Posts tagged “history

September 20th is National Rum Punch Day!

Posted on September 20, 2017

BeFunky DesignHere are today’s five thing to know about Rum:

  1. Rum was manufactured, distilled, and made long before any other spirit. It’s history is a vast one filled with stories, and fables. It was the first branded spirit made.
  2. Rations of rum were given to sailors in the British Army to be mixed with lime juice because it fought off the scurvy.
  3. When wealthy titles were given to parsons, they were thanked with a glass of rum.
  4. In Australia, the rum hospital can recognize rum as it as its chief contributor of revenues that were generated via the rum exports they were known for.
  5. Triangular trade was introduced as slaves were traded for rum, sugars, and other items that were all carrying missionaries- this was known as ‘rum and bible.’

Today’s Food History

  • 1842 Sir James Dewar was born. He invented the ‘Dewar Flask,’ the original ‘thermos bottle’.
  • 1859 George B. Simpson patented the electric range.
  • 1878 Upton Sinclair was born. His novel, ‘The Jungle,’ was a detailed horror story about the conditions in the meat packing industry of the time. It led to extensive reforms.
  • 1890 Blues musician ‘Jelly Roll’ Morton was born.
  • 1969 ‘Sugar, Sugar’ by the Archies hits Number 1 on the charts.

A History of Frozen Food

Posted on March 7, 2014

Clarence Birdseye invented, developed, and commercialized a method for quick-freezing food products in convenient packages and without altering the original taste. “Frosted foods” were sold to the public for the first time in 1930 in Springfield, Massachusetts, under the tradename Birds Eye Frosted Foods®. While Clarence Birdseye has become a household name, his process has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Fruits and vegetables chosen for fresh produces isles are usually picked before they ripen, which gives them less time to reach higher amounts of vitamins and minerals. The appearance of ‘ripening’ still occurs, but this produce will never have the same nutritive value as if they had been allowed to fully ripen on the plant.

Clarence Birdseye was born in 1886 in Brooklyn, New York A taxidermist by trade, but a chef at heart, Clarence Birdseye wished his family could have fresh food all year. After observing the people of the Arctic preserving fresh fish and meat in barrels of sea water quickly frozen by the arctic temperatures, he concluded that it was the rapid freezing in the extremely low temperatures that made food retain freshness when thawed and cooked months later.

In 1923, with an investment of $7 for an electric fan, buckets of brine, and cakes of ice, Clarence Birdseye invented and later perfected a system of packing fresh food into waxed cardboard boxes and flash-freezing under high pressure.  The Goldman-Sachs Trading Corporation and the Postum Company (later the General Foods Corporation) bought Clarence Birdseye’s patents and trademarks in 1929 for $22 million. The first quick-frozen vegetables, fruits, seafoods, and meat.

Clarence Birdseye turned his attention to other interests and invented an infrared heat lamp, a spotlight for store window displays, a harpoon for marking whales, then established companies to market his products.

Nutritional Five Food Finds about Frozen Food

  • Fruits and vegetables tend to be frozen at their peak ripeness, a time when they have the most nutrients.
  • Pumpkins and tomatoes lose little nutritional value during the freezing process.
  • When shopping for frozen foods, choose those marked with the USDA ‘U.S. Fancy’ shield.  Vegetables of this standard tend to be more nutrient-rich than the lower grades ‘U.S. No. 1’ or ‘U.S. No. 2.’
  • Steaming or microwaving (instead of boiling) frozen foods minimizes the loss of vitamins & nutrients.
  • Frozen produce sales have climbed faster than fresh produce sales over the past five years.

