National Mincemeat Pie Day
- Mincemeat was originally a medieval (England) sweet, spicy mixture of chopped (minced) lean meat (usually beef, or beef tongue), suet and fruit.
- It was generally served as an entree.
- Gradually the meat content was reduced, and today the mixture contains nuts, dried fruit (raisins, apples, pears, citrus peel, etc.), beef suet, spices and brandy or rum, but no beef.
- Mincemeat is used primarily in pies and tarts.
- Mince pies date back to medieval times and possibly long before. They are descended from a huge pie baked on Christmas Eve containing chopped beef, suet, nuts, spices and fruit of which whole dried plums were an important constituent.
Today’s Food History
1825 The 363 mile long Erie Canal was finished. Connecting the Great Lakes to the Hudson River at Albany, It provided a water route from the Great Lakes to New York City and the Atlantic Ocean, and began the great canal building era in the U.S. (1825-1840).
1854 C. W. Post (Charles William) was born. He founded the Postum Cereal Co. in 1895 (renamed General Foods Corp. in 1922) to manufacture Postum cereal beverage; 1897 Grape Nuts, 1904 Post Toasties (originally called Elijah’s Mana).
1918 Cesar Ritz died in Kussnacht, Switzerland. World renowned hotelier who managed various resort hotels, including the Grand Hotel in Monte Carlo where he met chef Auguste Escoffier. Ritz then managed the Savoy Hotel in London, with Escoffier as his chef. Eventually he opened The Ritz Hotel in Paris in 1898, and was part owner in many other hotels and restaurants, including the Carlton in London. His name became a synonym for luxury.
1979 The largest bluefin tuna weighed 1,496 pounds. It was caught in Nova Scotia.
2007 ‘Chef Tell’ (Friedman Paul Erhardt) died of heart failure. A European trained chef, he was one of the earliest celebrity TV chefs. He made appearances on Saturday Night Live, numerous talk shows, the PBS show ‘In the Kitchen With Chef Tell’ and was the inspiration for the Muppet’s ‘Swedish Chef.’ He was also a restaurant owner, cookbook author and culinary educator.