The History and Origins of Ice Cream.

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AMSCOL, the Adelaide Milk Supply Co Operative Limited. Remember the factory in Carrington Street in the city? Amscol was set up by Adelaide’s dairy farmers in the 1920s to process daily milk supplies. And of course Amscol made other treats, too, like the ice cream brick, Amscol Dandies, Twin Chocs, Berry Bars and Hi Tops.
The Chinese King Tang of Shang is thought to have had over ninety “ice men” who mixed flour, camphor, and buffalo milk with ice. They had pots they filled with a syrupy mixture, which they then packed into a mixture of snow and salt.
Emperor Nero Claudius Caesar of Rome was said to have sent people up to the mountains to collect snow and ice which would then be flavoured with juice and fruit—kind of like a first century snow cone.
One of the earliest forerunners of modern ice cream was a recipe brought back to Italy from China by Marco Polo.
The recipe was very like what we would call sherbet. From there, it is thought that Catherine de Medici brought the dessert to France when she married King Henry II in 1533. I
n the 1600s, King Charles I of England was said to have enjoyed “cream ice” so much that he paid his chef to keep the recipe a secret from the public, believing it to be solely a royal treat.
However, these two stories appeared for the first time in the 19th century, many years after they were said to have taken place, so may or may not be true.
One of the first places to serve ice cream to the general public in Europe was Café Procope in France, which started serving it in the late 17th century.
The first mention of ice cream in America appeared in 1744, when a Scottish colonist visited the house of Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen wrote about the delicious strawberry ice cream he had while dining there.
The first advertisement for ice cream in America appeared in 1777 in the New York Gazette, in which Philip Lenzi said ice cream was “available almost every day” at his shop.
However, the “origin” story that his wife Martha once left sweet cream on the back porch one evening and returned in the morning to find ice cream is definitely not true.
Thomas Jefferson created his own recipe for vanilla ice cream, and President Madison’s wife served strawberry ice cream at her husband’s second inaugural banquet.
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Ice cream at this time was made using the “pot freezer” method, which involved placing a bowl of cream in a bucket of ice and salt (note: not mixing the ice and salt with the cream as many believe).
The St. Louis World Fair popularized the ice cream cone. World War II further popularized the dessert as the treat was great for troop morale and became somewhat of a symbol of America at the time (so much so that Italy’s Mussolini banned ice cream to avoid the association).
This war time ice cream resulted in the biggest producer of ice cream in America in 1943 being the United States Armed Forces.
via Today I found Out.

 

Burns Night and the Haggis, Scotland.

The first supper was held in memoriam at Burns Cottage by Burns’s friends, on 21 July 1801, the fifth anniversary of his death; it has been a regular occurrence ever since.
The first still extant Burns Club was founded in Greenock in 1801 by merchants who were born in Ayrshire, some of whom had known Burns.
They were held to celebrate the life and work of Legendary Scottish poet Robbie Burns
They held the first Burns supper on what they thought was his birthday, 29 January 1802, but in 1803, they discovered the Ayr parish records that noted his date of birth was actually 25 January 1759. Since then, suppers have been held on or about 25 January.

Photograph: Sheep’s stomach stuffed with offal, suet, oatmeal and spices is better known as haggis and eaten on Burns Night in Scotland.
Burns suppers may be formal or informal. Both typically include haggis (a traditional Scottish dish celebrated by Burns in Address to a Haggis), Scotch whisky and the recitation of Burns’s poetry.
Formal dinners are hosted by organisations such as Burns clubs, the Freemasons or St Andrews Societies; they occasionally end with dancing when ladies are present. Formal suppers follow a standard order.
Source: The most disgusting food in the world – in pictures | Food | The Guardian

The Romance of Chocolate.

_79911679_chocflorentinePapillotes are a popular Christmas treat in France – the specially wrapped chocolates have romantic origins dating back to the 18th Century.
I tracked down some of the best in a small shop in Paris.
If Willy Wonka was real and a Frenchman, his name would be Philippe Bernachon.
Bernachon is a master chocolate maker. His Lyon kitchen creates the most mouth-watering delicacies – not least, his chocolate bars. Roll over, Wonka’s Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight.
Smooth, very dark or creamy milk – Bernachon bars are oozing with rich, salted caramel or stuffed with pistachio, roasted almonds, candied pineapple and kirsch, marzipan, or bitter orange and crystallised fruits soaked in Grand Marnier.
They’re usually found in only two places in the world – in Lyon or 400km (248 miles) north at a small sweet shop near Montmartre, A L’Etoile d’Or – At the Golden Star.
But last February, The Golden Star blew up, sending the exquisite 19th Century decor, the trays and jars of divine sweetmeats – and Bernachon’s incredible chocolate bars – sky-high.
A gas explosion smashed it all to smithereens.
The proprietor, shocked but unscathed, has been without her shop for months – and Paris is bereft of Bernachon.
Read on via BBC News – The most romantic chocolate ever made?.

Mark Olive’s Traditional Aussie Feast.