 

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…

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…

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…

A History of Peeps

Posted on April 6, 2012

Did you know that peeps are basically indestructible?  Not water, nor powerful acids, nor powerful bases dissolve them.  That’s one tough little tweeter! Food Finds about Peeps Peeps have been the #1 non-chocolate easter candy for over 20 years. In 1953, it took 27 hours to make a peep because of time-consuming details like hand-painted eyes. Today, it takes 6 minutes to make a peep. The leading peep-eating champion ate 102 peeps in 30 minutes. The leading speed-eating champ ate 7 peeps in 30 seconds. The main colors of peeps in order of popularity are yellow, pink, lavender, and white. Peeps have a shelf life of 2 years. They do not dissolve in water, sulfuric acid, or sodium hydroxide.  It is commonly believed that…

A History of the Easter Egg

Posted on April 4, 2012

Did you know that some European children still go door to door begging for Easter eggs just like American children do with candy on Halloween?  The practice is called pace-egging. Easter falls in the spring, the yearly time of renewal, when the earth renews itself after a long, cold winter. The word Easter comes to us from the Norsemen’s Eostur, Eastar, Ostara, and Ostar, and the pagan goddess Eostre, all of which involve the season of the growing sun and new birth. The Easter Bunny arose originally as a symbol of fertility, due to the rapid reproduction habits of the hare and rabbit. The ancient Egyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, and Hindus all believed the world began with an enormous egg, thus the egg as a…

A History of Chocolate Bunnies

Posted on April 3, 2012

Did you know that hollow chocolate bunnies are a by-product of WWII cocoa rationing?  That way, they could keep their appealing shape while using significantly less material. Smithsonian magazine reports that the chocolate bunny has existed since the 19th century when it was initially created in Germany. Gourmet.com states that these treats were hidden for kids to find around springtime to commemorate the season. Whitman’s Chocolates produced chocolate bunnies as a take on the tradition in the mid 1800s, but not everyone was keen on the idea just yet. In 1890, Robert Strohecker was the first American shop owner to use a five-foot-tall chocolate bunny as an Easter promotion in his drug store. However, it wasn’t until the beginning of the 20th century when…

Udon noodles, eaten by billions every day

Posted on March 30, 2012

Did you know that a Buddhist priest was the first one to bring Udon noodles from China?  Kūkai, a Buddhist priest, traveled to China around the beginning of the 9th century to study. Sanuki Province claimed to have been the first to adopt udon from Kūkai. Enni, a Rinzai monk, went to China in the 13th century; Hakata claimed to have produced udon based on Enni’s recipe. Udon is usually served hot as noodle soup in its simplest form as kake udon, in a mildly flavoured broth called kakejiru which is made of dashi, soy sauce (shōyu), and mirin. It is usually topped with thinly chopped scallions. Other common toppings include tempura, often prawn or kakiage (a type of mixed tempura fritter), or abura…

A History of Duncan Hines

Posted on March 28, 2012

Did you know that Duncan Hines was a man before he was a brand?  He was an American pioneer of restaurant ratings for travelers, best known today for the brand of food products that bears his name. Hines was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Working as a traveling salesman for a Chicago printer, by age 55 in 1935, Hines had eaten a lot of good and bad meals on the road all across the US. At this time in the United States, there was no interstate highway system and only a few chain restaurants, except for those in large, populated areas. Therefore, travelers depended on getting a good meal at a local restaurant. Hines and his wife, Florence, began assembling a list for friends of…

A History of the Paella

Posted on March 27, 2012

Did you know?  Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain’s national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols. On special occasions, 18th century Valencians used paelleras to cook rice in the open air of their orchards near lake Albufera. Water vole meat was one of the main ingredients of early paellas, along with eel and butter beans. Novelist Vicente Blasco Ibáñez described the Valencian custom of eating water voles in Cañas y Barro (1902), a realistic novel about life among the fishermen and peasants near lake Albufera. Living standards rose with the sociological changes of the late 19th century in Spain, giving rise to reunions and outings in the…

A History of Whisky (Whiskey)

Posted on March 27, 2012

Though whisky’s exact origins are unknown, its existence was first documented in Ireland in 1405. Whisky is a strictly regulated spirit worldwide with many classes and types. The typical unifying characteristics of the different classes and types are the fermentation of grains, distillation, and aging in wood. Food Finds about Whisky (Whiskey) There are two legitimate spellings of whisky. One is ‘whisky’ – as spelled by Scotts and Canadians and the second is ‘whiskey’ – as spelled by the Irish and Americans. There is a dispute between the Irish and the Scotts, as to who were the first to make whisky. Scotch and Irish whisky are made the same way, with the exception of malting and distillation process. There are five basic classifications of…

