Posts tagged “may food holiday

May 31st is National Macaroon Day!

Posted on May 31, 2018

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Happy Macaroon Day!

Here are today’s five food facts about Macaroons:

 

  •  The original macaroon was a “small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds” similar to Italian amaretti.

 

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  • The English word macaroon and French macaron come from the Italian maccarone or maccherone.

 

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  • Most recipes call for egg whites (usually whipped to stiff peaks), with ground or powdered seeds, generally almonds or nuts.

 

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  • The Scottish macaroon is a sweet confection with a thick velvety centre covered in chocolate and topped with roasted coconut.

 

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  • In North America, the coconut macaroon is the better known variety.
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Today’s Food History

  • 1744 Richard Lovell Edgeworth died. An Anglo-Irish inventor, among his many inventions and innovations were a turnip cutter, various improvements in agricultural machines, and a velocipede.
  • 1790 The first U.S. copyright law was signed by George Washington.
  • 1836 The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel opened in New York City.
  • 1884 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg applied for a patent for ‘flaked cereal’ (corn flakes). It was his brother Will Keith Kellogg who became rich & famous by marketing the new cereal commercially. 1892 Lea & Perrins label was trademarked.
  • 1974 Adelle Davis died.  Nutritionist, and author of ‘Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit.’ She promoted many theories that have been labeled as unfounded and dangerous by the medical community.
  • 1980 Cook’s magazine begins publication. Christopher Kimball is the publisher.
  • 1983 Jack Dempsey died. Regarded as one of the greatest boxers, he held the world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926. He then became a successful restaurateur in New York City.

May 30th is National Mint Julep Day!

Posted on May 30, 2018

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Happy National Mint Julep Day!🥃🌱

Here are today’s five facts about Mint Juleps: 

  • A mint julep is traditionally made with four ingredients: mint leaf, bourbon, sugar, and water.

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  • Traditionally, spearmint is the mint of choice used in Southern states, and in Kentucky in particular.
  • In the use of sugar and mint, it is similar to the mojito.

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  • Proper preparation of the cocktail is commonly debated, as methods may vary considerably from one bartender to another.

mint_julep

  • The mint julep may be considered as one of a loosely associated family of drinks called “smashes” (the brandy smash is another example, as well as the mojito), in which fresh mint and other ingredients are muddled or crushed in preparation for flavoring the finished drink.

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Today’s Food History

  • 1783 The first daily American newspaper was published in Philadelphia, ‘The Pennsylvania Evening Post’
  • 1848 William Young of Baltimore, Maryland received the first U.S. patent for an ice cream freezer.
  • 1899 George Cook patented an automatic fishing device.
  • 1908 Mel Blanc (Melvin Jerome Blanc) was born. 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.
  • 1994 Baron Marcel Bich died. French inventor of the Bic Pen in 1949. (Pens are needed to write recipes and menus).

May 28th is National Brisket Day #MemorialDay

Posted on May 28, 2018

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Happy National Brisket Day!

Here are today’s five food finds about Brisket:

 

  • Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal.

 

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  • The beef brisket is one of the eight beef primal cuts.

 

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  • The brisket muscles include the superficial and deep pectorals.

 

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  • As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing/moving cattle.

 

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  • This requires a significant amount of connective tissue, so the resulting meat must be cooked correctly to tenderize the connective tissue.
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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1892 The Sierra Club is formed in San Francisco for nature conservation.

1897 Jell-O was introduced.

1910 T-Bone Walker, blues guitarist, was born in Linden, Texas.

1944 Gladys Knight was born. (Gladys Knight & the Pips) A ‘Pip’ is the small seed of a fruit, like those in an apple.

1999 After 22 years of controversial restoration, Leonardo de Vinci’s masterpiece ‘The Last Supper’ is returned to public display.

2003 The first cloned horse was born in a natural delivery. Cloned horses are currently banned from racing.

May 27th is National Grape Popsicle Day!

Posted on May 27, 2018

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Happy National Gras Popsicle Day!

Here are five facts about Popsicles:

  • Popsicles were originally marketed as “a frozen drink on a stick”.
  • Popsicles originally came in seven flavors thought to be root beer, cherry, lemon, orange, banana, grape, and watermelon, but there is no official record of Epperson’s original flavors.
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  • The most popular Popsicle flavor is Cherry.
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  • More than two billion Popsicles are sold each year.
  • The dual Popsicle featuring two sticks and one Popsicle that could be split in half was introduced during the Great Depression as a way to split the treat across two children for the same cost.
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Today’s Food History

  • 1901 Conrad Arnold Elvehjem Born. American biochemist who identified nicotinic acid as a vitamin (one of the B vitamins), and that a deficiency on nicotinic acid resulted in the disease pellagra.
  • 1907 Rachel Louise Carson was born; author of ‘Silent Spring.’ An American biologist, the book was concerned with the dangers of environmental pollution, especially DDT
  • 1930 Richard G. Drew of St. Paul, Minnesota patented transparent cellophane adhesive tape. He worked out a deal with 3M to market this ‘Scotch’ tape. What did we ever do without it?
  • 1933 The first automatic soda fountain dispenser is introduced by Coca-Cola.
  • 1975 British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was born. Known as the ‘Naked Chef,’ on his BBC TV cooking shows (the name refers to simplicity, not nudity). He has had several TV shows, ‘The Naked Chef,’ ‘Return of the Naked Chef,’ ‘Happy Days with the Naked Chef,’ ‘Jamie’s Kitchen,’ ‘Return to Jamie’s Kitchen,’ and ‘Oliver’s Twist.’ He has also written several cookbooks.

May 26th National Blueberry Cheesecake Day!

