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Food Timeline FAQs: meat & poultry .....Have questions? Ask!

rare, medium or done?
black & blue or Pittsburgh style?
"A Chicken in Every Pot"

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Rare, medium or done? A Western history of definitions & preferences
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "rare," counterbalancing "done" describing the doneness of meat, descends from the word "rear," meaning imperfectly cooked or underdone. The original culinary use described eggs. The earliest print reference to the word "rare" relating to meat cookery is circa 1615. This early reference notes this stage is unwholesome [Markam].

Late 19th century food scientists examined meat doneness, offering temperature/time recommendations according to type of meat, cut, and method of cooking. Like their 17th century predecessors, early 20th cooking texts warn against rare meat. Rare vs. Underdone (opposite of Done?) are noted [Rorer 1902]. Medium/medium rare were introduced about this time. Meat thermometers (1930s) took the guesswork out of judging doneness. Black and blue (aka "Pittsburgh style" steak surfaces in print in the 1970s.

Oxford English Dictionary

Etymology: Originally a variant of rear adj.1 As a result of the lowering influence of r on preceding vowels in southern varieties of English, rear remained homophonous with rare adj.1 at least as late as the 17th cent. and remains so in some regional varieties. This gave rise to the variant rare, which retained the early modern pronunciation in standard English (compare the current pronunciation of e.g. wear v.1 and pear n. and the variants at these entries). Compare also rare v. REAR
a. Originally only of eggs: slightly or imperfectly cooked, underdone. Also in extended use. Cf. rare adj.2 Now regional.In quot. a1450: (of sins) unconfessed (obs.). b. As complement with verbs. Obs. c1150 (OE) Peri Didaxeon 23 Sule hym supan ?ebrddan hrere ?eran and huni? to. 1528 T. Paynell tr. Joannes de Mediolano Regimen Sanitatis Salerni sig. F j b, Poched egges are better than egges rosted hard or rere. 1542 A. Borde Compend. Regyment Helth (1870) xii. 264 Let the egge be newe, and roste hym reare. 1607 J. Harington tr. J. de Mediolano Englishmans Docter sig. A7, Egges newly laid, are nutritiue to eat, And rosted Reere are easie to digest. 1626 G. Sandys tr. Ovid Metamorphosis viii. 167 Coole endiffe, radish, new egs rosted reare, And late-prest cheese; which earthen dishes beare. 1700 Dryden tr. Ovid Baucis & Philemon in Fables 159 New-laid Eggs, which Baucis busie Care Turn'd by a gentle Fire, and roasted rear. With participial adjectives, as rear-boiled, rear-brede (see brede v.1), rear-dressed, rear-poached, rear-roasted, etc. Obs. lOEHrerenbrden [see sense a]. c1150Hrere brd [see sense a]. 1542 A. Boorde Compend. Regyment Helth xiii. sig. G.iii, Newe reare rosted egges be good in the mornynge. 1548 T. Cooper Bibliotheca Eliot (rev. ed.) at Ouum, Sorbile ouum, a reere rosted egge. 1576 G. Baker tr. C. Gesner Newe Jewell of Health ii. f. 54v, The hearbe [Eiebright]?eaten euerie day in a reare potched Egge. 1586 T. Bright Treat. Melancholie xxxix. 261 Eggs?reare dressed somwhat. 1626 Bacon Sylva Sylvarum 53 Eggs (so they be Potched, or Reare boyled). 1656 P. Heylyn Surv. Estate France 260 A dish of Egges, rear-roasted by the flame. 1722 D. Turner Art of Surg. I. v. 384 Let him be fed with thin Panada, Water and Barly-grewels, Chicken or other small Broath, Harts-horn Jelly, sometimes a rear poach'd or a new laid Egg. 1754 A. Berthelson Eng. & Danish Dict. at Rere A rere-boiled egg.

Of meat, esp. beef: lightly cooked; underdone. Cf. medium rare at medium adj. 3d.Formerly often regarded as an Americanism (see quot. 1861), although it was current in English writing from the 18th cent. and in many English dialects (cf. rear adj.1). 1615[implied in: G. Markham Eng. Hus-wife in Countrey Contentments ii. 54 To know when meate is rosted enough, for as too much rareness is vnwholsome, so too much drinesse is not nourishing. [at rareness n.2] 1776 G. Colman Spleen ii. 26 For which reason they leave the food without any juices at all. Without them, Sir, instead of beef or mutton, you might as well eat mahogany?. Eat your meat as rare as possible, Sir. 1823 C. Lamb Christ's Hosp. in Elia 28 The same flesh, rotten-roasted or rare, on the Tuesdays. 1830 M. Donovan Domest. Econ. II. v. 289 The meat was in all cases a little rare at its centre. 1861 G. F. Berkeley Eng. Sportsman 26 The wood-cock and snipe?should be underdone or what the Americans call rare. 1904 N.Y. Sun 6 Aug. 5 The waiter took his order for a sirloin rare. 1911 E. Ferber Dawn O'Hara ii. 20 I've devoured rare porterhouse and roast beef day after day for weeks.

d. Of meat: cooked to a degree between well done and rare. Also in extended use. Also in medium done, medium rare (cf. rare adj.2 1). 1901 G. Ade 40 Mod. Fables 267 He was accustomed to Bolt his Food,and let the Fried Sweets come along with the Medium Sirline. 1939 P. K. Newill Good Food iv. 72 Beef?medium?2225 [minutes per pound].

20th century USA "working" definitons

"The American fashion of serving meat 'rare' or in a rather purple condition, is certainly objectionable. A rule to be remembered is that all white meats must be thorougly cooked. Red meats may be served a little underdone. This does not mean that the blood must run from them as they are carved, but that they must be pink, juicy and tender."
---Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book, Sarah Tyson Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia] 1902 (p. 138)

"The different degrees, designated as rare or underdone, medium rare, and well done, to which meat may be roasted are at present largely matters of individual opinion. What may seem rare to one person, is medium rare to another, while it is not at all uncommon to have meat that is actually raw offered as rare. The usual household method of attaining these different degrees by allowing for the time of cooking, a definite number of minutes for each pound of meat contained in the roast, while reliable to some extent, is not sufficiently accurate for careful investigations. Under such conditions, considerable variations may occur in the degree of cooking, and it has already been shown ' that the percentages of the original constituents of the raw meat which are removed by cooking depend on this factor."
---A Precise Method of Roasting Beef, Grindley, H.S. and Sprague, E.C., U. of Illinois. University Studies. Vol. 2, No. 4 (1907).
Online text

"-And when you sit down to a big, thick, juicy, medium rare steak, flanked by some delicately browned potatoes..."
---display ad, Wilson's Certified Catsup and Chili Sauce, Wall Street Journal, May 19, 1919 (p. 8)

"Stage to Which Meat is Cooked, Rare, Medium and Well Done. The longer a piece of meat is cooked the more the interior color changes from pink or red to gray,and the greater the cooking losses. Some meats like veal and pork are cooked well done, while beef may be cooked rare. There is no definate stage between a rare and meidum-done piece of meat or between a medium well-done one and a well-done one. The meat passes from one stage to another gradually, so that there is no definite end point. Heat penetrates slowly intp the minterior of a large piece of meat, and the center of the meat, unless very much over-cooked, never attains as high a temperature as the meat near the surface. Rare meat. Grindly and Sprague have suggested, for convenience, that meat with an interior temperatue at its center of 60 degrees C. or below be called rare. Such meats are juicier than meats cooked well done. Nearly all the interior may be a bright red color or only a small portion around the center of the meat may be red. The extent or uniformity of the red color depends upon the cooking temprature...Rare meat also has more of the original meat flavor than well-done meat, for not so much of the fluids and extractives giving flavor to the meat have been lost. Medium well-done meat. Grindley and Sprague have suggested that meat that has reached an inner temprature of 60 to 70 degrees C. be called medium well done. There the color also varies with the temperature of cooking, the degree to which the meat has been ripened, and in some instances with the age of the animal and the kind of meat. Rare and medium well-done meats are probably more often associated with the color of the cooked meat. Since the color of the cooked meat varies with different conditions, the division into rare, medium well-done varies on the basis of inner temperature of the meat is only an arbitrary one and not always satisfactory. Most people would be agreed that medium well-done meat should ot be a deep red or pink, but should show some pink color. Well-done meat. Meat that has a uniform gray color throughout the enteire interior of the meat is usually called well done. With veal, this stage of cookery is sometimes reached before or by the time the inner temperature has reached 71 degrees C. This may also be true of beef that has ripened sufficiently...But to some persons the term well done is associated with the degree of cookery, that is, the separation of the muscle fibers due to formation of gelatin from the connective tissue. It may also refer to the dryness of the meat and the loss of juices. The meat may be cooked until it reaches a temperature far above 71 degrees C., often from 80 to 85 degrees C. for roasts and from 95 to 99 degrees for braised meat."
---Experimental Cookery, Bell Lowe [John Wiley & Sons:New York] 1932 (p. 198-199)

"Chart for roasting meat by the modern method...Thermometer readings: Beef, rare, 140 degrees; medium, 160 degrees; well done, 170 degrees." ---Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer [Bobbs Merrill:Indianapolis IN] 1936 (p. 201)
[NOTE: this chart is not included in the original 1931 edition.]

Prudence Penny's Cookbook's chapter on cooking meat offers broiling chart (p. 55) specifying length of time to achieve rare/medium/well done beefsteaks (by steak thickness). Medium and well done times for lamb chops. Well done times (only) for veal cutlets, veal chops, mutton chops, ham, pork chops and bacon.

"To obtain the epicure's rare beef, the internal temprature of the cut during roasting should be only 123 degrees Fahrenheit. For medium-done it is 132 degrees and for well-done it is 148 to 154. These figures are readings of thermometers placed at the center of the cut and read while the neat is cooking. The temperature there is lower than in the oven."
---"Cook Meat Slowly, Say Texas Experts," New York Times, December 22, 1942 (p. 29)

How do we prefer our meat cooked? That depends...
Preferences for the "doneness" of meat vary according to period, place, and people. Food historians generally agree the discovery of cooking was accidental. Meats roasted on open fires released pleasing aromas, enhanced product flavor, and made the food easier to chew. The trifecta of all food discoveries. Ancient western peoples so valued cooked meats that consuming anything raw was considered "barbarian." In the earliest days of civilization, most animals were kept for work (oxen to plough), textiles goods (sheep for wool), and sustainable edible products (cows and goats for milk & cheese; chickens for eggs). With the exception of hogs, domesticated animals were slaughtered and consumed after they outlived their usefulness. Which meant? Meat was generally tough. Slow cooking in some kind of broth rendered these tough sinews edible. Soups, stews, slow cooked casseroles & braizes were the norm. In pre-industrial times fresh meat was a priviledge enjoyed by the wealthiest classes. Think: grand medieval feasts featuring selections of large roasts. Before the days of reliable refrigeration, most meats were preserved. In the realm of smoked ham, salt beef, and dried fish, the concept of a "doneness" scale from raw to overcooked did not exist. Meats were cooked with one general goal: make them edible. Ancient Greeks and Roman physicians "prescribed" cooking methods by humoral theory. They recognized the effect of cooking on the outcome of meat. Certain meats were "prescribed" for boiling or roasting, according to their inherent humoral nature. Renaissance European chefs resdiscovered and promoted this dictum. Modern food scientists can now explain what the ancient physicians knew. Cooked meat tastes good. Prime cuts subjected to minimal cooking (rare, medium rare) generally offer the best aroma, flavor, and texture. Americans love affair with meat, especially beef, refects ancient heritage, old world cooking methods and modern scientific knowledge. In the last quarter of the 20th century heat concerns regarding undercooked beef resulted from salmonell a poisoning to mad cow. USA government stepped in to regulate "safe" cooking temperatures. Some diners who formerly consumed their beef on the raw side began ordering "well done" to be safe. 21st century American meat eaters continue to enjoy their meats from tartar to well. Many restaurants have placed warnings/disclaimers on menus with regards to the risks involved with meat served at the lower end of the cooking spectrum. In sum: if it tastes good, people will order.

[Meat science 101: cooking methods/times of cooking effects flavor, texture & taste]

"We cook meat for four basic reasons: to make it safe to eat, easier to chew and to digest (denatured proteins are more vulnerable to our digestive enzymes), and to make it more flavorful...Raw meat is tasty rather than flavorful. It provides salts, savory amino acids, and a slighlt acidity to the tongue, but offers littel in the way of aroma. Cooking intensifies the taste of meat and creates its aroma. Simple physical damage to the muscle fibers causes them to release more of their fluids and therefore more stimulating substances for the tongue. The fluid release is at its maximum when the meat is only lightly cooked, or done 'rare.' As the temperature increases and the meat dries out, physical change gives way to chemical change, and to the development of armo as cell molecules break apart and recombine with each other to form new molecules that not only smell meaty, but also fruity and floral, nutty and grassy (esters, ketones, aldehydes)...The texture of raw meat is a kindk of slick, resistant mushiness. The meat is chewy yet soft, so that chewing compresses it instead of cutting through it. And its moisture manifests itself if slipperiness; chewing doesn't manage to liberate much juice. Heat changes meat texture drastically. As it cooks, meat develops a firmness and resiliance that make it easier to chew. It begins to leak fluid, and becomes juicy. With longer cooking, the juices dry up, and resiliance give way to a dry stiffness. And when the cooking goes on for hgours, the fiber bundles fray away from each other, and even tough meat begins to fall apart...Generally, we like meat to e tender and juicy rather than tough and dry. The ideal method for cooking meat would therefore minimize moisture loss and compacting of the meat fiers, while maximizing the conversion of tough connective-tissue colllagen to fluid gelatin. Unfortunately, these two aims conflict with each other...So there is no ideal cooking method for all meats. The method must be tailored to the meat's toughness. Tender cuts are best heated rapidly and just to the point of their juices are in full flow. Grilling, frying, and roasting are the usual fast methods. Tough cuts are best heated for a prolonged period at temperatures approaching the boil, usually by stewing, braising, or slow-roasting."
---On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of The Kitchen, Harold McGee, completely revised and updated [Scribner:New York] 2004 (p. 147-151)

"Many traditional meat recipes were developed at a time when meats came from mature, fatty animals, and so were fairly tolerant of overcooking. Fat coats and lubricates meat fibers during cooking, and stimulates the flow of saliva and creates the sensation of juiciness no matter hwo dry the meat fibers themselves have become. Recipes for hours-long braising or stewing were developed for mature animals with substantially cross-linked collagen that took a long time to dissolve into gelatin. However, today's industrially produced meats come from relatively young animals with more soluble collagen and far less fat; they cook quickly, and subber more from overcooking. Grilled hops and steaks may be just right at the center but dry elsewhere; long-braised pot roasts and stews are often dry throughout."
---On Food and Cooking (p. 154-155)

[Ancient Rome]

"Already during the last two centuries before Christ, meat began to appear with increasing frequency in the homes of Rome's wealthier citizens...It was virtually everyone's aspiration to have meat on his table...Naturally there were serious problems in keeping the meat fresh, since mechanical refrigeration was unavailable. It was salted, smoked, and even preserved in honey... Meat was oven-roasted, spit-roasted, used in patties, stuffings, and stews, or...cooked on a grill...It is important to remember that because meat was relatively tough and frequently salted to prevent spoilage, it was often necessary to rinse it in milk and boil it once or twice before using it in a specific recipe."
---A Taste of Ancient Rome, Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, translated by Anna Herklotz [Univeristy of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1992 (p. 86-87)

[Medieval France]

"Modern physicists tell us that cooking changes the chemical characteristics of a substance. Medieval physicists--or physicians--told their contemporaries that cooking added either warmth and moisture or warmth and dryness to their foodstuff that was cooked: the cook chose his cooking method according to the inherent nature of the foodstuff and any need he had to correct this nature. Roasting, the application of direct heat at close proximity, was appropriate for a cold, moist meat such as pork because the open fire would warm and dry. A grill was convenient for flat meats, a spit for larger cuts. The distance of both grill and spit from the flame could be regulated fairly well...Boiling, on the other hand, offered a relatively constant heat, and boiling better suited beef because it cold dry nature needed to be both warmed and moistened. If the ignorant cook were to subject beef to a roasting, so further drying its already dry nature, this could be quite dangerous to the unfortunate person who was to eat it later, and could even put him or her at risk of an attack of melancholia or a bilous upset. That medieval French cooks too this warning seriously and rarely roasted their beef is evident in the large stocks of beef bouillon that our recipes imply was always on hand for ready use in other preparations."
---Early French Cookery: Sources, History, Original Recipes and Modern Adaptations, D. Eleanor Scully & Terence Scully [University of Michigan Press:Ann Arbor] 1995 (p. 29-30)

[16th-17th century France]

"In 1560 Bruyerin avowed that he had 'more than once' seen '[half-cooked meats devoured so that blood almost flowed from the mouths of those who were eating. The leading lights like eef wee cooked, though some of them nevertheless devour it bloody after the fashion on the Cyclops. They commend the wether almost raw, but pork cooked until it almost melts [that is, until it falls apart]. And indeed, among winged creatures they can eat with pleasure wood pigeons still running with blood and scarcely touched by fire.' Bruyerin advocated the middle way, warning that there would be a penalty to pay for eating either half-raw or 'melting' meat. When today we ask for our steak well done, medium or rare, we are repeating a choice that the Renaissance writers revived from Hippocratic writings. In 1626 Pierre Duchatel noted the physical reactions to be expected from meat prepared in each of the thre ways '(1)...well-Boiled meat is suitable to the digestion. Well-roasted meats are more sluggish. (2)...those meats that have been medium boiled or medium roasted add moderately to vigor and digestion. (3)...rawer meats are conduucive to vigor but in fact rather poor for the digestion.' Because bloody meat was thought to increase one's vitality and zest, eating half-raw meat became intertwined with the goal of arousing the body at table."
---Acquired Taste: The French Origins of Modern Cooking, T. Sarah Peterson [Cornell University Press:Ithaca NY] 1994 (p. 95)

[20th century France]

"Broiling is the procedure best suited to preserving the basic taste of red meats. For four people buy a nice slice of beef filet, at least two inches thick and weighing two pounds. To cook it, use a broiler with an overhead flame, and preheat it to avoid having the meat stick...Put the meat on a broiler rack, brown it quickly under a hot flame, then continue cooking it for eight to ten minutes at a lower temperature. Turn and do the same for the other side. Shortly before it is ready season it with salt and pepper, to taste. The meat is just right when droplets of blood appear on the surface of the meat."
---Encyclopedia of Practical Gastronomy, Ali-Bab, originally published in Paris, 1906 translated by Elizabeth Benson [McGraw-Hill:New York] 1974(p. 233-234)

[20th century USA]

"Steak should be cut at least 1 1/2 inches thick. It may be cut thicker. Sprinkle both sides with sald and spread with butter or good fat. For rare steak broil under hot fire about 8 minutes on each side for a a 1/2 inch steak, or 10 minutes on each side for a 2 inch steak. For medium done allow a few minutes extra."
---Cooking A La Ritz, Louis Diat [J. B. Lippincott:New York] 1941 (p. 169)

"Since childhood, I have been fascinated with people's preferences about how well or little done they like red meat. Years ago, a great deal more was made of the matter, as there were those who felt that rare meat was fit only for cannibals. Others thought that eating red meat, meaning rare, was synonymous with being a genuinely red-blooded American...Today such thinking is far less widespread. The fact is that there are national kitchens that perfer meat rare and those that prefer it exceedingly well done...I have observed, both in this country and in Greece, that the Grecian method of preparing a leg of lamb also involves a good many hours of cooking and that the Greeks prefer the meat quite well done...To my mind, there is a simple explanation for these cooking preferences. The lamb of France is quite tender and can be eaten with pleasure if it is not cooked to the well-cone state. The lamb of Haiti and Greece requires that it be tenderized through one long-cooking technique or another. The lamb of America is more like that of France and comes off exceedingly well when cooked to the rare or medium-rare stage."
---"Lamb For All Tastes," Craig Claiborne with Pierre Franey, New York Times, March 31, 1985 (p. SM77)

Recent wisdom promoting well done meats is understandable given outbreaks of food poisoning:

"The penchant of Northeasterners for eating their beef rare may be why that part of the county recorded seven outbreaks of food poisoning traced to commercially prepared roast beef last year. At least that it the theory of a New York State health official, who said there had been no reported outbreaks in the rest of the country where people prefer to buy cooked cold roast beef medium or well done...[the blame for this outbreak is the]1978 change in Federal regulations governing the commercial preparation of roast beef, which permits it to be cooked to 130 degrees internal temperature instead of the previous low of 145 degrees."
---"Rare Beef Linked to Illnesses," Marian Burros, New York Times, January 20, 1982 (p. C10)

"The Agriculture Department recommends cooking beef to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees, the temperature at which most potentially dangerous microoganisms are destroyed. It calls meat at this degree of doneness 'medium rare,' meat at 160 degrees 'medium' and meat at 170 degrees 'well done.' But do the Government's criteria for safety match up with most steak lovers' tastes or with common restaurant practices? As a test, Victor H. Cahvez, the executive chef at Smith & Wollensky, the Manhattan steakhouse, broiled four prime boneless 16-ounce New York strips the way he usually does. The degree of doneness was based mostly on timing. As soon as the steaks came out of the broiler, they were tested with an instant thermometor. The rare steak registered 120 to 125 degrees; the medium rare, 130 to 135, and the medium steak, 145, still pink in the center but going to gray-brown at the edges. The medium-well steak was 150 to 155 degrees. There was a difference of 15 degrees between the Government and the steakhouse....'Lately, we have been getting more requests for meat a little more cooked, mor medium rare to medium, instead of rare. Maybe people think it's safer.'"
---"When is it Done?" New York Times, May 21, 1997 (p. C6)

Black & Blue steak
Hot crusty sear (black) on the outside, cold (blue) on the inside, this steak "doneness" results from cooking over intense heat for a brief period. When and where did this method of cooking steak occur? James Beard's notes on steak "doneness" [1954, 1961] do not reference "black and blue." Chef Paul Proudhomme's "blackened" craze circa mid-1980s may have gently mentored the "black and blue" steak. The difference, of course, is that Proudhomme's "blackened" resulted from fiery flavors in addition to cooking methods. While print evidence confirms the phrase was used in mid-1970s USA, the actual practice became popular twenty years later. Some folks call this
Pittsburgh-style steak.

What is blue?
The term "bleu" (blue) takes two meanings regarding protein cookery:

"Bleu (to cook au bleu).--Method applied to freshwater fish, mainly to trout. This method consists of plunging the fish, absolutely fresh, if not actually alive, into a boiling court-bouillon...cooked in this way, the skin of the fish, eslecially of trout, takes on a slightly bluish color."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 151)

"Bleu meat, cooked at the surface but just warmed within, remains relatively unchanged--soft to the touch, like the muscle between thumb and forefinger when it's completely relaxed, with little or no colored juice (some colorless fat may melt out)."
---On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, Harold McGee, completely revised and updated [Scribner:New York] 2004 (p. 154)

Black & blue steak
"...The Steer Palace restaurant in Madison Square simply have to be a glutton for the best steaks in town, charcoal broiled over hot coals to black and blue perfection."
---"New In New York," New York Times, October 31, 1975 (p. 66)
[NOTES: (1) Cooking method for "black and blue" steak may approximate contemporary definition. (2)The Steer Palace, a Longchamps restaurant, opened November 20, 1968. (3) Madison Square Garden was/is famous for indoor sports events (ice hockey, boxing, wrestling) where competitors came out "black and blue." (4) Raw steak compresses are "home remedies" for treating "black" eyes (bruised, black & blue).]

"'THAT burned, crusty taste of my Dad's grilling was one of my first taste memories,' says Chris Schlesinger, owner of the East Coast Grill in Cambridge, Mass. "And Southern barbecue - that's really unique outdoor cooking. It's a kind of smoked-braising, slow-cooking method. No other country in the world has the same way of doing barbecue."...The menu ranges from a Thai-inspired dish like Steamed Clams with Lemongrass and Chilies de Arbol to Grilled Big Black-and-Blue Steak for Two and many kinds of grilled fish."
---"America Gathers 'Round The Grill," Phyllis Hanes, Christian Science Montitor, June 27, 1991 (p. 14)

"Crustiness is a culinary come-on. Its latest incarnationmay have begunwith blackend and grilled food, though its reputation was sealed the moment the word crust became the only acceptable modifier for the word bread. There is a certain thrill to working through the difficult to find something tender and pliant. It makes eating---among other things--- worth the effort. Contrast, of coruse, is also part of a crust's charm. Depending on the heft of the crust, the encounter begins with a crackle. The subsequent taste is an intimate melding of teeth and tongue, brittle and soft. A tough epidermis both insulates and protects the life it surrounds. Crusted things tolerate hight heat--a boon for those seeking juice at first slice. A black-and-blue streak forms a primitive crust. Subjected to a blast of heat, the meat caramelizes into a crunchy surface, which, in turn, encases the drippings. Self-containment invites respect, or at least adds to the feel the need to bread the barrier..."
---"The Upper Crust," Molly O'Neill, New York Times, September 27, 1998 (p. SM95)

Pittsburgh-style steak
Locals connect this dish with The Colony restaurant. Sources confirm The Colony opened in 1958 but fail to cite the year "Pittsburgh Style" cooked steak was introduced in that establishment.

"Some of the mature-looking waiters at The Colony were busboys back when Dean Steliotes opened the restaurant in 1958. The menu consisted of lobster tail, sirloin steak and filet mignon. Son Paul, who runs the steakhouse now, remembers that people said it was too expensive and wouldn't last...The Colony still has the Lazy Susans with a selection of toppings for salads and a pastry tray with tempting desserts. You can still have your steak ''Pittsburgh style'' -- black on the outside and red inside -- which Paul thinks started here. But if you want the signature Colony steak sauce, so successful that it's now sold in supermarkets, I guess you have to ask...The biggest seller on the menu today is filet mignon, but a strip steak or sirloin has more marbling and more flavor, Paul believes. I agree. His Honor has ordered the filet, and I'm having the sirloin, so we can compare. Both are an inch and a half thick, grilled to perfection. But I do think the sirloin has slightly more flavor than the filet. It doesn't even occur to us to ask for the famous steak sauce; the beef needs no enhancement."
---"Seven wonders; Longstanding Pittsburgh restaurants that haven't lost their touch," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [PA] August 27, 1995, (p. H8)

"I asked for my sirloin Pittsburgh-style - blackened on the outside, medium rare inside, and it was perfect. The meat was tender, marbled but not fatty, and full of flavor."
---"Juicy Tidbit on Great Steaks," Philadelphia Daily News [PA], September 3, 1997 (p. 19)

"A Chicken in Every Pot"
This famous USA political campaign slogan originated in 16th century France. It is attributed to Henri IV. The promise remains constant. Prosperity means having the pleasure of good food in sufficient quantity. This phrase was revived in the 1928 USA presidential campaign. Although it is attributed to Herbert Hoover, this candidate never made this specific promise. It was a slogan created and promoted by his party.

Why the chicken?
In Henri IV's time, any kind of a meat was considered luxury. Before modern poultry methods raising rendered fowl inexpensive, chickens were prized for their eggs. Tough old hens were consumed when they ceased production. Only the wealthiest people could afford the luxury of consuming tender young chickens. A survey of historic USA prices confirms chickens were generally more expensive than beef and pork through World War II. A Sunday Chicken Dinner was very much a prized family event.

Phrase origin & evolution
"King Henry IV of France (1553-1610) was the champion phrasemaker of his a result of his statement "Je vieux qu'il n'y ait si pauvre paysan en mon royaume qui'il n'ait tous les diamances sa poule au pot' ('I wish that there would not be as peasant so poor in ally my realm who would not have a chicken in his pot every Sunday'), he was given the sobriquet of le Roi de al poule au pot ('King of the chicken in the pot'). Herbert Hoover never said or quoted it. What he did say, on October 22, 1928, was 'The slogan of progress is changing from the 'Full Dinner Pail' to the full garage.' The former president's secretary wrote to quotation-etymologist George Seldes in 1958: 'No one has ever been able to find, in Mr. Hoover's speeches or writings, of which a very careful file has been kept over the years, the expression 'a chicken in every pot.' Mr. Hoover also never promised or even expressed his hope of two cars in every garage.' The repopularization of the phrase, and Hoover's supposed connection with it, can be traced to a republican campaign flyer of 1928 titled 'A Chicken in Every Pot.' Democratic candidate Al Smith, in a Boston campaign speech, held up the flyer and quoted from it: 'Republican prosperity has reduced hours and increased earning capacity.' And then it goes on to say Republican prosperity has put a chicken in every pot and a car in every backyard to boot...'By 1932, reminders of promises of prosperity were particularly embarrassing to Republicans...FDR loved the misquotation and never let it go...In 1960 John F. Kennedy misquoted the phony quotation in Bristol, Tennessee...'Two chickens for every pot.'"
---Safire's Political Dictionary, William Safire, updated and expanded edition [Oxford University Press:New York] 2008 (p. 115)
[NOTE: The Hoover Presidential Archives and Museum confirms this quote is erroneously attributed to candidate
Hoover ] ?

"Full Dinner Pail"
"Full dinner pail. Symbol of prosperity, turn-of-the century equivalent of a cornucopia, or horn of plenty; slogan of the 1900 William McKinley campaign...The dinner pail had long been a symbol in the growing labor movement. Thomas Nast used it in an 1880 Harper's Weekly cartoon, and Theodore Roosevelt wrote a friend in 1894: 'I hear all around that the working men intend to vote for 'the policy of the full dinner pail'...'. In 1928 Herbert Hoover tried to update the phrase, holding the symbol for the 'party of prosperity' : 'The slogan of progress is changing from the full dinner pail to the full garage.'..Since the Depression, most Republicans have stayed away from the symbols of prosperity in campaigning, though they have used the word prosperity itself; Democrats have hammered away at the 'Chicken in every pot' (which Hoover never said), denying Republicans the full dinner pail as a symbol. Since dinner pails are blue-collar rather than white-collar, and the packaging of food has changed, the symbol may be expected to reappear as nutritious, portable snack."
---Safire's Political Dictionary, William Safire, updated and expanded edition [Oxford University Press:New York] 2008 (p. 268)

In the news...

"Editor Post: I have learned that the Republican National Committee has adopted as its campaign button the idea sprung by that funny paper, Judge, stating 'Four Years More of the Full Dinner Pail,'...It only goes to show that the Republican party is making its appeal to the stomach instead of the minds and hearts of the voter...They do not seek to preserve liberty or to promote the interests of mankind; but instead they promise to fill his stomach with a full dinner pail." ---"Stomach a Road to the Heart," Views of the people on live topics [letters to the editor], William W. Bride, Washington Post, August 13, 1900 (p. 9)

"If prohibition and religion are made the issues in the coming presidential campaign it will not be the fault of the Republicans. Prosperity, or the old 'full dinner pail' cry of McKinley, is to be the Republican bid for victory."
---"Full Dinner Pail is Urged by Work as G.O.P. Slogan," Washington Post, July 7, 1928 (p. 1)

"A Chicken for Every Pot...Republican prosperity has reduced hours and increased earning capacity, silenced discontent, put the proverbial 'chicken in every pot.' And a car in every backyard, to boot. It has raised living standards and lowered living costs...Vote for Hoover."
---display ad, Republican National Committee, New York Times, October 30, 1928 (p. 23)

"Let us look at that page ad inserted by the Republican National Committee entitled 'A Chicken For Every Pot,...I wonder what idea the man who invented a thing like this had in his mind?...Can you imagine in your mind's eye a man at $17.30 a week going out to a chicken dinner in his own automobile?"
---Stenographic Report of Smith's Boston Speech Answering Hoover on 'State Socialism'," New York Times, October 25, 1928 (p. 2)
[NOTE: Al Smith was the Democratic candidate for president in 1928.]

"'Hoover performance' in time of distress in a place of the 'prosperity' chorus of four years ago, with its variations on 'two chickens for every pot and two cars in every garage.'"
---"Republicans Move for Plank on Gold," New York Times, January 13, 1932 (p. 1)

"The Republican and Democratic conventions have met and made history. Men and women made long frothy speeches minimizing the vices and magnifying the virtues of favorite son. There were the same old promises of a job for every man; a chicken in every pot; and an automobile in every back yard."
---"Men & Things," Elijah Hodges, Philadelphia Tribune, July 7, 1932 (p. 9)

"If no plank of the Democratic platform can ever be carried out, such failure could not bring as much disaster upon the country as has the 1928 Republican promise of two cars in every garage, a chicken in every pot and poverty abolished forever."
---"Letters to the Editor: Slogans and Promises," W. P. Meaken, New York Times, October 27, 1932 (p. 18)

"Some of the statements and prophesies which President Herbert Hoover made in 1928 during his Presidential campaign are now being recalled by his opponents, and contrasts are being drawn between the promises of his administration and the fulfillment. The Republican assurance of 'a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage' is repeated often in sarcastic Democratic speeches. This promise is usually attributed to President Hoover himself. It was not made by him, however, in any of his campaign speeches. But is was displayed prominently in a paid advertisement which the Republican campaign committee inserted in a number of newspapers. In large letters at the top of this advertisement were the words 'A Chicken for Every Pot.' This idea was expanded in the body of the advertisement, one paragraph of which read, 'Republican prosperity has reduced hours and increased earning capacity, silenced discontent, put the proverbial 'chicken in every pot.' And a car in every backyard, to boot' Though President Hoover made optimistic statements, such as 'The slogan of progress is changing from the full dinner pail to the full garage,' he was not personally responsible for that other Republican password, 'A Chicken in every pot. And a car in every backyard, to boot.'"
---"'Chicken-in-Every-Pot' Slogan Used by Republican Committee," New York Times, October 30, 1932 (p. XX12)

"Plentiful foods for March include peanuts, canned pears, rice and broiler-fryers. The fact that plentiful poultry is reasonably priced is a boon to budget-conscious homemakers. But you know it hasn't been too many years ago when chicken was considered quite a luxury, to be served for 'company' or Sunday family dinners. Chicken was used as a symbol of prosperity in Herbert Hoover's presidential campaign. A 'chicken in every pot and a car in every garage' was the slogan."
---"Chicken Has Long and Noble Heritage," Elinor Lee, Los Angeles Times, March 26, 1970 (p. J30)

Airline chicken
Airline chicken can be several things, depending upon who you talk to. It can be a fancy cut, a special presentation, or a negative appelation directed at inflight foodservice. The airline connection? Again, several theories. These range from practical (chicken travels well, this cut of chicken fits neatly into an airline tray/dish compartments) to artistic (it looks like it's about to take off).

Culinary professionals generally agree modern "Airline Chicken" descends from traditional European cuts. Most notably "Hotel Cut," "French Cut," and "Supreme." The airline version leaves the meat on the first joint of the wing. Traditional European cuts are bone only. All version are skin-on.

"Chicken had been a mainstay for inflight foodservice since foods were first offered to passengers in the 1930s. Fried chicken was one of the few foods that could be held hot over long time periods and still be of an acceptable quality. Prepared other ways, chicken still held up much better than many other protein products such as beef or pork. It could be cooked, held, chilled, frozen, rethermalized and still be tender and moist if properly cooked and plated. Idle Wild farms' development of the oven-ready stuffed rock cornish game hen brought product consistency and a gourmet quality to the use of poultry products for inflight meals."
---Inflight Catering Management, Audrey C. McCool [John Wiley & Sons:New York] 1995 (p. 36)

According to the National Chicken Council "The term "airline chicken breast" first became popular in the 1960s when major commercial airlines included full service meals on air flights that were of sufficient length/time to serve such meals. Airlines required a relatively small breast portion for a number of reasons and kept part of the wing on to give a presentation that made the serving portion appear to be bigger than it actually was and also to give it a certain differentiation from the non-airline breast. It was and still is a relatively costly product. My guess is a chef on PanAm or similar top airline developed the concept and other airlines quickly followed. Few, if any, domestic airlines still have "meals" that include "airline chicken breasts." Some caterers have this type of product for special occasion events. The Council adds: "The term "airline chicken" goes back a long way. It used to be called a "hotel cut.""


"Country music fans, take note: Statler chicken has nothing to do with those singing brothers from Virginia, who retired in 2002. This Statler a term for a boneless chicken breast with the drumette attached is decidedly urban, with its roots in Boston's Hotel Statler, built in 1927 by E.M. Statler."
---STATLER CHICKEN," JOE YONAN, Boston Globe, Nov 2, 2005, pg. G.3
[NOTE: Perhaps the Boston Statler Hilton is the "hotel" referenced by the National Chicken Council?]

"Judging from the friendly and casual atmosphere, I suspect that no one ever is allowed to feel embarrassed for not knowing that airline chicken is the European way of preparing chicken breast. On the plate, the chicken might look poised for flight, with its wing drum bone left intact for extra flavor."
---"A family restaurant, different breed," Catherine Quillman, Philadelphia Inquirer, February 22, 2004 ( p. L2)

"We were expecting it to come on a little plastic tray if it's airline chicken," one of my companions told the waitress."Do you see how the chicken breast is spread out to look like wings?" the waitress asked. "That's why they call it airline chicken."
---"Dining With Dennis Getto Simple steakhouse approach works well for Jimmy D's," Dennis Getto, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel March 14, 1997, Cue (Pg. 16)

As for ''airline'' chicken . . . well, its not quite what you'd find in United's friendly skies. We're thankful for that. The sobriquet describes the way the chicken breast is displayed. Sliced down the middle, the breast is splayed out with the ''drumstick'' ends of the wings poised for takeoff.
---"Creole Cafe a Welcome Additin to Monroe Street," Michael Muckian, Capital Times (Madison, WI.), September 27, 1997, (p. 4D).

About inflight catering.

Ancient Romans gave us
ham. Anglo-Saxons gave us bacon. It is the food of kings and common folk. Tasty, versatile, economical and ubiquitous. Brown N' Serve (precooked) bacon was introduced to the American public in the 1960s. USA consumption plummeted in when cholesterol was "discovered" and nitrates caused a stir. Turkey bacon surfaced in the 1990s. People today are redisovering the joys of bacon. In moderation. Bacon pairs perfectly with sweet (chocolate, cookies, ice cream)and to savory (potato chips, salad dressings, Bloody Marys). The possibilities are infinite!

What is bacon?
"Bacon. The side of a pig cured with salt in a single piece. The word originally meant pork of any type, fresh or cured, but this older usage had died out by the 17th century. Bacon, in the modern sense, is peculiarly a product fo the British Isles, or is produced abroad to British methods...Preserved pork, including sides salted to make bacon, held a place of primary importance in the British diet in past centuries....British pigs for both fresh and salted meat had been much improved in the 18th century. The first large-scale bacon curing business was set up in the 1770s by John Harris in Wiltshire...Wiltshire remains the main bacon-producing area of Britain..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 47)

Why call it "bacon?"
"Bacon. Etyomologically, bacon means meat from the 'back of an animal'. The word appears to come from a prehistoric Germanic base *bak-, which was also the source of English back. Germanic bakkon passed into Frankish bako, whcih French borrowed as bacon. English acquired the word in the twelfth century, and seems at first to have used it as a synonym for the native term flitch, 'side of cured pig meat'. By the fourteenth century, however, we find it being applied to the cured meat itself..."
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 14-5)

British bacon
"Hams and bacon were either dry-salted or barrelled in their own brine. The Romans recognized ham (perna) and shoulder bacon (petaso) as two separate meats, and different recipes for preparing them for the table. According to Apicius both were to be first boiled with dried figs, but ham could then be baked in a flour with paste, while bacon was to be browned and served with a wine and pepper sauce...Bacon fat or lard was in particular favour among the Anglo-Saxons who used it for cooking and also as a dressing for vegetables...[Medieval] Country folk ate their bacon with pease or bean pottage or with 'joutes'."
---Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago] 1991 (p. 74, 77 & 88)

"...the most important products from the pig were bacon and ham. Once the pig was ready to be butchered, the tueur skillfully cut the larger joints to be put aside for salting, or more commmonly in France, drying into hams and sides of "lard" (bacon). Bacon was the cheapest, most popular pork product, and a mainstay of the European peasant diet for centuries. William Ellis, one of many sixteenth and seventeeth-century English rural gentlemen who produced books on agricultural and domestic improvements, wrote in 1750 that "Where there is Bread and Bacon enough, there is no Want....In the Northern Parts of England, thousands of families eat little other Meat than Bacon; and indeed, in the southern parts, more than ever live on Bacon, or Pickled Pork." Some flitches of bacon were salted and then plain dried while the best bacon was hung in the chimney breast to smoke. Sliced bacon collops were a special English cut of bacon that was fried with eggs, the forerunner of our "greasy breakfasts" of bacon and eggs. In the past, as we have seen, most home-cured bacon was cooked into a pease or bean pottage. Commercial bacon production was started as early as 1770, when it is said that John Harris of Clane in Wiltshire, watching pigs resting there on their way from Ireland to London, had the idea of curing them on the spot. Special huge, fat bacon pigs, were bred to be killed at any time of year. The meat was cured quickly, and meant that it tainted quickly as well. As the quality was not so good, this bacon was sold quickly and cheaply to the poor in country markets. In spite of this, William Ellis considered bacon to be a "seviceable, palatable, profitable, and clean meat, for ready Use in a Country house;..." Bacon could also be spiced. A recipe from 1864, in The Art and Mystery of Curing, Preserving, and Potting all kinds of Meats, Game and Fish by a Wholesale Curer of Comestibles, for "superior spiced bacon," suggested taking some pieces of pork "suitable for your salting tub," rubbing them well with warmed treacle, and adding salt, saltpeter, ground allspice, and pepper, rubbing and turning them every day for a week. The meat was then suspended in a current of air and later coated with bran or pollard and smoked."
---Pickled, Potted and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World, Sue Shephard [Simon and Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 68-9)

Brown 'N Serve
"Many of us are short of time at home or short of patience in camp when breakfast has to be cooked. Armour and Company offers to help out with a new product, a bacon called Brown 'N'Serve that is partially pre-cooked so it needs only a short turn on the stove. Armour say that Brown 'N Serve not only can be prepared much faster than regular bacon but also curls less, shrinks less, and leaves less waste fat in your frying pan. CU had refrigerated samples of Brown N'Serve flown in from Omaha, Nebr., one of the cities in which it was being test marketed. Each package held 18 to 20 slices of bacpon, generally about 7 1/2 inches long and weighing 5 ounces. The price of a package was 89 cents, which figures out to a whopping $2.85 a pound. CU's panelists prepared the samples, along with samples of some major brands of regular bacons, by three common methods of cooking bacon; frying on top of a gas stove, frying in an electric skillet, and broiling in an oven. Each panelist cooked the bacon to his own taste. Each portion of bacon was weighed and measured before and after cooking, and a record was kept of the time that elapsed between putting the bacon on the fire and taking it off. For the Brown 'N Serve, the average loss in weight for each of the three methods of preparation was about 45%. Shrinkage was similar for all methods: the slices lost about 25% of their length in the preparation. Armour's claim that Brown 'N Serve could be prepared in three minutes in a frypan was substantiated, and the time was even less--about two minutes--for oven broiling. In contrast, the regular bacons showed weight losses of approximately 70%, shrinkage in length of about 30%, and cooking times of 10 to 12 minutes for frypan preparation and 4 to 6 minutes for oven broiling. If, then, the saving of minutes is an important consideration, it can be achieved to a significant degree whitgh regular bacon by oven broiling, and only about half the panelests felt that using Brown 'N Serve was high-quality bacon, most of them judging that it was better than the bacon they ordinarily bought for themselves. One thing that certainly diminishes the appeal of Brown 'N Serve is its price. At $2.85 a pound, it would be equivalent, after adjusting for yield differences, to a pound or regular bacon at about $1.50 to $1.60. Mosty of the panelists said they would be reluctant to pay such prices for this or any other bacon."
---"Quick Cook Bacon," Consumer Reports, May 1963 (p. 215)

What about turkey bacon?

Feared, revered, hunted & consumed. Bears have played a key role in the human diet from prehistoric times to present. Bear as human food is complicated because it prowls outside the realm of domesticity. Native takings are a function of necessity. Civilized plates are the provenance of kings. Bear lumbers comfortably on all sides of this historical table.

"Ancient bear hunters considered the strong, majestic animals both humanlike and godlike, Bears stand erect, as people do, yet they exhibit such tremendous strength that they appear to have supernatural powers. This strength elevated the bear to revered status among early hunters, and it led to widespread rituals accompanying the killing and eating of the animal...Many North American hunters killed and ate bear, most of them apologized to the animal spirit before taking its life."
---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 27-30)

[Ancient Greece]
"Even bear...and lion...were eaten; bear tasted worse, needing ot boiled twice, said a later source (Galen, On the Properties of Foods 3.1.10)."
---Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:New York] 1996, 1997 (p. 62)

[300BC China]
"The third of China's well-known delicacies is bear's paw...which may come from any of the several bear species...found in China. Like birds nest and shark's fin, it is a strengthening food...served as a special dish, for example at expensive feasts. Pollard...was told by an Chinese informant in Szechwan that during their winter hibernation, black bears are able to ward off hunger by licking their paws, which is why the Chinese value then so highly. Apparantly people's reasoning was that if licking their paws can sustain creatures as large, powerful and dangerious as adult bears over an entire winter, the paws must be very strengthening indeed. Bear's paw, unlike bird's nest and shark's fin, is also considered a delicacy in the Western world. many Europeans and North Americans have long recognized bear's paw, like pig's fet, is very tasty indeed. In German, salted, smoked bear's paw was set aside for royalty...And in Britain, eventhough overhunting led to the extinction of bears before the Norman conquest, the excellence of bear's paw was not forgotton, for bears were brought to the continent for the sports of bear-bating and bear-hunting. In his sixteenth century Booke of hunting, Turberville writed disparangly of bear's flesh, yet acknoweldged that 'their feet are the best morsel of them, for they can be delicate meat.'...The story of bear's paw as a delicacy in China is het to be told, but it may well be the earliest use of the first thre delicacies...bear's paw was...a delicacy in ancient China. This is demonstrated in the quote by Mencius (372-289 B.C.)... and is further confirmed by bear's paw being among food served at a Han feast. In those times...bears were far more numerous in China than in present day. One suspects that over the centuries since, a growing shortage of bear's paws was accompanied by a steady increase in their price and in restrictions on their use...Today...the supply of bear's paw is so small that it is turning into a delicacy of historical significance only...Bear's paw entered into domestic trade in China, sometines being carried considerable distances to market...Bear's gallbladder contains a concentration of gall...or bile, which, like bear's paw, is highly regarded for its strengtheining qualities, and is a very expensive itme in Chinese commerce...F. T. Cheng...provides a recipe for the preparation of bear's paw as a delicacy. The paw is first coated with clean mud and baked in an oven. When the mud dries and hardens, the paw is removed and permitted to cool. Then the mud is broken loose, with the hairy skin of the paw adhering and coming off with it. The flesh that remains is then simmered to make it soft, with the water changed regularly to eliminate its gamy odor and flavor. When quite soft qnd without taste, the paw is simmered with checkne flesh, lean ham, wine, and a small amount of water until a rich, thick sauce is obtained. For serving, called 'Braised Bear's Paw,' is provided by Sakamoto...but is actually made with beef tongue, a substitute. Nevertheless, it is prepared in the style of Sechwan, a region...noted for its bear's paw dishes. This dish...includes, in addition to beef tongue, sherip, pork, chicken, green onions. chili peppers, ginger, white pepper, salt, oil and a seasoning mixture consisting of soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, and MSG. Bear's paw is described as having a special flavor, similar to that of fatty ham of outstncing quality, but far superior because it lacks greasiness."
---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederick J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL- 1989 (p. 433-434)

"Bear's paw.--Bear's paw is the earliest delicacy known to the Chinese, for even Mencius, the great philosopher of the pre-Christian era, who lived about a hundred years after Confucius, said: 'Fish is what I like, so are bear's paws; but if I cannot have both, I will forego the fish and choose the bear's paw...' Bear's paw chiefly is a delicacy of North China and is considered the domain of the cooks of the Shantung or Honan schools. The taste of bear's paw, like caviar, cannot really be compared to anything--it is unique."
---Larousse Gastronomique [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 115)

[Anglo-Saxon England]
"Bears are...mentioned in the Gnomic Verses...but...the only account of bear hunting comes from the eleventh century Chronicle of Nantes...While bear was consumed in a Norse/Icelandic saga, it may have been inshort supply in Anglo-Saxon England: I have come across only one record of bone on sites."
---A Second Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food and Drink: Production and Distribution, Ann Hagen [Anglo-Saxon Books:Norfolk England] 1995 (p. 132)

[Medieval Poland]
"Game is perhaps one of the most perplexing of all the food categories of medieval diet in Poland. The archaeological record is quite clear in its scarcity of game reamins, and written sources confrim that game was rarely eaten by rich or poor. Yet these same sources also make abundant mentio of hunting, indeed the royal courst maintained huntsmen almost year round...The Polish ius regal (law of royal pricileges) regulated hunting of big game throughout the kingdom. No one could hunt for big game without the express permission of the king. Game killed by the king or at his order was eviscxerated on the spot. All parts of the animal with any value, such as the hide, some of the bones, and of course the meat, would be taken back to town. Bear provide a particualrly interesing example of the practice, for only the paw bones show up at archaeological sites connected to food consumptin. These parts of the animal enjoyed culinary esteem among the nobility, along with bear bac on and smoked bear tongue, which were treated as gourmet fare. Of course, the fur was also highly valued. The rest of the animal was left in the forest."
---Food and Drink in Medieval Poland: Rediscovering a Cuisine of the Past, Maria Dembinska, revised and adapted by WilliamWoys Weaver [University of Pennsylvania Press:Philadelphia PA] 1999 (p. 94-95)

[Renaissance Italy]
"Bear meat is good in pies."
---The Art of Cooking: The First Modern Cookery Book, Martino of Como, edited with an introduction by Luigi Ballerini, translated and annotated by Jeremy Parzen [University of California Press:Berkeley CA] 2005 (p. 49)

[1824 Canada]
"Bear's butter, also called bear's grease, this is the rendered white fat of a bear, used as food mixed with wild fruit like saskatoonberries, also used to fry food, to make medicine, as a cosmetic base, and smeared all over the body in emergencies to insulate the body from arctic cold. As a commodity, ti bame to the official attention of Hudson's Bay Company factors, appearing in the minutes of an HBC council meeting in 1824: '...that the Gentlemen in Charge of districts be directed to use every exertion to collect Bears' Grease as it is likely to become a valuable article of trade.'"
---Canadian Food Words, Bill Casselman [McArthur & Company:Toronto ON] 1998 (p. 250)

Price of bear meat on the New York Live Stock Market confirms this was an expensive delicacy. In 1856 Bear was 18-31 cents/lb compared with venison 12-14 cents/lb, fowl, 8-11 cents/lb and premium cattle 11-15 cents/lb. [New York Times, December 12, 1856 p. 3].

"Bears' paws were long reckoned a great delicacy in Germany, for some authors tell us, that after being salted and smoked, they were reserved for the tables of princes. In North America, bears' flesh was formerly considered equal to pork, the meat having a flavour between beef and pork; and the young cubs were accounted the finest eating in the world. Dr. Brook, in his Natural History, adds--' Most of the planters prefer bears' flesh to beef, veal, pork and mutton. The fat is as white as snow, and extremely sweet and wholesome, for if a man drinks a quart of it at a time, when melted, it will never rise on his stomach! It is of very great use for the frying of fish and other things, and is greatly preferred to butter.' Tastes have naturally altered since this was written, nearly a century ago, and it would be somewhat difficult to carry on the sport of bear hunting on the extensive scale than practiced, when we are told 500 bears were killed in two of the counties in Virginia in one winter. The Indians seem to have shared largely in the sport and the spoils of the chase for at their subsequent meat, the largest bear was served up as the first course, and they 'roasted him whole, entrails, skin and all, in the same manner as they would barbecue a hog.' As the paws of the bear were held to be the most delicious morsels about him, so the head was thought to be the worst, and always thrown away; but the tongue and hams are still in repute. The white bear [Polar bear] is eaten by the Esquimaux [Eskimo] and the Danes of Greenland; and when young, and cooked after the manner of beef steaks, is by no means to be despised, although rather insipid; the fat, however, ought to be avoided, as unpleasant to the palate."
---The Curiosities of Food, Peter Lund Simmonds, facsimile 1859 edition with an Introduction by Alan Davidson [Ten Speed Press:Berkeley CA] 2001 (p. 53-54)

[1873:Europe & Russia]
"Bear meat is not to be found in every butcher shop. But it can be procured without too much trouble. Bear meat is now eaten everywhere in Europe. From the most ancient times, the front paws have been regarded as the most delicate morsel. The Chinese esteem them highly. In German, where the meat of the bear cub is much sought after, the front paws are a delicacy reserved for the very rich. Here is a recipe for them as prepared in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and all over Russa, according to Urbain-Dubois, cook to Their Majesties of PRussa. The paws are bought skinned. They are washed, salted, put into a crock, and covered with a cooked vinegar marinade for 3 or 4 days. Cover the bottom of a pot with bits of bacon and ham and chopped vegetables. Arrange the paws on this and cover with the marinade and bouillon. Cover with slices of bacon. Cook gently for 7 or 8 hours, adding bouillon as required to keep them covered. Let cook in this liquid. Drain, wipe, and slice lengthwise into 4 pieces. Sprinkle with cayennemdip in melted lard, bread, and grill gently for 1/2 hour. Serve on a platter with a reduced sauce piquante finished with 2 tablespoons of currant jelly."
---Alexandre Dumas' Dictionary of Cuisine, edited abridged and translated by Louis Colman [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1958 (p. 58)

"Bear-meat in good condition is not unlike beef, and it may be cooked in the same way."
Miss Corson's Practical Cookery, Juliet Corson:

"A consignment of frozen Russian bears arrived at Leahenhall market a day or two ago...sixty pounds of ursine joints, steaks and cutlets... The salesman...said the six bears had gone to restauranteurs up West...They brought two shillings per pound in London. While hanging in the market the vears attracted bigger crowds of curious spectators than ever gathered around a bear pit at the Zoo."
---"Bear Meat for Londoners," Los Angeles Times, June 5, 1899 (p. 6)

"A small, black bear, weighing about 50 pounds in his skin, hung from a butcher's stall in West Washington Market yesterday. Half a dozen buyers connected with uptown restaurants who had heard of the bruin's arrival from the mountians of North Carolina, went down to take a look at him. He was bought by the highest bidder for $15. 'The nany who bought it will get very nearly that amount for his skin,' said the butcher. 'In addition he will have about 25 pounds of prime bear meat--stakes, chops, etc.--which he will have no difficulty in selling for $1 a pound. In fact, tat may be said to be the standard price for bear meat in New York. He wil also have seeral pounds of bear meat no good enough for the prime cuts, but which will make most savory stews. 'Quite a number of bears come to the New York market each year during the holiday season. Butchers have regular customers for them among restaurant men and private families. In West Forty-second street there is a club whose members get together once a week for a game of cards and a little dinner. The members of it are very fond of bear stew, and any butcher who had bear meat he cannot sell elsewhere knows he can find a market there. The stew is cooked on a gas stoeve in the club by a coachman of one of the members...I have never, eaten bear stew, but I knwo that men thow are partial to it would rather have it than the finest canvasback ever served. Bear steak tastes very much like beefsteak, except that has a stronger flavor."
---"Bear Meat at One Dollar a Pound," Los Angeles Times, December 21, 1903 (p. 10)

"...a bear dead or alive is a rare sight in a New York market...So rare, indee, are these animals anywhere in this country that they are not mentioned on the game lists, and there seems to be no particular season when they may not be killed or tracked. Prices for these animals, wherever sold, are something enormous. The bear in the Fourteenth Street provision house was sold to a way downtown restaurateur for $150... Simplicity is the rule which must be observed in cooking ear meat. Any attempt at doctoring this wild meat with wines or high-flavored sauces destroys its natural favor and renders it unfit to eat. Bear meat is cooked in perfection in the northern part of Canada, where the natives let the carcass of a bear hang outdoors until it freezes before it is cut up. The freezing process makes the flesh tender. It is cut while frozen a piece at a time as wanted, then put into cold water to thaw out. It is then roasted or grilled, seasoned only with salt and pepper, and served with roasted apples or with wild grape jelly. Cooked like this bear meat is delicious, tasting very much like young cornfed pork when roasted as farmers roast it."
---"Market Delicacies," New York Times, November 10, 1907 (p. X6)

[1920: USA]
"2946. Bear Steaks Broiled (Tranches d'Ours Grillees). Bear's meat when young can be broiled and after it is cooked, has much the same flavor as beef. Cut some slices from off the thigh, season with salt and coat over with oil, then broil; when done dress on a sharp sauce (No 538) with grated horseradish added."
---The Epicurean, Charles Ranhofer, facsimile 1920 edition [Martino Publishing:Mansfield Centre CT] 2011 (p. 637)
[NOTE. There are two "Sharp Sauce" recipes 538 (1) Sharp Sauce composed of vinegar shallots, sauce espagnole and (2) Sharp sauce with capers and onion puree. (p. 316), happy to share.]

[1927: USA]
"Venison. Moose, elk, reindeer, bear meat, or any tough or dry meat (As frequently cooked by mountain folk)
Fashion into small cutlets; dip in olive oil; fry in deep fat exactly like doughnuts until done as you like (perhaps 5 minutes, but you had better experiment with a small bit first). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve instantly. (The cutlet may first be rolled in bread crumbs, cornmeal or batter. But this make them much greasier."--Mrs. Herbert C. Hoover, Wife of the Secretary of Commerce."
---The Congressional Club Cook Book, [compiled and published by The Congressional Club, Washington D.C.] 1927 (p. 384)

[1942: USA]
"Bear meat. Bears, once so plentiful in Florida that before 1792 William Bartram wrote, 'there are still far too many bears in Florica,' are becoming scarce. I see no reason for destroying the remaining ones...But I must admit that bear meat at the proper season, and properly cooked, is a delicious meat..."
---Cross Creek Cookery, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings [Charles Scribner's Sons:New York] 1942 (p. 110)
[NOTE: This book offers recipes for Pot Roast of Bear and Bear Steak.]

"'Bear steak should be treated like beef, but it should be marinated for two days. Treat it precisely like stewed beef...but with the marinade it has lain in. Thickn the sauce with starch or arrowroot, add paprika pepper, and serve on a bed of sweet corn and butter.'...The flesh of the Grizzly also edible but coarser...L.R. Brightwell...praises particularly the smoked [bear] hams which could be purchased occasionaly in pre-war times in England."
---A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 399-400)

"Bear.--A perfectly edible animal but rarely used in the kitchen. Bear meat can be used only after it has been marinated for a long time. This meat, which is not particularly tasty and is often tough, can be prepared in any way suitable for wild boar or venison...Bear ham. --This ham, which is common in Russia and some European countries, is cured in exactly the same way as pork ham."
---Larousse Gastronomique [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 115)

"Bear...A large, heavy-furred, partly carnivous quadruped which inhabits parts of Europe...America...and the Arctic regions. Bear steak is enjoyed by the trappers and hunters of all regions, and it is cooked like beef steak, but as it is somewhat tougher it should be marinated in oil, vinegar, or wine for about two days beforehand. The Arctic explorer, Nansen, and his colleagues ate it every day for many months without tiring of it. They found the breast of polar bear cubs to be extremely delicious. Smoked bear hams were avialable in London and New York until the outbreak of the 1939 war. Unless the animal is young and very freshly killed it is essential to remove all vestige of fat. It turns rancid quickly and affects the flavour of the meat."
---Game Cooking, Theodora Fitzgibbon [Andre Deutsch:London] 1963 (p. 26)
[NOTE: this book offers recipes for Roast Saddle of Bear, Marinade for Roast Bear, To Roast a Saddle of Bear Meat, Bear Steaks, Bear Hash, Baked Bear's Paws and Russian Braised Bear Steaks.]

Food historians generally agree that cows, as we know them today, descended from prehistoric aurochs. Domestication occured approximately 10,000 years ago and this process produced smaller animals. Cross-breeding and limited gene pools also resulted in different species with unique characteristics.

About cattle domestication
"European domestic cattle and the Indian zebu are thought to share an ancestor in the shape of Bos primigenius, the wild cattle or auochs common in Eurasia between about 30 degrees and 60 degrees N. At the end of the last ice age. ..Domestication of cattle probably started because wild cattle were attracted to the fields of grain grown by early farmers and robbed these abundant supplies of food. Cross-breeding with wild stock no doubt continued for some time. Exactly when domestication took place is uncertain, but by 3000BC there is evidence for several well-defined breed in representations of cattle from both Mesopotamia and Egypt..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 145)
[NOTE: This book references two major works regarding the history and domestication of cattle. Your librarian can help you obtain them.]

"Although cattle have been domesticated for less than 10,000 years, they are the world's most important animal, as judged by their multiple contributions of draft power, meat, milk, hides, and dung...Evidence for the domestication of cattle dates from between 8,000 and 7,000 years ago in southwestern Asia. Such dating suggests that cattle were not domesticated until cereal domestication had taken place, whereas sheep and goats entered the barnyard of humans with the beginning of agriculture...As with sheep and goats, the process of domesticating cattle resulted in animals smaller than the wild progenitor. Dated osteological material from Neolithic sites establishes the transition from wild to domesticated...The Fertile Crescent has long been considered the place of initial cattle domestication, but that view tends to reflect the large number of excavations made there. Early signs of Neolithic cattle keeping have also been found in Anatolia (Turkey), where the osteological material at Catal Huyuk provides evidence of the transition from the auruchs of 8,400 years ago to cattle by 7,800 years ago. In short, it is still premature to specify where the first cattle were domesticated... "The extraordinary usefulness of cattle would superficially seem to have been the motivation for their domestication. In other words, given all the benefits that cattle impart, it was logical that the aurochs would come under human control, which is an extension of a deeply rooted Western concept that nature exists to serve the practical needs of people and that necessity has always elicited human ingenuity to provide technical solutions...Such a practice [domestication] would have required a supply of animals that was initially met by capturing them from the wild. But in the holding pens, some captive bulls and cows (both having long horns) bred, and from these matings, calves occasionally were born that had physical different from their parents. Their overall size was smaller, their temperament more docile, and their markings and hide color had unusual variations. Viewed a special, these aurochs born in captivity were also kept as objects of sacrifice but were allowed to breed, and phenotype distinctiveness enhanced their sacred status. Some of the next generation to follow may have reinforced the characteristics of the parents, and a gene pool that distinguished these bovines from their wild forebears gradually formed. No longer were they aurochs, but rather cattle...Their milk was perceived to be a ritual gift from the goddess, and the most docile cows let themselves be milked by a priest in the presence of their calves."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One (p. 490-1)
[NOTE: This book contains an extensive bibliography for further study.]

European cattle
"Westward diffusion of cattle throughout Europe was tied to the invention of the wooden plow. The harnessing of a powerful animal to that device made it possible to greatly extend cultivation without a corresponding increase in human population..." Farther north in Europe, where wet summers provided abundant forage, cattle had a bigger role to play in livestock husbandry...The relative isolation of each region resulted in locally limited gene pools for Bos Taurus (European cattle), which led to different cattle phenotypes. Three of these, Aberdeen Angus, Shorthorn, and Hereford, have diffused overseas to become modern ranching stock in the Americas...Characteristic of British livestock tradition was the close management and selective breeding that imparted a generally docile behavior to the animal."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One (p. 492)

Viking era cattle
Medieval Cattle Remains from a Scandinavian Settlement in Dublin

New World cattle
Cows were not indigenous to America. Dairy cows were introduced to by English settlers in the early 1700s. Meat cows were introduced by Spanish settlers.

"We have noted that for English yeomen of the seventeenth centiry, their own pigs were the principal source of the meat in their diet. Cattle were kept primarily for dairy production and were slaughtered and eaten only when they could no longer be maintained through the winter. This pattern was long established...As early as 1638 live cattle were driven to Boston, where they commanded high prices...By the nineteenth century, the United States was famous for meat-eating as England had already become by the seventeenth century..."
---America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking, Keith Stavely & Kathleen Fitzgerald [University of North Carolina Press:Chapel Hill NC] 2004 (p. 178-180)

"Americans have been great meat eaters from the beginning of their history and still are...Americans have no doubt always preferred beef, but what they actually ate was necessarily that which was available, and for the first three centuries of white history in America, what was most readily available was pork. Nevertheless as early as 1854, Harper's Weekly reported that the commonest meal in America, from coast to coast, was steak; and at the beginning of the Civil War, Anthony Trollope...reported that Americans ate twice as much beef as Englishmen...At the beginning supplying this demand presented no problem, Each settlement was capable of raising for itself as much beef as it needed...But the population of the East Coast increased rapdily; its inhabitants discovered they were not quite as rich in space as they had thought; and much of the land could be better employed for other purposes than grazing. If Americans were to eat beef in the quantities to which they wanted to become accustomed, more spacious grazing lands had to be found. They were found, on a scale which once again seemed unlimited, in the Far West...There is a story which attributes the discovery that the West was ideal for cattle raising to the mishap of a heavily loaded governmental ox train which was blocked by blizzards in Wyoming toward the end of the Civil War. To save themselves, the drivers abandoned wagons and oxen. Returning in the spring to salvage anything that might be salvageable, they were amazed to find theri oxen not only still alive, but well fed and wasn't to a question of climate, it was a question of grass...Texas not only had food for cattle, it had the cattle, waiting to be taken, whose ancestors had been imported by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century and abandoned in Texas, where they had drown wild and become "more dangerious to footmen than the fiercest buffalo."..The first Texas herds were thus composed of wild cattle, captured at considerable risk to life and limb, which in the next generation would become domesticated as the famous Texas Longhorns. They were very far from being the best beef critters in the world...The original Spanish stock had come from dry parched country and their descendants had retained, in another dry parched country, the ability to stand up to hot Texas summers and to make do with a minimum of water...Taken in hand by the Western cattlemen, the herds multiplied and prospered...The legendary epoch of the cattle trails, the routes over which herds of Longhorns were driven north to the markets, dates back to before the Civil War. These movements occurred on a prodigious scale, hardly comparable to the placid processions of fifty or a hundred head which had earlier moved north from Georgia or east from Ohio..."
---Eating in America: A History, Waverley Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow:New York] 1976 (p. 192-195)

"The opening up of the American plains transformed cattle farming in the United States. Until the early 1870s Texas ranchers had held great cattle drives of hundreds of thousands of lanky longhorns, urging them along a 700-mile Chisolm Trail from San Antonio direct to the stockyards of Abilene, at a rate of about a dozen miles a day. From Abilene they were taken by rail to the new meat processing plants in Chicago and Kansas City. But when the Great Plains were cleared of bison and the Indians who had depended upon them, the new land was opened to range cattle. What happened then was that the land Texans sent their cattle to the plains on the hoof to rest and fatten up before the last, easy journey to the stockyards, while new ranchers went into business on a massive scale, financed by the capital poured into the industry by American and foreign investors. The profits were substantial...In 1880 Kansas had sixteen times as many cattle as twenty years earlier."
---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers Press:New York] 1988 (p. 316-7)

Related notes: Steak houses, as we Americans know them today, originated in the USA. 19th century New York, to be specific. & Beef tea, a heathful concoction.

Beef Stroganoff
The origin and history of Beef Stroganoff is an excellent lesson in food lore. While food historians generally agree the dish takes its name from Count Stroganoff, a 19th century Russian noble, there are conflicting theories regarding the genesis of this "classic" dish. Certainly, there is evidence confirming the recipe predate the good Count and his esteemed chef.
USA introduction dates in print to the 1930s. In the 1950s-1960s Beef Stroganoff was considered a trendy dish. Shortcut versions promoted by food companies proliferated.

"Despite the allusion of the name "stroganoff" to Count Paul Stroganoff, a 19th century Russian diplomat, the origins of the dish have never been confirmed. Larousse Gastronomique notes that similar dishes were known since the 18th century but insists the dish by this specific name was the creation of chef Charles Briere who was working in St. Petersburg when he submitted the recipe to L 'Art Culinaire in 1891, but the dish seems much older. It did not appear in English cookbooks until 1932, and it was not until the 1940s that beef stroganoff became popular for elegant dinner parties in America."
---Restaurant Hospitality, John Mariani, January 1999 (p. 76).

"Unlike the French, who name dishes after the chefs who devised them, the Russians have usually attached the names of famous households to their cuisine--the cooks were usually serfs. For example, we have Beef Stroganoff, Veal Orlov, and Bagration Soup. One of the few exceptions is a cutlet of poultry of real named after Pozharskii, a famous tavern keeper...The last prominent scion of the dynasty, Count Pavel Stroganoff, was a celebrity in turn-of-the-century St. Petersburg, a dignitary at the court of Alexander III, a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts, and a gourmet. It is doubtful that Beef Stroganoff was his or his chef's invention since the recipe was included in the 1871 edition of the Molokhovets cookbook...which predates his fame as a gourmet. Not a new recipe, by the way, but a refined version of an even older Russian recipe, it had probably been in the family for some years and became well known through Pavel Stroganoff's love of entertaining."
---The Art of Russian Cuisine, Anne Volokh with Mavis Manus [Macmillan:New York] 1983 (p. 266)

"Beef stroganoff is a dish consisting of strips of lean beef sauteed and served in a sour-cream sauce with onions and mushrooms. The recipe, which is of Russian origin, has been known since the eighteenth century, but its name appears to come from County Paul Stroganoff, a nineteeth-century Russian diplomat. Legend has it that when he was stationed in deepest Siberia, his chef discovered that the beef was frozen so solid that it could only be coped with by cutting it into very thin strips. The first English cookery book to include it seems to have been Ambrose Heath's Good Food (1932)."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 326-7)

"Count Pavel Stroganov, a celebrity in turn-of-the-century St. Petersburg, was a noted gourmet as well as a friend of Alexander III. He is frequently credited with creating Beef Stroganoff or having a chef who did so, but in fact a recipe by that name appears in a cookbook published in 1871, well ahead of the heyday of the genial count. In all probability the dish had been in the family for some years and came to more general notice throughout Pavel's love of entertaining."
--Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press:Athens] 1998 (p.103).

Elena Molokhovets' Beef Strogonoff:

"Beef Stroganov with mustard
(Govjadina po-strogonovski, s gorchitseju)

Two hours before service, cut a tender piece of raw beef into small cubes and sprinkle with salt and some allspice. Before dinner, mix together 1/16 lb (polos mushka) butter and 1 spoon flour, fry lightly, and dilute with 2 glasses bouillon, 1 teaspoon of prepared Sareptskaja mustard, and a little pepper. Mix, bring to a boil, and strain. Add 2 tablespoons very fresh sour cream before serving. Then fry the beef in butter, add it to the sauce, bring once to boil, and serve.

2 lbs tender beef
10-15 allspice
1/4 lb butter
2 spoons flour
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon Sareptskaja mustard"
---A Gift to Young Housewives, Elena Molokhovets, [Moscow, 1861], recipe #635
translated and introduced by Joyce Thomas [Indiana Press:Bloomington] 1992 (p.213-214). Ms. Thomas adds this note: "Molokhovets' simple recipe did not endure. Already by 1912, Aleksandrrova-Ignat'eva was teaching the students in her cooking classes to add finely chopped sauteed onions and tomato paste to the sauce, a practice which still turns up in modern Soviet and American recipes, with or without the addition of mushrooms. It is worth noting that Aleksandrova-Ignat'eva served this dish with potato straws, which have become the standard modern garnish for Beef Stroganov."

We also find this interesting piece of information regarding the possible 15th century Hungarian origins of this dish:
"One of the most interesting versions of tokany is the ancient dish of sour cream vetrece (savanyu vetrece), which was already mentioned as a part of the dinners of King Matthias in the fifteenth century. In this type of ragout, beef is cooked with smoked bacon, garlic and black pepper; later bay leaves, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar and grated lemon rind are added, and finally sour cream. The only flavors lost over the centuries are mace, ginger and saffron. In the dining rooms of the Transylvanian gentry, paper-thin slices of peeled lemon were served on top of this more sweet than sour dish."
---The Cuisine of Hungary, George Lang [Atheneum:New York] 1982 (p. 272) [NOTE: this recipe does not specify a starch accompaniment.]

Beef Stroganoff, American-style
Beef Stroganoff resurfaced as a popular dish in the United States during the second half of the 20th century. Recipes varied from classic cuisine to ersatz Americana. Iterations found in popular American cookbooks tout this dish as quick and easy. Canned soups were readily exchanged for traditional sauces. Ground beef was even quicker. The addition of tomatoes (tomato soup, tomato soup mix, tomato paste, tomato catsup) appears to be an uniquely American variation. We are a nation devoted to packaged condiments. The earliest print references we find including tomatoes are from the early 1960s. Celebrities shared their special versions. Think:
Mitch Miller James Beard & Alice's restaurant.

"Although considered a 50s dish, Beef Stroganoff began appearing in American cookbooks at least two decades earlier. The first recipe I find for it is in John MacPherson's Mystery Chef's Own Cook Book, (1934). Two Stroganoffs appear in Dinah Ashley's Where to dine in '39, a 1939 guide to New York City restaurants, one from the defunct Russian Kretchma...the second from The Russian Tea Room...Both recipes seem to me Americanized: both contain Worcestershire sauce, both are made with sweet cream rather than sour, and both contain mushrooms, which a Russian friend told me is not authentic. Indeed, they do not appear in Alexander Kropotkin's recipe in The Best of Russian Cooking, (1964)...Beef Stroganoff--with mushrooms and sour cream--shows up in The Joy of Cooking, (1943 edition). Unfortunately, America was then immersed in World War II, red meat was strictly rationed, and few cooks could afford the luxury of Beef Stroganoff. Once the war was over...Beef Stroganoff became the signature dish of 'gourmet' cooks across the country."
--The American Century Cookbook, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 125).

"Boef a la Krokanoff
Two pounds of fillet of steak or rump steak must be cut into thin, longish strips. Then put them on the frying pan with salt and pepper, 1 onion chopped fine and 1 tablespoonful of butter, anbd fru the meat until it is a good brown color. In the meattime make the following sauce: Melt 1 tablespoonful of butter into a saucepan. Add 1 tablespoonful fo flour and mix thorougly not to hae any lumps (the fire must not be too great), then add 2 tumblers of hot stock, mixing all the time till the sauce gets brown. Then add 1 teaspoonful of ready-made mustard, a little Worcester sauce, 2 tablespoonfuls of sour cream and 1 tablespoonful of puree tpomato. When this sauce is ready, ptu the meat which has been fried into it and let it stand, covered with a lid, for half an hour in the oven. Then it is ready to serve. This serves 6 persons."---Princess Cantacuziene, granddaughter of the late President U.S. Grant, and given to her by Madame Woltroff, wife of Admiral Woltroff, who was the Aide-de-Camp to the Emperor of Russia. Since the Revolution she and her husband have made a great success in business, running a restaurant in London at 50 Harrington Roade
---The Congressional Club Cook Book: Favorite National and International Recipes, with a forward by Mrs. Herbet C. Hoover...Popular edition [Congressional Club:Washington DC] 1927 (p. 708-709)

"Beef Stroganoff.

To 2 teaspoons butter add 1 sliced medium onion. Fry until golden brwon. Add a teaspoon tomato paste and 1/2 pound blanched and chopped mushrooms, Fry together, add 1 tablespoon flour, 1/2 cup sweet cream and 1/2 cup sour cream. Lastly add 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Cut 2 pounds tenderloin, from which fat and skin have been removed, in long oblong strips. Fry in butter and drain. Mix well with suace, simmer 5 minutes and serve."
---"Chefs of Other Nationalities Praise Old Russia's Cooking," Susan Mills, Washington Post, July 19. 1934 (p. 11)

"Beef a la Stroganoff
[National Dish of Russia]
[Serves 4]
1 1/2 lbs lean beef (No fat). Any cut of beef can be used, but, of course, the better the beef, the better the Beef a la Stroganoff. Well hung top round steak is very good. For best, use the lean of the thin Delmonico steaks.
1/2 lb. or 1 can mushrooms
2 tablespoons beef drippings or butter
1/2 pt. sour cream
--If you have no sour cream, then you can use sweet cream, or a cream sauce made from milk. The Russians always use sour cream. If gives a little snap not obtained with sweet cream. (To make sweet cream sour, add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to each 1/2 pint cream, or, for evaporated milk, add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to each 1/2 pint of milk.)
1 tablespoon flour
salt and paprika
Cut the beef across the grain; now that is very important--across the grain of the meat. If you cut with the grain you will have your meat stringy, and it will be tough, whereas if you cut across the grain, meat will be tender. First stretch the meat an you can see which way the grain runs--then cut across the grain. Cut the beef into little pieces about 1 inch long and about half the width of a pencil. Into a frying pan, place 2 tablespoons beef drippings, butter or other fat, and when hot put in the cut up beef; allow to cook slowly with a lid on the frying pan for 15 minutes, turning the meat over occasionally. At the end of 15 minutes add the mushrooms cut into fairly small pieces and allow to cook with the beef for 10 minutes. If the pan becomes dry, add a little fat or butter, but do not have a lot of fat. Just enough to keep the frying pan from becoming dry. When the mushrooms and meat have cooked (first the meat 15 minutes, then the mushrooms added and cooked another 10 minutes, making 25 minutes in all), then place the meat and mushrooms in to the top pot of a double boiler. Put in frying pan 1 tablespoon of butter, melt, and mix the flour with this. Then add the sour cream. (Sweet cream, or cream sauce made from milk can be used, but does not compare with sour cream, which is always used by Russians.) If cream is too thick, add a little sweet milk. Place pan over fire and stir around with a fork to get the meat juices of the pan mixed with the cream mixture. Then pour this into the beef and mushrooms in the double boiler and cook for 5 or 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve on large biscuits slit in half and toasted on the cut side only. The Russians usually serve with Julienne Potatoes...NOTE: For more gravy, add a little sweet cream or top of milk. To reheat: This dish reheats perfectly and can be kept in refrigerator or ice box, then reheated by placing in saucepan over slow fire and adding a little sweet cream. Stir until it boils, then serve. For dinner parties, can be prepared the day before."
---The Mystery Chef's Own Cook Book, John McPherson [Blakiston Company:Philadelphia PA] 1934, reprinted 1945 (p 165-6)
[NOTE: Who was John McPherson?]

"Beef Saute Stroganoff

2 pounds tenderloin beef sliced about 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour browned in butter
1 cup tomato puree
1 glass madeira or sherry
Pinch celery salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
2 tablespoons onions, minced, sauteed in butter
1/2 cup cream
1/2 pound mushrooms, cut and sauteed
1 cup meat stock
Pan-broil beef rare; remove from pan. Blend other ingredients in same pan, bring to quick boil, add wine last, and pour over meat."
---The Presidential Cookbook, Henrietta Nesbitt [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1951 (p. 52)
[NOTE: Mrs. Nesbitt was Franklin Delano Roosevelt's cook.]

Beef Stroganoff (Russian)

Beef Stroganoff--a dish for the great ones of a past empire, but one that anyone can prepare. It used to be standard fare in Peking for those who were fortunate enough to have a cook who knew how to make it. At D.D.'s and the Columbia in Shanghai, White Russians who had either fled the Communist regime or had left in disgust when they could escape, saw to it that Stroganoff was featured nightly. The great hotels of Shanghai, Tientsin and Hongkong, under the influence of stateless Russians, frequently carried it on their menus. Preceded by vodka and cold zakuska, accompanied by champagne, and followed by brandy, you and your guests can feel that you have stepped out of the everyday world and into one of the great luxury for the few who could afford it.
1 1/2 lbs. lean beef (Best meat for this dish is tenderloin, but sirloin will do well if you can take the time to cut out all fat.)
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms
2 tbsps. butter
1/2 pt. sour cream
1 tbsp. flour
Salt and paprika to taste
Cut beef across the brain into strips about 1/4 inch thick. Then cut strips into pieces about 1 inch long. Place butter in a deep skillet. When hot, add the beef and cook for 15 minutes under a cover, turning over the meat occasionally. Cut the mushrooms into small pieces, and add to the beef in the skillet. Cook with the meat for 10 minutes. If the pan becomes dry, add a small quantity of butter. Place the meat and mushrooms in the top of a double boiler, leaving the juice in the skillet. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour to the juices in the skillet. Melt over a slow flame and stir until the mixture is smooth. Add sour cream. Stir over a low flame until cream and other ingredients are thorougly mixed. Pour the contents of the skillet into the top of the double boiler with the meat and mushrooms. Stir and cook for 10 minutes. Serve with rice.. Serves 6."
---The Dorn Cookbook, Frank Dorn [Henry Regnery Company:Chicago] 1953 (p. 126-127) [NOTE: This book also offers a recipe for 'Beef Stroganoff a la Dorn, using Javanese 'Shrimp Sauce for Shellfish and Meats' (p. 188).]

"Hamburger Stroganoff

1 cup bitter or margarine
1/2 cup minced onions
1 lb chuck, ground
1 minced clove garlic
2 tablesp. flour
2 teasp. salt
1/4 teasp. monosodium glutamate
1/4 teasp. pepper
1/4 teasp. paprika
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1 can undiluted cream-of-chicken soup
1 cup commercial sour cream
Snipped parsley, chives, or fresh dill
In hot butter skillet, saute onions till golden. Stir in meat, garlic, flour, salt, monosodium glutamate, pepper, parprika, musrhooms; saute 5 min. Add soup; simmer, uncovered, 10 min. Stir in sour cream; sprinkle with parsley. Serve on hot mashed potatoes, fluffy rice, buttered noodles, or toast. Makes 4 to 6 servings."
---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Dorothy B. Marsh editor [Good Housekeeping:New York] 1955 (p. 70)

"Beef Stroganoff
(Serves 4)
There are many different versions of this dish. Beware of those what specify long cooking. Beef Stroganoff is much better when it is prepared quickly in a few minutes before it is eaten and is one of the specialties that is fun to do at the table if you have an electric skillet or chafing dish.
1 1/2 pounds of fillet of beef
6 tablespoons of butter
Olive oil
2 tablespoons of chopped green onions
1/4 cup of white wine or vermouth
A-1 Sauce or Worcetestershire Sauce
1 1/2 cups of sour cream
Chopped parsley
Ask the butcher to cut the meat into very thin slices. You can try it yourself, but it is difficult to do a neat job. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in the pan and heat it as hot as you can without burning. If you add just a bit of olive oil to the butter it helps prevent it from turning brown. Saute the beef slices in the hot fat very quickly. When they are delicately browned on both sides and done (this takes only a minute or two) remove them to a hot platter. Add remaining butter and the chopped green onions and cook for a minute. Then add white wine or vermouth, a dash or two of A-1 Sauce or Worcestershire Sauce and the sourc ream. (Be sure you use the commercial sour cream that you buy at the grocery). Stir well and heat through, but do not boil or the sour cream will curdle. Salt to taste and pour the sauce over the beef. Top with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper and chopped parsley. Serve with rice. Variation: Add 3 tablespoons of chili sauce to the sauce."
---James Beard Cookbook, James Beard in collaboration with Isabel E. Callvert [E.P. Dutton & Co.:New York] 1961 (p. 246-247)

Mitch Miller's Beef Stroganoff recipe

"Cook along with Mitch, our author-chef, and you'll be lapping up the best Beef Stroganoff you ever had... Weekly TV shows (Friday on NBC) and countless 'Sing Along' records keep Mitch Miller so busy that he must confine his cooking to weekends. This wasn't always so. A crowded, busy kitchen has been part of Mitch's life all along. At canning tine in Rochester, New York, where he grew up, Mitch and his brothers and sisters pitched into peel peaches andpears and get the cherries ready for the jars. The boys chopped the fish for their mother's gefilte fish and were in charge of the meat grinder. Later it was Mitch's special chore (and a tearful one, whose who know will agree) to grate horseradish for the family table. Mitch even had a professional fling at the food business--as a youth, he was fountain manager of a big Rochester drugstore. There seems to come a time at our country house, late at night, when the gang has had enough of singing along with Mitch or kibitzing along with Mitch or whatever. A hungry look comes into the neighbors' eyes, and a new course of action is clearly indicated: Cook along with Mitch. Why me? I think there's an unwritten rule of thumb that applies in selecting the pigeon who's going to cook supper in any group. Pick the guy with the beard. The rule may not work in beatnik circles, but it works in show business: Burl Ives, Sebastian Cabot, James Robertson-Justice, Peter Ustinov, good cooks all. And me. I'm a social cook, working at my best when I'm being jostled by a kitchenful of people. And Beef Stroganoff is an easy thing to serve a lot of people at once. Besides, some of it can be prepared ahead. The following recipe I learned from Magdelin Dade, who has been our family's cook for thirty years. It's never failed me on our weekends in Rockland County when I've found myself in charge of the kitchen.

Beef Stroganoff
Remove the fat and gristle from 2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut 1/2 inch thick. Now cut the meat (across the grain) in strips, about 2 inches long, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the same amount of pepper. Heat your skillet, add a stick of butter, and when it's melted and hot, put the meat in and saute quickly, tossing the strips around in the pan to brown evenly. Push meat to one side; add 4 sliced green onions (white part only) and cook slowly a few minutes or till transparent. Push onions aside; stir 5 tablespoons flour into the drippings. Add a can of condensed beef broth and bring to boiling, stirring all the while. Turn heat down, stir in 1 teaspoon Dijon-style prepared mustard. Cover pan and simmer (that's a nice slow waltz in cooking) 1 hour or till meat is tender. Five minutes before serivng, drain a 6-ounce can of sliced mushrooms and add them along with 1/3 cup dairy sour cream and 1/3 cup sautern. Heat briefly. Salt to taste and serve with Steamed Rice to six people. (It's easy to double or triple this recipe, which is what I usually do for parties.)I like to have some extra sour cream at hand and add a dollop of it cold to the hot beef as I'm eating."
---"He Likes to Cook," Better Homes and Gardens, October 1962 (p. 88)
[NOTE: Recipes for Salad Mitch Miller and Mitch Miller's Steamed Rice accompany this article.]

"Beef Strogonoff

Cut 1 pound beef sirloin into 1/4 -inch strips. Combine 1 tablespoon flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Coat meat with flour mixture. Heat skillet, then add 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. When melted, add sirloin strips and brown quickly on both sides. Add one 3-ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained, 1/2 cup chopped onion, and 1 clove garlic, minced; cook 3 or 4 minutes or till onion is crisp-tender. Remove meat and mushrooms from pan. Add 2 tablespoons butter or margarine to pan drippings; blend in 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Stir in 1 1/4 cups cold beef stock or one 10 1/2-ounce can condensed beef broth. Cook and stir over medium-high heat till thickened and bubbly. Return browned meat and mushrooms to skillet. Stir in 1 cup dairy sour cream and 2 tablespoons dry white wine; cook slowly til heated through. Do not boil. Keep warm over hot water. Serve over hot buttered noodles. makes 4 or 5 servings."
---Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, Better Homes and Gardens [Meredith Corp.:Des Moines IA] 1968 (p. 206)

"Beef Stroganoff

This was probably the most popular dish in the restaurant. There are endless variations and ingredients. This recipe is the mininum--the pine nuts are optional, but the rest are the bare essentials. The whole thing is to have very thin slices of beef, but somehow keep them rare in the center. The preparation takes time, but it is worth it (This recipe serves 4.)
2 large onions
Butter or oil
1 pound of mushrooms (fresh, please)
1 pound of very lean beef (steak, or eye of the round fillet of beef)
1 pint of sour cream
1 handful of pine nuts (if you can get them)
1 whole nutmeg
Salt, freshly ground pepper
Finely chop the onions and saute them in oil or butter for at least 20 minutes in a heavy frying pan. Then add the mushrooms, sliced, and saute them till they are just barely soft. Then remove them from the pan and save them for later. While this is cooking, slice the meat. To slice your meat thin-- 1/4 inch or less, and in pices 1 by 2 inches--it is best to almost freeze the meat. This really makes your job much easier, as does a sharp knife. When your meat is sliced, put more butter or oil and some paprika in the frying pan. Now you want to sear both sides of the meat quickly, on a high flame. Please use tongs to turn the meat, not a fork which would pierce it and let the juices run out. You must attend to each slice separately. Don't throw the whole mess in the pan. Do 8 or 10 slices at a time. Don't let the pieces touch because that tends to draw out the juices, too. You will soon work out a system, using both hands--putting the slices in the pan with one hand and turning and removing them with the other. Put the slices aside in a a dish. You'll see it isn't as difficult as it sounds, and is well worth the trouble. When you are ready, put the mushrooms and onions back in the frying pan. Add the meat and sour cream (at room temperature), and the pine nuts. Use a medium-low flame so the sour cream doesn't boil. While this is warming, take the whole nutmeg and grate, grind, or chip away with a small knire, until you have shaved off about a tenth into the mixture. Fresh nutmeg is much better thean the ready-ground version. But use what you have. Add the salt and lots of freshly ground pepper and serve at once on noodles, rice or orzo (a rice-shaped pasta). If you want to use some red wine, add it to the mushrooms and onions before the meat goes in. Some people also use a little tomato paste, garlic or dill. Try it! Instead of pine nuts, you may add some poppy seeds."
---Alice's Restaurant Cookbook, Alice May Brock [Random House:New York] 1969 (p. 60-61)

"Souper Stroganoff

1 1/2 round steak, cut in thin strips
1/4 cup flour
dash pepper
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 can (10 1/2 ounces) condensed consomme
1 cup sour cream
2 cups cooked noodles
Dust meat with flour and pepper. In skillet, brown meat in butter. Add mushrooms, onion, and garic; brown lightly. Stir in soup. Cover; cook 1 hour or until meat is tender; stir often. Gradually blend in sour cream; cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Serve over noodles. 4 generous servings."
---Cooking With Soup, Campbell Soup Company [Camden NJ] revised edition 1970 (p. 24)

"Beef Stroganoff

4 or 5 servings
1 container Beef-Mushroom Mix (p. 16)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons catsup
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup dairy sour cream
1 tablespoon dry white wine, if desired
Hot cooked noodles or rice
Dip container of Beef-Mushroom Mix into very hot water just to loosen. Place frozen block in 3-quart saucepan. Add water. Heat uncovered over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot, about 30 minutes. Stir in catsup and mustard. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionaly, until beef is hot, about 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream and wine; heat just until hot. Serve over noodles. Sprinkle with parsley if desired."
---Betty Crocker's Working Woman's Cookbook, General Mills Inc. [Random House:New York] 1982 (p. 17)

Beef Wellington
The history of Beef Wellington is a matter of historic contention. Food historians generally agree the dish is named for Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington, the man who crushed Napoleon at Waterloo. Recipes surface in
1940s USA. We find no mention of this dish in British or French period cookbooks. American-style Chicken Wellington debuts in the 1970s.

"Volumes have been written about Wellington the soldier, but the dish that bears his name is surprisingly elusive. Almost certainly the pastry covering was at first a mere paste of flour and water, wrapped around the uncooked tenderloin so that it would roast without browning, a culinary fad of the era. In time the covering became puff pastry and an integral part of the dish. Then the chefs on the continent, with their oft-noted penchant for lily-gilding, inserted a layer of truffles and pate de foie gras, today often simplified to mushrooms and chicken livers...In Ireland Beef Wellington, sometimes called Wellington Steak, remains a simple combination of excellent rare beef and flaky pastry. The dish is also known in France, where, not surprisingly, it is simply called filet de boeuf in croute."
---Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press:Athens] 1998 (p. 95-6)

"I am persuaded that beef Wellington is of Irish origin. In Irish Traditional Food, Theodora FitzGibbon offers a recipe for Steig Wellington, using the Irish spelling for steak. She prefaces the recipe with the statement that "this was said to be a favorite of the Duke of Wellington, and it is sometimes also known as beef Wellington.""
---Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia, compiled by Joan Whitman [Times Books:New York] 1985 (p. 34-5)

"Jane Garmey includes it [Beef Wellington] in Great British Cooking: A Well Kept Secret, (1981), but admits that the recipe's origin is a mystery. "I have never been able to find a reference to Beef Wellington in any British cookery book, old or new," she writes in her recipe headnote. "However, meat in a pastry case was fairly common at the end of the eighteenth century and since this is a rather special way to prepare a beef fillet, it would seem unfair to omit Beef Wellington for its dubious heritage." Strangely, Adrian Baily makes no mention of Beef Wellington in The Cooking of the British Isles, (1969), a time when this fussy recipe was in vogue in this country (it was said to be President Nixon's favorite). Beef Wellington...became a showpiece of ambitious 60s hostesses...Before long there were shortcut versions with canned liver paste substituting for foie gras, canned mushrooms for duxelles, and refrigerator crescent rolls or any frozen pastry shells for puff pastry. There was even Hamburger a la Wellington (House Beautiful Magazine, January 1970). By the 80s, however, it was over. Beef Wellington had lost its cachet."
---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 126)

"Beef Wellington was the premier party dish of the was rich, dramatic, expensive, and seemed difficult and time-consuming to prepare. In short, it was everything a gourmet dish should be. In Masters of American Cookery, Betty Fussell credited beef Wellington's phenomenal popularity in the Sixties to "the discovery that anybody, with a little care, could make an edible crust."...Exactly who invented beef Wellington is not known, but there is a long Anglo-Irish-French tradition of meat cooked in pastry. Undoubtedly what we in the Unted States call beef Wellington is based on the Wellington steak of England and the steig Wellington of Ireland...In France the dish is known as filet de boeuf en croute, but whether it originated on the west of the east side of the English Channel is unkown."
---Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 232)

"Despite such ethnic fervor, one of the most popular dishes of the day was the very classic, very British Beef Wellington a fillet of beef tenderloin coated with pate de foie gras and a duxelles of mushrooms that are then all wrapped in a puff pastry crust. Some believe that Wellington's popularity had more to do with America's competitive spirit than with any deep passion for British cuisine. It began in the '60s when couples started dabbling in a bit of culinary one-upmanship. Dinner parties with friends became elaborate as complicated recipes appeared on tables with greater regularity. Beef Wellington was considered the height of difficulty and expense because of the preparation of the puff pastry and the price of the pate de foie gras. Kudos and furtive jealous glances went to the cook who mastered such a bear of a recipe. Although Beef Wellington went the way of Beef Stroganoff and Boeuf Bourguignon, it did stage a comeback in magazines such as Gourmet in the '90s, when prepackaged puff pastry and domestic foie gras made it much easier and less expense to make."
--- Leites Culinaria, Dining Through the Decades: Food of the 1970s

When did Beef Wellington become popular in the USA?
Historic newspapers confirm interest in Beef Wellington (restaurant fare, recipes, quickie home versions) peaked chic in the 1960s-1970s. Chicken Wellington was introduced in the 1970s.

"One of the first American recipes for Beef Wellington...appeared in 1957 in The Gourmet Cookbook, Vol. II. But apres Gourmet, the flood. While the Kennedy's dined on classic Beef Wellington prepared by White House Chef Rene Verdon, elegant and expensive restaurants in New York served their own versions (stuffed with chopped veal, ham, and chicken at the Colony; with minced sweetbreads, veal, and mushrooms at Pierre's)...By the mid-1960s recipes for the dish were appearing in magazines ranging from Esquire to Farm Journal. Gourmet magazine proclaimed it the 'beef Wellington era.'"---Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 234)

The earliest recipe we've found so far titled "Beef Wellington" was published in 1940. It is a far simpler version than the classic truffle fussed dish of the 1960s.

"Tenderloin of Beef Wellington:
Lard 4 pounds of beef tenderloin, roast for 15 minutes, let cook. and spread with cold brown fine herb sauce. Roll out a piece of puff paste B. Place the tenderloin on top and seal the meat with this dough. Paint with yellow of egg. Bake for 20 minutes in moderate oven (350 degrees F.). Serve with hot brown fine herb sauce."
---Palmer House Cook Book, Ernest E. Amiet [John Willy:Chicago IL] 1940 (p. 121)
[Note: Brown Fine Herb Sauce & Puff Paste B recipes are included in this book. We can send if you like.]

"Filet of Beef Wellington From the Palmer House, Chicago

Have filet of beef trimmed (5 pounds after trimming), ready to roast. Cut off tail part. Season with salt and pepper; spread with good fat. Roast in a hot oven for about 35 minutes; set aside; let cool.
Duxelles Palmer House
3 cups chopped mushrooms
6 chopped shallots
4 oz chopped York ham
2 tablesp. chopped parsley
2 tablesp. rich Madeira Sauce
Cook mushrooms in butter until all moisture is cooked away, stirring occasionally. Add shallots, ham, parsley, and Madeira sauce.
Season to taste
1 lb. flour
12 oz. butter
pinch of salt
9 oz. water
Blend flour and bitter until sandy mass is obtained; add salt diluted in the water, mixing slowly. Place in refrigerator for 1/2 hour. Roll in a rectangular shape, 14" X 9". Spread duxelles over dough, and place roast filet in center. Fold dough over filet so that meal is completely enclosed. Place seam down on pan; cover top and sides with one well-beaten egg (to give a good color after it is cooked). Make criss-cross design with fork. Bake in 400 degrees F. oven for about 30 minutes. Serve truffle sauce separately. Serves 10."
---"James Beard's Selection of Famous Hilton Recipes," Los Angeles Times, May 25, 1958 (p. K6)

"Filet of Beef Wellington.
Trim a good-sized filet of beef, smear it generously with butter, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Put it in a flat pan with scraps of celery, onion, and parsley, 1 bay leaf, and a pinch of rosemary and roast it in a very hot oven (450 degrees F.) for about 25 minutes. Remove it and let it cool. When the filet is cold, spread it with a substantial layer of pate de foie gras and wrap it in pie pastry, rolled about 1/8 inch thick. Trim the edges of the pastry, moisten them with a little cold water, and press firmly together. Bake the rolled filet on a baking sheet in a hot oven (450 degrees F.) for about 15 minutes, or until the cdrust is delicately browned. For a shiny crust, brush the surface with beaten egg yolk before baking. Add 1 cup veal stock 1/4 cup pate de foie gras, and 1 large truffle, chopped, to the roasting pan. Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes and serve it separately."
---The Gourmet Cookbook, Volume II [Gourmet Books:New York] revised edition, 1965 (p. 282-283)

"Beef Wellington
4 to 6 servings

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup ice water, approximately

1 fillet of beef (2 1/2-3 pounds)
2 tablespoons cognac
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices of bacon
8 ounces pate de foie gras or Chicken Liver Pate
3 or 4 truffles
1 egg, lightly beaten

1. Place the flour, salt, butter and shortening in a bowl and blend with the tips of the fingers or with a pastry blender. Add the egg and enough ice water to make a dough. Wrap in wax paper and chill.
2. Preheat oven to hot (450 degrees F.).
3. Rub the fillet all over with the cognac and season with salt and pepper. Lay the bacon over the top, securing with string if necessary.
4. Place the meat on a rack in a roasting pan and roast for fifteen minutes for rare, for twenty to twenty-five minutes for medium. Remove from the oven; remove the bacon. Cool to room temperature before proceeding.
5. Spread the pate all over the top and sides of the beef. Cut the truffles into halves and sink the pieces in a line along the top.
6. Preheat the oven to hot (425 degrees F.).
7. Roll out the pastry into a rectangle (about 18 X 12 inches) one-quarter inch thick. Place the fillet, top down, in the middle. Draw the long sides up to overlap on the bottom of the fillet; brush with egg to seal.
8. Trim the ends of the pastry and make an envelope fold, brushing again with egg to seal the closure. Transfer the pastry-wrapped meat to a baking sheet, seam side down.
9. Brush all over with egg. Cut out decorative shapes from the pastry trimmings and arrange the pieces down the center of the pastry. Brush the shapes with remaining egg. Bake for about thirty minutes, or until the pastry is cooked. Serve the dish hot with Sauce Madere...or serve cold on a buffet table.
Note: Puff pastry may be used to wrap the beef, but care should be taken to roll it very thin. Brioche dough may also be used."
---The New York Times Menu Cookbook, Craig Claiborne [Harper & Row:New York] 1966 (p. 176-7)

"Filet of Beef Wellington (12 to 15 servings)

I Pastry to Cover Beef
4 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound butter
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup cold water
1. Sift the flour and salt onto a marble slab or pastry board. Make a little hole in center, add half of the butter, the egg yolks and the water; mix to make the dough. Chill the dough for 1 hour.
2. Roll into a square and put the other half of the butter in the center. Fold all 4 sides of the dough over the butter to enclose it completely. Roll the dough out into a rectangle 3 times as long as it is wide. Fold the left-hand third over the middle and the right-hand third over the left, thus making 3 layers. This process of rolling and folding is called a 'turn.' Make another turn and chill the dough for 20 minutes. Make 2 more turns and chill for 30 minutes before using. The dough will keep in the refrigerator, wrapped in a dry cloth and a wet towel, for several days.
II Three Pounds Beef Tenderloin, Trimmed
1. Have the butcher trim a beef tenderloin and tie it to keep it in shape.
2. Roast the meat in a buttered pan in very hot preheated oven (475 degrees F.) for 7 minutes and remove it at once from the oven to cool.
III D'Uxelles' of Mushrooms
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons melted butter
salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces goose livers, diced.
1. Grind mushrooms with fine plate of meat grinder. Sprinkle immediately with lemon juice to maintain musrhooms' light color.
2. Cook in small amount of melted butter (2 tablespoons) and add salt and pepper to taste. Cool completely and add diced goose livers; mix well.
IV Final Steps
1. Roll the pastry into a rectangle 3/8 inch thick and large enough to envelop the filet of beef.
2. Cover the center of the rectangle with a portion of the D'Uxelles' of mushrooms.
3. Place the filet, which should be cold, on the center of the pastry. Coat the filet with the remaining mushroom mixture. Wrap the beef carefully with the pastry to make a loaf. Trim pastry and save trimmings.
4. Place loaf in a greased pan, seam side down. Roll out pastry trimmings and cut out shapes (i.e., leaf). Garnish the top of the loaf with cutouts. Brush with beaten egg to ensure a high gloss. Let meat stand for 1 hour, refrigerated. Bake in preheated 400 degree F. oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until pastry is nicely browned. Serve hot. To be served with Madeira Sauce mixed with chopped truffles"
---The White House Chef Cookbook, Rene Verdon [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1967 (p. 153-154)
[NOTE: Madeira Sauce recipe appears on p. 186.]

[1972] "Filet of Beef Wellington
(Whole Tenderloin of Beef Baked in Pastry)
For 8 people

Take a tenderloin of beef, marinate it in herbs and wine, cover it with a rich cloak of mushrooms, bake it in decorated pastry, and you have filet of beef Wellington. This is a splendid dish when you want to make a vast impression on your guests, and if you have prepared all the various elements a day ahead of time the assembling and cooking are easy indeed.

"The Beef
Order a whole loin tenderloin (filet) of beef. Have the outside membrane and all excess fat removed, but have the suet (fat covering) saved. Have the tail or small end turned back over the meat to make an even cylinder about 12 inches long, and have the meat tied at 1-inch intervals around the circumference.

