By: Jacob Riscili
September 17, 2019
Today is National Apple Dumpling day. With fall fast approaching, this food holiday comes at the height of apple harvests. Peeled and cored apples are typically placed on a pastry. Then, cinnamon and sugar are sprinkled over the top. The dough is folded around the apple creating a dumpling and baked until tender. The flavor is similar to an apple pie. Apple dumplings are believed to be native to the northeastern United States, around Pennsylvania. Often found among the delicious Amish recipes, it is frequently eaten as a breakfast item. However, they are also regularly eaten as a dessert and sometimes served with ice cream. Not only do these pastry taste and smell like fall, but they look like it, too. First, the bright apples in their many colors come into our kitchens by the baskets and boxes full. Then we season them with warm-colored spices. Finally, when the pastry comes out of the oven filling a home with that delicious fragrance, it presents with a gorgeous golden crust.
September 16, 2019
Today is National Cinnamon Raisin Bread day. On September 16th, National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day warms the home and the heart with delicious goodness. In bakeries across the country, we request cinnamon raisin bread more often than many others. Naturally sweet, the aroma created from baking this bread will make anyone’s mouth water. Cinnamon raisin bread toasts nicely and pairs well with several toppings. Homemade apple butter, cream cheese or sliced pears bring this baked good to a whole new level. Eat it for breakfast or snack. Another delicious way to use cinnamon raisin bread is by making French toast. Whisk up eggs, milk, vanilla and nutmeg in a bowl. Dip the bread in the batter and let it soak up the egg mixture. Fry each piece on a hot griddle. Serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup and your morning will start off amazingly! The same idea can be applied to an egg bake, too. When prepared ahead, egg bakes made with cinnamon raisin bread easily feed a large family or guests for the weekend.
September 13, 2019
Today is National Peanut Day. The peanut, while grown in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world, is native to the Western Hemisphere. It probably originated in South America and spread throughout the New World as Spanish explorers discovered the peanut’s versatility. When the Spaniards returned to Europe, peanuts went with them. Later, traders were responsible for spreading peanuts to Asia and Africa. The peanut made its way back to North America on sailing ships carrying slaves in the 1700’s. Although there were some commercial peanut farms in the U.S. during the 1700’s and 1800’s, peanuts were not grown extensively. Also associated with the expansion of the peanut industry is the research conducted by George Washington Carver at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama at the turn of the twentieth century. The U.S. government instituted agricultural support programs in the early 1900’s to promote the production of important food crops, including peanuts. Today, the production of peanuts is overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the auspices of farm legislation adopted by the U.S. Congress in 2002.
September 12, 2019
Today is National Chocolate Milkshake day. Milkshakes were an alcoholic whiskey drink that has been described as a “…sturdy, healthful eggnog type of drink, with eggs, whiskey, etc., served as a tonic as well as a treat”. By 1900, the term milkshake referred to “wholesome drinks made with chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla syrups.” The milkshake made it into the mainstream when in 1922 a Walgreen’s employee in Chicago, Ivar “Pop” Coulson, took an old-fashioned malted milk (milk, chocolate, and malt) and added two scoops of ice cream, creating a drink which became popular at a surprising rate, soon becoming a high-demand drink for young adults around the country. Nowadays we are lucky that we can a good milkshake. Just like the smoothie there are a countless number of flavors when it comes to milkshakes.
September 11, 2019
Today is National Hot Cross Buns day. A traditional hot cross bun is a spiced, yeasted bun. It is traditionally made with raisins or currants and is marked with a cross on top. The cross is usually piped using a flour and water paste but can also be made from shortcrust pastry. For Christians, the cross represents the crucifixion of Jesus. The spices inside the buns symbolize the spices put on the body of Jesus after he died. The buns are best served hot, hence how they received their name. Butter is optional depending on personal tastes. There are many theories on the origin of the bun. One theory dates back to the 14th century when an Anglican monk baked the buns at St Albans Abbey and called them the ‘Alban Bun’. He then distributed them to the poor on Good Friday. They soon gained popularity around England and became a symbol of the Easter weekend.
September 10, 2019
Today is National Hot Dog day. The hot dog is the quintessential summer food: cheap, tasty, great for grills and forgiving of even the most inexperienced backyard cooks. But who made the first hot dog? Historians believe that its origins can be traced all the way back to era of the notorious Roman emperor Nero, whose cook, Gaius, may have linked the first sausages. In Roman times, it was customary to starve pigs for one week before the slaughter. Gaius was watching over his kitchen when he realized that one pig had been brought out fully roasted, but somehow not cleaned. He stuck a knife into the belly to see if the roast was edible, and out popped the intestines: empty because of the starvation diet, and puffed from the heat. He stuffed the intestines with ground game meats mixed with spices and wheat, and the sausage was created.
September 9, 2019
Today is National “I Love Food” day. When it comes to delicious food holidays, Sept. 9 takes the cake….and the ice cream….and the fries….and the juicy steak…..and the pasta! If you are a foodie – go grab your fork. It’s National I Love Food Day, an annual occasion that celebrates one of life’s most enjoyable pleasures – food! Whether you have a hankering for something sweet to eat, love to try new things, are a tried-and-true meat-and-potatoes kind of person, are a strict vegetarian or somewhere in-between, food is a large part of our everyday lives. Regardless of our culture or where we live, food is usually front-and-center at all sorts of gatherings – from family reunions, picnics, holiday celebrations and festive parties to bridal showers, weddings and funerals.
