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  • Mozzarella cheese
    In America today, mozzarella is the cheese of choice for
    pizza, lasagna & other baked Italian-American dishes. It Italy, mozzarella has a long and venerable tradition. Originally made by monks from buffalo milk, this soft cheese can also be made with cow's milk. Fried cheese is often composed with mozzarella. Fresh mozzarella is sometimes paired with tomatoes for salads and appetizers. Smoked varieties exist as well.

    Why do we call it "mozzarella?"
    "Its name in Italion means literally 'little socie'. It is a diminutive form of mozza, 'slice, slice of cheese', a derivative of the verb mozzare, 'cut off'; which perhaps came ultimately from Latin mutilare."
    ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto[Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 218)

    Product origin & evolution
    "Mozzarella. As early as the thirteenth century, the monks of San Lorenzo in Capua used to give bread and mozza to the members of the chapter who took part in their processions but it was not until after the seventeenth century that buffalo's milk Mozzarella began to be produced on a large scale in the socalled "bufalare" or "buffalo pastures." Mozzarella di Bufala is a fresh, stretchedcurd cheese made up of very thin layers."
    ---Italian Cheese: Two Hundred Types A Guide to Their Discovery and Appreciation, Slow Food Editore [Cuneo:Italy] (p. 84) [NOTE: this book describes the current process for making mozzarella cheese. If you would like this information ask your librarian to help you obtain a copy.]

    “Mozzarella, a cheese originally made from buffalo’s milk at Cardito, Aversa, in the Mazzoni of Capua, and in the Salernitano, is now made from cow’s milk, and in every part of Italy. It is usually made in fairly small forms, from a few ounces up to a pound or more. As well as being eaten raw, Mozzerella is the basis of the Pizza Napoletana, and is used in the famous Bolognese Petto di Tacchino alla Cardinale, as well as the more humbil Suppli al Telefono.”
    ---Cheeses of the World, Andre Simon [Faber & Faber:London] 1960 (p. 91)

    "Mozzarella. A soft fresh cheese made from cow's or buffalo's milk. One of the most important and ubiquitous cheeses in Italy, though southern ones are the best...Mozzarella was once made mostly from buffalo's milk...but when the Nazis retreated from Italy in World War II, they killed off most of the herds. The cheese was then made with cow's milk...although the buffalo herds have been restocked with animals from India. Today "mozzarella di bufala" is again common, though it often contains only a small percentage of buffalo milk."
    ---Dictionary Of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1998 (p. 159)

    "In Italian neighbourhoods in the United States, the Italian grocer will have received his daily shipment of mozzarella curd from a local distributor and will himself have completed the final steps of manufacture, heating the white, pliant curd, kneading it until it is soft, and moulding it into irregular spherical shapes...The facotry -made mozzarella that is sold largely in supermarkets is another--and a most uninteresting--cheese. It is older, firmer, and without juice, because unlike the mozzarellas you find in Italy or in Italian-American neighborhoods, these are manufactured and packaged for a longer shelf life, and toward that end its juices--one of its most beguiling characteristics--have been wrung from it...The recently developed 'pizza cheese' made in the Middle West and shipped to the Eastern states of America is even drier than the factory-made mozzarella. And so it must be, we are told; otherwise it would never reach the customer's pie in good condition."
    ---The Cheese Book, Vivienne Marquis and Patricia Haskell [Leslie Frewin:London] 1966 (p. 34-5)

    “In the early twenty-first century, processed cheese competes with mozzarella for the largest annual sales numbers. Distinct from the classic cooked and stretched pasta filata Italian mozzarella, the cheese produced in the United States is mostly a brined product used to make ever-increasing quantities of fresh and frozen pizza.”
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith [Oxford University Press:New York] Volume 1 (p. 206)


    Muffins
    English muffins, crumpets, scones & bannock
    American muffins
    Blueberry muffins

    Researching the history of bread-related products is difficult because bread is THE universal food. Ancient peoples of all places discovered the combination of *cooked* (baked, fried, steamed, boiled, sun-dried) ground grain and water created simple, inexpensive, nourishing food. Muffins, cakes, crackers, biscuits, cookies, sticky buns & Twinkies are not inventions. They are evolutions. All of these are variations on the theme of what happens when flour & water mix with human ingenuity, technological advancement, local ingredients, immediate need and cultural expectations.

    What the food historians have to say about the origin of muffins...

    "Muffin...a term connected with moufflet, an old French word applied to bread, meaning soft....The word muffin first appeared in print in the early 18th century, and recipes began to be published in the middle of the 18th century. There has always been some confusion between muffins, crumpets, and pikelets, both in recipes and in name. Muffin' usually meant a breadlike product (sometimes simply made from whatever bread dough was available), as opposed to the more pancake-like crumpets...Muffins were most popular during the 19th century, when muffin men traversed the town streets at teatime, ringing their bells. In the 1840s the muffin-man's bell was prohibited by Act of Parliament because many people objected to it, but the prohibition was ineffective..."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999(p. 517)

    "Muffin...In Great Britain, a muffin is a traditional light-textured roll, round and flat, which is made with yeast dough. Muffins are usually enjoyed in the winter - split, toasted, buttered, and served hot for tea, and sometimes with jam. In the Victorian era muffins were bought in the street from sellers who carried trays of them on their heads, ringing a handbell to call their wares. In North America muffins are entirely different. The raising (leavening) agent is baking powder and the muffins are cooked in deep patty (muffin) tins. Cornmeal and bran are sometimes substituted for some of the flour."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Jenifer Harvey Lang editor [Crown:New York] 1988 (p. 703)

    "Muffin...a small yeast cake usually sweetened with a bit of sugar. In England muffins were once called "tea cakes," while in America muffins are served primarily for breakfast or as an accompaniment to dinner...The origins of the word are obscure, but possible it is from Low German muffe [meaning] cake. The term was first printed in English in 1703, and Hannah Glasse in her 1747 cookbook fives a recipe for making muffins. Mush muffins (called slipperdowns in New England) were a Colonial muffin made with hominy on a hanging griddle."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Freidman Books:New York] 1999 (p. 211)

    "Sometimes misnamed gems, muffins were baked in deeper pans and were not quite as breadlike as gems. Muffins graduated from being cooked in a utensil called muffin rings to a special baking pans. Muffin rings were hooplike accessories placed directly on a hot stove or the bottom of a skillet. Batter was then poured into them. The rings did not prove to be as popular with muffin consumers as molds of the same period. However, their demise as holders of raw muffin batter was not in vain, for they remain a valuable kitchen accessory to make popular English muffins or fried eggs. The muffin molds of the nineteenth century turned out to be an extremely deficient product. The baked their contents thoroughly and very evenly..."
    ---The Old West Baking Book, Lon Walters (p. 34)

    About English muffins
    "English muffins" as American know them today are most closely connected with the ancient Welsh tradition of cooking small round yeast cakes known as "bara" [bread] "maen" [stone] on bakestones. "English muffins" were later cooked on griddles, as opposed to muffin tins. Related food?
    crumpets & tea cakes.

    "The English muffin is round and made from a soft yeast-leavened dough enriched with milk and butter. It is usually cooked on a griddle, which gives it a flat, golden-brown top and bottom, and a white band around the waste and a light, spongy interior...This method appears as early as 1747 and was recommended by Hannah Glasse."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999

    Mrs. Glasse's original recipe was not titled English muffins. She also includes instructions for proper opening (warning NOT! to use a knife).

    "To make Muffings and Oat-Cakes
    To a Buschel of Hertfordshire white Flour, take a Pint and a half of good Ale-yeast, from pale Malt if you can get it, becuase it is whitest; let the Yeast lie in Water all night, the next Day pour off the Water clear, make two Gallons of Water just Milk warm, not to scald your Yeast, and two Ounces of Salt, mix your Water, Yeast and Salt well toghether for about a quarter of an Hour, then strain it, and mix up your Dough as light as possible, and let it lie in your Trough an Hour to rise, then with your Hand roll it, and pull it into little Pieces about as big as a large Walnut, roll them with your Hand like a Ball, lay them on your Table, and as fast as you do them lay a Piece of Flannel over them, and be sure to keep your Dough cover'd with Flannel; when you have rolled out all your Dough, begin to bake the first, and by that Time they will be spread out in the right Form; lay them on your Iron, as one Side begins to change Colour turn the other, and take great Care they don't burn, or be too much discolour'd; but that you will be a Judge off in two or three Makings. Take care the middle of the Iron is not too hot, as it will be, but then you may put a Brick-bat or two in the middle of the Fire to slacken the heat. The Thing you bake on must be made thus. Build a Place just as if you was going to set a Copper, and in the Stead of a Copper a Piece of Iron all over the Top fix'd in Form, just the frame as the Bottom of the Iron Pot, and make your Fire underneath with Coal as in a Copper; observe, Muffings are made in the same Way, only this, when you pull them to Pieces roll them in a good deal of Flour, and with a Rolling-pin roll them thin, cover them with a Piece of Flannel, and they will rise to a proper Thickness; and if you find them too big or too little, you must roll Dough accordingly, these must not be the least discoloured.

    And when you eat them, toast them with a Fork crisp on both Sides, then with your Hand pull them open, and they will be like a Honey-Comb; lay in as much Butter as you intend to use, then clap them together again, and set it by the Fire, when you think the Butter is melted turn them, that both Sides may be butter'd alike, but ton't touch them with a Knife, either to spread or cut them open, if you do they will be as heavy as Lead, only when they are quite butter'd and done, you may cut them across with a Knife."
    ---The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, Hannah Glasse, facismile first edition 1747 [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 151)

    Did you know? Thomas Jefferson's muffin recipe would have produced "English muffins."

    Thomas' brand English muffins were introduced to New York City in the late 19th century:
    "Although tea muffins that were once popular in England resembled the American "English muffin," there is no single muffin in Britain by this specific name...Most of the store-bought varieties [of English muffin] derive from those made by the S. B. Thomas Company of New York, whose founder, Samuel Bath Thomas, emigrated from England in 1875 with his mother's recipe and began making muffins at his Ninth Avenue bakery in 1880. The name was first printed in 1925."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 123)

    Recommended reading: English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David, chapter on crumpets and muffins (pps. 341-361)
    Related foods: crumpets, scones & bannock.


    Crumpets & scones
    The first use of any food often predates the first occurance of printed evidence by many years. To further complicate matters, variant spellings often appear in older texts. An inspection of recipes confirms or refutes culinary linkage. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the history of the word and recipe for crumpets back to 1382:

    "Crumpet...[Not known till late in 17th century], Wyclif has however 'crompid cake' as a rendering in laganum, which may be the antecedent of the name. [1382:Wyclif] A cake of a loaf, a crusted cake spreynde with oyle, a crompid cake...[1694:Westmacott] The make Cakes of it (Buck Wheat)...as they do oat-cakes, and call it Crumpit. Crumpet...A soft cake made of flour, beaten egg, milk, and barm or baking powder, mixed into batter, and baked on an iron plate...Now usually a soft, round, doughy cake made with flour and yeast, cooked on a griddle or the like and usually eaten toasted with butter. [1769:Raffald] To make tea crumpets..." ---Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, volume IV (p. 83)

    "The origins of the crumpet are mysterious. As early as 1382, Johy Wycliffe, in his translation of the Bible, mentioned crompid cake, whose name may be the precursor of the modern term, but the actual 'cake' itself does not bear much resemblance to the present-day crumpet. It seems to have been a thin cake cooked on a hot griddle, so that the edges curled up (crompid goes back to Old English crump, crumb, 'crooked', and is related to the modern English crumple). The inspiration behind its naming thus seems to be very familiar to that of crepe, which literally means 'curled'. Earliest recipes for crumpets, from the late seventeenth century, continue this theme, standardly using buckwheat flour, and it is not until nearly a hundred years later that crumpets as we know then today beging to emerge...During the 19th century the crumpet--toasted before the fire, its honeycomb of cavities filled with melting butter--established itself as an indispensible part of the English teatime scene."
    ---An A to Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 100)

    "The earliest published recipe for crumpets of the kind known now is from Elizabeth Raffald (1769)."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 230)

    [1769] Elizabeth Raffald's recipe:


    "To make tea crumpets Beat two eggs very well, put them to a quart of warm milk and water, and a large spoonful of barm: beat in as much fine flour as will make them rather thicker than a common batter pudding, then make your bakestone very hot, and rub it with a little butter wrapped in a clean linen cloth, then pour a large spoonful of batter upon your stone, and let it run to the size of a tea-saucer; turn it, and when you want to use them roast them very crisp, and butter them."
    ---The Experienced English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald, [unabridged facsimile 1769 print with an introduction by Roy Shipperbottom [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1997

    "The probable origin of the word crumpit is the Welsh "cremog," a pancake or fritter. For some reason or other, probably because they are in some degree similar, and yet differing greatly, it is customary to associate muffins wtih crumpets, it being a rare occurance for either to appear at the table separately. Both are made of batter, both require re-cooking, and both are served hot and well buttered; yet there is so marked a difference between the two in flavour and constitution that most persons have a decided preference for one or the other.'"
    ---English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David [Penguin:New York] 1979 (p. 341).
    [NOTE: this is book is considered an authority on this topic. If you need more information (including historic recipes) ask your librarian to help you find a copy of it.]

    Related foods? English muffins, pancakes & bannock.

    Scones
    The origin of scones is closely connected with the ancient Welsh tradition of cooking small round yeast cakes known as "bara" [bread] "maen" [stone] on bakestones. These early leavened bread products were later cooked on griddles. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the word "scone" in print to 1513. This book suggests the history of the word is derived from Middle Dutch (schoonbrot) or Middle German (schonbrot), meaning "fine bread." Scones that we know today are leavened with modern baking powder/soda, both mid-19th century inventions. About
    baking powder. Scones are traditionally connected with Scotland, Ireland and England.

    "Scone. A large found cake made of wheat or barleymeal baked on a griddle; one of the four quadrant-shaped pieces into which which a cake is often cut; more generally, a soft cake of barley or oatmeal, or wheat-flour, baked in single portions on a griddle or in an oven."
    ---The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition

    "The scone comes from Scotland--the first known reference to it comes in a translation of the Aeneid (1513) by the Scots poet Gavin Douglas: The flour sconnis war sett in, by and by, wyth other mesis.' Made from fine white fout (echoing the possible source of their name, Dutch schoonbroot, fine white bread'), sour milk or buttermilk, and a raising agent (since the mid-nineteenth century, bicarbonate of soda), and baked on a griddle or in the oven, scones originally came in the form of flat cakes cut into four, producing portions that were either square or, if the original cake were round, roughly triangular. Individually baked round scones are a later development. The pronunciation of the word scone has never really settled down. Early spellings suggest a short vowel, rhyming with swan, but the version with the diphthong, rhyming with stone, is if anything commoner today."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 304)

    "Scone...What is certain is that the term is mainly a British one, and covers a wide range of small, fairly plain cakes. Leavened with baking powder, or bicarbonate of soda, and an acid ingredient such a sour milk, they are quickly made and best eaten hot with butter. Scone recipes are found in great variety up and down the British Isles but, together with the closely related bannock, are particularly a Scottish specialty."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 704)

    "The Scots are famous for the variety of scones (from the Gaelic, sgoon, and it should rhyme with gone'): some of the most popular ones are [soda scones, wholemeal scones, rich white scones, treacle scones, potato scones, ballater scones and drop scones.]"
    ---Traditional Scottish Cookery, Theodora Fitzgibbon [Fontana:Suffolk] 1980 (p. 231-5)
    [NOTE: This book contains recipes for each of the scones listed above.]

    [1874]
    "Scones.

    Put as much barley-meal as will be required into a bowl, add a pinch of salt, and stir in cold water to make a stiff paste. Roll this out into round cakes a quarter of an inch thick, and bake on a girdle. Split the cakes open, butter them well, and serve hot. A little butter may be rubbed into the meal if liked. Richer scones may be made by dissolving an ounce of fresh butter in a pint of hot milk, and stirring this into as much flour as will make a stiff dough. When it is not convenient to bake the scones on a girdle, a thick frying-pan may be used instead. Time to bake the scones, about four minutes."

    Scones, Soda.
    Dissolve half a salt-spoonful of carbonate of soda and five ounces of fresh butter or lard in a quarter of a pint of warm water or milk: put ten ounces of four into a bowl, add a pinch of salt, and stir in the liquor to make a stiff dough. Roll this out into a round cake a quarter of an inch thick, mark this into eight portions, and bake on a girdle or a thick frying-pan. Split the scones, butter them will, and serve very hot. Time, to bake, fifteen to twenty minutes. Probable cost, 6d.
    ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1874 (p. 842)

    [1893]
    "Scones--No.l 1

    3/4 lb Flour, 1/2 pint Milk, 1 oz Butter, 2 teaspoonsful Baking Powder...Total cost 5d. Time--10 minutes. Rub the butter into the flour, stir in the baking powder, and make into a very light dough with the milk; turn on to a floured board, knead for a few minutes, roll out about half and inch thick. Cut into shapes, put onto a floured tin, and bake in a quick oven for about ten minutes. Serve either hot or cold."
    ---The Art of Living in Australia, Philip Muskett, 1893 (p. 393)
    [NOTE: Scones No. 2 and 3 are variations along similar lines, the 3rd recipe includeing drippings, sour milk, & sugar.]

    [1909]
    "Scones

    3 cups of flour, a pinch of salt, half a teaspoonful of soda, 1 heaped teaspoonful cream of tartar, 1 tablespoonful of butter, half a pint of milk. Put the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and soda into a bowl; rub the butter in with the tips of the fingers; make a well in the centre and our all the milk in at once. Turn out on to a slightly floured board and knead as lightly as possible; press out with the palm of the hand into a cake; brush over with yolk; cut into neat scones, and place on a hot tin in a hot oven for fifteen minutes. Roll in cloth till cold."
    ---The Schauer Cookery Book, Misses A. and M. Schauer [Edwards, Dunlop & Co. Ltd.:Brisbane] 1909 (p. 306-307)
    [NOTE: This book also contains another recipe for Scones and more for Potato Scones, Brown Scones, Girdle Scones, Good Scones, Drop Scones, Oatmeal Scones.]

    [1956]
    "Scones

    It is interesting to read in old-fashioned books recipes for scones containing no leavening agent. Most of them were rolled thin, handled quickly, balked on a hot girdle, and served at once. Flour, butter, salt, and cream are the ingredients for one recipe for another sago boiled im milk, salt, and flour. Others were made with barm or yeast. The lightest scones are those made with sour cream, sour milk, or buttermilk. Four 1 lb. flour and 1 teaspoon use: 3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soad and the same quantity of cream or tartar, with enough buttermilk to mix to a soft dough--or--Other additions to each pound of flour may be 1-2 oz. sugar, 2 oz. fat, 2 oz. fruit, 1-2 eggs may replace part of the liquid. The soda and cream of tartar should be free of lumps, and these and the flour should be sieved before mixing. Fat is rubbed in with the fingers. The dough should be soft and moist and must be mixed in a bowl, turned on to a floured board, kneaded very lightly, pressed out to the required thickness (generally about 3/4 inch), and then cut in triangles or circles. The scones should be cooked on a girdle or in the oven. Time 7-15 minutes."
    ---The Constance Spry Cookery Book, Constance Spry [Pan Books Ltd.:London] 1956 (p. 778)
    [NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Girdle Scones, Old-Fashioned Plain Soda Scones, Drop Scones, Potato Scones, and Welsh Girdle Scones.]

    Recommended reading:
    English Bread and Yeast Cookery, Elizabeth David
    --chapter on crumpets and muffins (pps. 341-361)
    Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson
    --chapter on bread, cakes and pastry (pps. 229-274).

    Related foods? Crumpets, Irish soda bread, English muffins & Bannock.

    Bannock
    This simple bread stuff is interesting because it embraces not one, but several recipes and cooking methods. The genesis belongs to the British Isles, circa 1000AD. The connecting culinary thread is this food was composed of cheap grains consumed by the common people with rudimentary cooking facilties. Old World recipes purposed oats and barley. New World versions introduced maize/corn to the mix. While some Native American peoples ate bannock-type foods, the recipes below confirm British origination. New World bannocks are found in places where Scottish peoples settled in high concentrations.

    The earliest recipes we found titled "Bannock" were published in the 19th century. They do not show up in early Scottish cook books ( Lady Castlehill's Receipt Book [1712] Mrs. McLintock's Receipts for Cookery and Pastry-Work [1736], Meg Dod's Cook and Housewife's Manual [1829]). This is not surprising since these books, like their contemporary London counterparts, were published for the upper classes.

    What is bannock?
    According to the Oxford English Dictionary " The name, in Scotland and north of England, of a form in which home-made bread is made; usually unleavened, of large size, round or oval form, and flattish, without being as thin as ‘scon’ or oat-cake. In Scotland, bannocks are usually of barley- or pease-meal, but may be of wheaten flour; in some parts a large fruit cake or bun of the same shape is called a currant-bannock. In north of England the name is sometimes given to oat- or haver-bread, when made thicker and softer than an oat-cake; but local usage varies. (Cf. the dialect glossaries)." The earliest print evidence is this: "a1000 Gloss in Haupt's Zeitschr. IX. 463 Bucellam semiplenam, healfne bannuc." (accessed online September 7, 2013)

    Why call it "bannock?"
    "The word bannock is probably of Celtic origin; it may be related to Breton bannach, 'drop, bit' and Cornish banna, 'drop'."
    ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 18)

    Who ate bannocks?
    "Bannocks are the bread of the less priviledged fringes of Britain. While southern England luxuriated in soft leavened wheat bread, areas like Scotland, Wales, and northern England had largely to make do in former times with round fairly flat loaves made from oatmeal or barley flour and bkaed on griddles and bakestones. Bannock was the name given to such loaves made from barley in Scotland, and in northern England it was used for a thick verson of the oatcake."
    ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 18)

    Scotland's bannock:
    "The word 'bannock' covers several different kinds of foods: generally it refers to griddle or girdle cakes made with oatmeal, barley meal, pease-meal or with flour, but there is the Selkirk Bannock...and the Pithcaithly Bannock...which are sweetened tea-breads or cakes. From the earliest years special kinds of bannocks were made for every Highland quarter day: on 1 February, the Bonnack Bride (St. Bride's bannock) was cooked to celebrate the first day of Spring; the Bonnach Bealtain (Beltane bannock) for the first day of summer, Bonnach Lunastain (Lammas bannock) for the first day of autumn and the Bonnach Samhtain (Hallomas bannock) for the first day of winter. Bannocks were baked for a child's birth (Cryin' Bannock), and there was a Teethin' Bannock baked with a ring in it which was later used as a teething ring, and when the bannock broke each person present got a small piece of it. There were special bannocks fired for St. Columba's Eve, for marriage and for Christmas. Each one was a variety of oatcake...some made with eggs, butter, cream and sugar. Today many of these customs have died out but the bannock remains in several forms. If using a griddle then it must be warmed up before starting to cook."
    ---Traditional Scottish Cookery, Theodora Fitzgibbon [Fontana Paperbacks:Suffolk UK] 1980 (p. 225)

    Canadian pioneer experience:
    "Flour was a luxury item in the early days of the fur trade. Only a small ration was carried in the crowded canoes. It was used to thicken the pemmican style soup, rubbaboo, or occasionally to make galettes...By the mid 1800's grain was raised at Red River and a few ot he major fur trading posts. After that time, bannock became a staple food used by both fur traders and settlers. The original flour water mixture became more elaborate by adding salt, suet, lard, butter, buttermilk, baking soda, or baking powder. Other names for the product were grease bannock, baking powder bannock, grease bread, bush bread, and trail bread. The fur traders introduced bannock to the Indians. It wasn't used much due to the absence of flour until the buffalo herds disappeared and the Indians were located on reserves. Out of necessity it became a staple food for them using flour provided by government agencies. Bannock continued to be the bread product used by settlers almost exclusively until 1880 and for years after that in some localities...Bannock was made into a large round biscuit and baked in a frying pan or in the ashes of the campfire. Usually the frying pan was tilted against a rock so that it slanted towards the fire for part of the baking. Jock Carpenter described a typical method of preparing bannock in the 1870's. 'Flour was not plentiful with us, so even a small bannock was a real treat to us children. Mother mixed flour, salt and water together, kneading the dough quite firm and shaping it into round cakes. As we carried but one frying pan the cakes of bannock were first crusted on it, then stood up abainst sticks in a large circle around a brighly lit fire, with mother keeping guard to turn them often so both sides might be browned evenly.' Early pioneers baked large or small bannocks in outdoor bake ovens, on the stove lids, if they had a stove. During the later years they were baked in a frypan on top of the stove or in the oven. Another adaptation used by fur traders, and by Indian living on reservations, was to fry the bannock in grease, hense the name 'grease bread.'"
    ---The Pioneer Cook: A Historical View of Canadian Prairie Food, B. Barss [Detselig Enterprises Ltd.:Calgary Alberta] 1980 (p. 65-67)
    [NOTE: recipes from this book
    here.]

    [1832]
    "Indian cake.

    Indian cake, or bannock, is sweet and cheap food. One quart of sifted meal, two great spoonfuls of molasses, two tea-spoonfuls of salt, a bit of shortening half as big as a hen's egg, stirred together; make it pretty moist with scalding water, put it into a well breased pan, smooth over the surface with a spoon, and bake it brown on both sides, before a quick fire. A little stewed pumpkin, scalded with meal, improves the cake. Bannock split and dipped in butter makes very nice toast."
    ---The American Frugal Housewife, Mrs. [Lydia Maria] Child, facsimile 12th edition, enlarged and corrected by the author, 1832 [Applewood Books:Boston] undated (p. 75)
    [NOTE: "Indian" in this recipe refers to maize/corn meal, not a Native American dish.]

    [1839]
    "Bannock.

    Sift a quart of fine Indian meal, mix with it a salt-spoonful of salt, two large spoonfuls of butter and a gill of molasses; make it into a common dough with scalding water, or hot sweet milk, mixing it well with a spoon; put it in a well buttered skillet, make it smooth, and bake it rather briskly. When it is done, cut it in thin smooth slices, toast them lightly, butter them, stack them and cut them warm."

    ---The Kentucky Housewife, Mrs. Lettice Bryan, facsimile 1839 edition [Image Graphics:Paducah KY] undated (p. 313)

    [1859]
    "Oatmeal Bannocks

    These are made simply of Scotch oatmeal mixed into a paste with water, and made into cakes about the size of a common saucer, and quite half an inch thick. They are then baked of a light brown in a moderate oven."
    ---The English Bread Book, Eliza Acton, facsimile 1859 edition with an introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1990 (p. 154)

    [1929]
    "Bere or Barley Bannocks

    (Old Method)
    Barley-meal, butter, salt, sweet milk.
    Put half a pint of milk into a pan with a pinch of salt and an ounce or more of butter. Bring to the boil and stir in quickly enough barley-meal to make a pliable dough. Turn out on a floured board, roll out thinly, cut into rounds the size of a meat-plate. Bake on a hot girdle, turing them once, on a rather sharp fire. They should be eaten hot.

    (Modern Method)
    Barley-meal, flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, buttermilk.
    Put into a bowl a pound of barley-meal, four ounces of flour, and half a teaspoonful of salt. Mix well. Put three teacupfuls of buttermilk into a jug and into it stir two small teaspoonfuls of carbonate of soda. Stir briskly, and, as it fizzes up, pour it into the flour mixture. Make into a soft dough, turn out on a floured board, handle as little as possible, but roll out lightly to about half an inch in thickness; cut into rounds the size of a meat-plate, place on a hot girdle, and bake (not too quickly) until the under side is brown; turn the bannock and brown the other side."
    ---The Scot's Kitchen, F. Marian McNeill, facsimile 1929 edition [Mercat Press:Edinburgh] 1993 (p. 170-171)
    [NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Pease Bannock, and Mashlum ((maslin)) Bannocks.]

    [1954]
    "Mendon Bannock

    This is a Nantucket dish that goes back to the days of Peter Folger, the Island's first miller. Peter's fee was 2 quarts of corn meal for every bushel of corn he ground, and the Folgers just about lived on corn meal--bannook for breakfast, johnnycake for dinner, whitpot for tea...
    1 cup corn meal
    1 qt. milk
    5 eggs, well beaten
    2 tbsps. sugar
    1 tsp salt
    1. Pace corn meal in saucepan. Scald milk. Pour over corn meal. Cook, over low heat, until thick, stirring constantly. Cool to lukeward. (Until blood-warm, the Quakers said.)
    2. Add eggs, sugar and salt.
    3. Pour into greased baking dish. Bake in 350 degree oven, about 30 minutes, or until done.
    In Nantucket I had Mendon Bannock with little sausages for breakfast. At home I have served it with ham and mushrooms. It is something like Spoon Bread."
    ---New England Cookbook, Eleanor Early [Random House:New YOrk] 1954 (p. 110)
    [NOTE: What was Spoon Bread?]

    [1970]
    "Buttermilk Bannock

    Indians all over Canada still make bannock and good they are. After all they are the ancestors of our baking powder biscuits.
    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup wheat germ
    1 3/4 teaspoons soda
    1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup melted butter
    2 tablespoons corn syrup or treacle or molasses
    1 1/2 cups buttermilk
    Mix in a bow the flour, wheat germ, soda, cream of tartar and salt. Combine melted butter, syrup and buttermilk. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix with a fork. It may be necessary to ad a little more buttermilk, to make a soft dough. Turn dough on a lightly floured board and knead gently for a few seconds. Shape in 2 thick round cakes about 7 inches in diameter. Place on buttered cooky sheet. Bacon fat gives a nice flavor. Mark into wedges with a sharp knife. Bake in a preheated oven 375 degrees F. 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Brush to with melted butter or bacon fat as soon as out of the oven. Break in wedges and serve.

    "Pioneer's Bannock
    Especially good eaten hot. Spread with bacon fat or half bacon fat, half butter creamed together.
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 to 4 tablespoons lard
    1 1/2 to 2 cups cold water
    Mix in a bowl the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the lard and add as much water as needed to make a soft dough. Knead a few minutes. Flatten it out in a well greased cast-iron frying pan. Bake in preheated 375 degree F. oven, 20 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Break up pieces to serve instead of cutting with a knife."
    ---The Canadiana Cookbook, Mme. Jehane Benoit [Pagurian Press Ltd.:Toronto] 1970 (p.146-147)

    [1975]
    "Campfire Bannock

    2 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    2 tablespoons tallow (lard) finely chopped
    enough water to make a soft dough
    Heat frying pan over hot coals; add enough lard to cover bottom of pan. Spoon dough into pan; flatten top, and fry until bannock is well raised. Turn and cook the other side; add more lard if needed. Do not have frying pan too hot. You can also cook this as a dumpling in a stew."

    "Old Country Bannock
    (The original Scottish Bannock)
    1 cup wheat flour and
    1 cup barley flour
    or 1 cup wheat flour and 1 cup flour or oatmeal
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3-4 teaspoons baking powder
    2-3 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
    2 tablespoons cold butter
    3/4 - 7/8 cup water
    Mix dry ingredients well. Cut in butter with forks, breaking into fine particles. Add water slowly, enough to make a soft dough (this is optional). Bake in a greased skillet next to the hot coals of a fire and brown on both sides, taking care not to burn."
    ---Yukon Cookbook, Lenoa Kananen [Douglas & McIntyre:Vancouver] 1975 (p. 31)
    [NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Berry Bannock (wild berries or raisins) & Gold Nugget Bannock (with fresh wheat germ)

    [1977]
    "Bannock

    2 cups flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons baking powder
    1 tablespoon sugar
    2 tablespoons lard
    3 cup cold water
    Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, sugar and lard. Stir in enough cold water to make a thick batter that will pour. Combine quickly until smooth and pour at once into a greased baking pan. Fill the pan to half-full. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35-45 minutes. Serve with butter and honey or a wild berry jam."
    ---Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens, Marie Nightingale, McCurdy Printing Company Ltd.:St Andrews (?)] 10th printing, May 1977 (p. 98)

    [1980]
    "Red River Bannock

    This recipe originated with the Red River settlers, and is still used to make the bannock served at Lord Selkirk Association gatherings. The settler's original recipe had no leavening agent, and was cooked in a brick oven or on a hearth. The dripping were probably buffalo fat.
    2 sifters flour (8 1/2 cups)
    1 tsp. salt
    2 heaping tsp; baking powder
    Sift into a large mixing bowl and make a hole in the center
    Mix together:
    2 c. melted beef drippings
    2 c. warm water
    Pour gently into the hole working in the flour around. Divide the dough into pieces for each bannock and roll to thickness of 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Prick on both sides. Set on middle rack of preheated oven (400 degrees F) and bake about 20 minutes, until lightly browned. N. Fidler, Manitoba."
    ---The Pioneer Cook: A Historical View of Canadian Prairie Food, B. Barss [Detselig Enterprises Ltd.:Calgary Alberta] 1980 (p. 68)
    [NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Campfire Bannock & Scottish Bannock (p. 68-69).]

    [1980]
    "Fife Bannocks

    Recipe from the Scottish Women's Rural Institutes
    6 oz. (175 g.) plain flour
    4 oz (125 g.) oatmeal
    1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
    1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    pinch of salt and sugar
    1 rounded teaspoon lard, butter or margarine
    1/4 pint (150 ml.) approx. sour milk or buttermilk
    Sieve the flour and mix all the dry ingredients together, then rub in the fat and add enough sour milk or buttermilk to make a soft dough. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface, knead lightly and roll out to a circle. Cut in four, then put on to a hot griddle which has been rubbed over lightly with a piece of fat, or use a thick-bottomed frying-pan and cook on both sides until golden brown. Or bake in a hot oven, 400 degrees F. (200 degrees C.) or gas mark 6, near the top, for about 15-20 minutes."
    ---Traditional Scottish Cookery, Theodora Fitzgibbon [Fontana Paperbacks:Suffolk UK] 1980 (p. 226)

    "Selkirk Bannock
    This bannock is a yeasted fruit...first made by Robbie Douglas, a baker of Selkirk 1859. It was originally made only with the best Turkish sultanas, but nowadays a littled candied orange peel is also added and this gives a very pleasant flavour.
    4 oz. (125 g.) butter
    4 oz. (125 g.) lard
    1/2 pint (2oo ml.) milk, tepid
    1 oz (25 g.) fresh yeast or 1/2 oz. (12 g.) dried 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    2 lb (900 g.) sifted flour
    1 lb (450 g.) sultanas-slightly warmed
    1/2 lb (225 g.) sugar--slighly warmed
    4 oz. (125 g.) candied orange peel, chopped, optional
    a little milk mixed with sugar for glazing
    Heat the butter and lard until soft, but do not let it oil. Add the milk, warmed to blood heat and reserve. Cream the yeast with the 1/2 teaspoon sugar, add the milk and butter mixture and let the yeast work. Meanwhile sift the flour, make a well in the middle and pour in the liquid, then sprinke the flour from the sides lighlty over thetop, so that it bubbles through and makes a batter. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it has almost doubled in size. Knead well by punching it down, add the fruit with the remaining sugar and the peel. Knead again for about 5 minutes, then shape into a round flattish shape (or put into a loaf tin if preferred, but the dough should only come to two-thirds of the way up) and put again, covered in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes. It can be enclosed and secured in a large polythene bag if preferred. Then bake in a moderate oven, 350 degrees F. (180 degrees C.) or gas mark 4, for 1 1/4 hours, take out the brush over the top with the milk which has had a little sugar dissolved in it and put back in the oven to cook for a further 15 minutes. Test with a skewer before taking from the oven and the bottom will sound hollow when tapped if it is properly cooked." ---ibid. (p. 250-251)
    [NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Barley Bannocks (p. 226) & Pitcaithly Bannock (almonds, rice flour & candied orange peel p. 249).]

    [2003]
    "Bannock Bread

    This bread is a lot like frybread in the sense that there are many versions, all valid, of this flattish cake/bread which is, in another sense, a journey or traveling bread. The name is actually Scottish in origin. It must have come into the vocabulary through the means of intermarriage. It is rather northern, even northeastern because of other names used for it: Chippewa Bannock, Canadian Cree Bannock and most recently, Mohawk Bannock.
    3 cups flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons baking powder
    1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
    4 tablespoons melted butter or bacon fat
    1 or more cups of milk
    1/4 cup cooking oil
    Grease a 10-inch cast iron pan and place it in the oven which you set to 450 degrees to preheat. Mix or sift together the dry ingredients, then blend in the butter or bacon fat and the milk to form dough. Put the dough on a floured board and knead until the dough is elastic. Remove the preheated cast-iron pan from the oven and put the dough in it for a few minutes on one side, then turn over to get some butter or bacon fat on both sides. Flatten the dough down in the pan and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. It is done when golden brown. Serve hot plain or with sugar, jam or butter."
    ---"Native Cooking," Dale Carson, Indian Country Today [Oneida, N.Y], July 16, 2003 (p. C4)
    [NOTE: Compare this "Native" recipe with
    fry bread.]

    Related recipes: Oatmeal cookies & scones.

    About American muffins
    American muffins today are quite distinguishable from their English counterparts. This was not always so. An examination of American muffin recipes printed in 19th and 20th century cookbooks reveals some interesting culinary history. Early American muffin recipes were quite similar (if not exact copies) of English muffins. Given the history of our country this is not surprising. These same cookbooks also contain recipes for tea cakes' and other cakes to be baked in small pans which read more like the cakey muffins we know today in America. Tea cakes often called for spices, nuts and dried fruits (currants, dates, etc.). They were sweeter and were more likely to be baked than griddled.

    According to the Dictionary of American Regional English, Frederick G. Cassidy and Joan Houston Hall, editors, muffins are defined thusly "A small cake; a cupcake." The first print reference cited is "1879: Tyree, Housekeeping in Olde Virginia, 38, "Another recipe for muffins...make the batter the consistency of pound cake, and bake in snow-ball cups as soon as made." The Oxford English Dictionary does not describe American-type muffins.

    "Muffins...Women were making muffins well before the twentieth century...these varied mainly according to the type of flour used-white, graham, rye, corn. Sometimes a handful of chopped dates and/or raisins would be added, inch which case muffins became "Fruit Gems."...For the most part, however, muffins remained basic-plain-until well into the twentieth Century. For years we had a fairly set repertoire of muffins: bran, blueberry, corn, date, apple, oatmeal, and such. Then in the 70s and 80s, muffin madness set in. Muffins exploded to three or four times their normal size...."
    ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 332)

    American cookbooks confirm Mrs. Anderson's statement. Even into the early part of the 20th century, muffin recipes are few and basic. In 1920s recipes for muffins became more prolific, but were variations on the same basic theme of nuts, dried fruits and different flours (Graham, corn, rice, potato, etc.). Muffins with meat (Ham-and-Bacon Muffins) and vegetables (Squash, Pumpkin, or Sweet Potato Muffins) are also included. Mrs. Allen on Cooking, Menus, Service, Ida Bailey Allen [1929] lists 23 different muffin recipes. The 1946 edition of Irma Rombauer's Joy of Cooking lists 19 different muffin recipes including directions for fresh fruit muffins (blueberry, apple, cranberry). She also includes cheese muffins. Gregg Gillespie's 1001 Muffins [1998] includes many standard recipes as well as some our colonial ancestors probably never dreamed possible: chocolate carrot?

    About blueberry muffins
    It is doubtful that you will be able to trace the exact place where blueberry muffins were invented, but we can make some assumptions. First, true blueberries are native to North America, bilberries (a similar type of berry) are native to Central and Northern Europe. European settlers adapted their recipes (muffins, cakes, breads & use of fresh/dried fruits) to New World foodstuffs out of necessity. Therefore, anyplace where
    blueberries (they would have been the wild variety, not the plump, juicy berries we are used to seeing in the stores) grew, blueberry muffins might have been made. In the New World blueberries grew from North Carolina to Nova Scotia. Native Americans also used blueberries in their foods:

    "A favorite dish of the Native Americans during colonial times was Sautauthig (pronounced saw¡-taw-teeg), a simple pudding made with dried, crushed blueberries, dried, cracked corn(or samp), and water. Later, the settlers added milk, butter and sugar when they were available. The Pilgrims loved Sautauthig and many historians believe that it was part of the first Thanksgiving feast. In a letter to friends back in England, one colonist describes how Sauthauthig was prepared:
    "...this is to be boyled or stued with a gentle fire, till it be tender, of a fitt consistence, as of Rice so boyled, into which Milke, or butter be put either with sugar or without it, it is a food very pleasant...but it must be observed that it be very well boyled, the longer the better, some will let it be stuing the whole day: after it is Cold it groweth thicker, and is commonly Eaten by mixing a good Quantity of Milke amongst it."
    Lesson plan from the U.S. Highbush Council


    Mushrooms
    Food historians tell us prehistoric peoples most likely consumed fungi and mushrooms. These foods were easy to forage and incorporate into meals. The Ancient Romans appreciated the taste and grew mushrooms. Modern cultivation commenced around the 16th century.
    Truffles, from the Perigord region in France are considered some of the most delicate and expensive specimens of this particular type of food. Portobello and Cremini are relative newcomers.

    Mushrooms are a subset of the larger plant world of fungus:

    "Fungus in the scientific sense, means any group of simple plants which include mushrooms and similar plants, yeasts, moulds, and the rusts which grow as parasites on crops. Unlike more advanced plants, fungi lack chlorophyll and so can only grown as sprophytes (from dead plants or animals); or as parasites (on living plants); or in a mycorrhizal relationship (symbiosis between fungi and the roots of trees)...The importance of fungi for human food is not limited to those which are eaten as such, or are visible. Many which are microorganisms play an important part in making or processing human food. Yeasts are an obvious example, and are regarded as beneficent because of their role in, for example, the making of bread dough...'Musrhooms', to use the term loosely as applying to edible fungi in general, are far better known as food in the northern than in the southern hemisphere."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 326)

    "Mushrooms and other large varieties of fungus have geen eaten since earliest times, as traces of puffballs in the prehistoric lake dwellings of Switzerland, Germany, and Austria show; but not by everyone and not everywhere. The rarest and finest mushrooms, such as the truffle and the oronge, were highly esteemed in classical Greece and Rome, and have always been expensive...some mushrooms have been successfully cultivated for a long time. In classical times both Greeks and Romans grew the small Agrocybe aegerita...on slices of a poplar trunk. The Chinese and Japanese may have been growing chitake on rotting logs for even longer. Modern European cultivation goes back to 1600, when the French agriculturist Olivier de Serres suggested a method in his work Le Theatre d'agriculture des champs. In 1678 another Frenchman, the botanist Marchant, demonstrated to the Academie des Sciences how mushrooms could be sown in a controlled way by transplanting their mycelia (filaments whcih spread through the soil underneath them like fine roots)."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 519, 521)
    [NOTE: This book contains separate entries for specific types of mushrooms...shiitake, enokitake, truffles, etc. If you need these details ask your librarian to help you find a copy of the book.]

    "Fungi have been associated with humans since prehistoric times and must have been collected and eaten along with other plants by hunter-gatherers prior to the deveolpment of agriculture...Although their prehistoric use remains uncertain, they may have been employed as food, in the preparation of beverages, and as medicine. There is, however, no specific evidence for the use of fungi prior to the Neolithic period, when fungi consumption would have been associated with the drinking of mead (yeast-fermented diluted honey) and yeast-fermented beer or wine, and, somewhat later, the eating of yeast-fermented (leavened) bread."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2001, Volume One (p. 314)
    [NOTE: This book contains information on mushrooms/fungi as they relate to different cultures: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Sudan, China, Greece/Rome, Japan, Mexico, Near East, and Europe.]

    "Cave drawings and paintings tell us hardly anything about the plants the cavedwellers ate, and it is even rarer to find them showing mushrooms, which does not mean that the latter never featured on prehistoric menus. Residues identified prove that other vegetables were in fact eaten, even if few felt any urge to depict them on cabe walls. Morever, if we look at the dietary customs of contemporary peoples who are still at the Paleolithic or Neolithic stage of development, there is plenty of evidence of an interest in mushrooms both edible and poisonous. The latter can be used for hunting, fishing, or indeed for homicial purposes...The ancient Egyptians and Romans greatly enjoyed mushrooms...The Bible, although full of references to food of many kinds, never mentions mushrooms, either in praise or otherwise..."
    ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 57)

    "The first evidence that mushrooms were used as human food in prehistoric Europe is the recent find of a bowl of field mushrooms in a Bronze Age house near Nola in Italy. Mushrooms were gathered from the wild. Classical Greek authors tend to treat them as famine food, on the level with acorns. By Romans, however, they were so highly regarded that the Stoic writer Seneca gave up mushrooms (boleti) as unnecessary luxuries---an approach to the vegetarianism and asceticism that he toyed with. Recipes are suggested by Diphilus of Siphnos, in the third century BC, and in Apicius in the fourth century AD."
    ---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 223)

    Why are they called "mushrooms?"
    "The word mushroom, first recorded in the early fifteenth century, was borrowed from Old French mousseron. This has been traced back to a late Latin mussirio, a word of unknown origin."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 221)

    About mushrooms in America

    "...it may seem surprosing that mushrooms entered the American culinary limelight only in the late nineteenth century. Until the 1890s, most mushroom recipes were for ketchups, sauces, and pickles, with occasional stewed mushooms or French-influenced dishes named "champignons." Few Americans included mushrooms in kitchen gardens, which was undertandable given Hannah Glasse's rare and unappetizing instructions for mushroom cultivation...mushroom gathering was fraught with danger, for no reliable American guides distinguished between gustatory pleasure and peril. Typical is The Kentucky Housewife (1839) by Lettice Bryan, which simply warns the cook to "be careful to select the esculent mushrooms, as some of them are very poisonous." Mushroom cultivation began in seventeeth-century France...The techniques were perfected in the 1870s and spread abroad, just as French cookery became fashionable in America. By the 1890s, a veritable fungus frenzy was sweeping America, bot as a fad food and as a scientific curiousity. Mushrooming clubs, were forager swapped tips, spring up quickly. Meticulously illustrated literature educated amateurs and professionals in identifying and cooking mushrooms...The first professional information on mushroom cultivation in America was disseminated on a large scale in the 1890s, mainly through the efforts of William Falconer."
    ---Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, Andrew F. Smith, editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2007 (p. 396-7)

    19th/early 20th century examples of American mushroom cookery are available online courtesy of Michigan State Univeristy's Historic American Cookbook Project. Search mushroom in recipe title or as ingredient.

    Trufles (fungus)

    "Truffles...A number of fleshy subterranean fungi of the genus Tuber are called truffles...Truffles are also among the oldest vegetables in the historical record."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Orneals [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2001, Volume Two (p. 1872)

    "The original truffle is the underground fungus of the genus Tuber, prized by gastronomes of several millennia for its ineffable perfume and its supposed aphrodesiac qualities. The Roman gourmet Apicius gave seven recipes for preparing it, and Brillat-Savarin apostophised it as 'the diamond in the art of cookery'. Until the nineteenth century truffles seem to have been relatively abundant...but these days demand so far outstrips the supply that (like oysters) they have passed beyond the reach of all but the very well-heeled."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2993 (p. 351)

    "Truffles, althoug treated as a delicacy by both Greeks and Romans, were also somewhat of a puzzle to them. Mushrooms they could in their own way understand as they had both stalks and 'roots'. but truffles just appeared buried in the earth with no clue as to their origin. According to Pliny the most prized truffles came from Africa; Juevenal, more precisely, mentions Libya as the source of the best truffles, though Marital considered them to be still second to boleti. It us to Apicius again that we must turn to see how truffles were eaten in Ancient Rome. He recommends first scraping, then boiling, and afterards grilling them lightly on skewers; after this they are to be returned to a pan for boiling, this time with liquamen, carenum, pepper, wine and honey. When this sauce has thickened, he says, they can again be grilled wrapped in a sausage skin, and then served as they are. In addition, Apicius gives three sauces for serving with them and another recipe for cooking them. The Romans may not have known much about the origins of truffles but they certainly had ideas about preparing them for the table."
    ---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early People, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell, expanded edition [Johns Hopkins University Press:Baltimore] 1998 (p. 92-3)

    The French connection
    "Truffles had been known in Babylon as well as Rome...Although the people of medieval Baghdad feasted on truffles from the Arabian desert, in France Truffles remained sunk in obscurity until the fourteenth century, when they were pickled in vinegar, soaked in hot water and served with butter. That they were eaten at all was probably due to their reputation as an aphrodesiac (a label that was attached to most new or rare foods until the modern period.)...La Varenne suggested cooking truffles like mushrooms, but although Louis XIV was one famous enthusiast and Napoleon another, it was not well into the nineteenth century that the French really became converts. The truffles became so fashionable that the demand trebled, and so did the price."
    ---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers Press:New York] 1988 (p. 238-239)

    "In France, the truffle of note (and the most famous variety) is the Perigord (Tuber melanosporum), a truffle that is black both inside and out, which Brillat-Savarin called a "black diamond.".."Mysterious" is a word often used in writings on truffles. Truffles vary in size from that of a walnut to that of a fist...are round shaped, and have a rough exterior."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Orneals [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2001, Volume Two (p. 1872)

    What do truffles look like?
    About Chocolate truffles (candy).

    Portobello
    The food experts generally agree on three points when it comes to the history of portabellas:

    1. This meaty mushroom is an American invention with Italian roots (spores, actually) made popular by clever marketing in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Both cremini and portobello mushrooms are first mentioned in the New York Times during the mid 1980s.
    2. There are several theories regarding the name. Although these mushrooms are also currenty enjoyed in fine dining establishments of Central/South America, there is no apparent connection between the town of Portobelo (Panama) the origination of the name or item.
    3. There is no definative spelling of this fungus. According to Google (not a scientific, but a popular survey), Portobello is preferred (169,000), followed by portabella (33,100) and portobella (3, 510).

    "By the late 1800s...Italian growers also cultivated the common mushroom but prefering the brown-capped variety, which are often called cremini mushrooms (or Italian brown) and have an earthy flavor that is fine for soups and stews and for stuffing. The large and beefy Portabello (also Roma) is acutally a fully grown cremini, with dense and meaty flesh that lends itself nicely to grilling or roasting. Originally, cremini mushrooms were imported from Italy, but now they are cultivated in the United States."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1818)

    "The name "portobello" began to be used in the 1980s as a brilliant marketing ploy to popularize an unglamorous mushroom that, more often than not, had to be disposed of because growers couldn't sell them."
    ---The New Food Lover's Companion, Sharon Tyler Herbst, 3rd edition [Barrons:New York] 2001 (p. 485)

    "Portobellos are popping up on the nation's menus like mushrooms after a spring rain. From soups and salads to sandwiches and entrees, the portobellos are everywhere. "It's a phenomenon in the food business," says Wade Whitfield of the Mushroom Council, an industry trade group in Roseville, Calif. "This thing has gone from nearly zero in 1993 to a predicted 30 million pounds this year. It's a major item. It will be the largest specialty mushroom." And chefs have found portobellos their own specialty. Whitfield of the Mushroom Council said no one can put their finger on the precise development of the portobello. "I've talked to several growers, and one said that he almost got fired once for growing those things," Whitfield notes. "They are really culls. You didn't want them in the mushroom bed. He would throw them away. There was no market. Growers would take them home." Farges adds that most of the mushroom farmers, many in southeastern Pennsylvania, were of Italian origin. They originally produced brown mushrooms, but the public clamored for the white button variety because it was clean and pristine. In the 1960s and 1970s, with the back-to-earth movement, the growers again started producing the browns. "They are sometimes called Romans, cremini or browns," Farges explains. "It has a much meatier flavor. It became a gourmet item. By accident, they found that if you let it grow, it would grow into a portobello." White mushrooms are still 90 percent of the supply, but portobellos have taken a bite of the market in the past four years. More growers are converting operations from white to portobellos in their mushroom houses," says Whitfield, adding that the move leads to a reduction in price. With the increased popularity, however, comes a disagreement over the spelling of portobellos. Whitfield explains: "A great deal of the growers are of Italian descent. I don't know who named it, but I understand portabella means 'beautiful door.' With an instead of an 'a' in porto, it means 'beautiful port.'" The Mushroom Council prefers portabella, says Whitfield, but that's open to dispute. "To be honest, I've been here two and a half years, and portobellos were just coming on the scene," he says. "We had five varieties, and portobellos became the sixth. I got to the sticky little point of 'How do you spell it?' O's or A's? At the time I could identify six shippers who were selling portobellos. I called all six of them, and asked, 'How do you spell portobello?' Four out of six spelled it portabella."
    ---"For Many Chefs, It's Sunrise for Portobellos," Ron Ruggless, Nation's Restaurant News, May 13, 1996, Vol. 30, Issue 19

    Cremini

    "The chubby cremino...properly encouraged by environmental conditions, will metamorphose to a portly portobello (also portabella), a name as difficult to document as cremini. I asked dozens who work with mushrooms, here and in Italy, about the name. The marketing director of a mushroom farm told me, "It was named after Portobello Road in London, where they sell fashionable things, you know." An importer said, "Until ten years ago, the mushroom was cappelaccio in Italy. Then it was renamed after a TV show called Portobello because it sounds better." Another importer told me that "portobello is known only in northern Italy, where it is called capellone." To one authority, capellone means "big hat." To the director of an Italian trade board and a dictionary it means "hippie." Two northern Italian chefs had never heard of capellone or cappelaccio. The most outlandish derivation came from an Italian distributor: "Well, you know that champignon comes from the word for Champagne, and that a Champagne cork looks like a round port and that's how we get porto bello beautiful port." http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/kgk/2002/0402/kgk042602.html


    New potatoes
    Our research indicates "new potatoes" (aka "early potatoes") have been around for a very long time. There is no single specific variety or color. The connecting culinary thread is they are harvested in the spring. The jackets are delicate and potatoes are flavorful. Like
    ramps & dandelions, new potatoes herald spring.

    [1817]
    "Waterford, June 28.--Large baskets of new potatoes, from Mr. Shearman, of Greenville, from Check Point, and from other quarters, daily come into market, and are sold at prices very little higher than that of old potatoes."
    ---Dublin Journal [Ireland], July 3, 1817 (p. 3)

    [1853]
    "The New-Haven Register is indebted to David Scranton, Esq., for a mess of new potatoes, dug on his premises a few days since. We ought, perhaps, to state, that while digging a cellar, the workmen came upon several full hills of potatoes, two feet under ground, from which those sent us were taken. As they had not been planted there by any human agency, it is supposed the seed was deposited by moles or rates, and hence the crops--which, we reckon, is the earliest that have been in market this season."
    ---New York Daily Times, March 21, 1853 (p. 2)

    [1911]
    "New potatoes from Bermuda are received here during October and November and again about March. Florida generally sends its first supplies in February, but the date varies with the conditions of the season, sometimes being as late as April."
    ---The Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [National Grocer:New York] 1911 (p. 502)

    [1919]
    "New Potatoes:

    Brush and scrape off all the skin of six potatoes and boil for half an hour in salted boiling water, drain, salt and dry for a few minutes, and then pour melted butter over them and sprinkle with chopped parsley."

