Food Facts & Lore, Monday Magazine

This Week in Food History – 04/10/2017

Remember last week, we mentioned that April is BLT Month? Well, April is a month of many blessings, for it is also National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month! Ever tried a grilled cheese sandwich with Cheddar and sliced pickles? Most enjoyable. Try it. The Grilled Cheese is the simplest sandwich there is, yet it is probably the one that evokes the strongest memories or feelings of comfort. You know what we mean. There’s mom’s spaghetti sauce and then there’s Grilled Cheese Sandwiches at the end of a hectic day, dunked in soup. And, of course, Grilled Cheese is on our Lunch Menu. Now, the 7-day stretch ahead ends with another momentous Food Holiday. Let’s get to it, shall we?

On With This Week’s Noteworthy Food Celebrations…

April 10: National Cinnamon Crescent Day – It is more commonly called a “croissant,” but it is not actually French. The croissant has its origins in an Austrian, chopped walnut and dried fruit filled yeast roll called “kipfel.” An Austrian military officer opened a bakery in Paris around 1939, where he introduced the kipfel and baking techniques that would eventually give us the croissant and the baguette.

April 11 is National Cheese Fondue Day – As you probably know, we get delicious Cheese Fondue from Switzerland, but do you know what is the word for the fondue pot? Caquelon (kakl-on), from Swiss-German “kakel,” meaning “earthenware vessel.” The tradition of dipping bread in a communal pot of hot cheese dates to the 18th century. It was a delicious way to use slightly stale bread. The word “fondue” is French for “melt down.”

April 12 is Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day – There’s a scrumptious variation or two for that, right here in our Pizza For Breakfast and Baguette Snacks & Sandwiches Segments. What do you do with two slices of cheese pizza? A Grilled Egg Pizzanwich, of course. And move over PB & J; we’re in the mood for GC & J, that’s Grilled Cheese with Jam and it’s a tasty alternative for a mid-day sweet tooth attack. And the 158 Main Seafood Chowder with a Grilled Cheese for lunch, Ah! Heaven… if you don’t mind us saying.

April 13 is National Peach Cobbler Day – The peach comes to us from China. It has been cultivated for at least 3000 years. European settlers brought traditional pie recipes to America. As they traveled westward across the land, away from the fresh fruit grown on the East Coast or arriving via sea traders, they improvised new recipes using canned and syrup-preserved fruit. They “cobbled” together the fruit, syrups and biscuits at hand, which they cooked on open fires.

April 14 is National Pecan Day – The name “pecan” can be traced back to the Algonquin. It refers to any nut that can be easily cracked with a stone. The pecan tree is the only nut-tree that grows naturally in North America. The first U.S. plantations appear in Long Island, NY, by 1772. By 1775, pecan trees are added to George Washington’s gardens, and Thomas Jefferson’s after him. You may like the 158 Main Plate. Mixed Greens, Tomato, Carrots, Maple Cured Pecans, Red Onions and Balsamic Vinaigrette. It’s on our Lunch and Brunch menus.

April 15 is National Glazed Spiral Ham Day – Now this may be the most precisely named Food Holiday! It might as well be called National Glazed Spiral Ham Served to 2 or 4 Diners on a Saturday Under a Full Moon! The words “glazed” and “spiral” side by side suggest a golden maple syrup swirl in every bite, but “spiral” actually refers to a cut, as opposed to “shank-cut” or “center-cut.” The spiral cut is the only cut that produces ready-to-eat, uniform slices.

April 16 is National Eggs Benedict Day – Every day should be Eggs Benedict Day! The weekend brunch favorite (psst! It’s on our breakfast menu all week long too) was first served at the United States’ first restaurant, Delmonico’s, in New York City (opened 1837). To this day, there is no consensus over the actual origins of the dish, which range from a hung over Wall Street broker requesting the concoction on the spur of the moment to a certain Mrs. LeGrand Benedict finding herself bored with the menu and asking to discuss other options with the chef.

Thanks for reading. Liked what you learned here? Please share it. Also visit 158 Main and JPD on Facebook and See you here next week for more historical nibbles…