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Food Timeline> Traditional state foods & recipes.....Have questions? Ask!
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What is the "state food" of Nevada? That's a difficult question to answer. Why? Because cuisine is not easily defined by political boundaries. It is a complicated mix of history, cultural/ethnic influence, and local commodities. Some states and cities are commonly associated with recipes (Maryland crab cakes, Boston baked beans, Philly cheese steak, New York style pizza) others are moore challenging to connect with a particular dish. If your teacher asks you to research/bring in a food that represents a particular state, you have several options:
ABOUT THIS SITE: The food notes provided for each state are meant as starting points for your research. They are not comprehensive; nor are they presented in a standardized format containing exactly the same information for each state, as you would find in an encyclopedia. Our notes, like state foods, are a reflection of the people who land on our site. Most of our state food questions are generated by elementary/secondary students working on state reports. Many of you have to prepare a food representative of your state. That's what this page is all about. If you need more information (looking for state foods connected with a particular period/people? writing a book and need authentic fare? working on a 4H/scout project?) please let us know! We also welcome your suggestions.
Alabama's culinary heritage is a testament to hard-working people with a healthy appetite for tasty food:
"The first Europeans to visit Alabama were Spanish seamen in 1505...They reported that the Indians feasted on wild turkey, game, fish, melons, and squash. Around 1700, two French brothers...established an all-male settlement...at Mobile, Alabama...soon after arriving...the young women staged a petticoat rebellion against the crude food of the settlement, which mainly consisted of game, fish, wild plants, and berries...In 1719 slaves came to the Mobile Bay settlement and added African cooking techniques, seasonings, and sauces to their owners' recipes. By the middle of the 1700s, Mobile had become well-established, and exotic foods and drinks were gracing the dinner tables. Pale wine made from native grapes and oranges; peaches baked in sugar-crust tarts; baked, stuffed Gulf snapper; and and endless variety of aromatic soups and sauces were being served. Native squash was baked and candied, and Gulf shrimp were used in bisques and jambalayas...The culinary influence of the early French settlers was more prevalent along the Gulf Coast, where the fish and seafood dishes continue to have a strong French accent...Away from the coast, southern cooking with fried chicken, green beans, yellow squash, okra, and biscuits became the staple food. There were many types of biscuits...Fried pies are said to have originated in Alabama. To make a fried pie, a small amoung of filling was heapted on a round piece of rolled-out pie dough. Then the pastry was closed in the shape of a half moon, sealed at the edges, and fried in deep fat. The pies were dusted with powdered sugar and eaten hot. Fillings for these delicate half-moon pastries were usually fruit...peaches or peach butter."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlotteseville VA] 1992 (p. 103-4)
"Official" state foods are enacted by the legislature. Alabama's edible symbols are: large mouth bass, pecans, wild turkeys, fighting tarpon (saltwater fish), and blackberries. The state also has an "official" barbeque championship. Details here.
Top crops: Alabama Agricultural Statistics
The National Cookbook/Sheila Hibben lists these recipes for Alabama:
Aunt Sue's snowballs, Baked oyster omelet, Beaten biscuits, Brains with brown butter, Brown chicken stew, Chicken turnovers, Christening cake, Corn pone, Crab cocktail, Curds and cream, Dewberry roll, Fish pudding, Fresh fig ice cream, Ginger loaf, Green corn cakes, Hot Scotch, Methodist biscuit, Potato soup, Rich Amella, Roast partridge, St. Charles Indian bread and Stuffed Squash.
If you need to make something (easy, inexpensive) for class? We suggest:
"St. Charles Indian Bread (Mobile Alabama)
1 pt. Buttermilk
1 pt. White corn meal
1 tablespoon butter
1 scant teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
Beat the eggs very light, and mix alternately with them the buttermilk and the corn meal; add salt and the butter, which has been melted, and beat well. Dissolve the soda in 1 tablespoon of the buttermilk, and add it to the other ingredients. Pour into a well-greased pan and bake in a quick oven."
---The National Cookbook: A Kitchen Americana, Shelia Hibben [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1932 (p. 14)
[NOTE: Quick oven usually means 475 (very hot). No specified time makes this recipe hard for us modern folk. Our advice? Set your oven timer for 15 minutes. Check for "doneness" with a toothpick or barbeque pick. If the pick comes out "clean" (no dough attached) the bread is done. If not, let it continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Recheck until pick comes out clean.]
2 cups grated cheese
2 cups sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon red pepper
make into stiff dough with ice-cold sweet mik and water mixed. Roll thin, cut into narrow strips and bake quickly."
---New York World's Fair Cook Book: The American Kitchen, Crosby Gaige [Doubleday, Doran:nw York] 1939 (p. 174)
"Greenville Spice Cake
1 cup butter
3 cups brown sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon soda
1 cup raisins
1 cup pecans
1 tablespoon each: ground cloves, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon
Cream sugar with butter; add well-beaten yolks, Add alternately the flour with which spices have been sifted and milk; add soda dissolved in one tablespoon warm water, raisins and nuts well floured and whites of eggs. Bake in a moderate oven fifty minutes. Ice with mocha icing."
---ibid (p. 175)
In Alaska, as true for places on earth, the concept of "traditional meals" depends up time and peoples. The meals consumed by the first inhabitants, Russian emigrees, 19th century gold miners, and 21st century residents were very different. People currently living in Alaska with ties to other cultures (Chinese, Russian, Japanese etc.) all enjoy their own versions of "traditional meals."
"Traditionally, Inuit dietary staples were seal, whale, caribou, walrus, polar bear, arctic hare, fish, birds, and berries. Seals were hunted all year round, and the Inuit found a use for almost every part of the animal. With the exception of the bitter gall bladder, all the meat was eaten, usually boiled or raw. Raw blubber was often enjoyed mixed in with meat or berries, while blood soup and dried intestines were favored as snacks. Because they ate raw food, and every part of the animal, the Inuit did not lack vitamins, even though they had almost no vegetables to eat. With the introduction of modern Western-type food, including convenience foods, over the past two or three decades, the Inuit diet has changed, and not for the better. The consumption of foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates has resulted in tooth decay and other diet-related problems."
---Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life, Volume 1: Americas, Timothy L. Gall editor [Gale:Detroit] 1997 (p. 246)
"The greatest challenge to Eskimo survival was not the cold, but the difficulty of obtaining food, since the only food resources their country provides in any quantity are mammals and fish...Eskimos proved beyond any doubt that humans can be sustained by meat and fish alone. To do it, they had to consume not only the meat of each type of animal and fish they killed, but also the blubber or fat, the eyes, the nutritious organ meats (especially the liver and kidneys) of the smaller dead mammals, fish livers, and the brain, tongue, heart, liver, kidneys, stomach, stomach contents, intestines and bone marrow of the caribou. They somehow managed to recover even the blood of most seals and caribou, consuming it either directly, as a beverage, or as an additive to soup. Finally, they drank copious amounts of water, a physiological necessity for people on such an extreme high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet...Eskimos did not dissapate the nutritional potential of their food by overcooking it. Great quantities of meat and fish were eaten raw, usually in either dried or frozen form. When they did cook food they normally boiled it, usually lightly, and drank the broth...Vegetable products entered the economy in various ways. Berries, leaves, roots, seaweed and greens were valuable additions to the diet in many areas, especially in Southwest Alaska. In the Western Arctic generally, certain types of root, leaves and bark were used for medicinal purposes and as colouring agents..."
---The Eskimos, Ernest S. Burch, Jr. [Macdonald & Co:Great Britain] 1988 (p. 51, 68,70)
"Cuisine. Subsistence food for the Inuit of Alaska included whale meat, caribou, moose, walrus, seal, fish, fowl, mountain sheep, bear, hares, squirrels, and foxes. Plant food included wild herbs and roots, as well as berries. Meat is dried or kept frozen in ice cellars dug into the tundra."
---Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, Robert Von Dassanowsky [Gale:Detroit] 2000 (p. 910)
"Inuit cookery (Inuit being more of less equivalent to the old name Eskimo, and applying to peoples in the northernmost inhabited parts of the eart, e.g. Greenland) is, in its traditional form, subject ot the limitations imposed by a very cold climate and sparse range of fauna and flora. In this respect it is not unlike Antarctic cookery. However, there is a big difference; the indigenous inhabitants of the Arctic regions (e.g. in the southern parts of Greenland, Labrador, Alaska, the Northwest Territories of Canada)...The Inuit diet has attracted much attention because of its high proportion of meat and fat, as well as fish. The Inuit have subsisted mainly on:
game animals, notably caribou, moose, polar bear;
sea mammals, especially whale and seals;
fish such as live in the Arctic Sea;
berries of the far north;
Pemmican, incorporating meat and berries."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 401-2)
"Fifteen to forty thousand years ago, Asian people walked across a land bridge to the place later called "Alaska." Their long migration was a natural extension of their following herds of grazing mammals, which they ate. Those who made Alaska their permanent home gradually evolved into separate cultures...Until Russian and European explorers made contact in the 1700s, Alaskan native ate what was at hand. Eskimos chowed down on bowhead whale, walrus, and seal, along with seabird eggs. Aleuts searched tide pools for shellfish, octopus, and seaweed; they speared seals from kayaks and downed birds with arrows. Athabascans dined on moose, caribou, bear, beaver, muskrat, geese, ducks, and fish. Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian consumed steelhead, salmon, herring, halibut, and venison. Menus were seasonal, depending on the migration of caribou, the nesting of birds, and the spawning of fish. Greens and edible roots supplemented meals. Depending upon the habitat, natives enjoyed greens like rosewort, beach asparagus, goosetongue...pink plume...and king's crown..The brewed hot drinks from evergreen shrubs, such as Labrador tea...Food was eaten raw, frozen, fermented, smoked, dried, or boiled. Hundreds of variations are made possible by combining methods...Clay cooking pots were known to only a few Eskimo groups; most Alakskans roasted their food on spits or boiled it in baskets. Cooking baskets were woven of split spruce roots; those roots swell when wet, making the baskets watertight; Rocks heated in the fire were added and the contents stirred until the food was done...Preservation of food for the lean months of winter was paramount. Food was dried or smoked; if that was impossible, blubber or whale roasts were frozen in "ice cellars," holes dug in the permafrost...Celebrations meant Eskimo ice cream of aguduk. The Eskimo cook whips seal oil until it is creamy and then folds in freshly fallen snow and tundra roots. The Athabascan version is whipped caribou-leg marrow, cooked meat flakes, and berries. Aduduk was served on festive occaisions, such as a young man's first successful polar bear hunt or wedding...Russian fur hunters and settlers introduced new foods--barley, rice, buckwheat, Chiense tea, and flour--as well as a new kitchen tool, the oven. The Aleuts quickly mastered piecrust and began making pirog, a "fist pie" of salmon, hard-boiled eggs, rice, and onion, enclosed in pastry. The Russian also introduced rudimentary agriculture, with crops like cabbage, radishes, turnips, and potatoes. Walrus stew slowly changed from a simple pot of meat and borth to something complicated, with potatoes and macaroni."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 29-30)
"Native Alaskans...did not farm since seafood, as well as berries and roots, was plentiful. Like their Pacific Northwest Indian neighbors, they depended on salmon as the mainstay of their diet. They also made long journeys out to sea in oversized canoes. In the deep waters the Indians hunted seals, sea otters, porpoises, and whales. Fish was preserved for year-round eating by drying it and making a form of jerky...Inland Indians...relied on caribou as their main source of food. The caribou provided not only food by also clothing, fuel, and oil for lamps...In years past most Eskimos ate their food raw since there was little fuel available for cooking. They ate Muktuk, whale skin with a thick coating of blubber, raw. It was a nourishing food, and as recent studies have shown raw meat and fish best meet the body's demands for fat in a cold climate. The Eskimos did some cooking over a fire of precious seal oil, which also provided light and warmth. Wild game such as mountain goats, polar bears, caribou, and Dall sheep...were also part of the Eskimo diet. Today, the Eskimo diet is a mixture of old and new foods. Eskimo children enjoy chewing on raw walrus kidney just as much as a chocolate candy bar...A modern Eskimo meal might consist of dried or smoked fish, reindeer stew, and a dessert of fresh or preserved Arctic berries with sugar and canned milk. If the dessert is served in the traditional manner, the berries are topped with seal oil."
---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 276)
- The Native People of Alaska: Traditional Living in a Northern Land/Steve J. Langdon
- Tlingit Recipes of Today and Long Ago: Sitka, Alaska/Pauline Duncan
- Nuxaulk Food and Nutrition Handbook/Nuxalk Food and Nutrition Program
Russian settlement18th century
"In 1741 Captain Vitus Nering, a Dane in the employ of Russia, was the first white man to set foot on Alaskan territory...Russian settlers in search of furs established the first permanent settlement in Alaska on Kodiak Island in 1784. In order to make the area self-sufficient, the Russians tried to grow grain. This effort failed...Russian culinary influences are still evident in Alaska, particularly in Sitka, where at Easter time Russian Easter bread, and decorated eggs are part of the Easter celebration. Traditional Russian Piroghi, rectangular pies filled with rice, are still served as a main course. Beef Stronganoff and Kasha, a porridge of buckwheat groats served with fruit and nuts, are favorites."
---Taste of the States (p. 276-7)
"After the United States purchased Alaska in 1867, paddle wheelers began regular journeys up great inland rivers with supplied like dried beans, sugar, oranges, apples, and canned milk. Gold rush prospectors survived mosly on beans and biscuits...Holidays were celebrated with feasts of roast ptarmigan, sourdough bread, canned pineapple, plum duff, and spaghetti concocted of moose rump roast, goose grease, and dried soup vegetables. Prospectors who lingered to become settlers learned to adapt local ingredients to recipes of the lower forty-eight states. They made ketchup with currants or cranberries, piecrust with black-bear lard, butter with caribou marrow, and mincemeat with moose."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Volume 1 (p. 30)
- [1896-1899] Klondike gold rush
-  Alaska restaurant menus Cecil Cafe, Fairbanks & Royal Cafe, Cleary Creek
 First Catch Your Moose: The Fairbanks Cookbook, 1909 [Tanana-Yukon Historical Society]
...fascimile reprint edition of Fairbanks Cook Book of Tested Recipes
- Juneau Cook Book: Good Cooking published by the Martha Society of the Northern Light Presbyterian Church, Juneau Alaska (FT Library owns a copy; happy to scan/share recipes.]
Acccording to the Juneau Centennial Cookbook, Jane Stewart, Phyllice F. Bradner & Betty Harris  the recipes listed below are family favorites contributed by people who lived in Alaska at least 50 years. Many of these recipes have historical notes dating back to the early days of Juneau. Notice the Scandinavian influence.
Baked wild duck
Goosetongue (sea plaintain)
Lima bean bake
Red huckleberry pudding
Nagoonberry chiffon pie
Lowbush cranberries chutney
Finnish Sweet bread
Today's Alaskan menus and dining options are not unlike those found in the "Lower 48." There are local truck stop cafes, great burger/salad places, Mexican restaurants, standard cafeteria fare, and four star dining rooms connected with resort hotels catering to the cruise ship crowd.
- Alaska Heritage Seafood Cookbook: Great Recipes from Alaska's Rich Kettle of Fish/Ann Chandonnet
- Raincoast Kitchen: Coastal Cuisine with a dash of history/Museum of Campbell River
Need to make something for class?
Alaska is a great state to get for a food project. You have so many choices! All you need to do is place the recipe within historic context. Assuming you're not in the mood for moose, consider:
Inuit--pemmican & fish
Gold rush--sourdough & beans
Russian settlement/Sitka--pierogi & pea soup
Victorian era--Blueberry cobbler & rhubarb crisp (recipes below)
We visited Alaska recently and the two most outstanding foods were salmon, halibut and berries (esp. blueberries/huckleberries). The fish were served a variety of ways including baked, broiled, pie, croquettes, and smoked. Berries were featured in mufins, crisps, pancakes and quick breads. Also on the menus (maybe not the best choices for a school party) were cariboo, venison, and moose. They are pretty tasty.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon melted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
Mix flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, salt. Stir in milk, vanilla, butter. Spread batter in buttered 8 X 8 pan. Scatter blueberries over batter. Sprinkle sugar over berries. Pour boiling water over all. Bake at 375 degree oven for 45 min. or unitl brown and done in center. Berries sink to bottom and form juice. Serve hot with light cream; or cold, topped with ice cream."
---Juneau Centennial Cookbook, Jane Stewart, Phyllice F. Bradner, Betty Harris (p. 43)
About Alaska's blueberries: I & II.
Mix and place in greased baking pan: 3 C diced rhubarb, 1/4 C sugar
Blend until crumbly and spread on top: 2/3 C butter, 2/3 C brown sugar, 2/3 C white sugar, 1 C flour, dash of salt.
Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream."
---ibid (p. 49)
"Governor George Parks' Sourdough
Cook 3 large potatoes and mash well. To mashed potatoes, add 1 pint of potato water. When lukewarm, add 1/2 cake yeast and 2 C flour. Cover and put in warm place 48 hours.
To use: take out 2 C and add 1/2 tsp soda, pinch salt, 2 T sugar and enough flour to make a hot cake batter. Add a little oil.
To start add 2 C flour and 2 C water. Cook on griddle."
---ibid (p. 54)
Arizona is a challenging state to get for a food report. The only officisl state symbol you might want to eat is the trout (state fish).
About Arizona's culinary heritage
"Although Texas has annexed the credit for the particular type of cooking found along the Mexican frontier, Arizona may get closer to the Mexican formula than Texas. The cooking of Arizona, indeed, is so closely linked to that of Mexico that its Tex-Mex food not only leans heavily on the Mex component in general, but even on a specific type of Mexican regional cooking--that of the state of Sonora, which is just across the border. Sonora is wheat-growing country, so Arizona tends to make tortillas de harina, wheat tortillas, instead of using Indian corn, more common in the rest of Mexico. Sonoran food is less violently spiced than that of most of the other Mexican states; Arizona goes in for comparatively mild chilies, which it grows itself along the border. One dish that Arizona borrowed from Sonora deserves special mention, a soup containing tripe, green chilies, onions, and mint called munodo...If Tex-Mex food is more specialized in Arizona, it is more widespread in New Mexico, largely because Arizona today has few descendants of the old families of the Mexican era, but New Mexico has many of them."
---Eating in America: A History, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow and Company:New York] 1976 (p. 278)
"Because of its arid climate, Arizona has always suffered from a water shortage. There was little commercial agriculture in the state before irrigation canals were built at the beginning of this century. Many of these canals parallel those built by the ancient Hohokam Indian culture almost 2,000 years ago...The early pioneers built new canals along the route of these ancient canals. Modern Indian tribes did not undertake extensive farming. The Apache and Yum Indians in the southern part of what is now Arizona subsisted on the plants of the Sonoran Desert. The Mojave and Hopi Indians in the north hunted game, and gathered wild berries and roots in the mountainous areas. Arizona's grapefruit and other crops grow in man-made oases that were developed by Spanish missionaries. Later, the Mormons increased the productivity of these oases...Due to its remoteness, Arizona was not settled until the 1850s, when copper, silver, and gold were discovered...The copper and silver mines in Arizona brought Slav and Cornish immigrants to work in the mines. Although these early settlers could not get many of the necessary ingredients to cook their favorite native foods, most managed to prepare some of their native dishes at holiday time. A roasted suckling pig with a necklace of berries frequently graced the Slavic Christmas table. Prairie chicken (grouse) with spiced gravy, baked noodles, plump dumplings, and an assortment of poppy-seed tarts, sweet rolls, and cookies were often served in Slavic homes. Cornish cookes kept busy baking crisp pasties, a turnover made with a pie dough and filled with meat and vegetables...Beans, a staple food of the Indians, also became an everyday dish for settlers. They were served along with meat, baked potatoes, homemade rolls or sourdough biscuits with syrup, and coffee with goat's milk...In the late 1600s Father Kino brought cattle to Pimeria Alta (southern Arizona). The Spanish missionaires also brought horses and sheep...Cacti are an intergral part of Arizona's cuisine. The prickly-pear cactus thrives in Arizona. The bumpy prickly pear, a favorite food of the Indians, was called a fig by some...The magnificent giant saguaro cactus, which abounds only in the Sonoran Desert, has long supplied a sweet red fruit that the Pima and Papagos Indians harvested in the summer. About the size of a hen's egg, the fruit was made into jam or syrup by the Indians. Today the fruit is eaten raw with ice cream and continues to be used for jams and syrups...Two other special foods of Arizona are jicama and tomatillos. Jicama, a tuberous vegetable brought from Mexico and now grown in Arizona, is crisp like an apple and has a slightly sweeter taste. It is primarily used in salads and can be shredded as a topping for chili. Tomatillos were used by the Aztec Indians and were transplanted to the Southwest."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of Arizona, Hilda Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 199-201)
[NOTE: This book offers two recipes: Jicama Salad and Sweet Potato Soup]
"Most of Arizona remained unsettled until after 1860. Spanish missionaries in the seventeenth century attempted to convert the Hopis of northeastern Arizona, but they resisted the mission program and had little contact with Spanish settlers in New Mexico. Southern Arizona was the northern region of Sonora known as Pimeria Alta, where Jesuit missionaries established missions among the O'dham (Pima) between 1687 and 1711. Settlement of the area proceeded very slowly, and Tucson, founded in 1776, remained the northern most point of Spanish or Mexican settlement. In northern Sonora cattle raising was the most important industry, and beef played a starring role in the diet. Settlers also raised sheep and chickens but few pigs. They grew corn, beans, lentils, garbanzos, pumpkins, and chilies, and they commonly ate posole, atole, and tortillas, as well as stews enlivened by chilies. However, Apache raids into the region after 1821 drove most settlers farther south. Fewer than three hundred people remained in Tucson when the United States acquired the area in 1848, but some Anglos married Hispanas, who continued to prepare tortillas, frijoles, and other dishes. Arizona grew slowly, primarily with immigration from the United States, until 1910, when the Mexican Revolution sent thousands of people into southern Arizona. They brought the food traditions of Sonora with them, including large, very think wheat tortillas, tamalkes made of green corn rather than the corn flour made from nixtamal, and carne seca. Beef strips, sometimes unseasoned, other times rubbed with lime juice, salt, and other seasonings, were air dried in the hot sun and dry air of the region. Later the carne seca was pounded or shredded and stewed to make machaca."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith edtior [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 484)
"Arizona cuisine, like that of other Southwestern states, was strongly influenced by the native Indians, Spanish conquistadors and padres, as well as Mexican settlers. Indian and Spanish dishes are still prevalent in Arizona's cusine...The dishes of southern Arizona have been strongly influenced by Sonora, the Mexican state directly south of Arizona. In Sonora more wheat than corn is grown. Consequently, Arizona tortillas are more often made of wheat flour. Another Sonoran influence is that dishes are less spicy than in other Mexican and Southwestern cookery...Until the middle of this century, Mexican and Indian dishes were predominant. With the influx of retired people from all over the country, however, the food of Arizona has become more all-American, with many Midwestern dishes prevailing."
---Taste of the States (p. 201)
3 cups raw tender corn (cut off the ear)
2 cups tomato puree
1 onion (minced fine)
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoon Chili powder
1 tablespoon lard
1 tablespoon finely chopped celery
1/4 cup grated cheese
salt and pepper
Fry the minced onion in the lard, then add puree, celery, Chili pwoder, melted butter, salt and pepper and corn. Mix well and pour in baking-dish. Cook 1 hour in moderate oven."
---The National Cookbook: A Kitchen Americana, Sheila Hibben [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1932 (p. 189) [NOTE: Lard is hog fat. You can substitute margarine or Crisco.]
2 cups blue cornmeal
1 1/4 cups water
1. Mix cornmeal and water until dough is pliable and moist (but not sticky or wet).
2. Shape dough into twelve balls.
3. Flatten balls by patting out with hands or folling between to sheets of greased wax paper.
4 Cook on lightly greased griddle over medium heat about four minutes on each side, or until brown."
---Hopi Cookery, Juanita Tiger Kavena [University of Arizona Press:Tuscon] 1980 (p. 20)
The Fifty States Cookbook/Sheila Hibben contains the following recipes for Arizona: Pozole (pork and hominy soup), Country-flavored chicken halves, Tamale Perfection, Burritos, Enchiladas con Chile Verde, Ground beef filling, Sweet potatoes with orange, Colifolor Acapulco, Date milk shake, Southwestern salad bowl and Almendraro (a layered gelatin dessert).
Arizona cook books
- Arizona territory cook book : recipes from 1884 to 1912/Daphne Overstreet
- Arizona highways heritage cookbook/Louise DeWald
- Arizona territorial cookbook : the food and lifestyles of a frontier/Melissa Ruffner Weiner with Budge Ruffner (we have this one...can send recipes!)
- Arizona Territory Cook Book: Recipes from 1864 to 1912/Daphne Overstreet
- Hopi Cookery/Juaniti Tiger Kavena
Native Americans foodways
Archaeologists can tell us much about what the Pueblo tribes ate in ancient times. The ancestors of the Pueblos were the Anasazi. Who are the Pueblos?
"Pueblo Peoples Traditionally, the Pueblo people were labeled by the Spanish as pueblo (stone masonry town dwellers) in contrast to rancheria (brush/mud camp dwellers). As a cultural group they have survived with clearly unbroken continuity into the present from at least as long ago as two millenia. The Pueblo People are culturally diverse, but they all farm corn, beans, and squash. The modern Western Pueblos -- Hopi, Zuni, Acoma and Laguna -- live on high mesa tops in Arizona and New Mexico and practice dry farming (dependent on rain). The Pecos Classification divides all Pueblo peoples into five periods." Source: http://www.cpluhna.nau.edu/Introduction/glossary.htm#Pueblo%20Peoples
Prehistoric Farmers [Anasazi Peoples], Northern Arizona University
Spread of Maize to the Colorado Plateau, Northern Arizona University
Every state offers a unique culinary table set by its people (native inhabitants, settlers, immigrants) and natural resources (catfish, trout, blueberries, yucca). Today? Most every kind of food (from fried chicken & pizza to Thai cuisine & Argentine steak ) is available everywhere.
Arkansas, like most states, does not have an 'official' state food. It does, however, offer several edible symbols include milk & pink tomato. The state cooking vessel is the Dutch Oven.
Historic Arkansas foodways:
"Most of the early pioneers who moved west bypassed what is now Arkansas and its Ozark Mountains because of the rocky landscape and poor soil. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, however, hard-working farmers from Kentucky, Illinois, and Tennessee, who were used to farming under difficult conditions, settled in Arkansas. They brought their recipes for curing hams, roasting pork ribs over open fires, and baking soda biscuits and molasses cakes...Since Arkansas borders the South, the Southwest, and the Midwest, it has a mixture of cuisines. Plantation cookery of the Mississippi Valley, the hill cooking of the Ozarks, and the Mexican influcences of Texas and Oklahoma all combine to make a unique style of food...There is a great emphasis of real "down-home" flavors. Fried pork chops with a light-brown cream gravy to which bits of sausage have been added have remained a favorite dish. Sausage is also used in poultry stuffings, along with cooked rice. Arkansas-style chicken is prepared by first simmering the chicken pieces in a skillet and then baking them in the oven with a Creole sauce. Each region of Arkansas has its own unique food. In the southern bayou country, roast duck, candied yams, fried chicken, fluffy biscuits and peach cobblers are often served. Around Texarkana, pinto beans and barbecued beef of the Southwest are typical fare. Along the Mississippi River, catfish are popular in stews and fried...In the hill coutnry of the Ozarks, dishes such as bacon with cracklin's corn bread, baked beans, wilted lettuce with bacon and vinegar, bread and apple jelly, and ginger bread for dessert are traditional everyday fare...Roasted raccoon, roasted beaver-tail, and baked opossum are Arkansas soul food...Arkansans prefer hot bread with their meals...They like steaming-hot corn breads, hot biscuits, or fresh-out-of-the-oven rolls. Strawberry shortcake is a favorite dessert of Arkansans...The Arkansas version of the shortcake usese a crisp, buttery biscuit, which is split in half, soaked in strawberry juice, and then topped with a mound of whipped cream and fresh strawberries...Over the past 50 years, Arkansas has become an important poulty-producing state, as well as a major producer of fruits, vegetables, rice, and soybeans. In the 1840s Arkansas farmers began experimenting with orchards. Their apples soon won first prizes...Peaches also became an important Arkansas fruit crop."
---Tastes of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 106-9)
"The folks in Arkansas have so many good things to eat, and such different foods at different seasons of the year and in different sections of the state, that I am sending you several different menus; a game dinner to be served to hunters, a plantation dinner, an early summer dinner and a duck dinner. You can take your choice or use all of them. Arkansas has fine fruits; strawberries, youngberries, Boysenberries, raspberries, grapes, peaches, figs and watermelons. The most common meats are poultry, kid, lamb, mutton and fresh pork. There is also an abundance of game and fish. The favorite breads are biscuit and variations of corn bread, from pan bread to corn dodgers. The Mexican influence has extended this far east and north. One finds tomatoes, onions, garlic and pepper, and hotter foods than further north. Also the Mexican chopped hot vegetable and all forms of field peas, such as Crowder peas, lady peas, Black-eyed peas, etc. There are many wild greens and fruits which are much used and relished by the people: Muscadine grapes, possum persimmon, wild plum, watercress, hickory nuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts and chinquapins. The wild fruits are eaten fresh and also made into many delicious products for the winter..."Arkansas Game Dinner
Tomato juice cocktail
Crackers, Celery, Olives
Broiled mountain trout
Sliced cucumbers, Lattice potatoes
Baked stuffed wild duck
Brown rice pudding, Candied sweet potatoes
Roast saddle of venison
Green beans, Venison gravy, Corn bread
Pecan transparent pie
Lady Peas, Browned Potatoes, Collard greens
Fried peach pie
Jellied tomato bouillon
Wafers, Celery, Olives
New Potatoes, New peas
Stuffed tomato salad
Angel-food cake, Coffee...
Mary Rowden's Dinner
Fried ham, Creamed eggs
Green beans, Mashed potatoes
Candied sweets, Slaw
Watermelon pickle, Cucumber pickle
Pie, Cake, Coffee."
---New York World's Fair Cook Book: The American Kitchen, Crosby Gaige [Doubleday, Doran:New York] 1939(p. 180-2)
Did you know there is a large Greek Community in Arkansas? Greek Festival recipes here.
 Rogers Cookbook (a church cookbook)
Need to make something for class?
The recipes below are offered in our books as examples of traditional Arkansas fare. If you have access to a Dutch Oven, you can use that as your historic foodways example. Soups, stews, biscuits and cobbler/pot pies are easily rendered in this pot.
"Old-Fashioned Corn Bread
Over the years corn bread has had many variations. Butts of bacon, or crackling, corn kernels, chili peppers, cheese, or onions have all been added to corn bread batter at one time or another. This corn bread can be baked either in an iron skillet, similar to the Dutch ovens the early settlers used, or in a n 8-inch square baking pan. The sugar used in this recipe is traditional in southern corn bread.
Serves 6 to 8
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons melted butter, margarine or bacon drippings
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in the buttermilk, eggs, and 3 tablespoons of the melted butter. Mix well. Brush a 10-inch iron skillet with the remaining tablespoon of melted butter. Pour the batter into the skillet and bake in a preheated 425 degree F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm."
---Taste of the States,(p. 107)
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/3 cup lemon juice
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
30 unbaked tart shells (about 2 3/4 inches in diameter and 1 1/4 inches deep)
Cream the butter and sugar just enough to blend well--mixture chould not be fluffy or filling may bubble up and boil over in the oven. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in flour. Add the lemon juice and rind (the mixture will seem to curdle but don't be alarmed; it will smooth out in the baking). Spoon mixture into tart shells, filling each no more than 2/3 full. (Should you have any leftover filling, spoon into a custard cups, again filling no more thatn 2/3 fill, set in a small baking pan, and pour water into pan to a depth of 1 inch. These may be baked in the oven alongside the tarts and will be done in about the same amount of time.) Bake tarts in a moderate oven (350 degrees F.) 30 to 35 minutes until filling is puffy and golden and pastry lightly browned. Remove from oven, cool tarts in their pans to room temperature, then remove from pans and serve."
---"Arkansas Territorial Restoration [Little Rock Arkansas]," Recipes from America's Restored Villages, Jean Anderson [Doubleday:Garden City NY] 1975 (p. 234-5)
[NOTE: ""Little Fellows" are nothing more than small lemon "chess" tarts--vey lemony, very buttery, very seweet. Lemon "chess" resembles the English lemon "cheese," and some food believe that "chess" is a corruption of "cheese."..."Little Fellows" are often no bigger than a thimble, but a more practical size is the small individual tart. You can buy prepared tart shells, ready to fill and bake, in many supermarkets." (p. 234)]
The recipe used for pecan pies in the [University of Arkansas] Campus Cafeteria...is as follows:
1/2 cup sugar
3 whole eggs
1/2 cup crushed pecans
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter
Pinch of salt
Bake in a raw flaky paste shell in a moderate oven for ten minutes at 400 degrees F., then reduce heat to 350 degrees F. and continue baking until firm."
---New York World's Fair Cookbook (p. 183)
"Jelly Pie (Arkansas)
1/2 cup currant jelly
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Cream the butter and add the sugar and beat well. Add well-beaten yolks and jelly, and fold in the whites of eggs. Add lemon juice and bake without upper crust."
---The National Cookbook: A Kitchen Americana, Sheila Hibben [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1932 (p. 368)
Official state foods must be introduced by law and approved by the state legislature. California has many official symbols, only one of which you might want to eat (the golden trout). List of official California symbols here.
If you need to identify and/or cook a food representative of California you have dozens of wonderful choices. You can pick something:
1. That grows there (raisins, dates, oranges, grapes)
2. From history (17th century California mission foods, the Gold Rush era)
3. Representing foreign immigrants and settlers (Chinese, Italian, etc.)
4. Trendy (New California cuisine)
5. From a famous restaurant (The Brown Derby, Trader Vics, Chez Panisse)...20th century restaurant menus
6. From a famous food company (Del Monte, Chicken-of-the-Sea, Sees Candies)
You will find an excellent summary of the foods of California in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America/Andrew F. Smith, Volume 1 (p. 165-172). Your librarian can help you find a copy. Helen Brown's West Coast Cook Book (c. 1952) offers a delightful collection of California recipes, many with historic notes. Erica Peter's San Francisco: A Food Biography is well written and sourced (no recipes).
A few menu items to get you started
California mission foods
Historians caution us to question primary sources chronicling early encounters between Europeans and native American peoples. This extends to early descriptions of California Mission life. Why? Then, as now, people saw what they wanted to see. Three keys help us understand the food notes we read about this particular place and time:
Expeditions were funded by the ruling classes for specific purposes. In most cases, the results were determined long before the expedition began. Think: glowing reports of European plant introductions & New World commodity exchanges.
Native customs did not fit neatly into European framework. Actual encounters were innocently misinterpreted, subjectively described & purposely twisted. This extends to agriculture, hunting, food preparation, dining customs & recipes. We must also acknowledge linguistic challenges: Europeans only had Old World words to describe New World foods. There is no way even the most gifted journalist could describe what he tasted, how it was prepared, or the symbolism behind it.
