Food Timeline FAQs: charlotte to millet.....Have questions? Ask!
Charlotte, Charlotte Russe & Charley Roosh
According to the food historians, charlottes were invented in England the last part of the 18th century. Cooked charlottes are related to ancient bread pudding; uncooked charlottes are related to Elizabethan trifles. Charlotte is said to be named for Queen Charlotte, wife of George III. Fancy, molded desserts remained popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. We find mid-19th century recipes for apple, apricot and pear charlottes. Charlotte Russe, a similar confection composed of cream instead of fruit, is attributed by some to Careme. Early 19th century Europe was intrigued by everything Russian. Think: Service a la Russe. These confections ultimately inspired Brooklyn's legendary childhood bakery staple: Charley Roosh. Considered by some to be the ultimate personal portion of "push-up-pop" of cakey confectionery deliciousness. Baby boomers growing up in the greater NYC area knew this Charley well.
What is Charlotte?
"A pudding made in a mould with sponge fingers or bread slices. There are two principal kinds: baked and unbaked. The best-known baked charlotte is Apple charlotte...It seems clear that this charlotte began life in Britain. The OED [Oxford English Dictionary] gives the earliest relevant appearance of 'charlotte' in print as 1796, and at least one recipe for Apple charlotte was published within ten years or so. The name may have been bestowed in honour of Queen Charlotte (1744-1818), wife of George III, said to be a patron of apple growers...The principal unbaked charlotte is Charlotte (a la) Russe. Here the mould is lined with sponge fingers. In some fancy versions, these are omitted from the bottom, which is covered with a decorative arrangement of glace fruit with a layer of jelly cementing it into a mosaic. The mould is filled up with a rich cream filling containing gelatin, so that it sets and can be turned out...The history of this item seems to have begin with the famous French chef Careme, at the beginning of the 19th century, probably when he was working for the Prince Regent in England, and perhaps after he had come across the British baked charlotte. In fact he called his invention Charlotte a la parisienne; it is said to have acquired the name russe at a banquet in honour of Tsar Alexander I, or because of the switch in France to service a la Russe. Claudine Brecourt-Villars...dates the appearance of the term charlotte in a French recipe book to 1806..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 157)
"The charlotte is a hot pudding consisting of fruit, typically apple, baked within a case of bread, sponge cake, etc., in a characteristically deep round mould. It first appears on the scene at the end of the eighteenth century (in a poem called Hasty Pudding by J. Barlow: "The Charlotte brown, within whose crusty sides a belly soft the pulpy apple hides'), wife of George III, who apparently was an enthusiastic patron of apple growers. The coincidence of names is probably fortuitous, but what is certain is that as early as the first decade of the nineteenth century recipes for the dish had begun to appear; this from M.E. Rundell, A New System of Domestic Cookery (1807): Cut as many very thin slices of white bread as will cover the bottom and line the sides of the baking dish, but first rub it thick with butter. Put apples, in thin slices, into the dish.'
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2003 (p. 66)
How were the first Charlottes made?
Cut as many very thin slices of while bread as will cover the bottom and line the sides of a baking dish, but first rub it thick with butter. Put apples, in thin slices, into the dish, in layers, till full, strewing sugar between, and bits of butter. In the mean time, soak as many thin slices of bread as will cover the whole, in warm milk, over which lay a plate, and, a weight to keep the bread close on the apples. Bake slowly three hours. To a middling-sized dish use half a pound of butter in the whole."
A New System of Cookery, Maria Rundell (p. 151)
[NOTE: Use your brower's search feature to pinpoint recipe.]
Stew any kind of fruit, and season it in any way you like best; fry some soices of bread in butter, put them, while hot, in the bottom and round the sides of a dish which has been rubbed with butter, put in your fruit, and lay slices of bread on the top; bake it a few minutes, turn it carefully into another dish, sprinkle on some powdered sugar, and glaze it with a salamander."
---The Virginia House-wife, Mary Randolph, facsimile reprint of 1848 edition with Historical Notes and Commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 155)
"The apple charlotte has on the whole remained a British dish, but the charlotte has achieved wider renown in the shape of the charlotte russe, literally 'Russian charlotte', a cold pudding in which custard replaces the fruit. It was supposedly invented by the French chef Antonin Careme in 1802, who, so the story goes, initially named it charlotte a la parisienne, but later changed it to charlotte russe in honour of his employer, Czar Alexander of Russia."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2003 (p. 66)
"Charlotte russe. A French dessert (supposedly created by Marie-Antonin Careme) made in mold with ladyfingers and Bavarian cream...While this confection is known and made in the United States, a simple version consisting of a square of sponge cake topped with whipped cream (sometimes with chocolate sprinkles) and a maraschino cherry was also called a "charlotte russe," a variation of which appeared in Lafcadio Hearn's La Cuisine Creole (1885). This was a standard item in eastern cities, particularly among urban Jewish Americans (some of whom pronounce the item "charely roose" or "charlotte roosh"), who made it at home or bought it at a pastry shop, where it was set on a frilled cardboard holder whose center would be pushed up as to reveal more cake as the whipped cream was consumed."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 64)
Charley roose/charley roosh, Brooklyn New York
"Growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, you got a charlotte russe at the corner candy store where everyone hung out until a certain age. They were seasonal, arrayed in a glass container on the counter, regarded as a special treat. They were spongecake wrapped with stiff cardboard and whipped cream on top. There were two kinds of bakeries--bakeries that did their own baking pastries and cakes and commissioned bakeries that got their stuff from other bakeries...Norman Podhoretz, editor of Commentary Magazine...Although charlotte russe was by no means Jewish--it was popular a popular Victorian dessert--it became a winter fixture in city neighborhoods."
---Jewish Cooking in America, Joan Nathan [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1998 (p. 322)
"The classic French dessert called charlotte russe is an elegant mold of ladyfingers, filled with flavored Bavarian cream. But to old-time Brooklynites, a charlotte russe was a round of sponge cake topped with sweetened whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, and sometimes a marashcino cherry, surrounded by a frilled cardboard holder with a round of cardboard on the bottom. As the cream went down, you pushed the cardboard up from the bottom, so you could eat the cake...these were Brooklyn ambrosia."
---The Brooklyn Cookbook, Lyn Stallworth and Rod Kennedy, Jr. [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1994 (p. 386)[NOTE: this book contains memories and a recipe.]
"The Charlotte Russe, that venerable New York specialty that left generations of city kids with white mustaches on their faces, is not extinct but, like ancient Chinese jade, it is hard to come by. The Charlotte Russe was a street delicacy that, as a perishable, came out in autumn and disappeared, mostly, when the weather turned hot. Basically, it was a piece of sponge cake topped by a heap of whipped cream with a cherry at its pinnacle. Sometimes with fruit, sometimes with sprinkles, but these were optional. It cost a nickel at most and came in a partitioned round white cup with a moveable bottom that you could push up as you made your way through the whipped cream. You bought it in candy stores, bakeries and sometimes in five-and-dime stores. And it was always eaten in the street; it was not a dessert but a snack. It has disappeared from the modern candy store, which today is either a luncheonette or a dry-goods card shop, but there are still bakeries here and there with a sense of tradition that still turn out the Charlotte Russe. Out in the Glen Oaks neighborhood of Queens, Murray Beberman sells it in the old-style cups at the Garden Bake Shop, 265-03 Union Turnpike. He outs out a couple of dozen every day...it costs 45 cents. The customers are past the bloom of youth and their Charlotte Russe is a short trip back to the days when the stomach was strong...for most people the Charlotte Russe is a mere memory. It was part of growing up in New York. They remember the candy store with the cups lined up in a glass case fitted with a door that they opened to pick the Charlotte Russe they wanted...Sam Levenson...remembered that it was a 'take out item.' 'You ate it on the street but not where there were kids on bicycles or skates hwo might knock you down...I used to go partners on a three-cent Charlotte Russe. And then we would have 32 people ask for a lick. I was a champion, I could lick a Charlotte Russe for six hours before I hit the sponge cake. I have never had a cherry that tasted as good as the one of a Charlotte Russe. Charlotte Russe? Nobody knew to call it that. We all called it a tcharla droos...You couldn't get that at home.'...The Charlotte Russe seems to have faded after World War II, but the reasons might call for a seminar or a doctoral thesis. Higher labor costs in bakeries, more whipped cream available to the masses, a fashion change of the sort that rocks Seventh Avenue. Take your choice. But it had an honorable career...the Charlotte Russe, still lip-smacking in memory, has found that the movable bottom has nearly pushed up to the top of the cup of time. Soon there may be no more."
---"The Charlotte Russe? It Survives," Richard F. Shepard, New York Times, November 22, 1976 (p. 47)
"A Charlotte a la Parisienne.
This dish is sometimes called in England a Vienna cake; and it is known here also, we believe, as a Gateaux de Bordeax. Cut horizontally into half-inch slices a savoy or sponge cake, and cover each slice with a different kind of preserve; replace them in their original form, and spread equally over the cake an icing made with whites of three eggs, and four ounces of the finest pounded sugar; sift more sugar over it in every part, and put it into a very gentle oven to dry. The eggs should be whisked to snow before they are used. One kind of preserve, instead of several, can be used for this dish; and a rice or a pound cake may supply the place of the Savoy or sponge biscuit."
---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton, facsimile 1845 reprint with an introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1993 (p. 405-6)
"An Easy Receipt for a Charlotte Russe.
Trim straightly about six ounces of savoy biscuits, so that they may fit closely to each other; line the bottom and sides of a plain mould with them, then fill it with a fine cream made in the following manner: put into a stewpan three ounces of ratafias, six of sugar, the grated rind of half and orange, the same quantity of the rind of a lemon, a small piece of cinnamon, a wine-glass full of good maraschino, a fine noyeau, one pint of cream, and the well beaten yolks of six eggs; stir this mixture for a few minutes over a stove fire, and then strain it, and add half a pint more cream, whipped, and one ounce of dissolved insinglass. Mix the whole well together, and set it in a basin imbedded in rough ice; when it has reamied a short time in the ice fill the mould with it, and then place the mould in ice, or in a cool place, till ready to serve."
---The Jewish Manual or Practical Information in Jewish & Modern Cookery With a Collection of Valuable Recipes & Hints Relating to the Toilette, Edited by A Lady, facsimile of the first Jewish Cookbook in English published in 1846, introduction by Chaim Raphael [Nightingale Books:Cold Spring NY] 1983 (p. 189-190)
"Apricot Charlotte Russe.
Line a plain mould with some finger biscuits, and put it in the ice; Make 1 pint of Apricot Puree; put it in a basin, and add 3/4 lb. Of ounded sugar and 1 oz. of gelatine, previously dissolved in 1 gill of water; put the basin on the ice, and work the contents with a spoon until the puree begins to freeze; then add 1 quart of well-whipped cream; mix, and fill the mould with the apricot cream, and cover it with a bkaing-sheet with some ice on the top; let it remain in the ice for an hour; then turn the Charlotte out of the mould on to a napkin on a dish; and serve."
---The Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, tranlsated from the French and adapted for English use by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson Low, Son, and Marston:London] Second edition, 1869 (p. 542)
[NOTE: This book also includes recipes for Coffee Charlotte Russe and Burnt Almond Charlotte Russe.]
Line a plain round mould with finger biscuits, carefully put them close together, and form a round or star at the bottom of the mould. Take a pint of cream and whisk it well with a little sugar and half an ounce of gelatine dissolved in a little water. Mix with it half a pint of apple, apricot, strawberry, or any other jam, and set it to freeze. Cover it with a piece of Savoy cake the shape of the mould, and be careful to fit it exactly, so that when it is turned out it will not be likely to break. Let it rmain in the ice until it is sufficiently frozen. Turn out and serve. If fruit is not at hand the cream may be flavoured with coffee, burnt almond, vanilla, &c. Time to freeze, about an hour. Probably cost, 4s. Sufficient for a quart mould."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co:London] (p. 116)
"Charlotte Russe in various ways.
There are many varieties of the Charlotte. They are always similarly made, that is with sponge cake or lady fingers, and whipped cream, custard of blancmange. One way is to beat the whites of three eggs to a high froth, with a quarter of a pound of sugar, and a half a pint of cream, until it is quite thick and light; flavor this to your taste with lemon or vanilla, and pour it into a cake-lined mould; place some of the sliced cake or lady fingers on top of the mould and over the cream; set it on ice, and when wanted turn it on a dish and serve. Or, having lined a basin or mould, or small tin cups with any convenient cake, such as lady fingers, sliced savoy cake, or yellow lady cake, fill them with mock cream, blanc-mange or custard, made from the yolks of eggs; let them become cold, then turn them out and serve."
"Plain Charlotte Russe.
Boil one ounce of isinglass in a pint of water until reduced one-half. While it is boiling, make a custard of one-half pint of milk, yolks of four eggs, and one-fourth of a pound of sugar; flavor this with vanilla or lemon. Take a quart of cream, whip it up to a fine froth, and when the isinglass is nearly cold, so that it will not curdle wth cream, stir it and the cream into the custard. Beat all thoroughly and set it on ice. This is a nice, easy way to make this dish, and may be made very ornamental, if wanted so, by lining a glass dish with lady fingers, and then pouring in the cream and laying fine fancy sugar-drops on top. If you have no lady finger sponges, you can slice any light sponge cake, and lay it on the bottom and sides of the glass bowl."
---La Cuisine Creole, Lafcadio Hearn [F.F. Hansell & Bro:New Orleans] second edition 1885 (p. 166-7)
1/4 box gelatine or 1 1/4 tablespoons granulated gelatine.
1/4 cup cold water
1/3 cup scalded cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Whip form 3 1/2 cups thin cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Soak gelatine in cold water, dissolve in scalded cream, strain into a bowl, and add sugar and vanilla. Set bowl in pan of ice water and stir constantly until it begins to thicken, then fold in whip from cream, adding one-third at a time. Should gelatine mixture become too thick, melt over hot water, and again cool before adding whip. Trim ends and sides of lady fingers, place around inside of a mould, crust side out, one-half inch apart. Turn in mixture, spread evenly, and chill. Serve on glass dish and garnish with cubes of Wine Jelly. Charlotte Russe is sometimes made in individual moulds; these are often garnished on top with some of mixture forced through a pastry bag and tube. Individual moulds are frequently lined with thin slices of sponge cake cut to fit moulds."
---Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, Fannie Merritt Farmer, facsimile first edition 1896 [Weathervane Books:New York] 1973 (p. 359-60)
Whenever the word "Charlotte" appears, the presence of whipped cream is implied, together with sponge cake or lady fingers to form a case or lining. Sometimes the mould is lined with lady fingers or strips of sponge cake and the centre consists of a Bavarian cream. In this case, the charlotte may be made several hours before serving. But if it is the ordinary type of Charlotte Russe the dish cannot stand long unless the whipped cream is stiffened by the addition of a little gelatine...[recipes provided for Charlotte Russe filling with and without gelatine, as well as chocolate, grape juice and coffee flavorings]..."Plain Charlotte Russe. Line sherbet cups with strips of sponge cake or halved lady fingers, sticking them into a little of the charlotte mixture. Full with the charlotte mixture, putting it in by means of a pastry tube and bag, and top with halves of candied cherries, whole nut meats, or candied violets."
---Mrs. Allen on Cooking Menus Services, Ida C. Bailey Allen [Doubleday, Doran & Company:Garden City NY] 1929 (p. 601-2)
[NOTE: recipes for Icebox Cakes in this book are prefaced with a note indicating they are adaptations of charlotte.]
Line large mold or line individual paper cases with Lady Fingers or strips of Sponge Cake...Fill with Cream Pudding...or Bavarian Cream Pudding...and chill. Remove from molds and garnish with whipped cream, candied fruit and nuts."
---The Settlement Cook Book, Mrs. Simon Kander [Settlement Cook Book Co.:Milwaukee WI], twenty-first edition enlarged and revised 1939 (p. 373)
Line sherbet glasses with ladyfingers. In each, place mound of sweetened whipped cream; top with maraschino cherry. Serve at once. Or refrigerate; then serve."
---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Dorothy B. Marsh editor [Good Housekeeping:New York] 1955 (p. 381)
1/3 cup extra-fine sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whipping cream, whipped stiff
16 split lady fingers (16 halves)
Fold the sugar and vanillla lightly but thoroughly into the cream. Place 4 lady finger halves upright against the sides of each of 4 sherbet glasses. Fill with the cream mixture and chill. This amount serves 4.
Charlotte Russe for Passover: Use 20 strips of Passover Sponge Cake cut into 1 X 2 X 1/2 inch pieces, in place of the lady fingers, in either variation of Charlotte Russe.
Chocolate Charlotte Russe: Mix 2 tablespoons cold black coffee, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 4 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate. Fold into the cream in place of the extra-fine sugar. For Passover, the vanilla may be omitted.
Strawberry Charlotte Russe: Combine 1 pint of sliced fresh strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Fold into the whipped cream in place of the extra-fine sugar and vanilla."
---The Jewish Cook Boo, Mildred Grosberg Bellin [Tudor Publishing:New York] 1958-(p. 324)
NOTE: The 20th century recipes cited above were selected to illustrate America's love for convenience. Recipes for classic' charlotte russe were also printed at this time.
Ancient fare? Not quite.
"Couscous is a North African staple as far east a Tripoli, and particularly in Morocco and Algeria, where the local name for it is sometimes identical to the word for food' in general. It is also widely known in neighbouring African countries from Chad to Senegal and has footholds in Europe...Syria-Palestine...and somewhat surprisingly in Brazil, where it is made from maize...Algerian folklore has it that cousous was invented by the Djinn. Certainly its early history is obscure, but the evidence does not suggest that it dates from remote antiquity. In the 1940s, H. Peres published in the Bulletin des Etudes Arabs a compilation of the earliest literary mentions of couscous then known, and all were from the fifteenth century or later. The only citation that even claimed to be earlier was a fourteenth-century anecdote related in the seventeenth-century book Nafh al-Tib, which told how the mysterious illness of a North African visitor to Damascus was cured by making couscous for him. Since the forties we have become aware of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Arabic cookery books which contain couscous recipes. But altogether, the suspicious silence about couscous in sources from before the thirteenth century, coupled with the evident Berber origin of the Arabic word kishusu, suggest that couscous arose among the period between the eleventh-century collapse of the Zirid Kingdom and the trimumph of the Almohads in the thirteenth. A peculiaritiy of the way couscous is descrived in the thirteenth-century cookery books also argues that it was a relatively recent invention, if we see in it an explanation for how the unique process of creating the couscous granules originated...The simplest explanation for this that kuskusu was originally a small noodle, and the peculiar stirring technique a hasty was of making a noodle. Its unique lightness when steamed, and perhaps its resistance to staling, would have been discovered later."
---Medieval Arab Cookery, Maxime Rodinson, A. J. Arberry & Charles Perry [Prospect Books:Devon] 2001 "Couscous and its Cousins," Charles Perry (p. 235-8)
"Couscous is a staple food in the Maghrib that requires very little in the way of utensils for its preparation. It is an ideal food for both nomadic and agricultural peoples. The preparation of couscous is one that symbolizes "happiness and abundance,"...One of the first written references to couscous is in the anonymous thirteenth-century Hispano-Muslim cooker book "Kitab al-tabikh fi al-Maghrib wa'l-Andalus...The fact that the name is given with the Arabic article "al" is a flag to the linguist that the original couscous perparation probably was not an Arab dish, but a Berber dish, because the Arabic words siksu, kuskus, and kuski, which all mean "couscous" do not take the article...very early references to couscous show that either it is not unique to the Maghrib or it spread with great rapidity to the Mashraq (the eastern Arab world)...Although the word couscous might derive from the Arabic word kaskasa, to pound small," it is generally thought to derive from one of the Berber dialects. It has also been suggested that the word derives from the Arabic name for the perforated earthenware steamer pot used to steam the couscous, called a kiskis...while another theory attributes the word couscous to the onomatopoeic--the sound of the steam rising in the coucousiere, the most unlikely explanation."
---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 659-660)
"The stirring and rolling process by which the couscous granules are formed amounts, it has been suggested, to a way of preserving grain. Couscous is traditionally made from freshly ground whole grain, which is much better suited to the purpose than bolted flour, because starch readily accumulates around the larger and harder particles of bran and germ, much as a pearl forms around a grain of sand. The resulting granule is in effect a grain turned inside out, with the part of the flour that can deteriorate protected from the air by an envelope of starch. It can thus be kept without spoiling from months or years...The wide spread of couscous has been influenced also by economic and aesthetic reasons...Couscous has continued to spread beyond the S. And E. Mediterranean. At some point it entered Sicilian cuisine...Couscous is now a common dish in France and increasingly elsewhere in Europe and N. America..."
---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 220)
An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century, translated by Charles Perry
Most Americans associate cranberries with Thanksgiving turkey. They are often classed as "New World" food. Not entirely true. Botanists and linguists confirm several varieties of berries, from different parts of the northern temperate regions, have been called "cranberry." Early recipes are challenging to identify because the cranberrry was also known by host of alternative local names (fenwort, for example). Native North Americans had yet another vocabulary developed for this fruit. Raw cranberries were promoted in the 20th century. Cranberry bread & muffins are still popular today.
"Cranberries grow in Britain, but in medieval times they went under a variety of names such as marsh-wort, fen-wort, and moss-berry. The term cranberry did not appear until the late seventeenth century, in America. It was a partial translation of kranberry, literally 'craneberry,' brought across the Atlantic by German immigrants (the German word is an allusions to the plant's long beaklike stamens). It was the Germans and Scandinavians, too, who probably popularized the notion of eating cranberries with meat in the English-speaking world, which led to today's pairing of turkey with cranberry sauce."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 94)
"Cranberry...Of the same genus as the blueberry, the cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a North American shrub that is so named because its flower stamens resemble a beak--hence named "crane berry," a name...assigned to it by the early European settlers in New England. The berries, which grew wild in New England, had long been used by Native Americans for pemmican (dried and fat). The early European settlers found cranberries too tart to eat by themselves but made them into pies, puddings, tarts, relishes, preserves, and cranberry sauce. Perhaps appropriately, it was in Massachusetts that commercial cranberry production was begun in the 1840s..."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000 Volume Two (p. 1764)
"Oxycoccus macrocarpus...Cranberry. Mossberry. Northern climates. This is the cranberry of Britain which is in occasional cultivation. The fruit is considered of superior flavr ot the American cranberry but is smaller. The latter is a plant of peat bogs in the northern United States and on uplands in the British territory."
---Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants, edited by U.P. Hedrick, Report of the New YOrk Agricultural Experiment Station for the Year 1919 II [J.B. Lyon Company:Albany NY] 1919 (p. 402-403)
"Vaccinium vitis-idaea...Cowberry. Cranberry. Foxberry. Northern and arctic regions. This is the wi-sa-gu-mina of the Crees and the cranberry most plentiful and most used throughout Rupert's Land. This berry, says Ricnhardson, is excellnt for every purpose to which a cranberry can be applied. Thoreau, in the Maine woods, made his desserts on these berries stewed and sweetened, but Gray say the are barely edible in America. The fruit is not much eaten in Britain but is greatly valued in Sweden. The berries are tasteless but little acid when gathered but, after exposure to frost, they become very sour. They are often sold in the London markets as cranberries. In Siberia, they are kept in water in winter, where they acquuire theri proper acidity and are eaten in spring."Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants, edited by U.P. Hedrick, Report of the New YOrk Agricultural Experiment Station for the Year 1919 II [J.B. Lyon Company:Albany NY] 1919 (p. 588)
"Lissanthe sapida...Australian Cranberry...The berries are red and acid and are made into tarts in New South Wales...the flesh is thin and more like that of the Siberian crab than of the cranberry."
---Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants, edited by U.P. Hedrick, Report of the New YOrk Agricultural Experiment Station for the Year 1919 II [J.B. Lyon Company:Albany NY] 1919 (p. 388)
North American cranberry
"Oxycoccus macrocarpus....Cranberry. Temperate regions. The American cranberry grwos in bogs from Virginia to Wisconsin and extends to the Pacific coast. It is mentioned by Roger Williams under the name sasemineash and was eaten by the Indians of New Englad, The fruit is boiled and eaten at the present day by the Indians of the Columbia River under then mae soolabich. The fruit is an article of commerce among the tribes of the Northwest. About 1820, a few vines were cared for at Dennis, Massachusetts, but not until about 1840 can the trials of cultivation be said to have commenced, and not until 1845 was the fact established that the cranberry could be utilized as a marketable commodity. Cranberries are now extensively grown at Cape Cod and in New Jersey and Wisconsin. Under favorable conditions, the vines are exceedingly productive. In New Jersey, in 1879, a Mr. Bishop raised over 400 bushels on one acre... There are several recognized varieties."
---Sturtevant's Notes on Edible Plants, edited by U.P. Hedrick, Report of the New YOrk Agricultural Experiment Station for the Year 1919 II [J.B. Lyon Company:Albany NY] 1919 (p. 402)
Cranberries in the USA
"Cranberry...the most important of the berries bourne by a group of low, scrubby, woody plants of the genus Vaccinium. These grow on moors and mountainsides, in bogs, and other places with poor and acid soil in most parts of the world, but are best known in N. Europe and N. America...The generic name for Baccinium is the old Latin name from cranberry, derived from vacco (cow) and given because cows like the plant...The origin of the name cranberry is obscure, apart from the dubious suggestion that cranes eat the berries...The plants to which the name cranberry was originally given are two species which occur in Europe as well as in other temperate parts of the world...When the Pilgrim Fathers arrived in N. America they found a local cranberry, V. macrocarpon, which had berries twice the size of those familiar to Europeans, and an equally good flavour. American Indians were accustomed to eating these fresh or dried, and adding the dried fruits as an ingredient in Pemmican (a dried, preserved meat product)...It was no dobut these large American cranberries which, at an early stage in the evolution of Thanksgiving Day dinner, were made into sauce to accompany the turkey, which became established as its centrepiece."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 223)
""As American as cranberry pie" makes much mores sense than the usual saying. Cranberries, after all, are native to America, and pies or tarts made from them appear in colonial records as early as 1672. Before the middle of the nineteenth century, when they began to be shipped to cities and larger towns, cranberries, like most fresh produce, were a local item eaten in the places where they grew wild--in parts of New England, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin."
--- Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie, Kathleen Curtin, Sandra L. Oliver, and Plimoth Plantation [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2005 (p. 184)
Cranberries in New Jersey, Massachusetts & Wisconsin.
Our survey of historic USA newspapers & magazines suggests the practice of adding cranberries (fresh or dried) to mixed greens is a recent innovation. Say, 2000+. This coincides with the proliferation of prepacked "gourmet" mixed greens (think: baby arugula and mesclin mix in plastic shell containers) and upscale prepacked salad toppers (toasted seasalt almonds, glazed walnuts, asian mixes, wonton strips). Before WWII, Americans generally consumed cranberries in processed form (canned jellies, juice, gelatin). Fresh cranberries were sometimes combined with stuffing, relish, or quick breads, generally for winter holidays when the product was fresh. In the 1950s we find articles encouraging homemakers to freeze fresh cranberries so they could be used throughout the year. Recipes accompanied these early articles (cranberry muffins, cranberry bread, cranberry chutney, cranberry pie, &c.) extolling the virtues of tangy flavor and healthy vitamin C. It is not until the 2000s do we find suggestions for using them in salads. Of course, actual practice often predates print evidence. Cranberry companies (think: Ocean Spray) most likely published recipes promoting innovative uses for fresh and dried products. Our WWII era Ocean Spray cooking booklets promote canned sauce product only. No recipes for using fresh/dried cranberries. If there is a historic parallel? Early 20th century USA salads sometimes incorporated raisins and grapes for flavor and texture.
"Fresh cranberries will be around soon and if you have freezer space for them, you might toss a few packages or boxes into the freezer for sauce and jelly out of season. Cranberries are that easy to freeze. You don't do anything except put them into the freezer!"
---"Fresh Cranberries Due Soon: Get Freezer Ready!," Mary Meade, Chicago Daily Tribune, October 16, 1956 (p. B3)
Ocean Spray's Craisins (sweetened dried cranberries) are introduced to the American public.
"Fresh cranberries may be stored in the refrigerator, just as you bought them, for one month. For longer storage, double-wrap and store in the freezer for nine months. Mix chopped cranberries with softened butter for spreading on biscuits, muffins, pancakes or waffles. Or, use cranberry butter on broiled fish. Add one tablespoon of chopped cranberries to tuna salad or deviled ham for sandwich fillings. Cook cranberries with red cabbage, raisins and wine. Serve with pork or ham. To chop cranberries for relish, process 3 cups at a time in a food processor."
---"More Than Turkey Accompaniment: The Many Uses for Fresh Cranberries," Nancy Byal, Los Angeles Times, November 10, 1988 (p. J47)
"Pair crunchy, sturdy mixed greens including hearts of romaine blended with other lettuces with fruit--dried cranberries or apricots, or fresh pears and grapes-sliced red onion, blue cheese and toasted nuts like pecans. Toss everything together with your favorite vinaigrette."
---"Seize Your Salad," Sacramento Observer [CA], December 28, 2006 (p. F6)
Why do we pair cranberries with Thanksgiving turkey?
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 cuts 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. In the case of lean meats such as modern turkey and chicken, cranberries add flavor to what is generally considered a bland food. Visually? Cranberries add a splash of vibrant color to a traditional "earth tone" plating.
Early American cranberry recipes
 Cranberry tart, American Cookery, Amelia Simmons
 Cranberry pie & Cranberry pudding, Frugal Housewife, Lydia Maria Child
 Cranberry sauce, Directions for Cookery in its Various Branches, Eliza Leslie
 Cranberry jelly, Housekeeper's Assistant, Ann Allen
 Cranberry preserves, Domestic Cookery, Eliza Ellicott Lea
 Cranberry sauce, La Cuisine Creole, Lafcadio Hearn
 Cranberry sauce & Cranberry Jelly, Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Fannie Merritt Farmer
 Cranberry mold, Good Things To Eat, Rufus Estes
Cranberry muffins & cranberry bread
 Frozen cranberry sauce, Dishes and Beverages of the Old South, Martha MaCulloch-Williams
 Cranberry sauce, International Jewish Cookbook, Florence Kreisler Greenbaum
Recommended reading: The Cranberry: Hard Work and Holiday Sauce/Stephen Cole & Lindy Gifford (Cape Cod focus) & The American Cranberry/Paul Eck (agricultural science focus).
The history of curry is two-fold: curried-style foods, the Indian dish composed of spices, meat and rice AND curry powder, a combination of various spices used to flavor food. In India, the basic formula for 'curry powder' is called 'garam masala', though Indian cookbooks are quick to note there are many regional variations to this powder.
"Curry. From the tamil word kari' a term for black pepper, derives the Indo-Anglian curry, which has come to symbolize Indian food for the westerner. The term originally denoted any spiced dish that accompanied south Indian food, and was first so referred to, using the term caril', by Correra as early as in AD 1502...Later the word cury was greatly widened in usage to include a liquid broth, a thicker stewed preparation, or even a spiced dry dish, all of which appear in turn in a south Indian meal, each with its own name."
---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K. T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 58)
"Spices are the key to Indian cooking. Masalas vary widely and each is designed for a special purpose. Garam masla, for example, is a basic blend of dried spices to be used alone or with other seasonings."
---The Cooking of India, Foods of the World [series], Time/Life (p. 6).
"Curry is from the Tamil word "kari", meaning stew. Tamil is one of the most widely spoken languages of the whole vast Indian subcontinent. An Indian curry is indeed made rather like a stew. It may be of meat, fish, or vegetables, and herbs and spices are added; they are mixed together and ground to a powder which itself eventually became known as "curry." Originally every region and every family had its own secret [curry] formula. At the end of the nineteenth century, however, ready-prepared curry powder could be found for sale in Indian towns. Then, so the tale goes, an Englishman named Sharwood was dining with the Maharaja of Madras, who mentioned to him the shop kept by a famous master maker of curry powder called Vencatachellum. The Englishman visited it and obtained the secret of Madras curry powder, a mixture of saffron, tumeric, cumin, Kerala coriander and a selection of Orissa chillies..."
---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat [Barnes & Noble:New York] 1992 (p. 498-9)
"Curry, a term adopted into the English language from India...The Tamil word "kari" is the starting point. It means a spicy sauce, one of the sorts of dressing taken in S. India with rice, and soupy consistency...The traditional S. Indian kari does not have a fixed set of ingredients, by a typical mixture was and remains the following, all roasted and ground to a powder: kari patta (curry leaf), coriander, cumin, and mustard seeds, red and black pepper, fenugreek, tumeric; and less certainly cinnamon, cloves, cardamom."
---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 235-6)
"Curry, a mixture of powdered spices. Some curry powders contain up to 16 different ground spices. Curry was at one time an epicurean rite of English army circles in India, officers priding themselves on the special combination of spices they had invented."
---Master Dictionary of Food and Cookery, Henry Smith [Practical Press:London] 1950 (p. 74)
Recommended reading: Curry A Global History, Colleen Taylor Sen  & Cooking with Curry, Florence Brobeck .
Related dish? Chicken Tikka Masala.
Dolma (stuffed leaves)
According to the food historians, modern stuffed grape leaf recipes descended from ancient Mediterranean fare. Turkish "dolma" and Greek "thrion" were known to ancient cooks. The earliest recipes of this sort were both sweet and savory and used fig leaves. Reference to grape leaves began to appear around the 1st century AD.
"Dolmades are stuffed vine leaves (the singular is dolma). The dish is popular all over the eastern Mediterranean, and particularly in Greece and Turkey. It consists of grapvine leaves blanched and then wrapped around a filling (typically cooked rice and herbs, and often minced lamb as well), braised, and usually served cold as part of a mezze, or mixed hors d'oeuvres. The word dolma itself is of Turkish origin, and is a derivative of the verb dolmak, fill'; dolmades is the Greek plural form."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 111)
"Dolma. Vegetables stuffed in the E. Mediterranean style. There are two main categories: those with meat stuffings (usually extended with grain), which are served hot, often with as sauce..." and those with rice stuffings (often enriched with nuts, raisins, or pulses), which are served cold, dressed with oil...In Turkey, a distinction may also be made between dolma ( stuffed thing'), made from a hollowed-out vegetable...and sarma (rolled thing), where the filling is rolled in an edible leaf, such as the vine leaf or cabbage...The distribution, as well as the name dolma itself, indicates that this dish belongs to the court cuisine of the Ottoman Empire. Vegetables had been stuffed before Ottoman times, but only sporadically. For instance, the ancient Greek "thrion" was a fig leaf stuffed with sweetened cheese..The Ottoman origin is somewhat obscured by the fact that in some countries stuffed vegetables may be referred to by a native name meaning "stuffed."..In places as remote as Kuwait and Damascus, instead of mahshi waraq inab (stuffed fine leaf) one may say mahshi yabraq (in Kuwait, mahshi brag), which comes from the Turkish yaprak (leaf)."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 253).
"Fig leaves, thrion, pickled to reduce their bitterness, were required in a well-stocked larder; they served notably as wrapping for dishes resembling modern dolmadhes."
---Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 1996 (p. 79)
Mr. Dalby presents this ancient fig leaf recipe, attributed to the Greek cook Archestratus [350BC]:
"In autumn, as the Pleaides go down, you can cook bonito-and you can cook it in any way you please...But if you want to be told this too...the very best way for you to deal with this fish is to use fig leaves and fresh oregano (not very much), no cheese, no nonsense. Just wrap it up nicely in fig leaves fastened above with string, then hide it under hot ashes, keeping a watch on the time when it will be baked. Don't overcook it."
---The Classical Cookbook, Andrew Dalby and Sally Grainger [J. Paul Getty Museum:Los Angeles] 1996 (p. 59-60)
"Dried figs were particularly popular in Rome, and though Columella [Roman agricultural expert & author, 1st century AD] considred them to be the winter food of country people, he gives details of an attractive way of preserving them. He suggests treading them out, them mixing them with toasted sesame, anise, fennel seed, and cumin and wrapping balls of this mixture in fig leaves."
---Pickled, Potted, and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Prserving Changed the World, Sue Shephard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 41)
"The Arab world was under Ottoman rule for five hundred years, and the Turkish influence is seen in may preparations, such as stuffed grape leaves. But the stuffing of vegetables has its roots in the Arab cookery of the early Islamic empire of the Abbasids in Baghdad, possibly learned from the Persians. Ottoman chefs perfected the stuffing of vegetables, and today nearly everything that can be stuffed is stuffed. Stuffed grape nad cabbage leaf are probably the most common and loved of all the stuffed vegetables. Stufed grape leaves are a popular mese or mazza in Greece, Turkey, and the Arab Levant and are known as dolmades in Greece and dolma in Turkey. With Arab cooks, the stuffed grape leaf becomes a littel more complex and elaborate. It can be served at room temperature and is called waraq inab ni'l-zayt (grape leaves with olive oil) or it can be served hot and is called waraq inab (grape leaves)."
---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 322)
"The use of grape leaves as an ingredient in cooking is limited to Greece, the Balkans, and the Middle East. The name dolmas is Turkish, which might be a clue not so much of its provenance but of its travels. Nowhere in Europe and certainly not in any of the vine-growing regions of the European Mediterranean west of Greece do we find any dish even remotely resembling our dolmades. Perhaps one reason the dish stopped short in Greece and never spread westward was because the Ottomans never made it as far as Italy or France. The Ottomans spread the dish we know as dolmas all over their empire. Guessing the origins of any dish is always a tentative excercise. In the case of dolmathes, rice-the main ingredient-might be the key.
"The ancient Greeks knew of rice. In fact, Theophrastus mentions it in his 300 B.C. work, Enquiry into Plants, but 18 centuries elapsed before rice became a part of the Greek table. Greeks began cooking with rice in the 15th and 16th centuries. As for the provenance of the grain itself, it is known with relative accuracy that the grain first grew in Persia. And it is in fact there that the first written mention of a dish similar to dolmades appears, in the diaries of a symposiast at one of the banquets of King Khusrow II at the start of the 7th century. There in short is the long and winding history of one of our favorite foods. We might claim it as our own, as every one of our neighbors does, but the dolma followed its own fateful path through history and time. It is a dish that belongs both to everyone and, alas, to no one."
---http://www.gourmed.gr/mediterranean-diet/inseason/show.asp?insid=11 [NOTE: history page no longer connects. Base site is still viable & includes recipes]
Dormice [aka Dormouse]
Dormice were considered delicacies by Ancient Roman diners. Like geese for foie gras, dormice were kept in pens and fatted for tables.
Dormice on ancient tables
"Dormouse, the smallest European mammal that was used as human food in classical times. The Greek authors say little of it, but Romans considered it a delicacy."
---Food in the Ancient World From A-Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:New York] 2003 (p. 122)
"In order to satsify his palate, if not his protein needs, man has favoured at least three smaller mammals. The edible or 'Fat' Dormouse (Glis glis) is found wild from Spain through Europe and into south-west Asia. Like the rabbit, it does not seem to have been considered worthy of domestication untl Roman times, when its culinary reputation was so high that wealthy Rpmans initiated the construction of gliraria in order to secure easy supply of this tasty rodent. These enclosures, in use by the latter part of the second century BC, were made to simulate the animal's natural habitat, and the occupants were fattened up on a diet of walnuts, acorns, and chestnuts. Such restricted breeding populations of dormice, perhaps with periodic 'weeding out' of defective ones not fully suitable for the table, would have been an ideal environment for domestication changes to have take place. In at least come cases, the final fattening would appear to have been undertaken in special earthenware pots, which restricted the movement of the rodents. Indeed, this may represent the beginning of the indoor 'battery' system today! The preparation of the dormouse for the table could be quite elaborate."
---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of the Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell [Johns Hopkins Press:Baltimore MD] expanded edition, 1998 (p. 48-49)
"Dormouse, Myoxus glis, distinguished from other dormice (such as shared tea with the March Hare and the Hatter) by being called the fat or edible dormouse. This rodent inhabits much of Southern, Central and Eastern Europe and was appreciated by the Romans in classical times as food. They fatted dormice on special diets, then stuffed and baked them. An adult dormouse may measure 18 cm (7")...The modern European country with the strongest dormouse tradition is Slovenia. Dormouse hunting has long been customary there, the animal being valued for fur as well as for meat."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2004 (p. 255)
"Dormouse (glis). In northern Europe the dormouse lives in the wild. In most countries it is a protected species, which means that it cannot be caught and eaten. In ancient Rome, too, a sumptuary law...forbade the eating of dormice, but no one paid any attention, and the dormouse was often on the menu and, in fact, was bred for the table. The animals were allowed to live free in a fenced-off garden. When dormice hibernate, they become thinner, and the Romans wanted to prevent this. During the winter season, they put the fattened mice into a large jar equipped with an intestinal spiral rim, a glirarium. The dormouse, partly because of its size, remained an expensive delicacy...
Glires: isisio porciono, item pulpis ex omni membro glirum, trito cum pipere, mucleis, lasere, liquamine farcies glires, et sutos in tegula positos mittes in furnun aut farsos in clibano coques.
"Mice: stuff the mice with minced pork, mouse meat from all parts of the mouse ground with pepper, pine kernels, laser and garum. Sew the mouse up and put on a tile on the stove. Or roast in a portable oven. (Apicius 408)."
---Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome, Patrick Faas [Palgrave MacMillan:New York] 2003 (p. 289-290) [NOTE: this book offers modernized instructions for the Ancient Roman recipes transcribed above.]
When did Ancient Romans serve dormice?
"[Dormouse] was eaten at the beginning of the feast."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 350)
"Two...food animals beloved by Roman epicures were kept in close captivity. Dormice of the continental Euroepan variety, were enclosed and fed upon acorns and chestnuts. Finally they were fitted into tiny earthenware pots to be plied with more nuts until they became exceedingly plump. They were eaten at Roman banquets, after being stuffed with a mixture of minced pork and dormouse meat and baked in the oven. The evidence for these dormice in Britain is unfortunately very slender, and even in the other provinces the taste for them died out at the end of the Roman empire and was never later recovered."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago] 1991 (p. 72)
"Dormice, which featured in Roman banquets, were a more exotic taste. Apicius suggests that they should be stuffed with minced pork, pine kernels and liquamen. At Trimalchio's feast, according to Petronius, they were served sprinkled with honey and poppy seeds. The taste is like that of rabbit but, like the guinea pig eaten in Peru, there is more meat on the bones. Dormice were kept in pens and pots and fed on acorns and chestnuts to fatten them, until lack of movement and enforced feeding made them plump. The system fooled the dormice into believing they were hibernating, thus encouraging growth. Varo and Pliny give instructions for this, and Martial indicated that country visitors might bring them as welcome gifts."
---Food in Roman Britain, Joan P. Alcock [Tempus Publishing:Glocestershire] 2002 (p. 43-44)
Although ancient Roman cooks were known to fry sweet dough in oil, food historians generally credit the invention of deep-fried yeast cakes to Northern European in Medieval times. Names vary according to country of origin and recipe. Shapes, flavors, thicknesses and fillings are endless. Generally, doughnut-type foods are consumed for breakfast or as fair food. The Christian doughnut season spans from Carnival to Lent. American references and recipes surface in the early 19th century.
Why do we Americans call them "doughnuts" or "donuts?"
"The word [doughnut] is presumably an allusion to the small, rounded shape of the original doughnuts; the element -nut is used similarly in gingernut and its now obsolete synonym spicenut."
---An A to Z of Food & Drink John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 113)[NOTE: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "doughnut" was first printed in 1808. "Donut" is a 20th century USA phonetic rendering.]
"Doughnuts are deep-fried cakes with a long European history and roots in still earlier Middle Eastern cuisine. They were introduced to America by the Dutch in New Newtherland as oliekoecken (oil cakes or fried cakes)...The were eaten during the Dutch Christmas season...and for special occasions throughout the year. Once in the New World, the Dutch replaced their frying oil with the preferred lard (far more available here), as it produced a tender and greaseless crust. The other ethnic groups brought their own doughnut variations. The Pennsylvania Dutch and the Moravians who settled in North Carolina made fastnachts on Shrove Tuesday, and the French established beignets in New Orleans. Ultimately, the English American cooks adopted them as well. By 1845 doughtnuts appeared in American Cookbooks as staples, and the weekly Saturday baking (breads, cakes, and pies) included doughtnut frying. In this same antebellum period, two changes in technology contributed to a basic alteration of the doughnut. Chemical leavening (notably baking powder) was substituted for yeast, producing a more cakelike and less breadlike product. In the same era inexpensive tin doughnut cutters with holes were manufactured commercially and sold widely."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 408)
First print USA doughnut reference?
Washington Irving is generally credited for introducing doughnuts to the American lexicon in his History of New York, 1809. While it is true douughnut recipes & references predate 1809, they (arguably) did not carry the same powerful impact as Irving's.
"...then the company sat round the large round table to their tea, while a plentiful supply of fire-cakes and dough-nuts furnished out the repast..."
---"Sketches and Views, No. V. (Volume 1, No. 8, page 1) [Boston] Times Saturday Evening, January 30, 1808.
"These fashionable parties were generally confined to the higher classes, or noblesse: that is to say, such as kept their own cows and drove their own waggons. The company commonly assembled at three o'clock, and went away about six, unless it was in winter time, when the fashionable hours were a little earlier, that the ladies might get home before dark. The tea-table was crowned with a huge earthen dish, well stored with slices of fat pork, fried brown, cut up into morsels, and swimming in gravy. The company being seated round the genial board, and each furnished with a fork, evinced their dexterity in launching at the fattest pieces in this mighty dish—in much the same manner as sailors harpoon porpoises at sea, or our Indians spear salmon in the lakes. Sometimes the table was graced with immense apple-pies, or saucers full of preserved peaches and pears; but it was always sure to boast an enormous dish of balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog's fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks—a delicious kind of cake, at present scarce known in this city, except in genuine Dutch families." (Book 3, Chapter 3)
"Every love-sick maiden fondly crammed the pockets of her hero with gingerbread and doughnuts; many a copper ring was exchanged, and crooked sixpence broken, in pledge of eternal constancy: and there remain extant to this day some love verses written on that occasion, sufficiently crabbed and incomprehensible to confound the whole universe." (Book 6, Chapter 6)
---History of New York, Washington Irving (aka Diedrich Knickerbocker)
"Fain would I pause to dwell upon the world of charms that burst upon the enraptured gaze of my hero, as he entered the state parlor of Van Tassel's mansion. Not those of the bevy of buxom lasses, with their luxurious display of red and white; but the ample charms of a genuine Dutch country tea-table, in the sumptuous time of autumn. Such heaped up platters of cakes of various and almost indescribable kinds, known only to experienced Dutch housewives! There was the doughty doughnut, the tender oly koek, and the crisp and crumbling cruller; sweet cakes and short cakes, ginger cakes and honey cakes, and the whole family of cakes. And then there were apple pies, and peach pies, and pumpkin pies; besides slices of ham and smoked beef; and moreover delectable dishes of preserved plums, and peaches, and pears, and quinces; not to mention broiled shad and roasted chickens; together with bowls of milk and cream, all mingled higgledy-piggledy, pretty much as I have enumerated them, with the motherly teapot sending up its clouds of vapor from the midst—Heaven bless the mark! I want breath and time to discuss this banquet as it deserves, and am too eager to get on with my story. Happily, Ichabod Crane was not in so great a hurry as his historian, but did ample justice to every dainty."
---Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving, 
A survey of USA doughnut recipes
Dough Nuts. To one pound of flour, put one quarter of a pound of butter, one quarter of a pound of sugar, and two spoonfuls of yeast; mix them all together in warm milk or water, of the thickness of bread, let it raise, and make them in what form you please, boil your fat (consisting of hog's lard), and put them in."
The Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter (p. 266)
[NOTES: (1) This exact recipe was also published in The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Mrs. [Hannah] Glasse, a new edition with modern Improvements, 1805 edition p. 138. (2) Both are included in a section titled "Several New Receipts Adapted to the American Mode of Cooking."]
Three pounds sifted flour.
A pound of powdered sugar.
Three quarters of a pound of butter.
Half a large tea-cup full of best brewer's yeast.
A pint and a half of milk.
A tea-spoonful of powdered cinnamon.
A grated nutmeg.
A table-spoonful of rose-water.
Cut up the butter in the flour. Add the sugar, spice, and rose-water. Beat the eggs very light, and pour them into the mixture. Add the yeast, (half a ttea-cup, or two wine-glasses full,) and then stir in the milk by degrees, so as to make it a soft dough. Cover it, and set it to rise. When quite light, cut it in diamonds wiht a jagging-iron, or a sharp knife, and fry them in lard. Grate loaf sugar over them when done."
---Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats By A Lady of Philadelphia (Eliza Leslie), facsimile reprint of 1828 Munrow and Francis:Boston edition [Applewood Books:Chester CT] (p. 70)
"To Make Doughnuts
Take of risen wheatbread dough the size of a quart bowl; work into it a teacup of butter, two teacups of clean brown sugar, rolled fine, half a nutmeg, greated, a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon, and two eggs; work it into a smooth paste; strew some flour over a paste table and rolling-pin; put on some of the paste, and roll it to a quarter of an inch thickness; rub and roll it to a quarter of an inch thickness; rub more flour over the rolling-pin, if the paste sticks; cut it in small squares, stars, or diamonds; fry in hot fat."
---Mrs. Crowen's American Lady's Cookery Book, Mrs. T. J. Crowen [Dick & Fitzgerald:New York] 1847 (p. 286)
"To Fry Doughnuts and Crullers.--Have a small iron or porcelain kettle; put into it a pound of lard, set it over a gentle fire; when it is boiling hot, drop a bit of the dough in to try it; if the fat is not hot enough, the cakes will absorb it, and thereby be rendered unfit for eating; if too hot, it will make them dark brown outside before the inside is cooked: boiling hot is about the heat the fat should be; if it is at a right heat, the dough nuts will in about ten minutes be of a delicate brown outside, and nicely cooked inside: five or siz minutes will cook a cruller; try the fat, by dropping a bit of the dough in; if it is right, the fat will boil up when it is put in: keep the kettle in motion all the time the cakes are in, that they may boil evenly: when the cakes are a fine color, take them out with a skimmer on to an inverted sieve."
---ibid (p. 286)
"Doughnuts, without Yeast--Half a pound of butter, a pint of sour milk or buttermilk, three quarters of a pound of sugar, a small teaspoonful of saleratus dissolved in a little hot water, two well-beaten eggs, and as much flour as will make a smooth dough; flavor with half a teaspoonful of lemon extract, and half a nutmeg, grated; rub a little flour over a paste-board or table, roll the dough to a quarter of an inch thickness; cut them in squares, or diamonds, or round cakes, and fry in boiling lard as directed. These cakes may be made in rings, and fried."
---ibid (p. 287)
Take two deep dishes, and sift three quarters of a pound of flour into each. Make a hole in the centre of one of them, and pour a wine glass of the best brewer's yeast; mix the flour gradually into it, wetting it with lukewarm milk; cover it, and set it by the fire to rise for about two hours. This is setting a sponge. In the mean time, cut up five ounces of butter into the other dish of flour, and rub it fine with your hands; add half a pound of powdered sugar, a tea-spoonful of powdered cinnamon, a grated nutmeg, a table-spoonful of rose water, and a half a pint of milk. Beat three eggs very light, and stir them hard into the mixture. Then when the sponge is pergectly light, add it to the other ingredients, mixing them all thoroughly with a knife. Cover it, and set it again by the fire for another hour. When it is quite light, flour your paste-board, turn out the lump of dough, and cut it into thick diamond shaped cakes with a jagging iron. If you find the dough so soft as to be unmanageable, mix in a little more flour; but not else. Have ready a skillet of boiling lard; put the dough-nuts into it, and fry them brown; and then cool grate loaf-sugar over them. They should be eaten quite fresh, as next day they will be tough and heavy; therefore it is best to make no more than you want for immediate use.. The New York Oley Koeks are dough-nuts with currants and raisins in them"
--- Directions for Cookery in its Various Branches, Miss [Eliza] Leslie [Carey & Hart:Philadelphia] 1849 (p. 358-9)
"Albert's Favorite Doughnuts.
One pint sour milk, one cup sugar, tw eggs, one tea-spoon soda, half cup lard, nutmeg to flavor; mix to a moderately stiff dough, roll to half inch in thickness, cut in rings or twists, drop into boiling lard, and fry to a light brown.--Mrs. A.F. Ziegler.
"Doughnuts. One egg, a cup rich milk, a cup sugar, flour enough to roll out, three tea-spoons baking-powder.--Mrs Jenks, Bellfontaine.
Warm together one pint milk and one small tea-cup lard, and add one cup yeast; stirr in flour to make a batter, let rise over night; add four eggs, two and a half cups sugar, two tea-spoons cassia, half tea-spoon soda, and a tea-spoon salt; knead and let rise again; roll, cut out, and let rise fifteen minutes before frying."
---Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, facsimile reprint of 1877 edition printed by the Buckeye Publishing Company:Minnealpolis MN, [Applewood Books:Bedford MA] (p. 77)
Doughnut recipes, Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Mrs. D.A. Lincoln (page through for crullers & fritters)
Today Americans observe Donught Day on the first Friday in June. In years past, it was celebrated in October and May, on Tuesdays or Fridays. "Doughnut Day" launched in 1917 as a way to support the morale of American troops stations during World War I. It began as a huge bake sale, selling real doughnuts at premium prices for charitable purpose. In the 1920s the drive was held in many cities and hosted by several organizations. In 1927 Chicago-based Salvation Army drive experienced trouble when they began selling tags along with real doughnuts, baked by homemakers, professional bakeries and restaurants. Chicago city council regulated these tags and the operation was temporarily shut down. In 1938 the modern Doughnut Day, selling paper doughnuts (aka tags), launched in Chicago. The annual charity drive continued to grow and was a success on all counts. Today's Americans celebrate Doughnut Day with freebies promoted by chain restaurants.
The Salvation Army was famous for providing doughnuts to the troops during World War I. What kind of doughnuts were distributed on the first Doughnut Day? History does not record. In 1938, the doughnuts were made from paper. This was not a free food giveaway program, but a true charity drive.
Doughnut Day timeline
"Reports from the trade sections of the Salvation Army doughnut fund campaign indicate that approximately 0,000 has been collected from that sources...Today will be doughnut day, and 40,000 'sinkers' will be on sale on the streets. It is hoped that for every doughnut eaten in the loop there will be a contribution for a half dozen doughnuts in the trenches. Bakeries will handle about half of the supply, but the wome of seven clubs will make the balance of them. They will be sold from trucks."
---"Doughnuts Sold Here Today for Boys in France," Chicago Daily Tribune, August 16, 1918 (p. 3)
"Brig. Gen. Cornelius Vanderbilt, in charge of the Salvation Army home service fund in this city, announced last night that two day's canvassing had furnished slightly more than one-third of the metropolitan district's quota of ,00,000...The feature of the day, of course, was doughnuts. When daylight peeped into the kitchens of Mrs. Vincent Astor's home...amateur 'chefs' and Salvation Army experts ...took stock and found that 17,000 doughnuts had been cooked during the night. In other kitchens the women had been busy and when noon--'the doughnut hour'--came around, there were 125,000 tempting reasons why they called it 'Doughnut day.' Eighty-five per cent of the doughnuts were prepared by volunteer workers...Selling at no less than each, they enriched the fund by nearly 0,000...The hotel and restaurant division of the New York City Trades Committee,,...said that all hostelries had agreed to observe every day during the rest of the week as a doughnut day. The restaurants which have added the succulent sinker to the menu range from the best known in Fifth Avenue to the humblest 'beanery' in the city...Reports also indicated that the national drive was 'going strong'...The greatest doughnut sales were in the financial district. And why not?"
---0,000 in 2 Days in Doughnut Drive," New York Times, May 22, 1919 (p. 14)
"Today is doughnut day, and 'lucky' doughnuts are worth .50 in gold to the buyers. The doughnut race, with gigantic 68-pound, 4-foot doughnuts, will be held on the Ellipse at noon...Special doughnut-eating contest will be held every hour in the Autocar trucks which will tour the city. A cash prize will be given to the winning eater. Today the Salvation Army will base its appeal for funds with which to operate its summer camp and continue its work during the year on doughnuts. The army has given away thousands of coats, shirts and shoes and found jobs for thousands of men. It seeks to continue the work. Secretary of the Treasury Mellon is providing the money for the day's prizes, and thousands of doughnuts have been given the army by bakeries of the city."
---"Doughnuts at .50 Today," Washington Post, May 20, 1922 (p. 2)
"Hundreds of women workers, recruited from society and from humbler works of life, will be on hand early this morning to meet pedestrians with the request to 'please buy a doughnut to help the Salvation Army...Doughnut day, as the drive has been designated, is named in remembrance of the service given during the world war to the American soldiers in France."
---"Salvation Army Puts Doughnuts on Sale Today: Army Delicacy to Help Drive for Funds," Chicago Daily Tribune, October 24, 1927 (p. 23)
"Many a debutante from Chicago's gold coast district had her first skirmish yesterday with the uniformed guardians of the law when an order was issued by Chief of Police Michael Hughes directing his men to stop the disposal by the volunteer workers of Salvation Army buttons in return for contributions to that organization's Doughnut day drive. A hubbub ensued, repercussions being felt at the campaign headquarters on Wacker drive, where the women poured in to learn what course to pursue, and at the city hall, where Salvation Army officials immediately appeared to straighten out the tangle. Sale of the buttons, it was charged, constituted an infringement on the ordinance prohibiting all tag days except the three authorized by the city council. Sale of the doughnuts which accompanied them was held to be legal and commendable, and should be allowed to continue. Protest by officials of the Army and of the campaign availed nothing in the end...the matter was amicably adjusted. The workers were advised to return to their posts and continue the sale of their doughnuts, but to keep the buttons out of sight, which they did. The trouble arose because of the recent revision of the tag day ordinance, it was explained. it is estimated by Army workers that the mix up lost the organization many thousands of dollars. The buttons were being given out with the doughnuts, they said, and those who did not care to carry the doughnut took the button. In the suburbs the buttons alone were offered, as in past years. Thomas H. Byrne, superintendent of streets, issued the license to the Army, as he has done for the last seven years."
---"Salvation Army Doughnut Sale Hit by Tag Ban: Debutantes are Halted by Police Order," Chicago Daily Tribune, October 25, 1927 (p. 37)
"'Dollars to doughnuts' will be reversed tomorrow when the women's divition of the Salvation Army holds a Doughnut day throughout the city. Some 2,500 members of clubs, parent-teacher associations, and American Legion auxciliaries will help the Army sell paper symbols of the doughnuts that won the soldiers' appreciation of warm hearted Salvation Army tactics during the world war. This is the first tag day to be sponsored by the Army in eight years and is necessitated by increasing demand of the current depression. Women without food and shelter for their children, unmarried mothers, and unemployed women are among those to whom the Army extends a hand with the cooperation of the women's division."