Optional Marinade
Although the tenderloin is the most expensive part of the beef, it has the least flavor. A 24-hour marinade will give it more character, and you can use the marinade again, for making the sauce.
1/3 cup light olive oil or cooking oil
A small heavy saucepan
1/2 cup each of sliced onions, carrots, and celery stalks
1/4 tsp each of dried thyme and sage
1 bay leaf
3 allspice berries or cloves
6 peppercorns
An oval casserole or baking dish 12 inches long
1 tsp salt
1 cup dry white vermouth
1/3 cup cognac
Place the oil in the saucepan and add the vegetables are herbs; cover the pan and cook slowly until vegetables are tender--about 10 minutes. Place the tenderloin in casserole or baking dish, sprinkle with salt, cover with the cooked vegetable mixture, and pour on the wine and cognac. Cover and refrigerate. Turn and baste the meat every several hours for at least 24 hours. Just before the next step, scrape off marinade and dry meat in paper towels.

Preliminary Baking
Before it is cooked in pastry, the tenderloin has a preliminary baking to stiffen it, so it will hold its shape in the crust.
1 Tb cooking oil
A shallow roasting pan
Suet or oil
(Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.)
Rub the meat with the oil and place in roasting pan. If you have saved the suet, place it over the beef to protect and baste it during roasting. (Lacking suet, you will have to baste the meat with oil every 5 minutes during roasting.) Set in upper third of oven and roast for 25 minutes, turning and basting the meat once with the fat in the pan. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes or longer. If you are doing this ahead of time, wrap and refrigerate the meat when it is cold; bring to room temperature before final cooking.

"The Mushroom Flavoring
This is a mushroom duxelles with wine and foie gras, which bakes around the meat.
2 lbs. mushrooms
t Tb butter
4 Tb minced shallots or scallions
1/2 cup dry Sercial Madeira
Salt and pepper
4 to 5 mousses de foie or foie gras
Trim, wash, and dry mushrooms; chop them into small pieces less than 1/8 inch in size. You will have about 6 cups of minced mushrooms; so that they will cook dry, whic is necessary for this recipe, twist them, a handful at a time, in the corner of a towel to extract as much juice as possible. Save juice for the sauce. Then saute the mushrooms for 7 to 8 minutes in the butter with the shallots or scallions; when mushroom pieces begin to separate from each other, add the Madeira and boil rapidly until liquid has evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and beat in the mousse de foie or foie gras. Refrigerate in a covered bowl; beat to soften just before using.

The Pastry
The beef is baked and served en croute or in a pie-crust dough. Use the following proportions:
3 cups all-purpose four (scoop cup into bag, level off with straight-edged knife)
1 3/4 sticks (7 ounces) chilled butter
4 Tb chilled shortening
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup iced water
Blend together all the ingredients listed and chill for 2 hours before using. So that the crust will be crisp when served, it is done in two parts: a cooked bottom case to hold the beef, and a flaky dough topping.

The Bottom Pastry Case
Butter the outside of a loaf-shaped tin approximately 12 by 3 1/4 inches bottom diameter, and 3 inches deep. Roll about three fifths of the chilled pastry into a rectangle 16 by 7 inches, and 1/8 inche thick. Lay pastry on upside-down tin, press in place, and trim so pastry forms a case 1 1/2 inches deep. With the tines of a table fork prick sides and bottom of dough at 1/4-inch intervals to keep it from puffing in the oven, and chill at least half an hour to relax the dough. Bake until very lightly browned in middle of a preheated 425 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on tin, then unmold. (Case may be refrigerated or frozen.)

The Pastry Topping
Roll remaining dough into a 16X7-inch rectangle, spread bottom half with 1 1/2 tablespoons cold but soft butter and fold in half to enclose butter. Repeat with another 1 1/2 tablespoons butter. Roll again into a rectangle and fold in thirds, as though folding a business letter. This is now mock puff pastry, with layers of butter between layers of dough; it will be light and flaky when baked. Chill for 2 hours, then roll into a 16X10-inch rectangle. Cut a 3-inch strip from the long end and reserve for decorations; lay large rectangle flat on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper; cover with waxed paper and a damp towel, and refrigerate.

The Decorations
Cut strips, circles, diamonds, or leaf shapes form the 3-inch strip and chill with the pastry topping.

Assembling and Baking the Beef Wellington
The beef takes about 45 minutes to bake, and should rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving. It is assembled just before baking.

Place the baked pastry case on a baking and serving platter or a buttered baking sheet and spread half of the mushroom mixture in the bottom of the case. Remove trussing strings and set the beef in the case, covering the meat with the remaining mushrooms. Paint sides of case with egg laaze (1 egg beaten with 1/2 teaspoon water), lay pastry topping over meat allowing the edges to fall down about 1 inch on sides of case; press pastry onto sides of case. Paint pastry topping with glaze, affix decorations, and paint again with glaze. Make cross-hatch marking over glaze with a knife, to give texture to the glaze when baked. Make three 1/8-inch vent holes centered about 3 inches apart in top of pastry and insert paper or foil funnels for escaping steam. Plunge a meat thermometer through central hole and into center of meat.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in middle level of a preheated 425-degree oven or until pastry has started to brown. Then lower thermostat to 375 degrees and bake 20 to 25 minutes more, or to a meat thermometer reading of 137 degrees for rare beef. Let rest at a temperature of not more than 120 detrees for at least 20 minutes before serving, so juices will retreat back into meat tissues before carving. (To serve, carve as though cutting a sausage into 1 1/2-inch slices. Pastry will crumble slightly as you carve the beef; a very sharp serrated knife will minimize this.)

Sauce Suggestions
Sauce Madere. Simmer marinade ingredients and mushroom juices with 2 cups beef bouillon and 1 tablesapoon tomato paste for 1 hour; when reduced to 2 cups, strain, degrease, season, and thicken with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch beaten with 1/4 cup of Madeira.
Sauce Perigueux. Simmer 1 or 2 minced canned truffles and their juice for a moment in the sauce madere.
Sauce Colbert. Just before serving, bet 1 cup of sauce bearnaise gradually into 2 cups of sauce madere.

Vegetable and Wine Suggestions
Accompany Beef Wellington with braised lettuce, endive, or celery and broiled tomatoes, or a vegetable salad, and and excellent red Bordeaux-Medoc or Graves."
---The French Chef Cookbook, Julia Child [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1972 (p. 296-300)

Another way
Filet de Boeuf en Croute
[Tenderolin of Beef Baked in Pastry--Beef Wellington Brioche]

Whether the English, the Irish or the French baked the first filet of beef in a crust we shall probably never know, but it is certain that the French would not have named it after Wellington. It is a remarkably handsome, sumptuous dish when properly made. Most good recipes speicfy a whole piece of tenderlion that is preroasted 25 minutes, cooled, surrounded with a mushroom and foie gras stuffing, then wrapped in French puff pastry and baked. We think it is a great improvement to substitute brioche dough for puff pastry: fully risen brioche dough is deflated, thoroughly chilled, then rolled thin, draped over the meat and baked immediately before the dough has a chance to rise again. The resulting crust is beautiful to look at as well as being light, thin, cooked all the way through and delicious to eat; this is never the case with puff pastry, which cannot bake properly under such circumstances and is always damply dumpling under its handsome exterior. Another improvement is to bake the tenderloin in slices with stuffing in between, as in the preceding recipe [Filet de Boeuf en Feuilletons, Duxelles] :the serving is easy and the taste is vastly improved.

Vegetable and Wine Suggestions
An important dish like this should be surrounded with few distractions; we would suggest only something green and fresh like buttered new peas, broccoli flowerettes, or, in season, sliced, fresh, green asparagus spears tossed in butter. Again, a fine red Bordeaux-Medoc would be an excellent choice of wine.

The Sauce
Anything as extravagant as this filet de boeuf demands an unusally good sauce. We suggest 2 to 3 cups of the brown sauce or the sauce ragout in Volume 1, pages 67 and 69, simmered several hours for maximum flavor; it will then be further enriched with the cooking juices and deglazing wine from the beef, Step 1 in the following recipe.

For 16 slices of beef 1.2 inch thick, serving 8 to 10

1. Preliminaries--to do in the morning or the day before serving
1/2 the recipe for pain brioche dough, page 83 (1/2 lb. flour)
One of the brown sauces described in the preceding paragraph
2 1.2 to 3 lbs. of the heart of the tenderloin, sliced, stuffed, wrapped and tied (filet de boeuf en feuilletons, page 180, Steps 1 and 2)
Rendered goose of pork fat, or cooking oil
A shallow roasting pan
1/2 cup dry port wine or Sercial Madeira
Prepare the dough as described, letting it finish its second rising in the refrigerator. The deflate it, cover with plastic wrap, a plate, and a 5-pound weight (piece of meat grinder) so that it will not rise again; refrigerate. Make the brown-sauce and refrigerate. Prepare the stuffed filet as described, baste well with fat or oil, and place in roasting pan. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and set rack in upper-third level. Roast the beef for 25 minutes, basting and turning it several times. Transfer beef to a platter or tray (reserve roasting pan) and let meat cool to room temperature. (If you are preroasting a day ahead, cover and refrigerate the meat after it has cooled, but set at room temperature for 2 hours before final baking in Step 3, for accurate timing.) Spoon fat out of roasting pan, pour in wine and boil down by half, scraping up any roasting juices with a wooden spoon; scrape liquid into sauce base.

2. Enclosing beef in brioche--1 to 1/2 hours before serving, and just before roasting
The cool, room temperature, preroasted beef
Heavy shears
The chilled brioche dough
Flour, a rolling surface, a rolling pin, a ravioli wheel, a small knife
An oiled jelly-roll pan or pizza tray (raised edges needed to catch roasting juices)
Egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water in a small bowl)
A pastry brush
Optional: a meat thermometer
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and slide rack onto lower-middle level. Set out all the equipment and ingredients listed. Cut wrapping and string from beef. Working rapidly from now on so that brioche dough softens as little as possible, roll 1/4 of the dough into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick and the length and width of the beef. Roll it up on your pin and unroll it onto the oiled pan.

Roll the remaining dough into a rectangle 1/4 inch thick and large enough to enclose the beef (probably 18 by 8 inches), roll it up on your pin and unfoll over the beef.

Trim off any excess dough and reserve for decorations. Tuck the covering dough against the bottom rectangle of dough and under bottom of meat, sealing edges with your fingers. Paint dough covering with egg glaze; in a moment paint with a second coat.

So that any decorations on the crust will show after baking, they must be either deep cuts with raised edges, or dough paste-ons. For instance, you may wish to lay strips of leftover dough in a design, and paint with egg glaze. Decorate blank spaces by cutting into surface of dough with scissors, a knife, or the metal end of a pastry tube, making definite edges that stick up. (Cuts are made after glazing, so that the cut portion of the dough will remain pale, accenting the design when dough is baked.) Immediately [sic] the decorations are complete, set beef in oven. The object here is to make sure the dough remains a crust, a think and crisp covering; if it rises, it will be thick and bready.

3. Baking--30 to 40 minutes
Bake in lower-middle level of preheated 425-degree oven for 20-25 minutes, or until pastry has browned nicely. Lower thermostat to 350 degrees for rest of baking, and cover crust loosely with a sheet of foil or brown paper if it seems to be browning too much. Indications that the meat is done are that you can begin to smell the beef and the stuffing, and that juices begin to escape into the pan; meat thermometer reading for rare beef is 125 degrees.

4. Serving and ahead-of-time notes
A hot platter or a board wide enough to hold beef and removed top crust
A flexible-blade spatula
A hot sauce in a warmed bowl
The hot accompanying vegetable
Serving implements: a sharp knife for cutting the crust, and a serving spoon and fork
When beef is done, remove from oven and slidfe onto platter or board. Beef will stay warm for 20 minutes; if you cannot serve it, set in a warm oven no hotter than 120 degrees. To serve, cut all around the crust and half an inch up from its bottom. Lift the top crust off onto the platter, and cut into serving portions. Separate the slices of meat with spoon and fork and cut down through the bottom crust so that each slice is served with a portion of stuffing and crust. Spoon a little sauce around the meat, and add a piece of the top crust."
---Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child and Simone Beck, Volume Two [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1970 (p. 181-185)

Recipes for beef encased in decorative flaky crust may be found in some 18th and 19th century British cookbooks. They typically employ onions and oysters, not truffles/mushrooms and pate/chopped liver. Presumably, these descend from Medieval meat pies and classic French pates.

"A Beefsteak Pie

Beat five or six rump steaks very well with a paste pin and season them well with pepper and salt. Lay a good puff paste round the dish and put a little water in the bottom. Then lay the steaks in with a lump of butter upon every steak and put on the lid. Cut a little paste in what form you please and lay it on."
---The Experienced English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald, 1769, with an introduction by Roy Shipperbottom [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1997 (p. 74)

"Beef Steak Pie.

Take a pie-dish according to the size required; two pounds of fresh rump steak cut into long thin strips will bake a good pie; lay out the strips with a small piece of fat on each, a seasoning of salt and pepper, and a dust of flour; two tea-spoonfuls of salt and one of pepper will be sufficient for the whole pie; roll up each strip neatly and lay it in the dish, and between each layer sprinkle a little of the seasoning and flour; a shred onion or schalot is sometimes liked, and a few oysters will be a great improvement; put an edging of paste round the dish, and throw in water enough to cover the rolls of meat, and lay a crust of about half an inch thick over all; ornament the top tastefully, and bake for two hours in a moderate oven...Sufficient for four or five persons."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin:London] 1875 (p. 63)

Chicken Wellington
Our survey of historic newspapers/magazines/cookbooks puts Chicken Wellington on mainstream American tables in the 1970s. Two earlier references are (1) India/1955 & (2) Restaurant Show/1967, neither reference describes the dish. What makes this recipe particularly interesting are the divergent culinary applications: first class airline fare, kosher commercial, restaurant redux & Pillsbury Bake-Off winner. In most cases, the final personal-sized portion is closer to a
Cornish pasty than the classic centerpiece beef Wellington presentation. 1970s-1980s time period makes sense. That is when USA people were "educated" about red meat/cholesterol and companies promoted familiar recipes featuring chicken/fish protein alternatives.

Chicken Wellington timeline

"Eros Restaurant...Today's lunch specialty...Celery Soup, Chicken Wellington or Eggs Curry & Pillaw, Charlotte a la Russe or Eros Ices...Also Tandoori & Punjab Specialities."
---display ad, Times of India, August 18, 1955 (p. 3)
[Note: We wonder why chicken instead of beef was served in India. Cultural/religious preference or economic sensibility?]

"Masterchef Gordon 'Jiggs' Lamberton to head the kitchen at the Hostelry on the Hill...He was formerly affiliated with the famed Old Farms Inn of Avon, where his Chicken Wellington and Lobster Seafood classique were prizewinners at the 1967 Restaurant Show."
---photo caption, Naugatuck News [CT], September 22, 1971 (p. 15)

"Traveling economy? You'd never know it from our economy Pub Fare: Black Velvet (50 cents extra), Fillet of Smoked Trout, Breast of Chicken Wellington (tender chicken surrounded by pate, in a light pastry shell and served with a nutty Madeira sauce), garden vegetables, cheese, and Sherry Trifle--layers of sponge cake laced with brandy and sherry, loaded with fruits, with a dollop of cream on top."
---display ad, Pan Am Airlines, New York Times, October 21, 1970 (p. 29)

"'A breakthrough!' cried Latzi Wittenberg, the chef, at his stand on the Starlight Roof of the Waldorf Astoria. 'Mission Possible in the kosher-food business.' Visitors to the one-day show yesterday of the Institutional Kosher Food Manufacturers Association raved over Mr. Wittenberg's unusual delights--a Chicken Breast Wellington (with beef and chopped liver), a Royal Hawaiian Wellington (with sweetbreads and pineapple) and a Rothschild Wellington (with chopped beef and turkey). Rosthschild all right, by why Wellington? 'There were some famous Jews in Britain,' explained Mr. Wittenberg,' and I think he'd like to have his name associated with Jewish foods.'...The Latzi line is now being turned out by the Kotimsky & Tuchman catering concern, which provides kosher food at bar mitzvahs and weddings at such places as the Plaza and Pierre Hotels."
---"Knishes and Latkes, Yes! But Chicken Wellington?" Israel Shenker, New York Times, March 10, 1971 (p. 45)

"Someone remarked as the entree was served, 'It's chicken 'beef' Wellington,' And Chicken Wellington it was with breast of chicken and pate all baked into the traditional pastry, this time in the shape of a little chicken. Very elegant."
---"Christy Fox: Robert Tuttles Feted," Los Angeles Times, April 14, 1972 (p. F2)

"With so many developments in the convenience food area, it takes very little effort today to prepare gourmet dishes we wouldn't dream of attempting a few years ago...
Chicken Wellington
1 can (16 ounces) cling peach halves
4 large half breasted chicken
1 can (13 3/4 ounces) chicken broth
1/2 cup white dinner wine
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 package (10 ounces) frozen patty shells
Thin slices Swiss cheese and ham, chopped
Drain peaches. Remove skin and bones from chicken breast. Heat broth with wine and salt. Add chicken breasts, cover, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and tender. Cool in broth and drain, saving broth for soup or a sauce. Thaw patty shells. Split each chicken breast lengthwise insert about 1 tablespoon chopped cheese and ham. Place patty shells with edges touching n floured board and roll into a sheet. Cut into four pieces. Place peach half cup-side down on each stuffed chicken breast. Wrap one piece of pastry around each peach topped chicken breast, enclosing it completely. Place seam side down on ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated hot oven (400 degrees F.) about 30 minutes, until nicely browned. Serves 4."
---"Elegant Chicken Dish," Daily Herald [Chicago IL], July 13, 1972, section 6 (p. 9)

"Recipes that win top money prizes in the Pillsbury the most publicity but followers of the baking contest have learned that they may find recipes they like even better among the collection of 100 recipes published after each contest. Pillsbury publishes each recipe only after they have been kitchen-tested many times with minor adjustments--when necessary--for best results. The company's home economists who have had a chance to taste all of the recipes agree that Chicken Wellington ala Crescent would be their top choice of an impressive special main dish. Boneless chicken breasts simmered in a wine sauce are folded around an herbed cheese mixture. These are turned into individual 'wellingtons' by wrapping each in rectangles of crescent dinner roll dough and baking. The recipe can be prepared for the oven and then refrigerated for up to two hours before baking...
Chicken Wellington ala Crescent
6 (4 to 8 oz.) chicken breast fillets
.06-oz. pkg. Italian salad dressing mix
3 tablespoons olive oil or oil
1 cup Marsala or red wine
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
3 tablespoons chopped parsley or 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon & pepper seasoning
8-oz. can Pillsbury Refrigerated Quick Crescent Dinner Rolls
1 tablespoon margarine or butter melted sesame seed
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced or 3 (2 1/2 -oz.) jars sliced mushrooms, drained
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
parsley for garnish
Sprinkle chicken pieces with salad dressing mix. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat, saute chicken on both sides until meat becomes white in color, about 5 minutes. Add wine, cover, and simmer until chicken is just tender, about 20 minutes. In medium bowl, combine cheese, margarine, parsley, garlic salt and lemon pepper. Divide mixture into 6 portions, about 1/3 cup; mold each into a ball. Separate dough into 2 long rectangles; seal perforations. Roll out each to a 16X6-inch rectangle. Cut each rectangle into three 6X5-inch rectangles and one 6X1-inch rectangle. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove chicken from skillet reserving liquid; drain on paper towel. Using 1 cheese ball for each fillet, fold fillet over filling or make a pocket and insert cheese. Place 1 filled fillet on center of each 6X5-inch rectangle of dough. Fold dough over fillet completely covering chicken; seal. Fold ends under. Place seam-side-down in ungreased 15X10-inch jelly roll pan or 13X9-inch pan. With remaining dough, cut out decorations as desired; decorate each wellington. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with melted margarine and sprinkle with sesame seed last 5 minutes of baking. Add mushrooms to reserved liquid (about 1 cup); cook on low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. In small bowl, blend cornstarch and water until smooth; pour into mushroom sauce, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles and thickens. To serve, spoon sauce over wellingtons. Garnish with parsley. 6 servings."
---"Foods of the Tribune: Impressive Dishes from 1980 Bake-Off," Ora Brinkley, Philadelphia Tribune, June 10, 1980 (p. 15)

"Clinkerdagger's Chicken Wellington

Butter or margarine
12 chicken breast halves, boned and skinned
3/4 teaspoon steak salt
1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped
6 frozen puff pastry shells
4 1/2-ounces crab meat
6 tablespoons cold hollandaise sauce
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 cup hot hollandaise sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped parsley
Brush griddle or large skillet with butter. Place chicken breast halves on griddle. Sprinkle with steak salt. Brown quickly on both sides, about 15 seconds each. Chicken should be pink in center. Meanwhile, saute mushrooms and onion in 1/4 cup butter until tender, then cook over high heat until liquid evaporates. Cool and drain. Thaw puff pastry until soft but still cold. Roll out to at least 8-inch circle. Placed chicken breast half, skin side down, leaving border around circle. Top with mushroom-onion mixture, then crab meat. Top with 1 tablespoon cold hollandaise. Top with second chicken breast half. Pull pastry over filling. Pinch seam along side. Beat egg and milk in small bowl. Brush on pastry. Continue to assemble remaining Wellington, using chicken, mushroom mixture, crab meat and cold hollandaise, and brush puff pastry. Bake at 450 degrees 15 minutes or until pastry is browned. Top each serving with hot hollandaise and sprinkle with parsley. Makes 6 servings."
---"Culinary SOS...Chicken Variation," Rose Dosti, Los Angeles Times, March 17, 1983 (p L42)

Cube steak
Our research confirms cooks have been tenderizing tough meat by pounding, scoring, and reconstructing for hundreds of years. Meat minces, Meatballs, meatloaf, chicken nuggets and cube(d) steak all descend from a common culinary mantra: make the best with what you have. Ancient Mongolian Steak Tartar and Depression-era Cube steak have much in common. A survey of historic newspaper articles confirms the earliest print references to both cube and cubed steak first surfaced in the 1920s. Cube steak (first reference 3.18.1932) returned 4340 results; cubed steak (first reference 8.20.1934) returned 1033 results. Cubing is a process, not a cut.

What is "cubing?"
The term 'cubing' refers to the square-shaped indentations made in the meat during the tenderizing process. The fact that some of these processed items resulted in square-shaped retail meat products might be a coincidence of packaging convenience. This explains the confusion between 'cubed' (processed) and 'cube' (shaped) steaks.

Definitions through time
"Vintage 1929 Wonder Chef Cube Steak Machine. This is a Vintage 1929 Wonder Chef Cube Steak Machine which came out of a commercial estate and it is in good looking and in working condition. It was made by the Cube Steak Machine Company of Boston, Massachusetts, has patent numbers which correspond with the years 1926 through 1929, and has a Serial Number of 1274. It features a turntable at the bottom onto which the steakis placed and each time you pull the lever it cuts the steak with 19rolling knife blades and lifts the cutters so that you can turn the turntableand cut the steak in a crosshatched fashion for which cube steaks areknown. This is a hard-to-find early cube steak machine which was made in very limited numbers whether you want to use it for display, add it to yourcollection, and/or even place it back in service. It measures8.5''x9.5''x11'' and weighs 14 pounds." SOURCE: (auction site, accessed February 2009).

"Delicious--Inexpensive Cube Steaks. Cut your food bills by serving these tempting, tender, individiual Cube Steaks. "Cubing" improves the flavor in any cut of meat...triples the cooking surface and reduced time required for cooking. Scores of delightful menus possible with Cube Steak...Send for free recipe folder. Cube Steak Machine Co., 805 Albany St., Boston, Mass."
---advertisement, Good Housekeeping, January 1936 (p. 146)
[NOTE: Google Patents lists several records for this company. The oldest patent filing date is 1932. Several subsequent patents were granted through the 1930s-1940s for meat slitting, tenderizing, etc. machines.

"Boneless cubed steaks are ready for your table, golden brown and tender in close to 20 minutes' time. They are prepared from less tender cuts of beef; however, the cubing process makes them tender enough to cook quickly."
---"Economical Meat Recipes Offered," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, August 10, 1950 (p. B4)

"2 Cube. 4: to cut partly through one or both surfaces of (a steak) in a checkered patter in order to increase tenderness by breaking the fibers."
---Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Philip Babcock Gove editor in chief [G & C Merriam:Mew York] 1961 (p. 550)

"The butcher's good friend is a wondrous machine called a tenderizer. It looks a little like the wringer of an old-fashioned washing machine, but with sharp teeth set into the rollers. Meat scaps can be run through the rollers several times at different angles and then become perforated, flattened and compressed--knitted together so that they can be cooked as a solid pice. What makes the machine wondrous, as one manufacturer's ad puts it, is that it 'converts lower cost ground or chopped meat into higher priced knit-formed steaks.' Beef scraps run through a grinder come out as mundane hamburger...The same scraps run through a tenderizer come out transformed into a product variously labeled as cube steak, minute steak, sandwich steak or swiss steak. We found the product selling for an average of $1.28 a pound--a higher price than the stores were asking for sirloin ($1.19 a pound) or rib steak ($1.05 a pound). Hamburger and cube steak present the same problem to the consumer. Either product can be made of a single cut of relatively high-grade beef...or of leftover scraps of unidentifiable lineage. Extra fat can be added to either. Short of choosing a cut of meat personally and watching the butcher grind or tenderize it, you usually have now way of telling what it is you're buying. Members of CU's staff, we were invited to eat the cube steaks, found about 25 per cent of them tough enough or stringy enough to remark on it. Thus its quality appears to be something of a gamble...There should be a standard identity for cube steaks et al. There's nothing wrong with improving a good, but tough, cut of beef by running it through a tenderizer, and then selling it at beef prices. But when there's no way to tell the difference between that product and meat scraps, perhpas with fat added, the products should be defined by law."
---"Cube Steak: often a doubtful buy," Consumer Reports, February 1969 (p. 59-60)

"Cube steak. (American). Tough beef sliced thinly and pounded with a steak hammer to make it tender."
---International Dictionary of Food and Cooking, Ruth Martin [Hastings House:New York] 1974 (p. 87)

Cubing, definition #13: "To tenderize (a thin cut or slice of meat) by scoring the fibers in a pattern of squares,"
---Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Stuart Berg Flexner editor in chief [Random House:New York] 2nd edition, 1993 (p. 486)

Related steaks? Tri-tip steak, Carpetbag steak & London broil.

Cajun fried turkey
Food historians generally agree that deep-fried turkeys trace their roots to Bayou (Louisiana/Texas) creole cuisine. No exact year, restaurant, or person is connected to this particular food by primary documentation. There is no mention of fried turkey in La Cuisine Creole: A Collection of Culinary Recipes [New Orleans:1885] or The Picayune Creole Cook Book, 2nd edition [New Orleans:1901].

We DO find evidence that fried turkeys were cooked outdoors for large popular events (family reunions, charity dinners, church suppers, etc.) in the early years of the twentieth century. About ten years ago fried turkeys received national press and caught the attention of mainstream America. According to articles indexed in the LEXIS/NEXIS reQuester database, this recipe migrated from Louisiana/Texas to Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia (peanut oil), and Washington D.C. before it forked northward toward Seattle and Vancouver. Most articles written in the last couple of years simply reference fried turkey as a tasty alternative to the traditional holiday roast.

"Frying whole turkeys is sort of the Southern version of making fondue. You have a lot of your friends over, you poke around in a pot of hot oil with some sticks, and then you pull out your dinner. Justin Wilson, he of Cajun fame, recalls first seeing a turkey fry in Louisiana in the 1930s."
---Something Different: Deep-Fried Turkey, Beverly Bundy, St. Louis Dispatch, November 24, 1997 (Food p. 4)

"Fried turkey has been all the rage at least for the last decade in New Orleans, and long before that it was a tradition in the bayou and throughout the South. Like many a vainglorious culinary mania before it, the national renown of fried turkeys can be traced directly to Martha Stewart, who plucked them from regional obscurity and put them in her magazine in 1996. "
---It's Treacherous, But Oh So Tasty; Fried-Turkey Fans Take the Risk, Annie Gowen, Washington Post, November 22, 2001 (p. B1)

"A longtime food favorite in the southern United States, the delicious deep-fried turkey has quickly grown in popularity thanks to celebrity chefs such as Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse. While some people rave about this tasty creation, Underwriters Laboratories Inc.'s (UL) safety experts are concerned that backyard chefs may be sacrificing safety for good taste. "We're worried by the increasing reports of fires related with turkey fryer use," says John Drengenberg, UL consumer affairs manager. "Based on our test findings, the fryers used to produce those great-tasting birds are not worth the risks. And, as a result of these tests, UL has decided not to certify any turkey fryers with our trusted UL Mark."
---Deep-Frying That Turkey Could Land You in Hot Water; UL Warns Against Turkey Fryer Use, PR Newswire, June 27, 2002

"Cajun Fried Turkey (D'inde Frite)
---The Prudhomme Family Cookbook: Old-Time Louisiana Recipes, Paul Prudhomme [William Morrow:New York] 1987 (p. 105- 109)

Related cajun turkey specialty? Turducken. About turkeys.

American Bison
American bison roamed North America from prehistoric times to the 19th century. Some Native Americans depended on this animal for food, shelter, clothing, tools and medicine. When Europeans arrived, they saw this great creature and called it buffalo. True buffalos are indigenous to the Old World. Think: water buffalo. Traditional Italian mozzarella cheese is made from water buffalo milk, not American bison. Beefalo is a cross between cattle and American Bison.

Why do Americans call this animal "buffalo?"
"The American bison (Bison bison)is more closely related to cattle than to true buffalo...early European settlers called the unfamiliar animal they encountered in North America a 'buffelo' [sic] and this misnomer has persisted to the present."
---"American Bison," Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth . Kiple & Krimehild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One, (p. 450)

Native Americans
"When the European explorers first visited North America, large numbers of bison were present in perhaps 70 percent of the present-day continental United States...the pre-Columbian buffalo population is often estimated at some 60 million members. As a rule, the animals lived in groups of 20 to 40, gathering into larger herds only for rutting or migration. Native Americans long utilized the bison as a food source; archaelogical evidence suggests that buffalo hunting was practiced more than 10,000 years ago...In a physical sense, the animal provided the plains inhabitants with many items essential to survival in this environment, in the form of blood, meat, hide, bone, sinew, and manure, that were used for food, rope, weapons, shelter, blankets, clothing, fuel and medicine. In a spiritual sense, the buffalo provided the first Americans with still more...Native Americans honored it as a siprit that influenced fecundity, happiness, strength, protection, and healing...Methods of preparing bison as food were largely determined by the gender of the cooks. When eaten fresh, the meat was often cooked by the hunters, whereas meat curing and preservation were tasks reserved for women. Hunting parties would sometimes use the hide as a cauldron in which to boil the meat. Variations on this practice included lining a hole in the ground with the animal skin or suspending the hide aboveground on sticks over a fire. In addition to boiling, the meat was frequently roasted by rotating it over an open fire. To cure buffalo meat, Indian women relied on the sun, rather than on salting or smoking--the European methods. Selecting the choicest parts, the women cut the meat into strips, across the grain, in order to maintain alternating layers of lean and fat. These strips were then suspended on elevated racks in full sunlight for several days. The result was a jerky that could be eaten in the dried form or rehydrated by lengthy boiling. When cured, the meat was lightweight and largely imperishable, and ideal staple for a mobile culture. The jerky...could be even further condensed when transformed into pemmican... Native Americans also incoporated buffalo into their diet in several ways other than as a fresh and preserved meat. Various tribes developed methods of preparing blood soups and puddings. Roasted throgh bones were a popular source of tasty marrow, and the tongue was savored."
---"American Bison," Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One (p. 450-451)
[NOTES: Additional information on Jerky & Pemmican.]

European settlers
"Most important--what the bravos in the train looked forward to with the gusto of Crusaders--were the bison or buffalos, as Americans already called them. Extinct in the eastern half of the country by 1849, the dusty behemoths were plentiful on the Great Plains and abusurdly easy to shoot. They proved a gastronomic delight to virtually every emigrant who kept a diary. Buffalo steak was "as tender and good as could be desired." Carcasses were shared throughout and between companies, unlike provisions from home. After a kill the wagons were "departed with slices of meat dangling from strings fastened to ropes that reach from front to back along the side of the wagons, looking very much like coarse red fringe...Perhaps buffalo meat tasted so good because it was fresh in the midst of a very monotonous diet of salt pork and jerked beef. A comparable craving for new-slaughtered flesh characterized the appetites of other groups of people who were shackled to the meat barrel for long periods of time: sailors, loggers, isolated garrisons of soldiers, and slaves..."
---Bacon, Beans, and Galantines, Joseph R. Conlin [University of Nevada Press:Reno NV] 1986 (p. 36-7)

"By the time the wagon trains reached buffalo (bison) country, most of the emigrants longingly anticipated a meal of freshly cooked meat. Salted meat had its place, but it could not replace the fresh for weary travelers. The emigrants eagerly devoured the buffalo that had already been so generous in providing fuel for baking bread and cooking beans. The enticing fresh meat with its assertive flavor was just what they thought they wanted...testimonies from pleased diners indicated that after indulging in this gastronomic treat, almost everyone became an instant aficionado. "I think there is no beef in the world equal to a fine buffalo cow--such flavor so rich, so juicy, it makes the mouth water to think of it," noted Charles Stanton...According to Edwin Bryant, the choicest cuts of a young fat buffalo cow were the rump, tenderolin, liver, heart, tongue, hump, and "and intestinal vessel or organ, commonly called by hunters the marrow-gut,' which anatomically speaking, is the chylo-poetic duct...Bryant was describing the intestine that mountain cookes used for making sausage...Buffalo meat, darker and coarser than beef, was either fried in a pan or broiled directly over the hot coals. Bones and ough parts were added to the soup pot. The hump was cut up to eat immediately or made into jerky. Oner part reported that they buried the large bones in the coals of buffalo chips and in an hour had some delicious baked marrow. Tongues were smoked or pickled. Buffalo tongue became a gourmet food and was shipped to restaurants throughout the country, its popularity contributing to the demise of the buffalo. Patty Sessions gathered dry weeds to place on the dung before broiling her family's buffalo steaks. Carvalho's companions copied the Indians: "They cut the buffalo meat in strips about an inch thick, four wide, and twelve to fifteen long. The stick is then inserted in the meat, as boys to a kite stick; one end of the stick is then stuck in the ground, near the fire, and the process of roasting is complete--the natural juice of the meat is retained, in the this manner, and I think it the most preferable way to cook game." During the meal the men would simply cut a slice off the piece roasting on the stick. Buffalo meat was so versatile that Narcissa Whitman boasted that her husband had a different way of preparing each piece of meat. Unfortunately, she did not record the recipes; she did, however, observe that her husband liked the taste of buffalo so much that he now began to do most of the cooking. Yet there were dissenters. "While here we had buffalo meat. We did not like it very well. It is much coarser than beef," wrote Lucia Williams...Knowing that they must always plan ahead, emigrants preserved the buffalo meat by "jerking" it. In that process the meat is cut into long strips about one inch wide and then dried in the sun or over a fire."
---Wagon Wheel Kitchens: Food on the Oregaon Trail, Jacqueline Williams [University Press of Kansas: Lawrence KS] 1993 (p. 150-3)

"The tongues, humps, and marrow-bones [of buffalo] are regarded as the choice parts of the animal. The tongue is taken out by ripping open the skin between the prongs of the lower jaw-bone and pulling it out through the orifice. The hump may be taken off by skinning down on each side of the shoulders and cutting away the meat, after which the hump-ribs can be unjointed where they unite with the spine. The marrow, when roasted in the bones, is delicious."
---The Prairie Traveler: A Handbook for Overland Expeditions, Randolph B. Marcy [unabridged facsimile 1859 edition [Corner House Publishers:Williamstown, MA] 1968 (p. 237-8)

"Bear Meat and Buffalo.

The meat of all large animals is better roasted than dressed in any other way. Prepare, cook, and served bear and buffalo meat like venison, or like an a la mode beef."
---What to Eat and How to Cook It, Pierre Blot [D. Appleton and Company:New York] 1863 (p. 164)

"Buffalo Pemmican"

SOURCE: The Market Assistant [1867]

[19th century historic recipe notes]
"Meeting the Buffalo on the Prairie," Eating Up the Santa Fe Trail, Sam'l P. Arnold [University Press of Colorado:Niwot CO] 1990 (p. 33-40)

Current American buffalo industry
"Today's commercial bison business began in the late 1960's, but didn't gain significant momentum until the late 1980's. At that time, many new producers began to enter the business. The prices of animals began to climb rapidly as these new entrants competed for breeding stock to build their herds. Meanwhile, some of the leading chefs across the country began to discover the wonderful flavor that bison meat added to their recipes. However, these gourmet chefs primarily sought the high-end cuts of meat, such as tenderloins and strip steaks...During the 1990's bison production emerged from its infancy, and grew rapidly across the country. By the end of the decade, though, growing pains had become evident. The main focus of the NBA during the 1990s was to help new producers make a successful transition into the bison business, and to help existing producers increase their production efficiency. As a new industry, the learning curve was very steep for many producers...While tenderloins and ribeyes found a ready market, similar demand was slow in developing for roasts, burgers and other meat products."
SOURCE: National Bison Association

Carpetbag steak
The history of carpetbag steak presents an complicated knot of food lore, culinary history and improbable summations. Food historians generally agree that this dish (thick steak stuffed with oysters) was probably invented in America by a popular chef/restaurant sometime in the first half of the twentieth century. Australians have adopted this recipe, though do not make claims for its invention.

Oyster houses and steak houses (separatetly, not together!) and were all the rage of the rich and wealthy at the turn of the last century. They sprung up everywhere rich diners liked to eat, often combining the restaurant's namesake with other popular foods of the day. It is possible Rector's Oyster House in Chicago and Delmonico's in New York served carpetbag steak, though we have no printed evidence [yet!] to support this theory.

"The oyster house had far outgrown its original simple design and function..."The real Oyster House is a specialized restaurant," explained the author of an 1897 souvenier booklet about Rector's Oyster House in Chicago, "the specialties of which are, in general, sea-food, game, salads, certain delicatessen, and the choicest wines, brandies and ales. In greater detail it is a place where, in their season, the finest and freshest oysters of a dozen varieties are to be found..."
---America Eats Out, John Mariani [William Morrow:New York] 1991 (p.55-6)

Culinary evidence confirms the American tradition of combining oysters and beef steak was practiced in the late 19th century. Oysters were considered a luxury item and were combined with many different foods. Early oyster and beef combinations in American cook books typically "smothered" thick steaks with oysters. There is no mention of a pocket or filling. Food historians generally attribute the first printed recipe for "Carpetbag steak" to Louis Diat, 1941.

This is what the food historians have to say on the subject:

"Carpetbag steak.
A grilled steak of beef into which is cut a pocket enclosing a stuffing of oysters. The name derives from the handbag for travelers that was popular from about 1840 to 1870. The dish resembles the sacklike bag with its top closure. There does not seem to be any specific association with an American slang term, "carpetbagger," for a hated post-Civil War opportunist who took advantage of both white and black southerners politically and economically. In fact, the carpet bag steak is much more popular in Australia and is only menioned for the first time in American print in 1941 in Louis Diat's Cooking a la Ritz. Although there is no proof the dish originated at Chasen's restaurant in Los Angeles, which opened in 1936, it did become one of the restaurant's signature dishes."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 59)

"Though popular in Australia, this unusual steak stuffed with oysters is apparently of American origin. It takes it name from the cloth satchel travelers used around the time of the Civil War. Just before the turn of the century, when broiled steaks were coming into vogue, a popular way to serve them was under a coverlet of oysters. This recipe simply takes that late-nineteenth-century recipe one step further. Who's responsible? Perhaps Chasen's restaurant, which opened in Hollywood in 1936 (and closed in 1995). Carpetbagger Steak, as Chasen's called it, was a house specialty. Or was Louis Diat, the creator? He includes this recipe for it in Cooking a la Ritz [1941]."
---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 92)

"I have, over the years, received more requests for carpetbag steak than almost any other dish, and I suspect much of its appeal has to do with the name, which has a fascinating ring. I own few Australian cookbooks and cannot find the recipe in any of them. The most logical recipe I have ever found appeared thirty years ago in the late Helen Evan Brown's The West Coast Cook Book [1952]...An Australian who now lives in Manhattan...wrote, quoting a passage from The Captain Cook Book: Two Hundred Years of Australian Cooking, by Babette Hayes: "The carpetbag steak is now a truly Australian dish although it came to us from the U.S. of A. A thick chunk of tender sirloin, rump or fillet steak, which has a pocket cut in the middle, is stuffed with oysters and then fried to the required degree of doneness. That's the basic recipe. There are many variations: add chopped mushrooms, onions, herbs, or lemon juice." She says that the name probably derives from the term for a one-pound note in Australia, which is "carpet," and "bag" from the term "in the bag," meaning a winner."
---The New York Times Food Encyclopedia, Craig Claiborne [Times Books:New York] 1985 (p. 71)


The part of this puzzle food historians are not able to solve is who first introduced the carpetbag steak to Australia and when. The Down Under Cookbook: An Authentic Guide to Australian Cooking and Eating Traditions, Graeme Newman [1987] does not include a recipe for carpet bag steak. It does include a recipe for "Pocket Steak Melbourne," which is the same idea but without the oysters. Michael Symons, Australian culinary history expert, believes the recipe can be traced in print to 1899:

"Jean Rutledge's highly successful Goulburn Cookery Book, first appearing in 1899, was designed to meet a "want, especially among the women in the bush, who have often to teach inexperienced maids, and would be glad of accurate recipes." Any dish, she said, much be "mixed with brains."...Out of approximately 1,000 recipes, local additions did not exceed a kangaroo recipe, a couple of new names for simple meat dishes, "Carpet Bag a la Colchester..."
----One Continious Picnic: A History of Eating in Australia, Michael Symons, [Penguin:Victoria] 1984 (p. 54)
[NOTE: Mr. Symons says this about the recipe's origin: "Carpetbag Steak, beef stuffed with oysters, a combination also occurring in the United States, although I have not confirmed where it originated." --(p. 137)]

If you need more information you might consider contacting The University of Adelaide, Cordon Bleu graduate program in gastronomy.


"Beefsteak and Oyster Pie
Cut three pounds of lean beefsteak. Salt, pepper and fry quickly so as to brown without cooking through; then place in a deep dish. Get four dozen oysters, beard them, and lay them in the pan over the beef; season with salt and pepper. Take the gravy in which the steaks were fried, pour out some of the grease; dredge in a tablespoonful of flour, let it brown and add to it a pint of good beef broth, then put in a wine-glassful of mushroom catsup, some of Harvey's or Worcestershire sauce; heat it, and let it boil up a few times, then pour it over the oysters and steak. When the gravy has become cook. Cover the pie with a good puff-paste, and bake it for an hour and a half."
---La Cuisine Creole, Second Edition [F.F. Hansell & Bro.:New Orleans] 1885 (p. 30-1)
[NOTE: Creole cookbooks traditionally combine oysters with poultry, not beef.]

"Stewed Steak with Oysters.
Two pounds of rump steak, one pint of oysters, one tablespoonful of lemon juice, three of butter, one of flour, salt, pepper, one cupful of water. Wash the oysters in the water, and drain into a stew-pan. Put this liquor on to heat. As soon as it comes to a boil, skim and set back. Put the butter in a frying-pan, and when hot, put in a steak. Cook ten minutes. Take up the steak, and stir the flour into the butter remaining in the pan. Stir until a dark brown. Add the steak, cover the pan, and simmer half an hour or until the steak seems tender, then add the oysters and lemon juice. Boil one minute. Serve on a hot dish with points of toast for a garnish." ---White House Cook Book: A Selection of Choice Recipes Original and Selected, During a Period of Forty Year's Practical Housekeeping, Mrs. F. L. Gillette [L.P. Miller & Co.:Chicago] 1887 (p. 100)

"Steak with Oysters.
Select twenty-five oysters; drain, wash and drain again. Trim the steak, which should be about an inch and a half thickness. When the steak has broiled for five minutes, dust with salt and pepper, baste with butter, and cover it over with the oysters, and without delay run it into a very hot oven for ten minutes. Dish without removing the oysters, baste thoroughly with the juice that is in the bottom of the pan, and send at once to the table. The oysters should have the gills thoroughly curled and be slightly browned."
---Mrs. Rorer's New Cook Book, Sarah Tyson Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia] 1902 (p. 152)
[NOTE: the extra thick steak used here.]

[1905 or 1907]
"Carpet-Bag A La Colchester

Choose a good tender steak, and have it cut about 2 in. to split it through, and fill in between with raw oysters, lighly seasoned with cayenne and a few drops of lemon juice. Sew up the steak, and grill carefully for 20 minutes to 1/2 hour. Rub steak over with oiled butter or salad oil prevents the juice from escaping, and ensures it coming to table a rich brown outside and tender and juicy inside." ---The Goulburn Cookery Book,Mrs. Forster Rutledge, [The National Trust:Sydney, Australia], 40th edition, a facsimile edition taken from parts of the 2nd in 1905 and 5th in 1907 of the original. xviii + 199 + v 8vo, 1973 (p. 31)

NOTE: Except for the title, the following Australian dish is almost an exact duplication of the recipe above.

"Steak and Oyster Filling

Choose a good tender steak, and have it cut about 2 inches thick. Split it through, and fill in between with raw oysters, lightly seasoned with cayenne and a few drops of lemon juice. Sew up the steak, and grill carefully for 20 minutes to 1/2 an hour. Rubbing the steak over with oiled butter or salad oil prevents the juice escaping, and ensures it coming to table a rich brown outside and tender and juicy inside."
---The Schauer Cookery Book, Misses A. and M. Schauer [Edwards, Dunlop & Co:Brisbane and Sydney Australia] 1909 (p. 164)

"Carpet-Bag Steak.

Have the butcher cut steak from the sirloin 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick, and then cut through the center to make a pocket. Stuff this pocket with raw oysters, seasoned with salt an pepper. Then sew the edges of pocket together. Broil about fifteen minutes on each side. Serve with any desired potatoes."
---Cooking a la Ritz, Louis Diat, [J.B. Lippincott Company:New York] 1941 (p. 171)

Curiously? 101 Oyster Recipes, May E. Southworth [Paul Elder and Company:San Francisco and New York] 1907 does not contain any recipes combining beef and oysters.

Related steaks? Tri-tip steak, Cube steak & London broil.

Food historians generally agree on two points when it comes to the history of Chateaubriand: the recipe was named for the Vicomte de Chateaubriand and it first appeared in print during the mid-19th century. Primary evidence confirms the period. It also confirms several recipe variations. On the other hand? Most recipes are not inventions, but evolutions. Good cuts of beef served with maitre d'hotel butter were served in England before this particular recipe was featured in fancy French dinner menus. Thick steaks filled with oysters (aka Carpetbag steak) were also popular at that time. Notes here:

"Chateaubriand...This French version of English beef-steak was probably dedicated to the Vicomte de Chateaubriannd (1768-1848) by his chef, Montmireil: at that time, the steak was cut from the sirloin and served with a reduced sauce made from white wine and shallots moistened with demi-glace and mixed with butter, tarragon and lemon juice. An alternative spelling is chateaubriant and some maintain that the term refers to the quality of the cattle bred around the town of Chateaubriand in the Loire-Atlantique. Pellaprat, probably wrongly, specifies: The dish was created at the Champeax restaurant; it was shortly after publication of Chateaubriand's book L'Itineraire de Paris a Jerusalem (1811) that this grilled steak, comprising a thick slice from the heart of the beef filet, made its first appearance ; its cooking is a delicate process on account of the thickness, for if it is sealed too much, a hard shell is formed on either side and the centre remains uncooked; it must be cooked more slowly than a piece of ordinary thickness."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 255)

"A chateaubriand is a thick steak cut from a beef fillet. It was named after the French writer and statesman Francois Rene, Vicomte de Chateaubraind. The original application of the term appears to have been to a particular method of preparing steak-grilled and served with bearnaise sauce-which was invented by the chef Montmirail in 1822, when the Vicomte de Chateaubriand was French ambassador in London; but by the 1870s, when it was introduced into English, it had been transferred to the steak itself: The steak which had formerly been served...under the name filet de boeuf was now always announced as 'Chateaubrand,' E.S. Dallas, Kettner's Book of the Table (1877).
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 66-7)

"Chateaubriand is the name given to a large piece of fillet steak, either much thicker that usual or big enough to serve at least two people, or both. There is some disagreement, e.g. between French and American butchers, over the exact size and nature of this cut. A tedious accretion of tales about the origin of the name was robustly hacked out of the way by Dallas (1877) in Kettner's Book of the Table, indeed, the author of this would have gone further and banished the term altogether, as had the members of a certain London club (so he tells us) when a fancy chef sought to install it on their menu.
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 157)

Here is the original passage from Kettner's Book of the Table (1877), quoted in full:

"Take another example of mystification, and it must be added, of exceeding folly--to use no stronger epithet. It is connected with the illustrious name of Chateaubriand. One of the foremost clubs in London one day changed its cook; and its members were astonished to find that the steak which had formerly been served to them under the name filet de boeuf was now always announced as a Chateaubriand. The cook was called to account. What was the meaning of the new name? Why should plain Englishmen be puzzled with a new name--the slang of the kitchen? Why should they not, as of old, get the fillet were accustomed? The cook had really nothing to say. He could only tell that a Chateaubriand was the fashionable name in Paris for a steak cut from the ordinary fillet-steaks--nearly two inches. The members of the club were not satsified with this explanation; and to the great disgust of the chef, who felt the sublimity of the name of Chateaubriand, the order was given that henceforth a steak from the fillet should be announced as before on other bills under the time-honoured name of filet de boeuf.

The were quite right; and even if the cook, better informed, had been able to give them the true history and meaning of a Chateaubriand, there can be little doubt that they would have still arrived at the same decision. He was correct in stating that a Chateaubriand is cut from the best part of the fillet, and is nearly twice the ordinary thickness of steak: but is this all? The thickness of the steak involves a peculiar method of cooking it. It is so thick that by the oridinary method it might be burnt on the surface when quite raw inside; and therefore--though the new method is neglected and is even forgotten very much--it was put upon the fire between two other slices of beef, which, if burnt upon the grill, could have been thrown away. It may still be asked, what has this to do with Chateaubriand, that his name should be attached to a steak so prepared? Here we come into a region of culpapble levity. Chateaubriand published his most famous work under the name of Le Genie du Christianisme. The profane wits of the kitchen thought that a good steak sent to the fire between two malefactor steaks was a fair parody of the Genie du Christianisme. If I remember rightly it was a Champeax' in the Place de la Bourse that this eccentric idea took form and burst upon Paris. As to the name, it is needless to day a word; as to the good sense of the mode of cooking the steak, judgement is pronounced in the fact that, though the Chateaubriand still remains as thick as ever, it is rare now to see it grilled between two other steaks--that being too extravagant. Indeed, in Gouffe's great work on cookery, which must always be mentioned with respect for the good sense and taste whcih pervade it, there is not a hint given that the Chateaubriand is to be cooked, or was ever cooked, between the two robber steaks. Most cookery books say not one word of the Chateaubriand, which ranks now as the prime steak of the French table, and which appears in Parisian dinner bills to bewilder the benighted Englishman with a magnificent but unintelligble name." (p. 6-7)

"Chateaubriand.--It is not necessary to add to the account of this given in the introduction, and I am not anxious to repeat the story. The peculiarity of the steak is in its thickness, and in the way fo broiling it; but sometimes also it is served with a peculiar sauce, namely, Spanish sauce diluted with white wine, then considerably reduced and at the moment of serving enriched with a pat of maitre d'hotel butter." (p. 114)
---Kettner's Book of the Table, E.S. Dallas, facsimile reprint 1877 edition [Centaur Press:London] 1968


"Fillet steaks a la Chateaubriand.
Cut a fillet of beef crosswise, in 1 3/4-inch steaks; trim them; sprinkle them with salt and pepper, and oil them slightly; broil the steaks over the fire, --six minutes each side; put them on a dish; and garnish with potatoes sautees, and cut to an olive shape; pour some Chateaubriand Sauce (vide page 279)--over the steaks only; and serve." (p. 337)

Thickened Maitre d'Hotel Sauce a la Chateaubriand.
Reduce 2 gills of French white wine, and 1 oz. of Meat Glaze; add 1 quart of Espagnole Sauce; continue reducing; then strain, through a tammy cloth, into a bain-marie pan; Before serving, boil up the sauce, and thicken it with 1/4 lb. Of Maitre d'Hotel Butter." (p. 279)
---The Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, translated by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson Low, Sone and Marston:London] 1869

"Chateaubriand Steak.

This is considered the acme of steaks. It should be cut from the fillet, quite two inches thick, and put into a marinade of the purest olive oil, with a little pepper, for a few hours. Some cooks add a few drops of French vinegar. The steak is best grilled; to ensure perfection, a double gridiron, well oiled, is recommended, and some authorities insist upon the envelopment of the steak in two thin slices of beef (any lean part; it can be put in the stock pot afterwards), to protect the exterior, as it should not be allowed to harden. Without this precaution, great care is needed to cook thoroughly, without hardening, owing to the thickness of the meat. After eighteen to twenty minutes' grilling, lay the meat before the fire on a hot dish, and finish off in either of the following ways: (1) Put a pat of maitre d'hotel butter under the steak, and a little gravy round; this can be made by mixing a grill of stock No. 16 with the same measure of brown sauce No. 2. (2) Put a pat of maitre d'hotel butter in a gill of brown sauce, first heated with a glass of white wine and a teaspoonful of lemon juice. (2) Mix chopped parsley and lemon juice, a teaspoonful of each, with a gill and a half of stock No. 16, thickened with a small quantitiy of roux and glaze, to the consistency of good cream. Serve fried potatoes, chips or ribbons with this steak. Cost, variable."
---Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book, Lizzie Heritage [Cassell and Company:London] 1894 (p. 243)

"Chateaubriand of Beef.

Cut the desired number of thick slices from a tenderloin of beef, and slit each one nearly in halves; place a teaspoonful of beef marrow seasoned with salt and cayenne and a few strips of onion in this cavity, pressing the sides together, and brush over with warm butter or oil; place on a warm gridiron over a clear fire for ten minutes. Remove, dish and squeeze a litte lemon juice over them, serving as hot as possible. Care should be take to prevent the marrow from oozing out during the process of cooking."
---The Cookbook by "Oscar" of the Waldorf, Oscar Tschirky [Saafield Publishing:Chicago] 1896 (p. 143-4)

"2294. Chateaubriand.

Chateaubriands are obtained from the centre of the trimmed fillet of beef, cut two or three times the thickness of an ordinary fillet of steak. However, when it is to be cooked by grilling the Chateaubriand should not be more than 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) in weight as, if larger than this, the outside tends to become too dry and hard before the inside is properly cooked. Many strange ideas have been put forward concerning the proper accompaniements for Chateaubriand; correctly speaking it should be Sauce Colbert or a similar sauce and small potatoes cooked in butter. In modern practice though, Chateaubriands are served with any of the sauces and garnishes suitable for Tournedos and fillet steaks."
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier [1903], first tranlsation in to English by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann [Wiley:new York] 1979 (p. 279)

"Chateaubriand steak.

The Chateaubriand steak is an aristocrat, and is listed on most all a la carte bills. It is a double tenderloin served for two, three, or four. In price it ranges from $2.50 to $5.00, depending upon the size and garnish. Only one Chateaubriand is listed, as a rule, and is named after the house, as "Chateaubriand, Tip Top Inn," $3.50; "Chateaubriand, Blackstone," $4.00. The above quoted bills list but one Chateaubriand steak and the service is for four. The garnish varies with the different establishments, and generally consists of a rich sauce, fresh mushrooms, and fancy vegetables. Some places list two or three sizes with varying prices and garnishes, such as "Marchand du vin," "Bernaise," or "fresh mushrooms." In cutting the Chateaubriand for two it should be cut to weigh one and a half pounds; for three, two and a quarter pounds; for four, three pounds; and to be at its best is should be take from the "heart" or center of the tenderloin strip."
---The Hotel Butcher, Garde Manger and Carver, Frank Rivers [Hotel Monthly Press:Chicago] 1935 (p. 23)

The history of chicken as human food is facinating and complicated. Originally prized for sport and eggs, eventually farmed as commercial flesh food.

"The origins of the domestic fowl (Gallus domesticus, as the Romans named it) go back tens of thousands of years. Charles Darwin, observing the Red Jungle Fowl of southeast Asia, identified it as the progenitor or the modern barnyard chicken. Some present-day archeologists assume the time of domestication to be in 3000B.C. and, following Darwin's lead, the place India, or the Indus valley. Others perfer Burma and others the Malay Peninsula. There is evidence that chickens were known in Sumer in the second millenium and the Sumero-Babylonian word for the cock was "the king bird."..In Egypt we find mention of chickens as early as the Second Dynasty...references in Greek writings of the fourth century B.C. to the fact that the Egyptians kept chickens and , moreover, that they were able to incubate large numbers of eggs...Indeed it was no accident that Egypt, like ancient China, was a mass society which mastered the technology of large-scale incubation. Some four thousand years ago the Egyptians invented incubators capable of hatching as many as ten thousand chicks at a time...From Greece, the chicken spread to Rome...When the Romans conquered Britain, they brought chickens with them...But they also found domestic fowl already there."
---The Chicken Book, Paige Smith and Charles Daniel [University of Georgia Press:Athens] 1975 (p. 10-16)
[NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. Your librarian can help you obtain a copy.]

"Chicken. The Indian jungle fowl. Gallus gallus, is the acknowledge progenitor of domestic fowls the world over. It is native to a wide region all the way from Kashmir to Cambodia, with perhaps the centre of origin in the Malaysian land mass. The bird may have been domesticated not as a source of meat, but for purposes of divination...the fowl is a scavenger, and perhaps for this reason, the domestic fowl frequently finds a place in lists of foods prohibited for brahmans. For example, the Manusmriti includes in this category the domestic pig and the domestic fowl, and in AD 916 the visitor A-Masudi records prohibition agains 'cows, tame poultry, and all kinds of eggs among the people'...Other travellers however note the consumption of chicken as food. Chicken kabob, paloa with murgmasallam, and roasted fowl (dojaj) all figure in meals served at the Delhi Sultanate court. In Vijayanagar, Domingo Pases remarks on 'poultry fowls, remarkably cheap', and in AD 1780 Mrs. Eliza Fay serves 'roast fowl' for lunch in Calcutta. Since good beef was scarce or unavailable, the domestic fowl was indeed the great colonial standby, whether at home or when travelling."
---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 41-2)

"Chicken, the domestic or barnyard fowl, native to India; source of meat and of eggs. The earliest sources for the presence of chickens in Europe are Laconian vases dated to the sixth century BC (the chickens identified by some in early Egyptian and Minoan wall paintings are in fact guinea fowl). Greek texts of the fifth century call chickens alektryones awakeners (a salient trait)...Several varieties of chicken are mentioned in ancient sources."
---Food in the Ancient World From A-Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 83-4)

"The chicken (Gallus gallus or Gallus domesticus) is generally considered to have evolved from the jungle fowl...which ranges throughout the area between eastern India and Java....Debates regarding the origin and spread of the domestic chicken focus both on its genetic basis and the "hearth area" of its inital domestication...archaeological evidence [shows] domestic chickens to be present at China's Yangshao on Peiligan Neolithic sites, which dated from circa 6000to 4000 B.C. As a consequence, because wild forms of Gallus are entirely absent in China, and as the climate would have been inimical to them in the early Holocene, it seems likely that chickens were domesticated elsewhere at an even earlier date. in the absence of evidence from India, Southeast Asia (i.e. Thailand) has been put forward as a likely hearth area...Although chickens are strongly associated with egg production in European and neo-European cultures, elsewhere they have very different associations..."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas, Volume One [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000 (p. 496-499)

"Hen/chicken breeds: Domesticated versions of the species Gallus domesticus. Their wild ancestors are thought to be several species of jungle fowl, of the same genus, native to the Indian subcontinent and SE Asia. Remains from Chinese sites indicated that the birds could have been domesticated as early as the 2nd millennium BC. However, their diffusion westwards was a long process. They probably reached Britain, for example, with Celtic tribes during the 1st century BC. They had arrived in Greece, probably from Persia, about 500 years before that, and there are numerous references in classical literature, for example to their being served as food at symposia. The Romas bread hens for their meat, selecting docile, heavy birds...An old English breed, the Dorking, also shares these characteristics, leading to speculation that ancestors of these birds flourished in Roman Britain...In 1815 Bonington Moubray was able to specify 12 hen breeds (in his Pracical Treatise on Breeding, Rearing and Fattening all Kinds of Domestic poultry, a book which formalized the husbandry of poultry in Britain."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999(p.378)

Commercial USA chicken meat industry
Our research confirms chickens were raised for meat in the USA prior to the 1920s. BUT the practice did not become large-scale until that decade. Chicken was actively promoted by US government during WWII as a cheap alternative to beef. The earliest print reference we find for commercial evisceration plant is 1928.

"Chicken...The fowl has been reared for food for so many centuries...The best known types of chickens especially suitable for table purposes are the many varieties of the Brahma (very large birds), Cochin, Langshan, Dorking, Orpington, Plymouth Rock, Wyandotte and Houdan...A good table bird should have a large full breast and, at other points also, a large proportion of meat to the size of the bones...Many heated controversies have been held over the question as to whether drawn or undrawn poultry keeps better. The advocates of the 'undrawn' method appear to have the best arguments on their side...Dry-picked chickens will keep longer than scalded birds. The plucking would be performed immediately after killing. Capons are considered a little choicer-- more tender and of higher flavor--than ordinary fowl...Poulards, or Spayed hens, are in France considered particularly delicate also, but in this country they are not rated as much, if any, better than first-class pullets. Milk-fed Chickens are those fattened for market chiefly on milk-soaked bread. Properly regulated, the diet gives birds with very delicate flesh. A 'Squab Chicken' should average 3/4 pound to 1 1/4 pounds in weight; a 'broiler' 1 1/2 to 2; one to 'sauter,' about 2 1/2 pounds; for 'roasting' 3 pounds or so; and for fricassee, 4 pounds. The neat of well fattened chicken of young and medium age has about the same nutritive value as beef, but it is generally considered easier of digestion and therefor especially suitable for invalids and convalescents."
---Encyclopedia of Foods and Beverages, Artemas Ward [National Grocer:New York] 1911 (p. 130)

"Retailers catering to a 'good' class of trade will find that attractive methods of marketing are especially applicable to poultry. Chickens and other birds packed in suitable baskets, lined and covered with linen, white paper, etc., will bring much better prices than the same birds carelessly handled."
---ibid (p. 507)

"The capon market has been developed by the demand for a roasting bird that is heavier than a large hen, yet lighter in weight than a prime young turkey hen. This market is very discriminating and pays top price for birds weighing eight pounds or more, and in prime condition. There is a limited capon market at Thanksgiving and Christmas time, but the capon market normally opens late in January and continues through March. By marketing cockerels as capons, the producer can often get a better price for them than if they were sold when they weighted two or three pounds."
---Purina Poultry Guide [Ralston Purina Company St. Louis MO] 1933 (p. 36)

"In the United States, the real beginning of the poultry industry was contemporary with the founding of the first homes in Jamestown in 1607. In the early days poultry raising was still essentially a home enterprise, and as farming areas were opened up and homes established, farm flocks increased in numbers...The first poultry exhibition in the United States was held in Boston in 1849...The holding of poultry exhibitions had the effect of encouraging poultry breeders to pay considerable attention to such characteristics as type, feather contour, and color markings. In fact, so much attention was given to the perfection of characteristics of minor economic importance that vigor and qualities of greater economic importance were often sacrificed...Thus over a period of several centuries man first kept chickens for sport, then for pleasure, then for utility; and breeding first concentrated on fighting qualities, then in feather form and color pattern and final on egg and meat production. In the early days of American agriculture grain was cheap, and inasmuch as chickens feed largely on grains and were able to utilize much 'waste.' it was soon found that eggs and poultry meat could be produced quite cheaply. Eggs came to occupy a unique place in the American dietary, the demand increased, and gradually an extensive farm-poultry industry developed, along with a commercial industry of no small proportions...Farm-flock records were kept, selection was practiced, egg-laying contests were started, and finally record-of-performance work was undertaken... Apparently the first organized effort to stimulate interest in the identification of superior laying stock as the holding of laying 'trials' in England as early as 1897. These trials were for short periods only, but they were followed by trials of about 1 year's duration, the first of which began in 1912. From that time on an officially conducted laying competition has been held every year at the Harper-Adams Agricultural College. The first 12-month laying competition was inaugurated, however, in 1902 in New South Wales, Australia, and was held at the Hawkesbury Agricultural College. In Canada the first officially conducted laying contest was started in British Columbia in 1911, and in the United States the Storrs egg-laying contest, in Connecticut, was started the same year... Although the main objective of most poultry breeders is to develp increased egg-laying in their flocks, nevertheless, fleshing properties are of considerable economic importance, especially in the case of such breeds as Orpingtons, Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, and Wyandottes. Good body type and size are desirable in order that the largest possible amount of meat may be produced by any surplus cockerels that are sold as broilers or roasters, and by any hens that are sold for market after serving their purpose as egg producers."
---"Superior Breeding Stock in Poultry," Morley A. Jull, Yearbook of Agriculture 1936, U.S. Department of Agriculture [Government Printing Office:Washington DC] 1936 (p. 957-961, 984)

"The U.S. broiler industry got its start in the 1920s. After World War I, the practice of dining out increased and provided the impetus for higher class eating places to add variety to their menus. Featuring broilers (young chickens), especially in the winter, became common practice. The typical poultry meat in the first third of the 20th century, however, came from rather tough-meated older hens and young roosters that were byproducts of raising chickens for egg laying. The widespread practice of allowing birds to range in the barnyard hardened muscle fiber, yielding meat that was dry and strongly flavored. Also, much of the supply in some seasons were birds stored frozen in the "New York dressed" statea bird bled and plucked, but with head, feet, and organs intact. Upon thawing, drainage from these birds and conditions surrounding their evisceration in the meat market or at home were quite unappealing to consumers and handlers. Red meat rationing during World War II provided the spark needed to propel the industry forward. Poultry was not rationed, and broiler production increased to fill the void left by red-meat rationing. Broilers soon demonstrated their potential as a money-making business. After the war, as red meats returned to normal availability, a period of intense activity and investments ensued to develop strains of chickens bred for their meat qualities. Rapid technological advances in the 10-year period following the war lowered retail chicken prices by 30-40 percent from the 1920s to the mid-1950s, compared with price increases of 75-90 percent for red meats in the same period. The "Chicken-of-Tomorrow Program," a contest for breeders sponsored by the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), illustrates the intense interest in quality improvement through genetics. A&P was aware of the profit potential from chickens bred for their meat qualities, emphasizing yield from breasts, thighs, and drumsticks. Starting in 1945, these annual contests reinforced the efforts of leading breeders, with an eye on designing a product for the consumer. Supermarkets that featured pre-packaged meats, low prices, and advertising replaced many butcher shops. Featuring broilers at sensationally low prices had much to do with the broadening of the market. In addition, the ease of handling eviscerated chickens made broilers a highly convenient item for both retailers and consumers. By the mid-1950s, the chicken industry had moved from a specialty item targeted to the dining-out market to a mass market for everyday home meals. A rise in the number of families with two wage earners prompted consumers to seek quick and tasty food. The chicken TV dinner featuring fried chicken became increasingly popular. In line with the Nations desire for fast, inexpensive food with consistent taste, the introduction of fast food reshaped the broiler industry. In 1963, Henny-Penny Corporation, which had 250 chicken take-out franchises, had enough volume to begin requesting certain product specifications from its suppliers. By 1971, Kentucky Fried Chicken, whose first franchised outlet opened in 1952, had 3,500 franchised or company-owned outlets worldwide. By the early 1970s, companies had become dissatisfied with the wide price swings of commodity chicken production and stepped up their production of further processed items. As women continued to enter the workforce, the demand for easy-to-cook products continued to grow. From 1970 to 1990, the share of broilers marketed as whole birds fell from 70 percent to 18 percent. Throughout its rather brief history, the broiler industry has remained primarily consumer oriented, moving further from chickens that were primarily a byproduct of egg laying to flavorful whole roasters, cut-up parts."
---US Dept. of Agriculture

New York dressed & commercial production
"New York dressed are available with the head and feet on, plucked but not drawn, and are generally eviscerated by the butcher while your wait, with further de-pin-feathering and so on to be done at home. The reason for this method of marketing is this: Drawn birds must be frozen if they are to be kept any time, but if they are not drawn, they may be stored in a cold spot for much longer... As for the other two styles in which poultry may be sold, the cut-up chickens have been popular in the poultry-in-parts stores, while the drawn birds are those that are killed nad eviscerated, then sold almost immediately. The skin of both usually demands cleaning in the kitchen..."
---"News of Food: Chicken Supplies Now Are Abundant," Jane Nickerson, New York Times, February 11, 1947 (p. 33)

"Both retailers and housewives have always, till the last few years, bought what is known as New York dressed chicken--with head, feet and viscera intact. Despite the fact viscera gave an off-flavor unless birds are well handled, buying habits, like all habits, die hard. Armour's, in common with poultry-sellers, is hard-pushing eviscerated poultry. It tastes better, is quicker to cook and should inevitably increase consumption even more. And huge-scaled operations... bring down prices, taking chicken out of the Sunday-dinner class and making it practical for during-the-week service, too... By an assembly-line technique not new to the Armour plant and generally used in this big Eastern Shore poultry area, birds are slaughtered, de-feathered, singed and chilled in a slushy ice. Some are packed in New York dressed form in boxes or barrels. Others are eviscerated under Department of Agriculture inspection and put whole into ice for shipment. Facilities are available for quick freezing although they are not yet in operation....Armour hopes...that within ten years all its poultry will be sold eviscerated. Its first eviscerating plant was in Wichita, Kan., and the 1928 output was equal to less than two weeks' capacity in the Salisbury [MD] operation."
---"News of Food: Armour's Mass Production Poultry Plant to Turn Out 80,000 Chickens Every Week," Jane Nickerson, New York Times, June 14, 1951 (p. 33)

U.S. chicken industry history/National Chicken Council & U.S. broiler industry history/ U.S. Dept. Agriculture

Chicken dishes
"Chicken dishes are possibly the most nearly ubiquitious menu item of a non-vegetarian kind. They may be taboo in certain circumstances in some cultures, but are generally available to all irrespective of religion and with fewer financial constraints than other flesh. The history of the species...has also been the subject of by Page Smith and Charles Daniel [The Chicken Book, North Point Press:San Francisco 1982], which carries the story from antiquity through publication of the famous book on chickens by Aldrovandi (1600) up to the late 20th century and does not shrink from describing the horrors of some intensive rearing practices. It is these practices which have tended to turn chicken--once something of a luxury for most people--into an inexpensive meat, lacking flavour and provoking uneasy qualms of conscience...This consideration applies in many parts of the world...The lack of flavour has meat that chickens are particularly suited to dishes which involve distinct added flavours. Many ethnic cuisines are rich in such dishes, and many of them have become popular in the western world on tables where they would formerly have been seen as almost unimaginably exotic....Among well known or particularly interesting dishes are the following: Hindle wakes (medieval)...Coronation chicken (Queen Elizabeth II), Chicken a la Kiev (20th century Russia), Southern fried chicken (United States), and Tampumpie (Solomon Islands)."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 166-7) [NOTE: This book has separate entries for a several chicken dishes]

Related foods: airline chicken, eggs, Cajun fried turkey (aka deep-fried turkey), chicken & waffles chicken fried steak, city Chicken, coq au vin, fried chicken, & chicken tikka masala.

Chicken a la King
While creamy combinations of chicken and sauce have been made for hundreds of years, food historians generally place the *invention* of Chicken a la King in the late 19th/early 20th centuries. They offer several theories with regards to the origin and naming of this dish:

"Chicken a la king. A dish of chicken with a cream sauce garnished with pimientos. Several theories as to the dish's orgins date from the late nineteenth century. One credits New York's Brighton Beach Hotel, where chef George Greenwald supposedly made it for the proprietors, Mr. and Mrs. E. Clark King III. Chef Charles Ranhofer of Delmonico's Restaurant in New York City suggested that Foxhall P. Keene, son of Wall Street broker and sportsman James R. Keene, came up with the idea at Delmonico's in the 1880s. A third story credits James R. Keene himself as the namesake and the place and time of origin as Claridge's Restaurant in London after Keene's horse won the 1881 Grand Prix. However the dish got its name, first mentioned in print in 1912, it became a standard luncheon item in the decades that followed, often served from a chafing dish and with rice or on a pastry shell."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 71-2)

"Over the years I have speculated about the origin of the dish called chicken a la king. Curiosity about the source has to do with a possible sea change that may have occurred when the dish arrived here, as I supposed, from France. Numerous classic dishes in the French kitchen are listed on menus as a la reine or in the queen's style. Thus you find omelette a la reine, or an omelet filled with creamed chicken, potage a la reine, a cream of chicken soup, and so on. James N. Keen, a professional photographer on Louisville, Kentucky, has a brochure that purports to tell the genesis of the name chicken a la king. Mr. Keen states that a brochure was given to him forty years ago by one E. Clark King 3rd, whose father was a restauranteur. "It was in the early 1900s that chicken a la King was first served to the public," the brochure says. "My father was the proprieter of the Brighton Beach Hotel, a fashionable summer resort outside Manhattan. "One night his head chef, George Greenwald, sent word he had concocted a dish he would like to serve my parents. It was enjoyed immensely and they asked for seconds...The next morning, the chef asked permission to place it on the menu...The next day the bill of fare carried the following" Chicken a la King--$1.25 a portion." If that was the indeed the origin of the name, then here is the original recipe as detailed in the brochure."
---Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia, compiled by Joan Whitman [Times Books:New York] 1985 (p. 84-5)

"There's nothing royal about Chicken a la King, which is an entree of cubed cooked chicken breast in a cream sauce that is dotted with pimento and mushrooms and often flavored with Madeira or a similar wine. An early claim for its invention appeared in 1915 in the obituary of William King, who had worked as a cook at Philadelphia's fashionable Bellevue Hotel around 1895. King included truffles and red and green peppers in his recipe. Under the more pedestrian name "creamed chicken," similar recipes appeared in cookbooks beginning in the late nineteenth century. Peas are often added to the sauce in these recipes, and the sauced chicken is served over hot toast, biscuits, or waffles. The first located recipe titled "Chicken a la King" appeared in Paul Richard's The Lunch Room (1911). The name quickly became popular, and the dish became a standard menu item in all kinds of restaurants, upscale and down, especially tearooms that catered to women, since this dish could be eaten in a most ladylike way without picking up a knife."
---Oxford Encycopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 227)
[NOTE: The source cited for this information is the New York Tribune, March 5, 1915 (p. 9)]

E. Clarke King III published his side of the story in Better Homes and Gardens, April 1937 (p. 86, 154):

"How Chicken a la King Originated
Of course, you've Chicken a la King at one time or another. Everybody has--and nearly everybody likes it. Perhaps at was in a swanky restaurant or a side-arm lunch. Or you may have made it yourself or turned it out of a can. But aside from a fleeting suspicion that it was likely named for some royal head of Europe, have you ever really wondered who thought it up and how, when, and why it got its name? The whole thing started soon after the turn of the century in the once famous Palm Room of the old Brighton Beach Hotel at Brighton Beach, just out of New York City. Everybody who was somebody knew the place...Head chef at this summer hotel was George Greenwald, who in the winter and spring ran a restaurant of his own in New York's Flatiron Building. One warm summer evening, casting about for a concoction to tempt the palate of the proprietor and his wife, Greenwald developed a new sort of chicken dish. He was a bit dubious about it, so made up only two servings and sent them in. There was a long period of silence. No word came from the diningroom of the success or failure of the invention. Finally a waiter was commissioned to find out how the dish had fared. The proprieter and his lady craved second servings--and there was no more! Gaily the chef returned to his kitchen. If critical E. Clark King had praised it, to what popular heights might his dish not rise if presented to the public? Next morning, in crackling white uniform and billowing cap, he approached his employer. "You enjoyed the chicken dish I prepared for you last night?" "Yes, indeed--and wished there had been more." "Do you have any objection to my placing it on the menu?" "None at all. But you'll have to ask a fairly high price with all those ingredients. I think it will sell, tho." That was all, and the hotel man little guessed the fame his name was to gain from that idly given permission. For the next day there appeared on the menu: Chicken a la King.....$1.25. But E. Charles King II, my father, was shy of personal publicity. The name was never copyrighted and very few of the millions who have since delighted in its piquant flavor ever suspected that is was born just outside the city of New York.

The Original Chicken a la King [A Taste-Test Kitchen Endorsed Recipe]

2 tablespoons butter
1/2 green pepper, shredded
1 cup mushrooms, sliced thin
2 tablspoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cream
3 cups chicken, cut in pieces
1/2 cup butter, creamed
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon onion juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Cooking sherry
Shredded pimiento
Hot toast
Simmer butter, green pepper, and mushrooms 5 minutes. Add flour and salt, cooking gently until frothy. Mix in cream and stir until sauce thickens. Turn into double boiler, add chicken, and heat thoroghly. Beat the 1/4 cup soft butter into the egg yolks. Add onion juice, lemon juice, and paprika. Stir this slowly into hot chicken mixture, stirring until eggs thicken it. Add a little cooking sherry and pimiento. Serve at once on hot toast. Serves 8."

The oldest recipe we have for Chicken a la King was published in a San Francisco restaurant cookbook. This may confirm the immediate popularity of this dish in fine dining establishments. It certainly confirms variations on the original instructions.

"Chicken a la King

Take the breast of a boiled chicken or hen (fowl), and cut in very thin diamond-shape pieces. Put in pan and add three-quarters of a pint of cream, salt and Cayenne pepper. Boil from three to five minutes. Add a glass of best sherry or Madeira wine. Boil for a minute and thicken with the yolks of two eggs, mixed with one-quarter pint of cream. Put some sliced truffles on top."
---The Hotel St. Francis Cook Book, Victor Hirtzler [Hotel Monthly Press:Chicago IL] 1919 (p. 337)

Additional notes/Barry Popik.

Chicken & waffles
Modern "soul food" or classic historic combination? A little of both.
"As unusual as it might seem, the marriage of chicken and waffles actually has deep roots. Thomas Jefferson brought a waffle iron back from France in the 1790s and the combination began appearing in cookbooks shortly thereafter. The pairing was enthusiastically embraced by African Americans in the South. For a people whose cuisine was based almost entirely on the scraps left behind by landowners and plantation families, poultry was a rare delicacy; in a flapjack culture, waffles were similarly exotic. As a result, chicken and waffles for decades has been a special-occasion meal in African American families, often supplying a hearty Sunday morning meal before a long day in church."
"Serving up Chicken and Waffles," Los Angeles Business Journal, September 22, 1997 (p.1)

Fast forward: 20th century NYC:
Wells Restaurant (music bar, supper club &c.) in Harlem is world famous for serving chicken and waffles. Since 1938 this down home restaurant served "soul food" thirty years before the term was coined.

"No appetites are safe from the magnificent Southern Creole cuisine when visiting Wells restaurant, located uptown in the Big Apple. Famous for more than their chicken and waffles, Wells entertains customers with Caribbean flair and a frenzy of live music. Harlem hasn't been the same since Wells opened in May 1938. The owner, Elizabeth Wells, is determined to bring people a humble, homey atmosphere with exciting home-style cooking, but with a twist of island flavor and a lot of fun. Joseph T. Wells, the late husband of Wells, had a record of cooking techniques in the mix. Working as a waiter and manager of a restaurant in Florida, Joseph took his craft to New York during the late 1920s. It was inevitable for the young entrepreneur to start his business and, by the spring of 1938, the restaurant bearing his name opened its doors. Elizabeth Wells entered the picture later. They married in 1966, even though she had joined the establishment in 1963. The married couple produced a son named Tommy Wells. With an avalanche of victory for the restaurant, Wells bloomed as one of the greatest hot spots in Harlem, with a bevy of entertainers who dropped in...Wells has been spinning the wheels of the restaurant with tip-top soul food and no regrets...."
---"For 60 Years, Wells has Nourished the Harlem Community," New York Amsterdam News, April 8, 1999 (p.27)

The "Wells Home of Chicken and Waffles, Since 1938" logo introduced in the mid-eighties. Trademark registration (#1431599) is online: US Patent & Trademark Office. Select

Was the recipe for Well's Chicken & Waffles published? Yes (waffles) & no (chicken)
"Mr. and Mrs. Wells of 2249 Seventh Ave. at 132nd St. in the Harlem area of Manhattan which is, and has been for a number of years, known aptly and quite properly as "The Famous Home of Chicken and Waffles." Their fried chicken is golden and as crisp as crackers. The waffles have a fantastic creamy texture. What is perhaps most famous is their selection of 'homemade' syrups--some warm, come cold...for the pure joy of creation, try the Wells' recipe It has never been published before.

Feathers and Cream Waffles.
Mix 1 3/4 cups unsifted, all purpose four with 2 1/3 tsp. double-action baking powder, 3/4 tsp. salt. Combine 2 well-beaten eggs with 3/4 cup each milk and heavy cream. Add to the flour mixture. The add 5 tbsp. slightly cooled melted butter, margarine or vegetable shortening. Mix lightly only until smooth. Serve blazing hot with butter or margarine and honey and a selection of syrups. Makes about 10 (4 1/2-in.) waffles.

Waffle Brunch
Vegetable Juice Cocktail
Fried Chicken
Selection of Wells' Assorted Syrups
(including: Rum or Mint, Spiced; Clove-Maple; Orange; Raspberry)
Scads of Coffee."
---"Temptin' Treats from Harlem, USA," Poppy Cannon, New York Times, October 20, 1969 (p. 18) [NOTE: syrup recipes are also included in this article.]

A poetic recipe circa 1909
Chicken And Waffles

I do love the perfume of roses
As fair and graceful they grow;
I do love the odor of lilies
With petals as white as snow.

I love the smell of new mown hay,
Of violets that from grasses peep;
I love the smell of lilies gay
And artubus tendrills deep

But the smell that rises from down below--
The fragrance of chicken meat=
That starts up the saliva flow=
That smell is far more sweet.

I love to hear the robins sing
And list to thrushes trill.
Tis music when the woodlands ring
With songs from hill to hill.

But, oh, the song of the waffle iron--
The song so full of charm
That turns the golden waffles out.
So rich, so light, so warm.

Just let your waistband out a foot
Pile waffles on your plate;
Now pour the chicken gravy on
And laugh at any fate."
---"Poultry Notes," C.M. Barnitz, Riverside PA, Correspondence Solicited, Daily Record [Morris County, NJ newspaper], September 12, 1908 (p. 5)

Chicken cacciatora & Chicken chasseur (Hunter's chicken)
Food historians generally trace the origin of poultry recipes featuring shallots, mushrooms, tomatoes, and wine to Europe's Mediterranean region. While fricassee (cut poultry sauteed/simmered in spicy liquid) is ancient, tomatoes anchor the possible genesis of cacciatora-type dishes to the 17th century. Food historians do not credit specific person or particular place/year for Chasseur-style dishes. Italian and French recipes compete side-by-side from the late 19th century forwards. While most food historians agree chasseur originated in France, some wonder about cacciatore. Some experts claim cacciatora is an Italian-American dish. Our survey of historic newspapers confirms "cacciatora" was a new dish to average Americans in the 1920s. After WWII cacciatore recipes proliferate and become mainstream. Chicken chasseur, not so much.

Chasseur/cacciatore translate literally as "hunter." The recipes may have similar names but the traditional ingredients may be slightly different. Classic French chasseur requires mushrooms while Italian-style cacciatore may omit this ingredient. Interesting enough? Creole fricassee recipes (French tradition/American ingredients) are closer to the "Italian cacciatore" than French chasseur.

What is chasseur?
"Chasseur. A dish designated chasseur (for instance chicken chasseur or veal chasseur) is served with a sauce of mushrooms, shallots or onions, tomatoes, and white wine. In French, chasseur means literally 'hunter', and the recipe probably originated as a way of serving game. The equivalent term in Italian cookery is cacciatore."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 66)

"Cacciatora...the Italian version of a culinary phrase which occurs in many languages, meaning huntsmen-style' and usually indicating the presence of forest mushrooms. The Poles say bigos and the French chasseur."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 121)

A survey of chicken chasseur/cacciatore recipes

"Pollo alla Cacciatora (Chicken Hunters Style)

Slice a large onion and soak it in cold water for more than half an hour. Then dry it and place in skillet with olive oil or lard. When the onion has turned soft and translucent, remove it from the pan and put to one side. Cut up a pullet or cockerel, saute the pieces in the grease left in the pan, and when browned, add the onion, seasoning with salt and pepper, and sprinkling half a glass of Sangiovese or other fine red wine over it. Also add some tomato sauce...After cooking it for five more minutes. I warn you--this is no dish for weak stomachs."
---Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, Pellegrino Artusi, translated by Murtha Baca and Stephen Saratelli [Marsilio Publishers: New York] 1997 (p. 172)

"Sauce Chasseur (Sausso di cassaire).
Mettez dans une casserole gros comme une noix de beurre avec 2 echalots hacess, 100 g de champignons de Paris eminces; saucez un instant sands roussir; arrosez d'un 1/2 verre de vin blanc que vous laissez reduire; arrosez d'un 1/2 verre de vin blanc que vous laisser reduire; mouillex avec 2 decilitres de sauce coulis. Asaissonnement releve." (p. 168) Poulet Saute a la Chasseur (Poulet fricassa a la modo di cassiare).--Decoupez-le a cru comme de coutume et pour con appret procedez comme il est pour le lapereau saute a la chasseur." (p. 256)
---La Cuisiniere Provencale, J.B. Reboul, facsimile 1897 27th edition, 3rd printing [Editions Tacussel:France] 2000 Marseille edition

"3198. Poulet Saute Chasseur.

Season the pieces of chicken and saute them in butter and oil. Arrange in a deep dish, cover and keep warm. In the same pan quickly cook 125 g (4 1/2) sliced mushrooms then add 3 finely chopped shallots; moisten with 1 dl ( 3 1/2 or 1/2 cup) white wine and 1/4 dl (1 fl oz or 1/8 U.S. cup) brandy and reduce by half. Add 1 dl (3 1/2 oz or 1/2 U.S. cup) tomato-flavored Sauce Demi-glace and a pinch of chopped tarragon and chervil. Pour this sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with a little coarsely chopped parsley."
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier [1907], the first translation into English by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann of Le Guide Culinaire in its entirety [John Wiley:New York] 1979 (p. 384)

"Poulets sautes a la chasseur.
--Prenez de preference de jeunes poulets; deprecez-les et faites-les sauter au beurre; ajoutex un peu de farine, mouillex avec un peu de bouillon et du vin blanc. Mettez sel, poivre, peril et champignons haches. Laissex reduire, degrassez et servez sur des croutons frits ou grilles."
---L'Art du bien manger, Edmond Richardin [D'Art et de Literature:Paris] 1913 (p. 665)

"Chicken Alla Cacciatora

Chop one large onion and keep it for more than half an hour in cold water, then dry it and brown it aside. Cut up a chicken, sprinkle the pieces with flour, salt and pepper and saute in the fat which remains in the frying pan. When the chicken is brown add one pint fresh or canned tomatoes and half a dozen sweet green peppers and put back the onion. When the gravy is thick enough add hot water to prevent the burning of the vegetables. Cover the pan tightly and simmer until the chicken is very tender. This is an excellent way to cook tough chickens. Fowls which have been boiled may be cooked in this way, but of course young and tender chickens will have the finer flavor."
---Italian Cook Book, Maria Gentile (p. 30)

"Chickens, Hunter's Style-Sauted (Poulets Sautes au Chasseur).

Pick out three good chickens of about two and a half pounds each, draw, singe, then clean well and extract all the small pin feathers, cut them each up into seven pieces, the the two wings, two legs, two pices of the back and one of the breast bone; season with salt and pepper; melt six ounces of butter in a sautoir until it becomes a fine golden color, then lay in the pieces of chicken and toss them well; wehn they acqire a fine light brown on one side, turn them over to brown likewise on the other, cover the cautoir and finish cooking on a very slow fire or in the oven. When the meats are well done, drain off the butter and detach the glase with a little stock...Fry colorless in butter a large pinch of chopped shapllot, mositen with half a bottleful of red or white Burgundy wine, reduce to half, then add a pint of esapgnole sauce...and simmer the whole for a few moments, season well, and when the sauce is properly reduced, return the chickens to it, put it back on the fire to remove at the first boil and add three ounces of cooked, lean ham cut up in one-eighth of an inch squares, slice three onions across, having them two inches in diameter by three-sixteenths of an inch in thickness, remove the largest rings and roll them in flour, then fry a few at the time in plenty of fat; dress the chickens and use these rings to garnish the top, decroate the stumps of the leggs and the pinions with paper frills...and serve immediately."
---The Epicurean, Charles Ranhofer, former chef of Delmonicos [Hotel Monthly Press:Chicago] 1920 (p. 603)

"Hunter-Style Chicken Saute (Poulet Saute Chasseur).

Chicken sauteed in the hunter style is one of those dishes that is always better in restaurants than at home, because at home it is all too easy to leave out one of the elements that is so characteristic of the dish. Cooking the mushrooms in the fat used to saute the chicken, and seasoning with shallot, tomato, cognac, etc., are typical of the hunter-style preparation: one can therefore not leave out any of them. Time: 35-40 minutes (once the chicken has been gutted and carved). Serves 4.
1 chicken of the quality and weight indicated; 100 grams ( 3 1/2 ounces) of fresh mushrooms; 25 grams 91 ounce) of shallot (3 medium-size); a small liqueur glass of cognac, flamed in advance; 1 decliliter (3 1/3 fluid ounces, scant 1/2 cup) of white wine; 2 scant delicliters (6 3/4 fluid ounces, 7/8 cup) of veal jus, or, if you do not have it, bouillon; 1 teaspoon of flour, 2 level tablespoons of concentrated tomato puree, nice and red; 1 teaspoon of chervil and tarragon, minced (half of each); a pinch of parsley, coarsely chopped; 50 grams (1 3/4 ounces, 3 1/2 tablespoons) of butter; 2 1/2 tablespoons of oil; salt and pepper.
NOTE: If you use ordinary tomato puree, increase the amount by a tablespoon. When tomatoes are in season, you can use a few fresh tomatoes peeled, pressed, and chopped. If so, these are the amounts to use: 1 tablespoon of puree and 2 tablespoons of very red and ripe tomatoes.
PROCEDURE. The elements of the Hunter-style garnish can be prepared in advance if you like. Before starting to cook the chicken, you can mince the shallot, parsley, etc., and wash and mince the mushrooms. (You can also make these preparations at the last moment while you are monitoring the cooking of the chicken.
THE CHICKEN: Saute it as described (page 366) in 25 grams (1 ounce, 2 tablespoons) of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil. Then keep it warm on a plate.
HUNTER-STYLE GARNISH: Here the mushrooms are cut into slices--and absolutely not divided into quarters. Remove the sandy part and wash them, then meticulously dry them on a kitchen towel, since and moisture will prevent their browning. Do not peel them and do not separate the head from the stem. Put the mushrooms on the table and with a good medium-size knife, slice them--that is, divide them lengthwise, cutting both the head and the stem into thin slices of equal thickness. In the casserole from which you have just taken the pieces of chicken, add to the cooking fat the rest of the oil, which should be a little more than 1 tablespoon. Heat it until it smokes lightly. Put in the sliced mushrooms; saute them over strong heat until they are a little brown. Then add the chopped shallot. Saute the mushrooms for another few moments. After this, drain almost all the fat from the casserole. Sprinkle the mushrooms with the flour; mix it well. Cook it gently for 2 or 3 minutes. After this, add the cognac, flamed in advance; the white wine; the jus or the bouillon; the tomato puree (or puree the fresh tomatoes); and a pinch of pepper. But no salt, because the jus or bouillon is salted. Bring it to a boil on strong heat, mixing it continuously with a wooden spoon. As soon as the boiling begins, turn down the heat. Cover it. Let simmer gently for 6 or 7 minutes. At the end of this time, put the pieces of chicken in the casserole, being careful to insert them down into the garnish. Add the juice that they have released while waiting. Cover the casserole; allow it to simmer, but not to boil, which would toughen the flesh, for 5 or 6 minutes; that is, just the time needed to thoroughly reheat the pieces of the chicken.
TO SERVE: A few minutes before serving, dress the chicken as directed. Leave the plate near a hot stove or in a very moderate oven while you finish the sauce as follows. Put the uncovered casserole on high heat and boil it rapidly until the sauce is reduced to about 1 1/2 deciliters (5 fluid ounces, 2/3 cup). Then turn off the heat immediately. Add to the sauce: minced chervil and tarragon, the rest of the butter, divided into pieces the size of a bean. Take the casserole by the handle; shake it on the stovetop with a circular movement to encourage the rapid mixing and melting of the butter in the sauce. Check the seasoning. Pour the sauce on the chicken. Sprinkle the minced parsley on everything. Serve immediately."
---La Bonne Cuisine, Madame E. Sainte-Ange, 1927 edition translated and with an introdction by Paul Aratow [Ten Speed Press:Berkeley CA] 1005 (p. 367-368)
[NOTE: We have the original French edition. If you want these pages, happy to scan/send.]

"Pollo Alla Cacciatora [National Dish of Italy]

1 roasting chicken cut up small
2 red peppers or green peppers or both (red peppers, called pimientos, can be bought in cans)
4 medium sized onions
3/4 cup olive oil
1 can tomatoes
small kernel of garlic
salt and pepper.
Into a frying pan for which you have a cover, or use baking pan with cover, place half the olive oil. Remove pin feathers, singe over free flame, wash chicken and add a little salt and pepper, and put into hot olive oil in pan. Cover and allow to cook slowly until tender for about 1 1/2 hours. 1/2 hour before chicken is done cut onions into slcies and place into another frying pan with the other half of the olive oil. Allow onions to cook slowly for about 15 minutes. At the same time you start to cook the onions place in a pot the 1 can of tomatoes and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Season to taste and cook with the tomatoes 1 small kernel of garlic. (The garlic should be cut into 3 pieces.) While the onions are cooking, remove seeds from peppers and cut into strips about 1 inch wide. Add the peppers to the onions, after the onions have cooked 15 minutes, and allow to cook with the onions for 10 inutes. Then add the onions a peppers to the chicken and allow all to cook together for 10 minutes. Then add tomatoes, which should be cooked into the sauce, and serve. (Garlic should be removed before serving.) The Italians do not serve any vegetables with this except the vegetables used in the preparation of the dish, but do serve a salad with it. The salad should consist of lettuce cut up. Mixed in the lettuce is a simple dressing, consisting of a little salt and pepper, some olive oil and lemon juice. The dressing is mostly olive oil; you add lemon juice to taste."
---The Mystery Chef's Own Cook Book, John McPherson [Blakiston Comapny:Philadelphia 1934] (p. 150)

"Chicken in Hunter Style.

Cut a large onion into pieces and leave it in cold water for half an hour; dry it thoroughly, place it in a pan with oil or virgin lard. Place it over the fire, and when cooked, remove the onion and set it aside. Cut a spring chicken into pieces and fry it in the fat from which the onion was removed. As soon as it browns, add the onion, season it with salt and pepper, and pour a glass of red wine over it. Let it boil for five minutes, place it in a dish, and add some tomato sauce. This is a dish for strong stomachs."
---Italian Cook Book, adopted from the Italian of Pellegrino Artusi by Olga Ragusa [S.F. Vanni:New York] 1945 (p. 86)

"Chicken Saute Chasseur (Poulet Saute Chasseur)

2 1/2-3 lb chicken
1 teaspoon salt
a little pepper
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 glass white wine
3/4 cup canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon, chervil and parsley
Clean and singe chickne and cut as for Sauteed Chicken (pate 125). Season pieces with salt and pepper. Put oil in frying pan and when hot arrange pieces of chicken in it and cook, turning them as needed, until golden brown on all sides. Add mushrooms and continue cooking until mushrooms are soft. Remove pieces of chicken from pan and pour off all the oil from pan. Melt butter in pan, add shallots, sprinkle flour over all and cook until golden brown. Add wine and continue cooking until wine is reduced to half. Add tomatoes, mix all together well and boul 5 to 6 minutes. Return pieces of chicken to sauce and simmer about 10 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken to serving dish, correct seasoning of sauce, add chopped herbs and serve. Serves 4."
---Louis Diat's Home Cookbook: French Cooking for Americans, Louis Diat [J.B. Lippincott Company:Philadelphia PA] 1946 (p. 126)

"Chicken Cacciatora

1 frying chicken (3 lbs.)
3 onions
1 cup tomatoes
1 cup mushrooms sliced
1 green pepper
1/2 cup flour
4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic chopped
Salt and pepper
Cut chicken into serving pieces and season with salt and pepper. Roll in flour. Place oil in frying pan, brown chicken on all sides. Clean green pepper and slice, mixing with garlic, onions and tomatoes. Add to chicken. Cover and cook slowly for 40 minutes, then add mushrooms and contineu cooking until mushrooms and chicken are tender."
---Love and Dishes, Niccolo de Quattrociocchi [Bobbs-Merrill Company:Indianapolis IN] 1950(p. 262-263)

"Chicken Cacciatore

2 broiler-fryers, cut up for serving (about 2 1/2 lbs. each)
1/2 cup flour
6 tbsps. olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can (No. 2 size) tomatoes
1 8-oz. can tomato paste
1 cup Chianti wine (or dry red wine)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. allspice, ground
1/2 tsp. oregano
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Wah and dry chicken pieces. Heat oil in a large skillet. Flour chicken and fry in the oil until brown on all sides. Remove the chicken pices from the skillet, and lower the flame. Add onion, green pepper and garlic to the oil. Cook until soft and lightly browned. Add all other ingredients, and cook over a low flame until the mixture bubbles. Add chicken, cover, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or untl chicken is tender. If the liquid in the skillet is too thin to use as a sauce, remove the chicken, and thicken the sauce with a little flour. Serve the chicken with plain spaghetti, and cover with the sauce. With this serve a light green salad, French bread, and Chianti wine."
---The Dorn Cookbook, Frank Dorn [Henry Regnery Company:Chicago IL] 1953 (p. 169-170)

"Chicken Cacciatora

4-pound spring chicken cut into pieces
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fat
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic, chopped fine
1/4 cup chopped carrot
3 sprigs parsley
1 basil or bay leaf
4 cups tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
1/4 cup Marsala, sherry or white wine.
Dredge chicken in flour, sprinkle with salt and brown in fat until golden on all sides. Place in covered dish in warm place. Brown onion, garlic, carrot, parsley and bay leaf or basil in fat left in frying pan. Strain tomatoes (when strained you should have 2 cups pulp). Add tomato pulp to browned vegetables in frying pan, add 1 teaspoon salt and dash of pepper and bring to boil. Add chicken and wine and simmer 30 minutes, or until chicken is tender. Serves 4."
---Talisman Italian Cook Book, translated and augmented by Matilde Pei [Crown:New York] 1955] (p. 133)
[NOTE: This book is a special edition printed for the Ronzoni Macaroni Company. It also offers recipes for Chicken Cacciatora Maddelena (olive oil, celery) and Chicken Cacciatora with Olives (20 ripe black olives, 20 green olives, 2 anchovy filets.]

"Chasseur (a la)
--Method of preparation applied to small pieces of meat, fowl or eggs which is characterised by a garnish of sliced, sauteed mushrooms, flavoured with shallots and moistend with white wine." (p. 206)

"Chasseur or hunter sauce I (for small cuts of meat and sauteed fowl). Sauce Chasseur.--Saute 100 g. (4 oz., 2 cups) chopped musrhooms in butter, season with salt. When thye are three-quarters cooked add 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot. Mix with 1 dl. (6 tablepsoons, scant 1/2 cup) white wine, boil down by half, stir in 1 1/2 dl. (1/4 pint, 2/3 cup) Demi-glace sauce and 1 dl. (6 tablespoons, scant 1/2 cup) Tomato sauce...Boil for a few moments. Add 25 g. (1 oz., 2 tablespoons) butter and 1 tablespoon shopped parsley, chervil and tarragon. The mushrooms may also be sauteed in a mixture of butter and oil. Chasseur or hunter sauce II. Sauce Chasseur-Chop the mushrooms, toss in butter with the chopped shallots and remove from the pan. Put into the cooking butter 1 tablespoons flour, cook gently till golden, mix with 1 dl. (6 tablespoons, scant 1/2 cup) white wine, then stir in 2 dl. (1/3 pint, scant cup) consomme or white stock and 1 tablespoon tomato puree. Boil down, put bakc the mushrooms in the sauce, and finish off as above."
---Larousse Gastronomique, American edition [Crown Publishers:New York] 1962 (p. 810)

"Chicken Cacciatora (Pollo alla Cacciatora)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 2 1/2 -to 3-pound ready-to-cook broiler-fryer chicken, cut up
2 medium onions, cut in 1/4-inch slices
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1-pound can (2 cups) tomatoes
1 8-ounce can seasoned tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon crushed oregano or basil
1 or 2 bay leaves
1/4 cup cooking sauterne
Heat olive oil in skillet; add chicken pieces; brown slowly, turing once. Remove chicken from skillet; cook onions and garlic in oil till tender, but not brown. Combine remaining ingredients, except cooking wine. Return chicken to skillet, add sauce mixture. Cover and simmer 35 minutes. Stir in cooking wine. Cook uncovered, turning occasionally, 20 minutes or till fork-tender. Remove by leaves; skim off ecess fat. Serve chicken with sauce ladled over. Makes 4 servings."
---Meals with a Foreign Flair, Better Homes and Gardens editors [Meredith Press:New York] 1963 (p. 16)

"Chicken Cacciatore

2 pounds chicken parts, fresh or frozen (thawed)
1/4 cup seasoned flour
1/4 cu olive oil
8 small white onions
1 medium green pepper, cut in strips
1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1/2 teapoon thyme
Dust chicken with seasoned flour. Brown chicken in olive oil; remove. Add onions, green pepper, mushrooms, and garlic; brown lightly. Blend in remaining ingredients; add chicken. Cover; simmer about 30 minutes; stir often. 4 to 6 servings. Excellent served on spaghetti."
---Easy Ways to Delicious Meals, [Campbell Soup Company:Camden NJ] revised edition, 1968 (p. 179)

"Phyllis Diller's Glory, Glory, Cacciatore

1 pound veal
1 pound lean beef
1 pound lean pork
1/2 cup oil
3 onions, quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 (1-pound 12-ounce) can peeled tomatoes, drained and diced
1 teaspooon onion salt
1 tablespoon garlic salt
2 tablespoons mixed Italian herbs
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon marjoram
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 (4-ounce) can pimientos, diced
Hot cooked vermicelli
Cut eal, beef and pork into slivers the size of a thick cracker and trim all fat. Brown in oil, then add onions and garlic. Cook until onions are tender. Add celery, green pepper, carrots, tomatoes, salts, Italian herbs, oregano, thyme, marjoram, chili powder, mustard and pimientos and simmer, covered, until meats are tender about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve over hot cooked vermicelli. Makes 6 to 8 servings."
---"Culinary SOS: Diller's 'Glory, Glory Cacciatore'," Rose Dosti, Los Angeles Times, July 5, 1979 (p. H26)

Related dishes: Chicken Marengo & Steak Diane

Chicken Cordon Bleu
The term "Cordon Bleu" (by itself) relates to a special order of French knights. Presumably, by association, cordon bleu as it relates to recipes (as in, chicken cordon bleu...boneless breast of chicken wrapped around cheese and thinly sliced ham) also originated in France as dishes of distinguished classes. Food historians tell us the notion is debatable.

