Christmas in the Air

An article from “FLIGHT” magazine, January 25, 1934

The Christmas Lunch Served on
Imperial Airways’ Flight for Athens
December 25, 1933

Imperial Airways Christmas lunch 1933
Illustration from the article

Most people on Christmas Day, whether they be in their own homes, travelling, or in whatever state it has pleased Providence to call them, endeavour to celebrate that anniversary by means of something extra special in the way of food and drink.

Imperial Airways Christmas lunch 1933_02
Food being prepared for Imperial Airways and stewards
waiting to pick up whatever is prepared for their next flight.

Imperial Airways always look after their passengers better, perhaps, than any other transport company in the world, and an amusing and effective example of this care is given by the Christmas lunch so carefully arranged for the passengers in Scipio, the fourengined Short flying boat which was to leave Brindisi on the morning of December 25, 1933, for Athens.

The programme did not go quite to schedule owing to delays of the train service which Imperial Airways passengers still unfortunately have to make use of between Pans and Brindisi. The machine actually left Brindisi at 8.15 a.m. on December 26, but the passengers, after consultation, were unanimous in their desire to have the Christmas luncheon which, but for the delay, they would have had on the previous day.

Imperial Airways Christmas lunch 1933_03
A meal being served on Scipio

The staff of the Scipio, in command of Capt. F. J. Bailey, had decorated the cabin very carefully with holly, mistletoe and paper streamers, and a Christmas tree had been rigged up. This was suitably decorated and hung with gifts for each of the 14 passengers, in the shape of Imperial Airways diaries with the passengers names stamped thereon. The tree was a fully illuminated one with coloured lamps lit from the ship’s electrical system.

Imperial Airways Christmas lunch 1933_04
Drinks being served onboard

The lunch, which had been supplied by Fortnum &  Mason, Ltd., was a great success. The turkey was served  cold, but the soup, sausages, potatoes and pudding  were all hot. Just how this was done better remain a secret of Imperial Airways, as a cursory glance at the facilities the steward has in his pantry does not appear to offer any solution. The fact remains, however, that when they do give their passengers anything hot it is really hot.

Imperial Airways Christmas lunch 1933_06
A steward in the pantry on Scipio

The luncheon was served directly after the Scipio had taken off from Corfu, where a landing had been made for fuel. Capt. Bailey, who, as do all Imperial Airways “skippers,” makes a personal matter of the comfort of his passengers, went back into the cabin on several occasions, and after cutting a cake, which had also been provided, presented the diaries from the tree.

Imperial Airways Christmas lunch 1933_08
A diagrammatic drawing of Imperial Airways’ Scipio.

The History of Lutefisk

An article found on whatscookingamerica.netLutefisk_01

It is said that about half the Norwegians who immigrated to America came in order to escape the hated lutefisk and the other half came to spread the gospel of lutefisk’s wonderfulness.

– Norwegian-American saying

Lutefisk History

Lutefisk (pronounced lewd-uh-fisk) is dried cod that has been soaked in a lye solution for several days to rehydrate it.  It is rinsed with cold water to remove the lye, then boiled or baked, and then served with butter, salt, and pepper.

Lutefisk_02

The finished lutefisk usually is the consistency of Jello.  It is also called lyefish, and in the United States, Norwegian-Americans traditionally serve it for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  In many Norwegian homes, lutefisk takes the place of the Christmas turkey.  In Minnesota and Wisconsin, you can find lutefisk in local food stores and even at some restaurants. It is a food that you either love or hate, and, as some people say, “Once a year is probably enough!”

During the fall in Wisconsin, people watch their local newspapers for announcements of lutefisk suppers, which are usually held in Norwegian churches.  Usually every Norwegian church will host at least one lutefisk supper between October and the end of the year.  The dinners have become so popular that lovers of this special cod dish drive great distances, and these are not just people of Scandinavian descent.

Lutefisk_04

The history of lutefisk dates back to the Vikings.  On one occasion, according to one legend, plundering Vikings burned down a fishing village, including the wooden racks with drying cod.  The returning villagers poured water on the racks to put out the fire.  Ashes covered the dried fish, and then it rained.  The fish buried in the ashes in the ashes thus became soaked in a lye slush.  Later the villagers were surprised to see that the dried fish had changed to what looked like fresh fish.  They rinsed the fish in water to remove the lye and make it edible, and then boiled it.  The story is that one particularly brave villager tasted the fish and declared it “not bad.”

Lutefisk_03

Norwegian-Americans believe that lutefisk was brought by their ancestors on the ships when they came to America, and that it was all they had to eat.  Today the fish is celebrated in ethnic and religious celebrations and is linked with hardship and courage.


In general I love traditional Norwegian food, both the food eaten during celebrating Christmas and the traditional food eaten the year round. Having said as much that love does not embrace lutefisk, but if it is served with enough crispy bacon and mushy peas as it usually is here in Norway I do eat it.

