Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Jaffa

Jaffa is a popular carbonated soft drink produced in Finland by Hartwall and in Sweden by Spendrups. Jaffa is usually orange flavoured, however different flavours are sold. Jaffa as a brand is not owned by any specific company, thus there is a range of Jaffa products from various manufacturers.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Jaffa

The original orange flavoured Hartwall Jaffa was introduced in 1949 and the selection has expanded to 11 different flavours since then. Currently Hartwall Jaffa is the best-loved beverage brand in Finland Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Jaffaand the third best-selling soft drink after internationally sold cola beverages such as Coca-Cola.

What do you get when you put stevia, a sweetener used by South American indigenous peoples, fructose and Finland’s favourite soft drink into the same bottle? Fresh, lighter and more natural than before Hartwall Jaffa Super soft drinks!  The new Hartwall Jaffa Super drinks, with their green caps, will be the first stevia-sweetened drinks to be sold in Finland. The new drinks was available in stores in the beginning of December 2013.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday - Jaffa

Hartwall Jaffa products

Hartwall Jaffa Appelsiini (original orange flavour)
Hartwall Jaffa Appelsiini Light (orange light)
Hartwall Jaffa Ananas Light (pineapple light)
Hartwall Jaffa Greippi (grapefruit)
Hartwall Jaffa Greippi Light (grapefruit)
Hartwall Jaffa Lime-Verigreippi Light (lime & red grapefruit light)
Hartwall Jaffa Palma (lemon)
Hartwall Jaffa Veriappelsiini (blood orange)
Hartwall Jaffa Super Veriappelsiini (Stevia sweetened blood orange)
Hartwall Jaffa Super Marja (Stevia sweetened berry)
Hartwall Jaffa Jouluomena (Christmas apple, seasonal product)
Hartwall Jaffa Napapiiri (Karpalo [cranberry], seasonal product)
Hartwall Jaffa Vihreä Mandariini (mandarin orange & kiwi)
Hartwall Jaffa Musta Appelsiini (black orange)
Hartwall Jaffa Pomelo (pomelo fruit)

The Search for the Perfect Toast

An article found on British Food: A History

Hot buttered toast must be the most popular British breakfast item, whether eaten on the run to the bus stop, or served up with a full English breakfast or posh scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on a Sunday. Elizabeth David described it as a ‘peculiarly English…delicacy’.

Full English Breakfast

It is true that the wafting smell of freshly made toast combined with the sight of the slow melting of a good covering of salted butter is so comforting. Indeed, the first thing offered up to you after you’ve come round from an operation on the NHS (and I unfortunately have had many times) is tea and toast. (Digressing slightly, the first thing offered up to you after an operation in the USA is the similarly comforting cookies and milk.)

Most toast today is, of course, made from flabby processed white sliced loaf, which produces quite depressingly poor ‘wangy’ toast. Proper toast requires proper bread; bread that has gone a slightly stale. Perfect toast is in the eye of the beholder: thick, thin, crisp throughout, soft in the centre, pale, dark, a scraping of butter or lashings of it.

Chorleywood processed white sliced loaf

Making toast was a way of using up stale bread, of course, so toast shouldn’t even be required now that we have the invention of Chorleywood processed bread. It’s ironic that our love of toast means we, on the whole, now make it with a product unsuitable for making it.

It won’t surprise you that there are some very detailed descriptions in old cookbooks as to the best way for making toast.

The earliest official piece of toasting equipment was the toasting fork. Here’s the flamboyant Victorian chef Alexis Soyer’s instructions from A Shilling Cookery for the People from 1854:

Alexis SoyerHow to Toast Bread – Procure a nice square loaf that had been baked one or two days previously, then with a sharp knife cut off the bottom crust evenly, and then as many sliced you require, about a quarter of an inch in thickness. Contrive to have a clear fire: place a slice of the bread upon a toasting-fork, about an inch from one of the sides, hold it a minute before the fire, then turn it, hold it another minute, by which time the bread will be thoroughly hot, then begin to move it gradually to and fro until the whole surface has assumed a yellowish-brown colour, then turn it again, toasting the other side in the same manner; lay it then upon a hot plate, have some fresh or salt butter (which must not be too hard, as pressing it upon the roast would make it heavy),spread a piece, rather less than an ounce, over, and cut the toast into four or six pieces. You will then have toast made to perfection.

toastin plateNext rung up on the evolutionary ladder of toast-making was the invention of the toast plate, a cast iron rack that could sit in front of coal-powered range cooker.

You can buy plates that lay over a gas burner on the stove top that would achieve a flavour closest to the ones found on the coal ranges. Elizabeth David owned one (from English Bread and Yeast Cookery, 1977):

Elizabeth DavidPart of the charm of the toast produced on this device is that every piece is different, and differently marked, irregularly chequered with the marks of the grill, charred here and there, flecked with brown and gold and black.

toasting plate for gas rangeAt home, the best way to make toast is by using a grill, preferably a gas grill; it produces a much more even heat and therefore even toasting than an electric grill. I love the flecked toast that David described, but an electric grill has hot spots that produce slices well done in one patch and hardly coloured in another.

NOTE: When the toasts are done, a toast rack is an essential. Just stacking them on top of each other is simply not the done thing.

Toast rack

The Surprising History of Punch

An article  by Stephanie Butler found on Hungry History

The Surprising History of Punch

The Surprising History of PunchIt’s the chosen summer drink of thousands of thirsty kids every day, and the chosen rum-based tipple of Charles Dickens himself. You’ll find it in tiny boxes, straws included, or in an overflowing bowl heaped with green sherbet at a retro ladies’ luncheon. The beverage, of course, is punch, and it’s come a long way since British sailors first concocted it in the 17th century. Let’s take a look at the history of punch from rum-filled grog to Hawaiian.

The Surprising History of PunchThough it’s mainly known as a non-alcoholic beverage today, punch was invented as a beer alternative in the 17th century by men working the ships for the British East India Company. These men were accomplished drinkers, throwing back an allotment of 10 pints of beer per shipman per day. But when the ships reached the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean, the beer held in cargo bays grew rancid and flat. Once the boats reached the shore, sailors created new drinks out of the ingredients indigenous to their destinations: rum, citrus and spices.

The sailors brought punch back to Britain and soon the drink became a party staple, spreading even as far as the American colonies. Massive punch bowls were ubiquitous at gatherings in the summer months: the founding fathers drank 76 of them at the celebration following the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It’s around this time that the first mention of non-alcoholic punches appears, specifically made for ladies and children.

