Food Facts & Lore, Monday Magazine

The Monday Mag – May 25, 2015

In This Edition Of Our Weekly Magazine:

– A Brief History Of The Picnic
– 400 Years Of Barbecuing In America
– Memorial Day, Vintage Style

Our Favorite Quote Of The Week – “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.” – Billy Graham

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A Brief History Of The Picnic – The picnic is as American as apple pie. However, as you might imagine, it finds its origins in our European and British roots. The word picnic itself comes from the 16th century French word, “pique-nique,” which refers to a lover of good food who brought his/her own wine when dining out. Fastidious meals enjoyed in the great outdoors were a common pastime of the wealthy in the Middle Ages and up until Victorian times (1837 – 1901). This activity was generally associated with hunting as portrayed by paintings of the time. By the early 1900’s, the picnic becomes a family and community affair. Cookbooks and household management publications of the time refer to proper amounts and types of food to serve. The list includes: roasted chicken, cold roast beef, cheesecake, brandy and beer.

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400 Years Of Barbecuing In America – European explorers came across the tradition of smoking meats on open fires during voyages to the Caribbean Islands, prior to colonizing the New World in the early 1600’s. Thus the BBQ first found its way into America via New England and the East Coast States. Barbecues were originally associated with political events, the departure of soldiers to foreign territories and national holidays. The meals were generally prepared by slaves and it is they who taught their skills to others over time. Upon being freed, they started barbecue street stands that would later evolve into some of today’s most famous BBQ restaurants. Modern day food channels and competitions are believed to be having a remarkable impact on the development of the open fire cooking method. The word barbecue is derived from the Spanish word barbacoa, meaning “a frame of sticks.”

Memorial Day, Vintage Style – 

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