Posted on May 26, 2018

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Here are today’s five food facts about Cheesecake:

 

  • Cheesecake is a dessert formed of a topping made with soft, fresh cheese upon a base made from biscuit, pastry or sponge. The topping is frequently sweetened with sugar and flavored or topped with a puree or compote of fruit.
  • Savory cheesecakes also exist, served sometimes as hors d’oeuvre or with accompanying salads. Despite their name, cheesecakes are technically tarts; the word ‘cake’ was formerly applied to a much broader category of foods than it is today.

 

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  • Cato the Elder’s De Agri Cultura includes recipes for two cakes for religious uses: libum and placenta. Of the two placenta is most like modern cheesecakes having a crust that is separately prepared and baked.

 

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  • Cheesecakes can be broadly categorised into two basic types – baked and unbaked – and each comes in a variety of styles determined by region.
  • Japanese-style cheesecake relies upon the emulsification of cornstarch and eggs to make a smooth flan-like texture and almost plasticine appearance.
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Today’s Food History

 

  • 1923 James Arness was born. Best known as Marshal Matt Dillon on the TV series ‘Gunsmoke,’ he also played the creature in the 1951 movie ‘The Thing from Another World.’ The creature was a vegetable based alien life form, a “super intellectual carrot.”
  • 1955 Morimoto Masaharu was born in Hiroshima, Japan. Masaharu is a well known Japanese Chef, and was the last Japanese Iron Chef on the TV show, Iron Chef (late 1990s).  He now has his own restaurant, Morimoto in Philadelphia.
  • 1971 Don Maclean recorded ‘American Pie’.
  • 1979‘Reunited’ by Peaches & Herb is #1 on the charts
  • 1999 R.I.P.  Waldo Lonsbury Semon. Semon was an American Inventor who is credited with the invention of Vinyl. Vinyl is the 2nd most used plastic in the world.  Semon held over 100 patents.

May 25th is National Wine Day! #NationalWineDay

Posted on May 25, 2018

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Here are today’s five food facts about Wine: 

 

  • The longest recorded champagne cork flight was 177 feet and 9 inches, four feet from level ground at Woodbury Vineyards in New York State.

 

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  • Thomas Jefferson helped stock the wine cellars of the first five U.S. presidents and was very partial to fine Bordeaux and Madeira.

 

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  • Chilling tones down the sweetness of wine. If a red wine becomes too warm, it may lose some of its fruity flavor.

 

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  • The Irish believe that fairies are extremely fond of good wine.

 

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  • Foot treading of grapes is still used in producing a small quantity of the best port wines.
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Today’s Food History

 

  • 1789 R.I.P. Anders Dahl. A renowned Swedish botanist, the Dahlia flower was named for him.
  • 1877 Minnesota’s $1.00 per bushel bounty on grasshopper eggs expires. The state had experienced a 4 year grasshopper (locust) plague.
  • 1882 The first frozen mutton from New Zealand arrived in Britain
  • 1973 Wrexham Asda supermarket opened in the U.K.
  • 1986 Six million Americans participate in ‘Hand Across America’ by holding hands and singing across 4,150 miles of road in support of the hungry and homeless.
  • 2007 Coca Cola created a 3,000 gallon, 15 foot high ice cream float with Vanilla Coke and ice cream, and set a new world record for the largest ice cream float.  The float was certified as drinkable by health inspectors, but it was disposed of by a garbage company.  Coke also held the previous record from 1998 with a 2,085 gallon float.

May 24th is National Escargot Day !

Posted on May 24, 2018

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Here are today’s five food facts about Escargot:

 

  • Escargot – French – An edible snail, especially one prepared as an appetizer or entree.

 

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  • The French consume 40,000 metric tons of snails each year.

 

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  • Heliculture is the science of growing snails for food.

 

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  • Snails have been eaten as food since at least ancient Roman times. Apicius, the author of the oldest surviving cookbook (1st century B.C – 2 century A.D.) has a recipe for snails in his cookbook.

 

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  • Restaurants serve about 1 billion snails annually.
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Today’s Food History

 

  • 1686 Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit was born. He developed the Fahrenheit temperature scale, and invented the mercury thermometer.
  • 1883 R.I.P. Gabriel Gustav Valentin. This German-Swiss physiologist was the first to discover the digestive activity of pancreatic juice. (Oh Boy!).
  • 1883 The Brooklyn Bridge opened. It took 14 years to build at a cost of $18 million, and was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time.
  • 1893 The Anti-Saloon League was founded by Howard H. Russell at Oberlin, Ohio.
  • 1929 The first Marx Brothers film, ‘Cocoanuts’ premiered.
  • 1941 Robert Allen Zimmerman was born.
  • 1945 The first Food-O-Mat was installed in a Grand Union Company store in New Jersey
  • 1976 In Paris, two California wines won top honors at a blind wine tasting by the best of France’s wine experts. The French were shocked, and the wine world was changed forever.
  • 2007 R.I.P. Kelly Jo Dowd. She was one of the original ‘Hooters’ Girls’ at the first Hooters’ restaurant which opened in 1983 in Clearwater Florida.

May 22nd is National Vanilla Pudding Day!

Posted on May 22, 2018

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Here are today’s five food facts about Pudding:

 

  • The Fortress hotel in Galle, Sri Lanka, is charging $14,500 a serving of the world’s most expensive pudding, which is called “The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence”.
  • Hasty pudding, originally a British dish, this pudding could be made on very short notice.  Ingredients vary, but it was basically a sweetened porridge made from flour, tapioca or oatmeal and milk. The term originated in the late 16th century.