The Surprising History of PunchBy the Victorian Age, those teetotalling punches ruled the day. Queen Victoria disapproved of strong drink, so alcoholic punches gradually fell out of favor. Frothy egg white-based and sherbet versions grew popular, and continued to be served to ladies who lunched until the 1950s. By that time, cocktail culture was in full effect, and it was socially acceptable for women to drink in public. Punch was relegated to the footnotes of history, only to be resurrected in the 2000s by mustachioed mixologists in cities like New York and San Francisco.

The Surprising History of Punch

FoodPorn, Circa 1600s: Then And Now, It Was More About Status Than Appetite

An article by Tove Danovich published on
The Salt at npr.org July 2016
A Jan Davidsz de Heem still life with ham, lobster and fruit, circa 1653

A Jan Davidsz de Heem still life with ham, lobster and fruit, circa 1653

The table is set for dinner. Small cooked crabs and shrimp are laid out on the thick wooden tabletop next to succulent figs, grapes, pears and types of produce you can’t even name. There’s a citrus with a long coiling peel draped around it, and an entire roast of some animal’s leg that’s been cut down the middle — so you can see the thick layer of fat running around the edge. Just for good measure, a red lobster and ornate goblet of wine stand on a pedestal above it.

If this meal were laid out in 2016, you’d get out your phone and Instagram a perfectly filtered photo before digging in, #foodporn. But in the 1600s, when famous still life artist Jan Davidsz de Heem was eating, people showed off their meals with paintings instead.

Paul Cezanne 1890s
Paul Cezanne 1890s

A new study by Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab found that capturing and showing off decadent and expensive meals is a decidedly old-fashioned practice. Brian Wansink, author of Slim by Design, and Andrew Weislogel, a curator at Cornell University’s Johnson Museum of Art, studied 140 paintings of “family meals” from 1500 to 2000 and found that the majority of foods depicted were not part of the average fare. Some of the most likely foods to appear were shellfish, ham and artichoke. For the common classes during the time these paintings were made, Wansink says, more likely items to eat would have been chicken, bread and the odd foraged fruit.

People don’t usually Instagram frozen foods they put in the microwave. Instead, the most successful #foodporn is often an item the photographer laboriously made in the kitchen or found in either an expensive or out-of-the-way restaurant. A recent top #foodporn on Instagram is a photo of seven elaborately decorated eclairs. In the caption the food blogger behind @dialaskitchen compares the Toronto-made pastries to some found a couple years ago, “while at L’atellier de l’éclair in Paris.”

Wayne Thiebaud – Cakes, 1963
Wayne Thiebaud – Cakes, 1963

Wansink says that today’s social media food posts often attempt to convey that their creator is worldly, adventurous and has money to spare. “None of these things are about food,” he says.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday–Tru-Ade

A Brief History Of Tru-Ade

Article found on Frans Finest

On August 25, 1938, Lee C. Ward of Los Angeles, CA developed a non-carbonated orange soft drink, successfully trademarking the TruAde brand on January 3, 1939. The original formula contained orange juice concentrate, which required pasteurization of the product on the returnable bottling lines of the era. The brand was available from coast to coast by 1950, but was most popular on the east coast of the U.S.

06b31e41f4dc37969d02e188e5ad11e8Ward formed TruAde, Inc. shortly thereafter, and moved it to Elgin, Illinois in the 1940’s. The company later moved its headquarters to adjacent Chicago, Illinois, and changed its name to The TruAde Company. Ward expanded his single line of 7oz and 10oz returnable bottles of non-carbonated orangeade to include grape, and briefly marketed non-carbonated grapefruit in green bottles (these bottles are quite rare).

Most early TruAde bottlers were associated with local 7-Up bottlers, but TruAde was also found in Dr. Pepper, RC, or other independent beverage franchises. However, there were many Pepsi-Cola bottlers that acquired TruAde franchises after merging with a 7-Up bottler, many of whom were located in the Carolinas. TruAde’s largest franchisee during its heyday was a huge 7-Up bottling conglomerate, Joyce Beverages. Based in Chicago, Illinois, the Joyce family owned tru-ade_02large swaths of 7-Up franchise territories in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, and Washington, DC, and was 7-Up’s largest franchised bottler at one time.

As bottler consolidation progressed quickly in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the TruAde brand began suffering, losing distribution to new flavor brand introductions and TruAde’s pasteurization requirement. Alas, TruAde reformulated in the early 1980’s, dropping orange juice from its concentrate, hence no longer requiring the complex production requirements. The move was too little, too late.

Joyce Beverages, which later moved its headquarters to Washington, DC, bought the struggling TruAde brand in 1982 and also moved it to Washington, DC, continuing to support the few remaining TruAde bottlers into the late 1980’s. Alas, the 7-Up brand also suffered severe sales slumps in the early 1980’s, which pushed Joyce Beverages into bankruptcy in 1984. Joyce 7-Up franchises were divided up and sold in tru-ade_011986 amongst several neighboring 7-Up bottlers, and a few new 7-Up franchisees: Honickman, Kemmerer Resources, and Brooks Beverage Management. Most of these new 7-Up franchisees discontinued the TruAde brand.

From the ashes of Joyce Beverages’ bankruptcy, the TruAde trademark was transferred to Joyce/ Canfield, Inc. of New Rochelle in 1985, then to New York 7-Up Bottling Company, Inc. in 1986, then in 1992 to Alec C. Gunter, a former chemist with The TruAde Company in Chicago. After Gunter acquired the TruAde trademark, he transferred it in 1997 to his company, Bottler’s International, LTD, based in Clearbrook, VA, which owned several other small beverage trademarks. After the TruAde acquisition, Gunter personally visited the former TruAde bottlers, attempting to relaunch the brand, but met with failure as he lacked access to production facilities. He attempted to convince Pepsi-Cola bottler co-op, Carolina Canners of Cheraw, SC (CCI) to produce 12oz TruAde Orangeade cans again, but could not garner enough interest amongst the Carolina tru-ade_03TruAde franchisees to gain a production run. It is unknown if Gunter had any active TruAde franchises or bottlers when he acquired the trademark.

