables (32 percent).
  5. The most popular flavors of barbecue sauce are hickory, followed by mesquite, honey, and then spicy-hot.

 

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1828 The cornerstone was laid for the Tremont House in Boston, Massachusetts. It would be the first U.S. hotel to install bathrooms. It opened on October 16, 1829.

1845 Henry David Thoreau begins his 2 year experiment with simple living at Waldon Pond.

1848 Francois Auguste René Vicomte de Chateaubriand died. Chateaubriand was a French writer and politician. His chef, Montmireil, created a famous recipe consisting of a center cut from the beef tenderloin, grilled and served with béarnaise sauce and chateau potatoes. Montmireil named the dish Chateaubriand.

1906 Vincent Schaefer was born. A U.S. research chemist, he invented ‘cloud seeding’ with dry ice to cause rain or snow.

1918 Pauline Esther and Esther Pauline were born. Pauline Esther’s pen name was Abigal Van Buren and she wrote the “Dear Abby” newspaper advice column. Her twin sister Esther Pauline wrote the “Ann Landers” column advice column.

1943 Alan Wilson of the music group ‘Canned Heat’ was born.

1956 At a Fourth of July family picnic, Milton Levine came up with the idea for the Ant Farm. I wonder if he had dreams of fencing them in so they would not bother him at picnics?

July 3rd is National Chocolate Wafer Day!

Posted on July 3, 2018

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Happy National Chocolate Wafer Day

Five Food Finds about Chocolate

  • Ancient Aztecs thought chocolate had magical powers; like the ability to give them strength.
  • Chocolate was consumed by the ancient Aztecs as a frothy beverage, somewhat like hot chocolate we drink today.
  • Chocolate contains over 300 mineral properties that are beneficial to your health.
  • Chocolate comes from a plant, called Theobroma cacao, which translates “Food of the Gods”.
  • Dark chocolate has more antioxidants than green tea and just as many as blueberries.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1806 Michael Keens presented the first cultivated strawberry combining flavor and appearance, at the Royal Horticultural Society. “…. I have for a considerable time employed myself in raising new varieties from seed, which has been not only a source of great amusement to me, but also very profitable in my profession.”

1844 The last pair of Great Auks was killed near Iceland. They had been hunted to extinction for food and bait. Great Auks (Garefowl) were almost 3 feet tall, with short wings, similar to penguins. They were flightless, which made them vulnerable to hunters.

1890 Idaho became the 43rd state, the Potato State.

1908 M.F.K. Fisher (Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher) was born. Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher was an American food critic and writer and the author of various articles, essays and books about food. She also translated Brillat-Savarin’s ‘The Physiology of Taste’ in 1949.

1922 ‘Fruit Garden & Home Magazine’ was founded. Two years later it was renamed ‘Better Homes & Gardens’.

1924 Clarence Birdseye, with the financial backing of W. Hodges, W. Gamage, B. Jones, I.L. Rice and J.J. Barry, founded the General Seafood Corporation. The birth of the frozen food industry.

1929 More unusual uses for kitchen appliances: Foam rubber was developed at Dunlop Laboratories. British scientist E.A. Murphy used a kitchen mixer to whip natural latex rubber.

1954 Rationing finally ended in Britain, almost nine years after the end of World War II.

1985 The honey bee was designated the official state insect of Missouri on July 3, 1985.

July 2nd is National Anisette Day!

Posted on July 2, 2018

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National Anisette Day

Five Food Finds about Anise

  • This herb is native to Egypt and is mentioned in ancient Egyptian records. The Romans used it in medicine and also in a cake which was possibly the forerunner of the wedding cake.
  • Anise comes as an extract and lozenges and in teas.
  • It produces seeds that are used in both herbal medicine and aromatherapy.
  • This sweet smelling herb is also commonly used to flavor foods and liqueurs such as anisette and ouzo.
  • Anise has been used for many years to disguise the unpleasant taste of medicine.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1566 Michel de Notredame or Nostradamus died.Nostradamus is best known for his book of prophecies ‘Centuries Asrtologiques’ published in 1555. However, in the same year he also published ‘Excellent er Moult Utile Opuscule a tous necessaire qui desirent avoir connaissance de plusieurs exq uises recettes’ (‘An excellent and most useful little work essential to all who wish to become acquainted with some exquisite recipes’).

1843 An alligator reportedly fell from the sky during a thunderstorm in Charleston, South Carolina.

1926 Emile Coue died. A French pharmacist, he was an advocate of autosuggestion. He suggested repeating the following sentence 15 to 20 times in the morning and evening: “Every day, and in every way, I am becoming better and better.”

1931 Stephen Moulton Babcock died. Babcock developed a test to measure the fat content of milk, which helped improve the quality of commercial dairy production.

1932 Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, was born.

1947 An identified or unidentified object crashes near Roswell, New Mexico.

1982 Larry Walters used 45 helium filled weather ballons tied to an aluminum lawn chair to ascend to 16,000 feet above Long Beach. Several very perplexed commercial airline pilots reported seeing Larry sitting in his lawn chair in the sky, to the Long Beach airport. The FAA fined him $4,000, but later settled for $1,500.