On the other hand? Recipes are not invented. They evolve. Culinary evidence confirms roulades and bracioline composed of veal/chicken, ham and cheese were favored in centuries past by several cultures and cuisines. Most notably: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Italy. Recipes (and recipe names) varied according local tastes and language. Italian-inspired recipes generally feature prosciutto (ham) and Parmesan (cheese). "Cordon bleu," as we Americans know it today, first surfaced in the early 1960s. Our country's culinary interpretation parlayed prosciutto for thinly sliced deli ham and Parmesan for mozzerella, Gruyere, or Swiss cheese. Old World masterpiece going with the flow. The perfect American convergence. Of course? The timing was perfect.

What is the "Cordon Bleu?"

"Cordon Bleu. This was originally a wide blue ribbon worn by members of the highest order of knighthood, L'Ordre des Chevaliers du Satin-Espirit, instituted by Henri III of France in 1578. By extension, the term has since been applied to food prepared to a very high standard and to outstanding cooks. The analogy no doubt arose from the similarity between the sash worn by the knights and the ribbons (generally blue) of a cook's apron."
---Larousse Gastronomique, completey updated and revised [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 340)

"Chicken Cordon Bleu appears to have no connection whatsoever with the great cooking schools of Paris or London. Instead it is an American innovation of quite recent origin, but one that draws from two distinctly European traditions. The story begins with Chicken Kiev, and authentic Ukranian dish...Made of flattened chicken breasts wrapped securely around seasoned butter, breaded, and then fried, Chicken Kiev became popular in the United States in the 1960s, first as a specialty of fine restaurants...Variations inevitably proliferated. Someone...thought of the Veal Cordon Bleu or Switzerland and the almost identical Schnitzel Cordon Bleu of Austria. Both consist of flattened pieces of veal folded around thin slices of ham and Emmentaler or Gruyere cheese (both products of Switzerland), then breaded and fried. A combination of the concepts for Chicken Kiev and Veal Cordon Bleu resulted in Chicken Cordon Bleu."
---Rare Bits: Unusual of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press: Athens 1998 (p. 120)

"...poulet Alsace is chicken breast enveloping a savory stuffing of mushrooms, cheese and smoky pancetta, a close kin to chicken Cordon Bleu."
---"Peasant serves well in its 'people place'," Celeste McCall, The Washington Times, December 26, 1991, Part M; WASHINGTON WEEKEND; DINING OUT; Pg. M7

Dating the modern American cordon bleu
The earliest reference to veal cordon bleu in The Los Angeles Times was published in 1958. It is listed among the trendy dishes served at a swank affair: "Veal cordon bleu will be the piece de resistance on the menu." (P. SG A9). The earliest reference in the New York Times is an advertisement for United Airlines: "Your Entree. It might be a tender filet mignon, stuffed breast of chicken or veal Cordon Bleu. Served with it, a vegetable and potatoes in one of a dozen tempting styles." (February 21, 1962 p. 39). The oldest reference in the NYT for chicken cordon bleu is also an United Airlines, circa 1967: "Top Sirloin. Fine Wine. Color Movies. This is Coach? United's Blue Carpet to California. Blue Carpet is the best reason for flying Coach on your vacation to Los Angeles or San Francisco. What's in it for you? Top Sirloin Steak-or Chicken Cordon Bleu, if you wish-prepared by our own European-trained chefs. Champagne or fine red wine (at nominal cost)...Even a special children's menu." (June 5, 1967, p. 27).

Compare these recipes:

"Stuffed Pillows

12 small slices veal cutlet, cut very thin
12 small slices prosciutto or ham, thinly sliced
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Marsala or sherry wine
1 teaspoon butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Flatten out veal cutlets with a mallet or ask butcher to do it. Place on slice or rpscriutto or ham and a thin layer of mozzarella cheese on each cutlet, and fold together like an envelope, using toothpicks to hold together. Melt butter in frying pan. Brown pillows well on one side, then turn gently, and brown on the other side. They should be cooked in a short time. Remove meat from the pan, pour the Marsala or sherry into it, scraping bottom and sides of pan well. Add 1 teaspoon butter, salt, and pepper and pour sauce over pillows on serving dish. Serves 2."
---The Talisman Italian Cook Book, Ada Boni [Crown:New York] 1955 (p. 103)

"Italian Stuffed Veal Cutlet

3 to 4 servings
1 pound veal cutlet, cut in serving pieces about 1/2 inch thikc
1/4 pound Swiss cheese, sliced very thin
1/4 pound prosciutto, sliced very thin
2/3 cup fine, fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
2 teaspoons finely choppped celery leaves
1 clove garlic, inced
Pinch each of oregano, basil and rosemary
Sat and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup butter
1. With a short, sharp-bladed knife, cut a deep pocket in each piece of veal. (Insert the knife in the longest side and cut through almost the entire area of the meat.)
2. Wrap a slice of Swiss cheese around a slice of prosciutto for each piece of veal. Fit into the veal pocket and press tightly closed.
3. Mix the bread crumbs with the Parmesan cheese, parsely, celery, garlic and herbs to make breading mixture.,br. 4. Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper and dredge with flour. Beat the egg well with the milk and dip the cutlets into the mixture, then roll in the seasoned crumbs.
5. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet, add the cutlets and cook uncovered over moderate heat twenty minutes, turning to brown evenly."
---New York Times Cook Book, Craig Claiborne [Harper & Row:New York] 1961(p. 160-161)

"Veal cutlets romnichel

For four people
4 French-cut veal cutlets
4 slices ham
4 slices Gruyere cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup soft breadcrumbs
5 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper ---La Cuisine de France, Mapie, the Countess de Toulouse-Lautrec, edited and translated by Charlotte Turgeon [Orion Press:New York] 1964 (p. 346)

"Veal Cutlet Cordon Bleu

The French and Italians do marvelous tings with many veal cutlets or steaks, many dishes with special appeal to American tastes. Veal Cordon Bleu, thin cutlets sandwiched with Swiss cheese and, is a classic French dish. This version can be managed easily for a company dinner...
4 cups corn flakes or 1 cup packaged corn flake crumbs
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk or water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 thin veal cutlets
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 thin slices cooked ham
1 cup flour
If using corn flakes, crush into crmbs. Beat egg and milk together. Stir in salt an eppper. Pound cutlets with meat mallet to flatten. Place a slice of cheese and ham on half the cutlets. Top with remaining cutlets. Press edges together to seal. Roll in flour, dip in egg mixture, then roll in crumbs, coating all sides. Fry in hot shortening until golden brown on both sides, about 6 min. on each side. Add more shortening as necessary. Garnish with lemon slices., if wished. Makes 6 servings."
---"Variations with Veal," Los Angeles Times, March 5, 1964 (p. D8)

"Chicken Breasts Cordon Bleu

3 whole chicken breasts
6 thin slices ham or prosciutto
6 slices Swiss cheese
3 eggs
Salt, pepper
Flour fat for deep frying
Have chicken breasts skinned, boned and split in halves. Place each half, boned side up, between pieces of waxed paper. Pound with wood mallet or flat side of knife blade to flatten, being careful hot to puncture meat. As chicken flattens a rolling pin may be used to make it thinner. Cut each ham and cheese slice into halves. Place a piece of ham on each breast half, then top with cheese. Roll up, jellyroll fashion, tucking in ends. Fasten with wood picks. Beat eggs with salt and papper to taste. Dip rolled chicken in flour, then egg mixture, then bread crumbs. Fry chicken in deep fat heated to 360 deg. until golden brown on all sides. Drain on absorbent paper. Makes 6 servings. Note: To prepare ahead, stuff, roll and bread the rolls. Arrange rolls in a single layer on a tray or large flat platter. Cover with wax paper or transparent wrap and refrigerate until ready to fry. Or fry then refrigerate rolls. To reheat cooked chicken breasts, place in a shallow pan and bake at 350 deg. 15 to 20 mon. or until heated through, being careful rolls do not overbrown. Do not cover rolls or they will become soggy."
---"Time and Care Go Into Chicken Cordon Bleu," Los Angeles Times, July 11, 1968 (p. H10)

References to "Cordon Bleu"-type recipes can be found in 19th/20th century American/British cookbooks. It takes a little work because they are listed by different names. The Doubleday Cookbook/Jean Anderson & Elaine Hanna [1975] offers a recipe for "Ham and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts (p. 504).

Chicken Francese
According to the food specialists, Chicken Francese is an Italian-American dish introduced in the New York City area sometime after World War II. This was a popular trend at that time. The earliest mention we find in the New York Times for this dish is this restaurant review published January 2, 1970 (p. 25): "There was also a dish called chicken francese or chicken French-style with lemon, and it would have been good except it was overly salted."

Of course few recipes are "invented." They evolve. Breaded and fried chicken/veal recipes were known to ancient Roman cooks. This recipe diffused as the Roman Empire marched through Europe. It evolved according to local taste, ingredients, and cuisine. You know? In some respects, chicken francese is not so very different from German schnitzel, or Italian Scallopinne, lightly breaded cutlets fried and seasoned with lemon.

"Chicken francese. An Italian-American dish of sauteed chicken cutlets with a lemon-butter sauce. The word francese is Italian for "French style," although there is no specific dish by this name in either Italian or French cookery."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 72)

"Some of the most interesting dishes on the menus of Italian restaurants in America are of uncertain or dubious origin. They bear Italian names, but are commonly supposed to have been created in this country. Three of these dishes are clams Posillippo, chicken scarpariello, and veal Francese. One will rarely, if ever, find recipes for these dishes in standard or tradtional Italian cookbooks, either regional or classic...Francese means French-style, and, in most Italian-American restaurants, veal Francese is batter-fried."
---"Three Rarely Found Recipes for Interesting Italian Dishes," Craig Claiborne & Pierre Franey, New York Times, June 4, 1981 (p. W_A18D)

"Now for a bit of background: Having enjoyed Chicken and/or Veal Francese (or Francaise) many times, I knew the sauce consisted of lemon juice, sometimes white wine, chicken broth and unsalted butter. However, it's not a classical sauce. I did find one written recipe for a Sauce Francaise made with fish stock, garlic and mashed anchovies in a bechamel (white) sauce, in Henri-Paul Pellaprat's Modern French Culinary Art (World Publishing Co., 1996). But I could not find any written recipe for the lemony sauce we are familiar with. Even August Escoffier, who died in 1935 and was regarded as the Emperor of Cooks, never mentioned a Sauce Francaise (or Francese) in his Le Guide Culinaire (published in English by Crown Publishers, 1941). I spoke with Jean Bert, chef/owner of La Coquille in Fort Lauderdale. After research in his classical cookbooks, he came to the same conclusion. Whatever the origin of this light, lemony sauce, it is the perfect foil for the delicate flavors of chicken, veal or fish, and Il Bacio's is one you will want to make often."
---"FINDING FRANCESE; THE ORIGIN OF THIS WELL-KNOWN LEMONY SAUCE IS UNCLEAR," Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL), March 20, 1997 (Food p. 3)

"This is a delicious and easy recipe that's very hard to find because people look in Italian cookbooks for it. It isn't entirely Italian, so they search in vain. Indeed, it is hardly even known outside the New York metro area, which leads me to believe that it is a strictly local dish. In fact, the only English language cookbook in which I have EVER seen the recipe is in one of my own, Cooking In A Small Kitchen, published by Little Brown in 1978 and now out of print, and The Brooklyn Cookbook by Lyn Stallworth and Rod Kennedy, Jr., published by Knopf in 1991 and still widely available. The recipe does, however, have antecedents in recipes that I have found in Italian language Neapolitan cookbooks, but its final refinement must have been in New York. When I was growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950s, it was just beginning to gain in popularity over veal and chicken parmigiana. You can also have veal francese, shrimp francese, and fish (usually sole or flounder fillets) francese. Francese of course means "in the French manner," but it refers to a food that is dipped in flour and egg, then fried, then dressed with lemon juice or lemon sauce. In Neapolitan cookbooks, there's mozzarella or provola (aged mozzarella) treated this way, and chicken thighs on the bone treated this way. But a thin slice of veal or chicken? No. And these days, such a dish would not be called francese in Naples anyway. It would most likely be called indorati e fritti -- gilded and fried. Entirely an Italian dish." ---Authur Schwartz, The Food Maven

Possible precursors?

[15th century]
"56. Lemon Sauce for Chickens or Capons

Get one or more chickens, capons or cockerels than have been cooked a little in water; take them out of the water and mount them on a spit; then get peeled, well ground almonds and temper them with the bouillon of the chickens; then get lemon juice and mix it all together with good spices; and put it into a saucepan to cook a little; then pour it over the roast with a little fat; serve it very hot."
---The Neapolitan Recipes Collection: Cuoco Napoletano, 15th century cooking text, critical edition and English translation by Terence Scully [Universtiy of Michigan Press:Ann Arbor] 2000 (p. 184)

"167. Chicken Breasts a la Saute

This is a palatable dish as well as an economic one. If cooked as decribed, a single breast of capon is sufficient for four portions. Cut the breasts into thin slices, almost as thin as paper. Trim these pieces as nicely as possible. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and place them in a beaten egg. Let them remain in the egg for one hour. Remove and cover the slices of breasts with cracker dust. If the meat is preferred plain, just fry the slices and serve with lemon. Otherwise, prepare a sauce in the following manner: Take a small pan and barely cover the bottom with oil. Put in some sliced mushrooms, spread a pinch of cracker dust or grated stale bread on them. Repeat the operation three or four times. Add some oil, salt and pepper, some butter, all in small quantities, so as not to give the food a fatty taste. Now place this small pot on the fire, and as it comes to a boiling point, add a small ladleful of meat soup and a few drops of lemon. Remove from fire quickly, add it to the breasts already cooked, and serve."
---Italian Cook Book, Pellegrino Artusi [S.F. Vanni:New York] 1945 (p. 110-1)

"Veal Scallopine alla Francese

(Tastes as good as it sounds!)...We dip the veal scallopine in egg yoke, saute it in butter and lemon juice, and leave the adjectives to you."
---advertisement for restaurant Villa Camillo (New York City), New York Times, July 17, 1952 (p. 2)

"Chicken Francais
--Place 2 1/2-3 pound quartered chicken in shallow pan meat side down. Pour 8-ounce bottle Wish-Bone French or Deluxe French Dressing over chicken. Marinate for 1 hour. Save marinade. Arrange chicken on rotisserie skewer or cavity side down on barbecue grill placed about 4 inches from bed of coals. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until tender. Baste every 15 minutes with French Dressing marinade. makes 4 servings."
---display ad, Wish Bone salad dressings, Better Homes & Gardens, July, 1962 (p. 82)

"Scalloppine Alla Francese
...Very, very thin preaded veal cutlets, cut into 2-inch squares. Serve with lemon wedges."
---"The Fast Gourmet," Poppy Cannon, Chicago Daily Defender, January 5, 1967 (p. 20)

"Morton Kaplan's Veal Francese

Pursuant to an inquiry from a reader for a recipe for veal francses we printed a formula for what we presumed to be a basic version of the dish. Dr. Morton Kaplan of Queens writes to state what we printed was a recipe for veal piccata, not francese. 'I've discussed this dish with many of the chefs of New York's Italian restaurants and here is my version,' he said. 'I will challenge anyone to a veal francese cookoff.'...
1/2 pound veal, preferably taken from the leg and cut into four thin slices as for scaloppine
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Flour for dredging
Peanut, corn or vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 lemon wedges
4 thin slices lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon paprika
1. Place the slices of veal between two sheets of wax paper and pound to about one-eigth of an inch thickness. Sprinle meat with salt and pepper to taste. Dredge the scaloppine in egg to coat well on both sides in flour.
2. Add oil to a depth of about one-eighth of an inch in a large heavy skillet. Dredge the scaloppine in egg to coat well on both sides. Cook quickly in the hot oil until golden brown on both sides. Cook about one minute or less on the first side, turn and cook about two minutes on the other.
3. Quickly but carefully pour off the fat from the skillet, holding th meat back with a fork.
4. Return the skillet to the heat and add the chicken broth and butter, cooking over high heat to reduce quickly. Squeeze the lemon wedges into the sauce, then add the wedges. Turn the pieces of meat once in the sauce and transfer to a hot platter. Discard the lemon pieces and our the sauce over the meat.
5. Sprinkle half of each lemon slice with parsley and dust the other half with paprika. Use as a garnish for the meat. Yield: 4 servings."
---"De Gustibus," Craig Claiborne, New York Times, March 14, 1977 (p. 34)

Chicken fried steak
The history of chicken fried steak (aka country fried steak) is a fabulous example of cultural diversity, regional pride and just plain confusion. Why? Because there are as many names/recipes for this dish as people who claim they know how it started. That's part of what makes the study of food history so interesting. As is true with many popular foods we know today, the recipe preceded the name.

Food historians generally agree the practice of dredging meat (all kinds) in flour/spices, frying/baking it up and serving it with a sauce/gravy dates back to ancient times. This cooking method tenderizes the meat and enhances its flavor. Think: English Scollops, Italian Scallopini & German Wiener schnitzel. Europeans settling in America knew all about making tough cuts of meat palatable. Many historic American cookbooks contain "chicken-fried" type recipes for beef, veal, chicken & lamb, though they go by different names. Veal is traditionally considered to be a tough cut of meat and was often cooked in such a way as to make it more tender, as in weiner schnitzel. Sensible American cooks would have treated tough cuts of beef in a similar fashion. The chicken connection? Some food historians suggest the coating and pan-fried cooking technique commonly used on fried chicken was easily adapted to tenderize steak.

In America, country fried steak is generally considered to be a regional dish. It is commonly found in the southern and central western states. The meat used for this American dish is always beef, the cuts vary. The "chicken-fried" moniker seems to be a mid-20th century invention. The earliest print reference we find mentioning Chicken Fried Steak is a restaurant ad published in the Colorado Springs Gazette, June 19, 1914 (p. 6): "A Summer Dainty. Chicken Fried Steak served at Phelps, 111 E. Bijou." The earliest printed recipe we have for in chicken-fried steak was published in 1924.

What the food historians say:

"Chicken-fried steak...A beefsteak that has been tenderized by pounding, coated with flour or batter, and fried crisp. The name refers to the style of cooking, which is much the same as for southern fried chicken. Chicken-fried steak has been a staple dish of the South, Southwest, and Midwest for decades..."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 72)

"Chicken-fried back to the times when beef was not nurtured with tender, loving care, steak identified as chicken-fried or country-fried, or sometimes smothered, can be prepared with any cut of beef but is obviously no better than the quality of the piece chosen. It is still popular in the South and West, especially at roadside eating places."
---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones, 2nd edition [Vintage Books:New York] 1981(p. 275) [includes recipe]

"Chicken-fried steak...Particularly popular in the South and Midwest, this dish is said to have been created to use inexpensive beef."
---Food Lover's Companion, Sharon Tyler Herbst, 3rd edition [Barrons:New York] 2001 (p. 126)

"Chicken-fried steaks...I have never seen a recipe for chicken-fried steaks. It is my conjecture that the name came about years ago when it was impossible to get beefsteaks of good quality in the rural South...I believe Swiss steaks had more or less the same origin. After the steaks were fried they were covered with a sauce of tomatoes, carrots, celery, and peas and baked until fork-tender."
---Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia, compiled by Joan Whitman [Times Books:New York] 1985 (p. 86)

What the regional people say:

"The basic recipe for country-fried steak, for example, includes lightly floured steak sauteed and then baked in the oven. It's smothered with brown gravy and onions. Chicken-fried steak, on the other hand, uses breading similar to that for chicken before it's fried in a skillet. It's topped off with a cream gravy."
---"Folks from 'round here know down-home cooking," The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, April 7, 2000, Pg. O2

"Of course, there's chicken fried steak, another Texas curiosity. Not the dish, but the name. But battered and pan-fried beef steak is a home-cooking tradition in many regions. It goes by different names - country-fried steak, for example - in different parts of the country."
---"Dallas' signature foods: not what you'd expect," The Dallas Morning News, September 29, 1993, Pg. 2F

"For the sake of argument, let's say a chicken-fried steak is a piece of beef, dipped in a mixture of egg and milk, dredged in seasoned flour and either pan-fried or deep-fried in hot oil, shortening or drippings. Let's also assume the great majority of chicken-fried steaks are served on top of or underneath a ladle of cream gravy, and usually sits next to a big helping of mashed potatoes. Although chicken-fried steak is considered a Southern staple, and most assuredly holds elite status in nearly any Oklahoma diner, its written history surprisingly dates to only about 1950."
---"Batter up Texas has the longhorn. Kansas City the strip. But we've got chicken fry." Tulsa World, December 22, 2000

"Matt's El Rancho [restaurant] opened in 1952 at 302 E. 1st. [Austin, TX]. The original menu consisted of only blue plate specials such as chicken fried steak."
Matt's El Rancho

"The German-Austrian dish is an illustrious forebear to our chicken-fried steak. German immigrants brought the breaded and fried cutlet to the Texas frontier, where it was quickly copied -with less finesse-by chuck-wagon cooks and farm wives trying to make a tough cut of beef more palatable. Even the gravy ladled on top has Teutonic roots: Rahmschnitzel is garnished with cream sauce. Schnitzel is German for cutlet. It is most often made from veal, but pork and, less frequently, beef also are used. Though there are many variations, the most popular is probably Wiener schnitzel, a crisply coated cutlet served plain except for a squeeze of lemon."
---"Plate Teutonics; Hofstetter's Wiener schnitzel is a cut from history," The Dallas Morning News, January 23, 1994, Pg. 21

"According to the Lone Star Book of Records, the CFS was invented in 1911 by Jimmy Don Perkins, a cook in a small cafe in Lamesa, Texas, who misunderstood a customer's order and battered a thin steak and deep-fried it in hot oil. Unfortunately this oft-reported food fact is a complete fable. Nobody is really sure when the CFS was invented, but it was long before 1952. In the Best Read Guide to San Antonio, Carol B. Sowa reports that the Pig Stand Drive-in locations in San Antonio started serving chicken-fried steak sandwiches when they opened in the 1940s. Gourmet columnists Jane and Michael Stern speculate in Eat Your Way Across the U.S.A. that the chicken-fried steak was a Depression-era invention of Hill Country German-Texans. My own guess is that the dish existed as beefsteak Wiener schnitzel long before the catchy Southern name was coined."
---Houston Press, January 11, 2001

"It was in this restaurant where the famous Fred Hill Steak was invented by Fred Hill. This steak is a round steak dipped in batter and flour and other secret ingredients, then fried in a skillet on the stove. This may sound like a Chicken Fried Steak, however, there is no comparison with the original Fred Hill Steak and a chicken fried steak. This secret recipe was handed down to Fred's daughter-in-law, Esther V. Hill of Portal, North Dakota and lately passed on to Fred's grandson Robert Hill. For may years the son's of Kenneth Hill would make the long journey to Portal to take in the famous steak invented by their grandfather, kept alive by their father Kenneth Hill, cooked by their mother Esther Hill and enjoyed by all."
---Frederick Hill Family

About Germans in Texas

We checked several historic [American] Southern cookbooks for chicken-fried and/or country-fried steak and found many recipes that would approximate the recipe in question, all under different names:

1824--The Virginia Houswife, Mary Randolph
---A Fricando of Beef (p. 41); Beef steaks (p. 44)
1871--Mrs. Porter's New Southern Cookery Book, Mrs. M. E. Porter
---Beefsteak with onions (p. 76-77); Beef cakes (p. 79)
1877--Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, Estelle Woods Wilcox
Fried beefsteak and Fried veal cutlets
1879--Housekeeping in Old Virginia, Marion Cabell Tyree
---Beefsteak fried with onions (p. 143); Fried steak (p. 144)

Recipes for Chicken Fried Steak begin to appear in American print in the 1920s. They proliferate in the 1930s, suggesting this might have been a popular inexpensive dish of Depression-era cooks. While generally promoted as "tender," this snippet suggest Chicken Fried Steak that was not always the case: "The muscles of the human jaw exert a force of 634 pounds. And still they are not equal to some of the "chicken fried" steak one gets at the rapid-fire lunch counter."---"Pen Points," Los Angeles Times, February 21, 1923 (p. II4). Presumably, the tenderness of the final product is directly proportional to the cut of steak employed.

"Chicken Fried Steak

F.C.M., Los Angeles, writes that chicken fried steak is beef steak rolled in flour, fried in a pan, and served with country grafy being pourd on a hot platter and the fried steak placed over it."
---"Pracitcal Recipes," A.L. Wyman, Los Angeles Times, April 19, 1924 (p. A7)

"Chicken Fried Steak

(Serves 2)
1/2 pound round steak
Salt and pepper
1 egg beaten slightly
1 1/2 cup fine cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons hot shortening
Method: Cut the steak into two pieces suitable for serving. Pound well with the edge of a saucer or the back of a heavy knife. Dip into the slightly beaten egg and then in cracker crumbs. Make sure that each piece is heavily coated by dipping twice if necessary. Brown quickly on both sides in the hot, melted shortening in a heavy skillet. Add 1/2 cup upt water, cover closely and allow to steam until very tender; about 30 minutes. This makes a steak so tender that it can be cut with the fork and it is most delicious."
---Winnipeg Free Press [Canada], October 10, 1936 (p. 56)

"Chicken-Fried Steak

One round steak, cut 3/4 inch thick. Rub with salt and pepper. Pound all the flour possible into the steak. Sear on both sides in hot cooking fat. Cook until browned."
---Household Searchlight Recipe Book, Topeka Kansas [1949 edition] (p. 192)

Related foods?
Fried chicken, city chicken, & corndogs, & fast food chicken sandwiches.

Chicken Kiev
One would think a popular dish such as Chicken Kiev would have a long and documented history. Truth is? We find very little information. Most contemporary food historians agree the dish is a modern invention. The connection with Kiev is fuzzy.

"Kotlety Po-Kievsky (Chicken Kiev)...As the name suggest, this is a Ukranian contribution to Russian gourmet cuisine and a recent one, dating back to the early 1900s. The original recipe calls for a boned half chicken breast with the first wing joint still attached. A simplified version is made without the wing bone but retains all the other subleties of the preparation. This is how Chicken Kiev is mostly known in America."
---The Art of Russian Cuisine, Anne Volokh [MacMillan:New York] 1983 (p. 320)

The oldest reference we find to Chicken Kiev in American print is from 1937 suggests the dish may have debuted at the Yar restaurant in Chicago. In the 1950s, food pundits popularly hailed the dish as a grand classic of old Russia. Perhaps inspired by the Cold War?

"Another popular restaurant dish, one that fared better in American hands, is chicken Kiev--chicken breast pounded thin, then breaded and deep-fried. Unknown in czarist times, this dish is actually a Soviet-era innovation. During the 1970s and 1980s, it was served at the most elegant catered events in America. Eventually some American cooks substituted blue cheese for the butter or pan-fried the chicken instead of deep-frying it, variations that did justice to the original recipe."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 378)

This recipe's introduction in the Russian Tea Room Cookbook/Faith Steward-Gordon & Nika Hazelton [1981] provides a different perspective: "Chicken Kiev...This most famous and best known of all Russian dishes, as prepared in the Russian Tea Room in the classic way, is generally acclaimed to be The Best. Its Kievian origins are obscure and it seems most likely that Chicken Kiev was a creation of the great French Chef Careme at the Court of Alexander I." (p. 74)

"Col. Yaschenko, generalissimo of the Yar, is an ex-officer of the Russian imperial army. He recommends Russian food, particularly stuffed breast of chicken, Kiev style."
---"A Line O'Type Or Two," Chicago Daily Record, November 26, 1937 (p. 10)

Who was Col. Yaschenko?
"Services for Wladimir W. Yaschenko, owner of the Yar restaurant in Chicago in the 1930s...died Tuesday at the age of 71. In recent years he had been managing director for the Zenith Display salon, 200 N. Michigan. During its day the Yar, a near north side dining place, was famous as a gathering spot for celebrities such as Ethel Barrymore, Tito Schipa, Jascha Heifetz, and Igor Sikorsky. It was designed after the Yar restaurant in Moscow. Yaschenko was called Col. Yaschenko by some friends. After completing four years at the Railroad Institute in St. Petersburg [Petrograd] Russia, he served in the imperial Russian Army. He was a colonel in the second light calvalry artillery regiment during World War I. Yaschenko came to Chicago in 1926. In addition to the Yar he operated the Opera club, the Club Petrushka, and the Trading Post."
---"Yaschenko, 71, Dies; Owner of Yar in 1930s," Chicago Tribune, November 7, 1968 (p. B23)
[NOTE: The Chicago Tribune reported the Yar went bankrupt in the 1950s.]


"The classic chicken dish of old Russia was Chicken Kiev, or Cotolettes Kiev [cotelettes is French for cutlets], or breast of chicken, Kiev. It is usually found only in expensive restaurants. Originally, Chicken Kiev was simply boned chciken breasts flattened out and rolled around a piece of sweet butter. It was then rolled in beaten eggs, bread crumbs, and sauteed in butter or oil."
---"Chicken Kiev is a Classic Among Old Russian Dishes," Morrison Wood, Chicago Daily Tribune, June 22, 1956 (p. A6)
[NOTE: Article includes author's own recipe.]

The New York Times published a recipe on June 13, 1957 headlined "Chicken Kiev is Delicious, Delightfully Easy to Make" (p. 34). The recipe provided was extracted from The Complete Chicken Cookery/Marian Tracy [Bobbs-Merrill:Indianappolis]1953.

Chicken Marengo
The tale of Chicken Marengo is oft told. Its name derives from the Battle of Marengo [1800], where Napoleon defeated the Austrians. Classic legend claims this impromptu dish created by Napoleon's Swiss chef from local ingredients. Food historians delight in sharing the contradictions in among the various stories. Notes here:

"Marengo.--The name of the battle in which Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Austrians on the 14th June, 1800. This battle has given its name to a chicken dish which was cooked on the battlefield by Dinand, chef to Napoleon. Bonaparte, who, on the day of the battle, ate nothing until after it was over, had gone forward with his general staff and was a long way from his supply wagosn. Seeing his enemies put to flight, he asked Dunand to prepare dinner for him. The master-chef as once sent men of the quartermaster's staff and ordnance corps in search of provisions. All they could find were three eggs, four tomatoes, six crayfish, a small hen, a little garlic, some oil and a saucepan. Using his bread ration, Dunand first made panade with oil and water, and then, having drawn and jointed the chicken, browned it in oil, and fried the eggs in the same oil with a few cloves of garlic and the tomatoes. He poured over this mixture some water laced with brandy borrowed form the General's flask and put the crayfish on top to cook in the steam. The dish was served on a tin plate, the chicken surrounded by the fried eggs and crayfish, and the sauce poured over it. Bonaparte, having feasted upon it, said to Dunand: 'You must feed me like this after every battle.' The originally of this improvised dish lay in the garnish, for chicken 'a la Provencale', sauteed in oil with barlic tomatoes, was known in Paris under Directory (1796-1799). Dunand was well aware that the crayfish were out of place on on this dish, and so he later substituted wine for the water and added mushrooms. But one day, when he had served the dish improved in this way, Bonaparte said angrily: 'You have left out the crayfish. It will bring me bad luck. I don't want any of it.' Willy-nilly, the crayfish garnish had to be restored, and it has remained to this day the traditional gransih for the dish."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 608)
[NOTE: Recipe for Chicken saute a la Marengo is on p. 264.]

"Chicken a la Marengo was born on June 14, 1800, during the Italian campaign. It was two o'clock in the afternoon: the French had lost two battles since eight o'clock that morning. Desaix--who was to die that evening--suggested engaging in a third; in the distance, Austrian dispatch-riders were dashing towards Vienna to announce their victory. 'Do what you please,' Bonaparte told Desaix. 'As for me, I am going to eat.' He motioned to his steward. 'I fear,' said the latter, 'that the meal will not meet with your approval. Those cursed Austrians have intercepted our canteens: there is not butter in the kitchens.' The First Consul made a vague gesture and sat down at the table. An hour later General Desaix was again on the road to victory and 'chicken a la Marengo' sauted in oil had become history."
---An Illustrated History of French Cuisine, Christian Guy [Bramhall House:New York] 1962 (p. 99)

"A dish named Marengo--usually chicken Marengo or veal Marengo--is sauteed and then cooked in a sauce of white wine, tomatoes, mushrooms, and garlic. The term is said to have come from a chicken dish cooked for Napoleon by his chef Dunand, from the only ingredients to hand, immediately after the battle of Marengo, in north Italy, on 14 June 1800. It soon found its way to Britain: Mrs. Beeton gives a recipe for fowl a la Marengo' in her Book of Household Management (1861) In which she refers to it as a well-known dish...a favourite with all lovers of good cheer'."
---An A to Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 201)
[NOTE: Mrs. Beeton's recipe

"Poulet a la Marengo

Ingredients.--1 large fowl, 4 tablespoonfuls of salad oil, 1 tablespoonful of flour, 1 pint of [medium] stock, or water, about 20 mushroom-buttons, salt and pepper to taste, teaspoonful of powdered sugar, a very small piece of garlic.
Mode.--Cut the flour into 8 or 10 piceds; put them with the oil in a stewpan, and brown them over a moderate fire; dredge in the above proportion of flour; when that is browned, pour in the stock or water; let it summer very slowly for rather more than 1/2 hour, and skim off the fat as it rises to the top; add the mushrooms; season with salt, pepper, garlic, and sugar; take out the fowl, which arrange pyramidically on the dish, with the inferior joints at the bottom. Reduce the suace by boiling it quickly over the fire, keeping it stirred until sufficiently thick to adhere to the back of a spoon; pour over the fowl and serve.
Time.--Altogether 50 minutes. Average cost, 3s. 6d.
Sufficient for 3 or 4 persons.
Seasonable at any time.

"A Fowl a la Marengo.--The folloiwng is the origin of the well-known dish Poulet a la Marengo:--n the evening of the battle the first consul was very hungry after the agistation of the day, and a fowl was ordered with all expedition. The fowl was procured, but there was no butter at hand, and unluckily none could be found in the neighborhood. There was oil in abundance, however; and the cook having poured a certain quantity into his skillet, put the fowl, with a clove of garlic and other seasoning, with a little white wine, the best the country afforded; he then garnished it with mushrooms, and served it up hot. This dish proved the second conquest of the day, as the first consul found it most agreeable to his palate, and expressed his satisfaction. Ever since, a fowl a la Marengo is a favourite with all lovers of good cheer."
---Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management, Mrs. Isabella Beeeton, facsimile 1861 abridged edition, edited with an Introduction and Notes by Nicola Humble [Oxford University Press:London] 2000 (p. 217)

"Chicken a la Marengo

Prepare a chicken as for Fricassee (vide page 117).
Set pieces of chicken in a saute-pan, so that they do not overlap one another, with:
1 gill of oil,
3 pinches of salt,
2 small pinches of pepper,
1 clove of garlic, say 1/4 oz. whole,
2 shallots, say 1/2 oz. whole,
1 bay leaf,
1 sprig of thyme,
1 bunch of parsley, say 1 oz.,
Fry twenty-five minutes, till the chicken is done; take it out, and keep warm on a dish; Stir 1 oz. of flour into the pan; fry four minutes, and add 1 pint of broth; boil ten minutes, still stirring; strain, through the pointed gravy strainer; dish up the chicken as for Fricassee; pour over the sauce; and serve. Observation.--The fat is not taken off the sauce of Chicken a la Marengo. Mushrooms may be added as a garnish."
---The Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, translated from the French and Adapted for English Use by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson Low, Son, and Marston:London] 1869 (p. 119)

"534. Poulet Marengo.
--Depecez le poulet comme a l'ordinaire, ranglez-le dans une casserole ou vous aurez mis a chauffer quelques cuillerees d'huile; quand il sera de belle clouleur, ajoutez un oignon hache que vous laissez revenir, puis 3 toomates hachees finement. Quand le fond commence a pincer, mouillez avec un verre de vin blanc que vous liassez reduire, puis avec deux cuillerees a pot de bouillon; assaisonnez, ajoutez un bouquet garni, quelques truffes emincees at une douzaine de tetes de champignons. Laissex cuire. Au moment de servir, ajoutez un pointe d'ail. Dressez sur le plat et, tout autour, quelques oeufs frits, ecrivesses cuits au vin blanc et croutons de pain en demi-coeur frits a l'huile; saupoudrez de persil hache et envoyez."
---La Cuisiniere Provencale, J.-B. Reboule, facisimile 27th edition, 3d printing 1897 [Editional Tacussel] 2000 (p. 25)

--C'est la victoir remportee par le general Bonaparte sur Autrichiens, le 14 juin 1800, qui a donne nom a un appret de poulet prepare sure le champ de bataille meme, par Dunand, cuisinier du Premier Consul. Bonapart, qui les jours de bataille, ne mangeait qu'apres la cedision, s'etait porte en avant avec son etat-major, a une distnace considerable de ses fourgons d'approvisionnement. Voyant les ennemis en fuite, il demanda a Dunand lde lui servir a diner. Le maitre-queux mit aussitot sur pied les fourriers et les ordonnances pour aller a la recherve de quelques provisions; la recolte reunie se composait de trois oeufs, de quatre tomates, de siz ecrivisses, d'une petit poulette, d'un peu d'ail, d'huile, et d'une poele. Avec du pain de munition, Dunand fir tout d'abord une panade a l'huile et a l;eau, puis, ayant vide et decoupe son poulet, il le fit revenir a l'huile, mit les oeufs a frire dans la mem huile, avec quelques gousses d'ail et les tomates, arrosa le tout d'eau rehaussee d'un peu de cognac emprunte a la gourde du general et posa les ecrivisses sur le tout, pour les fair cuir a la vapeur. Le tout fut servi sur un plat d'etain, le poulet enoture des oeufs frits et des ecrevisses, arrose de la sauce. Bonaparte s'en regala et dit a Dunan: "Tu m'en serviras comme ca apres chaque batialle". L'orginalite de ce plat improvise consistait dans la garniture, car le poulet "a la Provencal", saute a l'huille, avec ail et topmates, etait connu a Paris, sous le Virectoire. Dunand se rendit bien compte que les ecrevisses n'avaient acune raison de figurer dans cet appret: il substitua le vin a l'leau et ajouta des champignons. Mais un jour qu'il avaiat servi son poulet ainsi ameliore, Bonaparte se facha en lui disat: "Tu as supprime les ecrevisses, cela me portera malheur, je n'en veux pas!" Bon gre, mal gre, il fallut ree3nier a la garniture d'ecrevisses, aujourd'hui encore traditionelle."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Librarie Larousse:Paris] 1938 (p. 667)
[NOTES: If you want original scanned text, complete with diacritics and accents, let us know. English translation, circa 1961

"Chicken Marengo

Cut up 2 broilers, each weighing about 2 pounds, into individual servings. Rub each piece with a damp cloth, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with flour. In a heavy pan heat 4 tablespoons oil, or tablespoons each oil and butter, and brown the pieces of chicken over a bright flame until golden, turning them frequently. Transfer the pieces of chicken to an earthenware casserole, add 2 large cloves garlic, chopped finely, and a bouquet garni composed of 1 bay leaf, 6 sprigs parsley, and 1 sprig thyme, tied together with kithcen thread. Pour over all 1 cup white wine, 1 jigger brandy, and either 1 small can tomato puree or 2 large tomates, peeled and cut in pices. Cover the casserole tightly, lower flame, and cook gently until the chicken pieces are almost tender, turnking them several times with a wooden spoon. After some 30 minutes, taste the seasoning and add 12 peeled mushroom caps cut in quarters. Cook for 10 minutes longer, or until the chicken is tender, and serve in the casserole, sprinkled with chopped parsley. The garnishings for chicken Marengo vary. It is optional to garnish with croutons fried in butter, one egg fried in the oil for each person served, cooked crayfish or shrimp, button mushrooms, or sliced truffles."
---"Napoleon's Chicken," Gourmet, May 1948 (p. 21,30-31)
[NOTE: This article offers ample discussion regarding the origin/evolution of this dish. Happy to scan & share if you want.]

--The name of the battle in which Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Austrians on the 14th June, 1800. This battle has given its name to a chicken dish which was cooked on the battlefield itself by Dunand, chef to Napoleon. Bonaparte, who, on the day of the battle, ate nothing until after it was over, had cone forward with his general staff and was a long way from his supply wagons. Seeing his enemies put to flight, he asked Dunand to prepare dinner for him. The master-chef at once sent men of the quartermaster's staff and ordnance corps in search of provisions. All they could find were three eggs, four tomatoes, six crayfish, a small hen, a little garlic, some oil and a saucepan. Using his bread ration, Dunand first made a panade with oil and water, and then, having drawn and jointed his chicken, browned it in oil, and fried the eggs in the same oil and water, and then, having drawn and jointed his chicken, browned it in oil, and fried the eggs in the same oil with a few cloves of garlic and the tomatoes. He poured over this mixture some water laced with brandy borrowed from the General's flask and put the crayfish on top to cook in the steam. The dish was served on a tin plate, the chicken surrounded by the fried eggs and crayfiish, with the sauce poured over it. Bonaparte, having feasted upon it, said to Dunand: "You must feed me like this after every battle." The origniality of this improvised dish lay in the garnish, for chicken 'a la Provencale', sauteed in oil with bralic and tomatoes, was known in Paris under the Directory (1796-1799). Dunand was well aware that the crayfish were out of place in this dish, so he later substituted wine for the water and added mushrooms. But one day, when he had served the dish improved in this way, Bonaparte said angrily: 'You have left out the crayfish. It will bring me bad luck. I don't want any of it.' Willy-nilly, the crayfish garnish had to be restored, and it has remained to this day the traditional garnish for the dish."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne, Introductions by A. Escoffier and Ph. Gilbert, edited by Charlotte Turgeon and Nina Froud [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 608)

Related dishe: Chicken cacciatore (Hunter's chicken)

Chicken nuggets
The practice of preparing meat/fish/shellfish by dicing it up into bite-sized chunks, dipping the pieces in a sticky substance, coating them with a grain-based substance, and cooking them (baking, frying, stir-frying) transcends geography and time. Variations on this theme are found in many cultures and cuisines. Think: Ancient Roman fried chicken, German schnitzel, Japanese tempura, Colonial American crabcakes, and WWII-era frozen fish sticks. Because the protiens selected for this treatment are generally mild in flavor, they pair perfectly with zesty dipping sauces.

Chicken nuggets (aka chicken fingers, chicken tenders), as we Americans know them today, are a popular fast food menu item composed of chopped chicken meat, mechanically compressed and factory shaped. McDonald's Chicken McNugget, one of the most popular examples, was introduced March 12, 1980. Today, chicken nugget-type foods are standard fare in fast food establishments, family restaurants, bar menus, school cafeterias, and supermarket freezer aisles.

Who invented the unbiquitous nugget, and when? We found two people claiming this honor:

"ROBERT BAKER, CREATOR OF CHICKEN NUGGETS, CORNELL CHICKEN BARBECUE SAUCE, DIES AT 84 The Cornell University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences issued the following news release: Robert C. Baker, the Cornell University poultry science and food science professor who helped develop chicken nuggets, turkey ham, and poultry hot dogs into ubiquitous American fare, and who created the famous Cornell chicken barbecue sauce, died of a heart attack at his home in Lansing, N.Y., near Ithaca, on March 13. He was 84. Baker researched and developed innovative ways to use poultry. His Cornell chicken barbecue recipe has stood the taste test of time, having been showcased for more than five decades at his Baker's Chicken Coop at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, N.Y. Baker developed the recipe while working for Pennsylvania State University, but the barbecue sauce he devised was not appreciated until he joined the Cornell faculty with a mandate to promote New York state's poultry industry...During his career, Baker developed dozens of poultry products. Some of the key products were ground poultry, chicken nuggets and turkey ham. For the chicken nuggets, Baker found a way to keep the breading attached to the nuggets during the frying process. Today the nuggets are a staple in grocery stores and fast-food restaurants. "When the nuggets came out in the 1950s, they weren't too popular," Baker told The Ithaca Journal in a 2004 interview. Prior to 1980, chicken was packed on ice and shipped to restaurants and grocers. Baker and Joseph Hotchkiss, then an assistant professor of food science and now chair of the department, worked to develop modified atmosphere packaging and vacuum packaging to improve the chicken-shipping process. The late chicken magnate Frank Perdue implemented these ideas immediately, and the processes are used to this day. Baker was born Dec. 29, 1921, in Newark, N.Y. He earned a bachelor's degree from Cornell in 1943, majoring in pomology at the College of Agriculture. After college he worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Saratoga County, N.Y., and took an interest in the 4-H youth program. He received a master's degree from Penn State in 1949 and a doctorate from Purdue University before joining the Cornell faculty in 1957.In 1970 he founded Cornell's Institute of Food Science and Marketing and served as the institute's first director. He retired in 1989."
---US States News, March 16, 2006

Who invented Chicken McNuggets?
"Rene Arend, 52, who holds the unusual title of executive chef at the McDonald's Corporation, a worldwide fast-food chain with more than 6,000 units, is following the pride of a father the success of Chicken McNuggets, a new finger-food product that he created for his company. The item recently was added at outlets in the New York Area. 'I want to be different from the other guy,' said Mr. Arend. 'This took from 14 to 16 months to develop and was first introduced about a year ago...Born in Luxembourg and trained as a gourmet chef in France, Mr. Arend came to the United States in 1955, becoming a chef and working for 14 years at the Whitehall Club in Chicago. Among his customers were Ray. A. Kroc, found and senior chairman of the board of McDonalds, and Fred L. Turner, chairman and chief executive officer. 'They asked me several times to come to McDonald's...I said, I'm a chef, I don't believe in hamburgers. But when I came, I wanted to do for the people out there in the street what I did for those who were rich. Mr. Arend added: 'Now I travel to stores and check the quality of the product. I like to go in there incognito and get it like the customer."
---"McDonald's Chef Looks for Quality," Leonard Sloane, New York Times, April 20, 1981 (p. D2)

What were the McNuggets four original dipping sauces?
" in the Music Room at the Biltmore to celebrate the introduction of Chicken McNuggets...At four buffets around the rooom Chicken\ McNuggets were being served from silver tureens with round sauces--barbecue, sweet 'n'sour, hot mustard and honey. McNuggets turned out to be chunks of boneless chicken, about the size of a golf ball, but elliptical in shape, cooked crisp and brown in a light batter. My press kit noted that this was the new concept in chicken, and quoted the McDonald's slogan: 'Nobody can do it like MacDonald's can.'"
---"Combining Chicken/Catch-a-Story," Jack Smith, Los Angeles Times, May 24, 1981 (p. G1)

Related food? Fast food chicken sandwiches.

Chicken Parm
Chicken Parm (Parmigiana, Parmesan)is a modern American favorite. Where did it originate & when was it introduced? One of the best ways to uncover the origins/history of a specific dish is to examine the ingredients within the context of the country of origin. Interestingly?
Eggplant Parm, a dish without tomatos sauce, first surfaces in American print in the early 20th century.

Chicken dishes have been enjoyed by people since prehistoric times. Breaded/fried/baked chicken dishes were prepared by ancient Roman cooks and very popular in most European countries during Medieval times. Similar recipes were often made with veal. Cheese is ancient; Parmesean cheese is Medieval. Tomatoes are a "New World" food first introduced to Europe by Spanish and Portuguese explorers. Prior to this time Italian food had no tomato sauce. "Alla Parmigiana," known in America as "Parmesean" means the recipe originated in the Parma region of Italy. In sum, chicken parmesean (as we know it today) can't be older than the 16th century. The precursor was veal parmesean, a preferred meat in the "Old Country."

What is Parmigiana/Parmesean?

"A dish made in the syle of Parma, which suggests copious amounts of parmigiano (cheese) and prosciutto (ham). In America, it connotes something in bread crumbs, fried, topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and parmigiano, and baked."
---Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1998 (p. 179-180)

"Parmigiano. A cow's milk cheese made in huge wheels and aged. On of the most esteemed Italian grana cheeses. The cheese of the region has been noted for its quality at least since the days to Boccaccio, who noted it The Decameron (14th century). Parmigiano-Reggiano...was made around Parma and Reggia at least as early as the 17th century."
---Dictionary Italian Food and Drink (p. 180)

"The birthplace of Parmesan was Bibbiano, now a rather prosperous rural town in the Reggio Emilia district adjoining Parma and about two hours train ride from Milan; but it was named for Parma because Bibbiano, and indeed all of Reggio Emilia, was under the rulse of the duchy of Parma during the Middle Ages, and because most cheese trading took place there as well. This false attribution was only partly corrected by Italian law in 1951, when the Stresa Convention decreed the present designations of Parmigiano-Reggiano and Grana Padano as well as the regulations governing their production."
---The Cheese Book, Vivienne Marquis and Patricia Haskell [Leslie Frewin:London] 1966 (p. 63)

Chicken parm in American
Food historians tell us Italian cuisine was introduced to our country by 19th century immigrants. At first, these foods were generally confined to Italian-American communities. After World War II *Italian* went mainstream, thanks to returning GIs who acquired the taste for far-flung foods during their tours of duty. Many traditional foreign dishes were Americanized, making them more acceptable to Anglo palates. Such is the case with chicken (and the more traditional veal) parmigiana. "Veal Parmesan" recipes begin showing up in American cookbooks of the 1950s. Chicken parmesan followed in the next decade. Classic recipes retained the original flavor; *Americanized* recipes employed ingredients actively promoted by food companies. It is not unusual to find convenience recipes omitting the parmesan cheese (using only mozzerella) and ham/prosciutto altogether.

The earliest reference we find to Veal Parmigiana in American print is this [1947]:
"The hamburger bars about the city are featuring cheeseburgers these days along with their main stock in trade. At first, the combination of beef with cheese and tomatoes, which sometimes are used, may seem bizarre. if you reflect a bit, you'll understand the combination is sound gastronomically. The Italians, for example, are famous for their veal parmigiana, which gourmets agree is good, and which consists of a veal cutlet with tomato sauce and cheese."
---"News of Food...Cheeseburgers for Supper," Jane Nickerson, New York Times, May 3, 1947 (p. 9)

"Veal Cutlets Parmesan

1 pound veal cutlets
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 pound Mozzerella cheese
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 can tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
Dip cutlets in beaten eggs combined with seasoning, then in mixture of Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Fry in butter until brown (about 8 minutes). The place cutlets in baking dish, pour tomato sauce over them and add slices of Mozzarella cheese. Bake in moderate oven 10-15 minutes. Serves 4."
---The Talisman Italian Cook Book, Ada Boni [Crown Publishers:New York] 1950 (p. 99)

"Chicken Parmigiana

1 three-and-one-half pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 green pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup dry vermouth
1/2 cup sliced stuffed olives
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sprinkle chicken with the salt and pepper and brown on all sides in the butter. Sprinkle with the mushrooms and cook five minutes. Sprinkle with the green pepper, onion and garlic; add the tomatoes and vermouth. Cover closely and bake thirty minutes.
3. Add the olives and cook ten minutes longer. Serve with the grated cheese.
Yield: Four servings."
--- "New Menus Are Offered Home Cook," New York Times, September 6, 1962 (p. 33)

Chicken Tartare
Chicken Tartare is fully cooked;
Steak Tartare is served raw. Except for the shared appelation, these two dishes are completely separate and unrelated. Chicken Tartare is garnished with Tartare sauce, a tangy mayonnaise-based mixture.
"Chicken a la Tartare

Singe the chicken, and split down the back. Wipe thoroughly with a damp cloth. Dredge well with salt and pepper, cover thickly with softened butter, and dredge thickly on both sides with fine, dry bread crumbs. Place in a baking pan, the inside down, and cook in a very hot oven thirty minutes, taking care not to burn. Serve with Tartare sauce.
---Mrs. Parloa's New Cook Book, Maria Parloa (p. 151)

"Chicken a la Tartare, Poulet a la Tartare

1 Spring Chicken
1 Tablespoonful of Chopped Parsley
1 Tablespoonful of Thyme
1 Bay Leaf, minced fine
1 Chopped Onions
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Boil the chicken according to the above recipe, adding the chopped vegetables and herbs. Season to taste. When done, place on a hot dish, butter nicely and serve with a Sauce a la Tartare. A broiled chicken may be served in the same manner, but either broiled or boiled, the chicken must be cooked whole, splitting down the back."
---The Picayune Creole Cook Book, facsimile 2nd edition, 1901 [Dover Publications:New York] 1971 (p. 123)

"Chicken a la Tartare

1 broiling chicken
1/4 pound (1/2 cup) butter
4 sprigs parsley
1 small onion
1/4 pound mushrooms
1` clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Bread crumbs
Clean broiler and split in half. Place in a frying pan in which the butter has been melted. Chop parsley, onion, mushrooms and garlic and add to butter with salt and pepper. Cover frying pan and allow broiler to simmer for 15 minutes, turning it occasionally to absorb seasonings. Dip chicken in bread crumbs and broil until well browned. The pre-cooking in butter sauce assures tenderness of the meat and a delicate flavoring with mushrooms, onion, garlic and parsley. Serves 2."
---The United States Regional Cook Book, Ruth Berolzheimer editor [Garden City Publishing:New York] 1939 (p. 355)

Fried Chicken Tartare

1 or 2 small spring chickens
Chopped parsely
Chopped fresh mushrooms
Salt and pepper Butter
Chopped chives
1 clove minced garlic
Fine brown breadcrumbs
Ice-cold tartare sauce
Split the chickens down the back and clean interior well. Bread the bones and soak in hot melted butter to which the chopped garlic and herbs have been added, as well as salt and pepper and the finely-chopped musrhooms. Cover and allow to marinate, turning occasionally for a couple of hours. Now drain halves of chicken, dip each in melted butter and coat evenly with the bread-crumbs, pressing them firmly on. Fry in an open pan or grill over a low heat, turning to cook evenly. Serve very hot with the sauce Tartare handed separately. In order to allow the pieces of chicken to marinate nicely, keep the mixture near the stove so that the butter remains liquid."
---A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 522)

Chicken Tikka Masala
The history of Chicken Tikka Masala is complicated and interesting. On first pass, we assumed this "Indian" dish had a long history with hard documentation. When we found no references to this dish in Indian culinary history texts and cookbooks, we began to wonder. Recent newspaper articles reality-checked our food history compass. Happy to share what happened next.

Does this recipe have Indian origins?
Our survey of Indian culinary history sources (limited to items printed in English) confirmed these points:
Chicken (Indian jungle fowl) is native to India.
2. Tikka (aka kababs skewered meat roasted over fire) are native to Middle eastern lands. Islamic peoples from this area settled in India during the Middle Ages. Modern Englished definition is "pieces of meat."
3. Masala (spice mixture, think: curry) is native to India, though ingredients, combinations and applications can vary from place to place and family to family.
---SOURCE: A Dictionary of Indian Food/K.T. Achaya
[Notes: (1) The information above was extracted from Mr. Achaya's. He offers no separate entry/discussion of Chicken Tikka Masala. (2) Kabab history (general & India)]

British connection?
"Tikka, the Hindi pronunciation of the Turkic word tikku, which means 'piece'. Tikka has been adopted into English and means much the same as kebab, referring to chunks of meat, poultry, etc. cooked on skewers in a tandoor. Chicken tikka masala has become, in Britain, the most popular dish ordered in Indian restaurants (some 16% of all curries sold). Thanks to its production as a chilled meal by supermarkets from 1983, it is now candidate for 'England's national dish'. It consists of chicken from the tandoor smothered in a mildly spiced creamy sauce often, but not invariably, flavoured with tomato. Many ore the claimants to its invention, but none is proven. Culinary mythology has it that a Bangladeshi cook quickly responded to a customer's request for 'gravy' with his tandoori chicken by spicing up a can of creamed tomato soup. Although there was a proto-recipe in Mrs. Balbir Singh's Indian Cookery (1961), the dish is universally accepted to be of British-Asian origins, probably in the early 1970s."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006 (p. 798)
[NOTE: Mrs. Singh's 1961 recipe here.]

In 2001, Chicken Tikka Masala made headlines as Britain's "national dish:"
"British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook's recent celebration of chicken tikka masala is being used to defend the evolution of a multicultural and multiracial Britain. A leaked version of a speech by Cook, in which he says the average Englishman now prefers chicken tikka masala to roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, is possibly designed to counter claims by Conservative lawmakers that Anglo-Saxon Britain is being undermined by mass immigration. In his speech, which he later delivered on April 12 at the Center for the Open Society in London, Cook says curry is the "perfect illustration of the way Britain absorbs and adapts external influences. Chicken tikka is an Indian dish. The masala sauce was added to satisfy the desire of the British people to have their meat served with gravy." His praise for chicken tikka is also being interpreted as a way of appeasing some owners of ethnic minority restaurants who have reacted angrily to suggestions by government officials that they could be responsible for the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) that has devastated British farms."
---"Of chicken tikka and multiculturalism in England," Shyam Bhatia, India Abroad, April 27, 2001 (p. 9)

Origin & evolution
"Makhani Murgh
Tandoor Chicken Cooked in Butter and Tomato Sauce

A tandoori murgha (prepared by one of the previous recipes) when further cooked in butter and tomato sauce is known as makhani murgh.
Ingredients for the sauce
2 oz (60 g) butter or pure ghee 1 lb (455 g) tomatoes
1 1/2 to 2 level teaspoonfuls salt
2 dessertspoonfuls lemon juice 4 teaspoonfuls sugar
4 tablespoonfuls thick cream or double cream (malai)
Ingredients for makhani murgh
3 + 1 ozs (115 g) butter or pure ghee
1/2 teaspoonful garam masala
1 cooked tandoor chicken (1 1/2 lb (680 g) in weight)
1/2 teaspoonful red pepper
2 to 3 green, finely cut chillies (sabz mirch)
Quarters of 4 ozs tomatoes
1/2 teaspoonful roasted ground black cumin seeds
1 tablespoonful finely-chopped fresh coriander leaves or parsley
1/2 oz shredded ginger
For the sauce
:--Heat the butter or ghee. Remove from the fire, add 1 teaspoonful red pepper, 1 lb (455 g) roughly-cut tomatoes, salt and sutar. Cook uncovered for about 15 minutes on quick fire. Pass through a fine sieve. Beat the cream and mix it with the tomato puree. Add lemon juice and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove ftom the fire and leave it covered till needed.
For the murgh:--Prepare a tandoori chicken and carve it into neat pieces. Heat 3 ozs butter and fry lightly a few pieces of the chicken at a time. Whe the whole of the chicken is done, remove the butter from the fire, and add to it 1/2 teaspoonful red pepper. Stir, mix the fried chicken pieces, quarters of tomatoes, shredded ginger and green chiilies. Simmer for 10 minutes or till the flavour of the sauce penetrates them. Remove from the heat and pour on 1 oz of melted butter. Sprinkle roasted ground black cumin seeds, garam masala and finely-chopped fresh coriander leaves or parsley. Serve immediately."
---Mrs. Balbir Singh's Indian Cookery, Mrs. Balbir Singh [Mills & Boon Ltd.:London] 1961 (p. 56-57)

"About twenty years ago Indian food in London meant one thing only: curry (mild, medium or ferocious) served with pickles...and boiled rice with a poppadum or two; preferably the waiters wore turbans. Then slowly, largely due to the great increase of Indian and Pakistani immigrants following the troubles and upheavals of Independence, Indian cooking in London improved. Immigrant groceries and restaurants popped up everywhere, their stock and repertoires widened with increasingly improved air freight services, until today nearly everything needed to cook an Indian meal is available in London. The best imports of all were the tandoors (thick clay ovens) from Delhi. Several restaurants claim to have been the first to serve tandoori food, around about 1963." (p. 49)..."Natraj, 93 Charlotte Street, WI...In 1963 Natraj introduced the first tandoori ovens to London. They were also the first to put silver paper on mutton curry--a moghul mannerism...The manager and all the cooks are Gurkas from Nepal...Best things on the menu are the tandoori chicken, chicken tikka, pillau rice, plain nan." (p. 154)...Shahbahag Tandoori Restaurant, 70 Rosslyn Hill, NW3...The curries are delicious and not too fiery, the vegetable dishes delicate and tasty. Tandoori cooking, which is becoming more and more popular with Londoners, has recently been added to the menu. But before jumping on the chicken tikka bandwagon, Mr. Razaque awaited the arrival of an experienced tandoori chef who came from Bangladesh with his own genuine and well-seasoned clay ovens.(p. 156-157)..."The Standard Indian Restaurant 21-3 Westbourne Grove, W2...The Standard opened in 1968. Their tandoori food is very good, all the cooks having been trained in India. The head chef, Ram Lal, proudly represented India at the 1964-5 World's Fair in New York. Most of the staff come from Delhi, as does their clay tandoori oven. The menu with over seventy items to choose from, gives useful English explanations beside the Indian names. The prices are kept low and the food is freshly cooked each day. The tandoori dishes are quite strongly spiced, the siekh kabab being particularly good, as is the chicken tikka and the naan. Other notable dishes on the menu are the butter chicken (a half-chicken is enough for two people)." (p. 158-159)"
---Cheap Eats in London, Susan Campbell with Alexandra Towle [Penguin Books:London] 1975
[NOTE: FT's two NYC 1964/5 NYC World's Fair cookbooks offer recipes from India and Pakistan. Chicken Tikka Marsala is not one of them. We cannot confirm this dish was served at the Fair.]

"On our standard two visits we tried chicken tikka masala ($4.50), diced chicken in cream sauce that seemed to us nearly as French as Indian."
---"Restaurant Reviews, They're Two Good Ethnic Dining Spots, Though the Purist May Be Disappointed," New York Times, May 9, 1975 (p.25)

"A dish named yesterday as Britain's favourite curry is unheard of in India. Chicken tikka masala was created in this country by an Indian chef who thought it would appeal to British tastes. And it's now top of the pops with the nation's curry lovers. One in six said it was their favourite - double that of nearest rival, chicken jalfrezi. Of the top 20 meals, 11 of them were chicken dishes. The survey, by Marketpower, revealed there were 7300 Indian restaurants and take- always in the UK. They serve 155million meals a year - at an average price of pounds 8.90 per person.And the research firm said the number of curry fans had risen every year since 1970.The growth in popularity had been "phenomenal", they added.The study revealed that women were more likely than men to eat curries.But very few people were prepared to cook Indian meals in their own kitchens."
---"No1 Indian Tikka-way; But it's a BRITISH invention; Chicken tikka masala named yesterday as Britain's favourite curry is unheard of in India," Daily Record [London], July 24, 1997 (p. 19)

"The first Indian restaurant here, Salut-e-Hind, opened in Holborn in 1911, but the Brits were not yet ready for curry. Veeraswamy, in Regent Street, founded in 1926, is now the oldest surviving such restaurant. Only in the years after the Second World War did Indian restaurants take off, with the Punjabi restaurants, Shafis in Soho and The Punjab in east London.Now 75 per cent of Indian restaurants are Bangladeshi, and about 90 per cent of the Bangladeshis that own and manage them come from Sylhet. The first Sylhettis worked as merchant seamen on ships sailing from Calcutta to London. Finding work on ships returning proved harder, and many were laid off when they got here. They stayed and set up home - and restaurants. Their simple cafes were run as meeting places. But curry became so popular with the British that 'Indian' restaurants sprang up everywhere. The Bangladeshis tended to give them Indian names, like Taj Mahal. Now this restaurant trade annually turns over about $1.8 billion, and employs 65,000 people - 'more than the civil service', according to Peter Grove, editor of The Good Curry Restaurant Guide. Dishes like the Punjabi biriani and korma became as well known as roast beef. But the 'Indian' meal that gradually surpassed them was invented in the early- to mid-Seventies. Razzak's son, Sheikh Abdul Khalique, was 24 when he served his first-ever chicken tikka masala. The dish was to have a profound effect on his family's fortunes - and on those of Sylhet. CTM, as the curry trade abbreviates it, is now the most popular dish in the UK, according to the market research company, Food Service Intelligence - more popular even than steak and kidney or fish and chips. Every year, 23 million portions are sold in restaurants. Marks & Spencer alone report selling 18 tonnes, ready-made, every week. Then there are all the other related products: chicken tikka masala pizza, cooking sauce, pies, sandwiches, and even Golden Wonder's chicken tikka masala crisps. Chicken tikka masala really is very big business, indeed. Yet its exact provenance is a mystery. It's an adapted dish, like deep-pan pizza (from Chicago), chop suey (San Francisco) or Yorkshire pudding with beef (the French ate it as La Gougere Bourguignonne long before us). What's certain is that it was designed for the British palate, and that it originated with the tandoor, a charcoal-fired oven, which came to Britain around 1965. Tandoori chicken was baked whole; chicken tikka simply meant 'pieces' of tandoori chicken. 'But we were still in the period when people wanted a gravy,' says Grove, 'so I have it on pretty good authority that the first gravy was actually Campbell's condensed tomato soup.' So there you are: the secret ingredient that transformed the dish that Britain can't get enough of was originally nothing more than tomato soup. There's still no definitive recipe. Generally speaking, it's a medium-mild chicken curry with a creamy red sauce which, if not provided by tomatoes or some derivative, often signifies a hefty dose of tartrazine food colouring (the cause of many stomach upsets). A recent survey by the Real Curry Restaurant Guide studied 48 different CTMs and found that the only common ingredient was chicken."
---"The Dish That Ate a Nation," Rohan Daft, Mail (London, Sunday), (p. 22-23)

"The Battle for the soul of the Chicken tikka masala has begun with leading Indian restauranteurs here rubbishing foreign secretary Robin Cook's claim that the dish is the gastronomic symbol of British multi-culturalism The fierce turf war around the stoves was sparked by Cook's speech last week on modern Britain's glorious multi-culturalism. Cook paid tribute to the phenomenally popular concoction of boneless pieces of chicken floating in a tomato gravy, familiarly shortened in millions of takeaway orders to its initials, CTM. He called it 'Britain's true national dish,' which took the Indian chicken tikka and dunked it in a sauce more suited to the British palate. In the process, Mr. Cook seems bizarrely to have awakened Indian national price. 'He is trying to usurp the dish by calling it British and saying it was invented here. That's nonsense. It is nothing but the butter chicken of India,' declared Namita Panjabi, who owns two London landmarks on the Indian foodie map...CTM's provenance, says Pahjabi, is Delhi, not Birmingham. Its creator, the famous Delhi chef, Kapotra, at Moti Mahal. 'It was the 1950s, the time of the tandoori revolution. They just shredded the tandoori bird and created a tomato-butter sauce with kasoori methi.' Chicken makhanwala, chicken makhani, butter chicken and, arguably, the British CTM, had arrived on menus. The argument strikes deliciously, if dangerously, at the cutting edge of Bangladeshi pride, with countless Banglageshi chefs up and down the land recounting the apocryphal tale of their inventive countryman, who made up an instant sauce out of tomato puree and cream to jazz up a portion of chicken tikka sent back by a diner because it was 'too dry.' It is a persuasive story, but four essential ingredients--chef's name, year of origin, restaurant and city-remain tantalisingly vague. According to curry writer Charles Campion, at least 10 Bangladeshi chefs have so far told him they started it all. CTM is probably worth concocted lies, obfuscation and arguments. It has become big business, translating into CTM-flavoured crisps, CTM pies and pizza. Recent statistics show that nearly a third of all first choices in restaurant are for the dish. For years, Bangladeshi restauranteur have been taking the credit for bringing Britain's Indian food market to a rolling boil, with more than 8,000 some 3 billion pounds in annual sales...Now the Indian move to reclaim CTM from alien gastronomic legend is guaranteed to set off a sub-continental gunfight, thousands of miles from Indian shores...the new debate over CTM's origin guarantees it a place in political history as the one dish that threatens to leave a government with egg on its face."
---"Spicy Row Over Chicken Tikka Masala," Rashmee Z. Ahmed, Times of India, April 27, 2001 (p. 12)

"The mystery of multi-cultural Britain's national dish, chicken tikka masala, or CTM, grows ever more soupy and turgid as TOI learns it amazingly started public life on the other side of the Atlantic and within the columns of an American newspaper restaurant review. In consequence, says the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), there is little to prove CTM's hitherto-assumed origins as an Indo-British invention. The linguistic and cultural connotations of CTM's American avatar are immense...many so-called world English words that look and sound like Hindi are actually whole new words, aren't Hindi at all, but British or US inventions. Foodies and political pundits alike believe it may be important to retain CTM as a British dish. The concoction, whose recipe was hilariously exported to India just a few years ago, is widely seen to be synonymous with the breakdown in traditional British values and the rise of multiculturalism...Till now, CTM was anecdotally assumed to have originated in the British Isles, via the cook-and-serve skills of South Asian immigrants to the UK. According to received wisdom, CTM started life when a South Asian chef was asked to tone down a standard, spicy chicken tikka served up to an English customer who boasted a regulation bland palate. Depending upon whom you believe, the chef either poured cream of that other English staple, a tine of sweetish Campbell tomato soup, over the chicken. Viola. CTM was born. Or so goes the legend. But now...there may be no proof that CTM started life in the curry houses of London, Birmingham or Glascow. In fact, the earliest public reference to CTM, Ogilvie tells TOI, are a May 1975 New York Times restaurant review. The reference...indicates the dish had more of a European flavour than generally assumed."
---"What's the spice behind the chicken tikka masala?," Times of India, December 12, 2004 (p. 15)
[NOTES: (1) We find print evidence of Chicken Tikka in London & NYC ethnic eateries in
1975. (2) First print reference does not always reliably confirm the origin of a dish. Some dishes are known my several different names. A careful examination of ingredients, method, and serving suggestions can reveal earlier iterations.]

"About six years ago when Britain's then Foreign Minister Robin Cook announced chicken tikka masala was the new national dish" of Great Britain, some food critics immediately condemned the idea as a British invention. It was not an authentic curry, they argued. "Chicken tikka masala was not a shining example of British multiculturalism but a demonstration of the British facility for reducing all foreign foods to their most unappetizing and inedible form," recalls Lizzie Collingham in Curry, A Tale of Cooks & Conquerors, a culinary history filled with appetizing tidbits, folklore, and recipes. "Rather than the inspired invention of an enterprising Indian chef., this offensive dish was dismissed as the result of an ignorant customer's complaint that his chicken tikka was too dry," Collingham, a Cambridge-trained historian notes in her book published by Oxford University Press (304 pages, $28). When the chef whipped together a can of Campbell's tomato soup, some cream, and a few spices to provide a gravy for the offending chicken, she reveals, he produced a mongrel dish of which, to their shame, Britons now eat at least 18 tons a week. Collingham could have added that the most popular chicken tikka masala as well as the prepared chicken tikka served on British trains and at many British fast-food restaurants is served by Patak, an Indian company."
---"The many faces of the curry," Arthur J. Paiz, India Abroad, February 10, 2006 (p. M4)

"Sir, I was amused to read Brian Groom's Notebook item "Lost curry cause" (July 28), on the claim being made for Glasgow as the home of chicken tikka masala, having been created in the city's Shish Mahal restaurant in the 1970s. The previous owner, who sold the current proprietors the restaurant when it was Taj Mahal, also claimed to have invented it in 1950s. We certainly have evidence of chicken tikka masala being around in the late 1960s, and Amin Ali, owner of the well-known Red Fort in London, remembers it as an established dish on the menu - but one he had never heard of - when he arrived in UK for his first waiter's job in 1974. I was the editor of the Real Curry Restaurant Guide Mr Groom refers to and have documented the dish's creation and growth on numerous occasions, so I hope the Glasgow restaurant does not get away with this one. (The same does not apply to the balti, which can be claimed by Birmingham.)"
---"Check out the true chicken tikka story," Brian Groom, Financial Times [London] July 31, 2009 (p. 10)

"Chicken Tikka Masala, invented a half-century ago or so, is the most globally recognized Indian dish. Yet it isn't really Indian; it's Anglo-Indian, concocted from a classic Indian preparation to suit British tastes. The 'Roast Beef of England' didn't survive the imperial encounter; surveys show chicken tikka masala to be today the most popular dish in British restaurants. For while 'empire' is now something of a naughty word--implying one culture victimizing another--in the trade-dominated British practice it was often a two-way street. The first curry recipe appeared in England in 1747, and the first curry house opened in London in 1810; by the 1850s, curry powder (or 'currie powder,' as below) was a popular household product."
---"Hope & Glory," Wall Street Journal, December 10, 2011 (accessed online, unpaged)

Recipe sampler

"Chicken with tomato sauce and butter
, An Invitation to Indian Cooking, Madur Jaffrey
...though not titled Chicken Tikka Masala, the ingredients, method, and presentation are strikingly similar.

"Chicken Tikka Masala

Prepare the chicken in the marinade at least 4-6 hours before barbecueing, grilling or roasting.
Serves 4
1 chicken, quartered
(or four chicken pieces, legs or breasts as preferred)
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
1 dessertspoon garam masala
(equal quantities of cumin seed, black peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom seeds, dry roasted in a frying pan and ground, with a pinch of nutmeg)
red and yellow food colouring
(or 1 dessertspoon paprika powder)
1 large carton plain yoghurt
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
Skin the chicken pieces, cut each in half, and prick all over with a fork. Make several slashes with a knife, cutting to the bone, put in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and lemon juice and leave for half an hour. Meanwhile, put the yoghurt, onion, garlic and spices into a blender and whizz to a cream. Strain. Mop the chicken pieces dry with absorbent paper, and paint with food colour, or rub with paprika. Put in a bowl covered with the marinade and leave for 4-6 hours. To cook, pre-heat grill to very high, or set oven to highest, 475F/240C/Gas 9. Shake off excess marinade, brush with oil, and grill for 20 minutes on one side, 10 on the other (not too close to the grill). Or roast for 25-30 minutes on a grid in the oven, or a shallow pan. Test with skewer. Take chicken off the bone. Serve with salad and wedges of lemon, with lemon-flavoured or saffron rice."
---"Food and drink / Chicken Tikka Masala," The Independent (London), January 17, 1993 (Sunday Review p. 39)

Chicken Tikka Masala

The ingredients
700g/l1/2 lb skinned and boned chicken breasts
salt and pepper
3 tbsp lemon juice
7 tbsp tikka masala curry paste
11/2 tbsp minced ginger from a jar
275g/l0oz basmati rice
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp Sunflower oil
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp ground almonds
4 tbsp natural yogurt
6 cloves
6 cardamom pods
1/2 cinnamon stick
150ml/5fl oz double cream
Cut the chicken into 4cm/11/2 inch chunks
Mix 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 3 tbsp tikka masala curry paste, 1 tbsp minced ginger, 3 crushed cloves of garlic and the yogurt together in a bowl. Stir in the chicken and leave for 20 minutes.
For the sauce, fry the onion in 2 tbsp of the oil for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the minced ginger and crushed garlic and cook for another 5 minutes until soft. Add the rest of the curry paste and fry for 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree, the remaining 1 tbsp of lemon juice, the ground almonds, 300ml/1/2 pint boiling water and some salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the cream and simmer for another 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a liquidiser and blend until smooth. Return the sauce to the pan and keep warm over a low heat.
Preheat the grill to high. Thread the pieces of chicken on to metal skewers and place on the rack of the grill pan. Cook for 10 minutes, turning them now and then, until lightly browned and cooked through.
Meanwhile, put the rice into a bowl with lots of cold water and wash well, changing the water a few times, until the water stays clear. Then leave rice to soak for 5 minutes.
Heat the rest of the oil in a large pan. Add the cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick and fry for 30 seconds. Drain the rice and add 600 ml/1 pint boiling water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to the boil, cover and cook over a low heat for 12 minutes.
Push the pieces of chicken tikka off the skewers into the sauce. Add chopped coriander and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve with the pilau rice."
---"The step-by-step meal for 4: Chicken Tikka Masala," The Mirror [London] January 10, 1998 (features p. 18-19)

"Chicken tikka masala

Feeds 4. Takes 35 min plus marinating time. It's a curry-house cliche, sure, but when made at home it can be a real charmer. For the best flavour, use the meat form chicken legs and thighs rather than the breast-you will need four legs with thighs attached.
450g boneless chicken meat
150g natural yoghurt
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp cayenne powder
2 tsp garam masla
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
800 canned chopped tomatoes
150 ml single cream
Handful of fresh coriander or parsley leaves
Cut the meat into big cubes, about 5 cm square. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, spices, salt and vegetable oil in a non-reactive bowl, and mix well. Add the chicken, toss well and leave to marinate for two or three hours. Arrange on a lightly oiled rack set over a baking tray, and bake in a very hot oven (230C/450F/Gas mark 8) for 12 minutes or place the rack under the grill-which I think is more successful--and grill the chicken for four or five minutes either side, until nicely scorched. To make the sauce, heat the butter until heated through. Scatter with fresh coriander or parsley and serve with rice."
---"Essential British flavours," The Times (London), May 5, 2001 (p. 7S)

Chicken Vesuvio
Chicken Vesuvio first surfaces in American print after World War II. This coincides with a period of American interest in foreign foods. American-style, that is.

"Chicken Vesuvio." An Italian-American dish of chicken sauteed with garlic, olive oil, oregano, lemon, and wine, piled with potato wedges. According to an article in Nation's Restaurant News (April 27, 1987), the dish was "created in Chicago by a Neapolitan cook shortly after World War II." It has become a staple item in Italian-American restaurants in that city. Although it is obviously named after the volcano Mount Vesuvius near Naples, Italy, there are several stories as to the reasons why. It has been speculated that the name derives either from the amount of smoke produced in the cooking process when the wine is added to the hot pan. But, according to The Italian Cookbook, published by the Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago in 1954, "the rim of this casserole is topped with deep-fried potatoes and seems to be erupting flavorful fried chicken."
---The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 73)

"Chicago Chicken Vesuvio. One chef says this dish got its name because adding the wine to the oil caused the dish to smoke like a volcano; another suggests that a chef who was homesick for Naples arranged the dish so it looked like Mount Vesuvius, heaping the chicken in the middle and arranging potato wedges upright around it. Whatever its origins, only Chicago's Italian restaurants have it. The authentic version is swimming in olive oil and overcooked garlic."
---"A Fourth of July Toast to Foods That Made America Great," Marian Burros, New York Times, July 1, 1987 (p. C1)

Our survey of Italian and Italian-American culinary sources confirms sauteed poultry dishes do, indeed, claim a place in Mediterranean cuisine. Most are combined with local spices, a variety of vegetables and starch component (typically risotto or macaroni). Many require a some wine, both red or white. We find no references to Chicken Vesuvio (or any dish under a different name that would have produced a similar result) in our Italian-American (1912-1950s) and Chicago-based cookbooks [Chicago Daily News Cook Book c. 1930; Grandaughter's Inglenook Cookbook, c. 1942].

The oldest print reference we find to Chicken Vesuvio is from a Chicago newspaper, c. 1948. This perhaps suggests the name, if not the dish, originated in the Windy City. Note the recipe is quite different from the "classic" recipe described by Mariani & others.

"Last week in Chicago a new and unique organization joined the ever growing list of wine and food societies in this country. While the name adopted is somewhat jocose--the Streeterville and sanitary Canal Gourmet and Study society--its purpose is admirable. The founding chapter is limited to 10 memebers and is composed of four newspaper men...two radio executives, a newspaper columnist, a two star Untied States army general, a real estate operator, and a lawyer...This group will meet either monthly or semi-monthly...and one member will be designated as chef for the meeting. He, with the assistance of the other members, will prpare a meal of inspired dishes...cooked as only male cooks can prepare them...The formation meeting was held at Mike's Fish restaurant on Chicago's near north side. The menu, selected by the venerable and the recording chef, was prepared by Mike Fish himself...The main entry was Chicken Vesuvio. Cut a chicken into small serving pieces and fry in pure olive oil. In the meantime, cut large potatoes into oversize french fry slices, and deep fry them in lard until almost cooked. When the chicken is nearly done, add the potatoes to the chicken, sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, a small pinch of ground red chili peppers, and a small pinch of oregano over the contents of the pan. Stir the mixture gently, then place a cover on the pan and let cook for about 2 or 3 minutes. Place everything on a hot serving platter, sprinkle over the whole a liberal portion of finely chopped parsley, and serve."
---"For Men Only! From the Feast of a Newly Formed Gourmet Society Come Recipes for Delectable Dishes," Morrison Wood, Chicago Daily Tribune, August 21, 1948 (p. 12)

By the 1960s, the original concept of "chicken and french fries" evolved into an elaborate gourmet procedure. The recipe below, from the New Antoinette Pope School Cookbook [c. 1961], is a prime example of what happens when professional American chefs decide to validate a simple home-grown dish. The addition of garlic and "Italian cheese" makes this dish more presentable as "Italian."

"Chicken Dinner Vesuvio [Four servings]
1 cutup frying chicken, about 2 1/2 pounds
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoongrated Italian cheese
1/3 cup very hot oil, butter, or other shortening
2 pounds potatoes, pared and quartered
1/2 cup oil or shortening
salt and pepper
Grated Italian cheese
Green Beans:
1/4 cup sliced or chopped onion
2 tablespoons hot fat
1 package frozen green beans, thawed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablesppon parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon monosodium glutamate
Roll chicken in mixture of flour, seasonings, and cheese. Brown chicken in hot shortening, then place in round or oval heatproof serving platter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour, until tender, turning chicken for last 15 minutes, baste chicken every 10 minutes with drippings or additional butter. Brown potatoes i hot fat. Remove from pan; sprinkle with a little salt, pepper, grated Italian cheese, and oregano. Place them around chicken at start of baking time and baste occasionally. These will take about as long as the chicken to become tender. To prepare beans: Saute onion in hot fat for several minutes. Add beans and seasonings. Cover and cook gently until tender. About 5 minutes before serving time, spoon cooked beans into spaces between potatoes and chicken and continue baking for a few minutes longer."
---"These Cookbooks Will Intrigue You!," Doris Schackt, Chicago Daily Tribune, October 13, 1961 (p. C4)
[NOTE: Antoinette Pope was the principal of a popular Chicago-based culinary school. The Antoinette Pope School Cookbook c. 1948 does NOT contain this recipe, or anything approximating it. She does provide a paragraph of instructions for "Pan-Fried Chicken in the Rough," simple sauteed chicken. There is no mention of potatoes or any other vegetables, cheese, etc.]

City chicken
The history of City chicken (aka mock chicken) is relatively easy to trace. The definative origin of the name continues to elude food historians. What we do know? This recipe calls
western Pennsylvania "home."

The culinary evolution of City chicken:

"Mock" foods (foods that are named for an ingredient that isn't in the recipe) have a long an venerable history. Medieval cooks employed by wealthy families were fascinated with illusion food. The practice of calling one food by another name (mock sturgeon was composed of veal) or making one meat resemble another was quite an art and highly respected. Victorian-era cooks were also intrigued by mock foods. They enjoyed mock turtle soup (calve's head...remember this character in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland?), mock goose (leg of pork) and mock apple pie (soda crackers). Depression and World War II-era cooks created mock foods to stretch the budget and satisfy family tastes. The 1931 edition of Irma Rombauer's The Joy of Cooking has recipes for mock chicken sandwiches (tuna), mock pistachio ice cream (vanilla with almond extract and green food coloring) and mock venison (lamb).

The Oxford English Dictionary does not have an entry for city chicken or mock chicken, but it does have an entry for "mock duck and mock goose." These are defined as "a piece of pork from which the 'crackling' [skin] has been removed, baked with a stuffing of sage and onions." The OED traces this usage in print to 1877. Here is the referenced recipe:

"Goose, Mock. Mock goose is a name given in some parts to a leg of pork roasted without the skin, and stuffed just under the knuckle with sage-and-onion stuffing. It is a good plan to boil it partially before skinning and putting it down to roast. When it is almost done enough, sprinkle over it a powder made my mixing together a table-spoonful of finely-grated bread-crumbs, with a tea-spoonful of powdered sage, half a salt-spoonful of salt, and the same of pepper. Send some good gravy to the table in a tureen with it. Time, allow fully twenty minutes to the pound. Probable cost, 11d. Per pound."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery [Cassell, Peter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1877 (p. 262)

Late 19th and early 20th century American and English cookbooks contain many veal recipes. Veal loaves (meatloaf!), veal cutlets, and roasts were popular. We find recipes for "veal birds" in depression-era cookbooks. Veal birds are composed of flattened veal stuffed with pork meat balls. The are held in place with toothpicks and served with cream gravy. Guessing from the pictures, the finished product is supposed to look like little birds. Hence, the name.

"Veal had never been an American meat staple...And though the amount of veal we did eat fell off after the war [WWII], it was used occasionally (except by immigrants who liked it) as an inexpensive substitute for the desirable high-priced chicken or turkey, which where not yet being raised in huge numbers by poultry factories."
---Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 142-3)

Curiously enough? German weiner schnitzel [breaded veal cutlets] morphed in the 1940s in many southern states into "chicken-fried steak." The recipe for "city chicken/mock chicken" is almost identical. The difference is that city chicken is made with pork and veal cubes (as opposed to a single type of meat) and shaped on a skewer. Our notes on chicken fried steak.

"This week we have a recipe cleverly called 'City Chicken' and the girl who sends it in tells us that it is called by that name because when it is done it resembled the leg of a chicken. At any rate, we are suer you will think it delicious and different.
City Chicken by Jane Mogford
Cut the desired amount of veal steak into strips one inch wide and five to six inches long. Wind in and out on dkwewers with a little salt pork. Sprinkle with a little flour, salt and pepper, brown on all sides and bake in an oven from one hour to one hour and a half."
---"The Kitchen by Aunt Helen," Syracuse Herald [NY], July 19, 1931 (p. 12)

"City Chicken Legs

1 slice pork stea, cut 3/4 inch thick
1 slice beal steak (thick) from round or shoulder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup Abbotts thin cream
4 tablespoons shortening
Trin off the fat from the hand and cut the meat in pieces 1 1/2 inches square. Cut the veal in pieces 1 1/2 inches square. Place 4 pieces of meat squares on a wooden meat skewer (the pointed ed of skewer run through the center of square), beginning with a pices of pork first, then veal, and pork again. The last pieces of eal should come to the point end of the skewer. Press the pieces frimly together, using the palm of your hand. Salt and pepper the chicken leggs, roll in cracker crumbs, dip in beaten eggs and roll in curmbs again. Brown in melted shortening in a hot skillet. Pour the thin cream over the meat, cover and bake. Serve win a border of mashed potatoes."
---"Recipes Used At the Tribune Cooking School," Philadelphia Tribune, June 22, 1933 (p. 7)

"Mock Chicken Legs

1 lb beef steak
1 lb veal or pork
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup fat, melted
1/4 cup flour or 3/4 cup cracker crumbs
6-8 wooden skewers
Have steaks cut about 3/8 inches thick. Pound well and cut in 1 or 1 1/2 inch squares. Arrange 6 pieces alternately through one corner on each skewer, having top and bottom pieces somewhat smaller to represent drumsticks. Brush over or roll in fat, then in flour or crumbs, season with salt and pepper. Fry in fat left over and brown on all sides. Cover pan closely, cook slowly about 1 1/2 hours, or until tender, adding water if necessary."
---The Settlement Cook Book, Mrs. Simon Kander [Settlement Cook Book Co.:Milwaukee WI] 21st edition enlarged and revised 1936 (p. 161)

"Mock Chicken Drumsticks (City Chicken)
6 servings
Cut into 1 X 1 1/2 inch pieces:
1 pound veal steak
1 pound pork steak
Sprinkle them with salt, pepper
Arrange the veal and pork cubes alternately on 6 skewers. Press the pieces close together into the shape of a drumstick. Roll the meat in flour.
Beat 1 egg, 2 tablespoons water
Dip the sticks into the diluted egg then roll them in breadcrumbs.
Melt in a skillet 1/4 cup shortening
Add 1 tablespoon minced onion (optional)
Brown meat well. Cover the bottom of the skillet with boiling stock or stock substitute or water. Put a lid on the skillet and cook the meat over very hot heat until it is tender. Thicken the gravy with flour (2 tablespoons four to 1 cup of liquid). If preferred, the skillet may be covered and placed in a slow oven 325 degrees F. Until the meat is tender."
---The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer [Bobbs Merill:Indianapolis] 1936 (p. 95)
[What was pork steak?]

The western Pennsylvania connection
We don't claim Chicken Chicken originated in Western Pennsylvania. Just that the overhwelming majority of people who have heard of this dish live in/have connections to that region. Notes here:

Other cities with early mock/city chicken citings include Milwaukee, Sheboygan, & Detroit:

Then, there's also Chicago Chicken (defined by the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, J.E. Lighter [Random House:New York] 1994, Volume 1 as "bacon or sausage." (p. 395)

Related foods? Fried chicken, chicken fried steak, & corndogs.

Ancient peoples knew food could be preserved by protecting it from the air. Many methods were employed, according to commodity, period and place. Confit, a method which employs the fat of the object fowl for protection, descends from directly from potting, a popular 17th century preservation method.
duck confit is popular today. The word itself derives from the French verb denoting preservation. Comfits, a type of sugar candy, descends from the same verb.

"Confit. In French cuisine, a confit consists of pieces of meat--typically goose, duck, pork or turkey--cooked in their own fat and then stored in a pot, again covered in their own fat. Thus preserved, they can be kept for quite a long time, all the while tenderizing, and developing their flavours. For eating they can either be used on their own, hot or cold, or incorporated into a dish such as a cassoulet or garbure. The term confit is a derivative of the French verb confire, 'preserve'."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 87)

"Pots...Sir Hugh Plat, in the...1607 paper for the Navy that described his concentrated broth, laid out a method for bottling food and making it airtight with a layer of olive oil. Keeping food airtight, using sewn-up skins, bladders, or piecrusts was already a well-known preserving art. So too was sealing food in earthenware jars of liquid such as oils and must...Demand for potted foods became so great in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that it transformed the English pottery industry...The same principle of sealing cooked food in fat so that it was protected from air has been applied in different ways around the world. ..The Lebanese make a product called "qawwrama" from their famous fat-tailed sheep, which are specially fattened for killing at the end of November. They are stuffed rather like geese are in France for foie gras...The fat is cut from the slaughtered sheep and rendered down in a large brass pan. The lean meat is cut into pieces and pressed to remove the moisture and then fried in mutton fat with seasoning. Eathenware crocks are filled with the hot meat and rendered fat and carefullly sealed up with wet clay. Qarwwrama keeps like this all winter and is useful for stews and stuffed vegetables. A fourteenth century Polish account similarly describes chunks of cooked meat immersed in melted, salted lard and stored in jars for several months in a cool place, still a common practice in some parts of eastern Europe. In southwest France, were almost every preserved food they prepare is now a famous gourmet specialty, the goose still reigns supreme, and the word confit, meaning "something preserved," belongs exclusively to that gastronomic region. A confit can be made with goose or duck fat in which the goose, duck, or other meat is submerged and very gently cooked, preferably over a wood fire so that the wood smoke can play its part in adding flavor. The meat is then stored in the fat--sous la graisse-- producing a delicacy that is smooth textured and "gamey" in flavour. Rilletes, another southwestern specialty, are the French equivalent of British potted meat, using shredded scraps of meat from pork, goose, duck, or rabbit... A popular Spanish version of the French confit is called "olla." As part of the pig killing, the pig's loins and ribs are prepared and cooked and then placed in the ollapots and covered with a thick skin of lard or oil. Potting, essentially a technique that involves sealing cooked food under melted fat, produces a food that is cooked at high temperature with plenty of fat and very little water. Most organisms are thus killed or entombed in the fat as it cools and solidifies, unable to move or proliferate. The hard "skin" of fat also keeps airobrne contaminates from entering. As a way of preserving food, however, it must have carried many risks from food poisoning...But despite the claims for long shelf life, potted food as mostly a luxury item probably consumed quite quickly in most households."
---Pickled, Potted, and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World, Sue Shephard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 1940-5)

"Confit...may refer to fruits or vegetables cooked for long keeping with sugar or vinegar but usually is taken to describe meat, typically goose, duck, pork, or turkey...slighly salted, cooked at very low temperature in its own fat, covered in its own fat...and then preserved in a pot. It is a specialty of SW France and is widely sold in jars or cans...confit of goose and duck probably started around the town of Bayonne in the 18th century when the adoption of maize for forcefeeding the birds provoked the production of the necessary fat on the carcasse....See also lard, rillette, and qawarama (the Middle Eastern equivalent preserve of lamb in fat)...The slow cooking of confits has made them a favourite of modern commerical cookery..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006 (p. 210)

Escoffier offers these instructions for Oie en Confit or Confit d'Oie in 1907:
"Since this preparation has been mentioned in several recipes elsewhere in this book, it is felt necessary to give details of its preparation. Select very fat geese so as to expect at least 1 1/4 kg (3 lb 6 oz) of fat from each. Clean them and cut each into 6 pieces being the 2 legs, 2 pieces of breast and 2 of carcasse. Rub the pieces with coarse salt mixed with a touch of minced spice and a little powdered thyme and bayleaf; place in deep dishes, cover with more salt and leave for 24 hours. The next day, melt in a suitable pan all of the fat removed from the pieces of geese and the intestines. Wash off the pieces of geese, dry them well and place to slowly cook in the fat for approximately 2 1/2 hours keeping them slightly firm in keeping with their ultimate uses. Place each 6 pieces of geese into a glazed earthenware pot which has been sterilized in boiling water, and cover with the cooking fat. Leave to set, then cover the goosefat with a 1 cm (2/5 in) thick layer of melted lard. When this is set, cover with a round of strong paper and tie down firmly."
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier, first translation into English by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann of Le Guide Culinaire in its entirety [John Wiley:New York] 1997 (p. 413)
[NOTE: Jane Grigson's Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery offers modern confit instructions (p. 318-320).]

Coq au vin
Coq au vin is a contemporary twist on an old culinary theme. The practice of tenderizing tough meat by simmering it slowly
en casserole with wine or broth was practiced by Ancient cooks. This technique was generally regarded as provinical/peasant fare because wealthy diners could afford more tender cuts of meat. Today, Coq au vin is made with tender chicken instead of the traditional tough old coq (cock), thus obscuring the true origin of this dish. Culinary evidence confirms Coq au vin was extremely popular in America during the 1960s, as were all things French.

The French word for cock, and now used as a synonym for chicken in certain dishes. In traditonal stock farming, cocks which were good breeders were kept as long as they could fulfil their function. They would be several years old before they were killed and therefore needed long and slow braising in a casserole (coq au vin). Nowadays, coq au vin is usually made with a chicken or hen. The combs and the kidneys of the cock serve as a garnish or decoration, rare now but frequently used in the elaborate cuisine of former days."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Jenifer Harvey Lang [Crown:New York] 1988 (p. 304)

"Although Coq au vin is well known and was featured in numerous menus in the third quarter of the 20th century, it does not have a long history. The flesh of a cock has always been regarded as somewhat tough and indigestible, and with few exceptions cooks of earlier centuries saw no merit in cocks except as a source of cockscombs (much in demand for garnish) and sometimes for making a bouillon. One of the very first recipes for Coq au vin, that of Brisson published in Richardin's L'Art du bien manger (1913), was presented as a real discovery', the author having been surprised to find the dish in Puy-de-Dome, and surprised by how good it was. The ingredients in this case were the cock, good wine of Avergne, bacon, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Wine from Burgundy has since become the one commonly used, and indeed many recipes just say red wine'. The upsurge of interest in regional cuisines has recently brought to light other similar traditions for preparing Coc au vin. In Franche-Comte the bird is simmered in vin jaune; and in Alsace in Riesling. In both these regions morels and cream are gladly added if available. Indeed, knowledgeable food experts no longer speak of Coq au vin in the singular but of coqs au vin in the plural, while acknowledging that these dishes were doubtless simmering way for long years before the first recipes were published and before the gastromonomes discovered' the virtues of simple country fare."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 196)

Recipes through time

"Le coq au vin

---Titre : La cuisine franaise : l'art du bien manger. suivi... des Aphorismes. et contenant Les croquis gastronomiques (Ed. rev. et augm.) / recueilli et annot par Edmond Richardin ; prface d'Andr Theuriet,... ; estampes... expliques par Gustave Brillat-Savarin ; de Fulbert-Dumonteil,... diteur : Nilsson (Paris) Date d'dition : 1906 Contributeur : Richardin, Edmond (1850-19..). diteur scientifique

"Le coq au vin

Il n'est pas de plaisir plus delicieux qu de vagabonder a travers les petites villes et les gros bourgs de nos provinces du centre et du sud-ouest. Dans ces coins, un peu perdus, de la vieille rance, on est mal loge. Je conviens que, generalement, on y est bien nourri. C'est une compensation. La cuisine fut, de tous temps, une des prinicpales coquetteries des menageres gauloises; chez nous, la tradition des plats succulents se transmet de mere a fille. Voici une recetter que j'ai cueillie sur le sommet dy Puy-de-Dome. Le restaurateur de l'auberge du temple de Mercure m'a fait manger un "coq au vin." Je m'en suis regale. J'ai mande l" "operateur" et l'ai prie de me livrer son secret; il est alle querir un cahier datant du XVIe siecle, et j'y ai copie les lignes suivantes:

"La veridique et mervielleuse recepte du "coq au vin", telle qu'elle fut imaginee et mise au point par feu maistre Bertrand, lequel tenait hostellerie a l'ensigne du "Mercure Gallois", au temps du bon roy Henry, qui voulut fair ordonance a ses subjets de mettre la poule au pot dimanches et festes. Adonc, quand voudres cuire le "coq au vin", il fault prendre un poulet jenet de Limagne, et, l'ayant prestement occis, le depecer en six quartiers; puis, en une coquemare ou pot de terre, fair revenir au feu a demi, ensemble trois onces de lard de porc maigre et ferme, tailles en forme de des a jouer, une once et demie de beurre frais, plus encore des petits oignons. Sur le moment que seront revenus les ingredients, jetes en votre coquemare ledit poulet depece et farci d'une gousse d'ail hachee menu, adjoutes un bouquet de persil et aultres plantes bien odorantes comme thym et laurier, sans oublier morilles ou champignons; tenes couvert sur le feu vif, tant st si bien que le tout soit a belle couleur de rot, partout semblable, puis otes le couvert et enleves doucement la graisse surabondante. Que si, ensuite, vous avez un doigt de vieille eau-de-vie, voire Armagnac, arroses d'ycelle le poulet, puis flambes. Et sur le tout ensemble repandes vivement chopine de bon vin vieux, du pays de Chanturgue preferablement, et quand ensuite seront bien cuits a poinct, poulet, epices, saulce au vin sur feu vif, servez chauld, enduicts de beurre fondu marie de fine fleur de froment blanc.

"Suivez a le letter ces prescriptions. Vous m'en direz des nouvelles. J'en ai moi-meme essaye (car je me pique d'etre, a mes heures, un assez bon maitre-queux. Je declare, sans fausse modestie, que mon "coq au vin" a obtenu plein succes. Inutile d'ajouter que le poulet ou la poularde se peuvent substituter au coq...Mais le coq, sur la carte, a plus d'allure. En mangeant le "coq au vin" on pense a Chantecler! Adolphe Brisson."
---L'Art de Bien Manger, Edmond Richardin [Editions D'Art et de Litterature:Paris] 1913 (p. 34-5)

"Coq au vin
(d'apres une recette ancienne).--Depecez en six quartiers un jeune poulet de Limagne. En un pot de terre, faits revenir dans 45 g de beurre, 90 g lde larde maigre, taille en des et petits oignons. Lorsqu'ils sont revenus, jetez en votre pot lest quartiers de poulet, une gousse d'ail hachee menue, un bouquet garni, morilles ou champignons. Faites dorer a couvert sur feu vif, decouvrez, degraissez. Arrosez d'un doigt de bonne eau-de-vie, flambez et repandez sur le tout un demi-litre de vin viex d'Auvergne. Apres cuisson sur feu vif, sortez le poulet, arrosez-le de sa sauce liee au beurre manie."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Librarie Larousse:Paris] 1938 (p. 354)

"Chicken with red wine sauce (Coq au vin)

3-3 1/2 lb chicken or 2 spring chickens (2-21/2 lb broilers)
1/2 cup diced fat salt pork or bacon
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
a little pepper
12 small onions
12 small mushrooms
2-3 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons flour
1 pint red wine
1 faggot (p. 294)
chopped parsley.

Clean and singe chicken. If one large chicken is used cut in 8 pieces, but if two small ones, cut each in 4 pieces. Parboil pork (or bacon) dice about 5 minutes and drain them. Put butter in saucepan, add pork dice and cook until they are golden brown. Remove dice and reserve. Season pieces of chicken with salt and pepper, put in hot fat and cook until golden brown on all sides. Add onions and mushrooms, cover pan and continue cooking over a slow fire until onions are a little soft and are starting to brown. Pour off half the fat. Add shallots and garlic to fat remaining in pan and sprinkle the flour over. If oven is hot put the pan in it and leave a few minutes to brown flour. Otherwise, cook a few minutes over low heat on top of stove stirring to prevent scorching. Add wine and if it does not cover chicken add a little water; there should be just enough liquid to cover chicken. Add faggot, bring to a boil, add pork dice, cover pan, and cook in a moderately hot oven of 400 degrees or simmer on top of stove about 35 to 45 minutes or until chicken is tender. If sauce needs it, skim fat from surface. Remove faggot and correct seasoning. Arrange chicken, mushrooms, onions and pork dice in serving dish and pour the sauce over. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serves 3 to 4."
---Louis Diat's Home Cookbook: French Cooking for Americans, Louis Diat [Lippincott:New York] 1946 (p. 124-5)
[NOTE: "Faggot. 3 to 4 springs parsley, 1 to 2 stalks celery (sometimes 1 leek), 1/2 a bay leaf, and a pinch of dry (or 1 to 2 sprigs fresh) thyme tied together in a small bundle and cooked in a stew or sauce or with other foods to give it flavor." (p. 294)]

Corn dogs & Pronto Pups
Food historians generally agree cornmeal-covered hot dogs served on a stick became popular American fair fare in the early 1940s. Who invented this item? History does not say. Who is responsible for making this item popular? Many people claim this title. Most often cited are the Fletcher brothers (Corn dogs/Texas) and Jack Karnis (
Pronto Pups/Oregon & Minnesota). The records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office confirm Pronto Pups were introduced 1942 (the company's Web site claims 1941). According to the food historians, this is about the same time Corn Dogs were made their way to the Texas State Fair.