    "Imitation New Potatoes
    Buy a potato cutter at a first-class hardware store, and with it cut the potatoes to the size of a hickory nut, and then fry or steam them. When cooked they look just like new potatoes. They are especially nice to garnish meats. You may also parboil and brown in fat, or boil and add parsley as you would with new potatoes. The remainder of the raw potatoes may be boiled and mashed or fried into ribbons."
    Source: International Jewish Cook Book, Florence Kreisler Greenbaum

    [1941]
    "Early potatoes. Supply of 'early' potatoes for the northern markets comes from the southern states. About Christmas time, new potatoes begin to move from southern Florida. Cuba also ships early potatoes, starting in January. Northern Florida, due to paucity of frosts and the early growing season, furnishes many northern cities with supplies of new potatoes. As the season advances, points of origin move northward into Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. By June potato harvest is under way in Maryland, then New Jersey, then Long Island in July. These areas specialize in early potatoes to command a good price..."
    ---"Potatoes," Commodity Year Book 1941 [Commodity Research Bureau:New York] 1941 (p. 441)

    [1963]
    "New Potatoes. First earlies, of which the principal varieties are Arran Pilot, Home Guard, Epicure and Ulster Prince, come into season from the end of May through June and July; the first are lifted in Cornwall, Shropshire and Lincolnshire. Their size, texture and appearance are distinctive, being generally smaller and cleaner. Because of their relatively short season, they are normally served whole when hot, though naturally they are cut for use in salads. They are well suited for salad in early summer because of their season as well as because of their texture and flavour. To test for freshness of new potatoes, rub them lightly with the finger or thumb when the light skin should readily come away." (p. 2)...Treatment of New Potatoes: Though New Potatoes may be subjected to the rissole process (tossing in hot fat on the stove top and oven finishing)they are usually served plainly boiled or steamed. General considerations as applied to boiling and steaming are valid for new potatoes though naturally one does not seek to achieve flouriness or mealiness. New potatoes have a delicate and more easily detached skin and removal by hand scraping is both possible and to be preferred. Mechanical peeling and the use of a hand potato peeler should be avoided...It is customary to add mint to the cooking water and at service the addition of a few leaves of blanched mint is desirable. New potatoes should invariably be dressed with butter..."(p. 39)
    ---The o Manual, John Fuller, published for the Potato Marketing Board [Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons:London] 1963

    [1967]
    "New potatoes are being harvested now in Florida. This year's crop is a record one. Not only is the potato acreage large--a total of 45,000 acres in Florida--but, according to reports, the yield per plant is excellent. Cook new potatoes in their jackets, then peel them. Or peel a 'belt' around each potato to allow salt or other seasonings to penetrate during cooking. Cook them in bouillon, and serve with a generous sprinkling of mince chives or parsley, or use them in a spring salad. If you want a hot, German-style salad, toss cooked new potatoes with dressing while they're hot. For a chilled salad, marinate cooked potatoes in dressing and add sliced zucchini and mushrooms before serving."
    ---"New Potatoes Brighten March Menus," Washington Post, March 16, 1967 (p. D4)


    Nutmeg
    Food historians place the epicenter of nutmeg's origin in the Moluccas (aka Spice Islands). This particular spice sparked a unique chain of economic and political events, making it a fascinating topic of study. When was it first commonly used in food? The answer depends upon the culture and cuisine. While print evidence confirms early uses in several continents, this spice was beyond the reach of the average British person until the mid-nineteenth century. Notes here:

    "Nutmeg...a kernel of the fruit of a tropical tree (Myristica fragrans), the dried nutmeg berry is called "nutmeg" because of its nutlike appearance. Nutmeg and macea re the only spices that come from the same fruit, with mace the aril of the dried seed. The nutmeg berry can be as small as an apricot or as large as a peach. An ancient spice, nutmeg is native to the Moluccas (the "Spice Islands") and was employed in South Asian cuisines for many centuries before it found its way to Rome, where Pliny wrote of a tree that bore a nut with two different tastes."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1823)

    "There is no record of nutmeg being known in classical Greece or Rome, but it had reached Constantinople by the 9th century AD, when St. Theodore the Studite allowed the monks who live by his Rule to sprinkle it on their pease pudding on non-meat days. By the 12th century it and mace were well known in Europe. When the Portuguese reached the Moluccas in 1514 they were able to acquire a monopoly on the trade, which they held for almost a century. At the beginning of the 17th century the Dutch wrestled control from them and laid the foundation of the Dutch E. Indian empire in the Bandanese island of Nehra, part of the Moluccas. They maintained their monopoly for over 150 years, but in 1770 a French expedition returned to Maruritius with nutmeg seedlings, and the first French nutmeg was picked eight years later. The British, who occupied the Moluccas from 1796 to 1802, planted nutmegs in Penang and therafter in other British possessions with seemingly suitable conditions, but it was not until the 1860s that cultivation of nutmegs in Grenada, which turned out to be the most suitable place for them, became significant."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition edited by Tom Jaine [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006 (p. 546)

    "Etymologically, the nutmeg is the 'nut that smells of musk'. It is a partial translation of Old French nois mugeude, which came from a hypothetical Vulgar Latin nuce mascata, literally 'musky nut'...It seems to first to have been heard of in England in the fourteenth century, but it probably did not arrive in any quantity until the early sixteenth century, after the Portuguese had opened up the route round the Cape of Good Hope to the Moluccas and the other spice islands. In the mid-seventeenth century the Dutch seized the Moluccas, and Mrs. Beeton noted with some asperity that the nutmeg 'was long kept from being spread in other places by the monopolizing spirit of the Dutch, who endeavoured to keep it wholly to themselves by eradicating it from every other island'. By her time it had, however, 'through the enterprise of the British...found its way into Penang...where it flourishes and produces well'. In the eighteenth century gentlemen used to carry around with them small silver boxes which doubled as nutmeg holders and nutmeg graters, with which they would grate nutmeg into their hot chocolate drinks. The nutmeg has retained a foothold in the British kitchen ever since, particularly as a component of mixed spice used in cakes, puddings, etc."
    ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 227)

    "Cloves and nutmeg were the most exotic of all the costly ingredients in the 'royal perfume' of the Parthian court, in early Iran. This is just about the earliest textual evidence of the use of either spice anywhere in the world. In many later texts, likewise, they go together...An Elizabethan nutritionist advises nutmeg a s a healthy dietary supplement for students, especially the conserved or 'candied' nutmeg which was stocked by chemists...Far earlier, this was also the first form of nutmeg that reached China, In the fourth century JI Han writes of an aromatic 'resembling the brush tips of pens, but about three quarters of an inch in length,'...IN AD 203 the governor of Tonking presented Wu Ti of Wei with nutmeg conserves. If 'nutmeg' is the correct translation here--some think otherwise--we have to suppose that nutmegs afterwards ceased to reach the Middle Kingdom, because when they reappear in Chinese texts, in the eighth century, then have a different name, meaning literally 'flesh cardamom'. As with cloves, several Chinese authors insets--quite wrongly--that nutmegs grew in Indochina. Their mistake serves as good evidence that nutmegs reached China not by any direct route, coasting the Philippines and Taiwan, but by way of Java and Tonking. Tonking was, for centuries, the most southerly Chinese province and the place of entry for many exotic products from further south...To summarize: on the Chinese market nutmeg may have made a brief appearance in the third and fourth centuries, but reappeared in the eighth under a different name. Nutmeg is first recorded in Western markets around the same time...Nutmeg occurs in Greek texts of the ninth century, in French texts in the twelfth, in English texts by the fourteenth...nutmeg was among the spices the European explorers were most anxious to find...European nations would compete to possess the real nutmeg plantations when they discovered them, they would fight for the monopoly of the trade, and they did eventually succeed in breaking that monopoly and (whether they wanted to do this or not) in flooding the market and smashing the price."
    ---Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices, Andrew Dalby [University of California Press:Berkeley CA] 2000 ](p. 53-55)

    "Some authorities...say that the earliest Chinese description of nutmeg is that of Ch'en Ts'ang-ch'i in T'ang times. The nutmeg is question came to China by merchant vessels from overseas, and it was called jou-tou-k'ou, one of its common names today. Recently...H.L. Li...identified as nutmeg...a plant called "o-chih-tzu," which was described by Chi Han in his flora (fourth century A.D.) Chi Han reported that i-chih-tzu was produced in what today are Annam and Kwangtung, and that early in the third century a governor of Chiao-chih sent a gift of i-chih-tzu preserves to Emperor Wu of Wei...The term i-chi-tzu in later times was used for bitter-seeded cardamom...but it Li is correct in his view that Chi Han's i-chih-tzu was nutmeg, the earliest Chinese knowledge of nutmeg would be foru or even five centuries earlier than most scholars had suspected. And the tree must have been introduced from the Spice Islands to Annam and mainland China still earlier, perhaps by the nan-Yueh seafarers who first carried cloves to China. Even if Li is wrong in his identification, the nutmeg tree seems to have been cultivated in Kwangtung or elsewhere in Longnan by the end of the eleventh century if not sooner...It is often difficult to classify a product as being primarily a spice or medicinal, but that is less of a problem for nutmeg in China...nutmeg in T'ang China apparently was a medicine but not a spice...a broth of ground nutmeg [was] given for digestive problems and diarrhea."
    ---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederick J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL] 1009 (P.403-4)

    Why is Connecticut is nicknamed the Nutmeg State?


    Okra
    Okra is an "Old World" vegetable. The exact place of origin is still matter of debate. Over the centuries, many cultures have embraced okra and used it to create traditional dishes. Mediterranean and African recipes combined with tomatoes (a new world fruit) were created after the Columbian Exchange. Okra was introduced to the New World by African slaves. This vegetable is still a favorite in the American south. General overview (with picture)
    here.

    "Okra is the edible seedpods of a tropical and subtropical plant of the hollyhock family...Africa is the source of the name...which appears to be derived from or related to nkuruma, the word for 'okra' in the Twi language of West Africa. It is first recorded in English at the beginning of the eighteenth century. The mucilaginous pods, like miniature pentagonal green bananas, are an essential ingredient in, and thickener of, soups and stews in countries where they are grown...Other names of the polynomial okra include in English speaking countries lady's fingers, in India bhindi, and in the eastern Mediterranean and Arab countries bamies."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 230)

    "Okra (Hibiscus esculentus)...and annual plant of tropical and subtropical regions which bears pods which are eaten as a vegetable. It is the only member of the mallow family...to be used in this way...Okra is generally regarded as native to Africa, and may have been first cultivated either in the vicinity of Ethiopia or in W. Africa. It is not known when it spread from Ethiopia to N. Africa, the E. Mediterranean, Arabia, and India. There is not trace of it in early Egyptian tombs, but it was recorded as growing beside the Nile in the 13th century. Its westward migration to the New World seems to have been a result of the traffic in slaves. Okra reached Brazil by 1658 and Dutch Guiana by 1686. It may also have arrived in the south of the USA during the 17th century, and was being grown as far north as Virginia and Philadelphia in the 18th century. The spread of okra eastwards from India as slow. Its appearance in SE Asia may be assigned to the 19th century, and it arrived in China soon therafter...Okra is only moderately popular in Europe...It is used much more extensively in the Middle East and India, as a vegetable."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 549-550)

    "A native of Africa (most likely tropical Africa), okra was used by the Egyptians, was known to the Spanish Moors in the twelfth century A.D., and in the late seventeenth century was carried by slaves to the Americas. According to legend, okra was introduced to in southeastern North America by the "Cassette Girls"--25 young French women who landed at Mobile in 1704 in search of husbands. They had with them okra that had been obtained from slaves in the West Indies, and which they used to invent "gumbo," which is a soup or stew thickened with okra. Okra has played a major role in the cuisines of ex-slave societies in the Americas, where it continues to be popular. It is also cultivated in Africa and East and South Asia."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2001, Volume Two (p. 1824)

    Okra in America
    "Some of the new aliments were undeserved gifts from the slaves, who carried seeds of African plants with them to the New World. The black-eye pea, so popular in the South today, was introduced in this fashion in 1674; there were others--okra and w watermelon, for instance--but it is in the nature of things that we have no precise dates for their arrival."
    ---Eating in America: A History, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow:New York] 1976 (p. 84)

    "Okra...derived from the West African nkruma, as in use in America by the 1780s. Okra was brought to America by African slaves, who used it in stews and soups and cut it up as a vegetable. The most famous use for okra is in Louisiana gumbo."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 220)

    "The word "okra" clearly derives from West African nkru ma, which indicates that the plant was brought to the Americas through the slave trade directly from Africa or indirectly through the Carribean. Slaves grew okra in gardens on southern plantations and introduced its cookery into mainstream America. The Swedish scientist Peter Kalm reported in his Travels into North America (1748) that okra was growing in Philadelphia. Thomas Jefferson, in his Notes on the State of Virginia (1785), recorded that okra was cultivated there. Extensive directions for growing okra were published in Robert Squibb's The Gardener's Calendar for South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina (1787). The pod of the opkra is steamed, boiled, fried, pickled, and cooked in soups and stews, notably gumbo. The seeds are also ground into meal for use in making bread oand oil. Southerners used ground okra seeds as a coffee substitute, especially during the Civil War...The leaves and flower buds are also edible and are cooked as greens. The pods and the leaves are dried, crushed into powder, and used for flavoring and thickening soups, including pepper pot, and stews. Although recipes for okra appear in early American cookery manuscripts, Thomas Cooper's edition of the Domestic Encyclopedia (1821) includes the first publsihed reicpe with okra as an ingredient. Mary Randolph's Virginia House-wife (1821) offers recipes using okra...The word "gumbo" or "gombo" is another African name for okra. In New Orleans it was applied to both the vegetable and the complex Creole stew made with it...Gumbos migrated quickly throughout America...Since the 1960s, okra has entered the American culinary mainstream, although as many writers point out, it is an acquired taste. It is a significant component of soul food and southern cookery in general."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford Univeristy Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 211-2)

    "Gumbo, Gombo, Gumbs--This name for hibsicus esculentus comes from Angolan kingombo; okra, another popular name, is through to come from West African nkru-ma (OED). The vegetable seems to have come to Virginia from black Africa, where it had long been cultivated, by way of the West Indies: Sir Hans Sloane reported in 1707 that Ocra was flourishing in Jamaica (OED), and Mrs. Randolph herself describes Gumbs (Gumbo in later editions) as a "West Indian Dish" (facsimile). ...Mrs. Randolph's Gumbs is simply buttered okra; her recipe for Ocra Soup...more nearly resembles later recipes for gumbo, however."
    ---The Virginia House-wife, Mary Randolph (facsimile 1824 edition), with Historical Notes and Commentaries by Karen Hess [Univeristy of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 275-6)
    [The passage quoted above is one of Ms. Hess' historical notes]

    Ms. Randolph's recipes:

    "Gumbs--A West India Dish
    Gather young pods of ocra, wash them clean, and put them in a pan with a little water, wald tne pepper, stew them till tender, and serve them with melted butter. Thye are very nutricious and easy of digestion."
    ---The Virginia House-wife, Mary Randolph (facsimile 1824 edition), with Historical Notes and Commentaries by Karen Hess [Univeristy of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 96)

    "Ocra Soup
    Get two double handsful of young ochra, wash and slice it thin, add two onions choppped fine, put it into a gallon of water at a very early hour in an earthen pipkin, or very nice iron pot: it must be kept steadily simmering, but not boiling: put in pepper and salt. At 12 o'clock, put in a handful of Lima beans, at half past one o'clock, add three young cimlins cleaned and cut in small pieces, a fowl, or knuckle of veal, a bit of bacon or pork that has been boiled, and six tomatats, with the skin taken off when nearly done; thicken with a spoonful of butter, mixed with one of flour. Have rice boiled to eat with it."
    ---ibid, (p. 34-5)
    [NOTE: Cimlins are a type of squash.]

    Additional early American okra recipes (search as recipe title and/or ingredient here, courtesy of Michigan State University.

    Okra stew
    Okra stew is generally composed of tomatoes, onions and garlic. It is popular in Mediterranean countries and surrounding regions. Most of the ingredients are indigenous and have been combined since ancient times. Tomatoes date the recipe. These new world fruits (yes, they are fruits!) were introduced to the region in the 16th century. About tomatoes.

    "Yakhnat al-Bamiya (Okra stew)
    This is a Lebanese dish, but also popular in Egypt. Okra...is a mucilaginous vegetable in the Malvacaea family, as is cotton. Both Ethiopia and West Africa have been proposed as its place of origin and its date of arrival in the Mediterranean is not known. The cytotaxonomy of okra is so confused that it is possible the plant has an Asian origin. Lebanese and Palestinian cooks favor the baby okra, small and tender, about the size of the last joint on your little finger...The meatless version of this stew, called bamiya, is made with okra, tomatoes, onions, lots of garlic, and lemon juice. In Damascus they would also add lots of fresh coriander, while in Homs and Aleppo the okra would be cooked with copius quantities of garlic, pomegranate molasses, and tomato juice. Serve with rice pilaf and khubz arabi (Arabic flatbread or pita bread)."
    ---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 128)
    [NOTE: This book contains a recipe for the above dish.]


    Olive oil
    Ancient treasure to modern health: few foods rival the economic, social, symbolic and practical impact of olive oil on human history.

    "Olive oil, the main product of the olive and an extremely important food product of the ancient Mediterranean. Olive oil production involved three processes. The skin of the fruit must be first broken and the flesh crushed, preferably without breaking the stone. The pulp must then be pressed to release the oil. The oil must finally be separated from the watery amurca. Oil can be extracted without the use of presses, but mechanisation must have been important in the development of olive oil production. A beam press was in use in Ugarit (Syria) around 1500BC. Crushing mills and oil presses were widespread throughout the Mediterranean in Hellenistic and Roman times....Although olive oil is never a cheap product it is used generously in modern Mediterranean cuisines, as it clearly was in ancient cookery also. It served serveral food purposes. It was a medium for marinading meat and fish before cooking. It was a cooking medium. It was used as a dressing both for cooked food when served, and for fresh green vegetables; for this purpose it was sometimes used alone, sometimes mixed with vinegar and aromatic herbs. Finally it was used in conserving. Olive oil is one of the best cooking oils, since, apart from its unusual health benefits, it retains a good flavour and its boiling point is high. In ancient times it had no competition from cheaper vegetable oils, while in ancient Mediterranean cuisine animal fat was not used as a cooking medium. On the edges of the classical world olive oil was less well know. Pharaonic Egypt imported olive oil from Palestine and Crete. By the twelfth century BC olives were growing in Egypt, and Theophrastus confims that at the time of Alexander's conquest in the fourth century olives were grown for oil in the Thebaid, but this had been small-volume luxury production...As the principal vegetable oil of the ancient Mediterranean, olive oil had many non-food uses. It was a fuel, especially for lamps. It was a soap or cosmetic, used for rubbing the body...it was used for oiling clothes...Perfumed oils, used for burning as unguents, were made with the addition of various spices and aromatics...Both pure oil and perfumed oil were used in religious and social rituals."
    ---Food in the Ancient World From A-Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 239-240)

    "As Pliny says at the beginning of his chapter on oil: 'There are two liquids especially agreeable to the human body, wine inside and oil outside.' In countries without the olive the place of oil was generally taken first by animal fat. That must have applied to ancient Italy before the introduction of the olive, but we have little direct evidence of this, for once established, the olive became the universal provider...[Olives] appear to have originated in Syria and Palestine, whilst aspiny variety may be indigenous to Crete. The olive industry must have played a vital role in Crete and much evidence concerning it has come from that region. Its cultivation there goes back at least to 2500 BC. Olive stores of Late Minoan date have been found and also seeds and an olive press at Palaikastro. A number of settling vats have also been brought to light, and the methods for extracting oil must have been much the same as those still employed in modern Crete. This involves drenching the olives with hot water prior to pressing them; the resulting liquid is oured into vats which allow th oil to come to the top, the water being then drawn off through a spout at the bottom. The significance of oil in early Crete becomes evident when one considers the vast quantities of pithoi (pottery jars) in the storerooms of the palace at Knossos. Oil seems to have been the king's treasure, and its export one of his major sources of revenue...There are also innumerable Biblical references to olives and olive oil...Oil cultivation did not reach Italy until the sixth century BC and appears to have come via Greece, where domestication took place considerably earlier. Once olive oil reached Italy, its value was quickly appreciated...and the Romans soon set themselves to work producing fruit and oil of varying kinds and quantities...All the Roman writers on agriculture give full instructions to be followed when extracting olive oil. The olives should preferably be fresh when pressed. The first pressing resulted in the first quality oil, the two subsequent pressings of the pulp gave second quality and ordinary oil."
    ---Food in Antiquity, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell [Johns Hopkins University Press:Baltimore] exanded edition, 1998 (p. 155-156)

    Olive harvest notes from Cato [2nd century BC:Rome]
    "When the olives are ripe, they should be gathered as early as possible, and stand as little as possible on the ground or in the loft. On the ground and in the loft they deteriorate. The gatherers want there to be as many windfalls as possible,, so that they gather more. The press workers want them to be in the loft as long as possible, to soften, which makes their work easier. Do not accept that oil yield increases with storage. The more quickly you make it, the better the work will go, and the highter will be the quantity and quality of oil from the same amount harvested...Make green oil as follows: Collect windfall olives as quickly as possible. If dirty, wash them, clean them of leaves and manure. Make oil one day or two days after picking. Pick olives when black. The more bitter the olives you make oil from, the better the oil will be. Itg is most profitable for the owner if oil is made from ripe olives. If there are frosts when you are harvesting olives, make oil two or three days after: add salt to these olives, if you wish."
    ---Cato: An Farming, a modern translation with commentary by Andrew Dalby [Prospect Books:Devon] 1998 (p. 147)

    Symbolism & mythology
    "Olives and Olive Oil. Wild olive trees are indigenous to the eastern Mediterranean where thy line the low coastal areas of Greece and the surrounding islands. They're evergreen trees, and they've been cultivated int he Mediterranean and the Middle East since Neolithic times. Olives occupy a prominent place in mythology and custom, and the olive tree's branches and oil were used in much of the ancient world to bestow kingship, consecrate holy objects, and onont people of honor and bodies of the dead. The olive figures promenintly in the myths and customs of Greece, in particular, where it served as a symbol of peace and of constancy; an emblem of achievement; and a sacred, immortal, and divine fruit...The Greeks anointed the winners of the Olympian Games with olive oil to honor Athena, the goddess of the olive tree. Anointment with olive oil was a sign of respect in many lands in ancient times, and olive oil reputedly relieved tension and fatigue...Because the olive had to suffer (to be pressed) in order to produce riches (oil), the Greeks made it a symbol of victory over adversity. They also made it a symbol of regeneration and included it in immortality myths. Olive trees appeared to be immortal. They were known to live for centuries..."
    ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara] 2001 (p. 161,163)

    Olive oil in the New World
    "The only oil regularly available to colonial Americans was olive oil. (Fats that remain liquid at room temperature are generally referred to as oils.) Only in the most elite enclaves within the Spanish colonies was this expensive import used for cooking. In the English and French settlements, olive oil was reserved almost exclusively for salad dressing."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford Univeristy Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 459)

    "Within fourteenth-century Spain, olive oil was exported from south to north...following the conquest of the New World, American demand continued to stimulate Spain's olive oil industry. As the colonists began to make their own oil, however, the flow of Spanish olive oil across the Atlantic diminished. In North America, Thomas Jefferson tried to grow olives at Monticello, but the cuttings he used would not take root...At about the same time as this failed experiment in the east of the continent, olive cultivation was successfully launched in California by Spanish missionaries, and by the beginning of the twentieth century, the western state had joined Provence in France and the Lucca district in Italy...as a produced of some of the world's best olive oils." (p. 378) (Volume One p. 378)..."During the second quarter of the nineteenth century, the United States expanded, by conquest and by land purchase, into this large area [American Southwest] with its predominently Hispanic population. The region's culinary heritage was rooted in part in the chilli-laced tamles and tortillas of the Aztecs and their predecessors and in part in the culture of Iberia. Shipments of olive oil, hams, wine, and even saffron arrived regularly from Spain." (Colume Two p. 1312)
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000.

    [1911]
    "Housewives would find it profitable to employ olive oil more generally for cooking, etc. In the average American household it is used only for salads and salad dressing, but it is also excellent for frying--it can be heated to higher temperature than either lard or butter and it has no disagreeable odor or flavor. Now is it expensive, in spite of the general impression to that effect, for one gallon of oil is equivalent to seven and a half pounds of butter for cooking. After all deep frying, such as fritters, doughnuts or French fried potatoes, the oil should be carefully strained and placed in a clean, tight bottle for further use."
    ---
    Grocers Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward (p. 425)

    Olive oil as beauty treatment?
    In the 1920s we find print evidence of marketing olive oil as a beauty treatment to improve skin tone. It could be rubbed on the skin or ingested.

    "Cleopatra's Beauty was preserved and enhanced for years by a liberal use of Olive Oil. History tells us she bathed with it--drank it--lived on it--and yet the oil she used could not have been more pure than the oil you buy now known as Napoleon Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The beauty doctors of today, almost without an exception, prescribe Olive Oil and exercise in the open air, as the most efficient essentials of wonderful beauty and health. Women of all ages have used the 'Golden Oil' as a preserver of the beauty of youth. Its use brings the glow of health to dull skins and muddy complexions; it rejuvenates and builds up; it gives the happy, cheerful laughter of children to grown folks. It is not necessary that you take a great quantity though no amount can possibly hurt you, for it is a natural oil. A tablespoonful every morning, half-an-hour before breakfast and another half-an-hour after the last meal of the day, will be found very health-giving and a great aid to a good complexion. Napoleon Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not hard to take--indeed, there is none of the usual sticky tang about it, as is found in less pure Olive Oils. Start today with a 'Napoleon' treatment--you'll enjoy it an marvel at its results. Any good grocer or druggist can supply you with a screw-top tin of 'Napoleon Extra Virgin' of a size to suit your need...Wrinkles or hollow spots can be stopped and in time removed permanently by 'Napoleon Extra Virgin Olive Oil.' Simply place a small quantity in an open vessel and massage the parts with an upward, outward motion for a few minutes each night before retiring. Get our free booklet, 'The Guide to Health.'... A. Magnano Co. Limited, Vancouver BC, Genoa Italy."
    ---advertisement, Manitoba Free Press [Winnipeg Canada], May 20, 1920 (p. 7)
    [NOTES: (1) Additional notes about Magnano's beauty campaign:
    Printers Ink, August 5, 1920 (p. 41+) (2) We are not endorsing this treatment. Information is for historic research only.]


    Olivenaise
    We found an advertisement for Olive-Naise in Mrs. Wilson's Cook Book, Mrs. Mary A. Wilson [J.B. Lippincott:Philadelphia] 1920. According to this source, Olive-Naise was manufactured by the Schlorer Delicatessen Co., Philadelphia. According to the records of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Mrs. Schlorer's brand name is now owned by the Venice Maid Company in Vineland, NJ.

    USPTO RECORD HERE:

    Word Mark MRS. SCHLORER'S Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: Mayonnaise. FIRST USE: 19110600. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19110600 Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING Serial Number 75495644 Filing Date June 3, 1998 Current Filing Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Published for Opposition March 21, 2000 Registration Number 2356614 Registration Date June 13, 2000 Owner (REGISTRANT) VENICE MAID FOODS, INC. CORPORATION NEW JERSEY 270 North Mill Road P.O. Box 1505 Vineland NEW JERSEY 083601505 Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED Attorney of Record JORDAN S WEINSTEIN Prior Registrations 1201339 Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL-2(F) Other Data The name "MRS. SCHLORER" does not identify a living individual. Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

    Ads placed in historic newspapers suggest Olivenaise (and Pick-O-Naise) was a regional product, generally found in Pennsylania, central New York, south New Jersey and West Virginia.


    Onions
    Like garlic, onions were common foods of the ancient working classes valued for medicinal properties.

    "Onions--Cultivated since prehistoric times, the onion (Allium cepa) is a native of central or western Asia that has become indispensible to cuisines the world over. This plant was used by the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans, and Greeks, who believed it to have curative powers. In addition, onions--along with garlic and chickpeas--reportedly made up the bulk of the food rations for the 100,000 or so laborers who built the Great Pyramid of Cheops around 2900 B.C. The ancients interpreted the layered internal structure of the onion as a symbol of eternity."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1825)

    "In Egypt, according to various Roman writers, the onion was regarded as a diety...The onion was indeed of major importance there, and, eaten with bread, formed the basis of the Egyptian every-day diet...In details of funerary offerings in Old Kingdom chapels bread heads the list, followed by baskets of onions...Bread and onions also formed the basic diet of the people of Mesopotamia. Here again the onion was regarded as a peasant food. Accounts dating from the Third Dynasty of Ur (early second millennium BC) state that on one day each month various persons received a ration of about a 'gallon' of bread and some onions. They were usualy eaten raw with bread and were sold in strings...Archaeological surveys have not as yet brought to light any material proof of this type of vegetabes in Greece...Theophrastus (c. 372-c. 287 BC) was acquainted with a number of varieties of onion and garlic and bother wsere undoubtedly used particularly in sauces and dressings to which the Greeks were very partial with their meat, fish and game."
    ---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell [Johns Hopkins Press:Baltimore MC] expanded edition 1998 (p. 108-109)

    Onion symbolism & folkore
    "The onion was likely one of the first plants cultivated. Its layered structure and pungent odor so impressed the ancients that they developed beliefs about the onion that have survived to the present day. The offensive odor of the onion led many to fear its power. Its appearance and structure, however, fostered a different view: The onion was likened by some to a pearl-gold on the outside and white on the inside; and like a pearl, they thought, it symbolized oneness and unity. Furthermore, the onion was spherical in shape, consisting of a series of orbs, one inside the other...Because the onion and leek symbolized the universe, the ancient Egyptians considered the bulbs sacred..."
    ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 164-5)

    "At the time when Columbus discovered America, the Indians were using two thousand different foods derived from plants... Another underground plant which Indians ate avidly was the onion. Some writers have tried to deny them this plant, claiming it was unkown in America until Europeans brought it there; however Bernal Diaz, who accompanied Cortes in Mexico, remarked about 1520 that wooden objects made by the Indians...smelled strongly of onion and garlic, and he seems to have been an alert observer. It is possible that this effect could have been produced by the native American onion-flavored ramps, but it is unnecessary to seek such an explanation. The fact is that native onions did grow wild in America...and Indians were fond of them."
    ---Eating in America: A History, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow:New York] 1976 (p. 17)
    [NOTE: What are ramps?]

    "Most of America's early settlers brought with them whatever they needed to reestablish their gardens on the new continent. And they always brought onions. Onions could make people weep, but they made any dish taste better. The bulbs were resistent to decay and could last all winter in the root cellar. Onions are very climate and soil sensitive, so European onions had to be adapted selectively to local growing conditions. Kitchen gardens of the eighteenth century tended to rely on imported onions for seed stock because seeds saved from domestically grown onions often deteriorated. After the Revolutionary War, growers started adapting varieties to different American climates. Many of the onion varieties in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries were derived from the imported English globe onion and were suited for the cooler New England and Mid-Atlantic climates. Other varieties, successful in southern conditions, were developed from Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian stock...Colonists and pioneers also used some of the dozens of onion cousins that grew wild in America...American cookbooks were full on onions, first showing up in 1796, when Amelia Simmons published the first American cookbook. She called for roasting the turkey on a spit and serving it up "with boiled onions and cramberry [sic] sauce, mangoes, pickles and celery."
    ---Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2(p. 213-214)

    Popular recipes: French onion soup, creamed onions & onion rings.

    Onion rings
    Onion rings descend from
    Ancient Roman fritters and 16th century tempura: breaded foods deep fried in oil. Food historians generally place the origin of onion rings, as we know them today, in early 20th century USA. Onion rings, like french fries, historic food writers confirm, are American men's favorite vegetables. In this context, pairing them with steak makes perfect sense. Frozen onion rings appear soon after World War II.

    "Much to my surprise, Sarah Tyson Rorer offers a recipe for deep-fried onion rings in Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book (1902), but these are not dredged. The French-fied onion rings added to the 1906 edition of The Boston Cooking School Cook Book are, however. "Peel onions," Fannie Farmer writes, "cut in one-fourth-inch slices, and separate into fourth-inch slices, and separate into rings. Dip in milk, drain, and dip in four. Fry in deep fat, drain on brown paper, and sprinkle with salt." Still, the crispy, sweet, golden brown onions didn't catch our fancy until some forty-some years later when fast-food stands made them a staple."
    ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 241)

    Early recipes & serving notes

    [1906]
    "French Fried Onions

    Peel onions, cut in one-fourth inch slices, and separate into rings. Dip in milk, drain, and dip in flour. Fry in deep fat, drain on brown paper, and sprinkle with salt."
    ---Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Fannie Merritt Farmer, facsimile 1906 edition [Cornell University Digital:Ithaca NY] (p. 296)

    [1933]
    "French Fried Onions

    Use Spanish or large Bermuda onions, peel them, and cut into slices a little less than a quarter of an inch thick. Separate the slices into rings, soak them in milk for a few minutes, drain and then roll in flour. Fry in deep fat which has been heated to 360 degrees F., hot enough to brown a cube of bread in one minute. When the onions are golden brown, remove them from the fat and drain on soft paper. Sprinkle with salt."
    ---a la Rector, George Rector [Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company:New York] 1933 (p. 72)
    [NOTE: George Rector was a popular New York City restauranteur some say on par with Delmonicos.]

    "This is news, Schrafft's sizzling steak combination. On the popular new hot platter, Schrafft's 141 West 42nd Street now serves you a large, thick juicy steak that fairly fizzes and sizzles, it is so hot...With it you get generous helpings of French fried potatoes, onion rings or a fresh vegetable, a green salad, and a pot of Schrafft's coffee, all for $1.50. A Man's Meal, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.. Served only at Schrafft's."
    ---display ad, New York Times, October 19, 1933 (p. 10)

    [1934]
    "French Fried Onions

    [To serve 4]
    2 large Spanish onions
    1/2 pint milk
    1/2 cup flour, or little more
    1/3 teaspoon salt
    Peel onions and sift four and salt into a bowl. Cut onions into slics about 1/4 inch thick. Separate the rings and soak in milk; then ift and drop into flour and salt. When floured, drop into deep fat, heated to temperature of 380 degrees F. If you do not have a thermometor, test heat of fat with a cube of bread. When it browns in 60 seconds, the fat is the right temperature. When the onions are cooked to a golden brown, remove and drain on unglazed paper to absorb fat; then serve. This is a delicious way of frying onions."
    ---The Mystery Chef's Own Cook Book, John McPherson [Blakiston Company:Philadelphia] 1934 (p. 115)

    [1936]
    "French Fried Onions

    Break an egg into a bowl and add one cup of milk. Sift one cup flour and onte-fourth teaspoon salt over egg and milk mixture. Beat with rotary beater until batter is free from lumps. Let stand while preparing onions. Peel six medium sized onions, slice thin and separpate into rings. Dip single rings into batter with fork and fry in hot fat (385 deg, F.) until golden brown. Drain, sprinkle with salt and keep hot until serving time."
    ---"Eight Recipes Give Uses of Noble Onion," Lona Alison, Los Angeles Times, November 4, 1936 (p. A7)

    [1940]
    "Menu planning would be greatly simplified if women adopted the masculine proclivity for selecting French fries whenever in doubt about a suitable vegetable. Listen in on the male orders at any restaurant if you haven't noticed this propensity of the sterner sex. On every hand--in basso profundo, baritone or tenor--it will be for one or another of the deep-fat fried vegetables. French-fried vegetables require the same equipment and follow the identical rules of this type of cooking in general...Characteristic of the type of food that men prefer is the attractive picture featuring French-fried onion rings, baked russet potatoes, and last, but by no means least, a lordly steak, broiled to a turn...
    French Fried Onions
    2 large onions, cut in 1/4-inch slices
    1 teapsoon salt
    1 quart milk
    1/3 cup flour
    Deep hot vegetable shortening
    Separate onion slices into rings (there shoud be about one quart.) Soak in salted milk 15 to 20 minutes. Drain slices. Dip in flour. Fry, small amounts at a time, in vegetable shortening, gradually heated in deep pan to 380 deg. F. (when inch cube of bread browns in 50 seconds.) When brown, drain on absorbent paper, sprinke with salt and serve immediately. (Remaining milk may be used in soups or sauces.)"
    ---"French Fries Appeal to Male Contingent," Marian Manners Los Angeles Times, January 21, 1940 (p. D9)

    Frozen onion rings
    "We can think of few things we'd rather less rather do these lovely late-summer days than stand over the proverbial hot stove and French-fry onions, and we'd say that even if we had the shortening to do it. Happily, there's no need, for the Tru-Taste Food Company in Long Island City is doing the work for us, slicing the vegetables, frying it crisp, then quick-freezing it. We found quick-frozen onion rings at the Ultima Frozen Food store, 967 Lexington Avenue, and understand they're carried at other Ultima shops, as well as the Frozen Food Fair, 35 West Eighth Street. Five ounces, equivalent to one and a fourth pounds of raw onions, cost in the vicinity of 35 cents and are ready for the table after fifteen minutes in an open pan in a moderate oven. Perhaps the end results are not quite so good as those a fine French chef might achieve, but they're acceptable, nevertheless."
    ---"New of Food," Jan Nickerson, New York Times, August 29, 1946 (p. 23)

    Related food? French fries.


    Oranges
    Oranges: sweet, bitter, sour...large, small, medium...Old World natives & New World varieties. A common citrus thread in cuisines worldwide. What makes oranges special? Versatility! Flavor, color, texture & application.

    "One way to categorize this fruit of the genus Citrus is to distinguish bitter oranges...from sweet oranges...The bitter orange (also known as Sevilla, sour orange...) is a native of Southeast Asia and was cultivated in the Indus Valley some 6,000 years ago. The sweet orange...may also have originated in Southeast Asia, although many believe it to be a native of southern China, as is evidenced by its scientific name. Both fruits were slow to find their way to the Mediterranean basin; the bitter orange eventually arrived with the Arabs around A.D. 1000, but the Western advent of the sweet orange came more than 400 years later, perhaps with the help of Genoese traders or Portuguese explorers. Sweet-orange trees were planted at Versailles in 1421, and later (1521) in Lisbon. Meanwhile, in 1493, the second voyage of Christopher Columubus is said to have carried sweet-orange seeds...to Hispaniola, and Spaniards stationed in Florida were reportedly growing oranges there in 1565, the year St. Augustine was founded. A couple of centuries later, the Franciscans began planting orange groves at their mission of San Diego in California."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1826)

    "The orange is one of the most important fuits of the world and one of the oldest cultivated. Originating in the Orient, the fruit was cultivated in China as early as 2400 B.C. These were "bitter oranges"...later brought to Spain, where they became known as the "Seville orange." The "sweet orange"...also originated in China and was also brought to Spain, possibly by the Moors in the eighth century. Christopher Columbus brought Canary Islands orange seeds to Hispaniola in 1493, and plantings by the Spanish and Portuguese soon followed throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America. Some believe Ponce de Leon brought orange seeds to Florida, but the first recorded evidence of the fruit on North American soil credits Hernando de Soto with bringin the orange in 1539 to St. Augustine, Florida, where the trees flouished until Sir Francis Drake sacked the city in 1586 and destroyed them. These grew back quickly, but commercial plantings were of only minor importance for more than two centuries...In Florida only one significant orange grower was to be found in the eighteenth century. His name was Jesse Fish...It was not until the United States acquired Florida in 1821 that orange growing became a profitable business for Americans...By the 1880s orange production was growing rapidly, owing to the development of refrigerated ships that could carry the fruit from California and to the building of railroads into the heart of Florida. Also, a new orange, the "navel"...entered California in 1873 from Bahia, Brazil...By the 1890s, the navel orange had become commercially important...By the 1920s nutritionists were promoting the benefits of orange juice...and the drink became as ubiquitious as coffee on American breakfast tables."
    ---The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 223-4)

    "Citrus cultivation in the area that would become the United States dates from the Spanish exploration and settlement of Florida in the sixteenth century; it reached Louisiana around 1700 and California with the arrival of Franciscan friars in 1769. Since most citrus cannot tolerate temperatures more than a few degrees below freezing, open-air cultivation has generally been limited to warmer areas, but until the second half of the nineteenth century it was not uncommon for the wealthy to grow oranges and lemons in greenhouses. With the advent of steam transportation in the mid-nineteenth century, citrus was imported from Mexico, the West Indies, and Italy. Large-scale commercial cultivation began in Florida and California in the 1870s and 1880s, when the extension of railroads allowed fresh fruit to be shipped to major eastern and midwestern markets. Railroads and land promoters helped fashion a romatic image of citrus in the popualr imagination, symbolizing sunshine, health, and elegance, to lure settlers to Florida and California. To sell their corps profitably, growers formed marketing cooperatives, such as Sunkist, founded as the Southern California Fruit Exchange in 1893."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 254)

    Symbolism & mythology
    "Oranges are native to Southeastern Asia. The ancient Egyptians knew nothing of this fruit, and the Greeks made no mention of them either; but the Chinese cultivated them in antiquity, and the Japanese identified them as the fruit of life. In Japanese myth, the emperor sent a hero named Tajima-mori to the Eternal Land, possibly southern China, to bring back the magical fruit, so that the emperor might gain immortality. But Tajima-mori returned too late. The emperor had already died, and the magic of oranges could no longer help him. Though the Chinese identified the fruit of life as the peach, they considered oragnes magical also, believing that the fruit brought good luck and joy and warded off evil spirits. Oranges possibly gained respect in myth and legend because of their color. Ancient peoples seem to have believed that orange or red fruits had magical properties, connecting them with blood and life force. The golden color of oranges also led some mythmakers to link them with the sun. In Flemish legend, a young prince once went in search of a bride hidden within a magic orange in a land of sunshine and orange groves..."
    ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [Firefly Books:Ontario] 2000 (p. 166)

    Why give oranges at Christmas?
    Food historians trace the practice of proferring fresh fruit gifts for major celebrations to ancient times. These exquisite, perishable objects were expensive and reflected the giver's wealth and status. Indeed, before the age of speedy transportation and reliable refrigeration, fresh citrus fruit was out of reach of the average person. As time progressed, fresh fruit out of season (including oranges in Northern Europe and/or North America) was possible, but still rare. This made these items perfect Christmas gifts. Today, when oranges are inexpensive and readily available throughout the year, this little history tidbit is overlooked. A child today who encounters an orange at the toe of his Christmas stocking is unlikely to appreciate the message unless someone takes the time to share the history.

    "Strange and exotic fruits had begun to reach Britain...through trade with southern Europe where oranges, lemons and pomegranates were cultivated. The original home of the citrus fruits lay in northern India. They had been known to the Romans under the name of "Median apples', having apparantly arrived from Persia; and their juice had been used as a medicine, and occasionally also to sharpen the tang of vinegar...The first Englishmen to enjoy oranges, lemons and 'Adams apples'... were probably crusaders who wintered with Richard Coure-de-Lion in the fruit groves around Jaffa in 1191-2. About a hundred years later citrus fruits had begun to arrive in England itself...Also on the spice ships from southern Europe came great raisins, 'raisins of Corinth' or currants...prunes, figs and dates. All were consumed in vast quantities by the well-to-do, for the sweetness of dried fruits was greately appreciated while sugar was still rare and expensive. Poorer people ate them principally in festive pottages and pies during the twelve days of Christmas, but the rich enjoyed them at other times , too."
    ---Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago IL] 1991 (p. 332-4)

    "In the nineteenth century poor children dreamed all the year round of getting the precious, scented present of an orange for Christmas. Most of them did not know what an orange tasted like, or even if they would dare eat that golden, almost magical fruit."
    ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 659)

    Florida orange juice & Sunkist oranges

    Recommended reading:

    Blood oranges
    Despite popular belief, these sumptuous sweet citrus fruits are not new. Nor were they first imported to the USA by Frieda Caplan. They have however, enjoyed the benefit of recent promotion and chef creativity. Botantists confirm sweet oranges originated in China and India. Specific variety migrations are complicated to track because they rely primarily on literature, folklore and personal accounts. Linguistics, translation and interpretation play key roles. The locus of origin centers on Sicily and/or Malta. Citrus experts tell us the blood red color was a logical mutation caused by climate. They do not offer a date of "discovery." Print evidence confirms sweet oranges were growing in this region by the 17th century. Recent references to 4th century Chinese origin are based on English translations of ancient Chinese literature. It is not possible to say for sure whether the red fruits of these poems were actually blood oranges.

    Old world
    "Blood oranges are grown mostly in Mediterranean countries, especially Italy. The original mutation which produced the colour probably arose in the 17th century in Sicily. The earliest blood oranges were small and seedy but the better varieties which followed, notably Sanguinello, attracted international esteem. The best modern varieties include the round early- season Moro and the mid-season Tarocco (named for its resemblance to a child's toy top renown for its delicate flesh and well-balanced flavour). Sicily, especially the area around Catania, remains the best place for these oranges...Connoisseurs of citrus fruits consider these oranges to be among the world's finest dessert oranges."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006, 2nd edition (p. 559-560)
    [NOTE: there are several conflicting opinions regarding the introduction of sweet oranges to southern Europe. Period ranges from 15-17 century.]

    "Blood orange...A very large variety of sweet orange, the blood orange (Citrus sinesis) has juice that is usually of a burgundy hue, which along with the red color of its flesh, accounts for the name. Blood oranges (also called pigmented oranges) are a favorite in Europe...but have not really caught on in the United States, although the 'Ruby Blood' and 'Moro' varieties are grown in California and Florida. Blood oranges come mostly from Spain and Italy; important European varieties include the Spanish Sanguinella and the 'Maltese Blood.' The English call these fruits 'Maltese oranges,' the French 'Maltaise oranges'."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000(p. 1734)

    "[in] Sicily, one encounters another orange variety. This is a sweet, not a bitter, fruit, It is attractive not only to the mouth and the nose, but also to the eye, and to the inward eye of imagination and fantasy: its juice is blood red...Whereas an island such as Sicily can become a melting pot of cultures, its territory is naturally isolated...Insularity may account...for the appearance of blood oranges in Sicily as an accidental variety...When did they first appear? It would seem to be several centuries ago, but exactly when remains in doubt. The product of this mutation has turned into a significant economic resource. Blood oranges account for about 60 percent of Italian citrus production and fetch a good price on European markets. Consumers consider them a delicacy....Like the setting sun, the fruit is reddish orange. Its outer color is an excellent predictor of its inner hues. These oranges are small or medium in size, and they carry seeds and a blood-colored juice that usually tastes a little more tart than that of ordinary oranges...Blood oranges owe their color to dye molecules, often improperly referred to as pigments. A pigment is an insoluble solid, in contrast to a dye, which is soluble and colors the liquid dissolving it. These blood-colored molecules belong to the same chemical families that are responsible for the color of...cherries, strawberries, and raspberries...As the fruit matures, the amount of dye increases about fivefold...Citrus fruit in a tropical or subtropical climate devoid of sharp winter-summer alternation tends to remain lime green....Citrus fruit growing in a temperate climate with sharply defined seasons first turns orange and tends to redden upon further maturation. This genetic trait has accidentally become selected in the blood oranges of Sicily. On the terraced orchards on the slopes of Mt. Etna in eastern Sicily where blood oranges are grown, cold winter nights alternating with mild days are the cue for the fruit to blush. Besides carotenoids, brightly colored anthocyanins, some red, some purple, and some violet, give there fruits their berrylike taste and color."
    ---Citrus: A History, Pierre Laszlo [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 2007 (p. 21-22)

    New world
    [1878]
    "Maltese blood orange..."
    ---"What a California Garden Grows," New York Times, March 17, 1878 (p. 10)

    [1883]
    "...the blood orange of Malta has a crimson pulp."
    ---Grocer's Companion and Merchant's Hand-Book [New England Grocer Office:Boston] 1883 (p. 99)

    "It has been reported that 'blood' oranges have been manufactured by unscrupulous dealers out of ordinary fruit by introducing an aniline dye within the pulp of the orange. Do you thin this can be true? No, I do not...A puncture could not be made in the rind of an orange without injuring it. The fruit would begin to decay at once at the point where the incision had been made. This would prevent the dealer from realizing a profit of the oranges unless disposed of immediately.' ---"Some Facts About Lemons," Los Angeles Times, July 18, 1883 (p. 2)

    [1887]
    "...blood oranges, $4-$6/box"
    ---Los Angeles Times, May 23, 1887 (p. 4)

    [1889]
    "The blood orange is a mere variety of the sweet orange obtained by cultivation, and appears first to have been raised by the Spanish gardeners in the Philippine Islands, from the capital of which (Manila) it, together with the well-known cigars formed at one time one of the chief articles of export. On its first appearance in Europe it excited a considerable sensation; and in the last century very high prices were demanded for the trees which bore the wonderful fruit. None, however, now come to us from Manila, our supply being derived almost entirely from Malta, where great pains and attention are bestowed upon their cultivation. It was for a long time supposed and indeed the idea is not yet quite extinct, that blood oranges were produced by the grafting of the orange with the pomegranate; but there is not the slightest foundation for this belief.--Chambers Journal."
    ---"Blood Oranges," New York Times, March 10, 1889 (p. 12)

    [1911]
    "The ordinary sweet orange imported from Europe is the variety known as the Lisbon or Portugal and its near relatives. The most noteworthy special types include...the Maltese or 'Blood Orange' with mottled pulp."
    ---Grocers' Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [1911] (p 429)

    American blood orange recipes
    If you are looking for a specific recipe from a particular place/period or culinary application (marmalade?) let us know. Happy to track it down. A smashing table of trendy recipes are readily available on the Internet (google: blood orange recipes) and popular/culinary magazines/newspapers (your librarian can help you access EBSCO/ProQuest/NewsBank & other article databases. If you are looking to cull a comprehensive list of blood orange recipes you will need to explore synonyms through time. Below please find a "short list" of selected recipe sources:

    [1896-1905]
    Search Michigan State University's
    Feeding America digitized cookbooks (ingredient=blood orange or red orange) returns five recipes, 1896-1905: Blood Orange Salad, Bomb Glace, Orange Sauce, Orange Marmalade, Pomegranate Ice, Orange Sherbet.

    [1979]
    Bon Appetit's "Blood oranges of the Mediterranean," Darra Goldstein, April 1979 (p. 73)

    [1988]
    Gourmet magazine's "Blood oranges," 7 page feature with recipes, February 1988 (p. 80+). We can supply if you need.

    Mandarin oranges
    "In China...there is clear evidence that oranges have been cultivated since antiquity...In T'ang times, the fruiting of mandarin trees in the imperial gardens, apparently indoors, led to "formal congratulations to the monarch on his divine charisma"...It is understandable that the Chinese have given the world the earliest surviving monography on the orange...In this twelfth-century work, one reads not only of sour, sweet, and mandarin oranges, but of the related kumquat and trifoliate orange...In South Chinese folk religion, orange and red-colored fruits, including mandarins and other oranges, are common ritual offerings, and one also reads of small mandarin trees in homes at the time of Chinese New Year...This is because their colors are religious and magical, life-sustaining, capable of warding off evil spirits and assuring good luck...Mandarin trees are adaptable to a wider range of climatic conditions than other types of cultivated citrus. They are better able to stand heat than most other types. They also tend to be more cold resistant than other citrus trees of commercial importance, though the furit, mainly because it is small and thin-skinned, is more readily damaged by cold than are other oranges...As a result, mandarins are gown in all of China's citrus-producting regions: South China, West China, Wouthwest China,...Central China, and Northwest China. Though the mandarins are the largest and most varied group of cultivated citrus, their fruit possess the common characteristics of small to medium size; shape like a flattened globe; a loose, readily removed skin, yellow or reddish orange in color; and fruit segments that are separated with out difficulty. The mandarin is suffiently different from other oranges as to lead Swingle...to place it in a separate species, Citrus reticulata, distinct from that of the sweet orange, C. sicnesis, and the sour orange, C. aurantium. Plant scientists, geographers, and archeologists have suggested South China, Southeast Asia, or eastern India as the place of the earliest domestication of the mandarin oranges. Hodgeson...argues for northeast India as their probable home. In that area, there occurs a primitive, related form sometimes called the "Indian wild mandarin"...also found there are highly developed forms of mandarins that are absent elsewhere, as well as many mandarin hybrids. The mandarin was cultivated in very early times in Southeast Asia and East Asia, with both of those regions important in developing mandarin forms. In the early fourth century A.D., Chi Han had already distinguished red and yellow forms of mandarins...in the south, and of them the famous variety known in present-day Canton and the West as Ponkan or "Chinese honey orange."...Accounts form T'ang times mention highly-prized varieties of common mandarisn and King mandarins, the latter...believed to be a natural hybrid, perhaps betweeen mandarin and sweet orange...Mandarins seem to have been grown enve in the gardens of the imperial palace far to the north of Shensei, apparently in some sort of greenhouse...a situation reminiscent fo the orangeries or orange-houses of ancient Rome and later Europe...Many mandarin varieties are grown in South China today, of which two deserve special note. one is the afore-mentioned Ponkan, which produces large fruit with loose skin and pleasant-tasting, juicy flesh, and which can be picked in October. It is said to be the finest mandarin produced in China, in East Asia, and perhaps in the entire world. The Cheokan, known better as Tankan, is an ancient form which originated in southeastern China."
    ---Food in China: A Cultural and Historial Inquiry, Frederic J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL] 1991 (p. 195-7)

    "Mandarin Orange...Other citrus fruits that are very similar (or identical) to the Mandarin orange include the tangerine, the satsuma, and the "Clemintine," all of which are identifies as members of Citrus reticulata and orange varieties. The Mandarin--developed in China, or possibly Cochin China (southern Vietnam)--probably took its name from the yellow robes of the Chinese civil servants called Mandarins. It worked its way toward the Near East at a leisurely pace and reached Europe directly from China only at the beginning of the nineteenth century. By midcentury, Mandarin oranges were being grown around the Mediterranean, and they entered the United States aat about the same time. Believed to have originated in Tangier, they came to be known as tangerines in North America."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge Univeristy Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1808)

    "The mandarin is a small loose-skinned somewhat flattened variety of orange...that originated in China. The first reference to it in English comes in 1771, in J.R. Foster's translation of Osbeck's Voyage to China: 'Here are two sorts of China oranges...The first is called the Mandarin-o, whose peel is quite loose'. English acquired the word, via French, from Spanish mandarina, where its application to the fruit probably arose from the resemblance of its colour to that of the yellowish-orange robes of Chinese imperial officials--mandarins (this term is not Chinese in origin, incidentally; it first arrived in Europe as a Portuguese borrowing from Malay mantri, 'counsellor', which was itself a Hindi loanword that orignated in Sanskrit mantrin)."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford Univeristy Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 198-9)

    "Mandarin was originally no more than a nickname given to a small, loose-skinned orange-like fruit. Citrus reticulata, which was brought to England from China in 1805...The original wild citrus from which mandarins are descended probably grew in NE India, where a wild mandarin, C. indica, is still found. It was taken into cultivation at an early date in S. China, as were other kinds of orange. However, mandarins were more highly esteemed than common oranges, partly because ancient varieties of the latter were dry, thick skinned, hard to peel, and seedy. The mandarin was prized as much for its fragrance as for its flavour, perhaps more...Mandarins were not taken to the West along with the other citrus fruits, whcih had all reached Europe by the 16th century. And when they did come it was through another route. The first cultivars (probably of the ponkan type...) were brought to England in 1805, and it was apparently the descendants of these which were introduced into Italy in the following decade and which had become well established there before 1850. From Italy, cultivation spread quickly to other Mediterranean countries. Meanwhile, mandarins had been take direct from China to Australia in the 1820s. But it was not until the 1840s that the first mandarin was grown in the USA, but the Italian consul in New Orleans. Cultivation soon spread to Florida, California, and other states, and the new fruits were at first...called 'Chinas'. Later, when different, darker varieties were brought in from N. Africa they were called 'tangerines', a name which became general."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, second edition edited by Tom Jaine [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006 (p. 477)

    Related fruits? Lemons, grapefruits & blood oranges.


    Parsley
    Parsley is one of the most well known herbs from ancient times to present day. This Old World edible was prized early on for its subtle flavors and appealing look. Of the several varieties cultivated by humankind, curly-leaved and flat Italian are the most well known. Arguments extolling the virtues of flat vs. curly vary according to place and period. All varieties are recognized for their healthful properties. Ancient Greeks honored their Olympic athletes with crowns of parsley. Contemporary American cooks are rediscovering
    parsley in all formats.

    "Parsley in an umbelliferous plant native to the E. Mediterranean area (Linnaeus believed that its origin was in Sardinia) and related to celery, with which it has occasionally formed hybrids. The ancient Greeks used the name selinon for both parsley and celery, and only occasionally bothered to distinguish parsley as petroselinon, meaning 'rock' celery or parsley. Later the Romans used the word apium in a similarly ambiguous way. Thus it is difficult to tell which is meant. However, the Greek writer Theophrastus, writing before 300BC, describes curly-leafed and flat-leafed varieties of parsley similar to the two main modern types. According to Pliny the Elder (1st century AD), the Romans held parsley fronds in particular esteem among seasonings..."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davdison [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 576)

    "The aromatic leaves of parsley (Petroselinum crispum), a native of southern Europe, are employed for flavoring, although parsley varieties are boiled and their roots consumed as a vegetable. The use of parsley dates from at least the time of the ancient Greeks, and because the plant has been introduced to most areas of the glove, it is one of the world's best-known herbs. According to the Sardinians, it is native to their island, although other regions also claim parsley as their own; regardless, it has been used in the Mediterranean region for thousands of years. The Greeks, who made crowns of it to honor athletes at ceremonies and themselves at banquets, also had medical uses for the herb. The Romans utilized parsley as a herb an introduced the plant throughout Europe."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1829)

    "As one of the quadrumvirate of traditional English herbs (along with mint, sage, and thyme), parsley or its linguistic ancestor has been in the language since Anglo-Saxon times, although the plant itself was not introduced it in Britain (from southern Europe) until the late Middle Ages. The earliest record of the word, petersilie...from around 1000AD, clearly reveals its ultimate source: it goes back, via Latin petroselinum, to Greek petroselinon, literally 'rock-parsley'...In Roman times the parsley was a symbol of mourning, used to adorn funeral tables."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 241)

    Medicinal qualities: Gerards Herbal [1633] & A Modern Herbal [1931]

    Fast forward: 20th century USA
    Our survey of articles published in major USA newspapers confirms both curly-leaved and flat Italian varieties were both known and used in the 20th century. The curly-leaf variety, prized for its decorative applications, reigned supreme until the last quarter of the century. It was not until after WWII that the flat variety was known outside ethnic neighborhoods. This parallels the evolution of many popular contemporary Italian foods. Think:
    pizza. Curly parsley "lost favor" in the 1970s. The reason was two-fold (1) Curly parsley garnish was overdone/ubiquitous in the 1960s. (2) Culinary visionaries James Beard and Craig Claiborne extolled the virtues of flat-leafed parsley as more flavorful.