Sometimes it takes a long time before floats to the surface. Diligent digging, intelligent study, and objective perspective sometimes yields new results from old evidence. In the case of California Missions, unreliable historic paper trails are partly to blame. Many original pen & paper documents were destroyed or damaged, inviting subsequent interpretation. Balancing the dearth of reliable facts against the challenges of contemporary social requirements means we still have much to discover about the reality of California Mission life. View everything you read as a tiny facet of a possible truth.
Case in point? La Perouse: FRench sheips Astrolabe & La Bourssole 
Jean Francois Galaup de La Perouse was selected by Louis XVI to investigate the Spanish missions established on the California coast. No expense spared for this 4 year adventure. Monsieur La Perouse never returned but some of his journals did. What makes his journey notable? His was the first non-Spanish description of the Mission system. La Perouse was also known as product of the Enlightenment. A man celebrated for objective reasoning. While his journals are not viewed as "perfect" they are generally regarded as one of the most objective accounts of this particular place and time.
Old world provisioning
"...September 14, 1786, two ships appeared...of the coast of Monterey...L'Astrolabe and La Bourssole, were French. Although San Diego had been founded...in 1769, and Monterey a year later, these were the first foreign vessels to visit Spain's California colonies...the ships' library was endowed with a generous selection of reference books. There were included the published accounts of previous voyages, natural histories, and books on astronomy, chemistry, and meteorology. There were floras, a book on the theory of winds, another on the theory of tides, and others on zoology, fishing...All in all, over a hundred titles were assembled and listed in the ship's catalog...The gardener...was expected not only to collect plants, but also to introduce useful plants to others, and to do this happy end was supplied with seeds, roots, and cuttings. His inventory included six bushels each of apple and pear kernels, plus many bushels more of seeds, stones, or pits of gooseberry, currant, grape, peach, apricot, plum, cherry, almond, melons of various kinds, artichoke, pepper, celery, chervil, several grains, and still other crops. A root cellar was created in the darkest part of the hold for the bushels of onion, turnip, carrot, radish, garlic, potato, parsnip, and beet roots. As the day of departure drew closer, longshoremen moved onto the decks of La Boussole a small forest of some fifty living trees and vines--Montmorency cherry trees, black heart cherry trees, white heart cherry trees, olive trees, quince trees, grape vines, fig trees, chestnut trees...In addition, the gardener brought with him a huge assortment of trowels, knives, shovels, watering pots, tin boxes, mattocks, saws, and other pieces of equipment that he would need to tend, water, transplant, and collect more plants. For the crew there was the most modern of foods and bedding, plus a considerable stock of spruce, malt, and other scurvy preventatives..."
---Life in a California Mission: Monterey in 1786 The Journals of Jean Francois de la Perouse, Introduction and Commentary by Malcom Margolin [Heyday Books:Berkeley CA] 1989 (p. 3-7)
Native Chumash foods
"The early Spanish explorers were impressed by the Chumash craftsmanship...The finest objects made by the Chumash were of steatite. Its resistance to heat made it ideal for cooking receptacles. The pre- Spanish Chumash made no potter and all cooking was done in heavy steatite ollas and on comals (flat cooking stones, like skillets)... The most important single food source was the acorn, mainly from the California live oak...It was gathered in the fall and stored for year-round use. The shelled nuts were ground into meal and cooked as mush or in some form of cake. Pine nuts, especially of the pinon pine...were a favorite food. Islay, the wild cherry...was bruised in a morter and boiled. The cattail Typhia gave seeds and flour from the roots for making pinole, a gruel or paste. Berries, mushrooms, and cress were gathered in season to vary the diet. The Chumash prized the amole, or soap plant...The bulb was roasted and eaten, the green bulb furnished lather for washing...Berries of the California laurel...were roasted. The chia sage...produced a tiny oily seed that was made into flour or a very nutritious form of pinole...For hunting, the basic weapon was the bow and arrow...and with it the Chumash killed animpals such as the California mule deer, coyote, and fox. Smaller animals were usually take with snares and deadfalls. Flat, curved thowing sticks were used to kill rabbits...All game birds were regulalry harvested, particularly migratory ducks and geese on the lagoons. From canoes, the hunter pursued large marine mammals--seals, sea otters, and porpoises--and killed them with harpoons...Mollusks were an important food souce." ---"Chumash," Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 8: California, Rovert F. Heiser editor [Smithsonian Institution: Washington DC] 1978 (p. 514-517)
"Not only did the [native] people of the Monterey Bay live together, but they seem to have prospered. Although there may have been some shortages of a particularly desirable food, there is little evidence in the mythology, the archaeological record, the reports of early visitors...that hunger was a problem before the coming of the Spaniards. On the contrary, the most common description of the Indians during the pre-conquest years shows them bringing gifts of deer, antelope, elk, and rabbit meat, plus fish, seed and nut cakes, and other foodstuffs to the Spaniards from their obviously abundant stores. Virtually all early visitors were extravagant in their praise of the rich wildlife and resources of the Monterey Bay area. Each fall and winter steelhead trout and silver (coho) salmon splashed up the larger streams...Immense schools of smelt dashed themselves onto the beaches...Clams, mussels, abalone, and other shellfish were abundant...Great flocks of migrating geese and ducks...settled each fall into the marshlands...Deer were plentiful, as were elk, and herds of pronghorn antelope...Seals and...sea otters...could often be caught. There were also nuts--especially acorns and pine nuts...plus wild roots and bulbs, grasses, and flowers, berries, and greens. In addition, the tastes of the Indians ran to foods generally avoided by Europeans--grasshoppers, groundsquirrels, mice, and small birds..."
---Life in a California Mission (p. 23-24)
"An appreciation of the complexities of Indian culture is difficult, even for those studying it today. Many people still characterize traditional Indian life as 'primitive,' those emotionally sympathetic to it often extolling its supposed 'simplicity.' The reasons for thinking this way are obvious. To raise a crop of wheat a European farmer has to plow, sow, weed, irrigate, control pests, and harvest, all with specialized tools. The Indian...is seen gathering acorns from a oak tree...without apparent effort or advanced skill. Yet the use of acorn is anything but simple. It involves many hard-to-master and often elaborate technologies...In fact, if the entire process is measured carefully, it may take less work and certainly far less skill to create a loaf of wheat bread than a loaf of acorn bread."
---Life in a California Mission (p. 24-25)
The California Mission Studies Association is dedicated to study and preservation of the history of Spanish missions. Information on several Mission web sites confirms foods of these Missions generally consisted of simple local fare, much of it grown on site.
"The neophytes were given morning and evening meals of atole and a mid day meal of pozole. They were allowed to gather wild foods, as was their custom before the Spanish came. On Sundays and special feast days everyone received almost a half peck of wheat...Mission life was routine; order was brought out of a wilderness. In general, seven hours of the day were allotted to labor, with two hours of prayer daily and four or five on Sundays and on days of festivals. In the morning their food consisted of atole or a gruel of barley, wheat, or corn. At noon, they got pozole, which consisted of the same grains, only boiled. In the evening, it was the same food as in the morning, but in addition, every few days cattle were slaughtered to provide beef. "
---San Diego History, Richard Pourade
According to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, the Spanish introduced many foods to California via Mexico. These included: almonds, apples, apricots, bananas, barley, beans, cherries, chickpeas, chilies, citrons, dates, figs, grapes, lemons, lentils, limes, maize, olives, nectarines, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, pomegranates, quinces, tomatoes, walnuts, wheat, chickens, cows, donkeys, goats, horses, sheep and domesticated turkey. "The colonists supplemented their fare with most of the same types of game hunted by the Native Americans. The colonists made corn tortillas, as the wheat varieties that they brought with them were not easily cultivated in California. When wheat became more abundant, it was used to make tortillas on special occasions. The Spanish established the first flour mill in 1786. The role of the missions was to Christianize the California Indians. Many Indians did convert to Christianity and relocated around the Spanish settlements, which resulted in a shift in their diet. They had been accustomed to eating vegetables, fish, and game, but mission agricultures and husbandry brought them a monotonous diet of atole, a gruel made from ground, leached acorns or other nutlike seeds, and pinole, a flour made by grinding seeds."
---Oxford Encylopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith [Oxford University Press:New York] Volume 1, 2004 (p. 166)
"Another Spanish holding, California, had no European inhabitants until 1769 when Franciscan priests established their first mission at San Diego. A first concern of the missionaries was to obtain wine and wheat for holy communion and beeswax for altar candles. The bees they brought from Spain and, with the help of their Indian converts, they planted vinyards and wheat fields. Citrus fruit trees were also brought from Spain, as were dates and figs. Two other foods that grew well in these places were brought from Mexico: sweet potatoes and avocados...The Spanish colonists brought with them favorite foods--among them, saffron, olive oil, and anise and combined these foods with foods of the local Indians and the Mexican Indians to make a New Mexican cuisine that still flourishes today."
---Heritage Cookbook, Better Homes and Gardens [Meredith Corporation:Des Moines IA] 1975 (p. 39)
[NOTE: Recipes included in this book are: Red Chili Sauce, Posole, Chili Meat Sauce, Stacked Enchiladas, Corn Tortillas, Spicy Hot Chocolate, Chilies Rellenos, Early Spanish Rice, Spanish String Beans, Spanish Vegetables (corn, onion, zucchini, tomatoes). You librarian will be happy to help you obtain a copy.]
Want to cook some traditional mission dishes?
- Living Again our Mission Past, George Kuska & Barbara Linse...modernized recipes perfect for elementary/secondary school students
- California Mission Cookery: A Vanished Cuisine-Rediscovered, Mark Preston...modernized recipes selected to appeal to today's consumers, arranged by course.
- Encarnacion's Kitchen: Mexican Recipes from Ninteteenth-Century California: Selections from Encarnacion Pinedo's El Cocinero Espanol, edited and translated by Dan Strehl...original recipes, scholarly notes, doable in modern kitchens with a little work.
1915 World's Fair was held in San Francisco.
New California cuisine
The "New California Cuisine" movement began in the 1970s: "California Cuisine, characterized by light sauces, fresh, and often Mediterranean or Mexican-style combinations and ingredients, beautiful presentation, and a breezy informality, continued to fascinate [on the 1980s]. Alice Waters and Chez Panisse were still setting trends in Northern California...while Jeremiah Tower had moved on to an even trendier level with his San Francisco-area restaurants Balboa Cafe, Santa Fe Bar & Grill and Stars. Like his earlier partner, Alice Waters, and unlike many who tried their hand at the new cooking, Jeremiah Tower had strong, clear ideas of what he wanted food to taste like. His cooking, cutting edge and trendy as it was, had a purity and simplicity that indeed made it classic, although much of it was a little to "haute" for the home cook to whip up after a day in the office."
---Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 358)
Both Waters & Tower have authored several books. These provide valuble insight. Identify titles (author search) with the Library of Congress catalog. Your librarian can help you get the books.
Colorado does not have an "official" state food. The only edible state symbol is the trout. The primary commodities are beef and lamb. Which means? This state a challenging one for a food report, especially if you have to make something simple and easy for class.
Colorao pioneer foods
"Life in the early settlements of Colorado was rather primitive...Customers paid for their purchases in pinches of gold dust...Potatoes cost a bushel and oysters were a gallon...Some prospectors soon discovered that a good crop of grain and a few bushels of apples brought in more gold than agonizing hours of panning and digging. By the 1890s Colorado farms produced more income than the mines. Sugar beets...became a particularly profitable crop. The sugar-beet industry commenced in Colorado after a French-designed sugar-manufacturing plant, which was brought to America by the Mormons, failed to work in Utah. The soil and climate of Colorado proved to be good for sugar beets, and the plant was moved to Colorado..."Ranching began in Western Colorado in the 1870s and boomed in the 1880s...Beef is raised in many areas of the state...Colorado is famous for its Mountain lamb and it is number one in the nation in lamb production ...In pioneer days "eating out" did not mean going to a restaurant. Rather, it meant that the women prepared food to be carried outdoors and eaten on a table made from planks laid across two saw-horses..."Eating out" kept the house cool. When women settlers arrived in Colorado, they could not figure out how to make a good cake. The high altitude of the mountains prevented cakes from rising properly...high altitude baking was born...Many a Colorado cowboy had his own special biscuit mix. before stargin out on the range, he would mix together flour, salt, and leavening in a sack and tie the sack to his saddle. At mealtime he took some of the mixture, added water to achieve the right consistency, and drop the biscuit dough into a skillet greased with lard or bacon drippings...In the 1890s Russians from the Volga region came to Colorado to become sugar beet farmers. They brought with them recipes for their favorite foods, such as sausages encased in rich dough; a sponge cake made with lemon; cucumber salad with sour cream; Piroshki, meat baked in small turnovers or tarts; and Golbutzi, cabbage leaves stuffed with a mixture of meat, rice, and sour cream...Mexicans came later to work on the railroads...adding their spicy dishes...Pollo con Mole...Tamale Pie...and Flan. It is said theat the Chinese cooks working on the transcontinental railraod...invented the Denver sandwich...It was simply Chinese Egg Fu Yung prepared with green peppers, onions, and usually chopped ham. The cooked omelet was put between two pices of bread and eaten as a sandwich."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 219-221)
Traditional Colorado foods?
This menu was constructed by Patsy Shole, Assistant Professor of Home Management at Colorado State College, Fort Collins:
A Menu of Typical Colorado Foods
Rocky Ford melon
Puree of mile-high peas
Fort Collins roast leg of lamb with mint jelly
Fried mountain turkey with cranberry jelly
Colorado Rocky Mountain rainbow trout wtih hollandaise suce
San Luis Valley Burbank puff potatoes Larimer County buttered peas
Fresh savory mushrooms Heart of Colorado pascal celery
Pikes Peak hot rolls Sweet Colorado State College butter
North Park iceberg lettuce with roquefort cheese dressing
Loveland early Richmond chrry pie
Palisade peach ice cream
---New York World's Fair Cook Book: The American Kitchen, Crosby Gaige [Doubleday, Doran:New York] 1939 (p. 185)
The culinary history of Colorado is an eclectic mix of ethnic and cultural traditions. If you to include information about food in your state report, you can select foods from a variety of cultures/time periods. All you need to do is explain how the food/recipe fits into Colorado history. You can choose from:
- Pioneers/Soldiers provisions: The Fort
(replica restaurant dedicated to serving historic Colorado food) has sample menus.
- Goldminer provisions (Lead, Cripple Creek--more stew & biscuits, tinned oysters for the rich)
- Historic recipes published in Colorado newspapers (1859-1923)...search all, term: recipe
- 19th century resorts: Hotel de Paris (Georgetown) & The Broadmoor (Colorado Springs)
- Denver sandwich (known in Colorado as the western sandwich)
- Colorado menus (1890s-1960s)
Did you know shredded wheat was invented in Colorado? Henry Perky invented a machine to produce America's first shredded wheat in his downtown Denver factory. The American sugar beet industry has ties to Denver. Charles Boettcher and John F. Campion left the faltering silver city of Leadville for Denver, where they founded the Great Western Sugar Company to grow sugar beets. Stearns-Roger, a major engineering firm, switched from building smelters to erecting sugar beet factories.
Recommended reading: Colroado Industries of the Past/William L. Reich [flour mills, breweries, ice, food canning & sugar beets]
Top crops (make a food with one of these ingredients) According the US Dept. Of Agriculture, Colorado's largest crops (2002) were potatoes, followed by pinto beans and light red kidney beans.
Need to make something for class?
To make about 5 cups
3 cups (about 12 ounces) coarsley chopped dried apples
1 cup canned pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 quart water
Combine the [ingredients] and water in a heavy 3 to 4 quart casserole and mix well. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the apples are tender. Check the pan occasionally and, if the fruit seems dry, add more water 1/4 cup at a time. Transfer the fruit to a bowl and cool to room temperature before serving. Trappers' fruit, so called because it was easy for Colorado fur trappers on the mid-19th Century to prepare, is served as an accompaniment to roasted and broiled meats."
---American Cooking: The Great West , Jonathan Norton Leonard [Time-Life Books:New York] 1971 (p. 84)
"Muffin Cakes (Colorado)
yolks 8 eggs
2/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups flour (sifted twice)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Beat the yolks until they are thick and lemon colored; add the sugar gradually, beating all the time. Add the butter, creamed until soft and fluffy, then add flour and vanilla, and last of all the baking-powder. Grease muffin-pans and dredge them with flour; then invert the pans and tap the bottoms lightly so that no loose flour remains. Put a very little of the batter in each muffin pan, as it rises considerably. Bake in fairly hot oven until brown. Serve the same day as baked. These cakes will fall a little when taken from the oven, which is as it should be."
---The National Cookbook: A Kitchen Americana, Sheila Hibben [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1932 (p. 392-3)
[NOTE: Ms. Hibben's book is well regarded by food historians as accurate. She does not, however, provide notes as to how the recipes she selects connect with the designated state. Baking powder was a favorite ingredient in 19th century Western states, when yeast was sometimes hard to come by.]
"Ranch-style Pan Bread
Cast-iron frying pans were used on the frontier for making all manner of breads, including this one, a quick, easy baking powder bread with a light, cakey texture
2 cups siftged all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups milk
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Combine the ingredients in a food processor, being careful not to overmix. The dough will be quite sticky. Bake in a greased 9-inch square iron skillet for 25 to 30 minutes, or until dark golden brown. Trust your eyes to tell you when this bread is done, not the clock. For a crustier bread, bake ranch style, spread thinly in a 9- by 12-inch greased iron skillet and baked until dark golden brown. NOTE: For more authentic, traditional flavor, use lard or bacon fat instead of vegetable shortening. Bake ranch style."
---The Fort Cookbook: New Foods of the Old West from the Famous Denver Restaurant, Samuel P. Arnold [Harper Collins:New York]1997 (p. 21)
[NOTE: This book contains dozens of traditional and locally inspired recipes. The author's notes help you understand the connection to Colorado. Your local public librarian will be happy to help you obtain a copy. Selected recipes online.]
Connecticut, like most states, does not have an official "state food" or recipe. These must be voted on, and adopted by, the state legislature. Most of the foods traditionally enjoyed by people in Connecticut are similar to those in the New England Region. Election cake, for example.
People living in colonial/early America Connecticut ate foods similar to those throughout New England. These colonies were greatly influenced by English cooking traditions.
"In the early 1630s both the English of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Dutch of New Amersterdam Colony eyed the wide, fertile Connecticut Valley as a possibility for settlement, agriculture, and fur trading. In June 1633 the Hollanders built a fort at what was to become Hartford. In the fall of 1634, JOhn Oldham and ten others left Watertown in the Massachusetts Colony to establish a permanent settlement at Wethersfield, south of Hartford. Memebers of the John Oldham group became the first Europeans to plant seeds in the soil of Connecticut. They sowed rye in a fallow Indian field. The next year several more groups came from Massachusetts and brought cattle and hogs. The harsh winters, however, drove most of these early settlers back to their Massachusetts homes. By the end of the 1630s, those who remained had created productive farms, started the mercantile town of New Haven, and established an independent government. The early Dutch settlers in the Hartford area did likewise. They planted apple orchards, appointed a committee to select superior calves for breeding stock, and developed a dairy industry. By the 1640s the efforts of both the English and the Dutch settlers had made the new territory of Connecticut virtually self-sufficient...As the population of Connecticut increased, so did the farming. The variety of crops expanded to include many vegetables, as well as berries and fruit trees...the farmers..raised radishes, lettuce, cucumbers, and melons...The early Connecticut farmers also dug underground pits where they stored cabbages, squash, potatoes, and other root vegetables...Fishing has always been an important part of the Connecticut economy. Shad fishing along the Connecticut River...has been a tradition since colonial times...When the English first settled in the Connecticut River Valley, the numerous shad were despised as food. Eating shad meant that a person was almost destitute or had exhausted his supply of salt pork."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Publications:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 12)
Early Connecticut recipes
Amelia Simmon's American Cookery (originally published in Hartford, 1796)is generally considered to be the first American cookbook. Why? Because it contained recipes using "Indian" maize. About the book & its author. Popular period foods included pies, cakes, soups (chowder, especially), baked beans, roasted meats, breads, and pork (salt pork, bacon, ham).
- About Election cake.
- Seafood: People living near the Long Island Sound consumed fish and shellfish in great quantities. They still do. Chowders (clam, haddock, seafood) were/are quite popular. Lobsters and oysters were plentiful. About chowder. Connecticut-style seafood recipes are printed in this book: Recipes From America's Restored Villages, Jean Anderson (p. 36-43)
Recommended reading (with modernized recipes)
Recipes From America's Restored Villages, Jean Anderson (p. 36-43)
- Mystic Seaport Cookbook, Lillian Langseth-Christensen
America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking, Keith Stavely & Kathleen Fitzgerald
- Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and their food, at sea and ashore, in the nineteenth century, Sandra L. Oliver
Need to make something for class?
"Baked Cranberry Pudding
Mrs. John Merrill of Waterford writes, "This recipe was given to me by the Librarian at Connecticut College, Miss Hazel A. Johnson. I understand it was originally from a cookbook of old recipes prepared by a Congregational parish in Groton many years ago. It is a recipe my family enjoys and certainly has a New Engalnd flavor."
2 cups flour 1 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons melted shortening
2/3 cup milk
2 cups cranberries
Sift dry ingredients into bowl; add shortening, milk and egg. Beat for 2 minutes. Stir in cranberries. Bake in a buttered 9-inch square pan in a 350 degress F. oven for about 40 minutes. Serve with Hot Butter sauce (below. Makes 9 three-inch squares.
Hot Butter Sauce
Melt butter or margarine in the top part of a double boiler; add sugar and liquid; mix well. Cook over hot water for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot over pudding."
---Mystic Seaport Cookbook, Lillian Langseth-Christensen [Funk & Wagnall's:New York] 1970 (p. 214)
Official state foods
Nutmeg: One of Connecticut's nicknames is is called "The Nutmeg State." Nutmegs are spices which are NOT indigenous to Connecticut. This makes for an interesting report. What is nutmeg?
Eastern oyster: This official state symbol was selected because many people in the early days (Native Americans and European settlers) ate them regularly.
Did you know???!
Hamburgers (as we know them today): Some food historians claim these were "invented" in a tiny restaurant called Louis Lunch in New Haven, CT. Notes here (scroll down about half way).
Each state sets a unique table based on history, people and geography. Some of these foods are legislated as official state symbols.
What is traditional Delaware food?
"The foods of Delaware are primarily English with some German influences. The Germans who settled Pennsylvania also settled in the northern part of Delaware and continued to prepare their traditional German dishes, which eventually intermingled with those of Delaware. After the broiler [chicken] industry started, broiled chicken with sour-milk biscuits became a favorite. Shrimp steamed over a pan of spiced vinegar and served with tartar sauce was a traditinal seafood dish. Cooks prepared cauliflower with a custard sauce and creamed-corn pudding as accompaniments to meat dishes. There was also a fish stew, called Muddle, which included fin and shellfish and was cooked in a Dutch oven. Lemon butter and lemon jelly were used as sandwich fillings. Steamed crabs were cooked at beach picnics. Ham smoked to a rich brown, almost the shade of mahogany, and aged at least a year has been a Delaware specialty. Delaware has also contributed to the cooking and packaging of food. Cellophane was invented by the E.I. Du Pont de Nemours Company of Wilmington."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 40)
The city of New Castle, Delaware was originally settled by the Dutch, meaning much of its early foodways would have been influenced by the cuisine of the Netherlands. Later settlers included the Swedish and the British. About Dutch foodways in America: The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and New World, Translated and Edited by Peter G. Rose. Additional sources of information: New Castle Historical Society and the Historical Society of Delaware.
Need to make something for class?
Chicken (blue hen) or crab are the traditional meats of choice. If you prefer dessert? Something with peaches (the official state fruit) is perfect. "Peaches, a new fruit for the Swedes and Finns [living in Colonial-era Delaware], were grown in orchards, along with cherries and wild plums..."---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 38). Additional information: Sweet History: Delaware's Peach Producing Past & Can It! Canning in Delaware. Recipes here!.
Every state's food is a reflection of its history, geography and people. Florida has many delicious foods from which to choose!
About Florida's culinary heritage
"Spaniards were the first [European] people to discover the riches of Florida. Ponce de Leon, Hernando de Soto, and Panfilo de Narvaez explored the Florida peninsula during the first half of the 1500s. They brought seeds for oranges, lemons, and other tropical fruits but were too busy searching for gold to care for them. Consequently, the trees grew wild...The first large group of permanent settlers in Florida were not English or American, but Minorcans, Greeks, and Italians. They were recruited in 1764 by an Englishman to immigrate to Florida to grow indigo...For a while the colonists grew indigo but turned to fishing when they found that the sea was laden with shrimp and fish similar to those of their homeland. They also discovered that lemons, eggplant, and olives--all staples of their native diets--grew well on the land...Although the Spanish first settled Florida, their culinary influence was minimal. The Spanish conquistadors, however, did bring some Caribbean fruits and vegetables to Florida. They also introduced black beans. A typical dish of the Spanish settlers at St. Augustine was Garbanzo Soup, which was prepared with dried chick peas and other vegetables. The soup also contained chorizo, a Spanish sausage, plus a pinch of saffron for color and flavor. The first permanent culinary influence in Florida came from the American settlers who established citrus farms in the late 1760s. They brought with them a fairly developed Southern cuisine, which was enhanced in Florida by salads and substantial quantities of citrus...Recently, Spanish food heritage has been reinvigorated in Florida by the influx of Cuban immigrants."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (P. 110-111)
[NOTE: This book contains much more information than can be paraphrased here. If you need more details ask your librarian to help you find a copy]
Native American foodways
"The Timucua...The earliest migration of Native Americans into present-day Florida took place over 15,000 years ago. Their diet consisted of wild game and wild plants. Few changes occurred in their culture until sometime around 5000 BC when they added mollusks and fish, snails and shellfish to their diets. When they cooked their food it was over an open fire pit. In 2000 BC theri cooking methods expanded with the creation of clay pots and the heating of flat stones for baking. By the time the first Europeans set foot on Florida's soil in the early 1500s AS, the Timucuan Indians of Northeastern Florida had evolved from nomadic hunters and gatherers to skilled farmers, cultivating maize, squash, pumpkin, and beans...When the Spanish arrived in Florida, they were greeted warmly by these...Indians. The explorers recorded their observations of the Timucua...[including] their food preparation. They wrote of how the Indians smoked meat on wooden sticks or roasted game in a little house set on a raised platform above an open fire. The Spanish described their technique as 'barbacoa' from which we derive the word 'barbecue.' Archaeological excavations and Spanish records indicate that the Timucua also enjoyed coontie palm, prickly pears, wild onions, persimmons, muscadine grapes, hog and coco plums, honeycombs, and honey. Besides seafood, they also ate venison, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, beaver, bear, gopher and sea turtles and their eggs, alligator, rattlesnake, and birds. Little is known about the spices they ate. We do know...the Timucua used salt to preserve fish...Records show that they made extracts from fermented fruits, berries, barks, and roots...Originally, the Indians use sticks and stone blades for cooking utensils, later advancing to carved wooden spoons and clay potter...Food was protected in woven baskets, clay pots, or wrapped in animal skins. In order to preserve foods they salted and smoked fish and sun-dried fruits."
---Flavors of St. Augustine: an historic cookbook, Maggi Smith Hall [Tailored Tours Publicaitons:Lake Bueana Vista FL] 1999 (p. 9-10)
[Moderinized recipes offered in this section include: Florida Wild Turkey Stuffed with Sea Grapes and Nuts, Boiled Crevices (crawfish), Tagelus or Coquina Broth, Charcoal Shrimp and Squash, Honey Tea, Indian Corn Pudding, Baked Squash, Timucuan Bean Balls, Grilled Pumpkin, and Hickory Nut Bread.]
"Since food shortages plagued the colonist, bread was used to thicken soups. Meats, when available, included beef, lamb, and especially pork. Spanish colonists hunted wild game and ate large quanities of fish aouthough they always considered fish a poor man's diet. Garlic and olive oil were basic. Food sources also included cow and goat milk and their by-products, onions, a variety of beans peas, squash, figs and olives. Originally brought to Spain by the Arabs, citrus, rice, and sugar cane were intorudced to the New World by the Spanish. In the New World the Spanish discovered potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, avocado. cooca, and corn. Although the tomato may have been eaten in San Agustin during the First Spanish Period, research has not verified this. Water was not drunk consistently, since the Spanish generally drank wine or ale. Most of the spices they used came from the Orient: chili powder, pepper, saffron, cinnamon, cumin, mint, cilantro (coriander), and caraway. Other favorite spices were basil, dill, and mustard. The Spanish brought their use of salt with them The paprika pant was discovered in the New World by the Spanish and dried to produce a pepper called pimenton, an authentic Spanish creation...Most early cooking incorporated potajes...cooking of a fire with a fireproof pole extended over the flame. Attached to the pole was a pot called an olla which held stews and soups. Cooking was also done over a charcoal fire using an iron pot atop a three-legged trivet. The Spanish barbecued and roasted meat on spits and also smoked fish on a wooden grill, as taught by the Timucua. They used heated stones for baking breads and later advanced to building outdoor coquina ovens. The Hispanic's most inventive method of cooking was the fogon. It originated in the Mediterranean and appeared in San Agustin sometime after the 1700s. A fogon was a coquina, waist high, stove for indoor use...Copper pots and earthenware accompanied the Spanish to the New World. They also brought iron knives and forks, wooden spoons, wooden stirrers, macaroni rollers, bone pastry wheels...Oil was used to protect cheeses and sausages and vinegar and wine pickled vegetables and fruits. Sun-drying was also used for preserving fruits."
---Flavors of St. Augustine (p. 21-23)
[Modernized recipes in this book include: Carne de Res Natosa (Creamed Beef), Sopa de Chili (Chili Soup), Estofado de Puerco (Pork Stew), Albondigas de Puerco (Pork Meatballs), Sopa de Pollo (Chicken Soup), Estofado de Frijoles (Bean Stew), Frutas de Menendez (Pomegranate fruit salad) and Pan de Claabaza (Squash Bread)]
Additional modernized period recipes courtesy of Smithsonian Magazine (October 2001) If you need more scholarly details, we recommend: Reconstructing Historic Subsistence With an Example from Sixteenth Century Spanish Florida/Elizabeth J. Reitz & C. Margaret Scarry.
Florida cookbooks in FoodTimeline library. Happy to scan/share recipes. Let us know what you want!
- Cross Creek Cookery/Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1942) Florida panhandle favorites featured in The Yearling.
- Famous Florida Recipes/Jeanne Voltz, Miami Herald Homemaking Editor (1960s?) offers recipes by location: Tarpon Springs, Tallahassee, Ft. Pierce, Delray Beach, Coconut Grove, Tampa, Vero Beach)
- Florida Cookbook/George S. Fichter (1973)
- Key Lime Cookbook/Joyce LaFray Young (1986)
- Key West Cook Book/Woman's Club, Key West Florida (1949)
Georgia offers many excellent foods for your state report.
Georgia is also the world headquarters for the Coca Cola Company. If you need to make something for class, how about surprising them with Cola Cake? or
"Food historians allege that the first pork dinner eaten in America was probably consumed in 1540 in what is now Georgia. That year de Soto herded pigs from the Everglades to the Ozarks on his exploration of the southern interior. The pigs provided food for the half-starved, foot-sore conquistadors when they could no longer get food from the Indians. The de Soto expedition left behind the nucleus of herds of hogs and cattle when it returned to Spain...In the years between the first settlement of Georgia and the American Revolution, various ethnic settlers contributed their native cuisine to the colony. Many French Hugenots arrived directly from France or via South Carolina and found the city of Savannah to their liking. To this day foods served in Savannah have a distinctly French style. German immigrants settled further up the Savannah River. The cookery of this region included sauerkraut, Pepper Pot Soup, and other German dishes...Southern cuisine, which had beeen developing for almost a hundred years when Georgia was settled, dominated Georgia cooking during the early years of settlement. Georgia squirrel Stew...is closely related to Brunswick Stew popular in other parts of the South..."Plain but plentiful" food typified the cuisine of the early Georgian homes...Some of the staple foods of Georgia included rice grown in the coastal marshes and hot breads or biscuits spread thick with homemade preserves. Chicken and ham were the main meat dishes...Georgia housewives prided themselves on their light-textured pound cakes, which used a pound each of butter, sugar, and eggs... W.E. Woodward, a historian of the early 1800s, described a dinner in Augusta. The meal consisted of "turtle soup followed by brook trout fried in butter, then baked sweet potatoes and roast ham, wild turkey stuffed with walnuts and cornmeal, accompanied by dishes of rice, asparagus, and green beans, with a cooling orange sherbet to give the guests a breather before they tackled the cold venison, stewed corn and cheese, and the dessert of corn fritters with syrup and sweet potato pie. Madeira wine, beer, and milk were the beverages. Oyster suppers, popular at the plantations around Savannah, were often held outdoors by the light of the moon...Hoppin' John (black-eyed peas with rice) and green salad completed the informal feast. Other Savannah dishes included crab souffles seasoned with nutmeg and sherry, chicken pies with hard cooked eggs and tiny mushrooms, cream corn puddings, and fried Georgia peach pies...The food served on the small family farms of the Piedmont area differed from that of the coastal lowlands. Corn bread was served at almost every meal, while rice was seldom seen. Dairy products from the family cow--butter, cheese, milk, and cream--were prevalent in the cooking. Just as in the lowlands, ham and chicken were the main meats, but venison and small game were also common, especially in the local version of Brunswick Stew... "
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Books:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 115)
About Georgia peaches
Peaches were introduced to the New World by the Spanish when they established a settlement at St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565. Eventually peach orchards spread northward to Georgia, where the warm climate was favorable for peach cultivation. The peach industry began to flourish in Georgia in the mid-1800s and was further expanded with the advent of refrigerated railroad cars... The Elberta peach...was developed in Georgia...The story of the famous Elberta peach began at the Rumph plantation near Marshallsville, Georgia in 1857. A gentleman living in Delaware sent an assortment of peach-tree puddings to his friend Samuel Rumph. The trees flourished and in a few years produced fruit...An accidental cross-pollination fostered by wind and bees took place. When the first trees bore fruit in 1870, they produced great golden peaches--a species new to the fruit world. Samuel named the peach Elberta for his wife. He was one of the first fruit growers to package fruit attractively and to ship it by sea in refrigerated containers to the Northeast. By 1889 there were 3,000 acres of peach orchards in Georgia. Today, almost every Georgia cook has his or her own version of peach pie."
---ibid (p. 117-8)
Historic, traditional & popular recipes
we own these books & are happy to send you selected recipes...let us know what type of food you want to make!
- Food For My Household/Members of Ebenezer Baptist Church (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s church)
- Georgia Receipts/Glenn McCullough
- Gone With the Wind Cook Book: Famous Southern Cooking Recipes/Turner Entertainment
- Sweet Vidalia Onions: Blue Ribbon Recipes/Evelyn Rogers
- Tullie's Receipts: Nineteenth Century Plantation Plain Style Southern Cooking and Living/Atlanta Historical Society
Hawaii offers perhaps the most unique blend of culinary history and flavors of all the 50 states. Geography, people, history and evolving local tastes combine to create a cuisine that merits detailed study. Luaus are Hawaiian feasts.