Fast forward to July, 2010: CCI was seeking to find, acquire, or create a competitive flavor line for its member-bottlers. It was discovered that the non-carbonated brand, TruAde, a product familiar to all CCI bottlers who sold it in the 1970’s and 1980’s, was available – its U.S. trademark had expired in 2009 and there were no known TruAde bottlers or distributors in the U.S. All calls to TruAde and/or Bottlers’ International, LTD went unanswered, or phone numbers had been disconnected. The trademark attorney representing Bottlers’ International, LTD was contacted. He informed CCI officials that Gunter had passed away several years back, and offered to apply for the now-defunct TruAde trademark in CCI’s name. CCI agreed and began the trademark process in earnest in August, 2010.

tru-ade2

However, unbeknownst to any Pepsi-Cola bottlers at the time, PepsiCo planned to announce in December, 2010 the discontinuation of its non-carbonated Tropicana brand of flavored soft drinks (ie. orangeade, lemonade), all of which were popular in the South, and the Carolinas in particular. These Tropicana flavors would be transferred to, and continued to be sold under PepsiCo’s Brisk Tea brand in March, 2011. CCI unknowingly continued development of the TruAde brand and, under trademark counsel, eventually produced 6 initial flavors of TruAde in 3 package sizes for its member-bottlers in April, 2011 as the few remaining Tropicana packages began to sell out of the Carolina marketplace. Sales of the rejuvenated TruAde brand were surprisingly high for the CCI bottlers, easily outpacing the same Tropicana flavors due to TruAde’s strong brand name recognition from 20+ years previous.

tru-ade1

CCI was officially awarded the U.S. trademark for TruAde in September, 2011. Since TruAde’s reintroduction, several non-Pepsi bottlers/distributors covering most of NC and SC, and part of VA and GA have signed agreements to sell TruAde in their territories.

Spread The Word – Butter Has An Epic Backstory

An article by Nicole Jankowski posted on TheSalt at NPR

Among the rolling hills of ancient Africa, sometime around 8000 B.C., a dusty traveler was making gastronomic history, quite by accident.

Thirsty from a long, hot journey, the weary herdsman reached for the sheepskin bag of milk knotted to the back of his pack animal. But as he tilted his head to pour the warm liquid into his mouth, he was astonished to find that the sheep’s milk had curdled. The rough terrain and constant joggling of the milk had transformed it into butter – and bewilderingly, it tasted heavenly.

Butter_02

That’s likely how it went down, as author Elaine Khosrova explains in her new book, Butter: A Rich History. From happy Neolithic-era accident to inspiration for student protests to tabletop staple, butter has had quite the ride over the past 10,000 years.

Butter_03The story of butter, Khosrova says, is a historical roadmap of humanity. “I felt like I had uncovered an epic story that very few people had been paying attention to,” she tells NPR.

Butter appeared on the world scene soon after the domestication of animals, although the first primitive batches would scarcely resemble the sticks that sit on your refrigerator shelf. Instead of cows, she writes, early butter came from the milk of yak, sheep and goats — the very first tamed beasts of our ancestors.

Butter_06And while archaeologists have unearthed a 4,500-year-old limestone tablet depicting early butter-making, it’s not clear precisely how our ancestors shifted from “accidental discovery” to purposeful manufacturing. Khosrova writes that after trial and error, early civilizations probably realized that if they removed the milk pouch “off the back of animal and hung [it] like a cradle from a tree limb,” it could be deliberately “agitated” into sumptuous golden kernels. According to Khosrova, isolated communities in North Africa and the Middle East still make their butter in this way.

As butter spread, it took on new uses and meaning. Ancient Romans associated it with barbarism, much preferring to slather their bread in locally abundant olive oil rather than resort to the food of their enemies, the marauding army from Gaul. But they appreciated butter for its “curative properties,” Khosrova says. Romans used butter for cosmetic purposes and also as a healing balm, often sneaking tiny licks in between applications on their wounds.

Butter_01Perhaps most surprising is the story of butter’s sacred and supernatural past. For many ancient civilizations, the unexplained mystery behind milk’s transformation into butter made it seem magical. It “seemed like a marvelous event,” Khosrova says.

Ancient Sumerians offered up gifts of butter at temple in honor of the “powerful fertility goddess Inanna, protector of the seasons and harvest,” she writes.

Recent discoveries in Ireland of ancient bog butter — wooden buckets loaded with butter and hidden in expanses of mossy swamp — date back as far as 400 B.C. These long-lost provisions were probably buried by early Celts, who knew that the Irish wetlands would preserve their spoils, keeping them edible for leaner times. But Khosrova also writes that ancient bog butter was likely presented to the pagan gods, as a way of appeasing the mystical “‘faeries’ that alternately terrified and awed country folk.”

Butter_07Even the first-ever documented student protest in American history is linked with butter. Harvard University’s Great Butter Rebellion of 1766 began after a meal containing particularly rancid butter was served to students, who (not unlike modern college-goers) were frustrated over the state of food in the dining hall. As reported in The Harvard Crimson, Asa Dunbar (who would later become the grandfather of Henry David Thoreau), incited the student body into action by hopping onto his chair, shouting, “Behold our butter stinketh! Give us therefore butter that stinketh not!”

Once avoided for fears of making us overweight, butter is now making a vigorous comeback, with artisanal interpretations aplenty. And through small-batch production and experimentation, producers have returned to quaint traditions, such as slow-churning and hand packing, to recapture simple flavors and generate new ones.

Butter_08

As Khosrova sampled butter from around the world, she says that she was amazed by how a food with only one ingredient could produce so many diverse “nuances of flavors, textures and color.”

How this happens is a mystery that has astounded and confounded humanity for centuries. The history of butter is both humble and wondrous. With a simple batch of milk and a little creativity, a luscious — and magical — golden food is born.

“Out of the strong came forth sweetness…” The Storty of Lyle’s Golden Syrup

Lyle's Golden Syrup_05

The story of golden syrup starts in 1881when the Scottish businessman Abram Lyle set up a sugar-refinery in London on the Thames with his five sons, processing sugar cane into sugar loaves. In those days, sugar was bought in large tapering mounds that had to be Lyle's Golden Syrup_07pounded or grated by hand at home. One byproduct of the process was a thick, gloopy syrup that with a little more refining through charcoal was very delicious. So he sold it to his workers from large barrels (Lyle was originally a cooper) and the syrup quickly was anointed with the nickname “Goldy”. Soon, Goldy became popular outside of his workforce and everyone wanted some. Just two years later, in 1883, Lyle’s Golden Syrup was born.

