95 posts tagged with history and food.
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"They didn't want people to become too happy with receiving food relief"

"Whatever [the ingredients] taste like together is not particularly relevant." Terry Gross interviews married culinary historians Jane Ziegelman and Andy Coe on the culinary history of the Great Depression and their new book 'A Square Meal' (37:00 audio, transcribed sections)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 27, 2016 - 50 comments

“an ahead-of-its-time innovation and an exactly-of-its-time decadence”

The Legend of the Choco Taco [Eater] “For just about everyone other than the French inventor of the Cronut, the Choco Taco [wiki] is the stuff of nostalgic summer sweet tooth obsession — the most beloved and innovative of all the American ice cream "novelties." Its acolytes are legion. Restaurant pastry chefs and boutique scoop shop owners regularly pay homage.”
posted by Fizz on Aug 26, 2016 - 30 comments

“A place with so much atmosphere you have to push it aside to get in.”

As TGI Friday's goes minimalist, signalling the demise of restaurant Americana kitsch, what happens to all the antiques? Containing a pretty fascinating and comprehensive history of the development of the "good-time" chain restaurant/bar and the antique-picking and design work that created its signature feel. Previously.
posted by Miko on Aug 21, 2016 - 206 comments

Popcorn, always with the popcorn

Popcorn. Not just a snack, but a metaphor for schadenfreude. And darn tasty to boot. You can mix equal volumes popcorn and milk without raising the level of the milk, which is kinda fun but doesn't taste very good. Or.... [more inside]
posted by sotonohito on Jul 22, 2016 - 63 comments

Food Leaderboard

The Changing American Diet, 1970-2013, in infographic form.
posted by Miko on May 17, 2016 - 63 comments

“Soul food is in the marrow of our bones...”

The State of Soul Food in America: Exploring the Past, Present, and Future by Adrian Miller [First We Feast] What does soul food mean in 2016? A roundtable of experts discusses the emerging movements and obstacles the cuisine faces. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Mar 30, 2016 - 5 comments

Radishes, Celery, and Finger Bowls upon request!

The unusual foods Americans loved a century ago. A massive collection of historical menus at the New York Public Library has been digitised for your perusal.
posted by blue_beetle on Jan 27, 2016 - 98 comments

A Brief History of Spam

For a six-ingredient food product, it's taken on a life of its own. Spam — the square-shaped mash-up of pork, water, salt, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrate — recently celebrated its 77th anniversary of being alternately maligned, celebrated, musicalized, or the subject of urban legend (one particularly pervasive myth insists that its name is actually an acronym for "Scientifically Processed Animal Matter"). And despite today's more locavore approach to food and some unkind memories from soldiers who were served Spam during WWII, Spam has entered its third quarter-century on the rise.
posted by sciatrix on Jan 21, 2016 - 83 comments

215 Of The Best Longreads Of 2015

215 Of The Best Longreads Of 2015 [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Jan 1, 2016 - 19 comments

Links in the Chain

Voices of the Food Chain Farmers are the iconic symbols of the food system, but food production, processing, and distribution make up nearly 15% of the American workforce. Today, StoryCorps and the Food Chain Worker Alliance are sharing videos of conversations from workers in different industrial sectors of the food system, showing how food labor crosses boundaries of culture, language, and experience. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Nov 25, 2015 - 3 comments

“What a pity it isn’t illegal.”

" Chinese emperors of the Tang Dynasty liked their ice cream a special way: Fermented buffalo or goat milk was heated, then thickened with flour and seasoned with camphor, which made it flake like snow. For good measure fragments of reptile brain were added, along with an eyeball or two." - "It Ought To Be Called Vice Cream" - Austerity Kitchen on the social and technological history of Ice Cream.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 14, 2015 - 17 comments

Aw, shucks

The New Rules of Oyster Eating, from Rowan Jacobsen of The Oyster Guide and Oysterater, home of the Oyster Map. Pearls of wisdom within.
posted by Miko on Nov 2, 2015 - 55 comments

"..the Glaswegian origin story is definitively a crock of shit."

Who Owns Chicken Tikka Masala? Complicating a popular origin story.
posted by Miko on Oct 16, 2015 - 31 comments

"This is not a comfortable conversation."