"The food of Hawaii is a diverse blend of all the island and mainland cuisines, especially those of Polynesia, Japan, China, and Korea, wed to Portuguese and American tastes. Hawaii was settled by Polynesians who themselves derived form the Indomalayan region. Except for the bat...which was inedible, Hawaii had no indigenous animals, and all present animals on the islands were at one time or another brought to Hawaii. These included the dog... which was bred for food, the pig...domesticated fowl...and other animals. Fish, which is a mainstay of the Hawaiian diet, was plentiful in the island waters, and every species was eaten, for no poisonous fish existed in the region."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 152)
"Hawaii's food today is a confusing mixture, a palimpsest of the foods of a dozen different ethnic groups. But one can make sense of it by taking note of two salient facts: fist, that before the arrival of the first humas, probably around the 3rd century AD, Hawaii, one of the most isolated sets of islands in the world, contained essentially nothing edible on land. Very few species had managed to cross those staggering distances; those that did had speciated to provide a fine natural laboratory for evolutionary biologists. But apar from a few birds and a few ferns, there was nothing to eat; most important, there were no edible carbohydrates. Second, since the arrival of the first humans, Hawaii has been the terminal point of three diasporas: the great marine diaspora of the Pacific Islanders; the great voyages of discovery of the Europeans and the Americans; and the end of the road for Koreans, Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, and lately, SE Asians. From these diverse influences, a creole food is now being created, known in the islands as Local Food.
"When the Hawaiians arrived in the islands, they brought with them some 27 or so edible plants, as well as pigs, dogs...The most important plants were taro and sweet potato. The terrain and climate in Hawaii proved particularly suitable for growing wetland taro...Also important were breadfruit, various yams, sugar cane, and coconut...The staple of the diet was poi. This was usually made with taro, but sweet potato or other starches were used when necessary...The major protein was fish. Both pigs and dogs were eaten but they were largely reserved for the nobility...For the bulk of the population protein was provided by wild fish and shellfish from the streams, the reef, and the ocean. The fish was eaten both raw...and cooked...
"In 1778, Captain James Cook sighted the Hawaiian Islands. Within a matter of years they had become a part of world trade...From the start, new animals and plants were introduced; cows, horses, and goats, and a bewildering variety of plants...Hawaiian food and haole food (the latter being the food of the white incomers) continued side by side with occasional input from the Chinese who also ended up on the islands...On ceremonial occasions, there would be luaus at which largely Hawaaian foods was served: poi, of course, and dried fish and shrimp, luau pig baked in the imu, seaweed, and taro leaves, and a dessert made of coconut milk thickened with Polynesian arrowroot...
"The food landscape of Hawaii began changing dramatically once the sugar plantations began to flourish following the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty with the United States in 1876...In order, substantial number of Chinese, Japanese, Okinawans, Koreans, Puerto Ricans, Portuguese from the Atlantic Islands, and Filipinos arrived in the islands between the 1880s and the 1930s...Each of these groups demanded their own food on the plantations and the plantation stores went quite some way to accomodate them...
"Beginning in the 1920s and 1930s, certain forces began to produce a creole food, Local Food...One was the arrival of home economists at the university...Trained largely at the Columbia Teachers College in New York, these women recorded the diet of the Japanese, established the food values of Hawaiian foods and a range of tropical fruits, trained large numbers of home economics teachers and school cafeteria managers. Surprisingly sympathetic to different ethnic foods on the islands, they urged brown rice...milk...and ensured that the food in the public school system was an all-American diet of hamburger, meat loaf, Salisbury steak, and mashed potatoes. This exposure to American food was reinforced for the many who joined up following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in the second World War...Now, at least in public, most of the population of Hawaii eats Local Food much of the time...The centerpiece of Local Food is the Plate Lunch available from lunch wagons and from numerous small restaurants...It consists of 'two scoop'...sticky rice...a large portion of meat, usually cooked in Asian style, a portion of macaroni salad or potato salads, and perhaps a lettuce leaf of dab of kimch'i on the side."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 373-4)
[NOTE: Home Economic specialists published several books to help newly relocated mainland homemakers:
"Food of Hawaii can be separated into two categories; Hawaiian food, the food of the native islanders, and local food, the eclectic blend of the cuisines of later settlers. Before explorers, missionaries, and immigrants arrived, Hawaiian food consisted of fresh ingredients that were prepared raw or cooked simply, using broiling, boiling, and roasting techniques. Protein sources included poultry, pig, and dog. Fish and other seafood, such as turtles, sea urchins, limpets, and shellfish, were also consumed but in modest quantities."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 591)
[NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]
"Much earlier, the Japanese had had a tremendous effect on the food in the Hawaiian Islands, but it did not take Hawaii's statehood to make mainland American practitioners of island cookery. Bananas and pineapples had become important in the kitchens of New England women whose seafaring men had brought the tropical fruits back from various ports of call...The fiftieth state acquired a cuisine as international as any of its sisters. Hawaii was characteristically Polynesian until the nineteenth century, and its diet of fish and fruit remained unmodified until the coming of the missionaries and clipper ships from New England. Dried meat and salted fish had fed American sailors, and these foods became a part of Hawaiian tradition--as pipikuala, the jerked beef that is broiled in tiny pieces and served with a sweet-sour cause, and as lomi lomi, thin fillets of salted salmon that some New Yorkers have described as better in its indigenous way than lox (smoked salmon) from their own favorite delicatessens. Mixed with chopped onions and tomatoes, lomi lomi is habitually served as a salad. Salmon, to the early Hawaiians, was common enough to be known as "the pig in the sea." Other fish were used after the coming of the missionaries to produce such things as fish chowder in basic Yankee fashion, and Scots who come to the islands as technicians and platnation overseers added their native scones and shortbreads to the daily fare of thousands of Hawaiians who generations before had adopted the Portuguese wheat bread of the first European immigrants. Cornmeal and red bean soup, also brought by the Portuguese, have been accepted as Hawaiian by islanders of all ethnic roots, and rather than submitting to a single style, island cooks have incorporated many European dishes, along with those from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean sources, developing a culinary tradition that may be among the most festive if the world. The traditional Hawaiian feast called the luau is the ultimate of American picnics, cookouts, and barbecues, and it has added much to the variety of outdoor feasting on the American mainland, especially in California."
---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones, 2nd edition [Vintage Books:New York] 1981] (p. 167-8)
Luau-type feasts are known in many cultures and cuisines. In spirit, they are not so very different from New England clambakes, upstate New York pit dinners, Texas chili cookoffs, Iowa covered-dish suppers, Arkansas barbeques, and NASCAR tailgate parties. Food historians tell us large community food gatherings originated as religious celebrations. Menus and dishes varied according to culture and cuisine. Though time, these feasts evolved. Today's community food events serve as a contemporary reminder of historic proportion.
"Because they figure so predominantly in Pacific life, feasts have received a great deal of ethnographic attention. They were often dictated by political motives and defined by structured social relationships and religious considerations. They were also important mechanism for exchange and have considerable economic significance. Feasts, surrounded with rules and rituals, usually involved large numbers of individuals and a great amount and variety of food. In some societies, all food was prepared and eaten at one location where the feast took place; in others, cooked or uncooked food was given to guests for later consumption...In Melansesia, feast preprations might have inlcuded the slaughter of hundreds of pigs."
---The Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F. Kiple and Kriemhild Conee Ornelas [Cambridge University Press:Cambridge] 2000, Volume Two (p. 1359)
"Ancient Hawaiian feasts and celebrations were mainly religious in nature. A feast followed sacred cemeromies such as the birth of a child, marriage, or death. When a piece of work was completed, such as the building of a canoe or a new home, a feast followed. The feast was to thank the god (akua) or gruardian spririt (aumakua) that helped make the work a success. Aumakua were present for anything a person did. They were honored at any feast with food placed on an altar. Hawaiians believed that the aumakua ate the food and enjoyed the feast. Today in Hawai'i, not only Hawaiians, but many other ethnic groups have a lu'au, or feast, to celebrate occasions such as marriage, birthdays, graduation, or the completion of a new home."
---Ethnic Foods of Hawai'i, Ann Kondon Corum, revised edition [Bess Press:Honolulu] 2000 (p. 14-15)
"Hawaiians are farmers and fishermen by tradition. Fish and seafood provide protein, while poi from the taro or kalo plant, grown in flooded fields, provides starch. Early inhabitants of the islands often ate meals that combined such delights as taro, sweet potatoes, fish, pig, bananas, and greens from the taro top. Food was either salted, dried, boiled, or cooked in an underground oven, or imu. Even then, the imu was reserved for special occasions, for great effort goes into preparing these underground ovens. First, a large pit is dug in the earlth and filled with wood. Next, specially selected porous rocks are heaped on the wood and the fire is lit. When these rocks turn white-hot, a pig is placed on the hot rocks,--its cavity filled with several more hot rocks and its outside wrapped in a basket of ti and banana leaves. The pit is then covered with dirt and left to cook for yours. When the pit is opened, the pig meat literally falls off the bones. Today, imu cooking is reserved for marriage feasts, first-year birthdays, graduations, and anniversary celebrations...When it comes to food, perhaps most visitors to Hawaii think of the luau, a celebratory feast whose origins blend native and foreign cultures, including that of early traders, missionaries from New England, and the islands' many imigrants. A typical luau inclues a kalua pig, poi, lomi salmon, chicken, long rice, phihi (raw limpet), raw fish, haupia (coconut pudding dessert), and a salad made of potatoes and macaroni. Sometimes the pig is replaced by lualua, a bundle of salted pork or beef wrapped in taro leaves and steamed in a package of ti leaves.""
---"Hawaii," Linda Paik Moriarty, Smithsonian Folklife Cookbook, Katherine S. Kirlin and Thomas S. Kirlin [Smithsonian Institution Press:Washington DC] 1992 (p. 262)
"Take a birthday party with all its little goodies, add an elaborate wedding feast with singing and dancing, throw in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with the trimmings, then top it off with an old-fashioned country supper; serve them all at the same time and in the same gaily decorated room and you've got something like an authentic Hawaiian luau. Actually, there's nothing that really compares to a genuine Hawaiian luau. At best, we can only imitate it. For, of all the festive events that Hawaiians are famous for, nothing is more symbolic to their culture and character than the traditional luau. Love, marriage, family, friendship, religions and prosperity are all celebrated in a joyous ritual that goes back to the very origins of tribal structure. The ancient Hawaiian word for this glorious event was Ahaaina, or "gathering of friends to partake foood". As time passed, the commonly used word luau, meaning "leaf of the taro" (the taro plant was and still is an important food source) became the accepted name for this happy occasion...Though the luau is essentially a happy event, it is also richly endowed with ancient tabus and religious ritual. It is these sacred laws and tribal customs that dictate not only the type of food that can be eaten but also how and when it can be eaten. But the prevailing mood and atmosphere is always one of relaxed contentment and contagious convivality. A "must" for any traditional luau is the decoratively displayed roast suckling pig...assorted fruits, fishes, fowl, vegetables and sweets are featured too."
---Hawaiian Cookbook, Roana and Gene Schindler [Dover Publications:New York] 1970 (p. 240-141)
[NOTE: This book contains several luau recipes and menus.]
"'Even in Hawaii it is not always possible to cook a pig.' Such was the laconic remark in Trader Vic's Pacific Island Cookbook, one of the books that introduced Hawaiian food to the rest of the world after World War II. Too true. If visitors have heard of anything about Hawaii they have heard about luaus: those feasts of tender roast pig pulled from a pit dug in the ground accompanied by purple poi and coconut pudding. Busses take hundreds out to beaches to drink watery rum punch and watch the hip-twirling Tahitian hula. But in truth, cooking a pig in the traditional earth oven (the imu) is quite impossible for most people in Hawaii. Luaus still go on, planned well in advance and involving huge amounts of preparation. Buying a whole pig (assuming you guy it and don't raise and slaughter it yourself), keeping it refrigerated, finding a place to dig an imu, preparing lauluas, and collecting the varieties of raw seafood if a formidable task...Many Hawaii residents...settle for alternatives: a church luau--Kawaiahao Church has a particularly popular one--or catered baby luau..."
---The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawaii's Culinary Heritage, Rachel Laudan [University of Hawaii Press:Honolulu] 1996 (p. 238)
"Hawaiian Luau. Symbol of island hospitality is the luau, the celebration feast of the Polynesians, given in honor of birthdays, weddings, holidays, visiting dignitaries and Alpha Week. Tradition demanded the star of this feast be the Kalua pig, baked underground in the imu, along with fish wrapped in ti leaves, yams, breadfruit, banans and laulaus. In bygone days, the preparation took days and everyone helped. Some dug the underground oven. Others gathered wood to heat the special stones for the oven. Fish were caught; shellfish, fruit and flowers were gathered. Ti leaves were cut in abundance for use in cooking and for the native tablecloth. Woven mats were spread on the ground and the ti leaves so arranged that guests might sit on the mats on either side. Down the center of the ti leaves were piled fruits and flowers. Shells and bowls were filled with such goodies as poi, ohihis, roasted kului nuts and red salt. While the feast was cooked underground, there was singing, chants and ceremonial hulas, along with a bit of imbibing. When the pit was dug open, the steaming food was taken from the imu, the meat was cut up in chunks and rushed, in large wooden bowls, to the waiting guests. Everyone ate with his fingers from banana leaves and drank from coconut cups. Originally, the partaking of fermented libations was confined to the priests and chiefs, as part of their rituals, a custom which appears to have prevailed in all early civilizations. In later years a fermented sweet potato juice was used during festival times by the common folk. Apparently there was no particular ceremony connected with its use, but the early Hawaiians reserved it for special occasions...Today's luau has undergone certain refinements. The ingredients may be the same but the process has changed a bit. On Oahu, the island where Honolulu is situated, the underground imu is used mostly by hotels or restaurants which make a specialty of the old-time presentation for the benefit of tourists...While ti leaves still serve as the luau table covering, the feast is more apt to be served on tables than on the ground...Sometimes even knives and forks are provided. At each place is set a small dish or shell of Hawaiian (red) salt, a small container of red peppers, green onions and limed fish. No luau is ever complete without Lomi Salmon and Poi, both served in bowls, and the island dessert, haupia, made from coconuts and cornstarch. Of later years coconut layer cake has been added to typical luau menus."
---Trader Vic's Pacific Island Cookbook [Doubleday & Company:Garden City NY] 1968 (p. 20-3)
[NOTE: "Trader Vic" is often credited for popularizing Hawaiian/Polynesian food in the United States after World War II. Trader Vic's instructions for creating a luau-inspired dinner party at home, circa 1946.]
Want to re-create a luau at your school? We recommend: Entertaining Hawaiian Style: The How To Book of Hawaiian Luaus, Patricia L. Fry [Island Heritage Publishing:Waipahu], 3rd edition 2003.
Need to make something for class? We recommend:
- The Food of Paradise: exploring Hawaii's culinary heritage/Rachel Laudan
Ethnic Foods of Hawai'i/Ann Kondo Corum, revised edition
...foods grouped by ethnic origin
Hawaiian Cookbook/Roana and Gene Schindler
...traditional recipes with notes)
Recreating an authentic 1940s-1960s Hawaiian-American food event?
Most folks credit Trader Vic for making Hawaiian Luau & dining customs popular on mainland USA. The truth is? Several completing authors and cookbooks were published in this period. We own the books below. Happy to share/scan pages upon request.
<</b> here's How in Hawaiian Hospitality/Jean Hobbs
...cocktails inspired by the various ethnic groups inhabiting the Islands. Some food notes included.
Chop Suey: A Collection of Simplified Chinese Recipes Adapted for the American Home/Mei-Mei Ling
...author has a BS in Home Economics, University of Hawaii and Columbia University
Hawaiian Hostess Cookbook: Favorite Recipes for Fifty/Hawaiian Dietetic Association
...luncheons, dinners, lanai and beach parties, Aloaha time, coffee hour & "money makers"
Hawaiian and Pacific Foods/Katherine Bazore
...cookbook meant to introduce American wives stationed in Hawaii to understand the culture and cuisine.
[1960?]Hawaiian Party Book: How to Entertain the Hawaiian Way/Scotty Guletz "South Seas Scotty"
...luau instructions, toasts what to wear, toasts, leis, & recipes.
Idaho's edible state symbols are wild huckleberries and cutthroat trout. Potatoes are the top producing crop but they are not "official" state foods.
Idaho potatoes are world famous!
"The first potato grower in Idaho was Henry Harmon Spalding, a Presbyterian missionary, who planted potatoes in 1836 to teach the Nez Perce Indians how to provide food for themselves other than by hunting. Homesteaders grew potatoes to sell to the miners who came throughout the state. The Mormons, however, were the first to grow potatoes commercially. By the time Idaho was admitted to the Union in 1890, its potatoes were famous for their superior quality. Luther Burbank...developed the Russet Burbank potato that is today called the Idaho Potato. In 1872 he perfected a long white potato with a rough russet skin. Adapted to the Northwest, the Russet Burbank has made Idaho the leading potato producer in the nation."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 223)
"Several huckleberry species are native to Idaho, all belonging to genus Vaccinium section Myrtillus. The most common and popular is the black or thin-leaved huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum). Plants grow slowly, taking up to 15 years to reach full maturity. Black huckleberries produce single plump, dark purple berries in the axils of leaves on new shoots. They depend on an insulating cover of snow for survival during winter and have not been successfully grown commercially. Black huckleberries grow at elevations between 2,000 and 11,000 feet with many productive colonies between 4,000 and 6,000 feet. Black huckleberries usually grow from 1 to 6 feet tall and produce berries up to 1/2 inch in diameter. Huckleberries are a favorite food of bears."
About Idaho's culinary heritage
"Fur trapping and trading with the Indians provided the first source of wealth in Idaho in the early part of the 1800s. By the 1840s...settlers began to arrive to farm the land. Gold was discovered in 1860, and with the opening of the transcontinental railroad, the population of Idaho increased rapidly as mining became the quickest way to get rich. Along with the miners came Chinese immigrants, who took up the claims of Caucasian miners after they had moved on to more productive claims...As mining declined for the hardworking Chinese, they moved into trades and vegetable farming. Idahoans began to rely on their local Chinese vegetable farmer to deliver fresh vegetables door-to-door. The Chinese raised vegetables on terraced mountain terrain, becuase the land was cheaper...Some of the first European settlers in Idaho were Finns, Welsh, and Basques, who came to work in the mines and to raise sheep.. The Finns brought with them a love for Lobinmuhennos, a salmon chowder, and the Welsh brought Bara Brith, a raisin and currant bread. The Basque preferred lamb stew and split pea soup. Chorizo, a spicy sausage, attributed by some to Basque origin, is still being produced in Idaho. In the early days Basque sheepherders made a sourdough bread on which they slashed the sign of a cross before baking. This act reflected their devout religious feelings. The first piece of the baked bread was always given to their sheepdog. The primary food of the early settlers was bread and beans...Most small settlements had a mom-and-pop general store in which the smell of kerosene and coffee permeated the air...Northern Idaho is mostly dry farmed, and wheat, dry peas, and lentils are the predominant crops...Barley and hops for making beer are grown in northern Idaho...Herbs and spices, broccoli, and small amount of asparagus constitute the remainder of the crops in Idaho...Treasure Valley in Canyon County is knowns for its mint and spearmint cultivation...in Idaho's Magic Valley more trout is raised per square mile than anywhere else in the world...Many homegrown apples are combined with ham in a casserole. The apples are also used to make jelly, which is mixed with mayonnaise for a salad dressing. Prunes, another home-grown orchard product, are often used for prune butter, prune-whip pies, and spicy prune puddings...Huckleberry pie is an Idaho specialty."
---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 222-5)
[NOTE: This book contains recipes for Country Potatoes (p. 224) and Lentils with Red Pepper Sauce (p. 225).]
Recommended reading: Bacon, Beans and Galantines: Food and Foodways on the Western Mining Frontier/Joseph R. Conlin
Each state's cuisine is a unique reflection of its land, people and history. Native Americans (indigenous foods& cooking methods), European settlers (foreign foods & recipes) and the Industrial Revolution (meat packing, food manufacturing & railroads) all played important roles in shaping the foods of Illinois.
Early Illinois food contributions
"The recorded history of Illinois began in 1673, when Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet first explored the region. Although some of the early Indian tribes inhabiting Illinois were planters, raising corn, pumpkins, and beans, it was the pioneers of the late 1700s and early 1800s who first began to cultivate food crops. Soybeans, corn, and hogs formed the cornerstones of Illinois agriculture...In the early 1800s two Illinois men, John Deere and Cyrus McCormick, helped revolutionize the agriculture of...the nation. John Deere perfected the steel plow, and Cyrus McCormick developed the grain reaper. At the same time Chicago started evolving as a major agricultural and industrial city. One of the unique herbs raised in Illinois is horseradish. It is grown in an area known as the "American Bottoms,"...German immigrants who settled in the area began growing horseradish in the late 1800s and passed their labor-intensive growing methods down through generations...In the last third of the nineteenth century, Chicago became the meat capital of America. The first great fortune in meat was made as a result of the Civil War...Although Armour made his money in pork, it was beef that made Chicago the great meat center of America...Beef fought a running battle with pork for top spot on the dinner menu until well into the twentieth century...The Chicago stockyards originated before the railroads came to Chicago as a stopping off point for cattle being driven from Texas and the Midwest to slaughter in the East. Steers, which had eaten only grass on the long drives, were fattened on grain in pens for several weeks and then sent off again on cattle drives to the East. The first rail shipment of cattle from the Chicago stockyards to eastern makets occured in 1854. By the time of the Civil War, the majority of cattle were being slaughtered in Chicago...Following the Civil War the refrigerated rail car was developed. It meant that cuts of meat could be sent directly from the Chicago slaughterhouses to retail butcher shops in the East...Illinois packers were leaders in introducing modern technology in meat processing and perservation..."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 142)
Official state foods
These are voted into law by state government. The only edible state symbol is the White Tailed Deer. Symbols list here.
A survey of selected Illinois foods
Native American foodways: Paleo Indians, Archaic period, Woodland Indians & Mississippian peoples
19th century-early 20th century
 Mrs. Owen's Illinois Cook Book/Mrs. T.J.V. Owen
Feeding Our Families: Memories of Hoosier Homemakers/Eleanor Arnold, editor
 Chicago's World's Fair
Cracker Jack and modern hot dogs were introduced to the American public. Both were manufactured in Chicago.[NOTE: If you have to bring a "show and tell" food for your report this is perfect!]
Inglenook Coobook, published in Elgin IL (full-text)
Horseshoe sandwiches debut in Springfield
The Great Depression. Al Capone sponsored soup kitchens in Chicago:
"Three meals are served each day, including Sundays. Breakfast consists of coffee and a sweet roll, and dinner and supper of soup, bread and coffee, with a second or third helping permitted."
---Capone Feeds 3,000 a Day in Soup Kitchen, New York Times, November 15, 1930 (p. 4)
[1930s & 1940s] Viva Italian food!
[1960s] Salad bars
Need Illinois recipes? The Legendary Illinous Cookbook: Historic and Culinary Lore from the Prairie State, John L. Leckel offers comtemporary favorites. The "legends" in this book are not food-related; they offer tidbits of history about selected towns. We also have a copy of the Chicago Daily News Cookbook . This gem offers suggested daily menus, ten-minute meals, and holiday fare. Perfect for recreating Depression-era middle-class fare. Happy to send selected pages from either book (just let us know which type of food (cake? salad?) or menu (New Year's Dinner? Saturday fall breakfast?) you need. NOTE: As true with most state/city/community cookbooks, the recipes are popular with the local people. They were not necessarily "invented" there.
Indiana does not have any official "state foods" (these are enacted by law) or edible state symbols. Not to worry! Indiana's culinary traditions offer a unique banquet of special foods set in historic context. Every state's food table is determined by geographic factors (indigenous foods), historic events (Native inhabitants, Europeans settlers), sociological factors (religion, ethnicity), and natural resources. factories).
Indiana does not have any official state foods nor does it have any edible state symbols. Major crops here.
Prehistoric & native American subsistence
"The first major cultural stage that has been roughly dated by archaeologists falls in the period of 8000 to 1000 B.C. Indians of that time were still hunters, fishers, and gatherers of mussels, berries, roots, and nuts. They used fire and made spears, stone axes, knives, and scrapers, along with bone fishhooks and drills. Probably they lived in caves temporarily, but they cultivated no gardens, made no pottery, and had no bows and arrows. Through the millennia, they adapted more efficiently to their environments. Hundred of sites in the late Archaic tradition are found in Indiana, indicating an increased population. Mussel shells left after the meat was extracted created mounds, sometimes fifteen feet high and covering more than an acre..."
---Indiana: A History, Howard H. Peckham [W.W. Norton:New York] 1978(p. 14-15)
"The last and most complex culture is called Mississippian and is dated A.D. 900 to A.D. 1500. It is marked by intensive cultivation of corn, beans, squash, melons, and other foods, which in turn required and permitted community settlements...Not until after the middle of the seventeenth century did new Indians enter Indiana. The Miami drifted down from Wisconsin around the heard of Lake Michigan, and were followed by the Potawatomi. The Kickapoo and Wea came across northern Illinois and pushed the Miami farther east...In the northern and extreme western parts of the future state, the tribes formed villages, where the women cultivated gardens...prepared the meals, while the braves hunted, fished...The gradual appearance of the French traders gratified them, because the white newcomers raised the Indians' standard of living. The Indians could barter furs for metal pots and pans, wool blankets, ruffled cotton shirts, iron tools, steel knives, and traps, jews' harps, paint, and muskets that made their hunting more effective. They also gained access to French brandy."
---Indiana: A History (p. 17-18)
"Shawnee economy, combining hunting with agriculture and some food gathering, had been strongly oriented toward the fur trade since the early eighteenth century...The most important game animals were deer buffalo, bears, mountain lions, and turkeys...During the summer women tended crops and gathered wild plant foods while men fished in the vicinity or set out on deer hunts. After the final maize harvest in August the community...prepared to move to its winter quarters. Although fields were owned by individual households they were grouped together into a single area...Women seem to have planted collectively..."
---Handbook of North American Indians, William C. Sturtevant general editor [Smithsonian Institution:Washington DC] 1978, Volume 15: Northeast (p. 624)
"In the spring and summer the Shawnee women would farm fields adjoining their villages. Corn (maize) was the staple crop. It was eaten as a vegetable or pounded in a mortar to produce hominy or bread flour...Other tended crops included beans, squash, and pumpkins. Gathered wild edibles included maple syrup, persimmons, wild grapes, nuts, berries, roots, and honey. Men hunted year-round...for deer, elk, bear, turkeys, pheasants, and smaller fur-bearing animals."
---Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, Sharon Malinowski and Anna Sheets editors [Gale:Detroit] 1998, Volume 1: Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean (p. 91)
"Traditional Kickapoo subsistence followed the usual pattern of agricultures combined with hunting and food gathering."
---Handbook of North American Indians (p. 658)
"In their aboriginal territory, the Kickapoo relied on farming, hunting, fishing, and collecting wild rice, roots, berries, and nuts to sustain themselves. They raise corn, beans, and squash and store the surplus in underground pits lined with bark. The men hunted deer, elk, bear, beaver, squirrel, skunk, otter, and lynx with bow and flint-tipped arrows or with snares and fished with bone hooks or nets, and with snares of woven fibers. Each fall, all able-bodied persons went on a three- to four-month hunting expedition for buffalo. The meat was smoked and sun-dried...After the European contact, the Kickapoo added watermelon, melon, apples, and peaches to their diets. They also replaced their stone tools, clay pottery, and hide clothing with French articles."
---Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes (p. 91)
"The Miami practiced the mixed hunting-farming economy typical of their region...The buffalo, formerly an important game animal, disappeared long before 1800...Wild tubers and roots were extensively used...Extensive maize fields surrounded Miami villages."
---Handbook of North American Indians (p. 682)
"Through cross-breeding, Miami women developed the delectable white or "Silver Queen" maize...The Miami were a more prairie than forest group, and their principal game was the buffalo; hunts were communal..."
---Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes (p. 132)
"Potawatomi economic and social life was tied closely to the rhythms of nature...The Potawatomi fished with trap, weir, net, hook, and harpoon. They used long cylindrical "hoop" nets in combination with dams across streams to trap fish and harpoons with deer horn or stone points for taking fish from lakes or streams. They also gathered a wide variety of natural foods: maple sugar, choke cherries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, roots of several kinds, plums, and grapes. The animals they hunted for food included bear, deer, elk, buffalo, squirrel, muskrat, raccoon, porcupine, wolf (a ceremonial delicacy for certain chiefs), turtles, ducks, and geese. Dogs were the only domestic animal eaten, and then mainly for ritual purposes. The food collected or grown was prepared and stored against the winter's need. Many foods were dried and stored in bark containers and pottery jars. Squash was sliced in rings and smoked or sun-dried, then stored. After parboiling, corn was scraped from the cob, then dried and made into preserves, or when fully ripe dried or parched. Cranberries were strung on strings and smoked inside the house. Most meat not consumed immediately was sliced, dried, and smoked. Ducks, geese, and turkeys, however, were pickled in brine, then smoked and stored, while fish were dried and smoked. Maple sugar was used as a condiment more often than salt."
---Handbook of North American Indians (p. 734-5)
"Like so much of their lives, Potawatomi subsistence patterns revolved around the changing seasons. They fished nearby lakes and streams with hooks and lines... Though their principal crop was corn they also raised peas, beans, pumpkins, squash, and melon...They also gathered berries nuts, roots, maple sugar and wild rice."
---Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes (p. 260)
Conner Prarie Living History Museum has plenty of information about 19th century foods. Check "hearthside receipts" for plenty of interesting (modernized) choices. Biscuits are easy!
"The first winter in Indiana was hard for the pioneers who had come from North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky around 1800. They were forced to exist on such food as bear-meat bacon, ash cakes made from acorns, and coffee made from seeds...Abraham Lincoln's first home in Indiana was a lean-to, which was later converted into a one-room cabin with a loft. The winter of 1816 was a harsh one, and the Lincolns lived on water from melted snow, wild game, and some borrowed corn and wheat. This primitive food was typical among the early settlers of Indiana...The 1850s are considered Indiana's Golden Age of Agriculture, when the state ranked high in the raising of hogs, corn, sheep, and wheat...Improved transportation...brought European immigrants to Indiana. Each nationality brought with them their culinary traditions...The favorite Hoosier delicacy of onion pie can be traced to the Polish, Lithuanian, and Hungarian immigrants...Wild American persimmons grew in Indiana and were used in puddings each fall...Fried biscuits also became an Indiana specialty. They are made with a yeast dough, cut into rounds, and deep fried. While still hot the biscuits are split, spread with soft butter, and eaten immediately...Pork cookery is another well-developed culinary art in Indiana...Indiana has been growing corn for popping since the time of the early settlers, who learned of it from the Indians."
---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 145-6)
[NOTE: This book contains recipes for Persimmon Pudding and Ducking with Wild Rice Stuffing.]
Recommended reading: Feeding Our Families: First in the series memories of Hoosier homemakers/Eleanor Arnold editor
Crosby Gaige's New York World's Fair Cook Book [c. 1939] lists these recipes for Indiana: Hamburger Vegetable Soup, Indiana Spaghetti (with diced round steak and bacon), Succotash, Red Chocolate Cake and this intriguing little recipe (without commenting on the name):
Love and Tangle
3 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons milk
Mix the eggs and sugar and add flour to make it thick enough to roll. Roll in thin strips about six inches long and three inches wide, fold double by bringing one end up to the other. Beginning an inch or half inch from the folded end, cut several slits down the open end. Drop in hot fat and fry until light brown. Drain and sprinkle with powdered sugar." (p. 110)
Sheila Hibben's National Cookbook: A Kitchen Americana [c. 1932] offers these Indiana recipes: Beefsteak smothered in onions, Crumble tart, Gingerbread, Strawberry shortcake and White Fruit Cake. If you want any of these let us know.
According to the experts at the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library:
"Indianapolis is not a city known for specific foods, but shares in the strong Midwestern food that has grown from the farming communities. If you were to join family/friends at an Indianapolis home to watch the Super Bowl, very likely you were be eating chili (made with ground beef and beans), chicken wings, potato salad, and brownies; pretty standard fare. If you were eating out, an oversized pork tenderloin sandwich would be a Hoosier standard."
What is a Pork Tenderloin Sandwich?
Pork Tenderloin (aka Breaded Pork Tenderloin) is one of Indiana's traditional foods. Presumably descending from German weiner schnitzel, this item first surfaces in the early 20th century. Local folks credit Nicholas Frienstein, of Huntington, for the creation.
"In the pork-producing states of Indiana, Iowa, and Illinois, the traditional sandwich of choice is known as "the tenderloin" or, in some areas, "the breaded tenderloin." The sandwich is made from king-size boneless pork tenderloin that has been pounded to about a quarter-inch thick, breaded, and then fried, deep fried, or sometimes grilled. These...are generally served on toasted hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls, and condiments of choice consist of mustard, pickle, and onion...According to road-food experts Jane and Michael Stern, Nicholas Freinstein of Huntington, Indiana, created the pork tenderloin sandwich. Freinstein peddled sandwiches from a basket before building a street cart that included a small grill, enabling him to cook tenderloins and burgers. Eventually, in 1908, Freinstein openend Nick's Kitchen in downtown Huntington. According to legend, his brother Jake, having suffered severe frostbite and the loss of his fingers, used his stumps to tenderize the slices of pork loin. Nick's competitors quickly adapted the tendering process by using wooden hammers or mechanical tenderizing devices, thereafter making it an integral part of the preparation of the tenderloin sandwich."
---American Sandwich: Great Eats From All 50 States, Becky Mercuri [Gibbs Smith:Layton UT] 2004 (p. 43)
[NOTE: This book contains a recipe.]
"What clam chowder is to New England or grits are to the South, the breaded pork tenderloin is to the Hoosier state. It's so indigenous to Indiana, we dispense with the reference to pork all together, as in "I'll have the breaded tenderloin sandwich." But venture much outside the Midwest, and folks will probably look at you like lobsters were coming out of your ears if you were to order such a thing. "Indianans are fanatical about them; in many town cafes, they are more popular than hamburgers," write syndicated food columnists Jane and Michael Stern in this month's issue of Gourmet magazine. To appreciate this unique Hoosier tradition, it's important to understand the culture that made the tenderloin possible. Steve Jones, a food historian and former columnist with the Marion Chronicle-Tribune, believes "without a shadow of a doubt" that the tenderloin originated in the days of home butchering. Back then, the meat would be flattened with the broad side of an ax, rolled in flour and dropped in a kettle of hot grease. According to Jones' research, the first place serving tenderloins to the public was Nick's Kitchen in downtown Huntington. Legend has it that Nick Freinstein started selling the breaded pork cutlets out of a pushcart before he opened his restaurant in 1908. His bother, Jake, who had lost his fingers to frostbite after passing out drunk in the snow, was employed to pound and tenderize the loins. As the years went by, the tenderloin grew in popularity and is now on the menu at more than half the restaurants in the state. Usually, it's the degree of thickness, or a secret recipe or style of breading that separates one breaded pork tenderloin sandwich from another. "Everyone who sells them thinks theirs is the best," Jones says. "They are very loyal to the tenderloin that they prefer." Nick's is now run by Jean Anne Bailey, who took over from her father, who bought the place in 1969."