Ted
Winking smile

A Rather Mannered Plea For Etiquette

An article written by Annalisa Quinn posted at npr.org

“Blow not your broth at Table,” George Washington wrote in an early school exercise on civility. And “bedew no mans face with your Spittle.” Wise man.

A Rather Mannered Plea For EtiquetteOther etiquette rules hold up less well over time (“to Pull off the Hat when there is no need is Affectation.”) More recently, Emily Post warned young ladies against unchaperoned boating with young men, lest a sudden fog delay them and her reputation be ruined (sudden fog, as you perhaps know, is prime cover for you-know-what).

Warnings about hat-doffing and female chastity, thankfully, are gone from the modern etiquette book. Nonetheless, the tone of these books is often faux-antiquated, imitating the contractionless, precious, very white English of Ms. Post and her gloved ilk. It is grand-damey and transatlantic, with an implicit quelle horreur! lurking at the end of every “don’t.” (Or rather, “do not.”) Authors of such books do not hate, they loathe. People are not rude, but barbarous. Nothing is good unless it is terribly good. There is a good deal of vague nostalgia for more genteel times, as if our society growing steadily more just and equal does not quite make up for the disappearance of handkerchiefs and place settings.

table manners 3

And yet I love them. There’s something oddly charming about the idea that you could communicate your care and respect for other people through deft use of flatware or timely deployment of a handkerchief. That these rules will somehow help you bypass all the hard work of living a life with other people and learning how to treat them well in the course of it. Table manners are tiny, above-ground traces of a larger, submerged system of ethics; they are tools for expressing what is important to us as a culture.

Tower’s suggestions for those short on cash include replacing table centerpieces with goldfish in a vase. This implies, if not a direct hostility to the poor, at least that Tower did not do the exercise of imagining eating dinner eye-to-eye with a live fish.

Annalisa Quinn

At best, etiquette is ethics in a minor key. At worst, etiquette is a way to tell everyone you’re rich without having to say it aloud.

Jeremiah Tower’s Table Manners is a mix of both. It leans fussy: “The large soup spoons of yesteryear are now considered pretentious.” And prim: He cites “the new me-centered culture” as if people haven’t been making that complaint since Plato. But parts of it seem animated by a real belief that empathy can be taught. “The more you think about those around you and the less you think about yourself,” he writes, “the more likely you are to behave well.” Yet, there’s often an implicit utilitarianism in this guide — behave well and you will be invited to dinner.

table manners 4

Towers is a well-known chef, which makes his restaurant precepts specific and insightful (his advice for treating servers well is valuable, for instance) — but he’s less thoughtful about other aspects of etiquette. He doesn’t have the same open hostility towards the poor that many authors of such books have (Emily Post at one point suggested you pretend not to see beggars on the street, for example). But there is a kind of effective hostility through incomprehension. Tower’s suggestions for those short on cash include replacing table centerpieces with goldfish in a vase. This implies, if not a direct hostility to the poor, at least that Tower did not do the exercise of imagining eating dinner eye-to-eye with a live fish — or the effort of procuring one and caring for it afterwards.

“Even if fragrant old roses are your pride and joy from the garden,” he writes at one point, “you don’t want them competing with your $125 bottles of pinot noir.” People who actually drink $125 bottles of pinot noir just call it “pinot noir,” so it’s not clear why Towers would make himself sound unnecessarily snooty with the price tag, but it’s one of the several details that makes Table Manners not particularly inclusive.

table manners

So, how useful is this book? It depends. Do you really need someone to tell you not to shout “I LOATHE GARLIC” (here we go again with “loathe”) when someone serves it to you? Of course not — or, if you do, you are not likely to be reading an etiquette guide.

table manners 2

But perhaps it is human nature that I would find all the rules I already heed obvious and all the ones I don’t silly. Otherwise I would have to face the fact that my soup spoons are unacceptably, gauchely, preposterously, strivingly large and deal with the accompanying shame.

table manners 5

“No rule of etiquette is of less importance than which fork we use,” says our guiding light, Emily Post. I assume the same holds for spoons. But care for each other, expressed indirectly through small acts? That’s etiquette.

In order not to embarrass the article author completely I hasten to mention that the book cover at the top was the only illustration in her original post – Ted 😉

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – R. White’s Lemonade

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - R. White’s LemonadeR. White’s Lemonade is a brand of a carbonated soft drink, which is produced and sold in the UK by Britvic.

R. White’s is a brand of lemonade that has been produced for over 150 years. Robert and Mary White produced the first R. White’s lemonade in Camberwell, London, in 1845. The White Family took over H.D.Rawlings Ltd., in 1891, the year that it was incorporated, and then R.White & Sons Ltd., was itself incorporated in 1894.

In the 1970s, R White’s also made orangeade, dandelion & burdock and cream soda. R. White’s still contains real lemons and is available as a diet, cloudy or clear drink.