It is the tin the golden syrup that comes in that is the icon of both British cookery and Victorian entrepreneurship. Famously, on the front is a drawing of a dead lion peppered with swarming bees. Abram Lyle was a very pious man, and used the story of Samson in the book of Judges in Old Testament as the inspiration for the design. Quite a while before his fateful haircut, Samson got attacked by a lion which, through His power, Samson was able to rip open, killing it. Later he sees that bees have built a hive within its carcass and he takes some honey to his family and friends and they have a feast. He didn’t tell them about the lion and had them guess how he came about all the honey, presenting them with the poser:

And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.

Judges 14:14

Tins were first produced in 1884 and unbelievably have not changed at all in their design since. In fact, the recipe for the syrup has never changed either – making Lyle’s Golden Syrup the oldest brand in the world. “You’d be mad to mess with Lyle's Golden Syrup_06Goldie.” The only slight change is to the weights written on the tin: gone are the “1 lb” and “2 lb” marks, their replacement being the “454 g” and “907 g” marks, to keep in line with EU rulings. Another change occurred during the Second World War when, because of tin shortages, Lyle had to make the ‘tins’ from cardboard instead.

For over 125 years, it has been indispensable – it was even taken on Captain Scott’s fateful trek to the Antarctic. He wrote a letter to the Lyle family:

“Your Golden Syrup has been in daily use in this hut throughout the winter, and has been much appreciated by all members of the expedition.”

Lyle's Golden Syrup_03Lyle's Golden Syrup_04

In 1950, the Lyle Company brought out a second iconic product: Lyle’s Black Treacle. It is very similar to molasses, though it is considerably thicker and stronger tasting. For any recipes that ask for black treacle, you can substitute molasses instead with no problems.

Lyle's Golden Syrup_02

In the American classic The Fannie Farmer Cookbook, there is a recipe for Cornish Treacle Tart (which is actually made from Golden Syrup). In that recipe it asks for three-quarters of a cup of dark corn syrup. Do not on no account ever, ever, substitute golden syrup for corn syrup. The two are incomparable. So, I urge the American public: if you use a recipe that asks for Golden Syrup and you cannot get hold of any, don’t bother making it. Do you hear me? Good, then we understand each other. Amazon’s grocery section stocks it, so you can always get it online.

Lyle's Golden Syrup_01

Lyle’s Golden Syrup and Black Treacle are part of so many wonderful recipes, it would be crazy listing them all, but here are some of the most important or interesting ones.

Treacle tart
Flapjacks
Pancakes
Treacle sponge pudding
Mrs Beeton’s rolled treacle pudding
Golden syrup cake
Aunt Nelly’s pudding
Malt loaf
Jamaican ginger cake
Parkin
Ma Buttery’s crunch
Bonfire toffee
Christmas cake

Click the thumbnail below
to find a lot of these recies

Lyle thumb

Article found on britishfoodhistory.wordpress.com

Eat Like an Egyptian

An article by Stephanie Butler publised on
history.com october 2013
Eat Like an Egyptian_04

Archeological discoveries have told us much about how ancient Egyptians worshiped, celebrated and mourned. But these scientific finds have also provided tantalizing clues about how–and what–this complex civilization ate. From grains like emmer and kamut to cloudy beer and honey-basted gazelle, this week’s Hungry History focuses on the meals of ancient Egypt.

Eat Like an Egyptian_05

Bread and beer were the two staples of the Egyptian diet. Everyone from the highest priest to the lowliest laborer would eat these two foods every day, although the quality of the foods for the priest would undoubtedly be higher. The main grain cultivated in Egypt was emmer. Better known today as farro, emmer happens to be a fairly well balanced source of nutrition: it’s higher in minerals and fiber than similar grains. Breads and porridge were made from the grain, as well as a specially devised product that modern-day archeologists call “beer bread.”

Eat Like an Egyptian_02Beer bread was made from dough that used more yeast than normal breads, and it was baked at a temperature that didn’t kill off the yeast cultures. Brewers crumbled the bread into vats and let it ferment naturally in water. This yielded a thick and cloudy brew that would probably disgust our modern palates. But it was also nourishing and healthy, and filled in many nutritive deficiencies of the lower-class diet.

But ancient Egyptians did not survive on carbohydrates alone: Hunters could capture a variety of wild game, including hippos, gazelles, cranes as well as smaller species such as hedgehogs. Fish were caught, then salted and preserved; in fact fish curing was so important to Egyptians that only temple officials were allowed to do it. Honey was prized as a sweetener, as were dates, raisins and other dried fruits. Wild vegetables abounded, like celery, papyrus stalks and onions.

Eat Like an Egyptian_01

Although no recipes from the times remain, we have a fair idea of how the Egyptians prepared their food thanks to dioramas and other objects left in tombs. Laborers ate two meals a day: a morning meal of bread, beer and often onions, and a more hearty dinner with boiled vegetables, meat and more bread and beer. Nobles ate well, with vegetables, meat and grains at every meal, plus wine and dairy products like butter and cheese. Priests and royalty ate even better. Tombs detail meals of honey-roasted wild gazelle, spit-roasted ducks, pomegranates and a berry-like fruit called jujubes with honey cakes for dessert. To top it all off, servant girls would circulate with jugs of wine to refill empty glasses: the perfect end to an Egyptian banquet.

Eat Like an Egyptian_03

A Ladies’ Luncheon Served by the Hostess anno 1910

illustration_01This article was printed in “The Hostess” published by the Bromangelon Publishing Department in 1910, and it is making it quite clear that when inviting a few lady friends over for luncheon back then putting a box of Twinings Earl Grey tea bags and a tray of hastily made sandwiches on the table simply wouldn’t do

Ted
Winking smile


Every hostess, however modest her home surroundings, cherishes the ambition to shine in her own little sphere. The ideas suggested in this little book are intended as a guide to simple methods of entertaining in a hospitable, easy, refined and dignified manner, without any undue extravagance. They are intended to serve, not as set patterns to be copied or followed in every detail, but rather to suggest to the ingenious hostess, ways of adapting her own original ideas to the art of graceful home entertainment.

illustration_02

Most hostesses do not realize the full value and usefulness of the serving table. To serve a meal without a maid  is easy of accomplishment, if one will follow the hints conveyed in this description.

Instead of the more conventional large tablecloth, for this cosy occasion we will use the more decorative embroidered centerpiece and doilies.