September 6, 2019
Today is National Coffee Ice Cream day. The cool and creamy result of our morning java in a refreshing dessert magnifies the celebration. While not everyone drinks coffee, some like the flavor in desserts. So this day may interest even those who don’t wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning. Besides, when caffeine finds its way into a frozen, creamy blend, it’s nearly irresistible. Coffee ice cream has been around for many years. In 1869, coffee ice cream was used in a parfait. One recipe appeared in a 1919 cookbook for an Egg Coffee, consisting of cream, crushed ice and coffee syrup. Although it’s true that vanilla is still the most popular ice cream, people love the deep flavor of coffee ice cream in the summer. Adding egg yolks yields a richer texture than Early American ice-cream recipes could produce. Use the best dark-roast beans you can find for superior flavor.
September 5, 2019
Today is National Cheese Pizza day. Where else but in Italy, where pizza is a classic Italian dish. The history begins in antiquity, when various ancient cultures produced basic flat-breads with several toppings. A precursor of pizza was probably the foccacia, a flat bread known to the Romans as panis focacius, to which toppings were then added. Modern pizza developed in Naples when tomato was added to the focaccia in the late 18th century. The word pizza was first documented in 997 A.D. in Gaeta and successively in different parts of Central and Southern Italy. Pizza was mainly eaten in Italy and by emigrants from there. This changed after World War II, when Allied troops stationed in Italy came to enjoy pizza along with other Italian foods. Pizza first made its appearance in the United States with the arrival of Italian immigrants in the late 19th century and was popular among large Italian populations in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Trenton and St. Louis. In the late 19th century, pizza was introduced by peddlers who walked up and down the streets with a metal washtub of pizzas on their heads, selling their pizzas at two cents a slice. It was not long until small cafes and groceries began offering pizzas to their Italian-American communities.
September 4, 2019
Today is National Macadamia Nut day. The nut originated in Australia where there first macadamia tree was planted. Macadamia nuts became popular for their sweet and rich flavor. They were most useful to “sugar barons” or people who owned sugar businesses, which helped Australia’s start of the sugar industry. Macadamia nuts then spread throughout the world from California to Africa, but once when the nuts reached Hawaii, that is when the industry took off. Ernest Van Tassel, an entrepreneur, began the Hawai’i Macadamia Nut Company, which planted the nuts commercially in 1921 and began processing the nuts in 1934. It wasn’t until the late-1940’s that some major players of Hawaii’s “Big Five” companies, who dominated Hawaii’s economy through sugar production, started to take notice of the macadamia nut game. In 1946, Castle & Cooke, renowned as owners of the Dole Pineapple Company, planted their first orchard, which would later produce the macadamia nuts of Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corp. Soon after, C. Brewer and Co. Ltd. began investing in macadamia orchards, and would later buy Castle & Cooke’s orchard in 1976, at which point they started marketing under the well-known Mauna Loa brand. Today, 90% of the world’s macadamia nuts are harvested in Hawaii.
September 3, 2019
Today is National Grilled Cheese day. The sandwich dates back to the early 1900s, where the French put cheese on top of bread. We’ve all heard the expression “This is the best thing since sliced bread.” In 1928, Otto Frederick Rohwedder invented a bread slicer that made distributing bread easy and affordable. Shortly before, in 1914, James L. Kraft, more commonly known to start Kraft Foods, came up with a revolutionary process that pasteurized cheese so it wouldn’t spoil. Throughout the 20th century, people added different ingredients to the grilled cheese: Ham, bacon, onions, tomatoes, and even a mixture of cheeses such as a five-cheese grilled cheese. The sandwich became more popular when it was served to soldiers in World War II as a quick meal. It was described as “American cheese filling sandwiches” which was usually served open-faced and consisted of one slice of bread topped with grated cheese. People then started coating the outside of the bread with butter and seared in on a griddle so the bread would become brown and crispy.
August 29, 2019
Today is National Chop Suey day. It is a form of American-Chinese cuisine. This dish consists of meat, whether that be chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp, eggs, and cooked along with bean sprouts, celery, and cabbage and finished with a starched sauce on top of fried rice. Chop Suey was widely believed to be invented in the United States by Chinese immigrants. The dish became more widespread throughout the country and some restaurants sprung up just because of the dish. One Chinese traveler, Liang Qichao, said the dish was being served by American-Chinese restaurateurs but was not eaten by the Native Chinese because the cooking technique was “really awful.” Nevertheless, it has gotten better. If cooked properly, the dish tastes wonderful and has become a prominent part of Chinese culture in American society.
August 28, 2019
Today is National Cherry Turnover day. A very common dish in American culture. Most people have never heard of turnovers; they are little pastries which are made by folding a piece of dough over the sweet or savory ingredient that is used and baked like a pie. In other words, they are pocket pies or pie sandwiches, very small and very easy to make yourself. The first recorded instance of a turnover was back in 1440. They were created as a response by bakers who, by law, could not make cakes. Instead, they created pies, one of those being the turnover. Since invented, they have never gone out of style and being enjoyed by millions everyday.