---"THE DISH: Indiana is one big breaded pork tenderloin state," John Silcox, The Journal Gazette, 1 January 2003 (p. 1D)
Pictures, instructions & memories
"The cultivation of corn in Iowa as at least 2,000 years old. Native Americans had developed many varieties of it before the white man came to the prairies...The introduction of soybeans from the Oriented added another important crop to Iowa's agriculture...At first soybeans were used largely as a forage crop, but during World War II they became a source of oil and a high-protein food...Iowa is a major hog producer...Hogs and corn go together since swine consume a great amount of corn...One of the nation's most famous apples, the Red Delicious, as first discovered in Iowa by Jesse Hiatt, a farmer in Madison County. In the late 1860s he found an unknown apple seedling in his orchard and cut it down. The next year it came up again stronger than before, and Hiatt decided that if the tree was so determined to live, he would nurture it. When the tree began to bear...the apples did not resemble any other variety...For years Hiatt took samples of his mysterious apples, which he called Hawkeyes, to various horticultural shows. In 1893 Hiatt entered four Hawkeyes in a competition...The apples won first prize, and Stark Nurseries negotiated for the propagating rights for the trees. They also renamed the apple Red Delicious...Due to the lack of ingredients, many of the first European immigrants to Iowa found it difficult to maintain their native food customs...In Iowa German descendants still make Westphalian hams...The city of Pella, Iowa, was foudned in 1847 by the Dutch."
---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 173-7)
[NOTE: This book contains recipes for Streuselkuchen with Plums and Stuffed Iowa Pork Chops.]
Iowa does not have any edible state symbols or official state recipes. Top crops are corn, soybeans.
What to make for class?
Recommended reading (with recipes!) A Cook's Tour of Iowa, Susan Puckett
Every state sets a unique table based upon its history, culture and location. Kansas foods reflect indigenious plants/animals, native inhabitants, settlers and modern convenience.
Official state foods
Kansas has three edible state symbols: Honeybee (not the bee! the honey is delicious), American Buffalo, and Native Sunflower (seeds).
Kansas Agricultural Statistics (what are the major crops?). About Kansas wheat. Wheat history notes here.
Pioneer Kansas foodways
"Early pioneer settlers of the Kansas territory found life and any type of agriculture to be primative...Cornmeal, the staple of the early settlers' food, was baked into various types of bread and was the basis of puddings. If the settlers grew some wheat, they also baked wheat bread. Pork was the popular meat, and in season green vegetables were available from the garden. Root vegetables were stored in a dugout cellar for winter use. There was no fruit, since there were no fruit trees. Men struggled to break fields out of the stubborn prairie sod and to cut any available wood for building and fuel. The women worked equally hard. They did all the cooking... and preparing of food for winter storage...When the German Mennonites from Russia arrived in Kansas in the 1870s, they found parched land. Local farmers who were depending upon spring wheat were almost starving. Being frugal people, each Mennonite family had brought with them seeds of a special wheat they had been growing on the steppes of Russia. These new wheat seeds flourished and made wheat growing in Kansas viable...The early Mennonites shared many of their recipes with the Kansas settlers, such as Piroshki, a Russian dish which the Germans grew to like. It is a flaky pastry filled with ground meat and eaten with sour cream. Buttermilk pie, cinnamon-flavored apple pie, and Bubbat (hot rolls with smoked sausage fillings) also became part of Kansas cuisine. Another Mennonite dish was a meat roll filled with onions, bacon, and sweet pickle and then baked with sour cream. It si similar to the German Roulanden. In the summer cold plum soup with raisins and milk was a refreshing repast. Many early pioneers, however, did not have the food variety of the Mennonites. Pancakes were the typical staple of early Kansans. Served with sorghum and gravy, they were dinner for many of the pioneer who very rarely had meat. When they ate meat, it was usually dried buffalo. Later, when beef was available, barbecues and chuck-wagon stews became a part of Kansas cuisine, especially in cattle country...Like those in other Midwestern states, Kansas immigrants retained some of their food traditions--Swedish almond cakes, Bohemian beer and sausages, English pancakes, and Scottish scones."
---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 179-181)
Kansas dining advice, 1886:
"Table Etiquette. This book being pre-eminently a Kansas production, the publishes may be justified in suggesting that directions in regard to table etiquette which are suited to the customs and habits of a community of wealth and leisure, are not adapted to the needs of an eager, busy, working people. While many have brought with them from older homes the knowldege and appreciation of elaborate tables, they find here neither the time, occasion, nor conveniences for such display. Attempts to ape the habits if foreighn families, who have numerous trained servants and extensive establishments, are but foolish and ruinous. It is to these efforts that we owe the almost total loss of social life, and the ruined health of American housewifes. When our homes can be opened to the reception of an evening company, and refreshments confined to the passing of a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit, we shall then have taken the first step toward a social life without care or worry. Food served gracefully, and without confusion, renders the plainest meal a season of enjoyment. The manner in which the table is laid, and the mode in which food is prepared and served, influence not only the eye, but the appetite...The great purpose of rules of etiquette is, to inculcate good manners, and thus render us mutually agreeable...Chief among the rules for table manners is to eat slowly, as if it were a pleasure you desired to prolong, rather than a duty to be over with as quickly as possibe. Do not bring prejudices, dislikes, or annoyances to the table; they would spoil the best dinner. Respect the hour of meals; you have no right to destroy the comfort of the famly bu your want of punctuality. Find little fault at the time of eating, and praise wherever you can. Have as much variety in your food as possible, but not many dishes. Always have your table served neatly, and you will never have cause to be ashamed. Be hosptitable; if it is only a crust and a cup of cold water, and is clean, and good of its kind, there is no reason to blush for it; and with sincere friends the hearty welcome will make amends for the absence of rich viands."
---The Kansas Home Cook-Book: consisting of recipes contributed by the Ladies of Leavenworth and other Cities and Towns/Mrs. C. H. Cushing and Mrs. B. Gray, facsimile 1886 reprint, [Creative Cookbooks:Monterey, CA] 2001(p. 296)
[NOTE: your local public librarian will be happy to help you obtain a copy of this book.]
Need to make something for class? Anything with wheat is perfect.
2 cups whole wheat
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt (scant)
2 teaspoons cream tartar
1/3 cup molasses
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
Mix the dry ingredients. Add well-beaten egg mixed with the milk, molasses, and melted butter. Bake in greased muffin-pans in hot oven for 20 minutes."
---The National Cookbook: A Kitchen Americana, Shelia Hibben [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1932 (p. 16)
Leavenworth Corn-Bread Sticks
2 cups corn meal
1 teaspoon soda
2 cups thick sour milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 well-beaten eggs
2 tablespoons melted fat
Sift dry ingredients together. Add milk to beaten eggs and melted fat. Combine mixtures. Put batter in oiled pans. Bake in hot oven (400 degrees F.) about twenty-five minutes.
---New York World's Fair Cook Book: The American Kitchen, Crosby Gaige [Doubleday:New York] 1939 (p. 205)
Kentucky, like many states settled in America's early frontier period, presented many challenges for the first pioneers. These challenges eventually translated into a unique cuisine reflecting the collective heritage of folks hailing from several regions of the globe. The following ecclectic buffet illustrates the hard work and love for life of the folks who call Kentucky home.
Kentucky's culinary heritage
"The Kentucky region formed the western part of the wilderness granted to Virginia under the royal charter of 1609. By 1729 hunters began to visit the thick forests of what is now eastern Kentucky. These early explorers were known as "long hunters," either because they stayed away months at a time or because of the long rifles they carried...When the Cumberland Gap, a pass through the Appalachian mountains, was discovered in 1750, it opened the area of Kentucky for exploration and settlement. Daniel Boone passed through the Gap in 1769 and spent almost two years exploring Kentucky. He blazed what is now called the Wilderness Road and opened the Kentucky frontier of settlement...One of the earliest dishes of Kentucky was a hunter's stew. It was made without a recipe and consisted of whatever choice pieces of meat from freshly killed game were available. The meat--deer, elk, bear, or wild turkey--was cooked in an open kettle over a fire. Dried sage and pepper were added to give the stew an English flavor. At the end of a long hunt, the supply of cornmeal was usually exhausted, and the hunters realised solely on meat for subsistance. Since the breast of the wild turkey had a bland taste and grainy texture, it became the hunter's bread. Roasted kidney or stewed bear's liver was served on the "bread" and provided a contrast of flavors as well as textures. Colonists from Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and eastern Tennessee--mostly of English, Scotch-Irish, or German extraction--established the first white settlements in Kentucky in 1774. They brought basic supplies such as cornmeal, salt, smoked ham and bacon, and hard-to-get wheat flour. As soon as land was cleared, the settlers planted corn, which provided food for themselves and their livestock. They also used corn to make distilled whiskey... Early Kentucky Foods. Wheat did not grow well in the Kentucky soil, and corn proved to be a hardier crop. The little bit of wheat flour the settlers could obtain, at about four times the price of cornmeal, was saved for special uses, such as biscuits for company, a pie crust, or gingerbread. Cornmeal was used for most breads and for mush...The settlers planted some of the vegetables to which they had become accustomed in their previous eastern homes. These included Irish and sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, and okra. Green beans simmered all day with bacon was a favorite dish. By serving time the beans had almost turned to mush, but the smoky flavor of the bacon was delicious. Sometimes cut-up Irish potatoes, okra, and chunks of corn were added to the bean dish, making it a vegetable stew. Almost as soon as the first green sprouts appeared above the ground in the spring, the women gathered wild greens while the men plowed the fields for planting. The greens were cooked with smoked ham hocks, hog jowl, bacon, or "pot likker" (juice that had been saved from greens previously cooked with cured or smoked meats). "A mess of greens" was a welcome treat after having only root and dried vegetables over winter...In the hills of Kentucky, bear was the common game and was treated similar to pork by smoking the bear hams and bear bacon...Burgoo Stew is probably the most famous Kentucky dish. Its recipe has been handed down through the generations. No two burgoo stews are alike, however, and no one really know where the name came from. Some say it is a mispronounciation of barbecue, while other say it is a slurred word for bird stew. In frontier days it was a hunter's stew made from available meats or game. Most burgoo recipes combined one kind of fowl with a red meat. They all had a variety of vegetables, with which the most common were tomatoes, lima beans, corn, onions, and potatoes. The stew was slowly simmered for many hours and seasoned with peppers, curry powder, file powder, bourbon, spices, and herbs. The type and amount of seasonings were up to the cook."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Hong Kong] 1992 (p. 72-3)
Long hunter foodways (think: Daniel Boone)
Much of what the long hunters ate when they were traveling (by necessity) was portable (coffee, "pocket soup," dried beans, sugar, biscuits), picked (nuts, berries, fruit) and hunted (squirrels, rabbits, beaver, deer, birds, fish). Cooking was conducted with fires that could be adjusted to boil coffee, bake bread, and roast meats. When the longhunters were guests in someone's home, meals were more well rounded and included baked goods (pies, cakes, bread) and farmed produce (squash, potatoes, apples). Beer, cider, rum and coffee were the beverages of choice. Journals, diaries and other first-person accounts provide glimpses of camp life and foodways.
A Culinary History of Kentucky,, Fiona Young-Brown 
---nice food history overview & selected modernized recipes
The Kentucky Housewife, Lettice Bryan 
---this cookbook was recently reprinted by Image Graphics. Your librarian can help you get a copy. It includes two interesting fruit (apple, peach) pot pies.
The Blue Grass Cook Book, compiled by Minnie Fox 
---with an intrioduction by John Fox Jr, New Introduction by Toni Tipton-Martin [University of Kentucky Press, 2005]. Eludicating glimpse into African-American culinary contributions.
- My Old Kentucky Homes Cookbook/MacIntosh (19th century recipes for modern kitchens).
Official state foods
Kentucky's quaffable/edible state symbols are: milk, blackberries, spotted bass, and gray squirrel.
Popular traditional foods: Kentucky Burgoo, Kentucky Hot Brown (sandwich), Kentucky Fried Chicken & Derby Pie. Duncan Hines, famous for restaurant reviews & box cake mix, lived in Bowling Green.
If you want an easy, modern dessert to make for class? The following recipes are included in the Kentucky Derby Museum Cookbook includes recipes for Apple nut cake, Cadiz fudge cake, French Coconut-Carrot Cake, German Chocolate Cake with Orange Marmelade, Hummingbird cake, Macerated oranges, Pound cake, Mrs. Pollard's Sour Cream Cake, Fresh Blueberry tart, Mildred's Chess Pie, Lemon Chess pie, Ginger snaps, Pecan Poofs, Lemon Crispies, and Praline cookies.
Of these? We recommend the chess pie. This delicious confection is a perennial southern favorite.Kentucky-based recipes here:
"Mildred's Chess Pie (serves 6-8)
1 whole egg, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1 ts. Vinegar
2 T. Water
2 T. Flour
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 8-inch pie shell, pricked with fork
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place eggs and yolks in a bowl; mix until well blended but not foamy. Mix vinegar and water together and stir into eggs. Mix flour and sugar together. Slowly add liquid mixture; mix well with wooden spoon. Add cooled, melted butter and stir until well mixed. Pour into pie shell and bake for 30 minutes.
Variation: Strawberry Chess Pie
1/2 cup currant jelly
1 pt. Fresh strawberries, washed and stemmed.
Bake then cool "Mildred's Chess Pie" for at least 30 minutes. Melt the currant jelly (in a microwave or over a pan of boiling water). Brush the top of the pie with the jelly. Place 1/4 inch thick slices of strawberries on top and brush the strawberries with the currant jelly. Place in a 350 degree oven for 3 minutes. Let cool about 15 minutes before serving. An additional garnish could be mint leaves.
"Lemon Chess Pie
2 cup flour
1 T. Four
1 T. Cornmeal
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
9-inch pie shell, unbaked. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat sugar and eggs. Add remaining five ingredients and mix well. Pour into 9-inch pie shell. Bake 45 minutes until puffed and set in middle."
---Kentucky Derby Museum Cookbook [Kentucky Derby Museum:Louisville KY] 1986 (p. 215)
Planning a Kentucky Derby party?
Talk about a true American holiday! Since 1874 Lexington's annual horse racing event has been the hallmark of grand hospitality and culinary expression. This tradition has not waivered in times of war or depression. Food-wise, that means a full weekend of deliciousness from sumptuous brunches to late night after parties. Local fare is celebrates this event. Sumptuous hams, crispy fried chicken and piping hot biscuits melt-in-your- mouth hot biscuits slathered with gravy. Top that off with a generous slice of Derby pie. The "official" beverage? Mint Julep, of course!
"When the Kentucky Derby is run at the end of next week, many of the spectators will have been fortified to accept the disappointments it inevitably brings by having eaten a Derby Day breakfast. A charming Louisville hostess...came in heasterday to talk about the menu for this party, traditionally held in many households in her city about 10:30 on the morning of that great racing event. Far from being a matter of coffee, eggs and bacon, it festively starts off with a mint julep or Kentucky toddy and proceeds to ham, chicken or steaks, salads and elaborate dessert...The menu and recipes...serve as an interesting and practical introduction to the cookery of the Blue Grass State...For Derby Day breakfasting...Churchill Downs Mint Juleps, Baked ham (preferably Kentucky country-cured), Beaten biscuits, Batter bread, Grape jelly, Pickles, Loose-leaved lettuce salad, Transparent pie, Coffee."
---"News of Food: Delicacies of the Old South," Jane Nickerson, New York Times,, April 27, 1950 (p. 36)
[NOTE: this article includes recipes for Mint Julep, Batter Bread and Transparent Pie. The cookbook referenced is Out of Kentucky Kitchens/Mrs. Morris Flexner.]
"One of America's most captivating cities, Louisville, Ky., has long been noted for warm hospitality. Thousands of people from around the world flock there for the unending round of parties on Derby weekend, the social highlight of the year. The gaiety of the breakfasts, luncheons, dinners and banquets is an important part of the exciting "run for the roses."...Fried ham and red-eye gravy is one of the state's great treats. Thick slices of ham are first soaked in milk and then fried in fat, cut from the edges. The gravy is made simply by adding a small amount of water and black pepper to the drippings. When boiled, stirred and scraped to the desired consistency, the gravy is poured over the ham or sometimes over grits or beaten biscuits. Another local specialty is Bibb lettuce, developed and named after a native colonel who grew it in the limestone soil...On the morning of the race, Derby breakfasts are fashionable. Tables set with elegant appointments offer such traditional fare as Kentucky ham and bacon, scrambled eggs, spoon bread grits, hot biscuits, Kentucky scramble, fried apples, and fresh whole strawberries or peach desserts, as well as copious libations. After the race, guests go to buffets or dinners where the fare might be thinly sliced ham and beaten biscuits, fried chicken, sliced turkey, candied sweet potatoes, Bibb lettuce salad, pickled peaches or watermelon pickle, hickory nut cake, strawberry shortcake, or bourbon chocolate pie. The Sunday morning breakfast may offer chicken or turkey hash, sausages, thin batter or pancakes, pickles, and fresh fruit with small cakes or cookies. Featured at the annual gathering of the Kentucky Colonels during Derby Week is the traditional dish, Burgoo...originally a French stew... cooking up the famous dish at festive occasions...800 pounds of meat, one dozen squirrels, 24 gallons corn, 240 pounds fat hens and five bushels of tomatoes--and it usually served hundreds."
---"Racing Horses, Eating Well," Kay Shaw Nelson, Washington Post, May 2, 1974 (p. F1)
Derby Day Breakfasts, Gourmet, May 1974 (p. 16, 54 & 56)
"So far as horse racing-fans are concerned, the main event that will take place in Louisville this coming Saturday at 5 p.m. is the 104th running of the Kentucky Derby. But to serious eaters and drinkers, that two-and-a-half-minute event represents merely a brief interlude in what is really a two-and-a-half-day continuous feast. Derby time...is party time...given over to a series of buffet cocktail parties and dinners, brunches, lunches and suppers, and lots of nibbling in between. Dining tables of polished mahogany or Kentucky cherry set with heavily ornate family silver, the finest linens; the thickest frosted silver julep mugs sporting sprigs of fresh mint, and centerpieces of roses with tulips virtually groan under the weight of the richest, most elegant specialties this elegant part of the South has to offer...some of the parties are rustic. Burgoo...which is really a sort of soup-stew with chicken and vegetables, is made outdoor and simmers for hours in big iron cauldrons. People get their juleps in silver mugs or tin cups and when they finish drinking, the burgoo is ladled into the empty mugs. For breakfasts, they serve scrambled eggs, grits with melted butter, fried apples, fried tomatoes, country ham made with red eye gravy, beaten biscuits or spoon bread or crisp corn cakes. For dinners and suppers they do...baked country ham that may be glazed but most traditionally not, burgoo, a salad of Kentucky limestone lettuce, which Northerners call bibb, biscuits, corn pudding and then all the desserts--the pecan bourbon cake, the Derbytown pie with its melting chocolate and crunchy nuts, bourbon balls, strawberries, apricot sherbet and all kinds of other things."
---"Derby Day: A Winner for Food Lovers," Mimi Sheraton, New York Times, May 3, 1978 (p. C1)
"Welcome to the Kentucky Derby party. From Florida to Alaska, people will gather this Saturday to drink juleps, eat country ham and and beaten biscuits, and watch at least two minutes of horse racing."
---"On Derby Day, the Juleps Bloom From Florida to the Philippines," Heywood Klein, Wall Street Journal, April 29, 1982 (p. 31)
Churchill Downs Web site offers a wealth of historical and cultural information regarding the Kentucky Derby--excellent for background. Given the fact that extravagant Derby-Eve parties, elaborate brunches, major festivals and special treats are an integral part of the Derby tradition is seems odd that there are no links to food on this site. Taste of Derby celebrates this event with elite chefs. The Kentucky Derby Museum Cook Book  offers a party checklist & many recipes (but no suggested menus). Happy to send/share pages. Let us know what you want!
While Louisiana is world famous for Cajun cuisine, Native American and Creole combinations preceded their contributions. The Cajuns relocated to Louisana in 1755, approximately 60 years after the first French settlers. Prior to their arrival, Louisiana residents enjoyed native cuisine (Chitimacha, Choctaw, Chicksaw, Natchez tribes), Spanish, English, and French foods. The cuisines of these cultures blended into what we know as Creole cuisine. When the Cajuns arrived, many European crops (wheat, rice) and domestic animals (pigs, chickens, etc.) had already been introduced. Cajuns, like the Creoles before them, adopted homeland recipes to native ingredients. In sum: by the time the Cajuns arrived, Creole cuisine was gracing tables in full-glory.
Native American foodways
"The Chitimacha hunted deer and small game within the boundaries of their home territory. They also caught a wide variety of sea food with traps, nets, hook, and line. They gathered wild potatoes, pond-lily seeds, palmetto, grains, and various berries and fruits, and grew corn and sweet potatoes. Duties were rigidly assigned by gender, with men being responsible for the hunting and most of the fishing, and women assuing responsibility for agriculture and for the gathering of wild food. Food was prepared in a variety of ways. One ways of perparing corn, the most important food, was to pound it in a mortar, pass it through a sieve, mix it with water, and boil it until it formed a soft mass. The mass was eaten plain or with syrup. Clams and oysters were placed in a hole in the ground beneath a thin layer of sand and cooked by means of a fire kindled above. Smoking was used as a means of preserving food for future use."
---Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes, Volume 1: Northeast, Southeast and Caribbean, Sharon Malinowski & Anna Sheets, editors [Gale:Detroit MI] 1998 (p. 397)
"The Chitimachas cultivated four varieties of maize, beans, and probably squashes and pumpkins. While men cleared the agricultural fields, women planted, weeded, and harvested the crops. Corn meal was pounded in wooden mortars, mixed with water to ferment, boiled, dried, and then eaten. Corn was also allowed to ripen on the cob, shelled, parched with hot ashes, and then pounded into meal and eaten mixed with water...Different fields were perhaps owned collectively by villages and by famly groups. Botanical foods gathered by women included China brier roots...ground nuts or wild potatoes, ..American lotus seeds,...needle palm seeds...the rhyzoma of two species of arrowhead...cane seeds, strawberries, blackberries, and mulberries. Berris were eaten ripe but not dried for preservation...Varieties of undomesticated pumpkin and melon were also recalled but the identification of these is obscure. Men hunted bear, deer, and alligator with bow and arrow and spears, and also set deadfall traps for these and smaller game. At least two varieties of turtle and their eggs were eaten. Waterfowl were a seanally abundant resource and probably used extensively. Blowguns were used to hunt small game and birds. Fish were taken with hook and line, wooden funnel traps, and round frame traps with vine mesh wich were placed at the mouth of small watercourses. The meat of mammals, ducks, and fish was smoked and so preserved for scheduled consumption. Alligator eggs were valued by the flesh was eaten only when other meat was scarce. Oysters and clmas were gathered and cooked in earth ovens...Chitimachas contained to farm and forage, but European American influence gradually added new cultigens, markets for agricultural and foraged foods, and opportuntiies to engage in different varieties of wage labor...The Chitimachas, like the Acadians, farmed and foraged for both domestic consumption and for commercial exchanges. Sweet potatoes, sugar cane, and the "pisatache"...were introduced as cultigens."
---Handbook of North American Indians, William C. Sturtevant editor [Smithsonian Institution:Washington DC] 2004, Volume 14 (p. 664)
"...in what are now Louisiana and Mississippi, the Natchez Indians based their whole existence on agriculture, and gave to their thirteen months the names of the foods appropriate to them."
---Eating in America: A History, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow:New York] 1976 (p. 28)
"Of the varied ethnic groups which cooperated in creating Creole cooking, the French, the last to arrive, are generally accorded the major share of the credit, which they probably deserve...The first contributors to Creole cooking were of course the Indians. The Spanish arrived second, and the Negroes probably third, for slavery had already become well established before the Adacians, driven out of Canady and Nova Scotia, reached what with their aide was to become Creole territory in the second half of the eighteenth century. The greater visibility of the Acadians accounts for this remark, in a generally knowledgeable book about Creole cooking: "Among the finest, and certainly the most famous [of Acadian dishes] is jambalaya," which is rather unkind, for while the Acadians have endowed this territory with any number of dishes for which they can be given credit, jambalala is almost the only one which can be claimed by the Spaniards. It is easly recognizable by anyone familiar with Spanish cooking as a form of paella."
---Eating in America: A History, Waverly Root & Richard de Rochemont [William Morrow:New York] 1976 (p. 282)
"When the Acadians settled into their new homes in Louisana's Embayment...they found that the Indians of the Choctaw and Chicksaw tribes had much to teach them... For one thing, the Indians considered the black bear a primary food source...another source of big game in fair supply [was] the wild boar. This was no native of the Mississippi delta, but a European pig brought to America by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto...Still plentiful throughout Louisiana is the white-tailed deer... muskrats, squirrels...rabbits, racoon...opossum..."
---ibid (p. 284)
"Various nations have flown their flags over what is now the state of Louisiana. The region was first claimed for Spain by the explorer Hernando de Soto in 1541, when he crossed the Mississippi River. From then until Louisana became a part of the Unted States...in 1803, it was at various times under the control of France, Spain, Britain, and the West Florida Repbulic. The Louisiana Delta and what was to become New Orleans were first discovered in 1682 b the French explorer, Sieur Robert Cavelier de la Salle...The first French settlers began to arrive in 1699. At that time much of Louisana was a decaying, insect-infested swamp, and the food of the settlers consisted primarily of smoked meat, stewed alligators, and some native root vegetables....In 1762 France ceded her Louisiana terrirotry to Spain...The intermarriage of French and Spanish settlers produced a people known as Creoles, as well as a distinct type of cooking that has interspersed sophisticated French cuisine with Spanish spicy seasonings and the lavish use of tomatoes...The grand cuisine of the rich Louisaina planters featured delicate and subtle blends of flavorings in theri entrees, which were served with separate sauces. To enhance their cuisine they obtained spices, bananas, sweet potatoes, vanilla, and chocolate form the Caribbean Islands and Central America. The black slaves from Africa brought wtih them seeds for okra...File powder was probalby the most important contribution of the Choctaw Indians to Louisiana cooking. They made it by drying and pulverizing the leaves of the sassafras trees that grow wild along the Gulf Coast. The Choctaws used file powder for medicinal purposes, but the Negro and Creole cooks adapted it as a thickener for gumbos...Thus Creole cuisine became a blennd of traditional French cooking with Spanish, African, and Indian influences."
---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 120)
"In New Orleans, where that city's best restaurant food is still as French as it ever was, the most authentic Creole cooking is apt to be found in private homes. The cuisine indigenous to Louisiana took on its own aromas and tastes when the first colonial women, like their English counterparts on the Atalantic Coast, began to adpapt the ingredients and some of the methods of New World cooking. Lousiana's French colonists became Spanish subjects only forty years after the settlement of New Orleans, and for another four decades, until the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Spanish tastes prevailed among the ruling Creoloe cooks...The hurried traveler in Louisiana is apt to get the impression that all the best food is traditional French in style, but as careful preservation of ancient architcture in the Vieux Carre also makes clear--Spaniards left several kinds of permanent changes in gastronomy. Like other Europeans, they planted the seeds and encouraged the appetite for beans, especially the red ones that are often kidney-shaped, or those known in Spanish as frijoles colorado or habichuelas. Red beans combined with rice comprise a basic dish, as typical of southern Louisina Hoppin' John of the Carolinas, the good-luck dish for New Year's feasts..."
---American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Evan Jones [Vintage Books:New York] 2nd edition, 1991 (p. 60)
"Although it was traversed by explorers in the sixteenth century, this vast area spanning the Gulf of Mexico and eventually known as the Louisiana Territories was not permanently settled by outsiders until 1699, when French colonists first touched its shores. Since then, peoples from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America have left their mark on the region's history and culture and inspired not one, but two, original culinary traditions: the Creole cuisine of New Orleans and the Cajun food of the surrounding bayous and prairies. Creole and Cajun food, both tracing their roots to France, offer hard proof of Louisiana's long love affair with eating. They share a committment to practicing economy in the kitchen, using the freshest products available and making do with what is on hand. They even share many of the same recipes, including gumbo (a rich seafood soup) and jambalaya (a hearty rich rice dish), to name just two. Nevertheless, Cajun and Creole foods extend from different traditions, each possessing its own history and touting its own creations...The Cajuns. In 1755, the French Acadians, who first settled in Canada in the seventeenth century, fell victim to the colonial struggle for control of North America..."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 150)
"The first Acadians arrived in Louisiana around 1765...Some scholarship suggests that about half of Louiana's Acadians can trace their roots to coastal areas of France, such as Brittany and Normandy. Although some Acadians put down roots in New Orleans, the majority settled on nearby lands granted to them by the Spanish...Already accustomed to colonial living, the Acadians adjusted to their new home and set about making good use of native plants and animals not only for their own food and livelihood but also for shipment and sale in New Orleans. Along the Mississippi the Acadians planted diverse crops, including rice, corn, peaches, apples, squash, peppers, beans, and potatoes. Along the coast they gathered oysters, shrimp, crabs, and fish. In the kitchen they let virtually nothing go to waste. The term "Cajun," a corruption of "Acadian," came into use during the nineteenth century...Just as "Cajun" refers to a blended cultural group, it also designates a cuisine that reflects hundreds of years of adaptation. Although many of the best-known Cajun dishes are nearly identical to Creole favorites, general distinctions are often made between seasonings and presentation. Cajun cooking might use pungent flavorings, such as garlic and cayenne pepper, with more abandon than its Creole counterpart, but it is not the stereotypical mouth-blistering cuisine that was popularized in the 1980s. Cajun cuisine is also generally less formal in its presentation than Creole cooking, relying more on one-pot dishes that can be cooked over long periods of time and extended easily with the addition of water or stock...The humble crawfish (known more widely as crayfish) owes its rise to stardom with the Cajuns...While crawfish find their way into a myriad dishes, they are perhaps most notably identified with etouffee. Literally meaning "smothered," etoufee in Cajun parlance is a one-pot stew that spotlights a single main ingredient, such as crawfish or shrimp..."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 150-7)
"Cajun cuisine, with its French, Spanish, African, and Indian influences, is distinctive, but Lousiana authorities and gastronomes have argued for decades about just what is and is not Cajun cookery. Few would refuse to list the following dishes in the Cajun canon: jambalaya, etoufee, coush-coush, boudin, andouilles, chaudin, gumbo and all manner of crab dishes and dishes requiring heavy doses of hot sauce...Louisiana cooking authority Tom Fitzmorris, in The New Orleans Eat Book (1991), noted, "Unalloyed Cajun food is almost never found in restaurants, not even in Cajun country. I suspect the reason for this is that Cajun cooking, for all its glorious flavor, looks ugly (unless, of course, you grew up with it). Much of it is pot food from very big pots. Getting the polished look restaurant patrons require screws up the flavor.""
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 52)
[NOTE: This book contains separate historic entries for most of the foods mentioned above.]
- American Food: The Gastronomic Story/Evan Jones (2nd edition)
- Eating in America: A History/Waverley Root & Richard de Rochemont
- A True and Delectable History of Creole Cooking, American Heritage [magazine], December 1986, (p. 66-73)
- American Cooking: Creole and Acadian/Peter S. Feibleman
- History on the table : an annotated cookbook of Cajun and Creole cuisine / prepared and published by the Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana ; annotated by Barry Jean Ancelet and Mathe Allain.
- Louisiana Cookery, its History and Development/Mary Reed Barton
- French cooking in the New World / Frances D. and Peter J. Robotti ; introd. by Raymond L. Vaudard
- A Book of Famous Old New Orleans Recipes Used in the South for More Than 200 Years: over 300 Authentic Creole Recipes.
- The Evolution of Cajun & Creole cuisine/John D. Folse
- New Orleans Restaurant Cookbook/Deirdre Stanforth
- New Orleans: A Food Biography/Elizabeth M. Williams
- History of Louisana, M Le Page de Pratz , facsimile reprinted by Louisana State University Press in 1975. Terrific source for native foods & first cuisines. Use the index to identify pages on food, corn, fish, fruit trees, peas, pears, etc.
- La Cuisine Creole: A Collection of Culinary Recipes, F.F. Hansell & Bro., Ltd., New Orleans .
- Picayune Creole Cook Book  [2nd edition reprinted by Dover (2nd edition) 1971]
- Cooking in old Creole days/ Celestine Eustis 
- Popular recipes (current)
Histories of selected traditional Louisiana foods
"Official" state foods are designated by law. Louisiana's edible state symbols are: "The honeybee is a social, honey-producing bee, recognized as the most economically valuable of all insects. This reputation commonly rests on its production of honey and beeswax. The honeybee's greatest usefulness, however, is actually in the pollination of crops, including fruits, nuts, vegetables, and forage crops, and many uncultivated plants that prevent erosion by keeping topsoil from being carried into the ocean. The honeybee was made our official insect in 1977."
"Milk was adopted as the official drink of Louisiana in 1983."
"South Louisiana is the crawfish capital of the world, supporting a multimillion dollar a year industry. The crawfish in appearance greatly resembles the lobster, but is very much smaller. Its color varies with the water in which it lives and its variety. Although it is found in swamps and marshes throughout the state, the best wild populations occur in the overflow basins of the Atchafalaya, Red, and Pearl Rivers. Crawfish farms have also been established where the crustaceans are cultivated for local use and for export to other states. The crawfish was adopted as State Crustacean in 1983."
"The alligator was adopted as Louisiana's state reptile in 1983. It lives in waters and low lands of the state and other locations of the southeast United States. Resembling a lizard in shape, grown males (which are larger than females) reach a length of 11 to 12 feet and weigh 450 to 500 pounds. When grown, its color is dull gray and dark olive. Alligators provide better care for their young than most reptiles do, protecting the young for a year or more. Once common, their numbers were reduced enough to be classified as endangered. Regulated hunting is allowed since the designation was changed to threatened in 1977."
"The official state freshwater fish is the white perch (pomoxis annularis) also known as sac-au-lait and white crappie. It was adopted in 1993."
Source: Louisiana State Home Page
Crops & commodities Louisiana top crops & seafood.
Maine is world-famous for several commodities including
Maine's culinary heritage
"European fishermen discovered the fishing grounds off the coast of Maine almost 50 years before permanent settlers arrived in New England. These fishermen came from France, Spain, Portugal, and later, England...These fishermen stayed only long enough to cure their fish and repair their oft-battered boats before the long voyage back to Europe...Permanent English settlers began to arrive in Maine in the mid-1620s...By 1630 the settlers had established their own permanent fishing stations allong the coast of Maine, and til the mid-1700s cod fishing was their principal industry...As the popularity of cod declined in the mid-1800s, mackerel became more important...Preserving fish by smoking was an Old World method, and herring lent itself particularly well to the process...The development of the canning industry in 1873 expanded the market for Maine fish...Great schools of solvery sardines...were first harvested by the American Indians...Lobster was a favorite food of the coastal Indians...Commerical lobster fishing began in the late 1800s...Potatoes became an important crop in the 1800s, and Maine led the nation in potato production into the 1950s...The young tender unfurled fronds of the fiddlehead fern are a specialty of Maine. The Indians taught the early settlers how to gather them in the forests and cook them...Their flavor is a combination of asparagus, broccoli, and artichokes."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992
Diner menus reflect favorite foods of local folks. Moody's Diner has been serving hungry Mainers since 1930. Selected recipes from What's Cooking at Moody's Diner, Nancy Moody Genthner [Dancing Bear Books:West Rockport ME] 1989.