The Company was taken over by Whitbreads in the 1960s, and was later absorbed by the Britvic Corporation in 1986 when Britvic and Canada Dry Rawlings Ltd, merged. This product, formerly made using real sugar, has (as of 2006) changed the traditional recipe replacing sugar with Aspartame, Saccharin & Acesulfame K.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - R. White’s Lemonade

Stables, South Island Place, Brixton, 1964. The R White’s lemonade bottle in the foreground was an icon of London life at the time. The bottle was made from thick glass and was returned to the store where it was purchased, a deposit then refunded. The screw top was made of bakelite, not plastic.

Memorable marketing

1973 saw the launch of the brand’s most famous advertising campaign, ‘The Secret Lemonade Drinker’, which remained on screen until 1984. The ad featured a man in striped pyjamas creeping downstairs to raid the fridge for R Whites Lemonade. Ross MacManus (the father of singer Elvis Costello) wrote and sang the original song with his teenage son, providing backing vocals. The ad won a silver award at the 1974 International Advertising Festival.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - R. White’s Lemonade

Who can forget John Otway looking like Hank Marvin sneaking down the stairs singing “I’m a secret lemonade drinker” Then the chorus “R Whites, R Whites, R Whites lemonade” A Classic advert!

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - R. White’s Lemonade

Seven Etiquette Faux Pas to Avoid During Teatime

An Afternoon Tea article found on teatimemagazine.com
Seven Etiquette Faux Pas to Avoid During Teatime

Bruce Richardson at teatimemagazine.com writes: For more than two decades, Norwood and I have proclaimed that the tea ceremony is an exchange of simple courtesies and the sharing of a simple pleasure that induces a pleasant harmony not otherwise obtainable. And it is a ceremony that always calls for using beautiful things—silver, porcelain, linens, et cetera—to enhance it. Ceremony also allows our most beautiful comportment to emerge. All this, taken together, is why tea always makes us feel a little more civilized.

BlackTeaTeacup

With that noble thought in mind, I have composed a list of seven teatime faux pas to be aware of at your next teatime celebration.

[1] Don’t place items on the dining table. This protocol extends to keys, hats, gloves, eyeglasses, cell phones, and anything else that is not part of the meal.

[2] Don’t overraise your pinkie. (I know I’m going to get letters on this one.) In the 17th and 18th centuries, the pinkie was slightly extended to balance handleless Chinese teacups as they were held by both women and men. Anything more than that delicate extension is considered pretentious today. The manager of the Ritz in London tells me he can always spot Americans in the tearoom because they are the ones trying very hard to keep their little fingers in the air.

[3] Don’t make noise when stirring with a spoon. Place your teaspoon in the middle of the cup when stirring, and swirl gently without striking the edge of the cup. Always place the used spoon at the top of the saucer, not back on the tablecloth.

[4] Don’t place used tea bags on the saucer. This will only make a messy saucer. Ask the staff for a small dish to hold your wet tea bags.

[5] Don’t take the cup away from the table without the saucer. The saucer should accompany the teacup when you move more than 12 inches away from the table. Tea drinkers—either standing or sitting away from the table edge—should hold the saucer in the opposite hand while drinking from a cup. The cup should rest on the saucer when not being used.

[6] Don’t spoon jams, curds, or clotted creams directly from the serving dish onto your scone. These accompaniments should be placed first on your dining plate, using the serving utensils. Use your silverware to prepare your individual scone topping.

[7] Don’t push your plate away. Do wait for the service staff to remove all plates—preferably after everyone has finished.

As with any ritual, these elements of good etiquette become effortless when practiced regularly. Think of these protocols not as rules, but as courtesies that, when enacted regularly, infuse beauty into every aspect of our daily lives.

traditional badge afternoon tea_flat

Free Historic Cook Books On The Net – Part 1

Free Historic Cook Books

A lot of the recipes found on blogs featuring historic recipes are found in these free books found on the net. The books on Google Books are not downloadable and has to be read on Google’s pages, but the books on archive.org can be downloaded in pdf and other formats.

APICIUS REDIVIVUS
or,
THE COOK’S ORACLE
published in 1817

Google Booksarchive.org

THE FRUGAL HOUSEWIFE
or,
Complete Woman Cook
published in 1796

Google Booksarchive.org

THE WHOLE
DUTY of a WOMAN
OR AN
Infalliabe GUIDE
TO THE FAIR SEX
published in 1707

Google Booksarchive.org

ENGLAND’S
NEWEST WAY in all
SORTS
OF
COOKERY, PASTRY
AND
All Pickles that are fit to be used

published in 1708

Google BooksLibrary of Congress
The one on Library of Congress can be
downloaded as jpg’s

A
COLLECTION
Of above Three Hundered
RECEIPTS
IN
Cookery,
Physick and Surgery

Publshed in 1714

Google Booksarchive.org

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Mr PiBB

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBB

Mr. PiBB was born in the summer of 1972 after The Coca-Cola Company had the intention of creating a drink that would rival the growing success of Dr Pepper in Southern markets.  After losing a law suit filed by Dr Pepper manufacturers who disputed Coke’s original use Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBBof the name “Peppo,” Coke settled on the name “Mr. PiBB” for important brand-identification purposes.  A combination of an abbreviated formal title and a one-word surname would serve the purpose of helping consumers associate the new product with the “Dr Pepper-type” flavor.

