Posts from the “June Food Holidays” Category

June 25th is National Strawberry Parfait Day

Posted on June 25, 2018

High-res version

It’s National Strawberry Parfait Day

Today’s facts about Strawberries :

  1. Strawberries are one of the only fruits with seeds on the outside.
  2. The average strawberry has 200 seeds.
  3. The ancient Romans believed that strawberries alleviated symptoms of melancholy, fainting, all inflammations, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, bad breath, attacks of gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen.
  4. To symbolize perfection and righteousness, medieval stone masons carved strawberry designs on altars and around the tops of pillars in churches and cathedrals.
  5. In parts of Bavaria, country folk still practice the annual rite each spring of tying small baskets of wild strawberries to the horns of their cattle as an offering to elves. They believe that the elves, are passionately fond of strawberries, will help to produce healthy calves and an abundance of milk in return.

Today’s Food History

  • 1630 Massachusetts Bay colony governor John Winthrop supposedly introduced the fork to American dining.
  • 1867 Barbed wire was patented by Lucien B Smith of Kent, Ohio.
  • 1938 The new Federal minimum wage law guaranteed workers 40¢ per hour.
  • 1951 Pabst aired the 1st color beer commercial on TV
  • 1971 Sir John Boyd Orr died. A Scottish scientist and nutrition expert, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to eliminate world hunger.
  • 1974 The first checkout scanner was installed in a supermarket.
  • 1994 The London Times reported a previously unknown species of mammal was discovered in Vietnam, the Vu Quang Ox. It was the first discovery of a new large mammal since the Okapi in 1910. The ox is thought to inhabit an area along the Vietnam-Laos border.
  • 1997 Jacques-Yves Cousteau R.I.P. Ocean explorer, marine biologist. Co-inventor of the aqualung.

June 24th is National Praline Day

Posted on June 24, 2018

High-res version

Happy National Praline Day

Did you know that originally praline was roughly a sweet confection made of almonds and caramelized coating? Not Pecans…

Food Facts of Pralines:

  1. Praline is a type of candy made from nuts and sugar syrup, whether in whole pieces or a ground powder.
  2.  Although the stories surrounding the creation differ, it is widely agreed that pralines are named after French diplomat from the early 17th century whose name and title was César, duc de Choiseul, comte du Plessis-Praslin.
  3. French settlers brought this recipe to Louisiana, where both sugar cane and pecan trees were plentiful. During the 19th century, New Orleans chefs substituted pecans for almonds, added cream to thicken the confection, and thus created what became known throughout the American South as the praline.
  4. In New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast, where there are many communities settled by the French, the pronunciation is prah-leen, with the long aaah sound. Other regions of the country, including parts of Texas, Georgia, and New England have anglicized the term and pronounce it pray-leen.
  5. In Europe, the praline has evolved to an entirely different candy altogether. In Belgium and France, praline is a smooth paste of cocoa blended with finely ground nuts and used to fill chocolate bon-bons, but when it came to New Orleans it took another road.

Today’s Food History

  • 1374 An outbreak of Dancing Mania (sometimes known as ‘St. John’s Dance’) occurred in Aix-la-Chapelle, France. People were overcome with bouts of uncontrollable, manic dancing. Frothing at the mouth, screaming, and sexual frenzy were other symptoms. Ergot (fungus) poisoning (from grain) is now believed to have been the ultimate cause.
  • 1532 Robert Dudley, the earl of Leicester, was born.
  • Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle,
  • the cow jumped over the moon.
  • The little dog laughed to see such sport,
  • and the dish ran away with the spoon.
  • Dudley was Queen Elizabeth I’s first court favorite. She called him her ‘puppy.’ He is the dog who laughs in the nursery rhyme ‘Hey diddle diddle,’ when the dish runs away with the spoon, i.e., when Lady Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of the Queen’s ladies in waiting, ran away with the Queen’s taster, the Earl of Hereford, since he did not favor the tight reign Elizabeth kept on her court. He was also the step-father of her second lover, the Earl of Essex.
  • 1817 The first coffee was planted in Hawaii on the Kona coast.
  • 1839 Gustavus Franklin Swift was born. Founder of the meat-packing business, Swift & Co., the inventor of the refrigerated railway car, and the first to ship ‘dressed’ beef to eastern markets instead of live animals.
  • 1895 Jack Dempsey was born. He is regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time. He held the world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926. He then became a successful restaurateur in New York City.
  • 2003 Richard Pough died. An American ecologist he was the founding president of the Nature Conservancy and helped found the World Wildlife Fund. In 1945, he was one of the first to warn about the dangers of DDT to fish and birds.