---"Doughnts to Dollars is Salvation Army Plan," Betty Browning, Chicago Daily Tribune, June 5., 1938 (p. F1)
"Tuesday is Doughnut day, the day hundreds of northeast side women will be among those taking over three city's street corners to sell paper doughnuts in the Salvation Army's drive for funds for the Army's fresh air camp at Antioch, where every summer thousands of mothers and children from the crowded areas are given vacation outings...The coins for doughnuts will also go to the settlement at 3053 Normal avenue, the emergency lodge, 1230 West Adams street, which gives the temporary refuge to women and children in need."
---"Salvation Army Doughnut Day to Aid Charity," Chicago Daily Tribune, June 9, 1940 (p. NW3)
"'Serving on All Fronts' is the slogan for the drive this year, and the phrase is a statement of literal fact. The blue uniform of the Salvationists is seen today on every war front where Americans are fighting. There are 2,000 recreation and refreshment centers, known as Red Shield clubs, circling the globe with 500 of them in operation in the United States...In Australia, the organization's service to soldiers is functioning on a ,000,000 a year budget. Five hundred mobile canteens for emergency service are on 24 hour a day call in England..."
---"Salvation Army's Doughnut Day is Scheduled fro Tuesday," Chicago Daily Tribune, June 6, 1943 (p. G1)
"Approximately 10,000 women will mobilize in Chicago and 52 suburbs this morning to sell the paper doughnuts which signify the Salvation Army's annual Doughnut day fundraising. This year's goal is 0,000...Mrs. Paschen is the first and only chairman of the all-out tagging effort which has characterized Salvation Army Doughnut days for the last 10 years. Previously, the tagging was spotty. A decade ago. the Salvation Army women's board decided to cover the entire city, and Mrs. Paschen was me chairman. She has served ever since. The tagging area has increased, and this year the paper doughnuts will be sold in nearly twice as many suburbs as a year ago. Salvation Army representatives said that officials apparently realized that the cost of charity, like everything else, has risen, and that tagging permits were granted by incorporated areas which previously had refused."
---"Salvation Army's Doughnut Day Today Has 0,000 Goal," Chicago Daily Tribune, June 15, 1948 (p. 20)
"An old, familiar, and welcome appeal to the generosity of all Chicagoans will sound throughout the city and suburbs on Friday. Occasion is this: For the 18th consecutive year, Friday will be 'Doughnut Day,' the official tag day for the benefit of the Salvation Army and its work for the needy and distressed and underprivileged. Throughout Friday, beginning almost at dawn, nearly 12,000 volunteers will man the tagging posts, accepting contributions and handing out little paper doughnut tags which are emblematic of a gift to the Army. Goal of the 'Doughnut Day' taggers will be 5,000, which is approximately 30 per cent of the funds which the Salvation Army must raise this year by direct public contribution."
---"Salvation Army Doughnut Day Set for Friday, [Chicago] Daily Defender, June 14, 1956 (p. 16)
"'Doughnut day' taggers in region five will be guests at an open house June 6 at the Salvation Army's Vincennes Outpost...The taggers are among an estimated 12,000 volunteers who will sell the familiar little paper doughnut tags on June 12, throughout Chicago and approximately 150 surrounding suburban communities...Doughnuts and coffee will be served, and tagging kits and supplies will be given to the taggers...'Doughnut day,' one of five tag days approved by the City Council, helps support the Salvation Army's social service program conducted through its 39 corps, departments and institutions in the greater Chicago area...'Tagging for just two hours on Doughnut day contributes a great deal to the success of the drive.' said Mrs. Paschen."
---"Doughnut Day Taggers Guests at Open House," [Chicago] Daily Defender, May 25, 1959 (p. 14)
"'Total contributions amounted to 2,844, according to Mrs. Henry D. Paschen...general chairman of the drive...The drive was held throughout Chicago and 134 suburbs...Contributions from the public on 'Doughnut Day' help support The Salvation Army's program of emergency assistance and social-welfare services for the needy men, women and children of the greater Chicago area."
---"Southside 'Doughnut Day' Volunteers Surpass Goal," Chicago Daily Defender, October 9, 1967 (p. 7)
"This year's Salvation Army Doughnut Day will be held on Friday in Chicago and 135 surrounding communities. The event began in 1938, and Mrs. Henry D. Paschen has been its original and only chairman for the 41 continuous years of its existence. During that time, Doughnut Day has raised millions of dollars to support the social welfare services of the salvation Army in Greater Chicago. The idea for Doughnut day began in 1917 on the battlefields of France when Salvation Army lassies served coffee and doughnuts to World War I soldiers. Poor rations, rain, mud, and homesickness had caused morale to suffer, and the idea was conceived as a means of bringing them men cheer. The original idea was to bake pies, cakes, and bread for the men, but at the front no stoves or ovens were available for baking and supplies were scarce. The doughnuts became a symbol of the Salvation Army's commitment to both the physicals and spiritual welfare of the American soldier and his allies. Since 1917, millions of doughnuts have been served to soldiers, firemen, police, disaster victims, and others. metropolitan Chicago is the only area of the country with an official Doughnut day."
---"Salvation Army's Doughnut Day Set," Chicago Tribune, May 31, 1979 (p. W2)
"Lillian Paschen, 92, longtime general chairman of the Salvation Army's Doughnut Day fundraiser and the widow of one of the founders of a major Chicago construction company, died Thursday...Ms. Paschen, a North Side resident, headed the Salvation Army's Doughnut Day tag sale for 44 years. She was instrumental in expanding the number of volunteers involved in the effort, which now raises more than 0,000 a year to support activities of the Salvation Army."
---"Obituaries: L. Pachen, A Salvation Army leader," Chicago Tribune, January 7, 1983 (p. A6)
Who's responsible for creating the doughnut hole?
Popular foodlore credits Captain Hanson Gregory, a Maine sailor with a love for doughnuts. True or not, the story is compelling and fun.
"The first American doughnuts did not have holes at all; they were quite literally little "nuts" of dough. The Pilgrims, who had spent the years 1607-1620 in Holland, learned to make doughnuts there and brought them to New England; the most direct antecedent of the pastry seems to be of German origin, and these doughnuts came in all shapes and sizes. The first mention of the term in print was in Washington Irving's History of New York...... The Pennsylvania Dutch were probably the first to make doughnuts with holes in their centers, a perfect shape for "dunking"...in coffee, which has become a standard method of eating doughtnuts for Americans. There seems little real evidence to support the story of a Rockport, Maine, sea captain named Hanson Crockett Gregory, who claimed to have poked out the soggy centers of his wife's doughnuts in 1847 so that he might slip them over the spokes of his ship's wheel, thereby being able to nibble while keeping an even keel. Nevertheless, in 1947, a centenary plaque commemorating Gregory's alleged culinary creation was placed on the house where he had lived. By the middle of the nineteenth century the hole must have been widely accepted, and a housewares catalog of 1870 shows a doughnut cutter including a corer, as does the 1897 Sears, Roebuck Catalog...By the twentieth century doughnuts, dusted with powdered sugar or cinnamon, iced, or stuffed with jelly...or cream...had become an American favorite..."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 114-5)
[NOTE: We have a copy of an article from the [Boston] Times dated Saturday Evening, January 30, 1808, containing this phrase "...then the company sat round the large round table to their tea, while a plentiful supply of fire-cakes and dough-nuts furnished out the repast..." "Sketches and Views, No. V. (Volume 1, No. 8, page 1)]
Probable source of above information
"The man who invented the hole in the doughnut has been found. He is Capt. Hanson Gregory, at present an inmate in Sailor's Snug Harbor, at Quincy, Mass. Doughnut cutters have made fortunes for men; millions eat doughnuts for breakfast and feel satisfied. Doctors do not assail the doughnut. And all of this owes its being to Capt. Gregory, who made the doughnut a safe, sane and hygienic food. It's a long story, mates; but as the 85-year-old chap relates it, it's only too short. Outside the fact that Capt. Gregory is a bit hard of hearing, he's as sound as new timber. He's a product of Maine; and so Maine can lay claim to the discoverer of the hole in the doughnut, along with the discoverer of new ways to evade the prohibition laws. But Capt. Gregory's discovery is of real use in the world; millions have risen, and millions more shall rise up, and call him blessed. _'Bout '47 Was the Date._ "It was way back--oh, I don't know just what year--let me see--born in '31, shipped when I was 13--well, I guess it was about '47, when I was 16, that I was aboard ship and discovered the hole which was later to revolutionize the doughnut industry. "I first shipped aboard the Isaac Achorn, three-masted schooner, Capt. Rhodes, in the lime trade. Later I joined other crews and other captains, and it was on one of these cruises that I was mawing doughnuts. "Now in them days we used to cut the doughnuts into diamond shapes, and also into long strips, bent in half, and then twisted. I don't think we called them doughnuts then--they was just 'fried cakes' and 'twisters.' "Well, sir, they used to fry all right around the edges, but when you had the edges done the insides was all raw dough. And the twisters used to sop up all the grease just where they bent, and they were tough on the digestion." "Pretty d--d tough, too!" profanely agreed one of the dozen pipe-smoking fellows who were all eyes and ears, taking in their comrade's interview by The Post reporter. With a glance at the perfervid interrupter, the discoverer continued: "Well, I says to myself, 'Why wouldn't a space inside solve the difficulty?' I thought at first I'd take one of the strips (Col. 2--ed.) and roll it around, then I got an inspiration, a great inspiration. "I took the cover off the ship's tin pepper box, and--I cut into the middle of that doughnut the first hole ever seen by mortal eyes!" "Were you pleased?" "Was Columbus pleased? Well, sir, them doughnuts was the finest I ever tasted. No more indigestion--no more greasy sinkers--but just well-done, fried-through doughnuts. "That cruise over, I went home to my old mother and father in Camden, Me., where I was born. My father, Hanson Gregory, sr., lived to be 93, and my mother lived to be 79. She was a pretty old lady then. I saw her making doughnuts in the kitchen--I can see her now, and as fine a woman as ever-lived, was my mother. _Taught Trick to Mother._ "I says to her: 'Let me make some doughnuts for you.' She says all right, so I made her one or two and then showed her how. "She then made several panfuls and sent them down to Rockland, just outside Camden. Everybody was delighted and they never made doughnuts any other way except the way I showed my mother. "Well, I never took out a patent on it; I don't suppose any one can patent anything he discovers; I don't suppose Peary could patent the north pole or Columbus patent America. But I thought I'd get out a doughnut cutter--but somebody got in ahead of me. _Hole "Cut Out," His Joke._ "Of course a hole ain't so much; but it's the best part of the doughnut--you'd think so if you had ever tasted the doughnuts we used to eat in '31. Of course, lots of people joke about the hole in the doughnut. I've got a joke myself: Whenever anybody says to me: 'Where's the hole in the doughnut?' I always answer: 'It's been cut out!'" and the old chap laughed loud and long at his little sally, while the rest joined in. So there he sits--in the Snug Harbor by the sea. And whenever there's doughnuts on the day's fare, Capt. Gregory takes a personal pride trying to do what nobody's succeeded in doing yet--in trying to find the hole in the doughnut. And whenever the old salts rally him about it, he always springs his little joke: "The hole's been cut out, I guess!" to the delight of the whole shipful."
---"'Old Salt' Doughnut hole inventor tells just how discovery was made," The Washington Post Mar 26, 1916 (p. ES9)
[NOTE: this story was recounted when Captain Gregory was nominated for the "Hall of Fame." New York Times January 31, 137 (p. 34) "Hailed as Inventor of Hole in Doughnut" and in 1947 when Captain Gregory was commemorated with a bronze tablet "Honor Doughnut Creator," November 3, 1947 (p. 25).]
The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and New World, translated and edited by Peter G. Rose, reproduces De Vertandige Kock, a Dutch coobook from 1669. This book also has some recipes that have been updated for modern kitchens. English translation here:
"For 2 poond of Wheat-flour take 2 poond long Raisins, when they have been washed clean soak them in lukewarm water, a cup of the best Apples, peel them and cut them in very smallpieces without the cores, a quarter poond or one and a half [quarter poond: 6 ounces] peeled Almonds, a loot Cinnamon, a quarter loot white Ginger, a few Cloves this crushed together, half a small bowl of melted Butter, a large spoon Yeast, and not quiet a pint of lukewarm sweet Milk, because it must be a thick batter [so thick] that the batter is tough when spooned and then everything stirred together. Let it rise then take a mengelen of the best Rapseed [Colza] oil, add a crust of Bread, a half Apple. Place it on the fire and let it burn, keep turning the bread and the Apple until it blackens and hardens, then pour in a dash of clean water, let it cool in the air, then put it back on the fire when you want to use it."
--- The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and the New World, Translated and Edited by Peter G. Rose [Syracuse University Press:New York] 1989 (p. 78) [NOTE: a Loot is about 14 grams]
"Olie-koeken, in New Netherland usage variously spelled as olicook, or olykoecks: one of the forerunners of the doughnut. A ball of dough prepared from flour, milk, and yeast, with or without sweetener and various fillings and deep fried in hot oil (for which they get their name), or lard."
---The Sensible Cook (p. 126)
Cronuts, a compound term combining croissants & doughnuts, is THE food craze in the summer of 2013. Media reports customers waiting on long lines hoping for a taste. Celebrities "fly" these treats to remote locations. In a world where imitation measures success, the Cronut has achieved royal status in record time.
According to the records of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Cronut brand baked goods were introduced to the American public May 10, 2013 by Dominique Ansel of New York City.
"Word Mark CRONUT Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: Bakery desserts; Bakery goods; Bakery goods and dessert items, namely, cheesecakes for retail and wholesale distribution and consumption on or off the premises; Bakery goods, namely, croissant and doughnut hybrid; Bakery products; Bakery products, namely, sweet bakery goods; Beverages made of coffee; Beverages made of tea; Beverages with a chocolate base; Beverages with a coffee base; Biscuits; Biscuits and bread; Biscuits, tarts, cakes made with cereals; Bread and buns; Bread and pastry; Bread doughs; Bread mixes; Bread rolls; Bread sticks; Brioches; Cake doughs; Cake icing; Cake mixes; Cakes; Chocolate for confectionery and bread; Cocoa-based beverages; Cocoa-based ingredient in confectionery products; Coffee based beverages; Coffee beverages with milk; Coffee-based beverages; Coffee-based iced beverages; Confectioneries, namely, snack foods, namely, chocolate; Confectionery chips for baking; Cookie dough; Cookie mixes; Cookies; Croissants; Doughnuts; Edible cake decorations; Edible decorations for cakes; Edible flour; Food package combinations consisting primarily of bread, crackers and/or cookies; Instant doughnut mixes; Macaroons; Macaroons; Madeleines; Mixes for bakery goods; Muffin mixes; Muffins; Pastries; Pastry dough; Pastry mixes; Prepared cocoa and cocoa-based beverages; Prepared coffee and coffee-based beverages; Scones. FIRST USE: 20130510. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20130510 Standard Characters Claimed Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK Serial Number 85936327 Filing Date May 19, 2013 Current Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Owner (APPLICANT) Dominique Ansel INDIVIDUAL FRANCE Dominique Ansel 189 Spring Street New York NEW YORK 10012." (APPLICANT) International Pastry Concepts LLC LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY NEW YORK Dominique Ansel 189 Spring Street New York NEW YORK 10012 Attorney of Record Candice Cook Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL Live/Dead Indicator LIVE"
"Excuse us while we indulge in a When Harry Met Sally moment as we simply gaze at this edible decadence, the cronut. Combining two of our favourite foods together: the doughnut and croissant, pastry chef Dominique Ansel has created in one word, a masterpiece at his eponymous bakery in New York City. While layers of flaky pastry dough deep-fried and dressed in flavoured sugar is already a winner in our books, let’s thank Ansel for taking it one step further filling these babies with heavenly vanilla pastry cream and cloaking them in rose glaze (image below). Sigh. This bakery feat was almost rocket science to produce according to Grub Street New York and entailed testing several recipes and frying temperatures. Kudos to Ansel for figuring it all out. If you’re in New York next month, stop by for a cronut featuring maple syrup cream and lemon maple glaze. Word to pastry addicts: the cronuts sold out within 35 minutes of opening today so get there before the doors are actually unlocked."
---The Loop, Sympatico (newswire), May 10, 2103 4:45:22PM
Related doughnut? Crullers.
Crullers (aka Wonders) were intoduced to the New World by Dutch cooks. Then, as today, these doughnut-type fried cakes were quite popular. What are crullers?
"'Crullers' (Dutch krullen) were an early egg-dough pastry shaped by the New Amsterdam Dutch into "love knots" or "matrimony knots" or the elongated shape that became familiar throughout the country. Sometimes crullers were called "wonders," and among the Creoles, croque-cignole."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 114)
"Crullers, or Crulla. Crullers always have been associated with Dutch cookery in America. Ann Stevenson's recipe for them, entitled "Crulla" simply reads: "3 lbs. flour, 12 eggs, 1 lb. sugar, and a little butter & some Nutmeg." It makes plain, rather crisp, fritters that can be dusted with confectioners' or cinnamon-sugar for extra flavor.
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Oil for deep-frying.
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time. Then add flour and nutmeg to make a smooth dough. Turn it out on a board and cut into 20 even pieces. Roll each piece out to a 6-inch rope. Fold the rope in half and twist the ends around each other, leaving an opening in the middle. An alternate method for shaping the crullers is to roll out the dough 1/4-inch thick. With a pie jagger cut into strips 1/2-inch wide and 3 inches long. Twist two strips together. Heat the oil to 350 degrees and deep-fry the crullers until golden and done. Remove and immediately sprinkle with confectioners' or cinnamon-sugar, if desired. Makes 20.
Here is a completely different version of the cruller. The recipe is adapted from a nineteenth century Dutch cookbook that survived only as a fragment without a title page. This version resembles more closely Washington Irving's description in his "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." The author describes a Dutch tea table set for guests which included "Such heaped up platters of cakes of various and almost indescribable kinds, known ony to experienced Dutch housewives. There was the doughy dough nut, the tenderer oly koek, and the crisp and crumbling cruller..." (Irving, 287.) This recipe creates a crisp and crumbling cruller, or cork-screw krul (curl).
9 tablespoons butter (no substitutes)
1 2/3 cups flour (tapped down)
2 tablespoons heavy cream, if needed.
Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the egg and incorporate. Add the flour a little at a time. If the dough is too stiff, add some cream. Roll to a thickness of 1/6 inch and cut into strips of approximately 3/4-inch wide (it does not matter how long they are). Twist around the handle of a wooden spoon to make a corkscrew curl. Gently slide off the handle into hot oil at aobut 350 degrees. Fry until golden brown and slightly puffed. Drain on paper towels. Sift confectioners' sugar over each curl before serving."
---The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and the New World, Translated and edited by Peter G. Rose [Syracuse University Press:Syracuse NY] 1989 (p. 116-119)
Related food? Cronuts.
Jelly-filled doughnuts descend from German culinary traditions. Originally called Bismarks, Berliners, and Fastnachts, these delicious breakfast items were traditionally associated with the Christian observance of Shrove Tuesday. The term "jelly doughut" first surfaces in USA print in the late 19th century.
"Bismark, also 'berliner.' An oblong cake, usually fried in oil, with a filling of jelly. In bakeries bismarks are commonly baked, not fried, and often sugared or topped with whipped cream...although it may refer in some way to Otto von Bismark, first chancellor of the modern German Empire (1871-1890) or to the fact that the shape of the cake is similar to that of the famous German battleship the Bismark. Earliest references to bismarks date to the 1930s. Such cakes are also sometimes called 'longjohns'."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 30)
"Bismarks. Kuchenmeiterei in Nurnberg, a fifteenth-century treatise on mastering the art of cakemaking, introduced this recipe for jelly doughnuts, traditional fare in German on Fastnach, or Shrove Tuesday. In Berlin the doughnuts are known as Bismarks after the illustrious Prussian statesman of whom Berliners are particularly fond. However, there is no historical evidence that Bismark was partial to jelly doughnuts."
---Horizon Cookbook and Illustrated History of Eating and Drinking through the Ages, [American Heritage:New York] 1968 (p. 720)
"German immigrants to America brought their yeast-raised jelly-filled doughnuts. Back home in Germany they had begun as Fastnachkuchen, a treat made on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, to feast before the coming fast and to use up the fats that would not be allowed during Lent...In the United States they first appeared in German bakeries and quickly acquired a new name, as Americans associated everything German with Otto von Bismark, (1815-1898)."
---Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press:Athens] 1998 (p. 27)
Our survey of historic USA newspapers confirms the term "jelly doughnut" was known in 1899:
"Many persons opened baskets of luncheon...chocolate creams, jelly doughnuts, peanuts, waffles and ice-cream bricks."
---"Visitors to the Raleigh," New York Times, April 18. 1899 (p. 4)
"All kinds of rolls, fried cakes and Jelly Bismarks."
---display ad, Higgins Baking Company, News-Palladium, Benton Harbor (MI) December 30, 1907 (p. 7)
"'What do do about jelly doughnuts which won't cook through?'...The answer had mainly to do with the thickness of the dough when rolled. To make a raised jelly doughnut roll out the dough to one-eighth inch thickness and cut with a cookie cutter into thin rounds. The place one teaspoon of currant jelly on the center of one round, moisten the edges with water, and place another round 'on top, pressing the edges lightly together. Cover and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk. The fry in hot fat (380 degrees F.) until golden brown."
---"Jelly Bismark Brings Query on Raw Dough," Mary Meade, Chicago Daily Tribune, September 9, 1933 (p. 15)
"Jelly-filled doughnuts were the downfall today of a man attempting to rob a bakery at pistol point. First Mrs. Pauline Keller, 52 and spry for a grandmother, swung a bag of doughnuts and knocked the gun from his hand. Then her screams brought her husband from a rear room. The bandit turned to flee, but slipped on a jelly-covered dunker and skidded feet first into a woman customer entering the front door. He was captured."
---"Doughnuts Foil Bakery Bandit Seeking Dollars," Washington Post, September 10, 1941 (p. 3)
Beignets descend from ancient Roman fritters. Savory or sweet; basic or complicated, these tasty deep fried cake and pastry treats are a glorious part of French cuisine. What exactly is a beignet?
"Beignet. The French denoting a general class of small, light, batter-coated, deep-fried items equivalent to the English fritter. This meaning has been kept in the state of Louisiana, where French influence is strong, and the beignets are a specialty of New Orleans. 'Beignet' also has a specific gastronomical meaning of deep-fried choux pastry...Choux paste is popular in many countries for making fritters."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p.70)
"Beigne harks back to a non-Indo-European pre-Roman word like bunnia, directly related to Gaelic bun and Catalan bony 'bump on the head.'...When beigne first shows up in 17th century French, it meant: 'bump on the head' and also 'tree stump.' The present meaning of beigne today in France is slap or clout or blow, in other word, what might cause a bump on the head. English borrowed its word bun for a little form of leavened bread from a French dialectic offshoot of the same root, bugne, that denoted a slightly raised pancake. But all the food references obviously began a jokes in which a bump of bread (a bun) was compared to a bump on the head. ...Beigne is a Canadian French usage showing how ancient meaning of words can remain in a dialect while disappearing from a standard language. The word for doughnut today in France is a later, diminutive form, beignet. It means 'fritter' as well in France. Among les Quebecois et les Acadiens, un beignet is also a fritter or a pancake. A familiar Acadian dish is beignets rapes 'potato fritters,' while beignets a la rapture are potato pancakes made by blending finely grated potatoes in an egg-and-flour batter, forming them into palm-sized pancakes, patting them thin, and frying until crispy brown. In current Quebec slang there is a...put-down, begnet 'dummy, stupid person,' which is very close to the Ontario expression 'Don't be such a doughnut.'"
---Canadian Food Words, Bill Casselman [McArthur & Company:Toronto] 1998 (p. 106-107)
"Beignets Souffles or Plain Fritters
Put in a 2-quart stewpan:
1/2 pint of water,
1/4 lb. of butter,
1/2 oz. of sugar;
Boil; then take off the fire, and add 1/2 lb. of sifted flour; mix, and stir over the fire, and break in 3 eggs;--each egg should be thoroughly mixed before another is added; mix well, and if the paste be too stiff, add half or a whole egg;--the paste should be stiff enough not to spread out when dropped from the spoon; Cut some strips of paper 2 inches wide; grease them slightly with cold frying fat; make the paste up into balls, about the size of a small walnut, then put them on the strips of paper; Put 3 lbs. of frying fat on the fire, in the frying-kettpe; try the heat with a piece of bread crumb...the bread should only produce a very slight fizzing; dip each strip of paper in the frying fat, till the balls of paste are detached from it; fry these gently, stirring with the skimmer; when of an even yellow colour, drain them, first on a sieve, then on a cloth; sprinkle with sugar; dish them upon a napkin; and serve."
---The Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, translated from the French and Adapted for English Use by Alphonse Gouffe [Samson Low, Son and Marston:London] 1869 (p. 188)
Escoffier separates his beignet notes and recipes according to purpose: savory/appetizers and sweet/desserts.
Beignet is a general term used to designate any item or mixture of food which has been dipped in frying butter and then deep fried. In modern practice, the word Fritot is often applied to this preparation; however, there is a difference--the Fritot is always accompanied by Tomato Sauce whereas a fritter is invariably served without an accompaniment. Beignets must be fried in very hot fat or oil so as to prevent the batter from breaking up and thus prevent it absorbing the fat. They should be arranged on a serviette with a bouquet or border of fried parsley."
---Compete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier, first translation into English by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann [John Wiley:New York] 1979 (p. 135)
[NOTE: Escoffer offers recipes for 10 savory beignets in this section]
"Beignets Souffles en Surprise
Prepare the fritters as in the preceding recipe [Ordinary Souffle Fritters]. On removing from the fat, drain them well, cut a small incisions at one side and fill them with either some well reduced puree of fruit cooked with sugar, jam, a Salpicon of fruit of any kind of prepared cream. Note: The cream known as Saint-Honore is particuarly suitable for these fritters." ---ibid (p. 522) [Escoffier offers 7 dessert beignet recipes.]
Put a pound of flour, a pinch of salt, a liquor glass of rum, the yolks of three eggs and a quantity of likewarm water into a mixing dish and beat these together till it shrinks from the dish. Then mix in the well-beaten whites of the eggs and then allow to rise for an hour or so. Have a baking dish very hot and put in the paste in pieces the size of a nut, which will triple in size while cooking. Let them cook to a golden color, remove from the fire and sprnkle with powdered sugar. Serve hot."
---Twenty-Four Little French Dinners, Cora Moore [E.P. Dutton:New York] 1919 (p. 55)
"Puff Paste Fritters (Beignet souffles dits pets de nonne)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salte
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup flour
Bring water, sugar, salt, lemon peel, and butter to a boil. Add flour and stir vigorously until all the flour is mixed in. Continue stirring this mixture over the flame until it is thick and dry. Remove from the flame and add the unbeaten eggs, one at a tine, strirring hard after each addition. The dough will become smooth and when it drops slowly from the spoon it is the right consistency. Drop teaspoons of the mixture into deep fat (370 degrees F.) and fry until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve hot or cold; they are delicious tea cakes."
---Tante Marie's French Kitchen, translated and adapted by Charlotte Turgeon [Oxford University Press:New York] 1949, 1962 (p. 219)
"Beignets (Square French Doughnuts)--Here's a recipe for Beignets we came across but we don't guarantee it to be the same one used at the French Market: don't think you can acquire it. One cup of sifted flour, three eggs, two teaspoons of butter, one cup of water, and one teaspoon of vanilla. Bring to a boil the water and buter. Stir in slowly the sifted flour, continuing to stir until the dough fails to to stick to the pan. Remove from fire and beat eggs separately into the dough, then add vanilla. Drop by tablespoons into deep fat and fry until each doughnut swells to about twice the original size. Dust with powdered sugar."
---"Food Fancies: In South Louisiana, You Start With a Cup of Coffee," Corinne Peace, Lake Charles American [New Orleans LA], April 15, 1962 (p. 25)
1 stick butter. 1 cup water. 2 teaspoons sugar. 1 cup flour. 2 eggs. 1 egg yolk. Confectioners' sugar. In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring to a boil the butter, water, and sugar. Add flour all at once and stir vigorously over fire until mixture leaves the sides of the pot. Place mixture in a bowl slightly. Add eggs and egg yolk one at a time and beat thoroughly after each addition. Spoon mixture (size of small egg) in 375 degrees F. fat and fry until brown. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Makes about 24 beignets."
---The New Orleans Restaurant Cookbook, Dierdre Stanforth [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY], revised and updated, 1976 (p. 218-219)
Calas are deep-fried rice cakes, a specialty of New Orleans Creole Cuisine. Classic street cuisine. Historic notes & recipes here:
"Calas..."Belle Cala! Tout Chaud!" Under this cry was sold by the ancient Creole negro women in the French Quarter of New Orleans a delicious rice cake, which was eaten with the morning cup of Cafe au Lait. The Cala woman was a daily figure in the streets till within the last two or three years. She went her rounds in quaint bandana tignon, guinea blue dress and white apron, and carried on her head a covered bowl, in which were the dainty and hot Calas. Her cry, "Belle Cala! Tout Chaud!" would penetrate the morning air, and the olden Creole cooks would rush to the doors to get the first fresh, hot Calas to carry to their masters and mistresses with the early morning cup of coffee. The Cala women have almost all passed away. But the custom of making Calas still remains. In many an ancient home the good housewife tells her daughter just how "Tante Zizi" made the Calas in her day, and so are preserved these ancient traditional recipes. From one of the last of the olden Cala women, one who has walked the streets of the French Quarter for fifty years and more, we have the following established Creole recipe:
1/2 Cup Rice
3 Cups Water (boiling)
1/2 Cup Sugar.
1/2 Cake of Compressed Yeast.
1/2 Teaspoonful of Grated Nutmeg.
Powdered White Sugar.
Put thre cups of water in a saucepan and let it boil hard. Wash half a cup of rice thoroughly, and drain and put in the boiling water. Let it boil till very soft and mushy. Take it out and set is to cool. When cold, mash well and mix with the yeast, which you will have dissolved in a half cup of hot water. Set the rice to rise overnight. In the morning beat three eggs thoroughly, and add to the rice, mixing and beating well. Add a half cup of sugar and three tablespoonfuls of flour, to make the rice adhere. Mix well and beat thoroughly, bringing it to a thick batter. Set to rise for fifteen minutes longer. The add about a half teaspoonful of grated nutmeg, and mix well. Have ready a frying pan, in which there is sufficient quantity of shortening boiling for the rice cakes to swim in it. Test by dropping in a small piece ob bread. If it becomes a golden brown the shortening is ready, but if it burns or browns instantly it is too hot. The golden brown color is the true test. Take a large deep spoon, and drop a spoonful at a time of the preparation into the boiling shortening, remembering always that the cake must not touch the bottom of the pan. Let fry to a nice brown. The old Cala woman used to take the Calas piping hot, wrap them in a clean towel, put them into a capacious basket or bowl, and rush through the streets with the welcome cry, "Belle Cala! Tout Chaud!" ringing on the morniing air. But in families the cook simply takes the Calas out of the frying pan and drains off the shortening by laying in a colander or on heated pieces of brown paper. They are then placed in a hot dish, and sprinkled over with powdered white sugar, and eaten hot with Cafe au Lait."
---The Original Picayune Creole Cook Book, Ninth Edition [Times-Picayne Publishing:New Orleans] 1938 (p. 173-4)
[NOTE: It is interesting to note that the 1901 edition of this book does not contain a recipe for Calas.]
Fritters (aka frytors, frytos) are deep-fried batters containing sweet (fruit & nuts) or savory (cheese, fish, vegetables) fillings. Food historian confirm fritter-type foods were consumed by Ancient Romans, who introduced this recipe to Europe during their conquest. Modern French beignets and Spanish Frittatas are a direct descendant.
"Fritter. The English word for a small portion of deep-fried batter, usually but not always containing a piece of fruit, meat, fish or vegetable. Fritters are generally eaten immediately after cooking, as, like all deep-fried foods, they taste best hot and fresh...Fritters are often sold at fairs, freshly cooked a special stalls. In several countries they are made as part of the carnival binge of rich foods, eaten before the fast of Lent begins...The Roman scriblita, described by Cato in the 2nd Century BC, was probably a precursor of both fritters and doughnuts. Lumps of moist dough (leavened with sourdough) were spooned into hot fat, and allowed to stream in random shapes. Medieval cryspeys were described in the Harlean MS of 1430; a liquid yeast batter using the whites of eggs only was run down the cook's fingers so that five narrow streams entered the hot oil, where they set into a tangle. They were served sprinkled with sugar...Medieval batters for sweet fritters, like those for pancakes, contained wine or ale, sometimes cream, and more eggs than are usual today. Choux paste mixtures were in use for making fritters in France by the end of the 16th century...in the 18th century [fritters] were piped with a forcing bag. This shape survives in the old French bugne and the American cruller."
---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 320-1)
"Fritters are portions of food--fruit, vegetables, seafood--coated in batter and deep-fried. The name reflects the method of cooking; it was borrowed in the fourteenth century from Old French friture, which came ultimately from Latin frigere, 'fry'. The cooking method itself is said to have been introduced from the Middle East by Crusaders returning to Wester Europe...The Japanese equivalent to fritters is tempura."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 133)
"Egg-batter fritters containing meat, fish or fruit were fried in lard or oil. Apple fritters, strewn with sugar when it was available, were prehaps the best loved, but fritters of skirrets or parsnips were well liked too, because of their natural sweetness. The physicians condemned fritters as indigestible, but they remained irresistable to the layman and appeared regularly in medieval menus, usually as part of the last course. John Russell observed that "apple fritter is good hot, but the cold ye [should] not touch." Herb fritters, the batter aerated with a little yeast, and "fritters of milk" were made from curds and egg whites were two other popular versions."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Ann Wilson [Academy Chicago Publishers:Chicago] 1991 (p. 143)
[NOTE: the author is referencing Medieval English cuisine]
The French Fry connection?
Karen Hess makes this connection between fritters and french fries:
"The earliest receipt that can unequivocally be identified as calling for the frying of sliced raw potatoes that I have found is one given in La Cuisiniere Republicaine. Among some thirty-five receipts for pommes de terre there is one for '[Pommes de terre] Enfriture", which involves the classic fritter method, that is, thin slices, dipped in batter and fried in deep fat, an ancient procedure recorded in medieval manuscripts, early making its way to English court cuisine as in this archetypical receipt for 'Fretoure' calling for making the batter, then 'take fayre Applys, & kut hem in man'er of Fretourys,' dipping the slices of apple in the batter and frying them in 'layre Oyle.' In short, a procedure already so established even in early fifteenth-century England that one is to 'kut hem in man'er of Fretourys,' that is, raw in slices, and so understood. Note that all the terms come directly from the French: Frire and friture always refer to frying in deep fat. Always. What we now know as French fries may have started out as potato fritters, but it would not have taken long for French cooks to realise that potatoes are starchy enough not to need the coating of batter to provide the attractive characterizing crust of deep fried foods; that may well have occurred long before 1795, given the historical lag between practice and the printed word. I note that La Cuisiniere Republicaine is thought to have been written by a woman, not a chef (the cover title, Paix au Chaumieres, salutes women who are out of work - an early feminist cookbook).3 Chefs had other worries in 1795, and many of them had already fled France, among them Louis Eustache Ude and very likely Honore Julien, who was to become chef de cuisine at the President's House."
---"French Fries," Petits Propos Culinaires, Number 68
Fritter recipes through time:
Paczki & Faworki
Like doughnuts, fritters and other fried cakes, Polish Paczki and Chruschiki are traditionally connected with the Christian celebration of Carnival.
"The carnival was a colourful, sometimes too merry epilogue to Christmas holidays. In the olden days...entertainment including hunting, weddings along with feasts and balls that lasted several days, carnival parties, masquerades and the famous Old Polish kuligs (sleigh-rides)...Among the cakes were the carnival faworki (fried strips of pastry dusted with icing sugar) and paczki (doughnuts)...Father Jedrej Kitowitcz, noted in his Descriptions of Customs during the reign of Augustus III that Polish doughnuts could compete with the famous Viennese doughnuts."
---Old Polish Traditions: In the Kitchen and at the Table, Maria Lemnis and Henryk Vitry [Hippocrene:New York] 1996 (p. 200-201)
"A great many small Polish cakes and pastries are highly seasonal delights and many have an almost ritual significance. That is certainly true of paczki (Polish dougnhuts) and faworki (angel-wing pastries) which highlight the final festivities of zapusty or karnawal (Mardi Gras) before the onset of Lent...Among Polish people they are also served at weddings and other festive occasions."Polish Heritage Cookery, Robert and Maria Strybel [Hippocrene Books:New York] (p. 667, 675)
Paczki that are carefully made precisely according to this recipe are superior to even the best confectioner's paczki. However, the recipe is not inexpensive and is not for young housewives who are taking their first steps in the noble art of cooking. The art of frying paczki also takes up a lot of time and if they are to be served on New Years' Eve (they must still be lukewarm!), their preparation must be begun in the early afternoon hours. Begin with the preparation of the yeast by dissolving 2-2 1/2 oz. of it in milk (about (1/3 cup), along with 4 oz. flour and 1 tablespoon sugar. When the yeast rises enough, add 1 lb flour, 8 egg yolks creamed with 3 oz sugar, about 1/2 pint, about 1/2 pint barely lukiewarm sweet cream (heated only, but not boiling), ground vanilla (1/2 bean) sifted through a dense sieve, 6 oz. melted lukewarm butter, 1/3 teaspoon salt and a glass of spirit. Some very finely grated lemon rind may also be added. Knead the dough well by hand; when it does not stick to the hands of bowl, it is ready. It should not be too thick, but shiny and springy. When it starts to rise again, take out c. 1 1/2 oz. portions with a tablespoon (it is best to weigh each one, so that the paczki will be of equal size), shape into small circles by hand, place 1/2 teaspoon filling in the middle, fold over and shape into a ball. Place with the join underneath on a cloth of dusted flour. Cover the paczki with a clean cloth. When they expand to almost twice their size, gently remove the flour with a brush or feather. Fry them in portions in intensely heated lard, in shallow and wide saucepan so that they float freely in the fat without touching each other. In order to avoid excessive browning, 2-3 slices of raw potato may be added to the hot lard, or 1-2 tablespoons water may be added from time to time. When the paczki brown underneath, turn them over gently. When done, take them out carefully (e.g. in a wide horsehair sieve or on white blotting papper), drain off the fat and, while still warm, dust liberally with castor sugar and with ground sifted vanilla. Lukewarm paczki may be iced with a thin punch icing and the moist icing sprinkled with very finely chopped candied orange peel. The classical filling for Polish paczki are well-drained rose hip preserves mixed with very finely chopped, or preferably ground, almonds. For this recipe the filling must be made from 6 oz. lightly heated ground rose hip preserve (weigh after draining off the excess syrup!) and 2 oz. ground (blanched) almonds."
---Old Polish Traditions (p. 295-297)
Chrust or Favorki
2 c. flour
2 T. sugar
1 T. butter
1 T. vinegar
1/2 c. sour cream Mix the flour with butter, sugar, egg, vinegar and enough sour cream to wrok the batter into a soft dough. Place the dough on a kneading board and roll out. Cut in 2 X 4 inch strips. Cut a hole in the middle of each strip, then pass one end of the strip through it to make a knot. Fry favorki in hot lard, sprinkling it with powdered sugar when brown. Serve with honey."Old Warsaw Cookbook, Rysia [Hippocrene Books:New York] 1958, 1990 (p. 198)
[NOTE: This book offers three recipes for paczki. Happy to send if you want.]
Persians are unique and legendary in Thunder Bay, Ontaria, Canada. It is unlikely anyone (who knows the secret!) will share the recipe.
"And then there are Persians--cinnamon buns with pink icing. "They're unique to us," boasts Marilyn McIntosh, tourism development co-oridinator for the City of Thunder Bay. "We used to have them in our high school cafeteria. It's a once-a-year treat that takes you back to childhood." Bennett's Bakery invented Persians in the 1930s and named them in honor of Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, one of America's most famous army officers of World War I. "Thunder Bay is the only place in the world where they're made, and the're even in the dictionary," boasts Joe Nucci, whose family bought Bennett's Bakery in 1964 and launched a spinoff business, the Persian Man, in 1992. The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines Persians, among other things, as a Canadian word from northwestern Ontario that refers to "an oblong doughnut covered with pink or white icing." "Well, they got the doughnut part wrong," sniffs Nucci, who sells hundreds of 85 cent Persians each year. "It's not made from doughnut dough. It's made from a sweet dough. And the icing has strawberry and raspberry jam, but that's the secret." The upscale Aurora Grille sells Persians to customers celebrating a birthday--gussied up with a sparkler."
---"Fresh Air, fresh food," Jennifer Bain, Toronto Star, September 18, 2002 (p. C1)
Food historians tell us fritter-type foods (fried dough) have been enjoyed by people since Ancient Rome. Variations are endless, including doughnuts, waffles, struffoli, and zeppole. Many are traditionally connected with religious holidays. Eggless versions are especially connected with the Christian observance of Lent. About fritters.
Zeppole are featured at the Italian Feast of San Guiseppe (Saint Joseph), celebrated on March 19th. The name is said to derive from German Count Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin [1838-1917]. His "Zeppelins" (blimps, air ships) attacked the city of Naples in 1918. Possibly? Some oblong-shaped traditional fried dough foods were renamed at this time. March 19th usually falls within Lent.
"Neapolitans claim that zeppole were invented in Naples someteims in the Middle Ages, wehn they were made with a little white ine and a branc of rosemary. They had a whole new incarnation in the nineteenth cnetuyr, when a certain Don Pasquale Pintauro presented the waiting worlds with sweet zeppole for San Giuseppe's Day. These light-as-air doughnuts are made of bigne dough, fried, then filled with a delicious pastry cream and each one topped with a single amarena, the preserved wild cherry of Italy"
---Celebrating Italy, Carlol Field [Harper Perrennial:New York] 1997 (p. 406)
[NOTE: Recipe follows. Happy to scan/send if you like.]
"Until a few years ago, the Feast of San Giuseppe was a national holiday, but now it is only optional. The table of San Giuseppe started in the sourth, not only in Sicily but also in Apulia and Abruzzo, where it is still celebrated and knwon as La Mattredda, from the madia, the deep wooden chest in which women make the bread dough. The numbers of cene are diminishing, but the day itslef is still marked all over the peninsula by bonfires...The feasting persists. Special sweets are prepared all over Italy, and shapes may differ from region to region, they come both empty, as fritelle and zeppole, and filled,as bigne di San Guiseppe, zeppole again, or sfincie in Sicily. may are filled with sweeteed ricotta or custard cream...The zeppole eaten in Umbria, Florence, and eastern Sicily are made of rice, whole those in Sardinia, Lazio, Campania, and points south are based on flour. When the pastries are filled they someetimes change their name to frittelle, confetti or bigne...Southern Italian immigrants have transplanted the table of San Giuseppe to Italian-American communities...In America the festival has become like a giant potluck."
---Celebrating Italy (p. 398-400)
"Zeppole Neapolitan Style
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 jigger cognac or brandy
1 cup pastry flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cooking or olive oil
Ѕ cup confeconters' sugar.
Combine water, salt and cognac and bring to a boil. Remove from fire, add flour all at one time and mix vigorously. Return to stove and continue mixing until dry and somewhat hard. Pour olive oil on pastry board, place dough on it and let cool. Roll dough, fold over and roll again, repeating the procedure about 6 times until dough has absorbed all the oil and is elastic. Roll dough and shape into long rope about the thickness of a finer. Cut rope into pieces about 6 inches long and form each section into a ring. Prick each ring with fork and fry in hot oil until golden and crisp. Do not fry too many at a time. Drain an sprinkle abundantly with confectioners' sugar. This recipe will make about 12 zeppole."
---The Talisman Italian Cook, Book Ada Boni [Crown Publishers:New York] 1950, 1955 (p. 242-243)
Although fried breads of many kinds were eaten by Ancient Romans and Greeks, food historians generally agree the idea of funnel cakes (as we know them today) were probably created in Northern Europe. They are quite similar in recipe and method to fritters, doughnuts , and cryspes. These deep fried foods are historically connected with holidays and street fairs. Mexican Funnel Cake is the newest addition to this venerable line. Notes here:
Food historians frequently remind us that recipes often predate their current "popular" names. Such is the case with funnel cakes. Modern dictionaries and food references generally place "funnel cakes" in the 20th century. Culinary evidence confirms the recipe is much older.
The oldest authentic German recipe we have for an item that would create what we now call "funnel cakes" is from 1879. The original cookbook is in German. Gisela Harpell, one of our colleagues at the Morris County Library, was kind enough to offer this translation:
Source:Practical Cookbook for the ordinary and elegant Kitchen by Henriette Davidis. 23rd Edition. Pub. Velhagen & Klasing. Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1879.
Recipe: p.468. #248 "Pressed Pastry cooked in melted Butter"
200 gr. fine flour, an equivalent amount of water, 100 gr. butter, 5 eggs,1 tablespoon sugar, grated rind of 1/2 lemon. Bring water and butter to the boil, gradually add the flour,and stir until the dough turns dry and does not stick to the pot. Remove the pot from the fire, to the hot mixture add 1 egg, lemon rind, sugar, and when cooled gradually add the remaining eggs one at a time. The dough is then firmly beaten, added to a syringe, pressed into the hot melted butter, baked to a yellow color according to the instructions in #246, dusted with sugar and cinnamon.
#246, p466-467 listed detailed instructions for baking in butter, lard and oil.
[TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: This is a more literal translation because I wanted to keep some of the flavor of the original. The title page also mentions that this cookbook is designed for beginning cooks and new housewives. The author also states that the recipes are reliable and have been tested by Henriette Davidis. She also includes instructions for entertaining and menues for the various seasons.]
The oldest recipe we find for a recipe titled "funnel cake"in an English language book is this:
"Mix 1 pint of sweet milk, 2 eggs well beaten, (yolks and whites together), enough flour to make a thin batter, 1/2 teaspoonful baking powder, 1/4 teaspoonful salt. Mix in a pan thoroughly. Place enough lard in a pan to cover the bottom. Let it get quite hot before cooking the batter. Now put the batter through a funnel into the hot lard, beginning at center of pan, and turning the stream around in a gradual enlarging circle, being careful not to touch the sides of the other dough. Fry a light brown and serve hot with any tart jelly."
---Pennsylvania Dutch Cookery, J. George Frederick, reprint of 1935 edition [Favorite Recipes Press:Lousiville KY] 1966 (p. 137)
Mexican Funnel Cake
The earliest print reference we find for Mexican Funnel Cake, a deep fried fair food inspired by churros and slathered with whipped cream and strawberry goo is 2008. The place? Orange County [California] fair.
"Deep-fried Mexican cream puffs: An extreme bunuelos remake: whipped cream stuffed into a clamshell of fried, cinnamon-sugar-dusted dough. Messy -- the Mexican Funnel Cake stand on the Avenue of the Palms offers paper towels instead of napkins -- but scrumptious. "Like a nice, light-tasting holiday pie or something," said diner Elia Martinez of Long Beach. .75. Winner."
---"If They Fry It, We Will Buy It at the Fair: A Consumer's Guide to all things greasy," Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune, June 14, 2008 (p. 1)
Who can we thank for this invention? According to this article, Mike Peterson, of the Heart Attack Cafe. Mr. Peterson's eatery was renamed the "Deep Fried Butter Stand" in 2011 to avoid a lawsuit of trademark infringement.
"Just about every possible usage of the ingredient is on display at the Heart Attack Cafe, a stand operated by San Diego resident Mike Peterson, the same mad genius who brought us chocolate-covered bacon and the Mexican funnel cake. "We wanted a name that was fitting," Peterson said. "I always heard people, when we were ringing up at the register, say that 'Oh, this is an instant heart attack.' And so we decided to have a little fun." And what could be more fun than deep-fried butter? That dish - essentially fat cooked in fat - stars on a gut-busting, lip- glistening menu that also includes French fries drenched with butter, deep-fried quesadillas drenched with butter and cinnamon- sugar chips drenched with heart-healthy wheatgrass (just kidding, they're also drenched with butter). Calorie counts aren't posted, but fairgoers won't need a medical degree to understand the concerns. Besides its playful name, the Heart Attack Cafe features dishes nicknamed "Triple Bypass" and "Flatliner" as well as a prominent photo of a nurse wielding a defibrillator. Appropriately, when the stand debuted this year at the San Diego County Fair, it neighbored the paramedics' headquarters. "So the (ambulance) and fair EMTs are stationed right next to our stand how great is that," says a posting on the stand's Facebook page. By promoting a roster of death-defying delights, the Heart Attack Cafe is venturing into territory long dominated by Charlie Boghosian, aka "Chicken Charlie." Known for inventing the Krispy Kreme Chicken Sandwich, Boghosian this year is tossing Klondike bars, Twinkies and avocados into the deep fryer, but he doesn't claim a monopoly on food that will make your left arm numb. "America was built on competition," Boghosian said. "There's plenty of room for success." For his part, Peterson confesses zero desire for a turf war. "Charlie's a good friend of mine, and he does an awesome job and comes out with awesome new products," Peterson said. "He's still the fry king out here." Peterson's piece de resistance, the deep-fried butter, actually started out as a more ambitious meal. "We were going to do chocolate- covered, bacon-wrapped deep-fried butter, but it proved too hard to combine all those in a fashion that wasn't too labor intensive," he explained. As it is, the butter dish comes in sweet and savory varieties, the former featuring cinnamon-sugar and the latter featuring garlic. In each, the butter is combined with cream cheese, then injected into churros, plugged with dough at both ends and frozen to await frying. "It tastes, because of the way we do it, like a really gooey, buttery, sugary fried dough," Peterson said. "All those things combining is just perfect. You wouldn't want to down four of them, but ... if I try a little bite, just for quality control, I usually end up finishing it." But does he worry about blowback? Is fried butter too obscene, even for fair food? "I think everybody knows that the fair comes once a year," Peterson replied, "and it's your chance to splurge and have that thing you wouldn't eat any other time.""
---"Chewing the Fat with Fairgoers: Heart Attack Cafe Boldly Goes Where No OC stand has gone," Jeff Overly, Orange County Register, July 24, 2010
According to the online US Patent & Trademark database the name "Mexican Funnel Cake" is not currently trademarked.
Related foods? bunuelos & churros, doughnuts, pancakes, waffles, sopaipillas and fry bread & elephant ears.
Dumplings are an ancient food, known to cooks in many cultures and cuisines. The ingredients (grain, meat, vegetable, fruit), serving customs (with gravy, in soup, as dessert), and cooking methods (steamed, fried, boiled) vary according to cultural taste. Ancient Roman isicium, Czech knedliky, Hungarian tesztak, Jewish Matzo balls & kreplach, Russian pel'meni, Chinese wontons & potstickers, and Italian ravioli, gnocchi & Southern slicks are all variations along the same culinary theme.
"Dumpling. A term of uncertain origin which first appeared in print at the beginning of the 17th century, although the object it denotes--a small and usually globular mass of boiled or steamed dough--no doubt existed long before that. A dumpling is a food with few, indeed no, social pretentions, and of such simplicity that it may plausibly be supposed to have evoloved independently in the peasant cuisines of various parts of Europe and probably in other parts of the world too. Such cuisines feature soups and stews, in which vegetables may be enhanced by a little meat. Dumplings, added to the soup or stew, are still, as they were centuries ago, a simple and economical way of extending such dishes. The dough for most dumplings has always been based either on cereal, whichever was the staple in a given region (oats, wheat, maize, etc.), or on one of vegetables from which bread dough can be made...(potato, pulses, etc.)...However, despite its simplicity, the humble dumpling, or anyway the range of foods to which the name is applied, has evolved in the course of time from the prototypes into something more complex. A first step was provided by the filled dumpling, in which the dough encloses something else, for example apple in an apple dumpling, and a sour Zwetschke cooking plum (its stone replaced by a lump of sugar) in the Austrian and Czech Zwetschkenknodel...[in] Europe, it would be fair to say that dumplings are almost ubiquitous in that continent, but by no means of equal importance in the various countries. They are more popular in colder climates...there are three regions in which they have flourished most: England...the much larger area of C. Europe (including Bavaria, Austria, Bohemia)...and the specialized habitat provided by Italy for gnocchi."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 261)
"Dumpling. A ball of dough, originally savoury and served as an accompaniment to meat or as a dessert...A simple, satisfying food, dumplings were boiled and served to extend small amounts of meat. Originally made by shaping small portions from a batch of bread dough before specific mixtures were developed using flour, cereals, pulses, stale bread, potatoes or cheese, sometimes with a raising agent added or enriched with fat in the form of suet, were developed. Local ingredients and method are used across Europe to make a variety of large or small dumplings, plain or flavoured with herbs, vegetables, spices or other ingredients...Dumplings are closely related to pasta. Italian gnocchi are good examples of small dumplings usually grouped with pasta and the spatzle of German and Austria, made from batter simmered until set in finger noodles, also hover between the two descriptions. Polish plain or filled dumplings are also very similar to gnocchi or filled pasta...The name dumpling is also used for Oriental specialties, such as the small filled dumplings of Chinese cookery, related more closely to pasta than European-style dumplings."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1002 (p. 437-8)
Recommended reading: The Dumpling Cookbook, Maria Polushkin...global recipes & history notes.
Ancinet Roman dumplings
Apicius offers three dumpling recipes in his famous text. The are:
 Dumplings of the Pheasant [Isiia Plena]
[Lightly roast choice] fresh pheasants [cut them into dice and mix these with a ] stiff forcemeat made of the fat and the trimmings of the pheasant, season with pepper, broth and reduced wine, shape into croquettes or spoon dumplings, and poach in hydrogarum [water seasoned with garum, or even plain salt water].
 Dumplings and Hydrogarym [Hydrogarata Isicia]
Crush pepper, lovage and just a suspicion of pellitory, moisten with stock and well water, allow it to draw, place it in a sauce pan, boil it down, and strain. Poach your little dumplings or forcemeat in this liquor and when they are done served in a dish for isicia, to be sipped at the table."
 Plain Dumplings with Broth [Isicium Simplex]
To 1 acetabulum of stock add 7 of water, a little green celery, a little spoonful of ground pepper, and boil this with the sausage meat of dumplings. If you intend taking this to move the bowels the sediment salts of hydrogarum have to be added."
---Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, Apicius, edited and translated by Joserphy Dommers Vehling [Dover:New York] 1977(p. 65-66)
Central European dumplings
"In the region of Bavaria...Austria and Bohemia...the common material of dumplings is stale bread. This is broken into small pieces and soaked in water or milk, and combined with any available enriching ingredients: bacon, eggs, cheese, chopped liver, or herbs. There are several sweet types stuffed with fruit...Another kind is the Nockerl, made from a softer dough of flour with butter, milk and egg (or leftover noodle dough...) Because the dough is soft, it is not rolled into balls to make the dumplings; small pieces are picked off with the fingers and throw into the boiling water...Another related dumpling, made in a similar manner,, is the Spatzle...most common in the Alsace and S. Germany...The Dampfnudel ('steamed noodle') is...a medium-sized German dumpling made of yeast dough, cooked in a shallow bath of milk in a tightly lidded pan...Potato dumpling tupes are exemplified by Kartoffelkloss...Other potato dumplings include the Russian Pampuska..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, (p. 262)
Gnocchi is a classic example of what happened when "New World" foods met "Old World" recipes. It took a century or two, but eventually most European countries and cuisines embraced the potato and made it their own. Early potato recipes were not new inventions, they were new twists on familiar traditions. Gnocchi were inspired by dumplings.
"We don't know when the potato was introduced to Italy. It seems likely to have arrived via Spain sometime between 1569 and 1588, when it is clearly described in a document as fodder for pigs. Gnocchi, before the introduction of the potato, referred to little balls of flour or bread or both that were boiled. The earliest of these recipes that I am aware of is the nochi of the anonymous early fifteenth-century cookbook by the writer known as Anonimo Meridianale. But even by 1692, when Antonio Latini published his Lo scallo alla moderna, gnocchi were still made of flour and considered a kind of macaroni. In Genoa gnocchi are today called trofie, but were originally a form of pasta secca in the Middle Ages, made from hard wheat flour and not potatoes. Eventually the potato was used for making gnocchi and the result was heavenly."
---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 61-2)
"Gnocchi, essentially a kind of dumpling, are distinguished from other dumplings by being Italian and having a close link with pasta. The are made either from a pasta dough or from a mixture of potato flour and wheat flour, or from semolina or maize (polenta)...The origin of gnocchi is inescapably tied up with that of pasta, partly because at first a simliar mixture was used to make both, and partly because many old works called both 'm'caroni'. (The confusion persists in modern Padua). It has been suggested that the macaroni method mentioned in the Decameron (1351) as being rolled down a mountain of grated Parmesan by the inhabitants of the mythical land of Bengodi were actually gnocchi or they would not have rolled. The original four and water mixture for gnocchi is still used in some parts of Italy, but mostly they are now made of potato flour with a little wheat flour. This usage dates only from about 1860, but the curious Manutan gnocchi made from pumpkin are two or three centuries older than that."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 341)
"Although some authorities believe gnocchi may have originated in Piedmont, potato recipes were far more popular in Liguria by the early 19th century, and there is a recipe for an elaborate form of potato gnocchi containing veal fat and hard-boiled eggs in the fifth edition of Vincenzo Corrado's Il Cuoco galante (1801)...Gnocchi is also the name of a small, rippled dried pasta shell. The name gnocchi may derive from the Latin 'nucleus'..., though some authorites believe it may derive from the Middle High German 'knochel' (knuckle.)
---Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1997 (p. 118-9)
"Gnocchi is the plural of gnoccho, which is an alteration of nocchio, 'knot in wood, lump', perhaps of Germanic origin. The dish is first mentioned in an English cookery book in 1891, in A.B. Marshall's Larger Cookery Book of Extra Recipes."
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 143) About pasta & potatoes
The French connection
The current edition of Larousse Gastonomique clues us in on French gnocchi variations:
"Gnocchi. Small dumplings made of flour...or choux pastry. They are usually poached, then they may be cooked au gratin in the oven and served as a hot entree. This dish is Italian in origin (the word means lumps') and is classified with pasta, but it is also found in Austro-Hungarian and Alsatian cookery in the form of knepfle, knodel, noques, or quenelles, which are all quite familiar. Italian gnocci all Romana are made with semolina, egg and cheese' gnocci a la parisienne are prepared from choux pastry with milk and cheese; and gnocchi a la piemontaise or a l'alsacienne are made with potato puree, eggs and flour."
---Larousse Gastronomique, completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 563-4)
Escoffier (Le Guide Culinaire, 1903) contains four recipes for gnocchi: Gnocchi au Gratin, Gnocchi a la Romaine, Gnocchi de Pommes de Terres, Noques au Parmesan. If you need these recipes let us know.
Kopytka (aka potato dumplings) are a traditional Polish food.