On June 28, 1972, Coke began test-marketing Mr. PiBB in Dr Pepper’s own backyard (Time, July 3 1972, pg. 40).  Among the first cities chosen were Waco and Temple, Texas and Columbus, Starkville and West Point, Mississippi.  The following week, the new product was introduced in Texarkana, Texas and within a couple of months, Mr. PiBB appeared in Houston, Galveston, and Tyler, Texas.  Later that year, they extended distribution to include some Southern and Mid-Western states (Arkansas, Tennessee, Kansas and Georgia).

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBBWithin a couple of years, Mr. PiBB was available in most states East of the Mississippi River and some West-Coast states including California, Oregon and Washington.  Even though Mr. PiBB was unable to equal the overwhelmingly tremendous popularity of Dr Pepper, Coke was able to gain valuable soda market-share points during this time through the introduction of the new brand.

In the first several years of Mr. PiBB’s existence, Coke placed the description, “Blended Flavored (Cherry and Other Flavorings) Carbonated Beverage” on all Mr. PiBB products for consumer identification purposes.  Mr. PiBB was first marketed with the slogan “It Goes Down Good,” which was printed on the original brown and yellow steel cans and point of sale (POS) promotional materials.  Some other advertising pieces during this time included variations of the slogan, namely “With the Easy Taste that Goes Down Good,” and “Smooth and Easy It Goes Down Good.”  “Rise Up With Mr. PiBB” was also used.

The first internal Coca-Cola Company promotion for the brand was titled “Private Air Force for Mr. PiBB.”  Coke authorized the production of gift items with the “Private Air Force for Mr. PiBB” logo to be used as incentives for Coke representatives to Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBBmeet sales goals, set up displays and successfully merchandise the product.  For more information about the “Private Air Force” promotion, and the Mr. PiBB hot-air balloon flown during the drink’s introduction, click here.

In 1975, Coke changed the color of the Mr. PiBB can to red.  This was due to consumer preference research which concluded that the original brownish color used gave off the impression to the consumer that Mr. PiBB was a form of root beer, a dangerous marketing mistake since Coke’s goal was to capitalize on Dr Pepper’s taste distinction.

Throughout the late 1970’s, Coke spent millions of dollars trying to bolster Mr. PiBB name recognition among consumers.  Comedians George Burns and David Brenner were hired to shoot Mr. Pibb television commercials.  The Mr. Pibb logo was posted in Motocross racing Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBBevents and Joie Chitwood stunt shows with hopes of picking up greater market share in one of the most important regional markets for spicy cherry soft drinks – the US South. There was a sharp increase in print, television and radio advertising, using new slogans such as “Have A PiBB Mister.”

In April 1980, Coke, intending to increase sales, redesigned the formula of Mr. PiBB and marketed cans and packaging with “New Taste” printed in bold yellow lettering.  Coca-Cola conducted the “1980’s: A New Taste Odyssey” sweepstakes for their employees to encourage field support of the improved product.  For complete details about Mr. PiBB’s new taste and the sweepstakes, click here.

However, Mr. PiBB was never able to threaten the predominance of Dr Pepper, which was a “first-to-market” product, establishing Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBBprimary name-recognition among consumers in the “cherry-flavored” soft drink category.  Dr Pepper had almost a 100-year head start to win over the minds of the average drinker.  Some industry estimates have had Dr Pepper outselling Mr. PiBB at a ratio of 17-to-1 (much of this disparity, though, is due to Mr. PiBB’s non-national distribution).

In the early 1980’s, Coke realized an opportunity to form a strategic partnership with the Dr Pepper Company which exchanged use of superior Coca-Cola bottling facilities for a share in Dr Pepper sales profits.  Only in regions of the country where Pepsi or 7up outbid Coke for this right did Coke resort to the production of Mr. PiBB.  This limited production meant less time and energy spent by Coke on marketing for Mr. PiBB, which explains why Mr. PiBB promotional material and packaging from the 1980’s and beyond is more difficult to find today.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBB

The original Mr. PiBB logo – referred to as “Generation 1” – that was created in 1972 was used for over 18 years.  With exception of a few color changes and the use of just “PiBB” in the late 1970’s and 1980’s, the font and style remained the same.  In 1991, Coke decided to redesign the Mr. PiBB logo (Generation 2).  This was a very short-lived design because of a law suit filed in late 1992 which alleged that the new diagonal styling on cans and bottles looked too much like Dr Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBBPepper’s.  It was soon replaced by a new, fancier design in 1993 (Generation 3).  The next year, the Mr. PiBB head character was added to the 1993 design (Generation 4) which again, only lasted for a couple years.  It was at this time when the slogan “Put it in Your Head” was introduced and Coke placed Mr. PiBB in McDonald’s fountain drink accounts nationwide.  The Generation 5 design was adopted in 1996 (with minor revisions in 1998) and retained the “Put it in Your Head” concept.