    [1911]
    "Parsley: a favorite kitchen herb, popular for garnishing and flavoring, for the latter purpose being sold both fresh and dried. Common Parsley is said to be a native of Egypt but it is now thoroughly naturalized both here and in several European countries. The variety chiefly grown is the curly leaf type. The finest received in the Eastern markets comes from Bermuda. In addition to its flavoring qualities, parsley contains an essential oil which is mildly stimulating."
    ---Grocers Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [National Grocer:New York] 1911 (p. 451)

    [1943]
    "The crisp emerald [parsley] leaves, so often pushed aside as a garnish, are one of the richest sources of vitamin A. The celery-leaved parsley [Italian flat] has a stronger flavor than the curly variety and the roots can be eaten as a vegetable."
    ---"Not Forgetting Herbs: In a Wartime Garden They Deserve Place Along With the Vegetables and Flowers," Gertrude B. Foster, New York Times, January 31, 1943 (p. X15)

    [1948]
    "Parsley may be purchased in the neighborhood, though it is easily raised from seed...The moss-curled varieties are most favored for their decorative leaves, but the Italian parsley is more flavorful."
    ---"Along the Herb Row," Harriet K. Morse, New York Times, May 30, 1948 (p. X23)

    [1952]
    "Parsley presents so many culinary possibilities it should not be put aside to appear only as a garnish for meat or fish...the parsley the Italians use differs in appearance form the curly leaved variety popular here. It has a flatter leaf, a dark color and a flavor that is somewhat sharper...Both the Italian and Hamburg varieties are available here, though they are used mainly by those of European backgound."
    ---"News of Food: May Opens Season of Parsley Abundance--Herb Has Many Uses Besides as Garnish," June Owen, New York Times, May 13, 1952 (p. 26)

    [1961]
    "Seldom on display, fresh green parsley can be bought at most greengroceries at any time of the year. In cold weather, when it is not available from near-by sources, it is shipped north from Texas in qualtities to meet all the demand. But when it does come from farms in New Jersey and on Long Island, as it will from now through the summer, parsley is at its best. The flavor is sharper, the leaves are crisper, and logically so because it has a much shorter trip to market...The more common parsley, at least in most stores, is the curly leaved variety. But in neighborhoods where many Americans of Italian or other European background live, the shops will be sure to have a variety of parsley that has a flatter leaf and a darker green color. That parsley, Italians insist--and others who have tasted it will agree--has a sharper flavor than the curly leafed. The two varieties can be used interchangeably whenever parsley is called for in a recipe. For garnishing meats or fish, the curly and prettier parsley is preferred."
    ---"Food News: Local Parsley Here Through Summer," June Owen, New York Times, May 5, 1961 (p. 34)

    [1966]
    "Parsley is not only a sprightly garnish on a steak platter or mild seasoning, but a food in its own right. Parsley, a native of the Mediterranean shores, has been used as a culinary herb and garnish for thousands of years. Soothing and appetite arousing powers have been attributed to the plant by ancient Greeks, who placed garlands of parsley on the heads of banquet guests. Today, parsley grows both in the United States and several European countries. It is exceptionally high in vitamins A and C. Although the curly leaf variety is popular, the flat leaf type, sometimes called Italian parsley, also is used here."
    ---"Parsley More Than Sprightly Garnish," Los Angeles Times, September 29, 1966 (p. G17)

    [1969]
    "Parsley is being used more and more as a garnish, seasoning and a vegetable. Though a biennial, parsley is generally treated as an annual here in the Northeast, where it may or may not survive the winter. ..The curly-leaved parsleys are most popular. They include Moss Curled, another named variety Paramount, and a compact dwarf parsley. Evergreen is a rather hardy curled variety. Plain parsley (leaves are deeply cut but not curled), though not so pretty, has a strong, rich flavor. Giant Italian parsley, 2-3 feet tall, has thick stalks to be eaten like celery. The roots of hamburg parsley can be stored inside in sand and used through winter to flavor soups, or can themselves be cooked like parsnips. This year for the first time I shall try the Japanese perennial; parsley, Misuba...Biennial parsleys--most parsleys-- should be sown each year; even if they live over, the foliage tastes better the first year."
    ---"Fancy Parsley is Easy to Grow," Ruth Tirrell, New York Times, February 16, 1969 (p. D35)

    [1976]
    "It is rather amusing to think that parsley, probably the most used of all herbs, was once considered Satan's herb. There was an old saying in England that only the wicked could grow parsley. Well, the world must be full of wicked people because it is grown and marketed in staggering quantities. Parsley, either the curly kind which has become the perpetual garnish for food or the broad-leaf Italian kind which has a much more delicate flavor, is one of the easiest of all herbs to grow in the garden...Just because parsley is so common, people tend to overdo it as a garnish. For instance, who could conceive of parsley as a fitting garnish for grapefruit?...Even top rated restaurants and hotels perpetrate some absolute horrors, such as a slice of orange and a sprig of parsley on a plate of sausages and pancakes."
    ---"Parsley: The Universal Garnish," James Beard, Los Angeles Times, May 13, 1976 (p. J25)

    [1978]
    "Although parsley is omnipresent in kitchens, particularly those of the Western world, it is generally regarded as nothing more than a basic flavor, something to be added reflexively to one savory dish or another--a kind of culinary grace note. Actually, there are numerous dishes in the world in which parsley, in one form or another, is used in dominant--or near dominant--fashion. Chief among these is the famed jambon persille, a great specialty of Burgundy...There are two basic kitchen parsley available on the market. These are the plain, or flat leaf, and the curly leaf varieties. The commonest both in England and in the United States is the curly leaf, although it is not necessarily the best. The flat or plain leaf is much more used and admired in the countries around the Mediterranean, particularly Italy. Flat leaf parsley, as a matter of fact, is usually referred to in the United States as Italian parsley. In Tom Stobbart's laudable book, Herbs, Spices and Flavorings, he notes that Neapolitan parsley is a specialty grown in Naples for its stems, which are eaten in the same manner as celery. There is a also Hamburg parsley, of which only the foot is used for flavoring. Chinese parsley, of course, is not parsley at all but rather the leaf of the coriander plant."
    ---"Parsley Gets Star Billing," Craig Claiborne, New York Times, March 8, 1978 (p. C1)

    [1985]
    "Like a talented actor who has been typecast, parsley appears destined for the perpetual role of garnish. Dropped onto meat and fish chiefly to provide a touch of green, unceremoniously removed to the bread plate, if not the ashtray, by fully half the diners in America...As between curly and flat parsley, it is probably safe to say that most cooks who use parsley extensively in their cooking prefer the flat. It has more taste and it incorporates itself more gracefully into a dish than does its stiffly coiffed cousin."
    ---"Not Just Garnish, Parsley Can Play a Leading Role, Robert Ferrar Capon, New York Times, October 9, 1985 (p. C1)

    [1990]
    "Parsley may be ignored at dinner, but it is the favorite herb of most produce-department managers. It is the only food they sell that almost no one eats, thus thus minimizing customer complaints about how it tastes. They never have to answer tricky questions about ways to prepare it, since even inexperienced cooks know how to toss clumps of parsley onto dinner plates. They never have to worry about its being out of season, and they don't even have to convince anyone to replenish his supply. In fact, people have always thought of ways to consume lots of parsley without actually eating it. One old preventive for baldness, for example, required dusting the head with considerable amounts of powdered parsley seed several times a year...parsley hasn't always been ignored at the table...and its origins are probably Mediterranean, judging from its appearance in virtually all ancient Roman sauces and salads. It is one of the oldest and most universally used herbs in history. More recently, the discovery of parsley's nutritional value has led some people to reconsider it as a serious edible. A cup of chopped raw parsley provides almost as much vitamin C as an orange, or about half the amount of a cup of fresh orange juice. The herb yields almost as much vitamin A as raw spinach. In addition, it contains calcium, copper, iron, manganese, potassium and phosphorus, as well as the B vitamins riboflavin, thiamin and niacin. With so much to offer, parsley is often as nutritious as the food it adorns. Parsley also tastes good, although experts debate over which of the two most common varieties has the superior flavor. The frilly-or curly-leafed parsley is more widely available and certainly the more decorative. But many prefer Italian parsley, which has broader, flat leaves, deeper color and more robust taste. Hamburg parsley, a potherb used by the Germans, the Dutch and the Poles, is a lesser-known type, whose leaves are usually ignored altogether. It is cultivated for its delicious, carrot-shaped root, which makes it look like an anemic parsnip. Still other greens have become known as parsley, although they are nothing of the kind. So-Called Japanese or Chinese parsley, similar in appearance to the Italian, is actually fresh coriander. The inedible 'fools parsley' also looks like the flat-leafed kind, but has won the additional nickname of 'dog's poison'...Connoisseurs...know that real parsley can enliven many a recipe. For the French, it is an essential component of beurre maitre d'hotel (parsley butter)... bouquets garnis and fines herbes...But in contemporary recipes, parsley seems to have lost its role as flavoring to more exotic herbs...Because of its profusion and availability, parsley has become an inexpensive and universal choice for a decorative addition."
    ---"Parsley: Good Enough to Eat," Jeanette Ferrary, New York Times, June 3, 1990 (p. SMA6)

    [1995]
    "Like a hero of Greek tragedy, parsley has fallen victim to its own virtues. Long-lasting, attractive and readily available in large quantities at every grocer store, parsley should be our most honored herb. Instead, its very availability has made it seem common, while its sturdiness and brilliant green color have consigned it to the thankless role of an eye-pleasing decoration scraped off the plate with the leftovers when the meal has ended. But this ignominious fate ignores the single virtue that has placed parsley high on the list of the world's most widely used herbs-its great flavor. Mild, slightly grassy, with an echo of mint and a slight undertone of bitterness, parsley's taste is a bedrock component of our flavor vernacular. In these winter months, when other fresh herbs have soared in price and taken a nose dive in quality, try making parsley the herb of choice. In addition to its pleasing flavor, parsley also possesses and easygoing, agreeable disposition. It will grow in almost any climate, and unlike its striking herbal cousins like cilantro and rosemary, it will blend with a wide range of flavors. Perhaps because of its Mediterranean origins, it harmonizes most easily with other foods from the region, like capers, garlic, olive oil, lemons and tomatoes...Evidence of parsley's versatile and accommodating nature is found in cuisines all over the world. French chefs uses parsley in their most popular herbal mixtures, from bouquet garni to fines herbes...While there are about 30 varieties of parsley, including some grown for stems and at least one used only for its roots, most American cooks find themselves choosing between two varieties, flat leaf and curly leaf. In practice, the two can be used more or less interchangeably, but there are some differences. Common wisdom holds that flat leaf has a more intense flavor than curly leaf. Repeated tasting bear this out, but the difference is not a pronounced as generally advertised. Flavor intensity actually varies more between individual bunches of the herb than between varieties. So, with parsley, you should follow the same rule of thumb as with all other produce: the fresher variety is probably the better choice. If both varieties seem equally fresh, consider the intended use. Most flat-leaf parsley has larger leaves and thicker stems than curly leaf, which makes it easier to strip off the leaves. Curly leaf, with stronger stems and a generally sturdier character, might be preferable for salads with a lot of crunch."
    ---"Ubiquitous and Flavorful, Parsley Is Too Good to Overlook," John Willoughby and Chris Schlesinger, New York Times, Febraury 22, 1995 (p. C3)

    [1996]
    "Parsley is the herb that's taken for granted. A few sprigs solve the garnish problem. A scattering of chopped leaves enlivens almost any dish with a bright bit of green. But parsley can take a more assertive role, becoming the primary component of a sauce. Not only can it stand in for basil in a pesto, it can also be the basis of a variety of green sauces...Flat-leaf Italian parsley is usually preferred by chefs for its richer flavor. Curly parsley makes a prettier garnish."
    ---"Parsley Takes a More Assertive Role," Florence Fabricant, New York Times, April 14, 1996 (p. CN14)

    [1997]
    "Like salt, parsley is a seasoning that orchestrates other flavors. So deftly does it do its job that it is usually taken for granted. This lack of praise is not reflected in the medical folklore, where parsley is touted as an effective cure for rheumatism, swelling and lethargy. The Romans used parsley to stimulate circulation and appetite. And in recent years, the sales of parsley capsules have increased right along with the wholesale consumption of garlic. We do know for certain that parsley does for cooking what people claim it does for health--namely, clean and refresh. With its hint of camphor, citrus and grass, and its subtle peppery bite, parsley cuts fat and grease and lends a youthful kick to almost any dish. Although there are five botanical varieties of parsley, only two are commonly employed: curly-leafed parsley--so decorative, it is used as a garnish--and flat-leaf or Italian parsley, also called celery-leaf parsley, which has thick, deep-green leaves and a decidedly blunt taste. Sardinia claims to be parsley's homeland, but that may have more to do with its widespread use there than its actual point of origin. Parsley is a hardy, prolific herb that has been growing for thousands of years all over the world. Its affinity for the cooking of southern Italy is only natural, since it is the ultimate counterpoint to bold, boisterous flavors. And while flat-leaf parsley is perfectly capable of playing a supporting role, it has enough flavor to be able to define a dish, tabblouleh being the perfect example."
    ---"Parsing Parsley," Molly O'Neill, New York Times, July 13, 1997 (p. SM53)

    [1998]
    "Parsley is, without a doubt, the most underrated herb in the United States. We fuss over basil, fall in and out of love with cilantro, experiment with lavender and nearly ignore parsley. Still, the situation has improved over the years; when I was growing up it wasn't even clear that parsley was edible--a few sprigs on the side of the plate merely served notice that the dish was somehow 'fancy.' Yet when you get past using parsley as a garnish, and sprinkle a handful on top of a dish just before serving, you begin to appreciate the bright, clean flavor of this common herb. And when you realize that it remains in season far longer than basil, rosemary or other popular herbs...you get a further sense of its value. My love for parsley increased even more when I learned how to feature it in sauces...I've learned to blend it with vinegar to make a sharp, spiky sauce that complements simply prepared, full-flavored foods beautifully."
    ---"Parsley Moves to Plate's Center," Mark Bittman, New York Times, November 4, 1998 (p. F3)


    Pasta, Macaroni & Noodles
  • macaroni & cheese
  • pasta primavera
  • pasta salad
  • penne alla vodka
  • ramen noodles
  • ravioli
  • soba noodles
  • spaghetti & meatballs
  • spaghetti in the USA
  • spaghetti carbonara
  • toasted ravioli
  • tomato sauce & tomato gravy
  • Pasta, in many shapes and forms, has been enjoyed by many cultures and cuisines for thousands of years. Who invented this food, where and when? That's very much a matter of culinary debate. Current evidence suggests two (or more) concommitant centers of origin. Ancient and Medieval pasta dishes were both savory (made with meat, pepper, onion, saffron) and sweet (made with honey, nuts, and soft cheeses). According to the food historians, layered & stuffed pastas (lasagne, ravioli) are a Medieval invention. In European/Christian cultures they were often served with cheese during Christian Lent and other meat-abstaining days.

    17th and 18th century English and American cookbooks contain recipes for macrows, or macaroni. Thomas Jefferson is said to have introduced the first pasta machine to America in 1787. Tomatoes are "New World" food and were not combined with pasta until the 19th century. Semolina, the pasta flour we know today, surfaces in Medieval times.

    Recommended reading:

    What about Marco Polo?
    Food historians debunk the myth that Marco Polo introduced pasta to Italy as a result of his travels to China. Notes here:

    "Certain ideas about the history of food are part of the general cultures. We all know, or think we know, that pasta originated in China, that it was brought back to Venice by Marco Polo, and that it spread from there first throughout Italy and later to the rest of Europe...It is an extravagant application to the realm of food...called the "myth of origin." Yet histories that confidently repeat widely held opinions often neglect contradictory evidence. For example, the sources how that pasta did not come to Italy from China by way of Venice but spread northward from the Mezzogiorno, where noodles were eaten long before Marco Polo traveled to the Orient."
    ---Food: A Culinary History, Jean-Louis Flandrin & Masssimo Montanari [Columbia University Press:New York] 1999 (p. 1-2)

    "Culinary mythology: Marco Polo's supposed introduction of pasta from China to the Western world. This durable myth, which requires that nothing should have been known of pasta in Italy until 1295, when Marco Polo returned from the Far East, can easily be shown to be wrong by citing references in Italy to pasta of an earlier date. What is interesting about the myth is the question of how it arose. An explanation was offered to a distinguished audience at Oxford University by the famous Italian authority, Massimo Alberini: As far as I can make out, the Chinese' story originates from an article entitled A Saga of catai that appeared in the American magazine Macaroni Journal in 1929. There it was written that a sailor in Marco Polo's expedition had seen a Chinese girl preparing long strands of pasta, and that the sailor's name was Spaghetti. Obviously an "unlikely tale." It is tempting to add that the Macaroni Journal explanation may itself be a myth; but no better explanation has been offered. The question of interaction between oriental and occidental forms of pasta and the extent to which particular forms may have travelled either eastwards or westwards, through C. Asia, is a different one, of a subtlety and complexity sufficient to deter myth-makers from trying to intervene with it."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 232) 88 (p. 273-4)

    The very real contribution Marco Polo made with regards to introducing foods of Asia to Europe was his description of the cuisine and dining habits of the people he met on his journeys.

    "Marco Polo's accounts of China are too well known to warrant further attention, but a word needs to be said about his reliability. John Haeger, among others, has questioned whether Marco Polo saw as much as we usually assume...There is no question that he relied on others' acounts--usually reliable ones, but sometimes rumors--for his descriptions of some remote, off-route places... Of Yuan food, Marco tells us a good deal, all of it confirmed by others. The importance of dairy products, especially horse milk, is clear. Dried skim milk was a staple...Wine is described as being made of rice and flavored with spices...The luxury of the Great Kaan's table service is described...and from Marco's note on the Yuan planting of shade trees, it seems that the Great Kaan was as industrious as the modern People's Republic in lining the highways with them...Marco notes the sharp contrast between the Central Asian influenced north and the refractory south in choice of foods: in the south "they eat every kind of flesh, even that of dogs and other unclean beasts, which nothing would induce a Christian to eat"...The importance of the salt monopoly is stressed."
    ---The Food of China, E.N. Anderson [Yale University Press:New Haven] 1988


    Shapes & sizes
    Pasta can be molded into almost any shape imaginable. The simplest, and perhaps earliest, form were long, flat sheets. Think: lasagne. Ravioli, vermicelli, ribbons and strings descend from this simple shape. As time progressed, pasta was molded and extruded. Tubes happened. Think: rigatoni, elbow macaroni, & alphabet soup. By the early 20th century, most Americans regularly incorporated macaroni into family meals. Cookbooks do not generally address the depth and breadth of shape choices. "Macaroni" is fuzzed over as one product. Presumably, urban centers offered more varieties than rural outposts. How many different shapes were available in this period?

    [1911]
    "The average Amenrican consumer has no idea of the number of forms, a hundred or more, in which the paste is made by Italian manufacturers. They range form lasagnes, short, flat pieces from one to two inches wide, cut out, and sometimes molded, bu hand, to fidellini, long thin threads, the finest of which are many times smaller than vermicelli, which is the smallest type generally know here--and, in between, a great variety of forms and sizes--tubular, solid-round and flat, long and short, stars, dots, crescents, little animal shapes, etc., the last-named varieties being cut from thin sheets of the dough."
    ---Grocers Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [National Grocer:New York] 1911 (p. 353)
    [NOTE: Color plate of pasta shapes illustrated in this book
    here.]

    [1914]
    "Macaroni is an Italian paste, but only one class of the endless variety of Italian pastes are of the true macaroni order, although a great many others are often called by that name. There is much confusion as to what is included under the name macaroni among us, and even in some parts of Italy the term is extended to cover several classes. Outside of Italy a great number of Italian pastes are being manufactured, especially in France, and more and more in America, although nowhere nearly as many as in Italy. These pastes are one of the greatest aids to economy, with great variety, of anything in the whole world of foods, and they are staples. They were perhaps invented as a substitute for meat during the long Lenten fast, and then afforded the best means for extending the flavor of a small amount of heat ever devised, while at the same time furnishing a great deal of nutriment. In the home of their origin they are described variously, but most accurately when it is said they are 'both substantial and delicate.'...Variety is gained by learning to use the different sorts which our own manufacturers call macaroni and label as 'shells,' 'large chort cut,' etc. We mostly have but one, and the right idea of what macaroni is--a long tube with a hole in it, usually rather large--but in our store we find 'ribbon macaroni,' which may be either long or short and as flat as a ribbon; 'large elbow macaroni,' 'small elbow macaroni,' quill,' 'sausage macaroni,' etc. These last four are tubular, but not of the Naples type. What we call macaroni is in some parts of Italy called 'long Naples macaroni'...where there are about two other divisions of these pastes, the noodles and those of a great number of shapes, like large and small, some like grains, or butterflies, or shells, or stars or letters of the alphabet, or feathers, or 'horse's teeth.' etc."
    ---"The Italian Pastes, or True macaroni, and Dry Soups," Jane Eddington, Chicago Daily Tribune, January 24, 1914 (p. D3)

    Recommended reading: Encyclopedia of Pasta, Oretta Zanini de Vita


    Elbow macaroni
    Elbow macaroni, as we Americans know it today, descends from 19th century Italian tubetti & ditali. The earliest American print reference we find for "elbow macaroni" is 1900. Muellers (Pennsylvania) was an early manufacturer. Creamettes, another popular brand, surfaced in 1912. In sum: products with this name were manufactured in America. They were promoted for convenience (reduced cooking time) and economy (cheap). Popular home economists supplied recipes in newspaper columns and cooking schools.

    "Tubetti...Factory-made tubes, usually small, both smooth and ridged. They are cooked in soupds or made with legumes. Also known as Tubettini, ditali, ditaletti (thimbles), gnocchetti di ziti, gnocchettini and coralli (corals). In Puglia and Sicily, denti de vechhia (old woman's teeth), denti de cavallo (horse's teeth), ganghi di vecchia (old woman's legs) and magghietti....The name literally means 'little tubes.' In Puglia, where pasta d'ingegno was widespread by the beginning of the 1800s, these irregularly shaped, small, curved tubes could be produced with a torchio or with the appropriate die."
    ---Encyclopedia of Pasta, Oretta Zanini de Vita, translated by Maureen B. Fant, Forward by Carol Field [University of California Press:Berkeley CA] 2009(p. 305-306)
    [NOTE: Color plate of pasta shapes from Artemas Ward's Grocers Encyclopedia [1911]
    here. Tubetti is #19, Ditalli follows.]

    [1900]
    "Elbow Macaroni."
    ---display ad, Jas. P. Gates (store), Lebanon Daily News [PA], April 27, 1900 (p. 1)

    [1904]
    "Elbow Macaroni. This is somewhat of a new arrival on this market but you'll find that it is a high class article. 10 cents per package."
    ---display ad, Harrisburg Daily News [PA], February 15, 1904 (p. 4)

    [1905]
    "Bromballotis brand elbow macaroni, six times a goldmedal winner in the whitest and best macaroni packed. 15 cents box."
    ---display ad, Harrisburg Daily News [PA], September 21, 1905 (p. 4)
    [NOTE: catalog above, #27, shows this shape with squared-off ends.]

    [1906]
    "Elbow Macaroni. We have just received a fresh shipment of this fine macaroni. In short elbow shapes there is no macaroni made to equal this kind. Try it once and you will use no other. Per pound 10 Cents."
    ---display ad, Marion Daily Star [OH], May 16, 1906 (p. 8)

    [1911]
    "Fancy Elbow Macaroni, 3 pounds for 21 cents."
    ---display ad, Chicago Daily Tribune, April 2, 1911 (p. F3)

    [1912]
    "Once, all macaroni was long and solid and took half an hour or longer to cook. Then, James T. Williams, a Minnesota resident, had an idea. He made macaroni into short, hollow elbows, a shape that reduced the cooking time for his macaroni to seven minutes. Williams' invention was Creamettes Macaroni. Since its introduction in 1912, the Creamettes brand has been expanded to include more than 60 different kinds and shapes of pasta and noodles."
    ---"Creamettes Always Stirred Interest," Los Angeles Times, December 8, 1988 (p. J45)
    [NOTES: (1) According to the US Patent & Trademark Office, Creamettes brand macaroni products were introduced to the American public August 15, 1912. The original manufacturer was Mother's Macaroni Co., Minneapolis MN. The brand was subsequently transferred to the Creamette Company. It is currently owned by New World Pasta, Harrisburg PA. (2) Early advertisements herald "Creamettes is new macaroni product, more dainty in texture and more delicious in taste...cooks in one-third time required by other macaronies and cooks more daintily, holding its original shape." (display ad, Chicago Daily Tribune, March 19, 1916 p. 3). These ads do not explicitly state the shape (elbow) or show a picture of the product.]

    [1913]
    "Elbow macaroni, 10 cents a pound."
    ---"Food Prices Climbing," Washington Post, January 19, 1913 (p. 8)

    [1915]
    "Muellers Elbow Macaroni." (also Muellers Egg Noodles)."
    ---display ad, Washington Post, June 20, 1915 (p. 13)
    [NOTE: drawing of package, no price or product photo.]

    [1925]
    "Know How Good They Are--Try Them! Get a package of Mueller's Egg Noodles and make the acquaintance of a new and delightful food flavor. They are made of choice spring wheat flour and plenty of fresh eggs--pure, rich, nutritious and easy to digest. Thousands of families now eat them several times a week, and never tire of them. Mueller's. Spaghetti, Macaroni, Elbow Macaroni, Egg noodles. As a Change from Potatoes!...Awarded Grand Prize Panama-Pacific Exposition, 1915."
    ---display ad, Los Angeles Times, October 15, 1925 (p. A7)

    Related recipe? Macaroni salad.


    Fettuccine Alfredo
    Although combinations of pasta, butter and cheese were enjoyed by ancient cooks, the invention this particular dish is generally attributed to
    Alfredo's [restaurant] in Rome, 1914. Why? Alfred Di Lelio, with a little help from Hollywood, made it famous. Contemporary restaurants serve many versions of this dish, ranging from rustic & traditional to rich & creamy.

    "Cheese is the earliest condiment for pasta of which we have documentation. Even before the earliest recipes were written, cheese with pasta was the delight of the bon vivants of the Middle Ages...Present in all the medieval collections of recipes that feature pasta, grated cheese was often mixed with spices..."These tortelli must be yellow and strongly spiced, serve them in bowls with plenty of pepper and grated cheese...Although it was abandoned by the elite beginning in the seventeenth century, the mixture of cheese and spices continued in popular use. Pasta was served with a carpet of well-aged grated cheese in taverns frequented by Pere Labat in the turn of the eighteenth century."
    ---Pasta: The Story of a Universal Food, Silvano Serventi & Francoise Sabban [Columbia University Press:New York] 2000 (p. 258-9)

    "Fettucini Alfredo....A dish of fettuccini egg noodles mixed with butter, Parmesean cheese, and cream. The dish has been a staple of Italian-American restaurants since the mid-1960s. It was created in 1914 by Alfred Di Lelio, who opened a restaurant in Rome, Italy, under his first name on the Via della Scrofa in 1910. The dish supposedly helped restore the appetite of his wife after she gave birth to their son. The original dish was made with a very rich triple butter Di Lelio made himself, three kinds of four, and only the heart of the best parmigiano. Fettuccini all'Alfredo became famous after Hollywood movie actors Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford ate the dish at Alfredo's restaurant while on their honeymoon in 1927...After World War II Di Lelio moved to the Piazza Augusto Imperatore, and in the 1950s his restaurant became a mecca for visiting Americans, most of whom came to sample fettuccini Alfredo...Because most cooks could not reproduce the richness of the original butter, today the dish almost always contains heavy cream."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 126)

    "The story goes that while honeymooning in Rome in 1927, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford dined almost daily on this rich pasta at Alfredo's restaurant, and in gratitude, presented restauranteur Alfredo Di Lelio with a golden pasta fork and spoon at the end of their stay. Journalists picked up the story and spread news of Fettucchine Alfredo across the Atlantic. Before long, American chefs were improvising. According to Marie Simmons...food writer who is of Italian heritage, an authentic Fettuccini Alfredo is not tricked out with cream or mushrooms or green peas or garlic. It's a mix of sweet creamery butter, Parmigiano-Reggiano, homemade fettuccini, and black pepper. Nothing more, nothing less."
    ---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 213)

    These recipes may not be called Fettuccine Alfredo, but they would certainly recreate something close the original dish. The earliest recipe we have for this dish is dated 1928, a year afther the famous Fairbanks/Pickford encounter.

    [1769] "To dress Macaroni with Parmesan Cheese
    Boil four ounces of macaroni till it be quite tender and lay it on a sieve to drain. Then put it in a tossing pan with about a gill of good cream, a lump of butter rolled in flour, boil it five minutes. Pour it on a plate, lay all over it parmesan cheese toasted. Send to to the table on a water plate, for it soon goes cold."
    ---The Experience Engish Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald, introduction by Roy Shipperbottom [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1997 (p. 144)

    [1895?]
    "Maccaroni, With Cream

    Boil one pound of maccaroni, and when done, cut it up in three inch lengths, and put in into a stewpan, with four ounces of fresh butter, four ounces of grated Parmesan cheese, and a similar quantity of Gruyere cheese also grated, and a gill of good cream; leason with mignionette-pepper and salt, and toss the whole well together over the stove-fire until well mixed and quite hot, then shake it up for a few minutes to make the cheese spin, so as to give it a fibrous appearance, when drawn up with a fork. The maccaroni, when dished up, must be garnished round the base with fleurons of pastry, and then served."
    ---Francatelli's Modern Cook: A Practical Guide to the Culinary Art in All Its Branches, Charles Elme Francatelli [David McKay:Philadelphia] 1895? (p. 397) [Note: Chef Francatelli was in service to Queen Victoria.]

    [1912]
    Macaroni with Butter and Cheese

    (Maccheoni al Burro)
    Boil and drain the macaroni. Take four tablespoons of table-butter, three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese, add to the macaroni in the saucepan, mix well over the fire, and serve."
    ---Simple Italian Cookery, Antonia Isola [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1912 (P. 10)

    [1928]
    "Noodles Alfredo

    Cook noodles in boiling salted water 20 minutes. Drain in colander and hold under cold water to separate, then hold under hot water to eat. Drain, place noodles on a large hot platter, sprinkle top with grated Parmesan cheese and add 3 lumps of butter about the size of a small egg. Now take a large spoon and fork and lift noodles from platter until butter and cheese are thoroughly blended with noodles. This act of mixing the butter and cheese throughout the noodles becomes quite a ceremony when performed by Alfredo in his tiny restaurant in Rome, Italy. As busy as Alfredo is with his other duties he manages to be at each table when the waiter arrives with the platter of 'fettuccine' to be mixed by him."
    ---The Rector Cook Book, George Rector [Cribben & Sexton Company:Chicago IL] 1928 (p. 70)

    [1966]
    "Fettuccine Alfredo

    Two things are important here: 1) to use Parmesan cheese you grated yourself,* and 2) to toss the noodles vigorously, with controlled abandon, so that each and every millimeter of every one is covered with the butter and cheese. 8 ounces broad egg noodles
    1/2 pound butter
    1/2 pound Parmesan
    Cook the noodles till they're tender--about ten minutes. Drain them well. Put them in a hot bowl, add butter cut in chunks (melted butter would give it a non-Alfredo flavor) and add the grated cheese. Then mix.
    *This is what the purists say. I have not been able to discern much difference, myself, and I've tried. However, the kind you grate yourself you know is freshly grated, and you don't know how long ago the grocer's was."
    ---Peg Bracken's Appendix to the I Hate to Cook Book, Peg Bracken [Harcourt Brace & World:New York] 1966 (p. 156-157)

    Related food? macaroni & cheese (usually a baked dish)

    Lasagne
    Lasagne history is particularly interesting because it embraces not one, but three edible evolutions:
    1. Wide noodles made by Ancient Romans & Greeks
    2. Layered flat noodle & spice/cheese dishes in Medieval Europe
    3. Baked dish composed of flat noodles interlayered with cheese, meat & tomato sauce in modern Europe & contemporary USA

    Food historians hypothesize lasagne [long flat strips of dried wheaten dough] were probably the earliest forms of pasta. They were laid out to harden in the hot mediterranean sun and cut with simple rollers designed expressly to create a curly, interlocking edge. Serving instructions for the very first lasagnes were not much different from other than flat breads. Medieval and Renaissance lasagnes were typically creamy, sweet, layered macaroni and cheese type dishes, often eaten during Christian Lent. They were flavored with cinnamon and pepper, not garlic and oregano. This is a far cry from the ground meat, ricotta, tomato sauce, and mozzarella topped dish we Americans consider lasagne today. How things do change with time!

    "Lasagne: probably one of the earliest forms of pasta...consists of fairly flat sheets of pasta, typically interleaved with a savoury mixture and baked in the oven...Some believe that its remote ancestor was the classical Greek laganon; this was a flat cake, not pasta as we know it now, but capable of developing in that direction. In classical Rome this was cut into strips and became known as lagani (plural). Cicero (1st century AD) was known to have been particularly fond of lagani. So was the Roman poet Horace, of the same century. He sited them as an example of simple peasant's food while boasting of his simple way of life...something which could be called lasagne in the modern sense had appeared in Italy by the 13th century...Since medieval times, lasagne have been a popular feature in the range of pasta products. Recipes have changed over the centuries, but the advantages of a pasta which comes in sheet form...have been a constant in the kitchen."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 444)

    "The use of elongated pasta was also probalby introduced by the Arabs, and this is corroborated visually in the illustrations accompanying the fourteenth-century Tacuina sanitatis...Among fourteenth-century recipe collections, only one, the Neapolitan Liber de coquina, offers a step-by-step description of the preparation and serving of lasagne. Here fermented douth (we do not know if this is an exception or the rule) is flattened into a thin sheet and cut into rectangles three inches long. These are boiled in water and then seasoned, layer by layer, with grated cheeese (caseum gratatum) and, if desired, pulverized spice. The recipe concludes with the stiupation that the dish should be eaten with a pointed wooden utensil (uno punctorio ligneo). This detail suggests that the precocious use of the fork in Italy was prompted at least in part by the introduction of a dish as difficult to handle as pasta, which is slippery and dangerously hot...Cheese--possibly enriched with spices--was the obligatory flavoring for pasta from the outset. This custom lasted at least until the eighteenth century. 'It must be known'--says the Liber de coquina--'that one should use a large quantity of cheese with both lasagne and corzetti.' The cheese could be sliced rather than grated...It is clear, however, that grated cheese was the preferred choice, signifying from the start a successful union between pasta and cheese, the foremost variety of which is Parmesan...All cookbooks confirm this, and not even the new and successful combination of pasta with tomato sauce, which was first introduced around the end of the eighteenth century and fully established by the 1820s, would really change things. Cheese and tomaptes, together or separately, are the most popular and most accessible flavorings for pasta, in contrast to meat sauce and ragu, the prevailing choice for Parisian and Neapolitan cooking."
    ---Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History, Alberto Capati & Massimo Montanari, translated by Aine O'Healy [Columbia University Press:New York] 1999, 2003 (p. 52-55)
    [NOTE: Recommended reading: The Neapolitan Recipe Collection, a critical edition and English translation by Terence Scully [University of Michigan Press:Ann Arbor]2000.]

    "Though some authorities believe the word [lasagne] derives from Vulgar Latin lasania (cooking pot), the ancient Romans made laganum, which referred to strips of dough baked on a flat surface. Since lasagne requires a baking oven, which for most of Italian history was to be found only in the kitchens of the wealthy families, the dish was considered to be a lavish one..."
    ---Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1998 (p. 134)

    [14th century Italy]
    "Of lasagne.
    To make lasagne take fermented dough and make into as thin as possible. Then divide it into squares of three fingerbreadths per side. Then take salted boiling water and cook those lasagne in it. And when they are fully cooked, add grated cheese. And, if you like, you can also add good powdered spices and powder them on them, when they are on the trencher. Then put on a layer of lasagne and powder [spices] again, and on top another layer and powder, and continue until the trencher or bowl is full. Thet eat them by taking them up with a pointed wooden stick...This recipe is interesting from several points of view--not because lasagne were an innovation of the fourteenth century, but because of the unusual method it sets out. Pasta was common in medieval Italy...we find references ot maccaroni...in texts dating from before [Marco Polo's] lifetime. Lasagne, which are cut from a sheet of pasta a formed with a rolling pin, are the likely successors of the laganae of Roman times, for which the late fourth-century treatise of Apicius includes two recipes, although these yield quite different results, as one is boiled and the other baked. The mixture of wheat flour and water known as pasta is also defined in part by its being cooked in moist heat; boiling water in the West and steam or boiling liquid in China. While lasagne are the culmination of a pasta-making tradition dating back to antiquity, the origin of macaroni and vermicelli, first mentioned in medieval Italian cooking treatises, is far less certain....the recipe we have selected is distinctive for its use of 'fermented' dough. There is no room for doubt that leavening is used. In a prior reicpe fermento is added to a fritter dough precisely to make it 'grow'...Other Italian books contain reicpes for lasagne made of flour and water and boiled in meat broth for meat days, or in almond milk for days of abstinence. In this recipe, our lasagne are simply boiled in salted water. Another of the unusual elements that made us choose this particular version in the liber de coquina is that it is the only one to explain clearly how lasagne are made--by rolling out the dough and cutting it into squares three finger-breadths a side--and how they are eaten; with a pinted wooden stick. We can quite see the ned for a tool wit which to eat hot lasagne without buring our fingers. But the fork was on the way!...It is only natural to wonder why these lasagne are made from a leavened dough, similar to bread dough, rather than from a simple mixture of flour and water. Remember that in Italy today lasagne, like other fresh pastas, are made from flour and eggs. We have found...that a leavened dough, wen boiled, has a slight springiness that is lacking in an unleavened dough; this consistency comes close to the al dente texture of perfectly cooked pasta."
    ---Medieval Kitchen: Recipes From France and Italy, Odile Redon et al [University of Chicago:Chicago] 1998 (p. 58-60)
    [NOTE: Modernized recipe follow; happy to scan & send if you want.]

    [14th century England]
    loseyns (lasagne) & modernized redaction

    [15th century Rome]
    "Book VII, 43. Roman Noodles.

    Blend meal which has been separated from chaff with water in the best way. When it has been blended, spread it out on a board and roll it with a rounded and oblong piece of wood such as bakers are accustomed to use in such a trade. Then when it has been drawn out to the width of a finger, cut it. It is so long you would call it a fillet. It ought to be cooked in rich and continually boiling broth, but if, at any time, it must be cooked in water, put in butter and salt. When it is cooked, it ough to be put in a pan with cheese, butter, sugar, and sweet spices."
    ---Platina: On Right Pleasure and Good Health, a critical edition and translation of De Honesta Voluptate et Valetudine, Mary Ella Milham [Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies:Tempe AZ] 1998 (p. 329)

    [16th century Rome]
    "Capon Skin Lasagne

    Take boiled capon skin, cut into pieces and put in fatty capon broth; and simmer for a half hour with a bit of saffron. Then serve in bowls, topped with a bit of cheese and spices."
    ---The Art of Cooking: The First Modern Cookery Book, Maestro Martino of Como, edited and with an introduction by Luigi Ballerini, Translated and annotated by Jeremy Parzen [Univeristy of California Press:Berkeley CA] 2005 (p. 71)

    "To prepare a tourte of tagliatelle or of lasagne cooked in a fat meat broth or in milk.
    Get tabliatelle or lasagne make with fine flour, eggs and either warm goat's milk or warm water; cook them in a fat meat broth or in goat's or cow's milk. When they are done, take them out and let them cool enough to be cut. Then have a tourte pan grased with butter and lined with a sheet of royal dough made with fine flour, rosewater, sugar and butter. Onto that dough set down a layer of provatura [cow's milk mozzarella] slices sprinked with sugar, pepper and cinnamon, with a few lumps of fresh butter and grated Parmesan cheese; then put the bits of tagliatelle or lasagne on that, and on top of them make another layer of the same ingredients as are under them. You can make up several layers doing the same thing. Bake it, open-faced, in an oven or braise it. When it is almost done, sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon. Be very generous with the butter. In the same way you can do any sort of macaroni, made on an iron bar and cooked as described above. You can occasionally intersperse mint, marjoram and ground cloves of garlic with the pasta. Always serve it hot."
    ---The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi (1570), Luigi Ballerini and Massimo Ciavolella editors, translated with a commentary by Terence Scully [University of Toronto Press:Toronto] 2008, 2011, Book V, recipe 84(p. 475)

    [1950]
    "Lasagne Neapolitan Style

    1 pound Ronzoni lasagne (#123)
    1 pound pork shoulder
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/2 onion, minced
    1 teaspoon minced parsley
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1 1/2 cans tomato paste
    2 cups warm water
    5 quarts water
    3 teaspoons salt
    1 pound ricotta (Italian pot cheese)
    1 tablespoon hot water
    4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    Place pork in saucepan with oil, onion, garlic, and parsley and brown thoroughly on all sides. Add salt, pepper, and tomato paste, diluted in 2 cups warm water. Cover pan and cook 2 hours, adding a little water from time to time, if necessary. This should make about 2 cups of tomato sauce. Remove pork from sauce, and keep warm. In another pan bring water to boil, add salt, and drop in lasagne, broken into short pieces. Cook 15 minutes, or until tender, stirring almost constantly to prevent lasagne from sticking together. Drain. Mix ricotta with 1 tablespoon warm water, making a soft paste. In a casserole, arrange lasagne in layers, alternating with sauce, ricotta and Parmesean, until lasagne is all used, and ending with a layer of sauce, ricotta and Parmesean. Bake in moderate oven 20 minutes and serve. Serve pork as a second course. Makes 6 large or 8 medium servings."
    ---The Talisman Italian Cook Book, Ada Boni, special edition printed for Ronzoni Macarnoni Co. [Crown Publishers:New York] 1950, 1955 (p. 145-146)
    [NOTE: Additional recipes in this book: Lasagne Old Style (ricotta & mozzerella), Lasange Piedmont Style (Parmesan, no ricotta), and Green Lasange Modena Style (spinach, Parmesean, no ricotta).]

    Macaroni & cheese

    Who invented macaroni & cheese? No one knows for sure, although the food historians generally credit the ancient Greeks and Romans for coming up with the idea of combining these two foods. The origin of pasta/noodles/macaroni is a matter of culinary controversy (Ancient Rome? Etruscans? China? Korea?). According to the Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (page 159) "Cheese is one of the oldest of made foods, dating back to the prehistoric beginnings of herding. As with all fermented products, it seems likely that the discovery of cheese was accidental..."

    We do know that medieval macaroni dishes (lasagnes & raviolis) were made with cheese and sweetened with nuts and spices (The Medieval Cookbook, Maggie Black, Lasagne with cheese (pages 90-91). These would have tasted quite different from the mac and cheese we eat today. Colonial American cookbooks contained recipes for macaroni and cheese in the English tradition:

    "Despite the many varieties, the most common name for pasta in later Medieval Italy seems to have been macaroni', although this now means the round as contrasted with the flat kind. The fourteenth century English Forme of Cury gives a recipes for macrows (an anglicized plural) that unquestionably produces a flat result; the recipes even recommends serving it strewn with morsels of butter, and with grated cheese on the side. In its native land it does not seem to have been regarded as a very high-class food; in the sixteenth century

    "Cheese is the earliest condiment for pasta of which we have documentation. Even before the earliest recipes were written, cheese with pasta was the delight of the bon vivants of the Middle Ages...Present in all the medieval collections of recipes that feature pasta, grated cheese was often mixed with spices..."These tortelli must be yellow and strongly spiced, serve them in bowls with plenty of pepper and grated cheese...Although it was abandoned by the elite beginning in the seventeenth century, the mixture of cheese and spices continued in popular use. Pasta was served with a carpet of well-aged grated cheese in taverns frequented by Pere Labat in the turn of the eighteenth century."
    ---Pasta: The Story of a Universal Food, Silvano Serventi & Francoise Sabban [Columbia University Press:New York] 2000 (p. 258-9)

    "...we can establish the venerableness of the dish we call macaroni cheese from the following recipe which must have been introduced from Italy... into the court cookery of Richard II [1367-1400]. Macrows. Take and make a thin foil of dough, and carve it in pieces, and cast them on boiling water, and seeth it well. Take cheese, and grate it, and butter, cast beneath, and above as for losenges, and serve it forth.' It was apparently not made in England during the next few hundred years, but it returned from Italy in the eighteenth century...when Elizabeth Raffald published a very good recipe entitled "To dress macaroni with Parmesan cheese."
    ---Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson (p. 252)

    Compare and contrast the following M & C recipes from different time periods:

    [1390]
    A modern
    redaction of the original Forme of Cury recipe.

    [15th century]
    "Roman noodles
    Blend meal which has which has been separated from chaff with water in the best way. When it has been blended, spread it out on a board and roll it with a rounded and oblong piece of wood such as bakers are accustomed to use in such a trade. Then when it has been drawn out to the width of a finger, cut it. It is so long you would call it a fillet. It ought to be cooked in rich and continuallly boiling broth, but it, at the time, it must be cooked in water, put in butter and salt. When it is cooked, it ought to be put in a pan with cheese, butter, sugar, and sweet spices."
    ---De Honesta Voluptate et Valetudine [On Right Pleasure and Good Health], Platina, Book VII, recipe 43, translated by Mary Ella Milham, Italy 15th century (p. 329)

    [1769]
    "To dress Macaroni with Parmesan Cheese
    Boil four ounces of macaroni till it be quite tender and lay it on a sieve to drain. Then put it in a tossing pan with about a gill of good cream, a lump of butter rolled in flour, boil it five minutes. Pour it on a plate, lay all over it parmesan cheese toasted. Send to to the table on a water plate, for it soon goes cold."
    ---The Experience Engish Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald, introduction by Roy Shipperbottom [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1997 (p. 144)

    [1824]
    "Boil as much macaroni as will fill your dish, in milk and water till quite tender, drain it on a sieve, sprinkle a little salt over it, put a layer in your dish, then cheese and butter as in the polenta, and bake it in the same manner."
    ---The Virginia House-Wife, Mary Randolph, 1824 (p. 100)

    [1847]
    "Maccaroni with cheese...Simmer quarter of a pound of maccaroni in a quart of milk, until the pipes are well swelled and tender; then butter a pudding dish, put in a layer of maccaroni; strew it plentifully with grated cheese and bits of butter; then another layer of maccaroni, alternately, until the dish is full, then cheese being last; then put over the whole bits of butter, or melt the butter and put it over; then put it into a moderate oven until it is nicely browned. Serve hot. The cheese for this purpose should be cut and allowed to become dry beore it is grated Pineapple, or old English or Parmesean, should be used. The milk in which the maccaroni is steeped must also be added, if not all absorbed.
    ---Mrs. Crowen's American Ladies' Cookery Book, Mrs. T. J. Crowen, 1847 (p. 427)

    [1908]
    "Baked macaroni...Break up half a pound of macaroni in two-inch lengths, and simmer it as for boiled macaroni, drain it well; have ready grated half pound of good rich cheese, not too old; butter a baking dish, one that will do to serve it in, divide the cheese in half, put one portion in the dish, scattering it evenly over the bottom, pour in the macaroni, arrange it smoothly, and put over it the remaining half of the cheese, sprinkle it plentifully with salt, and pour over it a large coffeecup of cream and milk mixed; bake it three-quarters of an hour; it should be a nice brown on top."
    --The Economical Cook Book, Sara T. Paul, 1908 (p. 138)

    [1915]
    "English Style Macaroni...Cook one cup Larkin Short-Cut Macaroni in boiling salted water until tender. Rinse with cold water. Make a sauce by melting three tablespoons butter in a double-boiler. Add three tablespoons flour. When bubbling add one and one-half cups sweet milk. Stir constantly until thickened, add two thirds cup grated cheese or four ounces cheese thinly sliced. Stir until melted. Add one-half teaspoon salt and a little pepper. Mix together sauce and Macaroni, reheat in kettle or put into baking dish and bake about twenty minutes until brown....Mrs. I. F. Knee, Omana, Nebr."
    ---Larkin Housewives Cook Book, Larkin Company [Larkin Co.:Philadelphia] 1915 (p. 54)
    [NOTE: This recipe instructs the cook to make a cheese sauce rather than simply using grated cheese.]

    Horn & Hardart's macaroni & cheese

    Kraft confirms its macaroni & cheese dinner product was introduced in 1937. What about the details?

    "Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner is introduced nationally in yellow boxes (soon changed to blue) by National Dairy Products, which has adopted the idea of one of its St. Louis salesmen to combine grated American cheese with Tenderoni Macaroni." ---The Food Chronology, James Trager [Henry Holt:New York] 1995 (p.37)

    "Kraft was the first to introduce an instant macaroni and cheese dinner. The year was 1937 and soon Kraft, during commercial breaks in the Kraft Music Hall radio program, was promising American cooks that a Kraft Dinner was "A meal for four in nine minutes for an everyday price of 19 cents. In 1937 alone, eight million Kraft Dinners were sold, but their popularity soared tenfold during World War II because they were not only good meat substitutes but also required just one ration coupon. "Don't hurry, puff and wheeze," Kraft Dinner commercials now urged. "There's a main dish that's a breeze.""
    ---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 180)

    "In 1937, the Kraft Food Company which had introduced processed cheese to the world in 1915, released its macaroni and cheese package, known to the world as "Kraft Dinner." As America slowly emerged from the Depression, it became the housewife's friend--a nourishing one-pot meal that could be easily prepared..."
    ---American Dish: 100 Recipes from Ten Delicious Decades, Merrill Shindler [Angel City Press:Santa Monica] 1996 (p. 61)

    Here is Kraft's own recipe for macaroni & cheese, circa 1938:

    Macaroni American
    1 cup elbow macaroni
    1/2 Kraft American
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    Dash of cayenne
    Buttered crumbs

    Cook macaroni in boiling salted water; drain. Melt the cheese over low heat in top of a double boiler. Gradually add the milk, stirring well after each addition of milk. Add seasonings. Place macaroni in a casserole and pour the sauce over it, carefully mixing with a fork. Cover with crumbs, or with additional grated cheese. Bake in a moderate oven, 350 degrees, 15 minutes. Spaghetti, noodles or rice may be substituted for the macaroni."
    ---Favorite Recipes from Mary Dahnke's File, Kraft-Phoenix Cheese Corporation [1938] (p. 19). There is a picture of the yellow & blue Kraft Dinner box on the second to last page of this booklet.

    Recommended reading: "Kraft Cheese," Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands, Volume 1:Consumable Products, Janice Jorgensen Editor [St. James Press:Detroit] 1994

    Related dishes: Fettuccine Alfredo & Pasta Primavera.

    Pasta Primavera
    Food historians generally agree modern primavera recipes, as we Americans know them today, originated in New York City during the late 1970s. Several articles in the New York Times confirm this was a period when several upscale chefs endeavored to redefine "Italian Cusine." Said cuisine drew on traditional "Old World" peasant recipes. They were typically composed of fresh vegetables and lighter sauces. Italian food historians confirm the phrase "primavera" in the gastonomic sense, simply means "springtime." In the Italy this term is applied to several dishes incorporating fresh young vegetables.

    "Pasta primavera. Few people... would disagree that this is America's grandest contribution to the pasta repertoire. And as often happens with truly great recipes, it came about quite by chance. In the late 70s. Here's what Ella Elvin, former food editor of New York's Daily News, had to say about it in the February 1, 1978 paper: Pasta Primavera is a specialty of Le Cirque at 58 E. 65th St. Sirio Macconi, co-owner, says it came onto his menu rather obliquely. He and friends had once had a few fun days of cooking wild boar and lobster in Canada, when his wife served pasta with briefly cooked fresh vegetables. 'It is something we do a lot in Italy," says Sirio, 'but on this occasion it tasted spectacularly good to everyone, and then we tried it as an item for friends here at the restaurant. When Paul Bocuse came, we suggested it as an appetizer and he said: 'I want it as the main course. ' It's a matter of using fresh vegetables that are in season'...The pasta is topped with spoonfuls of both vegetable sauces and pepper is ground over the top."
    ---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 191)

    "Another cream pasta dish that was all the rage in the Seventies was pasta primavera. Craig Claiborne called it "by far the most talked-about dish in Manhattan" in 1977. And while this dish was wholly American, it was Italian in feel, and it was rich and creamy. There is no questions that pasta primavera was invented in New York, at Le Cirque restaurant. But whether it was first made by Le Cirque owner, Sirio Maccioni, when he decided to add vegetables to his Alfredo sauce, or by Le Cirque cofoudner Jean Vergnes in conjuction with Le Cirque chef Jean-Louis Todeschini after Vergnes tasted a pasta with vegetables made by friend and cookbook writer Ed Giobbi, is still a matter of debate...This pasta dish held on to its popularity through the Eighties..."
    ---Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 323)

    "No one denies that there has been a revolution in French food: it is less rich, with fresh ingredients put together in new and different ways. In the last five years heavy sauces have become light and classics such as canard a l'orange and beef Wellington have given way to rare duck breasts and medallions of beef with cranberries. Since New Yorkers probably eat as much Italian food as French, are they finding similar changes in Italian cooking?...Those [new] dishes...are typical of the meals in some of the stylish, sleeky appointed and usually expensive Italian restaurants that have become a fixture of New York. So different is the food form the Italian cooking so long familiar to most of us that there is talk of an Italian nouvelle cuisine...Whether there is such a thing is open to debate...There are some fad dishes...and certainly there is a trend toward lightness. But most of them feel that the foundation of the "new" dishes is as old as the Etruscan hills. "They take old peasant dishes and give them new names,"...The influence of New York's new Italian cooking extends beyond Italian restaurants. Fresh pasta or osso buco, risotto, or fetuccini with truffles often appear on the menus of Le Cirque, Odeon, the Four Seasons and the Palace. Onece a successful dish appears in one restaurant, it turns up on menus everywhere. Take pasta primavera. "James Beard called one day and said, 'Alfredo [Viazzi] , I'm afaid your past primavera is all over town!" ...[Viazzi] takes credit for introducing the dish to New York, although he says it is acutally peasant fare brought up to date. However, Siro Maccioni of Le Circ says that he invented his version seven years ago at a party when he ran out of other ingredients and had to make do with the spring vegetables that garnish the pasta. Perhaps all roads to lead to Rome. Italian chefs like to create dishes on the spur of the moment, and often cook special things for a favorite customer. This can be a mixed blessing."
    ---"Is There a New Italian Cuisine?" Moira Hodgson, New York Times, September 30, 1981 (p. C1)

    [1987]
    "New York City Style Pasta Primavera
    Mayor Edward Koch, New York City

    2 tbsp. butter
    2 tbsp. olive oil
    1/4 lb. snow peas (trimmed)
    1/4 lb. mushrooms (washed and sliced)
    8 asaparagus tips
    1 small zucchini (washed and sliced)
    1/2 lb. angel hair pasta
    2 cloves mashed garlic
    1/2 cup good chicken stock
    1/4 cup white wine
    parmesan cheese. 4-6 servings
    Melt 2 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. olive oil in a pan. Add mushrooms and zucchini, toss until coated. Add asparagus and snow peas. Toss over high heat but do not brown. Add garlic and white wine. Cook pasta in boiling water wehn you add white wine to mixture. Cook for 30 seconds to reduce slightly. Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock and simmer for 1 minutes. Season with salt and fresh pepper. Add parmesan cheese to taste. Add vegetable mixture to pasta. Toss over heat. Add more parmesan to taste. Serve very hot in a bowl that will hold pasta and sauce."
    ---
    The Mayor's Cookbook: The Farvorite Recipes of over 300 Mayors Across the U.S.A., United States Conference of Mayors, Thomas L. McClimon editor [Acropolis Books Ltd.:Washington DC] 1987 (p. 42)
    Related dish: Fettuccini alfredo

    Ravioli
    Pasta (in many different shapes and sizes) is an ancient food. It was enjoyed by many peoples in many cultures. Stuffed pasta (ravioli, wonton, kreplach) is likewise a food shared by many cultures and cuisines. Food historians generally agree that stuffed pastas (and related recipes such as lasagna) were probably introduced in Medieval times. Cookbooks confirm European and Middle Eastern medieval pasta dishes could have been sweet (filled with cheese, honey, nuts, and cinnamon) or savoury (filled with meat, pepper, and saffron). Asian wontons were typically steamed or fried and were served with local vegetables.
    Tomato sauce was not served with pasta products in Medieval times. Tomatoes are a "new world" food and were introduced to Europe in the late 15th century by explorers. About pasta.