"Kopytka from Potatoes
Tb 2 lbs. cooked, warm potatoes through a sieve, or put through a meat grinder. Cool the potatoes and beat in 1 large (or 2 small) egg, add about 14-16 oz. flour and salt to taste. Mix, place on a pastry board dusted with flour and knead to a smooth dough. Divide the dough into 2-4 parts, form into finger-thick rolls and slice diagonally into small dumplings 1 inch thick. Cook in a large amount of salted boiling water. Take out the cooked kopytka with a straining spoon and drain well. On a dish pour hot butter or pork fat with cracklings over this. 1 small, very finely chopped onion may be fried in the pork fat. The Kopytka may be cooked a day ahead. Before serving, throw them into boiling salted water and bing to a boil only once. They will be like fresh. They also taste exquisitely if reheated by frying."
---Old Polish Traditions: In the kitchen and at the table, Maria Lemnis & Henryk Vitry [Hippocrene Books:New York] 1996 (p. 264)
Knedliky (Czech and Slovak dumplings)
"Knedliky or knedlicky: dumplings. The variety made is staggering. Anything that will form a stiff dough and can be made steamed or poached seems to qualify: rice, potatoes, many vegetables alone or in combination, chopped or mashed, bread crumbs or cake crumbs, brains, liver, ham, smoked meat, arrow-all combined with enough egg, milk, and flour or crumbs to be shaped. May be served alone with sour cream, cream, chopped nuts, caraway seeds, poppy seeds, gravy, fruit sauces, or served with meats, fish or in soups."
---You Eat What You Are: People, Culture and Food Traditions, Thelma Barer-Stein [Firefly Books: Ontario] 1999 (p. 106)
"Czech dumplings a (knedliky) are unforgettable. The huge loaf-sized ones, which are served in slices with stews, are one of the first things which a visitor notices...tiny liver dumplings...are traditionally served in soup by the bride to her new husband...[also popular are] ham dumplings, cheese/curd dumplings, sweet fruit dumplings, and many others."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 239)
[Polish]"'Little ear' Soup Dumplings (uszka)...The mushroom filled of these dainty little dumplings are the classic accompaniment to the clear beetroot barszcz served on Christmas Eve."
---Polish Heritage Cookery, Robert & Maria Strybel [Hippocrene:New York] 2005, Expanded and Illustrated Edition (p. 226)
"Dumplings (Tesztak). A friend visiting Hungary recently wrote to me that he had always thought that dumplings were used to repel the Turks in the Battle of Buda, but after sampling them he was sure that even a fool would not have thrown such admirable food. There is such a vast selection of dumpling recipes...The Hungarian housewife uses dumplings for many occasions: as luncheon dishes, as desserts, as part of a dinner, even as a snack. And of course some are sued as soup garnishes...Flour, wheat, rye and all other types of cereal are truly the staff of life in Hungary. Hungarians used these grains to develop the dumpling family to bewildering variety...Here are some of the basic varieties: Galuska...Gomboc...Kasa"
---The Cuisine of Hungary, George Lang [Atheneum:New YOrk] 1982 (p. 295-296)
Jewish Matzo balls
Matzo balls belong to the "dumpling" family. These filling, doughy knots are known in many cultures and cuisines.
"Matzo. A word which has now entered the English language from the Hebrew matzah." ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 484)
"Unleavened cakes of bread, azymi, symbolizing purity, were eaten...on solemn occasions, and constituted the ritual offering. Cooked at home on the hearth, in the embers, on a griddle, or on a stone or tile covered with an earthenware bell, the thick pancake would swell to a certain extent, but assumed no definate shape, and perhaps looked all the more artistic a creation for that. This kind of bread was maza."
---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat [Barnes & Noble:New York] 1992 (p. 223)
"A classic Passover dish that has undergone a metamorphosis in this country is the venerable matzah ball. In the early nineteen hundreds, before commercial matza meal was available, these matzah dumplings were made with soaked or ground-up matzah, onions, eggs, chicken fat, and spices. They were also called "klose," "Kneidel," "kleis," or "kneidlach." Florence Kresiler Greenbaum in her Jewish Cook Book in the twenties includes and early recipe for what she called "matsah meal kleis." Soon after, the B. Manischewitz Company, in its Tempting Kosher Dishes Cookbook of 1930, called them "feather balls, Alsatian style," a matzah ball made from processed matzah meal with one whole cup of chicken fat (!). The term "matza balls rose to prominence in the 1930s--accompanied by all the Jewish mother jokes. The matza business was started by families like Goodman, Manischewitz, and Horowitz, all baked by Manischewitz today...The publication of Passover recipes almost kept pace with the volume of matzah production. Recipes were printed in company-sponsored cookbooks...and...on the backs of matzah packages. Other recipe evolved naturally as Jews adapted local dishes for Passover use."
---Jewish Cooking in America, Joan Nathan [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1998 (p. 107)
[NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. Your librarian will be happy to help you find a copy.]
Compare these 19th & 20th century Matso ball soup recipes:
Boil down half a shin of beef, four pounds of gravy beef, and a calf's food may be added, if approved, in three or four quarts of water; season with celery, carrots turnips, pepper and salt, and a bunch of sweet herbs; let the whole stew gently for eight hours, then strain and let it stand to get cold, when the fat must be removed, then return to the saucepan to warm up. Ten minutes before serving, throw in the balls, from which the soup takes its name, and which are made in the following manner: Take half a pound of matso flour, two ounces of chopped suet, season with a little pepper, salt, ginger, and nutmeg; mix with this, four beaten eggs, and make it into a paste, a small onion shred and browned in a dessert spoonful of oil is sometimes added; the paste should be made into rather large balls, and care should be taken to make them very light."
---The Jewish Manual, edited by A Lady, facsimile of the first Jewish cookbook printed in English published in 1846, introduction by Chaim Raphael [Nightingale Books:New York] 1983 (p. 9-10)
Matzoth Meal Kleis, International Jewish Cookbook/Florence Kreisler Greenbaum 
"Which came first--kreplackh, pirogi, ravioli, or wonton soup? Each country seems to have its own verion of a filled egg-noodle dough, either fried or boiled in water or soup. Most authorities think that this dish originated in China and worked its way via trade routes to the countries of the West. The Jews may have learned about kreplakh from the Chinese or the Italians. Maimonides traces cooked dough to Persia and the Middle East. The word 'kreplackh' itself comes form the French crepelle. Whatever the origin of the food, it requires effort and time to cut, fill, form, and enclose each of these three-cornered bits of dough filled with chopped meat. Thus, they are reserved for special occasions. The meat of the kreplakh symbolizes inflexible justice; the soft noodle dough denotes compassion. The kreplakh are, then, a metaphor, a suggestion that the attribute of God's strict justice will be mellowed on the side of mercy. These pockets of food where the meat is hidden inside the dough also refer to the hidden nature of the thre days they are eaten. Although the eve of Yom Kippur, Simhat Torah, and Purim are festivals for eating and drinking, work is not forbidden. The day prior to Yom Kippur is not a full holiday; and Simhat Torah people dance and drink; and on Purim the name of God is never mentioned."
---The Jewish Holiday Kitchen, Joan Nathan, new and expanded edition [Schoken Books:New York] 1988 (p. 124)
"The traditional kreplach is similar to a wonton and and was brought either by the Khazars to Polish lands or by Jews trading in China, who learned to make them there. Kreplachs are traditionally served floating in chicken soup at the meal before Yom Kippur, at Purim, and Simhat Torah. They can also be fried and served with gravy as a side dish with meat."
---Jewish Cooking in America, Joan Nathan [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1998 (p. 113)
"Kreplach or Butterflies
Roll noodle dough into pieces two and one-half inches square. Place on each one tablespoon of force-maeat, then fold squares into three corned pockets, pressing edges well together. Drop in boiling soup or salted water and boil fifteen minutes."
"Force-Meat for Kreplach
Chop one pound of beef, soup meat, cold veal, or take lamb chopped very fine, season with one teaspoon of salt, one-eighth teaspoon of pepper, ginger or nutmeg, one-half teaspoon of onion juice, mix with one egg. This force-meat may also be made into balls one-hlaf inch in diameter, roll the balls in flour and cook them in the boiling soup, or fry them in fat."
---Jewish Cook Book, Florence Kreisler Greenbaum [Bloch Publishing Co.:New York] 1918 (p. 29)
Kaese Kraepfli (Cheese Kreplich)
Make a dough of one egg with a tablespoon of water; add a pinch of salt; work this just as you would noodle dough, quite stiff. Sift the flour in a bowl, break in the egg, add the salt and water, mix slowly by stirring with the handle of a knife, stirring in the same direction all the time. When this dough is so stiff that you cannot work it with the knife, flour your noodle board and work it with the hollow of your hands, always toward you, until the dough is perfectly smooth; roll out as thin as paper and cut into squares three inches in diameter. Fill with pot cheese or schmierkaese which has been prepared in the following manner: Stir up a piece of butter the size of an egg, adding one egg, sugar, cinnamon, grated peel of a lemon and pinch of salt, pounded almonds, which improve it; fill the kraepfli with a teaspoon, wet the edges with beaten egg, fold into triangles, pressing the edges firmly together; boil in boiling milk; when done they will swim to the top. Eat with melted butter or cream."
---ibid (p. 171)
"Kreplach (Also Called Ravioli)
1 recipe Noodles dough
2 cups Cottage Cheese, Meat, or Kashe Filling
Roll our Noodle dough 1/8 inch thick on a lighlty floured board. Cut into 3-inch squares. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling on each square, moisten the edges lightly with water, and fold over diagonally to form triangles. Press edges firmly together with a fork. At this point, the Kreplach may be wrapped in foil and frozen until needed, or covered with a damp cloth and refrigerated for several hours. At serving time, drip into a large kettle of boiling water to which 1/2 teaspoon of salt has been added. Half-cover the saucepan and boil rapidly for 20 minutes. Drain. Cheese and Kashe Krepalach may be served with sour cream as a main or side dies; Meat Kreplach with gravy are used as a main dish. All Kreplach may be served in soup. Meat Kreplach are traditional for Purim, the day before Yom Kippur, and on Hosh'ana Rabba, the seventh day of Sukkoth. Cheese Kreplach are served during Shavuoth."
---The Jewish Cook Book, Mildred Grosberg Bellin [Tudor Publishing:New York] new and revised edition, 1958 (p. 33)
Related foods? Italian Ravioli & Chinese Wontons.
"Almost every national cuisine boasts its own version of boiled dumplings wrapped around pockets of seasoned meat... Pel'meni are the Siberian version, now popular throughout the Soviet Union. Moscow alone has several pel'menyanas, cafes specializing in these dumplings. Pel'meni are pratical for the harsh Siberian winter. Prepared in large quantities, they can be buried in the snow where they keep for months on end, ready to boil up at a moment's notice. Siberians swear by a mustard and vinegar sauce for pel'meni: place a spoonful of hot mustard on the edge of each plate and mix it with concentrated vinegar to taste. Muscovites prefer a milder garnish, slathering butter and soured cream on the dumplings in lavish amounts. Pel'meni are most often served steaming hot, mounded high on a platter, but they may also be boiled in chicken broth and eaten with soup."
---A Taste of Russia, Darra Goldstein [Jill Norman:London] 1983 (p. 183-184)
"Pel'meni are filled with dumplings made of noodle dough, similar to ravioli. A Siberian contribution to Russian cuisine, they are of Mongolian origin. In Siberia...the filling is made of young horsemeat, which is frozen, cut into shavings, and seasoned with onion, salt, and pepper. Small squares of noodle dough are filled, sealed, and then frozen in sacks for the whole winter, to be cooked as needed. Nowadays, in European Russia, uncooked ground beef is used instead of horsemeat, and mushroom-filled pelmeni are an accepted variation. Pel'meni are served in several ways: they can be cooked in stock or consomme and served in a bowl with some of the soup. As a delicious main course for lunch or dinner, they can be served drenched in butter or Siberian-style... sprinkled with vinegar and spiced with freshly ground pepper. In late nineteenth-century France, where Russian food had already made a considerable impact on haute cuisine, pel'meni began to appear on restaurant menus, and, contrary to Russian custom, Escoffier included them in his Guide Culinaire as a hot hors d'oeuvre. In Moscow, during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the best restaurant to eat pel'meni was Lopashov's, one of the oldest taverns in town...Lopashov's was the showcase of authentic Russian cuisine, and the most distinguised foreign visitors were invited there for intimate dinners in the izba...Lopashov was as much a perfectionist in shaping his menu as in furnishing his establishment. To offer genuine Siberian pel'meni, he brought the best-known pel'meni chef from Siberia, and pel'meni connoisseiurs were his most devoted fans. When, in the 1880s, the owners of the most important Siberian gold mines had an exhibit in Moscow, their dinner at Lopahsov's Tavern made the front pages of the Moscow newspapers. In memory of the conqueror of Siberia, cossack chieftain Yermak, the dinner was named "A Feast in Yermak's Field Camp." It consisted of two courses only: zakuski (hors d'oeuvre) and pel'meni. For the twelve participants, 2,500 pel'meni were cooked. There were meat pel'meni and fish pel'meni, and, as an innovation, fruit pel'meni in rose champagne glasses were introduced as a dessert."
---The Art of Russian Cuisine, Anne Volokh [Macmillan Publishing:New York] 1983(p. 188-189)
"These are different from European ones. Indeed what English-speakers in the Orient call dumplings are more like what would be called filled pasta in Europe. The Chinese type of dumpling...bears close resemblance to ravioli. Chinese records of dumplings go back at least as far as te Sung dynasty (AD 960-1279), when they were described as being sold..from stall much in the way that snacks are in modern China. Mantou are among the best-known Chinese manifestations of the genre, but probably originated in C. Asia rather than China. Whatever the truth may be about their ultimate origin, this type of oriental filled 'dumpling' has spread westwards; it is met in Tibet as momo, in Russia as Pelmeni...and in Jewish cuisine the similar kreplach...In many parts of Asia the dumplings commonly met are rice dumplings...Japan...has glutinous rice dumplings, mochi...Onde onde is the name of a small Indonesian sweet dumpling...from Thailand...[come] saku sai mooh: small sago dumplings enclosing a filling of pork, onion, and groundnuts; cooked by steaming; served hot or cold."
---Oxford Companion to Food, (p. 262-263)
Southern USA Slicks (aka chicken & dumplings)
Both chicken & dumplings are ancient. Recipes vary according to culture/cuisine/period. Chicken & dumpling dishes are traditionally associated with the American South. Curiously? Early cookbooks (pre-1930s) do not offer recipes for this particular combination. Maybe it's one of those stealth dishes that claimed fame after the fact. Not so unusual in the food world. General notes below:
"Recipes for chicken and dumplings are virtually nonexistent in the earliest Southern cookbooks. The dish did, however, eventually become somewhat of a mainstay in the Southern diet, particularly in rural areas. Often the broth (which sometimes has milk added) is thickened by flour. Although some cooks may use chicken back or other parts exclusively, most recipes call for a whole bird that is simmered in water, usually with the addition of aromatic vegetables. For simple family meals, the cooked meat might be left on the bones and served in pieces....Southern dumplings can be made of flour, cornmeal, or potatoes either made into a loose, wet batter or into a firmer, biscuit-like dough rolled thinly and cut into strips. Whatever their form and texture, dumplings are always cooked in a simmering broth. (Dumplings are colloquially referred to as 'slicks' or 'slickums' by some, due to their rather slippery---but not unappetizing---texture.)"
---Around the Southern Table, Sarah Belk [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1991 (p. 187)
"Chicken and Dumplings. Dumplings are often associated with Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, and it may be that they found their way to the South from that region. Whether or not that is so, there is no doubt that Southerners rook a special liking to both flour and cornmeal dumplings a long time ago, and in some parts of the region there is still a deep fondness for them."
---Southern Food: at home, on the road, in history, John Egerton [University of North Carolina Press:Chapel Hill] (p. 242)
Edible gold & silver
Food historians generally agree the practice of ingesting gold (and silver) originated in the Indian subcontinent. It spread to China, then across the Middle East to Europe. Gold's culinary applications descend from ancient medicinal prescriptions & alchemist wares. Gold was also employed as a food colorant, decoration, and obvious display of wealth. Silver dragees have been decorating holiday cookies & wedding cakes from the 20th century forwards. Today, edible gold leaf is readily available for purchase. Glittering traces of this element adorn cakes, candies, & salads.
Eastern origins: decoration & medicinal applications
"Embellishing foods with precious metals is a centuries-old tradition that originated in the East, where it served as a symbol of hospitality and wealth, a garniture to honor the presence of a special guest at the table. Edible silver foil was widely used by Moguls in India to decorate elaborate preparations of sweemeats, kabobs, and special rice dishes at court and was believed to be beneficial for the liver and to posess aphrodesiac qualities. In Europe, a medieval banquet concluded with dramatic slabs of gilded gingerbread dotted with gold-brush cloves. Later, Elizabethan decorated their tables with piles of gold-spangled pomegranates, oranges, and grapes. To this day, Japanese artisans who gild screen gather up their skewings at the end of the workday, mix them in sake, and then sip it all down as a thank-you to the gods for their creative powers."
---"The Gold Rush," Joni Miller, Harper's Bazaar, December 1992 (p. 97)
The Chinese connection
"Not surprisingly, the Eastern Zhou period was a period of which great scientific advances were amde in alchemy and aurification...By the late Warring States period, mercury gilding had almost completely replaced gold foil as a means of altering the appearance of bronze. The search for man-made gold was spurred by popular ideas originating in the south that connected gold with immortality, an exotic view traceable to India that led countless aristorcats to ingest gold in every conceivable form."
---"Gold in the Ancient Chinese World: A Cultural Puzzle," Emma C. Bunker, Artibus Asiae, No 1/2, 1993 (p. 35)
[NOTE: The footnote accompanying this section cites this book: The Functions and Significande of Gold in the Veda, Jan Gonda [Leiden: E.J. Brill] 1991.]
Medival Euruope: decoration, food colorant & spice additive
"Gold and silver leaf are both used to decorate foods, and have so been used for many centuries. Surprisingly, both are harmless as long as they are consumed as pure metals, though many silver compounds are poisonous. The are on the EC list of approved colourings, having the numbers E175 and E174. Usually they are applied in the form of very thin sheets known as gold or silver leaf. Narrow ribbons and powder are also sold. They are tasteless and odorless...In An Ordinance of Pottage, an edition of the 15th-century culinary recipes in the Beinecke MS 163, there is a recipe (138) in which a sweet pie is ornamented with blanched walnuts, wetted with saffron water, and impaled on a pin or needle for ease in handling. The needle is held in one hand and gold foil is laid on with that other hand with a thyng made therfore, & blow theron esyly with thy mouth, & that shall make thy gold to abyde. & and so thru may gylt them over, and florich thy bakyn meat therewith.' This is a precise description of how to use goldleaf, for if it is touched before it is fixed it will cling to the fingers and cannot be removed intact...Axioms and quotations warn us that appearances can be deceptive and all that glistens or shyneth is not gold, and the enticing gold of gingergbread on sale at fairs could not have been genuine for the high price would have ensured a restricted sale...Elizabeth Raffald (1782) describes her Gilded Fish in Jelly...Silver leaf is used in India (under the name vark or varaq) to decorate various foods, especially in Moghul cuisine...Scraps of silver (or gold) leaf may sometimes be seen at Indian and Pakistani weddings, tossed casually on heaps of rice or wrapped around cakes."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 343)
"Another practice, similar to colouring food, was to cover a dish in gold or silver foil. One dish in the third course was described as 'pety chek in bolyen' (that is small chicks in bullion, or gold foil). Other recipes are known in which this occurs. In one case a pig was stuffed with a cock, which was itself stuffed with a mixture of pine nuts and sugar, and the whole roasted. It was then coloured with eggs, saffron, and gold and silver foil."
---Food and Feast in Medieval England, P.W. Hammond [Wren's Park:Phoenix Mill] 1993 (p. 138)
"According to Hieronymous Bock...Saffron was stretched wITHh sandalwood, and sometimes even gold dust was mixed in with the spices to bring them up to the right weight." ---Food in Medieval Times, Melitta Weiss Adamson [Greenwood Press:Westport CT] 2004 (p. 66)
[NOTE: This book contains several references to gold. Many are footnoted for further study.]
"...the practice dates from the Middle Ages and was quite common in Renaissance Italy. Did you know that Galeazzo Visconti served an entire calf wrapped in a thin layer of gold at the wedding of his daughter Violante in 1386? They were serving ostrich meat covered in gold in Venice in 1561. Gilded foods were so ubiquitous in Padua in the 16th century that authorities suggested serving no more than two courses in gold per feast. Martha Bayless, an English professor and director of the medieval studies program at the University of Oregon (who is teaching a course titled "The Medieval Feast in Theory and Practice"), says Neuberg is correct. In fact, Middle Age strivers viewed their holiday food fests as a "mini-paradise" of peace and abundance, a temporary reprieve from a world of uncertainty, hunger and war. The medieval fable about the Land of Cockayne is in part a food fetish fantasy -- about a place where cooked geese fly over rivers of wine. And yes, gold was employed, Bayless says, to dress up the food and create a sense of awe and bounty. "It is valuable and light and attractive and shiny," Bayless says. For the rich who hosted the feasts, to celebrate weddings or coronations, the use of gold "shows how much you can provide." The feasts, which could exceed 40 courses, were designed to overwhelm. That was the point."
--- "Eat Your Karats," William Booth, Washington Post, December 18, 2005
"Gold and silver leaf were also used with sweetmeats, for decoration and because they were thought medicinal."
---Sugar-plums and Sherbet: The Prehistory of Sweets, Laura Mason [Prospect Books:Devon] 2004 (p. 197)
"...for a display of wealth combined with the magical properties of an elixer of life, you could lay golde or silver on your comfits,' creating the ancestors of the silver dragees, the little cake decorations still sold for children's party cakes."
---Sugar-plums and Sherbet (p. 126)
"The topic of corruptability was also a perennial obsession for dietary authors...physicians often recommended drinking wine after corrutible fruits like melons and peaches. In fact any "spiritual" and incorruptible substance can acrt as a preservative. Gold and pearls were often used for [preservative] purpose, ground into food or drunk in life-preserving fluids such as "aurum potabile," [drinkable gold]."
---Eating Right in the Renaissance, Ken Albala [University of California Press:Berkeley] 2002 (p. 159) [NOTE: German "Goldwasser" is similar.]
Food historians generally agree that classic English trifles are products of the Renaissance. Related foods are medieval fools and (in very recent times) tiramisu. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the trifle (as it relates to food) in printed English texts to 1598 and defines it thusly: "A dish composed of cream boiled with various ingredients. Obs. A light confection of sponge-cake or the like, esp. flavoured with wine or spirit, and served with custard and whipped cream." Related recipes? Zuppa Inglese & Italian Cream Cake.
"Trifle: a traditional English sweet or dessert. The essential ingredients are sponge cake soaked in sherry or white wine, rich custard, fruit or jam, and whipped cream, layered in a glass dish in that order. The cream is often decorated with, for example, slivers of almond, glace cherries, angelica. The word trifle derives from the Middle English trufl which in turn came from the Old French trufe (or truffle), meaning something of little importance. Originally, in the late 16th century, the culinary meaning of the word trifle was a dish composed of cream boiled with various ingredients...The first known recipe entitled trifle was in The Good Hyswife's Jewell, 1596 by T. Dawson, and there were many such recipes in the 17th century, including a Triffel from the great cookery writer Robert May (1685), but these were little more than spiced and sweetened cream, latterly thickened by renneting. It was not until the mid-18th century that something like the modern trifle began to emerge. Biscuits wetted with wine were then in place at the bottom of the bowl, and custard was on top of them, while the topmost layer could be achieved by pouring whipped syllabub froth over all. When this froth was replaced by plain whipped cream, the process of evolution was virtually complete."
---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 805)
"In Elizabethan times trifles were simply cream warmed through and flavoured with sugar, ginger, etc., but gradually, in successive recipes, we find them being thickened up by boiling and adding rennet, enlivened by additional ingredients such as crushed macaroons, and decorated on top with comfits, until by the mid-eighteenth century they are very much as we would recognize them today. Hannah Glasse in the 1755 edition of her Art of Cookery gives a recipe for a 'Grand Trifle' which includes naples biscuits, ratafias, and macaroons soaked in sack with custard poured over them and topped with syllabub, and which she describes as 'fit to go to the King's table, if well made...'. Trifles were indeed very popular in the eighteenth century, and there were several different variants...The original meaning of the word in medieval English was 'an inconsequential or insubstantial tale, told either to amuse or to deceive', but it was not long before this broadened out to 'a thing or matter of little importance', from which the dish took its name. The immediate source of the word was Old French truffle, a variant of truffe, meaning 'deceit, trickery', but where this came from is not clear; there may be some connection with truffle the fungus, though this has never been established for certain...The French call trifle creme anglaise."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 349-50)
"Among the creamy dishes of the Tudor and Stuart period were trifles, fools and white pots. An Elizabethan trifle was made thus: Take a pint of thick cream, and season it with sugar and ginger, and rosewater, so stir it as you would then have it, and lake it luke warm in a dish on a chafingdish and coals, and after put it into a silver piece or bowl, and so service it to the board. In later recipes the cream was boiled and lightly renneted to make it thicker and when you serve it in, strew on some French comfits. By 1751 trifle was being made with broken Naples biscuits, macaroons and ratafia cakes wetted with sack at the bottom of the bowl, good boiled custard in the middle, and then put a syllabub over tha'. Subsequent recipes replaced the syllabub with whipped cream, milled in a chocolate mill; and the modern trifle was established."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago Publishers:Chicago] 1991(p. 168-9)
Early Trifle recipes
 "To make a Trifle
Take a pint of thick cream, and season it with sugar and ginger, and rose water. So stir it as you would then have it and make it luke warm in a dish on a chafing dish and coals. And after put it into a silver piece or a bowl, and so serve it to the board."
---The Good Housewife's Jewell, Thomas Dawson, with introduction by Maggie Black [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1996 (p. 90)
 "To make a Triffel
Take a quart of the best and thickest cream, set it on the fire in a clean skillet, and put to it whole mace, cinnamon, and sugar, boil it well in the cream before you put in the sugar then your cream being well boiled, pour it into a fine silver piece or dish, and take out the spices, let it cool till it be no more than blood-warm, then put in a spoonful of good rennet, and set it well together being cold scrape sugar on it, and trim the dish sides finely."
---The Accomplisht Cook, Robert May, facsimile of 1685 edition [Prospect Books:2000] (p. 292)
 "To Make a Trifle.
Put three large macaroons in the middle of your dish, pour as much white wine over them as they will drink. Then take a quart of cream, put in as much sugar as will make it sweet, rub your sugar upon the rind of a lemon to fetch out the essence. Put your cream into a pot, mill it to a strong groth, lay as much froth upon a sieve as will fill the dish you intend to put your trifle in. Put the remainder of your cream into a tossing pan with a stick of cinnamon, the yolks of four eggs well beat, and sugar to your taste. Set them over a gentle fire, stir it one way till it is thick, then take if off the fire, pour it upon your macaroons. When it is cold put on your frothed cream, lay round it different coloured sweetmeats and [put] small shot comfits in, and figures or flowers."
---The Experienced English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald, with an introduction by Roy Shipperbottom [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1997 (p. 128-9)
"Swiss Cream, or Trifle.Very Good.
Flovour pleasantly with lemon rind and cinnamon, a pint of rich cream, after having taken from it as much as will mix smoothly to a thin batter four teaspoonsful of the finest flour; sweeten it with six ounces of well-refined sugar in lumps; place it over a clear fire in a delicately cover a clear fire in a delicatley clean saucepan, and when it boils stir in the flour, and simmer it for four or five minutes, stirring it gently without ceasing; then pour it out, and when it is quite cold mix with it by degrees the strained juice of two moderate-sized and very fresh lemons. Take a quarter of a pound of macaroons, cover the bottom of a glass dish with a portion of them, pour in a part of the cream, lay the remainder of the macaroons upon it, add the rest of the cream, and ornament it with candied citorn sliced thin. It should be made the day before it is wanted for the table. The requisite flavour may be given to this dish by infusing it in the cream and very thin rind of a lemon, and part of a stick of cinnamon slightly bruised, and the straining it before the flour is added; or, these and the sugar may be boiled together with two or three spoonsful of water, to a strongly flavoured syrup, which, after having been passed through a muslin strainer, may be stirred into the cream. Some cooks boil the cinnamon and the grated rind of a lemon with all the other ingredients, but the cream has then to be pressed through a sieve after it is made, a process which it is always desirable to avoid. It may be flavoured with vanilla and maraschino, or with orange-blossoms at pleasure; but is excellent made as above. Rich cream, 1 pint; sugar, 6 oz; rind, 1 lemon; cinnamon, drachm; flour, 4 teaspoonsful; juice, 2 lemons; macaroons, 4 oz; candied citron, 1 to 2 oz."
---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton, facsimile 1845 edition [Southover Press:Devon] 1993 (p. 395)
This is a compound of syllabub and sweetmeats. Line the bottom of the glass trifle-dish with sponge biscuits stuck with blanched almonds; moisten them with sweet wine, or with sherry and sugar. Over these lay a dozen ratafia cakes dipped in noyeau. Intersperse with these some thin slices of citron and orange-peel, and distribute over these pieces of apricot and raspberry jam and currant jelly. Pour over these a few spoonfuls of the liquor of the syllabub. The next layer should consist of tartlet cream of about the thickness of an inch, over which grate some nutmeg, and strew a little powdered cinnamon, together with a small quantity of lemon-peel, and some powdered loaf-sguar. Lastly, take the whipped froth from the sieve, and put it on the top as abundantly as the dish will contain. To give it a pleasing appearance, strew various coloured comfits over the froth. The tartlet cream to form one of the layers may be made as followes:--Mix together half a pint of cream and the same quantitiy of milk; put into it a piece of fresh lemon or Seville orange-peel, and a little cinammon, and sweeten with loaf sugar. Let these ingredients boil about ten minues. Have ready prepared in another pan the yolks of six eggs well-beaten up with a heaped tea-spoonful of fine flour; to these gradually strain the boiled ingredients, and then whisk them well together over a gentle fire, so that they may acquire the proper consistence without curdling. If you are deficient of cream, milk only may be employed, but in that case a litle more flour will be required." ---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 989) [NOTE: This book also offers recipes titled Trifle (another way), An Elegant Trifle, Apple Trifle, Gooseberry Trifle, Ground Rice Trifle, Lord Mayor's Trifle, Swiss Trifle and Savoury Trifle (made with minced meat).]
1 pint Cream
1 pint Custard
6 penny Sponge Cakes 12 Macaroons
1/4 lb. Ratafias
1/2 pint Sherry
1/4 pint Brandy
1/4 pint Water
Utensils--Saucepan, woodend spoon, egg-beater, 2 basins, pint measure, glass dish, knife, forcing-bag. Enough for 6 persons.
The sponge cake should be stale. Mix the sherry, brandy, and water together. Spread a layer of jam on the bottom of a glass dish. Cut the cakes in half, dip them into the wine and water, and put a layer of lemon the jam, then dip some macaroons and ratfias in the wine, and put them with a layer of sponge cake. Pour some good thick custard over. Now put more jam, soaked cakes an custard, letting the cakes pile high in the centre. Whip and flavour the cream, put it into a forcing-bag having a large rose-pipe, and force this out on on top of all. The top of the cream can be ornamented with crystallised fruits, sweets or anything that may be suitable and convenient. The trifle should be prepared some hours before it is to be served, except the cream which goes on at the last minute."
---Cookery and Household Management, Elizabeth Craig [Odhams Press:London] 1936 (p. 350)
Karen Hess, food historian, explains the connection between fools and trifles: "The oldest meaning of fool in English cookery, long since obsolete, is a custard dish. There is some dispute over the derivation of the word; a cook might opt for French fouler (to press or crush) given the present composition of the dish, but OED [Oxford English Dictionary] spurns this construction and agrees with those who link it with trifle, or a bit of foolishness. The earliest citation, from Florio, 1598, "a kinde of clouted cream called a fool or a trifle in English," is compelling....In later English cookery, the sort of dish described in our recipe above [To Make a Fool] came to be known as a trifle, nowadays typically made of stale sponge cake, custard sauce, and sherry...."
---Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery, transcribed by Karen Hess [Columbia University Press:1995] (p. 132)
Take a Penny-loaf, cut it into thin Slices, wet them with Sac, lay them in the Bottom of a Dish, take a Quart of Cream, beat up six Eggs, two Spoonfuls of Rose-water, a Blade of Mace, some grated Nutmeg, sweeten to your Taste. Put this all into a Sauce-pan, and keep stirring all the time over a slow Fire for fear of curdling. When it begins to be thick, pour it into the Dish over the Bread; let it stand till it is cold, and serve it up."
---The Art of Cookery, Hannah Glasse, facsimile of the first (1747) edition, [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p.79)
If you need more details, ask your librarian to help you find this article from Petits Propos Culinaires, a British food history journal: "Whims and Fancies of the Trifle," Helen Saberi issue 50, page 11.
Related foods? Tipsy Parson, Victorian Sandwich Cakes & Baked Alaska.
Food historians generally date the invention of tiramisu in the 1960s-1970s and acknowledge its zenith of popularity in the 1980s. It was THE dessert in movie Sleepless in Seattle.The first restaurant to serve Tiramisu is generally thought to be El Toula (est. 1968) in Italy. Or...was it invented in Baltimore? Either way, the ancestors of this dessert (minus the chocolate and the coffee) are Renaissance-era English trifles, 18th century Tipsy cake and 19th century Zuppa Inglese. Before this? Ancient Romans enjoyed breads steeped in honey, wine and spices.
"Eating habits are notable in that they don't change quickly and cultures resist new foods probably as often as they accept them. People are deeply attached to their traditional foods. Occasionally foods appear to be rapidly accepted. An example of the coffee sponge cake called tiramisu, meaning literally "pick-me-up," that was invented in the 1960s by the chef at El Toula restaurant in Trevisio in the Veneto region of Italy and is now ubiquitious in Italian restaurants in America."
---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright, [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 37)
"If memory serves, it was Gael Greene, restaurant reviewer for New York Magazine, who first swooned over this rich mocha Italian sweet. I also believe it happened in the early 80s, but perhaps the late 70s. In any event, nearly every Italian restaurant of status scrambled to put tiramasu on is menu. Soon, however, tiramisu began to suffer from overexposure and by the 90s, to vanish from menus."
---The American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 416)
"'Pick me up'. A rich dessert made of layers of ladyfingers, mascarpone, espresso, and chocolate. The dish was created in the 1960s at El Toula restaurant in Treviso and has since become one of the classic and international Italian desserts."
---Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1998 (p. 258)
"Tiramasu. Italian dessert invented during the 1970s, based on plain cake or a yeasted sweet bread soaked in spirits of liqueur and coffee, topped with a mascarpone mixture, sometimes containing beaten egg yolks lightened with whisked egg whites."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 1214)
"Italy is known for romance. Now, with help from the movie ‘Sleepless in Seattle,’ so is one of its desserts…As lovers of Italian cuisine can testify, tiramisu is a rich, layered dessert made with lady finger cookies and mascarpone cheese, among other unhealthy things. And now the film’s director, Nora Ephron, has released a recipe for the after-dinner treat.
4 fresh eggs
Ѕ cup Tia Maria or brandy
1 lb. mascarpone cheese
Ѕ cup granulate sugar
1 package of stale ladyfingers
Ѕ cup strong espresso (decaf is fine)
2 1-oz squares semisweet chocolate
Separate eggs into two large bowls. Add liqueur to egg yolks and stir till blended. Add mascarpone. Stir till blended. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Continuing to beat, add sugar a little at a time until stiff peaks are formed. Add half of the egg whites to the cheese-egg yolk mixture and blend well. The add the rest and fold in gently. Set aside. Dip lady fingers quickly in espresso. Don’t saturate them. Place flat side down in a shallow dish 910-inch round or 9 X 12 inch oval, for example). Add half the cheese mixture and smooth the top. Grate half the chocolate over the top covering the surface. Then add another layer of espresso-coated ladyfingers. Top with remaining cheese mixture and smooth the top. Cover with remaining chocolate. Refrigerate, covered, several hours or overnight. Proceed at your own risk.”
---“The Dessert of ‘Sleepless in Seattle,” John Horn, Daily Record [Morris County, NJ], July 28, 1993 (p. A14)
"Mascarpone...a fresh Italian cheese made from cream coagulated by citric or tartaric acid, and therefore a kind of cream cheese. This product does not keep, and is mainly produced in the autumn and winter. It is usually sold in small containers and is eaten by itself or in various mixtures with cocoa, coffee, liqueurs, etc. One such confection is the Venetian dessert tiramasu, meaning pick-me-up..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 483)
"Dessert made of sponge cake soaked in liqueur and topped with custard or whipped cream. The name translates literally in Italian as English Soup and may in fact connote its similarily to English trifle. Others believe it is a dialectical corruption of the verb inzuppare, meaning to sop."
---Dictionary of Italian Food and Drink, John Mariani [Broadway Books:New York] 1998 (p. 286)
"A dessert invented by Neapolitan pastrycooks of Europe during the 19th century. Inspired by English puddings that were fashionable at the time, zupp inglese...usually consists of a sponge soaked wtih kirsch, filled with confectioner's custard (pastry cream) and crystallized (candied) fruits macerated in kirsch or Maraschino, then covered with Italian meringue and browned in the oven..."
---Larousse Gastromique, Completely Updated and Revised [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 1310)
"A dukedom, a country palace, and this rich dessert were among the many tributes bestowed on Lord Nelson by the grateful Neapolitans after his victory over Napoleon in the Nile in 1798. "English Soup," as it was called, was the creation of an anonymous pastry cook smitten with the admiral, the English, and their spirit-soaked Trifles."
---The Horizon Cookbook and Illustrated History of Eating and Drinking through the Ages, American Heritage [Doubleday:New York] 1968 (p. 710)
While combinations of herbs have been used from ancient times forward, the term "fines herbes" appears to be a 19th century convention. Rooted in French cuisine, the list of herbs varies through time and by person.
"Fines herbes is the French term for a mixture of chopped fresh herbs used in cooking. The standard elements of the mix are parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil, but it is common to find others included, such as thyme or rosemary. Alexis Soyer, the French chef who worked in England and had a cruicial influence on Victorian cookery, may have introduced the concept of fines herbs to the British, and by by the mid-nineteenth century it was well enough established for Mrs. Beeton to give a recipe for whitings aux fines herbes in her Book of Household Management (1861) (she does not specify which herbs to use). But probably its most familiar application in Britian is to flavour the omelete aux fines herbes.)"
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 125)
"Fines herbes the convenient French term for a mixture of chopped fresh herbs used in cooking. A minimalist interpretation would be parsley with any (or all) of: chervil, tarragon, chives. However, the number of different herbs to be used is far from fixed; and the range includes thyme, rosemary, burnet, and marjoram. The mixture is used to flavour meat, fish, and salads, and (most common in Britian) to flavour omelettes."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006 (p. 300)
"Obserations on Omlets, Fritters &c...Eggss may be dressed in a multiplicity of ways, but are seldom more relished in any form than in a well made and expeditiously served omlet. This may be plain, or seasoned with minced herbs and a very little sechalot when the last is liked, and is then called an 'Omlette aux fines herbes;' or it may be mixed with minced ham, or grated cheese; in any case, it should be light, thick, full-tasted, and fried only on one side..."
---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton, facsimile 1845 edition with an introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1993 (p. 321)
"545. Omelette with Herbs.--Break six eggs in a basin or stewpan, and add to it a teaspoonfull of chopped parsley and one of chopped eschalot or spring onions, half ditto of salt and a pinch of pepper, and beat it well up together. Put into an omelette-pan, that is, a small frying-pan six inches in diameter, two ounces of butter, which melt, then pour in the eggs, stir round with a spoon; as soon as it begins to set, lightly move it to that part of the pan opposite the handle, so that it occupies only one third, hold it so that the part of the pan is the lowest move with a spoon the outside edges over, and let it remain half a minute, so that it obtains a good color, turn it over on to the dish so that the bottom is at the top. They must not be too much done and served very hot. They may be served plain, or with the addition of any gravy."
---Modern Housewife or Menagere, Alexis Soyer, edited by an American Housewife [D. Appleton & Company:New York] 1850 (p. 219)
"Fines Herbes, or Chopped Herbs for Garnishes and Sauces
I designate, under the name of fineds herbes for garnishes and sauces, the mixture hitherto known under the ambitious name of d'Uxelles, a term totally out of place in unpretentious cookery I have, therefore, preferred a plainer name, indicating the same thing. After turning the mushrooms, as explained in the preceeding article, chop all the trimmings very fine; squeeze the water out of them, in the corner of the dish. Chop the same quantity of parsley, previously washed and dried in a cloth; add about half the quantity of chopped shalot, also well washed and drained; say about 2 oz. of shalot to 4 oz of mushrooms and 4 oz. of parsley. Put, in a stewpan, the shalot first; with:
1/2 oz. of butter
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper
Put on the fire, stirring with a spoon for five minutes;
Add the mushrooms and parlsey;
Boil for five minutes more;
Pour in a bason; cover with a round of buttered paper, to prevent drying. These fines herbes are used for gratins, barigoles, papillotes, also for Sharp and Italian Sauce. The trimming of the mushrooms must be prepared as fines herbes immediately after turning the mushrooms; if kept, they become black, and lose their flavour."
---The Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, translated by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson Low, Son, and Marston:London] 1869(p. 48-49)
"Omelet (aux fines herbes).--Break six eggs into a bason. Beat them lightly, and mix with them a small pinch of salt and pepper, a heaped tea-spoonful of finely-chopped parsley, and half a tea-spoonful of minced onions, cloves, or shallots. Dissolve two ounces of fresh butter into a hot frying pan, over a gentle fire. Pour in the mixture, and proceed as already described. Omelets may be extensively varied. A little minced ham, or cooked vegetables, or fish sauce, or jam, may be put in either with the eggs or placed in their centre when they are partially cooked, and the omelet should then be named after the peculiar flavouring. Time to fry, four or five minutes. Probably cost, 8d. Suffiient for two or three persons."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 466)
 "Fine Herbs.--Called by the French 'fines-herbes'; it is a combination of minced shallots, mushrooms and parsley. Fine Herbs Sauce is the ingredients mixed into some espagnole or other brown sauce."
---Culinary Handbook, Charles Fellows [Hotel Monthly Press:Chicago] 1904 (p. 81)
"1362. Oeufs au Fines Herbes. Scrambled: Prepare the scrambled eggs; chop together 4 tarragon leaves and a pinnch of parsley, chervil and chives and carefullly mix into the eggs."
---The Complete Guide ot the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier [1907 edition], translated into English by H.L Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann [John Wiley & Sons:New York] 1997 (p. 163)
"Fines Herbs. Equal parts of finely chopped parsley, tarragon, chives and chervil mixed together."
---Cooking a la Ritz, Louis Diat [J.B. Lippicott Company:Philadelphia] 1941 (p. 500)
"Fine Herbs. (Fines-herbes, Fr.) A mixture of finely chopped fresh garden herbs, used as Omelette Fines-herbes, Sauce Fines-herbes, Filet de Sole Fines-herbes, etc., etc."
---Master Dictionary of Food & Cookery, Henry Smith [Philosphical Library:New York] 1952 (p. 95)
"Fines Herbes.--Generally speaking, this term is used ot of mixed herbs but simply of chopped parsley. Thus an Omelette au fines herbes is an omelette containing only chopped parsley in addition to the usual seasoning. Actually, fines herbes should be a mixture of herbs, such as parsley, chervil, tarragon and even chives. Indeed this was the original meaning of the term. In earlier times chopped mushroom and even truffles were added to the herbs listed above."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne, edited by Charlotte Turgeon and Nina Froud [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 412)
"Herbs, herbes. Classical French cooking uses far fewer herbs than most Americas would suspect. Parsley, thyme, bay, and tarragon are the stand-bys, plus fresh chives and chervil in season. A mixture of fresh parsley, chives, tarragon, and chervil is called fines herbes. Mediterranean France adds to the general list basil, fennel, oregano, sage, and saffron. The French feeling about herbs is that they should be an accent and a complement, but never a domination over the essential flavors of the main ingredients. Fresh herbs are, of course, ideal."
---Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Simone Beck, Louisette Bertholle & Julia Child [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1963 (p. 18)
"Sauce aux Fines Herbes (Herb Sauce). Since the entire point of this sauce is herbs, it should not be made unless you have access to fresh ones. In most localities, this will entail growing your own, especially in the case of chervil Chervil is an annual that flourishes in semishade. Seeds should be sown thickly in early spring and again in late summer. Thin plants so that they are 6 inches apart. Harvest when young leaves appear. Tarragon is a perennial grown from cuttings; it requires direct sun and can be harvested at any time. Chive plants are widey available for planting in the early spring, in direct sun. They are perennials. Harvest them at any time. All three of these herbs freeze remarkably well. If you cannot locate seeds or plants in your area, one of the national plant mail-order houses should be able to help. Serve the sauce made from these herbs with steaks or chops.
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon whole parsley leaves
1 tablespoon fresh chervil
1 tablespoon chive
1 tablespoon frsh tarragon 1 cup demi-glace or thickened jus de veau (page 31 or 35)
1 lemon wedge 1. Bring the white wine to a boil in a small, nonnaluminum saucepan. As soon as the boiling point is reached, toss in 1/2 teaspoon parsley, 1/2 teaspoon chervil, 1/2 teaspoon chive, and 1/2 teaspoon tarragon. (These herbs can all be mixed together ahead of time for convenience.) Remove saucepan from heat immediately, cover, and let steep for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile chop remaining herbs as finely as possible.
3. Strain the herb infustion from step 1 through a linen handkerchief into a clean saucepan. Wring out the handkerchief to extrct lingering liquid.
4. Add demi-glace or jus au veau to the strained infusion. Blend well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
5. Hold in a bain-marie. Just before serving, add the remaining chopped herbs and 1 squirt of lemon juice. Serves 6."
---The Saucier's Apprentice, Raymond Skolov [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1976 (p. 70-71)
Flower water (rose & orange)
Both Rose Water and Orange Flower Water were used to flavor foods from Medieval times forward. Originating in Arab cuisine, flavors migrated to Europe during Crusader times. Colonial Americans cooked what they knew from home, introducing flower waters to the New World. Advances in flavoring/food technology encouraged the widespread use of vanilla. Eventually, the old flower waters were abandoned. Today most people have never heard of flower waters. They are surprised to learn how old they are!
Old World use
"The Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans managed to extract fragrance from the rose by steeping petals in water, oil, or alcohol. And it is probably that the technique of distillation of rosewater evolved in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD in Mesopotamia. By the 9th century Persia was distilling rosewater on a large scale. It is, however, usual to name Avicenna, the famous physician of the 10th century, as being the person who discovered rosewater. It was in his time that the use of rosewater as a flavoring for food came into vogue in the lavish and sumptuous cuisine of the Arabs. It was used to flavor a variety of dishes and was even sprayed over the surface of the cooking pot. The use of rosewater spread to Europe via the Crusaders. It was...popular in medieval England. Rosewater was also a favourite flavouring of the Ottoman Turks and they in turn introduced it to Bulgaria, where the Valley of the Roses at Kazanluk is famous for its production of rosewater, oil of roses, rose-petal jams, and preserves...Rosewater is still used extensively all over the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 673)
"Neither rose water nor citrus appears in any of the Greco-Roman recipes compiled by Apicius. The Arabs brought the lemon and orange to Spain perhaps by the ninth century, and to Sicily in the tenth...The Arabs used citrus juices in their cooking, but less frequently than rose water. Rose water was sent to the Magreb, Spain, Yemen, India, and China from such centers as Shiraz, and Damascus vied for importance as a major distributor by the thirteenth century."
---Acquired Taste: The French Origins of Modern Cooking, T. Sarah Peterson [Cornell University Press:Ithaca NY] 1994 (p. 10)
Medieval Era perfumed water inventory
"Perfumed Waters....These perfumed...waters are prepared by the distillation of flowers or of other parts of them following plants, with many additional ingredients and mixtures....rose, musk and rose, camphor, aloes, sandalwood, lavender, clove tree, cinnamon, wild thyme, marjoram, apple, myrtle, orange flower, palm tree bract, musk rose, basil and cucumber, lime, jasmine."
---Medieval Arab Cookery, Maxime Rodinson et al [Prospect Books:Devon] 2001 (p. 146-147)
North American use
"Rose Water. Introduced to Europe from Arab cuisine by the crusaders in such dishes as marzipan and Turkish delight, rose water is the distillate of rose petals, most famously from the damask rose. Substitutes for the distillate have been made by adding attar of rose, which is the oil extracted from crushed roses, to water. Colonial Americans used rose water as a flavoring, similar in purpose to the later-introduced vanilla, in confectionery and dessert recipes inherited from Europe and in syrups used to flavor beverages. Rose water also flavored savories, such as chicken pies and creamed spinach. Some housewives, even as late as the 1880s, distilled their own. Others purchased it, perhaps as 'Double Distilled Damask Rose Water' from the Shakers, a religious sect respected for the quality and purity of their products and for their rose water apple pie. Contemporary us is most common in cuisines of Middle Eastern, Indian, or Sephardic heritage, flavoring desserts and drinks, such as baklava, sorbets and lassi. Rose water is sometimes used interchangeably with orange flower water and may be sprinkled on fresh fruits."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, volume 2 (p. 374-375) <> "Orange Flower Water, also called orange blossom water, is a flavoring distilled from the flowers of sour orange trees, such as Seville and bergamot, usually as a condensed-steam by-product of distilling oil, known as neroli. It is made primarily in Lebanon and France. In the nineteenth century, orange flower water flavored many English desserts. It migrated in cake and custard recipes and in calillaire, a sugar syrup. Either orange flower water or rose water was a key ingredient in oregat, originally a beverage and later a syrup used to sweeten other beverages."
---ibid (p. 215)
"The most beloved of all flowers was the rose (genus Rosa). The recipe of the earliest English manuscripts read almost like Arab recipes of the same period; rose petals and rose water in some of the most surprising dishes, and rose water continued in sweet dishes until it was displaced by vanilla in, roughly, the early part of the nineteenth century. Gerard says: "The distilled water of Roses is good for the strengthening of the heart, and refreshing of the spirits, and likewise for all things that require a gentle cooling. The same being put in junketting dishes, cakes, sauces, and many other pleasant things, giveth a fine and delectable taste."
---Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery and Booke of Sweetmeats, Transcribed by Karen Hess [Columbia University Press:New York] 1980 (p. 267)
Orange flower water
Martha Washington's recipe "To Make Mint Cakes" (after dinner mints) employs orange flower water. Ms. Hess notes: "This is the only use of orange-flower water in the manuscript, and this accurately reflect the situation in English cookbooks. Rose water appears in perhaps a quarter of all the recipes, virtually all the sweet dishes aside from preserved fruits. The reason, of course, is largely one of climate; roses thrive in England while the orange tree does not." (p. 309-309)
Food historians generally agree [cheese] fondue began in Switzerland sometime in the early 19th century. There is no specific chef, place, or restaurant credited for "inventing" this dish. Simple regional ingredients suggest it was a peasant meal. This is perhaps confirmed by the fact that Ude, Gouffe and Escoffier do not include recipes for cheese fondue in their master works. Escoffier (1903) does, however, include recipes for tomato fondue (a tomato reduction) and Fondus au Parmesean. The latter recipe is described as having nothing to do with Swiss Fondue au Fromage.
Culinary evidence confirms recipes for fondue evolved according to place and taste. While the Swiss claim the original recipe, French, Italian and American cooks have skillfully tweaked the concept to create new dishes featuring alternative ingredients, cooking pots, heat sources, and purpose. Dessert fondues, most notably Chocolate fondue is a distinctly American dessert. Beef fondue is cooked tabletop then coated with dipping sauces. Piedmontese Bagna Cauda is a vegetarian dish on same culinary theme.
What exactly is "fondue?"
"Fondue, the French word for 'melted', is the name of a Swiss dish made of melted cheese...There are many recipes for cheese fondue, including that given by Brillat-Savarin (1826) which has been condemned by Swiss authorities as being for scambled eggs with cheese rather than true fondue. Eggs do not appear in classic Swiss recipes. Most Swiss would agree that a proper fondue is made with a blend of cheeses--of gruyere, emmental, and a softer local cheese such as raclette or appenzell--white wine, a little kirsch, a spoonful of flour to prevent curdling, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and nothing else. Fonduta, the Italian version of fondue, is made with fontina cheese...There is also a similar Dutch dish called kaasdoop (cheese dip)."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 312)
Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's fondue description and recipe c. 1826 is unanimously regarded by fondue connosieurs as incorrect. Julia Child's French fondue (meant for pastry filling) includes eggs and was not intended for bread dipping. Early 20th century USA fondues resembled cheese souffles. Clearly there is not one, but several different dishes called "fondue." We wonder: does dipping tortillas in warm queso sauce qualify as Mexican fondue? Fascinating!
Even among Swiss, there are several recipes for "classic" cheese fondue. Modern recipe, regional variations, and social customs:
600 g (21 oz) shredded cheese (1/2 Gruyere, 1/2 Emmentaler), 1 garlic clove, 3 dl (1 1/4 C) dry white wine, 3 tsp cornstarch, 3 small glasses kirsch, ground pepper, nutmeg
Rub a heavy saucepan or heat proof clay fondue pot (Caquelon) with the split garlic clove. Dissolve the cornstarch in the kirsch. Put the cheese and wine into thepan and slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When the cheese is completely melted, add the kirsch and cornstarch mixture, stirring vigourously. Continue to cook. Season with pepper and nutmeg. Serve over an alcohol lamp. The cooking should continue on low heat. Stir constantly with small pieces of bread speared on a fondue fork. There are several varietries of fondue:
In the Canton of Vaud, fondue is prepared with Gruyere cheese only, but at varying stages of ripeness. Sometimes it is mixed with cheese from the Jura.
In the Jura, the fondue is made up of 1/2 Jura cheese and enhanced with 1-2 challots per person. The challots are eaten last.
In Geneva three kinds of cheese are used: Gruyere, Emmentaler and Vaudois cheese. Then, sauteed chopped morsels (fresh or dried and pre-soaked) or diced tomatoes are added.
Fondue is usually eaten with bite-sized pieces of crusty bread speared on a fondue fork. One can also, however, use small potatoes or potato slices. Fondue aficionados dunk their bread in kirsch before dipping it into the cheese. And don't forget: whoever loses his bread in the pan must pay for a round of beer or a bottle of wine. If it happens to a lady she must kiss the man sitting next to her. On the whole, howevr, the former is more popular."
---Cooking in Switzerland, Marianne Kaltenbach [Wolfgang Holker:Zurich] 1984 (p. 84)
"Fondue (Fondue au Fromage). A regional specialty of the Franche-Comte and of the Swiss Romande, the fondue has variations in both the way it is made and the cheeses used in its confection. The essential equipment is always a pan-shaped casserole made of earthenware, enameled steel, or special heatproof glass. Also, a wooden fork and a heater with an adjustable flame: while you are eating it, a fondue should maintian a temperature close to boiling, but it is essential that too much of a crust does not form on the bottom of the pan. For some people, a fondue is a meal in itslef, and for others it would be a substantial entree. We give here a simple recipe of easy execution...If the rustic style of serving does not appeal, follow the Valaisanne fashion and serve potatoes in their skins with the fondue. Each guest peels and cuts these into slices on a heated plate, and then a heated ladle is used to pour over a portion of fondue. A successful fondue should have the consistency of a perfectly smooth creme anglaise. Note the local custom of the coup du milieu ('the midway shot'), a liqueur glass of kirsch served, as its name indicates, when about half the fondue has been consumed."
---La Bonne Cuisine Madame E. Saint-Ange, 1927, translated with an introduction by Paul Aratow [Ten Speed Press: Berkeley CA] 2005 (p. 455-456)
[NOTE: we can furnish this recipe in both original French and translated English.]
"Fondue--Le terme fondue s'applique a diverses perparations qui different sensiblement les unes des autres. Ansi, on designe sous ce nom une sorte des creme au fromage, orginaire de Suisse, et dont nous donnons les recettes plus loin. Sous le meme nome, et cela de facon impropre, on designe un appret d'oeufs brouilles au fromage, appret dont, dans la Physiolgie du gout, Brillat-Savarin donne une recette assez originale. V. Plus loin Fondue au fromage. On appelle aussi fondue un mode de preparation des legumes qui, apres avoir ete cuits longuement dans du beurre, de la graisse ou de l'huille, sont complement fondus. Ces diverses fondues de legumes sont employees come elements complementaires dans un tres grand nombre d'apprets."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Library Larousse:Paris] 1938 (p. 483) [NOTE: This book contains 17 different recipes for fondue, including the one by Brillat-Savarin.]
The oldest recipe for fondue on our (small) collection is dated 1913. It is the one generally cited for denouncing Brillat-Savarin's bon mots.
Fondue gruyerienne au vacherin.
Voici la recette de la vrai fondue,--de la fondue fribourgeoise et gruyerienne, qui est un mets de fete, un plat de regalade dans son pays d'origine. Brillat-Savarin donne la recette d'une fondue au fromage qui est toute differente, et qui ne saurait etre appreciee des gourmets et des gourmands comme cell ci:
Prenez un kilogramme de vacherin frais et blanc; coupez-le en petits cubes dans une marmite de terre ou de tole emaillee, et protez le tout sur un feu doux. Surveillez, sans vous laisser distraire par la fumee ordorante que degage le vacherin fondant, et remuez continuellement avec une fouchette de bois neuve, jusqu'a ce que la masse, qui present alors l'aspect et la consistance d'une creme epaisse et filante, commence a bouillonner. A ce moment precis, retirez du feu et ajoutez du poivre (mais pas de sel). Puis servez sur un rechaud la marmite elle-meme ou s'est operee la fondue, et mange bien chaud. Les petits cubes de pain frais, qui, piques a la fourchette, sont plonges et retournes dans la marmite, placee au milieu de la table; une fois bien enrobe dans la fourchette, sont la table; une fois bien enrobe dans la creme fumante, chaque petit fragment de pain est ressorti au bout de la fourchette et savore deliciusement entre deux verres de vin blanc, Yvorne ou Villeneuve. De cette facon la fondue reste bien au chaud dans le reciepient meme ou elle s'est fabriquee, et ne subit pas de transvasement. Un kilogramme de vacherin suffit pour rassasier de fondue quatre personnes. C'est un plat extremement nourrissant et trais sain. Et en effet, le vacherin qui en est la matiere premiere se fait absolutment comme le fromage de Gruyere--si ce n'est que pour celui-ci, le lait est chauffe a un degree superieur. Le vacherin a meme un gros avantage sur le fromage de Gruyere: it contient tout le lait (creme, petit-lait, etc.), tandis que, au course de al fabrication du fromage, de nombreuz accessoires sont elimines (petit-lait, serac, etc.). Le vacherin de fabrique dans la Suisse francaise, surtout dans la Gruyere; il s'expedier par pieces de 5 a 15 kilogrammes, et vaut de 1 fr. 40 a 1 fr. 60 le kilogramme. Victor Tissot."