Mr. PiBB has been produced in many different sizes of cans and bottles. Over the years, there have existed 8oz, 280ml, 12oz and 16oz steel and aluminum cans, as well as 8oz, 10oz, 300ml, 12oz, 16oz, 26oz, 32oz, 33.8oz (1 litre), 48oz, 64oz and 67.6oz (2 litre) glass bottles. Plastic bottles have also been made in 20oz, .5 litre, 1 litre and 2 litre sizes.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Mr PiBB

On June 26, 2001, the history of Mr. PiBB took yet another dramatic turn.  The Coca Cola Company introduced a new version of Mr. PiBB – “Pibb Xtra” – into several Texas test-markets, including Houston and Dallas.  Several months later, Pibb Xtra made its way into other states, namely Kansas and Missouri. Currently, the new version exists in multiple prominent bottling territories. 

Text from pibbthug.com

This Ancient Storage Technique Could Be the Solution to Food Waste

Researchers have found that the majority of South/Southeast Asian food waste happens in the storage and transportation stage, rather than during consumption

ancient-food-storage-food-waste

Despite wide-spread poverty and starvation in South Asia, the food waste epidemic that has swept the globe still impacts the region’s most in-need citizens, with a large portion of food being lost every year. However, according researchers at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, this food waste could be significantly reduced with the help of one ancient storage device.

Evaporative cooling was a method used by the world’s most ancient societies to keep food fresh longer. “Egyptian, Roman, and Persian societies used the idea to store food by simply resting two terracotta pots, one over the other, and filling the space in-between with sand and water. As water evaporates from the sand, it removes the heat thus keeping the pot above, where food is kept, at cooler temperatures,” researchers Tamara Nair and Christopher Lim explain.

TSG_Evaptainer_farm

These cooler temperatures are key for the storage of food, as reliable means of refrigeration are harder to come by in many areas of southern Asian. The researchers note that the majority of South/Southeast Asian food waste happens in the storage and transportation stage, rather than during consumption. In India alone, up to 40 percent of fruit and vegetable output is wasted due to poor refrigeration.

“Some of the causes for wastage include out-dated or bad agricultural practices, poor roads and infrastructure, including the lack of cold storage and refrigerated trucks,” the researchers wrote. And that’s where the ancient terra cotta technology comes in.

According to CNBC, a contemporary take on the age-old evaporative cooling method is the Evaptainer, an affordable and lightweight food storage device designed by a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The box-like Evaptainer can cool produce by 30 degrees Celsius using any water source.

Evaptainer-Electricity-Free-Fridge

According to the creators of Evaptainer, which has been successfully tested in communities in Morocco, the device helped rural, low-income families save over five percent of monthly incomes that previously went towards spoiled food.

Nair and Lim hope to create a similar mechanism to be distributed and widely used in rural Southeast Asia. The best means for this distribution, the researchers suggest, would be a governmental fund that would help supply farmers with storage vessels similar to the Evaptainer for a low cost.

Not only would this ancient technology help struggling communities make the most of their agricultural yields, but it would also promote sustainable energy and relieve the political pressure to rapidly extend electricity supply to remote areas. And, as is the case globally, any step to alleviate food waste is a step in the right direction.

Tekst from an article on foodandwine.com written by Gillie Houston

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Ironbeer

Ironbeer_05

Ironbeer is a soft drink that originated in Cuba in 1917 and was created by Manuel Rabanal. It has been described as tasting like “a fruitier Dr Pepper” or like Ironport soda. After Fidel Castro became Cuba’s leader and oversaw Ironbeer_04nationalization of private property in 1960, “Inversiones Rabanal” run by Jesus Larrazabal (husband of Teresa Rabanal – Manuel’s daughter) along with the Ironbeer of Cuba families (Rabanal, Larrazabal, Rojas) were exiled in Miami.

The U.S. version of Ironbeer Softdrink, without the 500 pounds (230 kg) bell on logo, is owned and operated by the Blanco Family.

Ironbeer_06In 1991, Ironbeer’s sister company, Sunshine Bottling, got into a business venture with Tropicana, which was looking for a new bottling company. Ironbeer then invested heavily into expanding Sunshine Bottling Co. to get it ready for the demands of this really enormous contract.

Tropicana ended up owning a bottling company by ways of an acquisition and the Sunshine Bottling deal was no longer neededTropicanas people made a demand about the percentage of air in each can of their orange juice – an impossible Ironbeer_02demand, industry experts said, and one outside the terms of their contract – and extricated themselves from it.

Ironbeer’s CEO, Pedro Blanco Sr., sued Tropicana and eventually won a considerable sum for production costs and damages, but not before the huge legal bills sent Ironbeer into bankruptcy court. They emerged from bankruptcy in 1999.