Michael Twitty is becoming one of the most transformative figures in the world of food. Reinterrogating and recreating African-American history in the context of American culinary history through his blog Afroculinaria, Twitty argues for "culinary justice" in food writing and the conversation on food history. His project (and forthcoming book of the same name) The Cooking Gene is in part a product of his Southern Discomfort Tour, a journey retracing the preservation and transmission of culinary knowledge before, during and beyond slavery. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Oct 11, 2015 - 8 comments

Venison, berries, sea bird, dulse, and spices

What were the food and cooking techniques of the Viking Age? you could ask The Viking Answer Lady or get pollen analysis, reconstruction tips, and recipes from The Viking Food Guy, or you could just ask Chef Jesper Lynge (Daily Mail) who is attempting to revive Viking Cusine from his cafe in an Danish Iron Age graveyard. ( Recipies and descriptions )
posted by The Whelk on Sep 6, 2015 - 41 comments

God help you if you buy pre-crumbled grocery store feta

“If you wanted to dismiss something, you would say ‘this is horiatiki,’ to mean, this is not good,” says Kremezi. “So for a salad to succeed with that name, it must have been a great salad!” Greek The Salad - Dan Nosowitz on authenticity, history, Greek salad, and the very idea of"American Food" (plus two recipes)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 19, 2015 - 93 comments

"A Piece of Meat and a Bun with Something On It."

First We Feast: An Illustrated History of Hamburgers in America. "The rise, fall, and resurgence of America's greatest cultural export." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 14, 2015 - 34 comments

How Hot Chicken Really Happened

"For almost 70 years, hot chicken was made and sold primarily in Nashville’s black neighborhoods. I started to suspect the story of hot chicken could tell me something powerful about race relations in Nashville, especially as the city tries to figure out what it will be in the future." Rachel L. Martin, "How Hot Chicken Really Happened," from The Bitter Southerner.
posted by MonkeyToes on Jul 21, 2015 - 40 comments

The Sad, Stately Photo Of Nixon's Resignation Lunch

The Sad, Stately Photo Of Nixon's Resignation Lunch
posted by incomple on Jul 18, 2015 - 201 comments

To Live And Dine In L.A.

To Live and Dine in L.A. is a multi-platform project of The Library Foundation of Los Angeles based on the extraordinary menu collection of The Los Angeles Public Library.

The entire project, which includes a book, an exhibition, and a variety of city-wide public programs and media events, is dedicated to curating and mobilizing the Library’s collection of historic L.A. menus in order to explore both the food history of the city and the city’s contemporary struggles with food insecurity, food deserts, and youth hunger.

(You can also navigate the collection via the Archive page.)
posted by Room 641-A on Jun 3, 2015 - 4 comments

Additional props are potato chips, pickles and olives

The New York Times has been around long enough to report on more or less everything, and its First Glimpses feature occasionally dives into the archives to see when some notable thing was mentioned for the very first time. This week, it's cheeseburgers. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on May 27, 2015 - 37 comments

A Goode Soop

Cooking In The Archives: recreating recipes from the Early Modern Peroid (1600s-1800s) in a modern kitchen. Not old enough? Then try some authentically medieval recipes.
posted by The Whelk on May 27, 2015 - 41 comments

I think that splotch was Tabasco

" “I tell my daughters that when I go, they’ll know the good recipes from the dirty pages.” [NYT]] A group of Nashville writers mounts an exhibit of the dirty pages from their own family cookbooks.
posted by Miko on May 6, 2015 - 21 comments

From Middle Class Anxiety To Factory Fueling Station

"Parlors, “dining chambers,” and other spaces amenable to dining began appearing in architecture plans. Each nation seemed to have its own idea as to what constituted a proper dining room. The great Renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti wrote that it “should be entered off the bosom of the house,” advising further that, “[a]s use demands, there should be [a dining room] for summer, one for winter, and one for middling seasons.” Some two centuries later Englishman William Sanderson would recommend that a “Dyning-Roome” be hung with pictures of kings and queens." The Austerity Kitchen presents A Short History Of The Dining Room Part 1 / Part 2.
posted by The Whelk on Mar 23, 2015 - 22 comments

"...hollow out a heel of french bread and stick a whole onion into it"

Irish-American Dining. A history of and guide to food that is expressly Irish-American, by Mefi's own Max Sparber. Irish Egg Rolls! Early onion-based pub food! The hidden history of the Shamrock Shake! [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on Mar 17, 2015 - 57 comments

Early culinary self-sufficiency

The History Kitchen takes a quick look at the food of the California Gold Rush, and has a recipe for Hangtown Fry.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 27, 2015 - 16 comments

Mother of the Sea

Every year in Uto, a remote town at the Southern tip of Japan, a festival is held to celebrate a woman known locally as the Mother of the Sea. Dr Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker died without knowing her research would save the Japanese seaweed industry and lead to a world multi-billion dollar obsession with sushi. The story of nori in Japan.
posted by infini on Dec 12, 2014 - 20 comments

"I'm alive and I know what it means to be Lakota."