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
3/4 lb oleo
14-16 sliced apples
Line a greased 12 X 18 pan with 3/4-inch layer of apples. Combine oatmeal, sugar, flour and cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut in oleo until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and sprinkle over apples. Cook 35-30 minutes at 350 degress. Serve hot, topped with whipped cream."
"Moody's Blueberry Muffins
6 cups flour
4 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup melted shortening
2 cups milk
2 cups blueberries
Mix together four, baking powder, sugar and salt. Set aside. Beat eggs; add milk and combine with dry ingredients. Add melted shortening and mix well. Dust blueberries with flour and fold into batter. Fill greased muffin tins 3/4-full. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees."
"Moody's Blueberry Pie
4 cups fresh blueberries
1 tbsp. flour
1 cup sugar
cinnamon or nutmeg to taste
dash of salt
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. milk
Pour blueberries into unbaked 9-inch pie shells. Mix dry ingredients and pour over berries. Dot with butter. Cover with top crust that has been dusted with flour and brushed with mik. Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees."
"Moody's Walnut Pie
3/4 cup melted oleo
3/4 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 heaping tbsp. flour
2 1/2 cups dark corn syrup
1 1 /2 tsp. vanilla
In large bowl, beat together melted oleo, sugar, eggs, flour, salt, vanilla and corn syrup. Beat well and stir in milk. Spread nuts in each uncooked, 9-inch pie shell. Pour batter over nuts. Bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degress. Makes two 9-inch pies."
Colonial Maryland cuisine
"The first settlements in what is today Maryland were founded by Englishmen on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in 1634...The first settlers who came to the Maryland shores were wealthy men, most of them Catholic...They soon established the lavish social life they had been used to in England. Just as lavish was the cuisine that was served by these gentry. Typical English foods were combined with the Negro cooking skills and the natural ingredients available. Wild turkey and venison were served with sweet potatoes. Oyster stuffing for roasted wild turkey became a specialty of Maryland cuisine, since there was an abundant supply of oysters in the Bay. Wild strawberries and steamed English pudding were favorite desserts. Life in the eastern part of Maryland closely resembled that of the plantations of Virginia. The western part or Piedmont area, however, was settled in the 1740s by the Pennsylvania Germans...Thus Maryland developed two entirely different cuisines...Although wild game was the main source of meat in colonial days, those who could afford beef and lamb added them to their cooking. Almost everyone raised pigs...Veal was often roasted with herbs or paired with sweetbreads. Lamb was stewed with exotic spices from the Far East, and curry powder became a favorite mixture of spices for lamb. Since terrapins (turtles) abounded near the Maryland shores, terrapin stew became a well-known dish. Hams were cured in various fashions...Ginger, cloves, allspice, and mace were often used in meat cookery. Kitchen gardens provided such herbs as thyme, savory, and marjoram. Along with the herbs grown in kitchen gardens, the early settlers also grew greens, such as dandelion, sorrel, and salad leaves (lettuce) for salads...Cooked salads, called pot salads, a traditional English dish, were popular in colonial Maryland. Hot salads at the time consisted of greens that were cooked and then served with a dressing. Potato salad also became a mainstay of Maryland cuisine...Soups and chowders have always been an important part of Maryland cuisine. For the more affluent, soups were the start of a meal, but for the poor a hearty soup was often the entire meal...Maryland crab soup, with a beef base and bacon flavoring, became a staple of Maryland cookery. She-crab soup, a more delicate cream soup containing crab eggs, was served..."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 44-46)
Gifts from the Chesapeake Bay
"Seafood is a prime ingredient in Maryland's cuisine and is also the state's primary food product. The Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States, had provided a livelihood for watermen since colonial days...Harvesting seafood in the Chesapeake Bay dates to the Indians, who fished with spears or bush weirs and used their surplus catch to barer with nearby tribes for other necessities. Many of the Indians preserved their catches for winter by salting or smoking them...Chesapeake Bay oysters have been eaten for centuries. The first English settlers originally thought them starvation food but soon learned from the shell piles left by the Indians that oysters were one of their basic foods...The Patuxent River, which flows southeast through Maryland, has been an important source of Maryland oysters. Since 1867, when Isaac Solomon opened the first cannery on the river, dozens of packing houses were established to buy, pack, and ship Patuxent River oysters...The Chesapeake Bay commercial crabbing industry began in the mid-nineteenth century with the advent of refrigeration and regular steamboat and rail transportation. Until then the highly perishable crabs could not survive shipments to markets outside the local area. Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are highly prized...The blue refers to the color on the underside of the large claws."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 41-3)
- Maryland Crab Cakes
- Maryland Beaten Biscuits
- Maryland Fried Chicken (scroll down to southern fried notes; includes sample recipe)
- "Foods of our own; Here's a Look at How Eats Make in Maryland are Faring Today," Stephanie Shapiro, The Sun, July 9, 2008 (p. F1) profiles these Maryland favorites: Blue Crab, Silver Queen (corn), Natty Boh (beer), Pit Beef (Baltimore-style barbeque), Berger cookies (fudge-frosted sugar wafers) & Smith Island Cake.
Maryland has three edible state symbols: blue crab, milk and rockfish & a State dessert.
Smith Island Cake was proclaimed (signed into law) the official state dessert of Maryland in 2008.
What is Smith Island Cake? According to the official proclamation: "Smith Island cake features eight to ten thin layers of cake separated by rich frosting, and is most commonly served as a yellow cake with chocolate icing, but also is made in other flavors like coconut, fig, and strawberry;... Smith Island cake has been served for generations at holidays, special events, and church dinners;"
Why did this cake become a state symbol?
"Maryland has an official cat, insect and even an official dinosaur. Now one state delegate wants to add a hallmark 10-layer cake form the Eastern Shore to the list of state symbols. Del. Page Elmore, E.-Somerset, plans to propose naming the many-layered Smith Island cake the state's official dessert. To boost the bill, Elmore cooked up a sweet bribe--450 slices of the cake were delivered Tuesday to state lawmakers and their aides. 'I make a pretty mean sweet potato pie, but oh, this is good,' said Del. Melony Griffith, D.-Prince Georges, who tucked into a thin slice of the most common flavor of Smith Island cake: yellow cake in 10 centimeter-thick layers with chocolate frosting. Elmore hopes his bill will give a boost to Smith Island, which has only about 250 year-round residents. Islanders historically mae their living pulling crabs and oysters from the Chesapeake Bay, but pollution has hurt the seafood industry and better jobs on the mainland have sapped Smith Island's working population. 'It's economic development for Smith Isalnd and lower Eastern Shore bakeries,' Elmore said, wathcing volunteers unload more than a dozen boxes of cake slices. Florida named Key Lime Pie its official pie in 2006, while Massachusetts picked its official dessert in 1996. Smith Island cakes dome in dozens fo flavors, including pineapple, banana and coconut. Islanders trace the cake's origin to the British colonists who settled on the island, auing the cake resembles an English torte. Smith Island cakes were traditionally packed in a waterman's lunch pail when he plied the Chesapeake, but now most are sold to tourists...about 10 women on the island make a living selling Smith Island cakes. Most of the sell for to , with a towering 16-layer cake goinf for .99."
---"Marylanyd's Eastern Shore Touts Its Cake," Associated Press, Daily News-Record [Harrisonbburg VSA], January 23, 2008 (p. A6)
What is the history?
Thin, rich, multi-layered iced confections generally descend from 19th century Viennese Torten. Think: Dobos torte & Sacher torte. The closest English multi-layer culinary contribution is Trifle (cake, cream & fruit).
Smith Island Cake recipe and history notes, courtesy of Smith Island, MD
[NOTE: Why does this recipe call for Condensed Milk? Most likely because the Island was isolated and had a relatively warm climate. Condensed milk was introduced in the mid-1850s and was readily embraced by folks who had a hard time keeping dairy products cold. Florida's famous Key Lime Pie was originally made with condensed milk for this reason.]
1. The Chesapeake Bay Cookbook/Shields
2. Eat, Drink and Be Merry in Maryland/Steiff
3. Maryland's Way: The Hammond-Harwood House Cook Book/Andrews & Kelly
Official state foods
Massachusetts has more edible state symbols than any other state in the nation. If you need to bring a food representing this state you are in luck: cranberry juice, cod, corn muffin, wild turkey, navy bean, cranberry, Boston Cream Pie, chocolate chip cookie, and the Boston creme doughnut.
Food in the Massachusetts colony
"At home the thrifty New Englanders found dozens of uses for cod, either fresh or dried or salted. They used cod to make fish cakes, chowder, boiled dinners, and fish hash. The hash was served at breakfast with oatmeal, eggs, hot bread, and sometimes fried ham. In the 1700s a typical Sunday breakfast in Boston consisted of codfish cakes or creamed codfish, baked beans, and brown bread. Cape Cod Turkey was the name given to a dish consisting of a large, freshly caught codfish baked with bits of pork, served with an egg sauce, and accompanied by boiled potatoes and beets cooke with melted butter...Perhaps the most famous Massachusetts food tradition is the cookign of baked beans on Saturday night. This typical Saturday night supper originated in Puritan Boston. The Sabbath stared at sundown on Saturday, and according to Puritan belief, no work was to be done until sundown Sunday. Therefore the bean pot was put in the low heat of the fireplace oven on Saturday morning so that the beans would be ready by suppertime. The slow baking pot gave off fragrant aromas of onions, salt pork, and molasses all day. The leftovers from supper were kept warm in the fireplace and served for Sunday breakfast. When the recipe for baked beans was first developed, maple sugar or suyrup was used as a sweetener. After trade developed with the West Indies, less expensive molasses was added to the beans...Eventually other fovods were added to the Saturday night suppers. A moist, dark-brown bread of cornmeal, rye flour, molasses, buttermilk, and raisins was steamed in cylindrical molds and served with the baked beans. Coleslaw, pickles, and applesauce were also traditional accompaniments. Indian Pudding, which shared the fireplace oven with the beans in the last hours of baking, was also served on Saturday night. This pudding was made with milk, molasses, and, when they could be obtained, cinnamon and nutmeg...Chowder is another food attributed to Massachusetts...The cranberry is one of the few native American fruits, along with the blueberrry and some grape varieties. Long before the pilgrims arrived, the Massachuset Indians combined crushed cranberries with dried deer meat and melted fat to make pemmican...Cranberry cultivation began in Massauchusetts on Cape Cod in 1816..."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 18-21)
Colonial/Early American foods
Primary sources (old cookbooks!)
 Frugal Housewife/Child
 Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book/Beecher
 Boston Cooking School Cook Book/Lincoln
 Boston Cooking School Cook Book/Farmer
Recommended reading (history & recipes)
Foods of our Founding Fathers, Helen Newbury Burke
Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipes and History, from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie, Kathleen Curtin & Sandra L. Oliver
New England Cookbook, Eleanor Early
Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook, Caroline Sloat
America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking, Keith Stavely & Kathleen Fitzgerald
History notes on selected traditional MA foods
Boston baked beans
Boston Baked Beans, as we know it today, descends from ancient pottage featuring protein-rich, slow-cooked, economical legumes. Recipes were introduced to America by early colonists. The American city most popularly associated with baked beans is Boston. Food historians connect similar Native American recipes featuring sweeteners (maple sugar) with the introduction of molasses as a required ingredient. Boston brown bread is traditionally paired with this dish.
"According to one recent writer, "baked beans and succotash may be the closest to signature dishes for [New England]--one based on Old World traditions and the other on those of the New World."...As for the Old World origins of baked beans, peas or beans and bacon have been claimed to be among the oldest of English dishes. Despite the generally low position of beans in English food-status hierarchies, one version of beans and bacon is said to have been enjoyed by the medieval gentry. The specifically baked form of bean potage was prevalent among Staffordshire yeomen, who soaked their dried beans overnight, then baked them along with honey-and-mustard-cured ham and onions or leeks in a narrow-necked earthenware pot especially reserved for the purpose. This "dark, sweet cassoulet" has been identified as the immediate progenitor of New England baked beans....There is a tradition, that, like succotash, baked beans was of native origin. "Beans were abundant, and were baked by the Indians in earthen pots just as we bake them today," wrote Alice Morse Earle in 1898. Three-quarters of a century later, Sally Smith Booth was not the first to include the use of underground beanholes among the native methods of baking beans: "Indians probably originated this dish, for many tribes baked bean stews in earthen pots placed into pit and covered with hot ashes." However, as Howard S. Russell has acknowledged, there is no direct evidence of natives' baking beans, either in earthenware pots or in beanholes in the ground. On the other hand, baked beans "prepared by the bean-hole method were by far the most important single food" in late-nineteenth-century Maine lumbering camps. A vogue for outdoor and wilderness experience, including culinary experience, that was supposed to approximate the lifeways of the North American Indians, had emerged at this time and gave encoruagement to the idea that another form of popular underground New England cookery, the clambake, had originated with the Indians. Similar notions about the native sources of beanhole baked beans may also have germinated in this cultural soil, so to speak. Skepticism regarding romaticized conception of native and settler culinary practices should not, however, lead us to dismiss altogether the possibility of a relationship between the bean cookery of the two groups...So although the English clearly brought with them a well-established tradition of bean-and-bacon pottage that, in at least one of its variants, was baked in a beanpot in an oven, it is also possible that the natives they encountered upon arrival had a similar tradition of preparing legume pottage by baking. Morever, the immigrants did not scruple to integrate New World beans into the Old World pottage, just as they incorporated New World grain into their their bread."
---America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking, Keith Stavely & Kathleen Fitzgerald [University of North Carolina Press:Chapel Hill NC] 2004 (p. 51-52)
"Boston baked beans. A dish of navy beans made with molasses and salt pork or bacon. Some argue that baked beans were introduced to the colonists by the Indians, but novelist Kenneth Roberts, in an essay on "The Forgotton Marrowbones," printed in Marjorie Mosser's Foods of Old New England (1957), argues that baked beans had long been a traditional Sabbath dish among North African and Spanish Jews, who called the dish "skanah."...Nevertheless, the dish clearly became associated with Boston, whose Puritan settlers baked beans on Saturday, served them that night for dinner, for Sunday breakfast with codfish cakes and Boston Brown Bread, and again for Sunday lunch, because no other cooking was allowed during the Sabbath, which extended to Sunday evening. Sometimes the housewives would hand over their pots of uncooked beans to a community oven, often located within a tavern, to be baked. Because of the association between Bostonians and beans, the city became to be called "Bean Town." A recipe for baked beans of this type was printed in Lydia Maria Child's "The American Frugal Housewife in 1832, though the term "Boston baked beans" dates to the 1850s."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 36)
Mrs. Child's recipe, circa 1832.
"Every Saturday since the pilgrims came, true New Englanders have baked beans made with brown bread. In the old days it was thought sinful to cook on Sunday, and Sunday began at 6 o'clock on Saturday. Before that the house was swept and dusted and preparations made for a quiet, reverential Sabbath. Sundays are not as reverential now as they used to be, but the Saturday cooking tradition still persists. Beans are a salvation because the could be prepared on Saturday. On Sunday the family had them with brown bread for breakfast. After breakfast, the pot was popped back in the oven and the family set out for church. And all the time the beans were in the oven, the whole house smelled of simmering pork and sweet molasses, which is a lovely odor and guaranteed to whet the most persnickety appetite. When services were over and the family came home from church, it was mid-afternoon and time for dinner. Then the pot was taken out again--and everybody had some more beans. We prepare them just as our ancestors did, but now we begin the ritual on Friday night.
"Boston Baked Beans
1 qt. dried pea beans
1 medium-sized onion, peeled
1/2 lb. salt pork
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup molasses
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1. On Friday night put the beans to soak in a kettle full of cold water. In the morning pour the water off, cover with fresh water and bring slowly to a boil. Simmer until you can blow the skins off. To do this, take a spoonful of beans from the pot. If you should put your face down into the steam, you might get badly burned.
2. When the skins blow off (it will take an hour or more of simmering), drain the beans and place about one cup in bean pot. Add onion. Add remaining beans until the pot is almost filled.
3. Score the salt pork to the rind and force down among the beans until it just shows at the top of the pot. Combine remaining ingredients and mix with beans. Add enough hot water to fill pot. The pork should protrude a little above the water line so that it can brown nicely.
4. Bake in 300 degree oven for at least 8 hours. The juice should bubble at the top of the pot all day. Add more water if necessary during baking time.
One of the comforting things about baked beans is that you can leave them in the oven as long as you choose, if you remember to add water. Open the door and take a peak every hour or two. Do not touch the pot if there is still juice on top, and close the door as quickly as you can. Serve in a pot, as the Pilgrims did. Fragrant and steaming, brown and mealy--and hot as hot can be. With them your should have brown bread on Saturday night, with piccalilli on the side. And on Sunday morning, you should have fish cakes and the beans warmed up with a chunk of salt pork, crusty on top and brown as old mahogany."
---New England Cookbook, Eleanor Early [Random House:New York] 1954 (p. 56-57)
Michigan is a great state for a food report. Its history is full of interesting and delicious recipes. We suggest:
Some notes on Michigan's culinary heritage
"The earliest Europeans in the Michigan area were French explorers, traders, and missionaries in the late 1600s and early 1700s...By 1859... farm families were firmly established in Michigan's southern counties, where prairie grassland was plentiful for grazing dairy cows. Farmers grew wheat and produced milk, butter, and cheese. They raised hogs for meat, since cows were too precious to be eaten. Most farmers also had chickens and geese and they grew their own produce. Many nineteenth-century Michigan farmers hunted wild game, and their wives tended the family vegetable gardens... Mining developed on the Upper Peninsula around 1850. The mine workers came mainly from Cornwall, Ireland, Canada, Finland, and eastern Europe. The mining families from Cornwall brought their Cornish pasties with them. This meat-and-vegetable combination encased in a pastry could easily be reheated in very cold weather on a "Cornish stove"--a shovel held over a candle down the mine. Many of the Cornish pasties gave the miners a complete lunch...In 1847 religious refugees from the Netherlands settled in Michigan in a town they named Holland...Long famous for their smoked and salted fish, roast goose, and other fowl, the Dutch were delighted with the fish and game birds of their new homeland...The Czechs and Moravians were important elements in Michigan's pioneer culture in the nineteenth century...Baked goods and pastries such as Vdolky, Kolache, Milosti, Baleshsky, and Strudel were served for dessert...Battle Creek was settled by the Seventh Day Adventists...In 1867 Dr. Kellogg...introduced the idea of cold cereals for breakfast. In order to promote better nutrition, Dr. Kellogg invented toasted cornflakes and many other grain and nut products."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 148-151)
Historic Michigan cookbooks, online free & fulltext, courtesy of Michigan State University.
What to make for class? We suggest German, Dutch Heritage, or Cornish culinary heritage. The cities of were settled by these immigrants. Sample Frankenmuth-style Bavarian recipes courtesy of Zendher's. If you prefer something from the colonial era, this book is perfect: History from the Hearth: A Colonial Michilimackinac Cookbook, Sally Eustice. Seventh Day Adventist recipes from Ella Eaton Kellogg's Science in the Kitchen, circa 1892.
Every state's food is a reflection of its history, geography and people. Minnesota has many delicious foods from which to choose!
1. "Official" state foods
These symbols are enacted by the state legislature. Minnesota has a state muffin (blueberry). Other edible state symbols include milk, walleye (fish), wild rice, and morrel mushrooms.
2. Native ingredients
Minnesota is famous for its wild rice
3. Agricultural statistics ( top crops)
4. Manufactured products
Minnesota is the "birthplace" of SPAM (Hormel) and "> Betty Crocker, Green Giant, Bisquick & Wheaties (General Mills)
5. Historic recipes
Food on the Frontier:Minnesota Cooking from 1850 to 1900 with selected recipes/Marjorie Kriedberg---your local public librarian will be happy to help you get a copy of this book.
Minnesota's ethnic food heritage
"The people of Minnesota are from a very diverse ethnic heritage--British, Germans, Scandinavians, Finns, Italians, Slavs, and more recently, refugees from Southeast Asia. The Scots, Welsh, and Canadians were some of the earliest settlers of Minnesota, while the greatest number of British arrived in 1890 to work in the mines on the Vermillon and Mesabi Iron Ranges...The Germans are Minnesota's largest ethnic group, having immigrated to the area from the 1830s to the present day. Nineteeth-century German immigrants found the land suitable for raising the type of food they enjoyed. Many of the early German settlers baked rye bread every Saturday...The Scandinavian immigrant--Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, and Finnish--found Minnesota to be similar to Scandinavia...Housewives were delighted with the new white flour that yielded cakes and bread much lighter than those of their native land. Meatballs of beef and pork, American-style bacon, corn, and a strange fruit called watermelon became a part of the immigrants' diet. The Danish immigrants found many of their traditional cooking ingredients in Minnesota. Their kitchen gardens had large patches of parsley, carrots, peas, and kale...The pioneer Swedes...depended upon staples for their diet. Homemade soups, potatoes, fish, and various grains were the mainstay of their early cuisine...Minnesota posed a culinary challenge for most Italians, since much of their native ingredients were not available and could not be grown in the short growing season. The early Italian immigrants relied heavily on what they called peasant food--polenta, rice dishes such as risotto, and pasta...Southern Slavs, mostly Croatians, Slovenians, and Serbs, settled in Minnesota between 1900 and 1920...Being accustomed to fresh fruit, they planted apple, cherry, apricot, and olive trees. Because of the harsh climate, the apricots and olives did not survive. Slavic cooking is primarly based on soups, stews, and other combination dishes...At the clsoe of the Vietnam War, some of the Hmong people of northern Laos...came to Minnesota...These people brought yeat another dimension to the varied cuisines of Minnesota."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 157-8)
Recommended reading: The Minnesota Ethnic Food Book, Anne R. Kaplan et al (includes recipes). Want to make something ethnic for class? We suggest Swedish meatballs!
Much of Mississippi's culinary heritage is creole and follows the same path as Louisiana. This means (historically speaking), it is nearly impossible to distinguish many traditional Mississippi recipes from their more well-known Louisana/New Orleans counterparts.
1. Official state foods
These are designated by law. Mississippi's edible state symbols are milk, largemouth bass, oysters, alligators, and wood duck. Honey (honeybee is state insect) is another option.
2. Major crops: What is most often grown in the state?
Early Mississippi foodways
"The first explorers of what is now northern Mississippi were French fur traders who set up trading posts in Indian villages. They learned to eat the same food as the Indians, primarly a mush concocted from ground brier root, fish, and wild game. When the first permanent settlement was established... around 1700, the settlers found they could obtain chickens from the Indians in addition to fish...The French brides who came to Biloxi, like those who came to New Orleans, soon learned to use native ingredients in their cooking. Redfish, green peppers, and assorted wild herbs became the basis of their fish stews. From the earliest days, Missisppi cooks usually had available the basic ingredients for a soup or a stew--carrots, celery, onions, okra, and a sprig or two of parsley. Tomatoes were not included until well after the Revolutionary War...The cuisine of Mississppi varied with aspects of its history. Although New Orleans remains the bastion of French-cooking influence in America, French influence was also dominant in the cuisine of the plantation mansions along the Mississippi River. Rich sauces and spectacular desserts abounded on manor-house dinner tables.. Food was presented in great splendor in ante-bellum Mississippi. The luxurous day began with hot, strong, black coffee...Food for the plantation workers was much simpler. Freshly caught catfish...often constituted dinner. It was accompanied by turnip greens flavored with salt pork; corn bread; hot, spicy red beans; and rice. Baked ribs and beans baked with bell peppers accompanied by corn bread was a typical winter meal. Chicken bread was a particular favorite among plantation workers. It consists of a batter made with flour, cornmeal, shortening, salt, and milk, which was baked in a frying pan after the chicken had finished frying...For many years the slaves ate corn pone (eggless corn bread which is fried or baked in small batches) and pot liquor, the juice that remains after vegetables, particularly greens, are cooked."
---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 128-130)
Need to make something for class?
2 1/2 pounds sugar
12 ounces water
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 heaping tablespoons marshmallow cream
vanilla extract (or maple flavoring)
4 cups pecan pieces
1. Combine sugar, water, and butter. Cook on low heat to 238 F on a candy thermometer. Once it begins to boil, do not stir. Remove from heat.
2. Add marshmallow cream and beat with a mixer until mixture begins to harden around the edges of the pot. Then reheat slowly, adding flavoring and pecans.
3. Pour mixture on wax paper in 2-inch round patties. Yields 4 dozen."
---Smithsonian Folklife Cookbook, Katherine S. Kirlin and Thomas M. Kirlin [Smithsonian Institution Press:Washington] 1992 (p. 168)
Need current popular recipes? We recommend The Mississippi Cookbook, compiled and edited by the Home Economics Division of the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service.
Missouri does not have an official state food but it does have some edible state symbols: The Channel Catfish (state fish), Eastern Black Walnut (state nut), Norton/Cynthiana grape (state grape), Honeybee (state insect: don't eat the bee!...the honey is delicious)
Agricultural products top crops!
Native American foods
"Missouri's earliest farmers were the people of the Hopwell culture...The Hopewells grew corn and beans and hunted small animals...The Mississippi people knew how to farm well and grew large quantities of food. They were also hunters and traders. Since they lived close to the Missippi River, fishing was an important activity...The Oneonta culture, from which the Missouri tribe developed, produced excellent hunters of deer, elk, turkey, and bison, or buffalo. Fishing, gardening, and gathering were essential to the tribe's existence...The woods contained berries, roots, and nuts. Acorns...are plentiful in Missouri, and Native Americans used them in stews or ground them into meal. They age sunflower seeds, both raw and raosted, and they learned to make oil from the seeds for cooking and for hair dressing. Cattails were a valuable food source because all parts of the plant could be eaten...When the weather and the hunting were good, native Americans had plenty of food. But there were times when food was scarce. To preserve meat for the winter months, Native Americans fried and smoked game over a wooden frame set over a low fire. They made a food called pemmican, which was dried and pounded meat mixed with animal fat and crushed berries. The pemmican prevented starvation during a long winter and provided vitamins and protein. It was also taken on long hunting trips. Another kind of preserved meat was jerky, from the Spanish word charqui. During a hunt, some of the fresh-killed meat was sliced thin, rubbed with salt, and rolled up in an animal skin to absorb the salt and release its juices. The meat was then dried in the sun. Jerky was hard, chewy, and long lasting. The jerky found ins tores today originated with Native American hunters. Corn and beans were also dried for the winter months. Succotash is a stew of corn and beans and sometimes fihs and game. The name succotash is a variation of an Indian word. The ingredients of this stew varied from region to region, but all contained corn and beans...Native Americans used Missouri's wild plants and berries not only for food but also for soaps, dyes, and medicines. They used elderberries for tonics. They mashed the root of the curly dock plant to make a salve for sores and they mashed the leaves, mixed them with salt, and put this "medicine" on their foreheads to treat headaches...The main crops for the Osage were corn, squash, and beans. Corn was eaten boiled or roasted on the cob, or dried after cooking for storage. Parched corn, made from roasted mature grains, was like popcorn that didn't pop. Hominy was made by removing the corn kernal and soaking it in lye made from wood ashes. It was then boiled or dried. The women preservred squash and pumpkings by cutting the pulp into strips and hanging them on racks to dry... Meat preparation was women's work. Although men were the hunters, the women cut, dried, and smoked meats."
---Food in Missouri: A Cultural Stew, Madeline Matson [University Of Missouri Press:Columbia MO] 1994 (p. 4-6)
Pioneer Missouri foodways
"Many of the early settlers of Missouri came in covered wagons from Kentucky, Virginia, and other regions of the Upper South...The women used their Southern recipes to make buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken with cream gravy, cooked greens with bacon, and baked apple dumplings topped with cinnamon, brown sugar, and thick cream. French traders and eventaully French families from Canada came down the Mississippi into Missouri. They, too, brought their favorite recipes for thin French crepes and cookies of sweet and bitter almonds called croquignoles. The French women made a special soup of dried peas, turnips, celery, and onions that was flavored with mint and thyme...German immigrants also settled in Missouri, bringing their food traditions with them...raw potato pancakes, crispy fried in lard and cheesecakes...abounded in every German community... Germans also brought the brewing industry to St. Louis. Angel food cake, named for its fluffy whiteness and delicate texture, is said to have been "invented" in St. Louis...The Germans and Central Europeans brought their sausage-making ability to the Midwest. One of their sausages, wienerwurst (aka hot dog or frankfurter), became the most American of all."
---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 182)
[NOTE: About Angel food cake.]
"Misssouri is the largest producer of black walnuts in the world. Nearly 50 percent of the world's black-walnut crop...is harvested during October and November each year. There is also a sizeable crop of pecans and hickory nuts in Missouri. Famous for their rich, tangy flavor...They are popular baking ingredients and have a much stronger flavor than the milder English walnuts...Pecan trees grew wild in Missouri and were a source of food for the Missouri Indians long before the white man came...Honey has been a part of Missouri history. Before Missouri became a state, there was a battle, called the Honey War, to determine the territory's northern boundary. Missouri and Iowa officials disagreed over the boundary for years. In 1839 when a Missouri man cut down three hollow trees containing bee hives in the disputed area, Iowa tolerance reached its limit, and the Honey War began. Missouri won...Missouri...has become famous for a product made from Missouri-grown wheat--Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix. Self-rising pancake flour...was created in St. Joseph, Missouri. It was first packaged in 1889..." ---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 182-183)
19th century Missouri recipes
- Huckleberry Finn's food, courtesy of Mark Twain
- Klever Kinks in Kookery/Isabel M. Lute (we own a copy, can send pages).
St. Louis World's Fair 
Gooey Butter Cake
The earliest print references we find for Gooey Butter Cake/Gooey Butter Coffee Cake are from the late 1950s. They were bakery items, sold in other states to: California, New York & Illinois. This may, or may not, be the same item. Recipes proliferate in the 1970s.
"Say St. Louis, and you're talking Gooey Butter Cake...What starts off innocently enough as a plain yeast-raised coffee cake erupts into a volcanic mass of chewey bright yellow lava with snow banks of powdered sugar. The crusty edges glue to the teeth. You con't just swallow Gooey Butter Cake, you work it down. As for the origin of Gooey Butter Cake, most admit it was a mistake, although no one knows exactly whose. Certainly, it would have originated in South St. Louis, wehre most of the german bakers--the backbone of the St. Louis bakery industry--lived. Fred Heimbeurger, a retired St. Louis baker with a long memory, contends it was some baker in the 1930's who, in making an ordinary yellow cake, put in too much sugar, butter or shortening, or all three. What he ended up was the a sticky mess. But since this was the Depression, he couldn't let it go to waste, so he tried to sell it anyway. St. Louisans, Depression or not, wanted more, and the sloppier the better. Today, most of the independent bakeries in St. Louis, as well as the supermarket bakeries, carry a version of Gooey Butter Cake...'There are as many legends surrounding the invention of Gooey Butter Cake as there are about Remus and the founding of Rome. One thing there can be no doubt: it's a St. Louis original and an acquired taste not shared by those in other parts of the country.'...Recipes for Gooey Butter Cake all have subtle variations...Brown sugar may be used instead of white, whole eggs plus whites or just whole eggs, evaporated milk instead of water, and so on. Yet, St. Louisans don't harangue over this...Any cake that goes by the name Gooey Butter is fine by them."
---"A Butter Cake That Sticks to the Gums," Ann Barry [St. Louis]. New York Times, April 19, 1989 (p. C4)
Gooey Butter Cake
7-inch Made with Coffee Cake Dough and Deep Layer of Butter, 49 cents."
---dispay ad, Beck's Bakery, The Bakserfiedl Californian [CA], December 2, 1959 (p. 27)
"Gooey Butter Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick margarine
Beat by hand and put in greased 9 X 13 pan. Set aside.
1 oz. cream cheese
1 box sifted powdered sugar
Mix and spread on top of dough, bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar after coo."
---"Cakes, Bread, Rolls," Mexico Ledger [MO], Februar 23, 1974 (p. 30)
Gooey Butter Cake
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons butter, plus butter for greasing the pan
1 tablespoon dried milk powder
1 large egg
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup bread flour 1/4 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
2 tablespoons water
10 ounces plain Danish or yeast-raised coffeecake
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar, shortening, butter, milk powder, egg and salt. (For an authentic egg-yolk color, add a few drops of yellow food coloring.
3. Add the bread and cake flours, vanilla, corn syrup and water, and mix just until incorporated.
4. Cut the Danish or coffeecake to fit a buttered 8-by-8-inch pan, leaving a rim around the edge to contain the gooey butter mixture.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings."
---"A Butter Cake That Sticks to the Gums," Ann Barry [St. Louis]. New York Times, April 19, 1989 (p. C4)
Gooey Butter Cake
1 (18.5 oz.) pkg. cake mix, without pudding
1/2 cut margarine, melted
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 lb box powdered sugar, divided
In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, margarine, and egg. Press mixture into a 9X13-inch greased baking dish. In another mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, eggs, and powdered sugar; reserve 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Spread over cake mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining powdered sugar on top. NOTE: Delicious with strawberries! SERVES: 10-12"
---The Bess Collection, Bess Wallace Truman [Independence Junior Service League:Independence MO] 1993 (p. 324)
While everyone readiliy agrees Toasted Ravioli is a St. Louis culinary accident, no one knows for sure why these tasty appetizers are called toasted rather than deep fried (which is more accurate). Nor do they agree on the place or date (1930s-1950s). This appetizer occupies the venerable place we call food legend." This is one of its endearing features. The reasons why this appetizer went local while Buffalo Wings went national is probably best answered by marketing experts. Wings took off (no pun intended) because they were actively promoted by visionary marketers/restauranteurs who cashed in on a tasty fad. Wings are cheap & make people thirsty. Markup is good.
"Toasted ravioli. A St. Louis, Missouri, specialty of meat-filled pasta dough that is deep-fried golden brown. Italian ravioli are boiled and served with a sauce, but toasted ravioli was supposedly first made in the 1930s[?] at a St. Louis restaurant named Angelo Oldani's when a German employee named Fritz accidentally threw freshly made ravioli into a pan of boiling oil. Owner Oldani tried to salvage them, brushed them with grated cheese, and served them to his customers, who loved them."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 327)
"Toasted ravioli, a specialty to Saint Louis, Missouri, are beef ravioli that have been deep fried instead of boiled. They have no precedent in Italy but are the creation of an Italian American restauranteur and have spread throughout the community."