The softdrink along with a few others and the Sunchy line of juices is still being bottle in Miami by Sunshine Bottling Company. The company is still currently owned and operated by president and CEO Carlos Blanco Sr., Pedro Blanco Sr. has since died.

ironbeer_01Ironbeer cans give the following story about its origins:
On a summers afternoon, in 1917 a mule-drawn, wooden wagon arrived at a popular cafeteria in Havana, Cuba. It delivered the first four cases of a new soft drink that would soon be called “The National Beverage”. Now more than 80 years later, Ironbeer is still enjoyed for its refreshing flavor with just a hint of island spices. A lot can change over the years – but not the original flavor of Ironbeer.

A Short History of Le Croque Monsieur

croque monsieur_01

The French name Croque Monsieur translates to  “Crisp Mister” and is basically a cooked cheese and ham sandwich, traditionally made with gruyere cheese and thinly sliced ham.  The name is sometimes shortened to just Croque.

The First Croque Monsieur

croque monsieur_02The first Croque Monsieur was simply a hot ham and cheese sandwich which was fried in butter – one step further than what some believe was the original which was accidentally created when French workers left the tins containing their lunches of  sandwiches on  hot radiators  whilst they worked. By the time they came to eat them, the heat of the radiators had melted the cheese.

croque monsieur_03It’s not known who had the idea of embellishing the recipe by frying the sandwich until crisp and golden,  however they first  appeared on menus in Parisian cafés in 1910, and the earliest written reference is thought to have been by the novelist Proust in his 1918 work titled  À la recherche du temps perdu  (In search of lost time).

Today’s Croque Monsieur

Over the years, further changes were made to the basic recipe, in particular the addition of mustard and a béchamel sauce. Whilst this complicated an otherwise simple recipe, versions made this way are sumptuous and relatively filling  and well worth the extra attention. 

Then came the variations including:
The addition of a fried egg served on top – a Croque Madame
The addition of tomatoes – a Croque Provençal
The substitution of  blue cheese for Gruyere – a Croque Auvergnat
The substitution of smoked salmon for the ham – a Croque Norvégien

Simpel Croque Monsieur Recipes

A simple version would be to make a cheese and ham sandwich in the usual way, then fry in butter until crisp and golden on both sides. Alternatively, spread the outside on your sandwich with plenty of butter and cook under a very hot grill until well browned on both sides.

croque monsieur_04

Text from recipes4us

The History Of Tapas

The history Of Tapas_01

The Spanish practice of going out for tapas – called el tapeo – had its The history Of Tapas_02humble beginnings long ago and ironically originally involved empty plates. Widely thought to have gotten its start in Seville, bartenders would cover – or tapar – wine glasses with a small plate in order to protect the drink from fruit flies. Soon, they took to placing a simple slice of ham on top of this place, an addition which naturally appealed to bar patrons. Seeing the possibility of attracting more customers, the bar-owners began varying the tapas adorning the little plates that came with each drink, and the widespread national phenomenon known as tapas got its start.

Traditions

The history Of Tapas_03Going out for tapas is one of the few phenomenal gastronomic experiences that doesn’t involve a table cloth and a pricey sit-down meal. The way to enjoy tapas is to stand at the bar with a group of friends, share a few different tapas, and wash them down with wine or beer. Afterwards, pick a new bar, a new spread of tapas, and repeat the process. You can easily see why, when the conversation is lively and the tapas delicious, this advanced art of snacking can certainly substitute a whole meal.

Typical Tapas

The history Of Tapas_05Don’t be shy about asking what order as most bars will suggest that you try their specialties, which usually happen to be the region’s specialties as well. Tapas menus undeniably vary as you move through Spain; the best tapas in central Madrid, for example, are sure to be different from the choice tapas along the northern Galician shores. However, regardless of whether you’re relaxing along the Mediterranean or channelling your inner Don Quijote in La Mancha, you are sure to find some common tapas “classics.”

The history Of Tapas_04

As Spain is located on the Iberian peninsula and therefore very nearly surrounded by water, seafood and shellfish naturally play a huge part in Spanish gastronomy. A few delicacies of the sea to try are calamares (fried squid), cod fritters, gambas pil-pil (prawns in hot, garlic oil), and boquerones (anchovies). Moving away from seafood, other typical tapas include chorizo (sausage), paella (rice dish), a variety of casserole stews, callos (tripe with chickpeas), jamón serrano (cured ham), albóndigas (meatballs) and the ever classic tortilla española (Spanish potato omelette).