---L'Art du Bien Manger, Edmond Richardin [Paris:1913] (p. 44-45)
[NOTE: Our French passages are missing accents marks and other diacritical notation. If you need the exact passage we can scan & send.]
Modern American fondue
Traditional Swiss fondue was embraced by trendy USA cooks in the 1950s-1970s. The idea of tableside cooking, especially with cheese, was not new. Think: 1920s chafing dish parties serving cheesy hot table top Welsh rabbit (aka rarebit) and English Monkey on toast points. Early 20th century USA Fondue recipes were fell into one of two categories: baked breadcrumb cheese souffles or chafing dish sauces poured over toast. The earliset recipe we have for Swiss-style fondue published USA cookbook is from 1941. After WWII, fondue recipes in USA cookbooks slowly took hold. Most came from French sources.
Print evidence suggests "average" Americans were not familiar with Swiss-style fondue and its curious customs. Early recipes offered copious notes describing specialized equipment and serving rituals. Most alarmingly? Warnings against drinking ice-cold beverages while consuming cheese fondue because hot cheese hardens would "harden" in the stomach causing discomfort. While trendy authors stated special fondue pots and long forks were essential, others assured home cooks it was okay to adapt and improvise. Our favorite notes come from Roy Andries de Groot c. 1966. Before long, colorful glazed fondue pots with matching forks were standard gifts at bridal showers and weddings. The "canned heat" was typically Sterno brand. Why did this particular spread like wildfire? Simple. The ingredients were inexpensive and familiar; the equipment novel and within reach. Grandmother's chafing dish, part 2.
Use one tablespoonful of butter, one cupful of fresh milk, one cupful of fine bread-crumbs, two cupfuls of grated cheese, a teaspoonful of dry mustard, two eggs, and a little cayenne. Melt the butter in a chafing-dish, add the milk, bread-crumbs, cheese, mustard, and cayenne. Stir constantly, and add two eggs, slightly beaten, just before serving. Serve on hot toast or crackers. Remember to have the plates hot.-A.R."
--The American Pure Food Cook Book, David Chidlow et al [Geo. M. Hill Company:Chicago] 1899 (p. 268)
Temperature: 250 degrees F. Time: 45 minutes Servings: 6
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
1 cup grated American cheese
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1. Scald the milk and our it over the crumbs. Add butter, cheese, and seasonings.
2. Beat the egg yolks slightly; then add the milk mixture slowly. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Turn into greased baking dish, set in a pan of hot water, and bake at 250 degrees until firm on top (about 45 minutes).
Note: One cup of cooked rice or other cereal may be substituted for the crumbs."
---Prudence Penny's Cookbook, Prudence Penny (Leo Carillo) [Prentice Hall:New York] 1939 (p. 93)
956. Cut 3 ounces of Swiss cheese into dice. Place in a saucepan, set on a range, add a dash of cayenne, 1/2 teasooonful of Worcestershire sauce and a tablespoonful of Sauce Bercy. Let come to a boil and pour over hot toast."
---The Palmer House Cook Book, Ernst E. Amiet [John Willy Inc.:Chicago IL] 1940 (p. 273)
1 pound Swiss sheese, grated
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup Chablis or Riesling
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and pepper
dash of nutmeg
1/4 cup Kirsch
French bread Stir grated cheese and flour together until thoroughly mixed. Rub small cooking dish or top of chafing dish with garlic and heat wine until it just begins to simmer. Add cheese and flour mixture, and stir constantly until cheese is melted. Season to taste, omitting nutmeg if preferred. As soon as fondue starts to bubble, stir in Kirsch and serve immediately, preferably in chafing dish or over electric plate. Serve with French bread, which each guest tears in small pieces and 'dunks' in fondue with a fork. Serves 6."
---The American Wine Cook Book, Ted Hatch [G.P. Putnam's Sons:New York] 1941 (p. 212)
"Swiss Cheese Fondue
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 pounds Swiss cheese, shredded
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch or potato flour
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup kirsch
Rub an earthenware casserole which will stand top-of-stove cookery with a clove of garlic. Add cheese and wine and allow cheese to melt and blend with the wine. When the mixture is creamy, add cornstarch or potato flour and blend with the cheese. Season with salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg. As the mixture starts to boil, add kirsch. Serve in the casserole over an alcohol flame at table. This dish is traditionally accompanied by small pieces of French bread, which each person uses on the end of a fork for dunking into the hot cheese mixture. If the fondue becomes too thick, thin with kirsch."
---The Fireside Cook Book, James A. Beard [Simon and Schuster:New York] 1949 (p. 151)
[NOTE: Mr. Beard offers this recipe on the same apge as Welsh Rarebit, White Monkey, French Toasted Cheese Sandwiches and Super Cheese Sandwich.]
2 cups grated natural Swiss cheese (1/2 lb.)
1 1/2 teasp. flour
1 clove garlic (optional)
3/4 cup Chablis or sauterne
1/4 teasp. salt
2 tablsp. kirsch or cognac (optional)
French bread, cut into bite-size chunks
Toss cheese with flour. Rub skillet or blazer of chafing dish with garlic; pour in wine; heat over low heat till almost boiling. Add cheese; stir until melted. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, kirsch. When fondue bubbles, lower heat; serve. To serve: let each person spear bread with fork or toothpick, then dunk it into fondue, stirring. (If fondue becomes too thick, add a little heated wine.) Makes 3 or 4 servings as main dish, 6 to 8 as nibbler, served kitchen, living-room or dining-room style."
2 1/4 cups milk
2 cups coarse day-old bread crumbs
2 2/3 cups grated process American cheese (2/3 lb)
1 teasp. salt
Dash cayenne pepper
1 tablesp. bottled thick meat sauce
2 tbsp. minced onions
1 teasp. dry mustard
Start heating oven to 325 degrees F. Scald milk in double boiler; then cool. In large bowl combine rest of ingredients except eggs; add milk; stir well. Separate eggs. Beat yolks until thick and lemon-colored; slowly stir into bread mixture. Beat whites till stiff but not dry; fold into bread mixture. Pour into greased 2-qt. casserole; set in pan filled with warm water to 1" from top of casserole. Bake, uncovered, 1 1/2 hr., or until delicate brown and firm when touched in center. Serve at once, as is or with Tomato Sauce...Makes 6 servings."
---Good Housekeeping Cook Book, Dorothy B. Marsh [Good Housekeeping:New York] 1955 (p. 214)
2 pounds Swiss cheese, grated
6 tablespoons flour
1 garlic clove
4 cups dry white wine
6 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
French bread, cut in pieces
Combind Swiss cheese and flour and mix until cheese is coated with flour. Rub insdie of chafing dish pan with gharlic. Pour in wine and cook over low heat until bibbles of wine rise to the surface. Stir in cheese, a few spoonfuls at a time, and continue stirring until the cheese is thoroughly melted and the mixture starts bubbling. Add brandy, a dash of nutmeg, salt and pepper. To serve, dip pieces of French bread into fondue. Serves 6."
---Picture Cook Book, editors of Life Magazine [Time Inc.:New York] 1958 (p. 122)
[NOTE: this recipe classed as "Flaming Food." Other recipes in this section include Crepes Suzette, Flaming Fruitcake, Meat Balls on Flaming Cabbage, Shrimp Newburg and Cafe Diable.]
"Swiss Cheese Fondue
Cut 3/4 pound of natural Swiss cheese in strips; toss with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour. Rub a cut garlic clove over inside of fondue cooker. Pour 1 1/4 cups cooking sauterene; warm till air bubbles start to rise (don't cover or boil). Stir all the time from now on: Add a handful of cheese. When melted, add another handful. When mixture is blended and bubbling gently, stir in dash each pepper and nutmeg and 3 tablespoons cooking sherry. Spear a French-bread cube through crust side with a long-handled fork and dip into the melted cheese; stir till next guest is ready to dip--this keeps fondue smooth. (If fondue becomes too thick, add a little warmed sauterne.) Makes 5 or 6 servings."
---Meals with a Foreign Flair, Better Homes & Gardens [Meredith Corporation:Dews Moines IA] 1963 (p. 42)
[NOTE: Better Homes & Gardens Cooking With Cheese 1966) offers this recipe and two others: Blender Cheese Fondue (blender to chop cheese) and Rosy Cheese Fondue (featuring process American cheese and condensed cream of tomato soup.]
"Fondue au Gruyere [Cream Filling with Swiss Cheese]
For about 2 cups
2 1/2 Tb butter
2 Tb flour
A 2-quart saucepan
A wire whip
1 1/2 cups boiling milk or boiling light cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 egg yolk
2 ounces (1 cup) coarsley grated Swiss, or Swiss and Parmesean, cheese
Remove sauce from heat. Place egg ytolk in center of sauce and immediately beat it vigorously in with the wire whip. Beat for a moment to cool slightly, then beat in the cheese, and finally the butter. Taste carefully for seasoning. If not used immediately, dot top of sauce with butter to prevent a skin from forming."
---Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Simone Beck, Louise Bertholle and Julia Child [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1963 (p 201)
[NOTE: This recipe is offered in Chapter Four: Entrees and Luncheon Dishes, Hors d'Oeuvres, Spreads and Fillings, Farces. Headnote state: "Use these multipurpose cream fillings for the sauteed bread rounds, bread cases or tartelettes. They may also garnish the cream puffs on page 177, the pastry turnovers on page 204, the croquettes on page 203, and the crepes on pages 190 to 195." (p. 201)]
Swiss Cheese Fondue
Four our family of 4
The fun of a fondue is its gemutlichkeit. It's hard to be formal at dinner while eating from a communal dish. The fondue is prepared in a casserole (ceramic or iron), which comes to the table boiling hot and is kept gently bubbling on a spirit stove, a chafing dish, or an adjustable eletric hot plate. Each diner is armed with a long-handled fork on which he impales pieces of bread to soak in the fondue. The trick is to fish up a thick crust of cheese without losing the bread.
Aromatics: crystal salt, freshly ground black pepper, MSG, garlic (2 or 3 cloves, to taste), freshly ground nutmeg
Granulated instantized flour (about 3 Tbs.)
Swiss kirsch liqueur (2 oz)
Swiss Emmenthaler cheese (1/2 lb.)
Swiss Gruyere cheese (1/2 lb.)
Swiss Neufchatel dry white wine (1 bottle)
French Conac (1 1/2 oz.)
French Martinique rhum (1 1/2 oz.)
French bread (2 long loaves)
About 40 minutes before serving Arrange the spirit stove, chafing dish, or electric hot plate on a heatproof board in the middle of the dining table, within reach of each diner. Coarsely grate the two cheeses and lightly mix them in a bowl with the 3 tablespoons of flour. Peel and very finely chop the garlic and spread it inside the casserole. Put in 1 pint of the white wine and heat it almost to boiling. When small air bubbles start to rise imtermittently, begin adding large spoonfuls of cheese mix, carefully stirring with a wooden fork until each lot is melted before dripping in the next. Scrape bottom to avoid sticking. Break up lumps and, above all, stir gently to avild having cheese become stringy. When mixture becomes quite thick, adjust heat to maintain gentle bubbling. Season to taste with salt, pepper, MSG, and a couple of grinds of nutmeg. Do not stop stirring with the wooden fork for even a moment. Add the 2 ounces of kirsch, the 1 1/2 ounces of Cognac, and the 1 1/2 ounces of rhum. Keep stirring. Meanwhile a second person starts the heater on the dining table and begins to cut the bread into 3/4-inch-thick slices; these are then quartered. Place before each diner a plate with about a dozen or so of these bread triangles and a long-handled fork. Bring casserole from kitchen and set it on the dining-table heater, adjusting temperature so that fondue contrinues to bubble gently. The eating begins at once.
How to Avoid Losing the Bread and Messing up the Table
Impale a piece of bread on the fork, passing the points through the white crumb first, then firmly embedding them in the crust. Each diner in turn sticks his bread into the fondue, where is first duty is to continue the stirring, first at the top and then, more importantly, scraping the thicker cheese that is settling on the bottom. As the bread is lifted from the fondue it is twisted until it stop dripping, then quickly brought over the diner's plate, which is held out to meet it, and allowed to cool for a second or two. Still bubbling, the fondue gradually thickens and, if neeed, a little more heated white wine can be stirred in. Finally all that is left is a firm crust of cheese on the bottom of the casserole. The heat is turned off, the crust scraped off with a knife, and the pieces are divided among the diners, as a special last delicacy. It is crisp and crackly. One essential of a fondue is that no ice-cold drinks be served with it; they would harden the cheese in the stomach and cause indigestion. Hot tea or coffee are excellent."
---Feasts for All Seasons,, Roy Andreis de Groot [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1966 (p. 302-304)
[NOTE: this recipe is suggested for Spring.]
1 loaf French bread or 6 to 8 hard rolls
1 pound Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons flour
1 clove garlic
1 cup dry white wine (Rhine, Reisling, Chablis, Neuchatel)
2 tablspoons kirsch or sherry
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash white pepper
Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Cut cheese into 1/4-inch cubes (about 4 cups). Sprinkle flour over cheese and toss until cheese is coated. Rub cut clove of garlic on bottom and side of ceramic fondue pot, heavy saucepan or chafing dish. Add wine; heat over medium heat just until bubbles rise to surface (do not allow wine to boil). Gradually stir in chese, adding only 1/2 cup at a time and stirring after each addition until cheese is melted and blended. (Do not allow mixture to become too hot.) Stir in liqueur and seasoning. If fondue has been prepared on range, transfer fondue pot to source of heat at table and adjust heat to keep fondue just bubbling. Guests spear cubes of bread with long-handled forks and dip into cheese mixture. Stir fondue occaional. (If fondue becomes too thick, stir in about 1/2 cup warm white wine.) 4 servings."
---Betty Crocker's Dinner Parties: A Contemporary Guide to Easy Entertaining, General Mills [Golden Books:New York] 1970, 1974 (p. 55)
Related foods? Welsh Rabbit, Grilled Cheese & Tempura.
"White truffles of Piedmont go into many of the region's dishes, including what is perhaps its best known specialty, fonduta. This is an Alpine melted cheese dish, found also in the French and Swiss Alps. Piedmont is good cheese country...For [fonduta] Piedmont uses fontina, which comes from the Valle d'Aosta, taking its name from Mount Fontin, at Quart. It is a cheese of respectable age. As long ago as 1477 Panteleone di Confienza wrote in his Summa lacticinorum: 'Vallis Augusta casei boni sunt' ('in the Valle d'Aosta the cheeses are good'). The rich fatty orange fontina, which comes in great cartwheels, is made with infinite paines, but the finishing touch comes from a process with which human skill has little to do--its aging in well-aired stone buildings nearly 10,000 feet up. If fonduta is related to the French and Swiss fondues, it nevertheless has highly individual characteristics. The melted cheese which is the base for all three is mixed in fonduta with butter, milk and beaten egg yolks, none of which appear in the French and Swiss dishes, and is sprinkled liberally with white pepper. Swiss fondue uses white wine and kirsch; French practice on alcoholic additions varies; but fonduta uses none at all. Finally, fonduta is crowned with a layer of white truffles sliced paper-thin, a touch which neither France nor Switzerland can match. Both in France and Swizerland, the bowl of fondue is usually placed bubbling over aheater in the middle of the table; the diners spear cubes of bread on their forks, plunge them in the common pot and tworl th bread around to coat it with the melted cheese, and then pop the result into their mouths, repeating the process ad infinitum. In Piedmont the fonduta, which has the consistency of a thick cream, is served in individual plates, like soup, or may be poured over slabs of polenta."
---Food of Italy, Waverly Root [Vintage Books:New York] 1971 (p. 318-319)
"Rissoto con Fonduta. This delicate rissoto enfolding a creamy fonduta became a New Year tradition in the Piemont after it was accidentally invented by Cabour's cook in Geneva who had meat to make a souffle base. This is what he turned out instead, and the dish, which crossed the order during the years of the Risorgimento, has since become part of Piemontese tradition. Shaving of white truffle over the top only make it taste better."
---Celebrating Italy, Carol Field [Harper Perennial:New York] 1997 (p. 294)
[NOTES: (1) Recipe included (2) Risorgimento]
"In the elaborate Italian Restaurant one can order the special dishes and wines for which the various provinces of Italy are noted. An outstanding example is the Piedmontese specialty of fonduta with white truffles, accompanied by Barolo, Grignolino or one of the other famous wines of the province."New York Times, May 28, 1939 (p. XX3)
"247. Cacimperio [Cheese Fondue]
Unlke Savarin, I don not consider fondue an important dish, as it seems to me it may only be served as an appetizer for lunch or as a last resort, when nothing better can be prepared. In Italy, fondue is a specialty of the people of Turin. The general opinion being that they prepare it to perfection, I went to the trouble of getting the following recipe from Turin. Having personally tried it out with good results, I pass it on to you. These amounts serve six people.
400 grams (about 14 ounces) of rindless Fontina cheese
80 grams (about 2-2/3 ounces) of butter
4 egg yolks
Fontina is a cheese not unlike Gruyere, but somewhat fattier. Cut the Fontina into little cubes and soak in milk for two hours. Put the butter in a saucepan on the fire, and when it has begain to color, add the Fontina, but only two tablespoons of the mlk in which it has been soaking. Stirring constanty with a mixing spoon, do not allow it to come to a boil. When the cheese has completely melted, remove from the burner and add the egg yolks. Put back on the burner for a short while, still stirring. In winter, pour the cacimperio into a hot bowl. If it has turned out well, it should be neither grainy or stringy. Instead it should look like heavy cream. In Turin, I have seen fondue served with a top layer of paper-thin slices of raw white truffles."
---Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, Pellegrino Artusi, 1892, translated by Murtha Baca and Stephen Saratelli [Marsilio Publishers:New York] 1997 (p. 195-196)
Cut one-half pound of 'Bel Paese' Cheese in slices and soak in milk for half an hour. Pour off milk; put cheese on slow fire and stir until cheese is melted. When cheese is melted and two teaspoonfuls of cream and stir. Take off the fire and while cooling add the yolks of two eggs. Serve on toast."
---display ad, Bel Paese Cheese, New York Times, March 17, 1933 (p. 15(
3/4 pound fontina cheese.
3 cups milk, approximately.
2 tablespoons butter.
6 egg yolks.
1/4 teaspoon white pepper.
1 white truffle, sliced paper thin.
1. Place diced cheese in dish and cover with milk. Let stand at least six hours, if possible.
2. Place one tablespoon of butter and the egg yolks in upper part of double boiler, add cheese and milk and place over boiling water. Beat with a rotary beater whil cheese melts and until it begins to harden. When cheese begins to harden, remove from boiling water, add pepper, truffle and remaining butter and stir to mix well. Serve on toast or with rice or polenta.
Yield: Six servings.
---"Food News: Fonduta...Cross Between Swiss Fondue and Rarebit," June Owen, New York Times, March 1, 1958 (p. 14)
"Bagna Cauda: Hot bath of olive oil, anchovies and garlic. When the air in the vine-covered hills of Piedmont was thick with the aroma of newly made wine, workers once used to gather to share a pot of bagna cauda set over heat in the middle of the table. They would dip crisp raw autumn vegetables into the steamy garlicky mixture of oil, butter, and anchovies. This rustic dish is part of an authentic gastronomic tradition persisting to this day. Centuries ago feudal statutes required that a certain quantity of garlic be grown by each landowner, who was then taxed on it...The oil for the bagna cauda was originally either hazelnut or walnut oil, but a light Ligurian olive oil would be just right today. Bagna cauda is eaten all winter long these days, usually as a first course served in individual pans. When the dip is almost gone, it is a tradition to break an egg or two into the dish and scramble it over low heat."
---Celebrating Italy, Carol Field [Harper Perennial] 1990, 1997 (p. 205)
[NOTE: this book offers a recipe for Bagna Cauda. Happy to send if you want.]
"Uniquely Piedmontese is bagna cauda (bagna caoda in dialect), which means 'hot bath.' I have never encountered it anywhere else in Italy. Perhaps you have to be born in Piedmont to be able to make it successfully; a Milanese cook told me he had tried to produce it, but always wound up with slimy thin unappetizing liquid. Yet it seems simple enough. You heat olive oil and butter, about a quarter more butter than oil by weight, together with a generous amount of chopped garlic, in a saucepan, without browning the garlic. When they are well combined, the saucepan is take off the fire and finely chopped anchovy is stirred into it, along with a bit of salt. The last step is to add thinly sliced white truffles. It is usually placed on the table in little individual bowls over heaters, to keep it hot, particularly important since the vegetables with are dipped in it before being conveyed to the mouth are cold and raw. In Piedmont, the favorite vegetable for bagna cauda is the local specialty, the cardoon, or edible thistle, but if cardoons are not at hand, you can make do with whatever is available--celery, fennel, bits of red or yellow peppers, cauliflower, coarsely chopped cabbage, artichokes, or strips of carrot, singly or in combination."
---Food of Italy, Waverly Root [Vintage Books:New York] 1971 (p. 319-320)
Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking suggests these raw vegetables for Bagna Cauda: Cardoons, artichokes, broccoli, spinach, sweet red and yellow bell peppers, carrots, radishes, Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, zucchini, turnips, scallions, radicchio and endive. (p. 77-79)
Food historians confirm people have been cooking small pieces of meat in hot oil for thousands of years. Asian Wok cookery is a classic example. Our survey of 20th century USA party cookbooks confirms beef fondue, table side cooking beef chunks in hot oil, first surface in the 1960s and proliferate in the 1970s. Like USA cheese fondue, early recipes include notes about the proper equipment and special serving instructions required to achieve the meal. We wonder if beef fondue was introduced to boost sagging sales (what else to do with the fondue pot?) or forecasting the next trend in USA fancy housewares: the wok.
"In French the word fondant means melting, juicy, luscious--a most apt trio of adjectives to describe the many dishes called fondues in which melted cheese plays a key role...a recent trend has developled also to cut small chunks of meat cooked in hot oil with similar equipment fondues. They, too, are buidey and luscuious, and, if the meat is tender, literally melt in your mouth. No host-chef should be without a fancy fondue pot and fondue forks."
Salad oil for cooking
1 1/2 pounds trimmed beef tenderloin, cut in 3/4 inch cubes
Tomato Steak Sauce
Pour salad oil in a beef-fondue cooker or deep chafing dish to depth of about 1 1/2 inches. Place on range; bring to 425 degress. Take to table; place over alcohol burner or canned heat. Have beef cubes at room temperature in serving bowl. Set out small bowls of several or all of the special butters and sauces. Each guest spears a beef cube with fork, holds it in th hot oil unti cooked to desired doneness, then dips it in a sauce on his plate. When salad oil cools so meat no longer cooks briskly, heat oil again on range. An electric saucepan is ideal--it's deep, will heat oil and keep it hot."
---Meals with a Foreign Flair, Better Homes & Gardens [Meredith Press:Des Moines IA] 1963 (p 19)
[NOTES: (1) This recipe is classed as "Swiss." (2)Also includes Swiss Cheese Fondue.]
"Fondue Bourguignonne This dish really needs a separate chapter. There is an ordered ritual for eating it and prescribed utensils and pots for cooking it. But there are many substitute utensils that work well, too, and do not detract from the fun or intimacy of this type of dinner. Each guest will need a plate and 2 forks, one with a long shaft. A casserole or chafing dish is filled with salad oil and kept piping hot over an alcohol flame. The group must be small enough to be within easy reach of the oil--not more than 8 people per pot. A bowl of bite-sized pieces of very tender beef, such as sirloin or tenderloin (8 oz per person), and a variety of sauces are the ingredeints. The guests, using the long handled fork, takes a piece of beef, places it in the boiling oil, where it sizzles delightfully, and cooks it until it is done as much a he desires. He transfers it to his own plate, salts and peppers it and then, using the second fork, dipes it in one of the sauces offered, such as those below."
---The Elegant but Easy Cookbook, Marian Fox Burros and Lois Levine [Collier Books:New York] 1967 (p. 54-55)
[NOTE: sauces include Garlic Butter, Tomato Steak Sauce and Horseradish Sauce.]
Trim fat from 2 pounds of beef tenderloin, boineless top loin or sirloin steak and cut meat into bite-size pieces (3/4- to 1 inch-cubes). Cover meat and refrigerate. About 15 minutes before dinner, arrange meat pieces on 2 lettuce-lined serving plates. Pour salad oil (1/4 melted butter or margarine may be used) into metal fondue pot to a depth of 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Heat oil on top of range to 375 degrees F. or until 1-inch bread cube browns in 1 minute. Place fondue pot on stand and ignite denatured alcohol burner or canned cooking fuel. Guests spear cubes of meat with long-handled forks. They then dip meat into hot oil and cook until crusty on outside, juice and rare inside. Cooked meat is transferred to a dinner fork and dipped into a sauce. 4 servings."
---Betty Crocker's Dinner Parties: A Contemporary Guide to Easy Entertaining, General Mills [Golden Books:New York] 1970, 1974 (p. 49)
[NOTE: Blue cheese and Mock Bernaise sauces are suggested for dipping.]
"Fondue Bourguignonne is easy and fun for a cocktail or dinner party. It consists of dipping bite-size pieces of meal, chicken or seafood into hot oil, boilding them there until cooked to individual taste. The cooked, bite-size piece is then dipped into any one of a number of tasty sauces before eating. Each guests will need a plate, a fondue fork for dipping, and a dinner fork for eating. The fondue fork for eating. The fondue fork becomes much too hot to be used for eating. The prepared sauces should be made available for each guest to put a small portion on his plate. A salad and French bread may be served with Fondue Bourguignonne for a full meal. A good red wine complements a meat fondue well; for seafood, a chilled white wine or rose is appropriate.
1 qt. cooking oil
6-8 oz. top quality beef per person
Cut mat into bite-size cubes. 3/4 to 1 inch thick. If beef is moist, especially if frozen, blot off excess moisture with paper towels to prevent spattering. Set the Cornwall Electric Fondue on a tray, or place a mat under the fondue to catch possible dripping as guests serve themselves. Put oil into the pot, cover the pot and set the temperature control on High. Bring up to just under boiling. Turn heat down and keep just under boiling. When serving fondue, remove the cover and let each guest spear the meat with his fondue fork and dip into hot oil for 10-20 seconds to cook. After cooking, the guest should remove his fork from the pot and take the meat off with a regular dinner fork. The fondue fork is too hot to use for eating.The guest may then dip his meat into any one of the sauces before eating. Recipes for different sauces are included in the last section of this booklet. After serving, let the oil cool so it may be saved for your next fondue party.
"Variations on the meat or beef fondues
In the same way that you can make a number of variations with cheese fondue recipes, so you can vary from beef in the 'beef fondue.' Try one or more of these beef alternatives, using the same cooking process as for 'Fondue Bourguignonne.'
1. Chicken breasts: Cut into cubes, pat dry and cook as for beef.
2. Marinated chicken: Combine 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/4 dup dry sherry, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger. Put cubed chicken into marinade, cover and chill one hour. Just before serving, drain well and dry with paper towels. Cook as with beef.
4. Fish: Cut one pound slice (1/2 to 3/4 inches thick) salmon, halibut or swordfish into 1/4 X 2" strips. Dip into hot oil until cooked and lightly browned. Then dip into curry, tartar or seafood sauce.
5. Shrimp: Use one pound shelled, de-veined, washed and dried raw shrimp. Cook in hot oil until it turns pink. Use same sauces as for fish. For faster cooking, use precooked shrimp.
For and elegant, variety-filled dinner, arrange several of these prepared foods on a platter and surround them with a variety of appropriate sauces. All of this can be prepared in advance."
---Electric Fondue Cookbook, [Cornwall Corporation:Boston] undated, probably early 1970s(p. 7-8)
Related food? Tempura.
Chocolate fondue is mid-20th century with several claimants with regards to "invention." Early recipes are baked dessert variations of "American-style" breadcrumb souffle also called fondue.
"In 1952 chef-owner Konrad Elgi of New York's Chalet Swiss restaurant made a fondue bourguignonne, made with beef cubes cooked in hot oil, that became an overnight sensation that spread rapidly to other restaurants. In the early 1960s Egli, who noticed that many of his diet-conscious customers avoided his rich chocolate desserts, consulted with his public-relations agent, Beverly Allen, and came up with a chocolate fondue (introduced on July 4, 1964) into which one dipped pieces of cake, fruit, or cream-puff pastry--a variation completely unknown in Switzerland but one that became popular even there within the last few years."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 130).
We can confirm Chocolate fondue was on NYC's Suisse Chalet menu in the 1980s: ("Restaurants: Chalet Suisse," Mimi Sheraton, New York Times, December 19, 1980 (p. C22)"Chocolate fondue--a tiny ceramic casserole of silky chocolate kept hot over a burner can be dipped into with bits fo fruit or tiny fluted profiterolles." and "Chalet Suisse...Desserts, Chocolate Fondue for Two .00," ---display ad, New York Times, February 10, 1985 (p. 72)). Before then, all we're finding are references to cheese and beef fondues. We are still looking for print evidence confirming the 1964 Konrad Elgi's 1964 claim offered by Mr. Mariani. Popular 1970s/80s USA chocolate maven and cookbook author Maida Heatter also credits NYC Chalet Suisse but does not mention chef or date.
Our survey of USA newspapers confirms recipes titled "Chocolate Fondue" existed from the 1930s forward. Most were the standard baked breadcrumb souffle version. The earliest print reference we find for chocolate fondue meaning fork-dipping small edible items into a communal pot of warm creamy sauce is from 1966. Articles confirm this food was introduced at the National Fancy Food and Confection show in September of that year. Recipes proliferated the following month. Special chocolate fondue pots were agressively promoted by upscale housewares stores soon thereafter. Free samples, anyone?
"For dessert...chocolate fondue, which comes in candy bar form to be made into hot chocolate sauce into which you dip pieces of fruit, as you would dip bread cubes into cheese fondue, and chocolate-coated whole chestnuts."
---"Fancy Cooking," Jeanne Lesem, UPI Women's Editor, Daily Review, Hayward California, September 11, 1966 (section 5, p. 4).
"Chocolate fondue: greatest! the new 'hip' spear and dip dessert that makes a party frolic of the afterdinner fruit. Make it and serve it in the Copco sauce warmer from Denmark...handsome, top-of-the-stove enamel on cast iron pot (1 pint, in yellow, blue, olive, burnt orange or white) with iron candle stand to keep any sauce hot at table! Complete with recipes.....95."
---disply ad, Ellie Conanson Contemprary Design," New York Times, May 6, 1967 (p. 12)
Add 1/3 cup sugar and 2 squares chocolate melted over hot water, just after the egg yolks are added...Fondue may be served with hard sauce, with cream (plain or [sic] whippet)."
---"Women's Interests," Fitchburg Sentinel [MA], April 1, 1931 (p. 10)
[NOTES: (1) Headnote of this recipe states: "A fondue differs from a souffle in that bread crumbs or small pieces of bread are added." (2) Other fondue recipes included are: cheese, vegetables, fish, ham, date, and Swiss fondue (served on toast). (3) Number of egg yolks in above recipe is not specified.]
"Chocolate Fondue: Hot Dessert
2 squares (ounces) unsweetened chocolate
1 cup milk
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
1. Add chocolate, broken in pieces, to milk. Heat till chocolate melts; stir till blended.
2. Add crumbs, butter, sugar, salt.
3. Beat egg yolks slightly. Stir in a little of the hot milk, add to milk mixture, cool.
4. Beat egg whites till stiff; fold into cooled mixture.
5. Turn into a five-cup greased baking dish. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) about forty minutes. Serve hot with whipped cream. Yield: Four servings."
---"Our Daily Bread," Jane Nickerson New York Times, September 8, 1957 (p. SM46)
"When a savory fondue is not the main course feature new Chocolate Fondue for dessert. In small chafing dish melt 2 bars (3 oz. each) broken up, Swiss honey-almond milk chocolate. Add 1 cup cream, 2 tbsps. congac (omit for children). Stir over low flame until melted. Serve with lady fingers, orange segments, etc. for dipping. Enough for 4-6 persons."
---"Here are Secrets of Fondue Dinner," Charleston Daily Mail [WV], October 6, 1966 (p. 28)
[NOTE: this exact article was published in several USA newspapers about the same time, under different titles.]
1 cup evaporated milk
2 cups chocolate bits
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup orange-flavored liqueur
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
Combine milk, chocolate, butter, liqueur and vanilla in fondue pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted nad smooth. Mix in almonds. Makes 3 cups.
"Mocha Chocolate Fondue
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 sq. unsweetened chocolate
1 7-oz jar marshmallow creme
1/3 cup coffee liqueur
Melt butter, chocolate and marshmallow creme together, stiffing ocasionally to mix. Add coffee liqueur and stir well. Makes 4 to 6 servings."
---"Dippers to Go With Dessert Fondue," Los Angeles Times, October 2, 1969 (p. I16)
[NOTES: (1) Foods suggested for dipping are: fresh fruits (strawberries, bananas, apples, oranges, tangerines & pineapple), crisp cookies, ladyfingers, meringues, marshmallows, large salted nuts, pound cake or angel food cake. (2) Other dessert fondues offered: Fondue Cafe (cream cheese, Gruyere cheese, hot coffee), Dippity Orange Chocolate Fondue, Angel Fondue,& Caramel- Orange Fondue.]
Fondue is French for melted; a fondue is a melted food. Originally it was a melted cheese dish served with chunks of bread. It is probably the most popular dish from Switzterland. The recipe has come a long way to this chocolate version--a fun dessert, created at the Chalet Suisse restaurant in New York City. It is especially good for a casual party. To serve it properly ytou need a fondue pot or some other way of keeping the chocolate warm. And it must be within comfortable reach of all the guests; on a very long table you need more than one fondue pot. (It is most cozy to serve this on a round tables with a lazy Susan in the middle.) You will serve the warm chocolate mixture and an assortment (few or many--it's up to you) of dunkable foods. The dunkables may be on one large platter, or many small ones, or each guest can be served a plate with an assortment. Most commonly they are well-drained pineapple chunks which may be fresh, canned, or frozen and thawed. (Some fonduers rave about the delicious quality of frozen pineapple chunks dipped in the warm chocolate. If you want to try that, the pineapple, which may be fresh, canned, or froen and thawed, should be well drained. Each chunk should have a toothpick stuck in it to lift it with. The pieces should be frozen--not touching each other--on a foil-covered tray.) Fresh strawberries are wonderful. So are orange sections, apple wedges, banana chunks, ladyfingers, graham crackers, chunks of angel food or pound cake. And marshmallows, candied orange and grapefruit peel. Dried figs, dried apricots, pitted dried prunes and dates. And most especially (seriously, these are divine), saltines, pretzels, and plain salted but unflavored matzohs. Long-handled fondue forks might or might not be necessary depending on the dippers you serve. Some of them (saltines, pretzels, graham crackers) are finger-food. But some dried fruits, marshmallows, or squares of ound cake will require a fondue fork for each person. I think it is best to make the chocolate mxture in the kitchen and transfer it to the fondue pot just before serving. Fondue recipes are very flexible. You can vary the chocolate and the liquors. Just remember to keep the mixture thick; it should coat the dunkable items heavily." ---Maida Heatter's Book of Chocolate Desserts, Maida Heatter [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1978 (p. 369-371) [NOTE: Ms. Heatter offers three chocolate fondue recipes featuring Toblerone, Hershey and Maillarid's brand chocolate products.]
"Chocolate Royale Fondue
1 6-ounce package semisweet chocolate morsels
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups light or heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
Dash of salt
Dash of cinnamon (optional) 1-inch squares of pound cake
Pineapple and banana chunks
Apple and orange slices
Seedless green grapes
Melt all chocolate in top of double boiler. Add next six ingredients and stir until smooth and thickened. Pour into fondue pot r chafing dish. Spear cubes of cake or fruit with fondue forks and dip into fondue."
---The Total Woman's Cookbook: Marabel Morgan's Handbook for Kitchen Survival, Marabel Morgan [Fleming H. Revell Company" Old Tappan NJ] 1980 (p. 148-149)
Related food? Chocolate gravy.
The origin and evolution of Welsh Rabbit (aka Welsh Rarebit) differs according to one's point of view. Certainly, combinations of melted cheese and toasted bread have been enjoyed in several cultures and cuisines for thousands of years. The proceedings of this particular recipe hinges on political persuasion.
"There is no evidence that the Welsh actually originated this dish of toasted cheese, although they have always had a reputation as cheese-lovers. A more likely derivation of the name is that Welsh in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was used as a patronizingly humorous epithet for any inferior grade or varitey of article, or for a substitute for the real thing...Welsh rabbit may therefore have started life as a dish resorted to when meat was not avialable. The first record of the word comes in John Byron's Literary Remains (1725): 'I did not eat of cold beef, but of Welsh rabbit and stewed cheese.' Although the term is often used simply for a slice of bread topped with cheese and put under the grill, the fully-fledged Welsh rabbit is a more complicated affiar, with several variations: the cheese (classically Cheddar or Double Gloucester...) can be mixed with butter or mustard, beer or wine, and it can be pre-melted and poured over the toast rather than grilled...Welsh rabbit has of course produced one of the great linguistic causes celebres of gastronomy with it genteel variant Welsh rarebit. There is little doubt that rabbit is the original form, and that rarebit (first recorded in 1785) is an attempt to folk-etymologize it--that is, to reinterpret the odd and inappropriate-sounding rabbit as something more fitting to the dish. Precisely how this took place is not clear; it has been speculated that rarebit was originally rearbit, that is, something eaten at the end of a meal, but there is no actual evidence for this. However that may be, the spurious rarebit has continued to be preferred up to the present day by those who apparently find honest-to-goodness rabbit slightly vulgar."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 365)
"One thing which is not in doubt is Welsh fondness for cheese...The real problem is to find a plausible explanation for 'rabbit'. This difficulty has caused some authorities to declare that the term should really be 'rarebit', meaning a choice morsel. However, this does not work. The 'rabbit' version has been found in print as early as 1725, whereas 'welshe rarebit' was first recorded 60 years later...One piece of evidence of which the significance is difficult to discern is that Hannah Glasse (1747) gives four of these rabbit-cheese recipes: one for Scotch-Rabbit, one for Welch-Rabbit, and two for an English-Rabbit....Graham (1988) is one recent authority who should definitely be consulted about these mysteries, to which he devotes several pages. He remarks that: 'The French have always prized the Welsh rabbit. To the best of my knowledge, the dish first appeared in a French cookbook in 1814, when Antoine Beauvilliers published a recipe for wouelsch rabette (lapin gallois) in his L'Arte du cuisiner. But it really came into fashion when Anglomania was at its height around the turn of the century. In L'art des mets, published in 1959, the French gourmet Francis Amunategui remembers the atmosphere, decades earlier, at the then very British restaurant, The Criterion... Anglophiles flocked there specially to order Welsh rabbit (by that time spelt correctly but usually abbreviated to le welsh) and wash it down with English ale in pewter mugs.'"
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2006 (p. 844)
[NOTE: See below for Hannah Glasse's recipes & others]
"The English, the Scots, and the Welsh do not always get along as well as most Americans might presume. The English traditionally scorned the Welsh as poor and not always trustworthy...When a new dish of melted cheese on toast was devised in the eighteenth century, it was jokingly called Welsh Rabbit, meaning that a Welshman, too poor to have meat, would call his cheese a rabbit. The alternative spelling, Welsh Rarebit, developed later and is imitative. If a Welshman had some cheeese, it would be a "rare bit."
---Rare Bits: The Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [University of Ohio Press:Athens OH] 1998 (p. 124)
"I like the story that this dish, so much like fondue, got its name when Welsh wives, waiting anxiously, spied ther husbands or sons returning from a hunt empty-handed and set cheese before the fire to melt, as a substitute for a dinner of game. But my friend Paul Leyton,...has delved into the musty past to come up with an explanation of why Welsh Rabbit is sometimes called Welsh Rarebit. In England...there was a time when hors d'oeuvre were known as "forebits," because they were served in advance, and the characteristic savouries that come at a meal's end on British menus were called "rearbits"--hence the rarified pronunciation "rarebit.""
---The World of Cheese, Evan Jones [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1970 (p. 158)
"Welsh Rabbit.--Let the Welsh tell their own take in the words of Lady Llanover:--"Welsh toasted cheese and the melted cheese of England are as different in the mode of preparation as is the cheese itself; the one being adapted to strong digestions, and the other being so easily digested that the Hermit frequently gave it to his invalid patients when they were recovering from illness. Cut a slice of the real Welsh cheese, made of sheep and cow's milk; toast it at the fire on both sides, but not so much as to drop; toast a piece of bread less than a quarter of an inch thick, to be quite crisp, and spread it very thinly with fresh cold butter on one side (it must not be saturated with butter); then lay the toasted cheese upon the bread, and serve immediately on a very hot plate. The butter on the toast can of course be omitted if not liked, and it is more frequently eaten without butter." It is quite intelligible that one cheese should be more wholesome than another; but that there is any marked difference in digestibility between cheese toasted and cheese melted or stewed, is difficult to believe. In case the wandering Englishman should suddenly feel in his travels of a sort of home-sickness, and desire to partake of Welsh rabbit, let it be known that in Viard's cookery book, which has a great reputation, the recipe is quite correctly given; and that on this authoritiy the said Englishman may safely call either for Wouelche Rabette or for Lapin Gallois."
---Kettner's Book of the Table, E.S. Dallas, facsimile 1877, preface by Derek Hudson, London edition [Centaur Press:London] 1968 (p. 486)
Origin of this dish from the Welsh point of view:
"The Welsh had an early passion for roasted, or toasted, cheese--caws pobi (caws cheese, pobi roasted), the forerunner of what became known eventually as Welsh Rarebit. From medieval times there are numerous references to it, and by Tudor times it had become something of a national dish. References to Welsh efforts to trade for the hard cheeses, especially of Cheddar, they coveted for roasting, confirm that the acidity of the soil in such a large part of Wales produced milk more suited to making soft cheeses of whole, or at least only semi-skimmed milk matured for a short time; though this is not to say that hard, well-matured, less rich cheeses were not made in some places. The poem in dialect by Dewi Emrys contains the line (in translation)'...and a hunk of a fine cheese', yet the soil in that part of west Wales is notoriously acid--hence the proliferation of lime kilns along that coast. But perhaps the cheese was made from ewes' milk, always specified as an alternative to Cheddar for caws pobi because of its sharp-flavoured hardness."
---Traditional Food from Wales, Bobby Freeman [Hippocrene:New York] 1997 (p. 31)
"The Welsh loved the hard English cheeses which they could not easily produce themselves because of the soft, acid soil which covered such a lard part of Wales. Those who lived in east Wale, in the old counties of Monmouth and Glamorgan, and perhaps parts of Breconshire and Radnorshire, too, drove their flocks of sheep to barter for the Cheddar cheese they wanted above oall for their saws pobi (literally toasted or roasted cheese) for which they had a passion since at least medieval times. In areas of Wales where Cheddar cheese was unavailable, ewes' milk cheese was used for caws pobi, as it had been form earliest times. Eventually this Welsh specialty became known as 'Welsh Rabbit'; finally, about the end of the 18th century we find the term 'rare-bit' coming into use. Nearly all the southern and western English counties had a 'rabbit', and all were on the same lines--either toasted or melted cheese, or a cheese sauce with the addition of beer and mustard, and sometimes onion. I think caws pobi was a part of Welsh fare much too early on, and the term rabbit too commonplace throughout Britian to give credence to the popular tradition that the dish was meant to replace the rabbits the English landlords forbade their Welsh tenants to catch. But it is a fact that there are few recipes in Welsh collections for rabbit dishes, though rabbits mush have been taken to supplement an impoverished diet...Lady Llanover gave precise instructions for caws pobi in her Good Cookery."
---ibid (p. 153-4)
[NOTE: See Kettner for Lady Llanover's discourse.]
English Welsh Rabbit recipes through time:
"To Make a Scotch-Rabbit. Toast a piece of Bread very nicely on both Sides, butter it, cut a Slice of Cheese, about as big as the Bread, toast it on both Sides, and lay it on the Bread.
"To make a Welsh-Rabbit. Toast the Bread on both Sides, then toast the Cheese on one Side, and lay it on the Toast, and with a hot Iron brown the other Side. You may rub it over with Mustard.
"To make an English-Rabbit. Toast a Slice of Bread brown on both Sides, then lay it in a Plate before the Fire, pour a Glass of Red Wine over it, and let it soak the Wine up; then cut some Cheese very thin, and lay it very thick over the Bread; put it in a Tin Oven before the Fire, and it will be toasted and brown presently. Serve it away hot."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain & Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 97)
"To make a Scotch Rabbit. Toast a Piece of Bread on both Sides, butter it, cut a Slice of Cheese about as big as the Bread, toast it on both sides, and lay it on the Bread."
"To make a Welch Rabbit. Toast the Bread on both Sides, then toast the Cheese on one Side, lay it on the Toast, and with a hot Iron brown the other Side. You may rub it over with Mustard."
"To make a Portugal Rabbit. Toast a Slice of Bread brown on both Sides, then lay it in a Plate before the Fire, pour a Glass of red Wine over it, and let it soak the Wine up; then cut some Cheese very thin, and lay it very thick over the Bread; put it in a Tin Oven before the Fire, and it will be toasted and brown'd presently. Serve it away hot with Sugar over it, and Wine poured over." "Or do it thus. Toast the Bread and soak it in the Wine, set it before the Fire, cut your Cheese in very thin Slices, rub Butter over the Bottom of a Plate, lay the Cheese on, pour in two or three Spoonfuls of White Wine, cover it with another Plate, set it over a Chafing-dish of hot Coals for two or three Minutes, then stir it till it is done, and well mixed. You may stir in a little Mustard; when it is enough lay it on the Bread, a just brown with a hot Shovel. Serve it away hot."
"An Italian Rabbit. Toast a Slice of Bread, butter it, put upon it a Slice of Cheese the Length of your Bread, Let that be toasted; then put upon the Cheese some Mustard and Pepper, then Parsley minced, and upon the whole some Anchovies, in Pieces, very thick, to serve away."
---The Lady's Companion [J. Hodges:London], 6th edition with large additions, 1753 (p. 264-5)
"TOASTED CHEESE, or WELSH RARE-BIT.
1652. INGREDIENTS.—Slices of bread, butter, Cheshire or Gloucester cheese, mustard, and pepper.
Mode.—Cut the bread into slices about 1/2 inch in thickness; pare off the crust, toast the bread slightly without hardening or burning it, and spread it with butter. Cut some slices, not quite so large as the bread, from a good rich fat cheese; lay them on the toasted bread in a cheese-toaster; be careful that the cheese does not burn, and let it be equally melted. Spread over the top a little made mustard and a seasoning of pepper, and serve very hot, with very hot plates. To facilitate the melting of the cheese, it may be cut into thin flakes or toasted on one side before it is laid on the bread. As it is so essential to send this dish hot to table, it is a good plan to melt the cheese in small round silver or metal pans, and to send these pans to table, allowing one for each guest. Slices of dry or buttered toast should always accompany them, with mustard, pepper, and salt.
Time.—About 5 minutes to melt the cheese.
Average cost, 1–1/2d. each slice.
Sufficient.—Allow a slice to each person. Seasonable at any time.
Note.—Should the cheese be dry, a little butter mixed with it will be an improvement."
---Mrs. Beeton's Book of Cookery, Isabella Beeton
"Welsh Rarebit.---Cut half a pound of a mellow Gloucester cheese into thin slices. Put an ounce and a half of butter upon a plate and knead it before the fire with a tea-spoonful of unmixed mustard and a pinch of cayenne till it looks like thick cream. Cut from a large laof a round of bread half an inch thick. Trim away the crust, toast the bread, and butter thickly. Lay half the cheese upon it, pour half the seasoned butter upon that, and add, first the remainder of the cheese, then the rest of the butter. Put the bread in a Dutch oven before a clear fire, and let it remain until the cheese is melted. Serve very hot. Time to toast the cheese, twenty minutes. Probalbe cost, 6d. Sufficient for two or three persons."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations, [Cassell, Petter, Galpin:London] 1875 (p. 1107)
"Cheese, Toasted or Welsh rarebit.--Cut some slices of the crumb of bread about half an inch in thickness, and toast them lightly on both sides. Lay on them in some slices of good, rich cheese, and put them in a cheese toaster till the cheese is melted. Spread a little made mustard and pepper over them, and serve on very hot plates. It is most desirable to send this dish to table quite hot, as without this it is enirely worthless."
---ibid (p. 120)
Like every other cook, my own recipe for Welsh rarebit exeed all others in quality. There is not a dish in the whole list that has so many methods of making, all more or less alike, but the simple change of seasoning gives different results. To each pound of soft Aemrican cheese allow a teaspoonful of Worcestershire sauce, six tablespoonfuls of musty ale or beer, a saltspoonful of salt, a dash of red pepper, a saltspoonful of white pepper, a teaspoonful of horeseradish, one clove of garlic. Chop or grate the cheese. Rub the pan or chafing dish with the garlic. Mix all the seasoning with the cheese. Put the ale or beer into the saucepan; as soon as it is hot and boiling, throw in the cheese and stir constantly and continuously until smooth and creamy. Toward the last, beat rapidly. Turn it on to a very hot platter that has been nicely covered with toasted bread. Serve at once. The yolks of two eggs may be added to the cheese before heating."
"A Homely Rarebit
1 pound of chcese
A teaspoonful of Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoonfuls of cream
Yolks of three eggs
1/2 teaspoonful of salt
A dash of red pepper
Beat the yolks of the eggs and cream together. Add the seasoning to the cheese. Turn the whole into a saucepan; stand over the fire, stir and beat until smooth and creamy. Serve on toast at once."
---Mrs. Rorer'sNew Cook Book, Sarah Tyson Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia] 1902 (p. 272-3)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups American cheese, cut up small
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup ale (or cream
Melt the butter; add the cut up cheese, the salt, paprika, and mustard. When melted, add the ale (or cream). Stir rapidly and constantly until smooth. Pour over hot buttered toast."
Tomato Welsh Rarebit
1 can tomato soup
1 cup hot water
1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
1 lb American cheese
1 egg, separated
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Empty soup into small saucepan; add hot water and thinly sliced onion and let simmer until onion is tender, or about 10 minutes. Cut cheese into thin slivers, then gradually stir cheese into tomato soup and continue stirring until all is perfectly blended. Remove saucepan from fire, add beaten egg yolk into which the seasonings have been beaten. Return saucepan to very low heat and let cook for 1 minute. Then add the egg white which has been whipped to a froth. Stirr egg white well until the mixture is like a souffle. Serve on toast or crackers."
---Mystery Chef's Own Cook Book, John MacPherson [Blakiston Company:Philadelphia] 1934 (p. 286-287)
"Welsh Rabbit is the English version of a fondue. The cheese used would be a dry 'flavoury' cheddar. Ale replaces the kirsch, otherwise rabbit is made in much the same way as a fondue. Ideally it should be made on the table in a chafing-dish, hot toast and hot plates being provided and the rabbit poured bubbling on them. Buck rabbit is a Welsh rabbit with a poached egg on the top. 4 oz. dry well-matured cheddar cheese
1 oz. butter
1/2 gill brown ale
salt, pepper, cayenne
hot buttered or plain toast
Thinly slice or grate the cheese. Put into a shallow saucepan or chafing-dish with the butter, ale, and seasonings, set over a gentle heat and stir continouously until melted. Do not allow to get too hot. When smooth and creamy pour immediately over the toast. Dust with cayenne and eat at once."
---The Constance Spry Cookery Book, Constance Spry & Rosemary Hume [Pan Books:London] 1956 (p. 751)
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed Cheddar cheese soup
1/4 cup milk
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed tomato soup
6 slices toast or crackers
Stir cheese soup until smooth. Gradually blend in milk and tomato soup. Heat; stir often. Serve over toast or crackers. 4 to 6 servings."
---Easy Ways to Delicious Meals, Campbell's Soup Company, revised edition [Campbell's Soup Company:Camden NJ] 1968 (p. 62)
Related foods? Fondue & grilled cheese.
Food experts generally agree that French Fries, as we Americans know them today, originated in 18th Europe. Most likely? France or Belgium. A survey of historic cookbooks confirms the history is closely intertwined with another popular potato product: potato chips. Why are they called "French?" Two theories are offered: 1. They come from France 2. They are named for the method by which they are cut. "Frenched" means cutting vegetables in long, thin strips. Advances in technology made French fries economical and ubiquitous. Frozen French fries were introduced in 1948. Today, American "French Fry" type products are also known by several different names: steak fries, curly fries, long branch. They are also known in other countries by other names: Chips [Great Britian] and Pommes Frites [France], for example. 19th century American cookbooks offer similar recipes under several names, including Saratoga Potatoes, confirming the popular (& often indistinquishable) relationship between fries and chips. What you put on your French fries depends upon where you live.
Who invented the French Fry?
No one knows for certain. We do know, however, the practice of deep-frying foods dates to Medieval times. Fritter-type foods were quite popular in Northern Europe, especially as fast-food. Potatoes are a "New World" food, introduced to Europe during the Columbian Exchange. Recipes for frying sliced raw potatoes surface in the early 18th century.
"The art of deep-frying was perfected in France during the late eighteenth century. Deep-fried potatoes took on a variety of shapes and names. By the late eighteenth century, deep-fried potato sticks or fingers were called pommes de terre frites, which was shortened to pommes frites...The US President Thomas Jefferson...made a note of a recipe for 'Pommes de terre frites a cru, en petites tranches' (raw potatoes cut into small strips and fried), which may well have reflected this tradition. As pommes frites became more common the name was further shortened to frites, and these were commonly served at fashionable dinners and restaurants throughout France and Belgium during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries...In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the culinary term chips was applied to small slices or chunks of vegetables and fruit...and potatoes. Most chips were made by drying or dehydrating...but potato chips were fried. In England, this 'chip' terminology became ingrained in 'fish and chips.' These were originally popularized by a newly arrived Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe, Joseph Malin, who opened the first combined fish and chip shop in London in the 1860s...The term 'French fried potatoes' was used by the British cookbook author Eliza Warren, whose Cookery Works for All Maides (1856) includes a recipe for fried potatoes cut into long strips. Warren's cookbook, with her 'French fried Potatoes' recipe, was published in the United States in 1858, and the recipe was picked up in turn by American cookbook writers."
---Potato: A Global History, Andrew F. Smith [Reaktion Books:London] 2011 (p. 60-61)
[NOTE: Eliza Warren's recipe here.]
Modern American popularity
"Beginning in the early twentieth century, potato fires were occasionally served in American cafes, diners and roadside eateries, but this delectable finger food required considerable effort to prepare. The cook had to peel and cut the potatoes according to demand; left uncooked, cut potato sticks would turn grey The frying fat (usually lard) had to be kept at a constant temperature of 340-70 degrees F...if too many potatoes were dropped into the fryer at once, the fat would cool down, resulting in flabby, greasy fries. French fries must be served fresh and hot, or they quickly turn soggy and limp. Employees had to be trained to meet these exacting standards, a time-consuming process. And working around a vat of boiling hot fat could lead to disastrous accidents--a fact that convinced many restaurant managers that French fries just were's worth the trouble. During the Second World War meat was rationed and became scarce in the United States. Cafes, diners, snack bars and roadside stands had to serve something to round out their downsized or unavailable burgers. Potatoes remained plentiful and cheap, and they were never rationed. During the war French fries became a staple on many restaurant menus around the nation. By the time that rationing ended after the war, Americans had taken a liking to french fries and their sales increased. However, some restaurant chains, such as White castle, stopped serving them because the deep-frying set-up posed a danger to their workers. However, during the 1950s safer fryers came on the market, and French fries became a fixture on the fast-food industry. French fries, which are more profitable than hamburgers, were a flagship item oat the fledgling McDonald's restaurant chain. The founders of the chain, Richard and Maurice McDonald, believed that French fires were one of the most important factors in their success. They perfected the frying process and promoted the relationship between hamburgers and fries. The brothers used Russet Burbank potatoes, which were peeled daily and cut into very thin sticks, and cooked them in special fryers that turned out very crisp fries...French fries had been commercially frozen since 1946, but most home cooks didn't want to be bothered with deep frying, and the potatoes' flavour was lacklustre. In 1953 Idaho potato-grower J.R. Simplot started producing frozen French fries, and four years later a Canadian firm, McCain Foods Ltd., began making them. The new product eliminated tasks of peeling and cutting, but the potatoes still had to be deep fried, which deterred home cooks. There was little interest from restaurants...because of the accidents and fires that deep fryers often caused. Simplot concluded that the real market for his frozen fries was the booming fast-food business, and he sought out chains that might be interested in the labour-saving benefits of frozen fries. Simplot met Ray Kroc in 1965, and the French-fry world was changed forever. Working with the Simplot potato company. McDonald's researchers devised ways of freezing raw fries and retaining their flavour and texture...Today, French fries are the simple most popular fast food in America."
---Potato: A Global History, Andrew F. Smith [Reaktion Books:London] 2011 (p. 76-80)
"Whether crispy strips or crackling, paper-thin chips, French fries came to the United States from France. American legend suggests they were "invented in Saratoga Springs, New York, in the early 1850s, but recipes for deep-frying exceedingly thin slices of raw potato had long been appearing in published French work, at least as early as 1795-1796, with the anyonymous, revolutionary La Cuisinere Republicaine. In 1824 Mary Randolph gave a recipe "To Fry Sliced Potatoes" ...so it would seem that even in the United States, paper-thin, deep-fried potatoes were known decades before they were introduced as "Saratoga chips." Indeed, directions for deep-frying sliced raw potatoes appear in a document in Thomas Jefferson's hand that clearly dates from the years 1801-1809, his years in the President's House when he had a French chef...In both France and America, early pubished recipes call for very thin slices of raw potato to be deep-fried until crackling crisp, but some authorities believed that deep-fried strips of potatoes had been sold by vendors on the bridges of vieux Paris well before the appearance of the recipe of 1795...Throughout the nineteenth century, potatoes were fried in a variety of shapes and sizes. During the 1870s some types of fried potatoes were standardized into particular shapes and sizes. Those that were round and extremely thin became potato chips. Those that were long, rectangular, and approximately one-fourth of an inch thick, became "french fried potatoes," a name that had been shortened to "french fries" in 1918. By the early twentieth century french fries were served in cafes, diners, and roadside eateries. Although franchised fast food establishments had been around since the 1920s, french fries did not become an important part of their menu until World War II, wehn rationed meat became scarce and fast food hamburger stands sought alternatives."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 511-2)
""French fries,"....are easily the most popular form of potato preparation in America and are a staple of fast-food restaurants. In France they are called pommes frites and were not mentioned in French print until 1858, and in 1868 as a low-class food item. In England they are known as "chips," first mentioned in a letter Oscar Wilde dated March 1876...The term "french fry" has nothing to do with the country of origin, but instead refers to a method, called "frenching," of cutting the potatoes into narrow strips. The Oxford English Dictionary, which traces "French-fried potatoes" back to 1894, suggests the usage is American in origin. "French Frieds" dates to 1915; "french fries" to the 1930s..."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 133)
"To Fry Sliced Potatoes.