---The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew J. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 107)
"What spicy chicken wings are to Buffalo, toasted ravioli is to St. Louis. While Buffalo wings quickly became a national fad, the St. Louis culinary creation has--so far--remained a local passion. Visitors tasting toasted ravioli or the first time, though, may help spread the word. The crunchy pasta, dusted with grated Parmesan cheese and dunked in a marinara-style sauce, makes a delicious hot appetizer. Toasted ravioli is served at many restaurants...Strictly speaking, the ravioli is deep-fried, not toasted, and like many culinary discoveries, the first batch was the result of an accident. Surprisingly, everyone seeems to credit the same source. The first toasted ravioli seems to have been made in the 1950s at a restaurant called Angelo Oldani's on the Hill, the Italian neighborhood...Accroding to Louis Amighetti...it happened this way: 'Angelo was busy and told a new assistant, a German cook, to prepare the ravioli. He had a pan of boiling hot oil on the stove, and the cook thought it was supposed to be for the ravioli, so he dropped them into the oil.' When Mr. Oldani saw what had happened, he tried to salvage the ravioli by brushing on some grated cheese. The result was local history."
---"Toasted Ravioli, the Secret of St. Louis," Patricia Brooks, New York Times, February 25, 1987 (p. C8) [NOTE: This article offers a recipes for Toasted Ravioli.]
"You are known for this invention here in St. Louis," Cordes says. "And toasted ravioli was invented right here in this kitchen." Gitto picks up the story: "In 1947, Louis Townsend, Angelo Oldani's chef, dropped a cooked ravioli in bread crumbs."
---"SAVORING ST. LOUIS; TV'S FOOD NETWORK EXPLORES THE HILL AND BEYOND FOR A POPULAR SERIES," Gail Pennington, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 16, 2001 (p. 1)
"At night, when his shift was over at Ruggeri's, Mickey Garagiola would sometimes walk to another restaurant on The Hill for a beer, accompanied by other Ruggeri's waiters. It was at Oldani's (now Mama Campisi's) on a night in the 1930s that Mickey believes he witnessed the birth of toasted ravioli. Through the years, several St. Louis restaurants have claimed to be the originators, but Mickey sticks with his story. "I'll bet my house on it," he says, firmly. He describes what took place at Oldani's on that night: "The chef, Fritz, was fixing scallopini with red wine, but most of the wine never went into the scallopini. Fritz was drinking it, and he got tanked. He was pulling raviolis out of a pot and a few spilled into a deep-fat fryer. Now he's ticked off. In anger, he threw the whole pot of raviolis into the fryer. "When they popped to the surface toasted, he didn't know what to do with them. He didn't want to throw them away, so he took them upstairs on a plate to the bar. A few guys who were there drinking liked them so much they asked for another order. The next day the owner heard about what happened and said, `If they make the customers drink more, let's add them to the menu.' "
---"TOASTED RAVIOLI STARTED HERE," Dave Dorr, St. Louis Dispatch, July 23, 1998, (p. G1)
Recommended reading (history, no recipes): Food in Missouri : a cultural stew/Madeline Matson & Pot Roast, Politics and Ants in the Pantry: Missouri's Cookbook Heritage/Carol Fisher and John Fisher.
Our survey of historic newspapers confirms deep fried pasta dishes first surfacted in the 1930s. Witness:
"French Fried Elbow Macaroni.
One-half package Mueller's elbow macaroni.
Fat for frying
Drop macaroni into boiling salted water and cook until almost tender. Drain well.
Fill deep-fat frying pan about 2-3 full of fat. Heat to 390 degrees F.
Drop cooked, drained macaroni into hot fat--about half the amount at one time--and fry to a light brown. Dip out with small strainer or slotted spoon. Drain off fat on brown paper.
Delicious with creamed dishes.
Mrs. Robert Page Burruss, 2804 Fourteenth street northwest."
---"Four Best Macaroni Recipes are Published for Readers," Stephanie Reilly, Washington Post, November 17, 1930 (p. 11)
St. Paul Sandwich
St. Louis, Missouri is the culinary epicenter of many interesting dishes. The St. Louis sandwich is a prime example.
"The St. Paul sandwich is a curiosity of St. Louis, a city with a penchant for creating odd sandwiches like those made with brains or snoots and ears. While one might assume the sandwich with the moniker of "St. Paul" would have originated in Minnesota, foo authorities claim that it has nothing whatsoever to do with that area. Rather, it's a noted specialty of the Chinese restaurants in the St. Louis, Missouri area. The origin of today's St. Paul sandwich may be an enigma, but reports say that it was a popular offering in St. Louis as far back as the 1960s and perhaps earlier; one source states 1943. Most folks, including St. Louis writer Thomas Crone, believe that Chinese restauranteurs who wanted to tempt the sandwich-living American palate created it. This theory maintains that the sandwich is based on egg foo yung, and old Chinese recipe that has become thoroughly Americanized. Others believe that St. Paul was originally another term for the Denver sandwich and later adapted by Chinese restaurants. Plain old commercial white bread provides the underpinnings for the St. Paul sandwich. Then comes the egg foo yung, however, the combination is not scrambled but deep fried. The bread is generously slathered with mayonnaise, and the egg foo yung patty is added along with pickle, tomato, and lettuce. For those who want to take their St. Paul a step beyond the "plain" versions, there are various additions available, like shrimp, beef, chicken, pork, and ham. A "special" generally calls for three additional ingredients chosen from a list of options. Wrapped in white butcher's paper and encased in a brown paper bag, the St. Paul is an inexpensive moveable feast in a land of sandwich take-out options. St. Louis has numerous restaurants specializing in the St. Paul..."
---American Sandwich: Great Eats from All 50 States/Becky Mercuri [Gibbs Smith:Salt Lake City UT] 2004 (p. 72)
[NOTE: Book includes a recipe for this sandwich.]
This restauranteur claims to have served St. Louis sandwiches from 1936 forward: "KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Nichols restaurant, which will celebrate its 75th year in business in 1996, has followed the philosophy of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it. "We kept that motto in our office for years," said Michael Bay, third-generation co-owner of the 24-hour family restaurant. "People want a good wholesome meal, and they want it quick. Messing with that would be fatal." Bay has moved up to general manager as his uncle, Jimmie Nichols, 75, has slowed his pace a bit. But Nichols, who took over operations from his dad, Frank, after getting out of the U.S. Navy after World War II, remains active in the business that he says hasn't changed much over the decades. "The original name was Nichols Lunch. It was like the diners in the East -- fast service, a number of daily specials and open 24 hours, seven days a week," Nichols explained. During the war President Franklin Roosevelt called for retail businesses to take a day off in midweek, Nichols recalled. "My dad said that people were spoiled and wanted a day off during the week. I was used to working seven days a week, 12 hours a day. That was like a vacation, taking one day off." Before that change Nichols would close only one day a year, on Christmas. "In 1936 my dad lost the front-door key, and we had to stay open on Christmas," he said. "You forget where you put the key from one Christmas to the next." Some of the same menu items have remained on the menu "since day one," Nichols explained, including beef brains and scrambled eggs and the St. Paul sandwich, a combination of chopped ham, onion, egg and green peppers."
---"Nichols nears 75th year by leaving well enough alone," Walkup, Carolyn. Nation's Restaurant News, May 8, 1995, (p. 100)
Note the striking similarities between the St. Paul and the Western (aka Denver) sandwich.
What is a typical 20th century Missouri dinner? According to Crosby Gaige's New York World's Fair Cookbook: The American Kitchen (p. 228):
Chilled watermelon balls
Fruit cup of mixed Missouri fruits
Springfield fried chicken Missouri stype with cream gravy
Ray County mashed potatoes
Green beans cooked with salt pork
Lafayette County corn on the cob
Hot fluffy biscuits from Missouri soft-wheat flour
Mixed vegetable salad (includes tomatoes)
Relsihes of cucumber pickles
Cottage cheese and tart jelly
Southwest Missouri strawberry shortcake
Stark's delicious apple pie
"Roast Ozark turkey should be included; also Old Boone Country ham. Fried chicken in Missouri is prepared by disjointing a 2 1/2 to 3- pound bird. Each piece is coated with flour which has been seasoned with salt and pepper. The pieces are then fried slowly in a small amount of lard (just enough to prevent sticking) for twenty to thirty minutes, until each piece is tender and a golden brown color. During the cooking each piece is turned frequently. The pieces are removed from the heavy frying pan as they become done, and when all are removed a milk gravy is made by using equal measure of flour and fat in which the chicken was fried and one cup of milk for each two tablespoons of flour. The giblets may be cooked and diced and added to the gravy."
While Montana doesn't have an "official" state food it does have a rich heritage full of delicious foods. You can pick something from history (Native American foods, Lewis & Clark Expedition, prairie homesteaders) or make something with foods grown in the state today. All you need to do is explain the connection of your recipe to the state.
Early Montana foods
"Montana had been left to the Indians until gold and copper mining swept the Western frontier and the Rockies...In the heyday of fur trading, Montana was inhabited by millions of buffalo...Hunters frequently killed buffalo for the fur and left the meat...Milk cows were grought into Montana in 1833, and by the 1850s missionaries had brought a few beef cattle... Sheep came into the Montana territory at about the same time as the railroads...In the early 1900s there was a shift in Montana's agriculture from livestock to wheat farming. Wheat has now become the state's top agricultural crop...The various ethnic groups who settled in Montana brought their native recipes with them. Many Russians became wheat farmers in Montana. They retained their traditional foods, such as beet soup and a cheese tart called Vatroushki...For company there was a pudding of Montana cherries, bread crumbs, and cinnamon or a pie called Smettanick, which had a filling of cherry jam, almonds, and sour cream...The Croatians and Slavs settled Butte, Great Falls, and Anaconda...In the Scandinavian settlements of Montana a special porridge with heavy cream was served at Christmas...The Irish celebrated Easter by preparing a dish called Golden Bread, which consists of thick slices of homemade white bread dipped in egg and fried in butter...The Scots enjoyed scones...Montana's cuisine is also based on ingredients indegenous to the state. White honey...is spread on huckleberry bread...In the hunting season many dishes center around elk, moose, and deer."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 226-8)
Lewis & Clark traversed the If you want to make something they would have eaten we recommend these books (all contain historic information and modernized recipes):
- Cooking on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Mary Gunderson
- The Lewis and Clark Cookbook, Leslie Mansfield
- The Food Journal of Lewis & Clark, Mary Gunderson
Prairie homesteader fare
- Butte's Heritage Cookbook, Jean McGrath
- Cookery of the Prairie Homesteader / Louise K. Nickey
---this cookbook lists a variety of authentic old timey recipes enjoyed late 19th/early 20th century Montana. Among the more simpler (non-meat) recipes are popcorn balls, corn bread, cobbler (blackberry, apple, wild plum), and butter cake.
Sometimes Mamma did not make taffy, but made popcorn balls. By shaking the container of popped corn, the hard or unpopped grains would settle to the bottom. Then she removed the popped corn to a 8 or 10 quart dish pan or mixing bowl. Six quarts of popped corn will make 14 to 15 popcorn balls the size of an orange. Following is a recipe for the popcorn syrup. Stir together 2 cups brown sugar, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil and cook until a hard ball is formed in cold water. Just before it reaches the hard ball stage add 1 tablespoon of butter. Pour over the popcorn and mix well with a big spoon. As soon as you are able to handle the corn without burning your hands, start forming the balls. Press the corn lightly into balls, being careful not to crush the corn. I think we relished these popcorn balls more, because Mamma usually made them on a stormy day, when we couldn't go outdoors."
---Cookery of the Prairie Homesteader, Louise K. Nickey [Touchstone Press:Beaverton OR] 1976 (p. 149)
[NOTE: you can use a modern recipe if you like. Ask yr parents for help...making popcorn balls means hot stuff on the stove.]
If all you need are simple ( & delicious!) Montana recipes here are some good choices: This modernized recipe is based on one found in Louise K. Nickey's Cookery of the Prairie Homesteader.
"Buttermilk Biscuits (Montana:1909)
2 cups flour plus 1/4 cup to flour board
1/2 cup lard, plus a little to grease baking sheet
1 scant teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk.
Equipment: Pastry blender or large fork... wooden board, rolling pin, biscuit cutter or large clean empty tunafish can with both ends removed, baking sheet.
1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or large fork (or your fingers) until the flour mixture is in fine granules.
3. "Sprinkle buttermilk over the mixture." Mix to make a solid, soft dough. "If all the dry ingredients do not work in, gradulaly add a little more buttermilk."
4. Flour the board and rolling pin.
5. Work dough "lightly into a ball with the tips of fingers and roll out to approximately one-inch thick."
6. Lightly grease baking sheet (optional).
7. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
8. Cut biscuits with cutter or tuna tin, arrange on baking sheet.
9. Bake "15 or 20 minutes or until they are a deep golden brown."
"Serve hot biscuits with butter and/or jelly, honey, or chokecherry syrup." Leftover biscuits were eaten split and filled with butter and sugar, or reheated in a paper sack in a 325-degree oven, or crumbled into hot stewed tomatoes." Serves 4."
---The American History Cookbook, Mark H. Zanger [Greenwood Press:Westport CT] 2004 (p. 269-70)
Nebraska is a great state to get for a food report. Why? It was settled by strong, enduring people who overcame great hardships and odds. Life was difficult for early European settlers; obtaining food was even harder. Their legacy is one of perserverance and success. Nebraska Foods (from the State's official Web site): 1 & 2 Nebraska's top crops.
Some famous brand-name foods
Early Nebraska foodways
"In 1804 the Lewis and Clark expedition inventoried the edible resources of Nebraska. The list included deer, "turkies," grouse, elk, geese, ducks, buffalo, catfish, and "other" fish. They also noted an abundance of wild grapes, three kinds of plums, wild cherries, and gooseberries. Lewis...and Clark observed that the two most popular foods of the nomadic Indian tribes of Nebraska were jerky (dried beef preserved with salt) and pemmican (finely pounded dried meat mixed with fat). Like the native Indians, the early traders, trappers, explorers, and missionaries who traversed Nebraska were able to live off the land. They carried only the basic food items, such as salt pork, sugar, flour, and coffee. Salt pork, a staple food because it would keep indefinately, was soaked for a few hours to remove some of the excess salt and then fried. The sugar was usually in laoves or coarsely crushed brown sugar, and the flour was unbleached. Coffee, which was green, had to be roasted in a skillet over an open fire before it could be ground and brewed...From the time of the establishment of the first settlements and farms in Nebraska, corn and cornmeal became the major item of the diet... Even corncobs were used for fuel in cooking and hating...The coming of the railroads to Nebraska in the mid-1860s attracted homesteaders by the tens of thousands. Most came from agricultural areas of the East, and a large portion emigrated from Europe, especially German, Bohemia, the British Isles, and Scandinavia...Pioneer life on the plains was hard...Homemakers brought their recipes and familiar methods of cooking with them, but the new circumstances on the frontier required them to make many adjustments. Until a settler could plant a garden and acquire livestock, the family had to do without eggs, milk, butter, or lard. Settlers improvised recipes for pancakes without eggs, biscuits without lard, and used water instead of milk in baking. Salt-risen bread became popular with housewives who had no yeast. The term "salt-risen" refers to the practice of keeping a bowl of starter nested overnight in a warm bed of salt, which retained a uniform heat. The starter contained warm milk or water, four, cornmeal, sugar or molasses."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America,, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 184-5)
Historic foods 19th century homesteaders enjoyed watermelons. About beef curing 1 & 2.
Eventually Nebraska became part of the great American farm belt, supplying urban areas and military personnel with much needed wheat, beef, and other necessary commodities. If you go to this site and search the word food you will find dozens of interesting pieces of information.
More Nebraska foods/recipes can be found in these books:
Nebraska Pioneer Cookbook, Kay Graber
---historic cooking notes and recipes. Includes old menus. GREAT BOOK!
Cather's Kitchens: Foodways in Literature & Life, Roger and Linda Welsch
---pioneer food notes from Willa Cather's books
Recipes From America's Restored Villages, Jean Anderson
---selected recipes from the Stuhr musem and Harold Warp Pioneer Village
Nevada doesn't have an official state food (these are voted on by the legislature!). The history of Nevada is rich with all kinds of people and cuisine. This means you have plenty of choices when it comes to state foods from Nevada. You can select foods from different time periods (indigenous, early pioneer settlement, mining towns, railroad expansion, the Civilian Conservation Corps projects in the 1930s, contemporary gambling resorts) and cuisines (Native American, French trappers, European settlers, Basque sheepherders, African-American miners, Chinese railroad workers, top international cuisine served in historic and current casino resorts).
Nevada's culinary heritage:
"Nevada became a state in 1864 but brought little to the coutnry of gastronomic significance. The land, basically desert, was so poor that it could barely support is Shoshone Indians, nicknamed "diggers," who had to dig for roots and rodents for nourishement. Nomads with no permanent villages, the Shoshones lived off the land collecting berries seeds, and nuts...The Indians of Nevada ate very little meat since it was rarely available in this desert. They suppelmented with little meat they could find with pine nuts in the winter, leaves and stems in the spring, berries and herbs in the summer, and roots in the fall. Indian women used hot stones to cook soups or pine mush, a favorite dish made with roasted, shelled pine nuts that were gently crushed with a stone. Grasshoppers, captured when they became entangled in the sweet sap of the cattail, were a delicacy for the Paiutes...One of the first settlements on Nevada was formed by a group of Mormons who came from Salt Lake City in 1850 and built Mormon Station, a crude trading post...During the next decade Brigham Young sent more Mormons to establish settlements along well-traveled trails so that the stream of gold seekers could get food and supplies...The Mormons who settled in Carson Valley in western Nevada at about the same time started with 30 cattle and a few hogs...Mormon grapes, melons, potatoes, corn, wheat, and squash helped Nevada mining camps survive the days of boom and bust... Nevada grazing land is home to cattle and sheep. The Basque sheepherders, who constantly fought the cattlemen over land use, came to Nevada at the turn of the century and were a closely knit group...Many Basque women followed their husbands into the mountains and became camp cooks. Breakfast usually consisted of strong, steaming-hot coffee with condensed milk, sourdough bread, and a strong cheese. Lunch, the main meal of the day...varied from stews or roasted meats to an omelet filled with bacon and potatoes."
---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 229-230) [NOTE: This book offers a recipe for Basque Lamb Stew (p. 231).]
Native American foodways
Foods of the Desert Culture--State of Nevada. Lots of interesting information about Native American cuisine in Nevada, includes a list of indigenious ingredients and simple recipes. Excellent if you need to explain to your class the history behind the recipe.
Early European Nevada trekkers (1820s-1840s) dined on standard portable provisions (coffee, tea, flour, jerky/pemmican, dried fruits, dried beans/peas, sugar, brandy) supplemented by local items (animals, fruits & vegetables). Exact recipes depended upon traditional preference (French, English, Mexican/Spanish), economics (how much money the group had), and season/weather. According to the writings in many early Nevada explorer's journals, many places in this state were harsh and inhospitable. Many times there was nothing to eat.
Want to explore Nevada's culinary diversity? The Great Nevada Cookbook, compiled by the editors of Nevada Magazine, is and excellent source. This booklet groups representative historic recipes by ethnic/immigrant groups (Native American, Basque, Greek, Mexican), historic period (miners, cowboys) and cooking style (Dutch oven). All recipes are adapted for modern kitchens. Your librarian will be happy to help you find a copy.
Basque cuisine: Culinary heritage
Mining fare, circa 19th century
1880s Nevada silver miners survived on coffee, beans, tinned items, and other foods capable of withstanding extreme climates and challenging situations. Provisions were supplemented by fresh game and local (seasonal) fruits/berries.
"The discovery of the Comstock Lode at what became Virginia City in 1859 brought a huge migration of prospectors to Nevada...[these men] survived on sourdough biscuits and sourdough bread, which descendants of pioneer families still bake. When women arrived in the mining camps, they started trading recipes, which eventually became the basis of Nevada cuisine. Meat-stuffed Cornish pasties and tripe stewed with onion, celery, and parsnips and flavored with mustard and Worcestershire sauce became favorites. Saffron Cake and Potato-Caramel Cake topped the list of desserts...During the gold and siver rush of the 1860s, prospectors who had struck it rich liked any type of food, as long as it "cost a lot." Black-tie dinners in Virginia City sparkled with French Champagne that had crossed the ocean, rounded the Horn, and come over the Sierras from California. They ate from imported china and drank from glasses that twinkled under huge crystal chandeliers. Virginia City boasted fine restaurants, clubs, and hotels, many of which had imported internationally known chefs. West Coast oysters became a delicacy for the newly rich; oyster loaf and oyster stuffing for quail became the showpieces of dinner parties."
---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 230-1)
"Unsurprisingly, archaeolgical excavations at Virginia City saloons turned up a profusion of bottles and bottle fragments...They lead us into the experience of bieng in a historic saloon by revealing clues about what people drank....Animal bones, condiment containers, and trace elements of food residue...provide clues to the diverse food and beverage menus of Virginia City's drinking establishments. Some Virginia City saloons advertised "well kept and assorted lunches," "choice lunches," and "superior hot lunches." Given the relatively large populations of lonely single men in mining boomtowns, saloonkeepers wisely responded to a clientele in need of snacks and meals, as well as drinks. Common meals served at ninteteenth-century saloons included cheese, potatoes, and mutton pie, and drinking houses in "humble neightborhoods" offered hot meals at certain times of the day. While food remained a novelty and a draw for potential patrons who where looking for a good meal, many saloon proprietors advertised their establishments's drink menus more frequently than their food offerings...The types of foods served in each saloon provided another level of distinction...lamb, beef and pork were popular meat menu items in Virginia City drinking houses...with negligible amounts of small mammals such as rabbits, as well as fish and fowl...[and] a few wild birds...Meat cuts were designated high, medium, and low quality depending on the amount or tenderness of the meat...medium- quality beef cuts were the most significant meat-based meals associated with the theater saloon...low-quality meals are not necessarily part of the widespread local memor of Virginia City's boomtown wealth. Rather, local folklore tends to highlight the more opulent saloon menu items, indicating that people from all walks of life enjoyed champagne and oysters, symbols of the boomtown's ostentatious wealth, in the community's drinking houses...Specialty businesses were described as "oyster saloon," and it is liekly that the existence of such places, along with historical reports of miners dining on various delicacies, encouraged folklore centered on the splendor to be had in the community's saloons...A discussion of cuisine would not be complete without considering types of foods that did not survive the passage of time, such as cheese, bread, fruits, and vegetables...it is important to be aware that all drinking houses, if they offered meals, served more than meat-based foods..."
---Boomtown Saloons: Archaeology and History in Virginia City, Kelly J. Dixon [University of Nevada Press:Reno] 2005 (p. 73-95)
Las Vegas-style buffets
Currently? Nevada (at least in Las Vegas) is known for ultimate buffets. A little bit of everything served with a theme. Who launched modern American "all you can eat" buffet? Mr. Herb McDonald, Las Vegas NV, 1946.
"The man who inspired the all-you-can-eat buffet and brought the Beatles to Las Vegas died Saturday, better known by his deeds than his name. A visionary who helped mold Las Vegas for more than a half century, Herb McDonald, 83, was one of the first publicists on the Strip, founder of the group that brought the National Finals Rodeo to Las Vegas and an innovator in professional golf tournaments. "He was the godfather to all of us in publicity and marketing -- he made the footprints that we follow today," said Jim Seagrave, vice president of marketing and advertising for the Stardust...McDonald inspired the buffet in 1946 more out of hunger than genius, he recalled. One night while working late at the El Rancho Vegas, the first hotel on what would become the Strip, McDonald brought some cheese and cold cuts from the kitchen and laid them out on the bar to make a sandwich. Gamblers walking by said they were hungry, and the buffet was born. The original midnight "chuckwagon" buffet cost .25."
---"Strip Visionary McDonald Dies," Gambling Magazine, July 10, 2002
"Herb McDonald, a business pioneer whose ideas helped make Las Vegas a hub of international tourism, died Saturday. He was 83. A publicist for nearly 50 years, McDonald has been credited for the development of Las Vegas-area signatures such as the Strip's first all-you-can-eat buffet and the city's status as a popular convention site...In the early 1950s, McDonald launched an inexpensive buffet at the El Rancho, a tactic that has since been used to attract patrons at virtually every hotel-casino in Southern Nevada."
---"Veteran publicist who helped promote LV as destination dies at 83," Chris Jones, Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 10, 2002, D; Pg. 2D
El Rancho's original menu, circa 1947
Need to make something for class?
Helen Evans Brown's The Virginia City Cook Book (c. 1953) offers excellent selections with historic notes. For example...
"Eilley Orrum's Batter Biscuits
Beat together 2 eggs (in Virginia City, 3 eggs---the altitude, you know), 1/2 cup of milk, 3 tablespoons each of corn meal and flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a tablespoon of butter. Pour into well buttered muffin tins and bake in a 450 degree F. oven. (The old recipe said, "Bake in a quick oven in little tin molds.") These are really corn-meal popovers, as you will see when you take them out of the oven all puffed up with pride." (p. 115)
"Nevada Corn Cake
"This recipes is...from Nevada Cook Book of 1887, We have reworded it slightly. "Scald a pint of milk with a tablespoon of butter, pour in a cup of Indian meal [corn meal] and allow to cool. Add a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of salt, and the yolks of 4 eggs, well beaten. Lastly add the whites of the eggs, beaten stiff. Pour in a well-buttered pan and bake 1/2 hour in a hot oven." (p. 119)
[NOTE: "Hot oven" translates today as 425 degrees F.]
"Baked Cream Chicken Pioneer
This old recipe was found in the cluttered back room of the Pioneer Drugstore, recently opened to the public. Time was when Virginia City had numerous apothecary emporiums, but today the Pioneer is the only one, built in 1876 and still preserving on its venerable shelves such tings as mortar and pestles, pill-rollers, herb crushers and fragrantly nostalgic patent medicines like lung balm and wizard oil. Charming in its old-fashioned lavishness, this recipe would be just right for a main dish at a buffet, along with, perhaps, sliced Virginia ham and cole slaw. Cheese biscuits, too, please, and for dessert, apples poached in rum-flavored syrup. Boil a hen in just enough water to cover until tender. (Add an herb bouquet to the water.) When cool, remove all the bones and return them to the stock, simmering another 15 minutes. Strain and reserve. Cut the chicken into not-too-small pieces and hard-boil 6 eggs. Also saute a pound of sliced mushroom caps in 3 tablespoons of butter. Butter a baking dish--one that will hold 2 quarts or more--and sprinkle the bottom with buttered crumbs (1 cup crumbs, 1/4 cup butter; save half for topping.) Arrange layer of chicken on the crumbs, on that a layer of sliced eggs, and then a layer of mushrooms. Repeat, then pour over a sauce made by cooking 2 tablespoons of flour with 2 tablespoons of butter, adding a teaspoon of crushed dill seeds, 2 cups of cream, and 2 cups of the chicken stock, which should, by now, be about that amount. Correct seasoning, cook until smooth and thickened, pour over the chicken, and top with the remainder of the crumbs. Brown and reheat in a 350 degree oven before serving. We think this would also be good with pitted ripe olives instead of the mushrooms." (p. 42-43)
"Noisettes of Lamb Marye
Another recipe from the family collection of George T. Marye, the well-known Bonanza Day financier. Noisettes are the 'tenerloin steaks' of a lamb. Use loin chops removoing all the fat and skin. Saute them in butter...and serve with Sauce Diable. Chop a large shallot and cook it in 2 tablespoons of butter until it's transparent. Add the juice of a lemon, a teaspoon of prepared mustard, French style, a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, a dash of tabasco, and 2 cups of sauce Espagnole or brown gravy. Cook until smooth." (p. 52)
"Gold Hill Rocks
Molly Crocker produced this recipe, one we approve mightily, though we think the name misleading. Butter-rich and spiced with niecety, the are a bonanza of nuts and raisins--the Gold Hill Nuggets. The recipe is a lavish one, producing 13 dozen or more of the cookies. For moderns who view such expenditure with alarm, we suggest making one-quarter of the recipe---a simple problem of division except for the eggs. In this case use 2 eggs but only one tablespoon of water. But here is the recipe as Molly makes it in her charming little house on Greiner's Bend at Gold Hill. Cream 1 pound of butter with 3 cups of dark brown sugar. Add 6 eggs, beat, then mix in 2 pounds of broken walnuts (or pecans), 2 pounds of seeded or seedless raisins, 5 cups of flour, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of soda dissolved in 1/2 cup of warm water. Drop in teaspoonfuls on buttered cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees F. until nicely but lightly browned." (p. 135-6)
"Old Comstock Raspberry-Cream Tarts
Marian Gladding...is a member of an old Comstockian family. Her husband, Tex, is Virginia City's postmaster. These delectable tarts have a Scandinavian heritage. Cream 1/2 cup of butter with 3/4 cup of sugar, add an egg and 1/4 teaspoon of almond extrace. Add 2 cups of sifted flour and a little salt. Knead dough well until stiff, then chill for an hour. Roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lighty floured board. Cut in 3 1/2-inch rounds and fit over for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Fill with raspberry cream just before serving. Raspberry Cream. Beat 1 cup of whipping cream until stiff, add 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 pint boxes of raspberries. If desired, 1 cup of raspberry jam may be substituted for the sugar and fruit." (p. 131)
If you want a different type of recipe (main dish? veggie?) let us know. We can scan, mail or fax.
Historic cookbooks (we can send recipes):
- Cook Book of the Woman's Art and Industrial Association of Nevada/Carson City c. 1887 (reprinted 1973)
- Carson City Historical Cook Book/Noreen Humphreys c. 1974 (celebrating centennial)
New Hampshire has four official state foods. Official state symbols (including food) must be approved by the legislature. They become law.
Early New Hampshire foodways "The first colonists bulit homes, started fisheries, and traded the Indians for furs. These settlers had no agricultural experience and found it hard to adapt to their new surroundings. Although familiar with saltwater fishing, they still depended upon England for msot of their food supplies. Wild game and turkey were plentiful, but the early settlers did not know how to catch them and ammunition was in short supply...Duyring the summer the settlers learned to gather wild black currants, raspberries, and strawberries. Theys tarted importing seedlings and cutting of fruit trees from England, and soon almost every farm...had an orchard. Vegetable gardens could not be relied upon as a steady supply of food, however, due to the short growing season and sudden changes in the weather...In 1719 shiploads of Scotch-Irish families arrived and settled near the Merrimack Valley in New Hampshire...These settlers bought potatoes with them...Within two decades potatoes became an important crop in New England. The English, who also settled in New Hampshire, introduced another root vegetable, the turnip, to New England...By 1840 more than half of the land in New Hampshire was farmed...In addition to the English and Scotch-Irish, there was also a large influx of French-Canadian settlers in New Hampshire. They brought with them recipes for roast pork, pea soup, pickled beets, and salmon pie made with mashed potatoes, onions, milk, and seasonings... Apple butter has been made in New Hampshire since colonial times..."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 25-7)
The NH Dept. of Agriculture provides this summary of major food crops. Note: apples and milk are referenced here, along with maple syrup.
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
1 cup blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cream the yolks and sugar together; add vanilla, salt, and then the flour sifted with the baking-powder. Add seeded raisins and nuts, cut in two, and, lastly, fold in the beaten whites. Spread in thin sheet on a buttered tin, and bake 20 minutes in moderate oven. Cut in sqares while still hot, and roll in powdered sugar."
---The National Cookbook, Sheila Hibben [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1932 (p. 417)
More historical New Hampshire recipes
Recipes from America's Restored Villages/Jean Anderson. Offers recipes from Strawbery Banke [Portsmouth NH] p. 48-54 include oyster stew, cod fish hash, gooseberry fool and blueberry cake.
Native American foods
Long before European settlement, the Lenni Lenape lived in the area we now know as New Jersey. Foodways notes here:
"A great variety of birds and mammals were hunted by the Indians of Lenapehoking; some of these are now extinct or no longer indigenous. In 1612, for example, Captain Samuel Argall and his Indian guides killed bison along the Pembrook River...The most abundant animal remains present in the Indian refuse pits, however, are those of deer, elk, black bear, racoons, turkeys, geese, turtles, fish and mussels...Upon reaching his dwelling, the hunter's traditional behavior was to leave the deer or other kill before the door and enter the house without speaking a word...Sharing meat and other supplies promoted good will and ensured the survival of the group--so long as one person had food, all had food. Indeed, one's prestige was measured not by the amount of goods accumulated, but by the generosity with which one shared with other members of the community, especially the aged and infirm...Indian hunters always provided for the elderly and those no longer able to shoot a bow...Autumn was the usual time for deer hunting, after the harvest had been dried and stored for winter use...More than likely, the returning families also brought fresh venison, skins, nuts, firewood and, and bone grease...In autumn and early winter, nuts of many kinds were available in abundance, and most-fattened, thick-pelted deer, elk, bear, raccoons, and turkeys provided good meat and skins...(p. 261-3) In spring, summer, and early fall, most Indians fished along the river banks and shores...Men, women, and children gathered shellfish which were an important food supplement ...It appears that Indians gathered...freshwater mussels quite regularly from a fairly large area. Some were eaten immediately...It is also probably that quantities of freshwater mussels were gathered throughout the year and deposited in streams near the camp until an especially hot day in July or August, when these shellfish were brought to the campsite in baskets. Spread out on a patio-like bed of rocks, with sun-heated stones beneath, and the strong solar rays from above, the mussels opened, dried, and dehydrated in their shells...People apparently scraped the dried clams out of their shells and stored them in clay pots, leather bags, or baskets, or string the meat together for later use in soups or sapan.(p. 276-7)...The best evidence for prehistoric gardening practices in Lenapehoking derives from archaeological excavations in the upper Delaware River Valley...Corn, several varieties of podded beans, and different kinds of curcurbits or squashes, the Indians' primary cultigens, were planted together. Although anciently cultivated in Mexico and Peru...these plants probably made their first appearance in Lenapehoking in the early part of the Late Woodland period...but may not have become a major source of food until considerably afer A.D. 1300. In time, the Indians grew both soft and hard varieties of maize in coors including white, red, blue, brown, yellow, flesh-colored, and spotted...The most common variety of corn appears to have been maiz de Ocho or eight-row Northern Flint corn...Corn cobs recovered in archaeological excavations from sites in the upper Delaware River Valley indicated that ears were quite small, generally about 3 to 4 inches in length...Beans including common pole beans...and runners, were planted in the same place as corn, but some weeks later so that the growing corn stalk might provide a support for the vines...Curcurbits, including several varieties of summer squashes...and certain winter squashes...including pumpkins, were planted in or about the corn and bean hills...Many garden vegetables were eaten day by day as they ripened, but others were stored for use in the fall and winter...Indian women preserved some corn by simply peeling back the husks, braiding the ears, and hanging the clusters from house poles and roof supports. Most of the remaining corn was boiled, dried, removed from the cob, and stored in skin bags or bark containers. Beans were boiled for a few minutes and then dried for preservation. Pumpkins and squash were sliced into thin rings after after which a stick was inserted through them and they were hung up to dry in the sun..."