    "Ravioli: the archtypal stuffed pasta of the western world, can be presumed to be Italian in origin but had started to appear as far away as England by the 14th century (when the Forme of Cury gave a recipe for rauioles), and was known in the south of France in medieval times. So far as Italy is concerned, the earliest records of ravioli seem to be in some of the 140,000 preserved letters of Francesco di Marco, a merchant of Prato in the 14th century. They are described as being stuffed with pounded pork, eggs, cheese, parsley, and sugar; while in Lent a filling of herbs, cheese, and spices was used. There were both sweet and savoury kinds..."
    ---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 655)

    "The small, stuffed Italian shapes such as a ravioli and tortellini (both attested from the middle of the thirteenth century) also had parallels elsewhere, including China (won ton), Russia (pel'meni), Tibet (momo), and in the Jewish kitchen, (kreplachs). It has been suggested that some of the forms may have originated in the Near East and been transmitted in an arc from there, which would certainly be consistent with the general historical pattern."
    ---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers Press:New York] 1988 (p. 236)

    "The history of ravioli is quite old. Leaving aside for the moment as to whether the Central Asian manti can be considered a ravioli, the earliest evidence we have of ravioli in the Mediterranean is found in the statutes of the Cathedral of Nice in 1233, which report of crosete sui rafiole', a ravioli pie..."
    ---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 298)

    "According to the sixteenth-century Italian historians, we owe pasta stuffed with chopped meat or herbs, cheese or even fish to a peasant woman of Cernusco called Libista...The ravioli of the fourteenth-century cookery books were usually deep-fried, like fritters...in its early days ravioli generally meant a stuffing made of meat, cheese, eggs and herbs wrapped in dough, a dish like modern canneloni...one of the oldest recipes of the kind [1481], for tortelli' in the Assissi manner'. These tortelli' do not even use a dough wrapping for the stuffing; the instructions are simply to roll the chopped meat mixture in flour. This coating of flour, having absorved the fat from the chopped meat, would have coagulated slightly in the hot broth into which the tortelli were put to be cooked...Raviolo were eaten at banquets too, and were clearly very popular in Prato. They were not served alone, but as a garnish to a torta made of several layers of pastry filled with chicken fried in oil, garlic sausage, ravioli stuffed wtih ham, almonds, and dates. Pastry lid covered the whole torta, and it was cooked in the embers."
    ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992(p. 193)

    "Ravioli. The world may derive form the Latin rabiola...whos shape was imitated in the ravioli, or from ravolgere (to wrap). The city of Cremona claims to have created ravioli. But Genoa claims them, too, insisting the word actually dates to their dialect word for the pasta, rabiole, which means "something of little value" and supposedly came from the practice of thrifty sailors who stuffed any and all leftovers into pasta to be used for another meal."
    ---Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1998 (p. 213)

    15th century Italian Ravioli recipe
    "Ravioli. Get a pound and a half of old cheese and a little new creamy cheese, and a pound of porkbelly or loin of veal that should be boiled until well cooked, then grind it up well; get well ground fragrant herbs, pepper, cloves, ginger and saffron, adding in a well ground breast of capon, and mix in all of this together; make a thin dough and wrap nut-sized amounts of the mixture in it; set these ravioli to cook in the fat broth of a capon or of some other good meat, with a little saffron, and let them boil for half an hour; then dish them out, garnishing them with a mixture of grated chreese and good spices."
    ---The Neapolitan Recipe Collection, Cuoco Napoletano [Martino], Critical edition and English translation by Terence Scully [University of Michigan Press:Ann Arbor] 2000 (p. 177)
    [NOTE: This book contains the original Latin text. If you need this ask your librarian can help you obtain a copy.]

    Related foods? Toasted ravioli (St. Louis), Jewish Kreplach & Chinese Wontons.

    Spaghetti & meatballs
    Who invented spaghetti & meatballs? The answer to this question depends upon how strictly you want to define these two foods. Both pasta and meatballs [ground meat mixed with cereal/spice fillers, also known as sausage or forcemeat] date back to ancient times. They were foods that evolved independently across many cultures and cuisines. Meat filled lasagne and ravioli were quite popular in Medieval Europe, although they were not served with tomatoes at this time.
    Tomato sauce was introduced in the 18th century.

    About spaghetti
    Pasta, in many forms, has been around for thousands of years. In the beginning, ancients rolled pasta by hand into long, flat shapes, similar to modern lasagne. Other shapes became possible/popular as technology advanced. Vermicelli and other long noodles were made in ancient days, though evidence from old cook books suggests they were thicker than the products we eat today. Very thin spaghettis (including angel hair, capellini) were first introduced in the 19th century because they required more sophisticated machines than the pasta presses used in Thomas Jefferson's day for production. Naples, Italy is generally acknowledged for its long tradition of spaghetti making.

    Food historians generally agree that the pasta we know today as spaghetti is a relatively new invention, dating back to the early 19th century. Spaghetti served with meat in tomato sauce most likely originated in Naples. Late 19th and early 20th century American cook books often refer to recipes for spaghetti and meat sauce as Neapolitan spaghetti. The meats used in these recipes are usually ham, sausage and bacon (traditional Italian fare). Recipes for spaghetti and [ground beef] meatballs begin to show up in American cookbooks during World War II.

    "Spaghetti...commonly said to account for more than two-thirds of the whole annual consumption of pasta, is certainly its most popular form...but by no means the oldest. Indeed, until the introduction of extrusion presses, and especially of the powerful machines which were introduced in the latter part of the 19th century...its production was a laborious business. Macaroni, tubular and hollow, was easier to make without modern machinery, and its name was sometimes used in a generic way for pasta...The names of the Italian spaghetti dishes which are now known worldwide are of relatively recent birth. It might be thought that spaghetti and tomato sauce, perhaps the simplest combination, would go a long way back. However, the first documented tomato sauce for pasta appears in Ippolito Cavalcanti's Cucina teorico pratica of 1839..."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 740)

    "1819--In the Dizionario della Lingua Italiana by Nicol• Tommaseo and Bernardo Bellini, the term spaghetto, "singolare maschile diminutivo di SPAGO" (masculine, singular diminutive for SPAGO) includes the entry, "Minestra di spaghetti: che sono paste della grossezza di un piccolo spago e lunghe, come i sopraccapellini" (spaghetti soup: pasta, the thickness of a small twine and long)."
    Professional Pasta [NOTE: site no longer connects, 4 April 2009]

    "Spaghetti was first produced on a large scale in Naples in 1800, with the aid of wooden screw presses, and the long strings were hung out to dry in the sun. The dough was kneaded by hand until 1830, when a mechanical kneading trough was invented and widely adopted throughout Italy..."
    ---Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things, Charles Panati [Harper Row:New York] 1987 (p. 406)

    Spaghetti in America
    Many colonial American cookbooks contain recipes for macaroni. Although recipes for
    sauce were also included, none of these books combined these two ingredients. Tomato [aka tomata sauce] recipes listed in these books were intended for meat, soup or a served as a side dish. Macaroni recipes called for cheese or white sauce. Beginning about the 1880's, American cookbooks began including recipes for spaghetti, some combined with tomato sauce and meat.

    "Pasta came to America with the early Spanish settlers. In the USA the first notable introduction was due to Thomas Jefferson...However, it was really the massive late 19th-century immigration from Italy, and especially from Naples, which made pasta popualr in the USA. Consequently, N. American ways of preparing pasta are essentially derived from Italian ones, although displaying variations such as spagehtti with meatballs."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 581)
    [NOTE: this book offers much more information on the history of pasta]

    "Spaghetti...became as "naturalized" as did any Italian-American between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of World War II. It became a repast first accepted by nonconformists...New York's Little Italy, where spaghetti dinner was cheap, filling, and redolent of good flavours not to be found elsewhere...American "bohemians" joined Italians in preparing spaghetti in their own kitchens, buying the pasta from immigrant grocers..."
    ---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones, 2nd ed.[Vintage Books:New York] 1981 (p. 151-2)

    "In the beginning (around the turn of the century) Italian-America restaurants did not serve meatballs with their spaghetti. These were added to satisfy Amerca's hunger for red meat."
    ---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997(p. 183)

    Spaghetti recipes through time
    ...note many similar recipes printed in these books still called for macaroni or vermicelli

    [1884] Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D. A. Lincoln
    --Spaghetti: boil, serve with cream, or tomato sauce, cheese, and crumbs (p. 309)

    [1902] With a Saucepan over the Sea, Adelaide Keen
    --Spaghetti (prevailing method all over Italy): chopped ham, onion, stewed tomatoes (p. 144)
    --Spaghetti (Amalfi): casserole with Parmesean cheese, hard boiled egg yolks & puff paste (p. 145)

    [1912] Simple Italian Cookery, Antonia Isola
    --Spaghetti with tunny-fish: tuna fish & tomato sauce (p. 12)

    [1922]
    "Meat balls and spaghetti

    A meal that will 'hit the spot' on a cool fall or winter day. Boil 1 package American Beauty Spaghetti until tender (almost 15 minutes). Break 3/8 pound of dry bread into small pieces and put into 3/4 cup hot water, allow bread to soften, then squeeze out water. Put 1/2 pound chuck beef, 1/4 pound shoulder pork and 2 slices onion thru a meat chopper. Mix with bread, 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 pound grated cheese. Form into balls. Fry balls in olive oil. Serve with spaghetti and tomato sauce."
    ---display ad, Amerian Beauty Macaroni Products, The Hutchinson News [Kansas], Ocboter 27, 1922 (p. 10)

    [1924] Mrs. Allen on Cooking, Ida Baily Allen
    --Spaghetti Italian: ground bacon/salt pork, mushrooms, onions in the tomato sauce (p. 178)
    --Escalloped spaghetti, tomato, and cheese: spaghetti casserole, no meat (p. 179)

    [1944] Good Housekeeping Cook Book
    --Neapolitan spaghetti with meat balls: ground beef meatballs (p. 388)
    --Genoese spaghetti: cubed steak, mushrooms & onions (p. 386)

    Commercial production
    Food historians tell us that the technology for mass-producing pasta and canned tomato products existed in the middle of the 19th century. Primary evidence (cookbooks, food advertisements) confirms spaghetti was prepared and consumed by the American public in the late 1800s and early 20th century. "Global penetration" of many Italian food products occured at this time because that's when people from this country immigrated in large numbers to other parts of the world, most notably America. This explains why many of our American pasta/tomato sauce companies were founded in the beginning decades of the 20th century. Pizza has a similar history.

    Tomato paste/sauce manufacturers
    [1918]: Contadina

    About canned spaghetti products
    The earliest print references we find (so far) for USA canned spaghetti products are from the 1910s. This popular product was sold over the years by many companies under different brandnames; some using creative formats.

    [1913]
    "Heinz Spaghetti, 15 cents."---display ad, Washington Post, December 23, 1913 (p. 5)

    [1922]
    US Patent & Trademark database with registration #0399825 for a product line under the brand name PLEE-ZING, which offered a canned prepared spaghetti products (with and without meatballs) in December, 1922.

    [1965]
    Campbell's Spaghettios were introduced October 19, 1965, U. S. Patent and Trademark Office, registration #72247002.

    Spaghetti Carbonara
    Our survey of mid-20th century Italian-American cookbooks identifies several recipes approximating Spaghetti (linguine, noodles, pasta) "alla Carbonara." The closest modern recipe in this creamy-cheesy-egg yolk genre is
    Fettuccini Alfredo, a USA celebrity endorsed favorite from the 1920s. The primary difference between Alfredo and Carbonara is the latter features bacon or related cured pork product. Curiously (by today's standards), early recipes do not address the origin of the name. We wonder: was that because everyone back then "knew" what the name meant? Presumably, the appelation "carbonara" was selected for a reason.

    What's in a name?
    "Carbonara, alla. "Charcoal style." A Roman pasta preparation usually made with spaghtetti sauce with cream, pancetta, pecorino, and parmigiano onto which a raw egg is dropped and cooked by the heat of the pasta itself. It is then tossed and served with plenty of black pepper. The origin of the name has never been established. Some believe it refers to black spaghetti made with squid ink by Roman cooks in the seafood market, others to a 19th -century radical group called I Carbonari. Still others believe it was a dish created by the coal miners on the mountains betwen Abruzzo and Lazio. Of the name may simply describe the look of the cooked bits of pancetta in the preparation." ---The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1998 (p. 61)

    "A short while ago an acquaintance told us an amusing story about the origins of spaghetti carbonara, which means spaghetti charcoal-burner-style. It had to do with an American soldier aksing for an egg noodle dish in Italy during World War II. The waiter did not wholly comprehend his request and had the chef prepare him a noodle dish with raw eggs. It still left the origin of the name corbonara unexplained. Now a letter from a reader in Manhattan to contradict the egg noodle history plus an explanation of the name: 'The legend I grew up on was that the dish was created by Garibaldi's troops during the war for Italy's unification in the 1850s, the Risorgimento. Lacking the pther means for cooking, the soldiers prepared their spaghetti over a charcoal fire, hence the name carbonara. Nicholas SA. Osgan of New YOrk has proposed an interesting association of recipe names: 'I don't know why spaghetti carbobara is called carbonara either. Except that, all carbonara dishes, carbonade doe boeuf Flamand, cargbonade de boeuf Provencal, have one common ingredient--a lot of sauteed onions,w hich is the one theing you left out of your spaghetti recipe.' The relation --if any--of carbonara to carbonnades (or carbonades) is something to ponder at a later date. On the other hand, I have never encountered a dish for spaghetti carbonara nor a recipe for it that included onions in large or small amounts. Carbonnades a la flamande, of course, to require almost a smuch weight in onions a s in meat. Carbonnades in the style of Nimes (France) is a stew made with lamb or mutton, and onions, in small quantity, are among the ingredients. They are not predominant, however. A Manhattan reader offers her great-trandmother's theory on the name's origin plus her great-grandmother's recipe: She writes, 'According to my great-grandmother, who is 92 years young and an authority on most things Italian, linguine alla carbonara refers to both a secret society that at one time tried to overthrow the Italian government and to men who work with coal."
    ---"De Gustibus: Cooking Up True Story of Spaghetti Carbonara," Craig Claiborne, New York Times, June 13, 1977 (p. 48) [NOTE: Article includes recipe from the 92 year old Italian grandmother. Let us know if you want it.]

    The earliest (Italian-American) recipe we find for Spaghetti Carbonara was published in 1957. The source may surprise you: Lettitia Baldrige (aka "Miss Manners"). Ms. Baldridge traveled in powerful circles both domestically and abroad. Famous for teaching political protocol and mentoring social etiquette, Ms. Baldridge's credentials were impeccable. We have no doubt her recipe, shared below, is authentic.

    [1957]
    "Recipes and reunions were among the topics dicussed by Miss Lettia Baldridge of New York City...Under the topic of reunions, Miss Baldridge, an active member of the American Committee on Italian Migration, discussed the implementation of new legistlation recently passed by Congress which permits the reunion of families in America. As a result of the committee's work, 20,000 Italians over and above the quota, will enter the country this year. On the lighter side, it was the recipe for Spaghetti ala Carbonara that Tish Baldridge passed on to John. It was during her three years as secretary to Clare Booth Luce, former United States ambassador to Italy, that Tish acquired many Italian recipes. Made by the Italian women early in the morning, it is heaped into their husbands; lunch pails and still hot, makes a hearty mid-day meal for the working man. Here's the recipe:

    "Spaghetti Ala Carbonara
    1 package of regular spaghetti, added in large kettle of vigourously boiling salted water.
    Srir constantly with wooden spoon for about eight minutes until the spaghetti is soft.
    Drain spaghetti thoroughly and return to kettle. Add:
    4 raw eggs
    1 heaping cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    8 pieces of bacon, with grease, fried and broken into pieces.
    1/8 cup of butter
    Lots of freshly grated pepper. Stir and simmer over very low heat for just a few minutes, enough to heat through. Serve while piping hot."
    ---"Recipes and Reunions," Post Standard [Syracuse NY], November 2, 1957 (p. 5)

    [1962]
    The earliest recipe we find for this dish printed in a USA cookbook is from 1962. The dish (by name, method, ingredients) is absent from Pellegrino Artusi's Italian Cook Book [1945], Maria Lo Pinto's Art of Italian Cooking [1953] and Ada Boni's Talisman Italian Cook Book [1955, sponsored by Ronzoni to promote products].

    "Spaghetti all Carbonara
    Spaghetti with ham-egg sauce
    3 slices bacon, cut julienne
    4 tablespoons butter
    1/2 cup julienne-cut prosciutto
    2 egg yolks
    1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    1 pound spaghetti, cooked and drained
    Brown the bacon in the butter; mix in the ham until lightly browned.
    Beat the egg yolks, then stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese. Toss the hot spaghetti with bacon mixture, then immediately with the egg yolk mixture. Serve quickly sprinkled with the remaining cheese.
    Serves: 4-6."
    ---The Pleasures of Italian Cooking, Romeo Salta [Macmillan:New York] 1962 (p. 78)

    Peaches
    Origin & diffusion
    "Wild peach trees still grow in China, the original home of the peach...Well before the 10th century BC (some suggest much earlier) improved varieties were being cultivated. Peaches are easily raised from seed, and cultivation spread westwards through areas with suitable climate, such as Kashmir, to Persia. It flourished there so well that it came to be regarded as a native Persian fruit...In classical antiquity Theophrastus (c. 370-c. 288 BC) was the first writer to mention the peach. Despite the clear lack of evidence, it is widely assumed that it was Alexander the Great who brought it to Greece from Persia. Pliny (1st century AD) mentioned half a dozen types, e.g. the peaches of Gaul (France) and the Asiatic ones, and declared the fruit to be particularly wholesome. Generally, it seems to have been the Romans who spread the peach further north and west. Much later, in the 16th century, it was the Spaniards who took it to America. The 16th century used also to be thought of as the the time when the peach reached England. However...there is much evidence, including the supply of two peach trees in the Tower of London in 1275 and a reference by Chaucer (1372), to show that it was being grown there much earlier...But it seems that peach-growing was discontinued for a time, and that it was in the 16th century that the fruit was reintroduced from France and the Netherlands."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 588)

    "The peach was the object of a sort of cult in China, where for poets, sculptors and painters it was a symbol of immortality, despite the fact that it grows on a short-lived tree...Friends gave each other peaches, real or in porcelain, to attest to their affection. The veneration accorded the peach no doubt arose from its ancient and peculiary Chinese character, for it is believed to have originated in China, where it is called tao. Chinese writings contain references to the peach dating form 2000 B.C. (Dubious) and from the fifth century B.C. (trustworthy), including some from the works of Confucious, at least three centuries before we hear of this fruit from anywhere else. Peach trees are found growing wild in China, and I think nowhere else...Chinese world-peach trees are apt to be gnarled and squat, their fruit is small and the pit large, but the flesh is exquisite in flavor. Chinese peach trees breed from seed, which is not the case for peach trees anywhere else in the world, justifying the belief that all peaches except those of China are hybrids, and therefore probably alien to the areas in which they are found. It was long thought that the peach originated in Persia (where it does not grow wild), and indeed its scientific name is Prunus persica, because it was from Persia that the ancient Romans imported the fruit, and from the Romans that we first hear about it. They could not have known that Persia had acquired it, across a good deal of intervening territory, from China, a country whose existence they did not suspect...The Romans could not have known about the peach at the beginning of the second century B.C., for if they had, Cato would certainly have mentioned it; and though the Asian Army brought back many new foods from the East when it returned to Italy in 185 B.C. it is doubtful that the peach was among them. Pliny wrote about it in the first century A.D., called it the Persian apple...and said that the Romans had imported it from Persia for the first time only shortly before--apparently by a very indirect route, for he added that the trees were first planted in Egypt (where we never hear of them again) and then on the island of Rhodes, but bore not fruit in either place...The peach seems never to have achieved a foothold in ancient Grecce, but in Rome several varieties were developed...The peach was not common in Rome either, for Pliny says it was hard to grown in Italy, so the Romans imported it from Persia, which made it expensive."
    ---Food: An Authoritative and Visual History and Dictionary of Foods of the World, Waverly Root [Smithmark:New York] 1980 (p. 327)

    China
    "Domestication of the peach (t'ao) is usually placed in temperate China, with most authorities favoring northern and/or western China, especially its hill and mountain regions, including Tibet...The ancient Chinese looked to the west as the home of the peach, and specifically the K'un-lun Shan, those ranges of Central Asia...Whatever the exact time and place of its domestication, the peach has been known in China since great antiquity, wieth remains found in archeological sites in Chekaing that may date as early as the fourth or fifth millennium B.C....Today the peach is a typical crop of northern China...The peach tree has been surrounded with greater mysticism in China than any other plant, cherished for its delicious fruit and beautiful flowers, important in symbolism and ritual, and frequently mentioned in literature and depicted in art...Because of this...the peach deserves first place in any list of classical Chinese fruits. The traditional Chinese viewed the peach as symbolic of long life and immortality, and various dieties and illustrious persons of the past are depicted as carrying the shou-t'ao, "peach of immortality."...The Chinese also considered peach wood...protective against evil spirits, who held the peach in awe. In ancient China, peach-wood bows were used to shoot arrows in every direction in an effort to dispel evil...In modern China, little mysticism is associated with the peach, but on New Year's Eve people sometimes suspended a peach spray over their gates, and used peach brances to sprinkle water on the ground around the house as protection against evil spirits."
    ---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederick J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL] 1991 (p. 217-8)

    India
    "Peach. Prunus persica developed from the same ancestral materials as the cherry, plum, apricot and almond; the diversions occurred somewhere in eastern China, wherre the peach was developed. Xuan Zang pointed out the Chinese origin of the peach during his travels in India in the early seventh century AD, and stated that it was then being brought into India from Kashmir. The Sanskrit name chinani reflects this origin. The Mughals made efforts to grow this semitropical fruit in the country, and by the time of Akbar, according to the Ain-i-Akbari, peaches...are to be found everywhere', while its grafting on plum trees was also being explored."
    ---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 180-1)

    Peaches in the New World
    "The Romans introduced the fruit [peach] to Europe, and the Spaniards introduced it to the new world. In fact, peaches were growing so widely in eastern North America by the time of the American Revoultion that many assumed the fruit to be an American native."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge Universtiy Press:Cambridge] 2001, Volume Two (p. 1830)

    How were peaches used in early America?
    Directions for Cookery/Eliza Leslie [Philadelphia] 1840, lists these peach recipes:
    Peach sauce
    Peach leaves (flavoring)
    Peach kernels (substitute for almonds or bitter almonds, flavoring)
    Pickled peaches & Peach pickles (Cling or Free Stones)
    Preserved peaches
    Peaches for common use
    Brandy peaches
    Peach marmalade
    Peach jelly
    Dried peaches
    Peach leather
    Peach pie
    Peach custard
    Peach-water (flavoring)
    Peach filling (for jelly cake)
    Peach cordial
    Peach mangoes

    Related fruit? Apricots.

    Pears in syrup
    Food historians trace the practice of cooking pears in syrup to Ancient Rome and Greece. It continued to be favorite of Medieval cooks. This was an expensive dish, gracing the tables of the wealthy.

    "The flavor of cooked pears is often improved by the addition of, e.g., red wine, almonds or vanilla."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 590)

    The Romans ate pears, like apples, both raw and cooked. The less exquisite fruits were made into perry, or into pear vinegar...The Byzantines feasted on pears in jelly, pear preserves, pears cooked in wine or in ocxymel (a syrup of vinegar and honey). The Roman spread the cultivation of the pear."
    ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 637)

    "Pears in Greek-Wine Syrup. Pears in Syrup. Take pears and peel them thoroughly. Take good red wine and some mulberries [blackberries] or sandalwood, and put in the pears, and when they are done remove them. Make a syrup of Greek wine or vernage with white powder, or white sugar and powdered ginger, and put the pears in it. Boil briefly and serve...During this period, "vernage"--vernaccia in Italian--was produced in the southeastern Mediterrean, on the Tyrrhenian isalnds and in Liguria. Today it is one of the best known wines of Sardinia. It is made in sweet versions that can, like Tokay, attain 15 or 16 percent alcohol, and in dry versions. It is similar in flavor to sherry. This vernaccia should not be confused with Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a dry white wine made...of a different but identically named grape...Wild berries, early-season pears and good wine, all simmered together; then cook pears, translucent and glazed in sweet wine syrup, mounded in a pyramid: this is a lordly dessert. Bright red, amber and dark red merge as the fruit is glazed. Here hue is as important as aroma and flavor, and the blackberries are used more for their color than for their taste; indeed, the recipe offers the alternative of sandalweed, a common medieval "artificial" coloring."
    ---The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy, Odile Redon et al [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1998 (p. 213)
    [NOTE: This book contains a modernized recipe.]

    "Pears in Syrup.
    This paragraph on preparing pears in a honey syrup appears among a number of similar directions for fruits and vegetables in a "recipe" whose general theme is the preserving, or rather conserving, of these fruits and vegetables. The Menagier assimilates pears and turnips; except that turnips should be "peeled" and pears should not, he indicates an identical treatment for such. The variety of pear known in the Menagier's day as poires d'angoisse were probably rather hard when ripe, a good cooking pear. A few pages after writing this recipe, the author copies another one for pears cooked in a waterless pot--likely a clay baking pot similar to those available today. These pears he garnishes with fennel seeds cooked in red wine."
    ---Early French Cookery: Sources, History, Original Recipes and Modern Adaptations, D. Eleanor Scully and Terence Scully [University of Michigan Press:Ann Arbor MI] 1995. This scholarly work contains a wealth of information regarding the foods, recipes, and dining customs of Medieval France.(P. 291)
    [NOTES: (1) "The Menagier" is a 14th century French cookbook. (2)Scully's book contains both original recipe and modern adaptation of the recipe noted above.]


    Pepper
    Black (and white) pepper comes from the dried, unripe fruit of the Piper nigrum plant. It is a tropical plant, native to the East Indies. In ancient times, pepper was prized both as a medicine and food flavoring. Symbolically, pepper was a sign of wealth; practically, pepper was offered as payment and gifts. In early times, to receive a gift of pepper was a great honor. Pepper is also connected with some traditional Christmas foods dating back to Medieval times. Why? Cooks through time saved their most precious commodities for the holidays. Northern European pepperkor and peppernut cookies are of this tradition. Gingerbread and lebkuchen were also made with pepper in these early days.

    Black, white, green & pink pepper

    "Peppercorns come in three colours. Unripe, they are 'green'--and green peppercorns began to enjoy considerable popularity from the early 1970s, for the combination of heat, aroma, and soft crunchiness that they brought to sauces, terrines, etc. Picked slightly underripe, dried, and sold without their husks removed, they are 'black'. And fully ripe and dehusked they are 'white'. None of these, incidentally, should be confused with the so-called 'pink peppercorn', for which there was a brief fashion in the early 1980s; this superficially resembles the true peppercorn, but is in fact related to poison ivy."
    ---An A to Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 250)

    "Peppercorn--piper nigrum is a vine--native to the East Indies...The Greeks and Romans accepted peppercorns as a tribute, and the spice was certainly the basis for much of the "lure of the east" that impelled first the Portuguese and then other European explorers around Africa toard the fabled Spice Islands."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1832)
    [According to this source, pepper originated in prehistoric India.]

    "Pepper became known in classical Greece around 400 BC; it is first mentioned by the comic playwrights Antiphanes, Eubulus and Alexis and in a Hippocratic text. Dilphius of Siphnos, recommending pepper with scallops in the early third century BC, provdes the oldest positive evidence of the use of pepper as a condiment...Pepper was the quintessential spice of the Indian Ocean trade in Roman times. It was for pepper, more than any other single product, that Roman gold and silver coins were exported to India; pepper, when it reached Rome, was stockpiled as another kind of currency in the treasury an in the horrea piperatoria 'pepper warehouses' built by Domitian. But it was for use as well as for storing. For those who could afford this costly exotic, pepper is called for no fewer than 452 times in the recipes of Apicus."
    ---Fodo in the Ancietn World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 254-255)

    "As several Sanskrit texts show, the use of pepper by the peoples of India goes farther back than that of any other spice. The various forms of its name in the European languages, apart from Spanish...are from an Aryan vocable, pippeli, originating in the valley of the Ganges. The Aryans were the first exporters of wild pepper from the tropical forests of the Indian subcontinent. Unlike cinnamon and indeed all other spices, pepper was used in foods in Europe as soon as it was introduced, around the sixth or fifth century BC, although Hippocrates, the first European writer to describe it, mentions it as a medicament rather than a culinary ingredient...Like all spices, pepper was credited with health-giving properties,especially as a digestive, an aperient, to induce sneezing, and-most important of all-as an aphrodesiac. Its rapid rise to favour is unprecedented among spices. Pliny expresses his surprise at the fact six centuries later in Book XII of his Natural History; its only pleasing quality is its 'pungency', it is bought by weight like gold or silver'...The pepper the Romans like so much was 'long pepper', whereas we now use round pepper, which became popular in the twelfth century and had replaced long pepper by the fourteenth..."
    ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat [Barnes & Noble:New York] 1992 (p.491)

    "Pepper, more than any other spice, being stronger and more abundant than the others, came to be seen as a symbol of power and virility, quantities reflected in its powerful and aggressive flavour. The symbolic factor rated high, since in huge amounts, which could hardly all have been consumed, would have been bound to go stale. In the same way, pepper, described as a useful' rent or due, was included among the sources presented to overlords in the Middle Ages, but it was generally specified separately, as a true determinant of workd of the act of vassalage. A French proverb says that something is "cher comme poiver," expensive as pepper. Pepper was often mentioned in dowries and as part of ransoms and fines. These symbolical meanings meet in the pepper in the Christmas 'tax' imposed by Archbishops Bertrand and Rostaing de Noves."
    ---ibid (p. 493)

    "There are numerous references to pepper by classical authors. Pliny (1st Century AD) describes black pepper minutely, complaining about the price and noting that white pepper cost almost twice as much as black. Pepper was a precious and expensive substance for the Romans...By the Middle Ages, pepper had assumed great importance in Europe where it was used by the rich as a seasoning, and also a preservative...The earliest reference to the pepper trade in England is in the statutes of Ethelred (978-1016) where it was enacted that Esterlings' bringing their ships to Billingsgate should pay a toll at Christmas and at Easter plus 10lb of pepper. The first mention of the Guild of Pepperers, one of the oldest guilds in the City of London, is from 1180...Pepper has been one of the most important commodities of the spice trade. In Antwerp in the mid-16th century...the price of pepper served as a barometer for European business in general..."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 595)

    About pepper mills
    "Pepper mill...In the 1880s Americans, used to using pepper shakers at the table, seemed to find the French use of pepper mills a novel good idea, for flavor and to avoid adulterated packaged ground pepper. This was about 1880. Many styles of carved or turned hardwood mills were offered in the 1920s...Pepper mill, brass (sometimes copper & brass) cylinder with domed top, longish, slightly bent crank handle in top, very common form. Actually started out sometime in the early 19th C. As a coffee mill, from Persia/Turkey. Usually has decorative bands around part of body...At some point in the 20th C., people either started using them as pepper mills, or making similar ones for that use."
    ---300 Years of Kitchen Collectibles, Linda Campbell Franklin, 5th ed.[Krause Publications:Iola WI] (p. 92)

    Ground pepper in America:
    "Pepper was available in the United States in the colonial period, but it was only after the American Revolution that the United States became a player in the global pepper trade. This trade began in 1793 when Jonathan Carnes, a Salem, Massachusetts, sea captain, set sail for the East Indies. He was successful in finding pepper, but on his way home his ship was wrecked off Bermuda. He sailed to the Indies in 1795 on a new ship...and returned with his hold full of peppercorns--which he sold at a 700 percent profit. Others followed and Salem became the pepper port of note in the new United States...In the early nineteenth century some regarded pepper as a cause of insanity. Pepper in any case was shunned by food purists, who thought that the spice should be avoided or, at least, used in moderation. By the past-Civil War period, pepper was considered more acceptable, but it was still to be avoided by children or by those who already had a "sound digestion" and did not need condiments."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 254)

    About fresh ground pepper served in American restaurants
    Our survey of newspapers and magazines indicates the practice of offering freshly ground pepper (at table) to restaurant patrons began sometime in late 1980s. It climaxed in the mid-1990s. By the late '90s, it was *old.* We're not finding any particular chef/restaurant/culture/cuisine credited for this innovation. Indeed, print sources confirm offerings are all over the map...from upscale European restaurants to chain eateries catering to trendy youthful crowds.

    "Black, white and green peppercorns are readily available in the United States and are best purchased as whole peppercorns. Unfortunately, the most common way pepper is sold in this country is in the ground state. Whole peppercorns will stay fresh for a long time, but ground pepper quickly loses both its aroma and its flavor. Bottled ground white pepper can even start to taste rancid. Using fresh ground pepper is not just a fad started by smart restaurateurs who wanted to improve their salad presentations. Freshly ground pepper can mean the difference between an ordinary dish and an extraordinary one. When a recipe calls for freshly ground pepper, it means pepper ground from a mill by the cook as it is needed. And one of the easiest ways to improve your cooking is to buy whole peppercorns and a pepper mill."
    ---"Pepper Puts Dishes on More Flavorful Ground," JeanMarie Brownson, Chicago Tribune, Feb 22, 1987 (p. 18)

    "If fresh-gound pepper and grated cheese are offered at one table, we will be sure they are offered to all."
    ---"Today's Special: Advice for Restauranteurs," Patricia Brooks, New York Times, January 2, 1994 (p. CN12)

    "'Fresh ground pepper' I liked it better when there was just a simple pepper shaker on a table. Then someone came up with the idea of 'fresh ground pepper,' for which there seems to be only one pepper grinder in the entire restaurant. The waiter asks if we would like some as though we are being tempted with saffron or beluga caviar. Once the waiter starts grinding, I've been tempted not to tell him when to stop, just to see how far he would go. Give us either a pepper grinder for each table or give us back the shaker. Incidentally, a bit of semantics: What the waiters are really offering us is 'pepper that is freshly ground,' although we are not sure how fresh the pepper is that is being ground. It just doesn't seem worth the trouble."
    ---"Disappearing dishes and other pet peeves," Errol Laborde, New Orleans Magazine, September 1995, (p. 9)

    Additional information: Spice Encyclopedia & A Modern Herbal

    Recommended reading: Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices/Andrew Dalby


    Pickled limes
    Food historians tell us pickles (fruits and vegetables preserved in brine with spices) originated in India. Both limes and lemons were pickled whole. Culinary evidence confirms pickled limes (and lemons) were made by British cooks in the 18th century. These recipes were introduced to North America by English settlers. Early American cookbooks contain many recipes for pickles. Curiously? Very few contain recipes for pickled limes.

    Louisa May Alcott's Little Women suggests pickled limes were fashionable New England treats in the middle of the 19th century. Amy, the youngest March daughter, was quite fond of these. She did not make her own limes, but purchased them from a merchant. In one scene of the book Amy is caught eating these by her teacher. The teacher humiliates Amy by forcing her to throw her beloved limes out of the window, two by two. Passage from Little Women: Amy's Valley of Humiliation.

    Limes
    "Lime. An important citrus fruit which seems to have originated in the region of Malaysia. While lemons are the major acid citrus fruits in the subtropics, limes are the most prominent in the tropical regions...It is hard to judge when the lime was first taken into cultivation, since the oldest surviving documents do not distinguish it from the other citrus fruits. An Indian medical work of C. AD 100 refers to both lemon and lime as jambira. The later Arabic and Persian word, laimun and limun seem also to have been used for both; and most modern names for either come from this root. The lime seems not to have been known in classicat times. Although the westard path of the lime in early medieval times is hard to trace, it seems safe to assume that it was carried to Europe by the Arabs; that it was cultivated to some extent in Italy and Spain; and that, because it is better suited by a hotter climate, such is that, soon after the discovery of the New World by Europeans, the lime as introduced there along with other citrus fruits, and that limes quickly became abundant in the W. Indies and C. America, especially Mexico."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 453)

    "Like most of the other members of the citrus family, the lime (Citrus aurantiifolia) is native to Southeast Asia. It was first cultivated in China and India, then introduced in southern Europe (probably during the Crusades), and carried much later by the Spaniards to the West Indies. The original lime--small, round, and quite tart--is today called the "Mexican," "West Indian," or "Key" lime, with its juice deemed essential to Key lime pies. ..The lime and lemon industry of Florida (which provides close to 90 percent of the limes grown in North America) got its start in the 1880s, declined after freezes in the 1890s, and revived after World War I. Limes are very high in vitamin C and figured prominently in warding off scurvy, the dread disease of seamen from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. In the eighteenth century, the British navy issued lime juice to all seamen to keep the disease at bay--hence the nickname "limeys." ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas
    [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1802)

    Recipes through time

    [1747]
    "To pickel LEMONS.
    Take twelve Lemons, scape the with a Piece of broken Glass, then cut them cross in two, four Parts down right, but not quite through, but that they will hang together; then up in as much Salt as they will hold, and rub then well, and strew them over with Salt. Let them lay in an earthen Dish for three days, and turn them every Day; then slit an Ounce of Ginger very think and salted for three Days, twelve Cloves of Garlick parboiled, and satled three Day, a small Handful of Mustard-seeds bruised, and searched through a hair-sieve, some red India Pepper, one to every Lemon; take your Lemons out of the salt, and squeeze them very gently, and put them into a Jar, with the Spice and Ingredients, and cover them with the best White Wine Vinegar. Stop them up very close, and in a Month's time they will fit to eat."
    ---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 133)

    [1845]
    "To Pickle Lemons, and Limes. Excellent. Wipe eight fine sound lemons very clean, and make, at equal distances, four deep incisions in each, from the stalk to the blossom end, but without dividing the fruit; stuff them with as much salt as they will contain, lay them into a deep dish, and place them in a sunny window, or in some warm place for a week or ten days, keeping them often turned and basted with their own liquor; then rub them with some good plae turmeric, and put them with their juice, into a stone jar with a small head of garlic, divided into cloves and peeled, and a dozen small onions stuck with twice as many cloves. Boil in two quarts of white wine vinegar, half a pound of ginger slightly bruised, two oundes of whole black pepper, and half a pound of mustard-seed; take them from the fire and pour the directly on the lemons; cover the jar with a plate, and let them remain until the following day, then add to the pickle half a dozen capsicums (or a few chilies, if more convenient), and tie a skin and a fold of thick paper over the jar. Large lemons stuffed with salt, 8: 8 to 10 days. Tumeric, 1 to 2 oz; ginger, 1/2 lb; mustard-seed, 1/2 lb.; capsicums, 6 oz."
    ---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton, reprint of 1845 London edition with an introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Press:East Sussex 1993 (p. 445)

    [1861]
    Book of Household Management, Isabella Beeton (use your browser's "find" feature to locate pickled lemons)

    [1881]
    "Pickled Limes.--Make a brine strong enough to float an egg; stick your limes on two sides with a silver fork; then put them in the brine with a weight on the limes to keep them well under the brine; let them stand in a warm place for a week; they are then fit to eat. You can add some red peppers to the brine.--West India Woman"
    ---"Receipts," New York Times, August 7, 1881 (p. 9)

    [1981]
    "There are many recipes for pickled lemons and limes. In each you can substitute one for the other. The commonest recipes call for making slits in the fruit without cutting them through. You add salt, which dissolves as it stands. The lemons or limes are left to stand for a considerable period before serving. In India, where pickled lemons and limes--called achar--are served sweet or hot, various spices are added, including cumin, chili pods, mustard seeds, fenugreek and so on."
    ---"Q & A," New York Times, April 1, 1981 (p. C9)
    [NOTE: achar' simply means pickle, not pickled limes.]

    [2001]
    "PICKLED LEMONS
    4 thin-skinned lemons, scrubbed and quartered
    1/4 cup kosher salt
    Juice of 8 or 9 lemons
    In a 1-quart widemouth jar, combine the lemons and the salt. Add the lemon juice to cover the lemons by 1/2 inch. Cover and store at room temperature, shaking the jar twice a week, for two to three weeks. The lemons are ready when the rind is soft. Discard any skin that might develop on the surface of the jar. If you wish to speed up the pickling process, gently heat the quartered lemons before packing them in lemon juice and salt. To heat, arrange the lemon wedges in a single layer in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 30 seconds or until the lemons are warm to the touch. Pro ceed as directed above. The lemons will be ready in four to five days."
    ---"Internet site reveals recipe for Exotic Chicken," Geissler Janet, Lansing State Journal, April 9, 2001, Pg. 3D


    Pickled peppers
    Peter Piper picks a peck of pickled peppers in the famous tongue-twister. What exactly were these?

    Food historians tell us pickles, foods preserved in brine or vinegar, have been known since ancient times. Many foods are treated this way, including vegetables (cucumbers, cauliflowers, onions), fruits (limes, mangoes, watermelon rinds), and nuts (walnuts, butternuts) Recipes varied according to local ingredients and taste. Peppers are a "New World" food, introduced to Europe in about the 16th century.

    "Chili peppers, both the hot and sweet varieties, which came from South America, swept through the Far East and western Europe in the sixteenth century and became very popular in mixed pickles, their vivid colors brightening up those giant jars of vegetables one still sees displayed in shops and markets."
    ---Pickled, Potted, and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World, Sue Shepard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 97)

    Recipes for pickles are found in 17th and 18th century American and British cookbooks. Recipes for pickled peppers began appearing in the 19th century. As one might expect, there were several recipes. The level of "heat" was controlled by the number of seeds left in the pickle. Sample recipes here:

    [1824]
    "To Pickle Pepper.

    Gather the large bell pepper when quite young, leave the seeds in and the stem on, cut a slit in one side, between the large veins, to let the water in; pour boiling salt and water on, changing it every day or three weeks--you must keep them closely stopped; if, at the end of this time, they be a good green, put them in pots and cover them with cold vinegar and a little tumeric; those that are not sufficently green, must be continued under the same process till they are so. Be careful not to cut through the large veins, as the heat will instantly diffused itself through the pod."
    ---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randoph, originally published in 1824 , with Historical Notes and Commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 208-9)

    [1844]
    "472. Peppers.

    Take such as are fresh and green; cut a small slit in them; take the seeds out carefully and neatly with a small knife; and wash them. Pour weak boiling water brine over them, and let them stand four days, renewing the brine daily boiling hot. Chop cabbage fine; season it highly with cinnamon, mace and cloves; and stuff the peppers, adding nasturtiums if liked. Sew them up nicely; and turn the same sharp vinegar boiling hot over them, three successive weeks, adding a little alum the lsat. Tomatoes, if green and small, are good pickled with peppers."
    ---The Improved Housewife, Mrs. A. L. Webster [Richard H. Hobbs:Hartford CT: 1844 ] fifth edition, revised (p. 156)

    [1850]
    "Peppers.

    Pick the peppers late in the season, just before they begin to turn red; soak them ten days in a strong brine of salt and water; then, if they have a good green color, remove them from the brine to clear cold water, in which let them soak twenty-four hours; if they have not a good green color, they will get it by a scalding in the brine; drain them, and if you wish them very hot, pack them away whole in cold vinegar; if you wish them very mild, remove their seeds--scraping them out through a slit cut in the side of each pepper, and pack them in vinegar. They ought to be good pickles in eight weeks. You may, also, fill the pepper with red cabbage cut finely; they pour boiling vinegar over them,--when cool, pack them in jars, and they will keep for years."
    ---The Practical Cook Book, Mrs. Bliss [Lippincott, Grambo & Co.:Philadelphia] 1850 (p. 104-5)

    [1857]
    Bell-Peppbers Pickled.

    Take fine full-grown bell-peppers. Make a brine in a stone jar of salt and water, strong enough to float an egg; and let the peppers remian in it two days, putting a weight on the cover to keep it down. Then take them out, wash them well in cold water, drain them, and wipe them dry. Cut a slit in the side of each, and extract all the seeds, as if left in, they will be entirely too hot. Through these slits let all the water run out. Put them into a clean stone jar. Boil sufficient of the best cider vinegar, interspersed with the muslin bags of broken-up cinnamon, mace, and nutmeg. Pour it, boiling hot, on the peppers in the jar. Distribute the bags of spice among the peppers, and cork the jar warm. You may stuff the peppers in the manner of mangoes, with pickled red cabbage finely shred, minced onions and minced uccumbers pickled, and seasoned with a little mustard seed, ginger, and mace. Tie up the slit with pack-thread, crossing all round. Fill upt the jars with vinegar, putting sweeet oil on the top. Your mary green bell-peppers in the usual way, with vine leaves or cabbage leaves. All pickles should be kept in a dry place. If you find them mouldy they are not always spoiled. Take them out of the jar, wipe off all the mould carefully, and throw away the vinegar. Wash the jar very clean, scald it, and set it in the sun to purify still more. Make a new pickle with fresh seasoning, and put them into that."
    ---Miss Leslie's New Cookery Book, Eliza Leslie [T.B. Peterson:Philadelphia] 1857 (p. 574)

    [1859]
    "Peppers.

    Take fresh, hard peppers, soak them in salt and water nine days, changing the brine each day. Let them stand in a warm place. Then put them into cold vinegar. If you wish them very hot, leave in the seeds. If not, take out the seeds of the greatest part of them. If peppers are put into the same jar with cucumbers, the entire strength of them will go into the cucumbers, and they themselves will become nearly tasteless. Half a dozen peppers will improve a jar of cucumbers."
    ---The Young Housekeeper's Friend, Mrs. Cornelius [Taggard and Thompson:Boston] 1859 (p. 182)

    [1877]
    "Pickled Peppers.

    Take large green ones (the best variety is the sweet pepper). Make a small incision at the side, take out all the seeds, being careful not to mangle the peppers; soak in salt water one or two days, changing water twice; stuff with chopped cabbage, or tomatoes seasoned with spices as for moangoes (omitting the cayenne pepper), or a mixture of nasturtions, chopped onlins, red cabbage, grapes, and cucumbers, seasoned with mustard-seed and a little mace. Sew up incision, place in jar, and cover with cold spiced vinegar."
    ---Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, Estelle Woods Wilcox, originally published 1877 Minneapolis MN [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] 2000(p. 230)

    [1894]
    "Capsicums, Pickled.

    These may be pickled either green or red. They are finest and ripest in the late autumn. It is best to gather the pods with the stalks before they are red, as the rule. Required: capsicums and vinegar to cover them, and a teaspoonful of salt and half an ounce of mace to every quart of vinegar. The vinegar and spice and salt should be poiled together, then pour while hot over the capsicums. They must be tied down with a bladder when cold, and should remain for six weeks before they are untied, as they improve by keeping."
    ---Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book, Lizzie Heritage [Cassell and Company:London] 1894 (p. 1156)

    A "peck," by the way, is a British unit of dry measure. It equals approximately two gallons.

    Related dishes? Chiles rellenos & American Mangos.


    Pickles
    What is a pickle?
    This simple question does not have a simple answer. It all depends upon how you define the word "pickle." Food historians trace the process of pickling (preserving foods in salt/brine or vinegar) back to Ancient Egypt. These peoples were known to have pickled fish and melons. If you mean the pickling of cucumbers (what we Americans usually call pickles today) that practice perhaps dates back to India, about 3,000 years ago. Some food historians say William Beukelz, a Dutch fisherman invented pickled foods in the 15th century. Dill pickles were introduced by German immigrants. Sweet pickles come from Central and northern Europe. Bread & butter pickles are an early 20th century development. Today we have Kool-Aid pickles. In addition to traditional cucumbers, a variety edibles may be pickled. Think: Pickled limes, pickled peaches, pickled eggs, pickled peppers & pickled fish. What else can be pickled?

    When did humans begin pickling food & why?
    "We know from Herodotus that in the fifth century B.C. the Babylonians and Egyptians pickled fish such as sturgeon, salmon, and catfish, as well as poultry and geese. (p. 76)...Salt's dehydrating properties could...be applied to almost any food...In the hot southern regions of the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa, fresh vine leaves were parboiled and preserved in jars of brine to make stuffed vine-leaf dishes such as dolma...(p. 93)...Although the word "pickle" is used in many different preserving methods, preserving foods in container filled with vinegar is always known as "pickling."
    ---Pickled, Potted and Canned, Sue Shepard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 95)

    "The use of vinegar as a preservative of edibles is very ancient in China and was still common in T'ang times. Vinegar was concocted from a variety of substances, among them rice, wheat, peaches, and grape juice...Sometimes it flavor was enhanced by the addition of such substances as the acidic leaves of the kumquat of south China...This was combined with brine to make the preservative...It was used in T'ang and Sung times for preserving duck eggs, which it turned dark in color. But the most characteristic and traditional Chinese methods of preserving both vegetables and meats involved pickling by such processes as fermentation, hydrolysis, and induced decomposition...A very typical species of pickle was called chiang, which has been aptly translated 'bean-pickle.' ...Pickled vegetables, fermented by microorganisms that thrive on the lactic acid in plant juices, were called tsu...Varieties appear to have been diverse and numerous...The word hai was used in T'angtimes for a very important class of pickled products, which I shall call meat-pickle...The Hsin T'ang shu...gives prominence to deer meat-pickle, rabbit meat-pickle, goat (or sheep) meat-pickle, and fish meat-pickle in the court cuisine."
    ---Food in Chinese Culture: Anthroplogical and Historical Perspectives, edited by K. C. Chang [Yale University Press:New Haven CT] 1977 (p. 113-115)
    [NOTE: Additional information on specific Chinese pickles may be found in Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry/Frederick J. Simoons.]

    "A Kannada work of AD 1594, the Lingapurana of Gurulinga Desika, describes no less than fifty kinds of pickles. By far the most important material for pickling is raw mangoes (whole baby fruit, wild mangoes, cut slices, or the hard fibrous avakkai). Others are limes, lemons, small onions, brinjals, chillies, karaunda berries, pork wild boar, prawns and fish...In current practice, it is customary to make use of the fire to make a pickle. Thus mustard seeds may first be fried in the oil of choice; then the mango or lime pieces dressed with tumeric and salt are put in and fried till tender, after which powdered spices (chillies, methi seeds, asafoetida) are added, and the mass mixed thoroughly and put by to mature. There are of course numerous variations."
    ---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 186)

    Besides cucumbers, what can be pickled?
    Historic English and USA cookbooks provide extensive instructions for pickling a wide variety of edibles. Fruits, vegetables, flowers, nuts, meats, fish and shellfish could all be pickled, thus extending their "shelf life." Most cookbooks offer a section specifically titled "Pickles." Catsups and mixed compositions (chow-chow) are sometimes also included. Instructions for pickling meats (ham, bacon, pork) and fish are generally included with the meat recipes, not in the pickle chapter. By World War II, the word "pickle" by itself generally implies cucumbers. FoodTimeline library owns the books listed below. If you want any of these recipes please
    let us know.

    [1682]
    Cowcumbers [cucumbers], mushrooms, tops of elder, elder bnuds, clove-gilly-flowers, pursland stalks, artichokes, tops of turnips, green figgs, barbarries red, sampier green, stalks of thessel or sherdowns, reddish tops, taragon, cowslips, fennel, dill, red cabbage, burdock roots, lemmon and orange pill [peel], ashen keys, curled endive, charnel, quinces, bramble-fruit, broom-buds, bog-berries, grapes, red and white currans, cabbage stalks, shampinnions, sleep-at-noon, march-mallows, alexander-buts, mallagatoons.
    ---The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected, William Rabisha, facsimile 1682 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 2003 (p. 9-10)

    [1792]
    Walnuts (green, white, black), gerkins, large cucumbers in slices, asparagus, peaches, radish pods, french beans, cauliflowers, beet-root, white plums, onions, lemons, mushrooms (white & brown), codlings, fennel, grapes, barberries, red cabbage, golden pippins, nastertium berries and limes, young artichokes, artichoke bottoms, samphire, melon mangoes, elder shoots in the imitation of bamboo, Indian pickle, or picca lillo [piccallilli], red currants, ox palates, cocks combs, purple cabbage, salmon, sturgeon, mackrel called caveach, mock anchovies, smelts, oysters, cockles or muscles.
    ---New Art of Cookery According to the Present Practice, Richard Briggs [W. Spotswood, R. Campbell, and B. Johnson:Philadelphia PA] 1792 (p. XV)

    [1875]
    Artichokes, red cabbage, white cabbage, capsiiums (aka peppers) red, yellow, and green, cauliflower, chillies, cucumbers, french beans, garlic, gherkins, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, melons, mushrooms, nasturiums, onions, radish pods, samphire, shallots, tomatoes, walnuts, barberries, beetroot, brocoli, cauliflower, cherries, cranberries, fennel, grapes, lemons, limes, mangoes, oranges, roots.
    ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 547)

    [1899]
    Red cabbage, catsup (mushroom, tomato), celery sauce, chili sauce, chow-chow, cucumber (sweet, yellow sweet, yellow mustard), gherkins, Indian relish, onions, peppers (red, green), piccalilli, dill pickles (aka salt pickles), nasturtium seed, sauerkraut, tomato (green & sliced with onions).
    ---Preserving and Pikcling, Gesine Lemcke [D. Appleton and Company:New York] 1899 (p. 114)

    [1913]
    Tomato butter, crab apple catsup, grape catusp, tomato catsup, mustard catsup, chow-chow, chutney, tomato chutney, Bengal chutney, spiced currants, spiced grapes, lemons, mustard dressing, tomato mustard, crab apples, mushrooms, peaches, yellow, French, mustard, sweet tomatoes, green cucumbers, cherry, India, lemon, chili sauce, chili with celery sauce, celery sauce, tomato sauce, tomato soy.
    ---American Home Cook Book, Grace E. Denison [Barse & Hopkins:New York] 1913 (p. 534)

    [1936]
    Beets, beets and caviar, crab apples, ginger watermelon, onions, peaches, dill, garlic, sour sweet, mustard, olive oil, onions, green tomato, uncooked spiced cabbage, watermelon, yellow cucumber.
    ---Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer [Bobbs-Merrill Company:Indianapolis IN] 1936 (p. 613-614)

    [1944]
    Pickles (brined, spour, sweet), chili sauce, corn relish, cucumber onion and pepper relish, curry-cucumber pickles, dill pickles, dixie relish, fruit chili relish, green and red pepper relish, green-timato and onion pickles, mixed mustard pickles, raw-carrot relish, sliced cucumber pickles, sweet pickle slices, sweet tomato pickle.
    ---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, 7th edition completely revised [Farrar & Rinehart:New York] 1942, 1944 (p. 536-542)

    [1953]
    Florence Brobeck's Old-Time Pickling and Spicing Recipes [M. Barrows and Company:New York] 126pps. offers dozens of recipes grouped in these chapters: Butters, Catsups, Chutneys, Brandied Fruits, Mincemats, Pickles of all kinds, Pickled and Spiced Fruits, Pickled and Spiced Vegetables, Relishes, Quick Relishes, Sauces and Vinegars.

