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food history



  • The Best Job in the Army

    by Carole Emberton

    An army marches on its stomach, and the commissary corps had to feed it!



  • Cookbook dating back to 1690 reveals Georgian recipes

    A hidden hoard of eighteenth century recipes has come to light for the first time in nearly 200 years in a central London archives centre.Staff at Westminster City Councils Archives Centre came across the recipes earlier this year in a digital project where some sources were posted online and began sharing its culinary delights in the Cookbook of Unknown Ladies blog.With more than 350 recipes dating from 1690 to 1830, followers of the online blog will be able to find out how to make dishes such as Veal kidney Florentine, a pastry tart with kidney, apples, lettuce, orange peel, spices and currants, or Mammas Mince Pyes, made with a mince mixture of candied fruits and cows tongue....



  • French learned to make wine from Italians 2,400 years ago

    The French weren't the first to make wine? Mon dieu! But as anyone who has sipped a Bordeaux, Champagne or Burgundy can tell you, the French got pretty good at it once they learned how. And thanks to some molecular archaeology, researchers can now confirm they picked up these skills as early as 425 B.C.So who taught the French the art of viniculture? Probably the ancient Italians, says the man with perhaps the coolest nickname in science research — the "Indiana Jones of alcohol," .The Eurasian grape — Vitis vinifera, the source of 99 percent of the world's wine — was first domesticated about 9,000 years ago in the mountains of the Near East, says McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Later, Canaanite, Phoenician and Greek merchants all played a part in spreading that wine culture across the Mediterranean....



  • Local History Buffs Munch on Muskrat in Michigan

    (MONROE, Mich.) — Most of the menu read like a typical buffet, with soup, salad, turkey, pork and potatoes. But the first offering at the annual Muskrat Dinner in Michigan was distinctive: a pot of the rodent’s meat mixed with creamed corn.“Most beginners are a little hesitant to dive in, especially when they see the carcass laid out on the plate,” said Ralph Naveaux, who helped organize the event. “But those of us that have been raised on it, we just adore them. It’s almost an addiction.”Members of the Algonquin Club of Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, and other muskrat aficionados — about 80 in all — made their way to the Monroe Boat Club, 40 miles south of Detroit, for the recent event....



  • Culinary exhibitions add life to museums' period rooms

    The period rooms in art museums have the mustiest, dustiest of reputations. They are often seen as the cultural equivalent of grandma’s overstuffed couch that smelled like a fleet of cats....The traditional period-room model has been the dollhouse, but without Colonial Dame Barbie. Furniture and objects were arranged just so to set the scene for a particular era and then cordoned off for years. Museumgoers did not stumble over one another to take a peek.But some museums have discovered at least one secret ingredient to make their potentially snooze-inducing rooms more palatable to the public: a chef of sorts. Meet Ivan Day, a British food historian who is helping museums satisfy the public’s growing interest in food in all of its cultural manifestations. And why food? That’s because the hardware of cooking and dining usually make up a big part of museums’ decorative arts collections....