"... I love the version of the Thanksgiving story in the movie Addams Family Values, because I get to see the Indians win." [SLGuardian]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 27, 2014 - 31 comments

Eat Like A Robber Baron.

Rachel Sanders of Buzzfeed compares the menus of venerable NYC eateries a 100 years ago to today.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 31, 2014 - 58 comments

Cakes and Ale and Richard III

New analysis on Richard III's bones reveal the richer diet available to a king, as well as his drinking habits.
posted by PussKillian on Aug 17, 2014 - 35 comments

Phosphates, Fizzes and Frappes

Phosphates, Fizzes and Frappes [via mefi projects]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Aug 9, 2014 - 17 comments

one of the three great food cultures of the world.

The Imperial Kitchen
Among the kiosks, halls, reception chambers, and harem baths, I suspect that visitors today spend the least time of all in the palace kitchens—unless they have an interest in Chinese porcelain, which is displayed in there. Otherwise there’s nothing much to see, just a series of domed rooms. Outside you can count the ten pairs of massive chimneys, but there’s no smoke. It’s a pity that the building is so quiet, because it was in here, over four centuries, that one aspect of Istanbul’s imperial purpose was most vividly expressed.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 2, 2014 - 6 comments

Aftertaste

"In peace or war, the ultimate refuge—the sanctuary of all that is humane—lies distilled within the warmth of the kitchen." Journalist Paul Salopek pauses in the middle of his 21,000-mile Out of Eden Walk from Africa to South America -- Ethiopia to Tierra del Fuego -- to reflect on the food shared with him during his time in Israel and Palestine. "Watching the women of Nablus move briskly, efficiently, purposefully about their tasks, chatting, often joking (about men, politics, life), I am reminded of all the meals that admitted me briefly into the conflicted lives of Israelis and Palestinians." [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 on Jul 26, 2014 - 1 comment

Make reservation by phone for the greatest dinner of your life

Where Restaurant Reservations Come From: Why did the practice develop? In the startup terms of our day, what problem did the institution of restaurant reservations solve? Well, the answer boils down to... sex and propriety.
posted by Cash4Lead on Jul 24, 2014 - 36 comments

Give it 30 years and the overstuffed chair becomes hip and high brow...

Spread from a 1949 issue of LIFE magazine charts what is low-brow, high-brow and inbetween
posted by The Whelk on Jun 14, 2014 - 185 comments

Bread riots were as rare as the prized Semper Augustus tulip

The Austerity Kitchen (previously) on the Dutch abundance of the 17th Century
posted by The Whelk on May 31, 2014 - 7 comments

On Engastration

His recipe calls for a bustard stuffed with a turkey stuffed with a goose stuffed with a pheasant stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a duck stuffed with a guinea fowl stuffed with a teal stuffed with a woodcock stuffed with a partridge stuffed with a plover stuffed with a lapwing stuffed with a quail stuffed with a thrush stuffed with a lark stuffed with an ortolan bunting stuffed with a garden warbler stuffed with an olive stuffed with an anchovy stuffed with a single caper - The Roti Sans Pareil or Roast Without Equal.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 5, 2014 - 70 comments

The great Medieval water myth

"The idea that Medieval people drank beer or wine to avoid drinking bad water is so established that even some very serious scholars see no reason to document or defend it; they simply repeat it as a settled truth. In fact, if no one ever documents the idea, it is for a very simple reason: it's not true."
posted by jedicus on Feb 27, 2014 - 84 comments

Plain But Sturdy Frontier Cake

Celebrate author Laura Ingalls Wilder's 147th birthday with a recipe for Laura's Wedding Cake, taken from Little House Cookbook, Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories. (The Hairpin)
posted by The Whelk on Feb 8, 2014 - 30 comments