July 1st is National Gingersnap Day

Posted on July 1, 2018

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National Gingersnap Day

Five Food Finds about Ginger

  • Ginger helps digest fatty foods and break down proteins.
  • It can also treat motion sickness.
  • Not only that, but it even reduces inflammation caused by arthritis.
  • Ginger stimulates the circulation of blood.  That’s how it helps reduce inflammation.
  • It is also a natural decongestant and antihistamine.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1860 Charles Goodyear R.I.P.  He invented the process named ‘vulcanization’ which made the commercial use of rubber possible. Vulcanized rubber didn’t become brittle in winter and turn gummy in summer as natural rubber did.

1874 The Philadelphia Zoo opened, the first zoological gardens in the U.S.

1910 Ward Baking Company of Chicago, Illinois opent the first completely automated bread plant in the U.S. Untouched by human hands.

1912 David Ross Brower was born. Brower was the founder of many environmental organizations including the ‘Friends of the Earth’ and ‘Earth Island Institute’.

1916 Coca-Cola started using their new contoured bottle to stay ahead of the competition. (Some sources list November 16, 1915).

1929 Elzie Segar created Popeye, the spinach eating cartoon character. (Also listed as January 17, and April 11 in some sources).

1936 Wally Amos, Jr. born. Creator of ‘Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies’. He sold the name, and now makes ‘Uncle Noname’ chocolate chip cookies.

1942 Leon Daudet died. French journalist and novelist, well known gastronome of his time.

1953 Cheez Whiz was introduced nationwide by Kraft.

1963 Five digit Zip Codes are introduced for U.S. mail.

1999 Forrest Edward Mars died. Son of Frank C. Mars, he helped him develop the Milky Way candy bar. He founded his own company in Europe and developed the Mars Bar, and also created M&Ms. He merged his company with his father’s in 1964, creating the world’s largest candy manufacturer.

July 31st is National Cotton Candy Day

Posted on July 31, 2017

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Five Food Finds about Cotton Candy:

  1. Cotton candy was originally called fairy floss.
  2. Cotton candy contains only one ingredient: sugar.
  3. The process by which cotton candy is made has been around for over 100 years so chances are you could ask your grandparents about their first encounter with cotton candy and they’ll tell you at great length how much it cost and how neat it was back in the day.
  4. It was forgotten for a while several decades ago, but cotton candy became an instant hit when suddenly it was mass produced and became readily accessible to everyone – not just the ones going to a fair or circus.
  5. Cotton candy doesn’t contain all that much sugar – merely as much sugar as one would get drinking a can of an average soft drink.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1714 Queen Anne of Britain, the last of the Stuart dynasty died. She had grown so large that her coffin was almost square.

1790 The first U.S. patent was granted to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont. The patent was for a process for producing potash and pearlash . Potash was used in soap and fertilizer. Pearlash was also used in baking. It produced carbon dioxide gas in dough, used in the first ‘quick breads.’ (Commercial baking powder was not available until 1857 [phosphate baking powder]).

1921 There are reports that it rained frogs in Sterling, Connecticut.

July 30th is National Cheesecake Day

Posted on July 30, 2017

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Five Food Finds about Cheesecake:

  1. Pennsylvania Dutch-style cheesecake uses a slightly tangy type of cheese with larger curds and less water content, called pot or farmer’s cheese.
  2. Philadelphia-style cheesecake is lighter in texture, yet richer in flavor than New York style cheesecake.
  3. Farmer’s cheese cheesecake is the contemporary implementation for the traditional use of baking to preserve fresh cheese and is often baked in a cake form along with fresh fruit like a tart.
  4. Country-style cheesecake uses buttermilk to produce a firm texture while decreasing the pH (increasing acidity) to extend shelf life.
  5. Lactose free cheesecake may be made either with lactose-free cream cheese or as an imitation using Vegan recipes combining non-dairy cream cheese alternatives with other lactose-free ingredients.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1739 Caspar Wistar founded the first successful large scale glass factory in the U.S. in Allowaystown, New Jersey.

1838 It supposedly rained frogs in London.

1849 Jacob Perkins died. Perkins was issued the first U.S. patent for a refrigerating machine. It used sulfuric ether compression.

1963 Lisa Marie Diane Kudrow was born. American actress, her first major TV role was as the strange waitress on ‘Mad About You.’

July 27th is National Scotch Day

Posted on July 27, 2017

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Five Food Finds about Scotch

  1. Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from 100% malted barley and distilled at a single distillery.
  2. Blended Scotch Whisky is made by blending together a number of single malts and grain whiskies.
  3. 90% of all Scotch whisky sold in the market comprises of Blended Scotch Whisky.
  4. The whisky in ‘Scotch Whisky’ is always spelt without an ‘e’.
  5. In Britain, the term ‘whisky’ is taken to mean Scotch whisky only, unless it has been specified otherwise.

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1880 A.P. Abourne patented a method for refining coconut oil.

1910 Large hailstones fall in Todd and Wadena counties in Minnesota, some weighing as much as 5 pounds.

1931 A swarm of grasshoppers destroyed thousands of acres of crops in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. The corn fields were totally destroyed, without a stalk left standing.

1931 Auguste-Henri Forel was born. The next time you are on a picnic and become overtaken by ants, think of Forel. If you would like to know about ants, find a copy of his 5 volume ‘The Social World of the Ants.’

1940 Bugs Bunny makes his screen debut in ‘A Wild Hare.’

1962 Conrad Arnold Elvehjem died. An American biochemist, he identified nicotinic acid as one of the B vitamins, and that a deficiency caused the disease pellagra.

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