June 23rd is National Pecan Sandy Day

Posted on June 23, 2018

High-res version

Happy National Pecan Sandy Day!

Today’s 5 Fact about Pecans:

  • If the body does not get enough zinc, it may have difficulty producing testosterone – a key hormone in initiating sexual desire in both men and women.  Pecans provide nearly 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value for zinc.
  • It would take 11,624 pecans, stacked end to end, to reach the top of the Empire State Building in New York City.
  • Texas adopted the pecan tree as its state tree in 1919.  In fact, Texas Governor James Hogg liked pecan trees so much that he asked if a pecan tree could be planted at his gravesite when he died.
  • Albany, Georgia, which boasts more than 600,000 pecan trees, is the pecan capital of the U.S.  Albany hosts the annual National Pecan Festival, which includes a race, parade, pecan-cooking contest, the crowning of the National Pecan Queen and many other activities.
  • Pecan trees usually range in height from 70 to 100 feet, but some trees grow as tall as 150 feet or higher.  Native pecan trees – those over 150 years old – have trunks more than three feet in diameter.


Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1626 A large Codfish, split open at a Cambridge market, is found to contain a copy of a book of religious treatises by John Frith.

1868 Christopher Nathan Sholes of Wisconsin patented a mechanical writing machine, called a type-writer. It was as large as a desk, made of black walnut and had black and white keys. He signed a deal with the Remington Arms company for its manufacture in 1873. It was Remington who turned it into a more practical machine. Chefs could now type their recipes so others could read them (only Doctors have more illegible handwriting than Chefs).

1894 Alfred Charles Kinsey born. Alfred Charles Kinsey is famous for the two books his Institute for Sex Research published, ‘Sexual Behavior in the Human Male’ (1948) and ‘Sexual Behavior of the Human Female’ (1953). However, he was also a world authority on the taxonomy of gall wasps, and author of ‘Edible Wild Plants of Eastern North America’ (1943).

1964 Arthur Melin of the Wham-O company (of Frisbee fame) patented the hula-hoop. Great exercise.

1969 Warren E. Burger is sworn in as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

1982 A record low temperature of -117 F was recorded at the South Pole

1993 John Wayne Bobbitt does not appreciate his wife Lorena’s expertise with a kitchen knife.

2005 The Lucky Pierrot restaurant chain in northern Japan began serving deep fried Whale Burgers, made with minke whale meat.  The meat is from whales that Japan kills for “research purposes” and then sells the meat. The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986. Japan has said it will double its annual “research cull” of minke whales to 935 for 2005.


June 22nd is National Chocolate Eclair Day

Posted on June 22, 2018

High-res version

It’s National Chocolate Eclair Day!

Here’s 5 Facts about Chocolate Eclairs:

  1. An éclair is an oblong pastry made with choux dough filled with a cream and topped with icing.
  2.  In French, “éclair” the dessert may have gotten its name from the “flash” of frosting that glistens across its top.
  3. When baking the perfect chocolate éclair, sufficient steam is essential to the construction of the inner cavern that will be filled with vanilla cream.
  4. MasterChef India pastry experts spent three days constructing a 26 foot tall chocolate éclair pyramid in 2010, taking the world record, according to Limca.
  5. The éclair originated during the 19th century in France. It was called “pain à la duchesse” or “petite duchesse” until 1850.

Today’s Food History

  • 1633 Galileo was forced by the Inquisition in Rome to renounce his theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun.
  • 1847 Supposedly, Hanson Crockett Gregory, of Rockport, Maine, created the doughnut. His mother’s fry-cakes were not cooked in the center, so he cut the centers out so they would no longer have undercooked centers. (I have doubts about this story)
  • 1947 During the early evening Holt, Missouri received a world record 12 inches (300 mm) of rainfall in 42 minutes.
  • 1947 Howard Kaylan of the music group ‘The Turtles’ was born.
  • 1992 M.F.K. Fisher (Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher) died. Fisher was an American food critic and writer, author of various articles, essays and books about food, and she also translated Brillat-Savarin’s ‘The Physiology of Taste’ in 1949.
  • 2002 Esther Pauline Friedman Lederer died. She wrote the ‘Ann Landers’ advice column. Her twin sister Pauline Esther, under the pen name Abigail Van Buren, wrote the‘Dear Abby’ advice column.

dvdr1 2

June 21st is National Peaches & Cream Day

Posted on June 21, 2018

High-res version

Happy National Peaches & Cream Day!

