Food Facts & Lore

2019 Review

52 weeks gone by and almost as many Blog articles. Some weeks, inspiration strikes effortlessly, and the Monday morning article seems to write itself. At other times, it feels like a bit more of a challenge, but researching topics is always a blast.

Any historically inclined article and the Fricassée of Words are personal favorits year after year. Researching the history of food opens many fascinating levels of understanding. Food history is deeply intertwined with folklore, society and human migrations.

In the Fricassée, as you know if you’ve stopped by our Blog before, we explore the meaning of various food expressions. This, too, is revealing territory and we wish there were thousands upon thousands of food expressions to research. Pure guilty pleasure.

As per our custom, we close 2019 and welcome 2020 with a brief overview of our favorite articles. These presented the biggest editing challenge in that we could easily have pursued research for hours on end. Not to mention that cutting the article to a concise final draft was done most reluctantly. We invite you to re-read the following selection and hope this second helping will prove enjoyable. We begin our review with a Fricassée.

Jan 14, 2019 – Easy as Pie

In the late 19th century, the word “pie” was frequently used to emphasize how easily a task or job was expected to be accomplished. It was used when describing someone’s good disposition as well, as in the Adventures of Huck Finn: “You’re always as polite as pie to them.” Chapter 2, page 5. ()

Mar 4, 2019 – Oyster Crackers in a Nutshell

Oyster Crackers are synonymous with New England and Seafood Chowder. No one disputes this. What has been in dispute is the origin of the iconic bite-size cracker. We stay on the original 13-state New England territory for the answer, but it is found in two distinct locations 283 miles apart: Trenton, New Jersey and Westminster, Massachusetts. ()

May 20, 2019 – Cucumber, Cowcumber, Coocumber

We thought it would be fun to take a short journey into the etymology and derivations of a few common vegetable names. Why vegetables? No particular reason. Just one of those off-the-cuff ideas that popped up, like a sudden craving nothing will satisfy but to go ahead and indulge. It seemed like a fun topic for this purpose. A bit of research revealed it was worth pursuing. ()

July 8, 2019 – Baby Boomer Food Trends

Apollo 11, the first manned mission to land on the moon on July 20, 1969, changed us as a nation. The space race brought technological advances, dreams of limitless exploration… and Tang. The artificially orange flavored drink was used during space flights taking place in 1962 and 1967. Those raised in the 1960’s remember picking up ample supplies of Tang for camping trips and long rides to summer vacation destinations. ()

Aug 19, 2019 – Three Foods that Changed the World

America celebrated Woodstock’s 50th anniversary on August 15. Like the first moon walk, Woodstock changed the world, or more accurately the world was changing, and so “this happened.” The ability of certain reality shifts to both change the world and demonstrate how it has already changed can be as simple as a sudden fashion or food innovation. Here are three foods that changed the world, but perhaps not as you might imagine. ()

Nov 4, 2019 – Dinner in New England, 17th Century Style

Colonists relied on preservation methods to extend the life of some of their food supplies. Salting and drying were common. The land was open to all for hunting and trapping at will. They also took advantage of the fruits of sea, lakes and rivers, though many had to learn to fish. But with no established markets as supply hubs, careful portioning and preservation were at the forefront of meal planning. They were not so much concerned with, “What’s for dinner?” as with, “What will we eat this coming winter?” ()

Happy New Year! We wish you many joyful gatherings around a good meal with friends and family and uplifting conversation always.