Just to fill your holiday during the stay at home, or rather Ground Hog Day existence we are now living. Some totally useless information that may bring a smile or a snicker. So, let’s check into Twinkies, fried chicken, catsup, and apple pie and ice cream.
From the NYT: Twinkies as we know them now are simple: yellow cake filled with vanilla cream frosting. But when the sweet snacks first appeared in 1930, the tasty filling was banana-flavored, not vanilla. Twinkie inventor James Alexander Dewar, then a baker for the Continental Baking Company, came up with the treat when he was looking for a way to utilize the bakery’s strawberry shortcake machine when strawberries were out of season. He substituted banana cream, and the Twinkie was born. Unfortunately, with the advent of World War II, bananas were rationed, forcing Hostess to switch to vanilla cream filling. The change proved to be so popular with customers that the filling was never switched back to banana once the war ended. Hostess has since revived the original flavor for limited-edition Twinkies on a few occasions — such as to promote the DVD release of the 2006 movie “King Kong” — but today, the main flavor is still vanilla. Other varieties include chocolate cake, fudge-covered, and strawberry. Do any of you remember when a San Francisco County Supervisor used the “Twinkie” defense, when he shot and killed the Mayor (George Moscone), and the first openly gay Supervisor (Harvey Milk)?
From FirstWeFeast: The origin of fried chicken has never really been clear to anyone. It has possible antecedents everywhere, from Southeast Asia to Scotland to West Africa. But the oldest recipe anyone has found for a reasonably understandable fried chicken is from British cookbook author Hannah Glasse’s “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy,” first published in the 1740s. In her book, she suggests skinning and cutting up a chicken; covering it in a mixture of egg yolks, flour, and spices; and then frying it. Although she didn’t call her dish “fried chicken,” her recipe is believed to have influenced subsequent recipes for fried chicken in America. Today it is generally agreed that modern fried chicken is an American invention that combined the fricassees of European cooking and cooking methods and styles of enslaved African Americans.
My paternal Grandmother, from Japan, made the best fried chicken. Where did she learn to make it? And let me say, my Grandmother’s fried chicken was better than the Colonel’s!!!
From Shutterstock:The disastrous cliché of asking for ketchup (catsup) in a fine dining establishment seems as American as apple pie (more on that later). However, ketchup itself is not an American creation. Fermented food pastes were a staple of Chinese culinary arts since ancient times. The word “ketchup” is actually derived from the Hokkien Chinese word “kê-tsiap.” This recipe for ketchup was actually made from fermented fish, and when the British copied the recipe, they included ingredients like anchovies, mushrooms, and walnuts.
When ketchup arrived on American shores, it was painstakingly hand-crafted and fermented in the kitchen with a list of complicated ingredients, without sugar or vinegar. “Ketchup” referred to a variety of fermented sauces, with mushroom ketchup being a popular option. However, the face of American condiment shelves was destined for change when H.J. Heinz used sugar and vinegar to preserve tomato ketchup in 1876.
And for Memorial Day:
Speaking of apple pie, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the fruity baked good did not originate here in the home of the brave. Apples are native to Asia, but the Europeans had brought them home hundreds of years before America was founded. The oldest known recipe for apple pie dates back to England in 1381 – calling for figs, raisins, pears, and a sugarless pastry shell.
The association of apple pie to patriotism didn’t come about until the early 1900s. It was around this time that apple pie became a symbol of prosperity and American home cooking. Decades down the road, “for Mom and apple pie” became the go-to response of WWII soldiers when asked why they were going to the frontlines.
Most popular flavor of ice cream, according to International Dairy Foods Association: When it comes to frozen desserts, Americans love the classics. The best-selling ice cream flavor in the country, according to the International Dairy Foods Association, is plain old vanilla. This is likely because of its versatility: Vanilla ice cream can be used in milkshakes or root beer floats, served alongside almost any kind of pie or cake, and topped with sprinkles, hot fudge, candy, or fruit. In other words, it’s the perfect blank canvas. That said, Americans love their chocolate, too. The second most sold flavor on the IDFA’s list is chocolate, and all of the rest of the top five flavors have chocolate in them: cookies ‘n’ cream, mint chocolate chip, and chocolate chip cookie dough.
Go back to your normal Ground Hog Day activities. Enjoy your Twinkies!