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Food History Articles and Links


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I often come across interesting articles on food history. They don't usually merit a full topic to themselves, but it would be nice to share any that I've enjoyed. And find any others have enjoyed. So here we are.

Foie gras, truffles, birds drowned in brandy: a menu fit for Queen Victoria

 

A royal lunch served at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire forms part of an exhibition on its kitchen

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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22 hours ago, weinoo said:

Did they really?!

Are you kidding? They most certainly did. Railways all over the world offered and produced fine dining.

I don't know how true it is, but I read years ago that french fries, as we know them now, were first made in the kitchen car of a train.

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Possibly on this train?

 

image.png.1120fb2a36561a3094aff96599e693c4.png

 

(Don't believe everything you read). Like this:

Quote

 

In any event, historical accounts indicate that the Belgians were possibly frying up thin strips of potatoes as early as the late 17th century (though some claim it wasn’t until the late 18th century) in the Meuse Valley between Dinant and Liège, in Belgium.  How they supposedly came up with the idea was that, in this area, it was very common for the people to fry up small fish as a staple for their meals.  However, when the rivers froze up thick enough, it tended to make it somewhat difficult to get fish.  So instead of frying up fish in these times, they would cut up potatoes in long thin slices, and fry them up as they did the fish.

Giving some credence to this story is that the Spanish controlled much of what is now modern day Belgium at the time the Spanish introduced the potato to Europe.  So, at least, the Belgians probably were among the first to have a crack at the potato, in terms of thinking up ways to prepare food from potatoes

 

 

This (above) actually seems to be the consensus.

 

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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4 hours ago, weinoo said:

This (above) actually seems to be the consensus.

Yeah, you're right. It was just something that I read years ago.

Seriously though, dining cars were a big thing and one big item in the collectors Market nowadays is the dinnerware that was used on the trains.

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3 hours ago, Tropicalsenior said:

in the collectors Market nowadays is the dinnerware that was used on the trains.

 

We have friends who do nice dinner parties. Or who used to do nice dinner parties.  He always pulls out something that was used on trains at one time, as he collects that stuff. It's pretty cool, and if I had room...

The menus in the article are telling.  We got to dine once on a train overnight from Florida to Virginia - it was fun. The food...well, they tried.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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The height of elegance: the dining car seduction scene in North by Northwest. He's having a glittering martini. She recommends the brook trout..... she's playing with a full deck....and so on.....oh, they are SO pretty!

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

The food...well, they tried.

You are much too young to have lived through the elegant days of the dining car. Unfortunately they went the same way that the food went in the airplanes. Many eons ago, I worked for a company that did catering for the airlines and some of the meals that we put out were spectacular. There is just nothing spectacular nowadays about a bag of pretzels. The only time that I ever took a train ride that was long enough to take advantage of the dining car, I was much too poor to participate. By the way, that was when I was 18 and escaping from sauerkraut in Nebraska.

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The Canadian Pacific Railway, in its heyday, was also renowned for its dining service. The company has an extensive archive, which includes menus and a great deal of other information about its glory days, but sadly the archive's public-facing website doesn't provide any of that (though it's still fascinating).

 

A few years back the University of British Columbia hosted an exhibition and presentation on the food of the old-days CPR, which is viewable on YouTube.

 

 

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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2 hours ago, chromedome said:

The Canadian Pacific Railway, in its heyday, was also renowned for its dining service. The company has an extensive archive, which includes menus and a great deal of other information about its glory days, but sadly the archive's public-facing website doesn't provide any of that (though it's still fascinating).

 

A few years back the University of British Columbia hosted an exhibition and presentation on the food of the old-days CPR, which is viewable on YouTube.

 

 

 

I can confirm that circa 1970 the Canadian Pacific cuisine was excellent.  Not bad wine list either.

 

 

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This store is in our co-op owned commercial strip.  When we first moved down here, the bialys were hand rolled, stuffed with real onions, and good. Now, not so much.  

 

The Explosive History Of Kossar's, NYC's Most Famous Bialy Bakery

 

Prior to that piece, another hack blogger wrote about Kossar's...

 

Bialy Wars North vs. South

 

Twice...

 

Bacon, Bialys and Bulkas, Oh My

 

Feeling somewhat qualified, as I had any number of ancestors who were in the Bagel Baker's Union!

 

 

 

 

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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11 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

@shain makes wonderful bialys and even has a recipe for them in the recipe forum.

 

Yes - @shain does!  I know a few people who make  them; definitely easier than bagels. Or fewer steps, at least.

Our newest local bakery makes them too - except they are $3.50 each! There are some things I just refuse to pay too much for.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Since we have gotten on the subject of famous local foods I think that it is appropriate that I should write about famous foods in the state where I grew up. In order to do that, regrettably, I will have to admit that I was born in Nebraska. Therefore, this will be one of my shorter posts. According to what I have read lately one of their most famous foods is something called Runza. Growing up, I never heard of them. I have asked family members who are all still in Nebraska (still eating sauerkraut) and none of them have ever heard of it.

Our most famous food invention was Kool-Aid. And as far as I can find out, it is the only one. I am proud to say that it was invented 63 miles from where I was born.

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22 minutes ago, Tropicalsenior said:

According to what I have read lately one of their most famous foods is something called Runza. Growing up, I never heard of them.

 

In neighboring Kansas, our @Shelby makes bierocks/bierochs/runzas  quite often and they look great!  A nice tutorial in one of her blogs, starting here.

When an online cookbook group I participate in covered Shauna Sever's Midwest Made, the Nebraskan Runzas were very popular.  The recipe from the book is available at this link

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