It is not correct to use the term “cousine” of French farmhouse cooking. It is more a natural part of life. There is no Machiavellian refinements or superfluous embellishments. Wholesome, tasty, simple ingredients in dishes to suit season, climate and workload.
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.
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 where 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.
The 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.
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.
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!
Article by James O’Shea found at irishcentral.com
A recipe for a bit of the strong stuff found on BBCfood
Homemade Irish cream is a real treat, served it chilled with plenty of ice or sneak a drop or two into your coffee.
A historic overview and a recipe found on savoringthepast.net
Jas. Townsend & Son who runs savoringthepast.net writes: Welcome to our blog, SavoringthePast.net. The purpose of this blog is to open dialog with readers and to share insights regarding the history of food.
Food is a universal connection between people of differing cultures, locations, and ages. It’s easy to take for granted the foods we regularly enjoy, giving little thought to the origins of our favorite dishes or how they may have impacted history or evolved over time. The dinner table has always been a place for friends to gather to exchange ideas and engage in dialog ever since…well…ever since there were dinner tables.
If you are at all interested in food history, old recipes and old cooking methods this is not a blog you would want to miss – Ted
NOTE: If you are searching for the answer to “Who invented of ice cream?” that’s a trick question. There isn’t just one single person! Read on …
A.D 54–68: For centuries, iced desserts were a luxury. Roman Emperor Nero is said to have sent his slaves into the mountains to fetch snow to mix with nectar, fruit pulp, and honey, although this widely told tale may be a myth.
A.D. 618–907: The origins of ice cream date back to China’s T’ang period, probably as a dish for the country’s rulers. The founder of the dynasty, King T’ang of Shang, kept 94 “ice men” on hand to lug ice to the palace to make a dish made of koumiss (heated, fermented milk), flour, and camphor.
1744: American colonists brought along recipes from Europe. On May 19, 1744, a group of VIP’s dined at the home of Maryland Governor Thomas Bladen. Present was a Scottish colonist who described “a Dessert…Among the Rarities of which is was Compos’d, was some fine Ice Cream which, with the Strawberries and Milk, eat most deliciously.” This is the first written account of ice cream consumption in the new colonies.
1782: Ever hear how Martha Washington left a bowl of sweet cream on the back steps of Mount Vernon one night, and the next morning discovered ice cream? Nice story, but not true. George Washington did have, described in his ledger, “a cream machine for ice.”
1843: Until September 9, 1843, ice cream was made by the “pot freezer method,” but on this day, Nancy M. Johnson of Philadelphia got her “artificial freezer” patented, containing a tub, cylinder, lid, dasher, and crank. This design is still widely used today.
1851: Baltimore dairyman Jacob Fussell opened the first commercial ice cream factory. He had a surplus of cream—so he built an ice cream factory in Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania, and shipped it to Baltimore by train. Business boomed, and Fussell became the father of the wholesale ice cream industry.
1880: Buffalo, NY; Evanston, IL; Two Rivers, WI; and Ithaca, NY all claim to have invented the ice cream sundae. Wherever it happened, it first started appearing in soda fountains during the 1880’s. It was invented because ice cream sodas weren’t allowed to be sold on Sundays; the ice cream sundae was a way to circumvent that restriction. On September 22, 1903, there is a recorded application for a patent for the ice cream cone by Italo Marchiony.
1939: Grocery stores didn’t start selling ice cream until the 1930’s, and by WWII, ice cream had become so popular that it turned into somewhat of an American symbol (Mussolini banned it in Italy for that same reason). Ice cream was great for troop morale, and in 1943, the U.S. Armed Forces were the world’s largest ice cream manufacturers!
Whatever the history, ice cream is here to stay!
Source:The 2004 Old Farmer’s Almanac – www.almanac.com