The earliest reference we find for corn dogs is from the 1920s. According to the description of the Krusty Korn Dog baker (circa 1929), the first corn dogs were not deep-fried hot oil, they were made like waffles.

"Corn dog baker. "Krusty Korn Dog" baker, also sandwich toaster (grill) or steak fryer. A big money maker! For use on gas, gasoline, oil or coal stoves. Krusty Korn Dogs are novel & delicious. The hot dog is baked inside corn batter, which as it bakes, moulds itself to resemble an ear of corn...Easy to make: Red hots are first fried in butter, then placed in 'korn dog' sections together with required amount, they are then quickly & thoroughly baked together. Baker is made with cast iron, smooth japanned finish, with heavy, sturdy wire coil pan handles...frame, & a fry pan (griddle), & a pair of 'Krusty Korn Sausage Dog Pans'," each of which make two, separately to suit your business. In Pick-Barth wholesale catalog of many makers' hotel & restaurant supplies, 1929."
---300 Years of Kitchen Collectibles, Linda Campbell Franklin, 5th edition [Krause Publications:Iola WI] 2003 (p. 267)

An article from the New York Times states "There are "corn dog" stands...on the docks at St. Petersburg [Florida]." ("Florida on $30 a Week," NYT December 7, 1941 p. XX2). Presumably this indicates corn-dog type foods were well known in vacation areas. The use of quotation marks around the term "corn dogs" indicates this was the generic name for the product rather than a trademark. Were these foods sold on sticks? These sources do not confirm.

Pronto Pups
According to the records of the
U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Pronto Pup deep fried hot dogs were introduced to the American public April 23, 1942 (registration #1517348) or September 1942 (registration #1976123).

"If you have never heard of Pronto Pups, prepare yourself. They show signs of becoming as ubiquitous as Tom Thumb golf, at least in the West. A man named G.M. Boyington, of Salem Ore., invented and patentted a special type of dough-mix that looks like waffle batter. He impales a 'hot dog' on a stick, dips the 'dog' in the batter, thrusts if for a couple of moments into boiling deep fat, and presto! you have a Pronto Pup. And it remains hot for 45 minutes or more, hence will probably be seen on many picnics."
---"Western Pronto Pups Cooked to Suit Taste," Christian Science Monitor, October 24, 1945 (p. 15)

"Newest addition to the hot-dog family are Pronto Pups, which at the last check up, are bringing George M. Boyington and his associates in Portland, Ore., a return in the form of thousands of dollars for franchises. Because of the compact form in which the frankfurters are sold, it is claimed by leaders in the field that this type of hot dog could be vended easily through coin-operated machines. All that is necessary is to take a hot dog, dip it into a secret flour mix, then fry it in deep fat for two and a half minutes and serve. A stick is inserted into the dog for easy handling by the purchaser. One thing certain about the new version of hot-dog sandwich is that the dog won't slip out of the bun because the bun is "baked" around the weiner as part of the Pronto Pup. Pronto Pups are known in every state west of the Mississippi and as far north as Kodiak Island and Anchorage, Alaska, and Boyington says they will soon make a bow in the Hawaiian Islands. Eastern markets are to be contacted soon. Even during the meat shortage, hot dogs have drawnn huge profits to franchise holders...To date, Pronto Pups, Oregon, Ltd., sells only the secret flour mix and a territorial franchise. The holder of the franchise does the rest--he charges 15 or 20 cents for each hot dog, depending upon location conditions and the OPA price ceiling. With a paper napkin around the handle, the Pronto Pup is ready to be served after lifting from the deep fat fry--either plain or covered with mustard...Vending machine operators are said to be looking into the possible vending of the dogs as...'It would provide fewer problems of manufacturing than the recently announced hot-dog vending model."Billboard, Janayr 12, 1946 (p. 85)

"Jack Karnis was the first person to buy a Pronto Pup franchise. Invented in an Oregon lumber camp, the recipe for the batter-coated hot dog was an instant hit when Jack and his wife, Gladys, took them to Chicago. Jack was selling them on a Chicago street when an alert Minnesota entrepreneur saw the line and got in, figuring that people would wait only for something good. The family legend has it that Jack had no time for the gentleman from Minnesota when he tried to talk business at the Pronto Pup counter. But William Brede, a familiar name at the State Fair, would not be put off. "Hey, if I came back with a spot for you at the Minnesota Fair, would you come up?" Brede asked. Jack waved him off. But Brede flew back to Minnesota, secured a location on the State Fairgrounds and the returned to Chicago and the blocklong line for Pronto Pups. Even then, it was hard to persuade Jack and Gladys to close up and come to the Fair. So Brede, according to Gregg Karnis, offered to pay them a salary for that first year that equaled their Chicago revenue. That was in 1947. The Karnis family and the Pronto Pups haven't missed a fair since."
---"No Pup But Pronto, Pupologist Explains," Katherine Lanpher, Saint Paul Pioneer Press, September 2, 1996 (p. 1A)

Is this the end of the story? No. It's probably just the beginning. Most foods are not invented. They evolve as a result of culinary heritage and practical adaptations enabled by readily available ingredients /technology. Sausages (ancient forcemeats & minces) fried in egg or bread-type coatings were popular old world recipes. Presumably, some of these were introduced to America by German immigrants. Cornmeal? A "New World" necessitation. Consider this recipe:

"Fried sausages
Quantity for 6 people
1 lb sausage
2 whites of eggs
1/2 cup of flour
1 cup grated rolls
Salt, drippings or butter

The sausages are salted, dipped into white of egg, flour and bread crumbs and fried in hot drippings or butter to a nice brown color. They are nice with vegetables.
---The Art of German Cooking and Baking, Mrs. Lina Meier, [Milwaukee WI:1909] (recipe 28, p. 99)

Related food? Hot dogs & Tempura

Corned beef
While the process of preserving meat with salt is ancient, food historians tell us corned beef (preserving beef with "corns" or large grains of salt) originated in Medieval Europe. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the first use of the word corn, meaning "small hard particle, a grain, as of sand or salt," in print to 888. The term "corned beef" dates to 1621.
Corned Beef Hash & Corned Beef & Cabbage were inevitable interations. A corned beef sandwich was the first sandwich consumed in space, 1965.

"Emphasizing its long history in the Irish diet, Regina Sexton...points out that a similar product is mentioned in the 11th-century Irish text Aislinge meic Con Glinne many wonderful provisions, pieces of every palatable food...full without fault, perpetual joints of corned beef'. She adds that corned beef has a particular regional association with Cork City. From the late 17th century until 1825, the beef-curing industry was the biggest and most important asset to the city. In this period Cork exported vast quantities of cured beef to Britain, Europe, America, Newfoundland, and the W. Indies. During the Napoleonic wars the British army was supplied principally with corned beef which was cured in and exported from the port of Cork."
---Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson, [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (page 218)

Corned beef was very popular in colonial America because it was an economical and effective way to preserve meat. The following corning directions are from The Virginia House-Wife by Mary Randolph, 1824, pages 22-23:

"To corn beef in hot weather
Take a piece of thin brisket or plate, cut out the ribs nicely, rub it on both sides well with two large spoonsful of pounded salt-petre; pour on it a gill of molasses and a quart of salt; rub them both in; put it in a vessel just large enough to hold it, but not tight, for the bloody brine must run off as it makes, or the meat will spoil. Let it be well covered top, bottom, and sides, with the molasses and salt. In four days you may boil it, tied up in a cloth, with the salt, &c. about it: when done, take the skin off nicely, and serve it up. If you have an ice-house or refrigerator, it will be best to keep it there.--A fillet or breast of veal, and a leg or rack of mutton, are excellent done in the same way."
Corned beef was the primary ingredient of New England Boiled Dinners.

Dinty Moore's recipe for Corned Beef & Cabbage, circa 1934.

What about corned beef hash?
According to The Encyclopedia of North American Eating and Drinking Traditions..., Kathlyn Gay [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara] 1996 (p. 70) "The word 'hash' (fried odds-and-ends dish) came into English in the mid-17th century from the old French word 'hacher', meaning to chop. Corned beef hash...probably has its origins in being a palatable combination of leftovers. In the 19th century, restaurants serving inexpensive meals--precursors to today's diners--became known as "hash houses." By the early 1900s, corned beef hash was a common menu item in these places."

Hannas Heavenly Hash.
The corned-beef hash which was the feature of breakfast given at Senator Hannas home in Washington to President Roosevelt and other magnates was greatly relished by the guests, and has become famous. The recipe for preparing it is as follows: Equal parts of boiled prime corned beef and potatoes are prepared. The beef is chopped as fine as possible, and the soft, mealy potatoes are cut into tiny cubes. A small onion is minced to add flavor, and the bottoms of the dishes are rubbed with a head of garlic. Another garlic head is wrapped in a piece of fat and throw into the center of the mass. The whole is then mixed thoroughly and nicely browned in a big skillet or frying pan. During this operation disks of Bermuda onions, cut so that each round shows every ring of the onion, are thrown into a deep dish of pure lard and browned delicately. When these disks are crisp they are used to garnish the edge of the platter, and the hash is served garnished with parsley or herbs and a squeeze of a lemon.
There is lobster a la Newburg, which some people think is great,
And terrapins a dainty for the culture eaters plate;
There are many pleasant dishes for the man who has cash,
But theres nothing that quite equals Hannas famous corn-beef hash.
--Hannas Heavenly Hash, Washington Post, June 9, 1906 (p. 6)
"Heavenly Hash" was also the name of a popular period sweet.]

Corned beef in tins:
The history of canning is generally traced to Nicolas Appert in 1795, who rose to Napoleon's challenge to invent a method to preserve food for military distribution. Donkin & Hall (UK) is credited with manufacturing the first tinned meats (& soups, vegetables) distributed to the British Navy in 1813.

"Retorting of tins was known in Britain in the 1830s...Tins were produced in a variety of sizes, ranging from the smallest (two pound) to enourmous ones weighing nearly seventeen pounds...Opening these tins presented quite a challenge. Most early tins were sold as military supplies, and until the 1840s the instructions on tins called for the use of a hammer and chisel. The earliest domestic openers were made in the 1860s and were called Bull's Head tin openers, as they had a cast-iron handle shaped into a bull's head and tails and were sold with tins of bully beef...In 1866 a special can with its own key opener was introduced."
---Pickled, Potted and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World, Sue Shepard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2001 (p. 245-6)

"British soldiers fighting in the Boer War had been issued with the first composite emergency ration packs containing two tins to be used only in extremity. One had held four ounces of beef concentrate and the other five ounces of cocoa paste. The great mainstay of the British army in both world wars was, however, corned beef, which was found to be ideal for soldiers on the move, who could eat it cold straight from the can. The Tommies called it "bully beef" a name derived from the French bouilli (boiled) beef, which had been fed to the French army in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870."
---Pickled, Potted and Canned, (p. 254)
NOTE: This book contains an excellent chapter devoted to the history of canning (p. 226-255). Your librarian can help you find a copy.

According to our food history sources (most of these are published in the U.S.), the tapered trapezoidal corned beef can we purchase today is attributed to Arthur A. Libby, who acquired a U.S. patent for this item in 1875. "1875 Arthur A. Libby and William J. Wilson developed the tapered can for corned beef in Chicago."
--- Can Central History Timeline

Why the unique design of the corned beef can? There are several theories. Most of them support the theory of convenience."Why are corned beef tins such peculiar shapes? THEY CONTINUE to be made in their traditional tapered rectangular shape because it is easier to extract the contents in one piece, thus allowing the block of corned beef to be sliced. That's also why the cans also employ a key that enables the user separate one end of the body of the can: there's no seam to prevent the contents slipping out."
--- The Guardian.

Corned beef--Jewish or Irish cuisine?

Some people wonder about the shared culinary/cultural heritage of the Irish and Jewish peoples when it comes to corned beef. The practice of curing meat for preservation purposes certainly dates back to ancient times. The use of salt was adopted/adapted by many peoples and cultures, and was widely used during the Middle Ages. Evidence suggests that both Irish and Jewish cooks were making corned (salt) beef independently, long before they met in New York.

"Corned beef comes in two versions: The Jewish special on rye, or the traditional Irish boiled dinner, aka New England boiled dinner. Tonight should be the big night for the Irish version."
---Boiled dinner, The Boston Globe, March 15, 1990 (p.3)

"But why corned beef? Was St. Patrick, the 5th-century apostle credited with converting the Irish to Christianity, a corned-beef- and-cabbage kind of guy? Did the Irish embrace him and his culinary repertoire and ultimately take the whole meal to America? And how can corned beef be so Irish if it's on the sandwich menu of every self-respecting Jewish deli in America? And, while we're at it, how is beef "corned" anyway? It's about time to set the corned-beef record straight. For starters, eating corned beef on St. Patrick's Day is purely American, which makes sense since celebrating St. Patrick's Day is more American than Irish. In fact, corned beef has always been associated with Cork City. According to Darina Allen, between the late 1680s and 1825, beef-corning was the city's most important industry. In that period, corned beef from Cork wound up in England and Continental Europe and as far away as Newfoundland and the West Indies. ...Myrtle Allen, author of "Myrtle Allen's Cooking at Ballmaloe House" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 1990), further contends that corned beef is "no more Irish than roast chicken." And that's true enough: For millennia, in order to keep food through the winters, people all around the globe have preserved meat in brine or dry salt rubs. We see the technique in everything from beef jerky and Smithfield hams to preserved Tunisian lamb to various Chinese exotica. The Jewish deli sandwich is just one more exponent of this tradition, in its Eastern European form."
---How Irish Is Corned Beef? Very -- and Very American Too, Carole Sugarman, The Washington Post, February 28, 1996 (p. E01)

"The Jewish deli started when lone male immigrants were forced to buy kosher meals from Jewish neighbors...A deli could be a store that sold cooked foods or a restaurant. It specialized either in meats or in chesse and fish, never both. It served corned beef (which the British call salt beef), tongue, and pastrami..."
---The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey From Samarkand to New York, Claudia Roden [Knopf:New York] 1996 (p. 80)
NOTE: This book has a wealth of information on the topic of Jewish food in America.

If you want to read more on the history of salting ask your librarian to help you find this book: Pickled, Potted and Canned, Sue Shepard

The Salt Archive--fabulous source for salt history in all disciplines

Corned beef & cabbage on St. Patrick's Day:
There is some controversy about whether "Corned Beef & Cabbage, " often eaten in America on St. Patrick's Day is a traditional Irish meal. According to Malachi McCormick's Irish County Cooking and "The Troubles That Irish Food Has Seen," New York Times, March 14, 1990 (page C8) corned beef & cabbage is a purely American tradition. Colcannon (boiled new potatoes mixed with boiled white cabbage, boiled leeks or boiled onions to which is added butter, milk and wild garlic) is more likely to be considered Ireland's national dish.

Brid Mahon's Land of Milk and Honey: The Story of Traditional Irish Food and Drink contains these notes about corned beef: "[in the 19th century] Corned beef was a festive dish." (p. 8)

"While Irish beef has always been noted for its flavor, corned beef was equally relished. Boiled and served with green cabbage and floury potatoes, it was considered an epicurean dish, to be eaten at Hallowe'en, at Christmas, on St. Patrick's Day, at weddings and at wakes, a traidtion that was carried to the New World by the emigrants of the 18th and 19th centuries. To this day, corned beef and cabbage are served on St. Patrick's Day and at Thanksgiving in parts of North America. Bacon, corned beef, sausages and pudding are all mentioned in The Vision of Mac Conlinne, the 12th-century tale that also describes the condiments served with meats." (p. 57)

"Easter Sunday...the most important festival of the Christian year...Spring lamb, veal and chicken were part of the festive fare but the meal most enjoyed consisted of corned beef, cabbage and floury potatoes. When millions fled the country during and after the catastrophric years of the Great Famine they carried with the memory of this festive dish, a tradition that survives in America to this day, though the meal is more often than not served on St. Patrick's Day. (p. 157)

Coronation Chicken
"Coronation Chicken" first surfaces in 1953, coinciding with the installation of Queen Elizabeth II to the British throne. Most sources associate Constance Spry this dish. Understandably so. She was a popular celebrity tapped for coordinating Coronation events and her
cook book contained the "original" recipe. The real credit for this dish belongs to Cordon Bleu chef Rosemary Hume, Constance's friend and business partner.

"Rosemary [Hume]...was dealing with a huge responsibility of providing the luncheon for guests from all over the world, some of whome would not eat meat, or at least certain kinds of meat. There were no cooking facilities near Westminster School hall and only the soup and coffee could be served hot. On 18 May she gave a lunch party at the cookery school...Faced with the logistical challenge of coming up with a dish that was special enough to ghrace such an important event but that could also be prepared in advance and served cold, Rosemary created Poulet Reine Elizabeth (Chicken Queen Elizabeth), or Coronation Chicken, made with strips of cold chicken in a delicate curry-flavoured sauce. Her main source of inspiration came from, a nineteenth-century recipe book called Savouries a la mode by Harriet Anne de Salis. According to Griselda Barton, Rosemary's niece, 'The recipe was for Queen Adelaide's [Wife of William IV] favourite sandwich--chicken with a curry and apricot butter."
---The Surprising Life of Constance Spry: From Social Reformer to Society Florist, Sue Shepard [Macmillan:London] 2010 (p. 306-307)

"Curries and Dishes Flavored with Curry
One would not venture to serve, to a large number of guests of varying and unknown tastes, a curry dish in the generally accepted sense of this term. Because it was difficult to draw a line of differentiation between what should and should not come within the category, we decided to include as curries all dishes in which curry-powder or paste formed an ingredient. I doubt whether many of the three hundred odd guests at the coronation luncheon detected this ingredient in a chicken dish which was distinguished mainly by a delicate and nut-like flavour in the sauce.

Coronation Chicken (Cold) (for 6-8)
2 young roasting chickens
water and a little wine to cover
a bouquet garni
3-4 peppercorns
cream of curry sauce
Poach the chickens, with carrot, bouquet, salt, and peppercorns, in water and a little wine, enough barely to cover, for about 40 minutes of until tender. Allow to cool in the liquid. Joint the birds, remove the bones with care. Prepare the sauce given below. Mix the chicken and the sauce together, arrange on a dish, coat with the extra sauce. For convenience in serving on the occasion mentioned, the chicken was arranged at the one end of an oblong dish, and a rice salad as given below as arranged at the other.

Cream of curry sauce
1 tablespoon oil
2 oz. Onion, finely chopped
1 dessertspoon curry-powder
1 good teaspoon tomato puree
1 wineglass red wine
3/4 wineglass water
a bay-leaf
salt, sugar, a touch of pepper
a slice or two of lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice, possibly more
1-2 tablespoons apricot puree
3/4 pint mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons lightly whipped cream
a little extra whipped cream
Heat the oil, add onion, cook gently 3-4 minutes, add curry-powder. Cook again 1-2 minutes. Add puree, wine, water, and bay-leaf. Bring to boil, add salt, sugar to taste, pepper and the lemon and lemon juice. Simmer with the pan uncovered 5-10 minutes. Strain and cool. Add by degrees to the mayonnaise with the apricot puree to taste. Adjust seasoning, adding a little more lemon juice if necessary. Finish with the whipped cream Take a small amount of sauce (enough to coat the chicken) and mix with a little extra cream and seasoning. This is an admirable sauce to serve with iced lobster.

Rice salad
The rice salad which accompanied the chicken was of carefully cooked rice, cooked peas, diced raw cucumber, and finely chopped mixed herbs, all mixed in a well-seasoned French dressing."
---The Constance Spry Cookery Book, Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume [J.M. Dent and Sons:London] 1956 (p. 1012-3)

About Constance Spry & Rosemary Hume
"The names Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume were now synonymous in the public mind with their school and with the coronation. The dish that Rosemary had invented for the occasion was inexpensive and easy to prepare. Coronation Chicken quickly became a popular dish at buffets and parties--and not just in England.. Several women's magazines, sent out to Commonwealth countries, printed the recipe and it was proudly served up in homes in Australia, South Africa, Canada and India. Rosemary, though, was not entirely happy about the attention her dish was receiveing. This was less because she was by nature a very modest person, though she was, but because it was not Cordon Bleu, not French, not really professional cooking as she knew it. Connie, who was always happy to see something made popular and accessible, was at first bemused by her friend's view."
---The Surprising Life of Constance Spry: From Social Reformer to Society Florist, Sue Shepard [Macmillan:London] 2010 (p. 316)

"Constance Spry began working with flowers in the late 1920ss, when she opened a small shop behind Victoria Station in London, and before the Second World War the present shop in South Audley Street was established. She started a floristry school and in 1945, together with Rosemary Hume, she founded the Cordon Bleu Cookery School: later a residential school, Winkfield Place, near Windsor, was opened. Her flower decorations were reonwed throughout the world and she was responsible for the floral arrangements at a great many social and royal occasions including the Queen's wedding and coronation. Constance Spry wrote twelve books on cookery and flower decoration before she died in 1960."
---The Constance Spry Cookery Book, Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume [J.M. Dent and Sons:London] 1956 (author bio note, first page, unnumbered)

"Rosemary was born in 1907 near Sevenoaks, Kent. Her father, Colonel Charles Vernon Hume, was in military intelligence and had recently served as military attached at the British legation in Tokyo during the Russo-Japanese war. Her mother Ursula was from Keswick in Cumberland. Rosemary and her sisters grew up in several homes...she...became passionate about cookery."
---Surprising Life (p. 112)

"Rosemary Hume graduated from the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris and in the early 1930s opened her own school, 'Au Petit Cordon bleu' in London. Since 1945, when she became co-principal of the Cordon Bleu Cookery School, she has helped and encouraged many of the world's best cooks, and was recently awarded the MBE. Her other books include The Cordon Bleu Book of Jams, Pickles and Preseres (With Murieal Downes)..."
---Constance Spry Cookery Book (author bio note, first page, unnumbered)

About the cook book
"Having successfully collaborated in setting up the school at Winkfield Place and in producing the coronation luncheon, Connie and Rosemary decided to take on an even more ambitious project together...Now Connie suggested to Rosemary that they could join forces to produce a cookery book. They would combine their skills: Rosemary would provide clear and foolproof recipes and techniques and Connie would write them down, interspersed with some good stores--usually from her own past--which would help to make the book less starchy...In the Introduction to The Constance Spry Cookery Book, and the new book was called, Connie revealed that it was originally envisaged as a supplement for students at the cookery schools. But it became far more than a teaching aid: it was a massive undertaking, and took three years to produce. In it, Connie turned cookery into a pleasurable, faillible, human activity, something to be done with love and enjoyment without fear of failure...The Constance Spry Cookery Book was not initially intended to run to its weighty twelve hundred pages, nor indeed to become a bestseller. Published in 1956, it was an instant success and the first definitive cookery book to appear since the war. it challenged the place--and the bulk--of Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management on British kitchen shelves. But Connie was embarrassed by the title because it carried her name only. One can only presume that Rosemary did not protest or mind that her enourmous task had cone unrecorded, except as the co-author. Constance Spry was a famous name and Rosemary Hume was not, the publisher had insisted. The reviews were all very good."
---The Surprising Life of Constance Spry: From Social Reformer to Society Florist, Sue Shepard [Macmillan:London] 2010 (p. 319-320)

"England's MRs. Beeton, who has guided generations of cooks in England, will have to look to her laurels because she has met her match in the new Constance Spry Cookery Book (Dutton, $10). Miss Spry and her collaborator, Rosemary Hume, each direct cookery schools in England that can hold their own with any of their European counterparts, and this book is a result of their long years of teaching. Encyclopedic recipes representing the best of international cuisine, charts and outlines to clear up the mysteries of modern cooking, cintrustions for using utensils and gadgets. If all of England would follow the tenets of thsi book the British Isles would be a gastronomical haven."
---"According to Taste," Charlotte Turgeon, New York Times, December 1, 1957 (p. 54)

Country Captain Chicken
Food historians tell us the origins and evolution of Country Captain Chicken is mysterious. Theories abound. Each carries merit. What we do know? Is that contemporary culinary pundits generally consider Country Captain a traditional dish of the American South.

"Country captain is a chicken dish of mysterious origin. Burton (1993) explains that "The term country' used to refer to anything of Indian, as opposed to British, origin, and hence the country captain after whom this dish is named may have been in charge of sepoys. It seems more likely, however, that he was the captain of a country boat, since the recipe turned up midway through the nineteenth-century at ports as far apart as Liverpool and the American South (where many Americans mistakenly think the dish originated)." Hobson-Jobson had reached much the same conclusions; and thought that the origin of the dish was to be found in a spatchcock with onion and curry stuff, of Madras."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 20)
[NOTE: the 1993 Burton reference is: The Raj at Table, David Burton [London:Faber & Faber] (p. 113; recipe on p. 114). Happy to share.]

"Country Captain. A curried-chicken dish often attributed to Georgian origins. Eliza Leslie, in her mid-nineteenth-century cookbooks, contended that the dish got its name from a British officer who brought the recipe back from his station in India. Others believed the dish originated in Savannah, Georgia, a major shipping port for the spice trade."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 99)

"Country Captain is a dish that has long been popular in the southern states. According to an oft-repeated story, a sea-captain sailed into Charleston harbor with a shipload of spices from India. Entertained by the hostesses of a city noted for its graciousness, he repaid their kindness by teaching their capable cooks to make a delicious dish of chicken and curry. Alas for legend! A virtually identical dish is known in England, where it goes by the very same name. The captain, if there ever was one, must have been a British officer stationed in the back country of India. An English writer has noted that "country captain" is also an Anglo-Indian term from the captian of a foreign ship, that is, a captain from a foreign country. Just how or if that fits into the puzzle would be difficult to say. Another suggestion is that Country Captain may be only a corruption of "country capon."
---Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Paterica Bunning Stevens [University of Ohio Press:Athens OH] 1998 (p. 114)

"It would be fair to call Cecily Brownstone "Cecily Country Captain." But the former food columnist, who is one of the human cornerstones of authentic cooking in New York, has no commercial aspirations...For nearly four decades, she has valiantly exposed the myths about the dish and vigilantly rooted out County Captain imposters as a one-woman preservation society for this particular version of curried chicken. She doesn't claim to have discovered the dish. "I first heard about County Captain in the 1950s, but it has been around since at least the 18th century,"...The dish has gone in and out of style. One era idolized the dish's exotica, another loved its simplicity. Each vogue of the Captain was rife with misinterpretations of the recipe that, to Ms. Brownstone, boil down to misrepresentations to, a sort of character assassination that burns her up...Heaven knows, Ms. Brownstone tried to keep the record--and the recipe--straight. As early as 1960, when she was writing for The Associated Press and was the ad hoc matriarch of James Beard's culinary salon in Greenwich Village, Ms. Brownstone investigated the origins of Country Captain. At that time, the dish was widely regarded as a specialty of southern United States, but Ms. Brownstone blew the lid off that assumption. She found the earliest reference to the dish in "Miss Leslie's New Cookery Book," which was published in 1867. The Captain, according to Ms. Leslie, is an "Indian dish and a very easy preparation of curry." Miss Leslie said that the term "Country Captain" signifies "a captain of native troops (or Sepoys) in the pay of England; their own country being India, they are there called generally the country troops." Miss Leslie speculated that the dish was "introduced at English tables by a Sepoy officer." Nevertheless, Ms. Brownstone began to prefer the Country Chicken recipe of Alexander Filillpini, the chef at Delmonico's in the early 20th century, to that of Miss Leslie. The former called for browning a whole chicken with peppers and adding almonds and currants; the latter called for onions "boiled and sliced" and curry powder added to the chicken, and suggested, "It will be a great improvement to put in, at the beginning three or four tablespoonfuls of finely grated coconut. It is not surprising that Ms. Brownstone prefers Mr. Filippini's version: it tastes better. She published the recipe in hundreds of newspapers and was unflagging in getting it included "for the record" in dozens of cookbooks. Nevertheless, she tends to underplay her own contributions to changes in the Captain when recalling other deviants she has seen...When she witnessed variations on the Captain in restaurants or cookbooks, she took the matter up with whoever was in charge. Mr. Beard was a significant ally in her crusade. Teaching her recipe in his cooking school, he indoctrinated a generation of chefs with the formula for the real Captain. Irma Rombauer and her daughter Marion Rombauer Becker helped her cause by including the recipe in "The Joy of Cooking."
---"Long Ago Smitted, She Remains True to the Country Captain," Molly O'Neill, New York Times, April 17, 1991 (p. V6) [NOTE: This article includes a recipes for "Country Captain Chicken Adapted from Cecily Brownstone.]

Eliza Leslie's recipe circa 1857:

"Country Captain.--This is an East India dish, and a very easy preparation of curry. The term "country captain," signifies a capaian of the native troops, (or Sepoys), in the pay of England; their own country being India, they are called generally the country troops. Probably this dish was first introduced at English tables by a Sepoy officer. Having well boiled a fine full-grown fowl, cut it up as for carving. Have ready two large onions boiled and sliced. Season the pieces of chicken with curry powder or turmeric; rubbed well into them, all over. Fry them with the onion, in plenty of lard or fresh butter, and when well-browned they are done enough. Take them up with a perforated skimmer, and drain through its holes. It will be a great improvement to put in, at the beginning, three or four table-spoonfuls of finely grated cocoanut. This will be found an advantage to any curry. Serve up, in another dish, a pint of rice, well pickled, and washed clean in two or three cold waters. Boil the rice in plenty of water, (leaving the skillet or sauce-pan uncovered;) and when it is done, drain it very dry, and set it on a dish before the fire, tossing it up with two forks, one in each hand, so as to separate all the grains, leaving each one to stand for itself. All rice for the dinner should be cooked in this manner. Persons accustomed to rice never eat it watery or clammy, or lying in a moist mass. Rich should never be covered, either while boiling, or when dished. We recommend this "country captain.""
---Miss Leslie's Cookery Book , Eliza Leslie [T.B. Peterson:Philadelphia PA] 1857 (p. 299-300)

Food historians tell us recipes for croquette-type dishes likely descended from Ancient Roman rissoles: minced, spiced meat bound with fillers, carefully shaped, and deep fried. Recipes varied according to culture, cuisine, and period. The primary difference between rissoles and croquettes is the former is wrapped in pastry while the latter is rolled in breadcrumbs. Cooking method, presentation and purpose are generally similar. References to "Croquettes" appear in print in the early 18th century. The earliest recipes we find in English/American cookbooks date to the early 19th century. Croquette recipes are absent from the popular mid-18th century British works of Hannah Glasse, E. Smith, Mrs. Raffald, and Mrs. Moxon.

What are rissoles?
"The utimate source of rissole is Vulgar Latin russeola, which was short for pasta russeola, literally reddish paste' (the Roman gastronome Apicius had a recipe for peacock rissole). In Old French this became ruissole, which was borrowed into English in the fourteenth century as russole and in the fifteenth century as rishew. This early burger evidently did not commend itself to English tastes, however, because no more is heard of it until the eighteenth century. The word was then reborrowed from French rissole, but its later-day reputation as the repository of the unwanted remains of a joint has been no better...The content of the rissole has not always been restricted to meat the past fish was frequently used, and the fourteenth-century collection Forme of Cury gives a vegetarian version...In French cuisine, rissoles are enclosed in puff pastry."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 283)

"Rissole as a culinary term, has a simpler meaning in English than in French. An English rissole is normally composed of chopped meat, bound with something such as egg, flavoured to taste, shaped into a disc or ball or like a sausage, and fried in a pan. Around this basic formula there exists a penumbra of variations...Some authors have supposed that the Latin word isicia, which certainly meant something of the sort, could confidently been translated as rissoles...However, although making rissoles can plausibly be traced back to classical antiquity (the technique being simple and obvious in any culture in which meats were roasted and facilities for frying existed), there is no necessary connection with the derivation of the actual word from Vulgar Latin (russeola, reddish) via Old French (ruissole). In the French kitchen the verb rissoler means to brown, and a rissole is always encased in a puff pastry or the like, usually fried...Such rissoles may be savoury or sweet."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 666)

What are croquettes?
"Croquettes, small shaped masses of some savory (or occasionally sweet) substance deep-fried, typically in a coating of breadcrumbs, get their name from their crisp exterior: for croquette is a derivative of the French verb croquer, crunch'. The range of potential ingredients is limitless--meat, rice, cheese, fish, pasta, vegetables have all been pressed into service--but undoubtedly the croquette's commonest filling today is mashed potato. It is far from new to the English kitchen; it is mentioned in the 1706 edition of Edward Phillipps's New World of English Words: On Cookery, Croquets are a certain Compound made of delitious Stuff'd Meat, some of the bigness of an Egg, and others of a Walnut.'"
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 98)

"Croquettes. A French culinary term which has been adopted into English too, as long ago as the beginning of the 18th century."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 229)

"Croquettes (Cromesquis, Russian Croquettes)
The same terms are applied to Croquettes as Salpicons. The croquette is one mass of small substances, cut in shape of small cubes, that is reduced with sauce Allemande, bechamel, espagnole, according to the style of the croquetted. They are breaded in Englsih style, in the shape that one desires, and then fried. Croquettes are made in all different styles and their names are determined by what substances they are made of. They are served as hors-d'oeuvre and sometimes as small entrees. (Breaded English style: Beaten eggs rolled in fresh bread crumbs.) The cromesquis is a small croquette in rolled or unleavened bread, or in caul, dipped in batter and fried, or pancake without sugar, breaded in English style and fried."
---Gancel's Encyclopedia of Modern Cooking, J. Gancel 8th edition, revised and augmented [Van Rees Press:New York] 1935 (p. 25)

A survey of chicken croquette recipes through time
Early instructions suggest this "made dish" was a venerable culinary feat, not to be attempted by inexperienced cooks. Modern frozen products must be a far cry from the original offering. Careful notes on shape and presentation confirm croquettes were originally intended for elegant dinners. Contemporary adaptations are served in diners,
family restaurants, and frozen food aisles of local supermarkets.

"To Make Croquets.

Take cold fowl or fesh meat of any kind, with slices of ham, fat and lean, chop them together very fine, add half as much stale bread grated, salt, pepper, grated nutmeg, a teaspoonful of made mustard, a tabel spoonful of catsup, and a lump of butter; knead all well together till it resembles sausage meat, make them in cakes, dip them in the yelk of an egg beaten, cover them thickly with grated bread, and fry them a light brown."
--The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facsimile 1824 edition wtih Historical Notes and Commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 106)

"NO. 32.--Croquettes of Fowl au Veloute.

These are prepared in the same manner as the Boudins a la Reine, but you must keep them rather thick, to prevent their shrinking while frying. A little fried parsley is to be put into the middle of the dish, and you erect the croquettes round it. There are several manners of rolling them, as in the shape of a cork, a ball, a pear; the tail of which is made out of a carrot, or some other substance, which the author does not approve of; those which are the best, are the shape of a cork. You msut press pretty hard on the extremities, that they may stand erect on the dish. To place them in a circular form, with fried parsley in the centre, has a pretty effect, though it is very plain. Those that are the shape of a pear, are called a la Dubaril. There are also croquetts of sweetbreads, of palates of beef, of cocks'-combs: but they are all much alike, as will be shown hereafter. Croquettes of any kind ought to be made only with remnants of fowl or game, as they require a great quantity of flesh, but they may be made with what is left from the preceding day."
---The French Cook, Louis Eustache Ude, facsimile English translation c. 1828 [Arco Publishing:New York] 1978 (p. 173)

"Chicken Croquets and Rissoles.

Take some cold chicken, and having cut the flesh from the bones, mince it small with a little suet and parsley; adding sweet marjoram and grated lemon-peel. Season it with pepper, salt and nutmeg, and having mixed the whole very well, pound it to a paste in a marble mortar, putting in a litle at a time, and moistening it frequently with yolk of egg that has been previously beaten. Then divid it into equal portions, and having floured your hands, make it up in the shape of pears, sticfking the head of a clove into the bottom of each to represent the blossom end, and the stalk of a clove into the top to look like the stem. Dip them into beaten yolk of egg, and then into bread-crumbs grated finely and sifted. Fry them in butter, and when you take them out of the pan, fry some parsley in it. Having drained the parsley, cover the bottom of a dish with it, and lay the croquets upon it. Send it to table as a side dish. Croquets may be made of cold sweet-breads, or of cold veal mixed with ham or tongue. Rissoles are made of the same ingredients, well mixed, and beaten smooth in a mortar. Make a fine paste, roll it out, and cut it into round cakes. Then lay some of the mixture on one half of the cake, and fold over the other upon it, in the shape of a half-moon. Close and crimp the edges nicely, and fry the rissoles in butter. They should be of a light brown on both sides. Drain them and send them to table dry."
---Directions for Cookery in its Various Branches, Miss [Eliza] Leslie [Carey & Hart:Philadelphia] 1849 (p. 143-4)

"Croquettes of Fowl.

Take what meat may be left on a cold fowl, and mince it very fine; put it in a stewpan with a little stock, a aeble-spoonful of cream, a little salt and nutmeg, and thicken sufficiently with flour; let it boil well, then pour it out on a deep dish, and set it aside to get quite cold and set. Then divide it into small portions, form them into small balls or sausage shapes, roll each in fine bread crumbs, then egg over with beaten yolk of egg, roll again in bread crumbs, and fry a light color. Dish on a napkin with some fried parsley in the centre of the pile of croquettes."
---What to Do With The Cold Mutton: A Book of Rechauffes [Bunce and Huntington:New York] 1865 (p. 50)

"Chicken Croquettes.

Boil two fowls weighing ten pounds till very tender, mince fine, add one pint cream, half pound butter, salt and pepper to taste; shape oval in a jelly glass or mold. Fry in lard like doughnuts until brown."
---Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, facsimile reprint of original 1877 edition published in Minneapolis [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] 2000 (p. 241)

Croquettes are made of chicken, game, sweetbreads, fat livers, oysters, shrimps--and generally the lighter kinds of meat. The meat (most commonly chicken) is finely minced; it is mixed with a seasoning of minced truffles, mushrooms, shallots or chives, as also of nutmeg, pepper and salt; it is bound together with a stiff Allemande sauce; it is turned into shapes of cork or ball; it is dipped into egg and rolled in breadcrumbs; it is fried crisp of a golden hue; it is sprinkled with salt, and served on a napkin with a garnish of fried parsley. It is also served in a dish with a surrounding of tomato sauce. When the croquette if finished differently--that is, when, instead of being dipped in egg and rolled in breadcrumb, it is wrapped in a thin puff paste,-it is called a Rissole; and when it is wrapped in a thin sheet of veal udder or of bacon fat, it is called a Kromeski."
---Kettner's Book of the Table, E.S. Dallas, facsimile 1877 London edition [Centaur Press:London] 1968 (p. 144)
[NOTE: This book also describes a Milanese Croquettes: "A mince of chicken, tongue, truffles, and macaroni, with a seasoning of grated Parmesan. (P. 144).]

"29. Chicken Croquettes.

Boil chicken very tender, pick to pieces, take all gristle out, then chop fine. Beat two eggs for one chicken and mix into meat; season with pepper and salt; make into cakes oblong shaped; powder crackers and roll them into the powder, after dipping them into two eggs beaten moderately well. Then have your lard very hot, and fry just before sending them to the table."
---What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, Abby Fisher, facsimile 1881 edtion with Historical Notes by Karen Hess [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] 1995 (p. 17)
[NOTE: Mrs. Fisher also offers recipes for lamb, crab, meat, liver, oyster, and fish croquettes.]


These may be made of any kind of cooked meat, fish, oysters, rice, hominy, and many kinds of vegetables, or from a mixture of several ingredients. Whe mixed with a thick white sauce...which adds very much to the delicacy of meat or fish croquettes, less meat is required. The cause is a stiff paste when cold, and being mixed with the meat or fish the croquettes may be handled and shaped perfectly, and when cooked will be soft and creamy inside. To Shape a Croquette.--Croquettes may be shaped into rolls, or ovals, or like pears, with a bit of parsley or a clove in the end to represent the stem. Take a tablespoonful of the cold mixture, and shape into a smooth ball. If the mixture stick, wet the palms of the hands slightly. Give the ball a gentle, rolling pressure between the palms till slightly cylindrical; then roll it lightly in the crumbs, clasp it gently in the hand, and flatten one end on the board. Turn the hand over, and flatten the opposite end. Place the croquette on a broad knife, and roll it in beaten egg. With a spoon dip the egg over the croquetted, drain on the knife, and roll again in the crumbs. Fry in deep hot fat...Drain on paper. In rollling any kind of croquettes, if the mixture be too soft to be handled easily, stir in enough fine cracker dust to stiffen it, but never add any uncooked material like flour, nor the dried bread crumbs used in rolling, as those will made the croquettes too stiff.

"Thick Cream Sauce (for Croquettes and Patties).
1 pint hot cream.
2 even tablespoonfuls butter.
4 heaping tablespoonfuls flour, or 2 heaping tablesp. Cornstarch. 1/2 teaspoonful salt
1/2 saltspoonful white pepper.
1/2 teaspoonful celery salt.
A few grains of cayenne.
Scald the cream. Melt the butter in a granite saucepan. Wehn bubbling, add the dry cornstarch. Stir till well mixed. Add one third of the cream, and stir as it boils and thickens. Add more cream, and boil again. When perfectly smooth, add the remainder of the cream. The sauce should be very thick, almost like a drop batter. Add the seasoning, and mix it while hot with the meat or fish. For croquettes, one beaten egg may be added just as the sauce is taken from the fire; but the croquettes are whiter and more creamy without the egg. For patties, warm the meat or fish in the sauce, and use the egg of not as you please.

"Chicken Croquettes.--Half a pound of chicken chopped very fine, and seasoned with half a teasploonful of salt, half a teaspoonful of celery salt, a quarter of a saltspoonful of cayenne pepper, one saltsponful of white pepper, a few drops of onion juice, one teaspoonful of chopped parsley, and one teaspoonful of lemon juice. Make one pint of very thick cream sauce. When thick add one beaten egg, and mix the sauce with the the chicken, usually only enough to make it as soft as can be handled. Spread on a shallow plate to cool. Shape into rolls. Roll in fine bread crumbs, then dip in beaten egg, then in crumbs again, and fry one minute in smoking hot fat. Drain, and serve with a thin cream sauce. Many prefer to cut the chicken in to small dice. If this be done, use less of the sauce, or the croquettes will be difficult to shape. The white meat of chicken will absorb more sauce than the dark. Mushrooms, boiled rice, sweetbreads, calf's brains, or veal may be mixed with chicken. Cold roast chicken, chopped fine, may be mixed with the stuffing, moistened with the gravy, and shaped into croquettes."
---Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D.A. Lincoln, facsimile 1884 reprint [Dover Publications:Mineola NY] 1996 (p. 277-282)
[NOTE: This book also contains recipes for croquettes made with veal, oysters, sweetbreads, lobsters, clams, salmon, potato, rice, macaroni, and hominy. Turkish croquettes contain tomatoes. All recipes, in original form here.]

"Chicken Croquettes I

1 3/4 cups chopped cold cooked fowl
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1/4 teaspoon celery salt.
Few grains cayenne.
1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Few drops onion juice.
1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley.
1 cup Thick White Sauce.
Mix ingredients in order given. Cool, shape, crumb, and fry as other croquettes. White meat of fowl absorbs more sauce than dark meat. This must be remembered if dark meat alone is used. Croquette mixtures should always be as soft as can be conveniently handled, when croquettes will be soft and creamy inside.

"Chicken Croquettes II
Clean and dress a four-pound fowl. Put into a kettle with six cups boiling water, seven slices carrot, two slices turnip, one small onion, one stalk celery, one bay leaf, and three sprigs thyme. Cook slowly until fowl is tender. Remove fowl; strain liquor, cool, and skim off fat. Make a thick sauce, using one-fourth cup butter, one-half cup flour, one and one-third cups chicken stock, and one-half cup cream. Remove meat from chicken, chop, and moisten with sauce. Season with salt, cayenne, and slight grating of nutmeg; then add one beaten egg, cool, shape, crumb, and fry same as other croquettes. Arrange around a mound of green peas, and serve with Cream Sauce or Wine Jelly."
---Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Fannie Merritt Farmer, facsimile 1896 reprint [Weathervane Books:New York] 1973 (p. 312)
[NOTE: This source also offers croquette recipes using cheese, chestnuts, rice & jelly, sweet rice, rice & tomato, oyster & macaroni, slamon, lobster, lamb, veal, chicken & mushroom, and sweetbreads. All recipes here.]

"Chicken Croquettes

All meat croquettes are made precisley the same, with the seaonings changed to suit the meat. To boil the chicken, cover it with boiling water, boil rapidly for five minutes, then push it back where it will simmer until tender, one and a half or two hours. At the end of the first hour add one onion, stuck with twelve cloves, two bay leaves, some finely chopped celery or celery seed. The croquettes will be better if the chicken is allowed to cool before chopping. To each three and a half pound chicken use a pair of sweetbreads. Wash the sweetbreads and boil slowly for three-quarters of an hour; pick them apart, rejecting the membrane; chop them quickly with a silver knife and put them aside while you chop the chicken; this is best done in a wooden bowl. Ground meat makes a pasty croquette. To be perfect they must be creamy, not pasty. Mix the sweetbreads and the chopped chicken and measure; to each pint of this allow:
1/2 pint mik
1 rounding tablespoonful of butter
2 rounding tablespoonfuls of flour
1 tablespoonful of parsley
1 teaspoonful of onion juice
1 saltspoonful of pepper
A dash of cayenne
1 saltspoonful of nutmeg.
Put the milk over the fire, rub together the butter and flour, add the milk and cook until smooth and thick; add all the seasoning to the meat, mix it with the sauce and turn out to cool. When cold, make into pyramid-shaped croquettes, dip in beaten egg, to which you have added a tablespoonful of warm water; roll in bread crumbs and fry in smoking hot vat (360 degrees Fahr.) Until a golden brown. Dish on brown paper for a few moments, then on a heated platter; stick a tiny piece of parsley in the top of each; fill the dish with nicely seasoned, cooked peas and send at once to the table. Pass with these, mayonnaise of celery. If served as an entree at dinner, simply pass peas and mushrooms. To rewarm chicken croquettes stand them on a piece of soft brown paper in the bottom of a baking pan; place in a quick oven for not more than eight minutes, better five. If over-heated they will crack and lose their shape. If sweetbreads are not at hand, simply measure the chicken and follow the recipe. Where large quantities of chicken croquettes are to be made, the , the operation will be more easily and quickly done if one quart at a time is made and put aside; one cannot season large quantities and have them as palatable as the smaller ones. For a large entertainment where salad and croquettes are both to be served, use the white meat for salad and the dark meat for croquettes. For church suppers where money must be made at the same time a dainty supper served, boil a large piece of veal with the chickens; chop and use the same as chicken meat. Being cooked wtih the chickens it tastes the same. Ten pounds of veal from the leg and two chickens will make one hundred and fifty croquettes, at an average cost of four cents each."
---Mrs. Rorer's New Cookery Book, Sarah Tyson Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia] 1902 (p. 197-8)

"Chicken Croquettes.

Take two chickens weighing about three pounds each, put them into a saucepan with water to cover, add two onions and carrots, a small bunch or parsley and thyme, a few cloves and half a grated nutmeg, and boil until the birds are tender; then remove the skin, gristle and sinews and chop the meat as fine as possible. Put into a saucepan one pound of butter and two tablespoonfuls of flour, stir over the fire for a few minutes and add half a pint of the liquor the chickens were cooked in an one pint of rich cream, and boil for eight or ten minutes, stirring continually. Remove the pan from the fire, season with salt, pepper, grated nutmeg and a little powdered sweet marjoram, add the chopped meat and stir well. Then stir in rapidly the yolks of four eggs, place the saucepan on the fire for a minute, stirring well, turn the mass onto a dish, spread it out and let it get cold. Cover the hands with flour and form the preparation into shapes, dip them into egg beaten with cream then in sifted breadcrumbs and let them stand for half an hour or so to dry; then fry them a delicate color after plunging into boiling lard. Take them out, drain, place on a napkin on a dish and serve. The remainder of the chicken stock may be used for making consomme or soup."
---The Cook Book by "Oscar" of the Waldorf, Oscar Tschirky [Saafield Publishing:Chicago] 1908 (p. 286)
[NOTE: recipes for Chicken Croquettes Perigourdin (with mushrooms, truffles & cooked smoked tongue) and Queen Style (with mushrooms and Queen sauce) are provided.]

"Chicken Croquettes

1 chicken.
1 tablespoon butter.
2 tablespoons flour.
1/2 pt. milk
1 tablespoonful of chopped parsley
Pepper, salt and a dash of cayenne
A little grated nutmeg
Boil chicken, remove skin and chop fine. When the sauce is cooked add the chopped chicken. Mix well, then set aside to cool. Whe cool mould into shape; dip in egg and breadcrumbs and boil in hot fat. This quantity will make thirteen croquettes."
---The American Home Cook Book, Grace E. Denison [Barse & Hopkins:New York] 1913 (p. 124-5)
[NOTE: This book contans two additional chicken croquette recipes; both containing cream or chicken stock and additional spices.]


Do not attempt croquettes until hou have thoroughly studied Chapter 1. To egg and crumb these, to fry them properly, to be able to serve them hot and free from grease, will be impossible to the inexperienced cook, unless she will carefully read, and adhere to directions given therin. After she has mastered the art of frying properly, she need not fear to attempt them. Keep mixutre as soft as possible, a solid mass is not a good croquette. A mould is necessary if you wish the correct shape, but croquettes taste just as good made in cylindrical sahpes and look as well too. Use a broad knife to shape them, and to egg and crumb them, thus you ensure a smooth surface.

Chicken Croquettes, I
1 1/2 cups minced chicken
1 cup White Sauce
1 dash nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Yolks 2 eggs
For making the white sauce, use cream if you have it, if not, rich milk. Add chicken, which should be minced very fine, to hot sauce, and season well. Add the egg yolks and cook 2 minutes. Remove from the fire and cool. When stiff roll into croquettes, egg and crumb, and set in a cold place for 2 hours. The fry and drain."
---What and How: A Practical Cook Book for Every Day Living, Mrs. Walter D. Bush [Mercantile Printinc Company:Wilmington DE] 1920 (p. 199-200)
[NOTE: This book contains recipes for meat, veal, lamb, potato, bean, cheese, apple sauce, oyster, hominy, and rice croquettes.]

"Chicken, Fish, or Meat Croquettes

2 cups chicken, fish or meat
1 cup croquette sauce
1 egg
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
Cut meat (or fish) in small pieces, add seasoning desired and croquette sauce...Mix together and shape. If mixture is not stiff enough to shape, chill in refrigerator 1/2 hour. When shaped, dip in breadcrumbs, then in the slighly beaten egg, and then in breacrumbs again. Fry in hot deep fat. You can vary the croquettes by adding chopped mushrooms, pimientos, ham, green peppers, etc.

Croquette sauce
For all croquettes
3 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons sifted flour
1 cup milk or white soup stock
1/4 teaspoon onion juice
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
14 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon A1 or Worcestershire sauce
Melt butter; add flour and thoroughly in; add all other ingredients and cook until very thick, stirring slowly while cooking. This makes sufficient sauce to thicken 2 1/2 cups of any meat or fish, for all croquettes."
---The Mystery Chef's Own Cook Book, John MacPherson [Blakiston:Philadelphia] 1934(p. 69-70)


Croquettes really come under the head of frying and are roughly divided into two classes--sweet and savoury--the savoury generally having for their base a thick white sauce to which meat, fish, vegetables, or fruits are added to make up th croquette. Occasionally savoury croquettes may have a base of rice, macaroni, or potato, to which fish or meat is added in smaller proportions than would be the case with a white sauce base. They are used, perhaps, partly as a matter or economy, the less costly vegetable or cereal extending the more expensive the meat. Sweet croquettes are also sometimes made with a foundation of rice, and indeed the rice without any meat of fruit makes a good croquette, flavour being added by the sweet sauce or ruit compote served with it. When white sauce is not used, a binder in the form of white of egg or whole egg must take its place. The general proportions of meat of fish are one and one half to two cupfuls to each cupful of thick white sauce, but these proportions can be varied according to the amount of meat or fish available, except that when the supply of the main ingredient is scant, its bult should be made up by the addition of bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, or perhaps some left-over vegetable, otherwise the finished croquettes are apt to be too moist; for instance, to a cupful of white sauce, when only two-thirds cupful of meat or fish is available yet a certain quantity of bulk must be provided, add diced cooked carrot, turnip, peas, or celery, or even crumbled bread, but where the dry ingredient is bland or negative in flavour something savoury, such as the little poultry dressing, a few drops of onion juice, Worcestershire sauce, or minced herbs must also be added to give snap and flavour. Croquettes, whether sweet or savour, are almost without exception coated with egg and bread crumbs as described in the process of frying. Various croquettes will be found under their proper headings."
---Ida Bailey Allen's Modern Cook Book [Garden City Publishing:Garden City NY] 1935 (p. 436-7)

"Chicken Croquettes

100 portions; 2 croquettes per portion
4 gallons chicken, cooked, finely chopped
1/4 cup salt
1 3/4 tablespoons pepper
3/4 gallon onions, finely chopped
1 quart butter or other fat
1 1/2 quarts flour (for dredging)
1/2 gallon chicken stock
25 eggs, whole
3 3/4 quarts bread crumbs, dry
10 (1 pint) eggs, beaten
1 quart mik, liquid
Bread crumbs
Sprinkle chicken with salt pepper. Fry onions in fat until clear. Add flour and blend to a smooth paste. Stir in stock. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Stir in eggs and bread crumbs. Mix thoroughly. Place in refrigerator until chilled. Shape cold mixture into 3 1/2 to 4-ounce croquettes. Stir eggs into milk. Mix well. Roll croquettes in flour. Dip in milk mixture. Roll in bread crumbs. Fry in hot deep fat at 375 degrees F. 3 to 4 minutes or until browned."
---The Cook Book of the United States Navy, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, NAVSANDA Publication NO. 7 [U.S. Government Printing Office:Washington] revised 1944 (p.171)
[NOTE: instructions for Baked Chicken or Turkey Croquette Loaf provided.]

"Chicken Croquettes

2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup hot milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
a little pepper
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
6 mushrooms, cooked, drained and finely diced (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped, cooked ham (if available)
Melt butter, add flour, mix well and cook until it starts to turn golden. Add milk and cook 15 minutes stirring occasionally with a whip to have a very thick, smooth sauce. Add salt and pepper and combine with eggs. Add chickens, ham and mushrooms, mix all together and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until mixture doesn't stick to sides of pan. Correct the seasoning, spread on a flat buttered dish and let cool. When cold, shape the croquettes as desired in cylindars, cones or balls. Coat a l'Anglaise...and dry in deep hot fat or saute in butter. Serve with Cream Sauce...or Tomato Sauce. Serves 4 to 6."
---Louis Diat's Home Cookbook: French Cooking for Americans [J.B. Lippincott:Philadelphia] 1946 (p. 130)

"Meat, Poultry or Fish Croquettes

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup milk or 1/2 cup evaporated milk and 1/2 cup water
2 cups diced or ground cooked meat (any meat, poultry or flaked cooked fish)
3/4 teapsoon salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon grated onion
Sifted dry bread crumbs
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons milk
Melt butter, blend in four, add 1 cup milk and stir constantly over moderate heat until sauce boils and thickens. Add meat, seasonings and onion and mix well. Chill, then shape into croquettes. Now roll in crumbs, then in beaten egg to which 2 tablespoons milk have been added, and again in crumbs. If convenient, chill at least an hour in refrigerator before frying, as crumbs adhere better. Place in wire basket and fry in deep fat (360 degrees F.). About 10 croquettes.
---The Modern Family Cook Book, Meta Given [J.G. Ferguson:Chicago IL] 1953 (p. 328)

"Chicken or Turkey Croquettes

Makes 4 servings
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup sifted flour
1 cup milk
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon poultry seaoning
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind (optional)
2 tablespoons dry sherry (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (about)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups coarsely ground cooked chicken or turkey meat
1/2 cup soft white bread crumbs
Shortening or cooking oil for deep fat frying
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
1/4 cup cracker crumbs mixed with 1/4 cup minced blanched almonds
Melt butter in a large suacepan over moderate heat and blend in flour; slowly stir in milk, add bouillon cube, parsley, and all seasonings, and heat, stirring, until mixture thickens. Blend a little hot sauce into egg, return to pan, set over lowest heat, and heat, stirring, 1 minute; do not boil. Off heat, mix in chicken and bread crumbs; taste for salt and adjust. Cool, then chill until easy to shape. Shape into 8 patties or sausage-shaped rolls, dip in egg mixture, then roll in crumbs to coat. Let dry in a rack at room temperature while heating fat. Place shortening in a deep fat fryer and heat to 375 degrees F. Fry the croquettes, 1/2 at a time, 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crisp; drain on paper toweling, then keep warm by setting, uncovered, in oven turned to lowest heat while you fry the rest. Good with Tomato or Parsley Sauce. About 435 calories per serving if made with chicken, about 455 calories per serving if made with turkey. "
---Doubleday Cookbook: Complete Contemporary Cooking, Jean Anderson and Elaine Hanna [Doubleday:Garden City NY] 1975 (p. 510)
[NOTE: This book offers recipes for curried chicken, chicken & shellfish, and chicken & ham croquettes.]

Howard Johnson's croquettes
According to the records of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (, Howard Johnson brand foods were introduced to the American public February 1, 1925.


Of course, not every item listed above was introduced at the same time. And? Howard Johnson's chicken croquettes were probably served at the restaurant long before the frozen version hit the grocer's freezer aisle.

This passage indicates Howard Johnson's frozen chicken croquettes were introduced to the American public in July 1938:

"Saul Beck purchased Quick Frozen Foods from Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1985. The magazine name was changed to Frozen Food Digest (including Quick Frozen Foods). The following pages contain events and news that were compiled beginning in 1938. Saul Beck Publications also publishes Quick Frozen Frozen Foods Annual Processors Directory & Buyers' Guide...July...First of several precooked dishes introduced by Howard Johnson's restaurant chain is a 16-ounce pack of chicken croquettes; distribution is throughout New York and New England."
---"Long ago and far away...; events and news published in the Frozen Foods Digest since 1938," Frozen Food Digest, February 12, 1998, No. 3, Vol. 13; Pg. 80

The earliest reference to the frozen product in the New York Times is from 1964:
"When Mr. [Pierre] Franey joined the company, Howard Johnson's line of frozen foods consisted of such items as fried clams, chicken croquettes, macaroni and cheese and lobster Newburg."
---Restaurant Chains Face Quality-Control Problem," George Rood, New York Times, December 24, 1967 (p. 91)
[NOTE: this article mentions Mr. Franey joined the Howard Johnson company in 1960. This confirms your croquettes were sold before this date.]

RELATED FOODS? Crab cakes, fish balls, fritters & hushpuppies.

"Southeast Asia is claimed to have been a major center of duck domestication...especially in southern China, where the birds were kept during the Earlier Han Dynasty (206BC to AD 220). The first written records of domestic ducks date back to the Warring States period (475-221 BC)...But according to one authority, the Chinese have had domesticated ducks for at least 3,000 years...and it is the case that Chinese pottery models of ducks and geese, dating from about 2500BC, have been excavated..."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume 1 (p. 519)

"Duck. A bird which exists in many wild species right round the world, but of which the domesticated kinds are those commonly eaten. Domestication began over 2,000 years ago in China, and was being practised in classical Rome (witness Columella, 1st century AD) and has been pursued with enthusiasm in many parts of the world."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 258)

"The duck may be called the veteran of the henhouse, which might more properly be called the duckhouse, since poultry yards were first organized around that fowl. The Chinese domesticated it 4000 years ago, by taming captured wild species or hatching eggs. Duck dishes are still the pride of Chinese cuisine, after centuries of almost ritual practices to perfect them."
---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes and Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 337)

About Beijing Duck & Peking Duck

Recommended reading: Food in China/Frederick J. Simoons


"Duck is widely used in Thailand, primarily for special occasions. The indigenous birds are smaller and skinnier than ours; also considerably cheaper. In the predominantly Chinese sections of Bankok, rows upon rows of duck hang in the markets, clean plucked but with heads and feet. The Chinese-Thai feature a form of roasted duck with spice sauce (barbecued Pei Par Ngap) but this Gaeng Keo Wan Pet is originally and authentically Thai."
---The Original Thai Cookbook, Jennifer Brennan [Richard Marek:New York] 1981 (p. 140)
[Note: this book contains a recipe for Gaeng Keo Wan Pet (Green Curry of Duck)]

"In Vietnam chickens, as well as other fowl, are produced in barnyards where they grow up fat, happy and tasty. As do ducks. We find them a Vietnamese culinary constant."
---World Food: Vietnam, Richard Sterling [Lonely Planet:Victoria Australia] 2000 (p. 58)

Malaysia & Singapore
" less frequently consumed. Classic dishes, though, are itek sio (stewed duck in coriander), itek tim (duck and salted vegetable soup) and lou ark (Teochew braised duck; served with a piquant cvhilli, Chinese leek and white vinegar dip.)"
---World Food: Malaysia and Singapore, Su-Lyn Tan & Mark Tay [Lonely Planet:Victoria Australia] 2002 (p. 58)

Indonesian Cookery, Lie Sek-Hiang [Bonanza Books:New York] 1963 contains the following duck recipes: Bebek Masak Lada Muda (Braised Duck with Green Peppers) and Bebek Tjuka Goreng (Fried Marinated Duck).


"Aristotle discussed only chickens and geese in his Natural History, and although Theophastus mentioned tame ducks, he failed to indicate whether they were bred in captivity...the keeping of domestic ducks in Greek and Roman times was unusual, though not unknown...Several species were kept in captivity by the Romans, who maintained aviaries...of wild ducks, probably to fatten them up for the table...Varro, writing in 37 B.C. was the first to mention duck raising by the Romans...In the first century A.D. Lucious Junius Moderatus Columella provided advice on keeping ducks...which was considered much more difficult than caring for more traditional fowl...The Saxons may have had domestic Ducks, but as yet the evidence remains unclear...A bit later, in Carolingian France (the eighth to the tenth centuries A.D.), estate survey listing payments due feudal lords indicate that chickens and geese served as tender far more frequently than ducks...The scarcity of wildfowl was most likely significant in hastening domestication...Dean Delacour...has suggested that the mallard may have become truly domesticated in Eruope, only in the medieval period...Although domestic ducks are often identified in archaeological deposits from the sixteenth cnetury onward, they did not increase dramatically in size until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when distinct varieties were recorded."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Volume 1 (p. 519-520)

"In England the most familiar and excellent combination is roast duckling with apple sauce and peas, a dish of the late spring. In France....there is the well known Canard a l'orange); and a good dish of duck and turnip. In other countries there are combinations which reflect the characteristics of their cusines, for example duck and red cabbage in Poland; the use of sour cream, apple, etc. in E. Europe; the Iranian braised duck with walnut and pomeegranate sauce."
---Oxford Companion to Food (p. 258)

"In medieval and Renaissance Europe, though duck was popular, it seems to have been wild duck; if Europeans had domesticated them they could hardly have continued to believe...that ducks were born from the decomposition of leaves. Had ducks been domesticated in England by Elizabethan times? They were cheap enought to make that seem likely--six pence for a large bird."
---Food, Waverly Root [Smithmark:New York] 1980 (p. 111)

American duck
Certain duck species, the food historians tell us, were indigenous to America. Others were introduced by explorers and enterprising businessmen.

"Ducks have been esteemed for their culinary value by most cultures of the world, and it is possible the Indians of Central America domesticated the bird even before the Chinese did. The first European explorers were amazed at the numbers of ducks in American skies and soon commented on the delicious and distinctive flavor of the native Canvasback, whose name figures in every cookbook of the nineteenth century to the extent that no banquet would be considered successful without serving the fowl. On March 13, 1873...the arrival in New York of a Yankee clipper ship with a tiny flock of white Peking ducks--one drake and three females--signaled the beginning of a domestic industry of immense proportions. The birds were introduced to Connecticut and then to eastern Long Island, where they propagated at an encouraging rate. Domestic ducks were bought mostly by newly arrived immigrants...Only in this century did the fowl, by now called "Long Island duckling," attain gastronomic respect...In the nineteenth century wild ducks were usually eaten rare, but today domestic ducks are generally preferred cooked with a very crisp skin and served wither roasted with applesauce or in the classic French manner, with orange sauce...The wild ducks of culinary importance to Americans include the canvasback...the "mallard,"...the "black duck"...the "ring-necked duck"...and the "scooters"...also called "coots.""
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 116-7)

"The New World also had many species of wild ducks, but only the Muscovy (cairina moschata) was domesticated. By the time the Europeans arrived, the Moscovy duck was widely distributed throughout the tropical regions of Central and South America. The Spanish probably introduced it into the Caribbean, and the Portuguese introduced it to West Africa, where it thrived. The slave trade introduced the Muscovy duck into British North America. Archaeological evidence has surfaced demonstrating that slaves raised and consumed these fowl and later introduced them to the rest of America. By the 1840s the Muscovy duck was widely distributed throughout America. It survived as a commercial poulty item in the United States until the late nineteenth century but then largely disappeared as chicken and turkey began to dominate the poultry market. Domesticated ducks were raised on a small scale on farms and were herded to market...An advantage of raising ducks was that these birds foraged and consumed food not eaten by other poultry. In addition, duck feathers were used for clothing and bedding. Canvasback ducks were raised on the Potomac and Susquehanna Rivers in the early nineteenth century and later were shipped to all major East Coast cities and to Europe."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 413)

"When the Europeans reached America, they found great numbers of wild ducks there; Captain John Smith reported on their abundance in Vriginia in 1608. Ducks were still so plentiful in the first half of the nineteenth century that Charles Dickens told of crossing two wide streams on his way from Philadelphia to Washington: "The water in both was blackend with flights of canvas-backed ducks...""
---Food, Waverly Root [Smithmark:New York] 1980 (p. 111-2)

Early American duck recipes
European cookbooks contained recipes for duck (often cooked in similar fashion as goose). To wit? Colonists enjoying the domestic American duck supply likely cooked the bird the same way they learned at home. Hannah Glasse's Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy [London:1747] contains recipes for Duck in the following modes: a la braise, a la mode, boiled the French way, pie, with cucumbers, with onions and with peas. Elizabeth Raffald's Experienced English Housewife [London:1769] offers similar recipes, adding wild duck hash and notes on the differences between roasting tame and wild ducks.

"Stew'd Ducks

Take a Duck (either wild or tame) split it down the back, make some Stuffing with Stale bread, the Liver of the duck, Spice, Parsley, Marjoram, Onion, Butter, Pepper and Salt, all chop'd up together, fill the duck with it and sew it up the back, and put it into a Pott with Water enough to cover it let it stew till the Water is almost stew'd away then add a little Wine and a lump of Butter to the little that remains which makes the gravy and browns the Duck."
---A Colonial Plantation Cookbook: The Receipt Book of Harriott Pinckney Horry, 1770, edited with an introduction by Richard J. Hooker [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 59)
[NOTE: introduction of this book observes "...many of Harriott's recipes were wholly or largely of American origin. The various recipes for curing bacon (hams) would fall in this category, as would probably those for stewing crabs, stewing ducks, sausage, pickled shrimps, journey cake, biscuits...It has often been said theat there are no new recipes. While this is an exaggeration, it is true that at any given time the vast majority of recipes come from preceding generations and will, with the sources rarely acknowledged, be take over by succeeding ones." (P. 22-3).]

You can examine original 19th/early 20th century duck recipes published in American cookbooks courtesy of Michigan State University's digital cookbook project. Searching duck as recipe name and ingredient yields different results. Also see: Confit.

Duck a l'Orange
Food historians tell us the practice of pairing of citrus fruits with fatty meat is thousands of years old, likely originating in the Middle East. Examples are found in many cultures and cuisines. The acid in the fruit countacts the fat in the meat, making the dish more enjoyable and digestible. Think: pork & applesauce; goose & cherry sauce, fish & lemon, and duck a l'orange. About

Ducks have been consumed by humans from prehistoric times forward. They are native to most continents. Recipes evolved according to local taste. Historic notes on European duck cookery are appended to the end of this article. Bitter oranges were introduced, via Spain, in the early middle ages.

As the name suggests, Duck a l'Orange, likely originated in France. Our sources do not specific a particular region/city claiming to be the locus of origin. The Rouen, the center of French duck domestication, is a possibility. On the other hand? 19th century French recipes sometimes specify wild, not domestic, birds. Grand masters of classic French cuisine roasted ducks, noting the practice was revived from earlier times. La Varenne [1651] does not offer a recipe for Duck a l'Orange in his Cuisiner Francois. His duck is graced with a spicy pepper sauce. The earliest French recipes we find conbining ducks and oranges were published in the 19th century.

"From antiquity to our own day, in Europe and elsewhere...a number of such erudite gastronomic revolutions have taken place, the two most important of which, at least insofar as European cuisine is concerned, occurred at the beginning of the eighteenth century and at the beginning of the nineteenth. As we shall see, certain of these revolutions even represented an unwitting step backward: thus the alliance of sweet and salt, of meat and fruit (duck with peaches for instance), which today is regarded as an eccentric specialty of certain restaurants, was the rule in the Middle Ages and held sway down to the end of the seventeenth century: almost all recipes for meat up to that time contain sugar."
---Culture and Cuisine: A Journey Through the History of Food, Jean-Francois Revel, translated by Helen R. Lane [Doubleday:Garden City NY] 1982 (p. 19-20)

A selection of French recipes through time

"Ducklings a la Bigarade.

This entree requires plump fleshy ducks: pick empty, and truss them well, with the legs stuck upwards. First roast them under-done, and make incisions in the breast, what the French call aiguillettes; pour the gravy that issues from the duck into the sause, which must be ready made, in order that you may send up quickly; a thing to be particularly attended to. With respect to the appropriate sauce, see sauces. If you are allowed to serve up fillets only, then you much have three ducklings at least. Roast them under-done; when properly done cut them into aiguillettes, that is, four out of each duck; put then into the sauce with the gravy that runs from them, and send up without loss of time, and quite hot. As soon as you have put the aguillettes into the sauce, squeeze a little juice of bigarade (bitter orange) over the whole; keep stirring well, and serve up the fillets in the sauce. This is a dish for an epicure of the dantiest palate. Do not think of dishing en couronne, to give it a better appearance, but send it up in the suce, and they who eat it will fare the better. Mignonette, or coarse pepper, is required in this sauce, and the entree altogether must be highly seasoned. Before roasting the duck, blanche a handful of sage with a couple of onions cut into quarters; chop them; season them with a little salt and pepper, and sutff the duck; by so doing, it will acquire additoinal savour."
---The French Cook, Louis Eustach Ude, photoreprint of English edition published in 1828 by Larey, Lea and Carey:Philadelphia [Arco Publishing:New York] 1978 (p. 248-9)
[NOTE: Ude's recipe employs pepper, similar to La Varenne's.]

The Encyclopedia of Practical Gastronomy/Ali-Bab contains a recipe for Caneton Roti, Sauce a L'Orange. We only have a translated copy [Elizabeth Benson:1974, p. 296]. There are no historic notes or recommendations for type of duck (duckling) to be used.


"There are forty-two varieties of duck. One of the best is the musk duck, whose flesh is very delicate...Barbary ducks are the biggest...Rouen ducklings, highly esteemed for their size and other qualities, are produced in this manner. The wild duck is nearly always grilled on a spit. The young wild duck shot at the end of August is called an albran. In September he becomes a duckling and is definately a duck in October. Albrans, which are to an ordinary duck as a partridge to a hen, are broiled on a spit and served on toast soaked in their own juices, to which are added the juice of bitter oranges, a little soy sauce, and some grains of fine pepper. This is a delicate, distinguished dish....

"Wild Duck with Orange Sauce.
Clean and truss 4 wild ducks. Skewer and roast over a lively fire 12 to 14 minutes, brushing them with oil in the process. Salt, slice off the breasts, and lay them in a flat pan with a little glaze on the bottom. Heat for 1 minute to dry the moisture from the breasts. Arrange on a platter and pour over them the following sauce: Orange sauce. Take the zest of an unripe orange. Cut it into julienne strips, cook in water, and drain in a sieve. Then put them into a little pot and out over them 1 glass of clear, reduced aspic. Heat. Just before serving, thin the sauce with the juices of 1 lemon and 1 orange."
---Dictionary of Cuisine, Alexander Dumas, edited, abridged and translated by Louis Colman [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1958 (p. 105-6)

"Caneton braise a l'Orange--Braised Duckling with Orange

This recipe should not be mistaken for the one for roast duckling served with orange, as the two are totally different. Instead of ordinary oranges, Bigarade or bitter oranges may be used but in this case the segments should not be used as a garnish because of their bitterness; only their juice should be used for the sauce. Brown the duckling in butter and braise it slowly in 4 dl (14 lf oz or 1 3/4 U.S. cups) Sauce Espagnole and 2 dl (7 lb oz or 7/8 U.S. cup) brown stock until it is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Remove the duckling from the cooking liquid when ready; remove all fat and reduce until very thick. Pass through a fine strainer and add the juice of 2 oranges and half a lemon then bring the sauce back to its original consistencey. Complete this sauce with the zest of half an orange and half a lemon, both cut in fine Julienne and well blanched and drained. Take care not to boil the sauce after adding the juice and the Julienne of zest. Glaze the duckling at the last moment, place it on a dish, surround with a little of the sauce and border with segments of orange completely free of skin and pith. Serve the rest of the sauce separately."
---Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier, first translation into Englsih by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann of Le Guide Culinaire in it entirety [Wiley:New York] 1979 (p. 415)
[NOTE: Escoffer also combines duck with cherries and other fruits.]

"Duck a la Orange (Canard a l'Orange)

According to different epochs and authors, there are several dishes that deserve this title. Some say that the duck is roasted and accompanied by a bigarade ("bitter orange") sauce: this sauce is a very reduced brown sauce to which orange juice is added, to return it to its original consistency, and then orange peel, cut in julienne, is added. Or, more simply, the juices from roasting the duck are thoroughly degreased and then diluted with ordinary juice; starch is added to make a liaison, then added. As for every roast duck, this method and only be used on a young and tender duck. Other authors suggest braising, which does not require a beast that is quite to tender. The procedure of braising can vary according to your means. When you have brown sauce, add this to the duck, which has first been colored in butter; later, the sauce is reduced, when finished with orange juice and the julienne of orange peel. If you do not have this brown sauce ready in advance, proceed as described further down. But one way or the other, note that the duck must be cooked long enough so that it reaches the point where it could be, as the French say, "carved with a spoon": that is the characteristic of duck that has been braised a l'orange. You should also observe that, for juice or sauce, you must not let it boil after adding the orange juice and the zest; and roasted or braised, the duck should be surrounded by orange quarters, which are trimmed of all their membranes."La Bonne Cuisine, Madame E. Saint-Ange, translated and with an introduction by Paul Aratow [Ten Speed Press:Berkeley CA] 2005 (p. 380-1)
[NOTE: This book contains Saint-Ange's recipe. Your librarian will be hapy to help you obtain a copy. If you prefer the original 1927 French edition let us know. Happy to mail/fax.]

A survey of American cookbooks/magazines from WWII forward confirms Duck a l'Orange was a popular dinner party menu option from the 1950s-1970s. Some recipes were true to the original; others were simplified. McCall's Cook Book circa 1963 instructs cooks to cover spread the duckling with orange marmelade (p. 484).

"Although fancy big-city restaurants were serving this French classic before the turn of the century, it did not become the province of the home cook until well after World War II."
---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 136)

Finger steaks
There are two menu items called finger steaks. One is a simple thin cut of meat prepared in
conventional French ways. The other is a deep-fried portable beef fair food akin to corn dogs and chicken strips. The latter is proudly claimed by Boise, Idaho. Willie Schrier at the Torch Restaurant, is often credited for its "invention" in 1957.

"'Willie' was Willie Schrier, founder of the home-style cooking eatery, and originator of finger steaks at the Torch Restaurant he also owned....Willie Schrier died in 1996, but Marian and her twin sister Mary Thomas, continue to run the restaurant."
---"Restaurant doesn't pull punches with its witty signs," Charles Etlinger, The Idaho Statesman, June 21, 1999 (p. 1B)

"In my May 1 column, I shared with you that the fingersteak recipe from the original Torch restaurant was under lock and key by the current owner. Since then, the first owner, Margaret (who co-owned the establishment with husband Mylo Bybee), has told me they've kept their recipe a family secret. I've since found out that the second owner of the Torch sold a recipe to the third. That's the one under lock and key. In any case, the recipe is still not available to the public. Sorry, folks."
---"Garden stroll can lead to great food," Romaine Galey Hon, The Idaho Statesman, June 5, 2002 (p. 3)

The earliest recipe we find for "conventional" Finger Steaks in the New York Times (a far cry from Idaho) was published in 1948:

"Finger Steaks in Wine Sauce
1 pound round steak
1 cup dry red table wine
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1.2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons fat
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 eight-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1. Slice steak into thin slivers or strips. Place in a bowl with wine, garlic, salt, sugar and pepper. Cover and let stand in a cold place severla hours or overnight. Drain meat, reserving liquid. Remove garlic and discard.
2. Melt fat in a frying pan over moderate heat. Add meat and brown. Add onion and continue cooking five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato sauce and Kitchen Bouquet. Combine cornstarch with the liquid drained from the meat. Add liquid and cook, stirring constantly, till sauce thickens and boils. Yield: four portions."
---"News of Food", Jane Nickerson, New York Times, October 9, 1948 (p. 10)

Foie gras
Food historians generally attribute the genesis of fattening animals to enhance the taste of their livers to Ancient Mediterranean cooks. Literature connects this practice specifically to Ancient Roman cookery. Foie gras was also known and appreciated in Greece, evidenced by the fact that Homer references this delicacy in his Odyssey. The practice of fattening animals was introduced to Europe by Roman conquerors. France, in particular, embraced this delicacy. About
pate de foie gras.

"Fattening, farming practices aimed a producing bigger animals, with better-tasting or more tender meat, than would be the case without intervention. Details depend upon the species...Fattening was a familiar business in Mediterranean farming of the first millenum BC...The Greek verb siteuomai, 'feed', applies to geese and to smaller birds. With these...fattening was carried out largely by intensive feeding, and eventually force feeding, with selected foods...In the Odyssey Penelope, with the suitors on her mind, dreams of twenty geese fattening in her farmyard...Late Greek and late Latin terms for 'liver', sykoton, ficatum, have the literal meaning 'stuffed with figs', because, as Pliny, Galen and Pollux explain, pigs were fed with dried figs to produce large and fine-flavoured liver. Pliny attributes the invention of the method to Apicius."
---Food in the Ancient World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 141-2)

"Goose, group of large birds domesticated in prehistoric times in the Near East and southern Europe. The goose was a domsticated animal by the time of the earliest Greek literature. The goose was surely the commonest farmyard bird in early Greece until the spread of chicken, from India and Iran, around 600 BC. The relative ubiquity of chickens explains why geese are less frequently mentioned in Greek and Latin literature. They continued to be kept, however, both for their meat and for their eggs...fattening of geese is mentioned in the Odyssey...The liver of force fed geese, known as foie gras, is nowadays an expensive delicacy. The first reference to this gourmet product may possibly be in a fragment by Eubilus, writing in the mid fourth century BC: the point is discussed by Plutarch in Anthanaeus's dialogue. However, goose livers are good to eat whether or not the goose is especially fattened, so a reference to goose liver does not prove that foie gras is intended. Pliny is certain that the idea of foie gras was Roman, and names two possible inventors in the first century BC, one of whom is Metelus Scipio, governor of Syria in 49-48. Foie gras is certainly mentioned by Horace and Marital. The Greek phrase trypheron sykoton, literally equivalent to foie gras, occurs first in the late second century AD in a text by Pollux."
---Food in the Ancient World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 161-2)

"Foie gras. Goose or duck liver which is grossy enlarged by methodically fattening the bird'...The enlarged liver has been counted a delicacy since classical times, when the force-feeding of the birds was practised in classical Rome. It is commonly said that the practice dates back even further, to ancient Egypt, and that knowledge of it was possibly acquired by the Jews during their 'period of bondage' there and transmitted by them to the classical civilizations. However, Serventi...casts doubt on this legend, while agreeing that Jews played an important role in diffusing throughout Europe knowledge of the techniques for successfuly 'cramming' the birds and processing the livers. In modern times the foie gras of the south-west of France and that of Strasbourg have been the most renown, although much of what is now consumed in France has its origin in eastern Europe or Israel.."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford Universtiy Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 311-2)

"If caviar is in the nature of a gastronomic dream, the thought of foie gras could be said to induce a kind of voluptiously mingled sense of greed and bliss. Indeed, foie gras exemplifies greed twice over, being the result of fatty enlargement of the liver of geese and ducks induced by cramming, i.e.., the over-feeding to which the chose fowls are subjected. The goose itself invented cramming. The ancient Egyptians were the first ot notice the phenomenon: at the season when wild geese are about to migrate, and must travel thousands of kilometres without any chance of feeding, they eat such large quantities of food that reserves of energy are stored in their livers as fat. Geese trapped by the Egyptians just before the great migration provided a real feast. Someone had the idea of cramming the domestic ducks and geese which, as we have seen, were descended from captured wild species...Several...depictions of this subject, and representations of baskets full of fat geese, all dating from the Fifth Dynasty, show that the cramming of geese was a usual practice from the third millennium BC onwards...But we do not know exactly how the Egyptians cooked and ate the foie gras of their geese and ducks...The Greeks...according to Athenaeus, were expert at fattening geese with wheat pounded with water'. The practice became common among the Romans, who were anxious to serve anything magnificent, enormous, of generous size, unique or monstrous at their tables...Pliny gives no details about the cramming of geese, but he agrees that the Romans liked their tender liver, foie gras, the liver of the Gaulish geese...How did the Romans eat the foie gras of their geese? If Juvenal is to be believed, it was served hot...Henri IV of France...liked fat salt geese...but few texts from his him mention foie gras...Valmont de Bomare's Dictionnaire d'histoire naturelle explains in the article on goose' that the liver of that fowl was considered an exquisite delicacy by the Romans'. Are we to infer that people no longer thought it so exquisite in 1768...The pate of Perigeux mentioned in the Dictionnaire portatif de cuisine of 1767 is a recipe which sounds quite modern although very lavish, calling for 12 foies gras, two pounds of truffles, mushrooms and chives. This is highly suggestive of the modern tendency to confuse extreme richness with gastronomy...Perigord had long been noted for the excellence of its truffles pates...A lot of nonsense has been talked about the sacred alliance of truffles and 'foie gras', and there is a fanciful legend to the effect that the pates of Nerac which Henry IV liked consisted of foie gras and truffles. This is an invention of food writers."
---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translatd by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 424-434)

"Whether from the goose or the duck, foie gras has always been considered a rare delicacy, but the way in which it is served has changed according to culinary fashion. At one time it was served at the end of the meal. The traditional truffle and aspic accompaniments are now thought to be superflous by some, who prefer to serve it with lightly toasted farmhouse bread (leavened and slightly acid), rather than with plain slices of toast. Nouvelle cuisine set as much store by foie gras as classic cuisine, and sometimes gave it novel accompaniments, such as green leeks, pumpkin or even scallops. However, the classic recipes, both hot and cold, still retain their prestige. Most dishes described as a la perigourdine or Rossini are prepared with foie gras."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2000 (p. 502) [NOTE: this book contains classic recipes]

"The Renaissance love of foie gras was also linked to the ancents' texts. Porta and Nonnius alluded to passages on fattened liver in Horace, Pliny, Martial, Juvenal, Galen, and Palladius. Observing that fattened pig livers were elegant fare for the Greeks and the Romans, Bruyerin noted that Pliny thought the cramming of sows and geese with figs to enlarge their livers was an invention of Marcus Apicius. Pliny had also explained, continued Bruyerin, that once the liver had been removed from the animal, it was soaked in milk and honey to increase its size still further, a procedure said to have been invented by Scipio, Metellus, or Marcus Seius. Porta offered detailed instructions from Palladius on how to enlarge goose livers, and Frances Bacon, quoting Porta's work, reminds his readers that artificially fattened goose liver was a Roman delicacy. In France, Bruyerin claimed, the fatted cock's or hen's liver was more highly though of than the liver of a crammed goose, though fifty years later the Tresor de sante called goose liver "a royal dish, of which the Romans also made much, as reported by Pollux and Athenaeus." In 1570 Bartolomeo Scappi credited the Jews with creating a business out of the interest in foie gras. Some of the livers they sold, he reported, weighted as much as three pounds. In the late eighteenth century Pierre Le Grand d'Aussy wrote that "the Jews of Metz and of Strasbourg possess the same secret [as did the ancients], though their precise methods we do not know. And the secret is one of the branches of commerce that made them rich. As is well know, Strasbourg makes these livers into pates whose reputation is renowned."
---Acquired Taste: The French Origins of Modern Cooking, T. Sarah Peterson [Cornell University Press:Ithaca NY] 1994 (p. 94-5)

"Among organs foie gras had become perhaps the most celebrated. Any attempt to discuss this delicacy in the Italian cookbooks involves a semantic problem. Latin has basically two ways of denoting liver, jecur and ficatum, the latter derived from the custom of feeding pigs and geese figs (fici) to fatten their livers. Apicius generally uses jecur for animal livers but twice employs ficatum, presumably to indicate a crammed liver. The Italian fegato comes from the Latin factum and so implied a fattened liver. Yet fegato has come to mean simply liver, and there is no reason to suspect that it did not have this meaning in the fourteenth century. The French and English cookbooks of that time do not pose a language obstacle: the only words that appear are "foie" in the French and "liver" in the English, with no adjective attached to indicate a fattened liver. Again we see Platina start the discussion, but a commitment to fattened livers is not apparent in the sixteenth-century Italian cookbooks. Foie gras enters the French cookery works with La Varenne, and although the English books occasionally refer to it, the crammed goose liver becomes a motif from antiquity almost totally identified with France, as is the case with meat pates (meats wrapped in pastry), spurred by a passage in Apicius. By the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the whole gamut of prestigious meat concoctions and body parts had entered the composed dishes first of France, then of England."
---Acquired Tastes...(p. 105-7)
[NOTE: This book contains a brief survey of foie gras recipes from La Varenne (1651) to Glasse (1748).]

Dan Barber [Stone Barns] on Foie Gras.

Fois Gras, The Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemis Ward: 253

Pate de foie gras
The word pate derives from paste, as in pastry. Pate de foie gras is fatted goose liver encased in pastry. The concept is ancient, the elevation of this dish to culinary art is attributed to the French. The Strousbourg region in particular.

"Pate...This word is used in three ways in French: pate, pate en terrine, and pate en croute. In France the word pate on its own should, strictly speaking, only be applied to a dish consisting of pastry case (shell) filled with meat, fish, vegetables, or fruit, which is baked in the oven and served hot or cold. The best English translation of this word is pie, although many of these dishes are much richer and more elaborate than the sort of pie usually eaten in England and America...'Pate en terrine' is a meat, game, or fish preparation put into a dish (terrine) lined with bacon, cooked in the oven, and always served cold. The correct French abbreviation of this is terrine but in common usage the French also call it pate....Pate was known to the Romans, who used to make it chiefly with pork but also used all types of marinated spiced ingredients...In the Middle Ages, there were numerous recipes for patisseries (meats cooked in pastry) made with pork, poultry, eel....Most pates sold in delicatessens are actually terrines, based on pork meat or offal (in pieces or minced) bound with eggs, milk, jelly, etc."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 853-4)

"Pate, a French term whose meaning and use have both enlarged since early medieval times. The original meaning is best conveyed in English by the word pie' (or perhaps pastry' where the connection is more obvious). What was meant was a pastry case filled with any of various mixtures (meat, fish, vegetables), baked in the oven and served either hot or cold...By natural extension, the term came to mean not only the whole pie but also what was in the pie, especially if it was something which could be served cold, in slices. At this point the meaning became much the same as that of terrine. Once pate had evolved in this direction, so that it was not thought of as being in a pastry case, there was a problem over what to call it when it was in a pastry case. The phrase "pate in croute" fills this gap."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 584)

"Pate...Almost any expert and discerning cook can vouch for the fact that a pate is nothing more than a well-made meat loaf. It is simply a bit more rarified--using, perhaps, truffles and Cognac and other out-of-the-oridinary, often expensive, seasonings. The French, too, have quite basic terms for their not-too-fancy-pates. They refer to them as gateau de viande (meat cake) or a pain de viande (meat bread). One of the accomplishments of the nouvelle cuisine has been to broaden the use and variety of pates. Less than a generation ago, most pates were based largely on meat --pork or veal--and goose or duck livers. Today, however, one encounters fish pates, vegetable pates, pates made with almost anything that can be cooked in a loaf pan. Incidentally, there is no difference between a pate and a terrine. Originally, a terrine was a ground meat mixture baked in an earthenware utensil. The name derives from the world terra, meaning earth. Baked meat creations cooked in such molds are often referred to as terrines. The word pate stems from "paste" and is related to such words as pastry and pasta. It is an educated guess that meat creations baked in pastry were dubbed pate as a result. Today, pates are often cooked in and served from terrines or eathenware molds. And terrines are often covered with pastry before they are baked."
---Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia, compiled by Joan Whitman [Times Books:New York] 1985 (p. 326)

[1875] British notes on pate de foies gras:

These pasties, so highly esteemed by epicures, are made at Strasburg, and thence exported to various parts. They are prepared from the livers of geeese, which have been tied down for three or four weeks to prevent them from moving, and forcibly compelled to swallow, at intervals, a certain amount of fattening food. When they have become so fat that they would die in a short time, they are killed, and their livers, which have become very rich, fat, and pale during the process, are used for the above purpose. These pates are very expensive. A good imitation of them may be made without subjecting the unfortunatle geese to the cruelties described by following the direction here hive:--Take the livers from three fine fat geese, and in drawing the birds be careful not to bread the gall-bag, as the contents would impart a bitter taste to the livers. Carefully remove any yellow spots there may be upon them, and lay the livers in milk for six or eight hours to whiten; cut them in halves, and put three halves aside for forecemeat. Soak, wash, and scrub, and peel three-quarters of a pound of truffles, carefully preserving the cuttings. Slice a third of them into narrow strips, like lardoons, and pick them into the remainder of the livers three-quarters of an inch apart, sprinkle over them a little pepper, salt, and spice, and put them in a cool place until the forcemeat is amde. Mince finely, first separately and afterwards together, a pound of fresh bacon, a thrid of the truffles, the halves of the livers that were put away for the purpose, two shallots, and eight or ten button mushrooms; season the mixutre with plenty of pepper and salt, two or three grates of nutmed, and half a salt-spoonful of powedered marjoram, and keep chopping until it is quite smooth. Make the paste according to the directions given in Paste for Raised Pies...Cover the bottom of the pie with thin rashers of ham, fat and lean together; spread evenly on these one-half of the forcemeat, then put in the three livers, with the slices of truffle stuck in them, and afterwards the remainder of the forcemeat. Intersperse amongst the contents of the pie the remaining quarter of a pound of truffles, anc cover the whole with two or three mroeslices of ham or bacon. Put the cover on the pie, ornament as fancy dictates, brush it over with beaten egg, make a hole in the centre for the steam to escape, and bake in a moderate overn. Time to bake, two hours or more...Sufficient for a dozen persons."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin:London] 1875 (p. 517-8)

[1903] Escoffier on pate de foie gras:

"3491. To Cook and Present Foie gras.
For serving as a hot dish the goose liver should firstly be well trimmed and the nerves removed; it is then studded with quarters of small raw peeled truffles which have been seasoned with salt and pepper, quickly set and stiffened over heat with a little brandy together with a bay-leaf. Before using the truffles leave them to cool in a tightly closed terrine. After the foie gras has been studded, wrap it completely in thin slices of salt pork fat or pig's caul, and place in a tightly closed terrine for a few hours. The best method for preparing a hot whole foie gras is to cook it as follows, using a pastry that will absorb the excess fat as and when it melts. Cut out two oval layers of Pie Paste (2774) slightly larger than the foie gras; place the foie gras on one of the ovals and surround it with medium-sized peeled truffles. Place half a bayleaf on top, moisten the edges of the paste, cover with the other oval of paste and seal the edges well together decorating the edges. Brush with eggwash, decorate by scoring with the point of a small knife and make a hole in the top for the steam to escape whilst cooking. Bake in a fairly hot oven for 40-45 minutes for a liver weighing from 750-800 g (1 lb 10 oz). Serve as it is accompanied with the selected garnish. To serve: in restaurants the head waiter cuts around the top of the pie crust and removes it. He then cuts portions of the foie gras with a spoon and places each portion on a plate with some of the garnish as indicated on the menu."
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier, translation of 1903 edition by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann [John Wiley:New York] 1997 (p. 419-420)
[NOTE: Escoffier incudes 19 recipes for hot foie gras and 11 recipes for cold foie gras.]

Fried chicken
People have been frying all sorts of foods (meat,
bread, vegetables) since ancient times. This fuel-efficient cooking method had several advantages, one of which was portability. Dredging meat with flour and spices before cooking tenderized the item and enhanced its flavor. Medieval European cooks built on this concept, creating fricassee. Fricassee is not fried, but simmered in butter and served with creamy sauce. In the United States, fried chicken is traditionally considered a Southern dish. Maryland-style fried chicken is traditionally served with gravy, reminiscent of fricassee. Batter-fried chicken appears to be a gift from northern European cuisine. Chicken is a global food; recipes vary according to time, culture and cuisine.

What's the difference between fried and deep fried?
The trouble with researching the history of deep fried food (items cooked by total immersion in fat) is the term. Webster's New Unabridged Dictionary traces the term "deep fry" in print only to the 1930s. Prior to that, evidence regarding deep frying must be culled from a careful examination of instructions provided in cooking texts. References to boiling lard and notes on draining sometimes indicate the item was to be deep fried.

Food historians tell us one of the first foods known to be deep fried are fritters. Apicius provides recipes for sweet and savory fritters in his ancient Roman cooking text. Unfortunately, he does not describe in detail the method used for cooking them. This is not uncommon in early texts; it was assumed the cook already possessed this knowledge. Medieval texts contain a wide selection of fritter recipes. The Dutch were are said to have perfected this recipe, expanding it to crullers and doughnuts. Culinary evidence confirms these items were "deep fried."

Mrs. D. A. Lincoln in her Boston Cooking School Cook Book [1884] provides detailed instructions for deep frying, although she does not use that term. Her notes on frying.

Karen Hess' definative historic notes on fricassee and fried chicken can be found in her transcription of Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery, [Columbia University Press:New York] 1981 (p. 40-44).

Southern fried chicken
"Southern fried chicken
Chicken parts that are floured or battered and then fried in hot fat. The term southern fried' first appeared in print in 1925...Southerners were not the first people in the world to fry chickens, of course. Almost every country has its own version, from Vietnam's Ga Xao to Italy's pollo fritto and Austria's Weiner Backhendl, and numerous fricassees fill the cookbooks of Europe. And fried chicken did not become particularly popular in the northern United States until well into the nineteenth century...The Scottish, who enjoyed frying their chickens rather than boiling or baking them as the English did, may have brought the method with them when they settled the South. The efficient and simple cooking process was very well adapted to the plantation life of the southern African-American slaves, who were often allowed to raise their own chickens. The idea of making a sauce to go with fried chicken must have occurred early on, at least in Maryland, where such a match came to be known as "Maryland fried chicken." By 1878 a dish by this name was listed on the menu of the Grand Union hotel in Saratoga, New York..."
---The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 305-6)
[NOTE: this book has much more information than can be paraphrased here. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy]

"Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century descriptions of colonial foodways ignored the chicken for the most part. In the earliest manuscripts to enter America there are, of course, chicken recipes for roasts, stews, and pies, and none other than Governor William Byrd II was dining on the iconic southern dish of fried chicken at his Virginia plantation by 1709..." ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 226)

Recipes through time

Ancient Rome
PULLUM FRONTONIANUM (Chicken a la Fronto)

(Apicius. 6, 9, 13)

1 fresh chicken (approx. 1-1.5kg)
100ml oil
200ml Liquamen, or 200ml wine + 2 tsp salt
1 branch of leek
fresh dill, Saturei, coriander, pepper to taste
a little bit of Defritum

Start to fry chicken and season with a mixture of Liquamen and oil, together with bunches of dill, leek, Saturei and fresh coriander. Then cook approximately 1 hour with 220 deg C in the oven. When the chicken is done, moisten a plate with Defritum, put chicken on it, sprinkle pepper on it, and serve.

"To Fry Chicken

Take your chickens and let them boil in very good sweet broth a pretty while. Take the chickens out and quarter them out in pieces. Then put them into a frying pan with sweet butter, and let them stew in the pan. But you must not let them be brown with frying. They put out the butter out of the pan, and then take a little sweet broth, and as much verjuice, and the yolks of two eggs and beat them together. Put in a little nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper into the sauce. Then put them all into the pan to the chickens, and stir them together in the pan. Put them into a dish and serve them up."
---The Good Housewife's Jewel, Thomas Dawson, 1596, with an introduction by Maggie Black [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1996 (p. 41)

"Pullets fried

After they are dressed, cut into peeces and well washed, boile them in good broth, and when they are almost sodden drain them, and fry them. After five or six turns, season them with salt and good herbs, as parsely, chibols, &c. Allay some yolks of eggs for to thicken the sauce, and serve."
---The French Cook, Francoise Pierre, La Varenne, Englished by I.D.G. 1653, Introduced by Philip and Mary Hyman [Southover Press:East Sussex] 2001 (p. 52)

"Fricassee of Small Chickens

Take off the legs and wings of four chickens, separate the breasts from the backs, cut off the necks and divide the backs across, clean the gizzards nicely, put them with the livers and other parts of the chicken, after being washed clean, into a sauce pan, add pepper, salt, and a little mace, cover them with water, and stew them till tender, then take them out, thicken half a pint of the water with two table spoonsful of flour rubbed into four ounces of butter, add half a pint of new milk, boil all together a few minutes, then add a gill of white wine, stirruing it in carefully that it may not curdle, put the chickens in and continue to shake the pan until they are sufficiently hot, and serve them up.

Fried Chickens
Cut them up as for the fricassee, dredge them well with flour, sprinkle them with salt, put them into a good quantity of boiling lard, and fry them a light brown, fry them a light brown, fry small pieces of mush and a quantity of parsley nicely picked to be served in the dish with the chickens, take half a pint of rich milk, add to it a small bit of butter with pepper, salt, and chopped parsley, stew it a little, and pour it over the chickens, and then garnish with the fried parsley."
---The Virginia House-Wife, Mary Randolph, Facsimile 1824 edition with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina:Columbia] 1984 (p. 252-3)

"Fried Chicken

Cut the chicken up, separating every joint, and wash clean. Salt and pepper it, and roll into flour well. Have your fat very hot, and drop the pieces into it, and let them cook brown. The chicken is done when the fork passes easily into it. After the chicken is all cooked, leave a little of the hot fat in the skillet; then take a tablespoonful of dry flour and brown it in the fat, stirring it around, then pour water in and stir till the gravy is as thin as soup."
---What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, Abby Fisher, In Facsimile (1881) with historical notes by Karen Hess [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] 1995 (p. 20)
[NOTE: This book is considered to be the first published cook book written by an African American.]

"Fried Chicken

Prepare young chicken and sprinkle with salt and lay on ice 12 hours before cooking. Cut the chicken in pieces and dredge with flour and drop in hot boiling lard and butter--equal parts--salt and pepper, and cover tightly and cook rather slowly--if it cooks too quickly it will burn. Cook both sides to a rich brown. Remove chicken and make a gravy by adding milk, flour, butter, salt, and pepper. Cook till thick, and serve in separate bowl."
---The Blue Grass Cook Book, compiled by Minnie C. Fox, facsimile reprint 1904 edition [University Of Kentucky Press:Lexington KY] 2005 (p. 88)

"Chicken, Southern Style.

Disjoint 'frying size' chicken night before using. Let stand in cold water for hour before cooking. When ready to use wipe off with cloth. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and flour. Dip in well beaten egg, roll in cracker or toast crumbs, fry in deep fat. Place in dripping-pan and cover, place in oven for 15 minutes, after which remove cover and allow to become crisp and brown. If desired, pour the cream gravy over chicken on chop dish or serve separately in gravy boar. Delicious.
Fried Chicken, Virginia Style
Clean a fat young chicken and disjoint it as for a fricassee. Wipe, dredge with salt, pepper and flour and spread out on a platter. In a deep frying-pan try out 1/2 pound of fat bacon, add 1 cupful of crisco; when hot put in the pieces of chicken, cooking only enough at one time to allow plenty of room for turning over. As fast as nicely colored lift from the pan to a platter, set where the chicken will keep hot. When all of the chicken is cooked, pour of the greater part of the fat, leaving about 2 tablespoonfuls in the pan. Dredge in sufficient flour to absorb the grease, stir until browned, the add gradually 1 pint of milk and cook until thick and smooth. Season to taste, carefully lay in the fried chicken and simmer for 3 minutes, then dish and serve."
---Culinary Echoes From Dixie, Kate Brew Vaughn [MacDonald Press:Cincinnati OH] 1914 (p. 58-59)

Old Fashioned Fried Chicken-Maryland Style

Put an ounce of butter in a frying pan, and add four slices of lean salt pork dipped in flour; when turned to a golden color take off the salt pork, add two and a half pounds of chicken disjointed, also dipped in milk and flour. Fry until cooked. Take off chicken, drain fat from frying pan, pour in a cup of light cream and milk, reduce to half and add one cup of light cream sauce, boil a few minutes, strain over chicken sprinkled with chopped chives and parsley, garnish with two corn fritters, two sweet potato croquettes, two slices fried tomato and the four pieces of crisp salt pork.--A.J. Fink, Managing Director, Southern Hotel, Baltimore"
---Eat, Drink and be Merry in Maryland, Frederick Philip Steiff [G.P. Putnam's Sons:New York] 1932 (p. 86)

Batter Fried Chicken
Our survey of fried chicken recipes published in historic American cookbooks confirms Mr. Fowler's statement regarding batter frying not being as popular as spiced/flour/egg dipped. This is nothing new. Making batter takes a little more time than dredging. We also discovered two distinct ways of combining batter and chicken. From the get-go and after the chicken was mostly cooked. Interesting, yes? Batter-dipped fried chicken descends (albeit in a quirky way) from Ancient Roman Fritters and Medieval Portuguese Tempura. Southern-style American cuisine offers many deep-fried New World variations, from hushpuppies to corn dogs. Worth noting, too, is the proliferation of "batter pudding" recipes, readily adapted to fish, vegetables, and fruit.