    Sweet pickles
    "The noun "pickle" applies to that which pickles as well as to that which gets pickled; hence, a sweet pickle is both a fruit or vegetable that has been preserved in a sugary solution and the sugary solution in which the fruit or vegetable has been preserved...In the United States, pickles are primarily the products of central European tradition...American Indians themselves produced a maple-sap vinegar to preserve game in preparation for the winter. Still, the story of American pikcles does not really take shape until the searly eighteenth century, with the arrival of the Pennsylvania Dutch...Pennsylvania Dutch cookery fairly rests on the notion of the seven sweets and seven sours thought requisite for any feast; sweet pickles made from small cucumbers, particulalry gerkins, are just one of many options--but the one Americans have collectively chose to adopt and to adapt...There are...numerous variations on the sweet pickle theme...Pickled fruits (including strawberries, grapes, and even watermelon rinds) may be less relevant in the twenty-first century than they were in the nineteenth when home canning and preserving was the norm."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 267)
    [NOTE: This book contains a wealth of information on American pickles. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]

    Pickles, The Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [Philadelphia:1911]

    Americans have historically been pickling a variety of fruits and vegetables. A sampler of popular 19th century recipes:

    Dill pickles
    Dill is indicative of Northern European/Jewish culinary contributions. In documented USA terms, this means late 19th century:
    1885, Newspaper ad "Late Arrivals, German Dill Pickles..."---Galveston Daily News, September 6, 1885, (p. 3)
    19th-early 20th century
    recipes (search recipe title dill pickle)

    About dill
    "Dill. This herb (Anethum graveolens), a member of the parsley family and more aromatic than fennel (a relative), has been pronounced native to central Asia and to southeastern Europe. The name, however, comes from the Norse word dilla, meaning "lull," apparently because the seeds were believed to be good for insomnia. Confusion over the plant's origin is probably inevitable because it grows wild in most temperate regions. The ancient Greeks used dill as a remedy for hiccups as well as for culinary purposes, and it has been a part of Mediterranean cuisines ever since. The Romans credited the plant with fortifying qualities and made certain that gladiators were well fortified with it. As their empire receded, dill remained behind to become seminaturalized in much of northern Europe, although it has to be cultivated in the Scandinavian countries. Today, both dill seed and dill weed are used as seasonings. The aromatic seed heads flavor pickles...sauces, and other foods such as fish, cheeses, and yoghurt. The feathery green leaves (dill weed) have a wonderful aroma when fresh and taste milder than the seeds. The fresh leaves go well in potato and tuna salads. Dried, the leaves lose all their aroma and most of their taste."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas, Volume Two [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000 (p. 1768-9)

    "Dill is the quintessential northern European herb; its feathery green fronds dot the grey fishmarkets of Sweden, Finland, etc., bearing witness to its symbiosis with fish in Scandinavian cookery. Its name is appropriately Germanic, too: it comes from a hypothetical West Germanic word *diljo, and is found throughout the Germanic languages...It found its way early to North America, and has established a particular niches there as the key ingredient of dill pickles."
    ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 110)

    "Dill, culinary herb native to the eastern Mediterranean. Texts suggest its use in wreaths and other ritual and sensual contexts more frequently than its incorporation in cooked dishes; the recipes of Apicius, however, call for dill about forty times. it is usually the fresh leaf that is meant, though the seed was also used in cooking. Dill seed is found by archaeobotanists in Roman contexts indicating food use...As an element in the diet dill was regarded as a diuretic and very 'hot'. Dioscorides gives instructions for the making of dill oil, to be used as an ointment."
    ---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 117)

    Bread & Butter pickles
    We're finding not one, but two possible explanations for the name "bread and butter pickles." The first relates to the practical allusion to "bread and butter" in the sense of paying one's bills. The second suggests the name deployed from Victorian practice of combining bread and butter sandwiches with pickles. Neither explanation (to us, anyway) appears sufficient.

    The naming theories:
    (1) "Q. This year my garden yielded more than 350 pounds of cucumbers, so I spent many days producing pickles, mostly bread-and- butter pickles. What is the origin of that name?

    A.I have been told that the term came about because some home chef made a preparation of sliced cucumbers with vinegar, turmeric, mustard seeds, sliced onion and sugar and sold the bottled pickle slices at a roadside stand. The income they produced was pronounced 'bread and butter' - the earnings for the summer. In the dictionaries bread-and-butter means staple as opposed to fancy and basic or commonplace; the term has a long history in the meaning 'taken as a type of everyday food.'"
    ---"Q&A," The New York Times, January 11, 1984, Section C; Page 14

    (2) "A CHRISTMAS BEGINNING, By Anne Perry, Ballantine. 190 pp. $17.95 For those unfamiliar with this author, Anne Perry has written nearly 60 books, mostly detective fiction, mostly set in either Victorian England or the bleaker England of World War I...She includes old-time recipes such as "bread and butter pickles" and tells us the origin of that condiment's name: Victorian children used to be given slices of bread fried in drippings topped by a pickle."
    ---"Death Doesn't Take a Holiday," Carolyn See, The Washington Post, December 21, 2007, Pg. C07

    The earliest print reference we found in American newspapers for commercially marketed "Bread & butter pickles" was this ad published in the Chicago Daily Tribune, June 5, 1925 (p. 14): "Bread and butter pickles, doz., $4.65; jar, 39 cents." Later newspaper ads refer to Fannig's brand Bread and butter pickles. According to the records of the US Patent & Trademark Office Fannig's brand was introduced to the American public in 1923:

    "Word Mark FANNING'S BREAD AND BUTTER PICKLES Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 029. US 046. G & S: PICKLES Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS Design Search Code 26.03.02 - Ovals, plain single line; Plain single line ovals 26.11.07 - Rectangles with a decorative border, including scalloped, ruffled and zig-zag edges 26.11.25 - Rectangles with one or more curved sides Serial Number 71186224 Filing Date September 26, 1923 Current Filing Basis UNKNOWN Original Filing Basis UNKNOWN Registration Number 0181107 Registration Date March 11, 1924 Owner (LAST LISTED OWNER) CPC INTERNATIONAL INC. UNKNOWN ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS NJ Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL Affidavit Text SECT 12C. Live/Dead Indicator DEAD"

    Peach pickles
    Recipes for
    peach pickles appear in many 19th-early 20th century American cookbooks. Foodways experts confirm these are favorites in places where peaches are grown, most notably the southern, Appalachian and southwestern states. "Pickles" were a way to preserve food for later use. Cookbooks confirm there were two kinds of peach pickles: regular, made with brine and sweet, made with vinegar. Both recipes also use a variety of spices from sweet (cinnamon) to tangy (mustard). Names of these recipes can vary.

    Peach pickle recipes through time

    [1747]
    "To pickle Peaches.

    Take your Peaches when they are at the full Growth, just before they turn to be ripe; be sure they are not bruised; then take Spring-water, as much as you think will cover them; make it soft enough to bear an Egg, with bay and common Salt, and equal Quantity of each; then put in your Peaches, and lay a thick Board over them, to keep them very carefulfly with a fine soft Cloth, and lay them in you Glass or Jar; then take as much White Wine Vinegar, as will fill your Glass or Jar: To every Gallon, up one Pint of the best well-made Mustard, two or three Heads of Garlick, a good deal of Ginger sliced, half an Ounce of Cloves, mace, and Nutmegs; mix your pickle well toghether, and pour over your Peaches. Tie them close with a Bladder and Leather, they will be fit to eat in two Months. You may with a fine Penknife cut the a-cross, take out the Stone, and fill them with made Mustard and Garlic, and Hourse-reddish and Ginger; tye them together."
    ---The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile of the first edition, 1747, [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 132)

    [1839]
    "Peaches.

    For pickling, select large plum peaches that are ripe, but not the least soft. Wipe off the fuzz with a cloth, put them in a strong salt water, and let them stand for ten days; then soak them in fresh water two or three days, to draw out the salt, shifting the water every day. Put them in a jar, strewing between each layer a small handful of sugar, a few cloves, and a little powdered cinnamon, and cover them with the best vinegar, Firm clingstone peaches may be kept a year or two in strong brine, as directed for cucumbers, and pickled in the same manner. They look very pretty when pared, and colored pink with beet juice or chochineal."

    "Peach Mangoes. Take fine large freestone peaches, that are ripe, and rather farinaceous; split them open, extract the stones, and fill them with equal portions of cloves, cinnamon and whole msutard seeds. Tie them together again with twine, put them in a jar, disseminating between each layer some sugar, whole mustard seeds, slips of lemon peel, and cloves; cover them with good vinegar that is colored pink with cochineal, and cork the jar securely."
    ---The Kentucky Housewife, Lettice Bryan, facsimile 1839 edition [Image Graphics:Paducah KY] (p. 184-5)

    [1877]
    Peach pickles
    , Buckeye Cookery [Minneapolis, MN]

    [1897]
    "Sweet pickle peaches--No. 1

    1 pound peaches (clingstone are best)
    1/2 tablespoonful mace,
    3/4 pound brown sugar,
    1 tablespoonful cloves,
    1/2 pint water,
    1 pint good vinegar.
    Make the sugar and water into a syrup; put in the spices; when it boils, put in peaches and cook until the peaches can be pierced with a straw. Remove the peaches, and add the vinegar, and cook for ten or twelve minutes longer and pour over the peafches. Put into an earthen jar, and be sure it is covered so that all air is exlcuded."
    ---The Warm Springs Receipt-Book, E.T. Glover [B.F. Johnson Publishing Co.:Richmond VA] 1897 (p. 376)

    Kool Aid pickles?
    Pickles can be curious things. On the most basic level, almost any fruit or vegetable can be *pickled*. The primary purpose of the pickling process is preservation. This accounts for the standard brine, vinegar and sugar concoctions. Color alteration is nothing new. Eggs pickled with a splash of beet juice produce quite the colorful result. Kool-aid pickles appear to be a brand new twist on a very old theme. Notes here:

    "It's the yin and yang of the condiment world. A blending of color and flavor that almost defies description. Almost. It is called the Kool-Aid Pickle and, really, that describes it perfectly. I know the look on your face right now (it's not pretty, by the way), because I saw it on my wife when I announced that I was going to make up a batch of Kool-Aid Pickles. The fact that she had no idea what a Kool-Aid Pickle was in no way diminished her reaction. "I don't even like pickles. I'm not trying it; it sounds horrible," she said. "You like sweet and sour pork," I replied in something of a non sequitur. "OK, I'll try it. But only one bite."... The first time I ever heard of a Kool-Aid Pickle was in a Page Three article in this newspaper a few weeks ago. It was relaying a story that ran in the New York Times and was picked up by media outlets around the world. The recipe apparently has its origins in the region around the Mississippi Delta but, thanks to the New York Times and the Internet, it is spreading to other parts of the country (and the world), including my house. It may be giving it more credit than it deserves to call it a recipe. To create a Kool-Aid Pickle, you simply marinate dill pickles in your favorite flavor of Kool-Aid — Tropical Punch seems to be the preferred variety. The recipe I followed said I should pour out the brine from a jar of dill pickles, replace it with the Kool-Aid, then let it soak for a few days. Judging by what I saw on the Internet, other people totally submerge the pickles in what appears to be a bucket of the drink mix."
    ---"Kool-Aid livens up family pickle jar," Ventura County Star (California), May 31, 2007, Community section (no page provided)

    Here is the original New York Times article:
    "A gallon jar of pickles sits near the register at Lee's Washerette and Food Market, a mustard-colored cinder-block bunker on the western fringe of this Mississippi Delta town. Those pickles were once mere dills. They were once green. Their exteriors remain pebbly, a reminder that long ago they began their lives on a farm, on the ground, as cucumbers. But they now have an arresting color that combines green and garnet, and a bracing sour-sweet taste that they owe to a long marinade in cherry or tropical fruit or strawberry Kool-Aid. Kool-Aid pickles violate tradition, maybe even propriety. Depending on your palate and perspective, they are either the worst thing to happen to pickles since plastic brining barrels or a brave new taste sensation to be celebrated. The pickles have been spotted as far afield as Dallas and St. Louis, but their cult is thickest in the Delta region, among the black majority population. In the Delta, where they fetch between 50 cents and a dollar, Kool-Aid pickles have earned valued space next to such beloved snacks as pickled eggs and pigs' feet at community fairs, convenience stores and filling stations. And as their appeal has widened, some people have seen a good business opportunity. Even the lawyers have gotten involved. Children are the primary consumers, but a recent trip through the region revealed that the market for Kool-Aid pickles is maturing...Billie Williams, 56, a special-education teacher at Carver Elementary, never saw one when she was a child. But she did eat dill pickles impaled on peppermint sticks, and she remembers how friends sucked the juice from cut lemons through peppermint sticks repurposed as straws. ''That's the same kind of taste,'' she said. ''Same as how they used to dip pickle spears in dry Kool-Aid mix for that pucker.'' The school sells Kool-Aid pickles from the popular red flavor family at its fund-raisers. ''They're easy to make a gallon,'' Ms. Williams said. ''You pull the pickles from the jar, cut them in halves, make double-strength Kool-Aid, add a pound of sugar, shake and let it sit --best in the refrigerator -- for about a week. The taste takes to anything. A while back I made a mistake and bought a jar of pickle chips instead of halves or wholes. Came out fine. This whole Kool-Aid pickle thing is going so good, you wonder why somebody hasn't put a patent on them.'' No patent application has been filed, but the name Kool-Aid is a trademark owned by Kraft Foods. Upon learning of the pickles, Bridget MacConnell, a senior manager of corporate affairs at Kraft, recovered, and then pronounced, ''We endorse our consumers' finding innovative ways to use our products.''...At the Stephensville Mini-Mart, set amid the cotton fields and catfish ponds between Shaw and Indianola, the owner, Hugh Davis, began stocking Kool-Aid pickles earlier this year at the behest of local children. ''They're not for me,'' said Mr. Davis, 66. ''It's the kids who've done it. They'll create a line of food for you; they'll dab a little something here and there and make it their own. They're good at inventing.'' Recently, some Delta grocers began selling jars of ready-made pickles. And entrepreneurs are emerging. At Lambard's Wholesale Meats in Cleveland, Allen Williams sells plastic gallon jugs of Best Maid dills, plastered with the Kool-Aid packs that denote the flavor within. (Mr. Williams declined to reveal who actually makes his Kool-Aid pickles.)"
    ---"A Sweet So Sour: Kool-Aid Dills," John T. Edge, The New York Times, May 9, 2007 (p. F1)

    About cucumbers:
    "Cucumbers are generally believed to have originated in India...they have been cultivated throughout western Asia for at least 3, 000 years. From India, the cucumber srpead to Greece and Italy-where the crop was significant in the Roman Empire-and slightly later to China and southern Russia. In Classical Rome, Pliny reported greenhouse production of cucumbers by the first century, and the Emporer Tiberious was said to have had them at his table throughout the year. Cucumbers probably were diffused into the rest of Europe by the Romans and later throughout the New World via colonialism an indigenous trade networks."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas, volume 1 [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000 (p. 305)

    "The Curcurbitacae are spread all over the world with different genera originating in different places and there is a great deal of confusion as to which ones were known to the Greeks and Romans, the translators of whos works refer to them as melons, pupkins, marrows, gourds, but offer few clues as to what these really were...Calabashes were found in Twelfth-Dynasty Egyptian tombs, and their use as bottles or containers for both wine and toilet waters was known to early Greek and Roman writers incuding Theophrastus and Pliny, who says that both the flesh and the stalk were eaten, and that in order to reach the flesh the rind had first to be scraped off. Calabashes could also be preserved in brine like cucumbers..."
    ---Food in Antiquity, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell, expanded edition [Johns Hopkins University Press:Baltimore] 1998 (p. 125-6)
    [NOTE: this book has much more information on your topic...too much to paraphrase. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]

    "It is often said that the cucumber is the kischschium, one of the fruits of Egypt regretted by the Israelites in the desert. However, I do not find any Arabic name among the three given by Forskal which can be connected with this, and hitherto no trace has been found to the presence of the cucumber in ancient Egypt."
    ---Origin of Cultivated Plants, Alphonse De Candolle [Hafner:New York] 1959 (p. 266)

    "Cucumber. Three species of "cucumber" are mentioned in the Bible and in rabbinic literature: kishu'im, pakku'ot and the yerokat (or yerikat) ha-hamor. (1) Kishu'im: only the plural form occurs in the Bible, but the singular, kishut, occurs in rabinnic literature. The reference is to the chate cucumber. (Cucumuis melo, var. Chate) which appears frequently in pictures from ancient Egypt. It was an important crop and a favorite food there which explains the yearning of the Children of Israel for them during their sojourn in the wilderness."
    ---Encyclopedia Judaica, volume 5 [MacMillan:New York] 1971 (p. 1151)

    About watermelons
    "Archaeological data suggests that they [watermelons] were cultivated in ancient Egypt more than 5,000 years ago, where representations of watermelons appeared on wall paintings and watermelon seeds and leaves were deposited in Egyptian tombs."
    ---Kiple & Orneals, (p. 306)

    "The ancient Egyptians cultivated the water-melon, which is represented in their paintings. This is one reason for believeing that the Israelites knew the species, and called it abbatatchim, as is said; but besides the Arabic name, battich, gatteca, evidently derived form the Hebrew, is the modern for the water-melon.
    ---De Candolle (p. 263)

    So...did Cleopatra eat cucumbers or not?
    The confusion surrounding the history of cucumbers and pickles is the result of conflicting linguistic and archaelogical evidence. Food historians generally agree that some members of the cucurbit family (including melons, watermelons, cucumbers etc.) originated in India approximately 3000 years ago. There is solid evidence that Egyptians ate watermelons. They were also known to have preserved food by pickling (salt, not vinegar.) If Cleopatra ate pickles they were most likely watermelons soaked in brine rather than the spicy cucumber/vinegar mix we know today.


    Plasmon
    Our survey of historic newspapers reveals Plasmon brand food products [UK] were introduced in the early 20th century. Originally marketed as a "health" food for invalids and children, the base product was a granulated powder composed of "albumen of pure fresh milk." This flavor-free nutritional supplement was promoted to consumers as both sprinkle-on enhancement and cooking ingredient. Before long, the Plasmon product line encompassed a variety of products: tea, cocoa, chocolate and biscuits. Plasmon Biscuits were mass produced and sold in the UK, USA, and UK-affiliated countries. They were also sold to the military for rations. Ernest Schackleton's Antarctic Nimrod Expeditions (1907-1909) munched Plasmon Biscuits. Plasmon was also incorporated into popular recipes.

    What was Plasmon?
    "Plasmon is the albumen of pure fresh milk in the form of a dry, soluble, granulated ream white powder."
    ---Plasmon Cookery Book, International Plasmon Ltd. [London] 1904 (p. 9)

    [1900]
    "Plasmon Biscuits.--Plasmon is nothing but the dry concentrated albumen of milk, and it is said that a few plasmon biscuits will keep a soldier well nourished for days. It is used in the German army, and the scientist, Professor Virchow, says that it is unrivalled. 'The new nutriment' has solved the problem of feeding armies in the field; it has solved the 'starving school-children' question, for a slice of plasmon bread--cheap as ordinary bread--with a little butter will supply a child with the nourishment of an ample meal; and, farther, it has solved many of the problems of the hospital, for it gives nourishment without raising the temperature in enteric cases to important. This magic food appears in all sorts of forms, and the plasmon powder is said to be a sovereign remedy for indigestion."
    ---"Plasmon Biscuits," The Church Weekly [London UK] July 13, 1900 (p. 556)

    [1903]
    "Who says nourishment? Plasmon. Real nourishment. Gives health, strength, endurance. Plasmon is real nourishment, Plasmon is the nutritive element of pure fresh milk. All foods contain some nourishment, but not sufficient. That's why you have to eat large quantities, and so ruin your digestion and your health. Plasmon added to food increase the nourishment enormously. One teaspoonful of Plasmon added to your breakfast and one to your dinner is sufficient. The cost 5 Cents A Day. For five cents a day you ensure long life in health and strength. Cook Plasmon in your ordinary food. In packages 15 cents, 30 cents and 50 cents. At grocers' and druggists'. Full directions on every package. Plasmon Co. of America, 116 Broad Street N.Y. City. Factory: Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.."
    ---display ad, New York Times, August 13, 1903 (p. 6)

    [1904]
    The company produced the
    Plasmon Cookery Book in 1902-1904. [FT Library owns the 1904 edition. Happy to scan/supply recipes upon request.]

    [1905]
    "Contractors to H.M. Government, Plasmon...Plasmon tea, Plasmon arrowroot, Creamy Plasmon oats, Dainty Plasmon biscuits, Delicious Plasmon Cocoa, Nourishing beef Plasmon, Plasmon luncheon packets, Sustaining Plasmon chocolate...Aids Digestion, Braces the Nerves, Invigorates the System."
    ---display ad, Black & White--supplement [London] March 11, 1905 (p. 356) [NOTE: The ad indicates this product combats diabetes, gout, indigestion & rheumatism.]

    [1909]
    "Plasmon is an unequalled Phosphatic Nerve and Brain Food Containing The Organic Salts and Phosphorus of Milk in a natural state of combination and in a greater degree than any other milk product. Plasmon contains a natural sufficiency of organic phosphorus without the need of artificial addition of phosphates. Plasmon added to food increased the nutritive value enormously--Lancet...Of all chemists, grocers and stores...Plasmon Lts. of Farrington Street, London, Eng."
    ---display ad, The Times of India, August 18, 1909 (p. 8)

    [1910]
    "Plasmon--the Food. 'Plasmon contains nearly four times as much proteid as fresh butcher's meat and nearly 20 times as much as pure fresh milk.'--Medical Press and Circular...'We used Plasmon preparation continually during the National Antarctic Expedition, and one of our sleighing parties practically lived on Plasmon'--Commander E.H. Shackleton, R.N....'Three years ago my wife could not take anything till Dr.--- advised me to get her Plasmon Food. Cocoa and Biscuits, and she simply lived on them for months. She is now better than she has ever been.'--Mr.---Plasmon is used by the Royal Family. Plasmon, Plasmon Cocoa, Plasmon Chocolate, and Plamson Biscuits...Plasmon Ltd. London."
    ---display ad, Times of India, August 31, 1910 (p. 8)

    [1911]
    "Plasmon: a yellowish powder obtained by treatment of the curd of skimmed milk. It contains about 75% protein and is used principally in special dietaries for invalids."
    ---The Grocers Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [National Grocer:New York] 1911 (p. 488)

    [2013]
    According to the records of the UK Intellectual Property Office, Plasmon brand foods are still in production [Trade Mark 279405]. The current brand holder is Heinz Italia SpA. We have no way to tell how the current biscuits compare with those made in the early 20th century.

    Related foods? Powdered milk & infant formula.


    Pomegranates
    "The pomegranate tree...is an ancient tree native to the Middle East (probably Iran). Along with olives, figs, dates, and grapes, the pomegranate was (some 5,000 to 6,000 or more years ago) among the first fruits to be cultivated. Because pomegranates are hardy and easily transported, they were widely known in early times, even in regions where they could not be grown. From Mesopotamia, the pomegranate spread out to be cultivated in ancient Egypt, India, Afghanistan, and China, and reached Europe at a very early date. The fruit became important in ancient Greek mythology and was mentioned in early literature, including the Bible...The name "pomegranate" translates literally as "apple with many seeds."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2001, Volume 2 (p. 1837-8)

    "Pomegranate, Punica granatum, the fruit of a small tree which is native to Iran and still grows wild there. The trees are small; evergreen of deciduous according to climate; and very long lived. The seed is distributed by birds which eat the fruit. The pomegranate was well known in ancient Egypt. The Israelites in the desert regretted the refreshing fruit they had left behind them, so that Moses found it necessary to asure them that they would find it again in the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 8:8). The fruit was known to the ancient Greeks and is mentioned in Homer, but it seems to have reached the Romans more circuitously via Carthage (Punis) in N. Africa...Although the pomegranate has been cultivated and appreciated since antiquity, these seeds and the fact that the fruit is labourious to consume have held it back from universal popularity...Spanish sailors took the pomegranate from the Mediterranean region, where it had long been cultivated, to America. It was a useful fruit for sea voyagers since its hard skin helps it to keep well. It became established in the south of the USA and the, in the 18th century, in California. The fruit had also spread eastwards, to India and China. The first mention in Indian literature is of the 1st century AD...In China the fruit was grown in the warm south and sent to colder regions as an exotic delicacy." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 617-8)

    "Pomegranate, segmented fruit whose juice can be drink and seeds had many medicinal uses in the classical world. The pomegranate, native to Iran, was familiar in Egypt by the mid second millennium BC: its unmistakable shape appears frequently on wall paintings from then onwards. By the beginning of the archaic period it was well known in Greece. It is one of the fruit trees that characterizes the orchards of Alcinous in the Odyssey. By then the pomegranate was evidently spreading further west: it is represented by archaebotanical finds in southern France in the last few centuries BC...Early medical authors distinguished three kinds of pomegranate by their juice, respectively sweet, winy and acid; they prescribed the juice and also other preparations. Pomegranates were perhaps more significant mythologically than in the diet. They were offered to the Phoenician goddess Astarte, and to several Greek goddesses. Persephone, while in the underworld, is said to have sucked on pomegranate seed, and thus to have condemned herself to remain there for a third of every year."
    ---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 266)

    "Pomegranates first reached Britain from southern Europe in the thirteenth century, and they were to remain for many centuries an expensive luxury, used sparingly and mainly for decoration. In the earliest references to it in English it is called the poumgarnet, perhaps a conscious allusion to the fruit's deep red seeds..."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 261)

    "Myths and legends of the pomegranate reveal that the ancients both recognized and revered this fruit. The plant comes from Southeast Asia, and the fruit itself appears in myths of many lands, particularly of India, China, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. The pomegranate had distinct characteristics that beckoned mythmakers to assign it significance. It attracted attention because of its crownlike blossom, its red color, and perhaps most importantly, its many seeds, which people all over the world linked to fertility and procreation. Ancient mythmakers elevated pomegranates to high status, attributing symbolic significance to all of these traits."
    ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 181)
    [NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. Ask you local public librarian to help you find a copy.]


    Poppy seeds
    Ancient, interesting, flavorful and pungent. Poppy seeds traditionaly feature in Central European dishes, most notably
    Kolache.

    "Poppy. The flower of various plants of the genus Papaver, of which P. Somniferum ssp somniferum is notorious as a source of opium. The same species provides edible leaves and pleasantly flavoured seeds which, when mature, are not narcotic and are pressed to make a salad or cooking oil...When the poppyseed ripens, the narcotic substances change into harmless forms. The blue-grey seed of the cultivar Hungarian Blue-Seeded is the one most commonly used in Europe, especially in baked goods (such as the Silesian specialty Mohntorte...and they are commonly sprinkled on top of breads, biscuits, and cakes in Germany, E. Europe, and countries of C. Asia. Poppyseeds are also used as a flavouring in some egg, potato, and pasta dishes. Indian poppyseed (usually of the cultivar White Persian) is much smaller and off-white, and serves to thicken sauces and curries. Toasted poppyseed, which has a nutty flavour, is often used in spice mixtures."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 622)

    "The seeds of the opium poppy have been used as a spice for at least 2,600 years: poppy-seed bread' was first mentioned, so far as we know, by the archaic Greek poet Alcman, and poppy seeds are still sprinkled on bread in just the same way. At the grandiose banquet of Trimalchio', centrepiece of Petronius' great Roman novel Satyricon, a row of dormice, glazed in honey and rolled in poppy seeds' is among the tastier of the hors d'oeuvres...Like coriander and cumin, poppy is one of the spices that have gradually spread eastward from Europe. Poppy differs from those two, however, in that European states have in the last two centuries taken a very close interest in the growing of the opium poppy in certain other countries, not of course, because of the market in poppy seeds by because of the demand for opium and its derivatives, morphine and heroin."
    ---Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices, Andrew Dalby [University of California:Berkeley] 2000 (p. 135)

    Ancient culinary applications
    Bread
    "Both Greek and Latin sources agree that poppy seeds were sprinkled on bread before baking; white of egg was used to bind the seeds to the crust."
    ---Food in the Ancient World, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 268)

    "All three aromatic seeds, sesame, poppy and flax, were all being used to garnish loaves around 600 BC, when the Spartan poet Alcman happened tot list them in a passage quted by Athenaeus: Poppy-seed loaves are mentioned by Alcman in book V:'Seven couches and as many tables crowned with poppy-seed bread, with flax-seed bread and sesame bread and, for the girls, buckets full of khrysokolla', these being a sweetmeat made of honey and flax-seed'. (Alcman 19 [Athenaeus 111a])."
    ---Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 1996 (p. 51)

    "The Romans made fine white bread, black bread, leavened bread, flatbread for sailors, and breads variously flavored with poppy, anise, fennel, celery, and caraway seeds."
    ---A Taste of Ancient Rome, Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, translated by Anna Herklotz [University of Chicago:Chicago] 1992 (p. 16)

    Ancient texts do not contain recipes. They do, howevever, provide detailed food descriptions and lists of ingedients. Some culinary experts recreate these recipes based on historic precepts and modern knowledge. This is a complicated task requiring advanced skills. One such recipe here: "Poppy seed biscuits. They are nothing but laterculi: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, wheat flour and chopped nuts.'[Platus: The Little Carthaginian]
    ---Roman Cookery: Ancient Recipes for Modern Kitchens, Mark Grant [Serif:London] 1999 (p. 106-7)


    Pork & beans
    When and where did pork and beans originate? Excellent question! Ancient cooks were known combine salt-preserved meat with legumes. Medieval cooks typically added sweeteners and spices. Many of these old recipes combined peas with pork, both readily available to the average person. In England, this was known as
    pease puddung (pottage). This Italian recipe from 1475 is fairly typical:
    "Dish Made from Peas. Let peas come to a boil with carob. When they are taken form the water, put in a frying pan with bits of salt meat, especially that balanced between lean and fat. I would wish, however, that the bits had been fried a little beforehand. Then add a bit of verjuice, a bit of must, or some sugar and cinnamon. Cook broad beans in the same way."
    ---Platina: In the Right Pleasure and Good Health, A Critical Edition and Translation of De Honesta Voluptate et Valetudine, by Mary Ella Milham [Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies:Tempe AZ] 1998 (p. 325)
    Most (though not all) food historians tell us that pork and beans..as we know them today...probably came to colonial America via New England. It was a marriage of old world habits and new world ingredients. Have you ever heard of Boston baked beans? Amelia Simmons [1798] did not provide a recipe for pork and beans but she did briefly mention small white beans, which she thought "excellent." Presumbly these were pea beans, later called Navy beans.

    Pork and beans also played a significant role in American cowboy meals and pioneer dinners. The ingredients were portable, nutritious, and filled the belly. Mass-produced canned foods were made possible during the mid 19th century industrial revolution. Many new food companies embraced this technology. Gilbert Van Camp, Van Camp Packing Company of Indianapolis was one of the first to can pork and beans. Van Camp is now owned by Conagra.

    Colonial fare
    "Boston baked beans. A dish of navy beans made with molasses and salt pork or bacon. Some argue that baked beans were introduced to the colonists by the Indians, but novelist Kenneth Roberts, in an essay on "The Forgotton Marrowbones," prionted in Marjorie Mosser's Foods of Old New England (1957), argues that baked beans had long been a traditional Sabbath dish among North African and Spanish Jews, who called the dish "skanah." Roberts also cites Riley's Narrative (1816) by James Riley as a source and supposes that New England sea captains brought the idea home with them from Africa. Nevertheless, the dish clearly became associated with Boston, whose Puritan settlers baked beans on Saturday, served them that night for dinner, for Sunday breakfast with codfish cakes and Boston brown bread, and again for Sunday lunch, because no other cooking was allowed during the Sabbath, which extended into Sunday evening...Baked beans of this kind were first canned in 1875 by the Burnham E. Morrill Company of Portland, Maine, for local fishermen..."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 36)

    "American cookery was heavily influenced by English and German practices. Pork and beans, a traditional Saturday meal of New England, declined in popularity during the mid-19th century but gained a new identity when someone thought of canning it, to give the ancestor of modern baked beans. Molasses is used as a flavouring in this dish; it was also important as a condiment for pork in general. Sweet ingredients are characteristic of American pork cookery..."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 624)

    According to the food historians pork (esp. salt pork) figured prominently in the diets of early New Englanders.

    "...pork was America's first important meat from domestic animals, and would remain the country's most common meat for three centuries. Pigs and chickens were, of course, the easiest meat to carry to the New World by ship, and provided forever the advantage that if unfavorable winds prolonged the voyage, they could be killed on the way to provide fresh meat for sailors and passengers." (p. 59) "A frequent criticism of the American diet in the early nineteenth century is that Americans knew no other meat than salt pork...It is possible, however, that this observation on the monotony of one category of American foods has been a trifle overworked. It is true that Americans did eat a good deal of salt pork, another reason why the American sweet tooth developed to such inordinate proportions: "So much salt pork was eaten by so many Americans in the 19th century," Dale Brown wrote in American Cooking, "That molasses, the most popular of sweeteners, was regularly used to subdue the briny taste."" (p. 131)
    ---Eating in America: A History, Waverly Root and Richard de Rochemont [Morrow:New York] 1976

    Pork & Beans as Cowboy food
    When it comes to dried beans it seems hard to believe that chuck/cowboy cooks had adequate time/cooking facilities to prepare such food. They required hours of soaking before they could be prepared for dinner. But! History reminds us never to underestimate the ingenuity of a dedicated cook. These people were revered for their energy, abundance and creativity. It is quite likely the experienced cowboy's cook knew how to adjust his methods for cooking beans to have meals ready at the appointed time. The most feasible explanation is that the cook started soaking his beans the night before. Did you know? Charles Goodnight & Oliver Loving (from Texas) are credited with inventing the chuckwagon in 1866 in order to accomodate the gustatory needs of American cowboys.

    "By mid-afternoon it was not unusual for the cook driving the chuck wagon to push on ahead to the night's campsite."
    ---Cowboy Culture: A Saga of Five Centuries, David Dary [Knopf:New York] 1981 (p. 191)

    "According to J. Frank Dobie in Up the Trail From Texas, the chuck wagon, the traveling commissary from which the trail-driving cowboys and horse wranglers were fed, appeared to be a good many years after the fist post-Civil War drives....The chuck wagon itself evolved from the cart, sometimes driven by oxen, which carried the personal gear of the crew and the trail boss, and a few pots of beans cooked on the overnight stops...On the drives, the cook hurried the chuck wagon forward past the slow-moving cattle to set up at the next planned stopping place and have food ready for the drivers when the her arrived. He needed a good head start to give him time to bake the omnipresent red Mexican beans )"prairie strawberries," the cowboys called them)."
    ---Eating in America: A History, (pps. 199-200)

    "The first wagons on the trail did not have built-in chuck boxes, but they had plenty of room for iron pots containing cooked beans. Beans for supper had to be cooked the preceding night."
    ---Up the Trail, J. Frank Dobie [Random House:New York] 1955 (p. 98)
    [NOTE: This [children's] book has an entire chapter on "The Cook and His Chuck Wagon"]

    American pork and bean recipes through time:

    [1847]
    "Pork and Beans
    Take two quarts of dried white beans, (the small ones are best,) pick out any imperfections, and put them to soak in cold water, more than to cover them, let them remain one night; the next day, about two hours before dinner time, throw off the water; have a pound of nicely corned pork, a rib piece is best; put the beans in an iron dinner-pot; score the rind or skin of the pork, in squares or diamonds, and lay it on the beans, put in hot (not boiling) water to them, add a small dried red pepper, or a saltspoon-ful of cayenne; cover the pot close, and set it over a gentle fire for one hour; then take a tin basin, or earthen pudding-pan, rub the inside over with a bit of butter, and nearly fill it with the boiled beans, lay the pork in the centre, pressing it down a little; put small bits of butter over the beans, dredge a little flour oer them, and the pork, and set it in a moderately hot oven, for nearly one hour..."
    ---Mrs. Crowen's American Lady's Cook Book, Mrs. E. L. Crowen [New York] (p. 115)

    [1877]
    Yankee Pork and Beans
    Buckeye Cookery, Estelle Woods Wilcox

    [1884] Baked Pork and Beans
    Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D. A. Lincoln

    Which kind of bean?
    It's the Navy bean...a small white bean...that is traditionally used in historic American recipes and manufactured pork and bean products. Surprised? Most people are. It is the sauce that makes these beans look light brown. Picture of navy beans here.

    About Navy beans
    What we now know as the Navy bean existed long before the U.S. Navy. It is a new world food that was cultivated and cooked by Native Americans. The military moniker? Food historians tell us the name was a result of this bean's recognition and utilization by the U.S. Navy for its nutritious, versatile, and portable properties. History notes here:

    "Navy bean...Also called "pea bean" or "beautiful bean." The navy bean is one of several varieties of kidney bean (phaseolus vulgaris). The name comes from the fact that it has been a standard food of the United States Navy since at least 1856, despite an old popular song that claims that "the Navy gets the gravy, but the Army gets the beans."
    ---The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 216)

    "Navy bean...also called the "pea bean," the navy bean is of several varieties of the kidney bean...that are cultivated for their nutritious white seeds. The name "navy bean" recalls former times when the beans were among the standard provisions of warships of the U.S. Navy."
    ---The Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas, Volume 2 [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000 (p. 1821)

    Are soy beans sometimee used to make pork & beans? It is possible, though it seem unlikely. This is what the trade associations have to say:

    "...whether commercial producers of pork and beans use soy beans. The response from the United Soybean Board is: To the best of our knowledge, soybeans are not utilized in the preparation of commercial "pork & beans" type products. This was confirmed by the Ontario White Bean Producers Board, who represent navy bean growers in Ontario. They indicated that the finished product would be significantly different from the usual navy bean product in terms of flavor, mouthfeel, consistency, etc. and that because of the differences in preparation methods, it would not make any sense for producers to interchang or inter mix the two types of beans. After contacting serveral producers of canned soybeans, it was found that none of these companies offered such a product nor were they aware of any other companies offering such a product. Clare M. Hasler, Ph.D."
    http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/archives/experts/health/1997/0008.html

    About soybeans.


    Purslane
    Food historians confirm the use of purslane (portulaca oleracea) was known to ancient cooks. Early salads featured this green.

    "Purslane is one of the kitchen garden plants most widely diffused throughout the old world from the earliest times. It has been transported into America, where it spreads itself, as in Europe, in gardens among rubbish, by the wayside, etc. It is more or less used as a vegetable, a medicinal plant, and is excellent food for pigs. A Sanskrit name for it is known, lonica or lounia, which recurs in the modern languages of India...It is very difficult to discover in the case of a plant so widely diffused, and which propagates itself so easily by means of its enormous number of little seeds, whether a specimen is cultivated, naturalized by spreading from cultivation, or really wild."
    ---Origin of Cultivated Plants, Alphonse de Candolle [Hafner Publishing:New York] 1964 (p. 87-8)

    "Many quaint recipes using pursley or purslane can be found. Giles Rose, one of the master cooks to Charles II, suggested in 1682 a recipe fr "A Sappet of Lettice and Purslane --Take out the newest Purslane pick and wash it very well, swing it out, and lay in the round of the plate, and Lettice round about it. Garnish the brims with Charvile and Flowers hashed together of divers colors, very small." Cook books of that day also gave recipes for pursely soup as well as preserved and pickled pursely. Apparently it was look upon by gourmets as a delicacy. Preserved purslane was served "as a first dish on the table to produce an appetiti afore the guests settle down to meate," according to Henry Dethick, writing in England some 400 years ago. American Indians used pursley as a pot herb. The early American settlers compared its flavor with asparagus."
    ---"Pair of Portulacas," R.R. Thomasson, The New York Times, May 31, 1959 (p. X37)


    Ramps
    If you hail from America's Applachian region, you know about ramps. These early leeks herald spring. Noted for their pungent fragrance and old-timey tonic properties, ramps command their own festivals.

    "Ramps...also called wild leeks, are members of the onion family. Native to eastern North America, ramps grow in clumps in the rich, moist soil under deciduous trees--sugar maples, birch, and poplar, among others--from New England south to central Appalachia and as far as North Carolina and Tennessee. One of the first spring greens, growing from perennial bulbs in late March and April, ramps have the flavor of sweet spring onions touched with musk and an intense garlic aroma. They are harvested for their young leaves (which resemble lily of the valley) and their small bulbs. Both may be eaten raw--the leaves, for instance, in salads, though the bulbs are frequently fried in smoky fat with eggs or potatoes. Ramps were part of the Native American diet, valued for their blood-cleasning properties and eaten eagerly at winter's end (ramps are, in fact, high in vitamin C). Over time the ramp harvest became a rite of spring in many Appalachian communities, giving way to community festivals. Ramp consumption and popularity rose steadily in the last two decades of the twentieth century, threatening the wild populations in the forests from which they are gathered. Up to 85 percent of ramps are consumed as food from wild populations, though efforts are under way in North Carolina and elsewhere to cultivate them."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 342)

    Ramps: ("Tennessee Truffles")...Ramps reign royally in Cosby, Tennessee, every April. The Cook County community, nested, in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains, goes wild over the odoriferous mountain leek, staging a Ramp Festival...But Cosby isn't alone. Ramps are celebrated across the lofty, fertile, and shady coves in Southern Appalachia...The Appalachian "ramp country" ranges from West Virginia to north Georgia. Wild ramps, a member of the lily family, and called "Tennessee Truffles" by some, flourish in buckeye flats...old-time mountain people love the wild leek. Take Gary Davis, a retired conservation ranger from Fannin County, Georgia. "If I don't get some ramps to eat in the spring, I may not make it to the fall. It slicks you off [as a tonic], makes you feel good and do good all summer...Appalchian highlanders have been enjoying ramps for centuries...The Cherokees called them Wa-S-Di, 'a smelly business but good.'...Ramps are adaptable to many dishes. They can be cooked with eggs, potatoes, venison, bear meat, ham..."
    ---Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking, Joseph E. Dabney [Cumberland House:Nashville TN] 1998 (p. 273-7) [NOTE: This book offers recipes for Ramp Casserole, Ramps Bacon and Eggs, Ramp Salad, Ramp and Grits, Fried Ramps and Potatoes, Pickled Ramps and Ramp Pudding.]

    Related foods? Greens: collard, muustard & turnip & dandelions.


    Rice Krispies Treats
    Rice Krispies-type treats existed long before the name-brand cereal was invented. This snack traces its roots to the middle of the 19th century when recipes for puffed grain treats mixed with sweeteners (molasses, corn syrup) pressed into various shapes were popular. Think: popcorn balls &
    no-bakes.

    Alexander Anderson, American Cereal Company is generally credited for inventing the process for puffing cereal grains in the early 20th century. These were introduced to the American public at the 1904 Exposition in St. Louis. Some details on the person and the process here. According to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Kellogg's Rice Krispies cereal was introduced to the American public February 29, 1928 (registration #024993).

    The earliest recipe we have approximating Rice Krispies Treats is circa WWI. It comes from a 7th grade home-economics notebook suggesting the recipe was considered healthy, easy, and economical by contemporary nutrition experts.

    "[1916]
    Puffed Rice Brittle

    1 c. Gran. Sugar
    1 tsp. vinegar
    1 tbs. Butter
    1 package rice
    1/2 cup water
    2 tbs. Molasses
    1/2 tbs. Salt

    Boil sugar-water & vinegar together for five min. Then add mol., butter, salt & boil until it is brittle when tried in cold water. Add the heated puffed rice & spread in butter tins."
    ---Laura Crystal, Domestic Science 7B, New YOrk City Schools [manuscript school notebook] 1916

    [1938] It's fun to Cook, Lucy Mary Maltby [John C. Winston:Chicago] 1938 has a recipe for "Puffed Wheat Squares," (p. 220) listing these ingredients: 2 teaspoons butter, 1 cup molasses, 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/2 tablespoon vinegar, 1 package puffed wheat (3 1/2 oz.) The directions are similar to those of Rice Krispies Treats, the picture of the finished product (p. 219) confirms similarity. The caption under the picture reads "Inexpensive and tasty are these Puffed Wheat Squares," indicating their appeal to economical cooks. A suggested variation includes melted chocolate poured on top. Sound familiar?

    So, who "invented" the Rice Krispies treats we enjoy today?
    According to Iowa State University School of Agriculture it was "Mildred Day, who died in June [1996] at the age of 92, was a 1928 home economics graduate from Iowa State. Day is credited with the development of Rice Krispies Treats. She worked for Kellogg Co., the maker of Rice Krispies, and used the cereal to develop the snack as a fundraiser for a Camp Fire Girls group."
    ---SOURCE: Iowa State University

    "[Mildred] Day was born in Durham, a village 8 1/2 miles east of Knoxville in Marion County [Iowa]. She was a home economics graduate of Iowa Sate University in Ames. Her family says Day, who worked at Kellogg Co. in Battle Creek, Mich., developed the recipe with Malitta Jensen as a fund-raiser for a Camp Fire Girls group. Anthony Hebron, Kellogg spokesman, says Rice Krispies cereal went on the market in 1928 and Rice Krispies Treats, a trademarked name, were introduced in the 1940s. The recipe first appeared on packaging in 1941. "Many of our employees created concoctions with Kellogg products," Hebron says."
    ---"Her gift to Us: Recipe for Rice Krispies Treats," Carol McGarvey, The Des Moines Register, June 14, 1996 (p. 1)

    The original Kellogg's test kitchen recipe:

    [1941]
    1/3 cup butter
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 lb Fluffi-i-est Marshmallows (this is a brand name)
    1 package Kellogg Rice Krispies ( 5 1/2 oz.)
    Melt butter and marshmallows in double boiler. Add vanilla; beat well. Put Rice Krispies in large buttered bowl and pour on marshmallow mixture. Press into shallow buttered pan. Cut into squares. Yield: 16 2 1/4-inch squares (10 X 10-inch pan). Note: Nut meats and cocoanut may be added."
    ---"Try this Candy Recipe," Los Angeles Times, February 28, 1941 (p. 4)

    How did Kellogg's promote Rice Krispies Treats in the early days?
    Magazine ads, "back of the box" recipes & mail-in rebates. Note: this recipe name varied in the early years. According to the records of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the name "Rice Krispies Treats" was introduced in 1986.

    [1941]
    "Kelloggs will advertise Rice Krispies Marshmallow Squares in two weeklies, starting February 24."
    ---"Advertising News & Notes, New York Times, February 11, 1941 (p. 40)

    [1942]
    "Rice Krispies Marshmallow Squares. Golden treasures--crunch--full-flavored! Everybody enjoys these sensational Rice Krispies Marshmallow Suqares. They're crisp-- completely different! A grand party treat. Perfect as a light dessert, between-meal snack or lunchbox surprise for the youngsters. A few minutes--a few pennies turn the trick. Recipe on each Rice Krispies package."
    ---Dislay ad, Los Angeles Times, March 15, 1942 (p. F14)

    [1963]
    "Cooking with Kellogg's you collect 25 cents when you fix this cheer-up candy marshmallow treats. Make gloomy days Snap, Crackle and Pop...get 25 cents too. The fun recipe for Marshmallow Treats is right here. Do try it soon. And to collect your quarter, cut the special coupon from the back of your Rice Krispies package and the brand name and weight from a marshmallow package (7 oz. or large), or label from a marshmallow creme jar. Send with your name and address to Marshmallow Treats, Box 577, Detroit 32, Michigan. Your quarter will be mailed promptly. (Offer limited to one per family and expires April 39, 1964.) Each family's request must be mailed separately. All others will be returned. Sorry, we can not honor multiple requests.

    marshmallow treats
    1/4 cup butter or margarine
    7-10 ounces regular marshmallows (about 32) or 3 cups miniature marshmallows
    5-6 cups KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES
    1. Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan. Add marshmallows and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until marshmallows are melted and mixture if well-blended. Remove from heat.
    2. Add Rice Krispies and stir until well-coated.
    3. Press warm mixture into buttered 13X9-inch pan. Cut into squares when cool.
    Yield: 24 2-inch squares
    NOTE: About 2 cups marshmallow creme may ber substituted for marshmallows. Add to melted butter and cook over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Proceed as directed above."
    ---half page full color display ad, Better Homes & Gardens, November 1963 (p. 88)
    [NOTES: (1) A first class US stamp cost 5 cents in November 1963. (2) the recipe title is not capitalized in this advertisement.]

    When did Kellogg's begin selling pre-packaged Rice Krispies Treats?
    The first pre-made Kellogg's Rice Krispies products were marketed in supermarkets: January 15, 1995 (U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Registration # 2233186). According to the articles, they were an instant success.

    If you need more on the history of Rice Krispies brand cereal ask your librarian to help you find the Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands, Janice Jorgensen editor, Volume 1: Consumables (p. 313-4).


    Ratafia
    "Ratafia, a word whos three meanings are explained below. The origin is obscure. According to Favre (1883-92), the word is derived from the Latin phrase Res rata fiat, which was pronounced when a treaty or other such instrument was ratified. Since the custom was to accompany the ratification by drinking a good liqueur, the phrase, abbreviated, became a name for such a liqueur. If this is the origin of the name, it would explain why there is doubt about whether the name applies to all liqueurs or only some and, if only some, which. (It is usually understood to apply to liqueur made from brandy and any fruit juice, especially those made by a process of maceration; but some authorities regard a flavouring of bitter almonds as necessary.) The three meanings of ratafia are:
    1. Ratafia, a drink popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, probably of French origin. It was a cordial or a brandy-based liqueur flavored with almonds, peach, cherry, or apricot kernels, or soft fruits; similar to Noyau, a word which came into use in the late 18th century and largely supplanted ratafia.
    2. Ratafia, an 18th- and 19th-century variation on the Macaroon, flavored with bitter almonds...or sometimes with apricot kernels. These seen to have been first made in England in the early 18th century to recipes very similar to macaroons, and used similarly; ratafia biscuits my have acquired the name because they were eaten with the drink ratafia, so because of the use of bitter almonds as flavouring in both items. Very small almond biscuits are still manufactured under the name of 'ratafias'.
    3. The word is also used to describe a bitter almond flavour; for instance, 'essence of ratafia'...or 'ratafea cream' (a desert flavoured with apricot kernels)..."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 654)

    "There is ratafia you can drink, and there are ratafias you can eat, and their common denominator is the taste of almonds or similar nutty kernels. The drink came first. It is a liquer made by steeping some flavouring ingredient in sweetened spirit. In France, this ingredient can be any of a range of fruits, such as blackcurrants or oranges, as well as kernels, but in English usage the term has always been largely restricted to a drink flavoured with peach, apricot, or cherry kernels or particularly with almonds...English originally acquired the term towards the end of the seventeenth century, and in the early nineteenth century applied it to a sort of small biscuit...The word ratafia comes originally from French West Indian creole, where it appears to have referred to the local spirit, rum. Popular etymology attributes the creole term to Latin, ratificare, 'ratify', the notion being that it referred to a drink taken to seal or 'ratify' a deal, but there is no direct evidence of this."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 278-9)

    "Ratafia. As used by Hannah Glasse, 111, the word indicates the flavour of almonds. Its meaning can be more generally embracing the flavours imparted by the kernels of peaches, apricots and cherries. The cordial or liqueur called ratafia may be flavoured with any of these. Ratafia cakes and biscuits may be similarly flavoured; or they may be so called because they are intended to be eaten with the liqueur."
    ---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 edition with preface, introductory essays by Jennifer Stead and Priscilla Bain [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 196)

    [1753]
    "Ratafia

    Get three Gallons of Molosses Brandy, Nuts, two Ounces and a Half, bitter Almonds one Pound and a Half; bruise them, and infuse them in the Brandy, adding Ambergrease three Grains, mixed with fine Lisbon Sugar three Pounds; infuse all for seven or eight Days Space, and trhen strain off for Use." (p. 386)
    [NOTE: Ambergris is an "intestinal secretion of the...sperm whape...like musk, it was used in conjunction with other aromatics...to perfume foods, mostly confectionery."---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford Univeristy Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 15)]

    "Ratafia Cream
    Boil six Laurel-leaves in a Quart of thick Cream; when it is boiled throw away the Leaves, and beat the Yolks of five Eggs, with a little cold Cream and Sugar to your Tafte, then thicken the Cream with your Eggs, and set it over the Fire again, but let it not boil; keep it stirring all the while, and pour it into China Dishes; when it is cold it is fit for Use." (p. 291)

    "A Ratafia Pudding
    Four or five Laurel-leaves being boil'd in a Quart of Cream, take them out, and break in Half a Pound of Naples Biscuits, Half a Pound of Butter, some Sack, Nutmeg, and Salt, take it off the Fire, cover it up; when it is almost cold, put in two Ounces of Almonds blanch'd and beaten fine, and the Yolks of five Eggs; mix all well together, and bake it in a moderate Oven Half an Hour, scrape Sugar on it as it goes into the Oven." (p. 72)

    ---The Lady's Companion, 6th edition, Volume II [J. Hodges:London] 1853 (p. 291)

    "To make Ratafia Bisket
    Take four ounces of bitter almonds, blanch and beat them as find as you can; in beating them put in the whites of four eggs, one at a time; then mix it up with sifted sugar to a light paste; roll them and lay them on wafer paper, and on tin plates; make the paste so light that you may take it up with a spoon; bake them in a quick oven."
    ---The Complete Housewife: or, Accomplish'd Gentlewoman's Companion, E. Smith, facsimile 1753 edition [Litereary Services and Production Ltd.London] 1968 (p. 196)
    [NOTE: "Quick" oven meant very hot, in the low 400s F. range.]


    Rhubarb
    Food historians tell us rhubarb is an ancient plant originating in southwestern Russia. The name is likewise ancient has interesting story (see below). The term
    "pie plant" originated in the United States, sometimes during the 19th century. It derives from the fact that rhubarb was a popular pie filling.

    Why call it "rhubarb?"
    "Rhubarb" comes from the Latin Rhabarbarun, "Rha of the barbarians." Rha is the name of the river on whose banks rhubarb was cultivated by the barbarians...the barbarians...were Tartars."
    ---Food, Waverly Root [Smithmark:New York] 1980 (p. 408)

    Where did rhubarb originate?
    China, Russia & Siberia. Take your pick.

    "Chinese rhubarb (Rheum officinale) is used mostly for medical purposes. Garden rhubarb (R. Rhabarbarum) is grown for its edible stalks. The plant is native to southwestern Russia, southern Siberia, and China, where it was grown in ancient times for the alleged medicinal value of its roots. Rhubarb was cultivated in Europe from at least the seventeenth century and reached North America shortly after the American Revolution."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2001, Volume Two (p. 1843)

    "Rhubarb seems to have originated in China, and was first imported to the West via Russia for the sake of its root, which in medieval times was dried, ground up, and used as a purgative. Ancient names for it included Greek rha and Perisan rewend, which were in due course to converve to produce rhubarb. The term rha was said by the Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus to have been taken from the ancient name of the River Volga...It was borrowed into late Latin as rha, and had tacked on to it the adjective barbarum--hense rhababarum, literally foreign rhubarb'. Here, Persian rewend enters the picture again. Greek had borrowed this as rheon, which in Latin became rheum...In medieval Latin the two words for rhubarb' became blended together to produce rheubarbarum, which was eventually shortened to rheubarbum."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 281)

    Rhubarb in Britian
    "Rhubarb was known in classical Greece and Rome as an imported dried root with medicinal qualities...There is some debate about how far back Chinese knowledge of rhubarb extends. Pen Khing's herbal, of about 2700 BC, listed it; but Laufer (1978) says the work is spurious...It does, however, seem to be certain that it was known by the age of Han, 206 BC; that is was valued medicinally; that it developed into an important article of trade from China to W. Asia during the 10th century. In England, rhubarb became known, at first in a purely medicinal context, in the 16th century. The idea of eating the stem may have occurred to people, much later, because of the resemblance between rhubarb and its smaller relation, sorrel. Indeed, several dock varieties have 'rhubarbic' sobriqutes, such as monk's rhubarb for mountain dock, and curled dock is even preferred to rhubarb by some Australians. Another naturlaist, Peter Collinson, worte in 1739 about 'Siberian rhubarb' pie with sugar and cinnamon. However, it was some time before rhubarb recipes becan to appear in English cookery books, perhaps waiting for sugar to be more widely available to sweeten the taste. One early example was in Mrs. Rundell (1806). Other recipes for sweet pies and tarts followed during the first half of the 19th century."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford], 2nd edition 2007 (p. 662)

    "One of the latest garden fruits to be cultivated in England was rhubarb. Medicinal rhubarb, the rhubarb grown in China from the third milllennium BC onwards for the sake of its root, a powerful purgative, had been traded to the west since Roman times. There was more than one varity, and the names Turkey rhubarb and Barbary rhubarb were given to two of them, denoting countries through wich passed the medieval spice routs whereby they traveled. In the Tudor period the plants themselves were introduced into English herb gardens, and medicinal rhubarb became a garden crop in Nritain. The Duke of Atholl had a famous plantation of Turkey rhubarb on his estate at Blair Castle in Perthshire in the 1770s, and sold the roots to an Edinburgh druggist. The rhubarb now eaten as a fruit arrived in the seventeeth century, when John Parkinson received seeds from Italy and planted them in his garden. He described the leaf stalks, some two feet long and the thickness of a man's thumb, and thought a syrup might be made from the juice which would pure more gently than rhubarb from the East Indies or China. The cultivation of garden rhubarb spread in Britain in the eighteenth century, with the encouragement during the later years from the Royal Society of Arts...Garden rhubarb was a new acquisition for tarts. A recipe which appeared in the 1790s advocated slicing the stalks, and then treating them in the manner of gooseberries."
    ---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Broadway:Chicago] 1991 (p. 347-348, 352)

    Rhubarb in America
    Benjamin Franklin is generally credited for introducing Chinese rhubarb to America: "In 1771, Franklin sent a Chinese rhubarb seed to John Bartram, America's botanist to the King. This type of rhubarb was used for medicinal purposes, unlike the edible rhubarb that was already grown in America."
    ---PBS/Bemn Franklin

    "Rhubarb...was introduced to Maine at the end of the eighteenth century when a gardener obtained seeds of roots from Europe. Cultivation soon flourished in Massachusetts, and by 1822 rhubarb was sold in New England produce markets. In the late nineteenth century, the great plant breeder Luther Burbank developed a mild variety with a long growing season well suited to California. Early Americans used rhubarb extract and syrup for dyspepsia and a variety of bowel complaints...Nineteenth-century American cookbooks carried rhubarb recipes for sweet pies, cobblers, conserves, and tarts."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 361)

    What about the "Pie Plant?"
    19th century American cooks dubbed rhubarb the "pie plant." Presumably, this reflected this food's primary use. Historic cookbooks confirm rhubarb featured prominently in spring compotes and preserves. They were naturally paired with strawberries for sweet and tangy flavor punch.