 

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  • In Colonial America cornmeal was cheaper and more readily available, so here, Hasty Pudding was a cornmeal mush (cornmeal added to boiling water and cooked) with molasses, honey, brown sugar or maple syrup and milk.
  • There are both savory and dessert versions of this dish.
  • Meat pudding would be a savory example of a pudding dish.
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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

  • 1859 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born. Creator of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes would go for days without food while working on a case.
  • 1892 Dr. Washington Sheffeld invented the collapsible metal toothpaste tube.
  • 1894 African American inventor S. Newson patented an “oil heater or cooker.”
  • 1931 Canned rattlesnake goes on sale. Packed by George K. End of Arcadia, Florida. Not quite as big a hit as Spam.
  • 1934 R.I.P.David Wesson. An American chemist who developed a method to make cotton seed oil edible. Cotton seed oil has almost no taste, so it allows the flavors of other foods to come through. It is used in the manufacture of margarine, salad dressings, in commercially fried foods, and of course, Wesson Oil.
  • 1946 The Culinary Institute of America is founded.

May 21st is National Strawberries & Cream Day!

Posted on May 21, 2018

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Here are today’s five food finds about Strawberries:

 

  • Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.

 

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  • 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.

 

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  • Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.

 

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  • Over 53 percent of seven to nine-year-olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit.

 

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  • In a test, subjects who ate nitrate rich foods like strawberries, before exercising burned 100 more calories than those who did not.
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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1923 Delmonico’s Restaurant closed its doors, a victim of Prohibition. (Some sources list October 4, 1918).

1987 Archie Fairley Carr died. An American biologist and authority on turtles. His extensive studies and conservation efforts helped to increase turtle populations around the world.

2009 After months of numerous mechanical failures, a new recycling system was activated on the international space station. The new system recycles astronauts urine and sweat into drinking water.

May 18th is National Cheese Souffle Day!

Posted on May 18, 2018

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Happy National Cheese Soufflé Day!

Here are today’s five food finds about Soufflé:

  • A souffle is essentially a simple white sauce enriched with egg yolk. Stiff egg whites are folded right into the mixture. At this point, you can add whatever flavor you like: cheese, vegetables, chocolate or fruit.

 

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  • The secret to a great souffle is to beat the egg whites into stiff white peak consistency and to fold them carefully into the sauce to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

 

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  • Savory souffles are often too light for a main course, but the addition of chicken and spinach here bolsters this into a substantial main course. When you break into it with your fork, the seductive aroma of cheese, chicken and spinach pours out. It’s elegant, airy and fluffy.

 

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  • The secret to success is making sure your timing is just right. So plan ahead carefully; figure out what you will be serving first — such as a salad or soup — and time the souffle to go into the oven as you sit down for your first course.

 

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  • You can wait for a souffle, but a souffle waits for no one. You don’t want to serve a deflated souffle.
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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1808 Elijah Craig died. A Baptist minister in Kentucky, he is an important figure in the invention of Bourbon Whiskey. He ran a paper mill and started a distillery in 1789. Legend credits him with being the first to use new charred oak barrels to age corn whiskey, which is a key step in making bourbon.

1935 Allan Burns was born.  Screenwriter and producer, co-creator of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda.  He also created the character Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch for Quaker Oats ‘Cap’n Crunch’  breakfast cereal.

1955 Chow Yun-Fat was born. Internationally famous Hong Kong actor.

1995 Elisha Cook Jr. died. A well known character actor in films and TV. I remember him mainly in his role as Wilmer, in the ‘Maltese Falcon’.

2001 Hong Kong ordered more than 1 million chickens and other poultry killed to halt the spread of another bird flu epidemic.

May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Day ! #NationalChocolateChipDay

Posted on May 15, 2018

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Happy National Chocolate Chip Day!

Here are today’s five food finds about Chocolate Chips:

 

  • Originally, chocolate chips were made of semi-sweet chocolate.

 

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  • Chocolate chips were invented in 1933 when Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in the town of Whitman, Massachusetts added cut-up chunks of a semi-sweet Nestlé chocolate bar to a cookie recipe.

 

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  • The cookies were a huge success, and Wakefield reached an agreement with Nestlé to add her recipe to the chocolate bar’s packaging in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate.
  • Initially, Nestlé included a small chopping tool with the chocolate bars, but in 1939 they started selling the chocolate in chip (or “morsel”) form.

 

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  • The Nestlé brand Toll House cookies is named for the inn.

 

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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

  • 1923 Listerine was registered as a trademark.
  • 1930 Mrs. Ellen Church, a registered nurse, became the world’s first airline stewardess (flight attendant). The 11 passengers were flying on a United Airlines tri-motor Boeing 80A from San Francisco to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The meal was chicken, fruit salad and rolls.
  • 1940 Nylon stockings went on sale for the first time in the U.S. in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • 1989 Hershey’s reduces the size of the Hershey bar to 1.55 ounces. The price remains 40 cents.
  • 1991 The famous Paris cooking school, L’Ecole de Cordon Bleu, opens a branch in Tokyo, Japan.
  • 2007 Karen Hess, culinary historian, died. Some of her books were ‘The Taste of America‘ (1977) and ‘Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection‘ (1992). She also annotated Mary Randolph’s ‘Virginia Housewife‘ (1983).

May 9th is National Shrimp Day !🍤🍤

Posted on May 9, 2018

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Here are today’s five food finds about Shrimp:

  • The pistol shrimp can deliver an explosive attack hotter than the surface of the sun and loud enough to rupture a human ear drum.

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  • Every shrimp is actually born male, and some develop into females.

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  • Some shrimp are actually capable of glowing in the dark.

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  • Shrimp can vary in size from 1/2 inch to 12 inches.

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  • In some areas, shrimp served with the head still attached is considered a delicacy.

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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1785 The beer-pump handle was patented by Joseph Bramah.

1845 Carl Gustaf Patrik de Laval was born. A Swedish scientist and inventor. Among his inventions was the centrifugal cream separator and a vacuum milking machine.