Peel large potatoes, slice them about a quarter of an inch thick, or cut them in shavings round and round, as you would peal a lemon; dry them well in a clean cloth, and fry them in lard or dripping. Take care that your fat and frying pan are quite clean; put it on a quick fire, watch it, and as soon as the lard boils and is still, put in the slices of potatoes, and keep moving them till they are crisp; take them up and lay them to drain on a sieve; send them up with very little salt sprinkled on them."
---The Virginia House-wife, Mary Randolph, originally published 1824, with Historical Notes and Commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 118)
"Potatoes Raw or Cold, To Fry. Wash, peel, and put them into cold water for one or two hours, cut the into slices about half an inch thick, and fry them a light brown in boiling clarified beef suet. Cold boiled potatoes, cut in slices, may be done in the same manner."
---The Cook's Own Book, Mrs. N.K.M. Lee, facsimile 1832 edition [Arno Press:New York] 1972 (p. 150)
"French Fried Potatoes. --Cut new potatoes in thin slices, put them in boiling fat, and a little salt; fry both sides of a light golden brown colour; drain dry form fat, and serve hot."
---Cookery of Maides of All Work, Eliza Warren (p. 88)
"Potatoes...To fry raw ones, wash, pare, and slice them thin; fry several slices of fat salt pork till crisp; take them oput, and fry the sliced potaotes in the hot fat, which will take nearly or quite a half-hour. Where they touch the frying-pan they will brown, and must be stirred often, or they will burn if the fire is hot."
---The Homekeeper, S.F. Farrar [stereoptyped and printed by Rabd, Averyy, & Co.:Boston] 1872 (p. 69-70)
"Fried Potatoes. Pare and slice thin raw potatoes, and let them stand in cold water several hours; if in summer, put a piece of ice in the water. Cut the slices lengthwide of the potato. Have ready a basin with boiling drippings or lard, drain the potatoes a minute in the cullender, and drop them into the boiling fat, and dry a light brown; take then out with a skimmer, and lay them in a dry cullender, which should be placed in a tin pan and set in an open oven. There should be as much fat as for frying doughnuts, and there should not be any more potatoes put in at a time than will fry brown and not stick together. Have the basin in which you take the potatoes up, dredge a little salt over them. When potatoes are cooked in this manner, they will be light and crisp. If they do not get cooked enough first, they are very much improved by dropping them into the fat for one minute, after they have been standing in the oven a while."
---The Appledore Cook Book, M. Parloa [DeWolfe, Fiske and Company:Boston] 1886 (p. 60-61)
When were frozen French fries introduced?
The J.R. Simplot Company [Idaho]gets the credit for making and marketing the first commercially produced French fries in the United States. Their product debuted in 1948. McCain (Maine) launched in 1956; Ore-Ida went national in 1965. Coincidentally? Commerical french fry machines were perfected in the mid-1950s, about the time McDonalds began.
Extracted from the "Origins of Simplot" on company Web site [accessed April 13, 2003]:
"The company's technical staff, led by chemist Ray Dunlap, ran tests on canning and freezing fruits, berries and processed potatoes. The company was also excited about a new process for instant mashed potatoes. All told, J.R. Simplot and his employees looked optimistically to the postwar future. With consumer acceptance of frozen peas and carrots already established, 27-year-old Ray Dunlap's experiments with freezing potatoes took on increasing importance to the company's postwar plans. Dunlap, a mining chemist by training, joined the company in 1942 to organize the food laboratory at the Caldwell plant. He is considered by many to be the individual most responsible for the development of the frozen french fry.
"Going from Dunlap's initial breakthrough to the development of an economically feasible, marketreceptive frozen french fry was a long and arduous journey for the Simplot Company and the processed potato industry. For J.R. Simplot and the group of dedicated young managers who came into the company in the postwar years, those early days presented a series of challenges. With his food and fertilizer businesses on the cusp of a major growth spurt, the pressure on the company's founder to maintain the momentum of the war years mounted... Far from slowing down, shedding the day-to-day responsibilities at Caldwell and Pocatello freed Simplot to do what he liked to do best: pursue new opportunities at a breakneck pace, while keeping tabs on his growing enterprise.
"During these postwar years, the reputation of both J.R. Simplot and his company grew measurably...From a production standpoint, the development of the frozen french fry presented many technical obstacles, all of which had to be circumvented through original engineering as well as trial and error.
The Simplot Company's first attempt to produce commercial frozen french fries came in 1948, using a converted potato chip fryer. The company's technical staff, led by Ray Dunlap and Ray Keuneman, soon discovered that, unlike the potato chip, the french fry strips sank in the fryer's boiling shortening. The rakes that were designed to move the potato chips along the fryer as they floated in hot fat had no effect on the french fries that were sinking to the bottom of the fryer. Another major obstacle was that the oil-fired fryer broke down the vegetable oil rapidly. The key technological breakthrough in early 1953 focused on the development of a continuously running fryer. Previous methods had been limited to a batch process because of a breakdown in the oil used to fry the potato strips. By developing a way to constantly circulate the oil and to purify it periodically through a centrifuge, the scientists were able to put an end to the limitations of the batch process. With the barrier to feasible mass production removed, the company recognized it needed to create a professional sales organization. Such an organization wasn't necessary during the war years because Simplot had only one customer the U. S. government. The company's wartime experience had, however, helped to establish contacts in the food industry, including the nation's premier frozen food companies. Although the company did achieve modest success in selling frozen fries at the retail level, both J.R. Simplot and Leon Jones felt the potential for the product was greater at the institutional level. However, it was the household consumer in these early years, not the restaurant chef, who embraced the product. For the homemaker, the task of finishing frozen fries in an oven was preferable to using a deep fat fryer. Convincing restaurant operators proved to be more difficult.
"A national shortage of potatoes in 1950-51 played a fortuitous role in the company's efforts to break into the institutional market. Having already contracted a large quantity of potatoes prior to the shortage, the company had leverage to penetrate some of the larger Midwestern and eastern institutional markets that it previously had not been able to crack. Coinciding with the company's increasing success with mass-producing and marketing french fries was an explosion in the frozen potato industry. Between 1951 and 1961, the annual total production of frozen potato products industrywide increased from 25 million pounds to nearly 484 million pounds."
---SOURCE: Simplot Company
[NOTE: This information from this site was accessed in 2003. Current page [February 13, 2010] does not provide this level of detail.]
"In 1945, Ray Dunlap was a chemist at the Simplot lab in Caldwell. He wanted J.R. to give him a freeze box so that he could practice freezing vegetables. "Hell," J.R. told him, "you freeze spuds and they will go to mush." He bought the guy a 10 foot box anyway and a few months later J.R. was tasting hot french fries that had been previously frozen. "I ate some and said, 'My God, good product.'" They used the dip method at first, then built automatic machines. Within six months Simplot had a 10,000-ton cold storage facility and a 60-ton per day ice manufacturing plant. They also made potato granules, which became "instant mashed potatoes." He didn't try to protect his frozen french fry patent, at first. "Hell, it was just a lawsuit you know, back in those days. Then I got one after I met with McDonald's and gave them the patent to get their business. I had all their business for 10 or 15 years."
---Range Magazine, Summer 1998 (no longer available on the Internet)
Want some ketchup with that?
Some of us can't imagine anything but ketchup with our fries. Other folks pair these crispy spuds with different flavors.
"A small cult of condiments has built up around French fries and chips. Salt is a universal, but other condiments vary with locale: ketchup is king in the United States, while malt vinegar and tartare sauce are commmon when chips are served with fish in Great Britain. Mayonnaise is the topping of choice in Belgium, and Indonesian-style sate sauce is popular in the Netherlands. English-speaking Canadians sprinkle their fries with white vinegar, while in Quebec fries are served topped with cheese curds and brown gavy, a dish called poutine. A grated white brine cheese, called sirene, is commonly serve on fries in Bulgaria; in Poland, a garlic sauce is preferred. Filipinos like their fries with a cheese sauce, while sugar and butter are prefered in Vietnam. Wattie's tomato sauce (a brand of ketchup) is a necessity in New Zealand."
---Potato: A Global History, Andrew F. Smith [Reaktion Books:London] 2011 (p. 78-79)
"Poutine. This word named many kinds of food in Quebec and Acadia. Here we discuss only the modern Quebec dish and provincial uses of the word. For details on Acadian use as in poutines rapees and poutine au pain, please see the poutine entry under Acadian foods. Now pronounced [poo-TSIN] in Canadian French, the word stems ultimately from the English word pudding. Facinatingly, it has been borrowed at least four different times into French. Le pudidng was in French print by 1678 to denote a pudding steamed in a cloth bag. This acquired several varints including le pouding, and, in northern France, poudin...The most recent reincarnation...of poutine happened in Quebec in the fall of 1957, and made poutine the most familiar Quebec food word in North America...Today's poutine is a serving of thick-cut French fries, topped with fresh cheese curds and hot gravy poured on top of the curds before serving...served in a little gravy dish on the side so the fries do not get soggy. Two men claim to have invented this poutine in the fall of 1957 in a region called Bois-Francs 'hardwoods' just south of the St. Lawrence. In Warwick, Quebec, near Victoriaville, halfway between Montreal and Quebec City, Fernand Lachance, 'le pere la poutine,' and is wife Germaine operated the Cafe Ideal. One of the piliers du cafe 'regulars' was truck driver Eddy Lainesse. Now the region of Bois-Francs is dairy country, famous for its fresh cheese curds, and M. Lachance sold little boxes of the fresh curd in his eatery. One autumn day, Eddy Lainesse suggested mixing the cheese curds with fries. Et viola! The gravy was not beef gravy ad first, but Germaine Lachance's special recipe of brown sugar, ketchup, and a plop or two of Worcestershire sauce. After interviewing these three innovators for the October 8, 1997, edition of the Globe and Mail, reporter Tu Thanh Ha points out just how popular this poutine is in the province."
---Canadian Food Words, Bill Casselman [McArthur & Company:Toronto] 1998 (p. 162-164)
"...perhaps first borrrowed--with the spelling poutine--from the English word pudding by the Acadians, this food term has acquired many meanings in Quebec and Acadia. Here is discussed only Acadian uses of the word...Poutine rapees are the most famous Acadian potato dumplings made from two parts of grated raw potatoes squeezed dry in a cotton bag, and from one part plain mashed potatoes and formed into a ball about--as one Acadian cook told me--'the size of the fist of my petite tante Yvonne.' In parts of New Brunswick, a hole in the centre of each poutine is stuffed with diced salt pork. To cook these poutines drop two or three into water at a rolling boil then simmer for two and a half hours. Poutines rapees may also be plunked into a gently bubbling fricot. Poutine en sac is another of the old European puddings steamed in a cloth bag, so many of which have made their way to Canada with names like son-of-a-gun-in-a-sack, bugger-in-a-bag, cloutie from Scotland, and figgie duff from Newfoundland. Also called poutine a la vapeur, the pudding is some variant of a lard-sugar-eggs-flour-milk-baking-powder mixture to which is added raisins and perhaps blueberries, apples, cranberries-- whatever's in season. This doughy delight is mixed together to form a large ball, put in a cotton bag tied up with string, and placed on a wire mesh rack in a large pot with an inch of water. The steaming takes two hours. A double-bottomed pot may be used, or a double boiler if you want to forego the bag...Poutine en sac can be served with sweet cream, brown-sugar sauce...or slices of fried pork. There are also Acadia poutines that resemble pies (poutine a la melasse) and bread puddings (poutine au pain)." ---Canadian Food Words, Bill Casselman [McArthur & Company:Toronto] 1998 (p. 122-123)
The popular history behind French toast (aka German toast, American toast, Spanish toast, Nun's toast, Cream toast, Breakfast toast, Mennonite toast, Pain Perdu, Panperdy, Arme Ritter, Suppe Dorate, Amarilla, Poor Knights of Windsor) is that it was created by medieval European cooks who needed to use every bit of food they could find to feed their families. They knew old, stale bread (French term "pain perdu" literally means lost bread) could be revived when moistened with milk and enriched with eggs. The traditional method of cookery was on a hot griddle prepped with a little fat (butter, oil). Quite like today.
Actually, recipes for "French toast" can be traced Ancient Roman times. Apicius simply calls it "Another sweet dish." Linguistic evidence confirms the connection, as one of the original French names for this dish is "Pain a la Romaine," or Roman bread. Culinary evidence confirms "French toast" was not just a food of the poor. Recipes printed in ancient and medieval texts employed white bread (the very finest, most expensive bread available at the time) with the crusts cut off. In many cases, expensive spices and almond milk were listed as ingredients. This is not something a poor, hungry person would have eaten. It is also important to note that until very recently, cook books were not written for the the "average" person. Only the noble, wealthy, and religious leaders were taught to read. The recipes contained in them reflect the meals of the upper classes.
"French toast" recipes exist in many countries and cuisines.The beauty of this simple dish is that it can be as basic or fancy as the cook pleases. "French toast" is most often eaten for breakfast, although some variations are enjoyed for dessert. It has also been incorporated into popular other dishes, such as the Monte Cristo sandwich. Did you know if you go to France it is unlikely you will find "French toast" on the menu? That's because in France the dish is called "pain perdu!"
"...what amounts to French toast seems to have been popular throughout [medieval] Europe. But everyone seems to have has his own name for the dish: Maestro Martino and some English authors called it "suppe dorate" and "soupys yn dorye" respectively, while French writers favored "tostees dorees," reserving the word "soupe" for slices of bread soaked in the potage (which gives rise to the expression "trempe comme une soupe," the French equivalent of "soaked to the skin"). Eventually, as we know, the world "soup" would come to mean the actual liquid in which these soupes were soaked. Other English sources surprisingly call this dish "payn purdeu," clearly the same as today's French name, "pain perdu." And of course the modern English term is "French toast": what goes around comes around. In England and in Italy, these golden brown bread slices were served with game meats and with peacocks and other grand birds. We do not know exactly how they were used in France even though there are several otherwise undefined menu references to venaison aux soupes, "game meat with sippets." In any event, we have once again thrown in our lot with Maestro Martino, because his recipe is the most polished of them all, using rose water where no one else thought to do so. Still, some of the English recipe are not without delicacy, specifying that the butter for frying the toast should be clarified (gently boiled to separate out its impurities, which prevents burning) and that the bread would be soaked not in whole eggs but in beaten egg yolks that have been put through a sieve to make them perfectly smooth and creamy."
---The Medieval Kitchen, Recipes from France and Italy, Odilie Redon et al, [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1998 (p.207) Maestro Martino's recipe.
"French toast is a dish we have borrowed from the French, who call it "pain perdu", or lost bread...It is known in England as the poor knights of Windsor, which is the same phrase used in many countries: "fattiga riddare" in Sweden; "arme ridder" in Danish; and "armer ritter" in German. One theory about how the latter name came about goes as follows: In olden times, one of the symbols of distinction between the gentry and the common herd was that the former were expected to serve dessert at dinner. Knights, of course, were gentry. But not all of them were rich. Those who were not, in order to maintain their status, made do with "armer ritter'," often served with jam."
---Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia [Times Books:New York] 1985 , Craig Claiborne (p. 178)
Interested in old recipes?
[Ancient Rome] "Another sweet dish
Break [slice] fine white bread, crust removed, into rather large pieces which soak in milk [and beaten eggs] Fry in oil, cover with honey and serve." ---Apicius Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome, edited and translated by Joseph Dommers Vehling , recipe 296 [Dover Publications:New York] 1977 (p. 172)
"Suppe dorate (Gilded sippets)
Take slices of white bread, trimmed so that they have no crusts; make these slices square and slightly grilled so that they are colored all over by the fire. Then take eggs beaten together with plenty of sugar and a little rose water; and put the slices of bread in this to soak; carefully remove them, and fry them a little in a frying pan with a little butter and lard, turning them very frequently so that they do not burn. The arrange them on a plate, and top with a little rose water colored yellow with a little saffron, and with plenty of sugar."
---The Medieval Kitchen, Recipes from France and Italy, Odilie Redon et al, [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1998 (p.207)
(recipe translated from Libro de arte coquinaria, Maestro Martino )
[15th century] Payne Puredew
"Payne Puredew. Recipe shyves of whyte brede & toste юam; юan take юe yolkes of egges & swyng юam, & turn юe brede юerin, & fry it in grece or buttur, & serof it forth. French Bread. Gather slices of white bread and toast them; then take the yolks of eggs and stir them, and turn the bread therein, and fry it in grease or butter, and serve it forth."
 "To make the best Pamperdy"
To make the best Pamerdy [Pain perdu], take a dozen Egges, and break them, and beat them very well; then put unto them Cloves, Mace, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and good store of Sugar, with as much Sall [salt] as shall season it: then take a Manchet [bread of the finest quality], and cut it into thick slices like Tostes; which done, take your Frying-panne, and put into it good store of sweet butter, and being melted, lay your slices of bread, then powr [pour] upon them one half of your Egges then when it is fryed, with a dish turn your slices of bread upward, and then powre on them the other halft of our Egges, and so thurn them till both sides be brown; then dish it up, and serve it with Sugar strewed upon it."
---The English Hous-wife, Gervase Marhkam [London] (p. 57-8)
 Pain Perdu, or Cream Toasts
Having two French Roles, cut them into Slices, as thick as your Finger, Crumb and Crust together, lay them on a Dish, put to them a Pint of Cream, and half a Pint of Milk; strew them over with beaten Cinnamon, and Sugar, turn them frequently, till they are tender; but take care not to break them, then take them from the Cream with a Slice, break four or five Eggs, turn your Slices of Bread in the Eggs, and fry them in clarified Butter. Make them of a good brown Colour, not black; scrape a liggle Sugar on them. They may be served for a second Course-dish, but fittest for Supper."
---The Art of Cookery, made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse [London] (p. 84)
[NOTE: supper was the early evening meal. It typically consisted of light fare. Dinner (the early afternoon meal) was considered the main meal of the day at that time.]
 "Egg toast, or bread sauteed
Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook Book, Mrs. D. A. Lincoln
 "American Toast
To one egg thoroughly beaten, put one cup of sweet milk, and a little salt. Slice light bread and dip into the mixture, allowing each slice to absorb some of the milk; then brown on a hot, buttered griddle or thick-bottom frying pan; spread with butter, and serve hot."
---White House Cook Book, Mrs. F. L. Gilette(p. 246)
 "French Toast (Amarilla)
4 slices sandwich bread
1/3 cup milk
Sugar and cinnamon mixture
Cut bread as for toast, without removing crust. Beat egg slightly, add milk. Dip bread slices with a fork into milk mixture, moistening well on both sides, not too wet. Cover bottom of a hot skillet one inch or more with hot or rendered butter. Brown moistened bread quickly as soon as dipped, first on one side then on the other in hot butter. Do not cook more than two or three slices at one time. If cooked too slowly, toast will be greasy. Drain and sprinkle while hot with confectioner's sugar and cinnamon mixed together."
---Every Woman's Cook Book, Mrs. Chas. F. Moritz (p. 509)
 "French Toast
Portion: 2 slices; recipe for 100 portions
3 1/2 pints eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 gallon liquid milk
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
200 slices bread, day old
Mix ingredients (except bread) together, lightly and thoroughly
Make-up: Dip slices of bread into egg mixture. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes. Coat each slice thoroughly. Fru on hot greased gridde or in hot deep fat at 360 degrees F. for 2 to 3 minutes or until browned. Note.--1. Serve with maple sirup, jam, jelly, confectioner's or granulated sugar. 2. 14 ounces powdered eggs and 2 pounds 12 ounces (1 3/8 quarts) water may be used in place of 3 pounds 9 ounces eggs."
---Cook Book of the United States Navy, Bureau of Supplies and Accounts, NAVSANDA publication No. 7, revised 1944 [US Government Printing Office:Washington DC] 1944 (p. 351)
 "French Toast (6 slices)
Popular for breakfast or lunch.
Dip 6 slices stale bread into mixture of 2 beaten eggs, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup milk. Brown both sides in butter on hot griddle. Serve hot with maple syrup, jelly, honey, or sprinkling of confectioners' sugar.
"Oven French Toast
A handy way to do many slices at one time
Heat oven to 500 degrees F. (very hot). Place dipped slices on greased baking sheet. Bake about 10 min., until browned. Serve hot as for French Toast above."
---Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book, revised and enlarged, 2nd edition [McGraw-Hill Book Company:New York] 1956 (p. 86)
Related foods? Cinnamon toast, Pancakes, bread pudding & cinnamon buns.
We are delighted to share the origins and evolution of fried cheese sticks (aka pipefarces, fried cheese, mozzarella marinara, mozzarella in carrozza) with you. Sorry...not finding any specific chef or restaurant claiming to be the "first" to put this appetizer on the culinary map. Family-oriented chains (Applebees, Olive Garden, TGIFridays, Chili's, Bennigans & such likely share the credit for mainstreaming this item. Our survey of historic USA newspaper articles confirms the fried mozzarella sticks, as we know it today, gained national dining attention in the early 1970s. A delicious parade of bread encased fried cheese menu offerings marched through the this decade into the next. By the mid-1980s fried mozzarella sticks morphed from "traditional" to "cliche." Also worth noting: fried cheese was not strictly the limited to the provenance of Mozzarella. In sum: this "All American" appetizer appears to be a hybrid dish inspired by the collective cuisines of northern Italy/southern Switzerland/Mediterranean France. Where bubbling hot bready cheese concoctions are signature dishes. Think: fondue.
Most folks are surprised to learn that Medieval Europeans enjoyed breaded, fried cheese products. The English called them "Pipefarces" back in the day. Countries specializing in dairy products (notably Italy, Switzerland, France, England, Netherlands) were among the first to investigate novel ways to serve cheese and related dairy products. Earliest references to fried cheese (custard, etc.) strike our modern palates as dessert dishes. Savory or sweet, fried cheese graced tables as Lenten fare. History notes, original recipes & modernized offerings here.
"60. Fried Cheese.
Fry pieces of rich cheese, neither obviously aged nor obviously fresh, in a pan suited to them, with either butter or fat. When they are becoming tender, turn them, and take them out immedately. They must be sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and eaten hot."
---On Right Pleasure and Good Health, Platina, critical 1475 edition translated by Mary Ella Milham [Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies:Tempe AZ] 1998 (p. 385)
"Fried cheese balls are delicious...Mix into the cheese chopped parsley, a dash of cayenne, a pinch of salt, and two drops onion juice. Mold into balls, dip in egg and bread crumbs, and fry in boiling lard before serving. Another fried cheese...is made of te English or ordinary American cheese cut in strips like French fried potatoes. Dip these in seasoned egg and bread crumbs and fry in deep fat when ready for use."
---"Special Uses for Cheese," New York Times, April 23, 1911 (p. X9)
"To make guests feel welcome, most hostesses like to offer something to eat and drink fairly soon after the greetings are completed...A hot hors d'oeuvre is particularly attractive in cold weather...There are some delicious concoctions that may be completed in the kitchen in a matter of minutes...The first is for a light an flavorful cheese ball that may be prepared and cooked in a matter of minutes. The second is for a much more solid by equally delicious cheese square that may be made ahead up to the final frying. It is one version of a dish that is very popular in Europe---particularly in Belgium, where it is known as fondue Bruxelloise.
"Cheese Puff Balls
fat for deep frying
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (preferably white)
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Fine, dry bread crumbs
1. Heat the fat to 365 degrees.
2. Combine the crumbs, cheese, egg yolks and seasonings to taste. Gently fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.
3. Form the mixture into small balls and roll thoroughly in dry bread crumbs.
4. Place, about five at a time, in a wire basket and cook in the hot fat until a deep golden brown, about two minutes. Serve immediately. Yield: About twenty balls.
"Fried Cheese Squares
6 tablespoons (three-quarters of a stick) butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup plus one tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 quart milk
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1 large bay leaf
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 egg yolks
Fine, dry bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1. In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until transparent. Stir in the flour and salt and , when well blended, add the hot milk. Stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Add the thyme and bay leaf. Place over simmering water and cook one hour. Rub through a fine sieve, then return to the saucepan.
2. Blend the cornstarch to a smooth paste with a little water. Stir into the sauce and cook, stirring, one minute. The mixture must be very, very thick. Stir in the grated cheeses.
3. Beat the egg yolks lightly. Beat in a little of the hot mixture, then add to the remaining sauce and cook, stirring, about one minutes. Spread the mixture in a greased nine-inch square cake pan and chill.
4. When cold and set, cut into one and one-half inch squares. Roll each square in crumbs, then dip in beaten egg. Roll again in crumbs, until evenly coated. Refrigerate until ready to cook. (The squares may be made a day or two ahead of service).
5. Cook the squares in hot deep fat until golden brown, cooking only three or four at a time. Keep warm in the oven while the remainder are cooking. Yield: About thirty-six squares."
---"Food News: Cheese That Whets the Appetite," Nan Ickeringill, New York Times, January 31, 1962 (p. 34)
"Fried Mozzarella Sandwiches
12 slices bread
1 lb. mozzarella cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oil
Cut crust off bread slices. Thinly slice mozzarella cheese to make sandwiches. Cut into halves diagonally. Dip sandwich halves into beaten eggs then into flour, and again into eggs. Heat oil in skillet and dry sandwiches until golden on both sides. Makes 6 servings."
---"Italian Dishes Capture Yankee Tastes," Los Angeles Times, October 16, 1969 (p. F20)
"Fried cheese is Italian in origin, but certain Southern California restaurateurs have made it a regional California specialty. Several Italian-style or Swiss-Italian restaurants serve it as the appetizer course, piping hot form the fry kettle and wit a ribbon of savory sauce over the golden crusted cheese. In this spot as the first time for hungry diners, fried cheese makes a fantastic impression. It is a mystifying dish. Even the most skilled recipe detectives are baffled by the savory melting cheese encased in a crisp but light crust. Yet fried cheese is so simple any average home cook can do it easily. It is well adapted to restaurant service since the cheese is coated with breading and refrigerated for awhile before it is fried. This do-ahead feature makes it feasible for a home cook who can't or doesn't like to manage last minute jobs. Mozzarella is th usual cheese which is breaded and fried, however some chefs use Tallegie. Fried cheese may be a luncheon entree.
Seasoned bread crumbs
Oil for frying
Cut cheese into 3X2X1/2" pieces. Dip into beaten egg, then four and into egg again, then into seasoned bread crumbs mixed with Parmesan cheese (1 tablespoon Parmesan to each 1 cup crumbs). Place breaded cheese in a single layer on a plate and chill at least 30 minutes. Fry in 1/2 inch hot oil until browned on one side, turn and brown on the other. Drain on absorbent paper. For each appetizer, spoon 3 tablespoons sauce onto each small plate, put a cheese piece in the sauce, top with more sauce, then two anchovies."
---"Fried Cheese," Jeanne Voltz, Los Angeles Times, September 12, 1971 (p. Q38)
"Mozzarella en Carrozza (a deep-fried mozzarella sandwich)
12 slices white sandwich bread
3/4 pound whole milk mozzarella cheese
Flour for dredging
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Peanut, vegetable or corn oil for deep frying
1. Place six slices of bread on a flat surface. Using a sharp knife, cut the mozzarella cheese into size square slices of equal thickness. Or cut the cheese on its side into 12 rectangles. Place on square of cheese on each of the six slices of bread or place two rectangles of cheese side by side on the bread. Cover with remaining bread slices. Neatly trim off the crusts of the bread. Cut the sandwiches into rectangles, or triangles if you prefer.
2. Dredge the sandwiches top and bottom and on the sides in flour.
3. Beat the eggs with ilk, salt, and pepper. Carefully dip the sandwiches in this mixture, keeping the sandwiches intact as you turn them. After coating with batter it will help if you skewer each sandwich with two toothpicks.
4. Heat the oil for deep frying and carefully drop the sandwiches into it, one at a time. Using a slotted spoon, turn the sandwiches in the oil so that hey brown evenly. When golden brown, drain the sandwiches on absorbent toweling. remove the toothpicks and serve with anchovy sauce spooned over. Yield: 6 servings."
---"Great Sandwiches: Works of Art," Craig Claiborne, New York Times, April 27, 1977 (p. 52)
"Every once in a while, a serious eater feels cheated at not having heard about a very good restaurant that has been in existence for a considerable time. That's exactly how we felt about Girafe, the crowded but not talked about Italian restaurant on 58th Street just east of Third Avenue...Although the cooking at Girafe is billed as North Italian, there are a number of delectable Neapolitan specialties, and the overall style of the cooking suggests a fine southern Italian hand at work somewhere in the kitchen...Among the appetizers we especially liked the spiedino di mozzarella, fried cheese and bread cubes blanketed with a thick anchovy and butter sauce..."
---"Restaurants: An Italian discover fills a tall order," Mimi Sheraton, New York Times, November 25, 1977 (p. 79)
"...tasty deep fried mozzarella sticks."
---Restaurant review, Joseph's, 412 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Woodcliff Lake, NJ, "Dining Out," Ann Semmes, New York Times, April 20, 1980 (p. NJ29)
"Domenicos in Belmont Shote, named one of the ten best pizza restaurants by the Los Angeles Times You Magazine, has added a number of tasty items to its regular menus....Fried Mozzarella Cheese (.80)."
---"New Dishes added to Domenico's," Los Angeles Times, February 5, 1981 (p. SE9)
"Standard fried mozzarella sticks..."
---Restaurant review, Old Timbers, 555 Millbrook Ave., Randolph NJ, "Rustic Fare in Randolph," Valerie Sinclair, New York Times, September 8, 1985 (p. NJ23)
[EDITOR'S PERSONAL NOTE: this restaurant was later called The Barn, aka The Millbrook Barn, owned by the Buttofucco family. It was one of our family's favorites. The place burned down and is now a parking lot for Randolph Township School busses.]
"The appetizer list, after struggling through cliches as fried mozzarella sticks..."
---"Theme Restaurant Goes too Far with Identical Sauce, Cutesy Jokes," Los Angeles Times, March 13, 1986 (p. SD_A11)
ABOUT FRYING There are many methods of frying. The common thread among them is the food in question is introduced to an open metal pan that is coated, filled or otherwise engaged with some sort of fat (oil, lard, butter). As such, frying was not one of the first methods of cooking employed by prehistoric man. This method required the ability to mine, melt, and shape ore into workable utensils (aka frying pans). Historians call this era the Bronze Age. There are many books and reference sources you can use to study this period. The earliest print references to "frying" are found in ancient literature. Deep frying is practiced in several cultures and cuisines. Extreme deep frying is a distinctly American phenomenon. Fair food to the max.
"Although the Romans, unlike the Greeks, apparently did not expound on the relative merits of boiled versus roasted meat, Varro's idea was that the different techniques for cooking meat were discovered one after the other, first roasting...then boiling...and finally stewing...and to many contemporaries this sequence represented qualitative improvement. As for frigere (loosely, "frying"), the word had two meanings: it referred on the one hand to the toasting of grains and on the other hand to vigorous cooking in a hot liquid other than water, a liquid which...was not consumed with the prepared dish. This "frying" was similar to our cooking in fat when oil was used by different when other liquids or mixtures were involved."
---Food: A Culinary History, Jean-Louis Flandrin & Massimo Montanari [Columbia University Press:New York] 1999(p. 132)
"Copper frying pans have been found in Harappan sites, and these were termed pravani in later Sanskrit literature. In the Rigveda there is mention of the apupas being deep-fried in ghee...and in the Dharmasutras, deep-fried vatakas...are mentioned. Later apakva, based on the word pakva for cooking in general came to mean frying. The modern Hindi terms, all based on Sanskrit, for frying of spices is baghar, for shallow meat frying bhunao and for deep-frying in a vessel, talna. Frying is perceived as an auspicious act, and i is not allowed in a house of death during the mourning period. Fried meat occurs repeatedly in old Tamil literature as thallita-kari. Another word for suc meat is porikari, where pori signifies fried."
---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 74)
About deep frying
The challenge of researching the history of deep fried food 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. Mrs. D. A. Lincoln in her Boston Cooking School Cook Book  provides detailed instructions for deep frying, although she does not use that term. Her notes on here.
Food historians tell us one of the first foods known to be deep fried (cooked by total immersion in oil or lard) are fritters. Apicius, the ancient Roman cookbook author, provides recipes for sweet and savory fritters in his 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. Although deep-fat fried foods are known in many cultures and cuisines, the Dutch were are said to have perfected this recipe, expanding it to crullers and doughnuts.
"Deep-Fat Frying. With deep-fat frying, foods are submerged in hot oil. Because of the expense of the oil or because of the difficulty of this method, deep-frying is associated with celebrations, festivals, and street carnivals. American street fair vendors commonly serve deep-fried corn dogs, elephant ears, and funnel cakes. Deep-fat frying, also called deep-frying, is popular for breads, like southern cornmeal hush puppies, as well as for battered food, such as seafood or vegetables. Some food categories such as tempura, croquettes, and fritters are always deep-fried. In India, poori breads are deep-fried, while parath breads of whole wheat, potato, pea, chickpea, and corn are both griddle- and shallow-fried. Poori bread is puffed up whole-wheat bread, much like chapati, another Indian bread that rather than being deep-fried is fried or "baked" on a griddle. While European and Western cooks deep-fry with a single frying, the Chinese deep-fry in stages...Batters reduce surface moisture, and a dryer surface reduces initial boiling. In addition, batters add color, flavor, and texture to many deep-fat fried foods."
---Encyclopedia of Food and Culture, Solomon H. Katz editor in Chief [Thomson Gale:New York] 2003, Volume 2 (p. 80)
"Deep fried items could be cooked in a variety of receptacles including frying pans with tall sides, Dutch ovens, and woks. Kitchen collectibles catalogs confirm specially designed "deep fat fryers" were made available in second half of the 19th century. These were generally wire or mesh baskets with long handles, enabling cooks to maintain a safe distance while immersing and retrieving items from vats of bubbling oil. This basic design is still employed today. "While deep-frying foods, cooks need a safe way to remove cooked food from dangerously hot fat. With a frying basket, a cook lowers cut-up food into the fat all at once and then removes it as soon as cooking is complete. In the late 1800s paired, close-fitting baskets--called bird's nest baskets--were used for frying various sizes of "nests" of cooked noodles or rice that were filled with other foods before being served. Large deep-fryer sets comprised of a stamped-iron kettle and a high, fixed hoop from which was hung a removable wire or perforated basked. These devices were commonly used for frying large batches of foods such as crullers, doughnuts, and potatoes."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 536)
Historic notes on selected deep fried foods:
Extreme deep frying?
What makes a deep fried food "extreme?" Borrowing the idea from extreme sports, it's what happens when regular foods are pushed it beyond normal expectations. Extreme deep fried foods are classic fair fare. It's everything we're not supposed to eat, times ten.
Modern American sampler of extreme deep fried foods:
Deep fried candy bars
"Lisa from Mason City, Iowa, phoned in this development in fair food technology. Consider this an early warning. Our local news broadcast a report from the Iowa State Fair introducing a new concoction: the deep-fried candy bar. The individuals who invented it worked all winter to find a batter that would stick to a candy bar. It cooks up in 3 minutes, looks like a square corn dog; inside is a Snickers or Milky Way or whatever you want. They just fry it up, and it tastes like a brownie. Heads up- might be on its way to the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Count on it. I'm stunned that no one came up with this before. As a grease-fat-sugar delivery system, the deep-fried candy bar would seem to be a natural; add a Snickers bar, and you have grease, fat, sugar and salt. Eat the stick, and you have fiber, too."
---"Batter up! Iowa's newest creation is fried candy bar; Grease, fat, sugar - they're three great tastes, but do they taste great together?," James Lileks, Star Tribune, August 27, 1999, Backfence; Pg. 3B
"The fair is a vegan's nightmare. Healthy living and small portions are anathema, and grease the dominant food group. Of 160 food stands, only one sells the state's celebrated corn. "Get rid of the bad rap - eggs are back" reads the Iowa Egg Council brochure. Corn dogs are not just for breakfast, but for every hour of the day. The Veggie-Table does not sell salads - which are elusive here - but deep-fried crudites. There also is "refreshing deep-fried ice cream." This is home to imaginative cuisine de baton, allowing for the fair's top leisure activity: Ingesting and Ambulating. If the folks here can get it on a stick (and better yet, if they can deep-fry it and get it on a stick), they'll serve it to you: bologna on a stick, chicken on a stick, pickle on a stick, cheesecake on a stick, pork chop on a stick, and the new deep-fried candy bar on a stick. Deep frying is a way of life, and no one knows this better than Juana Hernandez. She was married to Joe, who passed away last year. Joe Hernandez was a genius, for he invented the deep-fried taco. Joe and Juana's Taco Stand, a staple for 25 years, is second in popularity only to the mammoth turkey legs available at sundry stands. "The reason is, we've never changed our prices and we only use pure vegetable oil, 20 gallons every three days," Hernandez said. She works each day from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. "We've done it for so long, it's a way of life," she said. Two years ago, due to demand, the Hernandez family finally opened a year-round restaurant in Des Moines. The income from a successful stand is considerable: some booths clear ,000."
---"America on a Stick wtih its Livestock Shows...," Karen Heller, The Philadelphia Inquirer, AUGUST 29, 1999 (p. G1)
"Leave it to someone at a State Fair to combine calories with cholesterol and sell it on a stick. Drawing rave reviews as the fab food of this year's Nebraska State Fair is the "Sweet Treat Fried Candy Bar," which made its debut earlier this year at the Iowa State Fair. The Milky Way, Salted Nut Roll, Three Musketeers or Snickers bars dunked in sweet chocolate batter and fried in a tub of vegetable oil look like a deflated corn dog. But their taste - which fans say is like a hot-fudge sundae or a gooey brownie - has drawn a crowd of the culinary curious to the small food stand run by Tecumseh, Neb., concessionaire Jeff Campbell and his fiancee, Linda Buss. "I'd give it five thumbs up," said 64-year-old Mary Lou Martin of Lincoln, a veteran of 32 fairs. "It's the best thing since turkey drumsticks." Coming up with something new amid a jungle of wooden stands and metal trailers selling fair standbys such as cotton candy, funnel cakes, candy apples and snow cones is the ultimate coup for a food booth. When you stick that new treat on a wooden stick, it just about guarantees success. "It's the ultimate fair food. You can walk around and eat it," Buss said."
---"Look Out, Stomach: It's the Fair's Fried Fare," Omaha World Herald, Paul Hammel, September 1, 1999 (p. 1)
"The new-food buzz at the State Fair _ and you can be sure it's a sugar buzz _ concerns the deep-fried candy bars, found on Carnes Avenue in front of the Pizza Palace. Your choice of Snickers, Three Musketeers, Milky Way or Oreo cookies is dipped in batter and fried in oil for .50. It looks like a Pronto Pup coming out of the oil. "Oh, it's really good," said Candi Davison, of Lakeville, biting into a Three Musketeers. Her neighbor, Heather McCaustlin, then took a bite. "Heaven on a stick," she said. Jeff Beaver, a veteran fair vendor from North Carolina, said he perfected the sweet, rich confection after much testing of batters and temperatures. The candy bar must be cool but not frozen, so it keeps some semblance of its shape in the fryer...Another new food isn't getting quite as much attention: Deep-fried celery sticks are being sold by Ed Porcelli from his Spaghetti Eddie's booths on Cooper Street behind the Merchandise Mart. "It's an old Italian recipe. My great-great-grandmother used to make it, only with burdock stalks instead of celery," said Porcelli, another fair road warrior who travels the country with his spaghetti and deli wagons much of the year."
---"New treats in the land of deep-fried delights; Candy bars and celery are latest food buzz at State Fair, whether 'heaven' or 'awful'," Joe Kimball, Star Tribune, August 24, 2001 (p. 4B)
"In this era of extreme sports and extreme clothing, Olivia Orme's concessions family is bringing patrons at the Indiana State Fair what she can only refer to as an extreme edible. How else would you classify a calorie-slamming, sweet-tooth-jarring treat like the deep-fried candy bars? "This is extreme food," said Orme. "I would highly recommend them," said Joe Caffee of Berne. "I just wish they were bigger." Caffee rates the deep-fried Snickers bar right up there with his favorite elephant ears and dairy-bar milkshakes. After introducing the "amazing onion" that blooms in a deep-fried batter and large roasted turkey legs to fairgoers in recent years, the Orme family of Carousel Concessions, Corydon, was on the lookout for the latest and greatest fair food. They discovered it at the Minnesota State Fair, and debuted their own version at the Florida State Fair in Tampa in February."It's just the newest thing," said Orme, whose stands are stationed in front of the Pepsi Coliseum."
---"It's new to eat, fried and sweet; Concessionaires coat candy bar with batter and cook it in oil for a tasty sensation," Patti Denton, The Indianapolis Star, August 10, 2002 (p. 1F)
"Deep-fried candy bars on a stick and deep-fried Twinkies. Yes, you read correctly - deep-fried TWINKIES. These new delicacies will debut at the Puyallup Fair when gates open tomorrow. Fair organizers are hailing them as "a culinary delight for all ages!" and predict they'll be "big sellers."
---"Deep-fried--Yikes!" Linda Bebedetti, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 5, 2002 (p. 1)
The fair, which opens today, will debut deep-fried candy bars and, oh yes, deep-fried Twinkies. "Get ready to stand in line," laughed Karen LaFlamme, the fair's publicist. Clint Mullen, owner of a Pasco-based fair vending operation, added fried Twinkies to his menu of fried Milky Ways, Three Musketeers and Snickers at last month's California State Fair in Sacramento. He watched in amazement as upward of 3,000 of the fat-laden treats flew from his stand each day. "People were coming up to our stand and saying they saw us on CNN," Mullen said. "They were the hottest item at the fair." So how do they taste? Fried Twinkies take on a crispy outside texture, while the insides transform into a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture that some have compared to fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts. (The calories, meanwhile, shoot up from 150 to more than 500 calories per deep-fried Twinkie.)"
---"Puyallup Fair has new treats in store," Ross Raihala, The Olympian, September 6, 2002 (p. 5W)
"It all started with church fish fries, born of necessity because Chet Miller lost his railroad job when the Depression hit. That family business, now involving Miller's children -- and their children, and now their children -- has evolved into something that the patriarch probably couldn't have imagined: battered and deep-fried candy bars, cakes and cookies, most of them served on a stick. It's standard fare at fairs these days, including the Indiana State Fair. Olivia Orme, Chet Miller's daughter, and her husband, Larry, have seen the evolution of fair food firsthand.She grew up in the middle of it -- plopped into a sling as a baby and suspended from a beam during the cooking, she'd get a gentle push whenever someone walked by with an order. During the years, Orme recalled, her father built and expanded his business, which became more sophisticated and professional. From church fish fries, he expanded to fairs and festivals around Corydon, where he found his base. He began coming to the Indiana State Fair in the 1930s. Back then, Orme said, the menu likely consisted of fish, hamburgers, hot dogs and probably roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy. Even at a fair, people got a plate and sat down to eat. No more. That's the biggest change Orme said she has seen, and that could be what's driving the "on a stick" trend. "People don't eat meals. They eat snacks," she said. "They come to the fair to graze." It all makes Orme chuckle. It's hard to say what her father might have thought about skewering candy bars, dipping them in batter and deep-frying them. She rolls her eyes. On the other hand, Chet Miller rolled with the punches until he died about 15 years ago.The last time Orme, 63, and Larry, 66, served up fried fish at the fair was probably back in the 1970s, Orme said. "Then in the late '90s, everything started being on a stick and in a hurry," she said."
---"Food vendors fond of fair tradition; Family has served for four generations, adapting to changes in tastes and trends," DIANA PENNER,The Indianapolis Star, August 14, 2004, (p. 1B)
Who gets the credit for creating deep fried Twinkies?
"Christopher Sell makes some of the best fish and chips in all of New York City. The potatoes are freshly peeled, and he slips only the finest cod and haddock fillets into the vinegar-laced batter he learned to make in his native England. It's all exceedingly proper, what with the Union Jacks and pictures of Her Royal Majesty hanging on the walls. He's afraid, though, that he'll be forever known as the guy who tosses Twinkies into hot oil. "We won best fish and chips in Timeout magazine last year," says Sell, 36, owner of the ChipShop in the trendy Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. "But I'll probably just be remembered for the deep-fried Twinkies." Deep-fried Twinkies. Sort of takes your breath away, doesn't it? Sell can credit, or blame, his infamy on an article that appeared in the New York Times food section last month. The short article, back on page 10, catapulted Sell and his crispy Twinkie to snack stardom. Since then, he has done 20 radio interviews plus several national and local television shows. Food Network has filmed him for its Unwrapped show. Newspaper reporters are calling. More people are frequenting the ChipShop, many of them just to buy a deep-fried Twinkie.
---"The Twinkie transformed," Janet K. Keller, St. Petersburg Times, June 26, 2002, FOOD (p. 1D)
"After dozens of radio and TV interviews in recent weeks, Christopher Sell fears that his epitaph is already set in stone.Here Lies the Man Who Fried Twinkies. Notoriety came calling when the British-born restaurateur tossed one of the famous golden sponge cakes into the deep-fat fryer at his fish-and-chips shop in Brooklyn, N.Y. Suddenly there's a whole lot of sizzlin' going on across the country, with copycat recipes and reviews of the freaky fried treat showing up on the Internet. An episode of the Food Network's "Unwrapped" series will feature Sell in the fall. And people have called from as far away as Seattle asking him to overnight the fried, creme-filled logs. "It's been mad, it's been absolutely mad," said Sell, 37, who owns the Park Slope ChipShop. "Every time we get more publicity, we think 'When is it going to end?"' Not anytime soon, especially since the Hostess folks plan to offer fried Twinkies at state fairs. They consulted with Sell in recent days on how best to make the new fair food. Apparently Sell's parents never told him to stop playing with his food. Twinkies were just one of the foods he and his employees threw into the shop's commercial deep-fat fryer during random fits of boredom. M&Ms were a bust _ they fell through the fryer basket. Peppermint Patties were a disaster, too. So were Snowballs; the mushy marshmallowlike mounds disintegrated in the hot grease. Chocolate-coated Ho Hos proved equally messy. Ahh, but fried Twixes, Snickers, Mars and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups came out yummy. They're on the menu now. Twinkies, though, caught the attention of a New York Times reporter, a ChipShop regular, who wrote the small story that unleashed the press hounds."
---"Fish-and-chips shop creates a new craze - fried Twinkies," By Lisa Gutierrez, The Kansas City Star, September 14, 2002, LIFESTYLE
Deep fried pretzels
"Deep-fried Twinkies and deep fried candy bars didn't make the cut at Worlds of Fun this season. However, deep-fried J&J Snack Food's filled pretzels did. "I went into this season with the attitude that I'd try anything new if it had quality," said Brigette Chirpich, manager of food operations. "That was kind of our internal theme and we searched for new things." The people at J&J suggested the fried pretzel concept. Chirpich liked it, tried it and so far they are selling well. "I have them at our two funnel cake stands. They aren't overtaking funnel cakes in sales, but they are an easy novelty item to prepare and are the reason why both of those locations are up this year," she told AB.
---"Deep-Fried Pretzels Hit The Menu At Missouri's Worlds Of Fun Park," Tim O'Brien Amusement Business, July 14, 2003, SECTION: PARKS & ATTRACTIONS
Deep fried cheesecake, pickles, oreos, strawberry shortcake & fatballs
When Norma Bowers started in the concession business, nobody bought her healthful vegetarian food. So she changed her menu to deep-fried cheesecake, deep-fried pickles, deep-fried Oreos, deep-fried Twinkies and deep-fried strawberry shortcake. Her stand, Fried What?, is parked on Main Street at the Illinois State Fair, just south of the Exposition Building. "I was watching Diane Sawyer on TV, and she had fried Twinkies. That's where that idea came from," said Bowers, of Garland, Texas. "The Oreos evolved on their own. The cheesecake you get in fancy restaurants, and the strawberry shortcake I created myself. We decided sweets weren't enough, so we added pickles." Rounding out the menu are onion rings, mushrooms, green tomatoes and Snickers bars, all also deep-fried. Prices range from (for two Oreos) to . "I think people save up calories for a year and then go for it. That's why they come here, for the greasy food," she said. The Oreo cookies are speared with a toothpick, swiped in batter and fried in peanut or vegetable oil until the outside is brown and the inside is gooey. The pickles, a combination of dill spears and chips, are coated with Cajun batter, fried, piled high in a plastic tray and served with ranch dressing. Cheesecake slices are wrapped in flour tortillas, fried until the tortillas are crisp and puffy, sliced in half and served with chocolate or strawberry sauce. The cake retains its texture. "Lots of fancy restaurants in Dallas sell that cheesecake and get and for it," said Bowers, a first-timer at the Illinois fair. Have a taste for cold, tangy buttermilk? You can buy a half-pint for .50 in the Dairy Barn. "We sell a lot of it on Agriculture Day," said Dairy Barn manager Tracy Weitzel. "A lot of the younger people don't care for it, but the old farmers love it. Most of them put salt and pepper in it."... After an absence of four years, European fatballs have returned to the fair. "People always say, 'What are fatballs?' They're called fatballs because they used to be cooked in lard. Now they're cooked in unsaturated oil," said Dylan Arsulowicz, who runs Olde World Deli on Oldani Lane with his father, Mike, both of Grand Rapids, Mich. What they are are fist-sized balls of fried yeast dough filled with cream or fruit (chocolate, lemon, Bavarian cream, apple, cherry or a combination). The cost is .50. "They taste like a paczki or a beignet," said Dylan, referring to Polish and New Orleans fried pastries."
---"Oreos, pickles, and cheesecake take the plunge," Kathryn Rem, The State Journal-Register, August 11, 2003, NEWS; Pg. 1
Deep fried zucchini & deep fried artichoke hearts
"What's the hottest trend in junk food? Think really, really hot. Deep-fried, in fact. At the Orange County Fair, the items turning heads and fattening guts are battered and fried Twinkies, Oreos and candy bars....Sales of the oil-soaked sweets aren't sky-high, says Tommie Fomby, commercial and concessions manager for the fair, but they are a curiosity. ''They're not as popular money-wise as they are talk-wise, but they're great fair foods,'' she says. ''They're a nice diversion for the customer -- people feel like they have to try them.'' Enough people have tried the Twinkies and Oreos that Smith is experimenting with other ideas. Chicken Charlie's also sells deep-fried zucchini and artichoke hearts, and the employees have spent off-hours staring thoughtfully at the deep-fryer. Smith won't say what's on the menu (''trade secret''), but promises more fried junk food next year."
---"Off the deep (fried) end // As if we weren't fat enough, deep-fried sweets are the latest junk-food trend," STEPHEN LYNCH and LYN MONTAGNA Orange County Register, July 29, 2003.
Deep fried cicadas
"Well, you've heard of fried Twinkies and fried Oreos, no doubt. Well, the newest craze in Tennessee appears to be--ehh--fried cicadas. This year, there will be no shortage of them. Hoards of cicadas are expected to overrun the eastern US this month before disappearing for another 17 years."
---"Newest craze in Tennessee appears to be fried cicadas," Natalie Morales, Early Today (4:30 AM ET) - CNBC, June 2, 2004,
Food historians confirm garlic is one of the oldest foods known to mankind. It belongs to the onion family. Wild garlic was native Central Asia; cultivation occured in this area (and others) possibly as early as the third millennium BC. From ancient times forward, garlic has been appported magical properties and employed for medicinal purposes. While garlic generally considered an integral part of Southern European cuisine, we are told the Ancient Romans were not fans. Medieval and Renaissance tables included small "doses" of garlic, generally in sauces. Generally, garlic was considered peasant-class food. In the late 19th century, garlic was reconsided and acknowledged by some culinary authorities. In modern times, garlic is a celebrated ingredient in many dishes generating from the southern European cusines of Italy and Provincal France. James Beard and Craig Claiborne are generally credited for popularizing garlic in the USA the later decades of the 20th century. Their culinary focus was introducing Americans to the Mediterranean flavors of Provence.
"Several species of wild garlic exist, and the cultivated species may have evolved from one of these in Central Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean region. De Candolle (1886) points to the very wide variation in common names as evidence that the plant has been familiar in most regions of the Old World for a very long time. It has been known in China since antiquity, and was an important article of diet in ancient Egypt and in classical Greece and Rome. Garlic, already developed to a form hardly distinguishable from that we know today, is commonly found in Egyptian tombs, sometimes left as an offering like other items of food, sometimes playing a role in mummification. The Israelites, as they set off on their exodus, looked back with longing at the garlic of Egypt (Numbers 11:5). Garlic was an important vegetable to Greeks... Theophrastus (c. 300BC) remarked that several kinds were grown; and a section of the market at Athens was known simply as to skoroda (the garlic). It was considered a strengthening food, ideal for workers, soldiers, and oarsmen, and often prescribed by dieticians; but some upperclass voices were raised against its smell."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 331)
Pliny commented on the Egyptian use of garlic (and onion) as medicine. Whie the Ancient Romans acknowledged the medicinal properties attributed to garlic, they were repelled by the "pungent" breath resulting from regular ingestion. Certainly not a flavor desired in food. Aryans in India agreed.
"Unlike the Greeks, the Romans did not favour garlic. Apicius mentions it only twice, and even then recommends only small quantities which would barely be noticed."
---Food in Antiquity: A Survey of the Diet of Early Peoples, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell [Johns Hopkins University Press:Baltimore] expanded edition, 1998 (p. 109)
"The more elegant classes did not each much garlic, partly for fear of bad breath, but aso because it tasted like medicine. A medicinal taste is not what a great cook strives for. The only two garlic dishes mentioned by Apicius are the peasant Salaa Cattabia...a garlic digestive...[to] settle a sick stomach."
---Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome, Patrick Faas [Palgrave Macmillan:New York] 1994, 2003 (p. 216-217)
"The high-born Aryan despised garlic as a food of the natives and foreigners...and it was forbidden on ceremonial occasions. In fact it is not even mentioned in Sanskrit literature till the Charaka Samhita (say c. 200BC). Medical authorities have given garlic considerable importance. Charaka classes it under harid, among with the onion, radish and ginger."
---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K. T. Acyaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 77)
"Garlic has been long cultivated in China under the name suan. It is written in Chinese by a single sign, which usually indicates a long known and even a wild species. The floras of Japan do not mention it, whence I gather that the species was not wild in Eastern Siberia and Dahuria, but that the Mongols brought it into China. According to Herodotus, the ancient Egyptians made great use of it. Archaeologists have not found the proof of this in the monuments, but this may be because the plant was considered unclean by the priests."
---Origin of Cultivated Plants, Alpohnse de Candole [Hafner Publishing:New York] 1959 (p. 64)
Medieval Euorpean experience
"The cultivation of alliums in Western Europe is usually thought to have been stimulated by the Crusaders' contact with the East in the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries. However, much earlier, Charlemagne (742--814) had listed garlic in his Captiular de Villis and mentioned it as of Italian origin."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One (p. 257)
"Garlic is a spice, yet even though its history in the Mediterranean is very old, the mad desire of Europeans for the exotic spices of the East led them to overlook garlic...popular opinion held that garlic...always is a peasant food...with the right preparation could be a gentlemen's food."
---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 511)
"The contrast between urban and rurual diet is perhaps the best documented in literature...The city-dweller imagined the peasant as eating a great deal of bread soaked in some sort of broth, and as a garlic-lover: in short, as a creature incapable of practicing the arts of the table that by the end of the Middle Ages had become an essential element of urban civility." ---The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy, Odile Redon, Francoise Sabban and Silvano Serventi, translated by Edward Schneider [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 1998 (p. 8-9)
"Those who could not afford spices, even pepper, made do with the more humble flavors of the land: aromatic plants such as parsley, marjoram, fennel, hyssop, mint, and basil, and the even more rustic bulbs such as garlic, onion, and shallot. Garlic, in particular...bore the odor of peasantry, but as yo will see in the recipes was by no means barred from genteel tables... Garlic had an especially prominanet role to play in the sauce known as agliata or aillee, which was esteemed by one and all, judging by the large number of recipes for it...In the various versions of agliata/aillee, the powder of garlic is always moderated and refined by other ingredients, including spices, and this sauce is not paired with boiled or roast meat, except as one of several options. Woe betide any host who tried to serve only garlic sauce at an aristocratic banquet."
---ibid (p. 29-30)
"In the Middle Ages, the English seem not to have loathed garlic, since they used it in quite a number of dishes, whereas the French and the Italians appear to have used it only in sauces."
---ibid (p. 107)
"Garlic sauce for all meats: take the garlic and cook it in the embers, then pound it thoroughly and add raw garlic and crumb of bread, and sweet spices, and broth; and mix everything together and boil it a little; and serve hot....Garlic sauces were commonly served with boiled meat and poached fish. The late-fourteenth-century poet Folgore da San Gimignano...depiced the Tuscan year in verses alive with horse races, hutns, and tournaments, all accompanied by banquets, suggests agliata in July (for those who like it) with young kid and boiled capon--after the aspics, the roast partridges, and the young pheasants. In other words, garlic was by no means banned from the aristocratic table, so long as it was moderated throgh careful preparation: in other contexts, its odor signified 'peasant.'"
---ibid (p. 165)
"King Alfonso of Castile, who disliked garlic...would not have enjoyed [aoili]...although his subjects must have eaten it to excess, for in 1330 the King issued a decree forbidding any knights who had eaten garlic or onions to appear in court, or to speak to other courtiers for four weeks."
---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 70)
"Garlic was one of the principal flavorinsof southern Europe, thougyh it was also eaten by lower classes elsewhere. The therapeutic virtues of garlic were also recognized form an early date, and as the 'poor man's theriac' or medicine, it was recommended for those who could not afford more expensive spices. But it was also thought to be difficult to digest, which is why, they claimed, it causes bad breath...One of the most typical ways of using garlic was in a green sauce made with parsley, vinegar and bread."
---Food in Early Modern Europe, Ken Albala [Greenwook Press:Westport CT] 2003 (p. 34-35)
Martino of Como, generally considered one of the first "modern" Italian cookbook authors, included two recipes featuring garlic: "How to Cook a Quarter of Kid with Garlic" (p. 57-58) & White Garlic Sauce (p. 79, modern redaction p. 147).
---The Art of Cooking: The First Modern Cookery Book, The Eminent Maestro Martino of Como, edited with an Introduction by Luigi Ballerini, Translated and Annotated by Jeremy Parzen & with Fifty Modernized Recipes by Stefia Marzini [University of California Press:Berkely] 2005
"In Italian cooking today, garlic is used with moderation and caution, and one does sometimes wonder if is a legacy of the well-bred, middle-class attitude of Artusi and Boni and later writers. Garlic is not thrown indiscirminately into every dish today, and it is impossible to tell if caution and moderation are really part of Italy's culinary heritage or a marker of bougeois conventionality...A garlic-based sauce from the past is agliata...The modern version is a creamy amalgam of crushed garlic and olive oil. Agliata today is a specialty of Licuria, similar to provincal aioli. Garlic is used as both falvouring and preservative in many cured meats and fresh sausages."