A Ladies’ Luncheon Served by the Hostess anno 1910

Place on the embroidered centerpiece an earthen jar or vase filled with honeysuckle or some graceful flowering vine. At each cover place a low, small glass with a long branch of the same vine; a water glass partly filled with cracked ice, a small butter plate, containing a butter ball, the little knife by its side; a doily, on which is the service-plate; to the right, two silver knives (sharp edge toward the plate)—to the left, three forks (the prongs turned up), and the napkin, folded square (monogram side up). On the table are three trays, one containing narrow strips of twice-baked bread; and the two smaller ones holding chocolate or other bonbons, and olives or salted almonds.

Most of this luncheon is prepared in advance, and ten minutes before serving, the hostess excuses herself to her guests to heat the first course and prepare the coffee. Everything else is in readiness.

The Menu

Lobster Newburg on Toast
Finger Slices of Dry Toast
Cold Turkey or Chicken
Hearts of Celery
Twice Baked Bread
Jellied Pecan Salad
Brown Bread Sandwiches
Chocolate Cakes filled with Whipped Cream
Black Coffee
Cheese Straws
Salted Nuts, (or Olives)
Sweets

As the guests enter the dining-room, the first course, Lobster Newburg (or Crab Creole) has already been placed. This has been prepared in advance, and only required quick heating on gas burner or chafing-dish before serving. The serving table with a five o’clock tea cloth of handsome linen stands against the wall to the left of the hostess. This table is of the same height as the luncheon table, and is equipped with a lower shelf of the same size as the table top. On top are placed the water pitcher, ice bowl, after-dinner coffee cups and saucers, the plates, a handsome coffee pot and two covered  trays, one holding cheese straws, the other the  cakes.

A Ladies’ Luncheon Served by the Hostess anno 1910

On the lower shelf, out of sight, are the second and third courses (which are both cold) arranged on plates—the salad plates toward the back, the plates of cold chicken or turkey (dressed with celery hearts and twice-baked bread) towards the front. The four finger bowls, the napkins and extra silver are in a corner at the back.

Each guest, as she receives the plate for the second course, passes her used plate and silver from the first course to the hostess. These used plates are slipped by the hostess into the places just vacated on the lower shelf of the serving table. When the salad comes forward, places are made for the plates from the second course. Thus, as soon as a plate has been used, it vanishes as completely as with the best trained service. After all the plates and silver have been used, they can be placed in piles on the lower shelf, and removed after the departure of the guests.

When dessert and coffee have been served, the guests will retire with the hostess to the drawing room.

If these instructions are observed everything will pass off very smoothly.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Slice

Silce_02

Slice is a line of fruit-flavored soft drinks manufactured by PepsiCo and introduced in 1984.

Flavors

Varieties of Slice have included lemon-lime (replaced Teem in the United States; discontinued in 2000 with introduction of Sierra Mist), apple, fruit punch, grape, passionfruit, peach, Mandarin orange, pineapple, strawberry, Pink Lemonade, Cherry Cola (discontinued in 1988 following the introduction of Wild Cherry Pepsi), “Red”, Cherry-Lime, and Dr Slice. Until 1994, the drink contained 10% fruit juice.

History

Slice was a big success upon release, inspiring other juice-infused drinks based on already existing Silce_01juice brands, such as Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid orange soda and Cadbury Schweppes’s Sunkist. By May 1987, Slice held 3.2 percent of the soft drink market. One year later, it had fallen to 2.1 percent and was below 2 percent in June 1988.

The original design of the can was a solid color related to the flavor of the drink. These were replaced in 1994 with black cans that featured colorful bursts related to the flavor of the drink, along with slicker graphics. In 1997, the cans became blue with color-coordinated swirls. The original orange flavor was reformulated around this time with the new slogan, “It’s orange, only twisted.” Orange Slice has since been changed back to its original flavor.

In the summer of 2000, lemon-lime Slice was replaced in most markets by Sierra Mist, which became a Silce_03national brand in 2003. The rest of the Slice line was replaced in most markets by Tropicana Twister Soda in the summer of 2005, although the Dr. Slice variety can still be found in some fountains.

In early 2006, Pepsi resurrected the Slice name for a new line of diet soda called Slice ONE. Marketed exclusively at Wal-Mart stores, Slice ONE was available in orange, grape and berry flavors, all sweetened with Splenda.

As of 2009, Slice (orange, diet orange, grape, strawberry and peach flavors) was available solely from Wal-Mart Stores.

Slice was launched in India in 1993 as a mango flavored drink and quickly went on to become a leading player in the category, In India, ‘Slice Mango’ is promoted by Bollywood actress, Katrina Kaif. Slice mango is also available in Pakistan.

The History of the Cappuccino

An article by Lindsey Goodwin 
posted at
The Spruce in March 2016

The History of the Cappuccino

The cappuccino only began to become popular in America in the 1980s. This has led some people to believe that the cappuccino is a “new” drink. However, this drink actually dates back hundreds of years and has been enjoyed by generations in Italy and continental Europe.

Before the Cappuccino

The History of the CappuccinoIn Europe, coffee drinking was originally based on the traditional Ottoman style of preparation. Water and coffee beans were brought to a boil, and sometimes sugar was added.

This is similar to modern-day Turkish coffee preparation.

By the late 1700s, the British and French had started filtering coffee beans from their coffee. Gradually, filtered and brewed coffee became more popular than boiled coffee. It was around this time that the term ‘cappuccino’ originated (though it was not used to describe the drink as we know it).

The Name ‘Cappuccino’

‘Cappuccinos’ first popped up as the ‘Kapuziner’ in Viennese coffee houses in the 1700s. A description of the ‘Kapuziner’ from 1805 The History of the Cappuccinodescribed it as “coffee with cream and sugar”, and a description of the drink from 1850 adds “spices” to the recipe. Either way, these drinks had a brown color similar to the robes worn by the Capuchin (‘Kapuzin’) friars in Vienna, and this is where their name came from. (A similar drink of the time was known as the ‘Franziskaner’; it was made with more milk and named after the lighter-brown robes of the Franciscan monks.) The word ‘Capuchin’ literally means cowl or hood in Italian, and it was a name given to the Capuchin monks for their hooded robes.

The Invention of the Cappuccino

Although the name ‘Kapuziner’ was used in Vienna, the actual cappuccino was invented in Italy and the name was adapted to become ‘Cappuccino’. It was first made in the early 1900a, shortly The History of the Cappuccinoafter the popularization of the espresso machine in 1901. The first record of the cappuccino we have found was in the 1930s.