1914 C. W. Post (Charles William) died. 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).

1992 The record brown trout weighed over 40 pounds and was caught in Arkansas.

Olé! May 5th is National Enchilada Day

Posted on May 5, 2018

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Happy National Enchilada Day!

Here are today’s five interesting food finds about Enchiladas:

  • The enchilada is one of the dishes mentioned in Mexico’s first cookbook in 1831.

 

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  • Enchilada is the past participle of Spanish enchilar, “to add chile pepper to”, literally to “season (or decorate) with chile.”
  • Enchiladas originated in Mexico, where the practice of rolling tortillas around other food dates back at least to Mayan times.

 

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  • Writing at the time of the Spanish conquistadors, Bernal Díaz del Castillo documented a feast enjoyed by Europeans hosted by Hernán Cortés in Coyoacán, which included foods served in corn tortillas.
  • In the 19th century, as Mexican cuisine was being memorialized, enchiladas were mentioned in the first Mexican cookbook, El cocinero mexicano (“The Mexican Chef”), published in 1831, and in Mariano Galvan Rivera’s Diccionario de Cocina, published in 1845.

 

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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1865 Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Jane Cochran) was born. In 1889 Bly successfully completed an attempt to beat the record of Jules Verne’s fictional Phileas Fogg to go ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’. Bly was a U.S. newspaper reporter and completed the journey in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds.

1903 James Beard, culinary expert and cookbook author was born. Quote: “The kitchen, reasonably enough, was the scene of my first gastronomic adventure. I was on all fours. I crawled into the vegetable bin, settled on a giant onion and ate it, skin and all. It must have marked me for life, for I have never ceased to love the hearty flavor of raw onions”.

1925 John T. Scopes was arrested for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in a Tennessee public school.

1926 Ann B. Davis was born. She played the role of Alice the housekeeper and cook on the TV show ‘The Brady Bunch’ (1969-1974).

1936 A patent was granted for the first bottle with a screw cap to Edward Ravenscroft of Glencoe, Illinois.

May 31st is National Macaroon Day!

Posted on May 31, 2017

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Here are today’s five food facts about Macaroons:

 

  •  The original macaroon was a “small sweet cake consisting largely of ground almonds” similar to Italian amaretti.

 

macarons-732021_1920

 

  • The English word macaroon and French macaron come from the Italian maccarone or maccherone.

 

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  • Most recipes call for egg whites (usually whipped to stiff peaks), with ground or powdered seeds, generally almonds or nuts.

 

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  • The Scottish macaroon is a sweet confection with a thick velvety centre covered in chocolate and topped with roasted coconut.

 

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  • In North America, the coconut macaroon is the better known variety.
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Today’s Food History

  • 1744 Richard Lovell Edgeworth died. An Anglo-Irish inventor, among his many inventions and innovations were a turnip cutter, various improvements in agricultural machines, and a velocipede.
  • 1790 The first U.S. copyright law was signed by George Washington.
  • 1836 The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel opened in New York City.
  • 1884 Dr. John Harvey Kellogg applied for a patent for ‘flaked cereal’ (corn flakes). It was his brother Will Keith Kellogg who became rich & famous by marketing the new cereal commercially. 1892 Lea & Perrins label was trademarked.
  • 1974 Adelle Davis died.  Nutritionist, and author of ‘Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit.’ She promoted many theories that have been labeled as unfounded and dangerous by the medical community.
  • 1980 Cook’s magazine begins publication. Christopher Kimball is the publisher.
  • 1983 Jack Dempsey died. Regarded as one of the greatest boxers, he held the world heavyweight title from 1919 to 1926. He then became a successful restaurateur in New York City.

May 30th is National Mint Julep Day!

Posted on May 30, 2017

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Here are today’s five facts about Mint Juleps: 

 

  • A mint julep is traditionally made with four ingredients: mint leaf, bourbon, sugar, and water.

 

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  • Traditionally, spearmint is the mint of choice used in Southern states, and in Kentucky in particular.
  • In the use of sugar and mint, it is similar to the mojito.

 

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  • Proper preparation of the cocktail is commonly debated, as methods may vary considerably from one bartender to another.

 

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  • The mint julep may be considered as one of a loosely associated family of drinks called “smashes” (the brandy smash is another example, as well as the mojito), in which fresh mint and other ingredients are muddled or crushed in preparation for flavoring the finished drink.
2559307999_d53c2f029e_b

Today’s Food History

  • 1783 The first daily American newspaper was published in Philadelphia, ‘The Pennsylvania Evening Post’
  • 1848 William Young of Baltimore, Maryland received the first U.S. patent for an ice cream freezer.
  • 1899 George Cook patented an automatic fishing device.
  • 1908 Mel Blanc (Melvin Jerome Blanc) was born. 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.
  • 1994 Baron Marcel Bich died. French inventor of the Bic Pen in 1949. (Pens are needed to write recipes and menus).

May 29th National Biscuit Day!

Posted on May 29, 2017

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Here are today’s five food finds about Biscuits:

 

  • In the United Kingdom, the word “biscuit” is used to refer to what we in the United States would call a “cookie”.
  • White flour, commonly used to bake biscuits, is almost instantly metabolized into sugar.  Biscuits will quickly spike your blood-sugar level.

 

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  • Mustard is a common condiment to use on biscuits in the south, especially to accompany ham.
  • Most biscuit recipes call for a healthy dose of butter in the baking process.  Despite this, many people butter their biscuits after they are served as well.
  • The main difference between biscuits and rolls is the leavening agent.  Biscuits use baking soda.  Rolls use yeast.
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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1630 Charles II, king of England was born. The ‘Merry Monarch,’ tea was introduced to England during his reign. On December 23, 1675, he issued a proclamation suppressing Coffee Houses. The public response was so negative that he revoked it on January 8, 1676.