---The Oxford Companion to Italian Food, Gillian Riley [Oxford University Press:New York] 2007 (p. 227)
New World introduction
"Garlic was introduced to the Americas by the Spaniards. In Mexico, Cortes...apparently grew it, and by 1604, it was said in Peru that 'the Indians esteem garlic above all the roots of Europe."..By 1775, the Choctaw Indians of North America (Alabama, Lousiana, and Mississippi) were cultivating garlic in their gardens."
---Cambridge World History of Food (p. 257)
Garlic in the USA
"Amelia Simmons, in the first American cookbook, wrote, 'Garlickes, tho' used by the French, are better adapted to the uses of medicine than cookery.' In 1896 Oscar Tschirky, better known as Oscar of the Waldorf, put 3,455 recipes in his famous cookbook, but only one featured garlic. Sixty-five years later, when Craig Claiborne's New York Times Cookbook appeared, things were staring to change. Although only two of the fifteen hundred recipes in the book contained the word 'garlic' in the title, there were dozens of others in which a clove of garlic or two had made its way onto the page...The food writer James Beard made a major contribution to getting garlic on the map. In 1954 Beard write about an old Provencal recipe that called for cooking gharlic a chicken with forty cloves of garlic. Thousands of his readers tried it and liked it. At about the same time, the social critic Russell Lynes, in his famous discourse on high-brow and low-brow phenomena, wrote about how the upscale cook might rub a wooden salad bowl with a clove of garlic to make the lettuce taste better. Whether for health or culinary reasons, the use of garlic in the United States has quadrupled since the early 1970s."Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 550)
How did American use garlic in the 19th & early 20th centuries? Search Michigan State University's Feeding America Digital Cookbooks for garlic in recipe title & as ingredient.
"Garlic has been the vehicle in the United States of a self-reversing snobbery. Before I left America to live in Europe in 1927, you were looked down upon if you ate garlic, a food fit only for ditchdiggers; when I returned in 1940, you were looked down upon if you didn't eat it. It had become the hallmark of gastronomic sophistication, and I was overwhelmed by meals offered by thoughtful friends, who catered to my supposedly acquired dashing Gallic tastes by including garlic in every dish except ice cream; their intentions wer egood, but their premise faulty. 'Garlic is a ncessary presence in many of the most celebrated dishes in every course of both haute cuisine and cuisine bourgeoise,' one of our best magazine writers has explained. The fact that garlic is regarded almost with horror by the haute cuisine and is looked on askance by the cuisine bourgeoise. In France, garlic is an attribute of neither of the two classic forms of professional cooking; it is a regional phenoemnon. Garlic reigns almost everywhere south the Loire, most decisivley, perhaps, in the Catalan country., In all of Languedoc the name of the classic garlic soup, translated from one or another of the various forms of Occitan, comes out as 'boiled water'--gralic is taken so much for granted that it does't even have to be mentioned. To the east it is called 'the truffle of Provence,' and ailoi, garlic mayonnaise, is called 'the butter of Provence.' Garlic is a regional phemomenon in Italy too, where, except for a few special dishes like the Piedmont's bagna cauda, it is confined mostly to the south. Southern France and southern Italy were both subjected at the beginning of their histories to Greek influence, which is why they like garlic today.. If so, it seems curious that so many of our food writers insist that the ancient Greeks detested garlic; but much of has been written in the United States about garlic since Americans discovered it comes under the head of mythology."
---Food: An Authoritative and Visual History and Dictiobart of the Foods of the World, Waverly Root [Smithmark Books:New York] 1980, 1996 (p. 143)
James Beard on Garlic:
"Garlic: A faithful friend for almost any type of seasoning. Use with discretion."
---The Fireside Cook Book, James A. Beard [Simon and Schuster:New York] 1949 (p. 17)
"Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic requires a 3-quart casserole with a good tight cover. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Rinse 8 to 10 chicken legs and thighs in cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Peel 40 cloves of garlic (about 3 bulbs) and leave whole. Cut 4 stalks of celery in thin slices. Dip the chicken in olive oil to thoroughly coat each piece (you will need aobut 2/3 cup oil altogether) and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and a dash of nutmeg. Put the chicken in the casserole along with the residue of oil. Add the garlic, sliced celery, 6 sprigs parlsey, 1 tablespoon dried tarragon, and 1/4 cup dry vermouth. Seal the top of the casserole with a sheet of foil and cover tightly with the lid. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Do not remove the lid during the baking period. Serve directly from the casserole, or transfer the chicken pieces to a serving dish. With this serve hot toast or thin slices of pumpernickel. Invite your guests to spread the softened garlic on the bread. They will find that the strong flavor has disappeared, leaving a wonderful, buttery paste perfumed with garlic. Serves six to eight."
---Beard on Food: The Best Recipes and Kitchen Wisdom From the Dean of American Cooking, James Beard, forward by Mark Bittman [Bloomsbury USA:New York] 1974, 2007 (p. 235)
Craig Claiborne on garlic:
"It was Marcel Boulestin, a French chef and cookbook author who spent most of his life in London, who observed about Provence, 'It is not really an exaggeration to say that peace and happiness begin, geographically, where garlic is used in cooking.' But apparently not everyone would agree. One detractor suggested that in deference to alliumphobes I should say that in recipes that garlic may be added 'if desired,' just as I now do with salt. It is not a question of deference. I have never considered my recipes to be unalterable. Minor flavors should be altered according to taste. Althogh I am quite fond of garlic, I consider it in most uses as a minor ingredient. For those who are allergic to garlic, finely minced shallots could be substituted...I should add that there are some dishes in which garlic is abslolutely essential. These include garlic soup, garlic sausages, aioli, that Italian garlic 'bath' for vegetables known as bagna caoda, and skordalia, the Green garlic mayonnaise."
---Craig Claiborne's The New York Times Food Encyclopedia, compiled by Joan Whitman [Times Books:New York] 1985 (p. 187))
What is Elephant garlic?
This oversized allum is techically a leek. It presents in oversized cloves, hence the name. Sweeter and milder than traditional garlic, it can be stand alone as a vegetable, cooked or raw. Food historians confirm this plant, like cousins garlic and onions, existed in ancient times. Agricultural schools and corporations experimented with the plant, creating several varieties. Over the years, elephant garlic has been marketed under several names, including "great headed." The name "elephant garlic" first surfaces in USA print in the mid-1930s "Believe it or not, elephant garlic." ("Garden Plots Provoke Peel," Bob Peel, Post-Standard Syracuse NY, Feburary 24, 1935 (p. 23)]. In the 1970s American home gardeners began to take notice. Upscale chefs "discovered" elephant garlic 1980s. They treated this bulb like a vegetable, most notably roasted.
"Recently, 'elephant garlic,' a hybrid of garlic and onion, has appeared in supermarkets--its popularity the result of the current practice of garlic roasting. It is much larger than normal garlic bulbs...and has a considerably milder flavor."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1776)
Elephant garlic/University of Kentucky
Garlic's medicinal properties
"The Greeks, along with the Egyptians, regarded garlic as a defense against old age and illness, and athletes participating in Olympic Games (which began about 776 B.C.) regularly chewed it to improve stamina...Hippocates (c. 460-370 B.C.) recommended garlic for pneumonia and suppurating wounds, but warned that it 'caused flatulence...',...In India...It was claimed that [garlic] posessed diuretic properties, were beneficial to the digestive tract, were good for the eyes, acted as heart stimulants, and had antirheumatic qualities. In the Ayurvedic (Sanskrit) and Unani Tibb (Greco-Ariboc) systems, garlic has been employed both as a prophylactic and as a cure for a variety of disease, including arteriosclerosis, cholera, colic, dysentery, dyspepsia, gastri and intestinal catarrh, and typhoid. Duodenal ulcers, laryngeal tuberculosis, and lupus have all been treated with garlic juice, and garlic preparations have been give for bronchiactasis, gangrene of the lung, pulmonary phthisis, and whooping cough...The Greek military physician Diocordies (A.D. 40-90) was clearly impressed with garlic, onion, and other alliums as medicinal plants. He advised barlic for baldness, birthmarks, dog and snake bites, eczema, leprosy, lice, nits, toothache, ulcers, and worms. He also suggested it as a vermifuge and diuretic and as a treatment for rashes and other skin disorders."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One (p. 256-)
"30. Garlic. Garlic grows best wshere there is white earth. Gartlic, when eaten, expels intestinal worms and is diuretic. It ads those bitten by vipers and by mad dogs, when applied to the bite, and also when chewed. Burnt, mixed with honey and applied as ointment it cures black eyes and alopecia. Kept in the mouth it stops toothache. With olive oil and salt it treats eruptions and helps the dropsical. It also removes moles and sycosis. Eaten cooked or raw it alleviates chronic coughs, soothes a painful throat and clears the voice. If one eats garlic in advance one will be immune to pests and other noxious creatures. Ground and applied it cures the wounded; it is also very helpful if drunk with wine. It is rather useful to those unagble to digest their food. It provkes urination, cures nephritis, prevents disease arising from bad water. If you want sweeter garlic, bruise it before planting. There is cultivated, garden garlic; there is also wild garlic ('snake garlic' as it is called)). Wild Garlic is mroe effective than cultivated in the therapies already listed. You will grow sweeter garlic if you add olive-pressings when planting. It will be without odour if you sow and gather when the mon is under the earth. Some say it wll give no odour if, after eating garlic, one chews a raw broad bean."
---Geoponika: Farm Work, A modern translation of the Roman and Byzantine farming handbook by Andrew Dalby [Prospect Books: Devon] 2011 (p. 263-264)
"...St. Hildegard (1098-1179), a German abbess, mystic and scientific observer...focused on garlic as a medicine by specifically mentioning it in her Physica as a remedy against jaundice."
---Cambridge World History of Food (p. 257)
"The root vegetables of the Anglo-Saxon were those already known in Roman Britain...Six members of the onion family were distinguished...[among them] garleac (garlic)...Extant Anglo-Saxon pottage recipes are not very typical of everyday diet, for the only ones we have ore those of the leechdoms, the collections of remedies, mainly herbal, with which the Anglo-Saxons tried to fight off numerous unpleasant and dangerous diseases. Garlic simmered in 'hen broth' cured constipation..."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago IL] 1991(p. 197-198)
Renaissance & early modern Europe
The [16th century] herbal doctors Paraclesus...and Lonicerus... emphasized the antitoxic properties of garlic and its effectiveness against internal worms. At about the same time, Italian physician and botanist Matthiolus...was recommending garlic against stomach chills, colics, and flatulence...Garlic's medicinal...powers were known in Europe in the sixteenth and seventeeth centuries, and the diarist Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) discovered that the custom in the French navy--to keep the sailors warm and prevent scurvy--was to issue garlic and brandy rations; the British Admiralty followed suit."
---Cambridge World History of Food (p. 257)
"Ailee [aoili] was a very popular sauce in the twelfth to the fourteenth centuries in France, almost a soup, since slices of bread were dipped in it. It was made of garlic, almonds or walnuts depending upon the region, and breadcrumbs, all pounded together and then added to meat or chicken broth. It was considered very healthful in winter, preventing coughs and colds. There is a Provencal saying that garlic is the poor man's spice. It was also his medicine, and formed part of many diets and remedies to cure all manner of ills, not least the plague. When the plague was ravaging Marseilles in 1726, four thieves who were robbing corpses seemed to be miraculously and most unfairly immune. On being arrested and questioned, the told their secret; it was tried out on the grave-diggers who had been pressed into service...The remedy consisted of garlic steeped in vinegar, which was known as the 'Vinegar of the Four Thieves'. A pad inside a mask through which the wearer had to breathe was soaked in the mixture. Wearing a string of garlic around the neck at all times was also recommended; it stung the nose but spared the stomach."
---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 p. 71)
"At the turn of the nineteenth century, garlic in the form of inhalants, compresses, and ointments was used by the citizens of Dublin against tuberculosis."
---Cambridge World History of Food (p. 257)
Garlic folklore & mythology
"Garlic suffered a poor reputation in ancient legends because both the vegetables themselves and the people who eat them give off offensive odors. People believed that strong odors offended the gods. In myth, fragrant perfumes and spices characterized the gods, and repugnant odors characterized demons...People of today may not consider the smell of garlic putrid or rotten, but some people of the past considered it so for several reasons. In the religions of India, people likened garlic and onions to flesh foods because they resembled human heads...In India, this likeness...led to the belief that demons desired garlic and onions just as they desired blood sacrifice...In Buddhist myth, garlic arise from the blood of a demonic spirit killed by the god Vishnu. In Islamic myth, garlic arose from the left foot of Satan...The connection of garlic and onions with demons and devils made these foods suitable offerings to the underworld spirits...Ancient people used the power of garlic for myriad purposes, most aimed at removing evil influence. The ancient Persians fed garlic to the devil to drive him away. And ancient Italians wore garlic cloves as charms against the evil eye...Some believe it repels witches, vampires, and demons of all sorts. Long ago, people in India and England used garlic in exorcism rites, believing that people possessed by the devil could consume garlic to remove the demon from their bodies. This likely led to the use of garlic for medicinal purposes. Surely if garlic had the power to drive out demons, it had the power to cure diseases. After all, in ancient thought, demons brought disease. In Greek myth, the evil goddess Hecate had the power either to cure or cause disease. The Greeks offered her garlic to rouse her powers, and because Hecate resided at crossroads, travelers often carried garlic to protect themselves from evil influence. The pungency of garlic and its association with death and decay made it both a powerful weapon and an impure food. People concerned with ritual purity understood garlic to violate their desired condition...In classical Greece, atheletes consumed garilc before competitions and warriors consumed it before battles."
---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [SBC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 99-100)
- Book of Garlic/Lloyd J. Harris
- Garlic in History/US Dept. of Agriculture
Generic vs national brand name foods
Generic foods (no frills bands with plain black & white labels) were introduced to the American public in the late 1970s. According to the New York Times, the first company to offer these products was the Jewel Tea Companies of Chicago. The year? 1977. Generics were introduced as a way for supermarkets to keep afloat during a difficult period of inflation.
"In the early postwar years, competition among the chains heated up. In the 1950s, as an incentive to attract more customers, most of the big food retailers introduced trading stamps, which could be redeemed for household items, furniture, sporting goods, and a wide variety of other products...As popular as supermarkets had become with the U.S. public, they suffered a crisis of confidence in the 1960s as governmental and consumer groups assailed both the quality of supermarkets' food products and their high prices. A principal criticism of the foods themselves...Consumers also charged that the supermarket chains had increased their prices to cover the high costs of overhead, promotion techniques, and advertising...Though price competition had long been a major factor in grocery retailing, it had reached a new level of intensity [in the 1970s] when many stores began offering unbranded generic goods among the most basic staple product categories such as salt, flour, sugar, soft drinks, cooking fats, soups, and paper products. Generics underpriced even house labels, though the quality levels were also well below those of national and house brands. Also, in the middle and late 1970s, as inflation in the United States soared and economic growth stagnated, no-frills grocery stores that reduced amenities to a minimum and required customers to bag their own purchases began to appear...As economic conditions improved in the 1980s, generic and no-frills growth stalled at less than expected levels. Once again stores began to attract customers by building bigger and better stores and emphasizing quality."
----The Advertising Age Encyclopedia of Advertising, John McDonough editor [Fitzroy Dearborn:New York] 2003, Volume 2:F-O (p. 702)
"Two major supermarket chains in the New York area have announced plans to introduce "generic" products--unbranded items that will sell for significantly less than either brand-name or house-brand merchandise. Other major chains in the area said they were watching the development, possibly to join what seems to be becoming a national trend. Announcing its new program yesterday, the Pathmark chain said it was stocking its 105 regional supermarkets beginning today with a new line of "New Frills" foods and household products priced at up to 33 percent less than national brands. Pathmark executives said they could offer the lower prices by selecting slightly lower grade but still high quality products and packaging them in standard cans and bottles without advertising...In a parallel development, the Waldbaum's chain of supermarkets announced it would introduce tomorrow its own generic-foods line offering savings of at least 40 percent. "Its a terrific development," said Rosemary Pooler, head of the New York State Consumer Protection Board. "It's about time stores started cutting the 'benefits' like packaging and advertising that consumers never wanted." The new generic line creates, in effect, a three-tier pricing system. At the top are the name brands...A little cheaper is the House brand...[and] a plain can marked "No Frills" will be offered."
---"2 Supermarket Chains Offer Cheaper 'Generic' Food Items, Ralph Blumenthal, The New York Times, March 1, 1978 (p. B5)
"The inflationary spiral has sent supermarkets into a tailspin. They have always subsisted on tiny profit margins---eight-tenths of a percent compared with, for example, 4 percent for department stores--but now they are under even greater pressure. They have been desperately experimenting with ways to stay afloat, adding nonfood links, intensifying giveaways and promotions, selling food in bulk, offering special purchases at attractive discounts, introducing automated checkout systems to increase productivity. Among the latest ideas: generic brands, representing goods lower in price and grade than house brands, and super supermarkets, huge stores that provide higher sales per square foot...Generics, which usually carry a lower Government grading, are lines of fruits, vegetables and other goods, sold in plain wrappers, at prices 33 percent below national brands and about 10 to 20 percent below stores' own so-called private brands. They were introduced by the Jewel Tea Companies of Chicago, about a year and-a-half ago. The public has shown an undeniable preference for them, despite criticism form some in the industry that they are inferior."
---"Inflation Puts the Squeeze on Supermarkets, Too," Isadore Barmash, The New York Times, June 4, 1978 (p. F1)
Cooks have been flavoring foods with ginger from ancient times to present day. Recipes vary according to place and taste. Gingerbread and ginger ale are remain popular today. Ginger, like other precious spices, was also valued for its medicinal qualities and ascribed and spiritual properties. About ginger's symbolism & folklore. Galangal, a root similar in flavor with a peppery kick, was a popular Medieval substitute.
Origin & dispersion: overview
"Ginger--The underground rhizome of a tropical flowering plant, gingerroot (Zingiber officiale)...the word zingiber means "horn shaped" in Sanskrit and was applied to ginger because of the shape of the rhizomes. Ginger was used in China and India 7,000 years ago and was an important item in the spice trade that stretched overland and by sea from India to the ports of the eastern Mediterranean, and to Egypt via the Red Sea. Although known to the Greeks and the Romans, ginger apparently only became popular in Europe during the Middle Ages. The Portuguese took it to Africa as they explored the western coast of that continent in the fifteenth century, and the Spaniards carried it to the New World in the following century. In fact, the latter encouraged the cultivation of ginger in the Americas as part of an effort to grow those exotic (and expensive) spices that usually were only available in the East."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2001 (p. 1778)
"By the fourth millennium BC--six thousand years ago--the Austronesians' were beginning to spread southwards across the Malay archipelago, starting from the coast of south-eastern China and from mountainous Taiwan...No written history, and no surviving oral tradition, tells of this epic series of migrations. Eventually they reached as far as Madagascar on the western edge of the Indian Ocean and even distant Easter Island in the eastern Pacific. We know of the migration by linguistic detective work...Among the typical flora of southern China and Indochina are the wild gingers and their relatives--showy plants with typically large white or yellow flowers, spicy, aromatic, very important in traditional medicine....we concentrate on ginger itself, because there are two good clues that ginger is a very ancient spice, perhaps the most ancient of all. The botanical clue is that, unlike its relatives, ginger is propagated only by splitting the root, never from seed--as sign that it has grown for so long under human control that it has lost one of the essential characteristics of the wild plant form which it derives...The linguistic clue is that a name for ginger can be traced back from its modern forms in many of the Austronesian languages to the early Austronesian speech of the Philippines. This means that in all their long migrations from the Philippines onwards the speakers of Austronesian languages never lost their familiarity with ginger...In the boats that humans built in those ancient times there was no room for luxuries. Ginger, then, must have been recognized as a necessity of life...Finding that it did not already grow where they planned to settle, the Austronesian-speaking migrants planted ginger in their gardens on each new island. Thus is spread from southern China to the Philippines and the Spice Islands--and, from that crossroads, onwards both east and west...Why...did ginger spread so far so early? Why was it in demand? The traditional medicine of the Greeks and Romans, two thousand years ago, begins our exploration of the written history of ginger."
---Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices, Andrew Dalby [University of California Press:Berkeley] 2000 (p. 21-22)
Ginger in China
"Ginger (Zingiber officianale,; chiang) has had a long, illustrious role in Chinese cuisine. Its importance throughout history is revealed by repeated reference to it in Food in Chinese culture, more numerous than for vinegar, sugar, garlic, soy sauce, or any other spice or flavoring. Ginger is a perennial herb, ordinarily grown as an annual, whose rhizome and its derivatives are not only important as spices but as medicines as well. The plant is believed by botanists to have been domesticated in India, Southeast Asia, or South China. In China, ginger was already known in Chou times...if not earlier. The plant was carried west from India to Africa by the Arabs, and at least by the tenth century A.D. Zanzibar was a supplier of the ginger trade. The rhizome reached Europe by the first century A.D., with its Greek and Latin names, like its Arabic and Persian ones, deriving ultimately from India...China, along with India, was an important early supplier of the ginger trade, and Chinese ginger was carried far across the Old World to market, much of it for pharmaceutical purposes...In China, ginger is grown extensively in the southern and central provinces, with some cultivation as far north as Shatung...Ginger has been consumed in China, in an impressive range of ways, since antiquity. For T'ang times, one reads of ginger as a drug, of ginger-flavored tea, ginger wine, honeyed ginger, ginger-flavored meat and, for aboriginal groups in the south, of the contents of water buffalo stomach flavored with ginger...In modern China, people single out the root of young ginger...for its delicate flavor, absence or near absence of fibers, and thinner skin that that of mature ginger. Young gingerroot may be pickled, preserved in other ways, or employed as a spice, and is ordinarily used in larger amounts than mature ginger...Grated gingerroot, with sesame oil and sugar, may be made into a condiment. Gingerroot may be included in sauces and marinades,...It may be made into a sweet soup...Or it may simply be a flavoring ingredient in a dish...Ginger is one of the pu or strengthening foods or medicines, and since antiquity it has enjoyed a strongly positive image for maintaining health and well being. Confucius, it is said, always had ginger when he ate."
---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederick J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton] 1991 (p. 370-2)
[NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. Your librarian will be happy to help you find a copy. Also ask for: Food in Chinese Culture/K.C. Chang editor Food of China/E.N. Anderson.]
Ginger in India
"Ginger. This is an ancient material, with names in Sanskrit that are borrowed form even earlier usage...Both the green and dry forms of ginger, adhrak and sunthi in Hindi, are still in active use. They are viewed somewhat differently in ayurvedic terms. Dry dinger is simply pungent, whil the green material is considered both pungent and sweet, though both have a sweet aftertaste...Green ginger boiled with milk and sugared is a household remedy for colds and chills. A piece of fresh ginger, placed with soem salt on the dining leaf in south India, starts the meal and stimu,ates the process of digestion. Budhhist monks, as noted by I ching in the fifth century AD and Xuan Zang in the seventh, were served fresh ginger with salt to begin the meal at the great monastery oat Nalanda. Edward Terry noted in the Mughal period that the food of the poor was often no more than boiled rice with a bit of ginger. Being an underground product, ginger is not used by Jains...Ginger has alwyas found use in the spicing of beverages...Ginger is also employed to give a certain snap to sweet items."
---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 80-81)
Ginger in Ancient Greece
"We first hear of ginger, zingiberi, in a Greek-speaking context when the Roman medical writer Celsus lists ginger as one of the ingredients in KingMithridates' famous poison antidote. Thsi would date the knowledge of ginger--at least among royal pharmacists in Pontus--to the early first century BC. In the following century the Greek pharmacist Dioscorides of Anasarba...who says something of a ginger trade, hints that the Imperial provinces may not have been rich enough to share the expensive luxuries that were shipped to Rome. Dioscordes also correctly distinguished ginger from pepper...As for the geographical origin of ginger, Greek pharmacological authors had traditionally described it as Indian: this was misleading, thought it is possible that some supplies of ginger came to the Mediterranean by way of south India. Pliny and Dioscordes of Anazarba...were aware that some ginger was grown around the southern Red Sea. None was aware that its original habitat was far tot he east of India, the 'Spice Islands' of modern Indonesia."Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 1996 (p. 138)
Ginger in Ancient Rome
"The Romans did not know where ginger came from...Some thought it was the root of the pepper plant, others said it was nothing of the sort. It was popualr and is mentioned among the ingredients of about thirteen of Apicious' recipes. He ate ginger on lamb, meatballs, lettuce, garden beans, peas, bread, in chicken and in stuffed suckling pigs, but not, as in eastern countries, with fishh. It Pliny's time it cst 24 HS per pound."
---Around the Roman Rable Patrick Faas [Palgrave MacMillan:New York] 1994, 2003 (p. 164-165)
"The root of the pepper-tree is not, as some people have thought, the same as the substance called ginger, or by others sinpiberi, although it has a similar flavour. Ginger is grown on farms in Arabia and Cave-dwellers' Country; it is a small plant with a white root. The plant is liable to decay very quickly, in spite of its extreme pungency. Its price is six denarii a pound...Both pepper and ginger grwon wild in their own countries, and nevertheless they are bought by weight like gold or silver."
---Pliny: Natural History, Book XII. xiv. 27-29, with an English translation by H. Rackham, Loeb Classical Library [Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA] 2005 (p. 21)
Ginger in Britain
"The ginger plant is unknown in the wild state, but is thought to have originated in SE Asia. It has been cultivated since ancient times, and was among the most highly prized of the eastern imports to the Roman Empire. However, Romans used it relatively little in cookery, prizing it rather for medicinal purposes. The fall of the Roman Empire did not stop the trade of ginger to Europe. It was in use in England in Anglo-Saxon times; and in later medieval times it was almost as common in England as pepper. By that time it was also being imported in preserved form for use as a sweet meat. The history of gingerbread goes back to the same period."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 338)
Ginger in Medieval Europe
"Ginger was one of the most important spices in the medieval kitchen. It was used principally dried and ground, though there are references to 'green ginger' which was presumably candied or crystallized because fresh ginger would never have lasted on the lengthy voyage from Asia. Ginger was used in practically every conceivable context and with nearly every kind of food, as well as in more familiar preparations like gingerbread. Throught he early modern period its use was increasingly restricted to sweets, especially in classical French cuisine."
---Food in Early Modern Europe, Ken Albala [Greenwood Press:Westport CT] 2003 (p. 46-47)
"'Mecquin' meant the whole, dried ginger, described by the author of the Menagier de Paris in 1392 as mesche: 'Note that there be there differences between ginger of mesche and columbine ginger. For the ginger of mesche has a browner skin, and is the softer to cut with a knife, and whiter from within than the other; item, it is better and always more expensive. What was this mequin or mesche ginger? Nostradamus tells us, giving a recipe for ginger preserved in honey: 'To make the preserve of green ginger which, although it be called green ginger, is of a ginger called Mecquin, and is from Mecca where Mahomet is buried.' In fact only the Arab traders who imported ginger from South India and Malaysia had anything to do with Mecca; the ginger itself never grew there."
---History of Food, Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, translated by Anthea Bell [Barnes & Noble Books:New York] 1992 (p. 498)
Ginger in America
"The English carried their taste for ginger to America, which was avid for ginger from the very beginning of its history. Ginger cookies were among the goodies passed out to the incorruptible voters of Virginia to induce them to choose the correct candidates for the House of Burgesses. Ginger was included in the standard rations of American soldiers during the Revolution, and after it the consumption of this and other seanoners was hardly discouraged by the fact that the number one spice port of the world during the first half of the nineteenth century was Salem, Massachusetts, because of the speed of the Yankee Clippers. Perhaps this accounts for the fact that ginger ice cream can still be found in New England."
---Food, Waverly Root [Smithmark Books:New York] 1980 (p. 148)
Ginger in Australia, South America & Caribbean region
"From its original Asiatic homes, ginger has now spread to many other tropical areas. It is grown today in Australia; in South America; in Indochina, whose ginger is particularly hot; in tropical West Africa, where it tends to be harsh and peppery; and in Jamaica, where its pale color and delicate, distinguished aroma have given it a reputation which has encouraged other Caribbean islands to borrow its name for their own products: the ginger sold in most American Chinatowns and in Oriental grocery stores is usually described as Jamaican, but most of it comes from Puerto Rico. Jamaica supplies most of the world's exports of peeled (white) ginger, India much of the unpeeled (gray) ginger, West Africa a little of both in the form of fresh or dried roots, and China specializes in ginger preserved by being boiled and packed in syrup."
---Food, Waverly Root [Smithmark Books:New York] 1980 (p. 148-149)
Ginger symbolism & lore
"Ginger, like cinnamon, cloves, and other aromatic spices, conjures up images of paradise. Fragrant smells help define the gods' nature; and ginger, fiery and pungent, evokes images of the mysterious Orient, the land of the East that ancients called Land of the Spices and associated with the otherworld. People cultivated ginger in the East far back in antiquity; and in India, Southeast Asia, and China they consumed it in numerous forms, using it to flavor meats and oils and to make wine. The also used it as a spice, a perfume, a medicine, and an aphrodesiac. Along with ginger's pungent aroma, its golden color and 'hot' flavor added to its allure and prompted ancient people to link it with solar fire. The ancients typically linked many spices with fire...Early people of India believed that ginger ignited Agni--the divine, creative fire that was linked to both earth and sky. The Mesopotamians appear to have connected ginger with dragons because of the legendary tempestuous nature and fiery breath. Ginger carries a symbolism similar to that of cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, and saffron. Ancient people associated these spices with magic, and they credited magicians and shamans with controlling these spices and tapping into their powers. People of the South Pacific used ginger as a food, but they also used it prolificially in magical ceremonies. Healers on some South Pacific isalnds used ginger to cure disease; they chewed the gingerroot and then spat it out onto their patients...Melanesians traditionally used gingeras a love charm, and the Chinese used it to arouse the passions and increase fertility..."
---Nectar & Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 100-101)
What was a race of ginger?
Galangal was a popular substitute for ginger in Medieval Europe. Originating in China, it was a standard component in spice cabinets of the day. Like ginger, it was used to flavor both sweet and savory dishes.
What is galangal?
"Galangal--also called galingale, greater galangal (Alminia galanga) is an aromatic root, native to Indonesia, that resembles ginger and is a close relative to the gingeroot family. It is joined in this relationship by both the lesser galangal (A. officinarum) and by galanga--Kaempferia galanga. In fact, greater galangal (also called laos) almost replaced gingeroot in much of the cooking of Southeast Asia. Lesser galangal and galanga are also eaten, but more as a cooked vegetable than a spice. At one time, galangal was widely used in Europe (for example, in England during the Middle Ages), where the root was sliced in both fresh and dried forms and added to dishes; it was also dried and ground. Now...galangal's principal use in the West is in making liqueurs and bitters."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1776)
Why call it galangal?
"Galangal...the history of its name has one or two unexpected twists and turns. It goes back ultimately to Chinese gao liang jiang, which means literally 'good ginger from Gaozhou (a city in Canton now called Maoming)'. This came westwards via Arabic khalanjan, and passed into medieval Latin as gallingar (which Old English adopted as gallengar). In French the Arabic term became galingal, and Middle English took this over as galingale. By the sixteenth century...the name was also being applied to a European plant of the sedge family whose root had roughly similar properties to those of the oriental galingale, and as the latter gradually dropped our of culinary use in Britain with the passing of the Middle Ages, so the native plant came more and more to take over the name galingale, and the oriental spice had to make do with the variant form galangal."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 135)
Greater vs lesser galangal
"As in so many other cases, it is Garcia de Orta, writing in sixteenth-century Goa, who first makes a clear distinction between the two species of galanga: 'The small kind, from China, is very fragrant. It is a shrub or bushy plant two palms high, with leaves like myrtle, and the Chinese say it grows wild. The kind that comes from Java is called lancuaz [lengkuas]: it is larger, about five palms high, and not so fragrant or aromatic as the other. Its leaves are like a lance blade, and it bears a white flower. It does produce a seed, but the seed is not used; it is propagated from the root, like ginger, and not in any other way. Do not believe Aythos who tells you otherwise, because Avicenna, Serapion and the other Arabic medicinal writers had only a very confused idea of galanga.'"
---Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2000 (p. 79)
"There remains considerable confusion about species designations within the genus Alpinia and as to which species are indeed found and used in China. Ther are, however, two principal ones. One is greater galangal (A. glanga), so-called because its rhizomes are larger than those of the other widely traded spices., A. officinarum, lesser galangal. Greater galangal is a cultivated plant of southernmost China, Southeast Asia, and India and was domesticated somewhere in the Asian tropics...Its rhizomes, which taste like ginger mixed with pepper, are sued as medicine and spice, and also to flavor and scent alcoholic beverages; its seeds, known as galangal cardamom, serve similar uses. Its rhizomes, known as galangal or by related names, have been imported to the Near East and Europe since early times. This product, apparently carried westward by caravan in Roman Mesopotamia on a route from Persia. was mentioned by Aetius (sixth century A.D.) and later by Paulus Aegineta (seventh century A.D.)...Since terms similar to galanga or galangal are used for this rhizome in Arabic, Persian, and Sanskrit...Laufer...suggested that the Arabs first obtained the rhizome in India and that its name in Arabic derived from the Sanskrit kulanja (or kulanjana). However, he dismisses the claim, one that has persisted for a century, that the term 'galangal' derives ultimately from the Chinese name kao-liang-ching (kao-liang ginger). One of his reasons was that kao-liang-chiang in China refers not to greater galangal but to lesser galangal, the most important Alpinia species in South China...In T'ang China...lesser galangal grew in the weast of Lingnan and on Hainan, and was sent north as a tribute to the royal court...In the 1920's it continued to be cultivated in South China on a considerable scale...from which large amounts were shipped to other areas of China and to Europe...The rhizomes of lesser galangal are stronger in odor and taste than those of greater galangal, and more highly prized as spice, medicine, and scent. Its seeds (kao-liang-chiang-tzu), like those of greater galangal, are called 'galangal cardamom,' and serve the same uses. Early in the nineteenth century, lesser galangal was regarded as so superior to greater galangal in India...that it was ten times more costly. We have not determined when lesser galangal reached India, but it does antedate the Portuguese. Idrisi in the twelfth century commented on the galangal of South China...Whatever its date of arrival in Europe, it was known in European pharmacies as 'Galanga minor' to distinguish it from 'Galanga major,' greater galangal. Of special notes is its widespread use in Russia to flavor vinegar and the liquor called nastoica."
---Food in China: A Cultural and Historical Inquiry, Frederick J. Simoons [CRC Press:Boca Raton FL] 1991 (p. 373-374)
"Galingale was known to the Arabs at least as early as the 9th century...the name galingale came from an Arabic word which in turn came from a Chinese name which meant ginger of Kau-liang', the ancient name for a part of Guangdong...it seems to imply the Arabs knew where it came from (China) long before Europeans did...Certainly, it became a popular spice in medieval Europe...The rhizomes of the lesser galingale are reddish and smaller than those of the greater, and give a different and stronger flavour. The greater is the one most widely used in Thai, Malay, and Indonesian cooking..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 329)
"From southern China comes a spice that was much more familiar in medieval England than it is in modern Britain--even though, in centuries past, spices took so much longer to travel across the world and were so much more expensive at journey's end...Greek and Roman doctors occasionally prescribed galanga: Aetius...in his fifth-century textbook, mentions galanga three times as an ingredient in complex prescriptions...Marco Polo remarked on the fine galanga that grew in profusion in Burma and several southern provinces of China, notably Fujian."
---Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2000 (p. 78-79)
Gluten free products & cookbooks
Researching "gluten free" is complicated and interesting because the earlier generic term is "wheat free." The physical condition was generally grouped with "allergies." Diet/health cookbooks, government pamphlets and health organization booklets sometimes included selected wheat free (and the larger umbrella term gluten free) recipes. The earliest cook book we found specifically focused on gluten free recipes was published in 1967. The earliest food products were sold in health food stores. They begin to proliferate in the 1970s. In 2014, some larger supermarkets (Northern NJ) have carved out small sections/dedicated shelves to make gluten-free products easy to find. Of course, tub cookie dough, requiring refrigerated shelving, is across the store next to the regular commercial cut & bake cookies. Gluten-free flours are in the regular baking aisle. Please note: the information below is not a comprehensive study. We limited our search to the USA. It is quite possible another country pioneered this special food market. Happy to share what we found!
When were the first foods marketed as "gluten free" available?
According to the records of the US Patent & Trademark Office Jolly Joan wheat-free baking mixes were introduced to the American public January 12, 1937. The trademark is currently "dead," indicating manufacture has ceased. Our survey of historic returns advertisements for "Jolly Joan" wheat germ [Los Angeles Times, June 9, 1939 (p. 4)], no mention at that time of wheat-free or gluten-free products until the 1970s.
"Word Mark JOLLY JOAN Goods and Services (CANCELLED) IC 030. US 046. G & S: WHEAT FREE GRAIN MIXES FOR BAKING PURPOSES; PANCAKE MIXES; BREAKFAST CEREALS; INSTANT SOY MILK POWDER; AND FLOURS. FIRST USE: 19370400. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19380112 Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING Serial Number 72190504 Filing Date April 7, 1964 Current Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Registration Number 0785703 Registration Date February 23, 1965 Owner (REGISTRANT) ENER-G CEREAL, INC. CORPORATION WASHINGTON 1921 FIRST AVE. SOUTH SEATTLE WASHINGTON (LAST LISTED OWNER) ENER-G FOODS, INC. CORPORATION BY CHANGE OF NAME FROM WASHINGTON 6901 FOX AVENUE SEATTLE WASHINGTON 98108 Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL Affidavit Text SECT 15. Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 19850223 Live/Dead Indicator DEAD Cancellation Date November 26, 2005"
"Today's dietetic foods include such unusual items as evaporated goat milk, wheat free breads, low sodium soups, and even sugarless sweeteners in cans and jars." ---"Foods of All Kinds Come in Kinds for Dietarian," Madeline Hollands, Chicago Daily Tribune, February 23, 1953 (p. A4)
"Health Foods, Are You on a Diet? Wuest's Bread-Cake-Cookies...wheat & gluten free...Wuest Labs & Diet Bakeries,...Flushing L.I. N.Y.."
---classified ad, New York Times, January 8, 1962 (p. 157)
"I...am on a gluten-free diet and use substitutes for regular flour. I make a delicious sponge cake from potato starch and good muffins from 'grainless' mix. I find the rice flour makes fine waffles which I serve to the whole family, instead of mixing separate batches...Rice flour can be purchased at health food stores, at the cheese store at Congressional Plaza Shopping Center and at one of the specialty food markets with branches on Wisconsin ave. in Georgetown and Connecticut ave. A tip for menu planners: a gluten free bread mix is on the market, in case you didn't know. Once made up it must be kept in the refrigerator. I find it tastes best when toasted."
---"Reader Exchange, A Long Recipe, Please, Diet Menus," Washington Post, November 13, 1965 (p. D7)
"The doctor's verdict is in: wheat must be eliminated from your diet. Or perhaps in your case the variety is even more stringent and all glutens (wheat, rye, oats, barley) are forbidden, Translated, that is monotony at the table and frustration at the marketplace. There has to be a solution, so ou become a pioneer woman in the kitchen, and a supersleuth in the market. Be prepared for impatience, research and trial. Follow me into the gluten-free world. First discovery: Supermarkets have little to offer, and convenience foods, from breads to bouillon, become a fond memory. An amazing percentage of processed foods are either created from, or extended and thickened with, the forbidden ingredient. Wear your magnifying glasses to market, the better to read labels. But beware! Many labels are incomplete... Cast a suspicious eye on canned and dehydrated foods, including soups. I've only found two exceptions: frozen oyster stew and dehydrated Vit-O-Veg Kwik Soup, with soy flour noodles, are safe. Two supermarket items, old-fashioned cornstarch and tapioca, will become new-fashioned staples. They will rule where wheat flour used to reign...Plain frozen vegetables are usually acceptable. The safest approach is to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, pure meat and dairy products...Now the biggest trial and reeducation: breads and pastries. Face the fact that you've said goodbye to gluten and its springiness and cohesiveness. Nothing you bake will taste like French bread, but delicate, sliceable breads can be made. Flours will be brown rice, corn, soya, potato, and rice polish, usually in combination. Cookies, cakes, pies, waffles, even pizzas will be prepared from strange new recipes...Parties should put you on the alert. Hard drinks are limited to rum and wines. Say goodbye to beer, and avoid root beer (malt). No barbecued chips, and watch those dips. The poplar 'Onion soup dip' is forbidden. Clams and cream cheese, chives with sour cream, or raw vegetables dipped into PURE mayonnaise (the health food store kind) give you a varied selection. Avoid processed cold cuts and processed variety cheeses. Even coffees, ground and instant, must be "100 per cent.' Check the labels on coca and instant tea, too...A child on a restricted diet has a difficult time. Neighbors want to give him 'just one little cookie' and his friends will wonder why he's 'different.' With planning, a child can conform. Breakfast is easy with Quaker Puffed Rice or Post's Rice Krispies, eggs and bacon, waffles with Karo syrup, fresh fruit, health food juice, and milk. Luncheon sandwiches on gluten-free bread are good. Avoid hot dogs, commercial hamburgers, and cold cuts...Restaurant dining calls for steak, baked potato, salad with cider vinegar and oil. When you want Mexican or Oriental food, call ahead and check with the chef (and take your own soy sauce). Be wary of ground meats, frequently extended with wheat. A restaurant is no place to adventure. I order steak, For convenience, try Jolly Joan Wheat-Free Gluten Free Rice Mix or Corn Mix. Each box contains several recipes, brownies to read. I can't praise the Jolly Joan bread, but otherwise the results are acceptable, and quick. 'Jolly Joan' is at the health food store."
---"How You Can Still Be a Gourmet on a Gluten-Free Diet," Marcia H. Slappey, Washington Post, March 23, 1972 (p. C4)
"Golden Harvest Wheat Free Rice and Rye Bread Mix, ideal for Wheat-free diets. bake delicious cakes, muffins, read, cookies, pie crust, pancakes, waffles--all without wheat! 20 oz, 89 cents." ---display ad, GNC (health food store), Los Angeles Times, January 9, 1974 (p. H12)
[NOTE: Also ads fro Golden Harvest Low ProteinGluten free Berad mix (20 oz, .49.]
What was the first cookbook specifically marketed as "Gluten Free?"
In the USA, "Gluten Free" (aka "Wheat Free") recipes have historically been promoted three ways:
A. Food shortage: during WWI because American wheat was being diverted to feed soldiers. The Library of Congress catalog (http://catalog.loc.gov) confirms the US Food Administration published an 8 page booklet titled "Wheatless recipes tested in the experimental kitchen of the Food administration" in 1918.
B. Food allergies: FT Library & Library of Congress confirm gluten-free recipes were incorporated in "food allergy" sections of health food cook books. "Suggested recipes and food lists for wheat, egg or milk free diets...", Ray Morton Balyeat  is an early example. Food companies (Quaker Oats, Best Foods) and organizations & governments (American Dietetic Association, US Dept. of Agriculture, Good Housekeeping) also published recipe booklets promoting company products or generic alternatives.
C. Gluten-free focus: Our survey of historic USA newspapers & the Library of Congress identify this book as the first cookbook specifically marketed as gluten free: Gourmet food on a wheat-free diet, Marion N. Wood . Followed by: Delicious and easy rice flour recipes, Marion N. Wood  and Creating cooking without wheat, milk, and eggs, Ruth R. Shattuck .
[NOTES: (1) The Library of Congress Subject Heading (LSCH) for these books are (a) Wheat-free diet and (b) Wheat free diet-recipes. (2) FT owns a copy of Wood's 1967 book.]
Who was Marion Wood & why did she write her wheat-free cook book?
"This cookbook is the culmination of six years of research and experimentation using rice flour as a basic flour and a substitution for wheat flour. At first I was concerned only with feeding my husband a nourishing, palatable diet. I was determined that meals would remain a pleasure--not an exercise in survival, which my earliest recipes and results seemed to forcast. In restrospect, I believe that my life's experiences converged upon this challenging new problem. Teacher, social worker, and potter, my vocations and avocation, contributed to this book. I am sure that if I had never struggled with the empirical science of making glazes for my pottery I would never have dared to juggle recipes as much as I have--not had the 'hunches' that helped me so often. My husband recognized the teacher in me, related to this problem, when that first year he gave me a valentine to 'Dear Teacher.' Now the social worker in my wants to share and help others beyond the small circle of my own known world, to help the segments of our population which the women's magazines with dietetic kitchens behind them have ignored." (p. xi)..."I was ill prepared for my new adventure incooking but the stakes were very high. For twenty-three years my husband, Mike, had struggled to live...I vowed I would continue to use the cook's creed, 'I will prepare all meals to be as appealing to the eye and palate as I can. I will make every meal important.' I started with four recipes using rice flour I found at a health food store ...These were the reicpes that our doctor found. I could find none in my cookbooks...Later I found a book of allergy recipes. I soon found taht all of the special recipes I tried...came out heavy, and generally screaming 'diet.' I wondered if the ones who concocted the recipes actually ate the food." (p. 4-5)
---Gourmet Food on a Wheat-Free Diet, Marion N. Wood [Charles C. Thomas:Springfield IL] 1967 (p. xi)
[NOTE: If you would like sample recipes from this book let us know!]
When were gluten-free food products introduced?
Grapefruit (aka pomelo, shaddock) presents a unique history quite apart from its citrus relatives. Generally thought to have originated in Southeast Asia, seeds were transported to the New World in the 17th century. The grapefruit flourished. Legends happened. Companies promoted. Science intervened. American consumers ate it all up. Mostly for breakfast.
Why do we call it grapefruit? Because this fruit grows on trees like grapes on the vine. There is not botanical or flavor connection. This fruit is also known by other names, most notably shaddock, after the sea captain credited for introducing it to the New World.
Early grapefruit promoters touted the fresh fruit as health food, recommended for breakfast. This paired intelligently with period orange/juice market strategy. Search in Michigan State University's Feeding America digitized cookbook collection confirms grapefruit cookery. Recipes generally center on preserves (marmalade), juice and fruit salad. Search in national historic newspaper databases (ProQuest) confirms early product introduction, interest, promotions, trends & tastes. For comprehensive results, search terms: grapefruit, grape fruit, shaddock, pomelo.
Our research confirms the popularity of grapefruit as USA breakfast fruit in the 1930s. Historic texts and period newspapers affirm widespread promotion and availability. Many suggested home menus begin with grapefruit. Presumably, this mellow yellow fruit also graced the breakfast tables set in restaurants. It is interesting to note that European interest in grapefruit blossomed when USA athletes demanded it be served at the 1936 Olympics.
Origin & diffusion
"Grapefruit. A large and tart member of the citrus family, the grapefruit is so named because it grows in clusters like grapes. Its origins, however, are something of a mystery. All members of the citrus family...save for the grapefruit, are native to Southeast Asia. The grapefruit, it seems, although of Southeast Asian parents, was born in the Americas. It is believed that one of its progenitor--the pomelo--somehow crossed the Indian Ocean and moved about the Middle East, eventually reaching Europe and then sailing off to the West Indies. There, perhaps in the eighteenth century, it may be that either a mutation occurred or the pomelo was crossed with an orange, with the modern grapefruit the result. But further confusing the picture was the arrival in the Americas around 1800 of a ship commanded by Captain James Shaddoc, who brought a cargo of pomelos (or grapefruit) claiming that he had discovered them in the Fiji Islands. Consequently, the grapefruit was subsequently called 'shaddock' in America. A variation on the story would have the captain taking the fruits to England, whereupon they were carried by the British to the Caribbean. A third version would have the pomelo reaching Florida, where it was hybridized with orange pollen for sweetness, and the grapefruit came into being. The Ruby Red grapefruit variety was definitely the result of a seed mutation in McAllen, Texas, in 1929. Certainly, the grapefruit has long been one of the most popular citrus fruits in North America, but it was only following World War II that it became a breakfast food in Europe--the result of American influence."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1780)
"Given the fact that citrus trees and citriculture were introduced so long ago to the West Indies, it is difficult to document which variety was first planted there. In some caese the story has become quasi-mythical...The story of the grapefruit--also known as the schaddock--is one such example. We know...that a certain Captain Shaddock, and English sea captain with the East India Company, brought seeds of this fruit with him to the West Indies in 1683 from the Malay Archipelago. A contemporary, Hans Sloane, wrote in his 1707 A Voyage to the Islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers and Jamaica, 'In Barbados the shaddocks surpass those of Jamaica in goodness. The seed of this was first brought to Barbados by one Captain Shaddock, Commander of an East India ship, who touch'd at that Island in his Passage to England, and left the Seed there.' From a November 9, 1683, issue of The Kingston Times and Herald, we learn that the captain hand-delivered some seeds from an Asian plant or tree to William Jones, a planter from the Mandeville area. But that is all we know. We can only speculate whether Captain Shaddock, might have been the brother of John Shattuck, a grandson of Bermuda's governor...And were did the grapefruit get is several names? It's called pommelo--or is it pomelo, or pummlo? It is also called pamplemousse, Bali lemon, Limau besar, and shaddock. The source of the last name is obvious, but even then, questions remain..It's called a graefruit because of the grape-like clusters of fruit on the tree. Its first recorded mention was in 1750 by Griffith Hughes, record of St. Lucy's parish in Barbados, where it was known as the 'forbidden fruit'."
---Citrus: A History, Pierre Laszlo [University of Chicago Press:Chicago] 2007 (p. 31-32)
"Grapefruit was introduced into Florida by County Philippe Odet, a Frenchman who settled near Safety Harbor on Tampa Bay in 1823, bringing with him the seeds or seedlings of grapefruit and other citrus fruits form the Bahamas. Cultivation began in a number of American locations, in Texas as well as Florida. The first seedless variety, Marsh, was fortuitously discovered around 1860 on a farm near Lakeland, Florida. Next came the Thompson variant, a limb sport on a Marsh tree in an orchard owned by W.B. Thompson in Oneco, Florida. Discovered in 1913 by S.A. Collins, the Thompson was introduced in 1924 by the Royal Palms Nurseries of Oneco. The Thompson was the first pigmented grapefruit, whitish flesh and rind reddish orange rather than citrine in color. Then the Texans moved in with the Redblush, a limb sport of the Thompson, first observed in 1931 by J.B. Webb of Donna, Texas, and introduced in 1934."
---Citrus (p. 32-33)
"The grapefruit was introduced to Tampa, Florida, in 1823 by a French count named Odette Philippe, but it achieved no gastronomic notice until well into the nineteenth century, when the first shipments of the fruit were made to northern markets. The first commercial plantings in Florida were in 1885, and by 1900 the grapefruit had taken on some interest as an alternative to oranges, and, with the introduction of the 'Marsh Seedless' variety, it became all the more attractive as a breakfast fruit. In 1924 the pink-fleshed 'Thompson Seedless' was marketed, followed five years later by a red variety named 'Red Blush.' The 'Ruby Red,' originally discovered as a bud mutation on a Thompson pink tree, is one of the most popular of the pink-fleshed grapefruits and is the primary variety grown in Texas."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 143-144)
Recipes & uses
Early grapefruit promotions touted the fruit as health food, recommended for breakfast. This paired nicely with period orange/juice market strategy. Search in Michigan State University's Feeding America digitized cookbook collection confirms grapefruit cookery. Recipes generally center on preserves (marmalade), juice and fruit salad. Search in national historic newspaper databases (ProQuest) confirms early product introduction, interest, promotions, trends & tastes. For comprehensive results, search terms: grapefruit, grape fruit, shaddock, pomelo.
[1895: CURIOSITY TO CASH CROP]
"Grapefruit culture is a question now before the minds of many ranchers in this country who are progressive and seek to raise profitable crops which 'the other feller' isn't raisin. Thus far in the development of Southern California very little attention has been paid to raising grapefruit. Many people do not know what grapefruit is. It resembles an enormous orange in form, and has a rich, lemon color. The peculiar acidity of the fruit--a sort of cross between an orange and a lemon acid--makes it particularly desirable as a breakfast fruit. For many years this fruit has been grown in Florida more as a curiosity than as an article of commerce. A few years ago an enterprising fruit man tried to sell the fruit in Northern markets. It soon became a favorite breakfast fruit with epicures. The grapefruit fad soon seized the people, and since then the supply has been inadequate to the demand."
---"Grapefruit Culture," Los Angeles Times, February 6, 1895 (p. 7)
[1911: BREAKFAST FRUIT & HEALTH FOOD]
"GRAPE FRUIT, or Pomelo...The Spaniards introduced the Pomelo into Florida, but recognition of its value was deferred for a long time, partly because its peculiarity of flavor was not at first acceptable to the American palate, and partly because of lack of care in its culture and poor judgment in marketing. Now, however, it has conquered the market completely, both North and South, and is to-day the prime favorite, though the highest-priced, of breakfast fruits. The species of the citrus family to which the Grape Fruit or "Pomelo" belongs, includes also the Shaddock, which it supplanted in the general markets. The Pomelo obtained its present name of "Grape Fruit" because of the clustering, grape-like groups in which most varieties grow. Going further back, the name Pomelo comes from the Dutch Pompelmoes, and Shaddock from Captain Shaddock, who first carried it into the West Indies. To the Shaddock belongs the variety known in Europe as the "Forbidden Fruit." Grape Fruit is often misjudged because of a mistaken but rather widespread habit of eating it before it is ripe--it should be allowed to mature just as fully as any other fruit. Most varieties do not attain their full richness until December--and from then on, through April and even into May, they are generally found at their best. The Grape Fruit does not contain as much citric acid as the lemon, but it is decidedly antiscorbutic, and possesses some of the bitter tonic quality of cinchona. To obtain its full medicinal value, it should be eaten without wine or sugar, but the addition of either, or both, makes it very delicious. The present supply comes principally from Florida, California and the West Indies. Increasing quantities are imported each season from Porto Rico."
---The Grocers Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward (p. 279-280)
[NOTE: later historians trace the Florida introduction to a Frenchman.]
[1930: HEALTH DRINK]
"The best time to knock a cold out is when it first makes its appearance, because once it becomes established, it will generally last from eight to ten days or longer... While the patient is perspiring, it is a good plan for him to drink an infusion made by pouring boiling water over a grapefruit which has been cut into small pieces. After the mixture has been allowed to stand for awhile, the patient should drink the juice, using from four to eight ounces at a time, about every half hour. Do not use other food until the cold has abated."
---"Health and Diet Advice," Dr. Frank McCoy, Los Angeles Times, January 7, 1930 (p. A7)
[1930: INDUSTRY PROMOTION]
"The 1930 Sunkist grapefruit advertising campaign by the California Fruit Grower's exchange is now under way and will extend throughout winter and spring months...A sixteen weeks' newspaper-and-radio campaign, featuring the superior qualities of Sunkist grapefruit began early in January, Newspapers in leading cities of the Pacific Coast and intermountain regions will carry display ads, and an extensive street-car advertising an extensive street-car advertising campaign, dealer service and demonstration program will be carried out."
---"Ad Campaign on Grapefruit in Full Swing," Los Angeles Times, January 13, 1930 (p. A6)
[1931: LEGENDS RECOUNTED]
"Since the days when our father were boys and our mothers wore stays and leg o-mutton sleeves, the grapefruit has held a place apart in our breakfast, luncheon, and late supper menus. In fact, were a vote for a national fruit cast today, the big cousin of the lemon and the orange would be a strong contender for highest honors. Now when spring fever is a common malady there is no better tonic an the juice of the grapefruit, recognized as an excellent aid to digestion and a cureall for that sluggish feeling. The splendid quality of the fruit and the unusually low price this year are a boon also to weak purse strings. While average grapefruit may be purchased as low as five cents each, the best quality is retailing as low as eight and ten cents...production in Florida and Texas has ben hevier this season than in years past and even larger shipments are expected from these states the coming year...To many an inquiring young modern the name of the fruit is a puzzle, for it is not related to nor does it look or taste like the grape. To see it growing in Florida or Texas, however, is to solve the problem, for, unlike other citrus fruits, the grapefruit globes appear in clusters of from six to twelve and bend down the branches like bunches of huge yellow grapes. As the result of scientific investigation the last few years, the island of Barbados in the West Indies is generally accepted as the place of origin of the American grapefruit. The story of its Origin. It was in 1696, the story goes, that a certain Capt. Shaddock made port in Barbados after wandering in the orient. Among other things he had collected the seeds of various plants and some of these he gave to the people of the island to plant. From some of these seeds came the original grapefruit trees, and from them in turn have been propagated all the grapefruit trees of the western world. Botanists, when they have sought to find other specimens in the east, have failed. If the plant still exists in the orient it has evaded the search of moderns, or it may have become extinct. Though the years its quality was gradually improved in the West Indies until it came to be a dooryard fruit on many a plantation. Not until the end of the last century, however, did it cross over and gain a similar position in Florida, where, under the eye of scientific growers, superior varieties were selected and raised. Graft on Orange Trees. Even as the late 1885 grapefruit was described as 'more showy than useful,' although it was incidentally noted that 'the juice is rather refreshing.' In 1894, however, when Florida suffered a cold winter that killed its orange trees to the ground, leaving only the stumps, fruit growers grafted grapefruit on these same stumps and produced the first real crop to take care of an increasing demand. Today grapefruit is grown in four states of the Union, Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona, to meet the domestic per capita consumption of approximately five fruits a year as well as the foreign demand, for the American example is beginning to be followed abroad, especially in England. As yet European consumption has to wait on American production for the most part, for the great old world centers of citrus culture on the eastern Mediterranean have not been converted to grapefruit planting. About the Fruit's Acid. Frequently a member of a family is hear to lament that he cannot eat grapefruit or lemons because of their acidity. The curious fact and one difficult for a person unfamiliar with food chemistry to believe, is that, despite the fact that these fruits are acid outside the body, they have an alkaline reaction in the bloodstream which offsets acidity cause by such foods as meat, fish, eggs, bread, and cereals. When it comes to the marketing of grapefruit it is well to remember that size more than quality determines prices in citrus fruits. Fore economy choose the smaller sized fruits, heavy for their size and thin skinned, for they will be found more juicy and richly flavored. Standards for quality differ with the source. Frequently a fruit with slight color or form imperfections is priced a little lower than the so called perfect grade and the value of the fruit is not at all impaired. Perhaps grapefruit is no more delicious in any form than merely cut in half and served as a breakfast fruit or as an appetizer for luncheon or dinner."
---"The Grapefruit is Traced Back to Sea Captain," Ruth De Young, Chicago Daily Tribune, May 1, 1931 (p. 27)
[1936: POPULARITY OF OLYMPIC PROPORTION]
"An American tradition, grapefruit for breakfast, nearly became a cause celebre at the Olympic Games when athletes of foreign lands tasted it and demanded it on their tables, according to Bernard Junghans, chief steward of the North German Lloyd liner Columbus...To keep the 5,600 athletes happy and in good health, the German hosts arranged to supply national menus for all meals, and characteristic foods were served to every national team with one exception. This was the Chinese team, which liked German food. 'The Americans had to have their grapefruit,' Mr. Junghans said. 'and although at first the other athletes didn't like it, they soon began asking for it all the time."