Hygienic and Scientific Cooking

"....many a tragic episode in family life is superinduced by the baleful influence of a tortured stomach. Mighty is the hand that holds the ballot-box, but mightier is the hand that wields to advantage the pepper-box, the salt-spoon, and the sugar-shaker." read the entirely of Maud C. Cooke's, Breakfast, Dinner and Supper; or, What To Eat and How To Prepare It (1897) online and enter a world of home remedies, large scale recipes, sound advice, leftover wizardry, squirrel stews, scientific digestion, and horrible things done to vegetables.
posted by The Whelk on Jan 17, 2014 - 12 comments

Top Chef, Old Master

"If there is an assassination planned for the meal, then it is seemliest that the assassin should be seated next to he who is to become the subject of his craft" - Leonardo da Vinci: head of the kitchen, designer of horse-pulled nut-crushers, inventor of napkins, and assassination etiquette expert.
posted by The Whelk on Jan 7, 2014 - 20 comments

The Big Chill

Why American refrigerators are so huge, and what it says about our culture.
posted by reenum on Oct 6, 2013 - 265 comments

Classical Roman Cooking

Pass the Garum is a cooking blog focused on the recipes and cuisine of ancient Rome. [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Oct 4, 2013 - 57 comments

Let's All Go To The Lobby!

“Movie theaters wanted nothing to do with popcorn,” Smith says, “because they were trying to duplicate what was done in real theaters. They had beautiful carpets and rugs and didn’t want popcorn being ground into it.” Movie theaters were trying to appeal to a highbrow clientele, and didn’t want to deal with the distracting trash of concessions–or the distracting noise that snacking during a film would create. - So Why Do We Eat Popcorn At The Movies Anyway? (Smithsonian Mag)
posted by The Whelk on Oct 4, 2013 - 134 comments

The circuitous histories of hamburgers and ketchup

The history of the hamburger could be a relatively short story, or one spanning centuries and continents, depending on how far you disassemble the modern hamburger. If you look for the origins of ground meat between two pieces of bread, that's something American, but where and when exactly is the question. But how did we get the ground meat patty? You can thank the Mongols and Kublai Khan, who brought their ground meat to Russia. Oh, and don't forget the fish sauce! [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 19, 2013 - 35 comments

Confucius say "Good things come to those who wait"

As part of the preparation for a special exhibition on the history of Chinese food in America, the Smithsonian opens the world's oldest can of fortune cookies. More posts on the exhibit research under the Sweet & Sour tag. [previously]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Aug 16, 2013 - 29 comments

FOOD FLASH - There's spud in your eye!

The Ministry Of Food was a British government ministerial posts separated from that of the Minister of Agriculture. A major task of the latter office was to oversee rationing in the United Kingdom arising out of World War II. They made many newsreels and PSAs to inform the citizenry how to use the food rationing system: Rationing is introduced in 1939 The new ration books are coming! Cod Liver Oil Here's spud in your eye Don't cut that bread! DON'T WASTE FOOD! Dig For Victory! Milk is here! In addition, some short films instructed people in how to best use the new rationing system : Two Cooks And A Cabbage How To Make Tea Rabbit Pie Buying black market meat: a Partner in CRIME A US view explaining UK rationing to the States.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 30, 2013 - 15 comments

the true history of Pad Thai

"In between surviving multiple point-blank-range assassination attempts and a failed kidnapping in which he emerged alive from the burning wreckage of a battleship his own air force had just bombed, Pibulsongkram decided that Thailand needed noodles that would advance the country’s industry and economy."
posted by moonmilk on Feb 23, 2013 - 35 comments

Overthinking a Plate of Beans

The five scholars explored the question, “What is the meaning of food?” and debated its role in ethnic and religious tensions. They also examined the possibility that “food, which is something that all of us share, albeit in different ways, can be used to bring people together instead of differentiating between us.” According to Goldstein, one of the most important ideas to come out of the group was that food is a social process rather than a commodity and thus is central to multicultural understanding: “[Food] has to do with how we live and it’s not just an object that we ingest.” Food: History & Culture in the West [PDF], was a 2010 UC Berkley Symposium exploring multiple links between food and culture: [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Jan 7, 2013 - 14 comments

Food History Jottings

Ivan Day has a food history blog. So does India Mandelkern. [more inside]
posted by zamboni on Dec 12, 2012 - 5 comments

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