1716 Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton was born. A French naturalist and pioneer in several fields including plant physiology. He also conducted agricultural experiments and introduced Merino sheep to France. First director of the Museum of Natural History in Paris.

1886 Coca-Cola, invented by pharmacist John Styth Pemberton in 1885, was advertised for the first time in the Atlanta Daily on this day. 1919 Charles Strite of Stillwater, Minnesota applied for a pop-up toaster patent.

1971 ‘Brown Sugar’ by the Rolling Stones hits number 1 on the charts.

2004 Tens of millions of pounds of almonds were recalled by one of the world’s largest almond producers, located in California due to a salmonella outbreak. At least 25 people were sickened in states from Alaska to Michigan.

May 28th is National Brisket Day!

Posted on May 28, 2017

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Here are today’s five food finds about Brisket:

 

  • Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef or veal.

 

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  • The beef brisket is one of the eight beef primal cuts.

 

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  • The brisket muscles include the superficial and deep pectorals.

 

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  • As cattle do not have collar bones, these muscles support about 60% of the body weight of standing/moving cattle.

 

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  • This requires a significant amount of connective tissue, so the resulting meat must be cooked correctly to tenderize the connective tissue.
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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1892 The Sierra Club is formed in San Francisco for nature conservation.

1897 Jell-O was introduced.

1910 T-Bone Walker, blues guitarist, was born in Linden, Texas.

1944 Gladys Knight was born. (Gladys Knight & the Pips) A ‘Pip’ is the small seed of a fruit, like those in an apple.

1999 After 22 years of controversial restoration, Leonardo de Vinci’s masterpiece ‘The Last Supper’ is returned to public display.

2003 The first cloned horse was born in a natural delivery. Cloned horses are currently banned from racing.

May 27th is National Grape Popsicle Day!

Posted on May 27, 2017

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Here are today’s five food facts about Popsicles:

 

  • Popsicles were originally marketed as “a frozen drink on a stick”.
  • Popsicles originally came in seven flavors thought to be root beer, cherry, lemon, orange, banana, grape, and watermelon, but there is no official record of Epperson’s original flavors.

 

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  • The most popular Popsicle flavor is Cherry.

 

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  • More than two billion Popsicles are sold each year.
  • The dual Popsicle featuring two sticks and one Popsicle that could be split in half was introduced during the Great Depression as a way to split the treat across two children for the same cost.
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Today’s Food History

 

  • 1901 Conrad Arnold Elvehjem Born. American biochemist who identified nicotinic acid as a vitamin (one of the B vitamins), and that a deficiency on nicotinic acid resulted in the disease pellagra.
  • 1907 Rachel Louise Carson was born; author of ‘Silent Spring.’ An American biologist, the book was concerned with the dangers of environmental pollution, especially DDT
  • 1930 Richard G. Drew of St. Paul, Minnesota patented transparent cellophane adhesive tape. He worked out a deal with 3M to market this ‘Scotch’ tape. What did we ever do without it?
  • 1933 The first automatic soda fountain dispenser is introduced by Coca-Cola.
  • 1975 British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was born. Known as the ‘Naked Chef,’ on his BBC TV cooking shows (the name refers to simplicity, not nudity). He has had several TV shows, ‘The Naked Chef,’ ‘Return of the Naked Chef,’ ‘Happy Days with the Naked Chef,’ ‘Jamie’s Kitchen,’ ‘Return to Jamie’s Kitchen,’ and ‘Oliver’s Twist.’ He has also written several cookbooks.

May 26th National Blueberry Cheesecake Day!

Posted on May 26, 2017

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Here are today’s five food facts about Cheesecake:

 

  • Cheesecake is a dessert formed of a topping made with soft, fresh cheese upon a base made from biscuit, pastry or sponge. The topping is frequently sweetened with sugar and flavored or topped with a puree or compote of fruit.
  • Savory cheesecakes also exist, served sometimes as hors d’oeuvre or with accompanying salads. Despite their name, cheesecakes are technically tarts; the word ‘cake’ was formerly applied to a much broader category of foods than it is today.

 

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  • Cato the Elder’s De Agri Cultura includes recipes for two cakes for religious uses: libum and placenta. Of the two placenta is most like modern cheesecakes having a crust that is separately prepared and baked.

 

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  • Cheesecakes can be broadly categorised into two basic types – baked and unbaked – and each comes in a variety of styles determined by region.
  • Japanese-style cheesecake relies upon the emulsification of cornstarch and eggs to make a smooth flan-like texture and almost plasticine appearance.
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Today’s Food History

 

  • 1923 James Arness was born. Best known as Marshal Matt Dillon on the TV series ‘Gunsmoke,’ he also played the creature in the 1951 movie ‘The Thing from Another World.’ The creature was a vegetable based alien life form, a “super intellectual carrot.”
  • 1955 Morimoto Masaharu was born in Hiroshima, Japan. Masaharu is a well known Japanese Chef, and was the last Japanese Iron Chef on the TV show, Iron Chef (late 1990s).  He now has his own restaurant, Morimoto in Philadelphia.
  • 1971 Don Maclean recorded ‘American Pie’.
  • 1979‘Reunited’ by Peaches & Herb is #1 on the charts
  • 1999 R.I.P.  Waldo Lonsbury Semon. Semon was an American Inventor who is credited with the invention of Vinyl. Vinyl is the 2nd most used plastic in the world.  Semon held over 100 patents.

May 25th is National Wine Day!

Posted on May 25, 2017

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Here are today’s five food facts about Wine: 

 

  • The longest recorded champagne cork flight was 177 feet and 9 inches, four feet from level ground at Woodbury Vineyards in New York State.

