Brewminating: What You Never Knew about Coffee Cake

So what’s the story behind this tasty pastry? This is what you never knew about coffee cake. Presentation by Mashed Believe it or not, coffee cake has been around for centuries, with its recipe being shaped through advancements in baking and availability of ingredients. Because of this ever-changing quality, there are dozens of different types[…]

Bean Press: More Public Libraries Doubling as Food Distribution Hubs

These efforts are growing due to the coronavirus pandemic. They involve partnerships with school districts, food banks and other institutions. By Dr. Noah LenstraAssistant Professor of Library and Information ScienceUniversity of North Carolina – Greensboro Introduction In the summer of 2021, public libraries everywhere, from Idaho and Oklahoma to Tennessee and Arizona, will offer free meals to families with children in their local communities.[…]

A Must-Know Guide to Purchasing Groceries Online For You

Many people are buying groceries, toilet paper, hand sanitizers, pet food, and other supplies online in the era of the Coronavirus. With so many people stuck at home, working from home, or attempting to self-quarantine, here’s how to get food and supplies as efficiently as possible. Delay and Early Purchase Many websites can guarantee same-day[…]

Feasting in Ancient Rome

Ancient Roman cuisine enthusiasts answer your burning questions. If you were to sit down for a meal with ancient Romans, some of the food on your plate might leave you scratching your head. Dormouse and flamingo, anyone? Other dishes may appear surprisingly familiar, like bread, cheese, and wine—still the cornerstones of many a Mediterranean-inspired lunch[…]

Baking Bread in Ancient Egypt

A few experimental archaeologists are reclaiming recipes from ancient societies. By Keridwen Cornelius Around 2000 B.C., a baker in the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes captured yeast from the air and kneaded it into a triangle of dough. The baked bread was then buried in a dedication ceremony beneath the temple of Pharaoh Mentuhotep II[…]

Brewing Beer in Ancient Mesopotamia

Beer was extremely popular in ancient Mesopotamia. Sipped through straws, it was enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Introduction People have been gathering over a beer for thousands of years. As an archaeologist, I can tell you the history of beer stretches deep into the human past – and the history of bars[…]

The Cookbook That Declared America’s Culinary Independence

An 18th-century guide taught Americans how to eat simply but sumptuously. By Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald American Cookery, published by the “orphan” Amelia Simmons in 1796, was the first cookbook by an American to be published in the United States. Its 47 pages (in the first edition) contained fine recipes for roasts—stuffed goose, stuffed[…]

What Did the Founding Fathers Eat and Drink as They Started a Revolution?

They may not have been hosting a cookout, but they did know how to imbibe and celebrate. As we commence celebrating July 4th with the time-honored traditions of beer, block parties and cookouts, it’s fun to imagine a cookout where the Founding Fathers gathered around a grill discussing the details of the Declaration of Independence.[…]

Food Rationing and Canning during World War II

Rationed foods were categorized as either needing red or blue points. Introduction The events on December 7, 1941 catapulted the United States into World War II. The country’s entrance into the war meant many changes on the home front. Chief among these alterations was the introduction of food rationing in 1942. On January 30th of[…]

Mid-Victorians and Their Food

Improved agricultural output and a political climate dedicated to ensuring cheap food led to a dramatic increase in the production of affordable foodstuffs. Introduction The mid-Victorian period is usually defined as the years between 1850 and 1870, but in nutritional terms we have identified a slightly longer period, lasting until around 1880. During these 30[…]

How Crisco Toppled Lard – And Made Americans Believers in Industrial Food

Marketers decided to focus on the ‘purity’ of factory food processing – a successful strategy that other brands would mimic. Introduction Perhaps you’ll unearth a can of Crisco for the holiday baking season. If so, you’ll be one of millions of Americans who have, for generations, used it to make cookies, cakes, pie crusts and[…]

Spice of Life: Black Pepper as a Medicine in the Early Modern World

One of our most common condiments was once very valuable and, until surprisingly recently, used as a versatile medicine. Since ancient Greek and Roman times, pepper has been prized for its ability to balance the humours of the body. It was so highly valued that, in 408 CE, Visigoth King Alaric I took 3,000 pounds[…]

The Neanderthal Diet—From Teeth to Guts

Some populations of Neanderthals were definitely more carnivorous than others. By Dr. Anna GoldfieldArchaeologist One of the more tenacious misconceptions about Neanderthals is that they were exclusively meat eaters. Sure, in some of the colder regions of Europe plant food would have been very seasonally limited, so meat was almost certainly a large part of[…]

Evidence Confirms Health Benefits of an Ancient Chinese Sweetness

Examining two recent discoveries in goji berry chemistry and shedding light on how and why they are beneficial to your health. What in the Heck Is a Goji Berry? For those of you who aren’t yet familiar, (worry not, you’re about to be) goji berries (fruits of Lycium barbarum –L. and Lycium chinense –Mill.) originate from and have[…]