---The Lenape-Delaware Indian Heritage: 10,000 BC to AD2000, Herbert C. Kraft [Lenape Books:NJ] 2001
Colonial NJ fare
"During the Revolutionary War many of the American troops were quartered in New Jersey homes. They were welcome guests and were frequently invited to partake of the family's meals. A typical meal at the time might have consisted of potato soup made with a generous amount of onions, wild turkey with corn-bread stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Depending on the time of year, a green or root vegetable accompanied the turkey, and rice pudding topped with currant jelly was served for dessert...Apple cider was a common drink in the colonies, and one of the earliest types was developed in New Jersey. The apples for the cider came from trees planted in the early 1630s. A century later a leading world botanist, Peter Kalm of Sweden, pronounced New Jersey cider to be one of the best he had ever tasted...The New Jerseyites were not content with simple cider. At the end of the 1600s, William Laird began to distill the cider, producing apple brandy, now better known as applejack...In 1780 one of Laird's descendants began commercial production of apple brandy under the firm name of Laird & Co., in Scobeyville, New Jersey."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 48)
"...Notions of Americans...writing of experiences...in 1824, had this to say about Bispham's Tavern in Trenton: 'We were shown into a neat well-furnished little parlour, where our supper made its appearance in about twenty minutes. The table contained many little delicacies, such as game, oysters, and choice fish, and several things were named to us at hand if needed. The tea was excellent, the coffee, as usual, indifferent enough...Black bread and a bowl of porridge was the standard breakfast served at some Jersey taverns through most of the 1700s. Others went for more elaborate fare from nearby vegetable garden, barnyard, or river."
---Early Taverns and Stagecoach Days in New Jersey, Walter H. Van Hoesen [Fairleigh Dickinson University Press:Rutherford NJ] 1976 (p. 149-150)
"Newark Cider. Concerning Newark's famous old-time cider, the following specific information on the ingredients thereof will be new and of interest to many readers. Our information was the late John Oakes of Bloomfield. He said some time ago: 'Quite a large portion of the land in Bloomfield in the last century (the eighteenth), and the first third of this (the nineteenth), was in farms. They were small, comparatively, few of more than fifty acres. The farmers raised on the land rye, oats, Indian corn, potatoes and buckwheat--very little wheat, and hay. They had large orchards of apples for making cider, which, under the name of 'Newark cider,' was known over a large extent of the country, shipped to the South, as well as to points in these parts. It was celebrated as the best. It was made (the best) from two kinds of apples mixed, two thirds being Harrison apples, which were small and alight yellow color, a little tart and very juicy; and one-third being the Canfield apple, large, red and sweet, both seedlings having originated here.' Thus Newark cider was a product of Newark fruit and Newark invention.---J.F.F."
---"Newark Cider," Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, New Series 1918, Volume III, No. 1 (p. 25)
What kinds of foods were produced in Morris County, NJ in 1768?
This advertisement from The New York Gazette and Weekly Mercury, No. 855, March 21, 1768, describes orchards and food-related buildings for let (rent):
"To be Let, by William Kelly, A very valuable Tract, of about 2000 Acres of Land, in the County of Morris, in East New-Jersey, as health a Counry as any in the World, about 15 Miles from Newark...and about 23 Miles from New-York. This Tract is so fine a Body of Land...for Fertility and Richness; about 1500 Acres of which is rich low Ground...The Soil is as fine as any in the World for Grass, and will grow any Kind of Grain...with a fine young Orchard, the largest in the Province, containing about 1400 Trees, of the best grafter Fruit, at 50 Feet Distances, which bore this (for the first) Year, and from which, when it comes to Maturity, there may be from 500 to 1000 Barrels of Cyder made yearly. There is on the Estate fine Black Heart, May Duke, White Heart, Coronation, and Bleeding Heart Cherries; Bergamott, and other Pears; Holland, Green Gage, and Orchea Plumbs; a fine Nursury of several Thousand Apple Trees, some of which are fit to set out. A good Farm House, Kitchen, and a very fine Dairy, and Cyder-House built this Year, a Barn, with nine Barracks for Hay and Corn; a very fine Corn-House, and a large Grannery...a Smoak-House, a large Fowl-House...a large Cow-House...two Green Houses to preserve Cabbage and Roots in the Winter; a Pidgeon-House, well stock'd...there may...be upwards of 150 Tuns of fine English Hay, Clover and Speer Grass, and upwards of 500 Tuns of coarse hay cut...Through the Tract runs a fine Brook, on which stands (within less than half a Mile of the Dwelling-House) a Grist-Mill...and also a River on which the Tract bounds, are plenty of Trout and other Fish: There is also some Deer, Turkeys and plenty of wild Geese, Ducks, Partridges, Quails, &c. on it in the proper Season, and at the Foot of the Garden is a very fine Spring, never dry, and an extreme good Place for a Fish-Pond...This Estate lies in the Heart of a Country, where any Quantity of Cattle may be bought, at all Seasons of the Year, at a very moderate Price...There is on it now, the largest and finest Breed of Cattle in America, imported from Holland."
---Documents Relating to the Revolutionary History of the State of New Jersey, Series 2, Volume VII Newspaper Abstracts [New Jersey Archives:Trenton NJ] (p. 89-90)
"Isabella Ashfield's Receipt Book...In the Guide to the [NJ Historical] Society's manuscripts collection compiled by Fred Shelley...in 1957, there is listed a cookbook. This book is enclosed in parchment covers, and must be one of the earliest of its kid in the country. On the tile page is the inscription 'Isabella Ashfield, Her Book, April 1st, 172--', and lower down on the page is written 'Elizabeth Ashfield, Her Book, January, 1750-1.' Isabella Morris Ashfield was the eighth daughter of Lewis Morris and Isabella Graham Morris...In Mrs. Ashfield's book we star off with 'Soupes--crawfish, onion, pease among them. Crawfish soup was made with a gallon of water a brace of male carps (in those days people had ponds for fresh water fish), lobsters and no less than 200 crawfish! In the porridge section we note that what then went by the name of porridge was not made of cereals; a cereal porridge was usually called a 'Gruel' or a 'Bouilli'. A receipt for 'Brown Duck Porridge' stars off in no small way by stewing a leg of beef overnight, then adding turnips, then toasted French 'roales', which were toasted in front of the fire and were often used th thicken sauces along with 'flower' and butter; finally, after almost twenty-four hours of preparing for it, the duck enters the scene and gets into the pot. What we would call stew today was called by different names, and 'Herrico' is a mutton stew with turnips. There are several 'Ragues,' of hog's ears for one (this name is spelt in may ways, 'ragoo' being one of the nicest). Here we find 'Frigasea's of Chickens,' rabbits and, of all things, mussels! One is advised to beat cutlets and Scotch collops--which seem to be thin slices of veal or beef in both cases--with a rolling pin and with the back of the knife to tenderize them. Beef 'Stakes' got the same treatment, beef being tough in those days, not corn-fed as we know it today. In Mrs. Ashfield's book meats were usually stewed or broiled on a spit. The only way that they were baked seems to have been in pies, of which there was an infinite variety, of meats, green geese, and all kinds of fish. Preservation of foods for the winter months was of vital importance. Pickling, drying, salting, and converting to marmalades and jellies were all methods used. Among the pickles there are radishes, tongue, french beans, artichokes, pigs, eels, and one of particular interest: 'To pickle cucumbers, mango way.' This receipt shows the influence of the budding British empire, since mangoes were grown in India, where the East India Company had been founded under Queen Elizabeth. In the cake and sweet section, among the orange and lemon creams and cheesecakes, we find that the puddings predominate as is only right. One receipt in particular is intriguing, having the odd title of 'To Make Rice Pudding in Gutts'! After the first feeling of recoil one finds that it is only the container (belonging to a bullock) that is odd; otherwise it is our familiar nice rice pudding made with milk, cream, raisins and nutmeg. There are many homemade fruit wines listed, mead, the syllabubs, flummeries, sack possets, and other delicious-sounding drinks of the day. The only drinks here with spirits in them are the 'Plague Water' and Aqua Miabilis, and these were portioned out like medicine, by the spoonful. The ingredients in these medicines were as many as thirty different herbs, spices, and the Gascon wine or claret from Bordeaux. It looks as if the people of the time put just about everything that they could think of into these cure-alls, on the principle that something might work. Of course these were the days of herb lore, of which every woman knew the importance."
---"Of Books and Things: From the Library," Elizabeth Lyman Frelinghuysen, Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society, Volume LXXVII, No. 4, October 1959 (p. 279-281)
New Jersey offers three edible state symbols:
"Just like the early American colonists, the honeybee came here from Europe, and was officially adopted as the state insect in 1974....With more than 1,400 miles of streams to swim through, the brook trout became the official state fish in 1992....First cultivated in the Garden State in 1916, the blueberry is a delicious new addition to this list as the official state fruit as of January 12, 2004."
NJ Agriculture New Jersey top crops
- Cranberries: I & II
- Honey bees in NJ
- Sweet corn
On the manufacturing & retail side, New Jersey is best known for:
- Campbell's soup
...recommended reading: America's Favorite Food: The Story of Campbell Soup Company, Douglas Collins
- Saltwater taffy
- M & Ms, made by Mars in Hackettstown, NJ
- Taylor Pork Roll & Taylor Ham
- Texas Hot Weiners
- Welch's grape juice
"From the very beginning of its industrial history to the present, the preparation of food and drink products has loomed large in the New Jersey picture. For two whole centuries the flour mills occupied top place among all of the State's manufacturing specialties. Then, as they gradually yielded to western competition, another phase of the flour picture, the baking of bread, gradually expanded into a major industry. In spite of a similar trend to the West in the slaughtering and packing of meat, a lively business in that was built up at Jersey City. The brewing of beer and ale maintained a steady growth from early days, and eventually reached substantial proportions. With the development of canning, South Jersey went into that business on a substantial scale, in vegetables and fruits, during the summer and autumn months. In spite of this long participation of New Jersey in the food and drink industries of the Nation, the State achieved national first place in only one item. This was the manufacture of canned soups, as we shall see. Whereas canned soup made the name "Campbell" famous all over the world, the old New Jersey flour industry was pretty much an anonymous affair. It never became associated, as in some other states, with particular towns or special establishments..."
---"Food and Drink Industries," Jennie Barnes Pope, A.M., The Story of New Jersey, William Starr Myers, editor [Lewis Historical Publishing Company:New York]Volume III, 1945 (p. 137)
Taylor Pork Roll (& Taylor Ham)
Ask someone from New Jersey how they like their Taylor Pork Roll and they will spare no details! This beloved local product enjoys a cult-like following of the first degree. As with most food elevated to this extreme, the "real" history is a savory convergence of fact and fiction.
John Taylor's biographers confirm his entry into the retail grocery business as a teenager. When he was 20 , Taylor established a retail grocery store with his name on it. This accounts for the product origination date often cited by the press. Mr. Taylor quickly expanded his retail market into a wholesale concern. Pork products proliferated in the greater Philadelphia region (think scrapple!). While it is quite likely Mr. Taylor sold pork products with his name on them from this date forwards, biographers confirm he did not enter the slaughtering business until the 1870s. The Taylor Provisions Company (manufacturers of Taylor Ham and Pork Roll) was established in 1907. The business flourished, but did not expand beyond the local markets of New Jersey and the Greater Philadelphia area. We find no print evidence supporting modern claims this Taylor's Pork Roll was a family recipe handed down from Colonial times.
Records of the US Patent & Trademark Office confirm Taylor brand pork products were introduced to the American public in 1856:
"Word Mark TAYLOR Goods and Services IC 029. US 046. G & S: PORK PRODUCTS-NAMELY, PORK SAUSAGE. FIRST USE: 18560000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 18560000 Mark Drawing Code (5) WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM Serial Number 71561536 Filing Date July 15, 1948 Current Filing Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Registration Number 0533600 Registration Date November 21, 1950 Owner (REGISTRANT) TAYLOR PROVISIONS COMPANY, THE CORPORATION NEW JERSEY 63 PERRINE AVENUE TRENTON NEW JERSEY 08650 Attorney of Record JOHN J. KANE Prior Registrations 0061356;0073183;0113172 Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL-2(F) Affidavit Text SECTION 8(10-YR) 20001229. Renewal 1ST RENEWAL 20001229 Live/Dead Indicator LIVE"
Taylor Pork Roll was introduced to the American public October 10, 1906:
"Word Mark JOHN TAYLOR'S PORK ROLL SUGAR CURED THE TAYLOR PROVISION CO. TRENTON N.J. BROIL OR FRY QUICK OVER A HOT FIRE JUST BEFORE SERVING FINEST SELECTED LEAN PORK DELICATELY CURED & SMOKED "NO SALTY TASTE" Goods and Services IC 029. US 046. G & S: PORK ROLL. FIRST USE: 19061016. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19061016...Serial Number 71022841 Filing Date October 22, 1906 Current Filing Basis 1A Original Filing Basis 1A Change In Registration CHANGE IN REGISTRATION HAS OCCURRED Registration Number 0061356 Registration Date March 19, 1907 Owner (REGISTRANT) TAYLOR PROVISIONS COMPANY, THE CORPORATION NEW JERSEY 63 PERRINE AVENUE TRENTON NEW JERSEY 08638 Attorney of Record FREDERICK A. ZODA Description of Mark THE WREATH BEING GOLD AND THE BACKGROUND RED. Type of Mark TRADEMARK Register PRINCIPAL Affidavit Text SECT 12C. SECT 15. SECTION 8(10-YR) 20060913. Renewal 5TH RENEWAL 20060913 Live/Dead Indicator LIVE"
The oldest print reference we find for this item dates to 1908:
"LOOK OUT For Imitators SEE SEE That You Get the Genuine TAYLOR Pork Roll ABSOLUTELY Clean Government Inspected NAME ON EVERY BAG."
---display ad (no reference to price or manufacturer), Trenton Evening Times, January 25, 1908 (p. 2) [NOTE: this ad no doubt caught attention; it ran down the entire middle column of the page.]
How much did it cost?
"Taylor Pork Roll, 10 1/2 c[ents] lb. By the bag."
---Trenton Evening Times, April 2, 1908 (p. 6)
Taylor pork roll legend & lore
"It's as Jersey as sitting on the stoop or grabbing a late bite at the diner. It s meat that goes with eggs, but it isn't ham or bacon or even sausage. In fact, if you ask anyone outside of the state what it is, they ve probably never heard of it. But call it by name around these parts, and you almost can smell it sizzling. Pork roll. Uncover the canvas wrapping, slice it thin, make three small cuts at the edges so it doesn't curl up and grill away. Mmm mm. Nothing tastes or smells quite like it, even though many of us may not exactly know what the heck it really is. Pork roll commonly is known as Taylor ham whether Taylor Provisions in Trenton makes it or not it's just one of those Jersey things. In fact, it's so Jersey, you can't buy it anyplace else in the country or in the world, except in the tri-state area."
---"Pork Roll: A Jersey Kind of Thing," Brooke Tarabour, Star Ledger [Newark NJ], May 2, 2001 (p. 67)
"Taylor Pork Roll, which originated in Trenton, was invented by John Taylor in 1856. A sign describes pork roll as 'select, strictly fresh pork tenderly cured without the aid of brine or pickle, delicately aged and slowly smoked with hickory.' Taylor Pork roll stands used to be plentiful on the Jersey Shore, in the first half of the century, they existed in Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Cape May, Ocean City and Wildwood..."
---"Jersey Shore Beach Food: Just a Summer Love?" New York Times, August 11, 1993 (p. C3)
"Wow! Did we ever found out about pork roll sandwiches in New Jersey...Good news for desperate Jerseyites...The proper name is Taylor's Pork Roll..The sandwiches can be constructed with toasted hamburger buns. The meat is sliced thin--better three thin than one fat--and broiled, fried, or --best--grilled over charcoal. There was an early-pre-Revolution John Taylor, who may or may not have made the first ham--it was originally Taylor's Ham--but it was first 'ground and bagged' for the market by a John Taylor in 1856. It was, I am told, the only thing for Sunday breakfast along with two poached eggs for 'anyone who amounted to anything' in Trenton."
---"All's Fare," Lois Dwan, Los Angeles Times, May 26, 1981 (p. I9)
"The pork roll dates back to Colonial days, the recipe handed down within the Taylor family. It is fresh pork, chopped then sugar cured and not available in Arizona..."
---"Pork Roll Dates Back to Colonial Times," Arizona Republic, May 28, 1969 (p. 64)
Who was John Taylor?
"John Taylor. Ex-Senator John Taylor of Trenton, son of James F. and Rebecca (Borden) Taylor, was born in Hamilton Square, New Jersey, October 6 , 1836. His father died when he was but fourteen years of age, and up to his seventeenth year Mr. Taylor was employed in the brick yard formerly owned by his father. His next employment was clerking in a grocery store, and within two years he was given an interest in the business. After one year he withdrew from the firm and formed a partnership with James Ronan, which continued two years, when he bought his partner's interest. In 1860 Mr. Taylor associated himself with D.P. Forst in the wholesale grocery business,and such partnership continuted until 1870, when Mr. Taylor sold his interest to Mr. Forst. About that date Mr. Taylor engaged in the pork packing and cattle business on quite and extensive scale. This was really the foundation of the present (1907) Taylor Provision Company. In all public enterprises Mr. Taylor has always been a leading factor, and is today. Associated with D.P. Forst and F.W. Roebling, he built the city market. In 1866 he orgnized the Trenton Hall and Building Association, for the erection of an opera house and assembly rooms...In 1888 he organized the Inter-State Fair Association, which has declared a cash dividend to its stockholders sver since...The Taylor Provision Company, of Trenton, of which Mr. Taylor is president, was organized in 1888, and is regarded as among the most importrant commercial interests of the City. Mr. Taylor's son, William Taylor, is secretary of the company. It makes a specialty of provisions and fertilizers, and their extensive trade extends over the northern and eastern states. Politically Mr. Taylor is a supporter of the Republican party...For several years he was chairman of the finance committee while in the city council, and in 1880 was elected state senator for Mercer county, served three years, and declinded a renomination in 1883. He was urged by party leaders and friends to become a candidate for governor of New Jersey, but previous to the nominating convention concluded not to allow his name to come before that body, although well supported by the Mercer county and other delegations...While his business interests demand a large share of his time, yet he believes in getting some of the true pleasures of life, by gratifying his love for sports. As a knight of the rod and gun he is very successful. For the past forty odd years he has fished in Barnegat and Tuckerton Bays...In 1860 Mr. Taylor married Catherine Rowley, of Trenton."
---Genealogical and Personal Memorial of Mercer County, New Jesrsey, Francis Bazley Lee [Lee Publishing:New York] 1907, volume 1 (p. 238-239)
"Taylor, John, Packer, etc., of Trenton...When he arrived at the age of ten years his father died, leaving the family without any means of support. John sought and obtained work in a brickyard, and from that time assumed the care of his mother and three younger brothers and sisters, and was their chief dependence. At the age of fifteen he entered as a clerk a retail grocery store in the city of Trenton, and remained in that capacity for five years. During the last year of his service he was intrusted with the purchase of stock in Philadelphia and New York, and thus acquired a knowledge of business and formed an acquaintance with business men which largely aided him in his subsequent operations. At the age of twenty years he started a retail grocery store under his own name, with a cash capital of fifteen dollars. In this he continued for three years, and then tore out counters and shelves and boldly launched out into the wholesale trade. It was the first venture ever made in the city of Trenton of a distinctively wholesale business of any kind. Many careful and sagacious business men doubted the expediency of the undertaking and predicted its failure. The first year he sold 0,000 worth of goods, and the annual sales thenceforthward steadily increased until 1870, when they reached over a million of dollars. The wholesale trade which grew out of this successful pioneer experiment has now become the most important element of mercantile life in the city. During the year 1870 he sold his interest in the grocery business, and built a packing-house and slaughtering establishment, which he is now successfully operating. He has served two terms in the Trenton Common Council, and in that capacity secured the passae of an ordinance submitting to a vote of the people the question of removing the public markets from Greene street, and the abandonment by the city of the market business. By his zealous labors for two years he procured the success of these projects. This question was one of the most interesting and exciting local contest that had agitated the community for several years. He contributed liberally to the stock in private market associatons, and several new and handsome markets have been erected, one of which, in honor to him, bears the name of Taylor. In 1866 he conceived the project of erecting an opera house, and by taking half the stock himself and energetically canvassing for the remainder he secured the success of the enterprise. The building was begun the same year and opened to the public in 1867. It cost 5,000, and it is the finest structure of the kind in New Jersey. Many sagacious people also predicted that this enterprise would be a disastrous failure, but there is now nothing in the city in which the citizens take a greater pride than in the Taylor Opera House. He was also chiefly instrumental in organizing Company 'A,' of the National Guard, one of the finest military organizations in the State. In the directions indicated and in various other ways he has successfully labored to foster a spirit of public improvement in Trenton."
---Biographical Encyclopaedia of New Jersey of the Nineteenth Century [Galaxy Publishing:Philadelphia] 1877 (p. 476-477)
The earliest reference we find to Taylor Provision Company in a NJ manufacturer's directory is circa 1931:
"Taylor Provision Co., pork products, Perrine Av, Trenton. Pres. Wm. T. Taylor; sec Nelson L. Petty; treas H.C.T. Seitz. Emp[loyees] 24 m[ale] 2 f[emale]."
---Industrial Directory of New Jersey, George S. Burgess editor [NJ State Chamber of Commerce:Newark NJ] 1931 (p. 171) [NOTE: state manufacturers directories 1909-1918 do not list this particular company.]
Welch's grape juice
"Welch's Grape Juice (Cumberland County [NJ]). 'In 1869 Dr. Thomas B. Welch, a dentist and manufacturer of dental filling,' lived at the southeast corner of Fourth and Plum Streets, Vineland. It was his idea, being a Methodist of strong persuasion, that to serve fermented wine at communion table was not only inconsistent but wrong, and he proceeded to experiment with the idea of preserving the unfermented juice of the hrape so that it instead could be used for that purpose. Doctor Welch succeeded in his experiment, manufacturing his first grape juice in a wash boiler, likely in the cellar of his home, and bottled a small quantity which he offered for use in the Protestant churches. 'At first he gave it away but as the idea took hold and the demand increased he bottled more and more juice each year until it grew into a real business.' Doctor Welch, his son, Charles E. Welch, and Mr. P. W. Peck made up the firm in the early days and their first grape juice factory, a brick building with a cellar, was erected at the back of Mr. Peck's residence on West Landis Avenue, just west of the present High School. This building still stands. Doubtless Mr. Peck and Charles Welch managed much of the factory work, for Doctor Welch continued his dental practice for some time. After a few years Mr. Peck withdrew his interest in the business, and the Welch Grape Juice Company, with Charles E. Welch as the managing director, erected a three-story building with a very deep cellar at the rear of Charles E. Welch's residence on Sixth Street...In 1893 Joseph H. Dowler was employed by the company as their first salesperson, and he canvassed the entire section east of the Rocky Mountains and eastern Canada. 'At that time nobody knew what grape juice was and it all had to be explained to people. Gradually grape juice came into very general uses in the churches, at the soda fountains and in restaurants. Doctors began recommending its use and grocers and druggists stocked and sold it.' Phineal Welch Peck, of Landis Avenue, grandson of Thoman Welch, became associated with the firm in 1893. The 'Vineland Evening Journal. In its issue of October 10, 1895, reported, 'The Welch Grape Juice Company finished work for the season having used 216 tons of Vineland grapes and 39 tons from New York State in manufacturing 40,000 gallons of grape juice.' A great many grapes were grown in those days, in and near Vineland, but 'as the business grew many carloads were shipped in from Keuka Lake district of New York and Dr. Welch decided it would be advisable to move to where larger quantities of grapes were available. 'In 1897 they moved to Watkins, N.Y., where they remained only one year during the time they purchased ground and erected a factory at Westfield, N.Y., which today is their headquarters although they have acquired several other factories in different states. They took the lead from the first and held it. Welch's Grape Juice is today easily the leading brand and has a world wide sale.' Mr. Joseph H. Dowler, Welch's first salesman, compiled these interesting historical notes from Miss Elena J. Darling, secretary of the Vineland Historical and Antiquarian Society, who shared them with us."
---Commerical Canning in New Jersey: History and Early Development, Mary B. Sim [New Jersey Agricultural Society: Trenton NJ] 1951 (p. 168-172)
"Thomas Welch was a life-long Prohibitionist with a creative talent. He is credited with inventing successful dental alloys, a stomach smoother, and a spelling system. When his Methodist church asked him to distribute Communion bread and wine during religious services, he began to focus on creating a non-alcoholic grape beverage...Living in Vineland, New Jersey, as a practicing dentist, Welch often received grapes in exchange for dental services. In addition, he had his own supply of grapes grown at home. Welch applied Pasteur's technique of heating to kill the yeast microorganism. By boiling bottled filtered grape juice, Welch was successful in preventing the natural fermentation process and producing a nonalcoholic grape juice. Thomas Welch attempted to sell the first bottles of 'Dr. Welch's Unfermented Wine' to church officials, whom he had expected would purchase the bulk of the 'wine' he produced. Church official balked, however, at substituting the sacramental wine with grape juice. Four years after producing the first batches of grape juice, Welch disappointedly abandoned the project completely and concentrated his efforts on supporting the growing Prohibition movement...Charles Welch [Thomas' son] believed he had the solution to selling his father's grape juice--advertising. In 1875 he placed the first print ad for Dr. Welch's Unfermented Wine...by 1897 Wech's sales necessitated the processing of four tons of grapes...Charles...changed the name of the juice in 1980 to Dr. Welch's Grape Juice, and in 1893 to Welch's Grape Juice...exhibited at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893...Volume growth between 1889 and 1899 was immense, increasing from 10 tons to 660 tons of grapes...By the time the Eighteenth Amendment passed in 1919, sales of Welch's Grape Juice, the only nonalcoholic fruit drink in the country [USA], reached close to million. One year later the sales doubled....Welch's expanded its product lines over the years, adding grape jelly in 1923 and frozen grape juice concentrate in 1949."
---Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands, Volume 1: Consumable Products, Janice Jorgenson editor [St. James Press:Detroit MI] 1994 (p. 629-630)
Historic NJ recipes
The Morris County Cooks: Eleven Delicious Decades offers menus, recipes and food notes compiled from these sources and the Daily Record newspaper. Thank you! Morris County Library!!!
Rutgers University Library's Sinclair Jerseyana Cookbooks offers the most comprehensive collection of primary texts in the nation. Concentration is on 19th and 20th century cook books.
New Mexico's culinary beginnings
"New Mexico had long been the domain of communal Pueblo Indians...They raised beans, squash, corn, and pumpkins...The Spanish established Santa Fe... in 1609...They introduced the Indians to horses and cattle. The prviously barren lands around the missions were turned into farms, orchards, and even vinyards...The only domestic animal the Indians had in Pre-Spanish days for eating was the dog. With the coming of the Spaniards...they quickly added lamb, beef, and goat to their diet. The settlers...started growing and using Indian corn, particularly blue corn...By 1776 the agricultural lands of the Rio Grande Valley had very wide irrigation ditches called acequias...This system of irrigation made it possible to grow fruits, vegetables, and cereals in the area around Albuquerque in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries...Life in the early days of Spanish New Mexico settlement did not present some of the hardships encountered by settlers in other parts of the United States...They cooked with spices that had been brought to Mexico from the Far East by Spanish galleons...The fireplace was used for cooking in early New Mexico homes...Some of the more popular early...dishes were...chick-peas and lamb. The chick-peas were baked into a chili flavored souffle or pudding. Stewed lamb shanks were flavored with saffron or pieces of hot sausages. Roasted lamb was served with a sauce made from red and green chile peppers. In the early 1800s the favorite beverage of New Mexico was chocolate, prepared from blocks of unsweetened chocolate imported from Mexico. It was shaved and cut into small chips, placed in pitchers or mugs, and mixed with hot water. Spices and sugar sweetened the bitter taste."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 202-4)
Official state foods
New Mexico has several edible state symbols including chili and frijoles (beans), cutthroat trout, yucca and bizcochitos (cookies). Some bizcochito history.
Viva New Mexico (end of page has bizcochitos recipe...heading "cookies")
- American Food: The Gastronomic Story/Jones
- The Best from New Mexico Kitchens/Cameron (includes recipes)
- The Good Life: New Mexico Traditions and Food/Gilbert (includes recipes)
New York is geographically and culturally diverse state presenting a spectacular buffet of interesting foods. The following list represents a generic sampler of "popular" foods associated with the state. If you are researching the foods connected with a specific period/people (New Netherlands/Hudson River Valley, Colonial era/NYC, War of 1812/Watertown, 1880s/Chatauqua, 1900s/Rochester, 1920s/Brooklyn, 1950s/Levittown etc.) please let us know.
Official state foods
New York State has several "official" state foods. These are voted on/approved by the state's lawmakers in Albany.
State fruit: apple
State beverage: milk
State muffin: apple muffin (no recipe included in the law)
---No "official" recipe in state law books; this one provided by the New York Apple Association
State fish: speckled trout
State shell: bay scallops
State tree: sugar maple
New York also has several popular foods associated with the state. Some of the most famous national favorites and regional treasures are:
Restaurants & dining
- Appetite City: A Culinary History of New York/William Grimes
- Gastropolis: Food & New York City/Annie Hauck-Lawson & Jonathan Deutsch
- New York City: A Food Biography/Andrew F. Smith
- The New York Cookbook/Molly O'Neill
- The Brooklyn Cookbook/Lyn Stallworth & Rod Kennedy, Jr.
- Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food/Arthur Schwartz
New Netherlands foodways
People cook what they know. This was especially true when colonial-era settlers moved to the New World. They brought recipes, cooking implements, food processing methods, familiar animals (sheep, cows, pigs, goats) and seeds (grains, fruit, nuts). In order to understand what/why they ate certain dishes, it's important to learn about their original cuisine. When necessity demanded "native" substitutions, the resulting dishes remained essentially "Old World." In order to understand what food was like in New Netherlands, we need to examine 17th century Dutch/Netherlands foodways & meals.
Common foods & dishes
"To find out about seventeenth-century Dutch foodways we turn to Lambertus Burema. In his definitive study on the Dutch diet from the Middle Ages until the twentieth century, he cites a 1631 plan of a week's menus with seasonal variations. These menus were served to students attending the College of Theology in Leiden, and he considers them typical of the daily fare of the masses in the Netherlands at that time. Although we need to take regional differences into account, the menus give us an insight into the type of meals eaten by the less affluent. The students ate well: on Sunday afternoon they would be given white bread soup, salted meat, and mutton hutspot (a one-pot meal)with lemons. During the week such dishes as white bread soup with milk or mutton broth, salted meat, ground beef with currants, and cabbage made hearty meals. For variety the week's menu also included another kind of hutspot, this one with mutton and carrots or prunes, dried peas with butter or vinegar, and fresh sea or river fish. In the winter the bill of fare might feature codfish, beans, and peas, with a third course of butter, bread, and cumin cheese. Burema also cites an equally specific document of 1634, in which the mayors and city council of the city of Groningen outline the menu for a student dormitory. Meal after meal is clearly prescribed: each table for eight was to receive two pounds of stewed meat and three pounds of fried meat, which had to be good veal, beef, or mutton, according to the time of year. Rye bread and cheese were always on the table, and pancakes as well as barley porridge were common dishes."---The Sensible Cook: Dutch Foodways in the Old and the New World, translated and edited by Peter G. Rose [Syracuse University Press:Syracuse NY] 1989 (p. 5-6)
"Bread was the mainstay of the diet in the Netherlands until the latter part of the eighteenth century, when the potato started to take its place. The poor people ate rye bread; the more affluent ate bread made from wheat...bread was also used as an ingredient in many dishes. In addition, flour was the main component of the pancakes, waffles, wafers, olie-koecken, and various porridges of which the Dutch are fond. If the bread dough was prepared at home, then the bread was baked in the baker's oven; but generally bread was prepared and baked by the baker...The everyday breads has many different shapes. Some were round or oblong flat loaves baked on the floor of the oven...Rusks and white rolls were favorites as well...For holidays and celebrations, special breads would be baked, as for instance the duivekater, a diamond-shaped bread, baked from early December through New Year..."---ibid (p. 6-7,9)
Meals & mealtimes
"The common meal pattern was comprised of breakfast, midday, afternoon, and evening meals. Breakfast consisted mainly of bread with butter or cheese. Beer was the usual drink not only for breakfast but also for the other meals. On the farms buttermilk was a favorite drink as well. Tea and coffee did not become popular until the end the [17th] century. The midday meal was the main meal and it seems to be the one for which the menus mentioned above were given. It generally consisted of no more than two or three dishes. The first one was often a hutspot of meat and vegetables; the second dish might be fish of one sort of another, or a meat stewed with prunes and currants; the third dish might be fruit, as well as cooked vegetables and koeken (cookies/small cakes)or pateyen (pastry/pies) or both. On the farm this midday meal often consisted simply of a porridge, bread, and meat. A few hours after the midday meal, between two and three o'clock, some bread with butter or cheese was eaten. Just before going to bed, the evening meal was served. Again, it could consist of bread with butter or cheese, but leftovers from midday might also be served, or a porridge made from wheat flour and sweet milk might be offered."---ibid (p. 6)
Daily meals & customary beverages
"The seventeenth century brought the great prosperity, known as the 'Golden Age.' Both the East and West India Companies were founded in its first quarter...With more food available, consumption increased and the common eating pattern grew to four meals a day. Breakfast consisted of bread with butter or cheese; the noon meal, of a stew of meat and vegetables, or of fish, with fruit, cooked vegetables, honey cake, or raised pie. The afternoon meal of bread with butter or cheese was eaten a few hours later. Just before bedtime, leftovers from noon, or bread with butter or cheese or porridge were served. The Dutch were known for their love of sweets, sweet breads like honey cake or gingerbread, and confections like marzipan, candied almonds, or cinnamon bark, which were consumed in addition to the daily fare. Like their cheeses, the Dutch koek (honey cake), akin to ginger bread, was named for its city of origin...eastern Netherlands was already famous throughout the land. Waffles, wafers, olie-koecken (deep-fried balls of dough with raisins, apples, and almonds that became the forerunner of the donut), and pancakes were some of the celebratory foods both prepared at home and sold on the streets...Beer continued to be the common drink...In the latter half of the seventeenth century tea and coffee made a significant impact on meal patterns and social customs."
---Matters of Taste: Food and Drink in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art and Life, Donna R. Barnes & Peter G. Rose [Albany Institute of History and Art/Syracuse University Press] 2002 (p. 20-21)
Diet of the poor and working class
"The poor had a much more limited diet. In some parts of the country daily meals consisted of not much more than whole kernel rye (black) bread, amounting to some five pounds a day for a family of four. The remarkably complete account books of the Amsterdam Municipal Orphanage provide...insight into the diet of the poor...and the working or lower middle class...Milk, fish, rice groats (hulled grain of barley, oats, or buckwheat), peas, beans, rye, wheat, pork, butter, cheese, beer, and miscellaneous items such as treacle, salt, dried fruits, and spices were purchased for their daily meals...orphans were fed two meals a day. The noon meal consisted of different varieties of beans and peas and a second dish of salted or smoked meat, or sausage with groats and raisins, bacon with carrots or cabbage, salt cod, herring or dried cod. All of the meals were served with bread. The evening repast...consisted of a kind of porridge--rice porridge or groats cooked with buttermilk and wheat bread cooked together, or buttermilk cooked with barley. The main difference between the diets of the orphans and the staff was quantity."---ibid (p. 21)
Diet of the wealthy middle & upper classes
"The country houses had gardens where fruits an vegetables were grown for home consumption. Plants from far away lands were also cultivated...De Verstanige Kock [17th century Dutch cookbook] begins with salads and continues with recipes for vegetables, meat, game, and poultry, salted, smoked, and dried fish, saltwater and freshwater fish, and baked goods such as raised pies and tarts."--- ibid (p. 22)
New Netherlands: stocking the land with old world foods
"Early on it was decided to outfit the [New Netherlands] colony so that it could be self-sufficient...in addition to people to work the farms, it was necessary to supply the colony with animals, farming tools, and other implements...The animals that were sent to New Netherland were well taken care of on their long trip across the ocean...The rapid progress of agriculture in New Netherland is shown to us in the only record of the original purchase of Manhattan...samples of summer grain such as wheat, rye, barley oats, buckwheat, canary seed, small beans and flax...the New Netherland colony produced is own grain...'The Netherlands settlers, who are lovers of fruit, on observing the climate was suitable to the production of fruit trees, have brought over and planted various kinds of apple and pear trees, which thrive well'...peaches, plums, apricots, almonds, persimmons, cherries, figs, several sorts of currants, and gooseberries all give abundant fruit...every...fruit which grows in the Netherlands is plenty already in New Netherlands...the waters...are rich with fishes.' ...the most important fowl in the new country is the wild turkey, which is similar to the tame turkeys of the Netherlands...In the new colony, bread was not only used for the consumption of the colonists themselves but was also used for trading with the Indians."