Early recipes coat the chicken in batter before cooking

"Fried Chickens.
Chickens are nicesest for frying when they are about half grown. Cut off the wings and legs, separate the back from the breast, cut it across, and split each piece, divide the breast, clean the giblets, and rinse them all in cold water; season them with salt and pepper, dip them in batter, and fry them a yellowish brown in lard, which should be boiling when the chicken is put in. Thicken the gravy with brown flour, chopped parsley, pepper and cream; serve up the chicken, and our the gravy round."
---Kentucky Housewife, Lettice Bryan, facsimile 1839 edition [Image Graphics:Paducah KY] (p. 119)

"Battered Chicken.
Make a light batter with three eggs, a small tablespoonful of butter, a little wheat flour, and salt into the taste. Joint your chickens, and put them into the batter. Grease your frying-pan, throw the mixture of chicken and batter into it, and fry a good brown.--This quantity of batter will suffice for one pair of chickens."
---The Carolina Housewife, Sarah Rutledge, facsimle 1847 edition [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1979 (p. 82)

"Chickens Fried in Batter," Elizabeth Lea, Domestic Cookery

Later recipes add the batter after the chicken is (mostly) cooked

"Batter Fried Chicken.
Prepare young chickens for cooking and cut at joints into pieces. Make a batter of two cups flour, one tablespoonful baking powder, three-fourths teaspoonful salt, one-half teaspoonful black pepper, two eggs, one-half cup milk or more. Have a skillet of deep fat and put the chicken in, no piece within an inch of touching another. When the pieces are brown on the underside, turn them over and put a large kitchen spooonful of the batter on each piece. The fat must be deep enough to brown the batter without turning it over, and the batter must not be soft enought to spread out too much."
---Old Southern Receipts, Mary D. Pretlow [Robert M. McBride:New York] 1930 (p. 53-54)

"Batter for Chickens.
This recipe, contributed by Mary Leize Simons for the old notebook of Miss Elizabeth Harleston, proved to be most delicious, though at first glance it was not very enlightening. It reads: 'One pint of milk one pint of flour, two eggs, a little salt; beat up very light--Yeast Poweder.' After experimenting with this batter for deep-fat frying we found that the following amounts owuld make enough batter to coer a medium-sized chicken.
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
Mix and sift the dry ingredients. Mix the egg and milk together and combine with the first mixture. Dip each piece of chicken in the batter and fry in deep fat until brown. The chicken must, of course, be cooked until tender before dipping in th batter since the short time of frying would not cook the chicken."---Mary Leize Simons." ---200 Years of Charleston Cooking, recipes gathered by Blanche S. Rhett [Random House:New York] revised edition, 1934 (p. 77-78)

"Fried Chicken--(deep fat).
Chicken for frying in deep fat is generally cutinto quarters and dipped in thin batter (1 egg, 3/4 cup milk, 1 cup sifted flour, 1/2 teasppon salt.). Or, if preferred, use and egg-and-crumb coating."
---The South Carolina Cook Book, Collected and edited by the South Carolina Extension Homemakers Council [University of South Carolina Press: Columbia SC] revised edition., 1953 (p. 166)

Additional batter-fried American recipes: [1877] "Fish Fried in Batter," Mary Henderson, Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving
[1877] "Tomato Batter Cakes," Estelle Woods Wilcox, Buckeye Cookery
[1884] "Fitter Battter (For Oysters, Clams or Fruit), Mary Lincoln, Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book
"Calves' and Pigs' Feet Fried in Batter," Lafcadio Hearn, La Cuisine Creole

Related foods? fritters, Cajun fried turkey, chicken-fried steak, city chicken, corn dogs & tempura.

Goats, like sheep, were originally domesticated for their milk. When animals were no longer producing, they were consumed. As time progressed, animals were also produced for meat. Goats, like pigs, are easy to keep because they do not require special feed or enclosures.
Sheep were domesticated in the same general time and place.

"The domesticated goat (Capra hircus) is an animal that, although of extraordinary usefulness to humans, experiences sharply different levels of acceptance around the world...Goats were domesticated in the Near East from Capra aegagrus, known variously as the Persian wild goat, bezoar goat, or padang...Early Neolithic sites contain evidence of goat keeping from as long as 9,000 years ago. Such dating would seem to make the goat a candidate for the world's oldest domesticated animal."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 200, Volume One (p. 531-2)
[NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. It also contains several cites for further research. Your local public librarian can help you find copies.]

"Goat meat is taken from the adults of the species Capra hircus, closely related to sheep...The complement sheep, which prefer grass, and the two animals are often herded together in lands around the Mediterranean and throughout the Middle East and C. Asia. In this area, goat meat and mutton are used interchangeably in cookery, as available...Goats were probably domesticated at about the same time, and in the same region, as sheep; that is, in SW Asia during the 8th millennium BC. Studies of the relative importance of goat and sheep bones at various sites indicate that the goat may initially have been more important as a meat animal. Their remains have been found at neolithic sites in China, and both goat and mutton were eaten in the ancient kingdom of Sumer (Iraq). In India, the Rig-veda mentions goat and sheep as food, and there is also evidence of these animals being eaten by Indus valley civilizations...Goats probably came to Britain in the neolithic and have been present ever since, but were never as important as cattle, sheep, and pigs. In medieval and early modern Britain, goats were kept on steep, scrubby land and used for meat, which was roasted, stewed, or made into pasties and pies up until the start of the 17th century, when it went out of fashion...In contemporary Britain, goat meat finds favour with immigrants from Jamaica, where curried goat, cooked with onions, curry powder, and chillies, is a national festive dish...Roast kid is a festive dish in Mediterranean countries, spit-roast kid being found throughout the Balkans and the Middle East. In this region and in C. Asia goat or kid meat can be used in any recipe for lamb or mutton, although there are relatively few specific recipes for cooking it. Portugal is an exception...Among Asian countries the Philippines stand out as the home of many interesting goat dishes..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 342)

"Goat, domesticated animal important for its milk and meat. The goat was domesticated in the Near East at the beginning of the Neolithic period. Goats were being kept in Greece and the southern Balkans by 6000 BC. Their milk was used for cheese by 3000 BC, because objects that appear to be cheese-strainers have been found at Thessalian sites of about that date. Goat's milk cheese was surely the commonest kind in classical Greece, and common enough in Roman Italy also."
---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2003 (p. 160)

Bible era goats
Over the years, we've been questioned about the disappearance of goats in the New Testament. We are not biblical scholars but we have a theory: Both goats and lambs were considered fit for sacrificial slaughter in ancient cultures. The Old Testament contains several references to both. Early Christians associated the lamb with Jesus; goats were considered the animal of pagan sacrifices, especially in ancient Rome and Greece. Perhaps disappearance of goat references in the New Testament was a way to separate old and new teachings?

Our books on ancient/classical Babylonian, Greek and Roman cuisine indicate both goat and lamb were consumed. Apicius [1st Century AD] includes several recipes for both. In general, lamb seems to be preferred. Presumably this was due to the fact that domesticated goats were leaner animals primarily kept for dairy products (milk & cheese). Goats were likely killed when old. Meat from older animals is generally tougher and therefore less desirable.

Goat mythology & symbolism

"People of many cultures traditionally performed animal sacrifice as a pious religious act. In much of the ancient world--particularly in the Middle East--goats, lambs, and rams were considered the most appropriate animals for sacrifice...The goat may have been the earliest domesticated food animal. It has also been associated with magico-religious rites from prehistoric times. Scholars have discovered the bones of goats and sheep in Neolithic graves, indicating their use as burial offerings. In later times, the Greeks, Hebrews, Egyptians, and Africans all offered goats and sheep to the deities. The people of Ancient Rome sacrificed goats at the Lupercalia...Pagan rituals throughout Greece and Rome featured goat sacrifice, among them the festivals honoring Hera and Dionysus. The reason for this appears in the myths...The Hebrews as well as the Greeks considered the goat an acceptable sacrifice...The lamb sacrificed to Yahweh enjoyed a more far-reaching symbolism, however, especially when the Christians adopted it as a symbol of Christ. God sacrificed a "lamb" for the lives of his followers. The life of a lamb for the life of a human being....The Old Testament indicates that God intended goats and rams for sacrifice...Biblical myths often have parallels in pagan beliefs and practices, and many Hebrew traditions were preceded by more ancient Middle Eastern variants. For example, the sacrifice of lambs was practiced long before Passover...Later, the identification of Christ as the sacrificial lamb served this same purpose...The ancient Egyptians sacrificed rams to Ra, their ram-headed sun god. The ram with the golden fleece in the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts symbolized renewal--specifically, the renewal of solar energy. It was this ram, this golden solar ram, that the Christians identified with Jesus."
---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara] 2000 (p. 103-4)

People have been cooking meats in various sauces and stocks from very ancient times. Why? The liquid acted as a cooking medium, made tough meat more palatable, and added flavor to the dish. Gravies evolved over time according to ingredient availabilty, local tastes, and traditional cuisine. Some are composed of meat drippings, others from creamy components. Today, gravies are typically used as a cooking medium, thickening agent, and topping. There are hundreds of recipes.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English word "gravy" is obscure in origin. It is most likely derived from the Old French word "grane." The earliest printed evidence of this word in our language from the Forme of Curry, an English cookbook circa 1390.

"Gravy. In the British Isles and areas culturally influenced by them, is...well, gravy, a term fully comprehensible to those who use it, but something of a mystery in the rest of the world. Ideally, gravy as made in the British kitchen is composed of residues left in the tin after roasting meat, declazed with good stock, and seasoned carefully. (Many cooks incorporate a spoonful of flour before adding the liquid but this practice is frowned on by purists.) Gravy varies in colour from pale gold-brown to burnt umber, and in thickness from something with little more body than water to a substantial sauce of coating consistency. In French meat cookery, jus is roughly equivalent to honestly made thin gravy in the British tradition...Kitchen tricks involving burnt onions, caramelized sugar, gravy browning', and stock cubes are modern descendants of this practice. Indeed, numerous gravy mixes' or granules' (dehydraged compounds of colouring flavourings, and thickeners) are to be had, for use with the meat residue, or in its stead. Yet in many homes in Britain a true gravy is still made; and this remains the most delicious accompaniement for the meat from which it comes and an essential feature of the meat dish."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 351)

"The gravy that was eaten in the fourteenth century bears little resemblance to the sludgy brown liquid, as likely as not made from stock cubes or freeze-dried gravy granules, usually served up in Britain at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It was a sort of sauce or dressing for white meat or fish, and was made from their broth with some sort of thickening agent, typically ground almonds, and spices (the name itself appears to be of Old French origin, coming either from graine, meat', or from grane, an adjective derived from grain in the sense of grain of spice', with in either case a misreading of n for u or v in early manuscripts; the former etymology would relate it to greande or grenadine, now obsolete terms for small stuffed fillets of veal or poultry). The Forme of Cury, a late fourteenth-century cookery book, gives a recipe for oysters in gravy: Shell the blanched oysters, and cooke them in wine and in their own broth; strain the broth through a cloth. Take blanched almonds; grind them and mix them up with the same broth, and mix it with rice flour and put the oysters in. Put in powdered ginger, sugar, mace, and salt.' A more elaborate version of the sauce, known as gravy enforced, was enriched with boiled egg yolks and cheese, while the inferior gravy bastard seems to have been made with breadcrumbs rather than ground almonds. The common denominator between this and what we now call 'gravy' is the juice given off by meat in cooking; and the critical change between obtaining this in the form of broth, from boiling the meat, and in the form of juices produced by roasting, seems to have taken place in the sixteenth century."
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford Univeristy Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 148-9)

"Gravy. A sauce, usually flour-based, served with meat, poultry, and other foods...In America "gravy" is a more common term than "sauce" or "sop" (which may indicate a basting sauce) and has been in print since the middle of the nineteeth century. By 1900 the word had metaphoric connotations of money obtained with little or no effort, so that to be on the "gravy train" was to acquire money gratuitiously, often through political graft."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman] 1999 (p. 144)

About biscuits & gravy.

Guinea fowl
Guinea-fowl are "Old World" birds originating on the West coast of Africa. They were known in classical Greece and Ancient Rome. Guinea-fowl were introduced to Europe the first time by conquering Romans. They were re-introduced approximately 1,000 years later by Portuguese traders. Renaissance-era confusion between the guinea fowl and "New World"
turkey was was a matter of understandable linguistic confusion given period context.

About Guinea-fowl

"Guinea fowl, farmyard bird domesticated in prehistoric Africa south of the Sahara. The guinea fowl (unlike the chicken) was familiar in Pharaonic (and later) Egypt. However, the gradual spread westwards in the mid first millennium BC of the chicken, a more amenable and productive species, ensured that the guinea fowl would be a curiosity, rather than a farmyard staple, in classical Greece and Rome. They were 'the latest exotic bird to reach our dinner tables', according to Varro; they were a suitable sacrifice, for poorer worshippers who could not afford a large animal, and the biennial festival for the Egyptian goddess Isis at Tithorea in Phocis, central Greece. Instructions for rearing them are given by Columella, who clearly distinguished between the two major varieties (one of which had in fact originated in northeastern Africa, the other in west Africa). The guinea fowl (Numida Melagris) is Greek and Latin meleagris, Latin also (gallina) Numbidica, Africana."
---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 169-170)

"Guinea-fowl birds are four or five species, all in the family of Numidadae and all indigenous to Africa. Most of them have the speckled or pearl-like plumage which can readily be identified in ancient representations of the bird...In Africa the various species of the guinea-fowl have ranges which collectively extend over the greater part of the continent south of the Sahara. They occupy a wide range of environments from the edges of the desert to savannah plains...and high forests. They have always had a reputation as crop robbers and this habit, bringing them into close contact, albeit of a competitive kind, with humans, may have contributed to their domestication. This probably took place in Africa and is likely to have been associated with the introduction of keeping the domestic hen. Diffusion to Europe first took place from E. Africa, but there was subsequently a strong connection in this respect between Guinea in W. Africa and Portugal, which had a noticeable effect on the vernacular names given to the guinea-fowl in various languages...Guinea-fowl were certainly known in ancient Egypt and in classical Greece and Rome. They appear quite often in Roman mosaics...The classical world was also responsible for the legend which provides the specific name of the guinea-fowl, meleagris. The sisters of Meleager, the prince of Macedon who met an untimely death, are said to have wept so freely that they were transformed by goddesses into the birds, the pearl-like spots on their plumage being the tears. The sisters settled in the island of Leros, off the coast of Caria...The guinea-fowl took part on the Columbian Exchange between the Old World and the New World. Of this there were only three successful animal travelers from Africa to the New World: the ass, the cat, and the guinea-fowl."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 361)

Guinea-fowl in Europe

"The guinea fowl never got down to a common level in the ancient world, unlike the chicken, so when the Roman Empire disappeared, the Guinea went with it. It does not seem to have reappeared until the sixteenth century, when merchants from Portugal, but then in control of Guinea, started selling them in France, where they were first called, gyunettes or poules de Guineee and then, incorrectly, poules de Turquie or poules d'Inde, a name transferred shortly thereafter, with equal inexactitude, to the American turkey. The French naturalist Pierre Belown wrote in 1555 that Guinea fowls 'had already so multiplied in the houses of the nobles that they had become quite common.' This disposes of the often repeated assertion...that it was Catherine de'Medici who introduced the guinea hen to France; actually the bird reached there before the marrying Medicis did. That it was indeed the Portuguese who brought the bird to France is attested to by its name in French today, pintade, from the Portuguese pintada, 'painted,' or in this case, 'sploched,' referring to the round spots which speckle the guinea's plumage...The guinea hen was also appreciated in Italy in Renaissance times; from Africa to Europe it has now spread al over the world."
---Food (p. 165)

Guinea-fowl in England

"After the Roman occupation domestic fowl became more plentiful. Their remains are often found in poor cave dwellings of the period, as well as the other richer village farms...another Roman practice, the intensive rearing of more delicate birds in special enclosures, is likely to have been adopted when the pheasant, peacock and guinea-fowl were first introduced into the country." (p. 113) "Such elaborate [fowl] cuisine was lost to Britain in the invasions and migrations of the fifth century AD. The more exotic birds died out, for they were too delicate to survive without special care. The guinea-fowl disappeared; it was to be more than a thousand years before it returned to Britain again." (p. 116-117). [Early Modern Period] Guinea-fowl had recently been rediscovered by the Portuguese off the coast of west Africa, brought back to Europe and thence reintroduced to Britain." (p. 128)
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago IL] 1991

Guinea-fowl in the Far East

"The first [guinea-fowl] to reach the Far East may have been those which Pierre Poivre took to Cohin-China when, in 1749, he was negotiating for the right to open a French trading counter there. Among the presents he gave the king of Cochin-China were some guinea fowl, which according to his account were at that time unknown there."
---Food (p. 165)

Guinea-fowl in the New World

"In the New World, they seem to have appeared first in Haiti, probably imported along with slaves bought in Guinea. Live poultry was often taken aboard ships, to provide fresh food during long voyages; Africa could not have provided chickens in those days, but it could offer guineas. We may suppose that the surplus birds of the ship's stores, still alive at the end of the trip, were taken ashore."
---Food (p. 165)

Why call it "Guinea-fowl?"

"In the days when Europeans were bestowing names on unfamiliar foods, and exotic product was apt to be ascribed more or less at random to any exotic locality, of which only a few, vaguely localized, were recognizable to the general public. The guinea fowl was an exception, identified correctly from the beginning as an African bird. Its origin is usually given as West Africa, which is, of course, where Guinea is located. The area is very probably the birthplace of Numida meleagris galatea, from which the imperfectly domesticated modern bird is supposed to have descended. Either this bird had acquired a wider range in classical times than is attributed to it now, or it was some other of the score of African species which the ancients, not given to fine nomenclatural distinctions, consumed. They had not adventured as far as Guinea, but they imported birds from North Africa. Greece, which knew them by 500 B.C., presumably received them from Egypt, the source of many of her foreign foods. Significantly, this bird is known in Italian today as gallina faraona, Pharaoh's hen; but the Romans, when the guinea hen became an appreciated item on upper-class menus, apparently preferred to bring them in from nearer regions of North Africa, for they called them Numidian hens ore Carthaginian hens--except when the host was putting on the dog, for a wedding banquet, say, when they might appear under such fancy names as Phrygian chicken (used on one Pompeiian menu which has come down to us) or Bohemian chicken, even more impressive, since Bohemia in those days was exquisitely exotic, a place of which Romans had heard but had never seen."
---Food, Waverly Root [Smithmark:New York] 1980 (p. 165)

Guinea-fowl (Old World) vs. Turkey (New World): linguistic confusion

"The first Spanish name for turkey was pavo (peafowl) or pavon de las Indias (peafowl of the Indies). The turkey's association with the peafowl was important, for peafowl was by far the most prestigious food bird in Europe...Peafowl were difficult to raise and thus a status symbol in Europe...Adding to the linguistic and zoological imbroglio with the peacock and the turkey, the guinea fowl...was also called pavo by the Spanish and gallo or galle d'India (chicken of India) by the Italians. The bird originated in Africa but was raised in the ancient Mediterranean, where the Greeks named it Meleagris. For unknown reasons it disappeared from Western Europe and was reintroduced during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries by Arab or Turkish or perhaps by Portuguese explorers of West Africa. Not as large as the peacock, a guinea cock's tail feathers were not as spectacular either. But guinea fowl were easier to raise, they tasted better, and their small eggs were considered delicacies. Guinea fowl quickly became common barnyard poultry in Europe and later in America, where their popularity continued well into the nineteenth century...It is...not surprising that Europeans confused the turkey, peafowl, and guinea fowl. All three large birds are remotely related through the avian family tree, and their similar physical characteristics meant they were described in similar ways. Without familiarity with all three it would have been difficult for sixteenth-century naturalists to distinguish among them based solely on confusing descriptions. At the time of the initial European encounter with the turkey, world geography was only dimly understood; animals and plants arrived in Europe in massive numbers and without provenance. Then again, all three birds were prepared in similar ways; from a culinary standpoint it didn't matter which was available. Chefs did not begin to distinguish among the three until the end of the sixteenth century."
---The Turkey: An American Story, Andrew F. Smith [University of Illinois Press:Chicago] 2006 (p. 17-18)

"The guinea-fowl was not unlike a miniaturized version of the turkey in looks and in its reluctance to fly, and it seems to have been assumed they belonged to the same family. But although some sources claim that in sixteenth-century England any reference to turkey really meant guinea-fowl, this is not the case. When Archbishop Cramner framed his sumptuary laws of 1541 he classed turkey-cocks with birds of the size of crane and swan, not--as he would have done with guinea-fowl--with capons and pheasants. At much the same time a certain Sir William Petre was keeping his table birds alive until wanted in a large cage in is Essex orchard, partridges, pheasants, guinea-hens, turkey hens and such like. "
---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers Press:New York] 1988 (p. 210-211)

"The Guinea-fowl is a native of West Africa which has been domesticated in England since the fifteenth century, when it was known as a Turkey, probably having been first introduced from Turkey. The was before the bird known to-day as a turkey had ever been seen in Europe. When Shakespeare speaks of a turkey, he means a Guinea-fowl. There are various species of Guinea-fowl, but they all have on characteristic in common, they never run to fat and their flesh is naturally dry. They are usually barded or larded and roasted on a spit or in a moderate oven or stewed in a cocotte, but they may be prepared for the table in any way suitable for a chicken. Guinea-fowls' eggs are excellent when boiled seven or eight minutes, that is hard-boiled."
---A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon [Harcourt, Brace & Company:New York] 1952 (p. 571)

What is ham?... Easter ham... picnic ham ...Spanish hams: Jamon & Serrano ...Spiral carved honey hams

What is ham?
Ham is the cured meat from the hind leg of a pig. "Curing" is an ancient method of food preservation involving salting (brining) and slow smoking. Methods evolved from ancient times foward according to time and place. It took time and experience to achieve a perfect product. Different regions specialized in different processes, giving their products unique flavors. Today's commercial hams generally include chemical additives to enhance color and prolong shelf-life.
Sausage, & bacon, which can be made from a variety of meats, are closely related to ham in purpose and presentation.

"Ham is the hind leg of a pig about the hock joint, cut from the carcass and cured by salting and drying, and sometimes smoking, so that it will keep for months at room temperature...The first records of hams comes from the classical world. The Romans knew hams made by the Gauls in the last few centuries BC, cured by brining and smoking. Cato described how, in the 2nd century BC, the inhabitants of N. Italy made hams by layering legs of pork with dry salt, followed by drying and smoking. In medieval times, hams were made all over Europe. Every cottager kept a pig, which was killed in autumn and preserved to provide food through winter. Europeans took pigs and the art of curing meat to the Americas, where several types of ham developed. Another area of expertise in the curing of pork meat is China, especially the region of Yunnan. Combinations of factors such as pig breed, feeding, curing recipe, and storage method gave rise to many varieties of ham..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 368)

"The statesman Cato gives his own Rome-made ham recipe in his De Agri Cultura, the oldest surviving complete prose work in Latin. It directs the reader to lay a number of hams in huge earthenware jars covered with a half peck of Roman salt per ham. The hams are to be left, with occasional turning, for twelve days, then cleaned off and hung in the fresh air for two further days. They are then rubbed with oil and hung and smoked for two days. Finally, they are rugged all over with a mixture of oil and vinegar and hung in a meat store where "neither moths nor worm will attack it." Curing hams can be done with a range of mixtures based primarily on salt, with the addition of sugars and spices, herbs, and oils. Sugar and honey are also powerful preservers and they have the added benefit of counteracting the hardening effects of saltpeper." ---Pickled, Potted, and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World, Sue Shephard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 70)
[NOTE: This book has much more information on your topic. Your librarian can help you find a copy.]

"Jambon--Strictly a ham is a leg of pork, salted and smoked, In current usage, however, the term is also applied to the shoulder of pig which is cured in the same fashion...In French cookery, the term jambon not only means 'ham' but is also applied to a leg of fresh pork. This cut can be cooked in a great many ways either whole or divided into smaller cuts. It is also used as an ingredient of stuffing and in barious manuractured pork products. So great has been, and still is today, the role of ham and all forms of salt pork in the history of food, that a special Ham Fair is held regularly in Paris... The Ham Fair, which, in former times, was held during the three day preceding Good Friday, and which was then called Foire du lard (the Bacon Fair), was held in the squre in front of Notre Dame...The salting and smoking of prok to produce ham is of French origin. It was, in fact, the Gauls, whtreat devotees of pig meat and very efficient pig-breeders, who first became renowned for the salting, smoking and curing of the various cuts of pork. At that time, France was covered with immense forests in which innumerable herds of pigs wandered, feeding on the vegetation without cost to the Gauls for whom they were a valuable asset. Such was the skill of the Gauls in the curing of hams that they became suppliers of ham to Rome...This, according to reliable documentary evidence, is how the Gauls cured their hams: After salting them, they subject them for two days to the smoke of certain selected woods. Then they rubbed them with oil and vinegar and hung them up, to dry and preserve them. The Gauls ate ham either at the beginning of a meal to sharpen their appetites or tat the end to induce thirst...A great many different kinds of salt and smoked ham are obtainable in France. Almost every region has its own local ham."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Crown Publishing:New York] 1961 (p. 480)

"In French law, genuine ham comes only from the upper thigh and haunch of the pig...Shoulder ham, meat from the shoulder cured in the same way, is not strictly speaking ham at all...But in actual fact ham, which we might expect to be the most straightforward kind of charcuterie, is a prime example of the traps that lie in wait for the consumer, who should beware and read the labels carefully, always supposing there are any: the absence of certain terms is a confession of some legal or gastromonic omission....There are two kinds of ham: cooked ham (boiled, and called blanc in France):...and uncooked ham (dried and smoked)."
---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 417)

Recommended reading: Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery/Jane Grigson
Related food? SPAM.

Picnic ham
"Picnic" is a smaller ham cut from the shoulder. Some food historians connect this cut with "California" ham, "Cali," or "Cala," for short. Print evidence confirms "picnics " were known to American consumers by the late 19th century: The origin of the cut and its name is not well documented. Why "picnic?" The National Pork Board offers this explanation: "Ham, usually cured meat from the leg is generally cooked for special occasions or sit down dinners. For less formal or outdoor activities, meat from the shoulder is cured for a less expensive ham."

"Calis, also known as picnic hams, picnic shoulders, cali butts and cali hams, are made from the shoulder of the pig. I believe I am correct in assuming that the name cali is an abbreviation for California or California-style, although when and how the name originated I have no earthly idea."
---"Q & A," Craig Claiborne, New York Times, May 16 1979 (p. C4)

[1890] The earliest references we find to "picnic ham" in the New York Times:
"California Hams, 6c and boxed sweet-pickled picnic Hams, averaging 10lbs, 6 1/2 c."
---"Chicago Produce Markets," New York Times, May 16, 1890 (p. 2)
[NOTE: California hams and picnics are listed separately, presumably indicating they were not the same item at that time.]


A small piece of shoulder bacon cut somewhat in the shape of a ham. In full: picnic ham. 1910. L.D. Hall, Market Classes of Meat, Picnics or Calas (formerly termed California hams) are cut 2 1/2 ribs wide...They...are sold almost entirely as sweet-pickled, smoked and boiled meats."---Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles, Mitford M. Mathews,e ditor [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1951 (p. 1235).]

"Shoulder Hams.

The Picnic or California ham is made of the shoulder of pork and sells for about five cents less than the others. The packers put up a brand of boned picnic hams; also, in some places, picnic hams are bought for the help's hall; for in these days of more perfect cut meats and European plan service, the chef is often compelled to order special supplies of meat for the help."
---The Hotel Butcher, Garde Manger and Carver, Frank Rivers [Hotel Monthly Press:Chicago] 1935 (p. 45)

"Two pork cuts that fit particularly well into the small family's week-end menu plans are the smoked daisy and the smoked picnic ham. Both might be described as miniature hams with a rich, smoky flavor similar to that of the larger cut, and moth are of a size more easily managed in the household for three or four. The daisy weighs from two to four pounds, the picnic from four to eight. The daisy and the picnic both come from the shoulder of the hog. The daisy is the boned, cured and smoked meat of the butt. The picnic is the lower portion of the shoulder, including the foreleg down to a little above the knee joint. It contains arm bone and has been trimmed, cured and smoked to give it a true ham flavor. Either cut offers a variety of possibilties."
---"Food News: Small Hams Offer Variety," June Owen, New York Times, August 22, 1952 (p. 24)
[NOTE: in the 1890s "picnics" were 10 lbs; in the 1950s they shrank to between 4-8lbs.

Recipes for picnic hams begin showing up in American cookbooks in the 1940s. Texts confirm this cut was valued for economy:

"Picnic Shoulder.

In Fresh Pork: The Picnic Shoulder which is the lower portion of the shoulder, looks like a small fresh ham, oval at one end and squared off at other. It may be roasted or braised whole, or it may be boned and rolled, or boned and stuffed and then roasted or braised. In Smoked Pork: The Smoked Picnic Shoulder is similar to fresh picnic shoulder except for characteristics due to smoking. It may be baked or simmered until tender."
---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, completely revised edition [Farrar & Rinehart:New York] 1944 (p. 245)

"Ham Butt, Shank, or Picnic Ham or Cali

Use these comparatively inexpensive cuts of ham for New England Boiled Dinner. Cook the ham until is is nearly tender. Add the vegetables and cook until tender."
---The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer [Bobbs-Merrill Company:Indianapolis] 1953 (p. 373) [NOTE: there is no mention of picnic hams in the 1946 edition of this book.]

Spiral carved ham
Our research indicates spiral carved honey baked ham was invented by Harry J. Hoenselaar, of Detroit Michigan. We find anecdotal (unsupported ) evidence suggesting Mr. Hoesnselaar's novelty process was first used in the 1930s. US Patent & Trademark Office records confirm his application for patenting this new processes/cutting apparatus was filed in 1944. The patent was granted in 1952. US Trademark protection was granted in 1957. Our survey of ads placed in historic USA newspapers confirms the product was slowly going national in the 1960s. It also confirms many companies producing similar products. Savvy marketers know a good thing when they see it.

"While working in the meat industry in the mid-1930s, founder Harry J. Hoenselaar developed a unique curing, cooking and smoking process for a high-quality bone-in ham that featured a sweet and crunchy glaze. He found a more convenient way to serve ham - with a machine that spiral sliced delicately-smoked ham around the bone. Hoenselaar constructed the first prototype of a spiral-slicing machine using scrap wood, a metal pie pan, a wooden handle kitchen knife, an automobile jack and the motor from an old washing machine. He perfected his concept over several years and was granted patents for the first spiral-slicing machine and for the spiral-slicing method."

[1944: filing date for the original US patent application, granted 1952]
"June 3, 1952 H. j. Hoenselaar 2,599,328 SLICED MEAT JOINT SUCH AS HAM AND METHOD OF SLICING SAME Original Filed Sept. 7, 1944, INVENTOR. //arry J. Hoense/aar Patented June 3, 1952 2,599,328 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 3,599,328, SLICED MEAT JOINT SUCH AS HAM AND METHOD OF SLICING SAME Harry J. Hoenselaar, Detroit, Mich., Original application September 7,1944, Serial No. 552,966. Divided and this application April 9, 1949, Serial No. 86,494 8 Claims. (Cl. 99107) This invention relates to the slicing of meat, to apparatus for slicing meat, and to hams and other joints of meat in a new form. The invention will be described with particular relation to the slicing of a ham but it will be understood by butchers that there are many other joints of meat which can be sliced with equal facility by this apparatus. In the meat industry there is a large market for sliced meats, particularly for ham slices, but the bone construction and the shape of a ham is such that no wholly satisfactory method of slicing it exists. This statement also applies to legs of lamb and other like cuts of meat. It is an object of the invention to provide a method and a machine for slicing ham and other joints, which are of exceptional efficiency in operation. Another object of the invention is to prepare ham for the market in a new and superior form. The invention contemplates mounting the ham upon its leg bone, turning the ham about its leg bone as an axis, and slicing it as it turns. The invention includes the sliced joints which are produced by this process. The invention also includes the apparatus for accomplishing the process and producing the product. The objects of the invention as to apparatus are accomplished generally speaking by a machine which has means to grip the ham for rotation about its axis, means to rotate it, means to slice it as it turns, and means whereby the slicing may be made continuous. In the accompanying drawings, wherein like numerals denote like parts, is diagrammatically shown an apparatus capable of carrying out the process, a ham before slicing, and a ham in the new form. It is to be understood that this apparatus is illustrative, not a limitation."
---Source: US Patent & Trademark Office
[NOTE: Harry J. Hoenselaar was the founder of the Honeybaked Ham Company originally located in Detroit, Michigan.]

"An alliance that would be welcome by any householder who has tried to carve a ham is protected by Patent 2,599,328, granted to Harry J. Hoenselaar of Detroit. Actually for packers' use, this machine turns the ham about the leg bone as an axis and slices as it turns. At the end the meat is still in place, but is in a continuous slice which, with care, can be unwound."
---"Device Helps Forgetful TV Actor Keeps Commericals From Straying," Stacy V. Jones, New York Times, June 7, 1952 (p. 28)
[NOTE: The headline device is now known as a teleprompter!]

US Trademark registration

Word Mark THE HONEYBAKED HAM COMPANY EST. 1957 AUTHENTIC SPIRAL SLICED Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: [ paper goods, namely, cups, napkins and plates ]. FIRST USE: 19950100. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19950100......Serial Number 74648961 Filing Date March 20, 1995 Current Filing Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1B Published for Opposition October 8, 1996 Change In Registration CHANGE IN REGISTRATION HAS OCCURRED Registration Number 2026371 Registration Date December 31, 1996 Owner (REGISTRANT) HBH Limited Partnership composed of HBH, Inc. a Delaware corporation LIMITED PARTNERSHIP MICHIGAN 11935 Mason-Montgomery Road Suite 200 Cincinnati OHIO 452499897 Attorney of Record J. David Mayberry Prior Registrations 1384504;1519978;1553044;1861924;1883717;AND OTHERS Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "HAM COMPANY", "AUTHENTIC SPIRAL SLICED" and "EST. 1957" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK Register PRINCIPAL-2(F)-IN PART Affidavit Text SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). PARTIAL SECTION 8(10-YR) 20070609. Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20070609 Live/Dead Indicator LIVE Distinctiveness Limitation Statement as to "THE HONEYBAKED HAM COMPANY"

Earliest print reference we find in a major USA newspaper

"'Spiral-Sliced Honey Baked Hams are the best in all the Word' says sportscaster Jim Healy....And Now Honey Baked Hams are Available for the First Time in the West. Jim Healy eats Honey Baked Ham and he sends them to all his friends. Doun't you wish you were a friend of Jim Healy's? Honey Baked Hams are smoked-cured for 30 hours over Hickory and Applewood chips. Honey-glazed with imported slices and herbs--spiral sliced (the only ham that is) for easy, gracious serving. HONEY BAKED HAMS will haunt you 'till the last slice is gone. Take it from Jim Healy! Order Honey Baked Ham for Yourself and Friends on Your Christmas List. Supply is Limited! Order Now. Phone: (714) 635-2461 collect. All hams delivered within 24 hours. Honey Baked Hams, 1222 South Brookhurst Boulevard, Anaheim, California."
---Display ad, Los Angeles Times, December 8, 1968 (p. D2)

"For a perfect Labor Day dinner, Fabulous Spiral Sliced Honey Baked Ham (so good it will Haunt you til it's Great!)...because we planned it that way. By using only fresh hams from Iowa's corn-fed porkers--our slow dry curing method, real Wisconsin hickory and applewood smoking, 30-hour oven baking, honey 'n spice glazed. So delicious and appetizing we just wouldn't know how to improve this product we've been making for the past 34 years. Spiral sliced too, from top to bottom for easy removal of slices, yet retains 'whole ham' appearance for serving. Every slice the same delectable thickness. Completely baked and ready to serve. Order you Honey Baked Ham today. An adventure in hamjoyment you'll never forget. Three sizes: aprx. 11 lbs, $16.50; aprx. 12 lbs, $18.00; aprx 13 lbs, $19.50."
---Display ad, Los Angeles Times, August 17, 1969 (p. I54)

"The many ham lovers in Chicago are giving a warm welcome that originated in Detroit. It's Honey Baked Ham, conveniently spiral sliced around the center bone by a patented method. A honey-spice glaze keeps the slices sealed together until a easy touch of the knife slips through the glaze to open and release the slices. Every slice is uniform. No chunks, now waste. A real time-saver for the busy housewife. The ham itself is lean and flavory--a choice Iowa ham that has been dry-cured, hickory and applewood smoked and oven baked for 30 hours. Being a drier, completely baked hams from 6 to 8 pounds, less salt. Sold in whole hams from 12 to 16 pounds, and half hams from 6 to 8 pounds. The hams are processed exclusively by the Honey Baked Ham Company, who has a retail outlet and pickup stations in Chicago and suburbs. Call 588-4237 for more information."
---"Good News for Ham Lovers," Chicago Daily Defender, November 2, 1972 (p. 28)

"World famous Honey Baked Hams are processed from properly finished prime young porkers fed on corn. Slow cured with the finest curing agents obtainable, the Honey Baked Ham. Co. is generous with expensive imported spices, dry rubbing and dry curing its ham in a costly process to bring out a wonderful nut-like flavor, according to their spokesman. Properly trimmed before smoking allows for better penetration of smoke aroma as every ham is checked several times with an internal thermometer to positively assure complet ebaking right to the bone. During this long process, real hickory and applewood chips, sprinkled with spice buds and herbs, send up filtered smoke to penetrate every fiber with an unforgetable flavor. Honey Baked Hams is the inventor of the Spiral Sliced Ham. The company developed this patented method of slicing the meat around and around the bone in a spiral manner so the slices remain in place. Any cut made lengthwise releases the slices. Everything can be prepared to take out. Honey Baked Hams can be sent as a gift to a next door neighbor or to anyone in the continental United States. Call early for Christmas delivery. Visit a Honey Baked Hame store in La Habra, El Toro, Anaheim, Corona del Mar, Orange or Rancho Mirage."
---"'Honey Baked' Slow-cured hams make ideal gift," Los Angeles Times, November 14, 1978 (p. OCD5)

"Honey Baked Ham. Only one ham is smoked our old-fashioned way for some 30 hours over a blend of real hickory and applewood chips, sprinkled with rare spice buds and herbs. Only one is spiral sliced for serving convenience by our unique process. And only one is glazed with our blend of expensive, imported spices and honey. That one is the original Honey Baked Ham. One taste is all it takes. It makes an especially appreciated gift for the holiday, and we'll ship our hams across town or across the country. To clients, associates, friends or family. Gift certificates are also availalble and redeemable at each location. For Easter we suggest you place your order well in advance because the demand for Honey Baked Hams peaks during this period."
---Display ad, Los Angeles Times, March 27, 1983 (p. T20)
[NOTE: underneath the Honey Baked Ham logo there is this line: "established 1925 by H. Hoenselaar."]

"Over 30 years of expereience guarantees the quality you'll find only at your HoneyBaked store."
---Display Ad, Los Angeles Times, December 19, 1985 (p. K50)

"Hoenselaar died in 1974, 18 years after inventing the spiral slicer in his basement from a hub cap, his wife's kitchen broom stick, a butcher's knife and a power drill motor from Sears. In 1957 he opened Honeybaked Ham Co. selling the spiral sliced hams with his still-secret honey-spice glaze. His four daughters, Mary Jayne Schmidt, JoAnn Kurz, Carol Farbolin and Sue McHugh eventually took over the reins and began rapid, nationwide expansion in 1979. Honeybaked now has more than 210 stores in 34 states. Twenty more stores are planned for 1993. In the back of each store, hams are hickory smoked, glazed and sliced fresh daily. The four sisters now compose the board of directors of the Harry Hoenselaar Trust, which oversees all Honeybaked operations. As their children come of age, many are joining the family business. While the third generation respects the accomplishments of its parents, Kurz and Anderson say times have changed and so must the company. The patent for the spiral slicer expired in 1981, opening the floodgates of competitors selling spiral sliced ham, many with some kind of honey glaze."
---"At Honeybaked, Hamming it up is Family Matter," Julia Prodis, Lexington Herald-Leader (KY), December 24, 1992

"da Vinci gave us Mona Lisa, Beethoven gave us The Ninth, and Harry J. Hoenselaar gave the world Honey Baked Ham. Hey, some people do great things with their lives. Take Harry J. Hoenselaar for instance. Back in '57 he opened a small store in Detroit, Michigan, and introduced the world to the unbeatable and unique taste of Honey Baked Ham. Specially selected, smoked, slow-cooked up to 30 hours, spiral-sliced and glazed. Harry didn't know it, but he created a ham for all seasons. Still a family owned business, HoneyBaked brand ham is the most imitated ham in America. But don't be fooled. There's only one. And you won't find it at the supermarket. You'll only find in at a HoneyBaked store. Which is exactly how Harry would have wanted it."
---Display ad, New York Times, April 4, 1993 (p. LI 10)

"It all began with a slicer that trims meat spirally to the bone. HoneyBaked Ham founder Harry J. Hoenselaar patented the machine 37 years ago in Detroit. When meat companies wouldn't buy it, he cooked up the next best thing: a hickory-smoked ham dipped in a secret family recipe. It is now sold in 250 stores in 35 states, including nine in northeast Ohio. The number of stores nationally has doubled in 10 years, and, according to President S. George Kurz, the founder's son-in-law, thoughts have turned to going international. The third-generation family-owned firm is based in Cincinnati, where it moved from Fairlawn eight years ago to be more centrally located. The second store was in Parma, where Kurz, an ex-pharmacist, and his wife, JoAnn, a former dental hygienist, opened the company's second store in 1966. There are now 20 Kurz family members in the business. Pre-cooked gourmet hams, wrapped in gold and silver foil and opened for customer inspection before buying, represent 90 percent of the business. More than half is during the fourth-quarter holidays, according to retail marketing manager Colleen Harris. "The product has stood the test of time," Kurz said. "It has always remained the entire focus of our company."...HoneyBaked Foods Inc., a direct-mail division in Toledo, began in 1984. Products are delivered nationally from orders placed by mail or phone...Despite developing several offshoots, the company's bread and butter is still glazed ham. A 7- to 8-pound half ham sells for $35 to $40; whole hams weigh 13 to 15 pounds for $60 to $65. The core product has thrived for nearly four decades because of consistency, Kurz said. "By not tinkering with the recipe," he said, "the way we glaze the product - all the things the consumer experienced in 1957 is the same experience they get today."
---"Ham for the Holidays Honeybaked Profits Spiral Sweetly Since its Founding," Plain Dealer [Cleveland, OH], December 21, 1994

Brawn & head cheese
Brawn has two meanings. On the simplest level, the word means a wild boar. The word is also used to denote a preserved (collared, potted) gelatinous spiced meat product. The connection? The original recipe was made from the head of a wild boar. As time progressed, hog, pig and calf's heads were substituted. Food historians place the genesis of brawn (the recipe) in Medieval Europe. It was served on holiday tables, most notably Christmas.
Boar's Head is a related tradition. Literature confirms Brawn was served cold, at the beginning of the meals, with mustard.

"Head cheese" is an American term for brawn dating to the mid 19th century. The head connection is obvious from the primary ingredient. The "cheese" speaks to the fact this product is pressed (similar to making cheese from fresh curds), sliced and served cold. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest print reference for "head cheese" is this American reference, circa 1841: "1841 Southern Lit. Messenger 7 39/2 The animal..may be traced in the stewed chine and souse, the head cheese and sausages." A careful examination of American cookbooks reveals alternative monikers, including pork cheese and presssed head.

Who ate head cheese?
Up until the 20th century, animal heads were common fare of the middle and upper classes. They were featured in soups, stews, and various made dishes. The meat was considered a delicacy because of its rich, fatty content. Head cheese and brawn were considered holiday fare because of the complexity of preparation and festive presentation. Recipes for brawn and head cheese evolved according to taste, place, and technology.

"Culinarily, brawn is a preserved preparation of pig meat, particularly from the animal's head, that is boiled, chopped up finely, and then pressed into a mould (the American term for it is head cheese). The word has a fairly involved history, which starts and finishes in the kitchen but goes far afield in between. To begin at the beginning, its prehistoric Germanic ancestor was bradon, a word related to German braten, 'roast', which meant something like 'part suitable for roasting'. Often enough it would have been used with reference to an animal's hind leg, and by the time it was adopted by Old French as braon it had come to mean just that. It when broadened out to cover any fleshy or muscular part; that was its meaning when English acquired it via Anglo-Norman braun in the Fourteenth century. English took it back to the table, first as any 'meat', then as 'pig meat', and finally (apparently around the eighteenth century) in the specific modern sense of a sort of meat loaf of pork spare parts."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 40-41)

"Brawn, a moulded, jellied cold meat preparation, usually made from a pig's head, but also sometimes from a sheep or ox head or, in some parts of Britain, rabbit. The meat is lightly cured in brine, then boiled until it can be trimmed and boned. The essential feature of brawn is that it is made of gelatinous meat, such as is furnished by a head, so that when the meat is cooked the rich broth extracted from it can be boiled down to make the jelly in which the coarsely chopped meat is set. Brawn is usually moulded in a cylindrical shape, like a cheese; hence the American name 'head cheese'"
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition edited by Tom Jaine [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006 (p. 95)

[13th & 14th centuries]
"Another British specialty was brawn made of the head and foreparts of a boar or pig. Richer and fattier than the hams, it was regarded as a delicacy for the medieval feast, and by Tudor times it have become fare for the twelve days of Christmas. In the thirteenth century it appeared in the last course of the meats, along with the game birds and spicery. It was also sometimes incorporated with vinegar, pepper, and other spices in a rich pottage called 'brawn en perverde'; or was sliced and served in a thick spiced syrup of wine with honey or sugar...By the end of the fourteenth century 'brawn en peverade' or simple brawn with mustard had become first-course dishes."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago] 1991 (p. 88-89)

[15th century]
"Brawn in comfyte (Boar in confit).

Take Fersh Boar & seethe it enoguh, & pare it & grind it in a mortar, & mix it with Almond milk, & draw it through a strainer into a pot, & cast thereto Sugar enough, & powder of Cloves, & let boil; then take flour of Cinnamon, & powder of Ginger; & then take it out of thhe pot, and put it in a linen cloth & press it, but let it boil so long in the pot till it is all thick; then take it up & press it on a cloth, & then cut it fair with a knife, but not too thin; & then if thou will, thou might take the Ribs of the baor all bare, & set them endlong through the slices, and so serve forth a slice or two in every dish."
---Take a Thousand Eggs or More: A Collection of 15th Century Recipes, Cindy Renfrow, 2nd edition, Volume 1 1998 (p. 145)
[NOTE: This book offers a second recipe for Brawne in confit and a modernized recipe for today's kitchens.]

[16th century]
"Brawn. A boned confection of boar's meat or pig's head, always eaten cold in the shape of a Galantine. Brawn figures on most 'meat' days, in the accounts of the Lords of the Star Chamber, from 1534 to 1590, either as 'collars' or 'rounds' of brawn, or simply as much. The money spent on Brawn varied from 3s. 4d. to 13s. 4d. per day. According\ to Wynken de Word's Boke of Kervynge, Brawn used to be served at the very beginning of the meal; 'Fyrste sette ye for the mustarde and brawne' (Furnivall's Early English Meals and Manners, 1868, p. 156). This is confirmed by John Russell, in his Boke of Nurture: 'Furst set for the mustard and brawne of boore ye wild swyne.' (Idem, p. 48)."
---A Consice Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 415)

"The details of brawn preparation were first made public in Elizabeth's reign by William Harrison. He described brawn as 'a great piece of service at the table from November untl Frebruary be ended, but chiefly in the Christmas time...It is made commonly of the forepart of a tame boar...."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago] 1991 (p. 88-89)

"To Coller and Sowce Brawn.

Your Brawn being scalded and boned, of each side you may make three handsom Collers, the neck Coller, the sheald Coller, and so the side or flank Collar; if your Brawn be very fat, you may make also the gammon Coller behind, otherwise boyl it and sowce it; this being watered two Days, shidted three or four times a Day, and still kept scraped, then wash it out, and squeeze out the blood, and dry it with cloaths; when it is very dry, sprinkle on Salt; so begin at the belly, and wind it up into Collers; but in case you can, store more flesh in the flanck, or in the Coller, you may cut it out of the other places where there is too much, or from the Gammon; this being bound up, as you will bind up a Trunk, and with all the strength that can be obtained, put in your Furnace or Copper; when it boyles, scum it; you must be careful it be kept full of liquor, and continually scummed for the space of six hours, then try it with a Wheatstraw if it be very tender, cool your Boyler by taking away your Fire, and filling of it constantly with cold water; so shall your Brawn be white; but if it stands, or settles in its liquor, it will be black; then take up your Brawn, and set it up on the end, on a Board, your Sowce drink ought to be beer brewed on purpose; but if it be of the House Beer, then boyl a Pan of Water, throw therein a Peck of Wheaten Bran and let it boyl, strain it thorough a hair Sieve, and throw in two handfuls of Salt, so mix it with your Beer aforesaid, and sowce your Brawn therein; you make take half of Peck of white flower of Oatmeal, and mix it with some liquor, and run it through your hair Sieve, and it will cause your sowce to be White: Milk and Whey is used in this case; but your Milk will not keep so long; you may put both, in the boyling thereof; it will cause it to boyle white; keep your sowse Broawn close covered, and when it begins to be four, you may renew it at your pleasure, with adding fresh liquor."
---The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected, William Rabisha, facsimile 1682 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 2003 (p. 76-77)
[Note: "Sowse" means pickling in brine.]

"To Collar a Calf's Head.

Take a calf's head with the skin and hair upon it; scald it to fetch off the hair; parboil it, but not too much; ten get it clean from the bones while it is hot; you must slit it in the forepart; season it with pepper, salt, cloves, mace, nutmeg, and sweet-herbs, shred small, and mix'd together with the yoks of three or four eggs; spread it over the head, and roll it up hard. Boil it gently for three hours, in just as much water as will cover it; when it is tender it is boiled enought. If you do the tongue, first boil it and peel it, and slice it in thin slices, and likewise the palate, putting them and the eyes in the inside of the head before your foll it up. When the head is taken out, season the pickle with salt, pepper, and spice, and gie it a boil, adding to it a pint of white wine, and as much vinegar. When it is cold, put in the collar; and when you use it, cut it in slices."
---The Compleat Housewife, E. Smith, facsimile 1753 edition [T.J. Press Ltd.:London] 1968 (p. 44-45)

"Pork Cheese

TAKE the heads, tongues, and feet of young fresh pork, or any other pieces that are convenient. Having removed the skin, boil them till the meat is quite tender, and can be easily stripped from the bones. Then chop it small, and season it with salt and black pepper to your taste, and if you choose, some beaten cloves. Add sage-leaves and sweet marjoram, minced fine, or rubbed to powder. Mix the whole very well together with your hands. Put it into deep pans, with straight sides, (the shape of a cheese,) press it down hard and closely with a plate that will fit the pan; putting the under side of the plate next to the meat, and placing a heavy weight on it. In two or three days it will be fit for use, and you may turn it out of the pan. Send it to table cut in slices, and use mustard and vinegar with it. It is generally eaten at supper or breakfast."
---Directions for Cooking in its Various Branches, Eliza Leslie

"Pressed Head.

Boil the several parts of an entire head, and the feet, in the same way as for souces. All must be boiled so perfectly tender as to have the meat easily separate from the bones. After neatly separated, chop the meat fine, while warm, seasoning with salt, and pepper, and other spices to taste. Put it in a stron bag, and, placing a weight on it, let it remain until cold. Or put it in any convenient dish, placing a plate with a weight on it, to press meat. Cut it in slices, and fry in lard."
---The Improved Housewife or Book of Receipts, Mrs. A. L. Webster, 5th edition, revised [stereotyped by Richard H. Hobbs:Hartford CT] 1844 (p. 44)
[NOTE: The serving note suggests scrapple.]

"Calf's Head Brawn. Author's Receipt.

Take half of a fine large calf's head with the skin on, will best andswer for this brawn. Take out the brains, and bone it entirely, or et the butcher to do this; rub a little fine salt over, and leave it to drain for twn or twelve hours; next wipe it dry, and rub it well in every part with thre quarters of an ounce of saltpetre finely powdered (orwiht an ounce should the head be very large) and mixed with four ounces of common salt, and three of bay-salt, also beaten fine; turn the head daily in this pickle for four or five days, rubbing it a little each time;and then pour over it four ounces of treacle, and continue to turn it every day, and baste it with the brine very frequently for a month. Hang it up for a night to drain, fold it into brown paper, and send it to be smoked where wood only is burned, from three to four weeks. When wanted for table, wash and scrape it very clean, but do not soak it; lay it, with the rind downwards, into a saucepan or stewpan, which will hold it easily; cover it well with cold water, as it will swell considerably in the cooking; let it heat rather slowly, skim it thoroughly with it first begins to simmer, and boil it as gently as possible from an hour and three qurarters to a couple of hours or more, should it not then be perfectly tender quite through; for unless sufficently boiled, the skin, which greatly resembles brawn, will be unpleasantly tough when cold. When the fleshy side of the head is done, which will be twenty minutes or half an hour sooner than the outside, pour the water from it, leaving so much only in the stewpan as will just cover the gelatinous part, and simmer it until this is thoroughly tender. The head thus cured is very highly flavoured, and most excellent teating. The recipe for it is entirely new, having originated with ourselves. We give the reader, in addition, the result of our first experiment with it, which was entirely successful:--'A calf's head, not very large, without the skin, pickles with three ounces of common salt, two of bay-salt, half an ounce of salt petre, one ounce of brown sugar, and half an ounce of pepper, left four days; then three ounces of treacle added, and the pickling continued for a month; smoked nearly as long, and boiled between one hour and a half, and two hours.' The pepper was omitted in our second trial, because it did not improve the appearance of the dish, although it was an advantage in point of flavour. Juniper-berries mgiht, we thik be added with advantage, when they are liked; and cayenne tied in a muslin might supply the place of the pepper. It is an infinite improvement to have the skin of the head left on."
---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton, facsimile 1845 edition with an introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Books:East Sussex] 1994, 2002 (p. 192-193)

"Head Cheese.

Boil in salted water the ears, skin, and feet of pigs till the meat drops from the bones; chop it like sausage meat. Season the liquor with pepper, salt, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, or with pepper, salt, and sweet herbs, mix the meat with it, and while hot tie it in a strong bag and keep a heavy stone upon it until quite cold."
---Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book, Catharine Beecher

"Head Cheese.
--Having thoroughly cleaned a hog's head or pig's head, split it in two with a sharp knife, take out the eyes, take out the brains, cut off the ears, and pour scalding water over them and the head, and scrape them clean. Cut off any part of the nose whcih may be discolored so as not to be be scraped clean; then rinse all in cold water, and put it into a large kettle with hot (not boiling) water to cover it, and set the kettle (having covered it) over the fire; let it boil gently taking off the scum as it rises; when boiled so that the bones leave the meat readily, take it from the water with a skimmer into a large wooden bowl or tray, take from it every particle of bone; chop the meat small and season to taste with salt and pepper, and if liked, a little chopped sage or thyme; spread a cloth in a cullender or sieve; set it in a deep dish, and put the meat in, then fold the cloth closely over it, lay a weight on which may press equally the whole surface, (a sufficently large plate will serve.) let the weight be more or less heavy, according as you may wish the cheese to be fat or lean; a heavy weight by pressing out the fat, will of course leave the cheese lean. When cold, take the weight off; take it from the cullender or sieve, scrape off whatever fat may be found on the outside of the cloth, and keep the cheese in a cloth in a cool place, to be eaten sliced thin, with or without mustard, and vinegar, or catsup. After the water is cold in which the head was boiled, take off the fat from it, and whatever may have drained from the sieve, or cullender, and cloth; put it together in some clean water, give ti one boil; then strain it through a cloth, and set it to become cold; then take off the cake of fat. It is fit for any use."
---Mrs. Crowen's American Lady's Cookery Book, Mrs., T. J. Crowen [Dick & Fitzgerald:New York] 1847 (p. 97)
[NOTE: This book also offers recipes for head cheese made from beef & calf.]

"Hogs' Head Cheese

Take off the ears and noses of four heads, and pick out the eyes, and lay them in salt and water all night; then wash and put them on to boil; take out the bones carefully, chop and season them well, and pack it in bowls; they will turn out whole, and may be eaten cold with vinegar, or fried as sausage."
--- Domestic Cookery, Elizabeth Ellicot Lea


Take the lower half of a pig's face, the feet and ears, rub them well with salt, let them remain so a week or ten days. Salt beef tongue the same way, for the same time. Then let the face, ears, and feet boil half an hour in water enough to cover them; take them out and clean them thoroughly, then put them back with the tongue also, and boil for three hours, or until the meat will slip from the bones. Then take it off, remove the bone, cut the meat in small pieces, the tongue into thin slices; mix all together and season with plenty of pepper, a little ground allspice, &c. Then put it into a mold in layers of fat and lean, press it down with a spoon, add a little liquor from the saucepan, put a heavy weight on the top, and let it stand till next morning, when it is ready to turn out and send to table. It can be sent with a piece of white paper fastened round and served, if desired, with a little sauce of mustard vinegar, and brown sugar. The beef tongue makes it much nicer, though some omit it, merely chopping the pig's tongue with the face, ears and feet."
---Jenny June's Cookery Book, Jane Croly


Prepare a hog's head, by cutting off the ears, taking out the brains, and cleaning generally; rub in plenty of salt and let it drain a whole day and night. Rub in two ounces of saltpetre and the same quantity of salt, and let it stand for three days. Next, put the head and salt into a pan and cover it with water for two days. Now, wash it well from the salt, and boil till the bones can be easily removed. Extract these and take off the skin of the head and tongue carefully. Chop up the meat into bits, but do not mince it, and season with pepper, salt and shallot to taste. Place the skin of one-half of the head into a pan, closely fitting it, and press into it the chopped lead and tongue. When this is done, take the other skin and lay it cleverly in place, or put the other skin in the pan and proceed as before, and turn out when cold. Should the head be too fat, add some lean pork. For a sauce, boil a pint of vinegar with a quart of the liquor in which the head wa boiled, and two ounces of salt, and pour over the brawn when the liquor is cold. The hair should be carefully removed from the ears, and they must be boiled till tender, then divided into long narrow pieces and mixed with the meat. Time to boil, from two to three hours. Probable cost for a pig's head, 5d. per pound."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cooking with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 75)
[NOTE: This book also offers two "another way" brawn reicpes, Mock Brawn (made from the bladeboan of a large hog or boar, not the head), Brawn Sauce and Sussex Brawn.]

"Head cheese, 10 cents per pound."
---"Features of the Markets: Prices asked for Provisions," New York Times, November 27, 1881

"Head Cheese.

Boil the forehead, ears and feet, and nice scraps trimmed from the hams of a fresh pig, until the meat will almost drop from the bones. Then separate the meat from the bones, put it in a large chopping-bowl, and season with pepper, salt, sage and summer savory. Chop it rather coarsely; put it back into the same kettle it was boiled in, with just enough of the liquor in which it was boiled to prevent its burning; warm it through thoroughly, mixing it well together. Now pour it into a strong muslin bag, press the bag between two flat surfaces, with a heavy weight on top; when cold and solid it can be cut in slices. Good cold, or warmed up in vinegar."
---White House Cook Book, Fanny Gillette

"Brawn, To Make.

Ingredients.--To a pig's head weighing 6 lbs. allow 1 1/2 lbs. of lean beef, 2 tablespoonfuls of salt, 2 teaspoonfuls of pepper, in a little cayenne, 6 pounded cloves. Method:--Cut off the cheeks and salt them, unless the head be small, when all may be used. After carefully cleaning the head, put it on a sufficent cold water to cover it, with the beef, and skim it just before it boils. A head weighing 6 lbs. will require from 2 to 3 hours. When sufficiently boiled to come off the bones easily, put it into a hot pan, remove the bones, and chop the meat with a sharp knife before the fire, together with the beef. It is necessary to do this as quickly as possible to prevent the fat settling in it. Sprinkle in the seasoning, which whould have been previously mxed. Stir it well, and put it quickly into a brawn-tin, a cake-tin, or mould will answer the purpose, if the meat is well pressed with weights, which must not be removed for several hours. When quite cold, dip the tin into boiling water for a minute or two, and the preparation will turn out and be fit for use. The liquore in which the head was boiled wil make a good pea soup, and the fat, if skimmed off and boiled in water, and afterwards poured into cold water, answers the purpose of lard. Time.--from 2 to 3 hours. Average Cost, for a pig's head, 5d. per lb."
---Mrs. Beeton's Every-Day Cookery, New Edition [Ward, Lock & Co.:London] 1909 (p. 216)

"Calf's Head Brawn

The remains of a Calf's Head
Cold Ham or Bacon
1 grated Lemon Rind
1/2 pint Stock
1/4 teaspoon Ground Mace
2 hard-boiled Eggs
1 teaspoonful minced Parsley
1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoonful Ground Cloves
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Utensils--Saucepan, mould, knife, teaspoon, pint or gill measure, grater, basin, wooden spoon.
To every pound of calf's head meat allow 1/2 lb. cold ham or bacon. Cut the meat into dice, and slice the hard-boiled eggs. Butter a large mould, and arrange some of the slices of egg in the bottom. Mix together the parsley, lemon rind, and all the seasonings. Cover the bottom of the mould with a layer of diced meat, then arrange a few slices of eggs on top. Cover with another layer of meat, and so on till the mould is full. Heat the jellied stock, which should consist of the liquor from the calf's head reduced to a thick jelly, pour over the mould until full. Cover with a buttered paper, and bake in a slow oven for about 2 hours. Add a little more hot stock, as soon as you take the mould from the oven. Leave till cold and set. When required, turn the brawn out, and garnish it with parsley or chervil, and serve with potato or Russian salad."
---Cookery and Household Management, Elizabeth Craig [Odhams Press Ltd.:London] 1936 (p. 49-50)

"Head Cheese

42 lbs. cooked cured snouts
42 lbs. cooked pork cheeks
16 lbs. cooked pork skins
3 lbs. onions or 1 1/2 oz. of onion powder or 10 oz. onion juice
1 oz. thyme
1/2 oz. ground cloves
1/2 oz. ground celery seed
2 oz. nutmeg
6 oz. white pepper
3 oz.salt
Cook each kind of meat separately in nets, at 160-170 degs. F. until tender. Grind skins through 1/8-in. plate and snouts and cheeks through 1-in. plate or head cheese cutter. Scald all meats thoroughly to remove grease and put them in a box truck. Add seasoning ingredients and enough gelatine solution to secure desired consistency. Gelatine solution is made by dissolveing 1 lb. commercial gelatine in 6 to 7 lbs. of water, to which a little salt, sugar and vinegar my be added to take away the flat taste. Stuff mixture in hog bungs, stomachs or artificial casings. If in hog stomachs, use a skewer and twine for tying large openings in the stomach. Product is cooked for 1 1/2 hours, at 170- 175 degs. and then laid on boards for 30 mins. Puncture stomach once at high point and turn over to prevent juice running out. Shower with hot water and chill thoroughly. If packaged in artifical casings, cook 45 to 60 mons. at 155 degs. F. Chill in cold water. Head cheese can be processed in containers to give a square loaf, if desired. If filled in tins, wooden covers can be placed on tins to serve as cutting parts with head cheese is removed for sale."
---Sausage and Meat Specialties, Part 3, The Packer's Encyclopedia [National Provisioner:Chicago IL] 1938 (p. 173-174)
[NOTE: This book also offers recpes for Tongue Head Cheese, Blood Head Cheese, and Souse or Head Cheese.]

"Head Cheese

Hominy and hogshead cheese are musts for Christmas and New Year's breakfast in Charleston, South Carolina
1 pig's or calf's head
1 large onion, quartered
4 whole cloves
6 celery tops
4 sprigs parsely
1 carrot
1 bay leaf
12 peppercorns
2 tsp. salt
Cayenne pepper
Nutmeg (optional)
Clean head, removing snout and reserving tongue and brains. Scrub well and place in large kettle. Cover with water; add onion, stuck wtih cloves, and tongue. Tie celery, parsley, carrot, bay leaf and peppercorns in cheesecloth and drop into kettle. Add salt. Bring to a boil, skim carefully and simer slowly about 4 hours, or until meat is tender and falls easily from bones. Remove tongue from water after it has cooked 1 1/2 hours. Lift head onto a large platter. Strain and reserve liquid in kettle. Remove all rind from head; cut the meat and tongue, skin removed and excess tissue from root end, trimmed, into tiny pieces. (Some women like to put meat through food chopper.) Place in large bowl. Drop brains into a little of the cooking liquid; simmer, covered, 15 mintes. Remove, drain and add to meat and tongue. Season lightly with cayenne, sage and nutmeg. Toss to mix well. Pack mixture into 9X5X3" loaf pan or mold, pressing firmly. Pour 1/2 c. cooking liquid, cooled until lukewarm, over micture. Cover pan or mold and put weight on it. Chill at least 48 hours before using. Slice to serve. makes 18 1/2" slices or 8 servings."
---Farm Journal's Country Cookbook, Nell B. Thomas editor, special edition [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1959 (p. 354)

While horesemeat does not feature prominently in food history texts, scholars confirm some early peoples consumed this animal, and its milk, on a regular basis. In the mid-19th century the French Government actively promoted
horsemeat to its newly industrialized workforce. English and American consumers did not embrace horsemeat for different reasons.

"Hippophagy refers to the eating of horses--a practice repugnant to many today but a common one in the past. Stone Age hunters at wild horses, as did early pastoral peoples of Asia and pre-Christian peoples of Europe...People have eaten horses as early as the fourth millennium B.C....Magico-religious concepts have long surrounded the horse and its domestication. Common people ate horses and sacrificed them to their deities. These animals symbolized power, so their sacrifice and consumption was a sacrament, and whoever partook of the sacrament gained the power of the horse..."
---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 118-119)

"The horse represents one of the most successful outcomes of animal domestication, but for a variety of reasons it has not been widely used as a source of human food. Very little of the exacting attention given this creature over the past 5,000 years has been directed toward developing its latent meat or milk potential...Long before their domestication, wild horses roamed the Eurasian grasslands. They were a favorite subject of the Paleolithic cave art of western Europe, which suggests their status as a major prey species. ...Present knowledge places horse domestication in the grasslands of Ukraine around the fourth millennium before Christ. At Dereivka, a site of the early Kurgan culture, evidence of bit wear recovered archaeologically indicates that people rode horses...They also ate them, which is not surprising as the predecessors of these same people were avid consumers of the wild species... [Horses] main prehistoric role was as pullers of wheeled conveyances and as riding animals...Horses were also eaten; in fact, the flesh of equids was an acceptable food in most societies that adopted them during the first 3,000 years of their domesticated state. Bronze Age sites in eastern Europe have yielded limb bones broken for the marrow and brain cases cracked open to extract the brain. The Krugan people, along with other early Indo-Europeans, also sacrificed horses to honor the dead...[The horses's] role as human food was not very important, although horseflesh was consumed in connection with the asvamedha, a sacrifice of horses...In the modern world, most people and cultures have rejected the flesh of horses (and its equine relatives, the mule and the donkey) as unfit to eat. But the reasons for avoidance are not necessarily the same everywhere. In some places, the horse is a rare, even absent, animal, so that people have had little opportunity to find out what they were missing...In most parts of the world where the horse is found, neither its meat nor its milk is used. Part of this avoidance can be attributed to religious injunction. Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and, at one time, Christians have all proscribed horsemeat from the diet as a badge of their faith...Marginalism of horsemeat in Europe had a religious basis. As Christianity spread through Teutonic lands, clerics regarded hoppophagy (eating horseflesh) as a pagan residue that was tinged with barbarism...Today, although most people in the Christian tradition still avoid the flesh of equines, its rejection no longer has much to do with religious prohibition...Rejection can now be attributed mainly to fear of the unfamiliar. The status of the horse as an intelligent companion of humans has surely worked against experimentation with consuming its flesh, except in periods of severe food shortage...In spite of early religious and later social reprobation, Europe did undergo an hippaphagy movement that to some extent changed attitudes toward this meat...represents a notable case of how a food taboo broke down. Hippophagic experimentation in Europe was widespread around the middle of the nineteenth century, when conscious efforts were made to break with the old prejudice against selling and eating horseflesh. Denmark legalized its sale in 1841, as did the German state of Wurttemburg; Bavaria followed in 1842, and Prussia in 1843. Other countries (Norway, Sweden, Austria, and Switzerland) also legalized its sale. Russia, where horsemeat has had a historic culinary role, never banned the sale of horesemeat...In Asia, horsemeat is an important food in Mongolia...Mongolians consume mare's milk, usually in fermented form (kumiss)...In the Western Hemisphere, no national culture has integrated hippophagy into its dietary possibilities...Argentines and Uruguayans, who are mostly of European origin, have rejected it...In the United States, consumption of horsemeat is low; in fact, throughout North America, it is readily available (though not widely consumed) only in the Canadian province of Quebec."
---The Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas, Volume One [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000 (p.542-545)

French horsemeat
"...the French attitude toward horsemeat was affected in the middle 19th century by a campaign in favour of eating it, culminating in a spectacular banquet hippophagique' in Paris in 1865, the menu for which included horse consumme, horse sausages, Horse a la mode, and several other presentations. Receptions were mixed...In 20th century-France horsemeat is still principally consumed by the urban working classes, among whom it has a reputation for healthiness."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 387)

"In the European history of horse meat consumption, France and the francophone Belgium stands out. There the cultural barrier to selling and eating horsemeat was more successfully breached than in any other part of Europe. As with so many French attitudes, it began with elite exhortation, but is also occurred in a national culture charmed by culinary diversity and invention. Its beginnings can be traced to governmental decisions that French people should eat more flesh foods. By 1851, the opinion was that the French person's ability to perform industrial work was hindered by insufficient quantities of nitrates in the diet...the first specialized horsemeat shop opened in Paris in 1866...Two prime factors led to a generalized acceptance of horsemeat in France. First, until the 1920s, horsemeat cost half of comparable cuts of beef and therefore was within reach of the working class. Second, horsemeat got much publicity as a high-energy food and as ostensibly valuable in physiologically reducing the human temptation to overindulge in alcoholic beverages. In touting horsemeat, the bourgeoisie indicated their conviction that it had an appropriate role to play in the diet of the working class."
---The Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas, Volume One [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000 (p.543-544)

"Frances later adoption of horse as a plat du jour stemmed not from callous gourmandise, but from pragmatism. Trying to strengthen its work force to meet the demands of the Industrial Revolution, the French government decreed in 1853 that each person consume 3.5 ounces of meat per day. At that time the price of a pound of horse was half that of beef. The shortages of the Franco-Prussian war (which eventually drove starving Parisians to consume rats and the residents of the zoo) sealed horses stature as a cheap, nutritious food of the people. Today horse remains largely a food of the working class, but since its cost is now comparable to beef, the once-flourishing horse butcheries of Paris are becoming an endangered species."
"We Eat Horses, Don't We?" Christa Weil, Op Ed, New York Times March 5, 2007

Eating the zoo animals, 1870 Paris.

Horsemeat in Britain
"Horse...A large quadruped which has been domesticated since prehistoric times. Horseflesh has never been popular in the British Isles, but it has long been in demand on the Continent. The fillet of a three-year-old thoroughbred is a costly luxury, but it is very good meat indeed; one has no chance of tasting it unless the horse happens to break its neck at exercise or otherwise injures itself so badly that it has to be destroyed. The majority of horseflesh sold by horse butchers is sound and wholesome meat, but too muscular to be enjoyable; it usually comes from horses too old for work as well as too old to roast; it is best boiled, stewed or in pies. Any of the recipes suitable for beef may be applied to horseflesh. On February 29th, 1868, a horseflesh dinner was served at the Langham Hotel, in London, and Frank Buckland who was invited to it, said that he 'gave it a fair trial, tasting every dish from soup to jelly', nut he did not approve of any of it."
---A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy," Andre L. Simon [Harcourt Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 442)

Horsemeat in the USA
In the USA, human consumption of horsemeat sets a complicated table based on society, politics, and economics. Valued primarily for transportation, horses are considered trusty companions. Like dogs. Not food. North American horsemeat consumption over time has been shaped by these distinct culinary trends:
1. Starvation subsistence...consuming one's mode of transportation is among the last options.
2. Economic recession..."ponyburgers" (aka ground horsemeat) offered as cheap meat alternative in mainstream supermarkets.
3. Aritsan protein movement...low-fat and "exotic."

Hot dogs & frankfurters
The history of the American hot dog, as we know it today, traces its roots to Austrian/German immigrants who settled in our country in the 19th century. These people introduced their traditional wienerwurst, along with several other "Old World" sausages. Hot dogs (aka frankfurters) descended from these. Manufacturing methods/ingredients/packaging technology have changed due to food science advancements. Condiments/accompaniments, as always, are a matter of local taste and time. These range from traditional (sauerkraut) to the "works" (mustard, ketchup, pickle relish). Chicago-style is different from New York style.
Hot dogs and baseball are an American icon. Corn dogs & Pronto Pups are coated in batter, deep fried & served on a stick. Friday Franks & Chickenfurters approximate traditional hot dogs for specific reasons. Did Franklin Delano Roosevelt really serve hot dogs to the King and Queen of England?

Wienerwurst (Vienna sausage)is said to have orginated in Austria. Hence, the name. This product is related to frankfurters (hot dogs). It is a member of the German Bruhwurst family:
"Bruhwurst: This term means a parboiled sausage, made from finely chopped raw meat, not intended for keeping, usually scalded by the manufacturer, sometimes smoked, to be heated before serving, always sliceable, often red in color."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 701)

Who invented the hot dog & when?
"Sausage is one of the oldest forms of processed food, having been mentioned in Homer's Odyssey as far back as the 9th Century B.C. Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, is traditionally credited with originating the frankfurter. However, this claim is disputed by those who assert that the popular sausage - known as a "dachshund" or "little-dog" sausage - was created in the late 1600's by Johann Georghehner, a butcher, living in Coburg, Germany. According to this report, Georghehner later traveled to Frankfurt to promote his new product. In 1987, the city of Frankfurt celebrated the 500th birthday of the hot dog in that city. It's said that the frankfurter was developed there in 1487, five years before Christopher Columbus set sail for the new world. The people of Vienna (Wien), Austria, point to the term "wiener" to prove their claim as the birthplace of the hot dog. As it turns out, it is likely that the North American hot dog comes from a widespread common European sausage brought here by butchers of several nationalities. Also in doubt is who first served the dachshund sausage with a roll. One report says a German immigrant sold them, along with milk rolls and sauerkraut, from a push cart in New York City's Bowery during the 1860's. In 1871, Charles Feltman, a German butcher opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand selling 3,684 dachshund sausages in a milk roll during his first year in business. The year, 1893, was an important date in hot dog history. In Chicago that year, the Columbian Exposition brought hordes of visitors who consumed large quantities of sausages sold by vendors. People liked this food that was easy to eat, convenient and inexpensive. Hot dog historian Bruce Kraig, Ph.D., retired professor emeritus at Roosevelt University, says the Germans always ate the dachshund sausages with bread. Since the sausage culture is German, it is likely that Germans introduced the practice of eating the dachshund sausages, which we today know as the hot dog, nestled in a bun. Also in 1893, sausages became the standard fare at baseball parks. This tradition is believed to have been started by a St. Louis bar owner, Chris Von de Ahe, a German immigrant who also owned the St. Louis Browns major league baseball team. Many hot dog historians chafe at the suggestion that today's hot dog on a bun was introduced during the St. Louis "Louisiana Purchase Exposition" in 1904 by Bavarian concessionaire, Anton Feuchtwanger. As the story goes, he loaned white gloves to his patrons to hold his piping hot sausages and as most of the gloves were not returned, the supply began running low. He reportedly asked his brother-in-law, a baker, for help. The baker improvised long soft rolls that fit the meat - thus inventing the hot dog bun. Kraig says everyone wants to claim the hot dog bun as their own invention, but the most likely scenario is the practice was handed down by German immigrants and gradually became widespread in American culture. Another story that riles serious hot dog historians is how term "hot dog" came about. Some say the word was coined in 1901 at the New York Polo Grounds on a cold April day. Vendors were hawking hot dogs from portable hot water tanks shouting "They're red hot! Get your dachshund sausages while they're red hot!" A New York Journal sports cartoonist, Tad Dorgan, observed the scene and hastily drew a cartoon of barking dachshund sausages nestled warmly in rolls. Not sure how to spell "dachshund" he simply wrote "hot dog!" The cartoon is said to have been a sensation, thus coining the term "hot dog." However, historians have been unable to find this cartoon, despite Dorgan's enormous body of work and his popularity. Kraig, and other culinary historians, point to college magazines where the word "hot dog" began appearing in the 1890s. The term was current at Yale in the fall of 1894,when "dog wagons" sold hot dogs at the dorms. The name was a sarcastic comment on the provenance of the meat. References to dachshund sausages and ultimately hot dogs can be traced to German immigrants in the 1800s. These immigrants brought not only sausages to America, but dachshund dogs. The name most likely began as a joke about the Germans' small, long, thin dogs. In fact, even Germans called the frankfurter a "little-dog" or "dachshund" sausage, thus linking the word "dog" to their popular concoction."
SOURCE: National Hot Dog and Sausage Council

"The term 'hot dog' is singularly American...The earliest use of the term 'hot dog' yet discovered is in the 28 September 1893 edition of the Knoxville Journal: 'Even the weinerwurst men began preparing to get the "hot dogs" ready for sale Saturday night.' Several 'official' stories of how the hot dog got its name have been widely circulated since the 1920s."
---Hot Dog: A Global History, Bruce Kraig [Reaktion Books:London] 2009 (p. 23)
[NOTE: If you need more details about the hot dog's place in American history we highly recommend this book!]

Recommended reading

Who is credited for serving the first hot dogs at a New York baseball game?
Harry M. Stevens. The year is unclear, but the story is great!

"Consider the plight of the hot dog. Here is an American institution that has quietly and modestly served the nation for more than half a century with far too little recognition. Why has this gross injustice been perpetrated in a country so proud of its record for fairness and equailtiy? Because the hot dog has no known one can point a finger to any specific day and say "This was the start of the hot dog and shall be celebrated ever forevermore." Historians admit that the hot dog was born on a cold day in the Eighteen Nineties, but even the exact year remains obscure. The scene of the momentious event was the [New York] Polo Grounds. Cold winds whilled in off Coogan's Bluff and the baseball fans shivered in the stands. A young English-born concessionaire named Harry M. Stevens was purveying his peanuts and scorecards, but the weather spurred him to history-making action. He recalled that a near-by butcher shop had an assortment of sausages hanging in the window, and he sent a boy to buy ten dozens of them. Mr. Stevens dispatched another lad to purchase rolls from a bakery. He tossed the wieners into a huge pot half-filled with water and boiled them on the clubhouse stove. He sliced the rolls and inserted the hot wieners in them, then told his venders: "Those people are frozen. Go out there and yell, 'red hots, red hots.' The people will buy these red hots if you yell loud enough. Within ten minutes, the red hots were sold, and Mr. Stevens, who went on to become a famous caterer, had a new item for his concession. But the saga of the hot dog was not without its moments of tribulation. T.A. (Tad) Dorgan, the cartoonist, began to characterize the "red hot" in his sketches as a dachshund between an elongated bun, and he called it the "hot dog." This quite naturally started some person wondering what went into the manufacture of the tasty product, and the hot dog business suffered a severe recession about 1910. The hot dog had an indomitable spirit, though, and fought its way back to popularity."
---"Topics of the Times: An American Institution," New York Times, August 20, 1953 (p. 26)

Who was Frank Twitchell?
"What happened was that Chicago was a city of parks and, although I didn't know it then, Chicago's 5,000 acres of parks were to play a major role in my life. In those days, before World War I, the city's park commissioners weren't politicians but prominent and usually civic-minded businessmen...The used to go to the Heidelberg to eat, before or after their meetings, and they got to know and like my father. They'd even ask his opinion; after all, he was running one of the best restaurants in town. And so, one thing led to another, and the commissioners wound up asking my father if he would take over the parks concessions...The commissioners apparently were out to hustle better food and service in the South Park system, and Frank Twitchell more or less fell into place...The first thing he did was to arrange to buy hot dogs made to his specifications from Oscar Mayer, the meat packer. How's that for class: hot dogs made to his specifications. My father built a better hot dog and people started beating a path to the parks, where his hot dog stands began to sprout in strategic places along the South Park Lake Front."
---My Luke and I, Eleanor Gerhig and Joseph Durso [Thomas Y. Crowell:New York] 1976 (p. 56-6)

Friday Franks & Chickenfurters
Traditional American
hot dogs, like most sausages, are made from hogs. They are generally composed with the parts not suitable for other consumption. Beef hot dogs are considered an acceptable alternative. Tuna hot dogs were introduced in 1949. They failed. Chickenfurters (aka chicken franks, chicken hot dogs, chicken dogs) first surfaced in 1951. Like their tuna cousins, they were rejected by hot dog afficianados. Why? It's all about preserving the *purity* of a national icon.

"A Cornell professor recommended today the canning of chicken 'hot dogs' as a mean of marketing fowl (older birds). Pro. R. C. Baker, a poultry specialist, said chicken could be rolled in the form of frankfurters and canned and would cost no more than the conventional hod dog."
---"Now, the Chickenfurter: One Use for Older Birds," New York Times, August 3, 1951 (p. 13)

"Another new product which has already been test marketed in some areas, is a frankfurter made of chicken. It was tested under two names: Chicken Frank and Bird Dog. It seems that the men preferred Bird Dog and the women went for Chicken Frank. One woman was reported to have purchased both packages and to have proclaimed that the Chicken Frank was great, but that she didn't like the Bird Dog. Other sausage forms of chicken recently developled include chicken bologna and an unsmoked version known as chickelona."
---"Food news: New Products Fill State Exposition," Nan Ickieringill, New York Times, September 3, 1962 (p. 9)

"When might a frankfurter become a chickenfurter? When it's more than 15% poultry, the Agriculture Department believes. That, it proposed, is when label names should be modified not only for frankfurters but for knockwurst, bologna and other cookd sausages as well. Currently, poulty may be used in such sausags only if the poultry ingredients, no matter how small, are reflected in some manner in the product name. But last fall the poulty industry, seeking to expand demand for its products, asked that no poultry identification be required unless the poultry accounted for more than 25% of the sausate. The issue acquired special significance when the department announced public hearings to permit consumer comments...But the Nixon Administration dropped the hearing idea, saying it would 'unnecessarily delay' a decision...Poultry has nutritional qualities similar to other cooked sausage ingredients...and 'trained testing panels have found that up to 15% poultry didn't alter the characteristics of cooked sausage.'"
---"Farm Agency Proposes Rule on Frankfurter Turning Chickenfurter," Wall Street Journal, April 7, 1969 (p. 28)

William Zisser's "No Stomach for the Undercover Chickenfurter," Life magazine October 3, 1969 (p. 24B) eloquently presents both sides of the story.
"I used to wonder what goes into a hot dog. Now I know and I wish I didn't...The whole thing started when the Department of Agriculture pulished the hot dog's incredents--everhting that may legally qualify--because it was asked by the poultry industry to relax the conditions under which these ingredients might also include chicken, a dispute that didn't finally get settled until a few weeks ago...Judging by the 1,066 mainly hostile answers that the department got when it sent out a questionnaire on this point, the very thought is unthinkable. The public mood was most felicitously caught by the woman who replied: 'I don't eat feather meat of no kind.'...Obviously the lady regards feather meat as beneath contempt and feels that only the hot dog is worthy of her fastidious taste. Yet the official list of what may constitute a hot dog is hardly my idea of nature's aristocracy: 'The edible part of the muscle of cattle, sheep, swine or goats, in the diaphram, in the heart, or in the esophogas, with our without the accompanying and overlying fat, and the portions of bone, skin, sinew, nerve and blood vessels which normally accompany the muscle tissue and which are not separated from it by the process of dressing. It does not include the muscle found in the lips, snout or ears.'...What the Department of Agriculture finally decided was to let franfurters be called frankfurters even in they contain up to 15% chicken. The old rule said that the label had to announce in large type: FRANKFURTER, CHICKEN ADDED...It may seem like a small point...but clearly it is not. Whole philosphical questions are at stake, and so is the American way of life. For although the frankfurter originated in Frankfurt, German, we have long since made it our own, a twin pillar of democracy along with Mom's apple pie. In fact, now that Mom's apple pie comes frozen and baked by somebody who isn't Mom, the hot dog stands alone. What it symbolizes remains pure, even if what it contains is not... Partly...the hot dog is triumphant because it is so easy to manage...the frank comes wrapped in its own napkin and is soon gone without a trace. It is the ultimate food of the disposable society."

Related foods? Turkey bacon, chicken burgers & Friday franks (tuna dogs).

Jamaican Jerk
Jamaican Jerk descends from the slow cooked
barbecue tradition of indigenous Caribbean peoples. Jerk is also native and local, although this term generally denotes a preserved (spiced, dried) meat product. The spices used for flavoring are a combination of Old World and New. Old World spices were introduced in the 15th century by Spanish explorers. As time progressed, native recipes embraced new flavors. Like American barbecue, Jerk masters have their special blends. Jamaican Jerk became popular in the USA in the late 1980s.

"Jerk. A highly-seasoned barbecued dish cooked on smouldering pimento wood over a small pit. The maroons jerked wild pigs in Portland while on the run from the British. Jerky has been part of our culinary tradition for centuries. Now we not only jerk pork but chicken, fish--in fact all meats."
---The Real Taste of Jamaica, Enid Donaldson [Ian Randle Publishers:Kingston] 1993, 2000 (p. 13)

"This hot and spicy barbecue style of cooking has been with us for hundreds of years but in recent times has been transformed, from a type of cooking peculiar to one small area of Jamaica, to the streets, homes and restaurants of the world. There was a time when jerking was confined to pork; today buyers can enjoy jerk pork, chicken, fish and even jerk lobster from jerk 'pits' all over the island. The word pit comes from the traditional method of cooking; a charcoal fire is made in a shallow pit in the ground and small planks of green aromatic pimento wood are placed above the hot coals to form a crude grill. The highly seasoned meat is stretched across this wooden grill in large slab (in the case of chicken, the whole chicken), covered with a top layer of wood and left to cook slowly. The 'real' jerk taste comes from a combination of the blend (and quantity) of the seasoning used, the effect of the smoke created by the twin layers of green aromatic wood and the slow method of cooking. At Boston Bay in Portland, on the north-east coast of Jamaica, there is a cluster of jerk pits and the potential purchaser is allowed to move from pit to pot sampling tiny morsels from each one, before deciding which is the best of the lot."
---The Real Taste of Jamaica, Enid Donaldson [Ian Randle Publishers:Kingston] 1993, 2000 (p. 78)

Jamaican Jerk in the USA
This practical native meat preservation technique was rediscovered, modernized, and promoted in the United States during late 1980s by Helen Willinsky. Her culinary gauntlet aimed dead center at the spicy Cajun empire commanded by chef Paul Proudhomme. Jerk dishes soon appeared in trendy American restaurants and family chains. Jerk spices were bottled and sold in gourmet shops. It was a phenomenal success.

"In the 1990s one of the hottest cuisines, both in Scoville index units and in popularity, was Jamaican cooking. Extremely spicy and aromatic Jamaican "jerk" chicken seemed to take the country by storm, and Jamaican restaurants seemed to pop up everywhere for a while. A number of cookbooks featuring Jamaican cuisine also appeared. Although most of them have gone by the wayside, Jerk: Barbecue from Jamaica (1990) by Helen Willinsky was still in print at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Other Caribbean foods were also in favor, although few of them were as hot as the popular jerk chicken." ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 664-5)

"There's a blaze burning on American palates. It was ignited by Tex-Mex and fueled by the Cajun rage. Just when everyone thought the fervor for hot and spicy foods had burned itself out with the cooking classes, books and even premixed seasonings available to the home cook, another incendiary device continues to fan the flame. The cuisine of the Caribbean has enjoyed enormous popularity lately in cities such as New York and San Francisco. Its notoriety comes on the heels of a fascination for foods that singe. It is actually a natural progression that a splash in the Caribbean should follow a fascination for things Cajun. Each trek for foods with a bite moves farther south. Southern California, however, one of the richest gastronomic regions in the country, has been one of the last to give a nod of approval to island food as the next dining trend. The idea has been alluded to in newspaper food sections; prominent magazines have done a feature or two. But all-out support of Caribbean cuisine on the West Coast has yet to materialize-a phenomenon that publicists for island products are hard-pressed to explain. 25 Years of Independence The Caribbean islands is a group of some 7,000 islands in the Caribbean Sea stretching south from Florida to the north coast of South America. The largest and most notable ones are Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Hispaniola, which is home to the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In spite of their rich tropical beauty, the majority of these exotic havens, also known as the West Indies, have struggled in their efforts to attract wide-scale attention. But the island of Jamaica, which celebrated 25 years of independence from the British last year, has managed to remain economically stable and is a popular tourist spot, which seems to account for the interest in the food in the United States. ...But even with figures such as these and the fact that there are at least half a dozen restaurants around town offering Jamaican cuisine to tourists who want to partake of the food long after the trip back home, food aficianados apparently are reluctant to consider that Jamaican foods could satisfy the demand for spicy flavors and replace Cajun as "in." Derryck Cox, Senior Trade Commissioner North America for the Jamaica Trade Commission, introduced a campaign that he hopes will bring Jamaican cuisine to the forefront of the Southern California dining scene at a press conference showcasing Caribbean products and foods. The Jamaican style of cooking, like so many other cuisines, was developed through the ingenuity of the Spaniards, Indians and Africans who created uses for items that were easily available on the island. The use of goat and pork in Jamaican cuisine is attributable to the fact that they were widely accessible. And since sea creatures are prolific in the region, dishes made with conch, shellfish, snapper and cod are very common. The inhabitants also found an assortment of uses for the multitude of exotic produce on the island. Tropical treasures such as mangoes, guavas, coconuts, pineapple, papaya, cassava, breadfruit, plantains, pumpkins and potatoes are whipped into everything from desserts and breads to drinks. The most popular Jamaican item on local menus is Jamaican jerk chicken or pork. This characteristically Jamaican dish is more than 300 years old, according to Joyce LaFray Young, author of "Tropic Cooking" (Ten Speed Press: $12.95), and was developed as a means of preserving meat for lengthy storage. Either meat or poultry, which has been marinated in a spicy mixture of herbs and spices, can be used. It is slowly cooked over a pimento (the Jamaican term for allspice) fire, and on the island is typically found as road food. Other Jamaican dishes include: oxtails with beans, a home-style stew made with Jamaican broad beans (lima beans are an excellent stand-in); rice and peas, a variation on Cajun red beans and rice; festival, a fried cornmeal cake similar to hush puppies; soursop, a drink reminiscent of eggnog made from the fleshy fruit of the same name and mixed with milk and spiked with nutmeg; fried plantains, a fruit of the banana family eaten when very ripe; curry goat; fruit custards, and bread pudding...there is a strong reluctance in this part of the country to support this type of food, even though it is similar to the earthy, comfort food that made Cajun a household word. He explained that Los Angeles trails cities such as New York, San Francisco and Miami, which have large West Indian populations and support Jamaican foods and products fervently. Within the last nine months, Cox said, six Caribbean restaurants have opened in Atlanta. "The biggest selling item on their menus is Jamaican seasoned chicken-jerk," Cox said. "People are looking for something new." ...Since then, a multitude of restaurants featuring the cuisine have opened in New York, and some Los Angeles markets have begun stocking familiar Jamaican food products in their ethnic food sections. (Last month, a notable New York restaurant, the Sugar Reef, began a program that invites Caribbean guest chefs to prepare specialties of the various islands for diners.)..."It's not the natives (Jamaican nationals) we're interested in," Cox said. "The aim is to redevelop and repackage Jamaican products to be much more attractive to mainstream audiences."
---"Islands' Fare Southland Interest in Caribbean Cuisine Continues to Grow," Toni Tipton, Los Angeles Times, Jan 14, 1988, pg. 37 ?

"Jerk Chicken
3 whole chickens cut up in halves
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Jerk Marinade
2 tsp. ground Jamaican pimento
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. mace
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. black pepper
1 12 cups escallion
2 onions
2 scotch bonnet peppers
2 tbs. cooking oil
1. Cut 3 chickens in halves. Rinse chicken in lime water, drain and season with garlic.
2. Blend all the ingredients for the marinade together in a blender or food processor. (To grind pimento, heat grains in a frying pan in a tablespoon of oil until crisp and then blend.)
3. Pour mixture on to seasoned chicken and leave to marinate for about 2 hours or overnight.
4. Light barbecue grill, make sure coals are white before putting on meat. Put on chicken halves skin side down, and keep turning to prevent the chicken from getting too dark. Allow to cook slowly.
5. Chop into small pieces. Can be served with additional jerk sauce.
Serves 12.
Cook's Tip: It is the combination of the seasonings that gives the jerk its unique flavor."
---The Real Taste of Jamaica, Enid Donaldson [Ian Randle Publishers:Kingston] 1993, 2000 (p. 79)

Jambalaya, a popular one-pot dish gererally associated with Cajun-Creole Louisiana, traces its roots to Spanish
paella. Huge, forgiving, proud, and delicious. Like all great regional feeds, no two recipes are alike and family recipes are full of secret ingredients.

What is Jambalaya & where did it come from?
"Jambalaya is one of the most famous Cajun-Creole creations, with as many versions and incorporating as wide a variety of ingredients as any dish in American gastronomy. Most etymologists believe the name came form the Spanish word for ham, jamon, a prime ingredient in the first jambalayas of the eighteenth century, but other prefer the beloved story of a gentleman who stopped by a New Orleans inn late one night to find nothing left for him to dine upon. The owner there-upon told the cook, whose name was Jean, to "mix some things together"--balayez, in the dialect of Louisiana-so the grateful guest pronounced the dish of odds-and-ends wonderful and named it "Jean Balayexz." The word itself first appeared in print only in 1872, and the Picayune's Creole Cook Book (1900) calls it a "Spanish-Creole dish." Missouri Creoles call it "jambolail." But today it is a great favorite and synonymous with Louisiana cuisine."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 169)

"Of the varied ethnic groups which cooperated in creating Creole cooking, the French, the last to arrive, are generally accorded the major share of the credit, which they probably deserve (but perhaps not quite as exclusively as may person think). The first contributors to Creole cooking were of course the Indians. The Spanish arrived second, and the Negroes probably third, for slavery had already become well established before the Acadians, driven out of Canada and Nova Scotia, reached what with their aid was to become Creole territory in the second half of the eighteenth century. The greater visibility of the Acadians accounts for the remark, in a generally knowledgeable book about Creole cooking: "Among the finest, and certainly the most famous [of Acadian dishes] is jambalaya," which is rather unkind, for while the Acadians have endowed this territory with any number of dishes for which they can be given credit, jambalaya is almost the only one which can be claimed by the Spaniards. It is easily reconizable by anyone familiar with Spanish cooking as a form of paella."
---Eating in America: A History, Wavery Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow and Company:New York] 1976 (p. 282)

Is there an "authentic" Jambalaya recipe?
Yes, and no. Like Booya, Barbeque & Brunswick stew, every self-respecting Jambalaya cook has his/her own secret ingredient and special method. We Americans celebrate tasty the coexistence of parallel plating. Our products are made better by the spirit of competition. What strikes us most when reading the recipes below is the culinary dichotomy of primary dish & leftover economy. The truth likely cuts down the middle in curious ways.

"There are countless versions of jambalaya, all of them hearty one-dishes in the manner of gumbo and shrimp creole and many of the pilaus. Though it could be categorized in several places--soups and stews, rice dishes, seafood--we have put it here with pork primarily because of its name, the first two syllables of which trace to both the French and Spanish words for ham. Cajun and Creole cooks have thrown just about everything into jambalaya for at least one hundred years, but ham has always been a prime ingredient. In Gonzales, Louisiana, the self-styled Jambalaya Capital of the World, you can find about as many recipes for this dish as there are households."
---Southern Food: at home, on the road, in history, John Egerton [University of North Carolina Press:Chapel Hill NC] 1993 (p. 264)

/La Cuisine Creole

"Creole Jambalaya.

Jambalaya is a Spanish-Creole dish, which is a great favorite in New Orleans, and is made according to the following recipe:
One and a Half Cups of Rice.
1 Pound of Fresh Pork. 1 Slice of Ham.
2 Onions.
1 Tablespoonful of Butter.
2 Cloves of Garlic.
2 Sprigs Each of Thyme and Parsley.
2 Bay Leaves
2 Cloves Ground Very Fine.
3 Quarts of Beef Broth or Hot Water (Broth Preferred).
1/8 Spoonful of Chili Pepper.
Salt, Pepper and Cayenne to Taste.
Cut the pork very fine, lean and fat, into pieces. Chop the onions very fine, and mince the garlic and the fine herbs. Grind the cloves. Put a tablespoonful of butter into the saucepan, and add the onions and pork, and let them brown slowly. Stir frequently, and let them continue browning slightly. When slightly brown, add the ham, chopped very fine, and the cloves of garlic. Then add the minced herbs, thyme, bay leaf and parsley and cloves. Let all this brown for five minutes longer, and add a dozen fine Charice, cut apart, and let all cook five minutes longer. Then add the three quarts of water or broth, always using in preference the broth. Let it all cook for ten minutes, and when it has been carefully washed. Then add to this a half teaspoonful of Chili pepper, and salt and Cayenne to taste. The Creoles season highly with Cayenne. Let all boil a half hour longer, or until the rice is firm, and serve hot. Stir often, to mix all well. You will then have a real Creole Jambalaya. Some use the brisket of veal instead of the pork, but there is no comparison in the flavor, the pork being so superior. But, again, this is a matter of taste."
---The Picayune Creole Cook Book, facsimile reprint of the second edition, 1901 [Dover:New York] 1971 (p. 181-2)

"Down near the French market in New Orleans is one of the most interesting places in the whole city, a place which has been widely known for more than forty years, and visitors to New Orleans during the Carnival season miss one of its most characteristic enjoyments if they fail to breakfast at Begue's...Here are some of the recipes for the famous dishes:

"Jambalaya of Chicken and Ham
Cut into pieces a young chicken and fry it in hot lard, wiht a few slices of raw ham. Remove the ham and chicken from the pan, then fry in the same lard an onion and a tomato. When they are nearly done stir in a cup of rice and a chicken and ham. Cook all-together for a few minutes stirring constantly; then add enough water to cover and boil slowly until the rice and chicken are tender. It should be seasoned with strong pepper, bay leaves, chopped parsley, and thyme. Dry a little before serving.

"Jambalaya of Rice and Shrimps
Boil and peel two dozen large shrimps and allow them to cool. Fry in hot lard one onion, chopped, and a cup of rice which has been washed in cold water. After a few minutes add the shrimps, stirring constantly until they are well browned; then add enough water to cover this whole. Season with salt and pepper, bay leaf, thyme and chopped parsley. Let it boil slowly, adding water when necessary from time to time until the rice is well cooked. When done let it dry before serving."
---"Strange Culinary Combinations Exploited by Famous People," New York Times, December 29, 1907 (p. X9)

"Jambalayah (a Creole Dish)

1 1/2 cups cold chicken, veal or mutton
1 cup boiled rice
2 large stalks celery
1/2 green pepper
1 large onion
1 1/2 cups stewed tomatoes
salt and pepper
buttered crumbs
Mix together the chicken, rice and tomatoes, and allow them to cook for ten minutes. The chop and add the onion, green pepper and celery. Turn the mixture into a baking dish and cover with buttered crumbs. Bake for one hour in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.). Serve very hot. This is an excellent way of utilizing left-over meat or chicken."
---Southern Cook Book: 322 Old Dixie Recipes, compiled and edited by Lillie S. Lustig et al, [Three Mountaineers:Asheville NC] 1938 (p. 13)

"Creole Jambalaya

1 1/2 cups rice
1 pound fresh pork
1 sliced ham
1 dozen chaurices (pork sausages)
2 onions
1 tablespoon butter
2 clove garlic
1 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs parsley
2 bay leaves
3 quarts beef broth of consomme
1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
salt, pepper, cayenne
Cut the pork very fine, lean and fat, into pieces of about half an inch square. Chop the onions very fine and mince the garlic and fine herbs. Grind the cloves. Put a tablespoon of butter into the saucepan and add the onions and pork and let them brown slowly. Stir frequently, and let them continue browning slightly. At this stage add the slice of ham, chopped very fine, and the cloves of garlic. Let all this brown for five minutes longer. The add the three quarts of broth or consomme. Let it all cook for ten minutes and when it comes to boiling add the rice, which has been carefully washed. Then add to this the peppers and salt to taste. The Creoles season highly with cayenne. Let all boil for a half-hour longer, or until the rice is done, and serve hot."
---New York World's Fair Cook Book: The American Kitchen, Crosby Gaige [Doubleday, Doran & Company:New York] 1939 (p. 85-86)

"Jambalaya with Shrimp (Serves 4)

2 pounds of shimp
4 tablespoons of butter or bacon fat
2 tablespoons of flour
3 onions, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup of cooked ham
2 cups of canned tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon of oregano or basil
2 cups rice
3 cups of broth or fish stock
Melt the butter or fat in a heavy kettle with a tight lid. Blend the flour into a hot fat and add the peeled and chopped onions and garlic. Cut the ham in strips and add it to the onion mixture. Cook slowly until the onion is soft. Add the canned tomatoes and cook them for a few minutes to blend and thicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add oregano or basil. Add the washed rice and pour over it boiling broth or stock to cover 1 inch above the rice. Use fish stock...or meat broth. Cover the kettle tightly and lower the heat to simmer. Let the rice and seasonings cook slowly. Shell the shrimp and remove the black veins along the backs. Rinse to was out all grit. The shrimp should be added about 8 minutes before the rice is done. If the mixture gets too dry before the rice cooks, add more broth."
---The James Beard Cookbook, in collaboration with Isabel E. Callvert [E.P. Dutton:New York] 1961 (p. 161-162)

"Creole Jambalaya

1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/3 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery with a few leaves
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and cleanes (about 1 cup)
2 dozen raw oysters (about 1 cup)
2 cus (16 oz.) whole tomatoes
1 cup water
Bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup raw rice, washed (unlsess otherwide directed on package)
In large sauceapn saute onion, green pepper, celery and garlic in butter until tender. Add shrimp and oysters and cook five minutes more. Add remaining ingredients except rice and cook over low heat 10 to 15 minutes more. Add rice, stir and cover tightly; cook 25 to 30 minutes over low heat or unntil rice is done. 4 servings."
---Brennan's New Orleans Cookbook, told by Hermann B. Deutsch [Robert L. Crager:New Orleans LA] 1961 (p. 165)

"Creole Jambalaya

1 tablespoon shortening
2 tablespoons flour
1 pound smoked pork sausage or ham, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3 cups cooked shrimp
5 cups diced and peeled tomatoes
2 1/2 cups water
1 large onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons shopped parsley
2 cups raw, long-grain white rice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
Melt shortening in large skillet. Add flour, meat, and chopped pepper. Cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add shrimp, tomatoes, water, onion, garlic, and parsley. Bring to a boil, add rice; stir in Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, and red pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender; stir occasionally. Sprinkle with parsley."
---The Art of Creole Cookery, William I. Kaufman and Sister Mary Ursula Cooper [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1962 (p. 116-118)
[NOTE: this book also offers recipes for Chicken and Oyster Jambalayas.]