Text fra Enforex

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Nichol Kola

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Nichol Kola

In the 2010 edition of Soda Spectrum, contributor Blair Matthews writes “there’s hardly a trace of what was once such a successful and lucrative cola brand.” But searching is our thing… so we searched. We consulted Eric Wideman, “the nation’s expert on Nichol Kola,” according to his boss, Orca Beverage President Mike Bourgeois. And based on the information we’ve gathered from Wideman, I believe it. I mean what an absurdly specific thing to be obsessed with: a soda Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Nichol Kolathat started in 1936. Personally I am obsessed with Natalie and Tonya… but they’re not talking to me anymore. Anyway, here’s what Wideman relayed to us about Nichol Cola:

first there was Sun-Boc, then there was Ver-Vac, Pow! World War I – sugar problems – yadda, yadda, yadda. And now here we are years later with Orca Beverage resurrecting a forgotten brand. Got it? Good. Peace out. Jk. God, for how long it took us to write this, we are doing it in the most annoying way possible. Here’s a synopsis of the soda’s history as written in the book The House of Quality: The History of the H.R. Nicholson Company by Harry R. Nicholson. Wideman sent us excerpts from this extremely rare publication.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Nichol KolaWe do know it’s a real thing though because we found it online in Australia’s National Library. Go figure. Harry R. Nicholson was a business man. Dude was savvy back in the early 1900’s. With prohibition on the rise, he created Sun-Boc an amber not-quite-beer that became a hit with people looking for something to replace their former definitely-real-beer. After Sun-Boc’s success, Nicholson invested that money into a cola he called Ver-Vac designed to compete with Coca Cola. Well Ver-Vac, despite maybe being the worst-named soda I’ve ever heard of, was a hit. Nicholson raked in $110,000 from investors to go all-in on it. And then he hit a road block called World War I, which led to sugar rationing and a spike in sugar’s price.

Here’s the big problem with that; sugar is a huge part of soda and the amount of sugar businesses “were allotted was based on their usage before the rationing” and since Ver-Vac was a relatively new venture, Nicholson didn’t get anywhere close to enough of it to run a soda business. After a bad business deal on sugar and then the sudden stoppage of the war, Ver-Vac’s fizz as a company went flat. In 1926, Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Nichol KolaNicholson gave cola a shot again, this time branding it as “Nichol Kola” to compete with brands like Pepsi. He would sell the concentrate to independent bottlers who would then mix it up and sell it. Guess how much each bottle sold for?

Nichol Kola continued into the 1970’s, but as independent bottlers fell by the wayside, there were fewer and fewer businesses to which the company could sell their soda’s concentrate. The trend continued until Nichol Kola met the same fate as Ver-Vac. But in 2006 Orca Beverage revamped the brand. If you haven’t read past reviews, Orca Beverage is a large soda manufacturer and distributer based out of Mukilteo, Washington. Their “thing,” if you will, is buying up vintage brands no longer in production and putting them back on shelves.

Bourgeois tells us about his company, “We do that because our specialty is vintage soda. We just want to consolidate as many in-house as we can.” The current incantation of Nichol Kola is not the original formula. When asked to describe today’s recipe, Bourgeois played it pretty close to the vest, but pointed out cinnamon and coriander as ingredients used. He also says there are ingredients in it “that typically aren’t found in colas anymore.” Alright, history lesson over. We finally got that part out of the way. Now let’s drink this damn thing.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Nichol Kola

Text from fivestarsoda.com

Food in Art

A series of paintings featuring food in different situations
found on
foodmuseum.jigsy.com

Artists, photographers and illustrators seem to have been fascinated by food in all aspects of life up through history. Harvesting, cooking, serving and eating, all of it can be found in paintings in galleries all over the world.

Some pictures may show poverty, some quite the opposite. Some are kitchen scenes, some show people round tables ar home, some in restaurants, some again show people eating outdoors.

Common for all these pictures and illustrations is the food, be it a girl peeling a potato, a woman having breakfast or farmers showing their goods at a market or Andy Warhol’s famous Cambell’s soup tins.

I hope you enjoy this small collection of food in art  – Ted

Klick the thumbs to see the full-size pictures

Food in Artpotatoesfb-640x424Velazquez
Jan_Mandijn_(or_Mandyn)_-_Burlesque_Feast_-_Google_Art_ProjectBadhambreakfastjoint
04-puebloFeastDay_400Farmers-Market-1984
Julaftonen_av_Carl_Larsson_1904_1stevandohanoas1958tumblr_ml7cgqK4KZ1qgjplzo1_500

The Real Story About Irish Coffee And How It Was Invented

Before lattes and cappuccinos, before frappuccinos and espressos there was flavored coffee, ie Irish coffee, still one of the world’s most popular drinks. Yet not that much is known about why and how it became so popular.

irish coffee_01

Margaret O’Shaughnessy, the Founding Director at Foynes Flying Boat museum in County Limerick, has written to IrishCentral to say the flying boat terminal at Foynes, 35 miles from Shannon, and not Shannon Airport was the location for the first Irish Coffee after we mistakenly said Shannon was where it was invented in a recent article.

The inventor, bartender Joe Sheridan, later moved to San Francisco and worked at the Buena Vista Cafe irish coffee_04where journalist Stanton Delaplane of the San Francisco Chronicle had brought back the secret formula from Ireland and started one of the world’s most famous drinks.

Despite it being an incredible success, Delaplane later admitted he couldn’t stand the stuff yet found his name forever linked to it.