‘Cappuccini’ (as they are known in Italy) gradually became popular in cafes and restaurants across the country. At this time, espresso machines were complicated and bulky, so they were limited to specialized cafes and were operated solely by baristi. Italian coffee culture involved sitting around in these specialized cafes for hours, enjoying espresso, cappuccinos, caffe lattes and other drinks over conversation and reading. Photos from the era indicate that cappuccinos were served in the “Viennese” style, which is to say that they were topped with whipped cream and cinnamon or chocolate shavings.

The Modern-day Cappuccino Is Born

After World War II, the cappuccino making went through some improvements and simplifications in Italy. This was largely thanks to The History of the Cappuccinobetter and more widely available espresso machines, which introduced the so-called “Age of Crema“. These improvements and the post-WWII affluence across parts of Europe set the stage for cappuccino’s eventual worldwide popularity. This is when the modern cappuccino was born, so to speak, as it is when all the elements we now consider to make a great cappuccino (good espresso, a balance of steamed and frothed milk, presence of crema and a small, preheated porcelain cup) were all in play.

Cappuccinos Around the Globe

Cappuccinos first became popular across continental Europe and England. (In England, the first popularized form of espresso was, in fact, the cappuccino. It spread across the island easily because the Brits were already accustomed to drinking coffee with milk by that time, but the distinct texture and the cafe culture of the cappuccino set it apart from regular coffee with milk.) Later, the drink moved to Australia, South America and elsewhere in Europe. They then spread to America beginning in the 1980s, primarily due to its marketing in coffee shops (which had previously been more like diners with black The History of the Cappuccinocoffee on offer). In the 1990s, the introduction of cafe culture (and higher priced drinks which correlated to the longer use of a seat in the coffee shop) made cappuccinos, lattes and similar drinks a big hit in the US.

More recently, the finally appeared elsewhere in the world, largely due to Starbucks. (See these international Starbucks menus for more examples of Starbucks’ spread of coffee drinks around the world.)

For the most part, contemporary cappuccinos are made with espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk. However, in some parts of the world, cappuccinos are still made more like Viennese Kapuziners, complete with whipped cream and other additives. This includes Vienna, much of Austria and Europe (such as Budapest, Prague, Bratislava and other parts of the former Austrian empire). This even includes even Trieste, Italy, a city which now borders on Slovenia and which has been held The History of the Cappuccinoby various countries over the years. Since the 1950s, both cappuccinos and Kapuziners have been served in espresso bars since the 1950s.

Over the last three decades, automatic beverage machines in America and in some other countries have sold a drink that is called a ‘cappuccino’. These drinks are often made with brewed coffee or instant coffee powder and with powdered milk or milk substitute. They are not foamed and frothed but are whipped inside the machine to create bubbles. This unfortunate drink bears little relation to a true cappuccino.

In recent years, some European cappuccino customs have changed. Most notably, some Europeans (particularly those in the U.K., Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France and Spain) have begun to drink cappuccino throughout the entire day rather than only in the morning. Now, cappuccinos are popular at cafes in the afternoon and at restaurants after dinner.

Cooking With The Bard: Sussing Out Shakespeare’s Forgotten Foods

An articke by Anne Bramley commemorating the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death posted on npr.org April 20, 2016

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For more than 400 years, Shakespeare’s audiences have devoured tales of Twelfth Night‘s “cakes and ale” and Hamlet’s “funeral baked meats.”

But there’s a whole lot more to the bard’s culinary story – the Shakespearean larder teems with intriguingly named foods. How about chewets, gallimaufries, and fools? (That’s small pies, mixtures and spiced, fruity custard for modern eaters.) And do you know your codlings from your carbonadoes and your umbles from your jumbles? (Translation: small apples, grilled meat, offal and bonbons.)

To really understand Shakespeare’s food literature, we need to tuck into food history and even crack open a Renaissance cookbook or two.

When Hamlet huffs about the “funeral baked meats” served at his mother’s wedding banquet, he is chastising her for her quick re-marriage, implying that she was serving leftovers from his father’s recent funeral. But funeral baked meats were in fact a real food, and they weren’t as macabre as their name implied — though they were cooked in a “coffin.” The same word was used for “a coffer to keep dead people or to keep meat in,” explains Ken Albala, director of food studies at the University of the Pacific. But these edible coffins, he explains, were made of pastry crust to seal the contents so that they lasted longer. Because that pastry was built to act more like Tupperware than a treat, it was coarse and tossed rather than eaten.

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More grim is the drink proffered by Lady Macbeth: To clear the way for murder, she drugs the grooms’ possets — half-food, half-drink staples of Renaissance tables. They were a sort of old-fashioned eggnog made by curdling cream in wine, ale or sack (that’s Spanish Sherry).

But glossing the Renaissance table helps us understand more about Shakespeare’s plays than simply what his characters ate. For example, then as now, which booze you chose said a lot about who you were.

Expensive sack was all the rage, and the bard’s famous tumble-down knight, Falstaff — though less true to his word — is true to his drink. Prince Hal christens Falstaff, a great guzzler of the Spanish wine (often taken with a bit of sweetener), “Sack-and Sugar Jack.”

Further down the social ladder, ale came in one size: small (meaning weak in both flavor and alcohol content). Prince Hal remembers “the poor creature, small beer” he drank when he played at being just one of the guys in The Boar’s Head tavern.

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In The Taming of the Shrew, joking aristocrats move a down-and-out Christopher Sly from the street in front of the alehouse, where he’s passed out, to a lord’s chamber. When he comes round, his new servants offer him sack and rich conserves, but he refuses them both and embraces his low-rent lifestyle with a cry of “For God’s sake, a pot of small ale.” No surprise that in Henry VI, Part II, the more aspirational class rebel Jack Cade promises to “make it felony to drink small beer.”

And in an era when what people ate was largely determined by class standing, we can expect the stage to mirror this reality.