2 cups diced leftover ham
3 onions, sliced
1 green pepper, diced
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cp dry white wine
3 1/2 cups canned tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce 1 cup rice
Saute onions, green pepper and garlic in butter for 10 minutes. Add ham, wine, tomatoes and seasonings and mix well. Bring to a boil and add rice gradually, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes. Serves 6."
---Picture Cook Book, editors of Life [Time-Life Books:New York] 1968 (p. 217)

Related food? Paella.

Jerky (charqui) is a dried meat product. This sensible preservation method was employed by Native Americans and frontiersmen.
Buffalo (aka American Bison) was a popular meat source. Food historians tell us the practice may have originated in Peru. Notes here:

"In South America, where there has been a plentitude of meat for hundreds of years, simple drying traditions survive, at least among the poor. The Native Americans on the arid southern borderlands sun-dried venison and buffalo, and one can still find dried beef in the form of tassajo, which is made with strips of meat dipped in maize flour, dried in the hot sun and wind, then tightly rolled up into balls to be carried easily on journeys. The modern American jerked beef" is derived from thin slices of air-dried meat called "charqui." This originated in Peru and was used to preserve excess game after large hunts, though later beef was more usually used. Charqui, a vital food for the western pioneers, was often broken up and crushed between large stones and then boiled before eating."
---Pickled, Potted and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World, Sue Shepard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 34)

"Jerky...Beef that has been cut thin and dried in the sun. The word comes from the Spanish charqui', which appears in English in 1700 as a verb, jerk' than as a noun in the nineteenth century. Jerky, in the form of pemmican, was a staple food among the native Americans on the plains. It is very rich in protein and may be cooked in a soup or smoked, but more commonly it is sold as a 'meat snack' in the form of a thin stick sold at convenience stores and bars. In Hawaii, jerky is referred to a pipikaula."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 171)

"Jerky...a name derived via Spanish from the native Peruvian "charqui," meaning dried meat. The noun spawned a verb. Jerking meat consists in cutting it up into long strips and then drying these in the sun or at a fire. The practice was widespread among American Indians and among colonists in pioneering days. In modern times jerky occupies a niche in the nostalgic realm of 'trail foods'. For the S. African equivalent, see Biltong. For purely air-dried meats, see Bindenfleisch, bresaola."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 418)

"Most land travellers...expected to live off the terrain, but took a store of provisions with them by way of insurance. Such provisions had to be light and compact when the traveller moved on his own feet and was his own beast of burden, and from native Americans, north and south, the European explorer learned the virtues of two sustaining and lightweight meat products, pemmican and charqui...Charqui was the South American alternative [to pemmican] and may have originated in Peru as a way of preserving some of the game slaughtered at communal hunts, although when cattle became established beef was more generally used. The method was to cut boned and defatted meat into quarter-inch slices, which were dipped in strong brine or rubbed with salt. The meat was next rolled up in the animal's hide for ten or twelve hours for it to absorb the salt and release some of its juices, then hung in the sun to dry, and finally tied up into convenient bundles. It looked, said one German traveller, like strips of thick cardboard and was just as easy to masticate'. Whe opportunity offered, most travellers preferred to poind the charqui vigorously between two stones and then boil it before eating. The jerked' in jerked beef' is derived from the word chaqui..."
---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers Press:New York] 1988 (p. 228-9)

"Fresh meat was always preferable, but fontiersmen quickly accepted the Indian method of turning the dried meat called jerky into pemmican, and thus discovered one of best portable foods ever devised. ..The making of pemmican was an art..."
---American Heritage Cookbook and Illustrated History of American Eating & Drinking, Volume 1 [American Heritage:New York] 1964 (p. 51)

How did the pioneers make jerky?
Interesting question. Period cookbooks don't address this topic, probably because they were written for established housewives with fully-stocked kitchens. Folks who ate jerky were generally travelers, explorers, cowboys, and Native Americans. We know about their foods from primary sources such as journals, letters, and diaries.

"Knowing that they must always plan ahead, emigrants preserved the buffalo meat by "jerking" it. In that process the meat is cut into long strips aobut one inch wide and then dried in the sun or over a fire...The simplest method for drying meat was to string it on ropes and then hang it on the outside of the wagon cover. There it would soak up the hot sun for two or three days until it was cured; then it was packed in bags and stored for future use. One diarist wrote that the wagons looked as if they were decorated with "coarse red fringe." "The meat was bery Black and coarse but were youngsters found it to be good chewing," recalled William Colvig. The "hanging up method," while simple, meat that the meat picked up all the dust and debris from the air. Still, when "hunger stares one in the face one isn't particular about trifles like that," stated Catherine Haun in her detailed diary. Another way of preparing jerky was to build a scaffold to support the meat over a slow fire and then to smoke the strips. Joel Palmer described the process, which imitated the method used by Native Americans:

The meat is sliced thin and a scaffold prepared by setting forked sticks in the ground, about three feet high, and laying small poles or sticks crosswise upon them. The meat is laid upon those pieces, as a slow fire built beneath; the heat and smoke completes the process in half a day; and with an occasional sunning the meat will keep for months.'
The smoking method required a stopover; but in my twentieth-century view, considering disease and germs, smoking seems safer than air-drying. In any case, however, jerky was prepared, it was popular."
---Wagon Wheel Kitchens: Food on the Oregon Trail, Jaqueline Williams [University of Kansas Press:Lawrence KS] 1993 (p. 153-4)

"How to make jerky.
The Spanish word for dried beef is "Charqui," and we call it jerky. To dry beef, cut meat in strips as long as 6 to 14 inches. No wider than 1 inch is best so that meat will dry quickly. Do not leave fat on meat as it becomes rancid in a short time. Cut against grain where at all possible. Sprinkle each piece of meat with salt and pepper; and if so inclined, a small amount of powdered chili. Hang strips of meat in a dry place on wire lines. Full sun is not necessary, but is best. A shed or barn loft will do. Cellars and basements are not at all suitable as they are too damp. The clothesline is fine if it does not rain. Do not worry about flies as the salt and pepper repels them. In very hot weather meat will be jerked in a few days or a week. Just be sure meat does not get wet. When meat looks and feels like old shoe leather, remove from drying wires and store in flour sacks in a cool place. Hanging from rafters by thin wires keeps weevils, mice, and other pests away."---Clair Haight, Hashkinfe Outfir, Winslow, Arizona, 1922"
---Chuck Wagon Cookin', Stella Hughes [Univeristy of Arizona Press:Tucson AZ] 1994 (p. 105)

Many jerky recipes you find on the Internet use soy (a concentrated salt) sauce and a modern oven to dry the product. They may produce jerky, but not the way the pioneers did. This reicpe, from The Lewis and Clark Cookbook/Leslie Mansfield (p. 68) is closer to the historic procedure:

"Beef Jerky.
Smoke drying game as large as a whole elk or buffalo occupied several days. However, once dried, jerky could sustain the men for days until the next successful hunt. Jerky was used plain, or mixed with berries and animal fat to form pemmican. The recipe is designed to use the Luhr-Jensen smoker, but if you hve a different model, you might need to vary the amount of smoke and cooking time:

2 pounds sirloin tip roast
2 cups water
1/4 non-iodized salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pan mesquite or hickory chips
Remove all fat from the beef. To facilitate slicing, partially freeze the meat before slicing. Slice the meat across the grain as thinly as possible. In a large bowl, stir together the water, salt, sugar, garlic, and pepper until the salt has dissolved. Add the sliced meat and let it soak in the brine for 45 minutes. Remove the meat from the brine and rinse in fresh water. Lighly oil the racks in the smoker. Drape the meat over the racks. Use 1 pan of woodchips. Smoke the meat for about 12 to 15 hours depending upon the thickness of the meat. The beef jerky should be dry but slighly pliable."

Related food? Pemmican & Jamaican Jerk.

Food historians generally attribute the origin of kebabs to ancient Middle Eastern cooks. In a land where fuel was scarce, this was a very efficient way to cook meat. Small pieces of meat (smaller the cut, faster they cook) threaded on skewers would have required very little fire. The recipes and combinations are endless.

"Kebab. A dish consisting basically of small pieces of meat threaded on to skewers and grilled or roasted. It originated in Turkey and eventually spread to the Balkans and the Middle East. The name is a shortened from of the Tukish sis kebab, sis meaning skewer and kebab meaning roast meat."
---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 646)

"Sis Kebabi...It is said that shish bebab was born over the open-field fires of medieval Turkic soldiers, who used their swords to grill meat. Given the obvious simplicity of spit-roasting meat over a fire, I suspect its genesis is earlier. There is iconographical evidence of Byzantine Greeks cooking shish kebabs. But surely the descriptions for skewering strips of meat for broiling in Homer's Odyssey must count for an early shish kebab."
---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 333)

"Kebab. Now an English culinary term usually occurring as sis (or shish) kebab, meaning small chunks of meat grilled on a skewer. Shashlik is a term which means essentially the same a sis kebab but belongs essentially the same as sis kebab but belongs to the countries of the Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia)...The word kebab has an interesting history. In the Middle Ages the Arabic word kabab always meant fried meat. The compendious 14th-century dictionary Lisdan al'Arab defines kabab as tabahajah, which is a dish of fried pieces of meat, usually fininshed with some liquid in the cooking. The exact shape of the pieces of meat is not clear. However, since there was a separate class of dish called saraih, which consisted of long and thin strips of meat, and since most modern dishes called kebab call for more or less cubical chunks, it seems likely that kabab was chunks rather than strips. Kabab/kebab is not a common word in the early medieval Arabic books, because the Persian word tabahajah (diminutive of tabah) provided an alternative which was considered more high-toned. It is because of this original meaning that one still finds dishes such as tas kebab (bowl kebab) which are really stews. In the Middle Ages the Arabic word for grilled meat was not kebab but siwa. It was only in the Turkish period that such words as sishkebab or seekh kebab made their appearance. However all this may be, the custom of roasting meat in small chunks on a skewer seems to be very ancient in the Near East. Part of the reason for this may have to do with the urban nature of the civilization there. the Near East they would go to a butcher's shop and buy smaller cuts. However, a more important reason, and the basic one, was surely that fuel has long been in short supply in the Near East..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 429)

"Kebab. Roasting marinated meat on spit while basting with fat is described both in Sanskrit and Tamil literature. At a pcinic meal described in the Mahabharata, 'large pices of meat were roasted on spits'. The Manasollasa written in the twelfth century describes the bhaditraka as 'pieces of meat, bored, stuffed with spices and roasted on spits.' Old Tamil literature has 'hot meats, roasted on the point of spits'...the kabab has a distinct identity as a dainty from the Middle East which is particularly favoured by the Muslims in India. Spiced mutton, chicken and beef are cooked, strung on small pieces with alternate bits of onion, garlic and ginger, on metal or bamboo skewers, and roated over glowing charcoal embers. Sheekh kabab, shammi kabab, tikka and shashlik are variations..Ibn Battuta records chicken kabab being served by royal houses during the Sultanate period. Even common folk at kabab and paratas for breakfast, and in Mugal India a few centuries later it was still naan and kabab. in the Ain-i-Akbari, kabab is listed as one of a class of foods in which meat is cooked with accompaniments. Meat marinated in cream before roasting, called malai-tikka, is a food popular with Bohri Muslims."
---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K. T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 115)

Related foods: Gyros & doner kebab

King Ranch chicken
The general concensus regarding the history of King Ranch chicken is that it probably dates to the 1950s (when canned soup casserole recipes were very popular) and it was probably not invented at the ranch. Food writers decline to proffer credit for invention. With good reason. Many thrifty homemakers were experimenting with canned cream soups in this period. Some produced more memorable results than others. We found one source crediting Ruth Slagle for introducing King Ranch Chicken. No word, though, regarding the genesis of the name. Older recipes feature condensed canned soups; newer interpretations concentrate on fresh foods. We find no print evidence supporting claims this recipe originated in a corporate kitchen. Notes here:

"King Ranch chicken. Also, "King Ranch casserole." A layered casserole dish made with cut-up poached chicken, cream of mushroom soup, chilies, chicken soup, grated cheese, corn tortillas, and tomatoes (most often Ro-Tel brand). The dish is very commonly served at Texas clubwomen's buffets. For unknown reason, the name, which dates in cookbooks at least to the 1950s, refers to the King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas, but there is no evidence that the dish was created there."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 176)

"King Ranch chicken. Karen Haram, food editor of the San Antonio Express-News, tells me that though Texans claim this recipe, no one knows where it originated. Or how it came to be named for the King Ranch, whose claims to fame are its immense acerage, its oil, and its Santa Gertrudis cattle, a breed developed there to replace the sinewy Texas longhorns. Certainly the King Ranch was never known for chicken. "Maybe," Haram speculates, "It's because the recipe is so rich."
---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 110)
[NOTE: this book contains a recipe for the dish.]

"As far as anyone can tell, King Ranch chicken-or as it is sometimes known-King Ranch casserole, doesn't have one single thing to do with the King Ranch...No one seems to know exactly where it started, but it has clearly taken on a life of its own..."I've lived here 31 years--and you know how women like to always collect recipes wherever they go?" asked Kathy Henry of the King Ranch visitor's center in Kingsville. "Well, when I moved to Kingsville, the first one I got was for King Ranch chicken. So I know it has been here for at least 31 years." But in all her time working for the sprawling King Ranch, Henry has never found a link between the popular casserole and the ranch. "We think it was developed in the 1950s"..."The word is, a lady in Robstown may have entered it in a national cooking contest like the Pillsbury or Campbell Soup contests. She didn't win a big prize but maybe a second or third. She just named it King Ranch chicken because Robstown is in this area and she though it would be a catchy name." it was. Henry said she has never been able to research the story, but whatever the case, she's certain the dish was developed between 1945 and 1965. "That's the best I can came up with," she said."
---"King Ranch chicken rules the roost," Art Chapman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June 2, 1999 (Food p. 1)
[NOTE: Mrs. A. E. Sommer's Chicken Tortilla Casserole claimed 3rd prize in the 12th annual Press-Telegram Cook Book Contest [Long Beach, California], published September 4, 1966 (p. 19)]

"King Ranch casserole is not a pretty dish. A steaming mass of melted mush, the classic ingredients -- boiled chicken, grated cheese, tortilla chips, and one can each cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup -- make it a study in beige and yellow. Nor is it at all exciting: Even with the requisite Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, the flavor is resolutely bland, a quality Texans claim to abhor in their cooking. The dish is, in fact, the subject of some scorn: "Never, never, never," says caterer Tilford Collins, who serves some of South Texas' oldest families. Texas food historian Mary Faulk Koock is only slightly more charitable. "I imagine it could be made palatable," is about all she has to say on the subject. Still, King Ranch casserole -- or King Ranch chicken, as it is often called -- has endured. It is the clubwoman's contribution to Texas cuisine, a staple of society ladies' cookbooks from Fort Worth to McAllen, where the Junior League's La Piata touts a variation as a "great way to enjoy that leftover Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey." The casserole's fame has spread to cookbooks in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Kansas, and the dish can be purchased frozen from Randall's supermarkets in Houston and from H.E.B. in Alamo Heights. Forget the spare sophistication of nouvelle cuisine, the assertiveness of true Mexican cooking. The secret of King Ranch casserole is that it's boring. In today's complex culinary lexicon, the dish resides snugly in the category of comfort food. No one seems to know who invented it. The casserole may have come from the King Ranch, but the descendants of Captain Richard King prefer to tout their beef and game dishes. "Kind of strange, a King Ranch casserole made with chicken," notes Martn Clement, the head of public relations for the ranch. Mary Lewis Kleberg, the widow of Dick Kleberg, admits that her heart sinks every time a well-meaning hostess prepares it in her honor. Most likely the dish got its name from an enterprising South Texas hostess or a King Ranch cook whose preference for poultry doomed him to obscurity. Yet King Ranch casserole's general origins are easy to discern. Certainly it owes a deep debt to chilaquiles, which also contain chicken, cheese, tomatoes, tortilla chips, and chiles -- the staples that campesinos often combined to stretch one meal into two while retaining a semblance of nutrition. But the dish owes as much to post-World War II cooking, when casseroles made with canned soups were the height of space-age cuisine. Because they could be made quickly and frozen for later use, casseroles liberated the lady of the house. "The perfect entree for a minimum amount of time in the kitchen for the hostess," the McAllen Junior League cookbook notes. If the women of the fifties loved the recipe because it freed them from the family kitchen, their children love it because it takes them back there. They have adapted it to their taste, of course: Trendy cooks now substitute flour tortillas for corn, while the truly convenience-crazed use Doritos. Purists doctor the recipe with sour cream -- a move back toward Mexican authenticity. Even with modernization, the dish still tastes pretty much like it used to -- slightly salty, slightly chewy, slightly spicy, slightly greasy. Yes, it lacks the challenge of a T-bone or a spicy bowl of red -- King Ranch casserole calms, it does not wish to offend. Yes, it's bland -- but it's always there when you need it."
SOURCE: Texas Monthly

About King Ranch, Kingsville TX

Early recipes

"King Ranch Chicken
is Mrs. William L. Gill's favorite casserole for luncheon or buffet. It was served at her Christmas party for the Holly Garden Club of which she has been a member for many years. She finds the casserole a hit with men as well as with women guests. The ingredients for King Ranch Chicken are as follows: Three or four pounds chicken breasts, boiled until tender, and diced (reserve stock): 1 dozen fresh tortillas, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1 cup chopped green pepper, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 3/4 pound grated cheddar cheese. Line the bottom and sides of a greased 3-quart casserole with a layer of tortillas. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chicken stock. The make a layer with 1 can undiluted cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 of the diced chicken, and half of the other ingredients, in order. Cover with tortillas, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons chicken stock, and make a second layer with 1 can undiluted chicken soup and the remaining ingredients. Top the last layer with a mixture of 1/2 small can tomatoes (10 oz size) and 1/2 small can of tomatoes with chilies. The casserole may be prepared in advance and refrigerated. When ready to serve, bake at 350 degrees F. for about 1 hour. Serve with a tossed green salad and hot French bread."
---"What's Cookin'," San Antonio Light [TX], January 23, 1966 (p.9-G)

"The recipe that's been making the rounds in Baytown's kitchens will be featured at the annual Tasting Bee sponsored by the Baytown school Food Service next Friday. Mrs. Ruth Slagle, who originated the idea and has shared it with untold hundreds, created the tasty dish herself. It was first served at a state-wide workshop here and received enthusiastically last fall...

"King Ranch Chicken
2 pkgs. tortillas
2 fryers or 1 hen: boiled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped [optional]
1/2 tsp. chili powder (sprinkle over cheese)
garlic salt to taste
salt and pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chili Rotel tomatoes
Dip tortillas in boiling hot chicken stock to wilt. (Do not leave too long or they will come to pieces). Layer 13 by 9 inch pan with wilted tortillas and add ingredients in order listed. Bake 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Serves 10."
---"King Ranch Chicken is Featured Dish," Baytown Sun [TX] April 3, 1969 (p. 15)

Compare with:

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 soup can milk
1 small onion, chopped
1 4-ounce can green chilies, chopped
2 5-ounce cans boned chicken
10 corn tortillas, broken in pieces
12 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated
Mix together and heat the soups, milk, chilies, onion, and chicken. In a 3-quart buttered casserole, place a layer of tortillas, a layer of soup mixture, and a layer of grated cheese; repeat. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves 6."
---Fiesta: favorite Recipes of South Texas, Junior League of Corpus Christie:Corpus Christie TX] 1973 (p. 23)
[NOTE: we found this book in the Houston Public Library. There is a handwritten annotation indicating this is King Ranch Casserole. Sorry, we cannot confirm who wrote the note or when.]

Kobe beef
A survey of magazine and newspaper articles (ProQuest/Ebsco) confirms Kobe beef hit the American market in the 1980s. Kobe comes from Wagyu cattle, orginally bred in Japan. In a country where space is premium, beef is not cheap.

"In those parts of the world where for various reasons there is no strong tradition of eating beef, there may be a slight tendency towards increased consumption caused by the general 'internationalization' of foods or, as in Japan, but the development of a new connoisseurship. In the area around Kobe, Japanese...(marbled beef) is raised on a diet including rice, rice bran, beans, beer, enhanced by regular massage."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 71)

"It seems that if you look for "quality" in almost anything, one of the places you look is Japan. If you want a fine quality automobile, you look to Japan. If you are looking for "quality" audio and video equipment, you look to Japan. In the years to come, the same may be true for beef; if you want quality beef, look to Japan. We have all heard of "Kobe beef." Even those of us who never have traveled to Japan have heard of the wonderfully tender, juicy, highly marbled and extremely expensive beef so highly prized by the Japanese. We have heard tales of how Japanese men and women feed beer to their cattle and spend hours massaging their animals to distribute the marbling evenly, occasionally taking a swig of beer and blowing it over the back of the beef and rubbing it in to soften the skin. It is true that the Japanese produce the world's most highly marbled beef, but it seems that we in America have some misconceptions about how they do it. Research scientists from both Texas A&M and Washington State University are doing extensive work with Wagyu cattle, the breed the Japanese use to produce Kobe beef. Both schools have herds of Wagyu cattle, and are working to come up with a cross that will produce the same style of beef. There are two basic reasons for such research: (1) Japan is expected to become one of the major markets for American beef in the not too distant future, and the Japanese want quality. And, (2) now that beef is okay again in this country, there is a growing demand in America, particularly in fine restaurants, for top-quality, well-marbled beef. A lot of folks would like to be able to find a really great steak from time to time; those are very rare these days in America. Perhaps the Japanese Wagyu will help. According to Dr. Don Nelson, extension meat specialist at Washington State University, the Wagyu originally was a draft animal and not very functionally efficient as a beef producer. They're not very good mothers but they marble well, so with some careful cross-breeding we hope to take advantage of their genetics to improve the grading ability of some of our cattle. When Wagyu beef is available in this country (it's going to take a year or two), don't expect it to be hand rubbed and beer fed like Kobe beef. But don't worry, the quality will be just as good. According to David Lunt, one of the researchers working with Wagyu beef at Texas A&M, much of what we have heard about Kobe beef is myth. Historically, the name refers to the Kobe area near Osaka where the most desirable beef was grown. Today, however, Wagyu are raised in several different areas of Japan. A better term for what Americans call Kobe beef, according to Mr. Lunt, is shimofuri, which means simply "highly marbled beef." "It is true," Lunt says, "that cattle are occasionally fed beer in Japan. Cattle in Japan are fed a finishing diet for at least 14 months and heifers may be fed for as many as 30 months prior to slaughter. Because they are fed so long, and particularly in summer months when the interaction of fat cover and the ambient temperature depresses feed intake, some cattle go off feed. When this happens, beer is fed to the cattle to stimulate appetite. Japanese cattle feeders do not ascribe any magical powers to feeding beer, nor do they associate the practice with an increase in carcass quality. They merely try feeding beer as part of an overall management program designed to keep the cattle on feed. True, cattle sometimes are massaged in Japan. But once again, this practice does not affect the deposition or marbling. It is a common sense practice required occasionally for cattle that are tied in one place for months and have no opportunity to exercise. The massaging is done to make the animal more comfortable and relieve stress due to stiffness that can result from inactivity. As I said, there is little likelihood that you're going to get any all-American cowboys to stand around all day massaging steers, and if there is any beer to be drunk, it ain't likely that any cow's going to get to drink it, but thanks to the Japanese and their Wagyu, we may be seeing some higher-quality beef in this country in the not too distant future."
---"U.S. Studies Adopting Japan's Kobe beef" Merle Ellis, Chicago Tribune, May 10, 1990 (pg. 8)

About Kobe beef in the USA
About Wagyu

Beef consumption in Japan

"Meat was not widely eaten until the Meiji period (1868-1912), but meat eating was not unknown among the Japanese of earlier times... Those engaged in the manufacture of leather goods, as well as the hunters and stock breeders who furnished hides, ate the flesh of four-legged animals as a matter of course, but these groups were considered social outcasts...Eathing the flesh of mammals for medicinal purposes was permissable...The usual 'medicine eating' fare was deer or wild boar...The meat of choice in the latter part of the nineteenth century was beef. Beef pickled in miso appears on a menu written at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and it was an open secret that a daimyo of Hikone...made gifts of that dish, which called 'healthful meat'...But people in general had a strong psychological resistance to killing and eating cattle, which were important animals on the farms...The Japanese-style beef stew which originated around that time (gyunabe, the forerunner of sukiyaki) was made by boiling beef and welsh onion with miso or soy sauce...During the 1860s the colonies of Westerners living in the treaty ports often attempted to purchase cattle from local farmers, who usually refused if they knew the animal would be used for food. Among the peasantry of the time a cow was regarded almost as a member of the family...The Westerners resorted to purchasing cattle from China, Korea, or America which were butchered aboard ships and sold in the foreign settlements. But the shipments could not satisfy the demand as the foreign population multiplied. Finally, members of the Yokohama breeders in the hills of the Kansi district, where most Japanese cattle ranches were located. Thirty to forty head of cattle at a time were shipped live from the port of Kobe to Yokohama, where a slaughterhouse was set up. Beef shipped from Kobe gained a reputation for being very tasty, and the regional product remains famous today as 'Kobe beef'...During the Boshin Civil War of 1868-9,...many wounded soldiers were sent to hospitals in Tokyo. There they received Western-style treatment and were fed beef to restore their strength. Most refused it at first, but as the doctors advised them to eat beef if they wanted to survive, they complied. Many of them grew to like it so much that after their release they spread the word in their various home regions that beef was delicious and healthful. The imperial navy served beef to improve the nutrition of sailors' meals starting in 1869...Later the army began serving meat as well. Military rations during the Sino- Japanese and Russo-Japanese Wars included tins of beef-flavoured with soy sauce and ginger, called yamatoni...The soldiers who ate it later helped spread the custom of meat eating through the country, and tinned yamatoni remained popular until about 1950. While soldiers grew to like the taste of meat because they were forced to eat it, the general population became familiar with it through city restaurants. During the early Meiji period meat was served in Western-style hotels and restaurants, and in restaurants that specialzed in beef stew. The Western-style establishments had first appeared in the foreigners' districts of the treaty ports, and they spread to Tokyo and Osaka after restrictions on foreigners' activities wer eased by the new Meiji government. The foreigners dining in those establishments were joined by high government officials, traders, intellectuals, and other who came out of curiousity to try eating Western food and using a knife and fork. The prices were so high that the common people could not often afford them. Hyunabeya, or beef stew restaurants, were more accessible to the public because they were cheaper and also because the beef they served was seasoned with the familiar flavors of soy sauce and miso and eaten with chopsticks. The first stew restaurant opened in Edo in 1865. At first the customers were mainly disagreeable ruffians of the type who liked to brag that they had eaten meat, and most people held their noses and walked quickly when they passed the shop. With the change of governemnt a few years later, the adoption of Western civilization became national policy and stew restaurants gradually spread through the main cities...Beef stew spread quickly from the main cities to the provincial towns...But this was not the case in farming districts, wehre cows were used as work animals...and treated more or less like part of the family...By the beginning of the twentieth century, resistance to meat eating was limited to the elderly. Beef stew had come to be a special treat. It was called sukiyaki in Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and other parts of the Kansai region...By the 1920s the sukiyaki version had became prevalent throughout the country and attained the status of a national dish."
---The History and Culture of Japanese Food, Naomichi Ishige [Kegan Paul:London] 2001 (p. 146-152)

Lebanon bologna
Lebanon bologna is a specialty of Lebanon Pennsylvania. Like Italian and German Mortadellas, it is classed as a dry sausage. American Bologna (round, sliced or hot dog shaped)is in a class by itself.

"Sausage making is so much a part of the American culinary tradition that even the recipe used by Martha Washington is a matter of record. The craft, as practiced by Germanic cooks, was an important function of the "food factory" described by George Frederick. "With meat grinders, large mixing bowls and sausage stuffing machines," he wrote, "my grandparents would produce, before my astounded young eyes, a wide variety of foods, fresh pork sausage, smoked beef sausage, Lebanon style bologna, highly spiced, liverwurst, and a half dozen other wursts...The bologna, five inches in diameter [from the Pennsylvania town of that name], is probably over-spiced for most tastes, but it is surely appetizing." True Lebanon sausage, now as then, is made of nothing by coarsely ground beef pre cured and aged in barrels, then seasoned with sweet herbs and assertive spices, forced into airtight casings, and smoked over smoldering sawdust for a matter of days. For those who applaud the pungent flavor, pieces of Lebanon sausages are frequently dipped in batter, or in egg and bread crumbs, and served with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, or in a white sauce to accompany flannel cakes. In recent years, as Pennsylvanians have come to absorb the Italian influence on American cooking, these sausages are sometimes diced, mixed with ground beef and tomato sauce, and served over spaghetti or German noodles. Some fans...slice Lebanon sausage as they would cheese and eat it with apple pie."
---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones, 2nd edition [Vintage Books:New York] 1981 (p. 88-9)

"In Pennsylvania, bratwurst could be either stuffed in skins or loose. In any case, it was the so-called father in the sausage trinity of Pennsylvania Dutch cookery. The other two, in their correct spiritual order, were Summerwarscht (summer sausage) and Panhas (scrapple). Of the three, summer sausage, as its name implies, was the standard hot-weather sausage. Today it is erroneously called bologna or sweet bologna (or more commonly, Lebanon bologna), although it has absolutely no resemblance to the mortadella sausage of Bologna, Italy. Summerwarscht is made mostly with beef; it is often sweetened with honey and is well smoked. It is a German sausage still made by some farmers in the Palantinate, where the Pennsylvania species originates. That Broadwarsht, Summerwarsht, and Panhas could be the most popular sausages among the Pennsylvania Dutch is readily explained. They were the easiest to make at home, and they could be preserved under conditions without refrigeration."
---Sauerkraut Yankees: Pennsylvania Dutch Foods & Foodways, William Woys Weaver, 2nd edition [Stackpole Books:Mechanicsburg PA] 2002 (p. 40-1)

[1938] "Lebanon Bologna had its origin in Lebanon, Pa., and is a famous product throughout the region. There are relatively few concerns outside of Pennsylvania that are able to make this product because of the lack of smokehouse facilities and climatic conditions unless natural climatic conditions can be duplicated in arid conditioned smokehouses. It requires expert handling and many details of processing are held as trade secrets by those who know them. Lebanon is processed somewhat like dry sausage although it also resembles bologna in seasoning and cut of meat...In Pennsylvania product is smoked in large wooden lined smoke houses about 25 ft. High and well-ventilated. It is held at lowest possible temperature for from 5 days to 2 weeks in a wet, cold smoke. Length of time in the smokehouse depends largely upon weather conditions. In Eastern Pennsylvania this sausage is smoked in a special house without a fire pit at bottom. In these smokehouses the fire pit is located some distance away underground. The smoke travels underneath the earth from the fire pit to the smokehouse, insuring a slow cold smoke which is necessary to obtain desired results. Summer sausage smokehouses are sometimes used for making Lebanon bologna."
---Sausage and Meat Specialties, Part 3: The Packer's Encyclopedia, The National Provisioner [Olsen Publishing, Milwaukee WI] 1938 ] (p. 207-8)
[NOTE: This source contains both recipe and detailed instructions. We can send them if you like.]

Lebanon bologna was promoted as gourmet fare in the 1950s. It was available via mail-order:
"The Real Dutch Treat with the Deep-Smoked Flavor. You've neer tasted anything quite so hauntingly delicious as this grand all-beef Labanon Bologna that's been smoked 'n spiced the way only the Pennsylvania Dutch can do it. Here's the taste thrill of a lifetime, delicately flavored with a secret combination of spices that's been jealously guarded for 75 years...and rich 100% government inspected beef--cured slowly in the hard wood deep-smoked process perfected so long ago. Only $3.50 brings you a 3 1/2 lb. Famous Lebanon Bologna anywhere in the U.S. postpaid. Send check, money order, or oder C.O.D....Weaver's Famous Lebanon Bologna,... Lebanon, PA."
---display ad (with product photo), Gourmet, October 1955 (p. 12)

London broil
What is "London Broil?"
A quick-broiled flank steak introduced to American diners during the Great Depression. Specifically, "London Broil" is a recipe, not a cut of meat. Flank steak was the first cut to hold this moniker. By the 1970s, meat purveyors were proferring this title to other cuts of beef.

Where did the dish originate?
Food historian generally agree "London broil" originated in the United States. The dish is unknown in England. We're still searching for the chef responsible for morphing broiled flank steak. Some experts speculate the "London" association was employed by USA butchers to encourage consumers to pay premium prices for lesser cuts of meat. Today we also have turkey London broil. to London broil.

The experts weigh in:
"Q. Can you tell me the origin of the term 'London broil' and the cut of meat used?...A. The origin of the term is unknown, but it is an American term. In her book "Food of the Western World,"...Theodora Fitzgibbon, who was born in London of Irish parents, notes that London broil, usually a flank steak, broiled quickly on both sides and sliced thinly against the grain.'
---"Q&A," New York Times, October 19. 1977 (p. C6)
[NOTE: This question was posed again, without further elucidation on the name: New York Times, January 6, 1982 (p. C7)]

John Mariani, noted food historian, observed:
"London broil. Flank steak that is broiled and cut into slices, though the term may also refer to another cut of beef appropriate for cooking in this manner. The name obviously derives from the English city of London, though the term is not used in England. It seems more specifically American in origin and dates in print at least to 1931, appearing in Charles G. Shaw's "Nightlife: Vanity Fair's Intimate Guide to New York After Dark" as a recommended dish at Keens Chophouse in New York City."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 189)
[NOTE: Gallagher's, a competing upscale NY City steak house, advertised "London Broil" in the New York Times, November 1, 1934 (p. 24)

Craig Claiborne confirmed:
"London broil is a distinctly American invention, and you will never find it--except in reference to the American dish--in British cookbooks."
---Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia, compiled by Joan Whitman [Times Books:New York] 1985 (p. 253)

Which cut?
"London Broil is not a cut of meat at all. It is a recipe. Cattle don't have London Broils. Recipe books have London Broils. And, if you will check most recipe books, the cut of meat called for is flank steak."
---"The Butcher: A Test of Your Ability as a Canny Buyer of Meat," Merle Ellis, Los Angeles Times, January 19, 1979 (p. H22)

"London broil was once synonymous with flank steak, for that is the cut of meat called for in the classic recipe for the dish. But throughout the years, this term has been used brazenly by butchers as they merchandized their meat. In 1973 the National Livestock and Meat Board (in its Uniform Retail Meat Identity Standards) recommended that the term be excluded from its recommended list of meat names. However, I see the term used nowadays to label at least half a dozen different cuts in markets around the country. Since you expect to pay a premium for an cut made to sound so tender, it might be helpful to know exactly what you're getting when you buy these cuts. The cut of meat so labeled in most markets these days is the thick first cut of top round, which is the most tender of the three muscles that make up the hind leg of the steer...Anoother cut that many markets label London broil is a thick cut from the sirloin tip...A cut of meat that receives this label of distinction in many a shoulder clod or beef chuck shoulder steak...In many markets the skirt rolled into cute little roll-ups, stuck with a wooden skewer and labeled London broil."
---"The Butcher" London Broil Labeling is Falling Down--Don't Be Outflanked," Merle Ellis, Los Angeles Times, June 10, 1982 (p. O24)

We searched through dozens of twentieth century American cookbooks looking for this recipe. There were some recipes for flank steak that might approximate London Broil, but they were not named such.

"Flank steak is the cut used for London broil, a favorite with men, judging by the frequency with shich it is offered in downtown restaurants at lunch. It could be a favorite of housewives, too, for it requires only brief cooking...'London Broil: Preheat broiler ten minutes. Grease broiler rack and place flank steak on it. Broil one and one-half to two inches below heat for five minutes on each side. To serve, slice diagonally across grain of meat. Season with butter, salt, and pepper. One steak serves six to eight."
---"News of Food, Quick to Cook," New York Times, April 14, 1954(p. 35)

"London Broil

Order 2 1/2-lb. aged, top quality flank steak; it must be tender. Have excess fat and membrane trimmed, and surface scored on both sides. Preheat broiler 10 min., or as manufacturer directs. Arrange scored flank steak on greased broiler rack. If desired, rub with cut clove garlic. Brush with salad oil. Place steak 1 1/2" to 2" below heat; broil just 5 min. On each side. Then place on heated platter. with butter or margarine. Cut, diagonally across grain, into very thin slices. Pass mushroom sauce. Nice too for hot grilled beef sandwiches."
---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Dorothy B. Marsh editor [New York:1955] (p. 57)

"London broil

This flank steak must be of a good grade of meat, should be cooked rare, and carved deftly in very think diagonal slices. Have the steak at refrigerator temperature, remove the tough outer membrane, and slash any fat around the edge. Brush with a little melted butter and broil 8 minutes over a good fire, turning once. Slice on a very long diagonal, so that the red center will be framed by an appetizing brown crust."
---James Beard's Treasury of Outdoor Cooking [Ridge Press:New York] 1960 (p. 25) Related steaks? Tri-tip steak, Carpetbag steak & Cube steak.

Marrow bones
Our food history books and place/period cooking texts confirm humans have been consuming marrow from prehistoric times forward. This particular animal substance has been regarded through time as a delicacy. Most likely for its limited quantity and rich flavor. Ancient Greeks and Romans wrote about virtues of marrow in their literary epics. Medieval Europeans did not wait for conquering Romans to enjoy their marrow bones. Think: Osso buco.

"Bone marrow, the soft, nutritious substance found in the internal cavities of animal bones, especially the shin bones of oxen and calves. The French term is moelle...Medieval and early modern European recipes make clear how generally marrow was valued on its own...and as an enrichment to stews, ragouts, and, especially tarts and pies both sweet and savour, the most famous early modern English example being Tart de moy...When marrow was served on its own, it was roasted and presented in its bone from which it would be removed with a special silver marrow scoop. Dorothy Hartley...provides charming drawings which show how marrow bones were baked in Georgian times, with a small paste crust sealing the cut end, and how thy were boiled if the marrow was to be served on hot buttered toast. In the time of Queen Victoria, marrow was considered to be a man's food and 'unladylike', although Queen Victoria herself apparently ate marrow toast for tea every day...Shelia Hutchins...mentioned that baked marrow bones were 'still served hot in a napkin at City dinners and a few old-fashioned public houses' in London."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition 2007 (p. 90)

"Marrow. The primary application of marrow (an ancient word, which has been traced back to the hypothetical Indo-European base *mozgho-) is to the tissue that fills bone cavities. Traditionally this has been a considerable culinary delicacy...and it remains so in many cultures."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 205)

"During the whole history of man, bone marrow has served as food. The result is that at the majority of prehistoric sites, much of the bone debris is in the form of splintered shafts or separated proximal and distal ends of long bones. Even the mandible bodies of larger mammals may at times have been split for their internal organic content, as evidenced for example by French Paleolithic material."
---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. 27)

"The meat eaters of Britain in about 5000BC...bones were stripped and broken to extract the marrow. The fatty tissue within the bone cavities was then, as later, prized as nourishing food."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago IL] 1991 p. 60-61)

Ancient Greece
"The softness of bone-barrow made of it a rich food for lucky children, as is said by Andromache in the Homeric Iliad. It was eaten by others too; it contributed to the food value of soups; it was often prescribed by physicians."
---Food in the Ancient World form A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 208)

"At Frankhthi by this time [approximately 7000 BC] great trouble was taken to extract marrow and that meat was roasted on the bone--the earliest sign in Greek use of fire in preparing food..."
---Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 1996 (p. 38)

Medieval France
"Beef marrow was a medieval delicacy. The author of Le Menangier de Paris...tells us that 'at court of lords such as Monseigneur de Berry, when they killed an ox, they made the rissoles out of the marrow.'"
---The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes form France and Italy, Odile Redon et al, translated by Edward Schneider [University of Chicago Press:Chicago IL] 1998 (p. 192)

Elizabethan England
"Byproducts of slaughtertime, blood, fat and marrow, were all utilized...Marrow was extracted from the cracked bones. Pliny had written: 'All marrow is emollient, filling, drying and warming', and his influence ensured its continued popularity all through the Middle Ages and beyond. Marrow bones were used to make broth and pottage, and the marrow was sometimes served separately, as in the recipe for cabbages boiled in broth. 'And when thou servest it in, knock out the marrow of the bones and lay the marrow two gobbets or three in a dish, as thee seemeth best, and serve forth. Gobbets of marrow were put into pies, too, especially those that contained fresh or dried fruit...Marrow was added to stuffings, and the contents of 'alaunder of beef'. It had a traditional association with puddings, and when these became more common in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, marrow was often an ingredient. Eaten alone, marrow was rather unctuous, 'and doth mollify the stomach, and doth take away a man's appetite; wherefore let a man eat pepper with it'."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago IL] 1991 (p. 90-91)

Marrow spoons
"In the late seventeenth through the eighteenth century, eating marrow became very popular among the upper classes, and special silver marrow spoons were all the rage. Some of these had a regular spoon-shaped bowl and a handle that was a long scoop. Others were composed of two scoops, one a shorter, wider channel to scoop the marrow from larger bones, one long and narrow, for smaller bones. These fine silver spoons...were a common target of thieves. The proceedings fo the Old Baily Courts in London reveal that, in May 1771, a certain Robert Toberts was found guilty of stealing sixteen silver marrow spoons; his punishment was transportation to Australia."
---Bones: Recipes, History & Lore, Jennifer McLagan [William Morrow:New York] 2005 (p. 46)
[NOTE: this book is excellent for modern recipes. History & lore are offered as random (un cited) sidebars.]

Victorian recipes
Beef Bones, Broiled.--There are a few dishes more appetizing than broiled bones, whether of beef, mutton, or poultry. Great attention should be given to the fire. If not clear the bones will be blackened and lose their nice delicate flavour. Divide them, if necessary, rub them with a little clarified butter, then with pepper, salt, and mustard, and broil over the fire for about five minutes. Serve alone or with sliced potatoes and very hot."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 52)

"Bones, Deviled.--Make a mixture of mustard, salt, cayenne pepper, and a little mushroom ketchup; lay a coating of butter over the ones, then the mixture, and rub it well in, and broil rather brown over a clear fire." ---ibid (p. 73-74)

"Marrow Bones.--Saw the marrow bones into neat pieces, cover the ends with a paste made of flour and water, tie them in a floured cloth and boil for two hours. Remove the cloth and crust, put a napkin in a dish, set the bones upright, and serve with dry toast. The marrow can be scooped out an spread on the toast with a sprinkling of pepper and salt, before sending to table; but it is so likely to get cold, that we suggest the above method. Marrow bones are bought generally with sliver-side of the round of beef, and weighed with the meat." ---ibid (p. 409)
[NOTE: other marrow recipes in this book include: Marrow, Marrow Dumplings, Marrow Dumplings for Soup, Marrow Patties, Marrow Pudding, Marrow Pudding Boiled or Baked, Marrow Sausages, and Marrow Toast.]

Meatloaf & related ground meat products

About meatloaf, meatballs, & related ground meat products
Who invented meatloaf, why & when? Good question! Food historians tell us from Ancient times to present cooks have been mixing ground meat with minced bread/rice/vegetables, spices, thickeners and serving them with sauce. For what reasons?

1. To distribute meat to more people (protein economy)
2. To conserve resources (use it up, don't throw it out)
3. To make tough meat more palatable (aid digestion)

Early ground (finely chopped or minced) molded meat recipes concentrated on sausages in skin casings, meat fritters (similar to meatballs), rissoles, hashes, terrines, and croquettes. The meat employed in these early recipes was usually already cooked, as opposed to the raw meat typically used by Americans to make meat loaf today. Finished products were typically fried, stewed, or baked (in molds or pastry) and served with sauce. Meatballs (a diminutive form of meatloaf) are known in many cultures and cuisines. Recipes evolved according to local ingredients and tastes. Middle Eastern kofta and Swedish meatballs are two of the most well known.

Some of the earliest recorded ground meat recipes are found in Apicius, written in Ancient Rome. Book II is devoted to "minces."

Ancient Roman meat balls

"Suffed Meat Patties (Apicius 48)
Esicia omentata: pulpam cincisam teres cum medulla siliginei in vino infusi. Piper, liquamen, si velis, et bacam mirteam extenteratum simul sonteres. Pusilla esicia formabis, intus nucleis et pipere positis. Involuta omento subassabis cum careno.

"Ground meat patties in omentum: Grind chopped meat with the center of fine white bread that has been soaked in wine. Grind together pepper, garum, and pitted myrtle berries if desired. Form small patties, putting in pine nuts and pepper. Wrap in omentum and cook slowly in caroenum.

"Within the section dedicated to recipes with ground meat, the Apician manual includes this curious rating: "The ground meat patties of peacock have first place, if they are fried so that they remain tender. Those of pheasant have second place, those of rabbit third, those of chicken fourth, and those of suckling pig fifth." (Apicius 54)."
---A Taste of Ancient Rome, Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, translated by Anna Herklotz, forward by Mary Taylor Simeti [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1992 (p. 89-90)
[NOTE: omentum means pork caul fat; caroenum means reduced wine. This book contains a modernized recipe for above meatball dish.]

Modern Italian meat balls
Meat ball recipes evolved according to family tradition. The following recipe was published in the late 19th century by Pellegrino Artusi. He was as famous in Italy as Fannie Farmer was in the United States. They both cookbooks aimed at the average housewife.

"Polpette (Meatballs)
Do not think for a moment that I would be so pretentious as to tell you how to make meatballs This is a dish that everyone knows how to make...My sole intention is to tell you how to prepare them when you have leftover boiled meat. Should you wish to make them more simply, or with raw meat, you will not need as much seasoning. Chop the boiled meat with a mezzaluna; separately, mince a slice of untrimmed prosciutto and add to the chopped meat. Season with grated Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, a dash of spices, raisins, pine nuts, and a few tablespoons of a mash made with an egg or two, depending on the amount. Shape the meat into balls the size of an egg, "flatten at the ends like a terrestrial globe," roll in bread crumbs, and fry in oil or lard. Then, transfer them to a baking dish with some chopped garlic and parsley, which you have fried in the grease left in the pan, garnishing with a sauce made with an egg and lemon juice...."
---Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, Pellegrino Artusi, originally published in 1892, translated by Murtha Baca and Stepen Saratelli [Marsilio:New York] 1997 (p. 238-9)
Compare with this recipe for Italian meatballs published in an American cookbook circa 1922 (click on the book title for citation information).

Did you know??? Italian meatballs, as we Americans know them today, were not always served with spaghetti. They were an accomodation food.

"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)

Middle Eastern kofta
Kofta is a general term used in Middle East cuisine to denote ground meat products mixed with spices and other products. Meatballs. The history of this type of food is ancient. Apicius included many meat ball-type recipes in his Roman cooking text.

"Kofta. The term for a meatball or small meat patty which may be round, oval, or sausage-shaped and large of small. They can be grilled (broiled), fried or baked, served plain or simmered in a sauce. Dishes of this type are made in North Africa, in Mediterranean countries, through Central Europe, Asia and India. Kofta is the general term and the one commonly used for Indian dishes, but a variety of names are used...Whatever the name, the mixture is likely to be finely minced (ground) meat, mixed with onions and spices."
---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated edition [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 656)

"In Indian cookery, the term kofta denotes a spiced meatball, or a similarly shaped mass of chopped fish or vegetable, cooked in a spicy sauce. In Hindi, the word means literally 'pounded meat'."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 180)

"Kofta is the common English form of a term which has currency all the way from India through C. Asia to the Middle East, the Balkans and N. Africa. It refers throughout its range to rissoles, meatballs, croquettes, dumplings, and so on, usually made of ground or mashed meat, well kneaded and often mixed with other ingredients such as rice, burgul...or vegetables to form a smoothe paste. They are sometimes made, e.g. in India, with fish or just vegetables rather than meat. Kofta often have a spicy stuffing, typically of nuts, cheese, or eggs. They can be cooked in numerous ways: grilled or barbecued; fried; steamed or poached, very often in a rich sauce. Margaragret Shaida...says that the word kofta is from the Persian koffteh, meaning pounded meat; and that the first evidence of Persian meatballs appeared in one of the early Arabic cookery books. They consisited of finely minced, well-seasoned lamb, made into orange-sized balls, which were cooked and glazed in saffron and egg yolk three times. This method was later adopted in the West under the name of gilding or endoring. In Iran there are again numerous variations on the preparation of koofteh. Perhaps the most famous and well known are the koofteh Tabrizi. According to Shaida they are the largest dumplings in the world with an average size of 20cm (8") in diameter but they are often much larger...From Persia the kofta migrated to India with the Moghul emperors, and so did the hidden treasure version. On special occasions at the Moghul court nargisi kofta (narcissus meatballs) were served. The mixture of spiced meat is wrapped round hard-boiled eggs before being cooked. When served, they are cut open, and their yellow and white centres remind people of the narcissus flowers which bloom in the hills in the spring time."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 434)


"Mudaqqaqat Hamida.
Cut red meat into thin slices, then mince fine, adding seasonings, coriander, pepper, cinnamon and mastic together with chickpeas and a little onion. Make in to cabobs smaller than oranges. Melt fresh tail, and throw in the cabobs, stirring until browned: then cover with water. Cut up two or three onions and add. When cooked, remove the oils, and sprinkle on top a little lemon or grape-juice, or a mixture of both, or sumach-juice, or pomegranate-juice. Rub over the saucepan some sprigs of dry mint, and throw in a little mastic, pepper and cinnamon. If desired, sprinkle in a little wine-vinegar, and colour with saffron. Spray the saucepan with a little rose-water, and wipe the sides with a clean rag. Leave over the fire an hour: then remove."
---"A Bahgdad Cookery Book," Medieval Arab Cookery, Maxime Rodinson, A.J. Arberry & Charles Perry [Prospect Books:Devon] 2001 (p. 59)

Take red meat and cut into slices, then mince fine with the usual seasonings and a little garlic. Melt fresh tail, throwing out the sediment: make the meat into cakes, and throw them into the oil to brown. The cover with water, and boil. When cooked, and the water has all evaporated, so that only the oils remain, sprinkle with a little fine-ground cumin, coriander and cinnamon. Leave to settle over the fire for an hour: then remove."
---"A Bahgdad Cookery Book," Medieval Arab Cookery, Maxime Rodinson, A.J. Arberry & Charles Perry [Prospect Books:Devon] 2001 (p. 67)

"Mudaqqaqat Hamida [sour meatballs].
Cut lean meat into strips, then pound it fine and throw salt, the well-known spices and a bit of onions minced small on it. Them make it into meatballs as large as you want, and boil it in water and moderate salt. When it is done and the water has evaporated from it, take fat tail and fry it and discard its cracklings. The fry those meatballs in that fat with pieces of onion. As for the sour version, some like to sprinkle it with sumac water, vinegar, verjuice or lemon juice, or both of them [viz. Verjuice and lemon juice] mixed together, and some like to dye it with saffron, so let it [viz. The additional of saffron] be on the vinegar or lemon juice, as much as needed. Sprinkle the described spices on it. If you wish, crumble bunches of dried mint on it. Leave it until it settles, and take it up."
---"The Description of Familiar Foods," Medieval Arab Cookery, Maxime Rodinson, A.J. Arberry & Charles Perry [Prospect Books:Devon] 2001 (p. 346-7)

Swedish meatballs
The American Swedish Institute (Minneapolis, Minnesota) has this to say about the origin of Swedish meatballs:

According to Mathistorisk Uppslagsbok by Jan-Ojvind Swahn, the Swedish word for meatball (kttbulle) first appeared in (Swedish) print was in Cajsa Warg's 1754 cookbook. Swahn points out that the meatball could not have been a common food, at least not for common people, until the meatgrinder made the preparation simple. Swedish meatballs, smaller in size that those of Italy or Germany, are traditionally served with a cream gravy and lingonberry preserves.

"Swedish meatballs. A dish of seasoned pork or beef meatballs covered with a brown gravy. There are endless variations on this dish, which is most popular in the Midwest and derives form Swedish origins. Swedish meatballs are usually served at buffets and smorgasbords, a custom that reflects their Swedish origins. Buttered noodles are the traditional accompaniment. Swedish meatballs date in print to the 1920s."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 318)

According to our books on Swedish food, Swedish meatballs (kottbullar) are traditional old-world Smorgasboard fare. Though none of these books offered a specific history of this recipe, they do offer some interesting insights:

  1. In northern Scandinavian countries beef was considered a luxury item, which meant meatballs were highly prized.
  2. Meatballs are traditionally in served at Swedish smorgasbords and other festive occasions.
  3. Swedish meatballs were brought to our country by Scandinavian immigrants; many of whom settled in America's northern mid-west states. Other Northern European countries also have meatball/gravy recipes. Regional variations are often a reflection of taste and ingredient availability.
  4. In America, Swedish meatballs were very popular in the beginning of the 20th century, and again in the 1950s-1960s.

Swedish meatballs.
5 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
3/4 cup light cream
3/4 cup packaged dry bread crumbs
1 1/2 lb ground chuck
1/2 lb ground pork
2 eggs, slightly beaen
2 tablespoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Dash cloves

2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup light cream
1 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
1/2 teaspoon bottled gravy seasoning

Parsley sprigs

Makes 6 to 8 servings
1. Make Meatballs: In 1 tablespoon hot butter in skillet, sautee onion 3 minutes, or until golden.
2. In large bowl, combine cream, 3/4 cup water, and the bread crumbs. Add onion, ground meats, eggs, salt, pepper, allspice, and cloves; toss lightly, to mix well.
3. With teaspoon, shape into 75 meatballs, about 3/4 inch in diameter.
4. In 2 tablespoons hot butter in same skillet, saute meatballs, a few at a time, until browned on all sides. Add more butter as needed. Remove meatballs, and set aside.
5. Make Sauce: Remove all but 2 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Stir in flour until smooth.
6. Gradually stir in cream and 1 1/2cups water; bring to boiling, stirring. Add salt, pepper, and gravy seasoning.
7. Add meatballs; heat gently 5 minutes, or until heated through. Serve garnished with parsley.
---McCall's Cook Book, McCall Corporation [Random House:New York] 1963 (p. 681)

The raw, ground meat commonly used to make today's American meat loaf has a humbler heritage. In the 19th century, we know the Industrial Revolution made it possible for
ground meat be manufactured and sold to the public at a very low cost. At first, many Americans were slow to purchase raw ground meat products and generally regarded them with suspicion. Lack of reliable home refrigeration may have played into this decision. Cooks continued to mince their meat (often already cooked, as was the practice for centuries) by hand. Companies selling meat grinders to home consumers at the turn of the century endeavored to change this practice by provided recipe books to promote their products. Some of these recipes were simple, others quite creative. A late 19th century recipe for "Meat Porcupine" instructs the cook to press her ground meat into an animal-type shape mold and decorate it with pieces of bacon to achieve the desired effect. Eventually, the American public began incorporating ground meat into family meals.

Since that time, meat loaf variations have been introduced and promoted by women's magazines, cookbooks, fairs, food manufacturers, diners and family-style restaurants. Meat loaf & gravy [often paired with mashed potatoes and canned green beans ] was very popular in the 1950s. This meal is still considered by some to be the penultimate comfort food. Did you know that "frosted meatloaf" is ground beef covered with mashed potatoes? Perhaps this recipe is a distant relative of shepherd's pie.

"Meat loaves
Was meat loaf too homely a recipe to make American cookbooks published in the nineteenth century or earlier?...I find no meat loaves in American cookbooks before the 1880s; these were primarily veal loaves (a more economical meat early on than beef) and altogether different from the meal loaves so familiar today...Sarah Tyson Rorer offers a slightly more elaborate veal loaf in Mrs. Rorer's Philadelphia Cook Book [1886] along with something called "Cannelon," which is clearly the precursor of meat loaf as we know it today...Cannelons appear in cookbooks right into the 1920s, although by this time meat loaves were outnumbering them. Were meat loaves slow to come because of the lack of meat grinders? Or was it because of unreliable refrigeration (ground raw meat is extremely perishable)? Possibly a bit of both, but I can't say for sure... Though simple loaves of chopped meat may have been made during America's infancy and adolescence, only in the twentieth century did meat loaves truly arrive. And, yes, many of them did come out of big food company test kitchens. Like it or not."
---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 94-100)
[NOTE: this book contains classic meat loaf recipes, including the 1886 recipe for Cannelon]

A sampling of meat loaf recipes printed in American cookbooks:

Veal Loaf & meat souffle, Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D. A. Lincoln

Fleish Kugel (meat ball) & Spiced Veal Loaf, Aunt Babette's Cook Book

Cannelon & other recipes from the Enterprise Meat Chopper Company, marketed at the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo NY.

Cannelon of Beef, Fannie Merrit Farmer

"Meat Loaf

1 1/2 lbs. chopped round steak
1 small onion
1 green pepper
1 pimento
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoonsalt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mace (sprinkling)
3 tablespoons catsup
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Parsley, tomatoes
Mix well, mould and place in baking dish. Arrange slices of tomatoes across top of meat, add salt, pepper, parsley, onion and green pepper. Dot with butter. Bake 35 minutes in a hot oven.--Eddie Cantor"
---Fashions in Foods in Beverly Hills, Beverly Hills Woman's Club [Beverly Hills Citizen:Beverly Hills CA] 1931 (p. 54)

Italian Hamburg Loaf

1 pound lean beef, ground
1/2 pound cheese, grated
1 green pepper, chopped
1 small onion, minced
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, well beaten
Mix thoroughly all ingredients and shape into loaf. Bake in moderately ot oven (375 degrees F.) for 45 to 50 minutes. Approximate Yield: 1 medium-sized loaf, or enough for 6 portions."
America's Cook Book, The Home Institute of the New York Herald Tribune [Charles Scribner's Sons:New York] (p. 226)
[NOTE: recipes for Beef Loaf and Meat Loaf with Chili Sauce are also included.]

Emergency steak

(1 lb.--serves 6)
Mix.....1 lb. ground beef or hamburger, 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup Wheaties, 1 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1 tbsp. chopped onion
Place on pan, pat into T-bone steak shape, 1 in. think. Broil 8 to 15 min. at 500 degrees (very hot). Turn once." (p. 7)

Pinwheel Meat Roll
(1 lb.--serves 6)
Mix.....3/4 lb. ground beef, veal or lamb, 1/4 lb. ground pork, 1 egg, well beaten, 1/4 cup milk or water, 1 cup soft bread crumbs, 2 tbsp. chopped onion, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. sage.
Place the meat mixture between pieces of waxed paper. Roll into oblong 1/4 in. thick. Remove top paper. Spread with filling. Roll up as for jelly roll. Chill. Bake in 8X12-in. pan, uncovered, 1 hr. in mod. oven (350 degrees F.).
Golden filling: Cook 1/4 finely chopped onion, 1/2 cup diced celery, in 2 tbsp. butter until yellow. Add 1 1/2 cups finely chopped, cooked carrots and 1/2 tsp. salt.
White filling: 3 cups moist mashed potatoes." (p. 8)
---Your Share: How to prepare appetizing, healthful meals with foods available today, Betty Crocker, [General Mills:Minneapolis MN] 1942

"Fluffy Meat Loaf

1 lb ground beef (or veal)
1/2 lb. ground lean pork
2 cups bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
4 tbsp. minced onion
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 tsp. sage
Pack into greased 9x5x3" loaf pan. Bake. Unmold. Serve hot...or serve cold. For Catsup-Topped Loaf, spread 3 tbsp. catsup over top before baking. Temperature: 350 degrees F (Mod. oven). Time: Bake 1 1/2 hr. Amount: 8 servings."
---Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, 1st edition, 3 ring binder [McGraw-Hill Book Company:New York] 1950 (p. 275)

"Meat Loaf

Directions. Turn on oven and set at moderately slow (350).
2. Mix well: 1 pound ground lean Beef*, 1/3 cup uncooked Rolled Oats, 1/4 cup finely cut Onion, 1 cup drained, canned Tomatoes, 1/2 cup Pet Nonfat Dry milk, 1 1/4 teaspoons Salt, 1/8 teaspoon Pepper.
3. Press meat mixture into a greased loaf pan holding about 6 cups.
4. Bake on center rack of oven 1 hour, or until top is brown. Serve hot or cold. Makes 4 servings.
*Veal, lean pork or a mixture of these meats can also be used."
---Nonfat Dry Milk Recipes by Mary Lee Taylor [Pet Milk Co.:St Louis MO] 1953 (p. 20)

Susan's Meat Loaf

2 cups fresh bread crumbs
3/4 cup minced onions
1/4 cup minced green pepper
2 eggs
2 lb. chuck, ground
2 tablesp. horse-radish
2 1/4 teasp. salt
1 teasp. dry mustard
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup catchup
1/2 cup catchup
1. When it's convenient, prepare bread crumbs, minced onions, green pepper. 3. With fork, beat eggs slightly. Lighly mix in meat, then crumbs, onions, peppr. (Meat will be juicier and more tender if you handle it as little as possible.) Add horse-radish, salt, mustard, milk, 1/4 cup catchup; combine lighly but well.
4. In bowl, shape meat into oval loaf; transfer to shallow baking dish or broil-and-serve platter; smooth into shapely loaf. Spread top with 1/2 cup catcup. Bake 50 min.
Serve from baking dish or broil-and-serve platter, pouring off excess juices. Or with 2 bread spatulas, lift loaf out of baking dish onto heated platter. Spoon some juices over meat. (Nice chilled, then served sliced, too.) Makes 8 servings.

"Frosted Meat Loaf
Omit 1/2 cup catchup for topping. When loaf is baked, pour off all juices. Thickly frost top with well-seasoned, creamy mashed potatoes (add some grated cheese or snipped chives if you like). Sprinkle with paprika. Broil until golden."
Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Dorothy B. Marsh [Good Housekeeping Book Division:New York] 1955 (p. 68-69).
[NOTE: Variations include: Meat loaf ring, One-apiece loaves, Last-minute meat cups, Old-fashioned meat loaf, Veal loaf, Cheeseburger loaf, Italian-style meat loaf, Mushroom meat loaf, Bacon-dill meat loaf, Rainbow loaf, Spicy peach loaf, Mushroom-stuffed meat loaf, Little sherry-barbecued loaves, Two-in-one rice ring, Superb skillet burger loaf and Minute meat loaves. This variety proliferation may be the reason why meatloaf is generally associated with the 1950s.]

"Meat Loaf

There are many different kinds of meat loaf. Some of them are loose, sloppy and unappetizing; others, firm, well-textured and delicious, either hot or cold. This is my favorite meat loaf recipe:
2 pounds of ground beef
1 pound of ground pork
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 fairly large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 crumbled bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon of crumbled thyme leaves
1 teaspoon of freshly chopped green pepper
1/2 cup of dry bread crumbs
2 eggs
Bacon or salt pork
Mix all ingredients except bacon thorougly and knead with the fingers until the mixture is a very thorougly blended. Form into a long loaf or cake and press firmly. Arrange enough slices of bacon or salt pork on the bottom of a baking pan to hold the meat loaf. Brush the loaf with butter and cross with 2 to 4 additional slices of bacon. Roast at 325 degrees, basting occasionally, for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, or until the meat loaf is cooked through. Constant basting makes a moister loaf. If you serve this meat loaf hot, let it stand on a hot platter for 10 to 15 minutes before you carve it, to settle the juices. If is even more delicious when served just at a temperature between warm and cold, with a salad. It is excellent served in thin slices the next day, and it makes superb sandwiches."
---James Beard Cookbook, James Beard in collaboration with Isabel E. CCallvert [E.P. Dutton:New York] 1961 (p. 256)
[NOTE: Variations: (1) With hard-cooked eggs, Ham loaf, Tongue.]

Richard Nixon's favorite meatloaf (AKA Pat Nixon's Meat Loaf)

These are hamburgers with stuff int hem. The stuff can be a beaten egg, some bread crumbs, finely chopped peppers and onions, or grated cheese; you can also mix herbs and spices. A meatloaf has these same ingredients, usually with more eggs, and is baked in a baking dish woth some kind of sauce so it doesn't dry out. I top my meatloaf with grated cheese, bacon slices, and either leftover Spaghetti Sauce, a can of tomatoes, or a can of Tomato Soup with a little water."
---Alice's Restaurant Cookbook, Alice May Brock [Random House:New York] 1969(p. 61)

Donkers (April Morning/Howard Fast)
Howard Fast's classic book, April Morning, is chock full of colonial American food references. One of these items, "donkers," has puzzled literary critics and food historians. Mr. Fast's description suggests "donkers" were economical meatball type items. The addition of fruit to
minced meat dishes was common in 18th century European inspired colonial American cuisine. Mincemeat pies on those days combined real meat, suet, spices and fruit encased in pastry for holiday dessert. They were typically baked, not fried.

The original reference:
"When I came into the house, Mother was frying donkers, and the kitchen was full of the smell. You save a week's meat leftovers to make donkers, and then it's chopped together with bread and apples and raisins and savory spice, and fried and served up with boiled pudding. I don't know of anything better...When I ate some of the raw meatstuff, she slapped my hand."
---April Morning, Howard Fast [Bantam Books:New York] 1962 (p. 5) [First chapter, second section]

Over the years, many people have speculated about the origin of this particular food reference. Some assume the recipe must be Dutch, based on the fact "donker" is a Dutch word. We can confirm colonial American Dutch made meatball-type foods but they did not call them donkers. What does the word "donker" mean? Our Dutch-English dictionaries offer several definitions; only one is consumable:

"Donker. dark [night, colour]...obscure, murky, gloomy, dull [weather]; dusky, strong [beer]."
---Nederlands-Engels Woordenboek, K. Ten Bruggencate [Wolters-Noordhoff:Groningen]1978 , volume II (p. 185)

Some sources state "donkers" was a boiled pudding. Examining Mr. Fast's text confirms this is incorrect. His "donkers" were served "with a boiled pudding," not "like a boiled pudding." The least correct conclusion is "donkers" were doughnuts. Mr. Fast is clearly describing a savory dinner item, not a yeast-based fried cake.

To date, we have found no references to anything called "donkers" in historic cookbooks, dictionaries, colonial foodways texts, hearth cookery texts, academic journals or old newspapers. We also checked 1950s USA cookbooks in case this recipe title surfaced during Fast's time (think: Snickerdoodles). The recipe is definately period; the name is a mystery. Some suggest "donkers" were named such because you "dunk" them. This theory does not hold much water, as it is offered by the doughnut faction. Colonial Americans enjoyed gravy with their meat but we find no evidence they dunked their meats in the gravy. Case dismissed.

The other thing that bothers us about Mr. Fast's "donkers" is that they were made with raw meat. Our research confirms 18th century minced meat products were made with cooked meat, typically leftovers. Making meatball type products ground raw meat became popular in the late 19th century, when meat grinders became standard household appliances.

Want to make donkers for class? Mr. Fast's description provides enough information to recreate from leftovers. Don't worry about exact amounts; colonial cooks didn't. Bottom line: make sure your product sticks together before frying. If not, add more fat, breading, or egg. Fry until done. We ponder: was Mr. Fast purposely using "donkers" as a culinary metaphor for figuring out things for oneself? This dovetails perfectly with the challenge presented to April Morning's primary character.

Modernized New Netherlands recipe (without apples, but you can add them):

"Meatballs with currants
1 pound ground beef
2 slices whole grain bread soaked in milk and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons finely minced onion
1/2 cup or more currants
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Oil for frying.
In a large bowl thoroughly combine all ingredients, divide into 6 parts and form into 6 meatballs. In a large frying pan heat the oil and brown the meatballs on one side. Use two spoons to turn them and brown the other side. Add some water to the pan, cover and reduce heat. Braise the meatballs for about 15 minutes until cooked through. Red cabbage, green beans or carrots make nice accompaniments."
SOURCE: Peter G. Rose.

Porcupine meat balls
Meat/ball porcupines presumably take their name from their resmeblence of the animal by that name. Ground meat (beef, lamb, or chicken) is a perfect medium for simple food sculptures. The "quills" are made of different foods, according to place and period. The concept of "illusion food" (making one food look like something else, real or imaginary) dates to Medieval times. Recipes were introduced to American by European cooks. About
illusion food (note recipe for ground meat to resemble hats)

Sample recipes through time

"To Make a Porcupine of the Flat Ribs of Beef

Bone the flat ribs, and beat it half an hour with a paste pin. The rumb it over with the yolks of eggs, strew over it breadcrumbs, parsley, leeks, sweet marjoram, lemon peel shred fine, nutmeg, pepper and salt; foll up very close and bind it hard. Lard it across with bacon, then a row of cold boiled tongues, a third row of pickled cucumbers, a fourth row of lemon peel. Do it all over in rows as above till it is larded all round, it will look like red, green, white, and yellow dice. Then spit it or put it in a deep pot with a pint of water, lay over it the caul of veal to keep it from scorching, tie it down with strong paper and send it to the oven. When it comes out skim off the fat, and strain your gravy into a saucepan. Add to it two spoonfuls of red wine, the same of browning, one of mushroom catchup, half a lemon, thicken it with a lump of butter rolled in flour. Dish up the meat and pour the gravy on the dish, lay round forcemeat balls. Garnish with horseradish and serve it up."
---The Experienced English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald [1769 facsimile], with an introduction by Roy Shipperbottom [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1997 (p. 59-60)

[1884] Meat porcupine, Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D. A. Lincoln [1884] with picture!:

[20th century]
"Porcupine meat balls. The sort of easy, novelty recipe that appealed to cooks in the 30s, yet it appears to have been developed during World War I as a way to stretch meat. In Conservation Recipes (1918) compiled by the Mobilized Women's Organizations of Berkeley and published by the Berkeley Unit, Council of Defence Women's Committee, there is something called "Rice Meat Balls," a clear forerunner of the recipes."
---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes fo the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 104)


6 servings
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped green peppers (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Roll these ingredients into balls. Press them into flat cakes. Roll them in:
1/4 cup raw rice
Heat in a heavy pot the contents of a:
1 1/2 ounce can tomato soup
2 cups boiling water
6 small skinned onions
6 ribs of celery cut into inch lengths
1 teaspoon chili powder
Add the meat cakes. Cover the pot. Simmer the meat for 45 minutes. Thicken the sauce with:
Season it, if needed with:
Salt Paprika."
---The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer [Bobbs-Merrill Company:Indianapolis IN] 1936(p. 92)
[NOTE: This recipe was not included in the inaugural 1931 edition.]

"Porcupine Meat Balls

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 10 1/2-ounce can condensed tomato soup
1 can water
Select beef from neck, shank, or plate, and have ground. Combine meat, rice, seasonings, and onion; shape in small balls. Mix tomato soup and water; heat. Drop in meat balls; cover and cook slowly 60 minutes. Serves 6."
---My Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book [Meredith Publishing:Des Moines IA] 1939 (chapter 10, p. 6)

"Yummy Porcupine Meatballs

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup
1 pound ground beef
1 cup packaged pre-cooked rice
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons shortening
1/2 soup can water
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
Mix 1/4 cup soul with beef, rice, egg, onion, and salt. Shape firmly into 16 meatballs. Brown meatballs and garlic in shortening; pour off fat. Blend in remaining soup, water, and mustard. Cover; simmer for 20 minutes or until done. Stir now and then. 4 servings."
---Cooking With Soup, Home Economics Department, [Campbell Soup Company:Camden NJ] revised edition, 1970 (p. 9)

Did people ever eat real porcupines? Absolutely. They say it tastes like lamb. Notes here

Salisbury Steak
Salisbury steak is one of those rare foods with nine lives. Did you know this particular recipe originated as 19th century American health prescription? In some ways, food
Dr. James H. Salisbury's high-protein diet was not unlike those avocated today. By the late 19th/early 20th century Salisbury steak lost its health connection. It was resurfaced, obscured and commercialized, in the 1950s as glorified "hamburg/hamburger" steak.

Compare these recipes:

"Salisbury steak appears to be giving remarkably good results as a diet for people troubled with weak or disordered digestion, but who require the supporting power of animal food. The manner of preparing it is described by Dr. Hopburn in the Philadelphia Medical and Surgical reporter. The surface of a round steak is chopped with a dull knife, the object being not to out, cut, but to pound the meat. As the meat pulp comes to the top it is scraped off while the though ad fibrous portion gradually reaches the bottom of the trough. The pulp is then made into cakes and lightly and quickly broiled so as to leave it almost raw inside. This diet is sometimes used exclusively in chronic cases, and as a rule no drugs are employed with it except tonics."
---"Salisbury Steak," Chicago Daily Tribune, January 24, 1885 (p. 6)

Salisbury Steak

The Salsibury steak does not differ much from the Hamburger. In cooking, the Hamburger is generally fried, while the Salisbury steak is usually broiled. In the composition of Salsibury steak marrow is used in place of the suet, and in the Salisbury mixture the onions are omitted, and the bread is best left out. Water can be used to advantage. On the whole, the beef should be of a choice grade, as the Salisbury has more class, and sells for about ten cents more per portion. Some flavor with sherry wine. Following are some entree suggestions: Grilled Salisbury steak with bacon; Broiled Salisbury steak with French fried onions; Combination Salisbury steak, cafeteria."
---The Hotel Butcher, Garde Manger and Carver, Frank Rivers [Hotel Monthly Press:Chicago] 1935 (p. 22)

Salisbury Steak

4 strips bacon
1 1/2 pounds ground beef (chuch or round)
1 tablespoon ground pork
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced green pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Chop bacon and mix lightly with meat, onion, green pepper, parsley and seasonings. Shape into cakes and place them 3 inches under broiler heat. Broil 12 minutes, turning once. Serves 6."
---Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, Ruth Berolzheimer editor [Culinary Arts Institute:Chicago] 1950 (p. 361)

In the USA, Salisbury Steak waxes & wanes in popularity. Number of mentions of Salisbury Steak ProQuest Historic Newspaper database (USA, selected major metropolitan products/TV dinners) frame post-WWII acceptance:
[1950-1960] 174
[1960-1969] 615
[1970-1979] 1555
[1980-1989] 1601
[1990-1999] 508

Who was Dr. James H. Salisbury?
Print evidence suggests Dr. James H. Salisbury was well regarded by his peers, in the USA and UK, as a well qualified and gifted medical researcher throughout his life. Dr. Salisbury earned degrees from recognized medical institutions, authored peer-reviewed scholarly papers, and conducted his own field research. Except for two brief biographical sketches (1888, 1950) Dr. Salisbury is curiously absent from standard American biographical sources. Some modern USA food texts proclaim Dr. Salisbury a "quack" because his contributions seem preposterous today. In his time, they were not. Framing Dr. Salisbury (and by association, Salisbury Steak) in historic context tells a very different story.

"Dr. James M. Salisbury (1823-1904) had begun to put the art of therapeutics into order in 1854 with a study of baked beans. He was trying to locate the nutritive principles behind health and disease by living on one food at a time. After three days on beans alone, as he wrote, 'light began to break.' Using a microscope, he proved that bean food did not digest well; rather, it fermented and filled the digestive organs with yeast carbon dioxide alcohol and acetic acid. He hired six hale and hearty men to feast for days solely on baked beans with the same poor results. Stomachs could not take to beans, as they could not take to thirty days of oatmeal porridge. He continued his experiments, feeding two thousand hogs to death on various diets and studying cholesterin (cholesterol). During the Civil War, as a nutritional consultant, he prescribed broiled beefsteak and coffee to ward off camp diarrhea. The Union Army asked him to devise and army ration, but the manufacture of Salisbury desiccated food was cut short but Union victory. After the war, Salisbury published his Microscopic Examination of the Blood (1868) inspected skin diseases and fungus, treated nervous diseases and consumption and arrived at a therapeutic system that purified the blood, improved digestions and, almost inadvertently, reduced weight. Beans, with the double-walled sacs and gases of the typical legume, had been the clue all along. Their gases paralyzed the stomach wall; their skins clogged the alimentary canal. Paralytic diseases, tuberculosis and dyspepsia, claimed Salisbury were caused by gluey, fibrous deposits in the body which thickened the mucus and blocked the intestinal canals. Beans, peas and many other foods left long, tacky streamers of themselves in the body. Even meat could be dangerous. Not just its fatty veins but its connective or 'glue tissue' and cartilage could clasp internal organs in the fatal embrace of embolism or tumor. The remedy was hot water and 'the muscle pulp of lean beef made into cakes and broiled.' Salisbury explained: 'hot water washes out the slimy stomach, gets it clean enough from bile and yeasty matter to digest lean meats which give maximum of nourishment with minimum of digestive effort.' Well-doe lean beef, the only single food on which a human could live for long without harm, was good for the three years it could take to bring a particular patient back from the last stages of tuberculosis. And, 'Never mind the shrinkage in weight. It is natural and absolutely necessary, for the reason that those foods which upholster, or make fat, are the very ones which produce the disease.' Salisbury had personally worked through the eras of indigestion and neurasthenia to come at last to obesity...While a physician was wondering whether 'the coming American is to digest his food himself at all or whether it will not be digested for him outside his body, and administered ready for absorption and assimilation,' Salisbury was transforming the banting for absorption into an industrial process. The large-scale processing of cattle in the Stockyards of Chicago... had its counterpart in the new meat grinding equipment of Salisbury's Cleveland kitchen. A diet of broiled beef pulp and hot water was far more than a cosmetic act of reducing; it bespoke a scientific reform of the body, a kind of physiological trust-busting. The spirit and the flavor of the new diet made eating tantamount to precision tooling and domestic economy. Popular and enduring as the Salisbury steak was and is he reducing plan required 'a repulsive and ostentatious observance of details, a nauseating and monotonous diet, and a disregard of the claims of the palate which cannot fail to disgust.' This...was an English and old-fashioned critique. Skeptical modern Americans thought Salisbury's 3 lbs of lean beef and six pints of hot water daily just plain too much food, especially for women..."
---Never Satisfied: A Cultural History of Diets and Fantasies and Fat, Hillel Schwartz [Free Press:New York] 1986 (p. 101-102)
[NOTE: Report from Salisbury's food experiments:
The Relationship of Alimentation and Disease 1886]

[1884] Sketch of the Life of James H. Salisbury

"Dr. James H. Salisbury, a specialist in chronic diseases, died last night at this country home at Dobbs Ferry after a lingering illness. Dr. Salsibury was in his eighty-second year. He was born in Cortland County, N.Y., was a graduate of the Troy Polytechnic Institute and of the Albany Medical College, and alos held degrees from Union College, and Amity College. He published numerous microsopical and therapeutical studies in The New York Journal of Medicine and in foreign medical reviews. He practiced in Cleveland and later in New York. He was a member of the American Antiquaraian Society, the Natural History Society of Montreal, the Philosophical Society of Great Britain and President of the Institute of Micrology. He was the author of numerous authoritative monographs on plant anatomy and anatomical chemistry. He was a pioneer in the work of medical micrcoscopy. He leaves two children, a daughter and a son, Trafford B. Salisbury, who is also a physician."
---"Death List of a Day: Dr. James H. Salisbury," New York Times, August 24, 1905 (p. 7)

Modern biography published in a scholarly journal (not online free) & public interest renewed: "Dr. James H. Salisbury and the Salisbury Diet," Clyde L. Cummer, Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, 59 (1950) 352-70...scholarly article

"Dr. J. W. [sic] Salisbury, who was ahead of his time in working on germ theory as the cause of disease, according to his biographer, is now only remembered in connection with steak. Dr. Clyde L. Cummer, who has just finished a short work on Salisbury's life from 1823 to 1905, says he was working on a germ theory for years before Louis Pasteur and might hae gone down in medical annals as one of its giants of discovery. However, he enjoys but 'a slender claim to a place in medical history by lending his name to a steak,' Dr. Cummer said. Dr. Salisbury was a strong advocate of dietary disease, his biographer said, contending that the 'most sustaining and most easily digested is beef.'"
---"Scientist Gives Steak a Names," Eugene Register-Guard [OR], July 24, 1951 (p. 25)
[Accessed online, April 6, 2014]

In sum: Extreme dietary recommendations are always considered weird by social norms. Eating one food (in this case remediated steak, maybe/maybe not similar to modern hamburger) to the exclusion all others, for whatever reason, falls into this category. The original theory was tested with scientific method and acknowledged by the medical community. Our research suggests the Salisbury Steak regimen was never meant for general public consumption. Salisbury Steak recipes exist but float below public consciousness until the 1950s. At that time a new biography of Dr. Salisbury is published. Regional newspapers consider it news. A renewed interest in Salisbury Steak is evident in recipes and corporate products. Likewise, a renewed interest in the recipes namesake occurs. Dr. Salisbury is harshly judged by misinformed modern consumers and relegated to "quack" status. Sales of frozen TV Dinners featuring Salisbury Steak soar. In the 21st century American consumers generally consider Salisbury Steak a vintage dish. Think: Swedish Meatballs.

Sloppy joes
Was this recipe invented by/for a guy named Joe? Not according to most of the food historians! Recipes for chopped meat mixed with sauce, spices, and served with bread/pastry are hundreds of years old. Consider: medieval minced meat pies, 18th century shepherd's pie, and 19th century TexMex chili. What do these dishes have in common? They are economical and filling. Not so very different from the sloppy joe we Americans know today.

"The origins of this dish are unknown, but recipes for the dish date back at least to the 1940s. It dates in print to 1935. There is probably no Joe after whom it is named--but its rather messy appearance and tendency to drip off plate or roll makes "sloppy" an adequate description, and "Joe" is an American name of proletarian character and unassailable genuineness. There are many individual and regional variations on the dish. In Sioux City, Iowa, a dish of this type is called a "loosemeat sandwich," created in 1934 at Ye Olde Tavern Inn by Abraham and Bertha Kaled."
---The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p.297).

" is not known when the [sloppy joe] sandwich was first called "sloppy joe," similar ground beef concoctions have been recorded in American cookbooks since the turn of the twentieth century. Some food historians believe that with the addition of ketchup or tomato sauces, it evolved from the popualr Iowa loosemeat sandwich introduced by Floyd Angell, the founder of Maid-Rite restaurants, in 1926. During the Great Depression and Wrold War II, ground beef provided an enconomical way to stretch meat and ensured the popularity of the sandwich. As for the name "sloppy joe," some say it was inspired by one of two famous bars named Sloppy Joe's in the 1930s--one in Havana, Cuba, and the other in Key West, Florida. The name caught on throughout the United States, and based on the number of establishments that subsequently became known as "Sloppy Joe's" by the late 1930s, it is likely that the messy-to-eat sandwich was named after restaurants that commonly served it."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew J. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 444)

"Sloppy Joes...I remember eating these in the 1940s and suspect they may have been a way of stretching precious ground beef during World War II. Apparently not. My friend and colleague Jim Fobel tells me that in his own quest to trace the origin of the Sloppy Joe, he talked to Marilyn Brown, Director of the Consumer Test Kitchen at H.K. Heinz in Pittsburgh (the Heinz "Joe," not surprisingly, is reddened with ketchup). Brown says their research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the Sloppy Joe began in a Sioux City, Iowa, cafe as a "loose meat sandwich" in 1930, the creation of a cook named Joe..."
---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 349)

The state of Iowa does seem to have a history of loose meat sandwiches: Taylor's Maid-Rites (est. 1926)

"Sloppy Joe's...any cheap restaurant or lunch counter serving cheap food quickly, since 1940."
---Dictionary of American Slang, Harold Wentworth & Stuart Berg Flexner, 2nd supp. edition [Crowell:New York] 1975 (p. 488)

The earliest print reference we have for "sloppy joe" was published in Ohio, 1949. It cements the direct relationship between school cafeterias/young people and this new version of the loose meat sandwich. "The school cafeteria and one of the two first grade rooms will be used for a floral displays. The other first grade room will be transformed into a 'country store' with all kinds of farm and garden produce to be offered for sale. The refreshment counter, where hcicken, sloppy joe and weiner sandwiches, homemade pie, coffee and soft drinks will be sold will be in the school kitchen."---"Country Store to be Feature of Festival," Masnfield News-Journal [OH], August 14, 1949 (p. 8)

"Sloppy Joe mixture for the sandwiches is made ahead of time. Have lots of potato chips, hardcooked eggs and marshmallows to toast over the coals of a bonfire...
Sloppy Joe Sandwich
2 tablespoons sortening
1 1/2 pound ground meat
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cul sliced mushrooms
1/4 teasppon somosodium glutamate
1 cup tomatoes
1/4 cup catsup
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
Heat the shortening in a heavy pan. Add meat, chopped onions, diced celery, sliced mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes unti meat is browned. Add tomatoes, catsup, chili powder, water and cook for 15 minutes. Season to taste. Add tapioca and cook until mixture is slighly tickined,. Soread up split buns. Eat potato chips with the sandwich to give crunchy texture.:
---"Over the Back Fence," Naomi Deebel, Cedar Rapids Gazette, September 26, 1950 (p. 9)
[NOTES: (1) Tapioca is a natural starch used for thickening. (2) Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) was a popular artificial/chemical flavor enhancer.]

"Last weeek we discovered that graduation parties were still in full swing, both for the high school set and college grads. Sloppy Joe sandwiches was the recipe most frequently asked for by mothers and chairmen planning these parties...
"Sloppy Joes
1/4 cup sliced onions
1/2 cup green pepper
2 tablespoons fat
2 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 pound ground beef
1 cup tomato juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika.
Method: Cook onions and green pepper in hot fat untillightly borwned. Cut tomatoes in small wedges and add to vegetables. Cover and cook over very low heat 15 to 20 minutes. If desired, thicken sauce by sprinkling in a little flour and cooking until well blended. Serve over split toasted hamburger buns. Makes four to six servings.""
---"Like a Sloppy Joe? Here's the Recipe," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1957 (p. A7)

"Sloppy Joe Sandwich

30 servings
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 pounds groudn beef
2 onions, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
1 1/3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 no. 303 cans whole kernel corn, drained, or 2 pkgs. frozen corn
Melt butter in large kettle. Add meat onions, garlic salt, salt, pepper and dry mustard. Saute until meat is brown. Add vinegar, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Parmesan cheese and corn. Simmer 15-30 minutes. Serve on buttered buns over a slice of tomato."
---"Eating at Home to Please a Young, Ravenous Crowd," Chicago Defender, September 10, 1960 (p. 16)
[NOTES: (1) A No. 303 can was 2 cups, or 16-17 ounces. (2) This article also offers a recipe for Peanut Butter Milk Shakes.]

Minced meat & hash
Minced meat recipes were common in colonial America. These economical dishes were generally composed of cooked leftovers. The practice originated in the Old World. Recipes varied according to culture and cuisine. In Colonial America, minced meat dishes could have been either sweet (mince meat pie) or savory (forced meat balls) served hot or cold, cooked with vegetables (shepherd's pie), pan fried for breakfast (hash) or sliced and fried (patties).

About hash
The idea of hash (pre-cooked meat cut up into tiny pieces and simmered/fried until tender with or without vegetables and spices) dates back into ancient times. Ancient Romans
composed similar dishes of various sizes and composition. Food historians tell us minced meat dishes of various sorts were quite popular in the Middle Ages. Mutton, a traditionally tough meat, was often used. Beef, veal, and venison were similarly rendered. Corned beef hash was inevitable.

"Haricot of mutton
Cut it into small pieces, then boil for a moment, and fry it in lard, and fry with some onions finely cut up and cooked, and moisten with beef broth, and add mace, parsley, hyssop, and sage, and boil it together..."Haricot de mouton" is a classic of traditional French cooking--but there are not haricot beans in this early version...So what is the meaning of these terms--hericot, haricot, or even hericoq-found in the titles of a whole series of medieval recipes for lamb or mutton stew? The most common theory is that *haricot* is derived from the verb *aricoter*--to cut into little pieces-which is apt for a stew made with small chunks of meat."
---Medieval Kitchens: Recipes from France and Italy, Redon, Sabban & Serventi [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1998 (p. 93-94)...this recipe is from Le Menagier de Paris [approx. 1400]

The notion that hash was first introduced to the English in the mid-17th century is attributed to the fact that it was mentioned by Samuel Pepys in his famous Diary: "Hash v. Taking the place of the earlier hache, hachee, hachey,..and hachis from French. Something cut up into small pieces' sec. A dish consisting of meat which has been previously cooked, cut small, and warmed up with gravy and sauce or other flavoring. 1662: Pepys Diary 12 Jan. 1663...'at fist course, a hash of rabbits, a lamb." ---Oxford English Dictionary Was hachis the precursor to Shepherd's pie? Probably. The English tradition of meat pies also dates back to the Middle ages. Game pie, pot pie and mutton pie were popular and served in *pastry coffyns.* These pies were cooked for hours in a slow oven, and topped with rich aspic jelly and other sweet spices. The eating of *hote [meat] pies* is mentioned in 'Piers Plowman,' and English poem written in the 14th Century. ("Cooking of the British Isles," Adrian Bailey, pages 156-7) The Elizabethans favored minced pies.' A typical Elizabethan recipe ran: Shred your meat (mutton or beef) and suet together fine. Season it with cloves, mace, pepper and some saffron, great raisins and prunes..." ("Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century," C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago] 1991 page 273).

A sampler of Colonial American era minced meat recipes

Early English settlers used recipes from their country's cookbooks. Hannah Glasse's Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy [1747] was one of the most popular. Here are Mrs. Glasse's recipes for mince pie & hashed mutton:

"To Hash Cold Mutton.

Cut your Mutton with a very sharp knife in very little Bits, as thin as possible; then boil the Bones with an Onion, a little Sweet Herbs, a Blade of Mace, a very little whole Pepper, a little Salt, a Piece of Crust toasted very crisp; let it boil till there is just enough for Sauce, strain it, and put it inot a Sauce-pan, with a Piece of Butter rolled in Flour; put in the Meat, when it is thorough hot it is enough. Have ready some thin Bread toasted brown, cut thus (picture of a triangle), lay them round the Dish, and pour in the Hash. As to Walnut-pickle, and all Sorts of Pickles, you must put in according to your Fancy. Garnsih with Pickles. Some love a small Onion peeled, and cut very small, and done in the Hash."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1947 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 59)

"To Hash Mutton like Venison
Cut it very thin, as above; boil the Bones, as above; strain the Liquor, when there is just enough for your Hash. To a Quarter of a Pint of Gravy, put a large Spoonful of Red Wine, a small Onion peeled and chopped fine, a very little Lemon-peel spread fine, a Piece of Butter, as big as a a small Walnut, rolled in Flour; put it into a Sauce-pan with the Meat, shake it all together, and when it is thorough hot, pour it into your dish. Hash Beef the same Way."
---ibid (p. 59)

New England Boiled Dinner
New England boiled dinner is a perfect convergence of culinary tradition, technological convention, and practical sensibility. New Englanders didn't invent the boiled dinner, they adapted/adopted/served it because it, quite simply, made sense.

"New England boiled dinner...A very hearty dish of various meats and vegetables that was originally made with salt beef but that may also contain poultry. It was traditionally served at noontime, but begun early in the morning when the meat would be boiled with cabbage in a kettle over an open fire. Later the other vegetables would go in...Boiled meals have long been part of many countries' culinary heritage: In France such a meal is called pot au feu', in Italy bollito misto', and New England Boiled dinners derive from English versions of the dish. The termed boiled dinner' was in print as of 1882, and New England boiled dinner' as of 1896."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Freidman:New York] 1999 (p. 216)

"In addition to cooking, much time was devoted to preserving food, with results that include such classic American fare as New England boiled dinner. It was originally a meal-in-one-dish of salt beef cooked at the open fire where meat and vegetables could be combined in a single pot hanging from a crane and bubbling gently for hours while the housewife pursued her dozens of other chores. It remains a meal for the heartiest appetites, still in the repertoire of many women whose ancestors migrated across the country. The average Yankee recipe calls for corned brisket, flank, or beef rump to be simmered with a variety of root vegetables. As preparation, some Maine cooks rub a three-or four-pound piece of beef with coarse salt, then cover it with water so heavily salted it will float a potato or an egg. They may take an old-fasioned iron doorstop to weight down the meat while it absorbs the brine for several weeks.

"Served as a midday meal on farms, a traditional boiled dinner goes to the stove soon after breakfast when corned beef and a piece of salt pork, along with a head of cabbage, are covered with water and simmered very slowly. In about three hours there may be added a dozen whole peeled potatoes, and equal number of scraped carrots, and six to eight peeled white onions; well scrubbed beets are usually cooked separately. When the meat has simmered about four hours, the beef is drained and put on a hot platter, surrounded by the vegetables and garnished with parsely. Some Yankees call for a sprinkling of cider vinegar, but most common accents are homemade horseradish sauce or strong mustard."
---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones, 2nd edition [Vintage:New York] 1981 (p. 117)

"...most of the food New Englanders ate for more than two hundred years came out of heavy black iron pots. The large dinner pot', in which meat was boiled with the suet pudding, hung on stout pot chains from wooden lug poles or later from the crane, a Yankee invention. Bean porridge was made in this pot, as were the fish stews of the daily bill of fare. The famous New England boiled dinner--corned beef and root vegetables...-was a triumph of art over the limitations of fireplace cookery and owed some of its popularity, among the wives at least, to the fact that it could simmer for hours with little attention. Accompanied by mixed mustard pickles and hores-radish and a dessert like baked apple dumplings, a boiled dinner could be counted upon to keep a man putting up a stone wall well-fueled until his afternoon snack."
---American Heritage Cookbook, American Heritage [magazine], [American Heritage:New York] Volume 1 (p. 83)

As noted by Mr. Mariani, New England boiled dinner was not commonly called such until the late 19th century. Early cook books refer to this dish simply as "boiled dinner." Here are some recipes from old cookbooks:

"Veal should boil about an hour, if a neck-piece; if the meat comes from a thicker, more solid part, it should boil longer. No directions about these things will supply the place of judgement and experience. Both mutton and veal are better for being boiled with a small piece of salt pork..."
---American Frugal Housewife, Mrs. Child [Boston 1833] (p. 5)
[NOTE: this most well-known of early New England cookery books does not contain a recipe for boiled dinner. It does contain a wealth of information on popular meat cuts, proper storage/handling and cooking instructions. It does contain a recipe for beef soup. Soups were usually made from bones and leftovers, not to be confused with boiled dinners. This book is often reprinted and should be relatively easy to find with the help of your librarian].

[1841] "Beef Boiled
The perfection of boiling is that it be done slowly and the pot well skimmed. If the scum be permitted to boil down, it sticks to the meat and gives it a dirty appearance. A quart of water to a pound of meat is an old rule; but there must always be water sufficient to cover it well, so that the scum may be taken off easily. When beef is very salt (which it rearely will be if rightly cured) it must be soaked for half and hour or more before it is put on to boil, when the water much be changed. The Round is the best piece to boil--then the H-Bone. That part of a Round of beef--put into your boiler with plenty of cold water to cover it; set the pot on one side of the fire to boil gently; if it boil quick at first, no art can make the meat tender. The slower it boils the tenderer it will be....When you take the meat up, if any stray scum sticks to it, wash it off with a paste brush. Garnish the dish with carrots and turnips. Boiled potatoes, carrots, turnips and greens, on separate plates, are good accompaniements. If the beef weigh ten pounds it requires to boil, or rather simmer, about three hours. In cold weather all meats need to be cooked longer time than in warm weather. Always cook them till tender."
---Early American Cookery: The Good Housekeeper, Sarah Josepha Hale, [Boston 1841] (p. 39-40)
[Note: the details provided for boiling procedures, scum is the stuff that rises to the top of the pot when boiling beef]

"Boiled Dish--Meat
Corned beef should be boiled three hours, pork two hours. Beets need as much boiling as the beef in the winter; one hour will do in the summer, when they are more tender; carrots, cabbage and turnips, each an hour, parsnips forty-five minutes, potatoes twenty to thirty minutes." ---New England Economical Housekeeper and Family Receipt Book, Mrs. E. A. Howland, [Montpelier, VT 1845] (p. 56)
[NOTE: the details provided for the timing of the vegetables, even down to the seasons--it is clear that making sure each ingredient was not over/under cooked was an important factor in preparing a good boiled dinner.]

An Old-fashioned Boiled Dinner
---Boston Cook Book, Mrs. D. A. Lincoln

Suggested reading:

Pot roast

"Pot roast," as we Americans know it today, descends from a long tradition of slow cooking with water. Think: soups, stews & slowly braised dishes.

What is pot roast?
"Pot-Roasting. Poelage.--This is a method of slow cooking by steam. A casserole with a tightly fitting lid is used. The food is cooked in butter or fat and flavoured with vegetables which have been cooked slowly in butter until very tender. Pot-roasted meat, poultry or fish must be basted frequently during cooking. When it is ready, take it out of the casserole. Serve on a dish or, where appropriate, in a cocotte. Remove most of the cooking fat. Dilute the juices in the casserole with wine or stock as indicated in the recipe. Boil for a few seconds. Strain and pour over the dish. Pot-roasting a la Matignon. Brown lightly in butter the meat or fish to be pot-roasted. Cover with a thick layer of Matignon or Fondue of root vegetables...Wrap in buttered grease-proof paper and cook in the oven in a braising pan, or on the spit. After cooking unwrap, place on a dish, surround with appropriate garnishes and pour on the stock to which the matignon has been added before straining. Braising a la matignon can also be carried out by lining the braising pan with the fondue of root vegetables and placing the meat, fish or poultry, which should be liberally basted with butter, on top."
---Larousse Gastronomique [Crown Publishing:New York] 1961 (p. 761)

"The familiar 'pot roast,' or smothered meat, is prepared by simply steaming it in its own juices. It is placed in the oven in a tight jar and left until the juice is partially drawn out, about an hour; then cooked by greater heat, allowing half an hour to each pound of the meat. If the meat is cut into small pieces, the cooking will not require so long a time. The juice can be made into a thick, rich gravy."
---The Modern Cook Book and Household Recipes, Lily Haxworth Wallace [Warner Library Company:New York] 1904, 1912 (p. 26)

"The term pot-roast has almost the same meaning as braise, although the technique has a different origin, best explained by quoting the Irish author Florence Irwin (1949)...'Even 30 years ago there were a few ranges in farmhouses. These and also the cottages had hearth fires or open grates in their kitchens. All roasting was done in a pot-oven. These ovens were pots with flat bottoms standing on three legs. The lids were depressed. Sometimes they were suspended of the peat fire on the cook and on the lid red turn (peat) embers were placed. Then there was a hearth fire, some embers were taken to the side of the main fire, the pot placed over these on the hearth, and embers placed on top, thus having both upper and under heat. In this pot the fowls were roasted, also joints of beef. When basting had to be done the lid and embers were removed and replaced when the meat had had due attention."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2009 (p. 94)
[NOTE: the cooking pot mentioned in this section is known in the USA as a Dutch Oven.]

American pot roast recipes

"Pot Roast

Meat of any kind, beef, chickens, prairie fowl or pigeons may be cooked in this way. Slice an onion and a few slices of pork, and put in the bottom of a kettle. Place on top whatever meat is to be cooked, add just enough water to stew it. Be careful not to use too much water; it can be easily added if it cooks away, but is spoils the dish to the obliged to take any out. Keep turning the meat and let it stew or roast slowly till brown and tender; the take out the meat, strain and thicken the gravy, pour over the meat, and serve hot."
---"The Household," The Christian Union, November 29, 1876 (p. 446)

"A New England Pot Roast

Lay a round of beef in a deep pot; pour in a cupful of boiling water, add 2 slices of onion; cover, and cook slowly, allowing ten minutes to a pound. Now put it in a dripping-pan, rub with butter and flour, and let it brown in a hot oven. Strain the gravy left in the pan, season with salt, pepper, and a little kitchen bouquet, and thicken it with browned flour. Let it boil for one minute, then pour into a gravy-boat or around the beef."
---The Modern Cook Book and Household Recipes, Lily Haxworth Wallace [Warner Library Company:New York] 1904, 1912 (p. 531)

"Pot Roast of Beef
Get a 4- or 5-pound piece of rump or round of beef. If not a solid, well-shaped piece, skewer it closely, and fasten in between the skewered small pieces of clean fast or marrow. Put 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls of beef drippings in the kettle, or fry out slices of the fat, and when very hot, put in the beef and brown it, turning it on all sides so that it will be well and evenly browned. Add a cupful of boiling water, 1 teaspoonful of salt, 1/2 teaspoonful of pepper, and 1 tablespoonful of vinegar. Cover the kettle closely and let it simmer three hours, adding water as often as necessary to keep it from burning, and keep it from burning, and keep about the same quantity in the kettle all the time. When done, remove the meat to a hot platter, and make a brown gravy of the liquor by stirring in a tablespoonful of flour moistened and made smooth with a teaspoonful of Worcester or a tablespoonful of tomato catsup. Let it boil up, and serve in a gravy-boat. Meat cooked in this way can be reheated by putting in the kettle with just water enough to keep it from burning, covering closely and giving it plenty of time to heat through, taking care that it does not scorch; or it is nice sliced thin and served cold for lunch or supper, with Worcestershire or sauce piquante."
---The Modern Cook Book and Household Recipes, Lily Haxworth Wallace [Warner Library Company:New York] 1904, 1912 (p. 522-523)

"Braised Beef-Pot Roast
2 pounds brisket; 1 pint boiling waer; 2 even tablespoonfuls flour; 1 1/2 teaspoonfuls salt; 1 gill cold water; 1/2 teaspoonful pepper. To Cook.--Wash the meat with a wet cloth; trim and season it with the salt and pepper. Put it into a very hot iron pot and set it on the stove where it will brown quickly. Turn it frequently. Cook the meat in this manner until thoroughly browned and all sides; add a gill of boiling water, and draw the pot to a part of the stove where the contents will cook slowly for four hours. Add a gill of boiling water whenever the liquid in the pot becomes low. When the meat has been cooking three hours, mix the flour smoothly with a gill of cold water; stir it into the pot; add enough boiling water to make a full pint. Cook the meat an hour longer, then serve on a dish with a part of the gravy poured over it; serve the remainder of the gravy in a gravy dish. It is very nice to substitute for the last water a quart of tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or in winter, a can of nice tomatoes, chopped fine. In both cases, take out the cores of the tomatoes. Any inferior pieces of beef will answer for this dish."
---The Modern Cook Book and Household Recipes, Lily Haxworth Wallace [Warner Library Company:New York] 1904, 1912(p. 175-176)

"Beef Pot Roast

Select a 3- or 4-pound chuck or rump roast. Wipe with a damp cloth, dredge with flour, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and brown on all sides in 2 tablespoons hot fat. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer 2 1/2-3 hours or until tender, adding more water as needed. If desired, add whole onions and carrots the last 45 minutes; 15 minutes before serving, pour 1/2 cup chili sauce and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce over meat. Or, 2 cups unsweetened cranberry sauce may be poured over the meat immediately after browning. (Serves 6-8)"
---My New Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book, Chapter 10: "Meats-Fish-Fowl" [Meredith Publishing Company:Des Moines IA], revised edition, 20th printing, July 1937 (p. 5-6)

"American Pot Roast

2 1/2 lb. rump of beef
2 tablespoons beef dripping
Hot water or stock
1 onion
Salt and pepper
2 tomatoes
Small pinch ground ginger.
This is an old 'Yankee' recipe. Heat the dripping; gently brown the chopped onion in it; add the piece of beef and brown it well on all surfaces, seasoning with salt and pepper. When well browned, add about a cupful of hot water or stock and two peeled and cut-up fresh tomatoes. A very tiny pinch of ground ginger is also here added; then the pot is closely covered and the meat very gently cooked for about three hours. A stalk of celery and a couple of carrots may also be added, as well as a dried bayleaf. In all cases, a heavy thick-bottomed iron pot must be used as slow simmering is essential."
---A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon, complete and unabridged [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 407)

"Pot Roasts and Stews

The basic idea is that you are using a less tender cut of meat (like chuck) so you cook it longer. Pot roasts or stews should be done in a heavy pot with a cover, either on top of the stove or in the oven. Sprinkle the meat with seasoned flour if you feel like it. Just like with a steak or chop, first seal in the juices by searing the meat, whether it's a large pot roast or cut-up stew meat. Sear in fat or oil until it is browned on all sides. With a large pot roast this may take form 15 to 20 minutes, but do it. If you are going to use onions, you might want to brown them first, too. After the meat is seared, add sauteed onions and some liquid. This can be water, tomato juice, beef or vegetable broth, wine, or Cream of Mushroom-or-something soup (half red wine and half Cream of Mushroom soup is real good). The liquid should be enough to cover the bottom of the pan to a depth of 1 to 2 inches if you cook it on the top of the stove, and maybe 3 or 4 inches if you cook it in the oven. The exact amount of liquid is up to you. Some people don't add any liquid at all. Personally, I like a lot of gravy--so do my friends. Figure on 45 minutes cooking per pound of meat. This is slow simmering, not boiling. About 45 to 60 minutes before the pot roast or stew is done, you may add any or all of the following vegetables: carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, parsnips, cauliflower, string beans, mushrooms. You may also add any form of seasoning, like a bay leaf, some thyme, caraway seeds, ginger, rosemary, chopped garlic, or whatever you have on your shelf. Of course use salt and pepper. To thicken the gravy, you use a few teaspoonfuls of flour. Don't just throw the flour in the pot; that makes lumps. About 20 minutes before the pot roast or stew is done, spoon out or pour off some of the juice, like half a cup. Put 2 or 3 tablespoons of flour in a small pan and slowly add the liquid to the flour, making a smooth paste, and gradually thinning it out over a low heat. The slowly pour the whole mixture back in the pot. Before you dish it up. taste the stuff and make whatever corrections you want to on the seasoning. Allow a hearty soup-bowlful per person. The perfect things to serve with pot roast or stew are shell macaroni or the kind of thin egg noodles that you're supposed to put in soup. Dumpling are a nice addition to stews and pot roasts (see page 49). Stew veal and lamb the same way. Marinated Pot Roast. You can marinate pot roast. Marinated pot roast can bee called 'beef al la mode' or sauerbraten.' Marinate in a glass jar or bowl or large casserole. Use a mild vinegar or wine, half a box of 'pickling spices,' 2 bay leaves, 2 sliced onions, 1/4 cup sugar and 17 peppercorns. Don't rub your eyes after counting the peppercorns. The marinade must cover the piece of meat completely. marinate in your icebox for at least two or three days--the longer the better--then cook as you would a pot roast, using the marinade as the liquid."
---Alice's Restaurant Cookbook, Alice May Brock [Random House:New York] 1969 (p. 58-59)

Related foods: Chinese Beggar's Chicken, French Daube, Basque Braised Oxtails, German Sauerbrauten & New England Boiled Dinner are all related to American Pot Roast.