 

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  • Thomas Jefferson helped stock the wine cellars of the first five U.S. presidents and was very partial to fine Bordeaux and Madeira.

 

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  • Chilling tones down the sweetness of wine. If a red wine becomes too warm, it may lose some of its fruity flavor.

 

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  • The Irish believe that fairies are extremely fond of good wine.

 

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  • Foot treading of grapes is still used in producing a small quantity of the best port wines.
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Today’s Food History

 

  • 1789 R.I.P. Anders Dahl. A renowned Swedish botanist, the Dahlia flower was named for him.
  • 1877 Minnesota’s $1.00 per bushel bounty on grasshopper eggs expires. The state had experienced a 4 year grasshopper (locust) plague.
  • 1882 The first frozen mutton from New Zealand arrived in Britain
  • 1973 Wrexham Asda supermarket opened in the U.K.
  • 1986 Six million Americans participate in ‘Hand Across America’ by holding hands and singing across 4,150 miles of road in support of the hungry and homeless.
  • 2007 Coca Cola created a 3,000 gallon, 15 foot high ice cream float with Vanilla Coke and ice cream, and set a new world record for the largest ice cream float.  The float was certified as drinkable by health inspectors, but it was disposed of by a garbage company.  Coke also held the previous record from 1998 with a 2,085 gallon float.

May 24th is National Escargot Day !

Posted on May 24, 2017

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Here are today’s five food facts about Escargot:

 

  • Escargot – French – An edible snail, especially one prepared as an appetizer or entree.

 

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  • The French consume 40,000 metric tons of snails each year.

 

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  • Heliculture is the science of growing snails for food.

 

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  • Snails have been eaten as food since at least ancient Roman times. Apicius, the author of the oldest surviving cookbook (1st century B.C – 2 century A.D.) has a recipe for snails in his cookbook.

 

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  • Restaurants serve about 1 billion snails annually.
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Today’s Food History

 

  • 1686 Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit was born. He developed the Fahrenheit temperature scale, and invented the mercury thermometer.
  • 1883 R.I.P. Gabriel Gustav Valentin. This German-Swiss physiologist was the first to discover the digestive activity of pancreatic juice. (Oh Boy!).
  • 1883 The Brooklyn Bridge opened. It took 14 years to build at a cost of $18 million, and was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time.
  • 1893 The Anti-Saloon League was founded by Howard H. Russell at Oberlin, Ohio.
  • 1929 The first Marx Brothers film, ‘Cocoanuts’ premiered.
  • 1941 Robert Allen Zimmerman was born.
  • 1945 The first Food-O-Mat was installed in a Grand Union Company store in New Jersey
  • 1976 In Paris, two California wines won top honors at a blind wine tasting by the best of France’s wine experts. The French were shocked, and the wine world was changed forever.
  • 2007 R.I.P. Kelly Jo Dowd. She was one of the original ‘Hooters’ Girls’ at the first Hooters’ restaurant which opened in 1983 in Clearwater Florida.

May 22nd is National Vanilla Pudding Day!

Posted on May 22, 2017

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Here are today’s five food facts about Pudding:

 

  • The Fortress hotel in Galle, Sri Lanka, is charging $14,500 a serving of the world’s most expensive pudding, which is called “The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence”.
  • Hasty pudding, originally a British dish, this pudding could be made on very short notice.  Ingredients vary, but it was basically a sweetened porridge made from flour, tapioca or oatmeal and milk. The term originated in the late 16th century.

 

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  • In Colonial America cornmeal was cheaper and more readily available, so here, Hasty Pudding was a cornmeal mush (cornmeal added to boiling water and cooked) with molasses, honey, brown sugar or maple syrup and milk.
  • There are both savory and dessert versions of this dish.
  • Meat pudding would be a savory example of a pudding dish.
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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

  • 1859 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born. Creator of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes would go for days without food while working on a case.
  • 1892 Dr. Washington Sheffeld invented the collapsible metal toothpaste tube.
  • 1894 African American inventor S. Newson patented an “oil heater or cooker.”
  • 1931 Canned rattlesnake goes on sale. Packed by George K. End of Arcadia, Florida. Not quite as big a hit as Spam.
  • 1934 R.I.P.David Wesson. An American chemist who developed a method to make cotton seed oil edible. Cotton seed oil has almost no taste, so it allows the flavors of other foods to come through. It is used in the manufacture of margarine, salad dressings, in commercially fried foods, and of course, Wesson Oil.
  • 1946 The Culinary Institute of America is founded.

May 21st is National Strawberries And Cream Day !

Posted on May 21, 2017

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Here are today’s five food finds about Strawberries:

 

  • Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.

 

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  • 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.

 

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  • Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen in the spring.

 

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  • Over 53 percent of seven to nine-year-olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit.

 

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  • In a test, subjects who ate nitrate rich foods like strawberries, before exercising burned 100 more calories than those who did not.
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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1923 Delmonico’s Restaurant closed its doors, a victim of Prohibition. (Some sources list October 4, 1918).

1987 Archie Fairley Carr died. An American biologist and authority on turtles. His extensive studies and conservation efforts helped to increase turtle populations around the world.

2009 After months of numerous mechanical failures, a new recycling system was activated on the international space station. The new system recycles astronauts urine and sweat into drinking water.

May 18th is National Cheese Souffle Day!

Posted on May 18, 2017

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Here are today’s five food finds about Soufflé:

  • A souffle is essentially a simple white sauce enriched with egg yolk. Stiff egg whites are folded right into the mixture. At this point, you can add whatever flavor you like: cheese, vegetables, chocolate or fruit.

 

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  • The secret to a great souffle is to beat the egg whites into stiff white peak consistency and to fold them carefully into the sauce to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.