The landed gentry and even well-fed merchants could show off their wealth with a banquet of conserves and comfits – a candy made of a nut or seed coated in sugar. Think of the “kissing comfits” (for sweet breath) Falstaff calls to fall from the sky in The Merry Wives of Windsor. In Shakespeare’s day, a banquet was not a rollicking dinner party in the great hall, but dessert. Or rather, an elaborate final sweet course of expensive sweets and elaborate sculptures crafted in sugar. The truly rich built separate banqueting houses on their manors to host their velvet-clad guests.

shakespear_012Fantasy-filled cookbooks of Shakespeare’s day, like Hugh Plat’s Delights for Ladies, let class climbers in on the secrets of the best tables in England with recipes for comfits. The detailed and diverse 11 pages of directions recommend that “for every two pound of sugar, a quarter of a pound of aniseeds or coriander seed” be used. Ivan Day, a British food historian known for his detailed recreations of meals of bygone eras, shows how it’s done. But the painstaking preparation of coating spices with layers and layers of sugar means they were usually left to the professional comfit maker.

And then there are those foods that cover a whole host of dishes and yet nothing in particular: kickshaws and cates.

In The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio insists on shortening Katherine’s name, despite her resistance to the diminutive. In their running battle of wits, his pun on “household cates” turns Kate into a dainty dish ready to be devoured. “Cates” could be just about any food, but the term was usually reserved for the choicest morsels in the larder.

shakespear_06Same with kickshaws, like those that Shallow orders up in Henry IV, Part II: “a couple of short-legged hens, a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny kickshaws.” It’s an adulteration of the French quelquechose and a commodious cornucopia of a word covering a host of savory appetizers.

For homemade kickshaws, Gervase Markham’s The English Housewife (printed one year before Shakespeare’s death in 1616) instructs the cook to mix eggs, cream, currants, cinnamon, cloves, spinach, endive, shakespear_07marigold flowers and pigs’ pettitoes [feet]. But he also suggests using small birds, roots, oysters, giblets, lemons. And plenty more. “Who can do these need no further instruction for the rest,” he insists.

Markham’s directions, like all cookery books of the period, read more like shopping lists and stream-of-conscious kitchen stories than today’s cookbooks, with their meticulous measurements and over-explaining.

As for the jumbles and umbles that may make us mumble through Shakespeare’s plays, it’s hard not to quip that a dish by any other name would taste as delicious.

Hungry History: Lobsters

Hungry History: Lobsters

Ian Knauer at history.com dives into lowbrow history of a pricey food as he assembles two versions of a delicious lobster roll.

You wouldn’t suspect, perhaps, that a close relative of grasshoppers and tarantulas could be widely considered an elegant Hungry History: Lobstersindulgence in the United States or any other nation of generally sophisticated palates.

And yet, every time a chef proudly presents a lobster-based creation as a signature dish, that’s exactly what’s going on. Prepared broiled in butter or scampi, Newburg or in bisque, the lobster—a member of the invertebrate phylum Arthropoda just like insects and spiders—has held a place of honor at countless festive feasts and romantic repasts for well over a century. Nonetheless, trappers have a prosaic nickname for lobsters: bugs.

Lobster’s appeal as a special delicacy wasn’t always so, but not because Americans were necessarily repulsed by lobster’s less appetizing cousins. Rather, back in the colonial era, the clawed crustacean was so abundant that it was hardly deemed exceptional.

Hungry History: LobstersA three-term governor of Plymouth Colony who came over on the Mayflower, Edward Winslow, for instance, wrote to an English friend in 1621 that “Our Bay is full of Lobsters all the Summer.” At the end of that decade, Francis Higginson of Salem, Massachusetts, wrote in his book “New England’s Plantation, or a short and true description of the Commodities of that Country” that the “abundance of sea-fish are almost beyond believing … We take an abundance of lobsters, and the least boy in the Plantation may both catch and eat what he will of them. For my own part, I was soon cloyed with them, they were so great, and fat, and luscious.”

Hungry History: Lobsters

Travel ahead one century and several hundred miles northeast to Nova Scotia, and the situation was similar. In his 1876 book “The Emigrant and Sportsman in Canada: Some Experiences of An Old Country Settler,” essayist John J. Rowan recounted that “on still summer nights, lobster spearing parties are the fashion among Halifax people … On one occasion, I saw several acres of potato ground manured Hungry History: Lobsterswith them … Lobster shells about a house are looked upon as signs of poverty and degradation.”

Yet despite Rowan’s observations, times were in fact changing, and the transformation of Homarus americanus (American, or Maine, lobster) from fertilizer to fanciful indulgence had already begun in the United States by the mid-19th century.

The secret ingredient to lobster becoming a luxury was coal. Not on a barbecue, but as the fuel that powered steam-engine locomotives, explained culinary historian and consultant Lou Greenstein of North Reading, Massachusetts. “As the Industrial Revolution got underway and railroads were built, the capacity existed for perishable foods like lobster to be packed in ice and transported from the point of origin to inland places like Chicago,” said Greenstein, author of “A la Carte: A Tour of Dining History.” Hungry History: LobstersThe perceived romance of the travel story involved—not to mention the very real expense—added to the cachet of regionally “exotic” foods.

What’s more, the fact that eating multi-jointed lobster presented intrinsic logistical difficulties made it even more desirable to some. In the Victorian era, “labor was inexpensive,” explained Greenstein. “So a lot of the dishes served from the 1850s on featured lobster that had already been picked, like molded lobster salad. This way, servants did the work, and Victorian ladies didn’t have to go through the ordeal of eating something difficult in public. Even lobster Newburg—it can be served in the shell, but it was already picked.”

Hungry History: LobstersYet if, on the one claw, lobster has maintained its overall reputation as a luxury food, it has, on the other, spawned a very particular kind of informal dining experience in coastal New England: the lobster shack.

Mike Urban, a Connecticut resident and author of the book “Lobster Shacks: A Road Guide to New England’s Best Lobster Joints,” said that the first lobster shack most likely emerged in the early 1900s in Maine. “The first ones were offshoots of a lobsterman’s business,” he hypothesized. “His wife or kids might have begun cooking some of the catch right on the dock, for locals. They started small.”

Hungry History: LobstersOne of the earliest lobster shacks whose history Urban can document is Bayley’s Lobster Pound in Scarborough, Maine. Based in a small commercial shack he bought, Steve Bayley lobstered to supplement the income he earned at a clam-packing plant, where he worked beginning in 1916. Sometimes, after he’d supplied lobsters to all his nearby restaurant and market clients, “he would pack overcatch in suitcases, jump on a Portland-bound train and sell it at a local market there,” said Urban. From there, it became a small logical leap to prepare and sell simple boiled lobsters and lobster rolls (possibly a Bayley invention, too) right at the shack, cutting out middlemen. Today, the third and fourth generations of Bayley family members run the seasonal business. And in the century since Bayley’s began, shacks have come to densely dot the New England coast.