What is braising & how old is the method?
"Braise a verb and also, let often, a noun, indicating a method of cooking with a small amount of liquid in a closed vessel. Some vegetables are braised, but the technique is used mainly for meat dishes.The term, derived from the French braiser', first came into use in English in the mid-18th century. Few other languages have a term with the same meaning; for example, there is no Italian or Spanish equivalent...Korma [is the] Middle Eastern and West Asian equivalent."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 92)

"By the fifteenth century braising had been developed. To make a dry stew for beef, the flesh with minced onions, cloves, mace and currants was enclosed in a glass vessel which was suspended inside a cauldron of boiling water over a low fire. (p. 86) The meat cookery of Georgian times included also braises and ragouts, both again of French origin, and both based on the principle of stewing meat slowly in good broth, and then adding a more highly seasoned sauce towards the end of the cooking time. The meat thus kept its own flavour to supply a contrast to that of the sauce, instead of being absorbed into the aroma of more strongly tasting seasonings which had been present throughout the period of cooking." (P. 102)
---Food and Drink in Britain: From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago Publishers:Chicago] 1973 & 1991.

What is a Dutch oven?
"The term "Dutch oven" as used here, refers to an American pot of European ancestry, a small, portable, cast-iron oven that as evolved to accommodate changing fuel sources since the eighteenth century. This is to distinguish it from the English use of the same term, which refers to what Americans call tin-reflecting ovens or side-wall fireplace brick ovens. The derivation of the term is similarly unclear, perhaps referring to legendary Dutch frugality (far less fuel required) or perhaps early Dutch expertise in casting iron, but it is probably an American designation. In any case, the American Dutch oven has been valued for its combination of steaming and baking, stewing, and braising. Eighteenth-century American Dutch ovens were designed for the hearth, where they were heated with glowing embers. The high rims of their heavy lids held the flowing fuel on the top. Additional heat was provided by piles of coals underneath, and the oven's three legs held it a a good height above the heat source. Dutch ovens hung over the heat from swinging bail handles or were maneuvered by C-shaped handles on their sides. They were made in different sizes--the smallest was simultaneously pot and oven, while the larger ones could also contain pans of food. American Dutch ovens can be traced to seventeenth-century Europe in such still-life paintings as Harmen Van Steenwyrk's Skillet and Game (1646)...An English version called the "bake kettle" varied, in that it was sometimes a round-bottomed, straight-sided kettle that hung covered over the heat and at other times was a flat-bottomed hanging kettle...These kettles were often found in remote European areas with little access to commercial bakeries or enough wood to fuel home brick ovens...American Dutch ovens were manufactured in the colonies in the eighteenth century--the Pine Grove Furnace (Pennsylvania) produced three sizes...By the mid- to late nineteenth century, early American manufacturers of cast-iron implements were producing variations of hearth Dutch ovens called "spiders" (frying pans) and ovens that retained their legs and high-rimmed heavy lids."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 416-7)

"Why "Dutch"? One reasonable explanation for the name is given by Louise Peet and Lenore Sater in Household Equipment, NY John Wiley, 1934, 1940. They wrote: "Dutch ovens were brought to America by the Pilgrims. As it is well known the Pilgrims spent some time in Holland before coming to America. The Mayflower was a tiny vessel and baggage limited. The Dutch oven could be used for such a variety of cookery that it took the place of several other pots and pans and was, therefore, a favorite utensil of the early settlers."...The word "Dutch" is sometimes used to indicate that something is a substitute for something else...a Dutch oven is a substitute for a built-in bake oven."
---300 Years of Kitchen Collectibles, Linda Campbell Franklin, [Krause Publications:Iola WI] 5th edition, 2003 (p. 573)

Recommended reading: Dutch Ovens Chronicled: Their Use in the United States/John G. Ragsdale

Osso buco
The practice of braising tough cuts of meat in order to make them tender is ancient. Historically, this technique is typically employed by the poorer/peasant classes, whose pocketbooks could not afford choicer cuts of meat. Osso buco follows this tradition. Food historians generally attribute osso bucco type recipes to Milan and neighboring northern Italian regions, where veal marrow bones figured prominently on local tables since ancient Roman days. They do not place an exact date or credit a specific person for "inventing" this dish. A survey of Italian cookbooks confirms there are several variations for making osso bucco. Some require tomatoes; others state the tradtional recipe does not include these "New World" foods. Tomatoes entered southern European cuisine in the 16th century.

What is Osso Buco?
"Ossobuco. "Pierced bone," Braised shank, usually veal, with a rich sauce of tomato and onion. It is a specialty of Lombardy, where it is usually served with gremolata and risotto alla milanese. The bone marrow is considered a delicacy, and a small, long spoon is commonly placed on the table with the dish so that the marrow may be drawn out. From the Latin 'os'."
---The Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1998 (p. 170)

"Ossobuco, cut from the shank of veal, is a classic of Milanese cuisine. This famous dish probably had its origins in a farmhouse during the nineteenth century and almost certainly did not originate with tomatoes, a New World discovery which I believe was added by restaurant chefs. It came into its own in the many osterie of Milan...The taste of veal as it melts away from the bone, the richness of the marrow, and the flavors of the gremolada--a seasoning made of lemon zest, garlic, parsley, and anchovies--is truly memorable. A special little spoon is used by the Milanese gourmet for digging out the succulent marrow from the bone; you can use a demitasse or baby spoon. Ossobuco is traditionally served on a large platter surrounded by risotto alla milanese..."
---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow and Company:New York] 1999 (p. 92)

"358. Osso Buco (Braised Veal Shankes)

The preparation of thsi dish should be left to the Milanese, since it is a specialty of Lombard. I will describe it in the most straightforward manner possible, lest I should be ridiculed. The 'osso buco is a meaty piece of bone with a hole in it, taken from the end of the shank or shoulder of a milk-fed calf. It is stewed in such a way that it becomes delicate and tasty. Using as many pieces as there are people to be fed, place the veal shanks on top of a mixture of chopped onion, celery, carrot, and a bit of butter; season wtih salt and pepper. When the veal has absorbed the flavors of the seasonings, add another bit of butter rolled in flour to give it color and to thicken the sauce, and fishich cooking with water and tomato sauce or tomato paste. Strain the sauce, skim the fat, and put the shanks back on the fire. Season with lemon peel cut into tiny pieces in a pinch of chopped parsley berfore you remove it from the fire."
---Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, Pellegrino Artusi, translated by Murtha Baca and Stephen Sartarelli, introduction by Lorenza De'Medici [Marsilio Publishers:New York] 1997 (p. 266-267)

Food historians confirm spicy dried meat products pastrami (pastourma, pastirma, basturma) were enjoyed by ancient peoples. Recipes, as choices of meat, varied according to place, taste, and period. Pastrami is one of many meat products preserved by ancient wind-dried methods. There are many variations. It is generally associated with Central European countries, most notably Romania. Pastrami was introduced to America by Romanian-Jews immigrating in the late 19th century. The USA epicenter is New York City.

"Pastrami is a recent arrival in the English language...However, the product has a long history. The name probably derives through Yiddish from Romanian or Armenian pastrama, a type of wind-dried beef. Lesley Chamberlain (1989) says that" Wind-dried beef, pastrama, of Armenian origin, was observed to be a much-loved food among the poor [of Romania]. A nineteenth century traveler described it as thin, black, leather-like pieces of meat dried and browned in the sun, and with salt and squashed flies'.' Such products were widespread in the Levant and the Balkans. Pastirma, dried meat often seasoned with garlic and cumin, is the Turkish version, and it is under numerous variations of the Turkish name, e.g. pasturma in Bulgaria, that it is known in the Balkan countries. Maria Kaneva-Johnson (1995) explains that the meat can come from lamb, goat, calf or young water buffalo, cut into the thinnest possible spices and eaten uncooked or lightly grilled as meze'. She remarks that a version cooked with a paste of paprika, fenugreek or cumin, and salt (to protect and add piquancy to the meat) is a specialty of the Anatolian town of Kayseri (Caesarea in Roman times). The version which has become a feature of New York Jewish cuisine and is used for the famous pastrami on rye sandwich is adapted from these origins, but prepared in a somewhat different manner, which includes steaming the meat."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 579)

Turkish roots
"Though foreshadowed in earlier Aegean sources, yoghurt appears to have become a much more significant part of the diet in Ottoman times. The same may be said of dried meat, pastirma, which according to Michael Baudier was already a prized delicacy in his time."
---Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 1996 (p. 200-201)

" was in Byzantine times that dried meat first became a delicacy in the region--a fore-runner of the pastirma of modern Turkey."
---Flavours of Byzantium, Andrew Dalby [Prospect Books:Devon] 2003 (p. 63)

Balkan heritage
"There are many similar kinds of salted wind-dried meat to be found, such as the Armenian pastrami made with beef, described by a nineteenth-century traveler as "thin, black, leather-like pieces of meat dried and browned in the sun, and with salt and squashed flies." Turkish pastirma is seasoned with garlic and cumin, while pasturma is made in the Balkans from lamb, goat, calf, or young buffalo. The more recent and highly popular pastrami, eaten in New York Jewish restaurants, evolved from this group of cured meats. It was brought to America by Jews from Rumania and other eastern and central European countries..."
---Pickled, Potted and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World, Sue Shepard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 74)

"Pasterma (Albanian), pastrma (Bosnian, Macedonian, Serbo-Croat), pastruma (Bulgarian), pastourma (Greek), pastrama (Romanian), from Turkish pastirma, is dry-salted air-dried fillet of beef (in Turkish bel pastirma), or fillets take from lamb, goat, calf or young water buffalo, cut into the thinnest possible slices and eaten uncooked or lightly grilled as meze. A specialty of the town of Kayseri (Caesarea of Roman times) in Anatolia, is pasturma coated with a paste of paprika, fenugreek or cumin and salt which protects and adds piquancy to the meat. The American pastrami, the cured, smoked underside of beef, is from the same linguistic root."
---The Melting Pot: Balkan Food and Cookery, Maria Kanefa-Johnson [Prospect Books:Devon] 1999 (p. 62)

Armenian culinary tradition
"Basturma is the Armenian name for dried slices of lean beef pressed, cured in salt, and coated with a spicy mix called chaman. Unlike similar cured meats known in other cultures as pastrami and pastrama, the meat for basturma is neither cooked nor smoked. Dry curing with salt prevents bacteria growth and makes basturma safe for consumption Basturma might be described by a Westerner as a soft beef jerky. It's a great source of protein although, like so many cured meats, its sodium content is considerable. Basturma-making takes weeks and consists of four stages...There are two schools of thought about basturma's lineage. The first points to the practice of medieval Central Asian nomads, who supposedly would stick beefsteaks under their saddles before riding off to war...Food writers seem to prefer this version because it suggests an exotic primitivism in the origins of the dish. The second points to the city of Kayseri in Capadoccia, in modern Turkey. In Byzantine times, the city was called Caesarea Mazaca. There and throughout Byzantium, the technique called pastron was an accepted salt-curing tradition. Turks reintroduced pastron as pastirma. Naturally, Turks prefer the Central-Asian, nomadic version of basturma's origins in their narratives about national cuisine. In turn, the Greeks point to the possibility of Byzantine roots. Armenian claims to basturma are based on the fact that they were known as the most skillful basturma-makers in the Middle East. In Kayseri, the Mecca of basturma, Armenians had a monopoly on the basturma business. An Armenian name, Basturmajian, is living proof of historical meat-processing skills. In Ottoman times, tax collectors often assigned descriptive surnames according to the trades and businesses of the taxpayers, an easy way to remember who had paid their levies. In the modern-day market economy of Armenia, basturma is manufactured in big-scale, privately-owned meat processing plants...In Soviet Armenia, basturma was made in private homes by repatriated Armenians who had immigrated to Armenia from the Middle East in the 1940s and 1950s. They would sell it from their homes with extreme caution since any private business activity was considered illegal by the communist government."
---Armenian Food: Fact, Fiction & Folklore, Irina Petrosian and David Underwood [Yerkir Publishing:Bloomington IN] 2006 (p. 112-113)

How to make pastrami? 1938 Kosher & 1971 Armenian.

Food historians confirm paupiettes (aka beef olives, rouladen, involtini) were known to 17th century cooks. These neat rolled, stuffed meat dishes were thought to have resembled small, headless birds. Hence the name. Traditional paupiettes are made with beef and veal.

"Paupiette. A thin slices of meat spread with a layer of forecemeat and then rolled up. Paupiettes may be barded with thin rashers (slices) of fat bacon and tied up with a string or secured with small wooden cocktail sticks (toothpicks). They can be braised in a little liquid or fried. Veal is most often used, but beef, lamb and turkey escalopes, or even slices of calves' sweetbreads, are often suitable. Paupiettes can also be made with cabbage (the leaves are blanched, stuffed in various ways, then rolled up, tied and braised) or with fish (thin slices of tuna, or fillets of sole, whiting or anchovy, are stuffed, rolled up and cooked in stock.)."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 856)

"A paupiette is essentially a slice of meat rolled round a savoury stuffing and then braised or fried. The meat used can by lamb or beef (paupiettes de boeuf are the French equivalents of English beef olives'.) But it is most usually veal. The word is a diminutive form derived ultimately from Old French poup, fleshy part', a descendant of Latin pulpa, pulp'. A common synonym for it in French is oiseau sans tete, literally headless bird'."
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 245-6)

"Beef olives, familiar in England, originated in medieval times, when cooks would take slices of beef or veal (or mutton), spread them with a stuffing of, say, breadcrumbs, onion, and herbs, and braise them. When they call the result olives', this was a mistake; a corruption of the name of the dish aloes' or allowes'. This came from the Old French alou, meaning lark; the idea was that the small stuffed rolls looked something like small birds, especially ones which had lost their heads in being prepared for the table. In this connection it is interesting that, although the standard French word for these rolls is paupiettes, there is an alternative name, alouettes sans tete, literally 'larks without heads'. Also, in English they are still often called veal birds'. Corresponding terms in other countries are: Italy, involtini; Poland, zrazy; Czechoslovakia, ptachky; and Germany, Rouladen."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 69)

"Beef olives--slices of beef rolled up round a stuffing of, say, bread-crumbs, onions, and herbs, and braised--have not direct connection with olives. The term olive arose in the sixteenth century by folk etymology--the process of reformulating a less familiar word along the lines of a more familiar one--from an earlier aloes, allowes, or alaunder: Item, all chopped onions, boile them clean, water before they go to any work, except in alowes,' Gode Kokery (a fourteenth-century cookery book). This was a borrowing from Old French alou, 'lark' (modern French for 'lark' is alouette), a term applied to these small meat rolls on account of their supposed resemblance to small birds, particularly headless ones prepared for the table. The standard French word for this dish is paupiette, but an alternative is alouettes sans tete, literally 'larks without heads'. From the earliest times, mutton and veal had been used in the recipe as well as beef )Gervase Markham, in his English Housewife (1615), gives a recipe for 'Olives of Veal'), but gradually beef came to predominate--it is the meat specified by Elizabeth Raffald in the eighteenth century and Mrs. Beeton in the nineteenth century."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 25)


[1615] Markham
"To roast olives of veal.

You shall take a leg of veal and cut the flesh from the bones, and cut it out into thin long slices; then take sweet herbs and the white parts of scallions, and chop them well together with the yolks of eggs, then roll it up within the slices of veal, and so spit them and roast them; then boil verjuice, butter, sugar, cinnamon, currants, and sweet herbs together, and, being seasoned with a little salt, serve the olives up upon that sauce with salt cast over them."
---The English Housewife, Gervase Markham, originally published in 1615, edited by Michael R. Best [McGill-Queens University Press:Montreal] 1994 (p. 86)

[1769] Raffald
"Beef Olives

Cut slices off a rump of beef about six inches long and half an inch thick. Beat them with a paste pin and rub them over with the yolk of an egg, a little pepper, salt, and beaten mace, the crumbs of a half a penny loaf, two ounces of marrow sliced fine, a handful of parsley chopped small and the out rind of half a lemon grated. Strew them all over your steaks and roll them up, skewer them quite close, and set them before the fire to brown. Then put them into a tossing pan with a pint of gravy, a spoonful of catchup, the same of browning, a teaspoonful of lemon pickle, thicken it with a little butter rolled in flour. Lay round forcemeat balls, mushrooms, or the yolks of hard eggs." ---The Experienced English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald, originally published in 1769, with an introduction by Roy Shipperbottom [(p. 60)

[1861] Beeton
Beef Olives

I. 650. INGREDIENTS. 2 lbs. of rump-steak, 1 egg, 1 tablespoonful of minced savoury herbs, pepper and salt to taste, 1 pint of stock, No. 105, 2 or 3 slices of bacon, 2 tablespoonfuls of any store sauce, a slight thickening of butter and flour. Mode. Have the steaks cut rather thin, slightly beat them to make them level, cut them into 6 or 7 pieces, brush over with egg, and sprinkle with herbs, which should be very finely minced; season with pepper and salt, and roll up the pieces tightly, and fasten with a small skewer. Put the stock in a stewpan that will exactly hold them, for by being pressed together, they will keep their shape better; lay in the rolls of meat, cover them with the bacon, cut in thin slices, and over that put a piece of paper. Stew them very gently for full 2 hours; for the slower they are done the better. Take them out, remove the skewers, thicken the gravy with butter and flour, and flavour with any store sauce that may be preferred. Give one boil, pour over the meat, and serve. Time. 2 hours. Average cost, 1s. per pound. Sufficient for 4 or 6 persons. Seasonable at any time.

II. (Economical.)
651. INGREDIENTS. The remains of underdone cold roast beef, bread crumbs, 1 shalot finely minced, pepper and salt to taste, gravy made from the beef bones, thickening of butter and flour, 1 tablespoonful of mushroom ketchup. Mode. Cut some slices of underdone roast beef about half an inch thick; sprinkle over them some bread crumbs, minced shalot, and a little of the fat and seasoning; roll them, and fasten with a small skewer. Have ready some gravy made from the beef bones; put in the pieces of meat, and stew them till tender, which will be in about 1 1/4 hour, or rather longer. Arrange the meat in a dish, thicken and flavour the gravy, and pour it over the meat, when it is ready to serve. Time. 1 1/2 hour. Average cost, exclusive of the beef, 2d. Seasonable at any time." SOURCE: Mrs. Beeton's Household Cookery

[1907] Escoffier
"Paupiettes of veal
are made from thin slices of veal approximately 12 cm (5 in) long by 5 cm (2 in) wide cut from either the cushion or under cushion. After having lightly flattened and trimmed the slices, cover them with a layer of forcemeat in keeping with their preparation, roll up into the shape of a cork, wrap in a thin layer of salt pork fat and tie them round with thread so that they keep their shape while cooking. When their garnish comprises tartlet cases, half tomatoes or sections of cucumber or aubergine, the Paupiettes should, for preference, be arranged on these items for service...In addition to their use as a dish in their own right, Paupietes of veal may be used as an extra item fro such garnishes as Financiere, Milanaise, Napolitaine, fresh Noodles, Lasagnes etc. When prepared for this purpose they should be made only half the usual size or in some cases may be made even smaller."
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier, first translation into English by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann of Le Guide Culinaire in its entirety [John Wiley & Sons:New York] 1979 (p. 328-329)
[NOTE: Escoffier offers 10 variations: Algerienne, Belle-Helene, Brabanconne, Champignons, Fonbtages, Hussarde, Madeleine, Marie-Louise, Portugaise and with Various Garnishes.]

[1927] Madame Saint-Ange
"Stuffed Veal Scallops (Les Paupiettes)
. A very old dish, which can be found in cookbooks dating back more than a century and a half, referred to as pouiettes, polpettes, or 'headless birds.' It means a ribbon of raw veal meat spread with stuffing on one side and then rolled up on itself to make a large cylinder. By extension, you can apply this procedure to beef, and even fillet of sole or other fish. But when it was invented, and for a long time afterward, it was prepared with veal. Braising is used to cook the paupiettes. The accompaniment is usually a puree of sorrel, chicory, spinach, or fresh or dried beans, etc., and noodles or macaroni with tomato sauce, on which you serve the paupiettes. You can also accompany them with a jardiniere garnish, including asparagus tips, flageolet beans, etc., In short, use any of the garnishes that go well with braised meats. These paupiettes are made from a long scallop weighing about 125 grams (4 1/2 ounces) and, when possible, cut from a fillet of veal. If not, take it from the round roast. They must be at least 15-17 centimeters (6-6 1/2 inches) long and only 6-7 centimeters (2 1/2-2 3/4 inches) wide: however, it is often difficult to get these from the butcher, who is more used to cutting ordinary scallops for sauteing. But if the scallop for the paupiette is not thin and very long, it is very difficult to roll up once you have stuffed it, and the stuffing will come out while cooking and spoil the look of the paupiette. Do not make the mistake of thinking that a simple sausage meat will give the same results as a stuffing that has been specially prepared. Do not take off the bacon strip that is tied around each paupiette while cooking: this nourishes the meat and prevents it from browning. A paupiette, like a fricandeau and a grenadin, must retain a light color, and the meat should be as tender on the outside as on the inside. Given the thinness of the meat, it could dry and harden if it browns. Furthermore the paupiettes are colored by the final glazing."
---La Bonne Cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange, translated and with an introduction by Paul Aratow [Ten Speed Press:Berkeley CA] 2005 (p. 279-280)
[NOTE: Complete instructions, a illustration of prepared paupiette follow. Happy to scan send this and/or original French text.]

[1961] James Beard
"Veal Birds with Sausage (Serves 6)

6 slices of veal
3/4 cup of sausage meat
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of broth or white wine
1 onion stuck with 2 cloves
1 additional bay leaf
Sprig of parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
The veal slices should be about 6 by 4 inches and fairly thin. Buy larger slices for people with hearty appetites. Spread the meat out on a table top or working surface and sprinkle the slices lightly with flour. In the center of each place a few spoonfuls of sausage meat. Add a little freshly ground black pepper, a bit of crumbled by leaf and roll the slices up. Fasten them with toothpicks of small metal broth or white wine, the onion stuck with cloves, a bay leaf, a sprig of parsley and salt. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Turn the rolls once during the cooking. Serve veal birds on buttered rice with apple slices sauteed in butter and glazed with a little sugar sprinkled over them. Sliced tomatoes and onions are a good choice for the salad course to follow."
---The James Beard Cookbook, in collaboration with Isabel E. Callvert [E.P. Dutton & Co.:New York] 1961 (p. 278)
[NOTE: Variations offered in this book: With Ham & With Dill.]

Portable and tasty, this Native American energy bar provided sustenance for travelers. The primary meat was American bison (buffalo).

"Most land travelers, except in the great deserts or the frozen north, expected to live off the terrain, but took a store of provisions with they by way of insurance. Such provisions had to be light and compact when the traveler moved on his own feet and was his own beast of burden, and from native Americans, north and south, the European explorer learned the virtues of two sustaining and lightweight meat products, pemmican and charqui [jerky]. Pemmican was ideally suited to the chilly north. It was made by drying thinly sliced lean meat, usually for one of the larger game animals, over a fire or in the sun and wind. The dried meat was pounded to shreds and mixed thoroughly with an almost equal quantity of melted fat, some marrow from the bones and a few handfuls of wild cherries, and then packed in rawhide sacks that were tightly sewn up and sealed with tallow. Pemmican's name came from a Cree Indian word for fat, and its high fat content made it a valuable source of warmth and energy. It was pemmican that sustained the fur trader Alexander Mackenzie during his pioneering journey of 1793, when he became the first European to cross North America from coast to coast. Half a century later Arctic explorers were to be furnished with a refined version in cans, scientifically prepared by Mackenzie's fellow Scot and successor in Canadian exploration, Sir John Richardson. Richardson found that if the neat were slowly dried over an oak fire it improved pemmican's keeping qualities, and that first-grade currants or sugar made an acceptable substitute for wild cherries."
---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers Press:New York] 1973, 1988 (p. 228-229)

"Pemmican is the traditional iron rations of the North American Indians, made of dried buffalo or other meat pounded to a paste, mixed with rat and often fruit, especially cranberries, and shaped into small cakes. Carried on hunting trips, it could last almost indefinitely. The term has been take over for a small but rather less ethnic mixture of beef and dried fruit, used as emergency rations by explorers, soldiers, etc., in the Arctic. In origin it is a Cree word, pimikan, based on pimii, 'grease,fat.'"
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 250)

"Pemmican. A form of hard, preserved meat, used by the N. American Indians...The meat, from buffalo, deer, or other animals, was air dried in strips until quite hard, then pounded to a powder and mixed with melted fat. It was usual to mix berries, especially cranberries, but also chokeberries. The resulting stiff paste was packed in skins, inside which it dried to a hard, chewy consistency. Pemmican made in this way keeps mainly because it is dry...Salt played no part in the original drying process, though it might be added later for flavour. The berries were probably also added for flavour, but had a useful effect because of their content of benzoic acid, a natural preservative, which represses the growth of micro-organisms. The fat also helps preservation by sealing the meat from the air. The skin wrapping is not a sterile container because the food is not cooked in it--in fact, the only heating is the melting of the fat--but at least keeps the contents clean. Pemmican was adapted by white explorers to suit their own needs and tastes. In the 1820s the Arctic explorer Sir John Richardson used the malting equipment of a brewery to make pemmican. The meat was dried in the malting kiln and ground in the malt mill. It was mixed with rendered suet, currants, and sugar, and packed in tin canisters. Soon pemmican was being canned in a conventional manner, which safeguarded its preservation and allowed it to be made in a slightly less dry and tough form. It could be chewed as it came, from the can, or made into a primitive stew. Canned pemmican remained a staple food of explorers and mountaineers."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition edited by Tom Jaine [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2007 (p. 594-595)

"It seems strange that the original Native American pemmican is almost never mentioned in the diaries and records of migrants on the western wagon trails...Despite the fact that they often took mountain men as guides during the summer months, the godly and respectable migrant seemed reluctant to eat Indian and wild men's food, sometimes with disastrous consequences. The value of the meat in pemmican was in its drying, which concentrated and preserved it, making it portable and lasting. Drying is probably the earliest and simplest way to preserve food, and it is possible that man was drying food even before he cooked it."
---Pickled, Potted & Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Processing Changed the World, Sue Shepard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 30)

How to make pemmican?
Native American cultures relied on oral traditions for preserving information. Europeans were the first to record in print cooking techniques & recipes.

Sioux recipe described by Meriwether Lewis, Lewis and Clark Expedition:
"After the meat is dried, it is pounded until pulverized and then placed in a mixing vessel. Various kinds of berries might be added to improve flavor, and as a counterpoint of sharpness against the next ingredient. Marrow from bones is melted until it reaches a liquid state, the high heat acting as a purifier for the grease. The sanitized fat is then poured over the meat particles, allowed to cool into a stiff paste, and then packed inside a rawhide sack. Another layer of pure fat is applied, much like sealing wax or paraffin is used to cap preserves, and this layer forms another anaerobic barrier that stretches the storage time."
---Feasting and Fasting with Lewis & Clark: A Food and Social History of the Early 1800s, Leandra Zim Holland [Old Yellowstone Publishing:Emigrant MT] 2003 (p. 12)

"Pemmican. --One of the most useful applications of buffalo meat consists in the preparation of pemmican, an article of food of the greatest importance, from its portability and nutritious qualities. This is prepared by cutting the lean meat into thin slices, exposing it to the heat of the sun or fire, and, when dry, pounding it to a powder. It is then mixed with an equal weight of buffalo suet, and stuffed into bladders. Sometimes venison is used instead of buffalo beef. Sir John Richardson, while preparing for his Arctic Expedition, found it necessary to carry with him pemmican from England. This he prepared by taking a round or buttock of beef cut into thin steaks, from which the fat and membranous parts were pared away, and dried in a kiln until the fibres of the meat became friable. It was then ground in a malt-mill, and mixed with nearly an equal weight of beef suet or lard. This completed the preparation of the plain pemmican; but to a portion raisins were added, and another portion was sweetened with sugar. These latter changes were subsequently highly approved of by the voyagers. The pemmican was then placed in tin canisters and well rammed down, and after the cooling and contraction of the mass, these were filled up with melted lard through a small hole left in the end, which was then covered with a piece of tin and soldered up."
---The Market Assistant, Thomas Farrington De Voe


A hardy, concentrated food, nutritious and balanced. one-third of a pound is a meal in itself.
10 lbs. jerky (lean beef or venison, dried)
2 lbs. seedless raisins
1 lb sugar
5 lbs. rendered suet (fat) Grind meat finely. If damp, heat slightly to evaporate moisture. Mix thoroughly meat, raisins, and sugar. Melt fat at lowest temperature and mix with meat. Pack into silk bags (bologna style). Tie well and dip in hot parrafine several times for protective coating. Pemmican will keep for months if properly handled. Amount of fat is increased or decreased according to climate. The colder the weather, the more fat required. On an entire lean meat diet in the cold north a man would starve to death. Pemmican may be eaten raw, fried or boiled. is best cooked in soup thickened with flour." ---Sunset's Grubstake Cook Book, Charles M. Mugler [Sunset Magazine, Lane Publishing Co.:San Francisco CA] 1934(p. 63)

Related food? Jerky.

Pigeon & Squab
Food historians generally agree humans have been consuming pigeons (doves, quails, snipes, & other small game birds) from prehistoric times forward. Readily available, economically viable, and culinarily versatile, these birds graced tables across all socio-economic lines. Up until the 20th century. Today's mainstream American diners do not embrace pigeon on the menu. Nor do we find these birds in our supermarkets or serve them at home. But? We are intrigued by contemporary upscale restauranteurs enticing us to try delicious bites of squab. Some diners are surprised to learn there is a connection. This may be a classic case of try it, you'll like it. Ask what it is later. Pigeon eggs are considered a delicacy in China. Bastilla is a Moroccan pigeon pie. In some cultures, pigeons symbolise faithfulness.

"Because humans seem to have had omnivorous ancestors, birds were probably a significant item in the human diet well before historic time. Many kinds of birds can be caught readily, and young adults are generally considered to be superior fare...Additionally, the eggs of many kinds of birds are highly prized...In the case of pigeons, the rock pigeon (Columba livia) is known to have frequented regions inhabited by our ancestors more than 300,000 years ago...The family Columbidae is widely distributed...There are some 300 kinds of pigeons known to biologists, and many have been and still are used for food by humans worldwide. The record of dietary use is, however, without detail for most such species, as for example, doves...The rock pigeon has a history in part coincident with that of humans for at least the past 12,000 years. The earliest information is of two kinds--the organic, subfossil, bony remains of pigeons in midden heaps in caves and the slightly later cultural record of human-pigeon long as humans relied on catching wild pigeons--probably squabs from nests--pigeon would have been merely an occasional item of diet. Only after pigeons were domesticated and relegated to a life of confinement in cages did they make regular appearance on the table. The first such attempts are not recorded, but rock pigeons are readily domesticated...and as the following discussion shows, this practice doubtless occurred relatively early. The earliest evidence of domestication has been found in Sumerian statuary and cuneiform lists; in the remains at a funerary feast in a tomb at Saqqara, Egypt; in Sumerian culture, which includes a version of the Mesopotamian Flood Myth featuring a pigeon...It is not clear at what time pigeon husbandry on such a large scale was found in Europe, but substantial columbariums were in operation in medieval times...In post-Renaissance Europe, pigeon keeping was, to some extent, restricted to the privileged classes of society--to manor house lords and members of the clergy...Many large flocks were maintained, and recent estimates of numbers of dovecote pigeons in England and France in the sixteenth century run to the millions...Dovecote pigeonry in the Americas was introduced by settlers from England, France, and Germany to early seventeenth-century Nova Scotia and Virginia...Pigeons appear in the world's first cookbook, which is attributed to Apicius, a first-century Roman...If we judge only by the frequency of its pigeon recipes, which number 2 against 18 for chicken, then it would seem that the ascendancy of the latter in human diets was already marked in Mediterranean Europe by the first century..The recipes for pigeon are once dominated by raisins, honey, and dates, suggesting that perhaps the more pronounced flavor of pigeon is better able than chicken to emerge from such sugary dishes."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] Volume One, 2000 (p. 561-564)

"Pigeons were probably first domesticated in Pharaonic Egypt, and were at least occasionally used in sacrifice and in food from the second dynasty onward. The fully domesticated birds were kept in pens. Pigeons could be force-fed to produce a fatter and better-tasting bird. The method is described by Cato, writing in Italy in the mid second century BC, but Cato assumes that the young bird will be taken from the wild, perhaps implying that domesticated pigeons had not then been introduced to Italy. In late Hellenistic times, not only in Egypt but also in Italy, dovecotes were introduced where flocks of semi-wild pigeons could be kept. Dovecotes are still a feature of the Egyptian rural landscape...A prolific breeder and a source of fine food, the pigeon is characterized by Varro as a highly profitable investment."
---Food in the Ancient World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 260)

"The domesticated pigeon, Columba livia, is belived to be descended from the rock pigeon or rock dove, which is found wild today from the Atlantic shores of North Africa and Europe to India...The earliest representation of the pigeon, in Mesopotamia, dates to about 4500 B.C. Though evidence of the bird remains scanty until classical times, some scholars believe that it may have been the earliest of domesticated birds. In ancient times, the pigeon probalby enjoyed a loose relationship with man simialr to that found in parts of the Near East today, with humans providing a pigeon breeeding place and benefitting from the dung they collected for fertilizer and from the young birds they took for food...Over time the relationship would have developed from one of symbiosis to one of control and full domestication. The domesticated pigeon appeared in Inda at some unknown early date, and Indians probalby carried it to Malaysia, where one of its names derives from Sanskrit...From Malaysia, it may have been carried by sea to China, or it may have been carried overland from India or the Near East. In either case, pigeson were being kept in China by the sixth century A.D., and may have been there much ...The domesticated pigeon (ko) has a many-sided position in traditional Chinese life which should be considered before we turn to its use as food. One should perhaps note first that Chinese farmers and others keep large numbers of them, of many breeds...for food, racing, or other purposes....Pigeion, though not a 'great dish' like duck, was also served as a delicacy at marriage banquets and on other festive occasions, and was offered daily at reseaturants, prepared in a variety of ways. Examples of recipes...many identified as Cantoneses, are: 'Broth of Pigeon,' 'Fried Pigeons,' 'Crisp Squab,' 'Deep-Fried Red-Cooked Pigeon,' 'Minced Squab with Oyster Sauce,' 'Deep-Fried Aromatic Pigeions,' 'lemon Squab,' 'Red-Cooked Lemon Pigeon,' 'South of the River Pigeon and Shrimp Cakes,' 'Casserole of Mushroomn Squabs,' 'Briased Pigeon in Fruit Juice,' and 'Steamed Pigeons.' Though some of these have simple names, they may in fact be gourmet dishes...The braised pigeon dish is Cantonese, a savory 'semi-soup' made with salt and soy sauce as well as lemon juice, orange juice, apple sauce, tomato, chutney, and chive or scallions...Pigeon flesh is considered both 'heating' and strengthening, and may be taken as a remedy for cold diseases and given to women during pregnancy and after birth...For medicinal uses, the Chinese prefer white pigeions; their excrement...serves as an anthelmintic and antiscorbutic."
---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederic J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL] 1989 (p. 306-308)

"Pigeon. The Buddhist Jataka tales refer to the use of pigeons as food as does Sushrutha. A Sanskrit work that originates form Assam, the Kamarupa Tatra (c. AD 600-800), specially commends to the upper classes the meat of the duck, pigeon, tortoise and wild boar. Domingo Paes notes pigeons on sale in the markets of Vijayanagar in the sixteenth century AD. Writing in Bengal in about AD 1640, Father Sebastian Manrique notes however that 'pigeons are not generally eaten, as being of a blue colour they are held sacred to Shiva, but does are generally eaten.'"
---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 187-188)

"Pigeon. (1. Wood Pigeon--Columba palumbus. 2. Stock Dove-C. oenas. 3. Rock Dove-C. livia) The above are the three most common varieties of pigeon found in the British Isles, but the Turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur) is a summer visitor to England. Related species are found almost all over the world. The good pigeon is extremely good eating, especially when it is young. Then it is known as squab...Probably the most delicious way to serve a tender young bird is to roast it, but the old pigeon can only be made succulent in the casserole or stew pan. Allow 1/2 pigeon per person. Pigeon eggs are considered a delicacy in China, and are sometimes served poached in a soup of bamboo shoots, celery and chicken."
---Game Cooking: A Collection of Recipes with a Dictionary of Rare Game, Theodora Fitzgibbon [Andre Deutsch:London] 1963 (p. 116-117)
[NOTE: Recipes for Roast Pigeon stuffed with almonds and raisins, Pigeon with Artichokes or Celery, Grilled Pigeon with Sauce Remoulade, Pigeon en Casserole, Pigeon with Cherries and Sour Cream, Braised Stuffed Pigeons, Pigeons and Red Cabbage, Pigeons with Olives, Chinese Fried Squab, Chinese Minced Pigeon, Pigeon and Water Chestnuts, Braised Pigeon Eggs, Poached Pigeon Eggs and Boiled Pigeon Eggs follow.]

Pigeons in the USA
"One of the most important small birds on nineteenth-century tables was the pigeon. Most cook books contained directions for trussing and cooking these birds. Pigeon was eaten in every conceivable way--roasted, boiled, braised, broiled, stewed, and fricasseed. Pigeons were often stuffed before roasting and served with special sauces. Pigeons were also potted, dried, and pickled for future use. During some times of the year, pigeon was the most common food in many Midwestern and southeastern areas of America. The most colorful and common of these birds was the passenger pigeon...Throughout the nineteenth century, these birds were caught in rural areas and shipped by the millions to Pennsylvania and upper New York. Because the supply was so abundant, passenger pigeons made inexpensive food for the poor; leftovers were given to hogs."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] Volume 1, 2004 (p. 548)

Our survey of historic American newspapers [ProQuest Historic] confirms recipes & references for pigeon and squab were common in the 19th century. Menu (bill of fare) delicacy references appear most concentrated from the second half of the 19th century to the first quarter of the 20th. This survey also confirms squab remains a popular menu item in finer restaurants. Indeed, today squab is sometimes found on upscale restaurant menus. Historic century pigeon recipes published in USA cookbooks courtesy of Michigan State University's Feeding America digital cookbook collection, reveals several methods of preparation and serving. For details on each cookbook cited below, click the title (top of each page).

[1803] Pigeon Pie
[1803] To Fricassee Pigeon
[1830] Pigeon cooking directions (potted, stewed, roasted, etc.)
[1839] Pigeon notes & various recipes
[1840] Pigeon Dumplings or Pudding
[1845] Stewed Pigeons (also Broiled Pigeons & Roast Pigeons)
[1864] Roasted Pigeon
[1877] Cutlets of Quails or of Pigeons
[1880] Pigeons in Jelly
[1884] Potted Pigeons (also Braised Pigeons)
[1885] Pigeon Pie, Very Nice (Creole recipe)
[1893] Pigeon Rotis (French method)
[1914] Hato Shiro (Stewed Pigeon, Japanese recipe)
[1919] Pigeon Surprise (Italian dish)
[1919] Pigeon Soup (Jewish recipe)
Global recipe sampler
Kenneth Lo's Encyclopedia of Chinese Cooking [1979] offers recipes for Red-Cooked Lemon Pigeon, Deep-Fried Pigeon, Braised Pigeon in Fruit Juice, Deep-Fried Aromatic Pigeons, Steamed Pigeons and Casserole of Pigeons with Mushrooms (p. 253-256). Greg and Lucy Malouf's Artichoke to Za'atar: Modern Middle Eastern Food [2008] offers recipes for Little Pigeon Bisteeya, Pigeon stock, Pigeon Stuffed with Cracked-wheat Pilaf, and Pigeon Tagine with Dates and Ginger (various pages, check index). Claudia Roden's A Book of Middle Eastern Food [1972] describes Hamam Meshwi/Grilled Pigeons (p. 199, no recipe). Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery [London, 1875] offers recipes for Pigeons, Pigeons a la St. Menehould, Braised Pigeons with Mushrooms, Broiled Pigeons, Compote of Pigeons, Pigeon Curry, Pigeon Cutlets, Pigeons en Papillotes, Pigeons en Surprise, Pigeon Fricandau, Fricasseed Pigeons, Fried Pigeons, Pigeon Galantine, Pigeons in a Mould of Jelly, Jugged Pigeons, Pate Chaude of Pigeons, Pigeon Pie, Piquant Pigeons, Pigeon Pudding, Pupton of Pigeons, Pigeon Ragout, Roast Pigeon, Pigeon served with Water-Cresss, Pigeon Soup, Steweed Pigeons, Stuffed Pigeons, Trussed Pigeons, Vol-au-vent of Pigeons, and Pigeons with Rice and Parmesean (p. 559-566). Escoffier's Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery [1903] offers 35 recipes for Pigeonneaux [squab].

Pigeon symolism
"...the pigeon is admired for the affection and care it shows to its mate and offspring. Thus to the Chinese it is symbolic of long life, faithfulness, family love and marital fidelity...which recalls its position as a sacred symbol of love and fertility in the Mediterranean, Near East, and India from ancient times onward...The pigeon's sacred role has led various Old World peoples to reject its flesh as food (i.e. many Moslem groups, Ethiopian Christians, and Orthodox Russians in Tsarist times)...the Arabs and Persians consider pigeon and pigeon eggs to be aphrodesiacs."
---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederic J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL] 1989 (p. 307-308)
Columba, a traditional Easter cake served in Italy, is shaped like a pigeon or dove.]

What is "Squab?"
A very young
pigeon. "Pigeonneau," as it's known in France, is a delicacy. Tender, tasty and delicious, squab is a delicious alternative traditional small poultry. NOTE: squab served in upscale restaurants is not randomly harvested from city rooftops & windowsills. If you are concerned about health issues/product sourcing, speak to the manager.

"Squab. A young (about 4 weeks old) domesticated pigeon that has never flown and is therefore extremely tender. it was a popular special-occasion dish in Victorian England. Squabs usually weigh 1 pound or less and have delicately flavored dark meat."
---Deluxe Food Lover's Companion, Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst [Barrons Educational Series:Happauge NY] 2009 (p. 408)

Pigeon description from the Grocer's Encyclopedia circa 1911 indicates the bird had fallen from favor with average Americans. Squab, on the other hand, was commanding haute attention.

"Thoroughly in the mood for a bird and a bottle, local cooks turn attention to squabs, those elegant morsels that even supermarkets stock. The tender young of the pigeon, in which all activity is discouraged druig their six weeks' existence, have a succulent flesh of an off-white hue. Ready-for-the-oven-size is about a pound; one squab makes one serving. Raised to a great extent around Vineland, N.J., squabs come to town to sell in butcher shops, Gristiede's and, on order, at the A. & P. for about $1.50 each...the meat across the breast should show streaks of white fat and that the breast bone, as indeed in all tender birds, should be pliable. Squabs boast not only elegance but practicability as wel. Bedcause they are so small, they cook quickly; because they are so tender, they take well to any dry-heat method, whether it be roasting, broiling or sauteeing. An interesting way to roast squabs is attributed to the late Crosby Gaige, a manu of many parts who was a bon vivant of first rank. Mr. Gaige's recipe is recorded by one of his friends, Mrs. Jeanne Owen, in her 'A Wine Lover's Cook Book' (Barrows, 1953). The recipes is named after Mr. Gaige's Westchester farm, Watch Hill...Squabs Watch Hill Farm. Go to market yourself and pick out six, fine, fat, jumbo squabs. Peel and seed three or four dozen juicy Miscat (or Ribier) grapes. In each bird put four grapes, mixed with a few coarse bread crumbs, which hae been seasoned with salt, a little pepper and a few drops of brandy and port wine. Butter a baking dish with a lavish hand, arrange the squabs in formation and dash them first with brandy and then with port. Let them rest for two hours to absorb the perfume. When birds are ready for the oven add to the pan four ounces of port and two of water. Roast in a hot oven, basting often, thirty to thirty-five minutes. (Or use a moderate oven for forty to forty-five minutes.) When they are cooked, take birds out of the pan, add a little more port ot the juices therein and the rest of the peeled grapes. Thicken this sauce with a little arrowroot (or potaot starch); season to taste and serve immediately. Delicious and unusual with squab in this fashion is a barley pilaf, which costs only a tiny fraction of the more conventional wild rice."
---"News of Food: Squabs," Jane Nickerson, New York Times, December 12, 1955 (p. 35)
[NOTE: Crosby Gaige authored the New York World's Fair Cook Book (c. 1939). In this book Mr. Gage offered three squab recipes: a la crapaudine, pot-roasted and roast with rice pilau. Happy to share if you want.]

"In America, the term 'squab' is applied to the young pigeon, which is at its best when about 4 weeks old. At this age, by special feeding, they will average 8 to 12 lb or more, to the dozen birds and sometimes weight as much as a mature bird. The flesh of the squab damages very easily and needs great care in handling. When buying squabs the pints to be noticed are size, plumpness, and light coloured flesh. Allow one squab for each person."
---Game Cooking: A Collection of Recipes with a Dictionary of Rare Game, Theodora Fitzgibbon [Andre Deutsch:London] 1963 (p. 150)
[NOTE: Recipes for Squabs with White Grapes, Squabs with Tangerine and Prunes, Devilled Squabs and Squabs Michele follow.]

"Looking for an elegant entree for a special occasion dinner? Try pineapple stuffed squabs. This gourmet main dish is made to order for holiday dinners. The squabs are stuffed with bite-size pieces of pineapple marinated in wine. Flecks of chopped green onion, celery and carrot accent the flavorful filling. The small birds are basted during baking with the tangy pineapple sauce. More wine and raisins are added to drippings in the roasting pan and this sauce is served with the entree. Incidentally, if you can't find squabs you can use Cornish game hens well..."
---"Squab is Elegant Entree," Washington Post Times Herald, December 21, 1964 (p. C8)

Happy to share squab recipes in place/period/chef context: 19th century France? James Beard? Let us know what you want!

Pigs in Blankets
What are "pigs in blankets?" Excellent question several answers. Our survey of historic American and British cookbooks suggests this term originally meant broiled skewers of bacon-wrapped oysters, sometimes called Angels on Horseback.

What makes this item interesting is the variety of recipes offered with this name. Print evidence suggests ordering "pigs in blankets" from menu in the first half of the 20th century might return bacon-wrapped oysters, potato-encased sausages, bacon-wrapped sausages, or pastry-enrobed frankfurters.

The "Pigs in Blankets" (franks baked in flaky crust) we Americans know today descend from 19th century British sausage rolls. Small bites are classed with appetizers; entree-sized portions are served for lunch, dinner or outdoor events.

"1439. Meat or Sausage Rolls

Ingredients.--1 lb. of puff-paste NO. 1257, sausage meat, and the yolk of 1 egg.
Mode.--Make 1 lb of puff-paste by recipe No. 1257; roll it out to the thickness of about 1/2 inch, or rather less, and divide it into 8, 10, or 12 square, according to the size the rolls are intended to be. Place some sausage-meat on one-half of each square, wet the edes of the paste, and fold it over the meat; slightly press the edges together, and trim them neatly with a knife. Brush the rolls over with the yolk of an egg, and bake them in a well-heated oven for about 1/2 hour, or longer should them be very large. The remains of cold chicken and ham, minced and seasoned, as also cold veal or beef, make very good rolls. Time.--1/2 hour, or longer if the rolls are large. Average cost, 1s. 6d. Sufficient.-- 1 lb. of paste for 10 or 12 rolls. Seasonable, with sausage meat, from September to March or April."
---Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Managmeent, Isabella Beeton, London, 1874 (p. 708-709)

"Sausage Rolls.

These are made either from beef, pork, or veal sausages; they should be first parboiled for five to ten minutes, according to the kind and thickness, then skinned and cooled, and cut in halves. Flaky paste is generally liked, and No. 8 will be found suitable, or a richer one can be used. It should be rolled the eighth of an inch thick, or a trifle over, and cut in pieces about four inches long--a trifle longer than the sausages--and about three inches wide, so that it just folds over. The half sausage should be laid in the centre, and the edges of the paste moistened with a little beaten egg, and after folding, the ends should be trimmed if necessary, through if cut straight at first they will not need it. The join may either be made in the middle of the under-side, or at the edge like a puff; the first is the neater. Lay the rolls on a baking-sheet, and make a slanting cut or two on the tops; then bake them in a quick oven, and when three-fourths done, brush them over with beaten egg, as they should be nicely glazed when done. The will take about twenty to twenty-five minutes. Cost, about 2d. each. Plainer rolls, for taking on a journey, &c., may be made by putting some beef sausage meat in a roll on a piece of plain paste, and need not be cooked beforehand; say the paste No. 1 or 2 is used; roll it a quarter of an inch thick and put a couple of ounces of sausage meat on, forming it into shape; then fold over, and bake for about thirty to forty minutes, in a slower oven than the above. BHread dough is used for very substatial rolls."
---Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book, Lizzie Heritage [Cassell and Company:London] 1894 (p. 791)

Link Sausages in Pastry

Prepare: Small squares of Pie Dough (page 343), Roll them around Link sausages seasoned with mustard. Bake them in a hot oven 450 degrees F." (p. 18-19)
"Sausages in Pastry or Biscuit Dough
Spread: small sausages with mustard. Prepare Pie cruts...or biscuit dough...Roll it into the thickness of 1/8 inch thick. Cut into oblongs. Roll the dough around the sausages. Moisten the ends with a little water and pinch them so that the sausages are entirely closed. Bake the sausages in a hot oven 425 degrees for about 20 minutes." (p. 84-85)
---Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer [Bobbs-Merrill:Indianapolis IN] 1936

"Pigs in Blankets.

6 uniform potatoes for baking
6 link sausages
salt and pepper
Method: 1. Wash potatoes and remove centers with apple corer. 2. Place a sausage in each cavity. 3. Grease potatoes; add salt and pepper. Bake for 60 minutes at 400 degrees."
---Prudence Penny's Cookbook, Prudence Penny [Prentice Hall:New York] 1939 (p. 80)

"Frankfurters in Blankets

Portion: 2 rolls. 100 portions.
Biscuit Dough (page 342) 10 pounds
Frankfurters 25 pounds
Eggs, slightly beaten 8 ounces
Milks, liquid 1 2/3 cups
Prepare Biscuit Dough, using 1/2 as much fat as usual. Roll dough on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into pieces, each to cover 1 frankfurter. Broil frankfurters on heated griddle until slightly browned. Roll 1 frankfurter in each piece of dough (blanket). Moisten edges of dough and seal together. Combine eggs and milk. Brush each roll with egg mixture. Place in greased baking pans. Bake in hot oven (400 degrees F.) 20 minutes until golden brown. NOTE:--Serve hot with Tomato Sauce (page 184), if desired.Variation: Luncheon Meat, Canned Pork Sausage Links or Vienna Sausage in Blankets...may be used in place of frankfurters in blankets."
---Cook Book of the United States Navy, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, NAVSANA Publciation No. 7 [U.S. Government Printing Office:Washington DC], revised 1944 (p. 156)

"No. 378. Pork Sausages Links (Pigs) in Blankets

Yield: 100 servings, 3 to 4 links each.
Biscuit Dough
Pork sausage links, 35 pounds
Eggs, slightly beaten, 5 eggs (1/4 NO. 56 dipper)
1. Prepare biscuit dough (recipe No. 36) redusing the amoung ot shortening to onel half. Roll 1/4 inch ehick; cut into pieces, each large enough to cover one sausage link.
2. Broil links on griddle until slighly brown
3. Roll each link in a piece of dough and seal the edges by moistening with water.
4. Dip each roll in slighly beaten egg.
5. Bake in hot ove (400 degrees F.) approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: Serve hot with or without gravy or a sauce.
No. 379. Frankfurters in Blankets Substitute 30 pounds frankfurters for pork sausage links in recipe for pigs in blankets. Use same weight of other ingredients.
No. 380. Vienna Sausage in Blankets Substitute 35 pounds of Vienna sausage for pork sausage links..."
---Army Recipes War Department Technical Manual TM10-412 [Government Printing Office:Washington DC] August 1946 (p. 140-141)

"Pigs in Blankets

Roll biscuit dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into small squares, and wrap each square around a 2-inch piece of frankfurter. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a moderately hot oven (375 degrees F.) for 20 minutes."
---Sunset Cook Book of Favorite Recipes, Emily Chase editor [Lane Publishing:San Francisco CA] 1949 (p. 108)

"Pigs in Blankets.

Wash and pare medium potatoes. Make a hole through each with an apple corer and force a link sausage into each cavity. Place potatoes in baking dish and bake in hot oven (425 degrees F.) 45 minutes or until tender, basting with sausage drippings several times during the baking. A slice of salt pork or bacon may be placed over each potato."
---Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, Ruth Berolzheimer [Culinary Arts Institute:Chicago] 1950 (p. 479)

"Cocktail sausages in blankets.
2 cups sifted flour
3 teasooons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk (about)
8 cooked cocktail sausages
Sift dry ingredients together 3 times. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender. Add milk, stirring until a soft dough is formed. Knead on floured board for 20 seconds or until dough forms a smooth ball. Roll 1/4 inch thick and cut into small oblongs. Place sausages on oblongs of dough, fold over, moisten edges with water and press together to seal. Place on greased baking sheet and bake in hot oven (450 degrees F.) Until browned, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 8 rolls."
---ibid(p. 226)

"Sausage in blankets

Spread 1/3 to 1/2 slices of bacon with prepared mustard. Roll a cooked cocktail sausage in each bacon strip. Secure with a toothpick. Oven broil on a rack until bacon is cooked."
---501 Easy Cocktail Canapes, Olga de Leslie Leigh [Thomas Y. Crowell:New York] 1953(p. 136)

"Pigs in blankets.

The "pigs" are sausages wrapped in blankets of fluffy biscuit dough. Follow the recipe for Typical Biscuits (p. 83)--except roll dough only 1/4" thick. Cut into oblong pieces, 4X3". Roll each piece around a weiner or frankfurter, letting tip show at each end. Seal well by pinching edge of dough into roll. Bake with sealed edge underneath, about 15 mins. Serve hot with mustard, catsup, or relishes."
---Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, Revised and Enlarged, second edition [McGraw-Hill Book Publishing Company:New York] 1956 (p. 84)
[NOTE: Also contains recipe for "Tiny Pigs in Blankets," using Vienna sausages.]

"Franks N'Crescents
8 frankfurters, partially split 1 8-oz. can Pillsbury Refrigerated Quick Crescent Dinner Rolls
Heat oven to 375 degrees F., Fill each Frankfurter with strip of cheese. Separate crescent dough into eight triangles. Place frankfurter on wide end of each triangle; roll up. Place on greased cookie sheet, cheese side up; bake at 375 degrees F., 10 to 12 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown. 8 servings."
---Favorite Brand Name Recipe Cookbook, Consumer Guide editors [Beekman House:New York] 1981 (p. 198)

Related dishes? Beef Wellington & Cornish Pasties.

In the culinary world, there are three edible porcupines:
  1. A uniquely armored nocturnal game animal providing protein and fat to hungry people in both Old World & New
  2. A neatly formed ground meat dish resembling this quilly creature
  3. A stewed apple dessert sporting nut "quills": Apple Porcupine & Porcupine pudding
Food historians generally agree that small game foods (porcupines, squirrels, racoons, opossums, etc.) belong to the culinary genre of subsistence-level cookery. Folks unable to procure *standard* protein sources adapted by necessity to anything wild & catchable. Small game could be cooked in the same manner as any other meat: roasted, fried, stewed, souped.

Because wild game generally has a denser muscle mass (less fat) than domesticated animals, the meat is tougher. Long, slow cooking (soup, stew) is the perfect antidote. Game protected by a thick, insulating layer of fat below its skin is sometimes viewed somewhat differently in the culinary world. Such is the case of porcupines. In some cultures, porcupine fat & fried skin (cracklings) is considered a delicacy.

Our survey of historic American cookbooks uncovered several recipes for squirrel, opossum, venison and rabbit. Scant references to porcupine were more descriptive than culinary. This is not surprising. Cookbooks focus on norms; not adaptable exception. No matter how tasty they may be. Which means? We can't place Porcupine Stew to a specific place/period/people.

About porcupine cookery (general)

"Porcupine.--Animal, whose rather fat flesh is good to eat, especially when young."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 749)

"Porcupine, the name used of several species of animal, belonging to two families (Erethizontidae for New World porcupines, and Hystricidae for those of the Old World) and having in common the long quills (spines) which constitute their protection...The common or crested porcupine...of the Old World is the largest...There are few records of its being eaten, save by gypsies and rural people who have nothing better and insofar as one can establish anything about methods of preparing and cooking these seem to be as for the hedgehog. For the Canadian porcupine...Faith Medlin...has collected a number of conflicting pieces of advice about which bits to cook and how to do the cooking. Leipoldt...reproduces from an early manuscript directs for cooking porcupine crackling, which is to be sent to table with plenty of rice and lemons cut in halves."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006, 2nd edition (p. 623-4)

"The flesh of a young porcupine is said to be excellent eating, and very nutritious. The flavour is something between pork and fowl. To be cooked properly, it should be boiled first, and afterwards roasted. This necessary to soften the thick, gristly skin, which is the best part of the animal. The flesh of the porcupine is said to be used by the Italians as stimulant; but, never having tasted it myself, I cannot speak from experience as to the virtue of this kind of food. The Dutch and the Hottentots are very fond of it; and when skinned and embowelled, the body will sometimes weigh 20 lbs. The flesh is said to eat better when it has been hung in the smoke of a chimney for a couple of days. The flesh of the crested porcupine (Hystrix cristata) is good and very agreeable eating. Some of the Hudson Bay trappers used to depend upon the Hystrix dorsata for food at some seasons of the year."
---The Curiosities of Food, Peter Lund Simmons, facsimile 1859 edition with an introduction by Alan Davidson [Ten Speed Press:Berkeley CA] 2001 (p. 72-73)

"Several authors mention game dishes of which little is known today. We read for example that porcupine meat was served to Augusta de Mist when she accompanied her father, Commissioner de Mist, on an official journey into the interior in 1803...The skin of the porcupine was considered a rare delicacy. The recipe was reproduced by Miss Allie Hewett in her 1890 cookery book, Cape Cookery, Simple Yet Distinctive. The spines are plucked and the air singed off. After the skin has been scraped clean, it is soaked for 24 hours in the brine and then boiled in fresh water. It is then cut into strips, broiled over live coals and served with butter and lemon."
---The South African Culinary Tradition, Renata Coetzee [C. Struik Publishers:Cape Town, South Africa] 1977 (p. 26)

Porcupine eating in America

"Over the centuries, Americans have eaten an astonishing array of game animals and birds...Frontiersmen and trappers killed and ate a wide variety of animals, some of which became important culinary items...Small game was especially important for slaves and the rural poor. Because they were forbidden firearms, slaves focused on what they could acquire by trapping, snaring, and hunting with dogs. Slaves, poor whites, and frontiersmen commonly ate opossum, raccoon, porcupine, rattlesnake, squirrel, and occasionally skunk. In Kentucky and Tennessee, game meats were combined with vegetables to make burgoo, a soup or stew..."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York], 2004, Volume 1 (p. 548)

"Porcupine.--I quote from Nessmik: 'And do not despise the fretful porcupine; he is better than he looks. If you happen on a healthy young specimen when you are needing meat, give him a show before condemning him. Shoot him humanely in the head, and dress him. It is easily done; there are no quills on the belly, and the skin peels as freely as a rabbit's. Take him to camp, parboil him for thirty minutes, and roast or broil him to a rich brown over a bed of glowing coals. He will need no pork to make him juicy, and you will find him very like spring lamb, only better.' The porcupine may also be baked in clay, without skinning him; the quills and skin peel off with the hard clay covering. Or, fry quickly. As I have never eaten porcupine, I will do some more quoting--this time from Dr. Bresk: 'It may either be roasted or made into a stew, in the manner of hares, but must be parboiled at least a half-hour to be tender. One part of the porcupine is always a delicacy--the liver, which is easily removed by making a cut just under the neck into which the hand is thrust, and the liver pulled out. It may be fried with bacon, or baked slowly and carefully in the baker-pan with slices of bacon.'"
---Camp Cookery, Horace Kephart, facsimile 1910 edition [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] 2000 (p 73)

"The oil fried out in cooking the meat of bear, racoon, porcupine, and other animals is kept and used for medicinal pupposes, such as rubbing on the back and chest for 'cramps' and for application to newly-born infants."
---Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation, F.W. Waugh, facsimile 1916 edition [University Press of the Pacific:Honolulu, HI] 2003 (p. 134)

"I cannot agree with the oft' heard statement about the porcupine being a harmless creature--at least not since I've been awakened (more than once) in the middle of the night by one of these walking pin-cushions gnawing at my belonings within an arm's reach. In the wilderness the 'porky' is considered the hunter's friend, as it may be killed with a club when ammunition runs short and in the absence of other game it may furnish the only sustenance for lost explorers. In some of the more civilized sections of the country, however, conservationists encourage the killing of porcupine because of the damage it does to trees. Meat of the porcupine has a good reputation, even though it is dark and coarse looking. Onsome of hist trips into the North, Dillon Wallace, after a prolongued diet of venison, claims to have preferred porcupuine for a change although there was plenty of deer meat on had. Skinning the porcupine might appear a formidable task, but it is really quite simple. Hang him up by his hind legs spread apart and start skinning the belly, which is free of quills. The hide may then be workd off very easily in a short time. The meat, which tastes something like lamb, should be stewed...A young animal, however, may be roasted or broiled."
---Come and Get It!: The Compleat Outdoor Chef, George W. Martin [A.S. Barnes Company:New York] 1942 (p. 175-176)

"A nationwide search for recipes for cooking porcupine has been launched by the Western Pine Association. The purpose is to get rid of some of the porcupines which do millions of dollars of damage to pine woods in the west each year. The animals feed on the bark of young growing trees, killing some and stunting others with the result that forest productivity is drastically reduced. Recipes for porcupines may be sent to the Eastern Pine Association, Ycon Building, Portland 4, Oregon."
---"Seek Recipes for Cooking Porcupine," Daily Defender [Chicago IL], February 15, 1956 (p. 15)

How to cook your porcupine?

"Porcupine Stew
Porcupine meat cut into cubes
1 sliced onion
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sliced onions
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 chopped green pepper (optional)
1/2 cup diced celery
3 cups diced turnips
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon flour
8 ounce can tomato sauce
Parboil meat 45 minutes with sliced onion and salt. Drain. Saute onions in 2 tablespoons butter until clear, then add meat which has been dredged with flour. Add 1 quart water, vegetables and seasoning. Cook until tender then thicken slightly with flour dissolved in water."
---Valley Independent [Monessen PA], October 31, 1979 (p. 63)

Pork steak
Identifying meat cuts can be challenging because names vary according to period, place, country, and consumer point of purchase (supermarket vs restaurant). Early 19th century USA print references suggest "pork steak" and "pork chop" might have been synonymous at that time. 20th century references reveal a larger & more interesting selection of "pork steak" products. Most are cut from the shoulder (aka butt); some from the leg. In addition to "pork steak" we also find "pork shoulder steak" and "pork blade steak." Generally touted as economical, pork steaks are mostly promoted when there was an overabundance of product. Savvy advertisers capitalizing on popular health trends stated they were more nutritious, lower-fat and lower-calorie, healthier than familiar meat products.

How is pork steak prepared? Most instructions recommend braising. This technique tenderizes tough meats. Other suggestions include country frying (batter dipped), barbecuing, stewing (with spicy foreign sauces), cubing (meat balls, meat pies), and stir-fry (thin strips).

Pork Steaks Eliza Leslie
NOTE: Leslie's pork steak recipe is ambiguous. We cannot tell in this case if pork steaks and or pork chops are synonyms for the same cut or completely different cuts. Broiling instructions suggest these pork steaks might not be the same as 20th century cuts with braising recommendations OR they were treated similarly.]

"Pork steak, 25 cents/lb"
---"Family Marketing: Current Retail Prices at the Principal Markets," New York Times, November 11, 1865 (p. 3)
[NOTE: Compare with bacon was 28 cents/lb, sirloin beef 30 cents/lb, veal cutlets, 45 cents/lb, cod, 12 cents/lb. Relative price and no listing for pork chops leaves room to wonder if this "pork steak" meat "pork chops" in this context.]

"Dinner.--Pork Steak, poached eggs, potatoes, onions, bread, butter and coffee."
---"Fortress Monroe: Jeff. Davis' Bill of Fare," New York Times, May 28, 1866 (p. 5)
[NOTE: This prison meal was served to the former President of the Confederacy.]

"Just think of having a great thick piece of mince pie set before you for breakfast after a pork steak fried potatoes, and buckwheat cakes."
---"How the Lumbermen Are Fed," New York Times, February 12, 1883 (p. 2)

"Stuffed Pork Balls. Buy 30 cents' worth of pork steak, cut it into four equal pieces, and fry on one side until slightly brown. Remove the meat from a pan on to a plate and let it get cool. Make a stuffing of two cups of bread crumbs, one tablespoon of butter, one-half teaspoon of sage, and one small grated onion. make the meat into four balls with the dressing inside and hold in place with wooden toothpicks. Put the balls back into the pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add a cup of hot water, cover, and cook in a moderate oven one your. Remove the cover and let the balls brown; then take up on a hot platter and make a brown gravy to serve with them.--Mrs. March Green, Grinnell, IA."
---"Economical Housekeeping," Jane Eddington, Chicago Daily Tribune, January 13, 1911 (p. 8)

"The main hygienic objections to the use of pork is that smoking the meat interferes with its digestibility, and also that even lean pork is so much fatter than other meats. ham is generally sold salted and smoked, but also salted only and fresh-boiled--in the latter named condition chiefly for retailing in slices or by the pound as 'pork steak' or 'fresh pork.'"
---"Health and Diet Advice," Dr. Frank McCoy, Los Angeles Times, October 30, 1931 (p. A6)

"New England Pork Steak Pie. 3 tablespoons butter, 1/3 cup flour, 3 cups rich milk, 1 teaspoon onion juice, 1 blade mace, 1/2 teaspoon salt dash of pepper, 1/2 teaspoon peppery sauce, 2 cups sliced mushrooms, 2 pounds pork steak, 12 small white onions, parboiled, 12 balls cut from cooked carrots. Pastry: melt the fat blend half the flour with it. When smooth add the milk, onion juice, and the mace blade. Add the seasonings and then the mushrooms. Simmer slowly for fifteen minutes, then cool. Meanwhile hammer the remaining flour and a generous flavoring of salt and pepper into the steak and boil until tender and brown on both sides. Now chop the steak into three-quarter in squares and blend with the sauce. While the mixture is cooling prepare a double recipe of pie paste sufficient to give a thin under and upper crust for six small individual pies. Roll out the lower crusts and put into the tins. Place two carrot balls and two small onions in each and pour over them the filling. Add the top crusts, first moistening the edges of the lower crust. Trim as for any pie. Cut two slits into the crust of each patty for the escape of steam, then brush with beaten egg and bake in a moderate oven 350 degrees F.) until heated through and brown."
---"Foreign Lands Offer Recipes fro Meat Pies," Mary Meade, Chicago Daily Tribune, November 3, 1933 (p. 22)

"There seems to be a great deal more pork than beef available right now. Consequently the point value of pork is less than that of beef. Cuts such as pork shoulder steak are cheaper in points than loin chops, but the meat is just as flavorful and every bit as nutritious, if properly cooked. Cooking pork steaks slowly means less shrinkage and more flavor. Quick cooking over high heat dries out the steaks and causes them to lose tenderness. Purchase pork shoulder steaks about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Brown them well on both sides in a skillet. This can be done in their own fat. Season with salt and pepper, cover, then reduce heat and let the steaks cook very slowly for about 45 minutes. A small amount of water, not more than 3 or 4 tablespoons, may be added after browning, if desired. make gravy from the drippings and serve over rice or with new potatoes boiled in their jackets. The gravy is full of flavor and food value...Some cooks like to rub pork steaks lightly with garlic before cooking."
---"Save Points with Pork," Mary Meade, Chicago Daily Tribune, August 15, 1943 (p. C8)

"The meat for the pork steak dinner should be cut from the boneless solid center into 1/2 inch thick slices. Prepare them as you usually prepare pork chops and serve them this way: Creole Style Pork Steak. Brown the steaks on both sides in a small amount of fat. Season with salt and pepper. if you like, brown a few onion slices with the steaks. Place them in a baking dish, cover with diced celery, and pour a No. 2 can of tomatoes over all. Add salt and pepper to the tomatoes, if they need it. Bake the dish, covered, in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for an hour."
---"How to Stretch Pork Shoulder Butt," Chicago Daily Tribune, June 17, 1949 (p. A2)

"Pork shoulder steaks are cut form the fresh shoulder butt of pork which is often called 'Boston butt.' The shoulder butt makes a nice oven roast, but the steaks are cooked with moist heat, by braising. Brown them first, season, then cover, turn the heat low, and let them cook gently until tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Delicious trick: Add sliced apples, well sprinkled with brown sugar, the last 15 minutes of cooking, and serve with the shoulder steaks."
---"Economical Dishes Provided by Pork Hocks and Steaks," Mary Meade, Chicago Daily Tribune, February 15, 1951 (p. A6)

"Pork, now the most attractively priced item at meat counters, probably will continue plentiful through next month. Supplies coming to market currently are from the bumper pig crop last spring. The second largest on record, it totaled close to 62,000,000 porkers. Both the United States Department of Agriculture and the American Meat Institute...are urging housewives to take advantage of this plenty. Not only is pork abundant and comparatively reasonable in cost, but it is available in a wide assortment of cuts...Beside familiar pork cuts such as loin roast and chops, ham or bacon, the housewife at this season may make use of fresh ham or leg of pork, as it is sometimes called. While not a readily available as its more well-known cousin, smoked ham, it is apt to be on meat counters in these days of pork plenty. Steak cut from fresh pork leg is especially delicious."
---"News of Food: Pork, at its Present Attractive Prices, to Continue Plentiful Through February," June Owen, New York Times, January 26, 1952 (p. 10)

"Next time you shop for pork chops, take a look at the meaty pork shoulder steaks. Three types are generally available: blade bone, round bone and boneless. These usually are more economical than chops and can be sued interchangeable in recipes directing that meat be braised or cooked in moisture...Like all cuts of fresh pork, shoulder steaks are an excellent source of complete protein and food iron as well as the important B vitamins."
---"Pork Steak Economical Meat Treat," Los Angeles Times, April 18, 1963 (p. D6)

"The next time you're standing in front of a meat counter, desperate for an inspiration, here's one way you can make three dinners from one full-cut Boston butt (pork shoulder). The average weigh of a pork shoulder is between four and nine pounds...Ask the meat man to cut the butt into a boned, rolled shoulder...steaks for broiling ro barbecuing."
---"One Pork Butt, Three Dinners," Washington Post, February 27, 1969 (p. D3)

"Have you tried pork cubed steaks? Boneless and quick to prepare, they can contribute to the success of a budget meal. Breading before panfrying stretches pork flavor and gives each steak a tasty crunchy coat. Simply dredge the pork cubed steaks in seasoned bread crumbs, dip in an egg-milk mixture (2 tablespoons milk per egg) and dredge in crumbs again to coat thoroughly. Light brown breaded pork steaks on both sides in lard or drippings. Cook at a moderate temperature 20 to 25 minutes, or until done, turning occasionally to insure even cooking."
---"Pork Steak Builds Budget," Los Angeles Times, August 1, 1974 (p. K18)

"Would you believe, pork steak is one of the leanest and least-fattening 'steaks' a calorie-counter can consider? Well it is! Despite its pud[g]y image, many pork cuts are lower in calories than most popular beef steaks. A lean pork steak is only 667 calories per pound. Pork steak ( or fresh ham steak) looks like a cured ham steak but it hasn't been cured, cooked or processed."
---"Teach an Old Favorite Some New Taste Tricks," Philadelphia Tribune, October 24, 1978 (p. 17)
[NOTE: recipes for Broiled Fresh Ham Steak, Skewered Pork, Island-Style and Skewered Pork and Zucchini are included.]

"For two years, pork has been a good value at the meat counter. And the outlook remains rosy for 1980. Pork supplies have increased by 15 to 20 per cent since 1978. This year pork production is expected to equal or exceed that amount...One of the cuts that always has been considered a good value by careful shoppers and butchers is a pork blade steak. One reason it carries a budget prices stamp is that it is a less familiar cut--not in as great demand as pork chops, for example. Yet it has all the good flavor of a pork chop. And, according to one meat man, it may even have a better flavor because of its slightly higher fat content. Thus, when it is cooked properly it is a little juicier...A pork steak is cut about 3/8 inch thick, has a portion of blade-shaped bone, and is ringed with fat. One steak weighs about 8 to 9 ounces and makes one generous serving for an adult, or two ample servings for young children. The meat generally should be braised--that is browned in fat, then covered and cooked on low heat with a little added moisture. Suggested liquids are barbecue sauce, broth, wine, water, or tomato juice, or a sweet-sour, soy-based sauce in the Far Eastern mode. The pork may be pounded think breaded, and cooked like a veal cutlet with enhancements such as lemon slices, apple wedges, wine, or herbs. Or the meat may be cut into thin strips for stir-fry dishes or squares for stews."
---"Inflation Fighter: Pork Steak Sports Budget Price Stamp," Joanne Will, Chicago Times, February 14, 1980 (p. D20)
[NOTE: This article offers recipes for Broiled Pork Steaks & Pork with Apples.]

"The leanest cut of pork comes from the leg--the pork equivalent of a beef round steak. Trimmed of all fat, it's just 62 calories per ounce. This cut of pork is known by a variety of names: fresh ('uncured') ham steak, pork steak, pork leg steak, pork leg slice, fresh ham slice. If you have trouble locating it, explain what you're looking for to your butcher."
---"Slim Gourmet: Choose Leanest Cut of Pork to Add Low-Fat Variety to Weekly Menu," Barbara Gibbons, Los Angeles Times, January 28, 1988 (p. AI57)

Pulled pork
Our food history sources confirm "pulled pork," as we Americans know it today, descends from the delicious lineage of slow cooked meats. The slower and longer the cooking, the softer and tastier the product (food chemistry at work here). This type of cooking has been popular from ancient times forward, as it renders tough meat deliciously easy to chew. New England Boiled Dinner New England Boiled Dinner, Jewish Brisket, pig roasts, and barbecue.

Contemporary American-style pulled pork is most closely related to barbecue. Slow cooked pork (on grill or in oven) with moisture (water, bbq sauce) results in a product that can easily separates (pulls) into strings (sinews). Pork is then cut, sauced and served (generally) served in sandwich form.

Our food history sources and dictionaries confirm the word "pulled" in the culinary context refers to the practice of pulling pieces of food from the larger object (pulled bread). It is also a confectionery term (pulled sugar, taffy pulls, etc.). "Pulled," as it applies to meat, first surfaces in English culinary print during 18th century. "Pulled Pork" belongs to the late 20th century. The Oxford English Dictionary confirms:
pulled, adj. 4. Of meat (orig. poultry, later esp. pork): prepared by being cooked (in later use spec. barbecued) until it is tender enough to be easily cut or torn into small pieces. Now chiefly U.S. 1737 E. SMITH Compleat Housewife (ed. 8) 24 Pull'd Chickens. Boil six Chickens..flea them, and pull the white flesh all off..put it in a stew-pan with half a pint of cream. 1749 Defoe's Roxana (new ed.) 358 We ordered for Supper a Cod to be boiled, a Fricasey of Rabbits, and two pulled Chickens. 1786 Yorks. Mag. July 199/2 There is not a cook between London and the Land's End who knows how to dress a turtle or a pulled fowl. 1800 E. MOXON Eng. Housewifery (ed. 14) 29 How to make pulled Rabbits. 1834 F. MARRYAT Peter Simple I. x. 123 (heading) A treat for both parties of pulled-chicken, at my expense. 1874 Belgravia Nov. 61 He found himself dispensing pulled chickens, pt de foie gras, and cup to his really lovely relatives and their buxom mamma. 1922 A. JEKYLL Kitchen Ess. 143 Here is a good recipe for a Rchauff after the stages of pulled, grilled, and devilled have been passed. 1977 New Mexican (Santa Fe) 2 June D7 (advt.) Barbecue pulled pork 1 lb..potato salad..cole slaw..all for $3.89. 1983 Nation's Restaurant News 21 Nov. 114/3 One large display case holds barbecued chicken, ribs and duck; North Carolina pulled pork with barbecue sauce [etc.]. 2006 Dallas Morning News (Nexis) 12 May (Guide section) 4 Barbecue platters offer pulled pork, pulled chicken, smoked turkey and sausage.
18th/19th century UK/USA recipes pull meat off poultry (chicken & turkey)

"Pulled Chickens.

Boil six chickens near enough; slea [sic] them and putt the white flesh all off from the bones; put it in stew-pan with half a pint of cream, made a few spoonfuls of that liquor they were boil'd in; to this add some raw parsley shred fine, give them a toss or two over the fire, and dust a little flour upon some butter, and shake up with them. Chicks done this way must be killed the night before, and a little more than half boiled, and pulled in pieces as broad as your finger, and half as long; you may add a spoonful of white cream." ---Compleat Housewife: Or Accomplish'd Gentlewoman's Companion, E. Smith, facsimile 1753 edition [T.J. Press Ltd.:London] 1968 (p. 49)
Fast forward: 1980s USA. "Pulled Pork" is sold by processed meat companies (Armour, Heinz), mentioned in Southern heritage cookbooks & served in Colonial Williamsburg. A brisket morphing of epic proportion?
[1982] "Armour...Pulled Boneless Pork Roast, $2.19/lb."---display ad, The Hawk Eye Burlington OH], February 10. 1982 (p. 24)
[1983] "Josiah Chowning's will serve you a pulled-pork barbecue..."---"No Cure for Ham Addiction: Virginia," Beverly Beyer & Ed Rabey, Los Angeles Times, July 24, 1983 (p. G15) NOTE: This article profiles foods served in Colonial Williamsburg VA living history museum.
[1986] "Heinz 5 lb. B-B-Q Pulled Pork, $15.99."
---display ad, Chronicle Telegram [Elyria OH], May 25, 1986 (p. A10)

Sausages of Italy
"The word "sausage" comes from the Latin salsus, meaning "salted." The Romans, who loved highly spiced food, ate enourmous quantities of spicy...sausages...The Romans...developed a wide variety, including pendulus, a large slicing sausage, and hilla, a very thin sausage using the small intestine, rather like today's dried mountain sausages. The first-century Roman gourmet gives this recipe for the still famous smoked Lucanica sausage from southern Italy: "Pound pepper, cumin, savory, rue, parsley, mixed herbs, laurel berries, and liquamen, and mix with this well-beaten meat, pounding it again with the ground spice mixture. Work in liquanum, peppercorns, plenty of pate and pine-kernels, insert into an intestine, drawn out very thickly, and hang in the smoke." Pepper, the most popular Roman spice, was a strong deterrent against bacterial growth. The fat an airtight skins protected the stuffing mixture from airbourne microbes and the spices and herbs helped to make the meat more palatable and easier to digest. Many of the preserved sausages still made today have their skins treated in some way to keep out bacteria. Often they are brushed with oil and then covered in a mixture of dried herbs, crushed pepper, or ashes before being hung high up in the smokehouse or a cool, dry place." In Italy...may types of sausages are preserved...The number and variety of sausages and salami that have been dried, smoked, or lightly fermented is so great and the names so colorful that it is impossible not to mention a few. Italy boasts some of the finest sausages of all types, including the many famous regional varities of raw air-dried salami. Served in thin, cherry-red slices dotted with white, waxy pieces of fat, they are eaten as antipasto. For travel and snacks there are the thin, hard, spicy straps of peperone..."
---Pickled, Potted and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the World, Sue Shepard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 112-4)
[NOTE: This book has much more information than can be paraphrased here. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy]

"Sausages of Italy. These include one outstandingly large and important family, the salami. This name (the plural of the Italian word salame) applies to matured raw meat slicing sausages made to recipes of Italian origin, either in that country or elsewhere. Within Italy there are scores of types. Salami are mostly medium to large in size, and those made in Italy are usually dried without smoking. Charactaristically, when cut across, they display a section which is pink or red with many small to medium-sized flecks of white fat. Pork, or mixtures of pork and beef or pork and vitellone (young beef), form the basis; seasonings and fineness or coarsness of cut vary to regional taste. Names denote style, a principle ingredient, or place of origin... Salami made in south Italy and Sardinia are distinguished by their spiciness. They include: Napoletano...Sardo...Calabrese...Peperone (long, narrow, and highly spiced)...all these belong to the class of salame crudo, raw salame."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 701)

Pepperoni/peperoni/peperone belongs to the ancient family of spicy salt-cured air-dried salamis famous in southern Italy and Sardinia. Food historians tell us there are many variations on this recipe and that it is very difficult to single out a specific one for study. One of the reasons we Americans are so familiar with pepperoni is that many of the Italian people who immigrated to our country came from southern Italy. When they opened restaurants and pizzerias, they introduced us to the ingredients they knew from home. The tradition continues.

Sheep, mutton & lamb
Sheep, like goats and hogs, are generally regarded as the first animals domesticated by man. Sheep were especially valued because they supplied wool in addition to meat and dairy products. Lambs play key symbolic roles in Jewish Passover and Christian Easter.

"Probably the earliest domesticated herd animal in the Old World, the sheep (Ovis aries) makes an unparalleled contribution of food and fiber...Sheep were domesticated on the flanks of the Taurus-Zagros Mountains, which run from southern Turkey to southern Iran. Within that arc is found the urial...a wild sheep now generally regarded as the ancestor of the domesticated sheep. Early archaeological evidence of sheep under human control comes from Shanidar Cave and nearby Zaqi Chemi in Kurdistan. Sheep bones recovered in abundance from these two sites have been dated to between 8,000 and 9,000 years old and contrast with other Neolithic sites close to the Mediterranean, where similar evidence of domesticated sheep is rare. However, accurate species identification has posed problems, for the bones of goats and sheep are often difficult to distinguish from one another...In spite of the many uses of sheep, domestication may have been motivated by religion rather than economics. Urials were animals of ritual significance, and to ensure a ready supply for sacrifice, humans may well have sought to tame and then breed them in captivity."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] Volume One, 2000 (p. 574-575)

What is lamb?
"Lamb is the meat of the young domestic sheep, Ovis aries. The age at which a lamb ceases to be 'lamb' and becomes a young sheep, technically yielding mutton, is not entirely clear. Biologically, this happens when the animal grows its first pair of permanent teeth. In culinary practice, two types of lamb are recognized. First, there is the sucking lamb, fed only on its mother's milk. Formerly this was popular in England, and, known as house lamb, was bred especially for the Christmas market...In France it is known as agneau de lait...the Italians, Spanish, and Portuguese also hold meat in high esteem, and young lambs are eaten in the Middle East...Secondly, the meat of the weaned animal, between four months and one year old, is also called lamb, and forms the bulk of the sheep meat now sold in Britain. Older animals (from about one year) are properly called 'hogg' or 'hoggett', and their meet has to count as mutton... French pre-sale (salt meadow) lamb is that grazed on salt marshes. It has a distinctive and highly valued flavour, as has Welsh lamb similarly grazed."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, second edition edited by Tom Jaine [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2004 (p. 443)

Lamb symbolism
"People of many cultures traditionally performed animal sacrifice as a pious religious act. In much of the ancient world--particularly in the Middle East--goats, lambs, and rams were considered the most appropriate animals for sacrifice. Wandering herdsmen of the region tended large flocks of these animals, and the people valued them highly as sources of food. The lambs, or young, of these animals became the most common sacrifice to the gods...The lamb symbolizes martyrdom, innocence, and purity: It trusts the shepherd that watches over it, even as it walks to the slaughter."
---Nectar & Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p.104)

Why is lamb part of the Jewish observance of Passover?
The Jewish celebration of Passover perhaps best illustrates a modern-day religious rite based on the symbolism of the sacrificial lamb...they incorporate a lamb bone or some kind of meat into their feast as a remembrance of the lamb their ancestors sacrificed before the exodus from Egypt. The Passover lamb, or Paschal Lamb, belongs to Yahweh, as Yahweh, the Lord, ordained its sacrifice in the Old Testament. He told the Israelites to take the lamb of either a sheep or goat and slaughter and eat it. The Israelites consumed the lamb, and then began their Exodus. At the time of this first Passover, most Jews had goats and sheep at ready disposal. The Israelites were desert shepherds during these times, and their families typically celebrated the advent of spring by offering one of their herd animals for sacrifice. In rites throughout the world, sacrifice always involved the surrendering of something of value--domesticated animals rather than wild ones..."
---Nectar & Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p.104)

Why do Christians serve lamb for Easter dinner?
"...the sacrificial lamb became a symbol of the crucified Christ...the Christians adopted [lamb] as a symbol of Christ. God sacrificed this 'lamb' for the lives of his followers. The life of a lamb for the life of a human being."
---Nectar & Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p.104)

"In Europe, there is a general tradition, not confined to Christians, that Easter is the time to start eating the season's new lamb, which is just coming onto the market then. For Christians there is the added symbolic significance that Jesus is regarded as the lamb of God. In Britain, a leg, shoulder, or saddle is roasted at this time and served with new potatoes and mint sauce. For the French, a roast leg of lamb, the gigot the traditional Easter Sunday lunch. In Italy, too, and Greece baby lamb or kid [goat] plainly roasted, is a favorite Easter dish."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, second edition edited by Tom Jaine [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2004 (p. 266)

British culinary traditions
"Mutton...has a stronger flavour and deeper colour than lamb...Plain spit-roasting or boiling were...methods used from early times; but what one finds in early English cookery books are complex and highly flavoured mutton recipes...Sharp ingredients, such as verjuice, vinegar, and lemon were frequently called for in sauces and gravies for mutton during the 17th century...In the 18th century, the spices, apart from mace, nutmeg, and pepper, largely disappeared, as did the sourer ingredients. Oysters, anchovies, and mushroom took their place, being put into the gravy or served under the meat as a 'ragoo'...Redcurrant jelly was served with mutton from the late 18th century onwards...Mutton (or lamb)was a popular pie filling from the 17th century until the 19th century...Mutton was sometimes used to mimic venison...Mutton seems to have been a popular choice for 'exotic' dishes...Mutton appeared in Irish Stew and Lancashire Hotpot."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, second edition edited by Tom Jaine [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2004 (p. 528-529)

"In Anglo-Saxon times one ate simply sheep...In the late thirteenth century...the Old French word moton was drafted into the language, introducing for the first time the possibility of a distinction between the live animal and its flesh used for food. (In fact mutton was from early on used for live sheep as well, and this continued until comparatively recently; and the distinction from lamb as the flesh of young sheep does not appear to have developed until the seventeenth century.) Old French moton in itself came from medieval Latin multo, which in turn was probably borrowed from a Celtic language of Gaul...Mutton was once a mainstay of the British diet: Mrs. Beeton refers to it as 'undoubtedly the meat most generally used in families', and Victorian cookery books are stuffed with recipes for mutton pies and puddings, broiled mutton chops and cutlets, braised legs of mutton, Irish stew, and other now less well remembered dishes."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 222-223)

Why do we pair mutton with mint?
Related dishes: Irish stew & Shepherd's pie & Mutton birds.

One of ten top iconic American manufactured foods, SPAM holds a special place on our national table & culinary folklore.

How did SPAM get it's name?
"The Birth of Spam Jay Hormel inaugurated his Flavor-Sealed line of canned products in 1926 with a whole tinned ham. The next year he added spiced ham (the direct antecedent of Spam) and in 1928 canned chicken. With the depression, Hormel's cherished Flavor-Sealed line began slipping badly, so he conceived the scheme of launching a grand-new product with a trick name and initiated a series of contests climaxed by a New Year's Eve Party at his own home. Each of the 65 guests was greeted at the door with a contest blank. The price of each drink was a completed entry in the contest...Finally the butler delivered to the host a slip of paper marked with the word SPAM. In 1937 Spam went on public sale, ballyhooed by on fo the earthiest, corniest and most successful promotion campaigns in U.S. advertising history...."
---"Hormel: The Spam Man," Frances Levison, Life, March 11 1946 (p. 63+)

"...the product sat for two years waiting for the right name. The delay is understandable when you hear some of the entries in a company naming contest Jay [Hormel] launched. "Brunch" was an early favorite. Inspired by Sinclair Lewis, a native Minnesotan who had used the quite-new word bruncheon in his 1915 nove "The Trail of the Hawk," the name may have been nixed because the novel's hero comes down with typhoid fever immediately after eating a fashionably late morning meal. Jay and company also apparently considered the name "Spic." The word was already a derogatory term for Hispanics but in this case was more likely derived from an Old English term for fat of grease. Spam still had no name until in late 1936 when, as legend has it, Jay decided to throw a New Year's Eve party...The Reward for suggesting the now-famous name--a hundred dollars--went to Kenneth Daigneau, the visiting actor-brother of Hormel Vice President Ralph Daigneau...." ---Spam: A Biography, Carolyn Wyman [Harcourt Brace & Company:San Diego]1999 (pages 7-8).

How much did SPAM cost in 1937?
"New Hormel SPAM, Spiced Ham, 12-oz can 31 cents."
---Giant Market food advertisement, Daily Record Newspaper [Morristown NJ], September 23, 1937 (p. 3)

SPAM recipes?
Full page color SPAM advertisements, featuring recipes, ran regularly in popular women's magazines throughout the 1940s. The back cover of Woman's Day, November 1938 shared recipes for Hot Velveeta SPAMwich (on toast place 2 thin slices of SPAM, sliced tomato, Bermuda Onion or pickle. Cover with a thin slice of Velveeta and place in oven until it melts), SPAM 'N' Eggs (Quickly fry slices of SPAM, and serve with eggs...Or dice SPAM and have SPAMbled eggs). Woman's Day January 1941: SPAM Burgers (We just grill or fry thick SPAM slices, pop them on buns-top them off with relish or ketchup-and there's our quick indoor picnic!). Woman's Day, November 1942 offers recipes for SPAM 'N' Pancakes, SPAMwiches (All you need is bread, butter, and a can of SPAM. If you like, add chili sauce, relish, sliced hard egg...) & SPAM 'N' Spaghetti (Prepare spaghetti and tomato sauce in casserole, sprinkle with grated cheese and crumbs. Bake till top is brown and crusty. Cut thick slices of Span and grill. It's a Victory meal--nutritious and delicious!). Woman's Day May, 1946: SPAM 'N' Macaroni Loaf. Woman's Day May, 1947: SPAM for Luncheon (grilled and served with carrots, peas cauliflower with a crown of hollandaise), Baked SPAM (for dinner...Score whole SPAM, sutd with cloves) & SPAMwiches (for anytime...Make Spamwiches of cold sliced Spam, with: chopped olives, pimiento, sweet pickle, mayonnaise--sliced hard cooked egg, dressing--creamed cheese, horse-radish--sliced tomato, cheese, mustard.).

The competition
"Spam luncheon meat was a tough sell at first, partly, according to former Hormel public relations chief Stuart H. "Tate" Lane, because housewives of that era had "been raised by their mothers to believe that if you ate meat that had not been refrigerated, you'd be sick the next day." But it quickly picked up in poplarity. One measure was in the number of monosyllabic competitors it spawned. Treet, MOR, PREM, Snack, TANG, and more than a hundred others came on the market within the next two years, most leaving just as quickly." ---Spam: A Biography (p. 9-10)

According to the records of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, this Swift & Company product was introduced to the American public September 16, 1939. PREM was one of several brands competing with Hormel's famous SPAM canned luncheon meat product. We're not finding any references to "poor man's spam" except on the Internet. Possibly? Competing products were priced lower as a way to entice thrifty consumers from the ubiquitous SPAM. Note how the ads below all tout the same positive points. Color photo: Woman's Day September 1946 (p. 44)

"Tonight we'll have hot Prem dinner!" Ready-To-Eat, Prem is a tiptop meat for summer meals. You can serve it hot without heating the kitchen. Try it as shown above with cauliflowers and lima beans. Or you can chill the can and serve it cold. Hot or cold, it hselps make meal preparation quick, cool, easy. All meat, no waste, it's economical, too. Swift & Company: Purveyors of fine foods. Sugar-Cured, by the makers of Swift's premium ham. Now packed three ways--but all the same quality of the same good Prem."
---Woman's Day, October 1944 (p. 7)

Armour's product was introduced May 27, 1939. "New middle of the tin opener" with key, color photo Woman's Day, April 1949 (p. 10) "Treet is the meat for extra good baked beans. Buy the Best, Buy Armour's Treet. A little Treet makes a lot of hearty eating! This Treet-Bean Casserole is a good example. Ready much faster than the ordinary way...tastier too!
Quick Baked Beans with Treet
4 slices (1/2 can) Treet
1 No. 2 Can Armour's Star Pork and Beans
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsps. chopped onion
2 tbsps. chopped green pepper
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
18 tsp. pepper
Salt, if desired.
Combine heans, sugar, onions, green pepper, mustard and pepper. Place in uncovered casserole. Bake in 375 degrees F. oven for 40-45 minutes. Brown slices of Treet in margarine or Cloverbloon butter for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Arrange on the top of beans. 4 servings. You'll love Treet any way...sliced hot or cold for sandwiches...fried or baked for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This pure pork shoulder meat is vacuum cooked in its own rich juices , right in the tin. Rich in important B Vitamins, too. Keep a tin of Treet on hand always. Armour and Company."
---Woman's Day, October 1944 (p. 52)

Wilson & Company, Chicago IL (sorry, not finding a start date for this product)

"Eating Pleasure on the Double Quick. Menu (Nutritionally Balanced)
Broiled Mor and Tomato Halves
Broiled Whole Kernel Corn, Hard Rolls
Cherry Cream Pie, Milk
Recipe: To assemble platter: In center of round platter place brouled whole kernel corn, flecked with green pepper and pimientos (chopped). Around the corn arrange alternate slices of broiled MOR and broiled tomato halves, topped with chopped onions. Garnish with greens. 'I have tried all the meats of the MOR type. I use and recommend MOR for its finer flavor, extra tender texture and uniform quality.' George Rector, Food Consultant to Wilson & Co. Delicious, appetizing MOR comes read to eat. Saves time and work in busy wartime kitchens. MOR is all good meat. No wasteful bone or gristle. Every bit edible. Each can makes 8 dinner-size slices or 16 sandwich-size slices. Rich in energy and a natrual source of Vitamin B1. No refrigeration needed. By the Makers of Tender Made Ham, Wilson & Co."
---Women's Day, October 1942 (p. 2)

TANG (the meat product, not the orange powdered beverage)
We can confirm the existance of this product from newspaper ads, but not the manufacturer or introduction date. If you have information please let us know!

"Treet, Prem, SPAM, Tang, 51 cents/can"---display ad, Delta Democrat-Times [Greenville Miss.], January 15, 1948 (p. 16)

Food historians confirm squirrel, along with other small scampery rodentia-type game, played an integral role as human food from prehistory to present. Readily available, easily caught, economically feasible, tasty & versatile. Tastes like chicken.

Native dwellers, European settlers, foraging pioneers, and established frontiersmen often relied on the daily "shoot" to provide meat for meals. This might explain why squirrel recipes were not typically featured in period cookbooks. We also find references to squirrel as a substitute for preferred cuts in certain recipes, including stew. In the USA two celebrated examples of squirrel-based food are Brunswick Stew & Kentucky Burgoo. Big socio-political feeds featuring local game make perfect sense in this particular context.

Prehistoric applications
"As Ewer says: 'The [human] taste for meat would have been first acquired by eating relatively easily killed things such as tortoises, lizards, porcupines and small mammals like ground squirrels."
---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brotrhwell and Patricia Brothwell [Johns Hopkins University Press:Baltimore MD] 1998 (p. 32)

English cuisine
"Squirrel. A tree-dwelling rodent of the family Sciuridae, to which the woodchuck and prairie dog also belong. Squirrels have a global distribution. All species have a long bushy tail and strong hind legs; and eat nuts and seeds. Squirrels can be cooked like rabbit or even chicken...The slight gamey taste present in most game meats is not so pronounced in the squirrel. The young ones can be fried or broiled the same as rabbits.'"
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2007 (p. 752)

"The red squirrel was a dish for a lord. 'Browet farsure' was an early fiftneeth-century pottage which contained the meat of partridges and coneys 'or else rabbits for they are better for a lord...And for a great lord, take squirrels instead of coneys.' By Tudor times they were going out of favour. Dr Moufet wrote, 'Squirrels are much troubled with two diseases, choler and the falling-sickness; yet their hinder-parts are indifferent good whilst they are young, fried with parsley and bitter: but being no usual nor warrantable good meat, let me skip with them and over them to another tree...' Meat was cooked by roasting, broiling on a gridiron, frying and stewing. In addition, the pie was developed, which allowed meat to be sealed within a strong crust and baked, often accompanied by several other ingredients."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago Publishers: Chicago IL] 1973, 1991 (p. 83-84)

"Squirrels as food are not much sought after in England, although their flesh is quite tender and their flavour resembles that of the wild rabbit. During World War II squirrel pies and roast stuffed squirrels appeared on Soho menus, but never found favour, and it is safe to assume that further available supplies were used as rabbit. Those seeking adventure in the culinary field might well try roast squirrel without suffering indigestion."
---Master Dictionary of Food & Cookery, Henry Smith [Philosophical Library:New York] 1952 (p. 228-229)

American cookery
"Other animals eaten are the woodchuck...the muskrat,...rabbits, hares and all kinds of squirrels."
--- Iroquois Foods and Preparation, F.W. Waugh, facsimile 1916 edition [University Press of the Pacific:Honolulu HI] 2003 (p. 135)

"Of all the denziens of the Southern woods, none is more common than the squirrel, and the bushy-tailed rodents have been there in great numbers since long before Columbus. Indians roasted them over the open fire or stewed them in clay pots; later, new Americans from Europe and Africa fried them in skillets. Thomas Jefferson and many another Southerner after him...considered squirrel an essential ingredient of Brunswick stew, Kentucky burgoo makers...have always felt the same way. According to most contemporary preferences, the favored way to cook squirrel is smothered in a rich gravy made from pan liquids and flour. The same basic recipe is also used with other small game, such as rabbit and quail."
---Southern Food: at home, on the road, in history, John Egerton [University of North Carolina Press:Chapel Hill NC] 1993 (p. 248) [NOTE: This book includes a recipe for preparing squirrels supplied by Bart Stephenson, Hermitage Sportsmens' Club. We can send if you want.]