    [1869]
    "Rhubarb, or Pie Plant.

    This is one of th greatest of spring luxuries, though the quantity of sugar required to be used with it renders it rather expensive. Remove the stringy part and cut up into small slices either for stewing or pies, no spice is required, but sugar may be put in as long as your conscience will let you, and a handful afterwards."
    ---Jennie June's American Cookery Book, Mrs. J. C. Croly [American News Company:Boston?] 1878 (p. 188)


    Risotto
    Risotto is not one dish, but many flavorful blends and interesting recipe variations. As with many traditional foods, there are many conflicting theories regarding the origin of risotto. Some culinary experts place risotto in the 16th century; others claim risotto (as we know it today) is a 20th century dish.

    Culinary historians generally agree the first risotto-type foods likely orginated during the Renaissance, in the Lombardy region, Milan being famous for this dish. History confirms wealthy Milanese families recognized this grain's market potential [when grain was scarce, prices would rise] and capitalized on it. The rice traders became very rich, according to some accounts, rice was sometimes proferred as gifts. About rice (general).

    The first rice dishes in this region were borrowed from the Mediterranean cuisines responsible for introducing rice to Italy. They were typically sweet recipes combining rice, almond milk and spices. Together, Milanese cooks and local ingredients eventually created a unique dish. Historic American cook books confirm risotto was cooked in America beginning the late 19th century, though it did not become widely accepted until after World War II. This is true of many Italian dishes, including pizza. Amercian chefs *rediscovered* risotto in the 1980s, elevating this dish from simple & economical to gourmet status.

    Italian rice is short-grained. There are many varieties. Arborio rice is the type most often use by current American chefs when making risotto.

    "How did rice get to Western Europe from China? The Persians and Mesopotamians first encountered rice towards the fifth century BC, as a result of diplomatic and trading contacts between Darius and the Chinese and Indian states. Rice-growing reached Egypt and Syria during the next two centuries...Southern Spain owed its first rice-fields to the Moors of Andalusia...Several attempts were made to grow rice in Italy in the early Middle Ages. At the end of the thirteenth century the Visconti dukes of Milan, a very shrewd family, took a personal interest in the possibilities of rice-growing, but it was their successors, Galeazzo Sforza and his brother Ludovico Moro, who brought rice to the Po delta, and with it prosperity..."
    ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 161-2)

    "One of the unintentional end products of the clearing of the Lombardy plains for the establishment of rice fields in the fifteenth century was risotto. The motivation for the clearing and reclaimation of the plains was simply the demand of the growing towns for food. That demand was met not by rice growers by budding capitalists who had the financial wherewithal to back the farmers in establishing these rice fields in the Po Valley. One of the earliest references I know of concerning rice in northern Italy is a letter of September 27, 1475, from Galeazzo Maria Sfora to the Duke of Ferrara concerning twelve sacks of rice....It is a typical part of the story that profit margins were kept high as riziculture in Lombardy meant the near enslavement of workers who were not organized, including children exposed to barbarous cruelties, according to a Lombard ordinance of 1590 seeking to stop this practice..."
    ---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 587)

    "Risotto. A dish of creamy cooked rice that has absorbed a good quantity of broth to make it flavorful and tender...The most famous risotto is made "alla milanese," from Milan. It is flavored with saffron and contains beef marrow. Legend has it that the dish dates to 1574, when a stained-glass worker on Milan's cathedral, who was known for the yellow color of his glass, which he achieved by adding saffron to his pigments, colored the rice at the wedding of his boss's daughter, whereupon the guests pronounced the dish "Risus optimus" (Latin for "excellent rice"). Thereafter such yellow-tinted rice was called risotto all milanese."
    ---Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1998 (p. 218-9)

    "Northern Italians fancy themselves as having a monopoly on the consumption of rice, but in fact rice first entered Europe as a foodstuff via Arab-occupied Spain and Sicily. The Romans knew rice only as an extremely expensive commodity imported in small quantities form India for medicinal purposes, buy the Saracens were so skilled in irrigation that they were able to create paddies in the area around Lentini, to the south of Catania...where the cultivation of rice persisted into the eighteenth century."
    ---Pomp and Sustenance, Twenty-Five Centuries of Sicilian Food, Mary Taylor Simeti [Ecco Press:Hopewell NJ] 1989 (p. 69)

    Medieval cookery texts sometimes included sweet recipes combining rice, almond milk and spices, a recipe originating in Turkey. The fact that rice was thought to have medicinal value at that time is confirmed here:

    "7. On Rice
    Rice [risum], which I think was called oriza in the ancient spelling, is of warm and dry force, and for this reason it is very nourishing, especially if it has been seasoned with ground almonds, milk, and sugar, as will be described later. When it is cooked down it pure water, it constricts the belly. Its frequent use, however, harms those accustomed to suffer with pain in the bowel."
    ---De Honesta Voluptate [On Right Pleasure], Platina, Book VII [1475] critical edition and translation by Mary Ella Milham, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies Volume 168, Tempe AZ (p. 309)

    Modern risotto

    "Risotto. A celebrated and popular rice dish which originated in the rice-growing areas of North Italy. It has something in common with paella and pilaf, in that rice is cooked in a liquid with other ingredients whose flavour is absorbed by the grains, but the method is quite different; risotto is probably a peasant dish which has become sophisticated. The first recipes were published in the mid-19th century by Artusi, the first celebrated Italian cookery writer, and Vialardi, later chef to King Victor Emmanuel...Towards the end of the 20th century a steady expansion of the concept of risotto was observable, especially in restaurants..."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 666)
    [NOTE: Pellegrino Artusi's Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well (c. 1891) contains the following risotto recipes: Risotto Colle Telline (Rice with Clams), Risotto Colle Tinche (Rice with Tench), Risotto nero Colle Seppie Alla Fiorentina (Blask Risotto with Cuttlefish Florentine Style), Risotto Coi Piselle (Rice with Peas), Risotto Coi Funghi (Rice with Mushrooms), Risotto Coi Pomodori (Rice with Tomatoes), Risotto Alla Milanese I (Rice Milanese Style I), Risotto Alla Milanese II, Risotto Alla Milanese III, Risotto Coi Rangocchi (Rice with Frogs), Risotto Coi Gamberi (Rice with Prawns) & Risotto Col Brodo Di Pesce (Rice in Fish Broth).]

    "Risotto. Although Fannie Farmer includes a "Rissoto Creole"...in the revised Boston Cooking-School Cook Book [1906] and Ida C. Baily Allen offers what she calls "Risotto alla Milanese" in Mrs. Allen's Cook Book [1917], risotto can hardly be said to have made the grade until well after World War II. Credit Marcella Hazan (The Classic Italian Cook Book 1973) with putting it on the culinary map of America. Certainly it was she who taught us how to prepare risotto properly. Still, only when arborio (short-grain rice) became widely available (the 80s) did many American cooks attempt risotto in earnest. Today whole books are devoted to the art of making risotto..."
    ---American Century Cook Book: the most popular recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 216)

    "Some time after World War II risotto (rice cooked in stock with the addition of meat and vegetables) became as acceptably American as San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square; a similarly popular one-dish meal, eagerly admired by mothers with a kitchen full of children and no domestic help, combined rice and sweet Italian sausage. Something called "Italian seasoning" was packaged commercially to seduce cooks whose herb shelves were otherwise bare."
    ---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones, 2nd edition [Vintage Books:New York] 1981 (p. 155)

    Related foods? Rice pudding & paella.


    Waffles
    Waffles descend from Ancient obleios, batter baked between two hot irons. The impressed patterns we know today originated in the middle ages. The Dutch and the French were masters of this culinary art.
    Belgian waffles, as we know them today, were introduced in 1958.

    What are waffles?
    "Waffles, Gaufre. The French waffle is a very light type of sweep pastry cooked between the two buttered and heated plates of waffle iron. The plates, decorated with embossed patterns, are fixed to the ends of two long iron stems hinged together. Waffles are mentioned in the poems of the end of the twelfth century when they were made and sold in the streets. On great religious feast days the waffle-sellers would set their stalls at the doors of the churches and bake their waffles which were eaten piping hot. The best quality waffles were called metiers."
    ---New Larousse Gastronomique [Crown:New York] 1977 (p. 971)

    The Greek connection
    "The ancient Greeks used to cook very flat cakes, which they called obleios, between two hot metal plates. This method of cooking continued to be used in the Middle Ages by the obloyeurs who made all sorts of oublies, which were flat or rolled into coronets. The oublie became the waffle in the 13th century, when a craftsman had the idea of forging some cookie plates reproducing the characteristic pattern of honeycombs, which at that time were called gaufres (from the Old French wafla)."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 1285)

    Why do we call them waffles?
    "The word [waffle] is from the Dutch wafel, and first appeared in English print in 1735. The item was known to the Pilgrims, who had spent time in Holland before sailing to America in 1620, and waffle parties became popular in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Thomas Jefferson returned from France with a waffle iron, a long-handled patterned griddle that encloses the batter and gives it its characteristic crispness and shape. A century later vendors on city streets sold waffles hot and slathered with molasses or maple syrup. Waffles continued to be extremely popular breakfast items in the twentieth century, an electric waffle irons made the timing of the cooking easier. Then, in 1953 Frank Dorsa introduced frozen waffles into supermarkets, calling them Eggo Waffles. At the 1964 World's Fair Belgian Waffles made with yeast and thicker than the usual waffle, were an immediate sensation, and they are sold today at stands, county fairs, carnivals, and other fast-food outlets."
    ---The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (page 343)

    Belgian waffles
    Remember the Belgian waffles served at the New York World's Fair, 1964-1965? Thick, chewy, hot and delicious. Who knew? Waffles could be the perfect dessert!

    "The one food delicacy sure to survive the closing, this weekend, of the New York World's Fair is the Belgian waffle. It is due to join the international roster of staple snacks, along with hot dogs, pizza pies, and ice cream. First the Brussels Fair in 1958, then the Seattle Fair, and two years running of the New Yor Fair have managed to launch this tasty confection in fair fashion. Literally millions of visitors to New York have enjoyed that delectable aroma of waffles crisping to a golden brown in hot ovens. As their defense mechanisms toppled and they chirped, 'I'll have one,' an attendant would decorate that 3 1/2 X 7-inch slab of golden goodness with ribbons of whipped ream pushed through a pastry gun, then splash it generously with squishy strawberries, and hand it over...Most people ate them off a waxed napkin. Those who wanted to be daintier cut them up with a fork...Is the Belgian waffle from Belgium? Of course. That country has been famous for its waffles for generations. Belgians make them at home and serve them with whipped cream or butter, and sometimes with fresh fruit. They like them for afternoon tea or dessert. Waffles have thrived for years as a delicacy at Belgian seaside resorts. The original Belgian waffle, to be commercialized at international fairs is called by the copyrighted name of 'Bel-Gem Waffle.' It is made here by B.F.E. Company, Inc., an American offshoot of a Belgian wafflemaking outfit which dates back to 1818. More than 3,000,000 Bel-Gem waffles will have been sold at 99 cents each by this company's seven concessions by the time the New York World's Fair closes Oct. 17. The president of this company is hoping not only to sell its World's Fair wafflemaking equipment but franchises for making them to dealers across the country...This original Belgian waffle has been joined at the fair by many reasonable facsimiles--including Belgium Waffles, Belgische Wafels, and Brussels Waffles. They are fluffy, more than an inch deep, and made over gas heat, which is said to be the most dependable and constant. Once the fair is closed forever, don't be surprised to see Belgian waffles turning up out your way. Five young businessmen in Chicago, inspired by the World's Fair success of the Belgian waffle, have already formed a company called Belgian Queen, Inc. The designed their own wafflemaking machine and are having it manufactured here. They had a food company work out their own waffle-mix formula and even their own whipped topping mix. They are now making Belgian Queen waffles available at 75 cents and 80 cents in department stores, amusement parks, motels, state fair, drive-ins, resorts, etc. Being adventurous fellows, they are also experimenting with many kinds of topping, including fresh peaches, berries of all kinds, coconut, pineapple, and chocolate-mocha."
    ---"Meet Manhattan: Fans Stick to Belgian Waffles," Marilyn Hoffman, Christian Science Monitor, October 12, 1865 (p. 8)
    [NOTE: Additional NYC World's Fair Fare
    here.

    Recipes over time:

    [1683]
    "To Fry Waffles

    For each pound [one English pound, or 454 grams] of Wheat-flour take a pint [about a half a litre] of sweet Milk, a little tin bow, of melted Butted with 3 or 4 Eggs, a spoonful of Yeast well stirred together."
    ---De Verstandige Kock (The Sensible Cook) [Netherlands, 1683?], Translated and Edited by Peter G. Rose [Syracuse University Press:Syracuse] 1989 (p. 76)

    [1849]
    "Waffles

    Put two pints of rich milk into separate pans. Cut up and melt in one of them a quarter of a pound of butter, warming it slightly; then, when it is melted, stir it about, and set it away to cool. Beat eight eggs till very light, and mix them gradually into the other pan of milk, alternately with half a pound of flour. The mix it by degrees the milk that has the butter in it. Lastly, stir in a large table-spoonfull of strong fresh yeast. Cover the pan and set it near the fire to rise. When the batter is quite light, heat your waffle-iron, by putting it among the coals of a clear bright fire; grease the inside with butter tied in a rag, and then put in some batter. Shut the iron closely, and when the waffle is done on one side, turn the iron on the other. Take the cake out by slipping a knife underneath; and then heat and grease the iron for another waffle. Send them to table quite hot, four or six on a plage; having buttered them and strewed over each a mixture of powdered cinnamon, and white sugar. Or you may send the sugar and cinnamon in a little glass bowl."
    ---Directions for Cookery in its Various Branches, Miss Leslie [Philadelphia, 1849]. (p. 359)

    [1858]
    "Wheat Waffles

    One quart of flour, and a teaspoonful of salt. One quart of milk, with a tablespoonful of melted butter in it, and mixed with the flour gradually, so as not to have lumps. Three tablespoonfuls of distillery yeast. When raised, two well-beaten eggs. Bake in waffle-irons well oiled with lard each time they are used. Lay one side on coals, and in about two minutes turn the other side to the coals.

    "Mrs. B.'s Waffles
    One quart of flour, and a teaspoonful of salt. One qurt of sour milk, with two tablespoonfulls of butter melted in it. Five well-beated eggs. A Teaspoonful for more of saleratus [precursor of baking soda], enough to sweeten the milk. Baked in waffle irons. Some like one tea-cup full of sugar added."
    ---Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book, Catharine E. Beecher [New York, 1858] (p. 96)

    [1962]
    "Libby's Hot Waffles

    1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
    3 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons sugar
    2 cups milk
    2 eggs, separated
    1/4 cup melted butter or margarine, or salad oil
    Directions for assembly follow. From the same book "Packaged frozen waffles are delicious."
    ---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Dorothy B. Marsh, editor [1962] (pps. 336-337)

    [1971]
    "Gaufres de Bruxelles (Brussels Waffles)

    2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    5 eggs
    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    Pinch salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup milk
    5 tab;espoons melted butter
    Mix flour, egg yolks, sugar, salt, vanilla, milk and butter. Whip egg whites quite firm. Gradually incorporate into paste, mix well. Cook in slightly buttered waffle iron. As soon as waffles are done coat with additional powdered sugar. Serve warm. Makes 10-12."
    ---The Art of Belgian Cooking, Sarah Miles Watts with Rene Colau [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1971 (p. 183)

    About waffle irons
    "Surviving inventories often indicate that rural homes in fourtheenth-century Tuscany as well as Burgundy often contained metal utensils. Iron skillets were the most common, along with copper pots and kettles...pastry-making was mainly left to the professionals. Nevertheless, we do find molds of pates, tarts, and flans in private homes. Only professionals and the wealthiest private kitchens possessed waffle irons and griddles. The numerous waffle recipes contained in medieval cookbooks suggest that waffles were a savory pastry often made with cheese. This probably accounts for the cheese graters found a a few sites."
    ---Food: A Culinary History, Jean-Louis Flandrin and Massimo Montanari [Columbia University Press:New York] 1999 (p. 341)

    "It is not only from excavations that we can learn. Written inventories also help in the search for remnants of the Dutch past. In the inventory of the extensive possessions of Margareta van Slichtenhorst Schuyler (ca. 1630-1711), we find a brass poffer pan as well as a wafer iron. From the inventory of the belongings of Anna de Peyster (1701-74)...we learn that she possessed a billabusse pan and a waffle iron."
    ---The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and the New World, translated and edited by Peter G. Rose [Syracuse University Press:Syracuse] 1989 (p. 22)

    Electric waffle irons were introduced in the first decade of the 20th century. They became standard household items by the 1930s. Some history on the introduction of electric appliances to American kitchens from the Smithsonian Institution

    One of the best sources for the history of antique kitchen items is this book: 300 Years of Kitchen Collectibles/Linda Franklin (p. 366-377)

    Need pictures? EBay currently offers 100+ waffle irons from 18th century to present.

    Related food? Pizzelle.

    Pancakes & crepes
    Did you know that the first pancake-type foods were eaten by prehistoric peoples? No, they were not the same pancakes we eat today. These simple, fried concoctions of milk, flour, eggs and spices were called "Alita Dolcia" (Latin for "another sweet") by the Ancient Romans. Depending upon the proportion of ingredients and method of cooking, the finished product might have approximated pancakes, fritters, omlettes, or custard. Some of these dishes were sweet (fruit, nuts, honey); others were savory (cheese, fish, meat). These ancient recipes are also thought to be the relatives of waffles, cakes, muffins, fritters, spoonbread and doughnuts. Pancakes, as we Americans know them today, were "invented" in Medieval Europe.

    Throughout history, pancake ingredients (finest available wheat flour, buckwheat, cornmeal, potatoes), cooking implements (ancient bakestones, medieval hearths, pioneer griddles perched on campfire embers, microwave ovens), social rituals (Shrove Tuesday crepes, Chanukah latkes, mass quantities for community pancake breakfast fundraisers) and final product (thick or thin, savory or sweet, slathered with butter and smothered with syrup, or gently rolled around delicate fruit) have reflected regional cuisine and local customs. Cake-like galettes [France], thick potato pancakes [Germany], Boxty [Ireland], paper thin crepes [France], palascinta [Hungary], drop scones [Scotland], injera [Ethiopia], trid [Morocco], coarse cornmeal Indian cakes [colonial America], flapjacks [19th century America], rich blini [Russia], poori [India], qata'if (Middle East) dadar gutung [Indonesia], bao bing [China] and generic hot cakes are all members of the pancake family.

    The connection between pancakes and Shrove Tuesday (the day before the Christian season of Lent begins) is rooted in the need to deplete stores of eggs and fat...both forbidden by the Catholic Church for consumption during Lent. The practice began in Medieval times and continues today (in some places) in the form of "Pancake Day." Modern American pancake syrups surfaced in the late 1880s.

    "We may speculate with the archaeologist regarding the earliest culianry technologies available at the dawn of humanity... among these...must be the primeval griddle, perhaps a flat rock, daubed with grease...Any primitive grain or truber, dried, pounded and moistened, could have given rise to the very first pancake. With the domestication of wheat in the Fertile Crescent, corn in the Americas and rice in Asia...the pancake would find expression in countless forms."
    ---Pancake: A Global History, Ken Albala [Reaktion Books:London] 2008 (p. 20)
    [NOTE: we highly recommend this new book. Ask your local public librarian to help you get a copy!]

    "The griddle method of cooking is older than oven baking, and pancakes are an ancient form. The first pancakes clearly distinguishable from plain griddle breads are sweet ones mentioned by Apicius; these were made from a batter of egg, mixed milk and water, and a little flour, fried and served with pepper and honey...Throughout Europe pancakes had a place among Easter foods, especially on Shrove Tuesday (or Mardi Gras), the last day before Lent. Customs varied from country to country...One peculiarly English institution is the pancake race. The oldest of these has been held at Olney in Buckinghamshire, in most years since 1445..."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 571)

    "Pancakes are traditionally served on Candlemas and Shrove Tuesday, to celebrate renewal, family life, and hopes for good fortune and happiness in the future. It is customary in France to touch the handle of the frying pan, and make a wish while the pancake is turned, holding a coin in the hand. In French rural society, crepes were also considered to be a symbol of allegiance: farmers offered them to their landowner...."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Jenifer Harvey Lang, New American Edition [Crown Publishers:New York]1989 (p. 332)

    "Pancakes, which were so popular in all classes, could be made with the simplest kind of equipment. A skillet and a grill over a heap of small coals or wood were alll that was needed. For the hurried professional cook, pancakes were a boon. They were easily an quickly prepared. They were also useful to intersperse with the fish and egg dishes for fast- or fish-day meals, as well as to fill menus on meat days. One of the advantages of such batters, then and now, is that they can be mixed up ahad of time."
    ---Dining With William Shakespeare, Madge Lorwin [Atheneum:New York] 1976 (p. 141)

    According to the Harvard Concordance to Shakespeare, Marvin Spevack, Shakespeare mentions pancakes four times in two plays. Both plays were comedies and both characters referencing this food were clowns. Interesting, yes?

    All's Well that Ends Well
    "As fit as ten groats is for the hand of an attorney, as your French crown for you taffety punk, as Tib's rush for Tom's forefinger, as a pancake for Shrove Tuesday, a morris for May-day, as the nail to his hole, the cockold to his horn, as a scolding quean to a wrangling knave, as the nun's lip to the friar's mouth, nay, as the pudding to his skin." [2.02 23]

    As You Like It
    "Of a certain knight, that swore by his honor they were good pancakes, and wore by his honor the mustard was naught. Now I'll stand to it, the pancakes were naught, and the mustard was good, and yet was not the knight forsworn." [1.02 64-7]

    In Sweden, pancakes are traditional Thursday winter's night dessert, following pea soup. This hearty combination has been enjoyed since the Middle Ages:

    "Swedish pea soup is regarded as a real national dish. It has been served every Thursday in most Swedish homes for hundreds of years. During the cold winter it makes a very satisfying meal, economical as well as filling. The soup is served as a main course with boiled pork, The traditional dessert after pea soup is Swedish Pancakes or "Plattar", served with jam or lingonberrries...It makes very good eating, although it is a bit on the heavy side for modern poeple...The exact cooking time of the peas is hard to say, some peas take longer than others. There is no harm in overcooking, so you can easily cook soup ahead of time."
    ---Swedish Cooking at its Best, Marianne Gronwall van der Tuuk [Rand McNally:Chicago] 1962 (p. 62)

    In the United States, pancakes are commonly served for breakfast:
    "Pancakes have long been a staple of the American breakfast table, and their history is as old as that of the Native Americans who shaped a soft batter in their hands and called it, in the Narragansett, nokehick (it is soft), transmuted by early white settlers into " no cake." Cornmeal pancakes were called "Indian cakes" as early as 1607. The Dutch in America made similar cakes from buckwheat, panekoeken, which by 1740 were called "buckwheat cakes." English settlers brought with them the feast of Pancake Tuesday, an old name for Shrove Tuesday, the day before the Lenten fast begins...By 1745 Americans were also referring to hoe cakes," perhaps because they were cooked on a flat hoe blade...One of the most beloved versions of this simple cake is the Johnnycake [also known as journey cake], specifically associated with Rhode Island...The word "pancake" itself was not in general usage until the 1870s..."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 229-30)
    (This is only a small portion of the information on pancakes found in this book. Ask your librarian to help you find this book for additional facts and trivia. Historic recipes for hoe cakes).

    What is a flapjack?
    Flapjacks are one (of several) American names for pancake-type foods. Food historians generally agree the term belongs to the New England states.

    "The term flapjack has had a variety of designations in the course of its career. Originally it denoted at sort of thick pancake ('a Flapjack, which in our translation is called a Pancake,' John Taylor, Jack-a-Lent, 1620), and that is how it is still used in the USA. Flap in this context means 'toss'. According to the Oxford English Dictionary a flapjack used also be be a sort of apple tart or apple turnover (called applejack in dialects of eastern England). And in the 1930s we see the first evidence of the word's present-day British usage, for a biscuit made from rolled oats, syrup, and butter."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 126-7)

    "By the nineteenth century northerners were referring to "flapjacks" and "griddle cakes," which by the 1830s and 1840s were being made with white flour rather than cornmeal."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Marinani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 229)

    "Indian flapjack...(2) 1835 P. Shirreff Tour 221 Into one of those pans some small loaves were placed...and in the other, batter-cakes, called flapjacks, were prepared."
    ---A Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles, Mitford M. Mathews, editor [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1951(p. 625)

    "Flapjack. 1. A pancake. Also called clapjack,flapcake, flapover, flatcake, flatcjack, flipjack, flipper, flopjack, flopover, slapjack. 1789 Thomas' MA Spy or Worcester Gaz. (MA) 1 Mar, Danties [sic] of all sorts, too, are here...Pies, custards, cranb'ry tarts, and flapjacks.///2. A kind of fried bread or biscuit...3. A fruit turnover"
    ---Dictionary of American Regional English, Frederic G. Cassidy and Joan Houston Hall, Volume II D-H [Belknap Pres of Harvard University Press:Cambridge MA] 1991 (p. 462)
    [NOTE: This source contains several historic references for all three references. Your librarian can help you obtain a copy of this book/page.]

    A sampler of historic pancake recipes:

    1st century Ova svongia ex lacte, Apicius
    [NOTE: this recipe is often cited as a recipe for pancakes, but it does not include a thickening agent (flour, ground pulse). The ingredients and instructions indicate this dish would have produced an omlette.

    13th century White crepes or pancakes

    1615 To make pancakes so crispe that you may set them upright, A New Booke of Cookerie, John Murrell [London]

    1615
    The English House-Wife, Gervase Markham [London] (p. 56-7)
    "The best Pancake. To make the best Pancake, take two or three eggs, and breake them into a dish, and beate them well: Then adde unto them a pretty quantity of faire running water, and beate all well together: Then put in cloves, mace, cinnamon, and a nutmegge, and season it with salt; which done make thicke as you thinke good with fine wheate flower: The frie the cakes as thinne as may bee with sweet butter, or sweete seame, and madke them browne, and so serve them up with sugar strowed upon them. There be some which mixe Pancakes with new milke or creame, but that makes them tough, cloying, and not so crispe, pleasant and savory as running water."
    ---The English Housweife, Gervase Markham, transcribed and edited 1615 edition, by Michael R. Best[McGill-Queens University Press:Montreal] 1994, 1998 (p. 68-69)
    [NOTE: we own an original 1660 edition of this book, printed by W. Wilson, for E. Brewster, and George. This exact recipe appears on p. 55-57)

    1683
    De Verstandige Kock, translated and edited [Syracuse University Press:Syracuse NY] 1989 by Peter G. Rose [Holland]
    "To fry common pancakes.
    For each pond on Wheat-flour take a pint of sweet Milk and 3 eggs. Some add some Sugar to it."

    "To fry the best kind of Pancakes.
    Take 5 or 6 eggs with clean, running water, add to it Cloves, Cinnamon, Mace, and Nutmeg with some Salt, beat it with some Wheat-flour as thick as you like, fry them and sprinkle them with Sugar; these are prepared with running water because [when prepared] with Milk or Cream they would be tough." (p. 76)

    1769
    The Experienced Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald [London]
    "To Make Wafer Pancakes"
    Beat four eggs well with two spoonfuls of fine flour and two of cream, one ounce of loaf sugar beat and sifter, half a nutmeg grated. Put a little cold butter in a clean cloth and rub your pan well with it. Pour your batter and make it as thin as a wafer, fry it only on one side. Put them on a dish and grate sugar betwixt every pancake, and send them hot to the table." (p. 80)
    [NOTE: Mrs. Raffald also povided recipes for cream, clary and batter pancakes. Her book was recently reprinted by Southover Press, introduction by Roy Shipperbottom. If you want to see the other recipes ask your librarian to borrow a copy for you.]

    1884
    Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book, Mary Johnson Lincoln [Boston]
    buckwheat cakes & French pancakes

    Recommended Reading:
    Pancake: A Global History/Ken Albala
    Pancakes Aplenty/Ruth Ellen Church [cookbook c. 1962]
    Pancake Cookbook/Myra Waldo [c. 1963]

    Pancake syrups
    Maple syrup was crafted by Native Americans and adopted by European colonists. Modern pancake syrups (aka imitation maple syrups, artificial maple syrups, blended maple syrups, syrups) were introduced to American consumers in the late 1880s as an affordable alternative to the "real thing." Quite possibly before (and after) this time, products containing less than 100% pure maple syrup were sold to unwary consumers by unscrupulous businessmen. Food adulteration was a popular topic of the late 19th/early 20th century. This was the genesis of the U.S. Food and Drug Administation. Pure food laws [1906] to current labeling regulations attempt to help consumers know exactly what is contained in commercial food products.

    "[1887] Log Cabin Syrup is introduced by St. Paul, Minn., grocer P.J. Towle, who blends maple syrup (45 percent) and cane-sugar syrup to produce a product much lower in price than pure maple syrup. He markets it in a tin container shaped and decorated to look like the boyhood home of his boyhood hero Abraham Lincoln."
    ---Food Chronology, James Trager [Henry Holt:New York] 1995 (p. 326)

    "Maple sugar was an important food in the American diet throughout the 1700s. By the late 1800s, however, maple sugar and maple syrup were becoming expensive luxuries, especially outside the New England states. Many people who preferred the taste of maple syrup had to make do with less expensive corn syrup- or molasses. It was this need for an affordable, maple-flavored syrup that led Patrick J. Towle to create Log Cabin syrup in 1887. Towle reportedly named his syrup "Log Cabin" in honor of his boyhood hero, Abraham Lincoln. He registered the log cabin as a trademark in 1897...In 1897 Towle began to sell his syrup in small cabin-shaped tins manufactured in St. Paul by the Horn & Danz Company, a forerunner of the American Can Company, which continued to make the tins into the 1950s. The handmade cabin design was patented by James William Fuller of St. Paul on April 20, 1897. The packaging was an enormous success and helped popularize Towle's Log Cabin Maple Syrup...Like many products at the turn of the century, Towle's Log Cabin Maple Syrup was promoted with a vareity of novelty itmes...In the early 1900s, Log Cabin syrup was marketed primarily to women, the homemakers of the era, as a way to please their husbands."
    ---Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands, Volume 1: Consumable Products, Janice Joregensen, editor [St. James Press:Detroit] 1994 (p. 344-5)

    "Cane and corn syrups, along with artificial maple flavoring and a dash of caramel, have take over. Log Cabin started out in the 1880's intended to be an economical substitute for pure maple. It had 45 per cent maple then, and the level was reduced in stages over the decades as maple became more expensive and, in years when the weather was less than perfect, less readily obtainable...Aunt Jemima, a relative newcomer--it began with 15 per cent maple in 1966--dropped the maple primarily becuase of the weather'scaprices and because the company didn't think a vestigal touch of the stuff made much difference to the taste. "
    ---"How Much Maple is in Maple Syrup?," Richard Flaste, New York Times, June 30, 1975 (p. 36) [NOTE: This article references US government labeling regulations requiring "maple syrups" to have at least 10 per cent maple. Items with less than that percentage are simply called syrup, or the word syrup was dropped completely.]

    "Pancake lovers, beware! The producer of Aunt Jemima pancake syrup hasn't bought a single drop of pure maple syrup this year because maple syrup costs $12 a gallon, and Americans have come to like--eve prefer--the taste and consistency of imitation syrup. 'Our consumer tests showed that many people like the artificial stuff better than the real thing,' commented a spokesman for the Quaker Oats Company, which owns the Aunt Jemima name. 'Over the years they've gotten uses to it.'...The largest food-proccesing companies, which produce Log Cabin, Vermont Maid, Mrs. Butterworth's and Aunt Jemima syrup, have either cut the content of real maple syrup down to 3 per cent from 15 per cent or are not including any of the real thing at all."
    ---"Maple Syrup on the Wane," New York Times, May 4, 1975 (p. 193)

    Of course, not everyone thought pancake syrup was a good idea:
    "Someone has patented an imitation maple syrup. Such a patent can't hold water to a "new and useful invention." It would be just as sensible to grant a patent on the pyramids. If some one would patent a genuine maple syrup he would deserve the thanks fo every devotee of buckwheat.--Buffalo Express."
    ---New York Times, June 4, 1888 (p. 4)

    Records of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office confirm Log Cabin brand syrups were introduced to the American public May 1, 1888. The record does not contain information regarding the process or content, only the trade name:
    Word Mark LOG CABIN Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: MAPLE SYRUP [ AND MOLASSES ]. FIRST USE: 18880501. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 18880501 Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING Serial Number 71009380 Filing Date June 29, 1905 Current Filing Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Change In Registration CHANGE IN REGISTRATION HAS OCCURRED Registration Number 0061962 Registration Date April 9, 1907 Owner (REGISTRANT) TOWLE SYRUP COMPANY, THE DBA THE TOWLE MAPLE SYRUP COMPANY CORPORATION MINNESOTA CORNER OF CHICAGO AVENUE AND CUSTER STRE ST. PAUL MINNESOTA (LAST LISTED OWNER) PINNACLE FOODS GROUP LLC LTD LIAB CO C/O THE CORPORATION TRUST COMPANY, CORPORATION, TRUST CENTER 1209 ORANGE STREET WILMINGTON DELAWARE 19801 Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED Attorney of Record Michael D. Fishman Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL Affidavit Text SECTION 8(10-YR) 20070518. Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20070518 Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

    About crepes
    Like
    pancakes, crepes trace their roots back to ancient Roman times. In Medieval France they were connected with Candlemas and Shrove Tuesday, as symbols of good fortune and family life.

    "Crepe, a pancake, made by cooking a thin batter sparingly in a very thin layer in a frying or special crepe pan. The word comes from the Latin "crispus," meaning curly or wavy...Pancakes [and crepes] are traditionally served on Candlemas and Shrove Tuesday, to celebrate renewal, family life and hopes for good fortune and happiness in the future. It is customary in France to touch the handle of the frying pan and make a wish while the pancake is turned, holding a coin in the hand. In French rural society, crepes were also considered to be a symbol of allegiance: farmers offered them to their landowner...In western France, particularly in Brittany, crepes are prepared throughout the year and served with salted butter...Crepes...were extolled by Anatole France in Le Temps...In traditional cookery, crepes are served as a hot hors d'oeuvre, filled with a fairly thick mixture of veloute sauce with mushroooms, ham, Gruyere cheese or seafood. They may also be cut into find strips and used to garnish soup. Most often, however, crepes are prepared as sweet dishes."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 367)

    "Crepes seem to be a French specialty. Neither the crispa and crispelli found respectively in Latin and Italian texts nor the "cryspes" in English sources are really similar to what we think of a crepes: a mixture of flour, eggs, and liquid (milk or cream nowadays; water and wine in the Middle Ages) made into thick pancakes in a shallow pan. There is indeed every reason to think that this preparation is specific to France, where it was already being prepared in the pan known as a galettiere, judging by the description in Le Menagier de Paris of a low-rimmed skipped with perpendicular, not flared sides ("as broad at the top as at the base"), which is the shape of a galettiere. On the other hand, crispa and crispelli were made of a leavened dough and were deep fried. While "cryspes" were indeed cooked in the same was as crepes, they were made of only flour and egg whites."
    ---The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy, Odile Redon, Francoise Sabban, & Silvano Serventi, translated by Edward Schneider [University of Chicago:Chicago] 1998 (p. 206-7)

    This book translates the Medieval French crepe recipe found in Le Menagier de Paris:

    Crepes.
    Take some four, and moisten it with eggs, as many yolks as whites, with the filaments removed, and mix with water and add salt and wine, and beat everything together for a long time; then put some lard on the fire in a little iron pan, or half lard and half fresh butter, and let it bubble; and then take a bowl pierced with a hold as wide as your little finger, and then put the batter in a dish; beginning with the center, let it flow all over the pan; then put it in a plate with powdered sugar on tip. And that iron or bronze pan should hold three chopines, and have a rim half a finger's-breadth high and should be as broad at the top as at the base, neither more nor less; there is a good reason for this." (p. 229)

    Who invented Crepes Suzette?
    "A Crepe Suzette is a light pancake served rolled up or folded over in an orange sauce, sprinkled with an orange-based liqueur or brandy and flambeed at table. It seems to have come on the scene around the turn of the twentieth century, but its prcise origins and the reason for its name are not clear. The chef Henri Charpentier made great play with having invented the dish at the Cafe de Paris, Monte Carlo in 1896 for the Prince of Wales, and named it after the young lady who was the prince's companion on that particular occasion, but his claim has been shown to be an imposture. The first know preference to such crepes in print comes in August Escofferi's Modern Cookery 1907), in which he refers to them by the English name Suzette pancakes." ---An A to Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 96)

    "In 1897 Suzanne Reichenberg, an actress who was known professionally by the simple name of Suzette, was appearing at the Comedie Francaise in the role of a maid. The plot of the play involved a meal at which she served crepes. Monsieur Joseph, proprieter of the nearby Restaurant Marivaux, provided the crepes for each perfomance. To attract the attention of the audience as well as to heat the creps for the actors who must eat them night after night, they were served flambe. Later Joseph moved on to the savoy Hotel in London and served his now famous dessert to the diners there. The widely accepted claim of Henri Charpentier, French maitre d'hotel and later restaurant owner in the United States, that he invented the crepes almost accidentally while serving Edward, Prince of Wales, is completely spurious. It is possible, though, that it was he who made them seem the essence of sophistication to many Americans during the 1930s." ---Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press:Athens OH] 1998 (p. 216)

    Who was Henri Charpentier?
    "Henri Charpentier, one of the world's great chefs, who frequently was credited with being the creator of crepes Suzette...He was chef to the royalty at the turn of the century, the dandies of Edwardian England, the millionaires of America's flourishing twenties, and ended his days serving sumptuous meals in a tiny cottage to a clientele that included the notables of Hollywood...Among those he cooked for were Queen Victoria, King Edward VII of England, King Leopold of Belgium, Sarah Bernhardt...John D. Rockefeller, Diamond Jim Brady, Lillian Russell and President Theodore Roosevelt...M. Charpentier operated one of the world's most unusual restaurants in his home at this seaside suburb [Redondo Beach, California]. Clients had to place reservations four years in advance to get served. The dining room held twelve, sometimes sixteen persons. The dinner stook all day to prepare and four hours to consume, and cost $8. While the guests dined, M. Charpentier usually sat in a rocking chair near bu, regaling them with remininiscences of an age the world will never see again...M. Charpentier, born in Nice, France, was a cousin of the famed chef, August Escoffier., and also his student...The famed chef loved to tell guests at his restaurant the story of a memorable breakfast sixty-five years ago on the terrace of the Cafe de Paris in Monte Carlo. 'I was only 16...and was serving the Prince of Wales...later Edward VII... Among the diners at the Prince's tables was a beautiful French girl named Suzette...His Highness ordered crepes...I mixed the sauce and added a brandy blend of my own. As I did, the flame of the chafing dish accidentally set the simmering cordials afire. 'I was embarrassed, but I did not show it. I poured the fiery sauce on the crepes, as if the flames were set on purpose. The prince tasted, then he smiled, and said" 'Henri, what have you done with these crepes? They are superb!' ' I was thrilled, and offered to name them in his honor. But he declined...he said, 'We must always remember that the ladies come first. We will call this glorious thing crepes Suzette.'...Henri's in East Rockaways, L.I. was perhaps the island's most famous restaurant from the century's early years until the late Thirties. It had neither menus, music nor bar service. Such diners as J.P. Morgan, Diamond Jim Brady and Marshal Ferdinand Foch paid staggering bills without comment. After 1930...changing times and tastes forced M. Charpentier to provide a menu...The restaurant closed in 1938, at which time he blamed high taxes and a lack of appreciation for fine food. He had lost his other restaurant...in Rockefeller Center, in 1935... when he was evicted for falling behind in rent."
    ---"Henri Charpentier, Chef, Dies; Was Creator of Crepes Suzette," New York Times, December 25, 1961 (p. 23)
    [NOTE: In 1935 the USA was mired in the Great Depression. Many businesses (of all kinds) could not pay rent and sought bankruptcy protection. This was not automatically caused by a company's poor service or inferior products. In tough econonomic times consumer confidence wanes & spending slows.]

    [1907]
    "Crepes Suzette

    These are prepared with Mixture A flavoured with Curacao and tangerine juice. Spread the pancakes like Gil-Blas pancakes with softened buttered flavoured with Curacao and tangerine juice. Mixture A: ingredients: 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) sifted flour, 200 g (7 oz) caster sugar, a pinch of fine salt, 12 eggs, 1 1/2 litre (2 5/8 pt or 6 1/2 U.S. cups) milk. Method: Place the flour, sugar and salt in a basin, add the eggs and the milk little by little, whisking it well to form a smooth batter. Flavour with 1 tbs vanilla sugar or orange or lemon sugar which should be included in the weight of sugar given above. The mixture may be flaboured with 3 tbs of Kirsch, brandy or rum."
    ---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier, translated into English by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann [John Wiley:New York] 1997(p. 524)

    Why crepes are folded in different ways? Interesting question. We are not finding any official explanation that connects the practice to a particular region or (social, religious) custom. Our French cookbooks and several Web sites suggest the method of folding is determined by how the cook envisions the final product. Traditionally, filled crepes are rolled or stacked; plain or topped crepes are folded in quarters (fan shape).

    Related foods? Hot cakes, doughnuts, fritters & waffles.

    Injera [Ethiopia]
    Injera (enjara) is a thin, round yeast bread which plays an important role in the traditional cuisine of Ethiopia. Middle Eastern
    Pita and naan and Central American tortillas serve similar functions in culture and cuisine.

    "A meal begins with ritual handwashing. Water is poured from an ornate jug over the fingers of the right hand, whihc are wiped on a clean towel. Only those fingers are used for eating. Breads are held in the right hand too, to wrap, scoop, or dip into foods and sauces. For the main meal of the day, a dome covers a small round table or a large metal tray. When lifted, a large "cloth" appears mounded with portions of stewed foods. The cloth is acutally a very large thin pancake, an Ethiopan bread called injera. Often several other kinds of breads will appear as well as a variety of stews and combination of meat and vegetables called wots and alechas. Diners enjoy the meal by tearing off bits of injera and scooping up foods. Frequently a partner or the host will combine a morsel of food and pop it into some else's mouth."
    ---You Eat What You Are: People, Culture and Food Traditions, Thelma Barer-Stein [Firefly Books:Ontario] 1999 (p. 24-5)

    "Injera is an Ethiopian flat bread--with a difference. This spongy, thin bread is generally made into large rounds, a few of which when put together can quite easily cover a tabletop. Indeed, on occasions, ingera is used in place of a tablecloth or table covering. Dishes such as doro wot are served directly on the ingera tablecloth for big communal meals. The bread is broken off from around the edges to scoop up the stew. The idea is to eat from the outside in...Injera is usually made from an Ethiopian flour called teff in the Amharic language. Teff is a cereal grain widely grown in Ethiopia for human consumption...There are two kinds of teff-red (which is richer in iron and minerals) and white--and these account for the local differences in the color of injera." ---A Taste of Africa: Traditional & Modern African Cooking, Dorinda Hafner, revised edition [Ten Speed Press:Berkeley] 2002 (p. 92)
    [NOTE: This book contains a modernized/westernized recipe for injera. If you need to make this item ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]
    "Injera, the staple food of bread of Ethiopia which is leavened with yeast or sourdough..,It is central to the Ethiopian consciousness. Have you eaten injera today?' is a standard greeting. He has no wat' (sauce) on his injera' means 'He's desperately poor'."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 401)

    Trid [Morocco]
    "The 'Trid' is a number of large, thin pancakes, made with rghaif batter and stuffed with pigeon, chicken or meat. These pancakes are not cooked in a frying pan. In bygone days the utensil used with the Qdra dial Trid, a sort of rounded earthenware pot, with a big opening at each end. The embers were placed inside the pot which was laid on its side on supporting stones. If you have not a Qdra dial Trid just use a big saucepan."
    ---Moroccan Cooking, Latifa Bennani-Smires [Society d'Edition et de Duffusion:Casablanca] 2007 (p. 80-81)
    [NOTE: Includes recipe for the pancakes, filling, and serving tips.]


    Q, U, X, Y, Z foods
    Q
    ------------
    qata'if (Near Eastern pastry)
    qawarma (minced lamb preserved in fat eaten by Lebanese mountain dwellers)
    quahog (popular North American clam)
    quandong (peach native to Australia)
    quail (small game bird from the New World)
    quaking custard (cream custard made in New England)
    quark (fresh curd cheese eaten in Germany)
    queen's pudding (a type of bread putting eaten in England)
    quelites (variety of edible greens gathered by indigenous inhabitants of Mexico and C. America)
    quenelles (dumpling eaten in Europe)
    queso (Spanish word for cheese)
    quetsche (plum native to the Alsace region)
    quiche (pie or tart having an egg filling and other ingredients)
    quignon (a liece of bread, usually the end crust of a loaf)
    quillet (a small round sponge cake)
    quince (fruit native to Western Asia, used for marmalade in medieval ages)
    quinoa (cereal grain used by the Incas)
    quroot (Asian dried curdled milk, popular in Afghanistan)

    U
    ------------
    Our favorite "U" foods are Ugli fruit and Upside down cake.

    Other "U" foods:
    Udo--Japanese herb
    Udon--Japanese wheat noodles
    Uitmijer--Dutch open sandwich, sometimes topped with fried egg
    Ulluco--minor root crop cultivated in the high Andes region of S. America
    Umbles--edible entrails of a deer, eaten in pie in Medieval Europe (origin of expression "Humble pie")
    Umbu--fruit grown in Northeast Brazil
    Umeboshi--Japanes salted and dried "plums"
    Urd--most important pulse (bean) in India, aka "mung bean"
    Urda--Rumanian sheep's milk cheese
    Ushky--Tiny dumplings served in soup, Russia

    X
    ------------
    xanthan gum (made from fermented corn sugar, used as a stabilizer in dairy products and salad dressings)
    xanthurus (Caribbean fish, resembles a carp, also known as yellow tail)
    xerophagia (salad made with lettuce, bran, celery cabbage & chopped chives)
    xicalli (Nahuatl name for a gourd of the tree Crescentia cujete', used by the Aztecs used to fashion vessels for drinking chocolate...Doubtless in the process of making such cup...the seeds of the gourd were sometimes retained to be roasted, and perhaps even the pulp was consumed)
    xifias souvlakia (skewered swordfish, Greece)
    xiao dou (small Chinese beans, fermented or curdled)
    ximenia Americana (tallow wood, seaside plum)
    xin-xin (Latin American chicken & vegetable dish, served with rice and peanuts)
    xkinvat (fried twisted strips of rich pastry cented with orange flour water and served in a golden crispy pile drizzled with Maltese honey and colored shot--tiny pinheads of colored candies used for cake decoration--birthday treat from Malta)

    Y
    ------------
    Yabby (crayfish from Australia)
    yak (related to bison & cows, used for milk, cheese & yogurt)
    yakitori (Japanese dish of skewered broiled chicken piece dipped in soy sauce)
    yale boat pie (savory pie composed of meat, poultry & shellfish; named for Yale University)
    yangtao (kiwi) yarrow (pungent herb sometimes used in salads; also said to have healing powers)
    yeast (these living spores make bread rise and beer ferment)
    yam (tropical tubers; staple food for many cultures)
    yerba yate (tea made from dried leaves of evergreen tree Ilex paraguariensis)
    yoghurt (fermented milk)
    yorkshire pudding (English batter pudding)
    yuba (Japanese soy derivative)
    yucca (Central/South American plant, banana-like fruit is eaten raw)
    yuzu (golden yellow citrus fruit from Asia)

    Z
    ------------
    zaatar (wild thyme-spice)
    zabaglione (light foamy dessert from Italy)
    zakusiki (Russian hors d'oeuvres)
    zamia (grain used by Native Americans of the West Indies)
    zampone (sausage eaten in Modena, Italy)
    zandler (fish, also known as a pikeperch, European)
    zarsuela (Spanish seafood stew)
    zebra (meat eaten in South Africa)
    zedoary (spice that resembles ginger, native to NE India and SE Asia)
    zephrina (cookie baked by Native Americans in North Carolina)
    zest (outer rind of an orange, lemon or other citrus fruit)
    zewelewa (onion tart from the Alsace region)
    zingara (sauce containing paprika and tomato, Italian)
    zucchini (vegetable in the squash family)
    zulu milkberry (sweet berries native to Africa)
    zuttano (synonym for avocado)
    zwieback (dry toasted bread slices, word is German for "twice baked") zizyphus jujuba (Chinese date, jujube)

    Sources used to compile this list:
    An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto
    Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Connee Ornelas
    Edgewater Beach Hotel Salad Book Arnold Shircliffe
    Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani
    Food Lover's Companion, Sharon Tyler Herbst, 3rd edition
    International Dictionary of Food and Cooking, Martin
    Larousse Gastronomique, Jenifer Harvey Lang, editor
    Master Dictionary of Food and Cookery, Henry Smith
    A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright
    Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson
    You Eat What You Are, Thema Barer-Stein
    Guide to Tropical Fruits and Trees, California Rare Fruit Growers

    If you need a longer list or were looking for examples of a specific type of food try these:

    Think about the assigment. Did your teacher specifically state which language you had to use? If not, consider Latin (all foods have Latin names; you can find these names in Agricultural/Botainical classificaion guides). You might also examine foreign language dictionaries. Your librarian can help you find these books.

    Saffron & Saffron Walden
    From ancient times forward, saffron commands the post of "most expensive" spice. What exactly is this substance and why is it so valuable?

    "Saffron--produced from the pollen of the saffron crocus--has been widely used throughout the Old World for its color, flavor, and fragrance. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean region, and it has been cultivated in Mesopotamia, Persia, and northwest India since antiquity. The earliest reference to saffron cultivation dates form 2300 B.C. Saffron was abundant in ancient days... The use of saffron as a oinment likely originated in Persia and India...Saffron is difficult to grow and thereore reamins the most expensive spice in the world...People past and present have prized saffron largely because of its color, ranging from deep gold to a reddish hue. Both red and gold achieved a high status in color symbolism...The prevalence of saffron in Greek myth attests to the significance the early Greeks attributed to the plant...The Egyptians...assigned special powers to saffron, including the power to heal... ...Gold has traditionally symbolized enlightenment and wisdom, and thus Buddha is often depicted as golden in color. For this reason, Buddhist priests may have used saffron to color their robes long before turmeric replaced it...Saffron remains the most expensive and most highly prized spice in the world today."
    ---Nectar and Ambrosia" An Encyclopeida of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 205-206)

    "Saffron is perhaps native to Asia Minor. At any rate it was well known in the Aegean islands before the eruption of Santorini, which buried the Minoan town of Akrotiri with its wall painting showing the picking of saffron. It was known to the poet of the Iliad, composed around 700 BC. And in Roman times the best saffron in the world grew in coastal Cicilia (south Asia Minor) at the Corycian cavern...In early Europe, saffron was a dye and an aromatic. It coloured cloth either yellow or deep red, depending on its age. It was burnt in sacrifice for its aroma, and it was used in a subtle...aromatic oil, crocinum, to be applied to the hair...The Romans combined its colouring and aromatic effects in another special use: saffron was mixed with sweet wine and the resulting sticky yellow mixture was sprayed liberally about at theatres, filling the air with costly fragrance. Grown in Iran from very ancient times, saffron reached Kashmir...no later than the third century AD and possibly as early as the fifth century BC. It became a staple of the local enonomy...Westwards, saffron now grows in southern Spain, which is where the hightest quality come from today."
    ---Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices, Andrew Dalby [University of California Press:Berkeley] 2000 (p. 138-9)

    "Native to the eastern Mediterranean, saffron was used in cooking for thousands of years before the Romans built their empire. Indeed, some credit Phoenecian traders with introducing it in Spain--the county that today is the leading producer for the commercial market. The word saffron comes from the Arabic word for 'yellow', and its distinctive color and taste grace Spanish, Cuban, French, and Indian cuisines, especially their rice dishes."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kiple & Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000 volume 2 (p. 1846)

    "The Romans used [saffron], but do not seem to have introduced it to Britain to any extent, and it was not until the fourteenth century that it began to be frequently used there...At that time most saffron was imported, by the later Middle Ages a home-grown saffron industry developed, with saffron plantations being established in Cambridgeshire and Essex (Saffron Walden takes its name from the local saffron industry)...The word saffron comes from a Middle Eastern or Arabic language, but its exact source has never been pinpointed. The furthest back its history can be traced it so Arabic sa'faran, which found its way to English via medieval Latin safranum and Old French safran. Its use as a colour term, for 'orange-yellow', dates from the late fourteenth century."
    ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 292-3)

    "Saffron probably originated in Asia Minor and Greece; it was an important item for Phoenician traders. Cilicia was its most abundant area of cultivation...Sicily also produced a good deal of it, but Mount Tobus in Phrygia was, in the general opinion, the site which produced the best saffron of the ancient world...Murals in the ruins of the palace of Knossos on Crete, which probably antedates the second millenium B.C., depict saffron harvesters at work. Home said that Zeus slept on a bed of saffron...We read saffron in the writings of Hippocrates...Virgil...Pliny...and Matial, from which we gain the impression that the Greeks were the greatest appreciators of saffron in ancient times...Saffron grew wild in ancient Italy, but the Romans...preferred to buy cultivated...saffron from Greece...Marco Polo did not rpeort encountering [saffron] in his [Far East] travels...Saffron is supposed to have entered China when that country was invaded by the Mongols, who made considerable use of it in their cooking, which would mean the thirteenth century, but it does not seem to have been listed in any written document before the second half of the sixteenth century...There is a tradition that France gained saffron directly from the Moors when they were stopped at Poitiers in 732 by Charles Martel; it is not impossible, but if so, the Moors gave saffron to the the French more than two centuries before they grew it in Spain themselves. Perhaps surer is a second tradition which says that saffron first entered France at Avignon at the end of the fourteenth century..."
    ---Food, Waverly Root [Smithmark:New York] 1980 (p. 426-427)

    Why is saffron so expensive?
    "What makes saffron so expensive is the unavoidably large amount of hand labor necessary to produce a small amount of it. Saffron is the dried stigmas, and usually part of the styles, of the flower or Crocus sativus, which have to be picked painstakingly out of each blossom, flower by flower..."
    ---Food, Root (p. 425-426)

    "Too much" of a good thing? Devaluing saffron in Renaissance Europe:
    "Within Renaissance dietary literature, the shifting meaning of various foods can therefore be used as an indication of shifting values and, in a sense, a measue of the evolution of self-image. Take, for example, the fate of saffron. In the early Renaissance, or period I, saffron was a an ideal symbol of wealth, not only because it was difficult to harvest and expensive but it lent a dazzling effect to foods. The way to impress a guest was to present saffron-daubed dishes sparkling like gold. Saffron became a symbol for gold...To the wealthy reader of culinary literature, eating saffron invests the body with wealth the same way a gold chain would, but here it is literally incorporated...The fact that period I dietaries consistently praised saffron reflects the fact that these authors would primarily for courtly patrons...This enthusiasm for saffron abates during the sixteenth century among period 2 and 3 authors, and some even claim that it is dangerous. This is the effect...of increasing distance from wealthy patrons, but it can also be linked to simple economic factors. Saffron was first cultivated on a large scale in the sixteenth century. It thus became a more affordable luxury and consequently a less potent symbol of wealth...Ironically, as saffron was more widely used and as lower social ranks were increasingly able to imitate their superiors, courtly cookbooks included saffron less."
    ---Eating Right in the Renassiance, Ken Albala [University of California Press:Berkeley CA] 2002 (p. 166-167)

    Need more information? Saffron (history, photos, linguistics, economics). Recommended reading: Secrets of Saffron/Pat Willard

    About Saffron Walden
    Saffron Walden is a town in England so named for its historic connection with growing saffron. Food historians generally agree the English saffron industry began in the 14th century. Notes here:

    "England...has a double tradiiton concerning the first appearanc eof saffron. It was known tghere in the tenth century, for a pharmaceutical work of that period describes it; perhaps it was an import from Spain. Four centuries later, Hakluyt wrote that saffron was first brought to England from Tripoli by a pilgrim who had hidden a stolen bulb in his hollow staff. However and whenever saffron made its comeback, it took medieval Europe by storm. There were times and places when a pound of saffron would buy a horse. ...There were a number of saffron-growing areas in England, but one of them captured all the attention by adding the name of the seasoning to its own--Saffron Walden, in Essex, where John Gerard wrote that saffron 'groweth plentifully...'. Saffron workers there were called 'crokers,' a harking back to the ancient name for the plant. Started in the fourteenth century, the Saffron Walden industry petered out about 1770..."
    ---Food, Waverly Root [Smithmark:New York] 1980 (p. 427-428)

    The plant is said to have been introduced into England in the 14th century by a pilgrim who hid a corm in his hollow staff. Certainly, by the sixteenth century the saffron crocus was being cultivated on a significant scale in England, particularly in Essex where the town of Walden was renamed Saffron Walden. Use of saffron was especially noticeable in the west of England, and some believe that it had arrived there long before the 14th century via the Phoenecians and their tin trade in Cornwall."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 680)

    "Philip Miller gives a long careful account of saffron-growing in the 1720s between Saffron Walden and Cambridge. Growers had to fence their small parcels of gorund with hurdles to prevent hares feeding on the leaves in winter. In July, everyone was out planting the 192,040 roots that went to the acre, noting the size of each one and placing it accordingly for maximum yield, as it cost so much. The crocus flowers were gathered early in the day, and the filaments or 'chives' picked out. Then came the trickly business of drying\ the saffron, which was ranged in wet 2 or 3 inch layers between sheets of white paper...a watchful care was needed to make sure the precious filaments did not scorch. For all this labour, including free family labour, the grower might clear L5 a year...this was a poor return... Saffron cake has hung on in Cornwall and Devonshire from the days when all cakes were raised with yeast rather than eggs or baking powder..."
    ---English Food, Jane Grigson, revised edition, Sophie Grigson [Penguin Books:London] 1992 (p. 308-309)
    [NOTE: Ms. Grigson offers a recipe for traditional English Saffron Cake in this text. Let us know if you want it.]