A History of Aunt Jemima

Posted on March 25, 2012

Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix was one of the first “mixes” ever sold (from the R.T. Davis Milling Company). Former slave Nancy Green was hired as a spokesperson for the Aunt Jemima pancake mix in 1890. Green  played the Jemima character from 1890 until 1923. The world first “discovered” the real Aunt Jemima (Green)  at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893, where she would make pancakes. Today, most of us know her from the kindly portrait on the label of the American iconic syrup and mixes.

Five Food Finds about Aunt Jemima

  • Most people think of the Aunt Jemima brand as a syrup, but it actually wasn’t introduced as a syrup until 1966.
  • Some view Aunt Jemima as a negative racial stereotype.  Throughout the years, the brand has done some work to create a more empowering image of her.
  • Aunt Jemima’s pancake mix was one of the first “mixes” ever sold.
  • At the World’s Columbian Exposition, Aunt Jemima’ (Nancy Green) demonstrated how to use the new mix.  The exhibit was so popular, police had to control the crowds at the Aunt Jemima booth.
  • Aunt Jemima was the first pancake mix available, and it continues to be one of the best-selling in the world.

 

A History of Frozen Food

Posted on March 23, 2012

Clarence Birdseye invented, developed, and commercialized a method for quick-freezing food products in convenient packages and without altering the original taste. “Frosted foods” were sold to the public for the first time in 1930 in Springfield, Massachusetts, under the tradename Birds Eye Frosted Foods®. While Clarence Birdseye has become a household name, his process has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry. Fruits and vegetables chosen for fresh produces isles are usually picked before they ripen, which gives them less time to reach higher amounts of vitamins and minerals. The appearance of ‘ripening’ still occurs, but this produce will never have the same nutritive value as if they had been allowed to fully ripen on the plant. Clarence Birdseye was born in 1886 in Brooklyn, New…

A History of the Baguette

Posted on March 21, 2012

The word itself was not used to refer to a type of bread until apparently 1920, but what is now known as “baguette” may have existed well before that. Though the baguette today is often considered one of the symbols of French culture viewed from abroad, the association of France with long loaves predates any mention of it. Long, if wide, loaves had been made since the time of Louis XIV, long thin ones since the mid-eighteenth century and in fact by the nineteenth century some were far longer than the baguette: “loaves of bread six feet long that look like crowbars!” (1862); “Housemaids were hurrying homewards with their purchases for various Gallic breakfasts, and the long sticks of bread, a yard or two…

Taco Bell: A History in Pictures

Posted on March 21, 2012

A History of Taco Bell

Posted on March 21, 2012

Everyone’s probably  eaten at Taco Bell, but did you know the “Bell” came from the founder’s name, Glenn Bell?  He pioneered the sale of crunchy tacos to the world over 50 years ago.  The first Taco Bell opened March 21, 1962. Taco Bell Begins Glenn, a 23-year-old former Marine, arrived in San Bernadino, California, just after World War II.  He opened a one man hot dog stand, but was interested in mexican food.  He wanted a quick way to grab Mexican food on the go. He first started selling hot dogs paired with a sauce that would later become Taco Bell’s hot sauce.  Soon, he experimented with ways to prepare tacos quickly and efficiently. He also had the novel idea of frying the taco…

A History of Chef Boyardee

Posted on March 20, 2012

Chef Boyardee was, in fact, a real person.  Born Ettore (Hector) Boiardi, Chef Boyardee was a real man and a real chef (unlike Mrs. Butterworth or Betty Crocker). There has even been an internet rumor denying his existence, claiming that “Boyardee” was combination of the names of three food company executives; Boyd, Art and Dennis. Hector Boiardi was born in Piacenza, in northern Italy. When he was sixteen, he immigrated to the United States (through Ellis Island) to join his brother who was working as a waiter in New York’s Plaza Hotel restaurant. While working in West Virginia’s prestigious Greenbrier Resort, Chef Boiardi supervised the catering for president Woodrow Wilson’s wedding. On December 18, 1915, Chef Boiardi supervised the catering for President Wilson’s second…