Baked ham with Muntrie berries and Roasted vegetables.
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Mark Olive glazes the Christmas ham. Photograph: Emily Weaving for the Guardian
Serves 12
1 smoked ham (7 to 9kg net weight)
1 ½ cup muntrie berries
Glaze
½ tsp saltbush
½ tsp native pepper
½ tsp sea parsley
½ tsp bush tomato, ground
50ml orange juice
½ cup honey
Roasted vegetables
6 carrots
6 parsnips
6 onions (small)
½ kg chat potatoes
½ pumpkin, sliced into four
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Take the skin off the ham to expose the fat. If you take the ham straight out of the fridge, sit it in warm water for 5 minutes to soften and the skin will peel off easily. Score the fat.
To make the glaze, mix the saltbush, native pepper, sea parsley and bush tomato with the orange juice and sit for 5 minutes to let the herbs swell and release their flavours, then add honey.
Brush the ham with the glaze. Drop the oven temperature to 150C and cook the ham for 1 to 1½ hours, or up to 2 hours depending on the oven. Brush the ham every 15 to 20 minutes.
Sear the vegetables in a nonstick frying pan until they take on a bit of colour. Brush the vegetables with olive oil, place in the oven and they should be ready when the ham is cooked.
If you have any leftovers at the end of the Christmas meal, the ham can be wrapped in a clean wet cloth, placed on a tray, covered with clingwrap and stored in the fridge.
The ham can be sliced off and used in sandwiches, salads, fry-ups and ham and eggs for breakfast.
Leave a bit of meat on the bones then freeze them to use later in a hearty pea and ham soup.
Source: Indigenous Christmas: Mark Olive’s recipe for a traditional Australian feast | Australia news | The Guardian

‘Eat, Drink & be Merry’ by Rebecca Rupp.

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by Rebecca Rupp
We all know what food is for. Biologically, food is fuel, the stuff that provides us with the energy to do all the things we do.
Like every other animal on the planet-from protozoa to panda bears-we eat in order to live.
For us alone, however, out of all the animal kingdom, food plays a far greater role. Shared food promotes friendship, fellowship, and communication, and functions as social glue.
Food is an integral part of life’s transitions: we have wedding and birthday cakes, funeral casseroles, celebratory champagne, and that rite-of-passage first legal beer.
Food is symbolic: on New Year’s Day, for example, depending where and who we are, we eat grapes, lentils, black-eyed peas, or soba noodles for luck.
Christians celebrate Shrove Tuesday with pancakes and Good Friday with hot cross buns; Jews commemorate Passover with bitter herbs and unleavened bread; and Muslims, after Ramadan, traditionally break their long fast with dates.
Food forges our national and cultural identities. Almost every family has its special dishes that—collectively partaken of—solidify the sense of belonging to a tribe.
There’s a good argument that many of the characteristics that define us as human evolved from our peculiar custom of sitting down together for dinner.
Among these are kinship systems, spoken language, technology, and a sense of right and wrong—all of which may have their roots in food, brought home and divvied up among people gathered together around a primitive communal hearth.
Researchers guess that we (and our distant ancestors) have been sharing meals in this way for nearly two million years.
sustenance_NGM_1214_002Afghan women share a meal of flatbread, goat, lamb, and fruit in the Women’s Garden, a refuge for conversation and confidences outside the city of Bamian.
The garden and surrounding park were created to promote leisure activities for women and families­. For this group it includes the chance to bond over food.  Lynsey Addario, Reportage by Getty Images/National Geographic
Continue the article via Eat, Drink, and Be Merry – The Plate: Rebecca Rupp.

Bread in the Middle Ages.

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Kings, knights, monks, peasants – everyone in the Middle Ages ate bread. It was also the food that caused bitter religious disputes and could make you go insane.
The history of bread dates back as far as 22,500 years ago – it was the staple of life for the ancient Mesopotamians and Egyptians, and was eaten throughout the Roman Empire.
It was made by grinding cereal grains, such as wheat, millet or barley, into flour, then kneading it with a liquid, perhaps adding yeast to make the dough rise and lighten, and finally baking.
Bread comes in all shapes and sizes, but in his book Bread: A Global History, William Rubel notes that Europe has had a “loaf-bread culture” for the last 2,000 years, while flat bread remained popular in the Middle East and Africa.
By the beginning of the Middle Ages the preference was to eat white bread made from wheat – medieval physicians also recommended it as being the healthiest – but poorer peoples would bake darker breads with oats or rye.
If one needed too, people could also add rice, peas, lentils, chestnuts, acorns or other foods into the mixture.
In medieval France, most people would eat a type of bread known as meslin, which was made from a mixture of wheat and rye.
Terrence Scully notes “that bread was the basis of the medieval diet” and the amount that people ate throughout Europe was remarkably similar. He finds that records from England, France and Italy that workmen, soldiers and even patients in hospitals were supposed to get about two pounds of bread per day.
Besides using bread just for food, medieval people often used it as their plates: known as trenchers, these were breads that were cut into thick flat slices.
Then others foods like meats or thick sauces would be served on top of them. Once the meal was finished, the bread could then be eaten.
via Bread in the Middle Ages.