---"Grapefruit Too Popular: Americans Created Demand for It at Olympic Games," New York Times, September 3, 1936 (p. 23)
Related fruits? Oranges & lemons.
Food historians generally agree "gratin" recipes originated in Europe.
"Gratin. Nowadays, gratin is commonly applied to a dish with a topping of grilled grated cheese--a usage deplored by purists who insist that it is the crisply baked topping (which could be of breadcrumbs as well as cheese) that is the criterion of the grain. In fact, though, there need not be any substance on top of the gratin, simply the crisped surface of the main ingredient (the most celebrated gratin, for instance, the gratin daphinois, a dish of sliced potatoes baked in cream, classically has not additional topping). The French word gratin originated as a derivative of the verb grater, "grate," but it referred not to the grating of cheese or any other substance to make a topping, but to the scraping of the burnt crispy bits from the bottom of the pan."
---An A-Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 148)
"Gratin, Gratiner. Two French terms, noun and verb respectively, which have entered the international culinary vocabulary, as has the expression au gratin. Originally, back in the 16th century or beyond, the noun referred to that part of a cooked dish which stuck to the pot or pan and had to be scraped (gratte) off if it was not to be wasted. Since the 19th century the meaning has changed to the effect deliberately created by cooks when they cook a dish so that it has a crisply baked top. This is often achieved by strewing grated cheese or breadcrumbs on top, and the phrase 'au gratin' is often taken to mean 'with grated cheese', although the gratin effect can be produced without adding anything on top...The gratin effect can be applied to a dish under the grill, or uncovered in a hot oven, or by using a salamander thereby giving it a crust. Wither this crust or the dish as a whole may be called 'gratin'."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 350)
"Cooking foods 'au gratin', the quick browning of the top of a prepared dish with high heat, may have had an early start in Provence, as indicated by the word gratoneya, which appears in certain Provencal archival documents related to cooking foods."
---A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford A. Wright [William Morrow:New York] 1999 (p. 152)
What is the correct pronounciataion of "Au Gratin?"
The answer depends upon where you are. The term is French. According to the Larousse Standard French-English/English French Dictionary, the French pronunciation sounds like oh-grateh (emphasis on teh', the n' is not pronounced). The Oxford English Dictionary agrees. Many Americans pronounce this term oh-gra'tin (emphasis on gra', prounouncing the final n'). This is reflected in Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary. This source does not offer an explanation for the pronunciation.
Compare with "scalloped" recipes.
Our research confirms "greens" originated in the Mediterranean. Different regions/climates grew different varieties. Both white colonists and African slaves had been incorporating greens into traditional meals long before the "New World" was discovered. Dishes, flavors and cooking techniques varied according to culture and cuisine. The general consensus of the food historians is that African slaves introduced collards to America. Few historians, however state this as fact, probably for lack of documented print evidence. White slave traders chose what to serve their human cargo; these foods are documented. If the traders chose collards, it was because they recognized the item was nourishing and liked. Healthy slaves commanded premium prices. Below please find our general notes on greens, followed by notes on collard, mustard and turnip greens. Ramps are New World greens. Dandelions are appreciated for their greens in addition to their roots and flowers. Arugula & rocket are relatives consumed as salad greens. chicory was used to brew "substitute" coffee. Quinoa, better known for its seeds, also produced greens similar to spinach. Fiddlehead ferns are also edible heralders of spring.
"The use of greens as a general term for the green parts of a plant (now obsolete) dates from the seventeenth century, but its application to otherwise unspecified leafy vegetables is an eighteenth-century development ('fresh provisions...such as roots, greens, hogs, and fowls,' Daniel Defoe, A New Voyage Round the World, 1725). A number of plants have hidden behind the name over the centuries. In southern England, at any rate, it has traditionally been applied to various manifestations of the cabbage family-- the upper leaves of the Brussels sprout...and young cabbages which have failed to form a heart (spring greens)--but there are many regional variations, and in America the term usually refers to such items as spinach and beet leaves. Whatever the word stands for, however, greens have the reputation for being good fo you but unpalatable..."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 150)
"Cruciferae (Brassicaceae), in the mustard family of the caper order (Capparales), are found on all continents except Antarctica... The Mediterranean region is generally considered the site of the family's origination...In Europe wild ancestors of the turnip and radish were gathered in prehistoric times, and most of these vegetables have been cultivated and used since the earliest days of recorded history. They are discussed extensively by classical Greek scholars like Theophrastus, and Roman writers, including Marcus Porcius Cato and Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella, as well as in chronicles of food and daily life in medieval and Renaissance Europe, such as The Four Seasons of the House of Cerruti...This book compiled in the late 1300s, is based on the manuscript of an eleventh-century Arab physician living in northern Italy. The work describes the foods...common in that region... Many cruciferious vegetables were grown during medieval and early modern times in the kitchen gardens of Europe, and particularly Britain, to be eaten in stews and salads..."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Connee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume One (p. 288-289)
"Undoubtedly many leafy vegetables other than those of the cabbage family were eaten. Mustard was certainly used as a green vegetable. Pliny comments that it grew in Italy without sowing, which suggests that it was just gathered wild. Remains of what is thought to be mustard were found at the Glastonbury 'lake-village'. Dock and nettle leaves made dishes of greens too; Pliny considered the latter pleasing fare when gathered in the spring, and although it was undoubtedly a peasant dish, Apicius gives a recipe for a patin of nettles (a sort of puree) which sounds something like a dish of spinach with the addition of eggs. Mallow was a popular plant with the Greeks, and the Romans also ate it...Many other plants, today unheard-of as food, must have been used as greens..." ---Food in Antiquity, Don Brothwell and Patricia Brothwell [Johns Hopkins University Press:Baltimore] expanded edition, 1998 (p. 119-120)
"Unlike many white southerners, slaves had a strong tradition of eating a lot of cooked greens--those from the tops of beets... and dandelions. Slaves were resourceful in preparing vegetable sustenance from many other nutritious leafy vegetables, among them chard, collard greens, kale, mustard greens and purslane. Native American slaves introduced other greens, such as marsh marigold, milkweed, and pokeweed, and these, too, became part of the vegetable sustenance of slaves."
---African American Foodways: Explorations of History & Culture, Anne L. Bower editor [University of Illinois Press:Urbana IL] 2007 (p. 48)
"Collards...often regarded as a form of kale (which they are, differing mostly in the smoothness of their leaves), collards ( Brassica oleracea var. acephata) constitute one of the oldest members of the cabbage family and probably originated in the Mediterranean region. However, collard greens subsequently spread over much of the tropical and subtropical world and are cultivated in Southeast Asia (including Southern China), east and West Africa, the West Indies, South America, and the southern United States. Collards probably reached the Americas from Africa via the slave trade and are most consumed in those regions that formerly harbored slave societies."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1761)
"Collard greens...was one of those [staple African] dishes. A member of the kale/cabbage family, collards had their distant origin in the Mediterranean world, but probably came to the New world directly from Africa."
---Stirring the Pot: A History of African Cuisine, James C. McCann [Ohio University Press:Athens OH] 2009 (p. 168)
"Kale and cabbage are varieties of the same species, and both are descended from the same wild ancestry. Kale is the more primitive of the two, and was the ordinary greenstuff of country people in most parts of Europe until the end of the Middle Ages, when the 'headed' cabbages were bred...Other names for kale include the Dutch boerenkool...and 'collards' (a corruption of colewart and the usual name in the USA). All derive from the Greek kaulos, meaning stem."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 426)
"Also "collards." A variety of kale...with a rosette of green leaves. The world comes form "colewort" and dates in American print to 1745. This nutritious green vegetable is one of these staples of southern cooking, particularly among African-Americans, who often refer to collards simply as "greens." They are usually boiled and seasoned with ham hocks, and they form the basis for potlikker."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 92)
"From Africa with the people in bondage came new foods: okra, black-eyed peas (also called cowpeas), collard greens, yams, benne seed...and watermelons."
---Southern Food, John Egerton [University of North Carolina Press:Chapel Hill] 1993 (p. 13)
"Collards: Cabbage was a well-known vegetable in antiquity, but the plant the Greeks knew and did not particularly like and the one we think of today when cabbage is mentioned. Its leaves rose around a long stalk and it formed no head. It is still with us, the favorite form of cabbage in the southeastern United States--the collard, oftenest written in the plural, collards, otherwise called collard greens...Collards are on the list of soul foods, a hazy category difficult to define...Cabbages, Old World pants, were transferred to the New by whites in the North in such developed forms as head cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, but in the South, where we know that slaves brought man African plants to America with them, it would seem probably that collards were among them. This is, indeed, a form of cabbage popular in Africa; one of the national dishes of Ethiopia, yegomen kitfo, is composed of buttermilk curds and collard greens."
---Food, Waverly Root [Smithmark Books:New York] 1980 (p. 87)
"Mustard greens, primarily Brassica juncea, come from a wide range of wild and cultivated mustard plants, almost all belonging to the genus Brassica, that of the cabbage...Two wild European mustards, ancestors of the cultivated species, have edible, although bitter leaves. The first is field mustard...the second is charloc...This plant, also known as wild or corn mustard, often used to be eaten, especially in Ireland, the Hebriedes, and Sweden...in North America a number of wild brassica mustards have been used as pot-herbs...Oriental mustard greens are consumed in much greater quantities..."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition 2006 (p. 529)
"Mustard greens...have a more delicate flavor than kale...Most plants of the genus Brassica, are of Eurasian origin. Brassica funcea, however, is probably a native of Africa that spread into Asia, although the plant may have originated in China and spread outward from there."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1820)
"Mustard greens" are the leaves of the mustard plants, and in America the brown mustard plant, sometimes called "leaf mustard," is used in cooking by southerners and in soul food."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 214)
Mustard (sauce, condiment, paste) is made from the ground seeds of these plants.
"Members of the mustard family, wild turnips (Brassica rapa), which apparently are native to Asia Minor, were dug up and eaten by Old World hunter-gatherers millennia before such vegetables were cultivated--and they have been under cultivation in Eurasia for at least 4,000 years. Turnips, which are among the cruciferous vegetables, can grow in even poor soil and are so cheap to cultivate that thy have often been grown for animal feed. Turnips were known to the Romans, because a staple of the European poor during the Middle Ages, and reached the Americas with colonists from both England and France...Perhaps more useful these days than turnip roots are the tops of turnips, eaten as a popular green, especially in Europe, the Orient, and the southern United States...At one point in American history, this vegetable was a common part of the diet consumed by slaves and --consequently-- today is a part of the cuisine called "soul food."
------Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press: Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1873)
Tenacious, tender, and tasty: dandelions herald spring with a sea of yellow blooms. Considered "weeds" because they are not generally cultivated, these greens make for good eating. CAUTION: If you pick dandelions for eating, check to see if they've been sprayed with pesticide.
"Dandelion...these served as a versatile wild food in the Old World since the days of the hunter-gatherers. This bright spring flower was reported in seventeenth-century Massachusetts..."
---The Cambridge World History of Food, Kiple & Ornelas, [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1767)
"Dandelion, a familiar potherb in modern Europe including Italy and Greece, was surely used in classical times but is not clearly distinguishable by name among the bitter leaves. Dandelion...is pikralis in later Greek. The author of the sermon On Unleavened Bread, the first to use the word, identifies dandelion as the 'bitter leaves' eaten at Passover."
---Food in the Ancient World From A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 133)
"Dandelion...Taraxacum officinale, one of the most widespread wild plants of temperate regions worldwide. Leaves, root, and flowers are all edible...their nearest edible relative is wild chicory...T. officinale is a native to Europe and Asia. There are also native American species...During the Middle Ages in Europe dandelion acquired its two common names which are shared by several languages. Dandelion comes from the French 'dent de lion' (lion's tooth), which refers to the (usually) serrated leaves. The other name, the common French 'pissenlit' and its English local equivalent 'pissabed' refer to the diuretic properties attributed to dandelion root...When the European dandelion became common N. America with the arrival of white settlers, the Indians also began using it as a food and for its medicinal qualities...Cultivation of the dandelion began around the middle of the 19th century in France and Britain. Roots were taken up and planted in dark cellars to produce blanched shoots similar to the French cultivation of barbe de capucin...Dandelion leaves are usually made into a salad. A traditional dressing, known in France as aux lardons, is hot bacon fat with small pieces of chopped bacon...The root can be chopped in salads or cooked. Dandelion roots was one of the innumerable things which were tried in the 19th century as a coffee substitute...An unusual French product is carmaillotte, a brownish-orange jelly made from dandelion flowers, with orange, lemon, and sugar."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition, 2007 (p. 242-3)
Dandelions in America
"Extensive use was made by the Iroquois of the vegetative parts of various plants, trees, and shrubs. They were in many cases considered great delicacies and were usually collected in the earlier part of the season, while young and tender. Many of them are still in use and include the following, which are cooked like spinach and seasoned with salt, pepper, or butter...dandelions..."
---Iroquois Foods and Food Preparation, F. W. Waugh, facsimile 1916 edition [University Press of the Pacific:Honolulu HI] 2003 (p. 117-118)
"Dandelion. Dent-de-Lion. The Creoles long abo discovered the possibilities of the dandelion under cultivation. The wild dandelion, as all know, is a common and hardy perennial plant. It is found in luxuriance in the Louisiana meadows and pastures, the deeply notched leaves closely resembling chicoree, so extensively used as a salad and as a green. Through cultivation the dandelion is now numbered among the best of the early spring salads."
---The Original Picayune Creole Cook Book, 9th edition [Times-Picayune Publishing:New Orleans LA] 1938 (p. 210)
[NOTE: Recipe for Dandelion Greens & ham shank (p. 210), Dandelion Salad (p. 163)]
American grocers' perspective:
"The Dandelion, one of the most common and familiar of spring flowers, is entitled to much higher place than it at present holds in general estimation here, Perhaps because of excessive familiarity with it as a 'weed,' and partly also in some sections because it is regarded as of essentially medicinal properties, the average person ignores its manifold virtues and possibilities as a salad plant, alone or with other plants, but John Evelyn placed it among his famous seventy-three salad herbs and European gardeners and cooks have made it fashionable on the other side of the Atlantic. In this country also it is now extensively cultivated by Eastern market gardeners, being raised in hothouses between seasons. The leaves when 'blanched' by covering with earth, or potted and grown, from strong roots, in a warm dark cellar, are white, crisp and delicious. The young leaves resemble Endive. Even the ordinary green leaves lose much of their bitterness if washed and macerated in several waters and they make excellent spring 'greens,' especially if stewed with an equal quantity of sorrel leaves. 'Dandelion Coffee' and 'Dandelion Chocolate' are made from the root, roasted and ground. The 'coffee' is a mixture of ordinary coffee and powder, or extract, of dandelion root. The 'chocolate' contains one-fifth chocolate and four-fifths root."
---Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [Stationers' Hall:New York] 1911 (p. 206-207)
[NOTE: Recipes not included.]
Cornell scientists weigh in:
"This familiar weed is a perennial with a thick, long tap-root and a very short stem, bearing a rosette of leaves and several smooth, hollow scapes; the juice is milky...The solitary heads are composed of golden-yellow...Tender young leaves may be eaten raw in salads or cooked like spinach; the sliced root is also added to salads or pot-herbs. Leaves are usable throughout the summer and are often canned. Wine is sometimes made form the leaves and flowers. The dried roots...are used as a coffee substitute...the green parts of the dandelion are antiscorbutic. Dandelion is found in lawns, meadows, and pastures."
---Garden Spice and Wild Pot-Herbs, Walter Conrad Muenscher and Myron Arthur Rice [Cornell University Press:Ithaca NY] 1955 (p. 199)
James Beard on dandelions:
"A sea of golden dandelions thrusting up thorough the grass is a pretty sight--and inspires thoughts of gastronomic possibilities as well. Though familiar to us all, dandelions are not, as far as I know, native to this country. There is a legend that the first plants were brought here by a woman who greatly enjoyed the provocative, distinct taste of fresh dandelion greens in a spring salad. Being hardy little plants, dandelions then spread all over the country. True or not, the idea of transplanting a European weed for gastronomic delight is a romantic one. There was a time, both in England and here (especially through the Pennsylvania Dutch country), that dandelions were gathered and flowers picked off the stems to be made into dandelion wine. This was recognized as tonic by many people who eschewed alcohol, but would have a little nip of dandelion or parsnip wine for their health. It was worth nipping, though not a wine of such character or distinction that one would want it constantly. However, during Prohibition and during times when women thought it was not the thing to drink wine in public, a sip of dandelion wine was considered good and comforting....I have a book by Macmillan deLoup, published in New York in 1899, which lists three different recipes for dandelion salads, along with this remark: 'These are not yet popular in the United States, but the peculiar bitterness is relished by some people and is said to be most healthful.' Dandelion greens have long been popular in France and Italy, and remain so. There are even a couple of cultivated varieties that are not members of the species that pops up unannounced in one's garden. The are used in spring salads with a dressing of olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, with salad herbs or mustard added. I love the slight bitterness and refreshing quality--it goes so well with a grilled chop or a steak. Years ago, when I was flirting with the idea of a career as an opera singer, I studied with a brilliant Italian coach in London. He also was a great connoisseur of food and a very respectable cook. He would gather dandelion greens, or find them in the markets, and concoct a most delectable mixture for Sunday lunch. This would be the first course, followed perhaps by some cheese and very good bread, or maybe chops or a chicken."
---"Beard on Food: Dandelions Left Home to Make Good," Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1981 (p. K38)
[NOTE: Recipe follows.]
[17th century UK] Aceteria: A Discourse on Sallets/John Evelyn c. 1699 (edit, browse: dandelion to find references)
[19th century USA] Feeding America, Michigan State University (search ingredient: dandelion).
Related bitter greens? Arugula & Rocket>
Stuffed dates were enjoyed by Ancient Romans.
Where did dates originate?
"Date. Arabs say that there are as many culinary and pharmaceutical ways of using dates...as there are days in the year, which serves to underscore the importance of dates to desert peoples. The date tree grows in hot and arid regions where most plants cannot, and at its top are clusters of dates packing a high-energy-giving sugar content of 54 percent. The date palm is thought to be native to North Africa and Arabia--three quarters of the world's date crop is still produced in th Middle East--and its cultivation stretches back some 7,000 years, beyond even the time of the Sumerians and Babylonians, who made it their sacred tree. The name is from the Greek daktulos (meaning "finger," from the shape of the fruit). Dates were also known to Mediterranean peoples from early times, and the Spaniards introduced them into the New World. Spanish missionaries carried dates to California, which today--along with Arizona--produces most of the U.S. crop....Dates are eaten fresh, naturally preserved, or dried, and they are ground into meal to make cakes. In addtion, dates are pressed for juice to make shekar and alcoholic beverages. They are an ingredient in many dishes of the Middle East and wherever else they have been cultivated for a long time."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas, Volume Two, [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000 (p. 1767-8)
"The area of origin cannot be pinpointed, but must have been somewhere in the hot, dry region strecthing from N. Africa through the MIddle East to India--quite probably oases in the region of the Persian Gulf. Cultivation is of prehistoric origin. The palm is often shown in carvings from the earliest period of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisation, and it is clear that dates were then already a staple food. The classical Romans were fond of dates, which they had to import from their Eastern Empire. The best ones came from Jericho in Palestine. Since sugar was then almost unknown, the fruit was used as a sweetener, or else stuffed to make a sweetmeat. The recipes of Apicius include several dishes in which dates are used in sauces for meat or fish. The Chinese came to know the date in early times...Most dates are still grown in their Old World region of origin, the biggest producers being Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 243-4)
Why are they called "dates?"
"The word date is Greek in origin: it comes ultimately from Greek daktulos, which meant 'finger' or 'toe' as well as 'date'. It is usually assumed that the name comes from the resemblance of fingers...A staple of the Middle East for perhaps as long as 50,000 year...the date was known of, and probably known, in Britian by the end of the thirteenth century."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 109)
"The date palm provided one of the most useful fruits, as a source of protein and sugar, and was an economic staple for the Egyptians; it was extensively cultivated through history especially in the Ptolomeaic period. The tree can produce a prolific crop, such as 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of dates on about eight bunches. In Egypt dates were found in the Upper Paleopithic site of el-Khargo, but date palms seem to have been first cultivated in the Middle Kingdom. The date palm was sacred to Ra, the sun god, and was symbolic of life over death. As such it was the emblem of Upper Egypt, and the Saharan oases prodiced a constant supply of the fruit. This could be eaten fresh, dried and preserved, pressed into cakes, made into a conserve, or used as an ingredient in bread. Pastry cooks used them so often as a sweetnener that they were known as 'workers in dates."...Date syrup, made by boiling the whole fruit and allowing the liquid to ferment, was added to barley in the Egyptian New Kingdom to flavor beer. it was also added to wine. Beverages could also be made from fermentation of dates. Domestication of dates probably began about 5000 BC, and this soon became common across Mediterranean regions...Dates also had medicinal uses (for example, in a drink to reduce fever) and were noted for their laxative qualities...The doum palm, knonw only in Upper Etypt, produced a shiny, brown fruit eaten locally...Both the fruit and cakes made of the fruit were placed in tombs, and the fruit is depicted in the Fourteenth Dynasty Theban tomb of Sennedjem."
---Food in the Ancient World, Joan P. Alcock [Greenwood Press:Westport CT] 2006 (p. 41-2)
The Oxford English Dictionary cites the oldest known reference to dates (the fruit) in English print to 1290AD.
"From the end of the fourteenth century the consignments became more frequent, coming in from Spain and Portugal, or on the Italian spice ships...Also on the spice ships from southern Europe came great raisins, 'raisins of Corinth' or currants...prunes, figs and dates. All were consumed in vast quantities by the well-to-do, for the sweetness of dried fruits was greatly appreciated while sugar was still rare and expensive. Poorer people ate them principally in festive pottages and pies during the twelve days of Christmas..."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago] 1991 (p. 332-3)
Date symbolism & lore
"Dates held significance in many Old World myths and were considered sacred or of divine origin by many cultures. In Mesopotamia, where people have venerated the date palm for at least 8,000 years, the tree is said to have originated in heaven. It served as the Mesopotamian Tree of Life (a symbol of immortality)--a role it also fulfilled for the Egyptians and Chinese Taoists. These people made various foodstuffs from the date palm; them made the seeds into coffee or oil, they ate the fruit dried or made into cakes, and they used the date juice to make a potent wine...Date palms grew in many parts of the Old World...The desert areas of Persia, Arabia, and North Africa have been called the Land of Dates because the palms grew there in abundance. These trees provided a large crop of fruit each year, which served as a staple food and a principal source of wealth."
---Nectar & Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 79)
[NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. Your local public or school librarian will be happy to help you obtain a copy.]
sweetmeat. Similar confections were considered holiday fare in Medieval Europe. Jewish cookbooks also feature stuffed dates. Today's stuffed dates are not much different from ancient fare. Then, as today, they are generally made at home and featured on winter holiday tables. The range of modern stuffings has expanded considerably. Witness: fondant, peanut butter, raisins and marshmallows.
"Home-Made Sweet Dishes and Honey Sweetmeats...Dulcia Domestica. Little home confections (which are called dulciaria) are made thus:  Little palms or (as they are ordinarily called)  Dates are stuffed--after the seeds have been removed--with a nut or with nuts and ground pepper, sprinkled with salt on the outside and are candied in honey and served."
---Apicius: Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome, Joseph Dommer Vehling editor and translator [Dover Publicaations:Mineola NY] 1936, 1977 (p. 171-172)
These are a combination of fruit with almond paste for dessert. They are expensive to buy; and lathouth their concoction belongs rather to the confectioner than the cook, after a few trials very good imitation farcies may be made at home. The things to avoid are much handling and giving the fruit a messy appearance. The farcies should always be daintily dished, either alone or with fancy chocolates, fondants, and similar confections. Whatever the fruit chosen, it should be dried; cherries, French plums, dessert raisins and the best dates are the kinds mostly used. The recipe for the almond paste is given in CAKES. It may be made a trifle softer than when to be used for cakes. The stones must be removed from the fruit. Large fruit should be divided, and then a small ball of the paste inserted into each half, the paste extending a little beyond the fruit. Another way is to remove the stones without dividing the fruit, and push in as much paste as possible, so that the fruit resembles the original, and the paste comes as a surprise. The dish is, however, more attractive looking if the paste shows. For cherries, a ball of the paste is often put between the two halves. For dates, remove the stones and insert the paste in their places. Imitation almond paste may be used, if flavoured with almonds."
---Cassell's New Universal Cookery Book, Lizzie Heritage [Cassell and Company:London] 1894 (p. 1122)
Remove the pits from 1 lb of select Persian dates, reserving a few of the poorer ones to chop fine. Chop an equal quantity of English walnuts or hickory nutes and mix with the few dates saved for this purpose. Stuff the whole dates with this mixture. Wrap each in waxed paper, or dust with powdered sugar."
---"The Value of Nuts," Mary Heath, Beauty and Health, March 1, 1903; 5, 6; American Periodicals (p. 242)
Mix unsalted roated nut butter with powdered sugar and a little vanilla, for into pieces the size and shape of date stones and put inside each sate; roll in sugar or not, serve on grape or maple leaves. Serve with wafers, or with rolls and cereal coffee, sometimes. Almond or Brazil nut butter may be used instead of peanut butter, and rose or other flavoring. Grated cocoanut may be mixed with the almond butter. Fill the dates with marshmallow paste for Marshmallow Dates.
---Laurel Health Cookery, Evora Bucknum Perkins [Laurel Publishing Company:Melrose MA] 1911 (p. 488)
[NOTE: This book also offers recipes for Cream Stuffed Dates, Stuffed Figs & Stuffed Prunes.]
Boil rapidly without stirring one-half cup granulated sugar and one-quarter cup milk. Keep sides of pan free from granules. When a soft ball forms in cold water, pour the mixture on a shallow platter. Beat with a wooden fork until stiff. Stir in one-quarter cup of shaved walnut or pecan meats and mold quickly with hands into a sheet one-quarter inch thick. While cooling, stone a dozen Dromedary Dates. Cut from the fondant with a sharp knife a piece as long as a date and one-quarter inch wide. Press the date into the date in place of the stone. Serve soon."
---Dromedary Cook Book [Hills Brothers Company:New York] 1912 (p. 34)
Remove the stone and put in its place a bit of fondant, or, better still, a peanut or a blanched almnd and dust with fine sugar."
---American Home Cook Book, Grace E. Denison [Barse & Hopkins:New York] 1913 (p. 430)
Select large perfect dates. Wash quickly and remove stones carefully. Fill cavities with peanut butter balls, pieces of marshmallow, candied ginger, or nut meats. The uncooked fudge may also be used for a filling. Roll in granulated sugar."
---"These Candies Make Welcome Christmas Gifts," Meta Given, Chicago Tribune, December 14, 1930 (p. F3)
Make cut, length of date and remove stone; fill with walnut or almond; shape in original form; roll in granulated sugar. Stuffing may be of chopped nuts, raisins, apricots or peanut butter, as desired."
---"Candy Recipes for the New Year," Jewish Advocate, December 28, 1934 (p. A4)
"Stuffed Dates, and Prune
Stone dates or prunes and stuff them with fondant which has been colored pink and flavored with rose water. A whole nut-meat should be inserted with the fondant."
---The American Woman's Cook Book, edited and revised by Ruth Berolzheimer, Culinary Arts Institue [Consolidated Book Publishing Company:Chicago IL] 1940 (p. 508)
"Stuffed Dates (petits fours). Dattes Fourrees
Slit the dates down one side and stone them. Stuff each date with a knob of almond paste (about the size of a hazel-nut) flavoured with kirsch or rum, or with pistachio nut paste. Sprinkle the dates with crystallized sugar."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 341)
Attractive and flavorful addition to a box of candy.
1 T. butter
1 3/4 c. sifted confectioners' sugar
2 T. orange juice
1 8-oz. pkg. dates
Granulated sugar (optional)
Thoroughly cream butter and confectoners' sugar together. Add orange juice. Blend together and form mixture into long thin rolls. If mixture is too thin, add a little more confectioners' sugar; if too thick, add more orange juice. Cut rolls in lengths to fit into pitted dates and stuf dates. Roll in granulated sugar if desired. May be garnished with nut slivers, candied cherries, or slivered gumdrops. Makes about 32."
---Candy Cookbook, Mildred Brand [Ideals Publishing Corp.:Nashville TN] 1979 (p. 41)
Compare with: Ants on a log & No bakes.
Culinary evidence confirms beets cooked with vinegar, sugar and spices have been enjoyed for hundreds of years by several cultures. Harvard Beets descend from this tradition. What makes this dish different is the addition of cornstarch, a manufactured thickening agent invented in the mid-19th century. Some 19th century English and American cookbooks contain recipes for beet pudding (a modern version of Medieval vegetable root puddings) and boiled beets, also sliced thin and served with butter and pickled (in vinegar).
Our survey of historic American food history sources confirms recipes for "Harvard Beets" first surfaced in print in 1906. Recipes proliferated from World War I forwards; the earliest print specimens noting this as a "new" or "unusual" way to cook beets. Later books "matter-of-factly" state this is an old recipe, made in New England for several decades. None, however, offer print evidence or historic references. This??! Is how legends are sometimes born. It is interesting to note that cornstarch companies waged aggressive marketing campaigns targeting "modern" cooks about the same time as Harvard Beets surfaced. Our survey of vintage American recipes confirms beet recipes combining some (but not all) Harvard Beet ingredients. So yes, similar recipes trace back hundreds of years. But they weren't exactly Harvard beets. Coincidence? You decide.
Whatever the history, Harvard Beets currently occupy a notable position on our national food map. It was only a matter of time before someone would concoct a recipe for Harvard Beet Cake. Where else but the USA can you combine beets, chocolate & cherries?
Whence the name? Food historians do not know for certain. They do, however, offer theories:
"Harvard beets. A dish of beets cooked in vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch. The name probably comes from the deep crimson color of the cooked beets, similar to the color of the Harvard football team's jerseys. The dish is more than fifty years old, but its origins are still unknown. A letter to The New York Times on the subject (January 13, 1982) insisted that the dish was conceived at a seventeenth-century English tavern called Harwood's, whose customers included a Russian emigre who, in 1846, opened up a restaurant in Boston under the same name. But the emigre kept pronouncing his establishment's name more like "Harvard," so the dish he brought from England became known as 'Harvard beets.'"
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 151)
[1877--vinegar, sugar optional, no thickener]
Beets. Remove leaves, wash clean, being careful not to break off the little fibers and rootlets, as the juices would thereby escape and they would lose their color; boil in plenty of water, if young, two hours, if old, four or five hours, trying with a fork to see when tender; take out, drop in a pan of cold water, and slip off the skin with the hands; slice those needed for immediate use, place in a dish, add salt, pepper, butter, and if not very sweet a tea-spoon sugar, and serve with or without vinegar; put those which remain into a stone jar whole, cover with vinegar, keep in a cool place, take out as wanted, slice and serve. A few pieces of horse-radish put into the jar will prevent a white scum on the vinegar. Or, roast in hot ashes, and when tender, peel, slice, and dress with salt, pepper, butter and vinegar."
--- Buckeye Cookery, Mrs. Estelle Wilcox
[1887--vinegar, but no sugar, cornstarch (or other thickener)]
Select small-sized, smooth roots. They should be carefully washed, but not cut before boiling, as the juice will escape and the sweetness of the vegetable be impaired, leaving it white and hard. Put them into boiling water, and boil them until tender; which requires often from one to two hours. Do not probe them, but press them with the finger to ascertain if they are sufficiently done. When satisfied of this, take them up, and put them into a pan of cold water, and slip off the outside. Cut them into thin slices, and while hot season with butter, salt, a little pepper and very sharp vinegar."
---White House Cook Book, Mrs. F.L. Gillette
[1896--sugar, thickeners, but not vinegar--definately dessert-type dish]
1/3 cup butter.
1/2 cup sugar.
2 1/2 cups flour.
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder.
1/4 teaspoon salt.
1 cup milk.
Mix and sift dry ingredients and work in butter with tips of fingers; beat egg, add milk, and combine mixtures; turn into buttered mould, cover, and steam two hours; serve with warm apple sauce and Hard sauce. Apple Sauce. Pick over and wash dried apples, soak over night in cold water to cover; cook until soft; sweeten, and flavor with lemon juice."
---Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, Fannie Merritt Farmer [Little, Brown:Boston] 1896
"Harvard Beets. Wash twelve small beets, cook in boiling water until soft, remove skins, and cut beets in thin slices, small cubes, or fancy shapes, using French vegetable cutter. Mix one-half cup sugar and one-half tablespoon corn-starch. Add one-half cup vinegar and let boil five minutes. Pour over beets, and let stand on back of range one-half hour. Just before serving add two tablespoons butter."
---Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, Fannie Merritt Farmer [Little, Brown:Boston] 1918
[NOTE: Jean Anderson's American Century Cookbook states this recipe first appeared in the 1906 edition. The 1918 recipe above is exactly the same.]
Six beets, three tablespoonfuls of flour, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, one-half a cupful of vinegar, two tablespoonfuls of butter, one-fourth of a teaspoonful of white pepper, one-half teaspoonful of salt, one-half a cupful of water, dice the cooked beets, and place them in a baking dish, place the butter in a saucepan, when melted, add the flour, and stir until dissolved, combine the water and vinegar, stir into the butter and flour mixture add the sugar and seasonings. Cook until smooth with this cause and bake slowly for thirty minutes."
---"Chef Wyman's Recipes," Los Angeles Times, June 19, 1929 (p. A7)
3/4 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup beet liquid
2 cups cooked cubed beets
2 tablespoons butter
Mix cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add vinegar and beet liquid gradually until blended. Stir and cook until thickened. Add beets and butter. Serve hot. Serves 4. Where the name Harvard Beets originated, no one knows. New England cooks have prepared them this way for more than 100 years. Their color ('red for Harvard') is the logical explanation. Yet Yale Beets are red, too, and differ from Harvard Beets in that orange juice is substituted for vinegar."
---The New England Yankee Cook Book, Imogene Wolcott [Coward-McCann:New York] 1939 (p. 115)
"Harvard Beets. New England cooks have prepared beets this way for a long, long time: 'red for Harvard.' Harvard College was founded in 1636. It is doubtful if the recipe goes back that far--but who knows? Anyhow this one is a modified version, which can be made with canned beets.
1 1/2 tsps. cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water or beet liquid
2 cups thinly sliced cooked beets or 1 No. 2 1/2 can little baby beets
1 tbsp. butter
1. Comnbine cornstarch, sugar and seasonings. Add vinegar and liquid.
2. Bring to boiling point and cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Add beets and heat thoroughly. Just before serving add butter."
---New England Cookbook, Eleanor Early [Random House:New York] 1954 (p. 69-70)
origins.....mythology & symbolism.....medicinal properties..... preservative agent.....colonial American bees..... 18th c. beekeeping instructions
The history of honey is rich in tradition. This ancient substance has been used for food, drinks (mead!), medicine, gifts for the gods, barter, cosmetics, cooking, food preservation, cosmetics, art, etc.). It has been used in religion, art, mythology, legends and literature as well as studied by scientists.
"The oldest written reference to the use of honey is thought to be Egyptian, of about 5500BC. At that time Lower Egypt was called Bee Land while Upper Egypt was Reed Land. By the 5th dynasty (c.2600BC) apiculture was well established and is shown in several reliefs in the temple of the Sun at Abusir. Honey was a valuable commodity used widely in trade--in the accounts of Seti I (1314-1292BC) 110 pots of honey were equivalent in value to an ass or an ox...The use of honey was taken to India by its Aryan invaders and became associated with religious rites....Honey is also mentioned on ancient Sumerian clay tablets, possibly even older than the Egyptian reference. Later Babylonian tablets give recipes for "electuaries"--medicines based on honey. An electuary mentioned in the 1st century AD by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder included powdered bees. It was said to be a cure for dropsy and bladder stones..."
---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 384)
Honey in mythology & religion
"The ancients considered honey a divine substance. Mythmakers linked it to nectar and ambrosia, the heavenly dew that miraculously flowed from the celestial regions, dripped from the world tree, and fortified the gods. In the Old Testament, the Promised land flowed with milk and honey. Clearly, ancient people connected the golden elixir to holy places. They used it for libations and offereings, to cleanse and to purify; and because it connoted immortality, they used it in funeral rites, obviously considering it a worthy enough food to nourish the dead in the otherworld. Early mythmakers believed that honey existed long before bees, because myths commonly tell of god nourished by honey in the early stages of the universe's creation...Civilizations all over the world considered honey sacred and magical, especially because it was created by a seemingly mystical process no one fully understood...The veneration of honey and of the bees that created it permeated ancient cultures in which honey was not only eaten but also made into an intoxicating drink--mead--that was consumed at public festivals and offered to the gods...Because of its purity and other virtues, the ancients used honey in marriage rituals. Honey could cleanse and purify as well as promote fertility and act as an aphrodesiac...Cultures around the world used honey for a variety of purposes--as a purifier, love charm, curative, preservative, and offering to the dead. The use of honey as an offering to the dead probably arose from the ancient belief that honey warded off demons, and extension of its evident curative powers...As honey was thought to sustain the dead in the afterlife, it was used as a preservative for food storage and in preparing the dead bodies for burial."
---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 116-118)
"The principal honey of Israel seems to have been a thick syrup made from either grapes or dates, called dibs in Arabic. It is often mentioned in lists of foodstuffs of the land...It is considered a delicacy...and is mentioned as the epitome of sweetness...Along with leven it was prohibited in burnt offerings...but the Talmud declares that it had this taste only for children...Its quality of sweetness caused it to be used figuratively for gracious and pleasant things, such as the words of God...the wisdom of Torah...the speech of a friend...as well as the seductive language of the strange woman...Bees' honey, found wild, is sufficently rare to have been considered among the finest of foods...This wild honey figures prominently in the story of the wedding of Samson and Timnah...where Samson, having found honey amid a swarm of bees in the carcass...of a lion he had killed, wagered thirty festal garments on the riddle "out of the eater came something to eat, out of the strong came something sweet"...Bees' honey was also found in the forest, where it was eaten by Jonathan in violation of this father's oath...During the Talmudic period...honey came to refer specifically to bees' honey, with the result that a distinction was made; regarding vows, the commonly accepted use of the word determined the extent of the vow, and it was decided that "He who takes a vow to abstain from honey is permitted to eat date honey."
---Encyclopedia Judaica [Keter Publishing:Jerusalem] 1971, Volume 8 (p. 963)
[NOTE: This source sites selected Bible passages referring to honey. If you need all references ask your librarian to help you find a Bible Concordance.]
"Honey...is one of the seven characteristics of the "good land," Israel...according to the Talmudic sages, this is date rather than bee honey, since the other seven qualities derive from plants, not animals. The period between Passover and Pentecost is crucial for the success of the olive, grape, pomegranate, date, fig, wheat, and barley crisps, but is not so for the successful production of bee honey. The frequent references to "a land flowing with milk and honey" imply, depending on context, either blessing or destruction. In most instances the expression indicates the riches of the land...The references to the land of milk and honey in the Pentateuch and Joshua are to uncultivated land. These pastures, good for the grazing of sheep and goats, and therefore milk production, were rich in flowers on which wild honey bees thrived. In the OT honey was gathered from wild bees, rather than cultivated in domestic hives...Since the land was cultivated during the Monarchy, prophetic announcements of a return to the land of milk and honey indicated the deportation of the people, which would result in cultivated land returing it to its natural state: a land flowing with milk and honey."
---Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, David Noel Freeman et al [William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company:Grand Rapids MI] 2000 (p. 603)
"Honey in first aid. In Ancient Egypt honey was the most popular medicament of all; it is mentioned some 500 times in the 900 remedies that are known. Honey was also a common ingredient of medieval medicines, for it was often the only substance available to make some of the more nauseating ingredients palatable. But in early cures and remedies, for instance those described in medieval leech books, honey seems to be cited for frequently for external than for internal use...Many properties have been attributed to honey which have no foundation in fact -- as a cure for serious disorders such as consumption and the plague. Nevertheless, honey is used today in hospitals proprietary and dispensed medicines..."
---A Book of Honey, Eva Crane [Charles Scribner:New York] 1980 (p. 96-99)
There is a trivia quiz on the Internet that asks Which food does not go bad? The answer provided is honey. In fact, we have evidence of several foods that can last hundred of years (and still be edible) as long as they are properly treated and stored. Some of most ancient are honey and dried/salted/frozen meats. Notes on the longevity of honey:
"In 1800 some archaelogists working in Egypt found a large jar of honey. They opened it and found that it tasted perfect even though it was thousands of years old."
---Pickled, Potted and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Processing Changed the World, Sue Shepard [Simon & Schuster:New York] 2000 (p. 11)
"The shelf-life of honey is sometimes quoted commerically as 2 1/2 years, but honey does not go bad as many foods do; it is still wholesome after decades...The oldest honey I have seen is in the Agricultural museum at Dokki in Egypt, where two honey pots from New Kingdom tombs (c. 1400BC) still have their contents in them...It is important to store honey under suitable conditions. If honey is not kept sealed it can deteriorate through fermentation; if it is stored at high temperatures...honey can deteriorate through abnormal chemical reactions."
---A Book of Honey, Eva Crane [Scribner's:New York] 1980 (p. 41-2)
Beekeeping & honey in the American colonies:
Our sources confirm honey played an important role in colonial America. Beekeeping was well known in Europe; it was introduced to the New World by early settlers. Honey was employed interchangeably with other sweeteners (refined sugar, molasses). Because bees were "home grown" the honey did not cost average families extra (unlike imported sugar & molasses). Culinary uses (see below) centered on sweetening & flavor. "A low-cost source of sweetness appeared during the 1630s and 1640s when both the Dutch and the English imported bees from Europe. the 'English flies,' as the Indians called them, multiplied rapidly and a description of New York in 1670 claimed that 'you shall scarce see a house, but the South side is begirt with Hives of Bees.' Pennsylvania was similarly described shortly afterward and choice honey sold in Philadelphia for five cents a pound." (p. 33) ...[In the Eighteenth Century] Honey was another important sweetener, and farmers north and south kept bees. in western settlements, where honey was often the only sweet flavoring, wild honey was collected in the first, each tree providing from fifty to seventy-five pounds." (p. 62)...[1830s-1965]...In some places, especially along the lower Missouri River, 'bee trees' harbored wild honey and these were as important as game to some professional hunters." (p. 184-185) ---A History of Food and Drink in America, Richard J. Hooker [Bobbls-Merrill:Indianapolis IN] 1981
[NOTE: The information provided by Mr. Hooker is footnoted back to the original source.]
"There were no indigenous honeybees in any part of the New World--the Americas and Australasia--but social 'stingless bees and social wasps stored honey in some of the tropical areas there..." (p. 104)..."...bees had been given a new foraging grounds, in the New World, to which they were first taken by settlers from the Old World in and after the 1600s. We may never know the date and circumstances in which honeybees first survived the Atlantic crossing. The earliest likely record that has come to light is in a letter dated 5 December 1621 from the Council of the Virginia Company in London to the Governor and Council in Virginia: 'We have by this Ship [either the Bona Nova or the Hopewell] and the Discovery sent you divers sorte of seed, and fruit trees, and also Pidgeons, Connies [rabbits], Peacocke mastives [mastiffs], and Beehives.' There is unfortunately no mention of the arrival of the bees. In many of the places to which the bees were taken, they survived the winters and prospered sufficiently to yield honey for their owners, and to throw swarms--which spread in advance of the settlers. The bees were called 'white mans flies' by the American Indians, and were justifiably dreaded as heralding the arrival of pale-face intruders; white clover, which spread similarly, was known as the 'white many's foot'...Bees had probably become fairly common throughout the eastern part of North America by 1800." (p. 119-120)
---A Book of Honey, Eva Crane [Charles Scriber's Sons:New York] 1980
Culinary applications (17th/18th century British/American cook books)
Beverages: mead, spiced wine, mulled drinks, cider wine, blackberry brandy
Baked goods: cakes, gingerbread, muffins, rice cakes
Preserves: brandied peaches, fruit butters, marmalade
Confectionery: flavored syrups, general sweeteners
Honey was also prized for its medicinal properties. Honey comb was used to make candles.
You can view original recipes with Michigan State University's Feeding America digitized cookbooks. Search ingredient: honey. Eliza Leslie was one of the most prolific early American (1820s-1850s) cookbook authors. How did colonial Americans keep their bees? The Complete Country Housewife [London:1770] provides instructions.
Recommended reading: A Book of Honey, Eva Crane [Charles Scribner:New York] 1980
Although recipes combining cowpeas (aka black-eyed peas, crowder peas) and cereal grains can be traced to Ancient African cultures, food historians generally agree that "Hopping John" is an American dish with African and French Caribbean roots. There are several theories about the origins of the name. When served on New Years Day, Hopping John is traditionally accompanied by greens, symbolizing wealth.
"Hopping john. Also, "hoppin' John" and "happy John." A southern dish made of cowpeas and rice, served traditionally on New Year's Day to ensure good luck for the year. The origin of the name is obscure, but several stories abide. One ascribes the name to the custom of inviting guests to eat with the request to "hop in, John." Another suggests it derives from an old ritual on New Year's Day in which the children in the house hopped once around the table before eating the dish... In Rice & Beans: The Itinerary of a Recipe (1981), John Thorne suggest that the name is a corruption of "pois a pigeon," a French term for "pigeon peas," which flourished in the Caribbean but not in the American South, resulting in an etymological dissolve into "hoppin john." Whatever the origins of the name, the dish quite definately was a staple of the African slaves who populated southern plantations, especially those of the Gulla country of South Carolina, and one will find similar dishes throughout the Caribbean..."
---The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 157)
"Cowpeas and Rice: Hoppin' John. The dish is simple but the names for it are not. Cowpeas are not botanical peas at all but a type of bean, a low legume that was fed to cattle and calves in eighteenth-century America and named for the more valued animal. Brought to the West Indies from Africa, cowpeas crept north into Georgia in the 1730s and multiplied so rapidly that they became both the common "field pea," as they are often called, and the decorative "black-eyed pea" that Jefferson planted at Monticello. Creoles called the peas "congri," echoing Congo Square. And when they mixed the peas with rice and threw in pickled pork, they called the dish "jambalaya au congri. The combination of cowpeas and rice also got known as "hoppin' John" for reasons lost in the mists of popular naming. One lexicographer suggests the name may have been a corruption of pois a pigeon, since pigeon peas were common in the Caribbean. Another suggests that the name originated in a children's game played on New Year's Day, since the dish and the game were thought to bring good luck, beans carrying with them the magic of voodoo..."
---I Hear America Cooking, Betty Fussell [Viking:New York] 1986 (p. 107)
"Popular to this day [hoppin John] is a dish that Carolina slaves popularized and thrived on in their quest for substistence. For all its longevity, though, it's also a dish whose exact composition, origin, and name remain shrouded in the mystery typical of food forged on the frontier. Hoppin' John underwent constant change. While we know that it essentially consists of rice and beans in some combination, it has...be variously concocted to include cowpeas, red peas, small black peas, and calavances, as well as Crowder peas on whipperwoll peas...Other recipes asked for some combination of bacon, fried sausage, ham, onion, mint, red pepper, file powder, cured pork, pork jowls, ham hock...Some culture traditionally serve hoppin John ingredients on the same plate but kept the rice, beans, and meat seaparate from one another...Hoppin' John's versatility further confounds its origin. Some scholars identify it as a strictly West African dish carried to the colonies by slaves from the Congo. Others...plausibly suggest an Islamic origin, noting that Senegalese and Nigerian Muslims cooked hoppin' John with jerked beef rather than verboten pork. Yet another popular theory highlights the influence of the Seminole Indians, as runaway slaves living among the Florida Native Amemicans may have adapated the dish to Seminole practices, particularly with respect to the incorporation of beans. Even the dish's name has been subjected to a rash of theorizing, ranging from a variation on the French pois de pigeon to an elision of bahatta kachang--the latter word being a Madagascar-based term for "pea" and the former a Hindi word for "cooked rice." How did hoppin' John come from either of these phrases? No one truly knows. In the end, we're left to conclude that hoppin' John's authenticity comes from its versatility and...its mystery."
---A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America, James E. McWilliams [Columbia University Press:New York] 2005 (p. 131-2)
19th century Anglo-American middle class cookbooks omitted recipes for Hopping John. The recipes appears to be "discovered" by mainstream America in the early 20th century. The dish is acknowledged as a traditional food of the American south, without much comment. The 1944 edition of the Cook Book of the U.S. Navy offers a recipe but does not call it Hopping John.
Hopping John I & II
Cooking in Old Creole Days, Celestine Eutis 
"The secret of Hopping John is out. The composition of this famous southern dish, about which successive generations of the cooks of Dixie have thrown a veil of mystery, has been disclosed by an investigation conducted by the department of agriculture, and is given to the world in Farmer's Bulletin No. 509, issued today. This is the recipe, guaranteed by the government, for the production of the true Hopping John: 'Soak one quart of dried cowpeas over night in water enough to cover. Cook until they are tender, adding more water if necessary. Cook a pint of rice in three pints of water, mix the two: season with two tablespoonfuls of butter and two teaspponfuls of salt. A little beef or pork may be added to the water in which the peas are cooked. Then the bulleting proceeds to sing the virtures of cowpeas in general, which the government 'opines' ought to be better known north of Mason and Dixon's line."
---"Secret of Hopping John Out: Recipe Told For Dixie Dish," Chicago Daily Tribune, October 29, 1913 (p. 13)
"Hoppin' John Take equal parts of rice and old-fashioned cow peas, boil them together until done, with a piece of bacon the size of your hand, and a pod of red pepper with the seeds taken out. This is a famous and popular South Carolina dish."
---Old Southern Receipts, Mary D. Pretlow [Robert M. McBride & Company:New York] 1930 (p. 39)
"Hopping John South Carolinians, like my husband, who have been away from home a long time, if they feel a culinary homesickness, always long for something called Hopping John, with the accent on the John. This substantial dish is as characteristic of South Carolina as are baked beans of Massachusetts. Indeed, it is a dish which performs the same functions. It is made with what are known in the South as cow peas. It may be impossible to secure these in the North, but black beans might be substituted for the cow peas. Lettie Gay says of this dish: 'We were able to get the cow peas (which loot to us far more like beans than peas!) and Hopping John was made. For our tastes the dish seemed a bit flavorless and rather starchy, but seasonings may be added and it should be sered accompanied with a green salad.'
2 cups cow peas
1 cup uncooked rice
3 cups water in which peas were cooked
3 tablespoons bacon drippings
Salt to taste
Boil the peas until they are tender. Add the rice and bacon drippings and enough of the water in which the peas were boiled to steam the rice (about three cups). Cook over a slow fire for one hour. This serves six."--Mrs. T.J. Woodward."
---200 Years of Charleston Cooking, edited by Lettie Gay [Random House:New York] revised edition, 1934 (p. 58-59)
"Hoppin' John and Other Bean Pilaus of the African Diaspora," chapter 5: The Carolina Rice Kitchen, Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1992 (p. 92-110).
Insects & bugs
Certainly, insects have played significant roles in human diets from prehistoric times to present. Insects, recipes & purpose (haute cuisine or famine subsistent) depend upon place, people & period. If you are researching insects as food in context of particular insect (cicadas? grasshopppers? whichetty grubs?), place (Australia? China? American mid-west), period/people (Native Americans? Ancient Egyptians), or recipe (chocolate covered ants, insects in lollipops) let us know which one(s).
"Insects as food. Historically in global terms, eating insects has been the norm for human beings. It is only in the western world, and in recent times, that has been viewed as a strange or even revolting practice. However, even in the western world, people of almost all cultures eagerly eat insect secretions: honey."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition edited by Tom Jaine [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006 (p. 403)
The Cambridge World History of Food/Kiple & Ornelas (Volume One, p. 546-554)
... offers a global overview & edible order/family insect chart indicating global human food use.
-  Curiosities of Food: or the Dainties and Delicacies of Different Nations Obtained From the Animal Kingdom, Peter Lund Simmons (p. 292-316)
...British catalog, global in scope.
-  Why Not Eat Insects?, Vincent M. Holt
...British publication, global scope. Addresses the question "why not?", who eats insects, general cooking notes & suggested menus. No recipes or index. Google ebook versiion.
-  "Bugs May Become Popular Foods," Washington Post
...subtitle: "Insects staple articles of diets in many countries could be used here to reduce cost of living.
Ready for Grasshopper pie?
New world tuber; old world name. Completely unrelated to Chinese or Japanese artichokes. Of course! This portends an interesting story...
"Jersualem artichoke...Although widely cultivated around the world, Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus) which are the tubers of the American sunflower, are nowhere a major crop. In many places...these tubers serve as a minor source of of food for humans and livestock...The wild Jerusalem artichoke is widespread in eastern North America, and Native Americans adopted it as a cultivate plant in prehistoric times. The first written notice of the plant was provided in 1605 by Samuel de Champlain in his observations on the area that is now Massachusetts. Shortly after, the plant appeared in France and then spread throughout Europe. Its early reception as a food was favorable."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1793)
"The Jerusalem artichoke is a N. American relative of the sunflower, itself native to Peru. Its tubers, and those or related species, were eaten by Indians, especially in what is now Canada...The plant was soon brought back to Europe, at first to France. There, in 1613, six Brasilian Indians, members of the Topinambous tribe who had been brought back by an expedition, aroused much popular interest. Some enterprising hawker of the new vegetable appropriated their name, which is why the French name for the tuber is topinambour. In 1616 the root was introduced to England, from Terneuzen in Holland...The Jerusalem artichoke at first had an enthusiastic reception in Europe, where its curious, sweet taste was a novelty. It was used in sweet dishes more than as a savory vegetable, but it soon paled and lost favour."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2nd edition 2007 (p. 420)
"England and France, in direct contact with North America, began eating Jerusalem artichokes early in the seventeenth century, and we hear of their being grown in Germany in 1632. It was perhaps the reasuring familiarity of the word 'artichoke' which won them this swift accpeptance, while the potato, offered at about the same time, was shunned as strange and therefore suspect. When the potato was finally accepted, the Jerusalem artichoke was dropped--partly, perhaps, because a superstition had developed that it caused leprosy, based on the resemblance of its irregularly shaped roots to fingers deformed by that disease. From that time forward, the Jerusalem artichoke was considered more or less famine food, commonly eaten only by underpriviledged peoples...During World War II, the Jerusalem artichoke regained favor in several countries as an aliment which could be had without a ration card."
---Food, Waverly Root [Smithmark:New York] 1980 (p. 193-195)
Why the name?
Excellent question. This New World tuber's popular nomenclature is a classic example of dramatic exotic connection by popular association. How else to explain a lowly foreign subsistence food associated with one of the highest Christian holy places? The most interesting piece of this culinary puzzle is Jerusalem Artichokes were never revered as particularly tasty, rich, righteous or redeeming. Except for a few fleeting moments of sensational 17th introduction. Truth be known...this lowly tuber played back fiddle to the potato from the beginning.
"The Jerusalem artichoke...has not connection whatsoever with the city of Jerusalem, and does not even have first claim on the name artichoke. It is a native of North America, and wehn Europeans first encountered it and brought it home in the early seventeenth century they were apparently struck by a resemblance between its taste and that of the globe artichoke--and so they called it artichoke. It was first cultivated at the Farnese gardens in Rome around 1617, and when it was exported it took its Italian name girasole, 'sunflower' ---literally 'turning to the sun'--with it. The English, however, could make little of this outlandish term, and so they immediately transformed it into something more manageable--familiar enough to pronounce, and yet suggestive of foreign parts: Jerusalem."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 172)
Modern American confusion?
Mrs. Sarah Tyson Rorer was one of the respected USA cooking authorities in the late 19th/early 20th century. Her Jersualem Artichoke recipes, circa 1909 are spot on. Except for her glossing over the Italian sunflower connection, Rorer's headnotes are also accurate: "Jerusalem Artichokes(Helianthus tuberosus, Linn.) These are the tubers of Italian sunflower which grow wild in almost all parts of the United States and Canada. They are entirely different from the true artichoke. The name is no doubt a corruption of the Italian word meaning artichoke. They do not contain starch and only a trace of sugar, but are fairly rich in carbohydrates of the gum series." ---Mrs. Rorer's Vegetable Cookery and Meat Substitutions, Sara Tyson Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia PA] 1909 (p. 101)
In 1911 USA grocery guru Artemas Ward correctly identified the Jerusalem Artichokes, and introduced fact these tubers were sometimes consumed in the USA raw and pickled: "Jerusalem Artichoke the tuber of a species of sunflower, somewhat resembling the potato in general characteristics, but sweetish in flavor and more watery and less nutritive in composition. There are two principal types--one long and with red skin, the othe rround, knobby and white. They are generally boiled and pickled or eaten with vinegar, but some enjoy them raw, eating them with salt, like radishes. They make excellent soup. The name 'Jerusalem' is a queer twist from the Italian word Girasol, meaning 'Sunflower.'" ---Encyclopedia of Foods and Beverages, Artemas Ward (p. 317)
This may (or may not) explain Irma Rombauer's recipe headnote a generation later: "Jerusalem Artichokes. It is a relief to hear that everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. This is one of my subjects. ---Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer [Bobbs Merrill:Indianapolis IN] 1936 (p. 191-192). Why would a popular cookbook author offer a recipe for a food for which she claims ignorance? Might be telling us something about the tuber in prescent historic context. It also makes us ponder: why was this recipe/item omitted from the original 1931 edition of Joy?
A. Hyatt Verrill set us straight in 1937: "Still another common weed with edible roots is the wild sunflower known as Jerusalem artichoke or sunrroon. This plant is a native of our northern states and southern Canada and grows abundantly in many localites as far south as southern New England, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It is also cultivated to some extent, especially by the Indians and foreigners, for its tubers are most delicious and nutritious. Moreover, they are remarkable in the fact that they contain no starch and hence may be eaten by persons suffering form diabetes or other ailments which preclude starch in the diet. Although the tubers of the wild sunroot are rather small, and a good many are needed to supply a meal, yet by cultivation they may be vastly improved and it is not unusual to find the cultivated plants with tubers as larege as medium-sized potatoes. When cooked these tubers have a peculiar gravies, soggy appearance yet they are tender and mealy with a delightful 'wild' or perhaps I might say 'woodsy' or nutty flavor, unlike that of any other root-food. The true sunroot or Jerusalem Artichoke, is the best of all the Sunflower Family for culinary purposes, but there are others of the sunflowers with edible roots which were used by our Indians."
---Foods America Gave the World, A. Hyatt Verill [L.C. Page & Company:Boston MA] 1937 (p. 106-107)
Did you know? Jersulem artichokes are the primary ingredient of Palestine soup.
Survey of historic recipes
"Jerusalem Artichokes, Boiled.
Boil them till very tender, which you may tell by trying them with a fork; peel them, put them into a rich, highly seasoned gravy, and serve them up.
"Jerusalem Artichokes, Mashed, &c.
Having boiled them till tender, mash them fine, pressing them through a cullender, and season them highly with butter and cream."