March 3 – National Cold Cuts Day

Posted on March 3, 2012

Most people don’t know that most can sugar is processed using bone char, therefore making it not acceptable for most vegetarian or vegan diets. Beet sugar is a perfect substitute. We have German chemist, Sigismund Marggraf to thank for helping to create an alternative sugar source. Before beet sugar became common, most homes were incapable of affording sugar. They would use molasses, a much cheaper byproduct of cane sugar processing. Today’s Food History on this day in… 1709 Andreas Sigismund Marggraf was born. A German chemist, in 1747 he extracted sugar from the sugar beet and determined it was identical to cane sugar. It wasn’t until 1802 that the first beet sugar refinery would be built. 1797 The first patent for a washing machine was…

Pistachios – The Royal Nut

Posted on January 24, 2011

The first authenticated historical mention of edible nuts refers to pistachios without any doubt. These archaeological findings date back to 6760 B.C. in the Palaeozoic period – in near settlements in the Neolith – in the territory of the present Jordan. Pistachios were soon considered food for the rich or “food of the chosen”.

Although pistachio trees have been harvested for a long period of time, the place of their origin is uncertain. Their most probable origin is the Middle East, Persia (Iran), or western Asia (eastern Pakistan and India), where they used to grow wild.

The history of pistachio nuts reflects their “royal character”, endurance and pride. Especially fine pistachios are said to have been a favourite delicacy of the Queen of Sheba, who confiscated all Assyrian deliveries for herself and for her royal court.

Pistachios were brought to Europe (in particular to Italy) from Syria during the reign of Tiberius at the beginning of the 1st century A.D. Subsequently they were spread to be grown in other Southern European countries (e.g. Greece).

Food Fact:

Legend has it that lovers used to meet under pistachio trees and listened to the cracking of their nuts below moonlit nights, which was a sign that they would be happy.

Rib Roast

Posted on April 30, 2010

A standing rib roast is a cut of beef from the rib section, which is one of the eight primal cuts of beef. The entire rib section comprises ribs six through twelve of the animal; a standing rib roast can comprise anywhere from two to seven ribs. It is given the name “standing” because it is most often roasted in a standing position, that is, with the ribs stacked vertically and the vertebral processes on the bottom. An alternative is to cook with the rib bones on the bottom and the vertebral processes removed for easier carving. A standing rib roast, if sliced when uncooked, would yield a number of rib steaks. Rib eye steaks result from removing the bones and most of the fat and lesser muscles (tail).

A colloquial and popular term for this cut is “prime rib”. Historically, this name stands out regardless of the grade. In addition, the USDA acknowledges this historical note by not requiring the cut “to be derived from USDA prime grade beef”.[1] The technical name, per URMIS (Uniform Retail Meat Industry Standards), is “Beef Rib Roast”.[2]

A slice of standing rib roast will include portions of the so-called “eye” of the rib as well as the outer, fat-marbled muscle (spinalis dorsali) known as the “lip” or “cap”.

The traditional preparation for a standing rib roast is to rub the outside of the roast with salt and seasonings and slow-roast with dry heat. In the United States, it is common for barbecue purists to apply smoke to the uncooked rib roast at low heat for 2-3 hours before dry roasting.

In the United Kingdom, Yorkshire pudding is frequently served as a side dish with prime rib. In many restaurants specializing in prime rib, several entire roasts (of varying degrees of doneness) will be placed on a large, heated cart, and carved at tableside. This style of service can be found throughout the Lawry’s chain, Morton’s of Chicago, as well as at independent establishments such as San Francisco’s House of Prime Rib.

In the United States, the standing rib roast has NAMP classifications 109 through 112D.[3]

  

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