Hungry History: Lobsters

A drive or train ride away, New York’s Delmonico’s—in business, on and off, since 1827, but currently thriving on Beaver Street in a Victorian-era building—is also central to the lobster cuisine story. It was one of the first fine restaurants to serve lobster, according to Greenstein. Even more significant, a new way of preparing lobster—with butter, cream, Madeira and eggs—was introduced to one of the original Delmonico brothers by world-traveling sea captain Ben Wenberg in 1876. Lobster à la Wenberg became a favorite of patrons, but when Wenberg and Delmonico had a falling-out, the new specialty fell off the menu, too. When requests for the dish could no longer be ignored, though, it returned—with the letter-shifted name of Lobster à la Newberg (or Newburg, as it’s now spelled).

If the Puritans could see the esteem in which lobster is held today, they would doubtless be shell-shocked. But with melted butter easing its ascent, Homarus americanus clawed its way to the top, and it looks like it’s here to stay.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Nedick’s

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Nedick’s was an American chain of fast-food restaurants that originated in New York City in 1913 or the early 1920s, per differing sources, and expanded in the 1950s to Newark, New Jersey; Albany, New York; Boston, Massachusetts; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; and Washington, D.C. Originally known for making and selling a signature orange drink, it added coffee and donuts to its simple menu, and later hot dogs with a unique mustard relish in a toasted bun. The name was formed from the last names of Robert T. Neely and Orville A. Dickinson, who founded the chain with the original stand in a hotel storefront of the Bartholdi Hotel at 23rd Street and Broadway. The chain was known for its orange and white decor and its slogan, “Good food is never expensive at Nedick’s”. Another slogan, evidenced by the image at right, was “Always a pleasure”.

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Following intense competition in the 1970s from such national chains as McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts, and much criticism in 1981 for the quality of its concession at the Central Park Zoo, Nedick’s ceased operations.

Revival of the brand name

nedicks_04In 2003, the Riese Organization, which operates a number of restaurant chains such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Pizza Hut, revived the Nedick’s brand, with three restaurants by that name in New York City, at Penn Station; 1286 Broadway between 33rd & 34th Street; and 416 8th Avenue, at West 31st Street. All of these locations have since closed, and Nedick’s is no longer featured on Riese Restaurants webpage.

In popular culture

nedicks_03Nedick’s was a long-time New York landmark; The New York Times in 2003 recalled the chain as “The Starbucks of New York”.

Nedick’s was a sponsor of the New York Knicks basketball team. This gave rise to the catchphrase of the Knicks’ long-time radio announcer, Marty Glickman: “Good like Nedick’s”, intoned after the team scored a basket. Another common phrase was, “Meet me outside Nedick’s”; as a well-known and highly visible location, it was a common place to rendezvous with people.

nedicks_05In the musical On The Town, sailors Gabey, Ozzie, and Chip agree to meet at Nedick’s in Times Square at eleven.

Nedick’s is name-dropped in the liner notes to Leo Kottke’s 6- and 12-String Guitar.

A popular punchline from the heyday of the chain was “I’ll meet you in the Orange Room of the Hotel Nedick’s.”

In his 1971 album, When I Was a Kid, Bill Cosby talked about when he and his Boy Scout troop went on a hike around Fairmount Park in his hometown of Philadelphia. When the police forbade them setting up camp in the park, the

nedicks_01troop went to Nedick’s to eat their lunch (canned beans) before going home.

In the M*A*S*H Season Four episode, “Dear Peggy”, Hawkeye Pierce talks about watching Klinger eat a fresh egg he won in a poker game and facetiously says that for a moment, it evoked the air of “fine dining at Nedick’s in Grand Central Station.”

The Nedick’s neon sign can be seen in several location shots in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.

In Audre Lorde’s poem, “Who Said It Was Simple,” the speaker can perceive, just “Sitting at Nedick’s,” the intersections of race, gender and class in the liberation movements of the 1970’s.

Text from Wikipedia

A Brief History of Vanilla

A Brief History of Vanilla

Vanilla is the only fruit-bearing member of the orchid family and is native to central Mexico. The ancient Totonac Indians of Mexico were A Brief History of Vanillathe first to learn to use the fruit of the Tlilxochitl vine, vanilla pods. After their defeat by the Aztecs, they were forced to relinquish control of the exotic fruit.

The Aztecs were, in turn, defeated by the Spanish, who returned home with the precious vanilla beans – which were for many years, enjoyed only by the nobility and the very rich. Eventually, the use of vanilla, while still quite expensive, became widespread throughout Europe.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing vanilla to the United States in the late 1700s. While serving as Ambassador to France, he learned the use of vanilla beans, and when he returned to the A Brief History of VanillaUnited States, brought vanilla beans with him.

Today, vanilla beans are grown in several distinct regions of the world. This produces vanilla beans with unique regional characteristics and attributes, each particularly suited to different uses.

Madagascar, the world’s largest producer of vanilla beans, is the source of the famed Madagascar Bourbon vanilla and still produces the world’s finest and most consistent vanilla. (Incidentally, the term “Bourbon” has nothing to do with the liquor produced in Kentucky – but rather, derives its name from the old name for Madagascar – the Bourbon Islands.)

Madagascar Bourbon vanilla is considered to be the highest quality pure vanilla available, typified by a creamy, sweet, smooth, mellow flavor. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla is known for its “staying power”, which makes it especially suited to pairing with rich foods.

A Brief History of Vanilla

Mexico, where vanilla originated, now produces only a small percentage of the harvest. Mexican vanilla beans, grown by skilled producers that carefully harvest and cure every pod. It’s this process that produces Mexican vanilla of exceptionally high quality and flavor.

Spicy Mexican vanilla is known by its creamy flavor that complements dishes that contain chocolate, cinnamon and other warm spices. A teaspoon or so of Mexican vanilla in tomato sauces or with citrus can also help reduce acidity.

A Brief History of VanillaThe last of the four major vanilla-producing regions is Tahiti. Tahitian vanilla, grown from a different genus of vanilla orchid (Vanilla Tahitensis Moore), is flowery, fruity and smooth.

Long a favorite of professional bakers and pastry chefs, Tahitian vanilla is known for its aromatic, fruity, cherry, anise-like flavor profile. Tahitian Pure Vanilla has a particular affinity to fruity flavors such as fruited yogurts, sorbets and fruit toppings.

Text from earthy.com