"Jerusalem Artichokes, Baked.
Take the pulp of mashed Jerusalem artichokes, make it into small rolls, bake them a light brown in a Dutch-oven, and serve them with a rich, highly seasoned gravy, poured over them. This is the most delicious way of preparing them."
---The Kentucky Housewife, Lettice Bryan, 1839 facsimile edition [Image Graphics:Paducah KY] undated (p. 212-213)
Wash the artichokes, apre them quickly, and trow them as they are done into a saucepan of cold water, or of equal parts of milk and water; and when they are about half boiled add a little salt to them. Take them up the instant they are perfectly tender: this will be in from fifteen to twenty-five minutes, so much do they vary in size and as to the time necessary to dress them. If allowed to remain in the water after they are done, they become black and flavourless. Melted butter should always be sent to table with them. 15 to 25 minues.
"To Fry Jerusalem Artichokes (Entremets)
Boil from eight to twelve minutes; lift them out, drain them on a sieve, and let them cool; dip them into beaten eggs, and over them with fine bread-crumbs. Fry them a light brown, drain, pile them in a hot dish, and serve them quickly.
"Jerusalem Artichokes, a la Reine
"Mashed Jerusalem Artichokes.
---Modern Cookery for Private Families, Eliza Acton, facsimile 1845 edition with an introduction by Elizabeth Ray [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1994, 2002 (p. 289-290)
"Artichokes, Jerusalem, Boiled.
Peel the artichokes, and throw each root into cold water and vinegar immediately, to preserve the colour. Put them into boiling water, with a little salt, until sufficiently tender for a fork to pass through them easily, then pile them on a dish, and serve as hot as possible with melted butter or white sauce poured over. Soyer shaped them like a pear, then stewed them gently in three pints of water with two or three onions thinly sliced, one ounce of salt, and one ounce of butter. He then placed an order of mashed potatoes round a dish, stick the artichokes in it points upwards, poured over them either white sauce or melted butter and put a fine brussels sprout between each. It made a pretty inviting dish. Time to boil, about twenty minutes. They should be tried with a fork frequently after a quarter of an hour, as they will become black and tasteless if allowed to remain on the fire longer than necessary. Allow two pounds for a tureen. Probable cost, 2 d. or 3 d. per pound."
---Cassell's Dictionary of Cooker with Numerous Illustrations [Cassell, Petter, Galpin & Co.:London] 1875 (p. 33-34)
[NOTE: this book also offers recipes for Jerusalem artichokes fricasseed, fried, in white sauce, mashed and soup.]
"Girasol (commonly called Jerusalem) Artichokes.
Put them for a quarter of an hour in water, with a pat of butter and a little salt. Drain them, dish them, and pour over them some English sauce.
"Tompinambours a l'Anglaise--Jerusalem Artichokes, English Style
Trim the artichokes ot the shape of large olives and cook them slowly in butter. Season and mix with a little thin Sauce Bechamel. Note: The artichokes can be cooked in water or milk but the best way is to cook them in butter as above."
---Le Guide Cuilinare/A. Escoffier, first translation into English by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann [John Wiley:New YOrk] 1979 (p. 507) [NOTE: Escoffier also offers recipes for Fried Jerusalem Artichokes, Puree Palestine & Souflee de Topinambours.]
"Jerusalem Artichokes, Boiled, with Cream Sauce
Scrape the artichokes and thow at once into cold water to prevent discoloration. When ready to cook, cut into slices a half inch thick; put into a saucepan, cover with boiling water and boil twenty minutes, or until the artichokes are done, but not soft. Drain, turn them out at one into a heated dish, and cover with white sauce.
"Jerusalem Artichokes with Brown Sauce
1 dozen artichokes
2 tablespoonfuls butter
2 tablespoonfuls flour
1 teasponful onion juice
1 saltspoonful pepper
1/2 pint water or vegetable stock
1 teaspoonful browning, or kitchen bouquet
1 teaspoonful salt
Pare the artichokes; boil as directed in preceding recipe. Put the butter in a saucepan; add the flour; mix; add the stock or water; stgir until boiling; add the salt, onion juice and pepper; then the browning. Add the artichokes and stand over hot water for ten minues and send to the table."
"Jerusalem Artichokes a la Vinaigrette
2 hard-boiled eggs 4 tablespoonfuls vinegar
2 tablespoonfuls oil
1 chopped gherkin
2 chopped olives
1 tablespoonful capers
1/2 teaspoonful salt
1 saltspoonful pepper
Peel and boil the artichokes for fifteen minutes; drain and throw at once into cold water; when cold, drain again. Arrange neatly on a cold platter; garnish with lettuce leaves. Remove the shells from the eggs and chop very fine. Add to them all the other ingredients; mix; pour the sauce over the artichokes and send at once to the table."
---Mrs. Rorer's Vegetable Cookery and Meat Substitutions, Sara Tyson Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia PA] 1909 (p. 101-102)
... "Wash and scrape: 1 1/2 pounds Jerusalem artichokes.
Drop them into: Boiling salted water
Cook them intil they are tender . Drain them.
Melt: 2 tablespoons butter
Add: 1 teaspoon mild vinegar or white wine, 2 drops Tobasco sauce, 2 teapoons chopped parsley.
Pour these ingredients over the artichokes, or cream them in: 1 cup Cream Sauces 1 (page 248)
A good vegetable with a pronounced characteristic that will bear watching. Drain the artichokes as soon as they are tender. If permitted to cook beyond this point they will again become tough."
---Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer [Bobbs Merrill:Indianapolis IN] 1936 (p. 191-192)
"How to Cook Jersusalem Artichokes.
To 'peel' or 'pare' the artichokes and 'boil in pleny of water', which is the advice given in ninety-nine cookery books in every hundred, is very bad advice indeed. Jerusalem artichokes should be well washed and scrubbed, but not peeled or pared. They should be steamed or boiled in just enough water to cover them, and the water saved as the basis for artichoke soup, or any other vegetable soup; it will set jelly-like, when cold, and it possesses the best of the flavour of the artichokes. After they have been steamed or boiled in their skin until tender--which takes longer when steamed than boiled, and for big tubers than small ones--Artichokes should have their skin rubbed off before being 'finished' in butter or in the oven, or served with melted butter or any white sauce one cares to pour over them."
---A Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy, Andre L. Simon [Harcourt, Brace and Company:New York] 1952 (p. 89-91)
[NOTE: this book offers detailed information regarding the history/evolution (including names/places/quotes) of this edible tuber. It includes recipes for Baked Jersualem Artichokes, Bechamel Jersualem Artichokes, Buttered Jerusalem Artichokes, Croquettes of Jerusalem Artichokes, Jerusalem Artichokes a la Daube, Fried Jerusalem Artichokes, Jerusalem Artichoke Fritters, Jerusalem Artichokes au gratin, Jerusalem Artichoke Pie, Jerusalem Artichokes Provencale, Puree de Topinambours (Mashed Jerusalem Artichokes), Jerusalem Artichoke Salads, Jerusalem Artichoke Souffle and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup. Happy to send any/all recipes if you like.]
Related food? Chayote.
Through time, wealthy consumers get "first pick" of food. The rest of us get what's "left over." Until modern times, every edible part of an animal and plant was consumed. Waste not, want not. The part of the hog and type of grain you ate depended upon your econonomic and social status. Wealthy Medieval European landowners dispensed leftover banquet foods to neighboring poor (Christian obligation), servants, slaves & dogs. All of whom favored eating over starving. The traditional English Sunday joint (think: roast beef & turkey) was repurposed throughout the week in creative ways. Some of the foods we enjoy today originated as leftovers. Think: French toast & hash.
In the days of hearth cookery it made sense to roast a large joint of meat once or twice a week, and use the "leftovers" in the interim. Cookbooks in this period do not generally specify "leftover" recipes. A careful examination of ingredients and method sometimes reveals if the meat and/or vegetables were already cooked. We suspect, like modern times, there was a mix of leftover and fresh ingredients in most dishes.
In the mid-19th century, leftovers were elevated to the level of creative cookery. Entire cookbooks were written in praise of leftovers and the creative housewives who served them with panache. Economical and time-saving, leftovers were promoted, not "lowly." In some households, leftovers are expected and some dishes are considered better the next day. "Make ahead" meals (meatloaf & casseroles) may be considered pre-leftovers. In the 20th century the standard glue for leftover dishes were inexpensive grains (pasta, rice) and commercial soup (canned, dried mix).
21st century leftover cookery presents an entirely different challenge. Except for holidays (think: Thanksgiving), or Sunday dinners (think: roast chicken) we don't generally cook more than we plan to eat. Our leftovers are last night's restaurant dinner or extra helpings from pizza or Chinese delivery. We also cook leftovers differently. We heat up last night's restaurant dinner in microwave-ready containers, fill omelettes with whatever's left the veggie drawer, and repurpose baked potatoes as twice baked cheesy snacks. The "lowly" meatloaf is created on purpose with fresh ingredients.
USA attitudes regarding leftovers set a debate-worthy table showcasing the advantages of egalitarian opportunity versus socio-economic privilege. Think: the "doggie bag" debate. American cookbooks praising leftover cookery should be examined in context. Given the period, what was the agenda? Today's upscale restaurants participate in Second Harvest, redistributing leftover ingredients (not plate scrapings) with soup kitchens and food pantries. Modern twist on Medieval obligation. Those of us breakfasting on cold leftover pizza mirror Colonial ancestors consuming apple pie for their morning meal.
"Left-overs of a meal have often been a matter for concern--they should not be left lying around and wasted...The poor would gather about the gates of a house where a great feast had been held, expecting to be give what was left...Some restaurants now offer 'doggy bags' in order that their patrons may take home the expensive food they have not been able to ingest in one sitting."
---The Rituals of Dinner, Margaret Visser [Penguin Books:New York] 1991 (p. 293)
"The English (and hence the American) tradition with roasts is still to bring the whole bird or joint and carve it up in front of the guests--an extraordinarily old-fashioned procedure...Large joints are less popular than they used to be because families are smaller; added to which, North Americans in particular tend to classify 'left overs' with garbage, so that remainders of meat are wasteful."
---Much Depends on Dinner, Margaret Visser [Grove Press:New York] 1986 (p. 17)
For centuries, cookbooks contained recipes for "made over" (aka leftover, rechauffee, reheated) foods. These recipes are generally mixed in with the general course heading. Books aimed at thrifty cooks sometimes feature a special leftover section. From the 19th century forwards, there have been entire cookbooks devoted to this genre. Additional notes & bibliography from the Library of Congress.
What To Do With The Cold Mutton
"It is sometimes thought to be an extravagance to serve a roast to a small family, because so much meat is left over. When there is no way to known of presenting it again except as cold meat or as hash, it may be indeed be disagreeable to have the same meat served four times. A good cook, however, served turkey acceptably at four dinners to a family of three persons in this way."
---The Century Cook Book, Mary Arnold [The Century Co.:New York] 1898 (p. 46-9)
[NOTE: includes complete menus, recipes and item/dish costs.]
Cook Book of Left-Overs
"This book is not intended as a substitute for the regular cook book. It aims to be simply a practical handybook for the average housekeeper, who cannot afford to waste food which has been left over from her table, and who nevertheless desires to serve the best and most attractive dishes. In the average family where there are not servants, or perhaps one servant, setting a table with the least very margin of ampleness means that there will inevitably follow some left-over food. In addition to this, it is sometimes wise deliberately to plan for a remainder (especially where the first-cooking process is a long one, or where the food itself admits of reheating to advantage) in order to spare time and labor to the cook. Therefore, both from necessity and choice, the interested home-maker finds herself facing the problem of how to make the most and best of a left-over food supply...Many of the finest dishes-- dishes over which French chefs have made international reputations--are nothing more than 'left overs' attractively cooked. In every housekeeper's own kitchen there are the same foods, and the same possibilities. And let it be added that in no branch of housekeeping or of cookery does a woman show to better advantage than in this ability to take unrelated bits of left-over food and combine them so as to form tempting dishes for another meal."
---The Cook Book of Left-Overs, Helen Carroll Clarke and Phoebe Deyo Rulon [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1912 (preface)
"Leftover cookery, and we feel strongly about this, is the most creative kind of cooking there is, involving both you and your imagination and tempting you to experiment with flavors, to flirt with new combinations. You don't just pull last night's roast out of the refrigerator and heat it; you make something new...We venture to say that once you have started playing the game of leftovers, you will never stop. The field is open, the challenge always there in your refrigerator: in that wedge of cabbage, the leaves crinkling and dry, in the shrimps left from a party, the juice from pickled peaches, even in the wiener left from a picnic...As far as thrift is concerned, the game of leftovers works both ways. You may begin by that special process of creating something new from something once used, but you end, more often than not, by buying and planning your meals in a very different way. You buy that large roast beef because you see beyond the first meal to slices transformed by currant jelly...to steaming casserole dishes, or to a deep-dish potpie, juice under a flaky crust. And a new kind of economy stretches your budget. In the first place you find that you save money right there at the store by buying more than enough for one meal. Quantity buying is always cheaper than buying in small, day-to-day amounts...Secondly, you save fuel by cooking those two pounds (of meat) at once...Then too, if you have the leftover habit, you can entertain with greater security and grace. You may buy more extravagantly for that special dinner because you know that you can make the family live on it and like it, for several days to come. Extra pounds or extra chops cease to be an extravagance and the party is more successful.None of that queasy feeling that the platter may be empty when it comes around the next time. And does there exist a family at least one member of which doesn't prefer cold ham to hot..."
---A Cook Book of Leftovers, Clare Newman and Bell Wiley [Little, Brown and Company:Boston] 1941 (p. 3-4)
Author Calvin Trillin is credited for THE most famous quote about leftovers: " I’ve said that for thirty years my mother served her family nothing but leftovers, and it wasn’t until I was out of college that I began to wonder "Left over from what?" We sent a team of anthropologists in to look for the original meal, but it was never found."
What is a mango? Trick question. The answer depends upon context. In India, these juicy native fruits are deeply ingrained in both culture and cuisine. Global diffusion presents an interesting study in political economy. British ruling classes encountered mangos while stationed in India. Recipes for "mock" mangos were created back home because the fruit did not thrive in northern climes. 18th-19th century English "mangos" were essentially local pickle recipes inspired by Indian experience. Crafted to look like real mangos, they were composed with common muskmelons, peaches, and cucumbers. English settlers brought this dish to the American colonies; adventurous New World cooks added sweet peppers, small watermelons, and tomatoes to the mango menu.
Fruit of the mango tree
"The hills of north-eastern India adjoining Myanmar are the likely centre of origin of the mango. Wild varieties still exist there, besides several other related species. In fact the amrataka, even now called the wild mango but belonging to a closely related species, Spondia pinnata, is also mentioned in the Brhadaranyaka Samhita. In Tamil, the fruit is called manga, or man-kai...The Tamil word manga was first used in a European tongue in AD 1510 by Varthema...the current term mango [was used] for the first time in AD 1673...Grafting was first used on the mango by the Portuguese...Mughal patronage also played a notable part in encouraging mango grafting. Noblemen could have all their revenues remitted by raising orchards. mangoes of high quality were collected from all over India and grown by Muqqarab Khan in his garden in Kirana...Down the centuries, the selection of a superior variety that arouse spontaneously, and its later perpetuation by grafting, let do nearly a thousand varieties of mango."
---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K. T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 139-140)
"Two types are distinguished, one with firm flesh for table use, and the other...with ample...juice..The mango fruit has been utilized in different ways. The ripe fruit is of course eaten, and is reported in ancient Tamil literature as being served in restaurants...Wild ripe mangoes are cooked in curd in Kodagu to give a sweet-sour relish called mange-pajji, and are also cooked hole, including the seeds, to a sweetish curry. The sucking varieties can be 'drunk' by making a hole at the top and squeezing out the juice, and are particularly favoured for juice extraction in factories... When the juice is dried in thin layers on bamboo mats the delicious chewy am-papad or ambsath is obtained, and a mango 'cheese' called mangada has been developed in Goa. Mangoes when green are tart, and have their appropriate outlets. meat cooked with mango pieces...fish curry cooked in coconut milk along with tiny pieces of green mango...Semi-ripe mangoes, boiled, pulped, strained and sugared, yield the delicious beverage now called mango-fool. Green mango is frequently ground into raw chutney...Pickles of unripe but tender mangoes abound...Wine made from ripe mango juice was termed sahakarasura by Charaka. in medical terms, the mango had the very strong connotation of a 'hot' food, which had necessarily to be imbibed along with 'cold' milk to avoid boils. Mango kernels are essentially starch, and have been pressed into servcie as a famiine food."
---Historical Dictionary of Indian Food (p. 141)
Symbolism & mythology
"Inevitably, myth and legend have accrued around the ancient mango tree. It is thought by some Hindus to be a transformation of Prajapathi himself, the progenitor of all creatures. Buddhists consider it sacred because the Buddha was accustomed to rest in a mango grove gifted to him by an admirer. On another occasion, the Buddha ate a mango fruit, planted the stone and washed his hands over it: a beautiful white mango tree sprang forth bearing flowers and fruit; it was looked after carefully, as shown in a tender medallion sculpted in Bharhut. In one legend, form a mango fruit appeared a daughter of Surya, the sun god, who was recognized by a king as his wife from a previous birth. The long racemes bearing mango flowers symbolize the darts of Kamadeva, the god of love...The literary record is ancient. The Rigveda itself mentions saha, but whether this is the term sahakara used for the mango in later literature is uncertain. From its very first mention as amra in the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad (c. 1000 BC)...the virtues of the mango fruit have been extolled fro three thousand years."
---Historical Dictionary of Indian Food (p. 139)
"The mango was first made known to the outside world, it is said, by the Chinese traveler Hwen T'sang who visited India in the 1st century AD, after which cultivation of the mango generally spread eastwards...By the 10th century AD cultivation of M. indica had spread as far west as Persia, where it stopped, although the Egyptian climate would have been suitable...From S. India the mango was spread by the Portuguese, who took it to Africa in the 16th century. It reached Brazil and the W. Indies in the 18th century, and Hawaii, Florida, and Mexico in the 19th century."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 475)
"In the new world [mangoes] were first introudced into Brazil, for the seeds were brought thence to Barbados in the middle of the last century. A French vessel was carrying some young trees from Bourbon to Saint Domingo in 1782, when it was taken by the English, who took them to Jamaica, where they succeeded wonderfuly. When the coffee plantations were abandoned, at the time of the emancipation of the slaves, the mango, whose stones the [slaves] scattered everywhere, formed forests in every part of the islands, as these are now valued for their shade and as a form of food."
---Origin of Cultivated Plants, Alphonse De Candolle [Hafner Publishing:New York] 1959 (p. 202)
"The mango was first planted in Florida in 1889, when only a single variety was available, the Indian mulgoba; today Florida grows more than fifty different mangos, some originally imported, come developed on the peninsula itself--among them the red mango...the green mango...and the mango, no adjective, which is colorless, or as nearly colorless as a fruit can be: it is an abashed low-keyed gray-violet..."
---Eating in America: A History, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow:New York] 1976 (p. 298)
English mangoes: the Indian connection
"Jars of pickled mangoes also arrived then [second part of the seventeenth century], and were copied with the aid of home-grown cucumbers or melons, and even onions or peaches."
---Food and Drink in Britain From the Stone Age to the 19th Century, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago Publishers:Chicago IL] 1973, 1981 (p. 295)
"Of the many new fruits the British encountered in India, it was the mango which most caught their fancy. Dr. John Fryer, who went out to Persia and India with the East India Comapny in the 1670s and later wrote of his experiences (A New Account of East India and Persia, 1698), claimed the apples of the Hesperides were nothing but fables to a ripe mang...A sign of this esteem was the proliferation of recipes in England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries which sought to imitate the flavour of the fruit. Predictably, there were dissenters...The English name comes from manga, a corruption by the Portuguese in Goa of the original Tamil mankay. Such a juicy fruit as the mango was impossible to eat tidily, leading the British to jest that it was best eaten in the bath. They would have been advised to adopt the Indian method, which is to knead the unpeeled fruit to a pulp, then cut the top off the narrow end and suck the pulp out."
---The Raj at Table: A Culinary History of the British in India, David Burton [Faber & Faber:London] 1993 (p. 181-182)
[NOTE: This book offers recipes for Colonel Kenny-Herbert's Brandied Mangoes, Mango Chutney, Mango Curry, Fish Curry with Dried Mangoes, Fresh Mango Chutney, Mango Relish and Mango Salad.]
"Mango pickle. Take one hundredfine unripe mangoes; peel and partly divide them through the shell, so as to remove the seed from the inside; sprinkle them well with salt, and let them like in a large tub or other vessel for twenty-four hours. In the meantime take two bottles of vinegar, and four ounces of ground turmeric, boil this about a quarter of an hour on a slow fire, then remove. Hve ready one seer of dry chillies, one seer of green ginger cut and sliced, and one pound of mustard seed cleaned of all husk, with four ounces of garlic; mix these ingredients with the mangoes, and stuff some inside; then pour the vinegar and turmeric over the whole. Should the vinegar not be sufficient to cover the mangoes, more must be added to fill up the jar or cask."
---Indian Domestic Economy and Receipt Book, R. Riddell, facsimile 1860 edition published in Madras(p. 250)
[NOTES: (1) This book also includes recipes for amangoe Pickle in Oil, Dried Mangoes (2 ways), Mango Chutney, Green Sweet Mango Chutney, Mango-Fool, Mango Tart, and Mango Preserves (2) 1 "seer" equals 2 pounds (p. 455). (3) This book is online.]
Mango Pickle.--Peel and half split 50 unripe mangoes. Remove the stones; fill, and cover with salt. In two days wipe dry with a cloth. Fill with the following mixture: Green ginger, 16 units (solid). Salt, garlic, of each 6 unites. Chillies and mustard seed, each 2 units. Cardamoms, 1/2 unit. Boil 70 units of vinegar with 32 of sugar, 1 of ginger, and 1/2 of pounded saffron. When cold pour over the mangoes and bottle."
---The Complete Indian Housekeeper and Cook, F. A. Steel and G. Gardiner facsimile 1898 edition, edited with an introduction and notes by Ralph Crane and Anna Johnson [Oxford University Press:New York] 2010, 2011 (p. 296)
[NOTES: (1) This book also offers recipes for Mango Chutni, Mango Chips & Mango Jelly. (2) "Units" are explained on p. 28-29 as being proprtional, any measurement can be taken.]
"To pickle Mango. Take the largest cucumbers you can get before they are too ripe or yellow at the ends. Then cut a piece out of the side and take out all the seeds with an apple scraper or teaspoon, and put them into a very strong salt and water for eight or nine days, or till they are very yellow. Stir them very well two or three times each day, then put them into a brass pan with a large quantity of vine leaves both under and over them. Beat a little rock alum very fine and put it in the salt and water that they came out of. Pour it upon your cucumbers, and set it upon a very slow fire for four or five house till the are pretty green, then ptake them out and drain them on a hiar sieve. Whenn the are cold, put to them a little horseradish, then mustard seed, two or three heads of garlic, a few peppercorns, slice a few green cucumbers in small pieces, then hoseradish, and the same as before mentioned till you have filled them. Then take the piece you cut out and sew it on with a large needle and thread, ad do all the rest the same way. Have ready your pickle: To every gallon of alegar put one ounce of made, the same of cloves, two ounces of ginger sliced, the same of long pepper, black pepper, Jamaica pepper, three ounces of mustard seed tied up in a bag, four oucnes of garlic, and a stick of horseradish cut in slices. Boil them five minutes in the alegar, then pour it upon your pickles, tie them down, and keep them for use."
---The Experience English Housekeeper, Elizabeth Raffald, facsimile 1769 edition with an introduction by Roy Shipperbottom [Southover Press:East Sussex] 1997 (p. 178)
"To Pickle Melon Mangoes. Take as many green melons as you want, and slit them two-thirds up the middle, and with a spoon take all the seeds out; put them in strong spring-water and salt for twenty four hours, then drain them in a sieve; mix half a pound of white mustard, two ounces of long pepper, the same of all-spice, half an ounce of cloves and mace, a good quantity of garlic, and horseradish cut in slices, and a quarter of an ounce of Cayenne pepper; fill the seed holes full of this mixture; put a small skewer through the end, and tie it round with pack thread close to the skewer, put them in a jar, and boil up in vinegar with some of the mixture in it, and pour over the melons. Cover them down close, and let them stand till next day, then green them the same way as you do gherkins. You may do large cucumbers the same way. Tie them down close when cold, and keep them for use."
---Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Mrs. [Hannah] Glasse, facsimile 1805 "new edition with modern improvements," with an introduction by Karen Hess [Applewood Books:New Bedford MA] 1997 (p. 160)
[NOTE: the original 1747 edition has no mango recipes.]
American mango recipes
Our survey of American cookbooks confirm "mangoes" were popular dishes. They descend from English culinary traditions. Many 19th century cookbooks offer two or more recipes. Most specify the primary fruit or vegetable to be used (mango melon, peach mangos, etc.) in the title or recipe description. Some, curiously, are devoid of explanation. Mrs. Porter's New Southern Cookery Book c. 1871 simply states: "Pickled Mangoes. Wash your mangoes and rub them until they are dry..." (p. 406). When details are omitted from recipes it is generally assumed the cook already knew what to use. No need to restate the obvious. Pickled Peppers are similar in method and ingredient.
Contemporary readers sometimes stumble over 19th century American mangoes. In today's world where transportation transcends seasons and origins, we are used to finding exotic foods locally whenever we want them. Not so much in the 19th century. Fresh oranges and pineapples were prized, especially in the northern half of our country. Thin-skinned juicy mangos are more challenging to transport. A careful student of history soon concludes our 19th century foremothers were not using fruit of the mango tree.
"Mangos--In English cookery, mango is mock pickled mangoes, for which the English had developed a taste through imports from India. By 1699, recipes for making 'Mango of Cucumbers' and one of walnuts appear in John Evelyn's Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets; all eighteenth-century writers included recipes using various fruits such as peaches and small green melons. The invariable stuffing was part of the masquerade."
---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facsimile 1824 edition with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 279-280)
"Mangos. This popular nineteenth-century pickle traces its origin to India, to the true mango pickle, which is called befena among the Parsees. The recipe became popular in England during the eighteenth century, msotly as a less expensive substitute for the real imported article. The pickle was popularized in this country through English cookbooks. Cookbook writers often used the term mango rather loosely in connection with any fruit or vegetables that could be successfully stuffed and pickled according to the recipe. "In Pennsylvania and western Maryland, mangoes were generally made with green bell peppers. In Tidewater Maryland, wehre the growing season was longer and soil conditions were ideal for melon culture, muskmelons provided the most popular form of local mango...Like most mango pickles, [Eliza Lea's] pickle was served as a condiment with roasts. At banquets, its was sometimes served as a seperate salad course."
---A Quaker Woman's Cookbook: The Domestic Cookery of Elizabeth Ellicot Lea, facsimile 1853 edition with notes by William Woys Weaver, revised edition [Stackpole Books:Mechanicsburg PA] 2004 (p. 335)
Historic American mango recipe sampler:
"Oil mangos. Gather the melons a size larger than a goose egg, put them in a pot, pour boiling salt and water made strong upon them, and cover them up; next day, cut a slit from the stem to the blossom end, and take out the seeds carefully, return them to the brine, and let them remain in it eight days; then put them in strong vinegar for a fortnight, wipe the insides with a soft cloth, stuff them and tie them, pack them in a pot with the slot upper-most, strew some of the stuffing over each layer, and keep them covered with the best vinegar."
---The Virginia Housewife, Mary Randolph, facsimile 1824 edition with historical notes and commentaries by Karen Hess [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia] 1984 (p. 204)
"262. Mangoes. Take green muskmelons, and squash befor they become red; take out the seeds and put them ins alt and water over night; then fill them with onions chopped fine, horseradish scraped fine, mustard seed and cloves; sew them up, and put them into vinegar."
---New England Economical Hosuekeeper, and Family Receipt Book, Mrs. E. A. Howland [E.P. Walton and Sons:Montpelier VT] 1845 (p. 68)
"To Pickle Mangoes. Pick your musk-melons at a proper age, before they get too hard; make a slit in the sides and take out the seeds with as tea-spoon; boil a pickle of ground alum salt, that will bear an egg, and let the melons lay in this a week; then make a new pickle, and let them aly in it another week; then wash them, and scald them in weak vinegar, or sour cider, with cabbage leaves around the kettle; put them in a jar, and put the vinegar and leaves in with them; leave them two das, then wipe them carefully, and to two dozen mangoes, have an ounce of mace, one of cloves, some nasturions [sic], small onions, scraped horse-radish, and mustard seed sfficient to fill them; till up the inside of each one, and tie them round with strings. Put them in your kettle with strong vinegar, and let them scald a few minutes; then put them in a wide-mouth jar, and pour the vinegar over; have them covered close, and they will keep good for several years. Large green tomates make good mangoes, previously salted and drained, when fill them as other mangoes."
---A Quaker Woman's Cookbook: The Domestic Cookery of Elizabeth Ellicot Lea, facsimile 1853 edition with notes by William Woys Weaver, revised edition [Stackpole Books:Mechanicburg PA] 2004 (p.156)
[NOTE: This book also offers a recipe "For Pickling Mangoes with Oil and Vinegar."]
"Peach Mangoes.--The above sort of peaches [large free-stone,white or yellow] are best for mangoes. Steep them in brine for two days. Cut a small piece out of each, and csarefuuly loose the stones from the inside with a small sharp knife. It will then be easy to thrust them out of free-stone peaches, and none others should be used, either for pickling or preserving. Make a fillign for the placs that were occupied by the stones. For this purpose, use fresh mstard seed moistened with vinegar; scraped horse-radish, powdered ginger, a clove of barlic, or a minced shalot or very small onion, and a very little chilli or red pepper minced very small. Also a little powdered mace, and a little chopped peach. With this mixture stuff the peaches hard. Replace the bits that were cut off, and tie them on firmly with fine packthread, crossing the peach. Boil a quart of the best vinegar, seasoned with white spices and mustard seed, tied up in muslin; and when it has boiled ten minutes, pour it hopt over the peach mangoes in a stone jar. Add at the top a table-spoonful of salad oil; cork the jar immediately, and tie leather over it. Where there is no dislike to cloves, you may stick half a dozen into the outside of the peach; but we think a few small bits of mace will be preferable, as the clove taste will overpower every thing else."
---Miss Leslie's New Cookery Book, Eliza Leslie [T.B. Peterson:Philadelphia] 1857 (p. 571-572)
[NOTE: This book also offers a recipe for Melon Mangoes.]
"Melon Mangos. Select small green watermelons or muskmelons. Remove a piece about an inch wide the whole length of the melon; from this opening remove the seeds with a spoon, and scoop out the soft portion in the centre. Place this melon with the piece taken from it by tis side in a tub, and so continue until you have the desired quantity. Make a brine of salt and clear cold water, sufficiently strong to bear an egg; pour over the melons, cover, and stand away for twenty-four hours. Drain, keeping each piece carefully with its own melon. Make a filling as follows: to every dozen melons two hard heads of cabbage chopped fine, add to it, siz white onions chopped, a pint of nasturtiums, a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon, a teaspoonful of ground cloves, a tablespoonful fo black pepper, a tablespoonful of salt, and mix all well together. Fill this into the melons, press down firmly, put int he piece and tie with twinen. When all are thus prepared, place them in a stone jar, cover with vinegar, and stand aside twenty-four hours, then place them in a porcelain-lined kettle, and simmer gently a half hour, then place them back regularly into the jar, and cover with fresh, cold cider vinegar, add a cupful of nasturtiums or a few pieces of horse-radish (this is to prevent molding), and stand away over night. In the morning drain off the vinegar without disturbing the mangoes. Bring the vinegar to boiling point, pour it again over the mangoes, and when cold, tie up, and keep in a cool, dry place. Cucumber mangoes are made in precisely the same manner.
"Peach Mangos. Select large, freestone peaches. Put them in a stone jar and cover them with brine sufficiently strong to bear an egg, and let stand forty-eight hours, then take them from the brine and throw them into cold water for twenty minutes. Wipe each one carefuly without breaking the skin, and with a sharp silver knife remove a small piece from one side and extract the stone. Sprinkle the inside lightly with celery seed. Have ready sufficient grated horse-radish, moistened with vinegar, to fill the peaches. As each peach is filled replace the small piece taken from the side and sew it all around with strong white thread. Stand them in stone or glass jars, as closely together as possible. To every five dozen peaches allow
1 gallon of vinegar
1 pound of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoonful of cayenne
Put the vinegar, sugar and cayenne into a porcelain-lined kettle, birng quickly to a boil, and immediately take off. Pour boilikng hot over the peaches. When cold, tie up. They will be ready for use in ten days, and are very good."
"Pepper Mangoes. Cut the tops from one dozen red and one dozen green peppers. RRemove the seeds and save the tops. Stand the peppers upright in a tub; pUT a teaspoonful of salt in each one, cover with cold water, and soak twenty-four hours. Drain. Dut two large heads of cabbage on a cabbage cutter, add to this one teaspoonful of ground cloves, one teaspoonful of ground allspice, four teaspoonfuls of whole mustard and two tablespoonfuls of salt; mix thorougly. Stuff the peppers with this mixture. Put on the tops and tie tightly. Stand them upright in stone jars, and cover with cold vinegar.
"Tomato Mangoes. Select smooth, medium-sized green tomatoes. Gut from the top or stem end a pieces sufficiently large to allow the removal of the seeds without breaking the tomato. Stand them upright in a tubs, and each top by the side of its corresponding tomato, and finish preciesly the same as pepper mangoes. The flavor of tomato mangoes is improved by placing here and there in the jar a pepper mango."
---Table Talk, July 1890, Volume V [Table Talk Publishing Company:Philadelphia PA] 1890 (p. 314-315)
"Mango Melon, or Vegetable Peach: a small round melon with yellow skin and white flesh, cultivated chiefly for domestic 'Mango Pickles' and preserving. Mango Pepper: a mild sweet pepper, yellow and waxy in appearance, highly esteemed in the South for pickling."
---Grocer's Encyclopedia, Artemas Ward [New York] 1911 (p. 362)
"Sweet Mangoes. Select young musk melons that are not larer than an orange. Make a brine strong enough to float an egg and let them lie in it for two weeks. Stir them up gently once in a while. Soak them in fresh water for 2 days, changing the water each day. Remove the seed, making a slit in each melon large enough to take them out. Soak for half an hour in cold water, put in a kettle of fresh grape leaves and a small piece of alum and let boil for 20 minutes. Drain and let boil in clear water for 10 minutes with fresh grape leaves. Have ready a stuffing fo citron, raisins, currants, and preserved cherries, all chopped up. Use enough of the syrup from the cherries to hold the ingredients together. A little of the grated yellow peel of lemon may be used in the stuffing. Stuff emlons and sew up the slits. Bind around with soft cord and put in kettle with one-half pound of sugar to each pound of fruit and enough water to make a syrup. Boil gently for 15 minutes. Let stand overnight. The next day make a syrup of one pound of sugar to each pound of fruit and drop the mangoes in. Let boil for 1/3 an hour then take the mangoes out, boil the syrup down a little--it should not be too thick--put the mangoes in jars and pour the syrup over. Cover closely."
---Old Southern Receipts, Mary D. Pretlow [Robert M. McBride:New York] 1930 (p. 171)
Although potatoes are a New World food introduced to 16th century Europe by Spanish explorers, food historians generally credit the French for their cultivation and spread throughout Europe, some 150 years later. Antoine-Auguste Parmentier, an 18th century army pharmacist, is generally acknowledged as the first European to promote potatoes as an economical and healthy food. France was starving in the 1760s and the potato was easy to grow, cook, consume, digest AND (most of all) it was cheap. It wasn't long before potatoes were accepted by other countries and assimilated into their cuisines.
18th century English and American cookbooks contain a variety of potato recipes. They typically boiled, added to soups/stews, baked in the fire, fried with butter, used for stuffing, and peeled then mashed with butter, milk, salt or sugar. Sometimes other ingredients were added to mashed potatoes (bacon, onions). Mashed potatoes could be eaten alone, in conjuction with other foods (shepherd's pie, colcannon) or fried and served on the side (potato pancakes). Mashed potato recipes were similar to other vegetable pottages, known from Medieval times.
By the middle of the 19th century, the baked potato was a popular item sold on the streets of London by vendors. According to the food historians, it was during this time the potato gained acceptance by the middle class. By the end of the 19th century, the humble spud was elevated to the ranks of haute cuisine and served by chefs in the finest restaurants. Enter potato souffle, croquettes, Lyonnaise, au Gratin and a la Bechamel. Smashed potatoes are an American iteration, surfacing in the late 19th century.
Mashed potatoes are repurposed in many ways they can be made into potato pancakes, dumplings, potato bread/rolls, Shepherd's pie topiing or fill gnocci. Riced potatoes (see next) give leftover mashed potatoes a different look and texture.]
The first recipes we find for serving mashed potatoes in their skins (or jackets, as they were called then) were printed in American cookbooks in the 1880s. It is not specified whether the skins are meant for decoration or intended for consumption. Curiously, the first recipes for stuffed baked potatoes had them standing on end, as opposed to cut lenghthwise as we do now.
The oldest recipe we have for mashed potatoes is this from 1747:
Boil your Potatoes, peel them, and put them into a Sauce-pan, mash them well: To two pounds of Potatoes put a Pint of Milk, a little Salt, stir them well together, take care they don't stick to the Bottom, them take a quarter of a Pound of Butter, stir in and serve it up."
---The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, facsimile 1747 edition [Prospect Books:Devon] 1995 (p. 99)
After they are boiled and peeled mash them in a mortar, or on a clean board with a broad knife, and put them in a stew pan; to two pounds of potatoes put in a pint of milk, a quarter of a pound of butter, a little fat, put them over the fire, and keep them stirring till the butter is melted, but thake care they do not burn to the bottom; put them in a small dish, and with a knife shape them in any form you please."
---The Art of Cookery According to the Present Practice, Richard Briggs [W. Spotswood, R. Campbell, and B,. Johnson: Philadelphia] 1792 (p. 272)
Having boiled the potatoes till bender all through, drain them very dry in a cullender, and mash them smoothly with a potato beetle, a large wooden spoon, or a short handled wooden ladle. When all are nicely mashed, add gradually plenty of fresh butter, and come cream or rich milk. On no account spoil the potatos by putting any water to them, when mashing. Put them into a deep dish or mould, and brown them with a salamander."
---Miss Leslie's New Cookery Book, Miss [Eliza] Leslie [T.B. Peterson:Philadelphia] 1857 (p. 347-348)
[NOTE: A potato beetle is a mallet-type object. Photo & desccription here.]
Twelve potatoes, one and a half table-spoonfuls fo salt, one table-spoonful of butter, half a cupful of boiling milk. Pare and boil as directed for boiled potatoes, andmash fine and light. Add the salt and butter. BBeat well; then add the milk and beat as you would for cake. This will give a light and delicate dish of potatoes. The potatoes must be perfectly smooth before adding the other ingredients."
---Miss Parloa's New Cook Book: A Guide to Marketing and Cooking, Maria Parloa [Estes and Lauriat:Boston] 1880, 1886 (p. 239)
Have a flat dish and the colander hot. With a spoon, rub mashed potato through the colander on to the hot dish. Be careful that the colander does not touch the potato on the dish. It is best to have only a few spoonfuls of the potato in it at one time. When all has been pressed through, place the dish in the oven for five minutes."
---ibid (p. 239)
The way you serve mashed potatoes shows whether or not you are an artist at the stove. Never serve watery mashed potatoes, nor should there be a lump of potato unmashed. Here's the way I cook and mash potatoes: First, remove every eye and black speck from the potatoes before boiling. Boil in covered pot. Start in cold water, and when water boils, turn flame low for a slow boil. Boil fro 30 minutes, then drain ALL the water off and put the potatoes through a ricer. Rice them in the pot they were boiled in. Then add a level tablespoon of butter to each 2 potatoes (4 tablespoons butter equals a 1/4 lb. pint). Then add a little milk. Place the pot over a slow flame and beat the potatoes vigorously with a large spoon. The more you beat, the better your potatoes will be. The amount of butter and milk to be used should be decided by the artist at the stove. Mashed potatoes prepared in this way will reheat perfectly."
---The Mystery Chef's Own Cook Book, John McPherson [Blakiston Company:Philadelphia] 1934(p. 101)
20th century American cook books continued to offer recipes for "standard" mashed potatoes. They also begin to explore the possibilities of using this malleable medium to create interesting accents. Think: meatloaf "iced" with mashed potatoes. Photo captions from Ruth Berolzheimer's Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook [c. 1950] suggest: "Bake the meat loaf in a ring mould and fill the center with a snowy peak of mashed potoatoes," "Potato cups for holding the other vegetables may be made from mashed potatoes as well as fried," and "Either duchess or plain mashed potatoes piped around each planked pork chop gives the final touch of elegance." (p. 494-498).
Fun with food!
4 or 5 medium potatoes, pared
About 3/4 cup hot milk
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped
1/2 cup shredded sharp process cheese
Oven 350 degrees F.
Cook, drain, and mash potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add enough hot mik to whip light. Pile into greased 8-inch round baking dish, mounding into a volcano shape. Make a 'crater' in center. Fold cheese into whipped cream. Pour over top. Bake at 350 degrees F. about 20 minutes or till lightly browned. Makes 6 Servings."
---Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book, revised edition [Meredith Corp.:Des Moines IA] 1953, 1962 (p. 354)
Minimal muss & fuss...
Cook and mash your potatoes as usual (they're best if you mash them with hot milk). Then pile them into a greased casserole dish and sprinkle grated sharp cheese on top. Don't be mingy with the cheese. Put on plenty. Bake them, uncovered, at 350 degrees for fifteen minutes."
---The I Hate To Cook Cook Book, Peg Bracken [Harcourt, Brace & World:New York] 1960 (p. 56)
Doesn't get quicker than this!
"Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 1 1/3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boiling. remove from heat. Stir in 1 1/3 cups instant mashed potato puffs. Stir in 1/2 cup dairy sour cream. Trun into ungreased 1-quart casserole. If desired, sprinkle with paprika, snipped chives or parsley flakes. Baked uncovered 10 minutes. 4 Servings."
---Betty Crocker's Dinner Parties: A Contemporary Guide to to Easy Entertaining, General Mills, Inc. [Golden Press:New York] 1970 (p. 19)
The French Cook weighs in:
"Puree de Pommes de Terre a L'ail
(Garlic Mashed Potatoes)
For 6 to 8 people
Serve these with roast turkey, goose, or duck, or with sausages, prok, beef, or lamb. The amount of garlic may seem astonishing, but it is not too much. A preliminary blanching and a slow cooking in butter remove the strong taste, leaving just a tantalizing flavor when mixed with the potatoes.
"The Garlic Sauce
2 heads garlic, about 30 cloves 4 Tb butter A 3- to 4-cup covered saucepan
2 Tb flour
1 cup hot milk
Separate garlic cloves and chop into boiling water; bopil 2 minutes, drain and peel. The cook the garlic slowly in the butter for about 20 minutes in the covered saucepan, untkil very tender but not at all browned. Blend in the flour, cook slowly for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, beat in hot milk and seasonings, and boil, stirring, for 1 minute. If not to be used immediately, set aside and reheat later.
"Blending With the Potatoes (For abourt 5 cups mashed potatoes)
2 1/2 lbs. baking potatoes
Salt and pepper
3 to 4 Tb heavy cream
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Peel and quarter the potatoes. Either boil in salted water, or steam until just tender; put thorugh a ricer into a heavy saucepan. Stir briefly over moderately high heat until potatoes film bottom of pan, then stir in the butter, and salt and pepper to taste. keep uncovered over simmerining water until ready to serve--but the sooner they are served the better. Just before entering the dining room, rub the garlic through a sieve into the potaotes; beat in the cream and parsley, and turn into a hot, buttered serving dish."
---The French Chef Cookbook, Julia Child, 69th show [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1972 (p. 177-178)
"Mashed Potato Surprise
(for 6-8) Wash, stem, and dry 3 dozen medium-sized fresh white mushrooms. Peel and slice them fine. Melt 1 1/2 bars sweet butter in a frying pan, add 1 cup finely chopped onions and cook without browning for 3 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook, stirring until they from their juice. Continue cooking for 5 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, and cook 1/2 minute longer. Peel and cut into 8 pieces 6 large old potatoes, wash, drain, cover with boiling water, cook until they may be pierced with an electric beater, and add gradually 3/4 cup rich hot milk in which you have melted 3 tablespoons butter. Season to taste with about 1 teaspoon salt. Cover bottom and sides of well-buttered, 2 quart Pyrex baking dish with part of the potatoes, making a hollow in the center. Fill the hollow with the mushrooms. Cover with remainder of potatoes. Decorate top with prongs of fork, dot with 1 tablespoon butter, place in preheated, very hot 500 degree F. oven and bake until lightly browned, or for about 15 minutes."
---The Best I Ever Ate, June Platt and Sophie Kerr [Rinehart & Company:New York] 1953 (p. 149)
Related foods? Instant mashed potatoes. & shepherd's pie.
Tangy, tasty, bitter & delicious. With a mysterious history to match!
What is horseradish?
"Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)...A member of the cabbage family and a relative of the radish, horseradish...is sometimes called 'German mustard,' perhaps because its strong, biting flavor derives from mustard oils that are release when the tissue of the root is cut."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1787)
Where did horseradish originate?
"The uncertainty about the place of horseradish in the ancient world is paralleled by a similar uncertainty about the place of its origin, difficult to determine now, since it has become naturalized all over the world. It has been attributed tot he Mediterranean area (Encyclopedia Britannica); southeastern Europe and western Asia (The Oxford Book of Food Plants); western and southeastern Asia (A Dictionary of English Plant Names); the Orient (Larouse Gastronomique); southeastern Europe and Siberia (Le Livre des Bonnes Herbes); and now doubt other regions as well. It would be my own guess that horseradish originated not far from the area where it is appreciated today, Germany...Some of the first intimation that horserdadish was being cultivated, not simply gathered wild, in Europe (Cato's example had apparently been forgotten) came from Germany, and it seems to have spread from central Europe northward to Scandinavia and westward to England ain Renaissance times. The first mention of it in England as a food (it had been known there as a medicine since the thirteenth century) seems to have been made by a sixteenth-century herbalist who wrote that in Germany it was used to make 'a sauce to eate fish with and such like meates as we do mustarde.'"
---Food: An Authoritative and Visual History and Dictionary of the Foods of the World, Waverly Root [Smithmark Books:New York] 1980 (p. 186)
Horseradish in history
"The radish is worth its weight in lead, the beet its weight in silver, the horseradish its weight in gold. We have this assessment from no less an authority than Apollo, who himself received it from the Delphic oracle, which seems on this occasion to have expressed itself with unaccustomed clarity. Unfortunately, clarity is not characteristic of the ancient nomenclature of the horesradish and the plants closely related to it, so our translations of their names in modern times, even if the plants themselves have remained unchanged, are largely a matter of guesswork--especially when the persons who attempt to do the translating not only are not sure what the ancient words meant, but are not sure want the modern words mean either. Thus a French writer who informs us that the horseradish is pictured on Egyptian tombs of the XII dynasty is unconvincing, since it is evident that she has succumbed to an error common in France, that of using the word raifort correctly to mean the horseradish, Armoracia lapathifolia, but also incorrectly to designate the black winter radish, Raphanus satuivus var. nifer, in the belief that the two are identical... We must assume nevertheless that the Egyptians kenw the horseradish at least by the XIX dynasty, about 1500 B.C., that presumable date of the Exodus, if it is true that the horesradish (probably its leaves, which when young and tender a usable in salads) was, as we are potent old, one of the five bitter herbs which the Jews were enjoined to eat at Passover...The imprecision with whic the ancients themselves referred to several closely related plants (they seem to have made no clear distinction between the radish and the horseradish until Rutilius Pallandius did so in the fourth century A.D., plus our own doubts as to what their various terms really meant, have made it possible for some writers to assert that the horseradish was known in the ancient world only as a food and for others to say ithat it was known only as a medicine; for some to say that it was only gathered wild and for others to say that it was cultivated expressly for the table...Of horseradish, Pliny wrote that 'persons who have overeaten should take it as sharp as possible, and asthmatics should eat its seeds, roasted, or crusted with honey.' As a food,onions on it were divided. Cato, in his earliest of Roman agricultural treatises, thought it worth while to give directions for its cultivation, and it is granted proof of place in a wall painting which may still be seen at Pompeii today. Some held it in low esteem because it provided belching, while others consumed it copiously in winter for its warming qualities. Apicius thought it too bland, and proposed accompanying it with peppered wine, or that strongly flavored contiment, garum. Its juice was much used for cooking."
---Food: An Authoritative and Visual History and Dictionary of the Foods of the World, Waverly Root [Smithmark Books:New York] 1980 (p. 186) (p. 185-186)
"Horseradish...has long been a favourite of British cuisine. In former centuries it was often scraped over oily fish, such as salmon or mackerel, a use to which it is still frequently put in other northern European countries, but horseradish sauce established itself early as the condiment to accompany beef: in 1669 the Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened gave a recipe involving grating the horseradish and adding vinegar and a little sugar to it. It was put to unexpceted uses, though: Samuel Pepys, in his diary for 16 September 1664, notes 'there met Mr Pargiter, and he would needs have me to drink a a cup of Horseradish ale, which he and o friend of his, troubled with the stone, have been drinking of.' The chef Alexis Soyer (Culinary Campaign, 1857) gives a mind-boggling fiery recipe of a 'Universal Devil's mixture' which partners horseradish with mustard, chillis, cayenne, and pepper."
---An A-Z of Food & Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 163)
"Traditionally, the root was peeled and grated in the home and served on the side with meats such as boiled beef. But grated horseradish became a commercial product in the first part of the nineteenth century. It was preserved in vinegar and bottled initially in brown bottles to disguise the turnip filler that was often included. In 1869...H.J. Heinz began his business at Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania, by packing processed horseradish in clear bottles. Today, horseradish is generally bottled in combination with vinegar and salt, blended into a cream sauce, or mixed with mustard to become Creole mustard."
---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple & Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1787)
"416. Horseradish Sauce.--Grate two tablespoonfuls of horseradish, which put into a basin; add to it one teaspoonful of mustard, one of salt, a quarter of pepper, one of sugar, two tablespoonfuls of vinegar; moisten with a little milk or cream until of a thickish appearance. Serve with rumpsteak, cold meat, &c."
---Shilling Cookery for the People, Alexis Soyer, facsimiles 1860 London edition [Pryor Publicastions[ Witstable and Walsall] 1999 (p. 152)
"Horseradish.--Old Parkinson said that it ought to be called Clown's mustard, 'for it is too strong for any tender stomache,' Nevertheless, there are many persons to who roast beef without horseradish is nearly as great a failuare as without mustard. It is scraped and served as a garnish. Better still, it is grated and made into a sauce, which is usually cold, though sometimes heated.
"Horseradish Sauce.--Grate a young root finely. Add to it a gill of cream, a dessertspoonful of sugar, a little salt, and rather more than a tablespoonful of vinegar, and mix all well together. Some persons add mustard."
"Another receipt.--Add to the grated radish the zest and juice of an orange, three tablesponfuls of oil, a tablespoonful of panada, a good tablespoonful of vinegar, a teasponful of sugar, and a good pinch of salt. Mix well togetther and serve in a boat."
---Kettner's Book of the Table, E.S. Dallas, facsimle 1877 edition [Centaur Press:London] 1968 (p. 249)
Hush puppies are a popular southern American twist on an ancient culinary theme. Thousands of years ago Romans and Greeks made fritters: deep fried flour mixed with milk, eggs, spices, and honey. These ancient cooks also sometimes coated their fish and other meats with similar concoctions before frying. Presumably, the practice of cooking leftover coating was one of sensibility and frugality. Were these scraps fed to hungry dogs to keep them quiet? The ancient texts do not say.
"Modern" hush puppies are made with corn meal. Corn is a new world food adapated by old world cooks. Corn bread, spoon bread, hoe cakes, and corn dodgers are all related to hush puppies. The primary difference? Cooking method. We find several 18th and 19th century American recipes for fritter-type foods and fried fish dredged in flour/corn meal and spices. They go by several names, none of them "hush puppies."
It's unlikely we will ever find a definative account when it comes to the exact origin of the term "hush puppies" because the food historians have yet to agree. The general concensus is that the name DOES have something to do with keeping dogs quiet. The place? The American deep south. Catfish, frequently referenced in hush puppy lore, is a favorite in that region. In the larger frame of culinary research, it is not uncommon for recipes often precede their popular names.
This is what the food historians say on the subject:
"Hush Puppy. A dumpling of cornmeal that is deep-fried, especially popular in the South. The term appears in print for the the first time about 1915. Although unconfirmed, the common assumption regarding the hush puppy's origin is that it dates from the period of scarcity following the Civil War, when cooks would toss scraps of corn batter to hungry dogs with the words "Hush Puppies!" But the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins cites a Southern reader's account that in the South the aquatic reptile called the salamander was often known as a "water dog" or "water puppy"...These were deep-fried with cornmeal dough and formed into sticks, and, so the account goes, they were called "hush puppies" because eating such lowly food was not something a southern wife would want known to her neighbors."
---The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 161).
"Hush Puppy, a small sausage-shaped fritter made from white cornmeal, milk, water, and chopped onions, fried in fat which has been used for frying fish. Its origins are obscure, but it seems to have originated in Florida before 1920. According to legend it was devised by hunters, who would throw an occasional fritter to their hunting dogs to keep them quiet. However, public outdoor fish frying sessions were common in Florida, and it is plausible to suppose that the hush puppy came into being at these, whter or not it owes its name to the abitlity to quieten hungry dogs."
--- The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999(p. 390-391)
"Hush puppies seem to have originated in the day-long hunting and fishing expeditions popular among Southern men a few generations ago. Cooking their catch over an open fire was part of their enjoyment of the day...as a side dish they fried little cornmeal cakes in the pan they had used for the fish, and when the meal was over the leftovers went to the tied-up, yelping dogs, presumable with the cry "Hush, puppies." The name first appears in print in 1918, but probably was used much earlier."
---Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press:Athens] 1998 (p. 139).
"Hush puppies--golden-brown puffs invented to shush up the barking puppies at an outdoor feast; made by putting corn-bread batter into deep fat."
---American Heritage Cookbook, American Heritage [American Heritage:New York] 1964 (p. 128)
"The origin of hush puppies sounds like an urban legend, but the same explanation pops up again and again in cookbooks, as well as in the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Back in the day, the dudes who were gathered around the campfire for a fish fry would take the cornmeal leftover from preparing catfish, fry it up in little balls and toss 'em to the dogs tosilence their whining. Get it? Hush, puppies."
Related food? Croquettes
Millet has been consumed by humans from prehistoric times to present. General notes here:
"The general name used for many similar cereals, notably of the genus Panicum. These bear small grains, yielding a coarse flour. They have been and in many places still are important staple foods, especially in dry, hot regions...Millets vary in flavour from thoroughly palatable to bitter and upleasant. Many are grown mainly or exclusively as fodder crops for animals or poultry. Since most of them have many alternative common names the only clear way to list them is by their botanical names. Panicum miliaceum is known as common, hog, or Indian millet, or as proso...or as broomcorn...This species originated in the Near East, where it has been cultivated since prehistoric times. By the beginning of the third millennium BC it had spread through Asia to China where...it was one of the sacred five grains...which were ceremonially sown by the emperor and his family...Common millet arrived in Europe before 200 BC. It was a staple food known to the ancient Greeks as kenkhros and to the Romans as milium (whence modern names). It was used for porridge and rough, unleavened bread."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 506)
"Millet, a general English name for cereals not belonging to the genera of wheat, barley, rye and oats. None of the millets were favourite crops in the classical Mediterranean; the best known in Greece and Rome was broomcorn millet. This had been domesticated, probably in the region of the Caucasus, before 5000 BC. It spread both westwards to central Europe (it was being cultivated in eastern France before 4000BC) and eastwards to China. It was known in Greece and Italy by the late prehistoric times. It must have been a convenient crop in certain special circumstances, since it will ripen in Mediterranean lands even if planted as late as the second half of June. Millet was made into a kind of porridge."
---Food in the Ancient World from A to Z, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 2003 (p. 218)
"Though people in the United States and Europe today generally think of millet as fodder for horses, millet is an important staple grain for poor people in much of Asia, Russia, and western Africa, just as it was for Europeans though the Middle Ages. Like other staple grains, millet represented the earth's nourishment and the harvest. In southern Europe, people cultivated millet extensively as an alternative to oats and barley. It grew prolifically and produced astounding supplies. In China, millet had special significance because it required the earliest sowing and yielded the earliest harvest of any grain crops. The Chinese have worshipped the spirits of millet and of the soil since ancient times. Becuase they believed that this precious grain ensured their survival on earth, they used millet and millet wine ceremonially in the ritual sacrifices. The myths and believes surrounding millet closely parallel the myths and beliefs about other staple grains. These tales recount the supernatural origin of the crops and attempt to explain how people on earth received these divine gifts...Although in western Europe it was generally the poor who consumed millet, some Europeans belived that whoever ate the grain on New Year's Day would become rich."
---Nectar and Ambrosia: An Encyclopedia of Food in World Mythology, Tamra Andrews [ABC-CLIO:Santa Barbara CA] 2000 (p. 149-150)
"Romans considered oats to be suitable only for animals, while millet and panicum were commonly used for porridge. Millet continued to figure as a staple for the poor up thorugh the Middle Ages, usually in soups."
---A Taste of Ancient Rome, Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, translated by Anna Herklotz, forward by Mary Taylor Simeti [University of Chigago Press:Chicago] 1992 (p. 16)
"8. On Italian Millet. Italian millet and almost all leguminous plants are considered of bad juice. As Pliny says, Italian millet [panicum] is so called because it is wrapped in paniculae [little tufts]. Aquitania especially uses Italian millet, while the Pontic race prefers no food to it, and the region around the Po also abounds in it. When Italian millet is ground and used in food, alone, it constricts the stomach, but cooked with milk, it is very nourishing. 9. On Millet. Millet and Italian millet deplete the earth and for this reason should not be sown among vines or fruit trees. The Ethiopians know no other grain than millet and barely, while Campania also rejoices in it. It is cleaned by mortar and pestle, as are many others. Country people call its chaff apulda. From millet is made porridge and very sweet bread, which the people this side of the Alps, and especially the northern Italians, use. The principle use of millet is kneaded with must is for leaven, since it lasts a year. The use of millet is considered inferiour to Italian millet, for it is dry and cold and slowly digested and nourishes badly."
---On Right Pleasure and Good Health, Platina [Italy, 1475], a critical edition and translation of De Honesta Voluptate et Valetundine by Mary Ella Milham [Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies:Tempe AZ] 1998 (p. 309, 311)
Cambridge World History of Food/Kiple & Ornelas, Volume 1 (p. 112-120)
---history, taxonomy and distribion of millet; extensive bibliography for further study.
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25 January 2015