History of Food

History of Food

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 15 - A Potpourri Fun, Facts, History, etc; Something for Everyone!

January 15

Today is one of those days where there is more than ample amount of food history and significance to go around. Let's see if there are ample enough points to encompass everyone's preference.

Today is National Strawberry Ice Cream Day.
You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream!” 
Who doesn't like ice cream. Ice cream is one of those desserts that are eaten year round. Strawberry ice cream dates back at least to 1813 in America, when it was served in the White House at the second inauguration of President James Madison. 

In the United Kingdom it is National Soup Day.
Soup is one of those foods that is probably as old as cooking history. Succinctly put soup is: The act of combining various ingredients in a large pot to create a nutritious, filling, easily digested, simple to make/serve food was inevitable. This made it the perfect choice for both sedentary and travelling cultures, rich and poor, healthy people and invalids. Soup (and stews, pottages, porridges, gruels, etc.) evolved according to local ingredients and tastes.

If you like to read more about the history of soup – this is one of my favorite websites about soup history:
http://ilovesoup.net/thehistoryofsoup/
Soup is so popular everywhere and for so long there is even a wonderful folktale about it. 
                                 A Recipe for Stone Soup from 1808
Give me a piece of paper’ (said the traveler) ‘and I’ll write it down for you,’ which he did as follows:—A receipt to-make Stone Soup. ‘ Take a large stone, put it into a sufficient quantity of boiling water; properly season it with pepper and salt; add three or four pounds of good beef, a handful of pot-herbs, some onions, a cabbage, and three or four carrots. When the soup is made the stone may be thrown away.’ Published in The American magazine of wit, 1808

To read more about Stone Soup Folktale, I would like to direct you to:
http://www.stonesoup.com/history-of-the-stone-soup-story-from-1720-to-now/

For Registered Dietitians and Health Care Field
Today in 1785 William Prout was born. An English chemist, he was the first to classify food components into 3 main divisions - carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The scientific field remembers him today for what is called Prout's Hypothesis, which was an early 19th-century attempt to explain the existence of the various chemical elements through a hypothesis regarding the internal structure of the atom. Those of us in the nutrition field, laud him as a groundbreaker.

For Chefs and Foodservice Area
1915 Fannie Merritt Farmer died (born March 23, 1857). American culinary authority, and author of the 1896 edition of 'The Boston Cooking School Cook Book' later known as the 'Fannie Farmer Cook Book.' Director of the Boston Cooking School, and founder of Miss Farmer's School of Cookery. Often cited as the first cookbook author to introduce standard measurements. Fannie Farmer Cookbook was originally published in 1896 as The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. It is one of the oldest cookbooks published.

For the Historians
1919 The Great Molasses Flood. On January 15, 1919, a large 50 foot high storage tank in Boston burst and sent a tidal wave of over 2 million gallons of molasses traveling at over 30 miles per hour. Houses, buildings and parts of the elevated rail system were crushed in its path. Twenty-one people died, and over 150 were injured. It took over 6 months to clean up the mess. The damage was in the millions of dollars. One can only imagine the sticky mess that insued and remained through the clean-up period.

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