Sheridan was a top class chef and bartender whose family had moved from the North to Dublin. When he applied for the chef’s job at Rineanna, the townland in Limerick where the Flying Boat terminal was based, his application came in to CEO Brendan O’Regan for the position of chef and it simply stated, “Dear Sir. I’m the man for the job. Yours sincerely, Joe Sheridan.

It turned out he wasn’t lying. Foynes was the first Irish transatlantic Airport when Pan Am did their first passenger commercial flights from New York to Foynes in 1939 and Joe Sheridan soon became famous.

irish coffee_03The Pan Am flying boats were based at Foynes while Shannon Airport was actually 35 miles away. Charles Lindbergh helped choose the two airports for Pan Am but no direct flights from Shannon to the US occurred until 1945, long after Irish coffee was invented

Until then passengers to the US from Europe flew into Shannon and were bussed to Foynes.

In 1943 a flying boat flight to New York turned back due to bad weather and Joe Sheridan, originally from Castlederg in Co. Tyrone – a chef and highly skilled bartender – was asked to come back to Foynes to prepare hot food and drinks for the freezing passengers.

He put some good Irish whiskey into their coffees and was asked by the passengers if he had used Brazilian coffee to which he replied ”No it was Irish coffee.” He then continued to put the coffee in a glass and topped it with pouring cream – thus the Irish coffee we know today was invented in Foynes, not Shannon Airport that night.

Furthermore, in 1952 Joe Sheridan was offered a job in san Francisco at the Buena Vista and he met Stanton Delaplane the journalist who had made his drink world famous.

irish coffee_05

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that after sampling Irish Coffee at Foynes in 1951 Delaplane flew home and he spent a long evening at the Buena Vista Cafe near the foot of Hyde Street working out the proper balance of ingredients. Overnight Jack Koeppler, the late owner of what had been a quiet neighborhood bar, found himself the proprietor of the most prosperous saloon in the city.

irish coffee_06Five years later, Delaplane was quoted in Time magazine as saying; “I can’t stand the stuff anymore.”

Joe Sheridan was even enticed over to the Buena Vista in 1952 and worked there for ten years. He is buried in Oakland, CA. Delaplane, who was the winner of a Pulitzer Prize, died in 1988.

Today the Buena Vista serves up to 2,000 Irish coffees a day. The busiest day they’ve ever had was the Super Bowl in 1982, 49ers vs. Miami. Three bartenders served 109 bottles of whiskey between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The night crew served another 104. There are 29 drinks per bottle. So that means the pub served well over 6,000 drinks that day [6,177 specifically].

All because of a cold night and bad weather, all because of a storm in 1943 that forced a flight to America back to its origin at Foynes Irish coffee became the first flavored coffee drink. One wonders what Joe and Stan would make of all the flavored beans in Starbuck’s these days!

traditional strong irish coffee on wooden bar with coffee beans

Article by James O’Shea found at irishcentral.com

A Short History of Airline Meals

The History of Airline Meals

Through the late 1930s, inflight dining on U.S. airlines often meant free cigarettes and box lunches of cold fried chicken, as the airplane heaved and bounced through the sky. Stewardesses were instructed to act as nurses, administering aspirin and cordials to anxious passengers. But in post-War years as planes grew larger and reached higher altitudes, more comfortable pressurized cabins became the norm and a golden age of airline dining was ushered in.

The History of Airline Meals

A promotional Pan Am video from 1958 showcases white tablecloths and hors d’ouevre trays, boasting that “the travail has been taken out of travel” with gourmet meals “prepared in simultaneously operating galleys, where dishes can be cooked in five-minute ovens.”

The History of Airline Meals

Until 1978, Congress had regulated the airline industry, mandating identical ticket prices for each given route and casting mile-high cuisine as a way for carriers to compete for passengers.

Albright College history professor Guillaume de Syon pinpoints 1973 as a watershed moment for in-flight dining, when French airline UTA recruited chef Raymond Oliver to reevaluate their menus. Acknowledging that dry cabin air dulls the palate and dehydration decreases the effectiveness of taste buds, Oliver prescribed a menu of coq au vin, beef bourguignon and veal in cream sauce—hearty, drenched in thick sauce, and well-suited to reheating.  (Although he didn’t know it then, recent studies show that loud background noise also mutes our perception of flavor.)

The History of Airline Meals

While variations of Oliver’s meat-and-sauce continue to appear on the trays of cabin-trapped passengers around the globe, last April, landlubber diners clamored to pay £50 a head at British Airways’ London pop-up restaurant Flight BA2012. The three-course meals were inspired by the airlines’ 1948 first-class menu.

In the cost-cutting years post-September 11, many airlines migrated to BYOF status. To live vicariously through the plastic trays of air travelers around the world, check out airlinemeals.net.

The History of Airline Meals

From an article by Erica Berry posted on NowhereMagazine

In context:

The world’s worst airline meals
The 10 most regrettable airline meals ever
Five myths about airline food
The best airline meals, according to an in-flight food addict
Wikipedia: Airline meal