    Recommended reading (with recipes): Saffron & Currants: A Corbish Heritage Cookbook/Susan Pellowe


    Sago
    "The early history of the sago palm use as a food is still unclear. Ethnologists and anthropologists have generally relied on native myths and legends to judge when it was introduced into the diets of many groups worldwide. Some...believe that sago palm has been utilized as a food source in the Pacific Islands since prehistorical days... Neolithic and Mesolithic artifacts found in insular Southeast Asia included tools used in sago preparation. Although this suggest that sago has been cultivated since ancient times, paleohistorians are not so sure...By most accounts, the sago palm was essential to the early inhabitants of Southeast Asia, and was probably one of the first plants they exploited as part of their subsistence strategy...people in freshwater areas were able to employ native palms in a variety of ways, including the production of starch, drugs, and fish poisons...According to the folk history of the Melanau of Sarawak, the tribe has 'always eaten sago,' even though they claim that rice, not sago, is their staple food. Sago, however, had been an important food source for peoples in other parts of the world. Evidence, although limited, indicates that during the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618-907), sago starch from palms grown in southeast China came to rival milled grain for use in making cakes..."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One (p. 202)

    "Sago, or palm starch...comes from the pith of stems of various palms and cycads. Though produced in China's south today, it is far less important than in T'ang times, when... sago, consumed with milk, was a basic food, and when, in Canton, sago flour contended with cereal flour in preparing cakes...The arenga palm's primary center of genetic diversity may be the Malay Archipelago, and its secondary center India, with its domestication usually placed in the Southeast Asia/Pacific region...It was described by Chi Han in the fourth century A.d. as growing in what is northern Vietnam...and its cultivation in China today...is a northward extension of its Southeast Asian distribution. In addition to sugar and sago, our sources on China mention fermented toddy as an edible product the tree provides...One suspects that other edibles obtained from the arenga palm in Southeast Asia and India may also be consumed in China: fresh (as well as fermented) toddy, arrack, and vinegar from its juice; a vegetable from its 'cabbage'; and a preserve or snack from its seed...sago is ordinarily marketed in two processed forms as grains or as translucent globules called 'pearl sago.' The grain, or inferior, form of sago, was imported to China in gunny sacks in the 1920's, whereas the latter, or superior, form was imported in boxes... Chinese merchants have long been active in the sago trade of Southeast Asia...nineteenth-century Chinese in Sumatra [are credited] with developing the process for making pearl sago, a product which holds is shape when cooked."
    ---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederick J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL] 1991 (p. 128-129)

    "A source of meal that, in the vicinity of China, rivaled milled grain in making cakes was sago--although it always remained second to rice. This substance was yielded by several native plants an cycads, of which the most important was a sugar palm (kuang-lang; Arenga saccharifera), sometimes called gomuti or sagwire...it was commonly taken with water buffalo milk...The same tree yielded a sugar called jaggery and was the source of a wine called toddy. But the classical source of sago in Southeast Asia, and the one admired most for the light, delicate flavor of its yellow white meal, was the sago palm."
    ---Food in Chinese Culture: Anthropological and Historical Perspectives, K. C. Chang, editor [Yale University Press:New Haven CT] 1977 (p. 92-93)

    In the USA, sago was most often generakkt as a thickener in custards and puddings. Recipes and ingredients can be examined with Michigan State University's Feeding America digital cookbook database.

    Related foods? tapioca, taro & cassava.


    Salsify
    Salsify, also known as the Oyster Plant or Vegetable Oyster, is frequently mentioned in 19th century American cookbooks. This long, thin root vegetable resembles a carrot in shape and a turnip in taste. There are several varieties and ways to approach this special edible gift in the kitchen.

    Where did it originate?
    "Wild salsify is native to the lands around the E. Mediterranean. It was probably eaten in classical times, but the earliest surviving mention of it is by Albertus Magnus in the 13th century. Cultivation began in Italy and France in the 16th century. In Britain the plant was grown first for its purple flower, attained a modest popularity as food in the 18th century, but relapsed into obscurity in the next. It has never been popular in the USA. Russia, France, and Italy are now the countries in which salsify is most grown and eaten."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2007 (p. 686)

    Why call it salsify?
    "There is much confusion over the terms salsify and scorzonera. Both apply to long thin white-flesh root vegetables of the daisy family, but although strictly speaking, salsify is the name of the white-skinned variety and scorzonera is the name of the black-skinned variety...Both were introduced to Britain towards the end of the seventeenth century, probably from France. They were originally cultivated in Italy (the term salsify is of Italian origin), but there were also very popular from early times in Spain...The history of the word salsify is no less confusing than its current usage. English got it from French salsifis, which in turn borrowed it from Italian, but in what form? The modern Italian word is sassefrica, and one school of thought says that this came from the late saxifrica, literally 'rock-rubber'...According to this view, the change from sas- to sal- presumably took place in French...Others...claim that French got salsifis from a now obsolete Italian form salsefica...It is not known where this came from, but it many have some connection with Latin sal, 'salt'. The salsify is sometimes known as the vegetable oyster."
    ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 298)

    What is the oyster connection?
    Primary sources confirm 19th century cooks definately saw some kind of visual resemblance betwen cut salsify and oysters. As time progressed, this connection became less evident. Mid-20th century gastronomists hypothesized that the plant might have tasted like an oyster in earlier times.

    "Oyster plant...owes its name to its resemblance in flavor, when cooked, to that of an oyster."
    ---Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [New York] 1911 (p. 446)

    "Salsify...At one time called the oyster plant, why, one can hardly imagine, for it does not resemble the oyster in flavour. When cut small and cooked, it was an oyster-like appearance, so it may have been more from appearance than favour that it gained its other name."
    ---Master Dictionary of Food & Cookery, Henry Smith [Philosphical Library:New York] 1951 (p. 209)

    "Salsify, Salsafy, Vegetable Oyster...A European vegetable which is much more popular on the Continent than in England or the USA. Its long, thin, white roots, when boiled and tender, probably did possess a flavour not unlike that of an oyster, hence its English name of Oyster Plant or Vegetable Oyster. If Salsify ever did possess such a flavour, it must have lost it, as Musk has lost its scent."
    ---A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 121)

    Culinary applications:
    "Oyster plant is a vegetable the roots of which are boiled or stewed like carrots, or half-boiled, or gratd fine made into small flat balls and dipped into batter, and fried like oysters, which they strongly resemble. The young flower stalks, if cut in the spring of second year and dressed like asparagus, resemble it in taste."
    ---Grocers' Hand-Book and Directory, Artemas Ward [Philadelphia Grocer:Philadelphia] 1886 (p. 151)

    "The Cooking of Salisfy. Salsify is best scraped, each root should at once be dropped into a little vinegar and water to prevent it turning black, and it is also advisable to add a little vinegar to the salted water in which salsify is boiled or parboiled."
    ---A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 122)

    USA Salsify recipes through time

    [1824]
    "Salsify.
    ---Virginia House-Wife, Mary Randolph, 1824 facsimile edition with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 136)

    [1849]
    "Salsify.

    Having scraped the salsify roots, and washed them in cold water and parboil them. Then take them out, drain them, cut them into large pieces and fry them in butter. Salsify is frequently stewed slowly until quite tender, and then served up with melted butter. Or it may be first boiled, then grated and made into cakes to be fried in butter. Salsify must not be left exposed to the air, or it will turn blackish."
    ---Directions for Cookery in Its Various Branches, Miss [Eliza] Leslie [Carey & Hart:Philadelphia] 1849 (p. 195)

    [1857]
    "Salsify or Vegetable Oyster.

    The best way to cook it is to parboil it, (after scraping off the outside,) then cut in slices, dip it into a beaten egg, and fine bread crumbs, and fry it in lard. It is very good broiled, then stewed a few minutes with milk, with a little butter and salt. Another way which is very good, is to make a batter of wheat flour, milk and eggs; cut the salsify in thin slices, (after having been boiled tender,) put them into the batter with a little salt; drip this mixture into hot fat, by the large spoon ful. When a light brown, they are cooked sufficiently."
    ---A Practical American Cookery and Domestic Economy, Elizabeth M. Hall [Miller, Orton & Co.:New York] 1857 (p. 142)

    [1863]
    "Salsify, or Oyster Plant.

    Scrape them, and throw one by one as you scrape them in cold water, with a few drops of vinetgar; when they are all scraped, move them a little, take out of the water, and throw them in boiling water with a little salt, boil fifty minutes and drain; place them warm on a warm dish, and serve with brown butter, a maitre-d'hotel, or white sauce. Fried.--Make a paste with two tablespoonfuls of flour, a beaten egg, a tablespoonful of vinegar, salt, pepper, and the quantity of milk necessary to make the paste thin enough to dip the plants in, so that a thin coat only sticks to them; then when they are cooked in water as above, you dip them in the above paste, and throw them in hot lard in a panm and on a sharp fire; take them out when you see that the paste is fried enough, and serve with fried parsley around, and without any grease."
    ---What to Eat and How to Cook It, Pierre Blot [D. Appleton and Company:New York] 1863 (p. 195)

    [1887]
    "Salsify a la Poulette.

    Boil the salsify as already directed, and serve with a sauce made as follows: Put two table-spoonfuls of butter and one of flour into a small saucepan, and rub them to a smooth paste. Add a piece of onion the size of a quarter of a dollar, a tiny bit of mace, one-tenth of a teaspoonful of white pepper, half a teaspoonful of salt, and a cupful and a half of white stock. Stir the sauce on the bakc of the stove--where it will not boil--for one minute; then add a teaspoonful of lemon juice, and strain immediately. Split the pieces of salsify, and lay them in a warm dish, and pour the sauce over them. Serve very hot. The eggs may be omitted if one prefer. The sauce will then be white, which is a good color in an accompaniment of salsify."
    ---Miss Parloa's Kitchen Companion, Maria Parloa [Estes and Lauriat:Boston] 1887 (p. 517)
    [NOTE: this book also offers recipes for Boiled Salsify & Fried Salsify."]

    [1902]
    "Mock Oysters.

    1 dozen oyster plants
    1 teaspoonful of salt
    1 saltspoonful of pepper
    3 eggs
    Scrape the salsify and throw it into cold water to prevent disoloration. Cover with boiling water, cook slowly for three- quarters of an hour until tender; drain, and press through a colander. Add the salt, pepper and the eggs well beaten. Cover the bottom of a baking or saute pan with suet or oil, or lard if you use it. When hot drop in the mixture by spoonfuls, making each the shape of an oyster. Brown carefully on one side, turn and brown the other. Serve at once with tomato catsup, as a supper or luncheon dish."
    ---Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book, Sarah Tyson Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia] 1902(p. 318)
    [NOTE: this books also offers recipes for Scalloped Salsify, Browned Salsify, Salsify with Brown Sauce and Salsify with Cream Sauce.]

    [1909]
    "Stewed Salsify.

    1 dozen roots salsify
    2 tablespoonfuls butter
    2 tablespoonfuls flour
    1/2 pint milk
    1 teaspoonful salt
    1 saltspoonful pepper
    Scrape the salsify. Throw the roots at once into cold water to prevent discoloration. Cut them into halves and soak in cold water for one hour. When ready to cook, drop into boiling unsalted water; boil in an uncovered vessel for half an hour, until they are perfectly tender; drain in a colander. Cover the bottom of a meat platter with squares of toasted bread. Arrange the salsify crosswise on the toast, butts one way; rub the butter and flour together; add the milk; stir until boiling; add the salt and pepper and strain it over the salsify."
    ---Mrs. Rorer's Vegetable Cookery and Meat Substitutes [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia] 1909 (p. 139)

    [1913]
    "Baked Oyster Plant (Salsify)

    Boil the salsify until perfectly tender, then mash through a strainer. Season with pepper and salt. Add a tablespoonful of butter and a half a cup of milk. Put in a bake-dish, cover with bread-crumbs and bits of butter, and bake fifteen minutes."
    ---American Home Cook Book, Grace E. Denison [Barse & Hopkins::New York] 1913 (p. 166)
    [NOTE: this book also ofers recipes for Salsify, Salsify Fritters and Stewed Salsify.]

    [1930]
    "Baked Salsify.

    Scrape carefully roots of salsify--cut into bits and boil until quite tender. Wash well and season with salt, a little white pepper and a half a cup of butter. Add a tiny pinch of finely powdered mace. Prepare enough to make three cupfuls. Beat an egg into a cup of sweet milk and two tablespoonfuls of melted butter, or one cup of sweet cream. Add one cupful of bread crumbs. Put the salsify into a baking dish, spread the batter over it and bake to a nice brown."
    ---Old Southern Receipts, Mary D. Pretlow [Robert M. McBride:New York] 1930 (p. 41)
    [NOTE: also includes recipe for Stewed Salsify.]

    [1952]
    "Salsify gratines

    Scrape salsify and boil in aciduated, salted water till nearly tender; drain and dry them and cut them in 3-in. lengths; put the pieces in a baking dish; pour a white sauce over them, then a liberal dusting of grated cheese mixed with white breadcrumbs and a few pats of butter; brown under a hot grill or in the oven."
    ---A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 122)
    [NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Salsify fritters, Salsify Poulette, Vegetable Oyster in the Deep Shell, Salsifis Sautes and Salsifis a la Vinaigrette.]
    [1961]
    "Salsify in bechamel
    ...Cut the salsify, cooked in flour-and-water court-bouillon, into chunks 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. Put them in a saute pan, cover with rather thin Bechamel sauce...and simmer. At the last moment add a few tablespoons of fresh cream."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 836)
    [NOTE: recipes for Salsify au beurre noisette, Salsify a la creme, Salsify fritters, Salsify Mornay, Salsify a la polonaise, Salsify salad, Salsify sauteed au beurre, Salsify aux fines herbes, Salsify a la provencale, and Salsify in veal gravy also included.]


    Salt
    Salt is a naturally occuring compound that is found in many places around the globe. Archaeologists and food historians tell us salt was used at least as early as neolithic times.
    Iodized salt was introduced in the early 19th century.

    "Salt-winning--the deliberate production of salt--is known to have been practiced in the Neolithic era, but the naturally occuring variety had probably been gathered tens of thousands of years before that, even in only by coastal communities that, subsisting largely on shellfish, found other foods insipid without it. However the taste originated, salt was to become a more powerful factor in the world economy than any other food material apart from basic grains...Salts, in a generalized sense, have always been not only stimulating to the taste buds by also biological necessities...Raw meat is the best provider; cooked meat less so, because salt is usually lost in the cooking process. A diet based on cooked grain and vegetables contains few natural salts, even less if the vegetables are cooked in unsalted water, since some of their own salts are then leached out...By the first millennium BC it was an essential feature of the administration of China, as it was for the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Persia."
    ---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers Press:New York] 1988 (p. 179-180)

    "Historically, dietary salt (sodium chloride) has been obtained by numerous methods, including solar evaporation of seawater, the boiling down of water from brine springs, and the mining of 'rock' salt...'salt-making in history could be regarded as a quasi-agricultural occupation, as seen in frequent references to the annual production as a 'harvest...the quest for salt led to the development of major trade routes in the ancient world. The historian Herodutus...described caravans heading for the salt oases of Libya, and bread caravan routes also stretched across the Sahara, as salt from the desert was an important commodity exchanged for West African gold and slaves. Similarly huge salt deposits were mined in northern India before the time of Alexander the Great, and in the Pre-Columbian Americas, the Maya and Aztecs traded salt that was employed in food...In China, evidence of salt mining dates from as early as 2000 B.C. Homer termed salt 'divine,' and Plato referred to it as 'a substance dear to the gods.' Aristotle wrote that many regarded brine or salt spring as a gift from the gods...The preservative properties of salt have maintained the essentiality of the mineral throughout history. It helped meat last over long journeys...During the eighteenth century, other industrial uses began to be found for salt. The invention in 1792 of a way to make sodium carbonate began the carbonated-water industry, and by 1850, 15 percent of the salt in France was going into soda."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One (p. 848)

    "Salt, sodium chloride (NaCl), is commonly said to be essential to life...Since prehistoric times much effort has been devoted to obtaining salt for use with food. One main source is the existence of underground deposits of salt, from which it can be mined. Examples are the famous salt quarries at Nantwich in Cheshire, those at Luneburg in Germany, and many others in various parts of the world. The other great source, which is inexaustible, is the sea (or other natrually occuring briny waters), which is made to yield salt by a process of evaporation."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 687)

    "The salt mines of continental Europe encourged prehistoric peoples to settle down. The most famous example is Hallstatt in the Austrian Salzkammergut, a name that speaks for itself and a very prosperous place from the early period of the Bronze Age. Whenever Neolithic people settled down, abandoning hunting in favour of agriculture and recuding the amount of meat in their very carniverous diet...it was a great blessing to have a salt supply in the vicinity."
    ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 461)

    "Chinese salt history begins with the mythical Huangdi, who invented writing, weaponry, and transportation. According to the legends, he also had the distinction over presiding over the first war ever fought over salt. One of the earliest verifiable saltworks in prehistoric China was in the northern province of Shanxi. In this arid region of dry yellow earth and desert mountains is a lake of salty water, Lake Yuncheng. This area was known for constant warfare, and all of the wars were over control of the lake. Chinese historians are certain that by 6000 B.C., each year when the lake's waters evaporated in the summer sun, people harvested the square crystals on the surface of the water, a system the Chinese referred to as "dragging and gathering." ...The earliest written record of salt production in China dates to around 800 B.C. And tells of production and trade of sea salt a millennium before, during the Xia dynasty."
    ---Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky [Walker and Company:New York] 2002 (p. 18-9) [NOTE: This book is considered by many food historians to be THE book on the topic.]

    Iodized salt
    The connection between iodine deficiency and goiter (overactive thyroid) was made in 4th Century China. French chemists, following Napoleon Buonaparte's orders, provided scientific evidence. They were the first to recommed iodized salt. The year? 1833.
    Commercial iodized salt in the USA was introduced in the 1920s.

    Iodine & goiter
    "Interest in and concern about the possibility of the control of goiter accelerated in the early nineteenth-century when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered a systematic investigation of the disease. He did so because large numbers of young men from certain regtions were being rejected as unfit for military duties. Moreover, Napoleon himself had probably seen something of the problem during his march into Italy throug the goiter-invested Valais. Iodine was isolated from the ashes of the seaweed Fucus vesicularis by B. Courtois in France in 1811, and in 1829 by Jean Francois Coindet recommended iodine preparations for the treatment of goiter. However, soon afterward marked oppoisition developed to its employment because of the occurance of symptons of toxicity, which we now know was the result of excesssive thyroid secretion."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One (p. 799)

    "The World Health Organization and UNICEF urge salt producers to include iodine in their salt to prevent goiter, an enlargment of the thyroid gland. Since everyone uses salt, it is an ideal distribution vehicle. They they claim the 1 billion pople worldwide are at risk of iodine deficiency...Iodine was used to cure goiter even before it was known to be iodine Humphrey Davy...had suspected that iodine was an element, but it was Jean-Baptiste Dumas, the French chemist and founder of one of the first schools of industry in France, who, in 1819, proved that iodine was present in natural sponge, which had been a standard treatment for goiter. In treating goiter...China was for centuries ahead of the West. A fourth-century-A.D. Chinese physician, Ko Hung, prescribed an alcoholic extract from seaweed for goiter. Many seaweeds are rich in iodine, which is why the Japanese...have had relatively little experience with the disease...American salt is usually iodized. The British, having few cases of goiter, do not iodize, and the French sometimes, but not always, iodize their salt."
    ---Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky [Walker and Company:New York] 2002 (p. 384-386)

    Who suggested iodizing salt?
    "The iodination of salt was first suggested by Jean Baptiste Boussingault, who resided for many years in Colombia in South America. The people among whom he lived obtained their salt from an abandoned mine and felt that this salt conferred special health benefits. In 1825 Boussingault analayzed the salt and found that it contained large quantities of iodine. In 1833 he suggested that iodized salt be used for the prevention of goiter. Unfortunately, an experminet carried out in France once more obscured the importance of iodine in the etiology of the disease."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food (p. 799-800)

    Iodized salt in the USA
    "Present-day practice in the prevention and control of goiter is based on the work of Dav id Marine, who in 1915 declared that 'endemic goitre is the easiest known disease to prevent.' Marine and his colleague, O. Kimball, carried out the first large-scale trails with iodine in Akron, Ohio, from 1916 to 1920. About 4,500 girls between 11 and 18 years of age took part in the experiment...Mass prophylaxis of goiter with iodized salt was first introduced in 1924 on a community scale in Michigan...By 1929 the average goiter rate had fallen to 9 percent."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food (p. 800)

    "[1921] U.S. table-salt makers introduce salt iodized with potasium iodine to prevent goiter, but iodization is not mandatory." ---The Food Chonology, James L. Trager [Henry Holt:New York] 1995 (p. 433)

    Salt on the web:

    Recommended reading (your librarian will help you get these)

    Related foods? Salt water taffy & baking soda.


    Savita
    Savita brand vegetable-based vitamin supplement was promoted (& possibly manufactured?) by Battle Creek Foods, Battle Creek Sanitarium, Michigan. Think: Kellogg's. We find no mention of this product in Ella Kellogg's Science in the Kitchen [1893]. The earliest print evidence we find for this product is an ad published in the News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne Indiana, November 28, 1921 (p. 16). This ad offers Savita (Savora). A 1924 ad promoting Battle Creek Health Foods in the Los Angeles Times, June 10, 1924 (p. 8) also offers Savita (Savora). No explanation for the connection between these names.

    [1924]
    "Savita.--A Pure Vegetable Meat Flavoring. For Flavoring soups, broths, bouillon, sauces, gravies, etc. Rich in water soluble vitamins and entirely free from uric acid, urea, etc. so plentiful in meat extracts, yet has the appetizing flavor or choicest bouillon or chicken broth. Savita contains in addition to the flavor extractives of meat the wonderful growth-stimulating vitamin, water-soluble B., in highly concentrated form, in which meat extracts are deficient. It was this wonderful vitamin, in a preparation similar to Savita, that saved the English army in Mesopotamia when stricken by beri-beri, acquired on a diet consistint largely of meats and meat extracts."
    ---"Unusual Foods Referred to in this Book," The New Cookery, Lenna Frances Cooper, 9th edition revised [Modern Medicine Publishing:Battle Creek MI] 1924 (p. 462-463)
    [NOTES: (1) "The author realizes that reference has been made to a number of products that are not commonly on the market, although they are easily procured either through local representatives in most of the larger cities or directly from the factory, The Battle Creek Food Company, Battle Creek, Michigan. Most of the products are in use at the Battle Creek Sanitarium and since this book is primarily a Sanitarium Cook-Book, the book would not be complete without them." (p. 462) (2) This book offer recipes for Savita Bouillon (p. 129), Savita broth (p. 127), Savita cream sauce (p. 188) & Savita rice soup (p. 123).]

    [1926]
    "Try the latest culinary delight--Savita Sauce--on your Vegetable Dinner at Child's."
    ---Child's (restaurant) ad, New York Times, May 19, 1926 (p. 4)

    [1928]
    "Savita. Concentrated vitamins. A pure vegetable extract which has the appearance and flavor of the finest meat extracts without any of the harmful effects of meat. As much food iron, lime and other salts in a cupful of Sativa as is found in a half pound of meat. Makes delicious sandwiches, sauce and gravies. A boon to Diabetics. Jar, 50 cents & 95 cents...Battle Creek Health Foods."
    ---display ad, Chicago Tribune, February 21, 1928 (p. 6)

    [1932]
    "Savita abounds in food iron and has a delicious flavor of mushrooms. Three teaspoons is almost equal to as much iron as found in a pound of beef steak. Delicious in gravy, soup, and bouillon."
    ---display ad, Battle Creek Foods, Washington Post, February 20, 1932 (p. 7)

    [1933]
    "Introductory offer. Savita Yeast Tablets, 2 75 cent bottles, 76 cents."
    ---display ad, Chicago Daily Tribune, October 22, 1933 (p. 9)

    [1937]
    "Savita--A non-fattening food of concentrated yeast and vegetable extracts. Gives a meat-like flavor to ordinary foods."
    ---display ad, Washington Post, June 12, 1937 (p. 9)

    [1959-1972]
    According to the records of the
    US Patent and Trademark Office Sativa brand flavoring was manufactured from 1959-1972 by Miles Laboratories. We cannot confirm the connection between this product and the original Battle Creek Foods.

    "Word Mark SAVITA Goods and Services (EXPIRED) IC 030. US 046. G & S: FOOD FLAVORING FOR USE IN THE SEASONING OF FOODS. FIRST USE: 19590102. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19590102 Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING Serial Number 72406002 Filing Date October 26, 1971 Current Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Registration Number 0945891 Registration Date October 24, 1972 Owner (REGISTRANT) MILES LABORATORIES, INC. CORPORATION INDIANA 1127 MYRTLE ST. ELKHART INDIANA 46514 Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL Affidavit Text SECT 8 (6-YR). Live/Dead Indicator DEAD" (EXPIRED) IC 030. US 046. G & S: FOOD FLAVORING FOR USE IN THE SEASONING OF FOODS. FIRST USE: 19590102. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19590102 (1) TYPED DRAWING 72406002 October 26, 1971 1A 1A 0945891 October 24, 1972 (REGISTRANT) MILES LABORATORIES, INC. CORPORATION INDIANA 1127 MYRTLE ST. ELKHART INDIANA 46514 ASSIGNMENT RECORDED TRADEMARK PRINCIPAL SECT 8 (6-YR). DEAD"


    Sesame seeds
    Origins & early uses
    "Sesame... one of the first oil-yielding plants to be taken into cultivation, in Egypt or the Near East. Wild species, with one exception, are African...The name sesame is one of the few words to have passed into modern languages from ancient Egyptian, in which it was sesemt...Sesame is often mentioned by classical writers. The Greek authors Herodotus (5th century BC) and Strabo (1st century BC) both mention its being cultivated in Babylonia...In the 1st century AD Dioscorides mentioned the sprinkling of sesame seed on bread in Sicily, a practice which has contintinued to the present day, e.g. on hamburger buns. Further east, sesame had long been grown in Persia and India. It was probably introduced from Persia into China early in the Christian era...In Africa the cultivation of sesame dates back to early times not only in Egypt and Ethiopia but also further to the south and west...It was from West Africa that slave traders took seeds to America...In Western and Central Europe sesame seeds are not much used except for sprinking on bread and cakes, but at the eastern end of the Mediterranean it becomes more common."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 713-4)

    India & Persia
    "Sesame, an oil plant apparently native to India and domesticated there probably in the second millennium BC. Historians used to believe that sesame was the everyday oil of the ancient Near East, serving as food and medicine and as a base for perfumes. Ancient terms obviously connected with classical Greek sesamon...were tranlated 'sesame'. All is now in doubt because of the entire absence of archaeobotanical evidence for sesame in the ancient Near East before the end of the second millennium BC. Pending earlier finds of sesame seeds, it is now often concluded that linseed was the common oil of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt and bore these names. On this assumption, whenever sesame was introduced from India, possibly shortly before 1000 BC, it will rapidly have displaced linseed as a food oil--since it is more easily kept fresh...At the Persian King's Dinner...sesame oil was used both in the cooking process and as a seasoning...It remained rather unfamiliar in classical Greece and Rome, but was was observed in use in contemporary Mesopotamia and Egypt...it was one of five oils taxed under Ptolemy II...Sesame grew in Egypt, Syria and Babylon in large quantities by Hellenistic times...The seed was a popular ingredient in cakes, particularly wedding cakes, to judge by Greek literary sources."
    ---Food in the Ancient World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003(p. 297)

    "There is now fairly conclusive evidence that the sesame, rightly called Sesamum indicum, is indeed of Indian origin, its prgenitor being the wild Indian species, S.orientale var. malabaricum which still exists all over the country. This was probably the wild Sesame, or jartila, first mentioned in the Taittirlya Samhita as an uncultivated grain pemitted to ascetics...Both archealogical and literary evidence support the antiquity of the sesame in India. A 'charred lump of sesame' was found in c. 2000 BC layers in Harappa, along with burnt grains of wheat and peas...Sesame oil has played a seminal role in borth north and south India...Sanskrit litrature reveals that from about 500 BC or so, oil was extraced from sesame seed in an animal-drwn mortal-and-pestle device."
    ---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 231-232)

    Ancient & Imperial Rome
    "Sesame, sesamon, a lightly aromatic seed, was used as a garnish. Hipponax, in the sixth century BC, wrote of not biting bits and hare, not biting pancakes with sesame seeds, not drenching cakes in honeycomb' ...The compound sesamopastos, sprinkled with sesame seeds', is used of a cake or sweet by Philoxenus, which must have resembled a tahini or halva and was used as a filling for cakes; Aristophanes seems to talk of sesame folded into a cake..."
    ---Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 1996 (p. 86)

    "Imperial Rome...Columella, in the first century A.D. reported accurately that "it [sesame] usually requires loamy soil, but it thrives no less well in rich sand or in mixed ground..." Pliny, also writing in the first century A.D....appears to have known sesame well...the Romans ground sesame seeds with cumin to make a pasty spread for bread."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2001, Volume 1 (p. 415)

    North America
    "Lowcountry slaves cultivated a much greater range of plants, including many more African varities, in their own plots and gardens than did Chesapeake slaves...Lowcountry slaves...introduced sesame--what they called 'Benni'--to the region. A late-eighteenth-century history of plants noted that South Carlonia slaves bmade both 'soups and puddings' of sesame and used its oil in salads. In 1762, an observer of the 'private fields' of Lowcountry slaves saw theri 'beny-seed,' which the bondpeople plnted for 'their own use and profit.'"
    ---Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in teh Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake & Lowcountry, Philip D. Morgan [University of North Carolina Press:Chapel Hill NC] 1998(p. 141) [NOTE: This scholarly book offers extensive footnotes.]

    "Sesame seeds which may be indigenous to West or Central Africa were groughto America by African slaves andhas impacted significantly upon Americna Cookery, especially in South Carolina. Here in Carolina Low Country, the sesame seed, called benne in the Mandingo County on the upper Niger River, was pounded into a paste and mixed with hominy, instinctively improving the amount of protein in their diet. A substitute for peanuts, it was mixed with oysters to make a savory, creamy soup, or sprinkled over grilled chicken breast caoated with cayenne and grape preserve. The American cook has found ingenious use of sesame seeds to not only improve the fragrance and flavor of their foods, but also to make candies, cookies, desserts, etc. The candies cookerd in the African Americans' home was most often cooked as a 'cash' food to be sold to whites rather than consumption by the cook's family."
    ---Aspects of African American Foodways, Howard Paige [Aspects Publsihing Company:Southfield MI] 1999 (p. 132)
    [NOTE: recipes for Benne Brittle, Benne Cookies & Benne Cookie Cakes follow.]

    Open Sesame! myths & legends
    "Sesame plays a large role in myth and ritual, particularly among the Hindus of India. Most likely, sesame originated in India, though some scholars believe it originated in Africa. Sesame seeds are eaten as food and pressed to make oil, which is use both in cooking and for annointing. Both the seeds and the oil have ritual significance. Hindus make cakes of the seeds and offer them to spirits of the dead. They annoint themselves with oil to bring good luck and to keep evil away. Since antiquity, Hindus have linked sesame with death. For this reason they have traditionally used sesame seeds both in ceremonies for the dead and in ceremonies conducted to counteract the influence of demonic forces...The ancient mythological connections are numerous and widespread. In Hindu myth, Yama, the god of the dead, created sesame, so the people offer both the seeds and the oil to him...Hindus also use sesame seeds in funeral rites for the newly deceased...believing that sesame will offer them protection against evil...Hindus who offer sesame to the living belive that this sacred grain helps remove the contagion of death...There is now doubt that people past and present assigned sesame magical properties. Perhaps the most telling measure of sesame's reputed magic the world over is the effect the phrase 'Open Sesame!' had for Ali Baba in The Arabian Nights iand in various European folktales. The utterance of these words not only opened doors but also secret passages in trees and mountain caves. The power of these words stemmed from the ancient belief that certain plants contained magic and that sesame was one such plant."
    ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 211-212)


    Taro
    "Taro...The family has a bewildering range of names. Other common names for the principal kind of taro are colocasia, which has also become the botanical name, and the corresponding Arabi name qulqas, old cocyam, a name used in Africa to distinguish it from new cocyam..Taro originated in India or SE Asia, and may have been first cultivated as early as 5000BC...Cultivation of taro spread eastwards to China (berfore 100 BC) and Japan; and also westward, arriving in Egypt around 100 BC. There it came to the notice of the Latin writer Pliny, who called it the arum of the Egyptians'; and it also picked up the Greek name kolokasia, which had formerly been used for a lotus root. Cultivation spread through Africa, and by the early centuries of the Christian era the plant was a staple crop in W. Africa...The introduction of taro to the Pacific islands had major results for the diet there, since it rapidly became a staple of the region. It is especially important in Hawaii, where the prevailing creation myth states that taro was the first-born of Father Sky and Daughter Earth, humans coming next. Traditionally, the cultivation of taro in Hawaii has been men's work and its sacred character was such that women were not supposed to touch the plants. Indeed the most commonly produced red variety was in former times reserved exclusively for use by the chiefs...The roots of wild plants are tnerally unpleasantly acrid in flavour on account ot the presence of crystals of calcium oxolate, which are clustered particularly thickly under the skin. Selection, even in very early times, of the least acrid plants has led to modern cultivated strains, some of which are mild enough to eat raw. However, the calcium oxolate problem can be overcome by peeling and cooking. When properly prepared, taro has a light, mealy texture like a delicate, floury potato. The flavour is pleasant, light without being insipid, sometimes slightly sweet."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 783-4)

    "Taro refers to four members of the Aracae family...The last [Colocasia esculenta, true taro] is the most widely distributed, and in many places in Oceania, it was the favored staple. Ancient Hawaiians, perhaps Oceania's most sophisticated agriculturalists, recognized between 150 and 175 distinguishable varieties of taro...Taro was the main staple of the Hawaiians and Samoans. Colocasia taro is believed to have been one of the first root crops to be domesticated...Traditionally, it was found from South Asia through Indonesia to the Pacific. Recent evidence suggests widely distributed multiple sites being highland Papau New Guinea...Polynesian taro, however, had its origins in Indonesia, although New Guinea may have been the immediate area of domestication."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1353-4)

    "Colocassi is a Cypriot version of the taro, a tropical and temperate plant with large starchy edible tubers. In the case of the colocassi, the tubers are comparatively elongated and slender, with a characteristic stalk-like stump, so that they rather resemble an unfamiliar but suspicious species of tall mushroom. Their name is an alteration of colocasia, the Latin genus name of the taro; this in turn came from Greek lolokasia, a term originally applied ot the edible root of the Egyptian water-lily."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 86)

    "...the Hawaiians subsisted primarly on taro, its swollen, fleshy corm providing their daily staple. Where taro originally came form is a matter of conjecture, but ethnobotanists suggest that it was first cultivated in India or in Southeast Asia. From there it spread west and east: west to Africa and on to the Caribbean and Latin America with the slave trade; east to China, Japan, and the Polynesian islands, eventually ending up in its most remote location--Hawaii. And nowhere in the world did a people come to depend so heavily on taro as did the Hawaiians....So it is not surprising that the Hawaiians gave taro a prominent place in their creation stories. According to one version, the sky principle, Wakea, mated with the earth principle, Papa, to produce two offspring: from the body of the first, which died, sprang the taro plant; form the second came the human race. The very word for the family in Hawaiian--ohana--is derived from the word for the cormlets--oha--that branch out drom the swollen subterranean stem--the corm--of the plant...In the past, taro was baked in an imu until tender; in recent times, a cleaned, 5-gallon kerosene can eased the job considerably. As soon as the taro was cool, it was peeled. Then it was set on a large, slightly hollowed board about 3 feet long. The man who was to pound the poi sat with his legs straddling the board and pounded it with a stone mallet...From time to time, the man dipped the tips of his fingers into a bowl of water and shook them over the mass of taro, all the while constantly turning it. When the pounded taro was still solid, he stopped. This paiai kept well and was light enoguth to be carried to other locations."
    ---The Food of Paradise, Rachel Laudan [University of Hawai'i Press:Honolulu] 1996 (p. 217-9)

    "Taro corms are roasted, boiled, or baked, and may be made into cakes. Heating is necessary to remove an acrid, irritating property of the raw corm. Traditionally, the substance blamed for this irritation has been the needle-like crystals of calcium oxalate, which occur throughout the plant and become lodged in the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia), a household plant, is considered a dangerous poison for the same reason. Now other researchers suspect that one or more additional chemicals may be responsible for the acridity and intense itching and burning of raw taro, which would be injected into mucous membranes by the sharp-tipped calcium oxalate crystals. In the Hawaiian Islands, taro plant is eaten after thoroughly boiled to destroy the toxins; the leaf (luau, also the name of the feast using taro leaves) must be boiled at least 45 minutes over low heat, whereas corms are boiled in a deep pot with salted water for at least an hour or until soft."
    SOURCE:
    UCLA

    Related starches: sago, tapioca & cassava.


    Timbale
    Defining the term "timbale" is a complicated exercise in culinary context. Ingredients, method, purpose, and presentation are period and place dependent. In the most basic sense, timbales are fancy molded compositions combining an outer layer of starch (grain, pasta, rice) with fillings (meat, vegetable, fruit). Some are layered (similar to contemporary lasagne); others are vertical presentations (similar to vol-au-vent). Timbales can be savory or sweet and served at almost any course. The ultimate flexible food application.

    English/Anglo meaning
    According to the [online] Oxford English Dictionary the word timbale, in the culinary sense, appeared in in English print in1842: "2. Cookery. A dish made of finely minced meat, fish, or other ingredients, cooked in a crust of paste or in a mould: so called from its shape. 1824 BYRON Juan XV. lxvi. 38 Then there was God knows what ‘à l'Allemande’,..‘timballe’, and ‘Salpicon’. 1866 MRS. GASKELL Wives & Dau. I. xv. 178 Mr. Gibson had to satisfy his healthy English appetite on badly-made omelettes, rissoles, vol-au-vents, croquets, and timbales. 1880 ‘OUIDA’ Moths I. 25 Eating her last morsel of a truffled timbale. 1899 Westm. Gaz. 16 Sept. 1/3 ‘If I could only have a little sweetbread timbale’, she said longingly. 1908 Daily Chron. 10 Apr. 7/5 Chicken Timbales with Sauce."

    Italian applications
    "Timballo is a tall cylindrical container, timbale in French, and gives its name to any dish cooked in it, usually enclosed in a pastry or pasta lining, which is then unmoulded. The contents can be short or stuffed pasta in a rich sauce, sometimes a besciamella, with the addition of many delicacies like truffles, sweetbreads, artichoke bottoms. This is also called a pasticcio..."
    ---Oxford Companion to Italian Food, Gillian Riley [Oxford Univeristy Press:New York] 2007 (p. 528)

    "Timballo. Timbale. A dish, often with pasta or rice, made in a form and unmolded. Timballini are small molds. From the Arabic at-tabl (the drum). The most famous timballo is the Sicilian timballo di anellini, made with ring-shape dried pasta, balsamello, ground beef and chicken, peas, and vegetables, all wrapped in lettuce leaves and baked in a mold. Timballo di crespelle is crepes layered with spinach, ground meat, giblets, mozzarella, and parmigiano, from Abruzzo."
    ---The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1998 (p. 257)

    "Rice is...the protagonist of tummala [timbale], an elaborate casserole from eastern Sicily, which is said to derive its name from that of Mohammad Ibn Thummah, an empire of Catania during the Saracen occupation."
    ---Pomp and Sustenance: Twenty-Five Centuries of Sicilian Food, Mary Taylor Simeti [Ecco Press:Hopwell NJ]1998 (p. 72)

    "...Lampedusa's timballo is perhaps the summa of an ancient tradition rather than the product of a single recipe. It is curiously reminiscent of the patina apiciana from classical Rome, in which layers of laganum, an early version of lasagna, alternate with layers of chicken, fish, or songbirds. The sugar and the cinnamon recall the timbales and the torta described in fourteenth-century Tuscan cookbooks; the ham and truffles sound a note of nineteenth-century France. Its presence on a princely table in the middle of the nineteenth century, albeit as a provincial alternative to consomme, speaks volumes about the evolution of the Sicilian 'baronial cuisine'."
    ---ibid (p. 182)

    "Timballo di riso is very simply made, with butter stirred carefully into the rice until each grain is glistening, the timbale then being served with meat, fish, or vegetable sauce."
    ---The Food of Italy, Waverly Root [Vintage Books:New York] 1991 (p. 440)

    "...popular Abruzzi dishes are...Timballo...based on pancakes, built up in layers with fillings between each two pancakes, built up in layers with filling between each two pancakes of previously fried tiny meat balls, small pieces of chicken, peas, mushrooms which have been pre-fried in butter, diced milk with beaten eggs in it, meat-and-tomato sauce, and nutmeg..."---ibid (p. 532)

    "There are homemade dishes, but for holidays and other festive occasions the family may resort to store-bought macaroni, the nearest baker's oven and perhaps even to a professional cook for a mess of maccheroni al forno, oven-baked macaroni, for which the pasta is combined with buffalo cheese, sausage and meat balls into a sort of pie. This is a festive dish in all three of the southern-most provinces, sometimes under the alternative name of timballo di maccheroni."---ibid (p. 554)

    French interpretations
    "A timbale can be composed of meat, fish, or vegetables in a creamy sauce, or of fruit in Chantilly cream, but its essence is in its shape, which is that of a cup or bowl (the original meaning of timbale in French is 'kettledrum'). The 'case' enclosing a timbale's contents is usually made of pastry, but rice or pasta are also used. Timbales are part of classic French cuisine, and there are numerous specialized recipes...by the end of the nineteenth century it was firmly in place on the best Victorian and Edwardian tables."
    ---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 343-344)

    "Timbale. By definition this word (which comes from Arab thabal meaning drum) means a small metal receptacle, round in shape and mostly intended to hold a beverage. Timbales of this kind are chiefly made of silver, sometimes of gold, or sometimes of silver plate, and are of many kinds. Some are simple; others are ornamented. The word timbale, which in the early days was only applied to individual drinking cups, has taken on a much wider meaning, and is used to describe all sorts of bowls, of metal, earthenware and china, larger than those that our fathers used at table, which were of a size to sere two guests together ...These timbales of the new type were used chiefly to serve vegetables and food in sauce. In French culinary parlance today the same word is still used in the phrase dresser en timbale to describe the serving of some preparation in a large bowl, which may be a vegetable dish or leguimier, although used for many other foodstuffs than vegtables. Thus in these timbales-legumiers are served scrambled eggs, food in sauce, purees, custards and othe prepartions, all to some extent liquid. Dresser en timbale in modern culinary parlance often means to heap the food on a platter in a pyramid shape, usually garnished. Culinarily the word timbale means a preparation of an kind cooked or served in a pie crust. Timbapes of this kind are simply a sort of hot pie, which instead of being made in a special mould or dish, usualy inged, are made in plain round mould with high sides. These moulds are sometimes embellished...their sides are...decorated with motifs or [sic] different kinds. These timbales are filled before cooking with forcemat and meats of various sorts...Ther eare many...kinds of timbale which are not filled until after the crust has been cooked...To meet the needs of the ordinary housewife, timbale cases are made in fireproof porcelain in the same shape and colour as the real pie-crusts. But the true gourmand, is not satisfied with a timbale whos crust is not edible; when served with a real timbale, this gourmand enjoys not only the contents but the container too."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Crown:New York] 1961 (p. 959)

    USA recipes
    19th century
    American recipes, courtesy of Michigan State University's Feeding America digital cookbook project (search recipe name: timbale):


    Tracklements
    Food historians define "tracklements" as a variety of traditional British condiments accompanying meat. They trace the genesis of this term to Dorothy Hartley's
    Food in England [1954]. Tracklements brand condiments were introduced in the 1970s.

    "Tracklements is a cover term for a wide range of condiments that go with meat--mustards...relishes, pickled greengages, apple jelly spiked with rosemary, rowan jelly suffused with port wine--the sort of items, in fact, that in the latter part of the twentieth century became widely avaialble in samll nostalgic jars at large prices. The English food-writer Dorothy Hartley claimed to have invented the word, or rather its culinary application. According to her she was reviving an old term for 'impedimenta' in general. However, no trace of such a word has been found before she first used it in the early 1950s, and its origins remain a mystery. One possibility is that Latin tragmata or Greek tragmata, 'spices, condiments' may have been present at its birth."
    ---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 348)

    The Oxford English Dictionary (accessed online 28 August 2013) confirms the term "tracklement" first surfaces in mid-the 1950s. Unlike most words, this one purportedly has an "inventor," which makes for a great story!

    "tracklement, n.
    Pronunciation: /?træk(?)lm?nt/ Etymology: Origin obscure. Dorothy Hartley claimed to have invented this word. She also claimed that her use of it in this sense was a spec. application of an older word, probably dial., meaning ‘appurtenances, impedimenta’, but no evidence of such a word has been found. An article of food, spec. a jelly, prepared to accompany meat. 1954 D. Hartley Food in Eng[land]. v. 161 (heading) Mutton tracklements and condiment. 1959 Times 24 Aug. 11/4 A pleasantly astringent, smokily flavoured jelly as a ‘tracklement’ with mutton. 1971 R. Condon Vertical Smile (1973) xxxvii. 259 A saddle of lamb..delicate enough to accept only such a tracklement as rowan jelly. 1978 Observer 26 Feb. 35/9 Various salads and tracklements are included in the cold table."

    Tracklements brand condiments and jellies launched in 1970:
    "Tracklements began in 1970 when, having read John Evelyn's Diaries, William Tullberg started to make the first English wholegrain mustard How It Started" The first trial saw the mustard seed being put through a coffee grinder, before it was discovered that an old industrial coffee mill could be adapted to grind the mustard seed correctly. After the first small batches of Urchfont Mustard were made for friends and for Saturday morning sausage and mash parties, William started to make mustards full time. "I remembered my Lincolnshire grandmother using the word "tracklements" for meat accompaniments and it seemed such an appropriate name that we named the company "Wiltshire Tracklements". Tracklements has continued to grow steadily over the years with William's son, Guy, taking over the reins and the product range expanding to incorporate over 60 products; relishes, chutneys, sauces, jellies, ketchups, pickles, mayonnaise, salsas and fruit cheeses. Along the way, Tracklements has outgrown several premises, eventually moving, in July 2007, to a new unit just a few miles from the original bakery in Sherston. Our current site has given us the much needed warehouse space for the increasing number of people enjoying our award winning products!"
    SOURCE: Tracklements company web.

    The earliest trademark registration with the the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office is 1996. The trademark was re-registered in 2007.


    Trail mix & gorp
    The history of trail mix and and gorp-type foods (nutritious, high-energy snacks composed variously of nuts, seeds, dried meats, dried fruits & berries and candy) begins with ancient nomads. These people were experts (they had to be!) at creating portable high-energy snacks that withstood weather and did not require cooking. The practice of drying food for preservation purposes was practiced by many ancient cultures and cuisines, and these foods were relatively easy to obtain.

    As time marched on, so did the trail mix. Ancient travelers, explorers, pioneers, hunters, soldiers, hikers, scouts--anyone needing a lightweight carboload-- have enjoyed some version of this portable treat. Native Americans ate trail mix foods, too. They taught the Voyageurs how to make pemmican.

    Food historians generally place first the commercially manufactured products called trail mix/gorp in California, 1968. This makes sense, given the plentify availability of locally dried fruits (raisins, dates, etc.) and California's reputation for marketing natural foods. Today's American trail mix and gorp typically do not contain meat products. The recipes range from home-made favorites to pricey gourmet pre-packaged items. They can be as healthy or sodium filled/fat-laden as any other food. It all depends upon the ingredients.

    Trail mix
    This name recalls the old days when people ate mixtures of dried foods while traveling "on the trail." As with many foods, the name preceded the product. Harmony Foods (California) claims to be the first to market a product with this name. The date? 1968. The other company claiming the invention of trail mix is Hadley Fruit Orchards, also in California

    According to the records of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Hadley's trail mix product was introduced to the American public in 1968:

    "Word Mark ORIGINAL TRAIL MIX Goods and Services IC 029. US 046. G & S: Snack food mix consisting primarily of raisins, processed sunflower seeds, processed pumpkin seeds, processed peanuts, processed cashews, processed almonds, soybean oil and/or cottonseed oil and/or canola oil and/or almond oil and salt. FIRST USE: 19680000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19770000 Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING Design Search Code Serial Number 76345939 Filing Date December 7, 2001 Current Filing Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Published for Opposition September 24, 2002 Registration Number 2662697 Registration Date December 17, 2002 Owner (REGISTRANT) Hadley Date Gardens, Inc. CORPORATION CALIFORNIA 83555 Airport Blvd. Thermal CALIFORNIA 92274 Attorney of Record John H. Alspaugh Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "TRAIL MIX" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL-2(F) Live/Dead Indicator LIVE"
    Word Mark HARMONY Goods and Services IC 029. US 046. G & S: DRIED FRUIT, PROCESSED NUTS, AND MIXTURES OF DRIED FRUIT AND PROCESSED NUTS. FIRST USE: 19690906. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19690906 Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING Design Search Code Serial Number 73184473 Filing Date September 5, 1978 Current Filing Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Registration Number 1129023 Registration Date January 8, 1980 Owner (REGISTRANT) HARMONY FOODS, INC. CORPORATION CALIFORNIA 2141 DELAWARE AVE. SANTA CRUZ CALIFORNIA 95061 (LAST LISTED OWNER) HARMONY FOODS CORPORATION CORPORATION DELAWARE 11899 EXIT FIVE PARKWAY FISHERS INDIANA 46038 Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED Attorney of Record ERIC S. WACHSPRESS Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20000111 Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

    GORP
    (aka Good Old Raisins and Peanuts, Granola Oats Raisins and Peanuts)
    Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary [Barnes & Noble:New York] 1996 suggests this term might have derived from "GLOP," used 1955-1960. Coincidentally? This was also the time when home-made party snack mixes were popular and Chex Mix was born.

    "Gorp...as a noun, "gorp" refers to a mixture of dried fruit, seeds, nuts, and chocolate chips used as high-energy food for athletes, particularly hikers and mountain climbers, a meaning known in print since 1968."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 142)


    Vanilla
    "Vanilla...of the great number of orchid family members, Vanilla planifolia...is one of the few to be prized for something other than its flowers. The vanilla bean is the pod fruit of this climbing orchid, which is native to that part of the New World that also gave chocolate to the whole world...However, it was not the Aztecs who first discovered the secret of vanilla, which was one of nature's better-guarded secrets that neither the vanilla flower nor its fruit have a telltale aroma that might have demanded further investigation. Rather, it was the Totonacs, in what has become the Mexican state of Vera Cruz, who discoverd at least 1,000 years ago that if the initially tasteless beans were "sweated" in the sun for two or three weeks, and then slowly dried for several months, this process would force the development of vanillin, the major flavor componnent of the beans. It is interested to note that although the Totonacs were subsequently conquered by the Aztecs, they in turn joined forces with the newly arrived Spaniards to overturn the Aztec empire. And this meant that they continued to have a monopoly on vanilla."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food/Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Orneals [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1874-5)

    “The indigenous tribes of Mexico were harvesting vanilla pods as early as 6000 B.C. and using them primarily to flavor their chocolate drinks...They also ground up vanilla flowers and wore them around their necks as amulets and medicinal charms. They used vanilla as a perfume, a medicine, a mental stimulant, an insect repellant, and an aprhodisiac...By creating the goddess Xanath, the Totonacs revealed their belief that the gods themselves gave the people vanilla. According to myth, the heavenly vanilla vine continued to bloom and produce fruit on earth to supply not only Xanath’s warrior but all of the Totonacs with eternal happiness. Having received this heavenly gift, the people made it their duty to care for the vines, to guard them against theft, and to learn how to increase their productivity, which they did by performing what was called a ‘marriage of vanilla.’”
    ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology/Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 235)

    Vanilla in Europe
    "In its original Central American home vanilla was used by the Aztecs to flavour chocolate, and the first writers in English to mention it when it had crossed the Atlantic with the Spanish describe the process; the natualist John Ray, for instance in 1673: 'vanillas which they mingle with Cacao to make Chocolate'. It fact, when chocolate was first introduced to Europe in the sixteenth century, it was cinnamon that was usually used to flavour it, at is was not until the eighteenth century that vanilla toook over a role it has never held since. But it is as and ingredient of ice cream that vanilla really come into its own: it appears to have been popularized in the USA in the latter part of the nineteenth century...and by the early twentieth century it had established itself as the standard flavouring...The Spanish were responsible not only for importing the vanilla pod to Europe, but also for supplying Europe's languages with a name for it. In Spanish it is vainilla, a diminutive of vaina, 'sheath'--a reference to the long narrow pods."
    ---An A-Z of Food and Drink/John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 355-356)

    "Vanilla...is one of the few tropical spices indigenous ot the New World, and one of the most popular flavourings worldwide for confectionery and other sweet foods...Vanilla was first used by the Aztecs and its use recorded by the Spanish. Diaz noticed Montezuma drinking tlilxochitl, a drink made from cacao beans flavoured with vanilla...In the second half of the 16th century, the Spaniards imported vanilla beans into Spain and made chocolate flavoured with the spice. Hugh Morgan, apothecary to Elizabeth I, suggested vanilla as a flavouring in its won right and gave some cured beans to the Flemish botanist Clusius who described them in his Exoticorum Libri Decem (1605). Plants were taken to Reunion in 1822 by the French, then to Mauritus in 1827 and to Madagascar in about 1840. But pollination of the vanilla vine is mysterious and only occurs unaided in Mexico--even there only a small percentage of the fruits set naturally. So it was not until Albius, a former slave in Reunion, developled a practical method of pollinating vanilla artificially that commercial cultivation of vanilla became possible. Madagascar, together with the Comor Islands and Reunion, now produces about 80 per cent of the world output of the variety of V. planifolia known as Bourbon vanilla...Much of the vanilla entering western markets is used for its preparation of vanilla extract, a hydroalcoholic solution which contains the extracted aroma and flavour of vanilla...Vanillin, the chief flavouring principle, has been the subject of much attention from flavour chemists. The first synthetic vanillin was produced by German chemists in 1874 was coniferin...Synthetic vanillin can also be produced from other sources such as coal tar extracts...European take-up of vanilla was long restricted to a flavour enhancer for chocolate and tobacco although there was early use of it in puddings...Also, its rarity meant it soon entered the pharmacy, particularly as an aphrodisiac."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food/Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2007 (p. 823-4)

    “There are about a hundred species of the genus Vanilla, all tropical vining orchids...The French were certainly involved in the expansion of vanilla cultivation. There were French colonists in the state of Veracruz in Mexico in the eighteenth century, growing vanilla. The first commercial plantations were there, on vanilla’s native territory, but they suffered from the inadequacy of the natural pollinators until a series of experiments on greenhouse plants in the Old World showed how to do it better than the bees. The French colonists had to share the technique, derived by Charles Morren in Liege Belgium in 1836, with the neighboring Totonac Indians, who also raised vanilla, because the Totoancs, seeing the vastly increased crops of the French, accused them of thievery. In 1841 a former slave, Edmond Albius, on the island of Reunion, in the Indian Ocean, discovered an even quicker and easier method of pollinating the flowers. This raised the productivity...by a factor of five and encouraged the French to expand vanilla cultivation on their tropical island possessions.”
    ---America’s First Cuisines/Sophie D. Coe [University Of Texas Press:Austin TX] 1994 (p.59-60)

    Vanilla in North America
    Like chocolate, vanilla arrived in North America via Europe:

    "Americans were not much familiar with vanilla until ice cream became popular in the late eighteenth century. Thomas Jefferson discovered its virtues in France and on arriving back in the United States in 1789 sent for some pods from Paris, which must have come from Central America in the first place. By the nineteeth century Americans developed a passion for vanilla, especially as an ice-cream flavoring (by 1932 it as estimated that 75-80 percent of all ice cream was vanilla) and today America uses more vanilla than any other country. Vanilla extract (or "vanilla essence") created by Joseph Burnett in 1847, was made by soaking vanilla beans in grain alcohol and water."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink,/John F. Mariani [Lebhar Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 338)

    "Although vanilla was used extensively in French cookery, it was not an important flavoring in colonial America, although small quanities of vanilla beans were imported into the United Sates prior to 1800....By the late nineteenth century, vanilla was an important ingredient in American recipes for sauces, ice cream, baked goods, and beverages...As the prices of vanilla and vanillin declined, the flavoring was used in a much wider range of foods and dishes, including custards, puddings, cakes, candies, cookies, meringues, macaroons, and pies. In the 1870s, soda fountain proprietors began using vanilla as a flavoring, and the cream soda was invented...Vanilla manufacturers produced cookbooklets filled with recipes to encourage the use of their products."
    ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America/Andrew F. Smith, editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 569)

    Recommended reading:
    Vanilla: The Cultural History of the World's Favorite Flavor and Fragrance/Patricia Rain


    Vinegar
    The history of vinegar is connected with that of wine. Ancient peoples of many cultures and cuisines appreciated vinegar for its preservative qualities and medicinal attributes. According to the food historians, commercial (large-scale) production began in France during the 16th century. Why? Changing tastes prefered this new flavor over traditional salt preservation. The
    French were quick to recognize and capitalize on the growing demands of this new market. Italians countered with basalmic vinegar. By the 19th century, vinegar was employed for culinary, medicinal, household and personal uses.