 

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  • Savory souffles are often too light for a main course, but the addition of chicken and spinach here bolsters this into a substantial main course. When you break into it with your fork, the seductive aroma of cheese, chicken and spinach pours out. It’s elegant, airy and fluffy.

 

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  • The secret to success is making sure your timing is just right. So plan ahead carefully; figure out what you will be serving first — such as a salad or soup — and time the souffle to go into the oven as you sit down for your first course.

 

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  • You can wait for a souffle, but a souffle waits for no one. You don’t want to serve a deflated souffle.
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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1808 Elijah Craig died. A Baptist minister in Kentucky, he is an important figure in the invention of Bourbon Whiskey. He ran a paper mill and started a distillery in 1789. Legend credits him with being the first to use new charred oak barrels to age corn whiskey, which is a key step in making bourbon.

1935 Allan Burns was born.  Screenwriter and producer, co-creator of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda.  He also created the character Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch for Quaker Oats ‘Cap’n Crunch’  breakfast cereal.

1955 Chow Yun-Fat was born. Internationally famous Hong Kong actor.

1995 Elisha Cook Jr. died. A well known character actor in films and TV. I remember him mainly in his role as Wilmer, in the ‘Maltese Falcon’.

2001 Hong Kong ordered more than 1 million chickens and other poultry killed to halt the spread of another bird flu epidemic.

May 17th is National Cherry Cobbler Day!

Posted on May 17, 2017

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Here are today’s five food finds about Cobbler:

 

  • A cobbler is a deep dish (casserole or soufflé dish) fruit pie (peach is most common) with only a top biscuit dough crust.
  • Fruit cobblers can be made with almost any fruit, singly or in combination.

 

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  • The cobbler takes its name from the biscuit dough crust on top – it is rough looking or ‘cobbled.’   It originated in the U.S. sometime in the early to mid 19th century.
  • A Cobbler is also a drink, which probably predates the fruit cobbler pie.

 

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  • A cobbler usually consisted of whiskey or rum with fruit juice and/or sugar, garnished with mint and/or citrus.

 

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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

  • 1733 England passes the Molasses Act, putting high tariffs on rum and molasses imported to the colonies from anyplace other than Britain and its possessions.
  • 1803 John Hawkins & Richard French patent a Reaping Machine.
  • 1838 Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord died. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, known simply as Talleyrand, French statesman, diplomat and grand gourmet, called the ‘first fork of France.’ He served at the top levels of French governments for almost 50 years. During this time his chefs included Bouchee, Careme, and Avice. Many culinary preparations have been created or named for him.
  • 1886 John Deere died. Inventor and manufacturer, he developed the first steel plow in the 1830s, and founded John Deere & Company in 1868.
  • 1967 Tennessee repealed its 1925 law making it illegal to teach evolution in public schools.
  • 1985 The largest salmon, a Chinook salmon, caught with rod and reel weighed over 97 pounds and was caught in Alaska.
  • 1986 ‘Chicken Song’ by Spitting Image hit #1 in UK.
  • 1992 Lawrence Welk, champagne music-maker, died.

May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Day !

Posted on May 15, 2017

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Here are today’s five food finds about Chocolate Chips:

 

  • Originally, chocolate chips were made of semi-sweet chocolate, but today there are many flavors. These include bittersweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, mint chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, and white and dark swirled chocolate chips.

 

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  • Chocolate chips were invented in 1933 when Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in the town of Whitman, Massachusetts added cut-up chunks of a semi-sweet Nestlé chocolate bar to a cookie recipe.

 

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  • The cookies were a huge success, and Wakefield reached an agreement with Nestlé to add her recipe to the chocolate bar’s packaging in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate.
  • Initially, Nestlé included a small chopping tool with the chocolate bars, but in 1939 they started selling the chocolate in chip (or “morsel”) form.

 

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  • The Nestlé brand Toll House cookies is named for the inn.

 

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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

  • 1923 Listerine was registered as a trademark.
  • 1930 Mrs. Ellen Church, a registered nurse, became the world’s first airline stewardess (flight attendant). The 11 passengers were flying on a United Airlines tri-motor Boeing 80A from San Francisco to Cheyenne, Wyoming. The meal was chicken, fruit salad and rolls.
  • 1940 Nylon stockings went on sale for the first time in the U.S. in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • 1989 Hershey’s reduces the size of the Hershey bar to 1.55 ounces. The price remains 40 cents.
  • 1991 The famous Paris cooking school, L’Ecole de Cordon Bleu, opens a branch in Tokyo, Japan.
  • 2007 Karen Hess, culinary historian, died. Some of her books were ‘The Taste of America‘ (1977) and ‘Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection‘ (1992). She also annotated Mary Randolph’s ‘Virginia Housewife‘ (1983).

May 14th is National Buttermilk Biscuit Day!

Posted on May 14, 2017

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Here are today’s five food finds about Biscuits:

 

  • In the United Kingdom, the word “biscuit” is used to refer to what we in the United States would call a “cookie”.

 

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  • White flour, commonly used to bake biscuits, is almost instantly metabolized into sugar.  Biscuits will quickly spike your blood-sugar level.

 

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  • Mustard is a common condiment to use on biscuits in the south, especially to accompany ham.

 

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  • Most biscuit recipes call for a healthy dose of butter in the baking process.  Despite this, many people butter their biscuits after they are served as well.

 

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  • The main difference between biscuits and rolls is the leavening agent.  Biscuits use baking soda.  Rolls use yeast.

 

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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1686 Gabriel Fahrenheit was born. Fahrenheit was a German physicist who invented the Fahrenheit temperature scale thermometer. It was the first thermometer to use mercury instead of alcohol, which also extended the temperature range of thermometers.

1853 Gail Borden applied for a patent for condensed milk.

1878 Vaseline petroleum jelly was trademarked by Robert August Chesebrough.

1896 The coldest May temperature ever recorded in the U.S. lower 48 states: Minus 10 F at Climax, Colorado.

1919 Henry John Heinz died. Founder of the H.J. Heinz company and creator of its slogan ’57 varieties.’

1943 Jack Bruce of the music group ‘Cream’ was born.

1985 The first McDonald’s restaurant, in Des Plains, Illinois, became the first fast food museum.

1991 World’s largest burrito created, 1,126 pounds

1994 The FDA announced that the ‘Flavr Savr’ tomato, a biotech developed food, is safe.

2008 The Chicago City Council repealed its ban on the sale of Foie Gras.

May 9th is National Shrimp Day !

Posted on May 9, 2017

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Here are today’s five food finds about Shrimp:

 

  • The pistol shrimp can deliver an explosive attack hotter than the surface of the sun and loud enough to rupture a human ear drum.

 

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  • Every shrimp is actually born male, and some develop into females.

 

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  • Some shrimp are actually capable of glowing in the dark.

 

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  • Shrimp can vary in size from 1/2 inch to 12 inches.

 

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  • In some areas, shrimp served with the head still attached is considered a delicacy.

 

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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1785 The beer-pump handle was patented by Joseph Bramah.

1845 Carl Gustaf Patrik de Laval was born. A Swedish scientist and inventor. Among his inventions was the centrifugal cream separator and a vacuum milking machine.

1914 C. W. Post (Charles William) died. 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).

1992 The record brown trout weighed over 40 pounds and was caught in Arkansas.

May 5th is National Enchilada Day !

Posted on May 5, 2017

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Here are today’s five interesting food finds about Enchiladas:

  • The enchilada is one of the dishes mentioned in Mexico’s first cookbook in 1831.

 

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  • Enchilada is the past participle of Spanish enchilar, “to add chile pepper to”, literally to “season (or decorate) with chile.”
  • Enchiladas originated in Mexico, where the practice of rolling tortillas around other food dates back at least to Mayan times.

 

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  • Writing at the time of the Spanish conquistadors, Bernal Díaz del Castillo documented a feast enjoyed by Europeans hosted by Hernán Cortés in Coyoacán, which included foods served in corn tortillas.
  • In the 19th century, as Mexican cuisine was being memorialized, enchiladas were mentioned in the first Mexican cookbook, El cocinero mexicano (“The Mexican Chef”), published in 1831, and in Mariano Galvan Rivera’s Diccionario de Cocina, published in 1845.

 

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Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1865 Nellie Bly (Elizabeth Jane Cochran) was born. In 1889 Bly successfully completed an attempt to beat the record of Jules Verne’s fictional Phileas Fogg to go ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’. Bly was a U.S. newspaper reporter and completed the journey in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds.

1903 James Beard, culinary expert and cookbook author was born. Quote: “The kitchen, reasonably enough, was the scene of my first gastronomic adventure. I was on all fours. I crawled into the vegetable bin, settled on a giant onion and ate it, skin and all. It must have marked me for life, for I have never ceased to love the hearty flavor of raw onions”.

1925 John T. Scopes was arrested for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution in a Tennessee public school.

1926 Ann B. Davis was born. She played the role of Alice the housekeeper and cook on the TV show ‘The Brady Bunch’ (1969-1974).

1936 A patent was granted for the first bottle with a screw cap to Edward Ravenscroft of Glencoe, Illinois.

May 30 is National Mint Julep Day

Posted on May 30, 2016

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Five Facts about Mint Juleps: 

  1. A mint julep is traditionally made with four ingredients: mint leaf, bourbon, sugar, and water.
  2. Traditionally, spearmint is the mint of choice used in Southern states, and in Kentucky in particular.
  3. In the use of sugar and mint, it is similar to the mojito.
  4. Proper preparation of the cocktail is commonly debated, as methods may vary considerably from one bartender to another.
  5. The mint julep may be considered as one of a loosely associated family of drinks called “smashes” (the brandy smash is another example, as well as the mojito), in which fresh mint and other ingredients are muddled or crushed in preparation for flavoring the finished drink.

Today’s Food History

  • 1783 The first daily American newspaper was published in Philadelphia, ‘The Pennsylvania Evening Post’
  • 1848 William Young of Baltimore, Maryland received the first U.S. patent for an ice cream freezer.
  • 1899 George Cook patented an automatic fishing device.
  • 1908 Mel Blanc (Melvin Jerome Blanc) was born. 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.
  • 1994 Baron Marcel Bich died. French inventor of the Bic Pen in 1949. (Pens are needed to write recipes and menus).

May 23rd is National Taffy Day

Posted on May 23, 2016

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Five Facts about Taffy: 

  1. Salt water taffy was “invented” in Atlantic City in 1883.
  2. Modern technology allows confectioners to produce 1,000 pieces of taffy a minute.
  3. In one hour enough pieces of taffy are made to cover one third of the length of Atlantic City (about 1.3 miles).
  4. The three most popular taffy flavors sold by Sweet Candy Company are peppermint, cinnamon and chocolate.
  5. America celebrates National Taffy Day May 23rd.

Today’s Food History

  • 1774 Residents of Chestertown, Maryland  react to news of the Boston Tea Party by staging a similar protest, dumping a shipment of tea into the Chester River.
  • 1868 R.I.P. Kit Carson, American frontiersman. His last words were supposedly “Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili.”
  • 1922 Thomas Edison patented a method for making metal foils.
  • 1960 R.I.P. Georges Claude. A French engineer, he invented the neon light, commonly used for signs.
  • 1968 ‘Yummy, Yummy, Yummy’ by the Ohio Express is #1 on the charts.
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