"Southerners took game of all kinds throughout the ueart, but fall and winter were the preferred hunting seasons. This provided dame during the period when poultyr and eggs were least abundant. Wild turkey, rabbit, and squirrel tended to replace domestic poultry and eggs in the diet during the winter. The cooking of game was similar to that for domestic meats. Frying was a favorite method of preparing young rabbit, but older animals were boiled. Squirrel meat was tougher than rabbit and required more cooking, but the results were considered superior to rabbit dishes. Squirrel broth or pie with dumplings were considered delicacies." (p. 47) "Like rabbit, squirrel was a common food animal, and it was tenacious enough to survive in large numbers in most of the areas throughout the antebellum period. Squirrels were common wherever adequate food could be found, and the woodlot or forested stream course that was part of every southern landholding provided as many animals as one might wish. Gray squirrels abounded throughout the area and were especially numerous in the deciduous forests. In the Coastal Plain and Mississippi Valley the much larger fox squirrel also was found. Both were relished by whites and slaves though squirrel may have been less common in the slave menu than rabbit since it usually was obtained with firearms. But is is certain that many white farmers, particually the smaller ones located in the oak-pine, oak-hickory, and chestnut forest areas, had as much squirrel as they desired."(p. 79-80)
---Hog Meat and Hoecake: Food Supply in the Old South 1840-1860, Sam Bowers Hilliard [Southern Illinois University Press:Carbondale IL] 1972

"Squirrel: a small rodent with slender body and bushy tail, of familiar appearance and habits, found wild in every part of the world except Oceania. By residents of the larger cities it is best known as the protected, semi-domesticated pet of public and private parks, but it is also esteemed by many people as among the most desirable of small game animals, all varieties--black, red, grey, etc.--being equally acceptable."
---The Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [New York] 1911 (p. 589)

Vintage recipe sampler

"Stewed Squirrels.
Take a couple of fat young squirrels, case and cut them into small pieces, rinse them very clean in cold water, sprinkle on enough salt and pepper to season them well; stew them in a smalll quantity of water, wiht a few slices of bacon, till nearly done. Make a thick batter with eggs, milk and flour; drop it by spoonfuls in with the squirrels, add a large spoonful of butter, rolled in flour, stew it fifteen or twenty minutes longer, then our in a cup of sweet cream, and serve it up. Or you may omit the dumplings, and serve with the squirrels a handful of chopped parsley having it stirred in the gravy.

"Fried Squirrels. Prepare them as for the stew season them with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, dredge them with flour, and fry them a handsome brown, in lard or butter. Stir into the bravy a spoonful of flour, one of tomato catchup, and a glass of sweet cream, and serve the squirrels with the gravy poured round.

"Broiled Squirrels. Case and clean two fat young squirrels, (old ones will not do;) split them open on the back, rinse them very clean in cold water, season them with salt, pepper, and grated lemon; broil them on a gridiron, over clear coals, turing and basting them two or three times with butter. When they are well done, place them in a warm dish, sprinkle on them a handful of grated bread, and pour over them two ounces of drawn butter."
---Kentucky Housewife, Lettice Bryan, facsimile 1839 edition [Image Graphics:Paducah KY] (p. 136-137)

"To Barbecue Squirrel.

Put some slices of fat bacon in an oven. Lay the squirrels on them and lay two slices of bacon on the top. Put them in the oven and let them cook until done. Lay them on a dish and set near the fire. Take out the bacon, sprinkle one spoonful of flour in the gravy and let it brown. Then pour in one teacup of water, one tablespoonful of butter, and some tomato or walnut catsup. Let it cool, and them pour it over the squirrel."
---Housekeeping in Old Virginia, Marion Cabell Tyree, facsimile 1879 edition [Favorite Recipes Press:Louisville KY] 1965 (p. 108)

"Stewed Squirrels.
Skin two pairs of fat squirrels, wash them quickly in cold water, or carefully wipe them with a wet cloth to remove the hairs, and cut them in quarters, rejecting the intestines. Put a layer of slices of fat salt pork in a saucepan, then place the squirrels in the saucepan, with a palatable seasoning of salt and pepper, and either a little more salt pork, or a quarter of a pound of good beef or veal dripping, or butter; add enough water to prevent burning, cover the saucepan, and cook the squirrels gently until the meat is tender. When the squirrels are nearly done, uncover the saucepan, so that the water in which they were cooked can stew away. Then put in enough cream or good milk to moisten them, let them heat again, see that they are palatably seasoned, and then serve them hot.

"Squirrel Pie. After a pair of squirrels have been skinned, wipe them all over with a wet cloth to remove the hairs, and cut them in joints, saving the blood, and removing the entrails. The liver, heart, and kidneys may be used. Chop a pound of beef-suet fine, rejecting all the membrane; mix it with a pound and a half of flour, two level teaspoonfuls of salt, and a level saltspoonful of pepper. Butter an earthen baking-dish; add enough cold water to the suet and flour, to make a crust which can be rolled out about three-quarters of an inch thick. Line the dish with the crust, put in the squirrel meat and blood, adding enough cold water to half fill the pie; season it highly with salt and pepper, and cover with the crust, wetting all the edges to make them adhere so closely that the gravy cannot escape. In the middle of the top crust, cut a little slit, to permit the escape of the steam while the pie is being baked. Bake the pie in a moderate oven for about two hours; when the crust is nearly brown enough, cover it with buttered paper. When the pie is done, serve it hot in the dish in which it was baked."
---Miss Corson's Practical American Cookery and Household Management, Juliet Corson:

"Squirrel Soup
. Wash and quarter three or four good sized squirrels; put them on, with a small tablespoonful of salt, directly after breakfast, in a gallon of cold water.Cover the pot close, and set it on the back part of the stove to simmer gently, not boil. Add vegetables just the same as you do in case of other meat soups in the summer season, but especially good will you find corn, Irish potatoes, tomatoes and Lima beans. Strain the soup through a coarse colander when the meat has boiled to shreds, so as to get rid of the squirrel's troublesome little bones. Then return to the pot, and after boiling a while longer, thicken with a piece of butter rubbed in flour. Celery and parsley leaves chopped up are also considered an improvement by many. Toast two slices of bread, cut them into dice one half inch square, fry them in butter, put them into the bottom of your tureen, and then pour the soup boiling hot upon them. Very good."
---White House Cook Book, Mrs. F.L. Gillette:

"Squirrels, Fried
.--Unless they are young, parboil them gently for 1/2 hour in salted water. Then fry in butter or pork grease until brown. A dash of curry powder when frying is begun improves them, inless you dislike curry. Make gravy as directed on page 63. Squirrels, Broiled.--Use only young ones. Soak in cold salted water for an hour, wipe dry, and broil over the coals with a slice of bacon laid over each squirrel to baste it. Squirrels, Stewed.--They are best this way, or fricasseed. Squirrels Barbecued.--Build a hardwood fire between two large logs lying about two feet apart. At each end of the fire drive two forked stakes about fifteen inches apart, so that the four stakes will form a rectangle, like the legs of a table. The forks should be about eighteen inches above the ground. Choose young, tender squirrels (if old ones must be used, parboil them until tender but not soft), Prepare spits by cutting stout switches of some wood that does not burn easily (sassafras is best (beware of poison sumach), peel them, sharpen the points, and harden them by thrusting for a few moments under the hot ashes. Impale each squirrel by thrusting a spit through flank, belly, and shoulder, on one side, and another spit similarly on the other side, spreading out the sides, and, if necessary, cutting throught the ribs, so that the squirrel will lie open and flat. Lay two poles across the fire from crotch to crotch of the posts, and across these lay your spitted squirrels. As soon as these are heated through, begin basting with a pice of pork on the end of a switch. Turn squirrels as required. Cook slowly, tempering the heat, if needful, by scattering the ashes for a final browning. When the squirrels are done, butter them and gash a little that the juices my flow."
---Camp Cookery, Horace Kephart, facsimile 1910 edition [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] 2001 (p. 69-70)

"Squirrel Fricassee

1 squirrel
2 cups cold water
1/4 cup canned tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoons fat
Salt and pepper
Clean and wash thoroughly. Cutt off legs, and cut other part of body in pieces. Soak in salted water on hour, drain, wipe each piece dry; season with salt and pepper, and roll in flour. Heat fat in fryer, add onion, let brown lightly, add squirrel. When nicely browned, add water, celery, parsley, tomatoes, and Worcestershire. Cover and let cook slowly about two hours. If gravy is too thin, thicken with a little flour."
---Every Woman's Cook Book, Mrs. Chas. F. Moritz [Cupples & Leon:New York] 1926 (p. 150)

"Barbecued Squirrel.

Wash the squirrel with water in which you have poured a little vinegar. Skewer flat and wipe dry. Rub all over with butter or fat and put under the flame in a shallow pan. Baste constantly with a mixture of one third vinegar and two thirds water, well seasoned with salt and black pepper. Take the pan out several times and turn the squirrel so that it will be cooked on both sides."
---Old Southern Receipts, Mary D. Pretlow [Robert M. McBride:New York] 1930 (p. 65)

"Roast Squirrels

Salad oil
Lemon-juice or tarragon vinegar
1 cup bread-crumbs
1 cup button mushrooms
Pepper and salt
Brown stock
Worcestershire sauce
Clean the squirrels thorougly, wash in several waters and cover with salad oil mixed with lemon-juice or tarragon vinegar. Let stand for an hour on a platter. Soak a cup of bread-crumbs in just enough cream to moisten them, add a cup of button mushrooms cut in dice, pepper, salt and onion-juice. Stuff each squirrel with this mixture, sew and truss as you would a fowl. Rub with oil, place in a dripping-dish, and partly cover with brown stock diluted with a cup of boiling water. When the squirrels are well roasted, make a gravy out of the liquor in the pan, by adding a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, and paprika, salt and lemon-juice to taste."
---Amercian Woman's Cook Book, edited and revised by Ruth Berolzheimer, Culinary Arts Institute [Consolidated Book Publishers:Chicago] 1940 (p. 301)

"Squirrel and Rabbit.

Best in the fall and early winter. Prepare like Chicken. When roasting, truss the forelegs back and hind legs forward. Fasten bacon over the shoulders and back. Baste with a mixture of 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup boiling water. Turn several times. The Stuffing is made as for Chicken. Garnish, when served, with lemon slices on watercress."
---Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, revised and enlarged [McGraw-Hill Book Company:New York] 1950 (p. 287)

"Squirrels en Casserole

3 squirrels
1/2 lb. chopped salt pork
1 cupful chopped onions
1 1/2 cupfuls sliced parboiled potatoes
1 cupful green corn
1 cupful Lima beans
Black and red pepper to taste
1 quart (2 cups) peeled, cut tomatoes
1 tablespoonful sugar
1 tablespoonful salt
4 heaping tablespoons (4 oz.) butter
2 heaping tablespoons (2 oz) flour
4 quarts (16 cups) boiling water
Clean, wash and joint the squirrels. Lay them in salted water for 30 minutes. Put the ingredients into a large casserole in the following order: First a layer of the pork, then one of the onions; next, of potatoes; then follow with successive layers of corn cut from the cob, the beans and the squirrels. Season each layer with black and red pepper. Pour in the water, put on the cover, and seal with a paste made of flour and water. Cook gently for three hours, then add the tomatoes, sugar and salt. Cook for one hour longer; stir in the flour and butter mixed together, boil for five minutes, and serve in the casserole.
[NOTE: this recipe is very similar to
Brunswick Stew.]

"Squirrel Pie
'It may interest your readers to learn that grey squirrels, a pest from which it is admittedly desirable to rid this country, are not merely edible but provide an agreeable food. Young members of my family have been shooting them recently in a neighbourhood where they abound and are most harmful, and we are now finding them as useful as rabbits as a table dish. The meat is as tender as rabbit, can be similary cooked, and resembles it is taste. If it were widely used to supplement the meat ration the double purpose might be served of addition to our food supply and the extermination of an animal desctructive of that supply and of all bird life. Yours faithfully, Frances M. Rowe, Deancroft, Cookham Dean.' (A letter to 'The Times', 19th February, 1941.)

"Sauteed Squirrel
1 pair squirrels
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, minced
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 tablespoons minced ham
1 tablespoon flour
Bit of thyme, minced
1/2 bayleaf, minced fine
1 teaspoon grated rind of lemon
Salt and pepper
1 12/ cup claret
Wash and wipe the squirrels dry; cut in quarters; rub with salt and pepper. Slowly fry onion and garlic in butter until golden; add ham and squirrel, sprinkle with flour, and fry until brown. Heat claret and add with remaning ingredients. Simmer until tender."
---A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon, complete and unabridged [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 490)

Gladys Nichols: 'People say I make good squirrel dumplings. You just boil your squirrel like you would a chicken. Get it good and done and put your seasonings in it. Then make up your flour like you're going to make biscuits. Squeeze you of a little dough and roll it or cut it out. Have your squirrel boiling and just drip the flour dough in there, pepper and salt it, and boil it till it's good and done. I have got a lot of compliments on my dumplings. And then you can make gravy in your squirrel with just a spoonful or two of flour mixed with milk. Pour it in your pot and cook it. Most people, I think, like the gravy even better than they do the dumplings."
---The Foxfire Book of Appalachian Cookery, Linda Garland Page & Eliot Wigginston editors [Gramercy Books:New York] 1984, 1992 (p. 139)

"Fried Squirrel with Gravy

Sarah Thomas ate a lot of squirrel when she was growing up in French Creek., West Virginia. 'They grow way bigger there,' she recalls. 'This is how my mom, Nancy Loudin, taught me to cook squirrel. May dad and brothers always shot the suqirrels through the head with .22 rifles to avoid anyone breaking a tooth on buckshot. We usually helped Dad skin out the squirrels. And there was often a battle over who got the tail.'
Makes 4 servings
2 large squirrels
Salt and ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil or lard, for frying
Milk, mixed with equal parts water (about 1 cup each)
Gut and skin the squirrels. If they were shot with buckshot, check thoroughly for any pieces of shot and remove. Soak the squirrels in a pan of water in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, covering the squirrels. Cut into pieces but don't throw out the backs; there's food flavor there. Discard the heads. Put the pieces in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the meat is tender but not falling off the bone, then drain. Season the squirrel pieces with salt and pepper and roll in the flour. Heat oil to shimmering in a cast-iron skillet and add squirrel pieces. Fry until golden brown on both sides. You are not cooking the meat here but rather adding flavor and texture. Remove the meat to drain on paper towels or a brown paper bag. Leave about 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet and add 2 tablespoons of the flour left over from dredging the squirrel. Make a roux (turn the heat down or it'll get away from you). Once the flour is golden, add half milk and half water and good splash at a time, stirring furiously, until your gravy is the consistency you like. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the squirrel and gravy with mashed potatoes and green beans cooked with bacon fat. Biscuits wouldn't be a bad idea either.---Sarah Thomas of Black Mountain, North Carolina."
---The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook, edited by Sara Roahen & John T. Edge [University of Georgia Press:Athens GA] 2010 (p. 202)

Great American meals are often "claimed" by many places. Such is the case with Brunswick Stew. This large community feed is tradtionally connected with the American South and Appalchian regions.
Kentucky Burgoo and Wisconsin/Minnesota Booya and possibly European Hodge Podge are related by ingredients and method. Classic recipes for Brunswick stew feature squirrel. Modern interpretations sometimes omit that local ingredient. Purists, we understand, still insist on the squirrel. Our survey of historic cookbooks reveal several variations, many of them redacted for home cooks.

The history of Brunswick stew is an excellent lesson in culinary folklore. Historians are fond of recounting stories regarding the origin of the name. These explain the name, but not the recipe. In the broadest sense, the history of this Brunswick stew (essentially squirrel soup with onions) and be traced to neolithic times, when hunter-gatherers put whatever game they were luck enough to catch in the pot with whatever vegetables were in season.

"Brunswick stew. A stew made originally with squirrel, now made with a chicken or other meats. There have been many claims as to the dish's origins, especially from the citizens of Brunswick County, North Carolina, but the most creditable claim comes from Brunswick County, Virginia, where in 1828 Dr. Creed Haskins of the Virginia state legislature requested a special squirrel stew from "Uncle Jimmy" Matthews to deed those attending a political rally. This original Brunswick stew was said to have contained no vegetables except onions, but it soon went through several transformations before the squirrel itself dropped from most recipes after the turn of the century. The first mention in print of the dish was in 1856."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 44)

"Brunswick County, North Carolina, has for years been attempting to lay claim to Brunswick Stew. The best documented case, however, is held by Brunswick County, Virginia, which argues that in 1828 Dr. Creed Haskins of Mount Donum, a member of the Virginia state legislature, wanted something special for a political rally he was sponsoring. Haskins had eaten a squirrel stew created by Jimmy Matthews, and he turned to Matthews for a new variation on that stew. Squirrels gradually disappeared from the recipe for Brunswick Stew, and chicken is now accepted as its major ingredient, but it remained for many years--in its original form--one of the principal attractions of political rallies conducted by the Whigs and Democrats, and of cockfights, family reunions, tobacco curings, and other Virginia gatherings."
---The American Heritage Cookbook, American Heritage editors [American Heritage Publishing Company:New York] 1964 (p. 475) [NOTE: This book contains a modernized (chicken, not squirrel) recipe.]

"The origins of Brunswick stew--initially based on squirrel meat, then on chicken or rabbit or all three--are shrouded in mystery. Brunswick, Virginia; Brunswick County, North Carolina; and Brunswick, Georgia, all claim they were the birthplace, either in the 1700s or 1800s. Others credit Britain's Earl of Brunswick, who, visiting the South, discoverd the derivative dish being served to Virginia workmen...Nashville's John Egerton [states]: 'It seems safe to say that Indians were making stews with wild game long before any Europeans arrived, and in that sense there was Brunswick stew before there was a Brunswick."
---Smokehouse Ham,. Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Applachian Cooking, Joseph E. Dabney [Cumberland House:Nashville TN] 1998 (p. 212) [NOTE: recipe for Kentucky, Crock-Pot and Smoky Mountain Brunswick Stews are offered in this book.]

"Hare soup.

Cut up two hares, put them into a pot with a piece of bacon, two onions chopped, a bundle of thyme and parsley which must be taken out before the soup is thickened, add pepper, salt, pounded cloves, and mace, put in a sufficient quantity of water, stew it gently three hours, thicken with a large spoonful of butter, and one of brown flour with a glass of red wine; boil it a few minutes longer, and serve it up with the nicest parts of the hares. Squirrels make soup equally good, done the same way."
---The Virginia House-wife, Mary Randolph [facsimile edition of 1824 edition] with Historical Notes and Commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 35)

"Brunswick Stew.

A Twenty-five cent shank of beer.
A five-cent loaf of bread--square loaf, as it has more crumb, and the crust is not used.
1 quart potatoes cooked and mashed.
1 quart cooked butter-beans.
1 quart raw corn.
1 1/2 quart raw tomatoes peeled and chopped. If served at two o'slcok, put on the shank as for soup, at the earliest possible hour; then about twelve o'clock take the shand out of the soup and shred and cut all of the meat as fine as you can, carefuuly taking out bone and gristle, and then return it to the soup-pot and add all of the vegetables; the bread and two slices of middling are an improvement to it. Season with salt and pepper to taste; and when ready to serve, drop into a tureen two or three tablespoonfuls of butter. This makes a tureen and about a vegetable-dish-full. --Mrs. R.P.

"Brunswick Stew
Abour four hours before dinner, put on two or three slices of bacon, two squirrels or chickens, one onion sliced, in one gallon water. Stew some time, then add one quart peeled tomatoes, two ears of grated corn, three Irish potaotes sliced, and one handful butter-beans, and part pod of red pepper. Stew altogether about one hour, till you cna tiake out the bones. When done, put in one spoonful bread crumbs and one large spoonful butter.--Mrs. M. M. S.

"Brunsiwck Stew
Take one chicken or two squirrels, cut them up and put one-half gallon water to them. Let it stew until the bones can be removed. Add one-half dozen large tomatoes, one-half pint butter-beans, and corn cut from a half dozen ears, salt, pepper, and butter as seasoning.--Mrs. I. H.

"Brunswick Stew
Take to chickens or three or four squirrels, let them boil in water. Cook one pint butter-beans, and one quart tomatoes; cook with the meat. When done, add one dozen ears corn, one dozen large tomatoes, and one pound butter. Take out the chicken, cut it into small pieces and put back; cook until it is well done and thick enough to be eaten with a fork. Season with pepper and salt.-Mrs. R."
---Housekeeping in Old Virginia, Marion Cabell Tyree, facsimile 1879 edition [Favorite Recipes Press:Louisville KY] 1965 (p. 211-212)

"Brunswick Stew

This is made from the large Southern gray squirrels. Cut into joints and lay in cold salted water for one-half hour to draw out the blood. Put into a large pot one gallon of water, lightly salted, and bring to a boil. Add the jointed squirrels, one half dozen potatoes parboiled and sliced, one-half pound of fat salt pork, sliced, a quart of tomateos peeled and sliced, one pint Lima beans, six ears of corn cut from the cob, or canned corn, and a sliced onion. Cover closely and simmer gently for three hours, stirring occasionally from the bottom. Fifteen minutes before serving add one-half cup of butter, beaten to a cream with a tablespoonful of sugar, and pepper to season. Stir until smooth and slightly thickened, then pour into a hot tureen."
---New York Evening Telegram Cook Book, Emma Paddock Telford [Cupples & Leon:New York] 1908 (p. 85)

"Brunswick Stew.

--This famous huntsman's dish of the Old Dominion is usually prepared with squirrels, but other game will serve as well. The ingredients, besides squirrels, are:
1 qt. can tomatoes,
1 pt. can butter beans or limas,
1 pt. can green corn,
6 potatoes, parboiled and sliced,
1/2 lb. butter,
1/2 lb. salt pork (fat),
1 teaspoonful black pepper,
1/2 teaspoonful salt,
2 tablespoons white sugar,
1 onion, minced small.
Soak squirrels half an hour in cold salted water. Add the salt to one gallon of water, and boil five minutes. Then out into the onion, beans, corn, pork (cut in fine strips), potatoes, pepper, and squirrels. Cover closely, and stew very slowly two and a half hours, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add the tomatoes and sugar and stew an hour longer. Then add the butter, cut into bits the size of a walnut and rolled in flour. Boil ten minutes. The serve at once.""
---Camp Cookery, Horace Kephart, facsimile 1910 edition [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] 2001 (p. 68)

"Brunswick Stew. This is a famous Virginia dish.

Take three of four young squirrels. Cut them up, put into a good-sized kettle, and just cover with cold water. When they have boiled about fifteen minutes, put in
1 quart tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1 quart tender corn, cut from the ear and scraped to get all the milk
1 quart butter beans, fresh
1 pint tender sliced okra, or diced okra
1 pint peeled and sliced Irish potatoes
1 pint sweet peppers, if you can get them
Cook these together until the meat falls from the bones, and take out the largest bones. If all the ingredients are now thoroughly done, work together one tablespoonful of cornstarch and one-fourth pound of butter, and stir until it thickens. Season with salt to taste, and if you have not put in the peppers, season with red pepper and celery salt. The water should be replenished, so as not to become too dry. A good pinch of celery seed is like by some instead of celery salt."
---Old Southern Receipts, Mary D. Pretlow [Robert M. McBride & Company:New York] 1930 (p. 65-6)

"City Brunswick Stew. When Game is not available.
Use ham and veal or chicken and beef, or chicken and veal. Cook three and one-half pounds of the meat to six sliced carrots, eight large potatoes cut up and three bit onions sliced, until the meat drops from the bone. Thicken with three tablespoons flour, add one tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, stir for a moment and serve in hot dishes."
---ibid (p. 78)

"Brunswick Stew

2 squirrels
1 tablespoon salt
1 minced onion
1 pint Lima beans
6 ears corn
1/2 pound salt pork
6 potatoes
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
1 quart sliced tomatoes
1/2 pound butter
This dish is named for a county in Virginia and is a favorite dish in that section of the country. It is served in soup-plates. Cut the squirrels in pieces, as for fricassee. Add the salt to four quarts of water and when boiling add the onion, beans, corn, pork, potatoes, pepper and the squirrels. Cover closely and simmer for two hours, then add the sugar and tomato, and simmer one hour more. Ten minutes before removing the stew from the fire, add the butter, cut into piece the size of a walnut and rolled in flour. Boil up, adding salt and pepper if needed, and turn into a tureen."
---Amercian Woman's Cook Book, edited and rebised by Ruth Berolzheimer, Culinary Arts Institute [Consolidated Book Publishers:Chicago] 1940 (p. 302)

Related foods? Kentucky Burgoo & Wisconsin/Minnesota Booya

Classic example of a large outdoor meal simmering with local flavor. Like New England clambakes, Texas chili cook-offs, Southern/Midwestern Barbeque, and Hawaiian Luaus, Kentucky burgoo brings people together to celebrate community.
Brunswick stew and Wisconsin/Minnesota Booya are close relatives. The common ingredient in Brunswick stew & Kentucky burgoo is squirrel. The unifying thread for all three "B" stews is celebratory community feed built on pride with a generous side of "secret ingredient." Where there are large groups of people, stew-meisters prevail.

"Some say burgoo originated in contental Europe and arrived on these shores in the nineteenth century with sailors from France and Belgium. They maintain that burgoo's name resulted from a mispronunciation of the French word burgout, or perhaps, closely related to ragout, a red-hot vegetable/meat stew. Old time 'burgoomaster' Jim Looney of Lexington, Kentucky, claimed that his burgoo predecessor, Colonel Gus Jaubart, introduced the stew to Kentucky around 1810, and that it was indeed a version of a stew fed to French sailors at sea. Looney claimed the original version dictated 800 pounds of lean beef, a dozen squirrels (provided they were in season) for each hundred gallons, 240 pounds of fat hens, plus a bunch of vegetables. Noted Kentucky historian Thomas Clark looked at burgoo's beginnings a bit differnetly: '(Burgoo) originated back in the days when hunters counted up their day's kill in the thousands of squirrels and when pigeons flew through the woods in veritable clouds, and bear, deer, buffalo and hundreds of turkeys were avialable. The idea came from Virginia, where Brunswick stew was popular. Vegetables of all kinds were boiled along with the game meats, and the whole mas was highly seasoned with spices. This was a fine temptation with which to attract a crowd.' Some feel Clark's references perhaps relate also to what was known a Appalchian 'hunter's stew' or 'Daniel Boone stew.'"
---Smokehouse Ham,. Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Applachian Cooking, Joseph E. Dabney [Cumberland House:Nashville TN] 1998 (p. 217) [NOTE: this book offers a modern squirrel-free Burgoo recipe.]

"Kentucky Burgout.

Mrs. Garrard
6 squirrels,
6 birds,
1 1/2 gallons of water,
1 teacup of pearl barley,
1 quart of tomatoes,
1 quart of corn,
1 quart of oysters,
1 pint of sweet cream,
1/4 pound of butter,
2 tablespoons of flour,
Season to taste.
Boil the squirrels and birds in the water till tender and remove all the bones. Add barley and vegetables and cook slowly for 1 hour. Ten minutes before serving add the oysters and cream with butter and flour rubbed together. Season and serve hot."
---The Blue Grass Cook Book, Minnie C. Fox, facsimile 1904 edition with an introduction by John Fox Jr., new introduction by Toni Tipton-Martin [University Press of Kentucky:Lexington KY] 2005 (p. 37-38) [NOTE: this recipe was reprinted in the New York World's Fair Cook Book, Crosby Gaige, 1939.]

"Kentucky Burgoo
'Kentucky Burgoo' is the celebrated stew which is served in Kentucky on Derby Day, at Political Rallies, Horse Sales and at other outdoor events. This recipe is from a handwritten copy by Mr. J. T. Looney, of Lexington. Mr Looney is Kentucky's most famous Burgoo-maker and it was for him that Mr. R. R. Bradley named his Kentucky Derby winner 'Burgoo King'. Mr. Looney uses a sauce of his own in the preparation of this truly-amazing concoction. Mr. Looney is invited to all parts of the country to prepare Burgoo for large gatherings. This is not a dish to be attempted by an amateur though it can be prepared in smaller quantities. It is a very picturesque sight to see Mr. Looney, aided by many negro assistants, preparing this dish over open fires and huge kettles which are kept simmering all night.
600 pounds lean soup meat (no fat, no bones)
200 pounds fat hens
2000 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
200 pounds onions
5 bushels of cabbage, chopped
60 ten-pound cans of tomatoes
24 ten-pound cands puree of tomatoes
24 ten-pound cans of carrots
18 ten-pound cans of corn
Red pepper and salt to taste
Season with Worcestershire, Tabasco, or A#1 Sauce
Mix the ingredients, a little at a time, and cook outdoors in huge iron kettles over wood fires from 15 to 20 hours. Use squirrels in dozen squirrels to each 100 gallons."
---The Southern Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes, compiled and edited by Lillie S. Listig, S. Claire Sondheim and Sarah Rensel [Three Mountaineers:Asheville NC] 1938 (p. 6)

"Burgoo for Small Parties. Meat from any domestic beasts or barnyard fowls may be used along with any garden vegetables desired. Originally, the burgoo was made from wild things found in the woods of Kentucky. Cut meat to be used into inch cubes; do not throw away bones; add them to meat cubes. Add any dried vegetables which will enchance flavor of stew. Put all materials into large stewing kettle, unless beans and potatoes are being used, If this is the case, cook meats first, and add beans and potatoes about an hor before seving. Fill kettle half full of water and place over fire to come to a boil. Prepare other vegetables for stew. Peel and halve opnions, scrape and dice carrots, pare and cube potatoes. When liquid in kettle is boiling, add vegetables. Lower heat than continue to simmer stew until vegetables are tender. Add salt and seasonings when stew is almost cooked. There should always be enough water to cover the vegetables. Canned tomatoes will add to the flavor of the broth. In a real burgoo, no thickening like meal or rice is used, because the broth is to be strained and served clear. Likewise, sweet vegetables were not used in th real burgoos."---ibid (p. 13) [NOTE: this recipe was reprinted in The New York World's Fair Cook Book, Crosby Gaige, 1939.]

Booya (booyah, boowyaw) descends from the grand culinary tradition of community feeds. Akin to Kentucky Burgoo , Brunswick Stew, and down-home barbecue, midwestern Booya is the perfect dish for political events, church suppers and firehouse dinners. Men generally cook these big meals; they are masters of quantitative culinary unification. Ingredients are local, filling, secret, and delicious. Specialities require hours of attention before achieving serving perfection. All this brewing, bubbling & slow-slathered grilling give people plenty time to talk before sitting down to share their common table. What better recipe for satisfying hungry folks with divergent opinions?

There is some debate regarding the direct culinary lineage of the booyahs served in northern Great Plains states. The French connection is linguistically defensible (bouillion, boulliablase). The Belgium/Flemish/Low Country connection is likewise plausible. Hochepot (hutspot, hodgepodge) is a similar "down home" hearty stew composed of local meats and vegetables.

"Booya. A Minnesota and Wisconsin dish of meats like turtle, oxtail, beef, or chicken, carrots, potatoes and, commonly, rutabagas. Because the dish is usually cooked n enormous batches for large social gathering and church suppers, 'booya' has also come to refer to the outdoor feast itself. Most booyas are held in the fall when the harvest comes in. The origin of the word is unknown, perhaps from the French bouillir, or Canadian French bouillon, 'broth,' although it has been suggested the dish is of Belgian or Bohemian origin."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 35)

"Booya, a stew of chicken and fresh vegetables, can be found in scattered pockets from Minnesota to southern Indiana. Simmered for hours in large pots over outdoor wood fires, booya is served at family reunions, church picnics, community celebrations, and fund-raisers. Wisconsin's chicken booyah (with and added 'h') is said to be Belgian in origin and can also include beef, corn, and beans."
---Oxford Companion to Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 101)

"Hunters in the Michigan woods make a catch-all stew from game which they call booyaw or boolyaw; it is an echo of the state's French past, for it represents an attempt to reproduce the French pronunciation of the word bouillon."
---Eating in America: A History, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow:NY] 1976 (p. 169)


Wisconsin Booya, from Green Bay Gazette.

Minnesota Booya
"Good booya cooks guard their recipes as zealously as any self-respecting chili contest winner. Everyone has a secret ingredient...that separates his batch from his neighbor's....Pine City Booya. Here's a respectable booya (the recipe makes 15 generous servings that the home cook might find manageable. Ann Burckardt, food editor of the Minneapolis Star and Tribune's Taste section, calls booya a 'highly personalized highly individualized' dish; indeed, her recipe files include versions using cabbage, green pepper and pork, in addition to the beef and chicken. This rendition, submitted by a Pine City, Minn., reader, illustrates the point. For best results, Burckhardt suggests making the booya a day before serving, and heating it over low heat. The burned taste ('part of the secret' associated with booyas cooked out of doors) is missing from this recipe, but Burckhardt adds that 'a little hovering the last hour' might be necessary to prevent the mix from sticking to the bottom of the kettle. Like any good booya, this freezes well, she adds.
1 cup navy beans, soaked overnight
4- to 5-pound stewing chicken
1 pound carrots, cut into chunks
4 lbs celery, sliced
2 large onions, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup barley
16-ounce can whole tomatoes
16-ounce package whole kernel corn
2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 ounce pickling spices, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with string
salt and pepper to taste
allspice to taste
Worcestershire sauce to taste.
On cooking day, cook beans about 1 hour, in the largest, deep bottomed kettle you can find, add the beans, chicken and beef; cover with water and simmer, covered, over low heat 2 hours. Remove meat and skim excess fat from the surface. Remove skin from chicken, separate meat from bones and cut up coarsely. Replace meats in stock. Add vegetables, pickling spices and salt to tastes. Simmer, covered, until flavors are well blended, stirring occasionally from the bottom, 1 hour. Season as desired and serve hot."
---"Booya: A Cross Between Soup and Stew, a 24-Hour Potboiling Tradition," [reprinted from the Washington Post], Post-Standard [Syracuse NY], November 25, 1985 (p. B4)

Steak Diane
According to the food historians, the true history of Steak Diane is a complicated affair. The answer may be one of semantics rather than straight culinary history. Why? There are as many names for this dish as there are recipe variations. One of the closest variations is Steak au Poivre, also sometimes served flambe.

The history of cooking and serving meat with spiced sauces dates back to ancient times. Sauces were employed to tenderize cuts and add flavour. Pepper was highly favored by Ancient Roman and Medieval cooks and figured prominently in many recipes. According to the Larousse Gastonomique, Sauce Diane (Diana...aka Artemis...a powerful mythological huntress) is traditionally associated with venison (a tough meat), which makes it a curious choice for the finest beef cuts that are used today for Steak Diane.

"Diane, a la
The description "a la Diane" is given to certain game dishes that are dedicated to the goddess Diana (the huntress). Joints of venison a la Diane are sauteed and coated with sauce Diane (a highly peppered sauce with cream and truffles). They are served with chestnut puree and croutons spread with game forcemeat."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Competely Revised and Updated edition [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 416)

"Steak Diane was originally a way of serving venison, and its sharp sauce was intended to complement the sweet flavor of deer meat. It was named for Diana, Roman goddess of the hunt, and since Diana was also the moon goddess, the small pieces of toast used to sop up the delicious juices are traditionally cut in crescent shapes."
---Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press:Athens OH] 1998 (p. 100)

When was Sauce Diane invented? The earliest mention we find of a sauce with this particular name is 1907, from Escoffier:

"Sauce Diane
Lightly whip 2dl of cream and add it at the last moment to 5dl well seasoned and reduced Sauce Poivrade. Finish with 2 tbs each of small crescent shaped pieces of truffle and hard-boiled white of egg. This sauce is suitable for serving with cutlets, noisettes and other cuts of venison."
---Le Guide Culinaire, A. Escoffier, translated by H. L. Cracknell and R. J. Kaufman recipe 44[1907] (p. 12)
So, when and where did Steak Diane begin? None of the culinary history texts or old cookbooks provide a definative answer. Based on culinary evidence this is a possible explanation:

Steak Diane is an evolution of an ancient dish that was *rediscovered* in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by European chefs. Interestingly enough, this time period coincides with the popularity of the chafing dish and table cookery [though none of the chafing dish recipes we have from that time period approximate Steak Diane]. These dishes were not called Steak Diane. They were known by several names, most famously "Steak au Poivre." Recipes for sauce poivre (pepper sauce) are found in both American and British cookbooks in the 1880s. The American Wine Cook Book, Ted Hatch [1941] has a recipe for "Noisette of Beef Rossini," (p. 118) which would produce something quite similar to Steak Diane. The Waldorf Astoria Cookbook, Ted James and Rosalind Cole [book published in 1981, recipe undated] prints a similar recipe (p. 157). Neither Rossini recipe is cooked at the table or served flambe.

Evidence suggests Steak Diane is an American invention of the late 1950s/early1960s, when French cooking (think Julia Child & the Kennedy White House menus) was all the rage. Rich wine sauces and flamboyant presentation were the norm for many top restaurants. If Steak Diane is an American recipe, then New York City is the most likely place or origin. Jane Nickerson's article "Steak Worthy of the Name," (New York Times, January 25, 1953 p. SM 32) offers three likely candidates: "The Drake Hotel, the Sherry-Netherland Hotel and the Colony Restaurant each said, not knowing that any other dining place had done so, that their patrons praised their steak Diane. Nino of the Drake claimed he was the first to introduce this dish to New York and, in fact, to the entire United States. Essentially it consists of steak cooked in butter and further seasoned with butter mixed with fresh chives; usually the beef is pounded thin. The chef of each establishment has his own version."

The earliest recipes we find for Steak Diane were printed in Nickerson's article. Craig Claiborne's Steak Diane (New York Times Cookbook [1961]) is not served flambe. Julia Child's The French Chef Cookbook, [1968] contains a recipe for "Steak au Poivre" with optional flambe.

"Steak Diane...I always associated this recipe with New York City's Colony Restaurant because that was where I first tried it. Yet I find no mention of it in "The Colony" [1945], in Brody's portrait of that restaurant. It is featured, however, in Michael Lomonaco's "The 21 Cookbook" [1995] together with this description: "At 21 Steak Diane is traditionally prepared tableside by the captains or Maitre Walter Weiss. The beef, sizzling in a large copper pan with brandy flaming and cause bubbling, makes a wonderful show reminiscent of the days when Humphrey Bogart and friends would bound in at midnight following the newest opening on Broadway..."
---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 92)

Steak Diane (Colony Restaurant)

1 to one and one-half tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly gound black pepper to taste
1/2 to one teaspoon each finely chopped chives and parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Individual steak of any thickness (one pound with bone, eight to ten ounces without bone and fat)
Mix all ingredients except meat in heavy fry pan and when very hot place steak in pan, cooking at very high heat until done. Serve immediately, pouring residue of sauce over meat.<
---"Steak Worthy of the Name," Jane Nickerson, The New York Times, January 25, 1953 (p. SM 32)

"Steak Diane, 1 serving

1 ten-ounce sirloin steak
1 1/2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon congnac, heated
2 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon sweet butter
1 teaspoon chopped chives.

1. Trim the meat well and pound very thin with a mallet.
2. Heat one and one-half tablespoons butter in a chafing-dish platter. Add the steak and cook quickly, turning it once.
3. Add the congnac and flame. Add the sherry and the sweet butter creamed with chives.
4. Place the steak on a warm platter and pour the pan juices over it."
---The New York Times Cook Book, Craig Claiborne [Harper & Row:New York] 1961 (p. 91)

Related dish? Chicken chasseur (Hunter's chicken)


Descending from Steak Diane, the true orgins of "Steak Au Poivre" are sketchy at best.

"The origins of steak "au poivre", a steak coated with crushed peppercorns or served with a peppercorn sauce, are controversial. Chefs who claim to have created this dish include E. Lerch in 1930, when he was chef a the Restaurant Albert on the Champs-Elysees; and M. Deveau in about 1920, at Maxim's. However, M.G. Comte certifies that steak "au poivre" was already established as a specialty of the Hotel de Paris at Monte Carlo in 1910, and O. Becker states that he prepared it in 1905 at Palliard's!"
---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated Edition, [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 1142)

Craig Claiborne's New York Times Food Encyclopedia (p.429-30) contains information that suggests the origins of steak au poivre may be traced to Leopold I of Germany in 1790. Your librarian can help you find a copy of this passage if you would like to read it in full.

"...the classic French Steak au Poivre (pepper steak), a restaurant showpiece demanding pyrotechnical skills, remains popular in some quarters. The recipe appears to be relatively new: Escoffier doesn't include Steak au Poivre in Ma Cuisine (1934) but his contemporary, Henri-Paul Pellaprat, does give a recipe for it in Modern Culinary Art (1953)...Food historians of solid reputation dismiss the Prince Leopold theory as apocryphal. Or pure fantasy. Whatever the origin, though, Steak au Poivre became the culinary tour de force of many stylish big-city American restaurants early this century."
---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 122)

Which cuts to use? Depends upon the recipe's author. Julia Child observes "This famous dish usually calls for individual tenderloin or loin strip steaks, but other cuts may be used if they are of top quality and tender."
SOURCE: The French Chef Cookbook [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1972 (p. 262). Craig Claiborne recommends "boneless sirloin steak." SOURCE: New York Times Menu Cook Book [Harper & Row:New York] 1966 (P. 180)

Steak Tartare

"Tartare has two culinary applications in English, both of them inspired by the supposed fitness of the Tatar people of central Asia."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford Univeristy Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 338)

"One of the great old food legends, right up there with the tale of an English king dubbing a particular cut of meat "Sir Loin," is the one about Mongol horsemen (sometimes Huns) supposedly sticking steaks under their saddles before riding off to war. Thus tenderized, the story goes, the steaks could be cooked quickly, and from this, it continues, descends the dish of raw chopped beef we call steak tartare. A Berkeley, Calif., scholar named John Masson Smith notes that there's no reference to this practice in Chinese historical records, and medieval observers in the Middle East never wrote anything about it either. Smith says there's a theory that European observers got this idea because central Asian nomads do sometimes put pieces of meat on horses' backs. But the reason they do it is to lubricate and soothe their mounts' sores, much as Americans put a piece of beefsteak on a black eye. They don't eat the "tenderized steaks" afterward. Traditionally, Turkish nomads such as the Huns and Tatars didn't even eat steak as such. They would cut meat in small pieces for shish kebab or mince it fine for frying, or they'd boil it, so the toughness issue scarcely arose. As for the Mongols, they cooked nearly everything by boiling. "
---"Steak tenderizing legends have been marinated in myth," Chicago Tribune, May 16, 2001 (p.7A)

"The English word "Tartar" comes via the Latin. Because the Romans considered the Taatatrs-the Central Asian Turkic nomads--savage, they inserted an "r" in their name, thereby linking them with Tartarus, or Hell. Even in our day, the idea of barbarism underlies the names of these foods. In the case of Steak Tartare, legend holds that the fierce horsemen of the Golden Horde tenderized their meat by packing it under their saddles. When they retrieved the meat, now so tenderized from the saddle's friction that they could eat it raw, as befits barbarians,. In fact, there is no historical evidence that the Tatars ate raw meat. More often than not, they boiled meat for soups and stews, as they still do today, or placed it on skewers to grill, or minced it to fill rounds of dough that they fried. Nevertheless, the myth lives on. As for Tartar sauce, the Tatars were certainly not eating mayonnaise int he fourteenth century!"
---"Scratch Russian Cuisine," Darra Goldstein, Russian Life, September/October 2005 (p. 61)

"Steak tartare is raw steak (beef or horsemeat), chopped and seasoned and presented with accompaniments such as onion, parsley, and capers, often with a raw egg yolk as a finishing touch. In Belgium, particularly in Flanders, it is known as filet americain. The origins of steak tartare are weighted with myth, usually involving the Russians learning the dish from their Tatar conquerors, then exporting it to Europe via German contacts in the 19th century. American scholars suggest it reached their shores through German migrants, figuring on German-American restaurant menus...It was first known in France in the late 19th century. The first citation in the OED [Oxford English Dictionary] is for 1911."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 786-7)

"Steak a la Tartare

Tartare steak is another chopped steak, and you find it on a majority of a la carte bills of fare. It is so seldom called for, however, that many cooks are "up in the air" when they get an order for it, never having served it, even after years of service as a cook. This steak is served raw, and should be made of tenderloin. Cut the meat finely, season with salt or pepper, rather highly. Add some fine chopped onions, and bind with a little egg yolk. Mold for platter service. Indent the center and in the hollow so made place an unbroken raw egg yolk. Garnish with lettuce leaf, scattered capers, onion rings soaked in vinegar, and fancy cuts of spiced beets and pickles."
---The Hotel Butcher, Garde Manger and Carver, Frank Rivers [Hotel Monthly Press:Chicago] 1935 (p. 23)

Current food experts tell us eating raw beef and raw eggs is hazardous to your health. This information is uploaded for informational/historical purposes only. Do not try this recipe.

Why is steak tartare called steak (filet, beefsteak) Americaine in some countries?
It's not. The French have developed a rich and complex vocabulary when it comes to the culinary arts. For these chefs, and those in neighboring countries, two recipes are similar but not synonymous. The earliest examples we find are from Escoffier. Unfortunately, he chose not to enlighten us with regards to the American connection. The classic 1961 edition of Larousse Gastronomique notes in the entry for Beefsteak a l'americaine "This dish is often prescribed in a building-up diet." (p. 120).

"Beefsteak a l'Americaine.
Cut off a piece of the head of the fillet, remove any fat or sinew and finely chop the flesh, seasoning it with salt and pepper...
Beefsteak a la Tartare. Prepare the steak as for Beefsteak a l'Americaine but without the egg yolk on top. Serve Sauce Tartare separately."
---The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier, first translation into English by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann of Le Guide Culinaire in its entirety [John Wiley:New York] 1979 (p. 278-9)

Madame E. Saint-Ange (La Bonne Cuisine, circa 1929) notes "Steak Tartar is a culinary fantasy made of raw ingredients." She does not offer any other information regarding the origin of the name, nor does she offer a recipe for Steak A L'Americaine.

Chicken Tartare is a fully cooked dish served with Tartare sauce.

The practice of using all parts of an animal for human consumption/use dates back to prehistoric times. Food historians confirm all parts of animals, including offal and organ meat, were consumed regularly. In fact? Some of these parts were considered delicacies because they were rare. The term "sweetbreads" as it pertains (most commonly) to thymus [throat glands] of calves and lambs traces back to the 16th century. Notes here:

"Precisely which internal organ of a calf, lamb, etc. the word sweetbread ought to be applied to is a matter of considerable controversy, but in practice it is clear that for centuries it has been employed for both the 'pancreas,' and the 'thymus gland' used for food. And historically these have been distinguished as, respectively, the heart, stomach, or belly sweetbread and the throat, gullet, or neck sweetbread. It is not certain where the name comes from (it first turns up in the middle of the sixteenth century, in Tomas Cooper's Thesaurus) but, unless it originally had some deeply-dyed euphemistic undercurrents, it would seem to reflect the glands' reputation as prized delicacies (unusual amongst offal) which survives to this day. It is possible that the second element represents not modern English bread by the Old English word broed, meaning 'flesh'."
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 331)

"Although sweetbreads (fr. Ris de veau and Ris d'agneau) are always sold under that name alone, as if there were but one sort, there are two distinct white glands, taken from calves or lambs, covered by that name, and one placed immediately below the throat and the other, rounder in shape, lying nearer the heart, and very much the better from the gastronome's point of view. The first or 'throat' sweetbreads are elongated in form and neither so white nor so fat as the other sort, which would always be chosen by discriminating cooks."
---Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon, complete and unabridged [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 491)

"Sweetbread: the soft, milky thymus glands of the young calf and lamb, the former being the more highly esteemed and considered one of the greatest of all meat delicacies...The glands are divided into the "throat sweetbread" and the "heart sweetbread," the latter being generally preferred because of its special tenderness and large size. They are most delicate when obtained from a young calf, and they gradually disappear after it is turned out to grass...The Pancreas of the older animal, frequently but incorrectly styled "sweetbread," and also known as the "Belly Sweetbread," is an entirely gland, but it bears a resemblance sufficiently close to warrant its consideration under this heading."
---The Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [New York] 1911 (p. 610-611)

A survey of sweetbread notes through time

[16th century Italy: Martino]
"How to Make Veal and Kid Sweetbreads Pottage

Take a libra of sweetbreads and boil well; when cooked through, crush thoroughly on a cutting board as you would with the best of them; and take five hard eggs yolks that have been well crushed and add together with the sweetbreads in a mortar and grind; then take a little good fatty capon broth or sukling calf broth and thin; put in a pot on hot coals away from the flame, and when it boils, add a little verjuice, if it pleases your master; and when it is done, remove from heat and add a bit of saffron and ginger; then take three or four well-beaten egg yolks and add, stirring vigorously so that the pottage does not go bad; and before dividing in bowls, add a half ounce of rose water, and when you serve, top with sugar and cinnamon. Veal and kid sweetbreads can be prepared similarly. Note that they should be only lightly seasoned."
---The Art of Cooking, Martino of Como, edited and with an introduction by Luigi Ballerini, Translated and annotated by Jeremy Parzen [University of California Press:Berkeley] 2005 (p. 119)

[17th century England: May]
"To make Pies of Sweet-breads or Lamb stones

Parboil them and blanche them, or raw sweetbreads or stones, part them in halves, & season them with pepper, nutmeg, and salt, season them lightly; then put in the bottom of the pie some slices of interlarded bacon,& some pieces of artichocks or mushrooms, then sweet-breads or stones, marrow, gooseberries, barberries, grapes, or slic't lemon, close it up and bake it, being baked liquor it with butter only. Or otherwise with butter, white wine, and sugar, and sometimes add some yolks of eggs."
---The Accomplist Cook, Robert May, facsimile 1685 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1994 (p. 231-2)

[17th century France: La Varenne]
"Sweetbreads stuck.
Take the fairest you can get, and best shaped, whiten them in cold water, stick them and put them on a prick; rost them very neatly, and after they are roasted, serve them with the juice of a lemon upon them. "Sweetbreads with ragoust. After they are whitened, cut them into slices, and pass them in the pan, or whole, if you iwll, with large, and well seasoned with parsley, chibol whole, mushrums and truffles, and after they are well stoved with good broth, and the sauce being short and well thickened, serve."
---The French Cook, Francois Pierre, La Varenne, translated into English in 1653 by I.D.G. [Southover Press:East Sussex] 2001 (p. 83-84)

[18th century England: Glasse]
"There are many Ways of dressing Sweetbreads:
You may lard them with thin Slips of Bacon, and roast them with what Sauce you please; or you may marinate them, cut them into thin Slices, flour them, and fry them. Serve them up with fry'd Parsley, and either Butter or Gravy. Garnish with Lemon."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 30)

[19th century France: Ude]
"Sweetbreads a la Dauphine

If you use round dishes, you must have four sweetbreads; if a long dish, three large ones will be sufficient. Mind, at any rate, to select them of a large size and very white. Pare the sinews and the fat; threw them into warm water, and let them disgorge, to draw out the blood, and make them as white as possible. When thoroughly disgorged, blanch the a little in boiling water to make them firm, that you may lard them with greater facility. As soon as they are larded, rub a stew-pan all over with butter, cut a few carrots and onions over the butter; cover this with some fat bacon, lay the sweetbreads over the bacon, powder them over with salt, and stew them with a great deal of fire on the top, and very little beneath. When they are of a fine brown, cover them with a round of paper, and lessen the fire on the top. If they are large, it will require three-quarters of an hour to do them. If they are too much done, they become soft, and are not so palatable. When properly done, drain them, and put in a pan with some glaze till dinner-time; then drain them afresh, and glaze them of a fine brown. Serve them up with sorrel or endive. There is no necessity to moisten a sweetbread, as they have so much original moisture, that they will never be too dry."
---The French Cook, Louis Eustache Ude, orignally published in Paris 1828 [Arco Publishing:New York] 1978 (p. 143-144)
[NOTE: recipes for Sweetbreads a la Financier and a la Dreux included.]

[19th century Italy: Artusi]
"Animelle alla Bottiglia (sweetbreads with wine sauce)

While lamb sweetbreads do not need any prior preparation, sweetbreads from larger animals must first be cooked halfway in water, and skinned if necessary. Leave the former whole but cut the latter into pieces. Dredge well in flour, brown in butter, and season with salt and pepper. The moisten with Marsala or Madeira wine, and bring to a boil. Tou can also make a sauce separately with a pinch of flour, a bit of butter, and the wine. If you enhance them with brown stock, instead of being just good, they will become delicious."
---Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, Pellegrino Artusi, originally published in 1891 [Marsilio Publishers:New York] 1997 (p. 249)
[NOTE: this book also offers a recipe for Crochette D'Animelle (sweetbread croquettes).]

[19th century England: Cassells]
should be chosen as fresh as possible, as they very quickly spoil. There are two sorts--heart sweetbreads and throat sweetbreads. The heart sweetbreads are the best, and also the most expensive. In whatever way sweetbreads are dressed, they should first be soaked in lukewarm water for a couple of hours. They should then be put into boiling water and simmered gently for five or ten minutes, according to size, and when taken up they should be laid in cold water. Sweetbreads vary considerably in price, according to the time of year. They are quite as frequently employed as ingredients in sundry made dishes, such as vol-au-vents, ragouts, &c., as served alone, and as they do not possess a very decided natural flavor they need to be accompanied by a highly-seasoned sauce, or they will taste rather insipid. They are in full season from May to August."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with numerous illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 947)
[NOTE: this book offers recipes from Sweetbreads a la Dauphine, Sweetbreads a la Maitre d'Hotel, Sweetbread Kromeskies, Pie of Sweetbreads and Palates, Sweetbreads and Palates Stewed, Sweetbreads au Gratin, Baked, Broiled, Browned, Cold, Cotolets, Croquettes, Cutlets, Fricasseed cutlets, Fried, Larded, Minced in paper cases, Patties, Ragout, Roast, s Stewed, Vol-au Vent, White, with Mushrooms, and with Truffles.]

[20th century France: Child]
and brains have much the same texture and flavor, but brains are more delicate. They both receive almost the same treatments. Both must be soaked for several hours in cold water before they are cooked, to soften the filament which covers them so that it may be removed, to dissolve their bloody patches, and to whiten them. Some authorities direct that they always be blanched before cooking--that is, poached in salted and acidulated water or a court bouillon; others do not agree. If the sweetbreads or brains are to be braised, blanching is a useless and flavor-losing step. If they are to be sliced and sauteed, blanching firms them up so they are easier to cut, but removes some of their delicacy and tenderness. Both brains and sweetbreads are perishable, and if they are not to be cooked within 24 hours, they should be soaked and blanched which will help to preserve them. Soaking Sweetbreads and Brains. Wash in cold water, then place in a bowl and soak in several changes of cold water or under a dripping tap for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Delicately pull off as much as you easily can of the filament which encloses them, without tearing the flesh. This is a rather slow process. Soak them again for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, this time in several changes of cold water containing 1 tablespoon of vinegar per quart. Peel off as much more filament as you can, and they are ready for trimming and cooking. Trimming. A whole sweetbread, which is they thymus gland of a calf and usually weighs about 1 pound, consists of 2 lobes connected by a soft, white tube, the cornet. The smoother, rounder, and more solid of the two lobes is the kernel, heart, or noix, the choicest part. The second lobe, called throat sweetbread or gorge, is more uneven in shape, broken by veins, and is often slit. Separate the two lobes from the tube with a knife. The tube may be added to the stock pot.

"Blanching Sweetbreads Sweetbreads, trimmed and soaked as in preceding directions
An enameled saucepan just large enough to hold them
Cold water
Per quart water: 1 Tsp salt and 1 Tb lemon juice
Place sweetbreads in saucepan and cover by 2 inches with cold water; add salt and lemon juice. Bring to simmer and cook, uncovered, at barest simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and lunge into cold water for 5 minutes. Drain. The sweetbreads are now ready for sauteeing."
---Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle & Julia Child [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1963 (p. 408-409)
[NOTE: This book offers recipes for Ris de Veau Braises (braised sweetbreads), Ris de Veau a la Creme, Ris de Veay a la Marechale (creamed sweetbreads), Ris de Veau a la Creme et au Champignons (creamed sweetbreads with mushrooms), Ris de Veau au Gratin (sweetbreads au gratin) and Escalopes de Ris de Veau Sautes (Sweetbreads sauteed in butter).]

[20th century England: Grigson]
I first came across this recipe in French, in Careme's L'art de la cuisine francaise au dix-neuvieme siecle, which first came out in 1833. He describes it as an English recipe, and praises it. I imagine he may have come across it in England while he was working for the Prince Regent. The odd thing is that it is not in the most popular cookery books of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. I came across it eventually in The Compleat Housewife, by E. Smith, a reprint from the fifteenth and eighteenth editions, of 1753 and 1773...This early recipe lacks the bread sauce, and the crumbs are pressed into the skuets of meat before they are hung up to roast before the fire. Careme's refinements really make the dish.

For 4
500 g (1 lb) veal or lamb sweetbreads
Light veal or chicken stock
2 teaspoons lemon juice or wine vinegar
8 thin rashers of smoked streaky bacon
16 mushrooms
Chopped parsley and thyme
Freshly ground pepper
Browned breadcrumbs
Bread sauce
To prepare sweetbreads, place them in a bowl and ocver them with water. Stir in a tablespoon of salt. Leave for an hour or longer if you like. If they are frozen, leave them for several hours. Drain them, rinse them with cold water and place them in a pan. Pour enought stock over them to cover them by about 1/2 cm (1/4"), and add the lemon and vinegar. Bring slowly to the boil, and simmer gently until they lose their raw pinkish white look and turn opaque. This takes a couple of minutes with lamb's sweetbreads; veal sweetbreads, being much larger, can take 20 minutes. Pour off the cooking liquor, which can be used in soups and sauces (some sweetbread recipes use the stock to make the appropriate sauce). Run the sweetbreads under the cold tap and pull off the gristly bits. Go carefully, though; if you pull off too much, sheep's sweetbreads will disintegrate into very small knobs. Put the sweetbreads on a plate, with another plate on top to press them. They can now be left in the refrigerator for later use, or overnight. To assemble the skuets, cut the sweetbreads into slices or chunks about an inch wide, and divide them into four even rows. Cut the bacon into enough small pieces to go between them, and put them in place. The mushrooms should be fitted in at appropriate intervals. Scatter with chopped parsley and thyme. Now take four skewers and run them through the four lines of sweetbreads and bacon, etc. Brush them over with melted butter and grill them under a medium heat for about 15 minutes. Serve them on a long dish over with the browned crumbs. The bread sauce should go in a separate bowl."
---English Food, Jane Grigson, originally published in 1974 [Penguin Books:London] 1992 (p. 148-149)
[NOTE: Bread Sauce recipe is included in this book. We can send if you like.]

Swiss steak
Our survey of American cookbooks confirms recipes called "Swiss steak" debuted in American during the early 20th century. Recipes vary and cooking methods varied. Generally, it was a favorite of War and Depression years, as the baking would render tougher cuts of meat palatable. The concept of "Swiss steak" is ancient. Thoughout time, thrifty cooks have cooked tough cuts for long periods of time with sauces and seasonings. Stews, burgoos, and pot roast all belong to this family. Earlier recipes are called different names (stewed steak, tomato steak, steak casserole) and can be identified by examining ingredients and method. The primary beef cut, round steak, is known to be tough. Cutting, pounding & baking/braising this cut makes sense. Swiss steak was promoted as an economical recipe in times of war and meat shortage.

Why call it "Swiss steak?"
"Swiss steak. Sliced beef rump or round baked with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and sometimes seasoning such as thyme, rosemary, basil or chile. In England it would be called "smothered steak," but there is really no direct corollary for the dish in Switzerland, the closest being carbonades. The name may derive instead from an English term, "swissing," which refers to a method of smoothing out cloth between a set of rollers, because Swiss steak is usually pounded and flattened before cooking."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 319-320)

"Swiss steak. The original name of this recipe was 'Schmor Braten.' It is three centuries old."
---The Gold Cook Book, Louis P. De Gouy [Galahad Books:New York] 1946 (p. 345)
[NOTES: (1) No additional history provided; recipe follows. (2) Schmor Braten is German for braised beef (3) Mimi Sheraton's German Cookbook 1965 (p. 153-154) contains a recipe for Vienna Steak with Braised Onions, Weiner Rostbraten, which treats steaks as Swiss steak.]

Swiss steak recipe evolution
"The first recipe I've been able to find for Swiss Steak appears in the Larkin Housewives' Cook Book (1915). Nothing more than browned, inch-thick beef round in water with bottled onion extract, it barely resembles the tomato-rich versions we know and love today. Two years later Ida Baily Allen (Mrs. Allen's Cook Book) offers a Swiss Steak nearer our own except that it cooks stovetop. The tomatoey baked variety seems to have surfaced in the 1930s. In Meals, Tested, Tasted, and Approved, a 1930 Good Housekeeping cookbook, there is an early Swiss steak called Tomato Steak. In 1934, John MacPherson, radio's famous "Mystery Chef," offers a true Swiss Steak and calls it that, too, in the Mystery Chef's Own Cook Book."
---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Reicpes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 91)
[NOTE: New recipes are uploaded to article databases & the Internet daily.]

"When ground beef palled and sirloin steak or standing rib roast were out of reach for the postwar pocketbook, Swiss steak was an inexpensive, hearty substitute...Who, exactly, invented Swiss steak is a muster...the dish was not common in cookbooks until the Forties. The method of pounding the meat wtih flour and then braising it would seem to point to Pennsylvania Dutch origins, but there is no hard evidence of this. Cora, Rose, and Bob Brown identified it in the Forties as a Wyoming specialty, while Clementine Paddleford spotted it in Indiana."
---Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 141-2)

"Swiss Steak.
Take a round steak, about two to two and a half inches thick, and pound into it as much flour as it will take. When the flour has been pounded into it on both sides put the meat into an iron skillet and cook as you would any steak. The cover it with water, set it on the back of the stove, cover skillet tightly, and cook for one hour, adding water when necessary and flour to make a thick gravy.-R."
---"Hints and Recipes to Aid the Practical Housekeeper," Chicago Daily Tribune, October 3, 1909 (p. F3)

[1913] "Swiss Steak.
Use round steak, about an inch thick, at seventeen to twenty cents a pound; pound well on both sides; dip in flour and cook, without cutting, in skillet containing hot lard; season well with salt and pepper, and keep turning until both sides are nicely browned. Then pour over it boiling water until the meat is covered. Keep it boiling about an hour with skillet covered, adding more water uf necessary unntil the meat seems very tender; then let it cook slowly on the back lid of the stove until the gravy thickens. The result will be a delicious steak, with rich brown gravy."
---Econoomy Administration Cook Book, [W.B. Conkey Co.:Hammond IN] 1913 (p. 196)
[NOTE: This recipe was submitted by Miss Mairian M. George, Los Angeles CA.]

"Swiss Steak
Use a piece of round steak about two inches thick into which pound half a cup of flour, a little salt and pepper. Brown in a little fat or butter, cover with hot water, simer with lid oer it for two hours."
---ibid, (p. 219)
[NOTE: THis recipe was submitted by Mrs. George H. Hodges, Kansas.]

"Swiss Steak.
Have two pounds of round steak cut one inch thick. Melt two tablespoons of fat (suet will do) in a frying pan, season steak with salt and pepper, dredge with flour, brown quickly on both sides then put into a Larkin Casserole. Brown a scant half cup flour in fat left in fat, add three cups hot water, pour over meat. Cook for two hours in a slow oven. If onion is liked, flavor with Larkin Onion Extract, or cook a raw onion in the fat before the meat is browned. The toughest meat will become tender and delicious.--Mrs. D. H. Dager, LaFayette Hill, Pa."
---Larkin Housewives' Cook Book [Larkin Co.:Chicago IL] 1915 (p. 20)
[NOTE: Larkin Company was a food & kitchenware manufacturer. (2) Cook book was compiled by the company.]

"Swiss Steak.
Round steak (1 inch thick) 2 pounds.
Butter 2 tablespoons.
White onions (small) 3.
Salt 1 teaspoon. Carrots (small) 3.
White pepper to taste.
Trim steak and pound to half inch thickness. Cut into 5 equal portions. Dredge meat with flour. Heat butter and drippings in skillet, sear both sides of each piece of meat. Cut carrots in rounds 1/8 inch thick. Brown and place on bottom of baking dish, add meat, the onions cut in 1/2-inch rounds and browned. Brown remainder of flour in skillet. Add water or stock, salt and pepper. Pour over meat and cook covered for 1 hour in moderate oven--Mrs. Katherine L. Neilson."
---Chicago Daily News Cook Book, Edith G. Shuck editor [Chicago Daily News:Chicago IL] 1930 (p. 140)

"Swiss Steak
2 lbs. round or flank steak
1 small can tomatoes
3 tablespoons drippings or shortening
1 medium sized onion chopped fine
1 cup water
1/4 teaaspoon pepper
1 teaaspoon salt
1/2 cup sifted flour
Sprikle a little water over the steak. Sift into arge bowl or onto large plate, then put oour steak into flour and press as much flour into the steak as you can. Put the drippings or shortening into a large frying pan and when sizzling hot put the floured steak in. Brown the steak thoroughly on both sides. The steak can either be cooked on top of the stove or in the oven; whichever way you cook it the pot or baking pan should have a lid. Grease the pot or baking pan with a litte dripping and transfer the browned steak to it. Now put the cup of water into the frying pan the steak was browned in, and let the water boil while you run a fork over the pan to loosen up any of the steak juices and flour that may be sticking to the pan. Then pour the boiling water from the frying pan over the steak, add 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped, and add a small can of tomatoes; add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn flame down and cover the pan or pot with a lid, and allow to simmer for 2 hours, If cooked in the oven, cover the baking pan and bake in a slow oven for 2 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes (See page 101)."
---Mystery Chef's Own Cook Book, John MacPherson [Blakiston Company:Philadelphia PA] 1934, 1945 (p. 88-89)

"Swiss Steak
1 1/2 b. round steak
1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 1/2 c. cannned tomatoes
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 lb. fat
---Granddaugher's Inglenook Cookbook, [Brethren Publishing House:Elgin IL] 1942, 1946 (p. 192)
[NOTE: Other recipes under the Swiss Steak heading in this book are: Spanish Round Steak, Swiss Steak en Casserole and Swiss Steak with Rice. Happy to scan/send free of charge.]

"A tender, juicy Swiss steak is excellent fare for fall dinners. Buy no-point beef and cook it slowly for full, meaty flavor and tenderness. A piece of chuck cut from the shoulder of beef is a good choice...Add very little liquid. The juice of a small lemon in half a cupful of hot water is about right...The lemon is an effective tenderizer and adds zest to the gravy. Red table wine is the right kind if you like to cook meats with wine...The oven temperature for Swiss Steak is 325 degrees, allow three hours for a three-pound steak.
Swiss Steak
3 pound piece utility beefsteak
1/2 cup flour
1 onion
1/2 cup hot water
Juice small lemon
Method--Cut meat into serving-size pieces and pound well. Rub with seasonings and flour. Heat suet in heavy pan, add meat and brown well on both sides. Sprinkle chpped onion over meat, add water and lemon juice. Cover pan and cook over very low heat for three hours Make brown gravy from drippings in pan. To improve the flavor and brown color of gravy add two teaspoons taste-type beef extract."
---"Swiss Steak Cookery Secret Told," Marian Manners, Los Angeles Times, November 13, 1945 (p. A5)

"Swiss steak
The steak should be cut at least 2 inches thick. Use 1/2 cup flour for a slice of meat weighing 2 pounds and mix well with salt and pepper. Pound flour thoroughly into the meat with a wooden potato maher, or the edge of a heavy plate. Heat 1/4 cup of the fat strained from ham or bacon, and brown eat on eac side in this fat. Then add a few slices of onions and 1/2 green pepper, chopped fine, 2 cups of boiling water or part strained tomato. Cover closely and let simmer 2 hours, or cook in a casserole in the oven. Swiss Steak may be cooked without any liquid, if preferred, as its own moisture is sufficient. The onion may be omitted or other vegetables added as desired. Swiss Steak is popular not only in Wyoming, but throughout the cattle country, wherever folks are still able to get hold of steaks 2 inches thick without going bankrupt. And incidentally, out West a slice of ham still weighs at least 1/4 pound, while in the effete East it has shrunk to about 1/4 ounce (For Swiss Cream Steak see Nebraska.)"
---America Cooks: Favorite Recipes from the 48 States, The Browns, Cora, Rose, and Bob [Garden City Books:Garden City NY] 1949 (p. 929-930)
[NOTE: This recipe is listed as a Wyoming specialty.]

"Swiss Cream Steak.
2 pounds round steak
1/4 cup butter or lard
2 onions, sliced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons grated cheese
Cut meat into pieces for serving. Dust with salt, pepper, paprika, and flour; brown on both sides in fat in which onions have been cooked and removed. Add cooked onions water, and cream, to whoch grated cheese has been added Cover pan tightly and let simmer until meat is tender."
---ibid, (p. 519)
[NOTE: This recipe is in the Nebraska section.]

"Swiss Steak
3 1/2 pouds round steak, cut 1 inch thick
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup bacon drippings
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon finely chopped green pepper
1 can (1 pound, 13 ounces) tomatoes
1 can (14 ounces) tomato juice (optional)
Place meat on board, sprinkle half of the combined flour and salt on one side and pound with a meat hammer for 1 minute. Turn over, sprinkle with the remaining flour and pound for 1 minute. Heat drippings in heavy skillet, and add mmeat; brown on each side until golden brown. Add onion and let cook for about 1 minute, the add remaining ingredients, except tomato juice. Cover pan, reduce heat and cook slowly for 1 1/2 hours. If liquid isn't sufficient, open a can of tomato juice and add as needed. Yield: 6 portions."
---How America Eats, Clementine Paddleford [Charles Scribner's Sone:New York] 1960 (p. 384)
[NOTE: This dish appears in the Indiana section.]

"The thing that makes 'swiss steak' out of round steak is the thickness of the cut more than the preparation, tho a swiss steak is almost always braised and almost always has a tomato sauce. The meat should be cut at least an inch thick; sometimes it is sliced as thick as 1 1/2 inches. Saucy swiss steak is a new variation of one of our favorite dishes. It is seasoned with chili powder and the sauce has big chunks of ripe olives to give it more interest.
Saucy Swiss Steak
[Six to eight servings]
2 1/4 pounds round steak cut thick
Salt, pepper, flour
2 tablespoons shortening
2 cans [8 ounces each] tomato sauce
1 cup hot water
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup ripe olives
Cut steak into serving pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour. Heat shortening in skillet. Add meat and brown well on both sides. Add tomato sauce and hot water. Cover; simmer until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Moisten chli powder in cold water. Cut olives into large wedges. Stir chili powder and olives into meat mixture and simmer 15 minutes more."
---"Swiss Steak Bites Back,' Mary Meade, Chicago Tribune, July 21, 1964 (p. A2)

"Family-Best Swiss Steak
Dinner's always a hit with this easy-fix beef boice. And the rich gravy tastes so good over fluffy mashed potatoes! Makes 4 servings.
1 boneless chuck or round beefsteak, weighing about 2 pounds
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoos vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 cup chopped celery
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon leaf marjoram, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Rub steak with flour to coat generously; brown in vegetable oil in a large heavy frying pan or in an electric skillet; remove and set aside for next step.
2. Saute onion and celery until soft in same frying pan; stir in remaining ingredients. Return steak to pan; cover.
3. Simmer 2 hours, or until meat is very tender. Remove to a heated serving platter; keep hot while fixing the gravy.
4. Let gravy stand in pan about a minute, or until fat rises to top; skim off all fat; reheat gravy to boiling.
5. Cut steak into 1/4-inch-thick slices; serve with gravy."
---Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking [Rockville House Publishers:Rockville Centre NY] 1972, volume 15 (p. 1896)

"According to Webster, Swiss Steak is 'a slice of round steak into which flour is pounded on both sides and which is then browned in fat and smoothered in tomatoes and other vegetables and seasonings.' The other vegetables are, as a rule, onion and celery. Why Swiss Steak is called 'Swiss' is anyone's gudess. Culinary history buffs have not yet, to my knowledge, tracked down the origin of its name. Recipes for Swiss Steak started croppig up in the last half of the 1920s. It was considered economical because the round steak called for offered little waste and it became a favorite family dish. In one well-circulated cookbook of that period, bacon drippings were used for browning the steak and green peas were added. Nowadays cooks are still devising variations. In the following recipe, recently developed by a California cook mushroos are used. Seasonings, too, have changed. In early recipes only salt, pepper and garlic might have been added. In the following recipe basil, oregano and thyme are called for.
Swiss Steak
1 1/2 pounds round steak about 1-inch thick
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons (about) vegetable oil
1 large (6 ounces) onion, sliced
1 large rib celery, sliced
1/4 pound (generous) mushrooms, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
8-ounce can stewed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed basil
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
Trim excess fat from a round steak. With edge of heavy saucer or meat mallet pouund flour into both sides of steak, Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add steak and brown well on both sides over medium-high heat. Place steak in baking dish (about 12 by 8 by 2 inches). In drippings in skillet, lighty cook onion, clelry, mushrooms and garlic. Stir in tomatoes, basil, oregano and thyme. Pour over steak. Cover tightly with foil. Bake in 300-degree oven (no need to preheat) until steak is tender-1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Place steak on a hot platter, keeping vegetables on meat. If necessary, skim excess fat from juices and pour around steak. Serve at once. Makes 4 servings."
---"Swiss Steak Can Take on Many Variations," Cecily Brownstone, Los Angeles Times, February 21, 1985 (p. 44)

Related recipe? Wiener schnitzel.

Food historians tell us 16th century Portuguese cooks may have been the first to deep-fry batter-dipped shrimp. The recipe was inspired by Catholic dietary regulations requiring the abstinence from meat during certain days. Portuguese cooks subsequently shared their fried shrimp recipe with the Japanese, where the dish was renamed tempura.

"The earliest record of tempura is from the end of the sixteenth century, and it probably came from a cooking method introduced by Portuguese missionaries. In the late Edo period the term meant different things in Kansai and Edo, according to an encyclopedia of customs from the mid-nineteenth century...The Tempura of Kyoto and Osaka was what is now known as satsuma-age...Frying with pil or fat was rare in the Japanese diet that developed through medieval times. The main exception was the vegetarian food eaten in and around Zen temples, with its deep-fried bean curd and wheat gluten. It was during the Edo period that the general population acquired a taste for food cooked in oil, due to the stpread of oil-based cooking styles introduced from abroad: Portuguese-inspired tempura in the sixteenth century, and the Chinese-style fucha and shippoku cooking that crystalized in Nagasaki during the seventeenth century. Only sesame oil, which was expensive, had been used for cooking until the Edo period. Then, as cheaper rapeseed oil came into production, mainly for lighting, the new oil-pressing techniques were introduced, the stage was set for the popularization of deep-fried foods. Tempura is one of the national dishes of Japan that developed into its current form in the city of Edo...Tempura became popular in the 1770s as a snack food sold at street stalls, where the customers ate standing and did not use chopsticks. The morsels of fish, prawns and vegetables were stuck on bamboo skewers, coated with batter, deep-fried and eaten on the spot, as an inexepensive food for the common people. Tempura restaurants first appeared at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and by the middle fo the century were lsited in Edo restaurant guides, indicating tempura had come to be appreciated by people of higher social standing."
---The History and Culture of Japanese Food, Naomichi Ishige [Kegan Paul:London] 2001 (p. 246)

"The cooking technique which is said to owe its name to a shrimp is Japanese deep frying--tempura--variously ascribed to the influence of Jesuit missionarie or Portuguese explorers. They were supposed to have explained to the Japanese that they could not eat meat on the fast days described in ecclasiastical Latin as the quatuor tempora, the "four times" included in the Ember days, and must have fish. The Japanese thought tempora the key word in this context, and are said to have applied it first to shrimp and then to other fish or vegetables cooked in the same fashion. I do not vouch for the story, I simply pass it on."
---Food, Waverley Root [Smithmark:New York] 1980 (p. 458)

"The history of tempura goes back about 400 years, to the time when Portuguese missionaries arrived in Japan. The Portuguese word "tempuras" means Ember Days, when meat was not eaten. It has been plausibly suggested that on these days the missionaries cooked fish and vegetables in the manner most palatable to them, by frying in batter, and that the Japanese adopted the technique and the name from them. Since then tempura has come to be regarded as on of the most important Japanese dishes..."
---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 788-9)

"Tempura or Tendon: In 1550, batter-dipped and fried shrimp was introduced ot the Japanese by Portuguese traders. The Portuguese did not eat meat on Catholic Ember Days (four times annually); these days came to be known as Quator Tempora and the fried shrimp that became the specialty was called Tempura. Tempura now refers to the Japanese cooking method of coating cleaned cut or sliced foods in a light batter and frying quickly in a light vegetable oil. Tendon refers specifically to fried crustaceans."
---You Eat What You Are: People, Culture and Food Traditions, Thelma Barer-Stein [Firefly:Ontario] 1999 (page 275)

Related foods? Corn dogs & Fried chicken & Fried ice cream.

Theories of origin:

"Turkey (or Chicken) Tetrazzini There's plenty of speculation about this recipe but scanty documentation. What is known is that it was created early this century for the Italian coloratura soprano Luisa Tetrazzini, who made her American debut in 1908 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York...According to James Beards...she of the "astounding girth and thrilling voice" loved San Francisco and that's where he believes the recipe was created. Beard's recipe is made with chicken although Louis De Gouy (The Gold Book, 1947) says the original contained turkey. Barbara Haber, Curator of Books, The Slesinger Library at Radcliffe College, traced Turkey Tetrazzini to a 1912 printing of The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Yet according to Barbara Kuck, director of the Culinary Archives and Museum at Johnson & Wales Tetrazzini (turkey or otherwise) appears in The Sunday American Cook Book, an uncatalogued pamphlet of the singer's favorite recipes published in 1911 by The American, a Hearst newspaper in New York City."
---The American Century Cookbook:The Most Popuar Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 188)

"An 'Italian' dish of U.S. origin was the main course at President and Mrs. Eisenhower's White House luncheon yesterday for the President of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic and Mrs. Segni soon after their arrival...'Chicken Tetrazzini' was the Italian-American culinary gen served mid-way in the five course meal. Thought by many to be 'typically' Italian, chicken tetrazzini was actually concoted in New York for Itlay's famous opera stars, the late Eva and Louisa Tetrazzini. The delectable mixture of chicken, extra thin spaghetti and a delicately seaonsed white sauce was the brain child of the late Nicolas Sabatini--the head chef of the old Delmonico Hotel, later master mind of the Mayflower Hotel kitchen here in Washington. Since Sabatini whipped the dish together in the early 1900s, it has become famous 'round the world and is even claimed as 'native' by some Italians."
---"For Italy's VIPs: Luncheon Dish Wears Label: Made in the USA," Wendy McLendon, Washington Post, October 1, 1959 (p. C1)

"Chicken tetrazzini...It is not known when or where the dish was created, though some say it was in San Francisco (the dish was first mentioned in print in 1931), and Tetrazzini herself does not mention the dish in her autobiography, My Life of Song (1921)."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 73)

"The legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier may have been the creator of this dish for the equally legendary Italian coloratura, Luisa Tetrazzini. As rich and heavy as its namesake, it continues to get standing ovations as is did when it was conceived 100 years ago. Turkey is often substituted for the chicken."
---"Succotash, anyone? Recipes' odd histories", Ross Atkin, Christian Science Monitor (Boston, MA), May 24, 2000 (Food p. 16)

The New York Public Library's online menu collection confirms "Tetrazzini" dishes were available in city restaurants in 1917. The earliest recipe we found with this name is from 1928. As expected, variations are all over the map. Additional citings & early recipes courtesy of Barry Popik.

"Emince of Breast of Chicken Tetrazzini

Mix two parts of shredded breast of chicken, previousl roasted of boiled, with one part of cooked spaghetti cut about 1 1/2 inches long and enough cream sauce to make the mixture about as thick as chicken hash. Season well with salt, pepper, a little grated nutmeg and grated Parmesan cheese. Place in a deep dish and sprinkle the surface with Parmesan cheese and small pieces of butter. Brown in the oven and serve hot."
--"Favorite Recipes of New York Chefs," Theodore La Manna (Chef, Hotel Woodward), Washington Post, January 8, 1928 (p. SM8)

"The leftover turkey or chicken from New Year's dinner can be served today for luncheon or dinner in one of a number of many interesting disguises...The following recipe for turkey Tetrazzini is sugested as an attractive disguise for the leftover fowl if it is to be served for the dinner menu:
Turkey Tetrazzini
1 cup white sauce (medium thickness made of cream)
1 cup cooked turkey, cut in thein strips
1/4 cup cooked spaghetti, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 fresh mushroom caps, sliced and sauteed in butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup buttered cracker crumbs
Season sauce with celery salt. Bring to boiling point and add turkey, spaghetti and mushrooms. Fill buttered ramekin dishes with mixture, sprinkle with cheese and crumbs, and bake in hot oven (425 degrees F. until crumbs are brown."
---"Leftover Fowl May be Served in Many Ways," Dorothea Duncan, Washington Post, January 2, 1936 (p. 9)

"Chicken Tetrazzini

Three cupfuls of julienne of chicken, 1/2 cupful of julienne of tongue, 2 tablespoonfuls of truffles cut in julienne, 1/2 cupful of cream or milk, 1 teaspoonful of paprika, 2 cupfuls of cream sauce, 1/2 cupful of julienne of ham, 1 cupful of julienne of fresh mushrooms. Smother fresh mushrooms in 4 tablespoonfuls fo butter, add ham, tongue, chicken and paprika, smother some more. Then add truffles, milk or cream and cream sauce. Season to taste and serve in rings of buttered spaghetti."
---Palmer House Cook Book, Ernest E. Amiet (Executive Chef, Palmer House, Chicago) [John Willy, Hotel Monthly Press:Chicago IL] 1940 (p. 169)

"Chicken Tetrazzini

2 young chickens (2 1/2 lbs. ea.)
1/2 lb. mushrooms sliced
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup truffles sliced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 lb. spaghetti
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 tablespoons sherry
1 pinch nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Quarter chickens, place in boiling water and simmer slowly until tender, adding salt to taste. Let cool in broth, then remove and cut meat into strips. Place bones and skin back in broth and allow to simmer a while longer; then strain and set aside. Saute mushrooms in 3 tablespoons butter until lightly browned. Cook spaghetti, drain and keep warm. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in pan and add flour. Slowly add 2 cups of broth and stir until smooth. Add cream and sherry, salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Cook slowly for 10 minutes. Mix half of this mixture with mushrooms and spaghetti and place in buttered baking dish. To other half of sauce add chicken and truffles. Place this mixture over spaghetti and mushrooms. Sprinkle cheese over all and place in moderate oven (350 degrees) for 10 minutes."
---Love and Dishes, Niccolo de Quattrociocchi [Bobbs-Merril:Indianapolis IN] 1950 (p. 270-271)

"Chicken Tetrazzini

8 ounces thin noodles or fettucini
1 garlic clove, mashed
6 fresh parsley sprigs, leaves only
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 bay leaf, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons fresh sweet butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup hot chicken broth
1/2 cup light cream, warmed
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup diced cooked chicken (from wings, legs, etc.)
8 thin slices breast (from poached chicken or capon)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the noodles in boiling water for 10 minutes and drain. Chop garlic and parsley together. Place the oil in a skillet, heat, and add mushrooms, bay leaf, garlic and parsley, salt and pepper. Cook slowly for 4 minutes; stir. Place the butter in another saucepan, melt, and add the flour; blend. Add hot chicken broth, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Add cream and wine and stir well. Place drained noodles in a buttered oven casserole, spoon mushroom mixture over the noodles, and arrange chicken over mushrooms. Pour the cream sauce over all and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake in preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for about 15 minutes. Serve with a green salad, a ripe pear, a slice of Fontina cheese, and a glass of dry Orvieto. Serves 4. NOYE: This can be cooked under the broiler. Cover casserole with foil and place on lowest shelf of a preheated broiler. Cook for 10 minutes and remove foil. Keeping a close watch, broil until al light brown crust appears."
---Leone's Italian Cookbook, Gene Leone [Harper & Row:New York] 1967 (p. 138-139)
[NOTE: "Mother Leone's" aka "Mama Leone's" was a popular recipe in New York City's Broadway area.]

>why is toad-in-the-hole so named when there are no toads or holes involved??
Food historians have been wondering about this for years. No toads, certainly. The hole, however, presumably refers to the position of the meat in the recipe. Batter puddings are remarkably versatile.

"Toad-in-the-hole. Nowadays this British dish typically consists of sausage cooked in batter, but in its earliest incarnations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (when it was usually called toad in a hole) various cuts of meat were used. Mrs. Beeton, for instance, used steak and kidney, and recipes recommending the finest fillet steak are to be found, but often enough toad in the hole was a repository for leftovers. Even today lamb chops are occasionally found lurking in batter, and sausage 'toad' is the unappetizing colloquialism that distinguishes the orthodox version. The notion of secreting delicacies in 'holes' in a batter pudding goes back to Roman times, and in the earliest recorded uses of this actual expression in the eighteenth century they do not contain only 'toads': Hannah Glasse, for example, gives a recipe for pigeons in the hole.'"
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 344)

"Toad in the hole...provokes historical questions of exceptional interest. What are the origins of the dish and how did it get its name? Enquiries are best commenced from two starting points. The first is that batter puddings (whether baked in the oven by themselves or cooked under the spit or jack in the drippings falling from a joint--in the latter case they could be classed as Yorkshire pudding) only began to be popular in the early part of the 18th century. ..Jennifer Stead's essay is the best reference for studying the complex historical questions regarding batter pudding and Yorkshire pudding...The second is that the earliest recorded reference in print to toad in the hole occurs in a provincial glossary of 1787, quoted by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as saying: the dish called toad in a hole meat boiled in a crust.' That gives the name, but the technique is different from that subsequently established...Mrs. Beeton (1861) describes the dish as homely but savoury.'"
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 796)
About Yorkshire pudding.

None of the definitions for the word 'toad' in the OED connect it to a particular type of food---including slang/colloquial meanings. This infers the use of the word toad' in this recipe might have been selected to describe the appearance of the final product. Perhaps Mrs. Beeton thought toads were homely?]


"Pigeons in a Hole

Take your Pigeons, season them with beaten Mace, Pepper and Salt; put a little Piece of Butter in the Belly, lay them in a Dish and pour a light Batter all over them, make with a Quart of Milk and Eggs, and four or five Spoonfuls of Flour; bake it, and sent it to Table. It is a good Dish."
---The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 46)

"Pigeons in a hole

Pick, draw, and wash four young pigeons, stick their legs into their belly as you do boiled pigeons. Season them with pepper, salt, and beaten mace, put into the belly of every pigeon a lump of butter the size of a walnut. Lay your pigeons in a pie dish, pour over them a batter made of three eggs, two spoonfuls of flour and a half a pint of good milk. Bake in a moderate oven and serve them to table in the same dish."
---The Experienced English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald, 1769 reprint edition with an introduction by Roy Shipperbottm [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1997 (p. 65-6)

"513. Toad in a Hole.

Make a batter as directed for the Yorkshire pudding, but with the addition of a spoonful more flour and six ounces of chopped beef suet; butter a rather deep baking dish, into which pour the batter, lay a solid piece of lean gravy beef, about three pouns, in the centre, and bake it an hour and a half in a hot oven. Another metod is to cut up about three pounds of rump-steaks into about six pieces, and putting them into the batter at various distances apart, but the former melthod is most common. Any remains of cooked beef, veal, mutton, pork, roasted or boiled, salt or fresh, or game and fowl, cut in pieces, and seasoned to taste, may be used in this dish, by adding it to the batter when in the dish."
---The Modern Housewife or Menagere, Alexis Soyer, edited by an American Housekeeper [D. Appleton & Company:Philadelphia] 1850 (p. 208-209)

"No. 59. Toad in the Hole.

To make this cheap dinner, you should buy 6d. Or 1s. Worth of bits or pieces of any kind of meat, which are to be had cheapest at night when the day's sale is over. The pieces of meat should be first carefully overlooked, to acertain if there be any necessity to pare away some tainted part, or perhaps a fly-blow, as this, if left on any one piece of beat, would tend to impart a bad taste to the whole, and spoil the dish. You then rub a little flour, pepper, and salt all over the meat, and fry it brown with a little butter or fat in the frying pan, and when done, put it with the fat it has been fried in into a baking-dish containing some Yorkshire or suet pudding batter, amde as directed at Nos. 57 and 58, and bake the toad-in-the-hole for about an hour and a half, or else send it to the bakers."
---A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes, Charles Elme Francatelli, facsimile 1861 edition [Prior Publications:Kent] 1993 (p. 36)

"Toad-In-The-Hole (a Homely but Savoury Dish)
Ingredients.-1 1/2 lb of rump-steak, 1 sheep's kidney, pepper and salt to taste. For the batter, 3 eggs, 1 pint of milk, 4 tablespoonfuls of flour, 1/2 saltspoonful of salt.
Mode.--Cut up the steak and kidney into convenient-sized pieces, and put them into a pie-dish, with a good seasoning of salt and pepper; mix the flour with a small quantity of milk at first, to prevent its being lumpy; add the remainder, and the 3 eggs, which should be well beaten; put in the salt, stir the batter for about 5 minutes, and pour it over the steak. Place it in a tolerably brisk oven immediately, and bake for 1 1/2 hour.
Time.--1 1/2 hour. Average Cost, 2s.
Sufficient for 4 or 5 persons.
Seasonable at any time.
Note.--The remains of cold beef, rather underdone, may be substituted for the steak, and when liked, the smallest possible quanitie of minced onion or shalot may be added."
---Mrs. Beeton's Cook Book [London] 1874 edition (p. 320-1)

"Toad-in-the-Hole.--Required: a pound and a half of lean meat (mutton or beef), a pint of milk, two eggs, half a pound of flour, a little salt, pepper, baking powder and dripping. Costs, about 1s. 9d. Melt the dripping in a baking tin, let it get hot, and grease it well. Make a batter of the milk, flour, &c., as if for Yorkshire Pudding. Pour it in the tin, then pepper the meat a little; lay it in the batter and bake. The oven should be quick at first for the batter to rise, then rather slow for the meat to cook. Time, about an hour. If the meat is cut up into four or six pieces it is more conveniently served, but if in one piece, the gravy is better preserved. Tender meat is a necessity for this dish. Kidneys and liver can be cooked as above, and sausages make a savoury dish of the kind, though somewhat rich."
---Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book, Lizzie Heritage [Cassell and Company:London] 1894 (p.293)

"Tomato Toad-in-the-Hole
(vegetarian version)
6 firm Tomatoes
1 tablespoonful chopped Parsley
1 pint Milk
3 Eggs
1 tablespoonful melted Butter
2 tablespoonfuls Breadcrumbs
1/2 lb. Flour
Utensils--3 basins, wooden spoon, sieve, tablespoon, egg-beater, grater, knife, Yorkshire pudding tin. Enough for 6 persons.
Sift the flour and salt into a basin. Make a hollow in the centre, and stir in the sell-beaten eggs, diluted with half the milk. Rinse out the egg basin with the remainder of the milk and stir this into the batter. Then beat till the batter is smooth, and let it stand while you prepare the tomatoes. Cover the tomates with boiling water, stand them for 1 minute, then remove them from the water and peel, with a sharp-pointed, saw-edged, stainless knife. Remove a little pulp from the centre of each. Mix the crumbs, melted butter, parsley or chopped chives, pepper, salt, paprika, and garlic salt, if liked, to taste. Moisten with beaten egg and tomato pulp. Stuff the tomatoes with the mixture, then place them on a well-greased Yorkshire pudding tin. Cover with batter, and bake in a moderate oven for from 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve cut into squares and sprinkled with grated cheese."
---Cookery Illustrated and Household Management, Elizabeth Craig [Odhams Press:London] 1936 (p. 414)

Tri-tip steak
Beef/Cattle have been supplying humans with protein for thousands of years. The meat is what it is. Beef cuts, on the other hand, are historically dynamic. Cuts/names serve up accurate reflections of national preference tempered by consumer demand. The earliest print reference we find in USA print for Tri-Tip (& culotte) steak is from the 1930s. Our survey of historic newspapers confirms Tri-Tip sales proliferated in the late 1960s, took off in the 1970 and blossmed in the 1980s-1990s.All for what? It's hard to say. Earliest print evidence strongly suggests "Tri-Tip" sirloin cuts originated in mid-California. Think: Santa Barbara, Van Nuys, Bakersfield, Placerville. The period? early 1960s. By decade's end, this decidedly Californian steak swallowed East Coast meatrentrepreneurs whole.

"In cutting steaks from the larger steer butts, the butt should first be freed of flank, then cut in two. That gives you the lower, or triangle part, and the upper or oblong part...In the former the triangle part is much the choicest for steaks. It is more tender, and well interspersed with fat. Cut these in slices one inch thick, across the grain."
---Hotel Butcher, Garde Manger and Carver, Frank Rivers [Hotel Monthly Press:Chicago IL] 1935 (p. 24-25)

"Jack's Corsican Room...All Jack's dinners, no matter what the price, are...generous. The chopped sirloin dinner s $1.50; a succulent prime rib, $2.45...In addition there's triangle tip a la Jack $1.85 (a special cut of roast beef)..."
---"Southland Dining Directory, Long Beach Press Telegram [CA], May 24,1955 (p. 45)

"Jack's Corsican Room, 5430 E. 2nd St. Naples,...Owned by Jack and Rose Bass...Chef Bass offers one of his favorites, Triangle Tip a la Jack, a scrumptious beef-cooked-in-wine affair for only $1.95 on the big dinner."
---"Guide to Southland Dining," Long Beach Press-Telegram [CA], May 22, 1956 (p. 50)

"Hurrah for Jack's New Sauce:---Hey, have you heard the news? Chef Jack Bass, owner of Jack's Corsican Room... had created a new sauce for his famed Triangle Tip a la Jack. The old sauce was great, but the new one's even greater. For $1.95 complete, the Triangle Tip includes tender beef, superb soup du jour, big chilled salad, baked potato, another vegetable, beverage and dessert."
---"Stepping Out," Press-Telegram [Long Beach CA], August 14, 1956 (p. B7)

> "Boneless Beefeater Roast. World's tenderest roast. Cut from the triangle tip of USDA Choice Steer. Comes out a significant medium-rare in one hour from a 400 degree F. oven. Average roast weighs 3 lbs. $1.99 per lb."
---display ad, Glen Joe, Inc [Bakersfield, Fresno, San Jose, Mojave and Los Altos CA], Los Angeles Times, October 8. 1960 (p. 10)

"To impress your gourmet guest, serve the Beefeater Roast--$1.24lb/ A choice cut from the Tringle tip of the Loin."
---Bakersfield Californian, December 13, 1962 (p. 36)

"Meat men...often tell customers a sirloin tip (also called a rotisserie roast), rump, English clod or triangle tip can be dry roasted if of high quality. Home economists call these 'borderline' roasts. They may be perfect dry roasted. On the other hand they may be tough. Treating them with meat tenderizer helps. These roasts also have the illusion of tenderness if cooked only until rare and sliced very, very thin with a razor sharp knife."
---"Traditional Roast Beef Takes Loving Care to Be Tender," Los Angeles Times, December 14, 1967 (p. H8)

"Sirlon Steak, U.S.D.A. choice beef...lean and tender small steaks, cut from triangle tip...just right for our Far East special recipes! $1.29/lb."
---Independent [Pasadena CA], Feburary 26, 1968 (p. 4)

"Super Special Triangle Tip Roast, always tender, $1.09/lb, we marinate free, if you desire. These can also be cut into steaks by our live butchers."
---The News [Van Nuys CA], March 12, 1968 (p. 10A)

"Boneless Culotte Steaks, can be used for beef fondue also brochette of beef, $1.59/lb...Triangle Tip Roasts, seasoned free, while they last, $1.25/lb."
---The News [Van Nuys CA] September 9, 1969 (p. 6A)

"Fancy Choice Tri-Tip Steak Roasts...$1.39/lb. If you buy 6 or more tri-tips, $1.29/lb. (Order these early! Let us season them for you with our specially prepared seasoning. We have several cooking instructiosn available for the tri-tip."
---display ad, Valley News and Green Sheet [Van Nuys CA] , September 11, 1969 (p. 13B)

"Taylor's Steak House was a little place that had to be discovered...Taylor's philosophy of food is easily stated. 'The best you can buy and cook it simply.'...essentially this is a steak house, and the variations are all in the key of beef. Six are regularly listed, and there may be a pepper steak added as a special of the day. A pot roast is made from the triangle tip, the cuttings saved (and not frozen) only till there is enough for sirloin tips, served once a week."
---"Roundabout," Lois Dwan, Los Angeles Times, June 27, 1971 (p. R65)

"What's a culotte steak? When the butcher bones out the sirloin portion of a beef...obtains three separate parts. These are the top sirloin, which he slices for boneless top sirloin, which he slices for boneless top sirloin steaks...The bottom sirloin contains three small muscles, the flap, the ball tip and the triangle tip. The triangle tip is a small triangular-shaped muscle that, when cut into steaks, yields two or three 1-inch-thick tender, flavorful steaks called (in some parts of the country) culotte steaks. Where butchers don't speak French so well, the same cut may be called tri-tip steak."
---"The Butcher: More to Names Than Meats the Eye," Merle Ellis, Los Angeles Times, July 20, 1978 (p. I22)

"Sirloin steak has all but vanished in meat markets in my part of the country--at least in the form that anyone over 40 would remember. You know, those big slabs of beef sirloin with the bone in--the pin bone the flat bone or the wedge-bone sirloin that could easily feed a family of four. They are no more!...The bottom sirloin is actually three different muscles, the tri-tip, the ball-tip and the flap...The tri-tip and the ball-tip most often are sold as steaks. The tri-tip for the triangle is a small, 1 1/2-to 2 pound piece that is the most flavorful part of the sirloin. In some markets, the tri-tip is cut into small steaks called culottes; in others, they are sold whole. The best way to but them is, again, in the bag..."
---"The Butcher: No Bone to Pick in Sirloin Steak," Merle Ellis, Los Angeles Times, May 4, 1982 (p. W40)

"Both the tri-tip and the ball-tip are part of what used to be called the sirloin steak, but sirloin steaks are not what they used to be...The tri-tip and the ball-tip are two muscles from the sirloin. The tri-tip, or triangle, as it is sometimes called, is a small 1 1/2-to-2 pound piece that gets its name form its shape; it is, indeed, a triangle. It is merchandised in a variety of ways of meat markets around the country. Some slice it into thin strips for stroganoff, stir-fry or teriyaki steaks. Others cut into thicker slices and call them culotte steaks. The best thing to do with a tri-tip is nothing at all. It is the perfect size and shape just as it is from a steak for two. it is equally good as a small roast cooked quickly in a hot oven. Not even prime rib could be more flavorful and nothing is easier to serve. The tri-tip is about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick, with a thin layer of fat covering the top side...The grain in the tri-tip runs through the meat in such a way that it is almost impossible to carve it wrong. All you have to do is cut straight down through the meat to get perfect slices across the grain. The ball-tip is about the same size and equally as tender as the tri-tip, but there are some differences between the two. The ball-tip has absolutely not outside fat and a bit less marbling, so it tends to be a bit dry if cooked much past medium-rare. It is also a bit trickier to carve...Both tips come to market in vacuum-sealed plastic bags, each bag containing six to eight tips and weighing a total of from 16 to 18 pounds."
---"The Butcher: Stock Up on Steaks Now, Before the Summer-Barbecue Crush," Merle Ellis, Los Angeles Times, March 10, 1983 (p. M23)

"Both the tri-tip and the ball-tip are part of what used to be called the sirloin. The sirloin section of the beef animal is not sliced into steaks as it once was, but is almost always boned out, and each of the component muscles are sold separately. The Tri-tip and ball-tip are two small muscles from the sirloin. The tri-tip or triangle, as it is sometimes called, is a small 1 1/2- to two-pound piece of meat about 1 1/2 inches thick that gets its name from its triangular shape. It is merchandised in a variety of ways in meat markets around the country. Some slice it into thin strips for stroganoff, stir-fry or teriyaki steaks; others cut it into thicker slices and call them culotte steaks. The best thing to do with a tri-tip is to treat it the way they do along the central coast of Califorinia. Season it well with salt, freshly ground black pepper and garlic salt and then grill it quickly over hot coals. In Santa Maria they use Santa Maria Valley red oak. Six of seven minutes on each side is long enough to give you as crusty black exterior with a juicy pink rare center. Santa Maria cooks then carve the tri-tip into thin slices across the grain, being careful to catch the juices that run from the meat, and then serve it with crusty French bread to dip up the juice. Barbecued beans, macaroni and cheese and a tossed green salad are traditional accompaniments."
---"The Butcher: Fire Up the Coals for Barbecue," Merle Ellis, Los Angeles Times, May 14, 1987 (p. SG35)

"There is also a trendy little steak known as the tri-tip. This boneless steak, fashioned from a small triangular muscle at the bottom end of the bottom sirloin and the front to the rup, is also known as the triangle or culotte steak. It has become the darling of in-the-know carnivores, but in our experience it is somewhat overrated, not really a more satisfying eating experience than a top sirloin. Tri-tips can be hard to find, but if you happen across some, by all means buy them. In New York, they are carried by specialty shops like Lobel's..."
---"Buying Sirloin? Grill the Butcher," John Willoughby and Crhis Slesinger, New York Times, August 30, 2000 (p. F3)

"Sirloin steak is usually cut from the 'top,' but a relatively new cut called the tri-tip is a small muscle in the 'bottom' of the loin muscle near the hip, and is considerably more tender. The tri-tip is a good buy."
---Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef, Betty Fussell [Harcourt:New York] 2008 (p. 306)

Related steaks? Cube steak, Carpetbag steak & London broil.

Turducken: modern American invention, reinvented Yorkshire stand pie, or traditional Medieval dish?
Turducken, as we know it today, first surfaced in the second half of the 20th century. Food historians generally credit celebrity Cajun chef Paul Prudhomme for its fame. Turducken was trademarked by Prudhomme in 1986, stating introduction was November 27, 1980. The following year The Prudhomme Family Cookbook [1987] shared the elaborate recipe with the culinary world. A decade later Turducken took USA newspapers by storm.

Medieval legacy:
Historians tell us Medieval English feasts sometimes included "illusion food" and "incredible food." These dishes ranged from simple "mock" dishes to extravagant presentations of imaginary beasts and other unlikely delights. Of the latter genre, the Cocatrice (half hen, half sucking pig, sewn together to appear as one animal) is one of the most famous. Roast peacock with the skin and feathers reinstated before serving to appear as a live bird was similarly documented. Of course, there is the legendary "four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie." What most people don't know is that sometimes toads were used to create the "surprise effect" of this dish. About illusion & incredible foods.

The Yorkshire connection:
"Hannah Glasse offered an interesting recipe for 'A Yorkshire Christmas-Pye," which has boned turkey, goose, fowl (i.e. chicken), and pigeon. Although the directions do not specify placing the smaller birds inside larger ones, they do direct that only the turkey be visible. Subsequent recipes such as the one of 'Yorkshire Pye' in Elizabeth Raffald's The Experienced Housekeeper, first published in 1769, explicitly state that the birds should be placed inside one another. This was common practice in Europe during the Renaissance. The recipes survives in various forms, the most famous of which is the turducken...which was created in Louisiana...The dish was made famous by the celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme, who served it beginning in the 1960s at his family's restaurant, K-Paul's, in new Orleans."
---The Turkey: An American Story, Andrew F. Smith [University of Illinois Press:Chicago] 2006 (p. 36)

Yorkshire Christmas Pye
, Mrs. Glasse.

"A New Year's Pie.

Boil a neat's tongue, skin it,