    How old is vinegar?
    "Vinegar has been in use for thousands of years and its origins are untraceable. One of the earliest references is from the 5th century BC, where Hippocrates recommended its medicinal powers. However, then as now, its main use has beeen as a flavoring and preserving agent. There was no need to invent vinegar as it makes itself without difficulties."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davisdon [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 827)

    Vinegar in the Ancient world
    "Vinegar merely as a condiment was not important, but ut was a very necessary part of food preservation; vinegar and hard brine', says Columella, are essential for making preserves'. In addition, it was commonly used as a drink when diluted with water. This diltuion meant that a small abount of vinegar would go much furhter han the same amount of wine, so it proved to be useful and refreshing drink to take on long journeys where baggage had to be kept to a minimum. It is not surprising therefore that it figured among the rations of the Roman soldiers when on the march. Vinegar was usually manufactured from flat wine and various crushed ingredients such as yeast, dried figs, salt and hone added. It could also be made from other fruits such as peaches, and squill vinegar is also mentioned."
    ---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell, Expanded edition [Johns Hopkins:Baltimore] 1997 (p. 161-2)

    "Vinegar, product of a secondary fermentation of wine (or other alcohol). In the ancient Mediterranean vinegar was practically always made from wine, hence the epic epithet oininon oxos winy vinegar' employed by Archestratus. Although by no means as desirable as fine wine, vinegar has important food uses and has been purposefully made ever since ancient times: instructions are given by Columella. Vinegar is most often used as a culinary ingredient and as a preservative. Numerous medicinal uses are listed by ancient physicians. A vinegar and water mixture, known in Greek as oxykraton, was also used medicinally. A very similar mixture, flavoured with herbs, formed a popular cheap drink...Vinegar is Greek oxos, Latin acetum. These terms are often used metaphorically for bad wine' in comic contexts..."
    ---Food in the Ancient World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 343)

    French vinegar
    "Vinegar (the French word, vinaigre, literally means sour wine') has been produced and used since the Gallo-Roman era; vinegar diluted with water was a common drink of the Roman legionaires. Orleans, an important centre for wine transport on the Loire, soon became the vinegar capital, and hald the French wine vinegar is still produced there. The vinegar merchants' corporation was created in this city in 1394, and in 1580 Henri IV ordered that the profession of vinegar and mustard merchant should be a recognized occupation in the town and its suburbs', which resulted in the perfection of carefully developed production methods."
    ---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 1287)

    "It is believed that the first large-scale production of vinegar occurred in France during the 16th century--for use by the French as well as for export to the British Isles and various European countries. It is further believed that the first major quantities of vinegar were produced in England by processing soured beers and ales. The standard table vinegars used in France today are of grape origin; in the United Kingdom (malt), and in the United States (apples)."
    ---Foods and Food Production Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine and Glenn D. Considine [Van Nostrand Reinhold:New York] 1982 (p. 2064)

    Wine vinegar
    "Vinegar production must have started in ancient times as the natural result of exposure of wine and beer to the atmosphere when uses for soured wine would naturally have developed. The traditional technique for making vinegar is called the Orleans process and involves only partially filling barrels with wine and leaving it there, under the influence of desirable acetobacter, for several months."
    ---The Oxford Companion to Wine, Jancis Robinson, Second edition [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 749)

    "The best wine vinegar may be made from either white or red wine, the latter having an agreeable mellow taste. Sherry also yields a particularly well-rounded flavour. Wine vinegars of the finest quality are made by a simple and ancient methood known as the Orleans process. Thsi requires the maker not to be in a hurry (the process takes months); to use small barrels (from which the heat engendered by fermentation dissipates quickly); to use wine of good quality; and to provide access to the barrels for air (which will contain acetobacytes, bacteria naturally present in the atmosphere). When the vinegar has developed the required acidity some of it is drawn off and more wine added. This sequence can be repeated for an indefinitely long period."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 828)

    "At the turn of the century, this city [Orleans, France] was home to more than 200 vinegar producers. Now there is only one, Martin Pouret, a company that refuses to abandon traditional methods. It is run by Jean Francois Martin, who grew up next to the plant in a house built by his great-grandfather Emile Pouret in 1870. It is on the bustling Faubourg Bannier, which once ran through countryside but is now lined with row houses and shops. Mr. Martin's grandmother Jeanne Pouret was the last of the Pourets, who founded the company in 1797. The name became Martin Pouret when she married Robert Martin after World War I. It was the location of Orleans as the Loire River port closest to Paris - it is about 70 miles south-southwest of the capital - that led to its vinegar production in the Middle Ages. The Loire flows from near Lyons in the heart of the country to Brittany on the Atlantic. Goods, especially wine, were shipped on the river from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Loire Valley, then unloaded in Orleans for the trip to Paris. Canals linked the Loire to Burgundy and the Rhone and ultimately to the Mediterranean. Wine that spoiled on the trip was left at Orleans, and instead of discarding it, the Orleanais made it into vinegar. A vinegar merchants' corporation was founded in 1394; production methods had been defined by 1580. An explanation of the process was eventually provided by Louis Pasteur, who discovered that the fermentation of wine into vinegar was caused by a bacterium. ''With the coming of the railroad by the turn of the century the importance of Orleans as a commercial center began to decline,'' Jean Francois Martin said. Silting also interfered with navigation. After World War II, small vinegar companies gradually began closing, forced out of business by makers using high-speed industrial methods. It takes three weeks for wine to develop into vinegar by the traditional Orleans method. It is then aged in oak for six months. The industrial methods used to produce most vinegar can convert 30,000 liters of wine into vinegar in 24 hours. Unlike the industrial method, the Orleans process does not require heating, thus preserving more flavor of the wine. ''We want to capture the quality of the wine,'' Mr. Martin said. ''That's how the vinegar acquires its pedigree.'' In the Martin Pouret plant two dim rooms contain about 3,000 barrels, called vaisseaux, stacked in rows equally divided between red and white wine vinegar. Each barrel is only three-quarters full, because oxygen is needed for the bacteria to act. In a three-week cycle, a third of the vinegar in a barrel is drawn off and an equal amount of new wine is added. As the alcohol in the new wine is converted into acetic acid, the flavor is enhanced by the vinegar that was already in the barrel. ''We do not have to add new bacteria, but we watch carefully and take samples to make sure the fermentation is consistent,'' Mr. Martin said. After three weeks no further beneficial fermentation takes place, he said. ''When people make vinegar at home with what they call a 'mother,' '' Mr. Martin said, ''they do not control the timing of the fermentation. These people are making spoiled wine, not good vinegar.'' After three weeks, vinegar is transferred to oak casks for aging and is filtered after six months. Flavorings are added just before bottling."
    ---"The Vinegar That Wants to Be Decanted," By Florence Fabricant, The New York Times, November 22, 1989, Section C; Page 3, Column 1; Living Desk

    [1875]
    "Vinegar, Wine, French Method of Making.

    The following is the French method of making vinegar. The wine destined for vinegar is mixed in a large tun with a quantity of wine lees, and the whole being transferred into cloth sacks placed within a large iron-bound vat, the liquid matter is forced through the sacks by superincumbent pressure. What passes through is put into large casks set upright, having a small apurture in their top. In these it is exposed to the heat of the sun in summer, or to that of a stove in winter. Fermentation supervenes in a few days. If the heat should rise too high, it is lowered by cool air and the addition of fresh wine. In the skilfull regulation of the fermentative temperature chiefly consists the art of making good wine vinegar. In summer the process is generally complete in a fortnight, in winter double the time is requisite. The vinegar is then run off into the barrels, which contains several chips of birchwood. In about a fortnight it is found to be clarified, and is then fit for the market. It mus be kept in close casks."
    ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 1095)

    What is balsamic vinegar?
    "Balsam...a compound of plant resins mixed with volatile oils, insoluble in water, used in the past for medicinal purposes but also sometimes as a flavouring. These substances were originaly obtained from the Near and Middle East, as balsam of Golead or Mecca, and their use for medicinal purposes in line with the Arabic tradition...Balsamic vinegar which takes its name from balsamic', meaning health giving, is a traditional product of the province of Modena in Italy, produced on an artisanal scale and greatly superior to any balsamic vinegar' which comes from factories. Making the real thing takes a long time"
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 52)

    "Balsamic vinegar...is a loaded name. It implies a precious substance, a spice, an aromatic plant, a perfume, a medicine, a cordial--in other words, an exceptional vinegar with all of those attributes. But it is not a vinegar, and it is not prduced in the same way, even through in the early stages of its manufacture a vinegar mother may or may not be used. The genuine product-- recognized by the precise wording of its name, aceto balsamico tradisionale di Modena, and the characteristic shape of the flask in which it is bottled--is a dense, aromatic condiment. In the past, a superfluity of grapes produced a year's supply of fresh young wine, a plentiful amount of vinegar, and much must to boil down to the thick sweet fruity syrup, sapa, or saba, which was used as a universal sweetneer or filling for tarts. The discover of the complex changes which turn this reduced must into extraordinary conciment remains a mystery, but references in classical literature have been interpreted as evidence that something like it has been known for centuries."
    ---Oxford Companion to Italian Food, Gillian Riley [Oxford University Press:New York] 2007 (p. 35)
    [NOTES: (1)This book provides a detailed description of the manufacturing process. (2) What was
    "must?"]

    "Balsamic vinegar. A special condiment of Modena and Reggio Emilia made from the boiled-down grape must to one-half its original volume...Some balsamic vinegars are aged a hundred years or longer...The name balsamic refers to the balsamlike aroma of the vinegars made around Modena for a thousand years, and unknown outside that region until recently, and also to its balmlike effect. For centuries, balsamico was used primarily for medicinal purposes and as a sweetener. It was much prized and very expensive and was given as gifts among families, particularly among the nobility, who believed it could ward off the plague. Mere drops would be used to add flavor to a sauce or to dress fruit. Only in the last decade has balsamico become a popular item in the kitchen--ironically, only after American entrepreneur Chuck Williams brought some from Modena for sale at his Williams-Sonoma kitchen specialty store in San Francisco in 1976; it was offered for sale in the store's national catalog a year later. Interest in the new product among Italian restauranteurs in the United States sparked an interest among cooks in Italy; balsamic vinegar has become as much a staple of American kitchens and restaurants as it is of those in Italy, France, Great Britain and other countries. Balsamico is now used liberally in salads, on grilled meats and fish, and in ways wine vinegar might be. It is added in droplets to orange slices and strawberries."
    ---The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1998 (p. 28)

    Vinegar in 19th century USA
    Period cookbooks confirm vinegar was a popular household substance serving many purposes: culinary, medicinal, household and personal. Recipes for vinegar suggest this product was sometimes made at home. Inexpensive commercial vinegars, of various composition, were also available.

    Commercial vinegar
    "Vinegar.--One of the most useful and frequently needed articles in the long catalogue of domestic wants, and yet but seldom to be obtained--the ordinary article sold being a diluted and impure solution of acetic acid. Acetic acid is the most common of the vegetable acids, occurring in the juices of a large number of plants. Vinegar in the United States is made chiefly from cider, although whiskey and other alcoholic liquors are brought into service; and even the refuse maple-sap, too poor for sugar, is boiled down, diluted and made into vinegar. The flavor and quality of the vinegar depends entirely upon the material of which it is made, and the quality and condition of that material--thus wine vinegar is the color of the wine producing it. Of all the sources for the production of vinegar, cider made from sound, ripe, sweet apples by a good process, and without adulterations, is undoubtedly the most the most agreeable and serviceable description in use. From the high price of acetic acid, vinegar is frequently adulterated with sulphuric, muriatic or nitric acids, and, in some cases, there is not a trace of acetic acid to be found, the flavor being given by the addition of ether, alum, red pepper, mustard, etc., these adulterations being exceedingly injurious to the delicate organism of the stomach."
    ---The Grocer's Companion and Merchant's Hand-Book, New England Grocer Office [Benjamin Johnson: Boston MA] 1883(p. 162-163)

    Culinary applications
    "Vinegar is much used in pickling, sauces, catsups, etc. and during the salad season the grocer should have an excellent article on hand. Mott's cider vinegar is a standard and reliable article produced form their own orchards at Boukville, N.Y."
    ---Grocers' Hand-Book and Directory for 1886 [Philadelphia Grocer Publishing Co.:Philadelphia] 1886 (p. 274)

    Preserving agents--pickles
    Salad dressings--Vinaigrette (aka French dressing)
    Substitute for lemons--Vinegar pie Energy & flavor boost--Switchel (also: raspberry vinegar beverage)
    Confectionery ingredient--Vinegar candy (aka Vinegar taffy)

    Medicinal uses: alcohol cure, burns & scalds, poison antidote "Vinegar is used principally as a sauce and to preserve vegetables substances; but it is employed externally when an overdose of strong wine, spirit, opium, or other narcotic poison has been taken."
    ---Six Hundred Receipts, worth their weight in gold, John Marquart [John E. Potter and Company:Philadelphia PA] 1867 (p. 77)
    [NOTE: This book offers 16 recipes for making vinegar from different substances.]

    "432. Efficacy of Vinegar in curing Burns and Scalds.--Vinegar is a great antiseptic and corrector of putrescence and mortification. The progressive tendency ob burns of the unfavorable kind, or those that are ill-treated, is to putrescence and mortification. When the outward skin is not broken, it may be freely used every hour or two; where the skin is broken, and if it gives pain, it must be gently used. But, equal parts of tepid vinegar and water applied every three or four hours, is the best rule to be directed by."
    ---Mrs. Hale's Receipts for the Million, Sarah Josepha Hale [T.B. Peterson:Philadelphia PA] 1857 (p. 110)

    "Poisons and Antidotes: Alkalies.--Best remedy is vinegar...Ammonia.--Remedy, lemon-juice or vinegar, afterwards milk and water or flaxseed tea...Belladonna, or Night Henbane.--Give emetics, and then plenty of vinegar and water or lemonade...Mushrooms, when poisonous.--Give emetics, and then plenty of vinegar and water, with does of ether, if handy...For the Sting of a Wasp or Bee.--Spread over the part a plaster of salad oil and common salt; if oil be not at hand, the salt may be used, moistened with water or vinegar."
    ---Mrs. Hale's Receipts for the Million, Sarah Josepha Hale [T.B. Peterson:Philadelphia PA] 1857 (p. 120-123)

    Household uses: disinfectant, meat tenderizer, deodorizer, paint remover (glass)
    "An Agreeable Disinfectant...Vinegar boiled with myrrh, sprinkled on the floor and furniture of a sick room, are excellent deodorizers...To Prevent Lamp-wicks from Smoking: Soak them in vinegar and dry them thorougly...To Make Tough Meat Tender: Lay it a few minutes in a strong vinegar water." (p. 463-464) "To Remove Mortar or Paint from Window Glass: Rub mortar spots with a stiff brush dipped in sharp, hot vinegar, and paint spots with camphene and sand." (p. 499)
    ---The Model Cook Book, Mrs. Frances Willey [Stanton Publishing Co.:Chicago IL] 1890

    Personal uses:: perfume & breath freshener
    "617. Lavender Vinegar.--Prepare a stone jar or bottle, and to each pint of vinegar put into it, add half an ounce of fresh lavender flowers; cover closely, and set it aside for a day or two; then set the jar upon hot cinders for eight or ten hours; and when cold, strain an bottle it. It is a refreshing perfume."
    ---Mrs. Hale's Receipts for the Million, Sarah Josepha Hale [T.B. Peterson:Philadelphia PA] 1857 (p. 148)

    "607. Bad Breath from Onions.--A few leaves of parsley eaten with vinegar, will prevent any disagreeable consequences from eating onions."
    ---Mrs. Hale's Receipts for the Million, Sarah Josepha Hale [T.B. Peterson:Philadelphia PA] 1857 (p. 146)

    What is "Mother of Vinegar?"
    "Vinegar: may be briefly described as a low percentage diluted natural acid--generally acetic acid. It is obtained by the conversion of the alcohol contained in a liquid--wine, cider, beer, etc.--into acid as the result of the activity of a class of acid-producing bacteria. The cloudy, stringy-looking matter in the bottom of acetifying casks is formed by the multipication of these bacteria and is hence known as the "Mother of Vinegar."
    ---The Grocer's Encyclopedia,, Artemas Ward [National Grocer:New York] 1911(p. 667)

    Recommended reading: Pickled, Potted, and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World, Sue Shepard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 96)
    [NOTE: This book has an entire chapter on vinegar, including the use of vinegar in Asian cuisines.]

    Related foods: Vinegar pie & Switchel


    Water cress
    Sometimes linguistic evidence helps us trace origins. Sometimes linguistics pose compliated challenges. Such may be the case with watercress. While food historians generally agree water-cress, as we know it today, originated in the Mediterranean region, it is possible a related plant was consumed earlier under a different name.

    Origins: ancient Greece & Rome
    "Watercress...a useful perennial plant with a long season, which in some regions extends right through the year...Watercress shares membership with mustard, and both plants owe their pungency to substances of the same kind. Watercress grows wild in Europe and Asia, and also in America since its introduction by European immigrants. Wild watercresses have been continuously popular since ancient times, not only for their pleasantly biting taste, but also for a wide variety of supposed health-giving properties. Thus the Greek general Xenophon made his soldiers eat it as a tonic."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 837)

    "Native to Asia Minor and the Mediterranean region, watercress (Nasturtium officinale) grows wild wherever shallow moving water is found...Ancient cress seeds found in Egypt probably arrived from Greece and Syria, where cress is found among a list of Assyrian plants. Dioscorides maintained that watercress came form Babylon...Stronger-flavored kinds of watercress were preferred in medieval Italy, where they allegedly provided a variety of medicinal benefits."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One (p. 295)

    "Watercress has been known since the time of Artaxerxes, who apparently had a passion for it. So did the ancient Greeks and Romans. Its botanical name of Nasturtium officinale reminds us that this cruciferous plant has the kind of flavour that wrinkles the nose. With its mustardy bite, it is an aromatic plant...It used to be eaten to give strength, courage and character, as recommended by Artisphophanes...Its richness in iodine, sulpher, iron and vitamin C may explain its reputation."
    ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble:New York] 1992 (p. 700)

    Water cress & garden cress
    "It is recorded that the Romans ate water-cress with vinegar to ad the cure of mental complaints, and it was certainly eaten, if not cultivated, before their time. Garden cress has a long history of cultivation, which is hardly surprising as it is so easy to grow. Its origins are thought to be in Persia; it is listed among Assyrian plants and Dioscorides states that it came from Babylon. It spread through Syria to Greece and to Egypt, where ancient cress seeds have been found. Cultivated in Greek gardens at the time of Theophrastus, it is also briefly mentioned by Pliny."
    ---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell, expanded edition [Johns Hopkins University Press:Baltimore MD] 1998 (p. 123) ?

    China
    "In China, where [water cress] has a name meaning 'western water vegetable', watercress is commonly used in soup but is not eaten raw."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 837)

    "Watercress...Plants related to watercress...most of them weeds, occur widely around the world in streams, swamps and other low-lying areas...Some scholars identify the ting-li, a minor cultivated vegetable mentioned in the Ch'i-min yai-shu, as one of these, Nasturtium indicum...An early medicinal and salad plant of the Mediterranean region, watercress...was introduced to Hong Kong about 1890, whence it spread to the mainland. A temperate land aquatic drop, it is now an important winter crop in South China, reproduced not by seed but by cuttings. Rather than being used in salads as in the West, it is cooked as a green, usually in soup or with meat dishes."
    ---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederick J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL] 1989 (p. 145)

    "Watercress...may also be an introduction from the West, judging by its Chinese name, hsi yang ts'ai (western ocean vegetable). It is used very commonly in soup but is not eaten raw. It is a great tonic, believed to be one of the best remedies for overheating (in terms of humoral medicine). The soups are often combined with such strength-producing items as certain fish and internal organs like duck gizzards. Liking the shallow water, watercress competes directly with rice in many areas but is a higher-priced crop."
    ---Food of China, E. N. Anderson [Yale University Press:New Haven CT] 1988 (p. 156-157)

    India
    "Watercress. This is Nasturtium officinale, in Sanskrit mandupaparni, in Hindi chanchu or chandrasur, which is first mentioned in Sutra literature (800-300BC), and appears in medical literature as a material which intensifies or accelerates the body metabolism."
    ---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1988 (p. 267)

    Western cultivation
    "...cultivation of the plant is commonly said to have begun at Erfurt in Germany, in the mid-16th century. It was not practiced in England and the USA until the beginning of the 19th century...Watercress is usually eaten raw as a salad vegetable. The Romans ate it thus, dressed with pepper, cumin, mastic leaves, and garum. It can also be cooked, though this destroys the pleasant sharpness, and it makes a good soup."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 837) ?

    United Kingdom
    "There are three mentions of holan cersan (hollow cress) which cannot be identified with any certainty; all one can say is that there were apparently a few varieties of cress-like plants that were eaten."
    ---A Second Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food and Drink: Production and Distribution, Ann Hagen [Anglo-Saxon Books:Norfolk UK] 1995 (p. 40)

    "Gerard (1633) recommended watercress as a remedy...Francis Bacon advised that is would restore youth to ageing women...In fact watercress does contain useful amounts of vitamins A and C, together with iron and other minerals, but no one has identified any mysterious curative substances in it. Irish believe if the virtues of watercress is especially strong...as a pure food for sages'...Growing wild in the pure and unpolluted waters of West Ireland, the watercress is of exceptional quality."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 837)

    "Cultivation of watercress for sale in markets dates to about 1800 in England, although wild watercress was doubtless gathered by humans for many millennia."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One (p. 295)

    France
    "Very popular in the Middle Ages, when it was called kress and France and cress in English, watercress was also used to make remedies for external use...The Menagier de Paris and the Viandier, to mention only those two medieval culinary treatises, give recipes for cooking watercress; it was usually eaten cooked at the time."
    ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble:New York] 1992 (p. 700)

    "Water cress (cresson)--in Lent, cooked with almond milk." "Poree de cresson (Viandier, 153)...Stewed Cress. The Viander suggest that cress is a good remedy for gallstones...The Regime tresultile recommends that anyone eating gross meats such as beef, pork or stagmeat should eat only one meal a day and should often eat 'things that are laxative and appetitive such as parsley, cress, and wild celery,' Although the Viandier's recipe calls specifically for garden cress, it works equally well with the watercress variety. Medieval cooks parboiled greens (a treatment advisable in principle because products of the earth tended naturally to partake of the earth's cold and dry temperament), chopped them, sauteed them in butter or animal fat, then boiled them again in meat broth, adding cheese."
    ---Early French Cookery: Sources, History, Original Recipes and Modern Adaptations, D. Eleanor Scully & Terence Scully [University of Michigan Press:Ann Arbor] 1995 (p. 257, 259)
    [NOTE: This book includes original medieval French recipe and modern redaction. Both use cress, not specifically water cress.]


    Wheat
    Domesticated wheat descended from earlier wild grains. Most notably?
    Emmer and Einkorn. This Old World grain was introduced to the New World as part of the Columbian Exchange.

    "The wheat now growing in vast fields stretching across the Great Plains of North America had its beginnings in the eastern Mediterranean region, where the wild grass Triticum aestivum originated to become one of the first of the domesticaed grains and ultimately one of the world's two most important superfoods. Wheat was probably first domesticated in the Middle East many thousands of years ago. The ancient Egyptians made bread from it, but only later did the Greeks adopt wheat in preference to emmer. Later still, one of the reasons for the expansion of Rome was the need for wheat, and thej Romans turned Egypt into a wheat-growing breadbasket for their empire. Wheat reached northern China later than it reached the West, and in eastern Asia it jouned millet as a major crop."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambrdige] 2001, Volume Two (p. 1878)
    [NOTE: Emmer, Einkorn and Spelt have sepearate entries.]

    "Wheat...appeared as a crop among the world's first farmers 10,000 years ago. It increased in importance from its initial role as a major food for Mediterranean poples in the Old World to become the world's largest cereal crop...The real story of iots origins disappeared from memory many millennia in the past, although some farming peoples still recount tales of how they received other cultivated plants from gods, animate spirits, heroic ancestors, or the earth itself...Domesticated wheats belong to at least three different species...and hundreds of distinct varieties...All domesticated wheat has lost the physical and genetic characteristics that would allow itself aggressively to reseed and sprout by itself...Although humans domesticated wheat, one may argue that dependence on wheat also domesticated humans. The switch from gathering food to producing food, dubbed the "Neolithic Revolution"...ultimately and fundamentally altered human development. Both wheat and barley, destined to feed the great civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome, originated in the Near East, the earliest cradle of Western civilization..."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Orneals [Cambridge University Press:Cambrdige] 2001, Volume One (p. 159)
    [NOTE: The chapter devoted to wheat in this book runs from p. 159-174. Your librarian will be happy to help you obtain these pages.]

    "Wheat, in this article, means club wheat, durum waet and bread wheat (see separate entries from Einkorn; Emmer; Spelt). These are 'naked' or free-threshing wheats, not requiring to be parched before threshing and therefore demanding less time and trouble in preparation than emmer. Club wheat developed from emmer in cultivation. The earliest evidence for it comes in Syria and Turkey, not long after 8000 BC. It spread very rapidly in cultivation, as far east as Baluchistan by 6000 BC, and as far west as southern France by 5500. In western Europe, emmer and einkorn arrived on the scene later than club wheat. There is little evidence of club wheat in Pharaonic Egypt. Turning to Greece, club wheat was being grown in Crete and in Thessaly soon after 6000 BC. At some time in the later prehistoric period durum wheat begins to be distinguishable as a separate variety or group of varieties. Bread wheat is a new species that arose in cultivation. its appearance on the scene is much later than that of club wheat: it seems to have originated in northwestern Iran, not far south from the Caspian, in the late second millennium BC. Wheat was the preferred staple food of the classical world; club wheat and durum wheat for flat cakes, flat breads and eventually for pasta; bread wheat for raised bread. The two obvious alternative cereals, barley and emmer, were suitable for some types of cakes and biscutis, and made a better basis for broths and gruels than does wheat, but they were little use for bread."
    ---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003(p. 348-9)

    Symbolism & myths
    "Wheat...is the grain that has served as a symbol of ancient harvest deities from the Hittite civilization to the civilizations of ancient Egypt and classical Greece and Rome...Because wheat was the staff of life, people considered it a divine gift, and they made it the focus of ritual from early times...The people perceived wheat as a benevolent grain from the benevolent god, who according to the Old Testament chose to bestow the gift of the wheat harvest as a reward to the righteous and chose to destroy the wheat harvest as a punishment to evildoers. In the New Testament, Jesus used wheat in his agricultural parables to illustrate the notion of resurrection...Long before Jesus...people understood the notion of death and rebirth when they witnessed the cycles of nature...Early people organized their lives around the seasonal calendar. They celebrated the gift of grain by conducting elaborate agricultural rituals during critical times in the seasonal cycle. In Greek myth, the goddess Demeter gave wheat to the people, and the people who worshiped her understood the revelation of the harvest...Many beliefs surrounding wheat applied to grain crops in general...The dieties of people credited with the discovery and cultivation of wheat were culture heroes; they helped human beings advance by teaching them how to live off the land and control the production of food. The Ancient Egyptians credited by Isis and Orisis with teaching them the cultivation of both wheat and barley..."
    ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-Clio:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p.244-5)

    American wheat
    Is it true that wheat was introduced to North America by the English when they started colonizing in the 17th Century? Yes, but this grain didn't flourish in these colonies until much later. The Spanish are actually credited for introducing this crop to the New World in the 16th century.

    "In the sixteenth century, colonists from the Old World brought wheat to the New World: The Spanish intorduced it to Argentina, Chile, and California where the cereal flourished in climates and soils that closely resembled the lands where it had already been grown for thousands of years."
    ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Orneals [Cambridge University Press:Cambrdige] 2001, Volume One (p. 170)

    "There is no evidence that wheat existed in the New World before Columbus brought it to Isabela on Hispanolia in 1493, and it was introduced to Mexico by Hernando Cortes as of 1519. The Spanish missionaries brougth the grain to Arizona and California in the eighteenth century. In the East wheat was sown unsuccessfully by the Pilgrims, who made do with corn, and in Virginia tobacco was a more profitable crop, so wheat was relegated to a minor role in that colony. It was not until it was planted in the Mississippi Valley in 1718 by the Company of the West that wheat became an important Amercan crop, increasingly so during the Civil War, when the mechanized Northern harvesters brought in far more wheat for their troops than the Southerners could with manual labor."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 345)

    "Under ordinary circumstances, the colonists might have been expected to abandon corn as soon as grains they knew better became available, as they did soon, for rye, barley, oats and wheat were all planted in America in the seventeenth century. Adaptable as those grains are, they were slow to accustom themselves to a new climate and for a long time failed to give yields sufficently important to drive out corn--particularly the grain colonists would have proferred above all others, wheat. In New England wheat was attacked by a smut disease called "the blast'; in Virginia it did not do well either, for it was planted chiefly on land already exhausted by having grown one fo the most soil-depleting of all plants, tobacco. As late as the end of the eighteenth century wheat was still so rare and so dear that it might as well not have been there at all, so far as the great mass of working people were concerned, though their chief food was bread. A laborer's average wage at this period was two shillings a day, which meat that it would take him four days at least to earn enough money to buy a bushel of wheat, whos lowest quality was priced at eight shillings and up."
    ---Eating in America: A History, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochement [William Morrow:New York] 1976 (p. 61)


    Yogurt
    Food historians generally agree the genesis of yogurt and other fermented milk products was discovered accidentally by Neolithic peoples living in Central Asia. These foods occured naturally due to local climate and primative storage methods.
    About milk, sour milk & sour cream. Yogurt has long been associated with good health and long life. Yogurt became popular in America after WWII.

    "Soured milk or curds have surely been consumed by many peoples from the earliest Neolithic times, but little remains as direct proof of this. They were fairly certainly used in Mesopotamia and Palestine, and possibly Egypt, and Pliny later mentions their production by barbarian'tribes."
    ---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell [Johns Hopkins University Press:Baltimore] 1997, expanded edition (p. 51)

    "Milk being highly perishable, of course, a few hours would be enought to start it fermenting in the climate of the Near East. Depending on the temperature and the kind of bacteria in the air, the curds might develop into something pleasant and refershing, or something quite uneatable even by the Neolithic peoples, whose tastes were necessairly less rigid than those of their modern counterparts. The curds might also be either fine or coarse. The finer type was to develop ultimately into the sharp, creamy substance represented today by the yoghurt of the Balkans, the taetta of Scandinavia, the dahi of India. The coarser kind, strained off, would make the first soft, fresh cheese...Whatever the background to the early discoveries, however, curds, cheese, yoghurt and butter all developed into useful ways of preserving milk that was surplus to the people's immediate requirements..."
    ---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers Press:New York] 1988 (p. 27-9)

    "Yoghurt is one of the fermented milk foods whose origins are probably multiple. It is easy enough to imagine how, in parts of C. or W. Asia, unintended fermentation of milk could have produced something like yoghurt, and that people would have noticed that this would keep for much longer than fresh milk, besides tasting good. There is another advantage which applies particularly to many Asians...Yoghurt is the Turkish name for the product, long since adapted into the English language, no doubt because yoghurt reached W. Europe through Turkey and the Balkans."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 859)

    "There can be few foodstuffs in recent times that have gone through such an orthographic identity crisis as yoghurt. In the days when it was known only as an exotic substance consumed in Turkey and other parts of the Near East (first reported in English in 1625 by Samuel Puchas in his Pilgrimes...) the original Turkish name of this fermented milk, yoghurt, inspired a whole lexicon of spellings...The notion of fermenting milk with bacteria to form a semiliquid food is nothing new, of course. Neolithic peoples of the Near East almost certainly ate a form of yoghurt around 6000 BC, and certainly it was popular in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. It seems to have been take from Persia ot India, and today it is an important ingredient in Indian cookery."
    ---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 373)

    "Yogurt, like cheese, was discovered long ago, when wandering herdsmen carrying mik in sheepskin bags noticed that the milk had curdled. People likely discovered both cheese and yogurt in the beginning of the Neolithic era, when they first began to practice milking. Nomadic herdsmen milked their animlas, then carried the milk in pouches made out of sheep's stomachs, the lining of which contains an enzyme called rennin, which curdles milk. The Middle Eastern climate was ideal fo curdling milk: left in the heat, milk curdled in just a few hours. Depending on the degree of heat and the type of bacteria in the environment, the curds would be find and develop into yogurt, or coarse and develop into cheese. Yogurt was most likely discovered by accident. As a product of milk, it was assigned similar properties. Milk and milk products have always been considered nothing short of magical. In fact, it has been suggested that the milk in the biblical phrase milk and honey' referred to yogurt. As soon as the wandering herdsmen discovered the curdled milk, they tasted it and found it to their liking. It was not long before they perceived health benefits that they attributed to the curdled milk...Peasants in the Balkans live a long time, particuarly in Bulgaria, and furthermore, many of them retain their ability to conceived late in life. Both of these abilities have been attributed to the fact that these people eat large quantities of yogurt, and that yogurt apparently has healing properties."
    ---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara] 2000 (p. 250)

    "Yogurt may have been known by the ancient Greeks as pyriate. Andrew Dalby...argues that the Greek physician Galen (c. 130-c. 200) was correct to identify this older term, pyriate, with the oxygala familiar in his own day, which was a form of yogurt and was eaten on its own or with honey. The first unequivocable description of yogurt is found in a dictionary called Divanu luga-i turk, compiled by Kasgarli Mahmut in 1072-1073 during the Seljuk era in the Middle East (1038-1194). Yogurt spread rapidly throughout the Levant, but it hardly penetrated the Western and northern Mediterranean."
    ---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 184-5)

    "Yoghurt... was known in France as early 1542, when Francois I was suffering from what would now be diagnosed as severe depression. The doctors could do nothing for his listessness and neurasthenia until the Ambassador to the Sublime Porte disclosed that there was a Jewish doctor in Constantinople who made a brew of fermented sheep's milk of which people spoke in glowing terms, even at the Sultan's court. The King sent for the doctor, who refused to travel except on foot; he walted through the whole of southern Europe, followed by his flock. When he finally arrived before Francois I, the latter's apathy had given way to a certain impatience but he still did not feel well. After several weeks of sheep's milk youghurt, the King was cured. The sheep, however, had not recovered from their long walk and caught cold in the air of Paris. Every last one of them died, and the doctor left again, refusing to stay despite the King's offers. He went home, taking the secret of his brew with him. The health of Francois I continued to improve, which was the point of the exercise, and yoghurt was forgotten for nearly four centuries...The koumis of Central Europe is made from fermented mare's milk, but its origin lies in farthest Asia. The barbarian' Huns and Mongols brought it with them. In the past Western Europe made milk-based drinks which were not yoghurt, but were more like kefir or diluted and flavoured curds. Such drinks bear withness to the memory of ancient migrations: they are the beverages of people who did not grow vines and whos only wealth was the flocks they drove ahead of them."
    ---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat , translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 119-20)

    "[Yogurt] first gained international prominence in the early 1900s when Ilya Metchnikov, a Russian bacteriologist, observed that the life span of Bulgarians, whose diet included the consumption of large quantities of soured milk, was eighty-seven years and beyond."
    ---Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia, Joan Whitman compiler [Times Books:New York] 1985 (p. 489)

    About Ilya Mechnikov

    American yogurt
    "Turkish immigrants are said to have brought yogurt to the United states in 1784, but its popularity dates only from the 1940s, when Daniel Carasso emigrated to the United States and took over a small yogurt factory in the Bronx, New York. He was soon joined by Juan Metzger, and the two sold their yogurt under the name Dannon (originally Danone, after Daniel Carcasso whose father was a Barcelona yogurt maker). In 1947 the company added strawberry fruit preserves to make the first "sundae-style yogurt." When nutrition promoter Benjamin Gayelord Hauser published an excerpt from his book Live Younger, Live Longer (1950), in the October 1950 issue of Reader's Digest magazine extolling the health virtues of yogurt, the product's sales soared. They leaped again--500 percent from 1958-1968--when so-called health foods were popularized by the counterculture of the 1960s."
    ---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 355)

    Gayelord Hauser's notes here:

    [1943]
    "Bulgarian Yogurt. Yogurt is a type of sour milk somewhat like adicolpilus milk which is soured with a viril strain of Bulgarian bacteria. The advcantages of using yogurt rather than sweet milk, ordinary sour milk, or buttermilk are numerous. The bacteria in buttermlk and ordinary sour miks cannot live at body temperature; nor can they survive the hydrochoric acid of the stomach. Hence they cannot live and multiply in the digestive tract. The principal reason for drinking yogurt is that its bacteria can live and multiply in the intestinal tract. The work of several scientists, especially Dr. Gustav Martin of the Warner Institute of Therapeutic Research, shows that the bacteria in yogurt actually manufacture or synthesize vitamins of the B famnily. For example, the bacteria for yogurt makes some of the anti-gray-hair vitamins. They also produce the vitamin which stimulates the growth of hair supply biotin which is of tremendous importance to mental health. Yogurt has long been the staple food of the Bulgarians. These people are noted for their vigor and longevity. Any kind of milk can be used for making yogurt--whole milk, skimmed milk, dry milk, or canned milk mixed with water. You can obtain yogurt from the leading dairies everywhere. Let your milk man bring you a 1/2 pint bottle of yogurt three times a week. With it you can make at least 6 quarts of delicious yogurt; simply add 1/2 bottle of yogurt to a quart of milk. The yogurt bacteria must be kept warm so that they can multiply and sour the entire quart. In cold weather the milks hould be kept near a pilot light or the hot-water heater. In warm weather the milk sours at room temperature. Remember the bacteria live on the sugar of the milk and break it down into lactic acid. This causes the milk to curdle and to become like junket; as soon as this happens, place the bottle in the refrigerator. The coldness stops the further growth of the bacteria and prevents the milk from becoming too sour. If the milk is kept too warm, the curds separate and the beverage vecomes less appetizing. In addition to being a healthful drink, yogurt is also delicious when eaten like junket, plain or with fruit, or sweetened with honey or black molasses or, if you like, a bit of cinnamon. Yogurt makes excellent salad dressings, and is especially good on restricted diets, such as the Seven Day Elimination Diet. Simply add to thick yogurt a bit of lemon juice, some onion, parsley, or any other flavor you like. For the sake of variety you could go completely Bulgarian and add a bit of dill or garlic."
    ---Diet Does It, Gayelord Hauser [Coward-McCann:New York] 1943 (p. 232-233)

    [1946]
    "Yogurt. One pleasant way to obtain many of the B vitamins is to drink milk fermented with Bulgarian milk cultures, as acidophilus milk and yogurt. There milk contain bacteria which live in the intestinal tract and make, or synthesize, B vitamins for themselves--those vitamins which are so necessary for health and good looks. Yogurt is fast becoming a fashionable food since the publication of Diet Does It. In large cities now you can buy it from dairies in fifteen-cent bottles. If you are in the money, you can simply buy it regularly and eat to your heart's content. If you're not in the money, you can still eat to your heart's content because one fifteen-cent bottle will make quarts and quarts of yogurt for you and your relatives and your inlaws--if you like them enough. This is how you do it: Simply heat a quart of milk to lukewarm, not boiling. Then take 2 tablespoons of yogurt from your little bottle and mix it into the warm milk, using a wooden spoon. Put the milk back into the quart bottle and set the bottle in a warm place--over a pilot light, near a radiator, over hot water, wherever is most convenient. It is much like setting bread dough to raise--you want a place which will keep the yogurt warm but not cook it. Let it stand there for 6 to 8 hours, until the milk curdles and solidifies like junket. As soon as it is firm, put it on ice, otherwise it will get too thick. When this quart is gone, make another quart, using another 2 tablespoons from your little bottle, and so on until the little bottle is used up. Then you buy another fifteen-cent bottle and start again. If the dairies in your town have not yet begun to make yogurt, you can still have it. Go to a health food store and ghuy a bottle of yogurt culture, then follow the directions on the package. Any kind of milk can be used to make yogurt--whole milk, skim milk, powdered milk, or evaporated milk mixed with water. If you are on a reducing diet, enjoy your yogurt without a twinge of conscience by using milk with the fat removed."
    ---The Gaylord Hauser Cook Book: Good Food, Good Health, Good Looks, Gayelord Hauser [Coward-McCann:New York] 1946 (p. 235-236) [NOTE: this book also offers recipes for Yogurt Reducing Dressing and Yogurt Sauce.]

    [1950]
    "The Ideal Diet. Every mouthfull you eat does you either good or harm. The secret of agelessness lies in eating intelligently, in liking to eat only those foods which are good for you. The ideal diet for long life is plenty of protein (milk--especially yogurt*--eggs, lean meat, lean fish, fresh cheese)...*Yogurt: A semisolid cheeselike, or sometimes thickly fluid, preparation from milk partly evaporated and then fermented by Lactobacillus bulgaricus.)...Excellent yogurt can be purchased in many food stores. It can be eaten plain; seasoned with fresh or canned fruits; or made into a sundae with maple syrup, honey or blackstrap molasses. It is a ',ist' on the Live Longer diet. Among the Bulgarians where yogurt is a part of each meal but where diet is not outstanding in other respects, the life span is longer than that of any other peoples in the world; Bulgarians are credited with retaining the characteristics of youth to an extremely advanced age."
    ---"Look Younger, Live Longer," Gayelord Hauser, condensed version, Readers Digest, October 1950 (p. 158-159)

    [1951]
    "Yogurt is a 'must' among the wonder foods because it is an excellent source of easily assimilated, high quality protein and contributes significant quantities of calcium and riboflavin to the diet. Yogurt fills a need that has long existed--that of a luncheon dish or a between-meal or bed-time snack. So many people eat what I call 'foodless foods' at such times--devil's cakes, pastries, cinnamon toast made with white bread lavishly sprinkled with white sugar. A taste for yogurt is acquried quickly; you will become fonder and fonder of it as time goes on. It is a god hunger satisfier and, most important of all, contributes much-needed vital food factors with every mouthful...Yogurt and the acidophilus or bulbgarius cultured milks have undergone many ups and downs in popularity. They have been advocated for everything from 'that tired feeling' to typhoid fever. My interest in yogurt is wholly concerned with nutrition, and form a nutritional point of view it has much to contribute. Bulgarians are credited with retaining vigor, vitality, and the characteristics of youth to an extremely advanced age; their longevity is traditional. Yogurt and certain cultured milks constitute a major item of diet for the Bulgarian peasant. To state that all of these virtues stem solely from the consumption of yogurt is to treat the subject most superficially; climate, heredity, and other factors must be considered. But clearly the Bulgarians have established the nutritional excellency of yogurt. That, and that alone, first attracted me to yogurt and caused me to investigate and study it. Its superior nutritive qualities caused me to recommend it to my students, and my faith in it has been justified in every respect...My favorite yogurt is made by beating into a pint of water the following ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of powdered skim milk; 3 tablespoons of previously made (or commercial) yogurt; and 1 large can of evaporated milk. When this mixture is beaten smooth, this should be added to 1 quart of water and poured into glasses which are set in a large pan containing enough warm water to ready the top of the glasses. The pan should then be set over a warming unit, pilot light, or simmer burner and the temperature of the water kept between 105 and 135 degrees Fahrenheit...The yogurt should thicken and be ready to chill on 3 hours. If it requires longer time, the temperature probably has run too low. Yogurt can be eaten plain; seasoned with chives or other herbs; served with fresh or canned fruits; or made into a sundae with maple syrup, honey, or blackstrap molasses."
    ---Look Younger, Live Longer, Gayelord Hauser [Crest Books:New York] 1951 (p. 27-28)

    Related food? Sour cream.


    Zucchini
    Zucchini (aka
    vegetable marrow, Italian squash) is a fine example of New World foods circuitously introduced to the USA via Europe. In this case? Italy. The word "zucchini" is the Italian diminutive for the word "gourd," [zucca].

    "Zucchini, the Italian and American name for what the French and many English speaking people call courgettes, any of several varieties of squash...which have been developed for this purpose and are still relatively small...when mature, or small young specimens of other varieties of the same species which belong to the vegetable marrow group and would grow much larger if left alone. This is one of the most attractive and delicious of the cucurbit vegetable fruits, but only became prominent in the 20th century. In the 1920s, when the learned Dr. Leclerc was writing, the French still referred to courgettes d'Italie, and it seems clear that it was the Italians who first marketed the vegetable marrows in a small size; and that it is therefore appropriate tho choose their name zucchini rather than the French name...The 19th-century French author Vilmorin-Andrieux...gave a illustration of the elongated variety of marrow grown in Italy...The English translator added, more than half a century before the hour of the zucchini struck: 'This should be tried in England.' Vilmorin, incidentally, had given the Italian name as cocozello di Napoli. That there is no true English name reflects the fact, that, although courgettes were mentioned...in a few English recipe books of the 1930s, they only became popular in England after Elizabeth David in the 1950s and 1960s had introduced them...to readers of her books; and that as zucchini they had a similarly late arrival in the USA, where Italian immigrants made the introduction."
    ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, second edition edited by Tom Jaine [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006 (p. 866-7)

    [1892]
    Pellegrino Artusi's Italian culinary classic Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well [1892] contains recipes for Zucchini Pie, Zucchini with Meat Filling and Zucchini with Oregano. The book has been recently republished in English by Marsilio in New York.

    [1901]
    "'Zucchini' from Northern Italy. One of the most important vegetables of the Venetians, and worthy of serious consideration by our truck growers."
    ---"Plants of All Climes," Guy N. Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, Feburary 22, 1901 (p. 8)

    [1911]
    "Vegetable Marrow: a kind of squash, eaten as a vegetable, which is very popular in England, but is not often seen here. The true English type is, when full grown, generally about nine inches long and four inches in diameter, with green to yellow rind and light-colored flesh. The Italian variety reaches a length of about twenty inches, with mottled, dark-geren rind and orange flesh."
    ---The Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [National Grocer:Phildadelphia PA] 1911 (p. 666)
    [NOTES: (1) This book offers a line drawing illustrating the vegetable & its leaves. (2)Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants [1919] states "vegetable marrow" is an alternative name for avocado. He does not list zucchini or Italian squash.]

    [1921]
    "Italian restaurants usually to be found in high-class places, with all the surroundings that make for "class." Ornate, usually with waxed floors for dancing, good orchestras, and skilled European waiters, they cater to the discriminating and serve cosmopolitan fare of the best sort. But one may get Italian specialties, and wise is he who waives his customary steak and potatoes, and instead scans the menu for real fare of sunny Italy. Zucchini, for instance, that Italian squash which Signore Marcel--and others--import especially. It may be served in different styles, but the favorites is when, cut into small, succulent squares, it is breaded and fried in olive oil."
    ---"Dining 'Round the World in Los Angeles," Wynonah B. Johnson, Los Angeles Times, January 1, 1921 (p. V19)

    [1922]
    "How to Cook Zucchini.

    Wash and boil in salted water six Italian squash for fifteen minutes. Drain and cut in half, lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and fill their places with a mixture made by mixing one cup of bread crumbs that have been soaked in milk and pressed nearly dry, the mashed yolks of two hard-boiled eggs, the yolks of two raw eggs one mashed clove of garlic, six finely chopped blanched almonds, three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese and a seasoning of salt and nutmeg. Place in well-buttered baking dish, cover with melted butter and brown in the oven. Serve with cream sauce."
    ---"What Women's Organizations are Doing," Chef A.L. Wyman, Los Angeles Times, January 25, 1922 (p. II8)

    [1924]
    "Stuffed Marrow

    Select three vegetable marrows about six inches long, peel lightly, cut a piece from one end and remove the seeds. Press closely into the marrows some well seasoned pork sausage, pin the end pieces on with tooth picks, place in a saucepan, dot with butter, add one cupful of meat stock and one teaspoonful of lemon juice, cover the pan tight and set in a moderate oven for two hours or until the marrows are tender, basting often. Lift the marrows to a serving dish, remove the fat from the sauce, add to the sauce one cupful of tomato sauce, boil up once and strain over the marrows."
    ---"Chef Wyman's Suggestions for Tomorrow's Menu," Los Angeles Times, September 22, 1924 (p. A8)

    Zucchini bread
    Zucchini bread descends from a long line of European sweet vegetable puddings dating back to the Middle Ages. Carrot pudding is one of the oldest examples. Sweet potato pudding/pie followed in the Renaissance. Carrot pudding crossed from vegetable to
    cake dessert in the 20th century. Sweet potato pie remains on the dinner table. After WWII, zucchini proved prolific in mainstream American home gardens. Which meant? Too much zucchini. Just like leftover Thanksgiving turkey, recipes proliferated. Zucchini bread (portable, easy, healthy, freezer-friendly) to the rescue!

    Food historians generally drop zucchini bread squarely in the American 1960s & 70s. It was promoted (as was carrot cake and banana bread) as a *healthy* alternative to standard desserts. Was it actually healthier? It depended upon the amount/type of flour, sweetener and fat used in recipe. Generally the bread employs fresh zucchini, which argues logically for the healthy case. Like banana bread, zucchini bread is not frosted.

    "Zucchini bread. A deliciously moist, full-flavored bread that became popular in the 60s and remains so today. It's a splendid way to cope with a summer gusher of zucchini because the bread freezes so well."
    ---American Century Cook Book, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 329) [NOTE: Includes recipe from the early 1970s.]

    "Zucchini bread. This quick bread was full of zucchini, brown sugar, and vegetable oil, all of which were considered good for you in the 1970s."
    ---Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 310)

    Our survey of American newspaper articles published in 1950s-1970s confirms the popularity of zucchini. Recipes for zucchini bread proliferate in the mid-1970s. One of the earliest (& perhaps most influential) recipes is this gift from James Beard:

    "Carl Gohs' Zucchini Bread
    This rather unusual loaf has a very pleasant flavor, a little on on the sweet side, and a distinctive texture. The built-in moisture provided by the zucchini makes it a very good keeper. It can be prepared with 1 cup of whole-wheat flour instead of all white flour. [2 loaves]

    3 eggs
    2 cups granulated sugar
    1 cup vegetable oil
    2 cups grated, peeled, raw zucchini
    3 teaspoons vanilla extract
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
    3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 cup coarsely chopped filberts or walnuts
    Beat the eggs until light and foamy. Add the sugar, oil, zucchini, and vanilla and mix lightly but well. Combine the flour, salt, soda, baking powder, and cinnamon and add to the egg-zucchini mixture. Stir until well blended, add nuts, and pour into two 9 X 5 X 3-inch loaf pans. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Cool on a rack."
    ---Beard on Bread, James A. Beard [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1973 (p. 169)

    Who was Carl Gohs?
    A Portland Oregon-based food writer/author who knew & supported James Beard's culinary endeavors. Mr. Gohs played a key role facilitating the famous classes Mr. Beard taught at the Seaside High School during the 1970s.

    James Beard at Seaside/Carl Gohs, Northwest Magazine, The Oregonian, September 30, 1973 (p. 13)

    "Carl Gohs of Portland, who for many years wrote a food column for The Oregonian's Northwest Magazine, traveled in Southern France with Beard in 1972 then Beard was researching and writing his book, 'Beard on Bread.' 'We stayed at Julia Child's house outside Cannes,' Gohs said. 'There he went over manuscripts for the book. I scouted out French breads for his approval. 'He was incredibly generous in helping people along the way who were starting out in the food business, writing a cookbook, writing a newspaper column or whatever,' Gohs said. 'He would always lend not just his name but assistance and time as well.'...Beard, who since 1971 has taught summer course at Seaside High School, once recalled that Oregon and its foods had made a profound impression on his career.."
    ---"Friends, associates fondly recall Beard," Steve Erickson, The Oregonian, January 24, 1985

    "[James Beard's] memory held stockpiles of bread recipes that began with a raisin loaf his mother had baked for benefit teas that she had given for the British Red Cross during World War I in San Francisco's Palace Hotel...He remembered breads baked by his friends--Emil Kashouty's pita, Janet Wurtzburger's health bread made with home-ground flour, and one of wheat germ and potatoes created by Carl Gohs, a Portland Writer."
    ---Epicurean Delight: The Life and Times of James Beard, Evan Jones [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1990 (p. 288-289)

    "The Seaside High School home economics teacher, Maryon Greenough, had, together with Portland food writer Carl Gohs, done the groundwork, and the classes immediately clicked with an ineffable rightness: Beard--his legs somewhat restored by walking and weight loss-omniscently prowled the room, and each day the eighteen students turned up earlier and stayed later, never able to get quite enough of Beard or of one another. Beard Bead himself ended each afternoon in a state of exhaustion and elation: As never before he grew in the role of teacher, as though adding layers of nuance and depth to a part he played dozens of times before and whos every gesture and inflection he until then though he knew in every possible aspect. But the students came each day not just to practice cooking, but to see what frollery or prank or shtick he might set loose; and the truth was he heardly knew himself what energies and enthusiasms the nonsecript classroom down the road from the onetime Gearhart depot might pull out of him."
    ---James Beard: A Biography, Robert Clark [Harper Collins:New York] 1993 (p. 268) [NOTE: passage refers to summer classes taught by Beard.]

    "Happily, Ray Atkeson knew that his life work was appreciated. ``Oregon,'' his book of photographs with text by Carl Gohs, pioneered in 1968 the format of large-scale books celebrating the scenic beauty of a state. It became a standard gift when someone in Oregon wanted to impress a visitor. In all, that book and other collections of Atkeson's color photographs that followed sold more than 500,000 copies."
    ---"ATKESON HAS BEEN THERE," The Oregonian, (Portland, OR), May 31, 1990 (p. B6)

    Multnomah County Library, Portland Oregon lists four titles credited to Carl Gohs:
    Timberline Gohs, Carl. [Portland, Or.] : Metropolitan Printing, [197-?]

    Oregon Atkeson, Ray. [Portland, Or. : C. H. Belding, 1968]

    Washington Atkeson, Ray. [Portland, Or. : C. H. Belding, 1969]

    Ed Quigley, western artist Quigley, Ed, 1895- [Portland, Or. : G. H. Quigley, 1971]

    Related foods? Cranberry bread, Carrot cake, Banana bread & Pumpking bread.


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    10 March 2014