Five Food Finds about Peaches & Cream:

  1. Did you know?  Peaches were once known as Persian apples.
  2. “You’re a real peach” originated from the tradition of giving a peach to the friend you liked.
  3. Peaches were mentioned as early as 79 A.D. in literature.
  4. A medium peach contains only 37 calories.
  5. There are over 700 varieties of peaches-some Chinese varieties are even flat like hockey pucks!

Today’s Food History

  • 1834 Cyrus McCormick received a patent for the first practical mechanical reaper.
  • 1893 The first Ferris Wheel opened at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. Invented by George Washington Ferris, it had 36 cars and carried 60 passengers 264 feet high.
  • 1933 A barge loaded with grain arrived in New Orleans to complete the first Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico barge trip.

June 20th is National Vanilla Milkshake Day / The most popular flavor in the world, of course!

Posted on June 20, 2018

High-res version

Happy National Vanilla Milkshake Day!🍦+🥛=😋

Five Food Finds about Vanilla Milkshakes:

  1. The first known printed reference to a “milkshake” dates back to 1885. It contained one part whiskey, ‘for medicinal purposes’.
  2. ‘Shakes’ got their name from being served in bars. If the customer enjoyed the specialty drink, he shook hands with the bartender. If not, the bartender wouldn’t get a tip.
  3. The first diner milkshakes were made with a mixture of milk, malt and a flavoring(vanilla, chocolate, etc.). The malt added an ‘ice cream’ texture to the drink.
  4. The electric blender was invented in 1922 JUST for the making of milkshakes. amilkshake are referred to as a “frappe” (the e is silent)
  5.  In parts of New England, a milkshake is often referred to as a “frappe” (the e is silent)


Today’s Food History

  • 1861 Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins was born. He discovered what we now call ‘vitamins,’ essential nutrients needed to maintain health.
  • 1948 The TV show ‘Toast of the Town’ premiers on CBS with Ed Sullivan as the host.
  • 1964‘Chapel of Love’ by Dixie Cups is #1 on the charts
  • 1977 The trans-Alaska oil pipeline opened. It takes oil 38 days to travel 800 miles from the fields in Prudhoe Bay to the port of Valdez.

dvdr1 2

Cheers! June 19th is National 🍸🍸Martini Day🍸🍸

Posted on June 19, 2018

High-res version

Happy National Martini Day!🍸

Five Food Finds about the Martini:

  1. A classic martini is gin or vodka, a splash of dry vermouth (French-white) and an olive or a lemon twist garnish.
  2. Italian immigrant bartender Martini di Arma di Taggia in New York City is said to have invent the drink around World War I
  3. If a Martini is shaken it is said to be ‘bruised’ or watered down. Many say stirring the ice will help chill without adding water to the mixture.
  4. Many think the martini is derived from a British-made rifle called a Martini & Henry used by the English army 1870’s because of its ‘kick’.
  5. It is said that John D. Rockefeller ‘brought the Martini to Wall Street’ thus establishing the ‘3 martini lunch’

Today’s Food History

  • 1912 The United States government adopted an 8-hour work day. (I’m still waiting!)
  • 1931 The first commercial doors operated by a photoelectric cell were installed on the swinging doors between the kitchen and dining room of Wilcox’s Pier Restaurant in West Haven, Connecticut.
  • 1941 General Mills introduced ‘Cheerioats.’ The name was changed to ‘Cheerios’ in 1945.
  • 1978 Garfield, the lasagna eating cat was born. He was brought into this world by cartoonist Jim Davis.
  • 1987 Ben & Jerry Ice Cream introduced a new Ice Cream flavor, Cherry Garcia.
  • 1993 English author William Golding died. His first novel was ‘Lord of the Flies’ (1954).
%d bloggers like this: