Friday, June 29, 2012

June 29, General Eisenhower, and Coca-Cola

This day in Food History….

- National Almond Butter Crunch Day
- Feast day of St. Peter, patron saint of fishermen, bakers, harvesters.

1943 General Eisenhower requested that Coca-Cola provide 10 portable bottling plants for U.S. troops overseas.

2005 The USDA confirmed today the first domestic case of mad cow disease.  The 12 year old cow was born in Texas and spent its whole life on the same ranch.

So I took a few days off from writing…no excuse…no reason…just needed a break…now – now break is over. Thank you for your indulgence…

What shall I write about today?  Not much tickles my fancy with the significances of food history.  I am a historian of sorts because I am a veteran, I guess it would be a good topic to discuss Eisenhower sending Coca-Cola to the troops overseas during World War II.

First, a short history (if that is possible) about Coca-Cola

The Coca-Cola recipe was developed at the Eagle Drug a Chemical Company which was a drugstore in Columbus, Georgia.  The recipe was developed by Dr. John Pemberton (a pharmacist) in 1886. It was originally formulated with extracts of coca leaves (cocaine) and kola nuts.  That's where the name comes from. The first Coca-Cola was sold on May 8, 1886 at a soda fountain in Jacob's Pharmacy in Atlanta, either by Pemberton himself, or by clerk Willis Venable. Pemberton sold a 2/3 interest in his company in 1887 for $283.29. Asa G. Candler another Atlanta pharmacist later bought the formula for $2,300, and when he in turn sold the company in 1919, it was worth $25 million.

Coca-Cola was first bottled in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1894 by August Biedenharn, but was this bottling was only local in scope.  Several years later in 1899, Benjamin Thomas and Joseph Whitehead, two Chattanooga lawyers, obtained rights to bottle Coca Cola in most of the U.S., except for Mississippi, New England and certain areas in Texas. The site where Coca Cola was first bottled in Mississippi is now the Biedenharn Candy Company Museum. The first 12 oz aluminum can was introduced by Royal Crown Cola in 1964. It wasn't until 3 years later that Coke started using the aluminum can. One 12 ounce can of Coca Cola contains approximately 45 mg. of caffeine.

Coca-Cola was originally marketed for its medicinal qualities.  This was a period of time when many patent medicines contained coca leaves or cocaine (an alkaloid extracted from the leaves), the most popular was 'Vin Mariani', invented by an Italian physician working in France, Angelo Mariani. Vin Mariani was widely imitated, and Pemberton at first produced an imitation of Vin Mariani before formulating his own concoction, Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola never contained much cocaine - and the amount was quickly reduced to almost undetectable amounts after a few years, when cocaine's negative properties started to become evident. (Estimates are the syrup contained 1 part in 50 million - that would be about 1/2 ounce in 25 million gallons of Coca Cola).  Since 1929 there has been no cocaine in Coca Cola. The leaves were still used for flavor, but the alkaloids were completely removed.

General Eisenhower and Coca-Cola plants

A key part of Coca-Cola’s history is that during World War II, the Company’s long-time leader, Robert W. Woodruff, said that every U.S. serviceperson should get a Coke for 5 cents, wherever he was.

And they did pay only a nickel – wherever they were – even though that meant sending portable Coca-Cola bottling plants around the world. Over 5 billion servings of Coca-Cola were distributed to U.S. troops during the War.

At the outbreak of World War II, Coca-Cola was bottled in 44 countries, including those on both sides of the conflict. But far from devastating the business, the war simply presented a new set of challenges and opportunities for the entire Coca-Cola system.

The entry of the United States into the war brought an order from Robert Woodruff in 1941 "to see that every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for 5 cents, wherever he is and whatever it costs the Company." 

Did you know that General Dwight D. Eisenhower actually requisitioned 10 Coca-Cola bottling plants for U.S. troops overseas?

This effort to supply the armed forces with Coke was being launched when an urgent cablegram arrived from General Dwight Eisenhower's Allied Headquarters in North Africa. Dated June 29, 1943, it requested shipment of materials and equipment for 10 bottling plants. It asked for the following:
  • 3 million (filled) bottles of Coca-Cola
  • Complete equipment for bottling, washing and capping 3 million bottles twice a month
  • Sufficient syrup and caps for 6 million refills
Prefaced by the directive that the shipments were not to replace other military cargo, the cablegram also requested shipment of 3 million filled bottles of Coca-Cola, along with supplies for producing the same quantity twice monthly.

Within six months, a Company engineer had flown to Algiers and opened the first plant, the forerunner of 64 bottling plants shipped abroad during World War II. The plants were set up as close as possible to combat areas in Europe and the Pacific. More than 5 billion bottles of Coke were consumed by military service personnel during the war, in addition to countless servings through dispensers and mobile, self-contained units in battle areas.

But the presence of Coca-Cola did more than just lift the morale of the troops. In many areas, it gave local people their first taste of Coca-Cola - a taste they obviously enjoyed. And when peace returned, the Coca-Cola system was poised for unprecedented worldwide growth. From the mid-1940s until 1960, the number of countries with bottling operations nearly doubled. As the world emerged from a time of conflict, Coca-Cola emerged as a worldwide symbol of friendship and refreshment.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 21 - June is National Soul Food Month

JUNE 21 - Today in Food History
- National Peaches & Cream Day
Today is one of those days in food history that seems boring – nothing of significance in relation to food occurred on this day.  We all have been so looking for the beginning of summer, perhaps that is significant enough.  It doesn’t help me in regards of what to post about for June 21. 
You might recall that I addressed the topics that are designated for each month – in addition to separate daily designations.  I have discovered that June is National Soul Food Month
Soul food cuisine consists of a selection of foods traditional in the cuisine of African Americans. It is closely related to the cuisine of the Southern United States. The descriptive terminology may have originated in the mid-1960s, when soul was a common definer used to describe African-American culture (for example, soul music).
Soul food derived from prized southern dishes during the American slavery era. Soul Food was mostly known as Southern or comfort food, and is now the foundation for bringing back memories of family dinners and special celebrations. This method of cooking also introduced the foundation from which many popular dishes are made from today. Between 300 -1619, the first group of Africans landed in America in Jamestown, Virginia. African American slaves were farmers, cattle raisers, and fishermen and introduced several plants and seeds to plant such as black-eyed peas, okra, sweet sorghum, and watermelons as part of American’s crops and foods.
The slaves created their own meals from the leftovers that their masters did not eat. They often exchanged recipes verbally with each other which led to the development of African American cuisine. This was how many of their foods were gathered for their meals.
The term soul food became popular in the 1960s. The origins of soul food, however, are much older and can be traced back to Africa—and to a lesser extent, to Europe, as well. Foods such as rice, sorghum (known by Europeans as "guinea corn"), and okra — all common elements of West African cuisine — were introduced to the Americas as a result of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. They became dietary staples among enslaved Africans. They also comprise an important part of the cuisine of the American south, in general.
Many culinary historians believe that in the beginning of the 14th century, around the time of early Euro-African exploration, European explorers brought their own food supplies and introduced them into local African diets. Foods such as corn and cassava from the Americas, turnips from Morocco, and cabbage from Portugal would play an important part in the history of African-American cooking.
When the Europeans began their African slave trade in the early 15th century, the diet of newly-enslaved Africans changed on the long journeys away from their homelands. It was during this time that some of the indigenous crops of Africa began showing up in the Americas.
European enslavers fed their captive workers as cheaply as possible, often with leftover/waste foods from the plantation, forcing slaves to make do with the ingredients at hand. In slave households, 'vegetables' consisted of the tops of turnips, beets, and dandelions. Soon, African-American slaves were cooking with new types of "greens": collards, kale, cress, mustard, and pokeweed. They also developed recipes which used lard, cornmeal, and offal; discarded cuts of meat such as pigs' feet, oxtail, ham hocks, pig ears, hog jowls, tripe, and skin. Cooks added onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf as flavor enhancers. Slave owners provided their slaves with the poor parts of the pig such as the small intestines: chitterlings/"Chitlins" were a dish of poor people in medieval England and the name was adopted by the African-Americans through their European slave owners. Some African-American slaves supplemented their meager diets by gardening small plots given to them for growing their own vegetables; many engaged in subsistence fishing and hunting, which yielded wild game for the table. Foods such as raccoon, squirrel, opossum, turtle, and rabbit were, until the 1950s, very common fare among the (then-still) predominantly rural and southern African-American population.
Although their love for cooking included pork, sweet potatoes, collard greens, and spoon bread, breakfast was considered the most important meal of the day. A typical breakfast consisted of hoecakes and molasses.
During that time in history, young girls learned to prepare traditional foods such as fufu, which is made with vegetables and pounded yams. Fufu was often served with soup, stew, or roasted meat. The native foods were yams, vegetables, rice, and groundnuts. Africans were also very skilled in frying, roasting, grilling, boiling, and steaming their foods. They also had special talents preparing wild game, and planting small gardens including wild greens and fruit. Women often worked 16 to 18 hours in the fields then prepared one-pot meals for their family.
Cooking was mostly done on open pits or fireplaces with large swing black pots and big irons cast skillets and were prepared by black cooks. Cooking on open pits is now used as grills.
The slaves did not use measuring cups or cooking devices. They had no cookbooks or formal training in cooking. They had no one to learn from except each other.
It was a great challenge for them to create good food with primitive tools and very limited ingredients. They also cooked such foods as biscuits, baked beans, a variety of breads, and barbecue.
They used large amounts of fat, sugar, and salt to season their foods because it was readily available. Salt was also used as a preservative since there was no refrigeration or other methods to keep food cool.
When testing their food for doneness, they used their own senses, and when they felt the need, they added a pinch of seasoning to enhance the flavor of their dish. They knew by their instinct when their food was done as many cooks know today. That’s also why you see many recipes that read "a pinch of salt and pepper" or “bake until golden brown.”
Cajun and Creole were also a familiar style of cooking and included such popular dishes as jambalaya, bread pudding, desserts, dirty rice, gumbo, and red beans and rice.
During that time in history, black cooks verbally exchanged recipes as they remembered them and today many Southerners still cook without a recipe, just by simply remembering main ingredients and adding seasonings and spices to their taste. This way of cooking has produced many great cooks.
By the end of the Civil War, Black Americans cooked on cattle farms and were pioneers as farmers and survived off the land. During these hard and difficult times, they adapted their own cooking habits and techniques and formed many new ones along the way.
In the 1960‘s, Southern-style cooking by Black Americans was renamed “Soul Food” in honor of black cooks who prepared food during the slavery era. It was also a reminder that these cooks paved the way in the development of African American cuisine - now soul food.
Today, people from all walks of life, young and old, enjoy soul food cuisine. Soul food is also prepared in many households in America for family gatherings and special celebrations. The foundation for soul food was laid many years ago, and today and it continues to be a living tradition through the revival of virtually many restaurants across the country that serves and celebrates soul food.
Being a Midwest girl, I can’t help think about how the lines between soul food and the food I grew up with are oh so similar.  Whatever the case may be, I looked forward to Sunday dinners at my home in Missouri, it was a epitome of soul food cuisine.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 20 - Ice Cream Soda Day

JUNE 20 - Today in Food History

- National Vanilla Milkshake Day
- Ice Cream Soda Day

1861 Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins was born. He discovered what we now call 'vitamins,' essential nutrients needed to maintain health.
Ice Cream Soda Day
Today there is an actual reason that it is Ice Cream Soda Day.  June 20, 1874: It was a hot day in Philadelphia. Robert Green ran out of cream he used for his sodas. He borrowed some ice cream from a neighboring merchant and, with a little experimenting, created the ice cream soda we know today.
Green quickly sold his concoction, eventually combining vanilla ice cream with a choice of 16 flavored syrups. It was soon copied by other vendors and spread rapidly along the parched East Coast.
His own account, Green, published in Soda Fountain magazine in 1910, states that while operating a soda fountain at the Franklin Institute's semi-centennial celebration in Philadelphia in 1874, he wanted to create a new treat to attract customers away from another vendor who had a fancier, bigger soda fountain. After some experimenting, he decided to combine ice cream and soda water. During the celebration, he sold vanilla ice cream with soda water and a choice of 16 different flavored syrups. The new treat was a sensation, and soon other soda fountains began selling ice cream sodas. Green's will instructed that "Originator of the Ice Cream Soda" was to be engraved on his tombstone.
There are at least three other claimants for the invention of ice cream soda: Fred Sanders, Philip Mohr (in 1782 at Fulton and First Streets in Elizabeth, NJ), and George Guy, one of Robert Green's own employees.

Some areas viewed sodas as requiring control since so many teenagers were attracted to it. They prohibited its sale on Sundays in the Bible Belt and some banned it outright.  The solution was to serve ice cream, called sundaes, which denoted “soda’s day of rest.”
An ice cream soda or ice cream float is made by adding soda pop or seltzer to ice cream. Some people add flavoring, like chocolate syrup, or a little milk. However you make it, as soon as the soda hits the ice cream the results are fizzy, frothy, tasty bubbles.
Regional names
In Australia and New Zealand, an ice cream soda made with CocaCola or PepsiCola is known as a "spider." Other spiders are usually known by their flavour, as a "lime spider" or an "orange spider".
In Scotland (mainly on the west coast), it is usually referred to as a "float." "Coke" is often used generically to refer to any cola in the United Kingdom, while "soda" is usually taken to mean soda water.
In Guatemala, Costa Rica and Colombia it's called Vaca Negra (Black Cow), while in Puerto Rico is referred to as a "blackout."
In Alecrim, a city in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, it's called "Sputnik".
In the United States, an "ice cream soda" typically refers to the drink containing soda water, syrup, and ice cream, whereas a "float" is generally ice cream in a soft drink (usually root beer).

Do you know how it works? 
It's basically the same as what is going on with the Mentos and Soda Fountain, except not as messy. You are knocking the carbon dioxide in the soda out of solution. Bubbles of air in the ice cream provide nucleation sites around which carbon dioxide bubbles can form and grow. Some ingredients in the ice cream lower the surface tension of the soda so the gas bubbles can expand, while other ingredients trap the bubbles in much the same way as small amounts of protein in seawater trap air to form seafoam. 
Fantastic Old Fashioned Ice Cream Soda 
    1/4 cup milk
    3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
    1 cup vanilla ice cream (or 1 large scoop)
    club soda (cold) or seltzer water (cold)
    canned whipped cream (optional)

    1.  Pour the milk into one tall 16-ounce glass.
    2. Stir in syrup.
    3. Add in ice cream and enough soda water or selzer to fill almost to top of glass.
    4. Top with whipped cream if desired.
    5. Serve with a long spoon and a big straw.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 19 - National Martini Day

1912 The United States government adopted an 8-hour work day. (I’m still waiting!) 1931 The first commercial doors operated by a photoelectric cell were installed on the swinging doors between the kitchen and dining room of Wilcox's Pier Restaurant in West Haven, Connecticut.
 1941 General Mills introduced 'Cherioats.' The name was changed to 'Cherrios' in 1945. 1978 Garfield, the lasagna eating cat was born. He was brought into this world by cartoonist Jim Davis.
1987 Ben & Jerry Ice Cream introduced a new Ice Cream flavor, Cherry Garcia.

June 19 - National Martini Day
The martini is a cocktail made with gin and vermouth, and garnished with an olive or a lemon twist. Over the years, the martini has become one of the best-known mixed alcoholic beverages. H. L. Mencken called the martini "the only American invention as perfect as the sonnet" and E. B. White called it "the elixir of quietude.”
Although there are many variations, in modern practice the standard martini is a mix of gin coupled with dry vermouth usually in a five-to-one ratio. Shaker mixing is common due to influences of popular culture, notably the fictional spy James Bond, who sometimes asked for his vodka martini to be "shaken, not stirred". However, stirring has a long history. Harry Craddock's Savoy Cocktail Book (1930) prescribes stirring for all its martini recipes. Somerset Maugham's opinion was that "a Martini should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously on top of one another".
The martini was originally made with sweet vermouth. A person who wanted a "dry martini" asked for one made with white vermouth. Until World War II the standard proportion was 1 part vermouth to 3 to 3 ½ parts gin. These days the dryness of a martini refers to the amount of vermouth used in the drink, with a very dry martini having little or no Vermouth.  A wet martini has a significant amount of vermouth added.  A dirty martini contains a splash of olive brine or olive juice.
The exact origin of the martini is unclear. Numerous cocktails with names and ingredients similar to the modern-day martini were first seen in bartending guides of the late 19th century.  One theory suggests it evolved from a cocktail called the Martinez served at the Occidental Hotel in San Francisco sometime in the early 1860s, which people frequented before taking an evening ferry to the nearby town of Martinez. Alternatively, the people of Martinez say the drink was first created by a bartender in their town. Another theory links the first dry martini to the name of a bartender who concocted the drink at the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City in 1911 or 1912.
But it was Prohibition and the relative ease of illegal gin manufacture that led to the martini's rise as the predominant cocktail of the mid 20th century in the United States. With the repeal of Prohibition, and the ready availability of quality gin, the drink became progressively dryer.

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 18. June is National Papaya month

June 18 is National Cherry Tart Day, International Picnic Day and International Sushi Day
1865 Edmund Ruffin died. He was a pioneer in the study of soil chemistry in the U.S.
1892 Macadamia nuts were first planted in Hawaii.
1897 Juliet Corson died. Librarian, cookery teacher and writer, founder of the New York Cooking School in 1876. Her books include 'Cooking Manual' (1877), 'Twenty-five Cent Dinners for Families of Six' (1878), and 'Miss Corson's Practical American Cookery' (1886).
1898 Atlantic City, NJ opened its Steel Pier (boardwalk). The world-famous Steel Pier had 9 miles of food, beverages, concessions, amusements, concerts, etc. Ed McMahon, of the Johnny Carson Show and Publisher's Clearing House fame, was a barker on the pier in his youth..
1913 Robert Mondavi was born. A leading Napa Valley vintner.
1964 The African Groundnut Council was founded in Dakar.
1993 So-called 'killer bees,' Africanized honey bees, have reached Tucson, Arizona; a small dog was killed from a bee attack. Their original source was Brazil, where African bees were imported for experimental cross breeding.

This day in food history had nothing that tickled my fancy to investigate and post about.  Besides daily acknowledgements of food history, routinely each month as specific designations.  In reviewing the options for June, I discovered that June is National Papaya Month.  Since I am a Midwest girl, I did not experience the papaya fruit until I left the Midwest, left the Navy, and moved to South Florida.  Even now, in Connecticut, the papaya is mostly integrated into our everyday cuisine.  So, why not now, I thought I would learn about papaya.

Papaya is believed to be native to southern Mexico and neighboring Central America. It is now present in every tropical and subtropical country.  Papayas have exacting climate requirements for vigorous growth and fruit production, requiring warmth throughout the year and will be damaged by light frosts. Brief exposure to 32° F is damaging and prolonged cold without overhead sprinkling will kill the plants. Cold, wet soil is almost always lethal. Cool temperatures will also alter fruit flavor. Papayas make excellent container and greenhouse specimens where soil moisture and temperature can be moderated.

Because not everyone is aware of how to purchase a papaya or how to cut it – I figured I just cut to the chase providing “Just The Facts” (as Joe Friday from Dagnet would say).
Papayas come in various shapes and sizes: the Hawaiian variety are smaller and are pear-shaped, while Carribean and Asian papayas are long and large, 

When shopping for a ripe papaya, look for skin that is turning from green to yellow. Parts of the papaya may look bruised - this is normal. You should be able to press your thumb into the flesh. If it's too soft or mushy, or if it has a sweet smell to it, the papaya is overripe. If you buy a firmer, green-skined papaya, it will ripen within approx. 1 to 3 days on your counter.

Papaya was called "fruit of the angels" by Christopher Columbus, and for good reason. One of nature's wonders, fresh papaya improves digestion and prevents heart disease, arthritis, lung disease, and eye disorders. And with it's antioxidants, flavoniods, plus loads of vitamins and minerals, papaya will help you fight off cold and flu viruses and help keep you healthy through the winter. Papaya is high in: vitamins C, A, K, E, plus magnesium, folate, beta carotene, and lutein, and more.  If you cut open a papaya it truly resembles the inside of a pomegranate. (FYI – in Greek mythology the pomegranate was regarded as the fruit of the gods).    (The difference between the interior of the pomegranate and the papaya is that the seeds of the papaya is not the fruit of the fruit – the meat of the fruit is the fruit…with the pomegranate the seeds are used as the fruit).

In cutting the papaya, rinse the fruit under cool water to remove any dust or dirt. (You'll be peeling off the skin and discarding it, so this step isn't an absolute necessary).  Place the papaya on a cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the papaya in half lengthwise. If your papaya is ripe, this should be easy to do.  Open up the papaya and separate it into two sections. Using a large spoon, scrape out the seeds. The easiest way to do this is to hold the papaya over the garbage can (or a bowl, if you plan to use the seeds), and scrape downward. Try not to cut too deeply with your spoon, or you may lose quite a bit of the fruit. 

Papaya seeds have a peppery flavor to them, and can be used for salad dressings and other purposes, if desired.  You can now enjoy the papaya fruit by digging into it with a spoon. Or create papaya "mellon balls" with a mellon ball scoop OR an ice cream scoop.  To make papaya wedges or cubes, you will need to peel the papaya. The easiest way to do this: Hold the papaya vertically and run your knife downward along the skin in long slices. Again, try not to slice too deeply, or you will lose a lot of the fruit (or use a vegetable peeler).  Alternatively, you can cut the papaya into slices and use a knife to peel the skin off each slice.  turn the papaya over and simply slice into wedges - as thickly or thinly as you like.

Papaya wedges are great to serve for breakfast (they look terrific on the side of a plate of eggs and toast!). Or use them to make a tasty papaya salad, there are numerous recipes on the internet.  If you'd rather have cubes of papaya fruit, simply turn the wedges on their sides, and slice into cubes or chunks.  Squeeze a little lime juice over the papaya (about 1 Tbsp) - this brings out the tropical flavor of the fruit (my husband won't eat it any other way!). Or combine your fresh papaya with other fruit in a fresh fruit salad.  Another way to eat papaya – which is my absolute favorite – is to puree the fruit and make ice cream with it.  It is refreshing, almost the point of having a sherbet texture.
To Store Papaya: Store leftover prepared fruit in closed containers in the refrigerator. Fresh Papaya will keep anywhere from several days to 1 week, depending on how ripe.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

An intermin posting

apologies to eveyone...I just discovered that the ability to post comments on my blog had been turned off. i have resolved this issue. again, apologies to all readers... Respectfully, Carol

June 17 and Cheeseburger in Paradise

As with every day there are numerous topics I could discuss.  First, I have realized that I am selling my readers short because I am neglecting other important days in food history.  Therefore, beginning today I will be changing the format a little bit on my blog postings. 
June 17, 2012
Today is - Eat Your Vegetables Day and National Apple Streudel Day. 
1239 King Edward I of England was born (ruled 1272-1307).  His coronation feast included 278 bacon hogs, 450 pigs, 440 oxen, 430 sheep and 22,600 hens and capons.
1870 George Cormack, the creator of Wheaties cereal, was born.
1872 George M. Hoover arrived in Dodge City.  He was the second settler there, and opened the first business, a saloon of course.  Whisky was 25 cents.
1903 Ruth Graves Wakefield was born.  Inventor of the Toll House Cookie, the first chocolate chip cookie, at the Toll House Inn near Whitman, Massachusetts in the 1930s.

Because I tend to be a Parrothead – (Parrot Head or Parrothead is a commonly used nickname for fans of Jimmy Buffett. "Parakeets" or "Keets" is the term used for younger fans of Jimmy, or children of Parrotheads).  I decided to investigate the history of the song 'Cheeseburger In Paradise' by Jimmy Buffett.  On this day in 1978 this song peaked at #32 on the charts.
"Cheeseburger in Paradise" is a song written and performed by Jimmy Buffett. It appeared on his 1978 album Son of a Son of a Sailor and was released as a single, reaching #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Cheeseburger in Paradise" has become one of Buffett's best-known songs and was selected as the first track on his greatest hits album Songs You Know by Heart.
According to Buffett's Margaritaville web site, the myth of the "cheeseburger in paradise" was inspired by a boat journey Buffett once took in the Caribbean.  Buffett said of this song: "The myth of the cheeseburger in paradise goes back to a long trip on my first boat, the Euphoria. We had run into some very rough weather crossing the Mona Passage between Hispanola and Puerto Rico, and broke our new bowsprit.  The ice in our box had melted, and we were doing the canned-food-and-peanut-butter diet. The vision of a piping hot cheeseburger kept popping into my mind. We limped up the Sir Francis Drake Channel and into Roadtown on the island of Tortola, where a brand new marina and bar sat on the end of the dock like a mirage. We secured the boat, kissed the ground, and headed for the restaurant. To our amazement, we were offered a menu that featured an American cheeseburger and pina coladas.”
According to the lyrics found on the vinyl sleeve, Buffett sings "cheeseburger is Paradise" twice throughout the song. It is unclear whether he is actually saying in or is, but "cheeseburger is Paradise" can clearly be heard during live performances. Whether this is a fact for the studio version hasn't been confirmed.
 Also, another lyrical-confusion is in the second chorus, during the line "medium rare with Münster would be nice"; the line is commonly mistaken as mustard instead of Münster.
This song has become so popular, that in 2002, Buffett's company Margaritaville Holdings LLC licensed the name of the song to OSI Restaurant Partners as the name of the Buffett-themed Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant chain. As of 2006, the restaurant has 38 locations in 17 states in the United States. A Cheeseburger in Paradise is a menu item at Buffett-owned Margaritaville Cafes located in the United States, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean, as well as being on the menu at his sister Lucy's restaurant "Lulu's" in Gulf Shores, Alabama.