Posts tagged “on this day in food history

National Nougat Day

Posted on March 26, 2013

March 26

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National Nougat Day

Five things you should know about

Nougat

  1. 3 Muskateer bars, one of the most popular nougat candy bars of the 20th century, originally consisted of three flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.  During WWII rationing, they were limited to vanilla flavoring, & they remain this way today.
  2. Nougat is commonly found in candy bars; Milky Way, 3 Muskateers, Snickers, Polar, etc.
  3. Today’s nougat is a mixture of sucrose and corn syrup with a whipping agent to create its fluffy texture.
  4. Nougat was put in candy bars to resemble the texture and flavor of ice cream.  This is why early candy bars with nougat were commonly served frozen.
  5. The word nougat comes from Occitan (a southern French dialect) pan nogat, from nux gatum, which means nutbread.

On This Day in Food History…

1753 Benjamin Thompson, Count von Rumford was born.  American physician who invented the percolator, a pressure cooker and a kitchen stove.  He is frequently credited with creating the dessert, Baked Alaska.

1937 The cities of Dilley, Texas, and Crystal City, Texas each erected a statue of Popeye, the cartoon character.

1996 David Packard died.  Founder with William Hewlett of Hewlett Packard Company.  Before they became famous for computers and printers etc., some of their early inventions were an automatic urinal flusher and a weight loss shock machine!

National Gumdrop Day

Posted on February 15, 2013

February 15th

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National Gumdrop Day 

 Here are the five things you should know about

Gumdrops

  1. Gumdrops, a fruit or spice flavored sugar coated gelatin candy, usually conical in shape. Other shapes and flavors; Orange slices, Licorice Babies, and Spearmint Leaves.
  2. The most popular flavors are cherry, grape, orange, lemon, and spice flavors like clove, cinnamon, mint, and anise(licorice)
  3. It is said that Percy Trusdale invented the gumdrop in 1801.
  4. Originally, gumdrops were flavored with spices: orange(clove), yellow(allspice), red(cinnamon), green(spearmint), purple(anise), white(wintergreen or peppermint), and black(licorice)
  5. The NASA Apollo Command modules were nicknamed “Gumdrops” because of it’s conical shape.

On This Day in Food History…

  • 1758 Benjamin Jackson advertised mustard for sale for the first time in America. The advertisement was in the Philadelphia Chronicle, and claimed Jackson was the first and only manufacturer of mustard in America
  • 1809 Cyrus Hall McCormick was born. McCormick is credited with the development of the first mechanical reaper.
  • 1957The Banana Boat Song’ (Day-O) by Harry Belafonte is number one on the charts.
  • 1965 Canada adopted its new red & white flag with a red maple leaf in the center.

National Italian Food Day

Posted on February 13, 2013

February 13th

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National ‘Eat Italian Food’ Day

Today’s five things you should know about 

Italian Food

  • It was not until the 1700’s that tomatoes were first found in Italian dishes.
  • The ‘essential’ ingredients in Italian food include: olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, mozzarella, ricotta, parmigiana, capers, tomatoes, sausage and of course pasta
  • An average Italian meal is divided in two parts, primo piatto & secondo piatto; the primo include a pasta or risotto; the secondi includes any meat and fish meals, complemented by a contorno, a side dish of vegetables.
  • The Italian dessert, Tiramisu, (ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with mascarpone cheese and egg yolks then flavored with liquor and cocoa) roughly translates to “pick-me-up.” Did you know that this dessert did not appear until the late 1960’s and in the U.S. by the early 1980’s.
  • Italians prefer their pasta cooked ‘al dente’ literally meaning “to the tooth.” The pasta should be a bit firm, offering some resistance to the tooth, but tender.

On This Day in Food History…

1837 Riot in New York over high price of flour

1933 The House of Commons defeated a bill that would have prohibited the sale of alcohol in the U.K.

1967 The Beatles single ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ is released.

2000 The last original ‘Peanuts’ comic strip is published.

National P B and J Day

Posted on February 12, 2013

February 12th

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National P B and J Day

Five things you should know about

Peanut Butter

  1. It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
  2. By law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts. Below 90% and it should be labeled “peanut spread”.
  3. The average American consumes more than six pounds of peanuts and peanut butter products each year.
  4. Over 60% of consumers prefer creamy peanut butter over crunchy.
  5. The peanut is not a nut, but a legume related to beans and lentils.

On This Day in Food History…

1791 Peter Cooper was born.An American inventor who obtained the first American patent for the manufacture of a”quick setting powder gelatin”. The patent later sold and is known today as Jell-o

1809 Charles Darwin was born. English naturalist who developed the ‘theory of evolution,’ inspired in large part by his visit to the isolated Galapagos Islands. His works include ‘Origin of Species’ and ‘The Descent of Man.’

1872 Silas Noble and James P. Cooley of Massachusetts patented a toothpick making machine.

1935 RIP (Georges-) Auguste Escoffier “the king of chefs and the chef of kings.”

1961‘Shop Around’ by ‘The Miracles’ becomes Motown Records first million selling single.

1976 The popular food coloring, Red Dye No. 2, was banned by the FDA because studies had shown it might cause cancer. Red M&Ms disappeared for 11 years because of the ban.

2000 RIP Charles M. Schulz American cartoonist, best known for the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip.

National ‘Have a Brownie’ Day

Posted on February 10, 2013

February 10th

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National ‘Have a Brownie’ Day

Five things you should know about

Brownies

It is said that the brownie was created at the Palmer House Hotel during the 1893 Columbian Exposition( The largest World’s Fair of it’s time) when the owner Bertha Palmer asked the chef to make a ‘ladies dessert’.

The word ‘brownie’ became so popular that soon after the Expedition even Kodak named one of it’s first hand held cameras after them, the little ‘brownie.’

Brownies were one of the very first prepackaged food ‘mixes’ ever sold. First appearing in the Sears, Roebuck catalogue in 1897.

Fannie Farmer, the First Lady of American Cookery, published the first written recipe for brownies in 1896.

A popular turn of the century alternative was considered of equal importance, the ‘blondie‘, which used many of the same ingredients except chocolate. Many believed chocolate to be a ‘vice’ on the same level as alcohol and even coffee.

On This Day in Food History…

1846 Ira Remsen was born. He was an American chemist, co-discoverer of saccharin, the artificial sweetener.

1933 The Postal Telegraph Co. of New York City delivers the first singing telegram with a box of chocolates.

1944 Author Frances Moore Lappe was born. Author of the best selling ‘Diet for a Small Planet’ (1971) The first best seller to encourage a vegetarian diet. Her premise was that the raising of animals was wasteful & potentially harmful to the environment.

1945 The Andrews Sisters recording of ‘Rum and Coca Cola’ hit #1 on the popular music charts.

1957 The ‘Styrofoam’ cooler was invented.

National Bagel and Lox Day

Posted on February 9, 2013

February 9th

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National Bagel and Lox Day

Five things you should know about

Bagels and Lox

  1. The word Bagel is often thought to have derived from the ‘buckle‘ shape it has, but actually it is from a Yiddish word ‘beygl‘ meaning ring or hole.
  2. Bagels are one of the few breads that are boiled then baked. creating the sought inside while retaining a crisp exterior.
  3. Over a Billion dollars a year are spent on bagels in the US alone.
  4. The top selling bagels are Plain(#1), Whole Wheat(#2) and Sesame Seed(#3)
  5. Originally bagels were baked and sold by street vendors. They would have been carried around on a long string draped over the sellers’ shoulders.

On This Day in Food History…

1870 The creation of the U.S. Weather Service (National Weather Service) was authorized by Congress

1889 The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was established as a Cabinet level agency.

1894 Hershey’s Chocolate Company was founded as a subsidiary of Milton S. Hershey’s Lancaster Caramel Company.

1899 Minnesota’s all time record low temperature: 59 degrees F below zero at Leech Lake Dam.

1901 RIP Fred Harvey Born in 1835 in London, Frederick Henry Harvey, was an American restaurateur who operated a chain of restaurants called the ‘Harvey House,’ and a series of railroad dining cars and hotels. The restaurants were opened along the route of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, and were staffed by ‘Harvey Girls’, who over the years numbered in the thousands. Will Rogers said Harvey “kept the West in food and wives.”

1909 Carmen Miranda was born. Brazilian singer and actress. Appeared in many Hollywood movies, she was known as “the Brazilian bombshell” and also “the lady in the tutti-frutti hat.”

2001 The American submarine USS Greenville accidentally strikes and sinks a Japanese fishing & high school training ship, the Ehime-Maru. Nine crew members of the Ehime Maru and 4 high school students were drowned. The submarine was practicing an emergency rapid surfacing maneuver at the time.

National Chopsticks Day

Posted on February 6, 2013

February 6

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National Chopsticks Day

Five things you should know about

Chopsticks

  1. In old Chinese chopsticks are called kuaizi roughly meaning “quick little bamboo fellows”
  2. Over a quarter of the world’s population uses chopsticks as their primary utensil for eating.
  3. The first chopsticks were probably used for cooking, stirring the fire, serving or grabbing bits of food, and not as eating utensils.
  4. Chopsticks shapes and lengths very from region to region. Generally Chinese versions are tapered with blunt ends while Japanese are shorted and more pointed.
  5. Who HASN’T played chopsticks on the piano? It’s original name is” The Celebrated Chop Waltz.” Composed by Arthor de Lulli(pseudonym of Euphemia Allen.) in 1877. In Russia it is known as the “Cuplet Polka”

On This Day in Food History…

1617 RIP Prospero Alpini, An Italian physician and botanist; said to have introduced coffee and bananas to Europe.

1685 RIP Charles II, king of England, Tea was introduced to England during his reign. On December 23, 1675, he issued a proclamation suppressing Coffee Houses.

1865 A horse meat banquet is held at the Grand Hotel in Paris. Horse meat was considered a common man’s food of the time.

1985 Perrier introduced Perrier with ‘a twist of lemon’ – its first new product in 125 years.

International Kissing Day

Posted on February 5, 2013

February 5

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International Kissing Day

Five things you should know about

the Hershey’s Kiss

  1. It is said that Wilbur & Sons Chocolate Co made the first wrapped chocolate ‘drops’, known as ‘Winbur Buds’ in 1894. Their shape & size likely served as inspiration for Hershey’s Kisses chocolates.
  2. Hershey’s Kisses were first manufactured in 1907. According to the Hershey’s Company, a favorite theory is that the name “Kiss” came from the sound of the chocolate being popped out of the machine
  3. Kisses were originally wrapped by hand. Automated wrapping began in 1921. The same automatic wrapping process allowed for the paper “plume”, that the company used to guarantee that consumers were getting the genuine Hershey product. Did you know close to 20% of kisses sold in the US before then were counterfeit?
  4. Kisses were not produced during World War II. The years 1942 through 1949, because the silver foil wrapping was rationed.
  5. According to Hershey’s.com, it takes about 95 Hershey’s Kisses to equal a pound of chocolate.

On This Day in Food History…

1840 Sir Hiram Maxim was born. An American born inventor. Among his hundreds of inventions were a hair curling iron, a mousetrap, an automatic sprinkling system, gas motors, and a machine gun.

1872 Lafayette Benedict Mendel was born. An American biochemist who published various papers on nutrition. His work on vitamins and proteins helped establish modern concepts about nutrition.

1884 Willis Johnson of Cincinnati, Ohio, received a patent for an egg beater.

1914 William Burroughs, novelist, was born. He wrote ‘Naked Lunch.’

1967 Tom Smothers fell into a vat of chocolate today. (The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour premiered).Sir Hiram Maxim was born. An American born inventor. Among his hundreds of inventions were a hair curling iron, a mousetrap, an automatic sprinkling system, gas motors, and a machine gun.

National Homemade Soup Day

Posted on February 4, 2013

February 4

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National Homemade Soup Day

Today’s five things you should know about

Soup

  1. Women are more than twice as likely to eat soup as men, 9.67% vs. 4.0%.
  2. The Middle English word soupen meant “to drink in sips”, which is how most soups were consumed. The words “soup,” “supper,” “sip,” and “sop” are derived from this term.
  3. Andy Warhol(who’s real name was Andrew Warhola) is famous for his Campbell ‘s soup can art of the 1960’s. Did you know his first works sold for around 100 dollars? Today they sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

On This Day in Food History…

1906 Clyde W. Tombaugh was born. An American astronomer who discovered the planet Pluto in 1930. His first telescopes were made from old farm equipment parts

1930 Candy maker Frank C. Mars of Minnesota introduced the Snickers bar in 1930. Did you know? Snickers was the name of his prized race horse.

1941 Roy J. Plunkett received a U.S. patent for Teflon. He accidentally discovered it in 1938.

1983 RIP Karen Carpenter from complications associated with anorexia nervosa.

National Carrot Cake Day

Posted on February 3, 2013

February 3rd

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National Carrot Cake Day

Today’s five things you should know about

Carrot Cake

  1. Carrots were first cultivated in north Africa & the Mediterranean. They originally were purple or grey in color. Introduced to Europe around 1000 years ago.
  2. The weed/flower Queen Anne’s Lace is actually a wild carrot. Many say carrots were planted in colonial gardens; went to seed & soon spread across North America.
  3. Jello in the 1930’s offered ‘carrot pie’ flavored gelatin.

On This Day in Food History…

1468 RIP Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of moveable type printing. Inspired by the screw presses used in winemaking.

1815 The world’s 1st commercial cheese factory was established in Switzerland.

1913 The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It gave Congress the power to levy taxes on income. In 1913 less than 1% of the population paid income tax at the rate of 1%. Before this taxes were acquired primarily on food, merchandise sales, etc.

1916 The Cafe Voltaire opened in Zurich, Switzerland, a meeting place for members of what was to be known as the Dada movement.

1959 The day the music died. Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens & J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper) are killed in a plane crash near Mason City, Iowa.

  

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