Entries by Mark Gresge

Harvey Wallbanger

Harvey Wallbanger? Harvey Wallbanger cocktails burst on the American scene in 1968. The general locus of origin is southern California. Harvey personnified the newly emerging youth drinking market. The Harvey Wallbanger cake surfaced in 1973. The “classic” legend: “An apocryphal tale surrounds the origins of the name of this well-known cocktail. Harvey was the name […]

Birthday Cake!!

Birthday cake Cakes were eaten to celebrate birthdays long before they were called “birthday cakes.” Food historians confirm ancient bakers made cakes (and specially shaped breads) to mark births, weddings, funerals, harvest celebrations, religious observances, and other significant events. Recipes varied according to era, culture, and cuisine. Cakes were usually saved for special occasions because […]

Devil ???

Where the devil? According to the food historians the practice of “devilling” food “officially” began sometime during the 18th century in England. Why? Because that was when the term “deviled,” as it relates to food, first shows up in print. The earliest use of this culinary term was typically associated with kidneys & other meats, […]

Carrot Ale ?!?

Carrot Ale? Why not! Carrot Ale Take the water of twelve gallons, carrots twenty-four pounds, treacle four pounds, bran two pounds, dried buck-bean four ounces and yeast a quarter of a pint. Cut the carrots into thin slices, boil them in the water for an hour (making up the waste in boiling by the addition […]

What did Captain Cook bring on board?

Captain Cook’s rations & mess Captain James Cook provisioned his ship for a two year journey. He expected to supplement these rations with indigenous fare. Adequate fresh water and antiscorbutics to ward away scurvy played critical roles in his success. What kinds of food and drink were consumed on Cook’s ships? “In his journal for […]

Black and White Cookie

What is a Black and White Cookie? 1. It is a soft, round, flat, oversized, chewy drop cake, iced in perfect halves with vanilla and chocolate. 2. It is generally considered a New York City specialty. 3. It is sold fresh in bakeries and delicatessens. 4. It has been around for maybe 100 years. 5. […]

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Why is Grilled Cheese paired with Tomato Soup? Post WWII institutional foodservice (including school cafeterias) paired grilled cheese with tomato soup to provide the required Vitamin C component. It was also economical and easy: “Soups. The use of canned soups for all types of school food serve can add variety as well as good nutirtion […]

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies Ruth Wakefield [June 17, 1903-January 10, 1977], Whitman Mass., is credited for inventing chocolate chip cookies at her Toll House Restaurant in the early 1930s. According to the story, Ruth used a Nestle candy bar for her chips. We will probably never know if Ruth was the very first person to put […]

Ketchup

Ketchup: Mustard was known to the ancients. Ketchup surfaces in the early 18th century. Food historians generally agree the predecessor of our ubiquitous All-American tomato-based condiment may have originated in Southeast Asia. Some believe the English word ‘ketchup’ was borrowed from Chinese, too. How is this possible when tomatoes are a “New World” food? Original […]

Banana Pie

Banana cream pie Pie is ancient. Cream, custard and pudding pies are Medieval. Bananas took the American market by storm in the 1880s, due to impoved transpotration and savvy, aggresive marketers. Late 19th/early 20th century cookbooks are full of banana recipes. Bananas adapted well to most traditional fruit recipes. Hence: banana cream pie, banana pudding, […]