Food History

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Did Marie Antoinette Really Say 'Let Them Eat Cake?'

Marie Antoinette, one of the most well-remembered queens in history, is remembered most of a callous statement attributed to her. When the French people were starving, and bread was scarce, she is said to have replied: "If they have no bread, then let them eat cake." She is often blamed for being the spark that ignited the French Revolution.

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How Did The Navel Orange Originate?

If you've eaten an orange lately there is a very good chance it was a navel orange. Navel oranges are the most popular eating oranges in the world. They are large, sweet and juicy but not too juicy. They have a crisp texture and are easy to peel. They are also seedless. What's not to love?

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What Is The Plural Of Asparagus?

The plural of asparagus is an interesting lesson in language. The word, in fact, could be said to not actually have a plural, or to have two plurals, depending on your viewpoint.

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Safeway Customers Sent Hoax Email

Safeway Customers Received a Bogus Email Announcing a Huge Price Increase and a Suggestion they Shop Elsewhere

Imagine getting an email from your grocery store telling you that they were going to increase their prices by 25% and that perhaps you should shop somewhere else.

This is exactly what happened to over 1,000 Safeway customers in Britain, on August 9, 2000.

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Poison Blue Grapefruits

In 1988, a rumor started spreading in Italy about poisonous grapefruits entering Italy from Israel. The grapefruits were said to have a bluish stain on them. The press reported that, in an act of terrorism, the Israeli grapefruits had been injected with a blue poison. As the story went on, many details were added.

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Who Invented Chicken Nuggets?

Like the fast food kid's meal, and the drive-through window, many people assume McDonald's invented the chicken nugget. Certainly, when we think of chicken nuggets McDonald's is generally the first thing to come to mind. In fact, it is fair to say that McDonald's popularized chicken nuggets and brought them into the mainstream when they introduced McNuggets in 1980, but this was long after they were invented. The inventor was a food scientist named Robert Baker, who thought up these crispy little nuggets in the 1950's. He was looking for a way to use leftover chicken and he actually published his recipe in the 1950's without bothering to patent the invention.

Since then, the basic way chicken nuggets are made haven't changed much, although the quality and proportions of the ingredients used may vary.

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Chew Your Food 32 Times: Where Did This Advice Come From?

Did your parents, or grandparents ever lecture you on the importance of properly chewing your food? Well, chewing is certainly important. It is actually the beginning of the digestion process, where not only mastication starts to break down foods into smaller pieces, but an enzyme is released to begin the process of digesting starches. But why should you chew 32 times? Where did this precise number come from?

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When Were Kraft Singles First Introduced?

It would be logical to assume that processed cheese, or American cheese was Kraft's first innovation. However, we see a glimpse of the brilliance of individually wrapped cheese singles much further back in the history of the company. When James L. Kraft, and immigrant from Ontario, Canada, first began selling cheese on the streets of Chicago, in 1903, he and other cheese peddlers would haul around huge wheels or blocks of cheese in horse-drawn wagons, and would weigh out and wrap individual pieces of cheese according to what the customer wanted. This was a time consuming process for both customer and vendor. So, Kraft's first big idea was to portion and wrap pieces of cheese in advance and sell them in standard units. A much quicker process and a harbinger of what was to come, since customers were ready to accept pre-packaged and pre-weighed foods, a more convenient way to buy, even though there was less choice.

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What Were the First Cereal Box Prizes?

Finding a prize in the bottoms of cereal boxes is a happy childhood memory for many of us. It was one of the best parts of grocery day for a child growing up in the 1960's or '70's, and perhaps even before. The cereal was secondary to the prize, and whether or not the cereal had a prize determined how much we begged our parents to but it. The little trinkets were highly motivating, and made for very successful marketing, despite the fact that they had almost no value.

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Origin of the Word Alcohol

The word alcohol has a strange origin. First, it comes from a part of the world where many people never, ever drink alcohol. Where it is, in fact, often against the law to do so: The Middle East. It also comes from a word that has nothing to do with a liquid, nor an intoxicating substance of any kind.

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How Did Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School Get Its Name?

Le Cordon Bleu, established in 1895, is a Parisian institute. No, I don't mean an institute as in "culinary institute," but an icon, and a fixture. Today, as a culinary school, it is an international institute.

Why the name "cordon bleu?"

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Who First Said "You Are What You Eat?"

The phrase "you are what you eat" has been repeated many times. Each person saying it may have had a slightly different agenda. Sometimes the agenda is to promote viewpoints on nutrition and health. You are what you eat, and if you eat "bad food" you will have bad health. Or, perhaps, you'll even be a bad person. Yes, sometimes, it is philosophical. Food is culture.

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What Is the Dining Room Brigade System?

Many people involved in the food industry may know about the kitchen brigade system, but few realize that there is a corresponding classic brigade system used for the dining room, or front of the house (FOH).

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Which Came First, Angel's Food or Devil's Food Cake?

In this article I am going to explore the history behind the Devil's food cake in particular, but first, I will answer the burning question: Which came first, the Devil's Food cake or the Angel's food cake?

In other words, is the Devil's food cake the chocolate version of Angel's food? Did someone invent either one intentionally to oppose the other?

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Origin of Expression 'Apple Pie Order'

The expression 'apple pie order' is used to refer to something being perfectly neat and tidy. For example, we might say person who keeps their kitchen clean and perfectly organised keeps their kitchen in apple pie order. How did this phrase originate? What does being neat and orderly have to do with apple pie? There are at least four explanations for the origin of this expression. As we shall, none of them are entirely satisfactory.

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