---The Sensible Cook (p. 24-26)
"It was hard to recruit Dutch settlers for the New World since there was prosperity and relgious tolerance in Holland. Those Dutch settlers who did come to the New World preferred fur trading to farming. As the number of settlers who brought livestock and farm implements increased, farming became a full-time livelihood...Probably the most important contribution the Dutch made to the New World was the introduction of grain. Their principal crop was wheat, although they also raised barley, rye, and buckwheat...The Dutch loved cakes, pastries, and breads. Dumplings, pancakes, and waffles, which the Dutch introduced to American cuisine, figured prominently in their daily menus. Settlers brought long-handled waffle irons from Holland an used them in the fireplaces of their colonial homes. The Dutch quickly adotped Indian corn, which they called "Turkey wheat," and made it into a porridge...The Dutch...started the first public bakeries in America in 1656. Laws were passed by the Dutch that cookies and other sweet cakes could not be sold by the bakery unless they also sold bread... Since the Dutch settlers were used to dairy products, they brought dairy cattle with them from Holland and produced milk, butter, and cheese...A favorite dish was a derivation of the Dutch Hutspot (meaning hodgepodge), which consisted of cornmeal porridge cooked with chunks of corned beef and root vegetables. This dish was often cooked for three days until it formed a thick crust on top...Roast duck with dumplings, pork with cabbage, or roast goose were served on holidays... For dessert, Oliekocken were often served. These pastries, amde with a raised yeast dough, shaped into small balls, and fried in hot lard until golden brown, were named "doughnuts"...Tea, sugar, spices, chocolate, wines and brandies were all readily available in the Dutch colony."
--Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 51-53)
What foods were grown in New Netherlands kitchen gardens?, notes from A Description of the New Netherlands, Adriaen Van Der Donck, 1655. [NOTE: This source offers detailed descriptions of wild plants, indigenous game/fish, foods introduced from Holland and soil/weather.]
Native American influence
The Dutch learned how to cook some Indian dishes and fit them into their daily fare. For lovers of porridge it was not hard to get used to sappaen, a cornmeal mush; and the pumpkin easily fitted into a common Dutch meal as pumpkin pancakes..."
---Sensible Cook (p. 27)
18th century meals & mealtimes
"In 1749, eighty-five years after the English took over the Dutch colony, [Peter Kalm] describes the descendants of the Dutch settlers in Albany as follows: 'Their food and its preparation is very different from that of the English. Their breakfast is tea, commonly without milk. About thirty or forty years ago, tea was unknown to them, and they breakfasted either upon bread and butter, or bread an milk. They never put sugar into the cup, but take a bit of it into their mouths while they drink. Along with the tea they eat bread and butter, with slices of dried beef. The host himself generally says grace out loud. Coffee is not usual there. They breakfast generally around seven. Their dinner is buttermilk and bread, to which they add sugar on special occasions, when it is a delicious dish for them, or fresh milk and bread, with boiled or roasted meat. They sometimes make use of buttermilk instead of fresh milk, in which to boil a thin kind of porridge that tastes very sour but not disagreeable in hot weather. With each dinner they have a large salad, prepared with an abundance of vinegar, and very little or no oil...Their supper consists generally of bread and butter, and milk with small pieces of bread in it. The butter is very salt. Sometimes too they have chocolate. They occasionally eat cheese at breakfast and at dinner; it is not in slices, but scraped or rasped, so as to resemble coarse flour, which they pretend [claim] adds to the good taste of the cheese. They commonly drink very weak beer, or pure water."---ibid (p. 27-28)
"In contrast to the frugal daily fare were veritable feasts for the holidays, special occasions, or guests:...'Tea here was a perfect regale; accompanied by various sorts of cakes...cold pastry, and great quantities of sweetmeats and preserved fruits of various kinds, and plates of hickory and other nuts ready cracked. In all manner of confectionery and pastry these people excelled; and having fruit in great abundance, which costs them nothing, and getting sugar home at an easy rate...the quantity of these articles used in families, otherwise plain and frugal, was astonishing.'"---ibid (p. 28)
"In their new colony, the settlers continued to prepare familiar foods...As diaries and inventories note, the settlers themselves brought the implements used for cooking these familiar foods, duplicating life in the Netherlands as best as they could. Cookbooks of their descendants show that they continued their own foodways but also incorporated native foods into their daily diet, albeit in ways that were familiar to them. For instance, they made pumpkin cornmeal pancakes, pumpkin sweetmeat, or added cranberries instead of the usual raisins and apples to their favorite olie-coecken. Lovers of porridge found it easy to get used to sapaen (Indian cornmeal mush), but they added milk to it...Cookies, pancakes, waffles, wafers, oli-koecken, pretzels, and coleslaw are some of the dishes that were brought to America by the Dutch colonists."---Matters (p. 23-24)
Coney Island boardwalk foods, 1958
"...on a warm, sunny week-end, everybody along the boardwalk munches on something, be it pizza, a hot dog, spun sugar candy or kasha knishes...Some food stands, like the famous Nathan's, are open the year 'round. Others take down their shutters and start hawking their wares on Palm Sunday...Nathan's which since 1916 has flourished on Surf Avenue, near Stillwell Avenue, probably has the biggest surprise for visitors. For the first time this year, it is featuring frogs legs. Dipped in a crumb mixture, then deep-fat fried, they will be offered in a single-portion cardboard container for 75 cents...A new restaurant, Charcoal Dan's, will open May 22 at 1000 Surf Avenue. it will feature outsize frankfurters grilled over charcoal and hearty sandwiches of pork steak or veal cutlet. The restaurant is on the site of the old Feltman's which reputedly was a magnificent seafood establsihment back in the late Eighteen Hundreds, when Coney Island was a favorite watering place of the wealthy... Nathan's is billed as the world's most famous hot dog stand, although it has long since expanded its offerings to include...fried shrimp, roast beef sandwiches and French fried potatoes, among other items...Nathan Handwerker is just one of many old-timers at Coney Island. Gus Tallam has been making salt water taffy, hot buttered popcorn and chocolate-covered marzipan rolls at his small stand in Steeplechase Park for forty-six years...Moe Shatzkin, whose stand at Fifteenth Street and Surf Avenue offers home-cooked Jewish specialties, agrees that visitors from other parts of the country are good customers. Moe, who has been at the same stand for twenty-eight years, offers knishes, These are Jewish pastries filled with potato, kasha or cheese. Kugel, a potato pie made from a recipe that has been in the Shatzkin family for generations, is another specialty. The favorite drink of Moe's customers is buttermilk. Thomas Bevilacque, who has been in the seafood business since 1900, has operated the Clam Bar, a restaurant at 1517 Surf Avenue, since 1925...There used to be big seafood restaurants at Coney Island before prohibition...they are gone and seafood is not as plentiful and cheap as it was when it could be taken from the beach and Coney Island Canal...Roasted ears of corn, caramel popcorn, apples on sticks, Italian ices, frozen custard and roasted peanuts are just a few more possibilities."
---"Food: At Coney Island," June Owen, New York Times, May 13, 1958 (p. 33)
North Carolina is a great state for a food report. Edible official (enacted by law) state symbols are:
Colonial era foods & Civil War fare (overviews).
History-wise, NC is probably most well known for its Moravian food heritage. The Moravians, a pious Germanic people, founded the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina in 1766. Known for their Lovefeasts and sweets, these traditions thrive today. Original/historic recipes are published in Preserving the Past: Salem Moravians' Receipts and Rituals [Carolina Avenue Press].
Sweet Moravian traditions
"Nazareth's Whitefield House will see its 265th Christmas this year. While the once home and school for Moravian settlers is now a museum telling the region's history; it's not hard to imagine the gracious stone building once filled with the celebration and sweet smells of traditional Moravian holiday recipes. As Susan Dreydoppel shares the history of some of the uniquely famous baked goods still enjoyed by Moravians and non-Moravians alike, she gently places samples of the treats on an appropriately holiday-themed plate and the irresistible fragrance of cinnamon and ginger again fills the 1740s Whitefield House. Dreydoppel, a Moravian minister and an area bakery share the reasons Moravian baking traditions have become such a cherished part of the holidays in our area. "Our traditions stem from German baking traditions we brought here with us," explains the Rev. Christine Johnson, co-pastor at East Hills Moravian Church in Bethlehem. Dreydoppel, executive director of the Moravian Historical Society, and a Moravian, continues to make the recipes passed down to her by her Bethlehem grandmother. Dreydoppel prefers to bake traditional cookie recipes: scotch cakes (a rich, buttery shortbread with icing), chocolate drops and spice cookies. She says her research into ethnic Christmas customs found that in some cultures -- including the Swedish, German and Pennsylvania Dutch-- cookies are an important part of the holidays. "In the German culture they used to do cookies and place them on the Christmas tree. The dark dough, spice dough, was for animal shapes; the white dough, for geometric shapes," she says. One way baking is tied to Moravian religious traditions is the lovefeast, Johnson says. Most area churches, including East Hills Moravian, celebrate a lovefeast on Christmas Eve. "Lovefeast is a very simple meal shared during a worship service and helps us remember we are family," the pastor says. The lovefeast is based in early Christianity when the faithful didn't have churches and met in homes. "What do you do in your home? Share food together," she says. Later in history the lovefeast premise became part of German tradition, too. "People were wanting to linger after worship services where they were connected to God. They'd call out for leftovers and Germans had a lot of sugary cake and sweet buns in their homes," Johnson says. The well-known Moravian sugar cake is a simple cake topped with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. "Sugar cake is something people assume has been this Moravian delicacy for centuries. However, there is no hard-and-fast history for sugar cake and other classic Moravian recipes," Dreydoppel says. The first written recipe for the cake can be traced back to the Moravian Magazine published in Bethlehem, in 1863. "My guess is if they were publishing something in this magazine, it wasn't popular before that," she says. Talk of sugar cake in her family goes back to a story she heard her grandfather tell of his mother sending butter and brown sugar to Bethlehem's Central Moravian Church to make the cakes. "It's a yeast dough. People don't take time to make things with yeast (anymore)," Dreydoppel says. But there have been recipes adapted to make the cake with quick yeast and breadmakers. "Purists would say that's a travesty," she adds lightheartedly. Plus, "There is no small recipe for sugar cake. You're going to get a lot -- enough to feed a family or congregation." "I've made sugar cake. It's hard," Johnson says with a laugh. Her congregation also includes many young professionals and busy families who also don't have time to bake the traditional items. So, who makes the sugar cake for East Hills holiday lovefeast? Schubert's Bakery in Nazareth. The bakery, in its 35th year on North Broad Street, serves up the sweet tradition for many local churches, Moravian and non-Moravian. Before then, the business, owned by Ernie Schubert, was on South Main Street in Phillipsburg. Store manager Barbara Willett of Easton says the dough for the store's famed sugar cake is made and patted by hand. Schubert's offers sugar cake year-round and, at the holidays, also makes the traditional Moravian lovefeast bun a large bun topped with butter and sugar, she says. Whether store-bought or homemade, Moravian treats just seem to make the holidays a little sweeter. Want to get baking? Bear with this non-traditional recipe style, which appeared in The Moravian magazine more than a century ago:
1863 Moravian Sugar Cake
To gratify one of our lady subscribers, and in compliance with other repeated solicitations, we furnish herewith a recipe for making the genuine home-made sugar cake which we have taken down from the lips of several experienced housekeepers. Recipe -- of well-risen wheaten bread dough, take about two pounds. Work into it a teacup full of brown sugar, quarter pound of butter and a beaten egg. Knead well and put into a square pan dredged with flour. Cover it and set it near the fire for half an hour to rise. When risen, wash with melted butter; make holes in the dough to half its depth, two inches apart, fill them with brown sugar and a little butter. Then spread ground cinnamon and a thick layer of brown sugar over the whole surface. Sprinkle with a little essence of lemon. Put into the oven and bake it fifteen minutes. Susan Dreydoppel offers this recipe which translates more easily to modern cooking methods:
Moravian Sugar Cake
2 pints potato water or milk
1 or 2 packages dry yeast, dissolved in 1/2 cup very warm water
1 cup sugar
2 eggs beaten
4 teaspoons salt
1 cup shortening
8 to 10 cups flour (more if needed)
Cinnamon (the more the better)
Heat potato water or milk to lukewarm, or scald and then cool milk. In large mixing bowl, combine liquid, yeast (use 2 packages if you want faster rising, 1 for slower), sugar, salt, eggs, some flour, shortening, rest of flour. Work with hand until dough blisters (dough will be very soft and sticky, so leave it in the bowl and just squeeze for about 10 minutes). Let rise about one hour in a warm place. Punch down. May be put in pans now, or let rise a second time (about 45 minutes to an hour). Spread in well-greased pans, spreading as thin as possible (it won't go smoothly to edges, but after it's risen a bit, it will spread out a little more). Let rise 30 to 45 minutes. Punch holes with finger. Spoon melted butter over. Cover with soft brown sugar, sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until top is golden brown. Note: The full recipe will make a lot of sugar cake, probably two cookie sheets full plus a 9- by-13 inch pan. I usually only make half the recipe, using 1 full package yeast. This makes 1 cookie sheet plus two, small, 8- by-8 inch pans. If you really want to keep it simple, and have a bread machine, try this version courtesy Ann Weisel, Moravian Historical Society administrative assistant...
1 pound powdered sugar
1/2 pound lard (can substitute 1 cup plus a little more shortening)
1 1/2 pounds flour (6 cups)
3 teaspoons baking powder
4 eggs (reserve whites for frosting)
1/2 pound baking chocolate (unsweetened)
1 cup milk
5 ounces chopped almonds or pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
Melt chocolate (can be done in microwave). Cream sugar, salt, lard, egg yolks. Stir in chocolate. Sift dry ingredients and add alternately with milk. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Roll in small balls (about 1 inch in diameter) and bake at 375 to 400 degrees on greased cookie sheet. When cool, frost with:
1 pound powdered sugar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat egg whites, add sugar and vanilla. Add a little hot water if icing gets too thick. Source: Susan Dreydoppel
1 pound flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound butter
1/2 pound granulated sugar
1 teaspoon caraway seed
Mix all together day before baking. Chill in refrigerator. Roll not too thin and cut into squares with pastry cutter. Bake at 375 degrees until golden. Ice with same frosting as used for chocolate drops. Sprinkle each cookie with red sugar. Source: Susan Dreydoppel
Brown Moravian Christmas Cakes (cookies)
1 cup molasses
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 pound margarine
1/4 pound shortening (1/2 cup)
1/2 pound dark brown sugar (1 cups)
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 pounds unsifted flour (8 cups)
Heat liquid, shortening and sugar, then add 6 cups flour mixed with spices. Knead into loaves until quite stiff, mold to fit plates and put aside in cool place for 3 or 4 days before using. Use 2 cups of flour for rolling out cookies. Tip: Roll out thin and cut only around edges of dough, then roll center again before cutting it. Bake at 360 degrees on greased cookie sheets for no more than 15 minutes. Source: Recipe from the late Martha Luckenbach of Bethlehem, provided by Susan Dreydoppel. "
---"Sugar cake and spice cookies made the season special: Even non-Moravians enjoy these holiday creations," Marica White, The Express-Times December 18, 2005
The foodways specialists at Old Salem add these notes, citing earlier print evidence of local Sugar Cakes:
"In the morning as we came from bed, we found our lb. of cakes laying on the table with a slate pencil from Sr. Langgaar by each, and some apples.. After being washed & combed we went to breakfast where we found sugar cake & coffee. The first meeting was German preaching afterwards English in both of which was beautiful music. At 10 o'clock, in the afternoon we had our meeting, which was kneeling, kept by Mr. Huebner. In the evening, we spoke our dialogue for our beloved Mr. Frues. After meeting we had the pleasure to go & see the Illuminate of the brethren's house, which was delightful." - Friday, Dec. 25, 1789; A JOURNAL kept at BETHLEHEM BOARDING SCHOOL begun in December, 1789 by MARIA ROSINA UNGER; This transcription is from the holdings of the Bethlehem Area Public Library. The original can be found in the collection of the Moravian Museum of the Historic Bethlehem Partnership.
"The choir of the unmarried Brothers also joined in the same celebration. For Breakfast there was sugar cake." - May 4 1815, Peter Wolle Diaries,On File in Old Salem Library, Winston-Salem, NC
"At daybreak some shots were fired. For breakfast I had ordered sugar cake." - July 4, 1815, Peter Wolle Diaries,On File in Old Salem Library, Winston-Salem, NC
"Sugar cake from Vierlings for breakfast." - April 14, 1816, Peter Wolle Diaries, On File in Old Salem Library, Winston-Salem, NC
In Eliza Leslie's cookbook, Directions for Cookery in its Various Branches by Miss Leslie, the 1837, 1840 and 1847 edition there is the following recipe:
Moravian Sugar Cake
Cut a quarter of a pound of butter into a pint of rich milk, and warm it till the butter becomes soft; then stir it about in the milk so as to mix them well. Sift three quarters of a pound of flour (or a pint and a half) into a deep pan, and making a ole in the middle of it, stir in a large table-spoonful of the best brewer's yeast in which a salt-spoonful of salt has been dissolved; and then thin it with the milk and butter. Cover it, and set it near the fire to rise. If the yeast is sufficiently strong, it will most probably be in two hours. When it is quite light, mix with the dough a well-beaten egg and three quarters of a pound more of sifted flour; adding a tea-spoonful of oil of cinnamon, and stirring it very hard. Butter a deep square baking pan, and put the mixture into it. Set it to rise again, as before. Mix together five ounces or a large coffee-cup of fine brown sugar; two ounces of butter; and two table-spoonfuls of powdered cinnamon. When the dough is thoroughly light, make deep incisions all over it, at equal distances, and fill them with the mixture of butter, sugar and cinnamon; pressing it hard down into the bottom of the holes, and closing the dough a little at the top to prevent the seasoning from running out.. Strew some sugar over the top of the cake; set it immediately into the oven, and bake it from twenty minutes to half an hour, or more, in a brisk oven in proportion to its thickness. When cool, cut it into squares. This is a very good plain cake; but do not attempt it unless you have excellent yeast."
Books combining NC history & modernized recipes
- North Carolina and Old Salem Cookery/Tartan.
- Recipes from America's Restored Villages/Jean Anderson: Old Salem (p. 131-138) & Oconaluftee Indian Village (p. 139-146)
Colonial North Carolina
: Native American food in North Carolina
Discovering what Native North Carolinians Ate
Breakfast with the President (George Washington)
Greek foods made their mark in the Greensboro area during the 20th century. If you want more details regarding specific foreign impact on NC foodways please lets us know.
Did you know NC is the number one sweet potato growing state in our country?
NC blueberries are a very popular commodity today. They were first planted in this state in 1935. 1 & 2.
North Dakota has many popular foods. Wheat is the most popular crop (site includes recipes). Milk is the "Official" state beverage.
Many northern Europeans settled in North Dakota. They introduced the dishes of their homelands, which are still enjoyed today. North Dakota/German recipes & cookbooks. The Scandinavians also settled in North Dakota. Every year the Norsk Hostfest is a popular destination for family fun & food.
What did Nebraska pioneers eat?
"The buffalo herds of the plains played a key role in the frontier life and food supply of early North Dakota. Both the Indians and the settlers were dependent on these animals...The Indians of the northern Great Plains obtained such necessities as food, clothing, shelter, and fuel from the buffalo. As a food source the buttalo provided fresh meat, tallow, bone marrow, pemmican, and dried or jerked meat. The Indians considered tongues, dried and smoked as a delicacy...North Dakota has has an agricultural economy since the time the territory became a state. It is probably the most rural state in the country, with about 90 percent of the land in farms. The cultivation of spring and durum wheat and barley, along with the raising of cattle and hogs and dairy operations, constitutes the state's agriculture...The pioneers who came to Dakota in wagons brought potatoes, squash, rice, preserves, pickles, and eggs. The fragile items such as eggs were packed in cornmeal for the rough journey. However, the supply of both eggs and cornmeal was usually exhausted at journey's end. In 1812 a small group of Scottish Highlanders established a settlement in the Red River Valley and ignored the eating habits of the area, which were primarily based on the food of the Indians. The Highlanders had brought with them salt pork and beef from England, as well as oatmeal for porridge, salt fish, and shortbread...The largest group of Icelandic settlements in this country is in North Dakota. Skyr, a version of yogurt, was made by many of the Icelandic housewives and was served with blueberries...The Norwegians still bake many of their native cookies and pastries."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 188-191)
Ohio has many special foods and recipes. These were brought to the Buckeye state by settlers from many different countries, ethnic groups and religions. Did you know in the 19th century Cincinnati was known as "Porkopolis" because of it's famous hog industry?
Ohio's early culinary heritage
In all times and places, people cook what they know. Folks setting forth into the great Ohio wilderness brought recipes and cooking apparatus from home. Wagon trains en route required "camp" cookery reminiscent of soldiers and explorers (think: Lewis & Clark, Daniel Boone). Most of the folks relocating from the original 13 states were already familiar with "New World" ingredients and substitutions. "Old World" heritage still played a big role in food choices and combination. Germans, English, Pennsylvania Dutch, French modified America's bounty to satisfy homeland tastes.
"Ohio was settled by veterans of the Revolutionary War who were given land grants...The pioneers in Ohio experienced many of the same lifestyles as their forefathers when they settled the East Coast. Cooking was done in iron pots in the open hearth. Food was raised of hunted. The pioneer women baked once a week in the hearth oven. Cookies and bread were baked first, followed by cakes and pies...Almost every farm home had a bean separator, since beans were a major ingredient in the farm diet. This hand-made machine, which threshed...beans, could be operated by dog power...Other items of the early Ohio kitchens were sausage stuffers and a lard press...Many settlers brought their native customs and cuisines to Ohio. The transplanted New Englanders brought with them their recipes for baked beans and salt pork and molasses. Dumplings makde with sour milk, chicken potpie...Some of these early settlers used bread stuffings for pork and beef, mainly to stretch a meal...The Germans brought their love for sausages, sauerkraut, and hearty meat and potato meals. Czech immigrants brougth one of their favorite dishes--fish boiled with spices andserved with a black sauce of prunes, raisins, and almonds... No fruit was more imporant to pioneer life than the apple...John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, left a trail of apple orchards throughout Ohio...Many of the first permanent settlers of Ohio were Germans from Pennsylvania...Cincinnati was established after the War of 1812 and became an elegant metropolis. Oysters were the luxury food...In the mid-nineteenth century Cincinnati was the world's greatest pork-packing center, turning hogs from Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky into hams and sausages."
---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 159-161)
Traditional Ohio recipes
Official state foods & popular commodities
The official state beverage of Ohio (adopted by law) is tomato juice. Paragon tomatoes were "invented" in Reynoldsburg. If you need more details about tomatoes in Ohio & authentic Ohio tomato recipes? Ask your librarian to help you find a copy of Livingston and the Tomato, A.W. Livingston (inventor of the Paragon). This book has recently been reissued by Ohio State University Press with a forward by culinary historian Andrew F. Smith. The only other edible state symbol is the white tailed deer. Ohio's lush valleys grow several fruits and vegetables.
Looking for historic recipes?
Here is a cookbook published by the Ladies' Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church, Marion, Ohio . Need more historic recipes? We have a copy of The Presbyterian Cook Book, Compiled by the Ladies of the First Presbyterian Church, Dayton Ohio c. 1911. We can send selected recipes if you wish. Mark Zanger's The American History Cookbook lists several recipes culled from historic cookbooks published in Ohio. Among these are: Apple brown betty, Boy's coffee, Coconut Macaroons, Delightful cakes, Hayes cake, Sheridan cake, Wheat bread with Potato Yeast, and Kumbish. If you would like to see these recipes, ask your librarian to help you find a copy. Hilde Gabriel Lee's Taste of the States offers Upside-Down Apple Tart (p. 160) and Chicken & Chestnuts (p. 162). Mary Anna Du Sablon's Cincinnati Recipe Treasury is perfect for examining ethnic (German, Greek) culinary contributions. Recipes included.
The Ohio Buckeye (aesculus glabra) is the state tree of Ohio. Buckeye candy, fashioned to resemble the buckeye nut, is 20th century confection.
The tree:History, symbolism & traditions
"Buckeye. A peanut-buttter-and-chocolate candy made in little balls resembling buckeye nuts. The term is dated in print by the Dictionary of American Regional English to 1970, which describes it as "Cheap candy that used to be sold years ago." But according to Marcia Adams in Heartland (1991), "If Ohio were to declare a state candy, this recipe would be it...Some cooks like to leave a bit of peanut butter ball exposed when dipping in the chocolate so it more closely resembles a real buckeye."
---The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 45)
The Buckeye Cookery Book  offers this recipe for Buckeye Candy, which does not include peanut butter. Chocolate was sometimes an ingredient, but not employed as coating.
The Presbyterian Cook Book [Dayton Ohio:1873-1911] does not reference any sort of Buckeye-type candy. This confirms the possibility Buckeye candy might be a more recent creation. Peanut butter, at any rate, was not a popular candy ingredient until the early 20th century. Prior to this it was considered a health food. Not likely to be dipped in chocolate.
An examination of old candy recipes confirms chocolate covered peanut confections (generally combining peanut butter and fondant) were known in the early 20th century. Andrew F. Smith includes this historic recipe in his book Peanuts: The Illustrious History of the Goober Pea (p. 155): "Peanut Bon-Bons. Take one part peanut butter and one part fondant, blend them thoroughly, press out and cut into squares, allow to harden, and then coat with dipping cream. The dipping cream my be colored a little with caramel. Source: Sherwood Snyder, The Art of Candy Making Fully Explained (Dayton, Ohio: Health Publishing Co., 1915), 30." Alice Bradley's Candy Cook Book (c. 1929) offers this: "Chocolate Peanut Butter Creams. 1/2 cup fondant, 3 tablespoons peanut butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, Few grains salt, Coating chocolate. Mix fondant, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla with a spatula on marble slab or plate until thoroughly blended. Shape in small balls, and dip in melted coating chocolate." (p. 46. Fondant is basically powdered sugar, corn syrup and water.
More "finger food" suggestions from the Ohio State Library:
- The Ohio Amish & Swiss are famous for their cheeses, which make ideal finger food.
- Ohio has multiple strawberry festivals and the Circleville Pumpkin Festival is well-known around the state.
- Ohio jams, jellies, honey, or fruit butters on crackers are another idea.
- Settlers discovered that Ohio was covered with forests, including maple trees. Waffle bites topped with Ohio maple syrup
- Ohio has a grape-growing and wine-producing tradition, and Concord grapes are nice treats.
- Popcorn is always easy, and Ohio farmers grow lots of corn. The Marion Popcorn Festival web site links to a popcorn museum with an FAQ of popcorn facts.
Each state sets a unique table reflecting the people, geography and history of its land. About Oklahoma's culinary heritage:
"Until late in the ninteenth century, the history of Oklahoma was closely tied to its Indian population...In the summer, they traversed the prairie, hunting buffalo, and using every part of the animal for food, clothing, shelter, fuel and tools. In the fall, the prairie Indians returned to their small villages to harvest their crops...The Plains Indians in the western part of the Oklahoma Territory were also buffalo hunters, but they did not maintain permanent villages. By the early 1800s the largest portion of Oklahoma was occupied by five major Indian tribes--the Creek, Choctaw, Chicksaw, Cherokee, and Seminole...These five tribes were primarily agricultural, and their principal crop was corn...A favorite dish of the Cherokee was Tafala, a boiled porridge of cracked corn...The Indians' diet was supplemented with beans, pumpkins, squash, wild game, and fish... Oklahoma was the last of the Great Plains regions to be settled and homesteaded...At noon on April 22, 1889, Oklahoma was opened for settlement, and the rush for land began...The majority of the homesteaders were small-scale farmers and ranchers...Settlers spent the first few years raising subsistence crips and bartering for necessities. When wheat was raised a few years later, they earned enough money to build homes...Most of the women who helped settle Oklahoma had brought with them their silver and good English china, onion sets, and packets of seeds. The carried in their heads recipes for sugar cakes, gingerbread, Brunswick Stew, and carrot fritters...Pioneer women of Oklahoma adjusted and made biscuits and corn bread. They invented a stew of rabbit, turnips, and flour gravy. The combined grains of hard Spanish wheat with beef and named it Oklahoma Stews. Wild pecans were used in pie fillings, and Pioneer Pecan Pie became famous all over the states. Pickles and preserves were made from watermelon rinds. Watermelons originally grew on Indian farms and were later raised by settlers... A variety of ethnic groups settled in Oklahoma, including Native Americans, African Americans, Germans, English, Italians, Spanish, Poles and Czechs. Although each group brought some of their native dishes with them, they soon melded into the cooking of Oklahoma with its strong Tex-Mex flavorings."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 206-8)
Oklahoma is the only state in the union to have an "official" state meal: fried okra, squash, cornbread, barbecue pork, biscuits, sausage and gravy, grits, corn, strawberries, chicken fried steak, pecan pie, and black-eyed peas. This is based on popular local foods, past and present. Sorry, no "official" recipes.
Need to make something for class?
If you need to prepare something easy for class...fresh strawberries or watermelon (parts of the official state meal) are your easiest options. Cornbread and/or baking soda biscuits are likewise doable. Pecan Pie is tasty, but very rich and takes time. Maybe not the best choice for kids. Oklahoma cooks offers ethnic recipes. Wheat recipes.
Sheila Hibben's National Cookbook (excellent source!) c. 1932 contains two recipes for Oklahoma. They are:
"Chicken and corn pudding
6 ears green corn
1 broiling chicken
1 sprig parsley
1/2 cup melted butter
salt and pepper
Clean, wash, and cut up a young chicken as for frying. Let it simmer until tender with just enough water to cover, onion, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cut the grains from the raw roasting-ears, beginning with a thin outer slice. Add to the corn, the melted butter, well-beaten eggs, 1 teaspoon of salt, and entough of the broth in which the chicken has been cooking to make a batter. Pour into a buttered baking-dish; place the pieces of chicken in the middle, and bake until brown on top and the pudding is firm throughout." ---(p. 167-8)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon finely minced green pepper
1 tablespoon finely minced red pepper
1/2 clove garlic (mashed)
1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 drops tabasco
Cream the butter until light; add the other ingredients and beat well. Serve with broiled beefsteak." ---(p. 274)
Need something really quick, very, interesting, totally noisy, & way cool??! POPCORN!!!
...here's the connection:
"The Oklahoma house of representatives, which meets at Guthrie, will continue to eat popcorn, this, too, despite the heroic efforts recently made by Representative T. F. Vandeventer of Bartlesville, former speaker of the Arkansas house and the man who gave Jeff Davis the closest race he ever had for the Democratic nomination for governor. 'This contiunal eating of popcorn and the practice of the members in exploding the empty bags during speechmaking detract from the dignity of the house and should be stopped,' he asserted. Speaker Murray was Vandeventer's principal opponent. 'If that be so,' yelled Harvey Utterback, Republican, of Kingfisher, 'then the practice of eating it should be discontinued at once!'...Vandeventer demanded a roll call, but a rising vote was taken instead, and popcorn was kept on the house bill of fare by a vote of 46 to 29. Members of both houses of the legislature eat popcorn all the time during sessions. Even the press tables are covered with it at times, and all the legislative clerks eat abundantly of it. It is figured by local popcorn venders that it takes from a half bushel to three pecks of corn on the ear daily to supply the legislature's demands for the popped product."
---"Popcorn Legislators' Diet," Daily Record, [Morris County, NJ newspaper] August 27,1908 (p. 6)
Oregon's table presents a unique reflection of the state's geography, people, and history. Nature's gifts abound from the Pacific Ocean (crab), Columbia River (salmon) and rich Willamette Valley (fruit, wine) regions. Central/Western Oregon harbors a harsher climate, requiring more work when it comes to setting the table.
Edible state symbols (officially enacted by law) are: milk, Chinook salmon, Oregon grapes, pears, chanterelle mushrooms and hazelnuts. top commodities. Popular foods traditionally connected with Oregon include hazelnuts, berries, modern maraschino cherries & Dungeness crab. Oregon also has a thriving wine industry.
A few notes on Oregon's fruit & nut heritage
"Agriculture...Two young Iowans, Henderson Luelling and William Meek, can be considered the "Johnny Appleseeds" of the Pacific Northwest. Both Meek and Luelling came to Oregon with nursery stock in soil-filled boxes in their wagons...Transporting plants was not an easy task, since they had to be watered frequently. The two men settled In the Willamatte Valley, teaming up to form partnership and start a nursery. Their trees were forerunners of today's Rogue River pears, Willamette Valley plums and prunes, Hood River apples, and Dalles cherries. In those early days fruit was so scarce that settlers came from all over the region to see the first apple trees...The coming of the railroads made it possible to transport Oregon fruit to eastern markets...Bartlett pears, which are hardy and keep well, became Oregon's major crop...Ninety-eight percent fo the hazelnuts used in this country are grown in Oregon. The first hazelnut trees were planted in 1858 in Schottsburg, Oregon, by David Gernot, a Frenchman."
---"Oregon," Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlotte VA] 1992 (p. 242-3)
[NOTE: This book contains far more information than can be paraphrased here. Ask your librarian to help you obtain a copy.]
Historic foodways: Lewis & Clark & Oregon Trail cookery. Historic cookbooks from Portland Oregon: The Portland Woman's Exchange Cook Book (1913) & All Western Conservation Cook Book/Inie Gage Chapel (1917). James Beard as born and raised in Portland.
What to make for class?
We suggest a recipe featuring one or more of Oregon's fine fruits. Fresh Oregon fruit is healthiest choice. Fruit salad (including maraschino cherries) are delicious.
Maraschino Cherry Cake
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 1/2 cups cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
6 whites of eggs
Cream butter and sugar well. Sift dry ingredients together and add to creamed mixture alternately with the milk and cherry juice. Add vanilla and chopped cherries and mix well. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into three medium-sized greased layer-cake pans and bake in a 350 degree F. oven for about forty minutes or until center of the cake is springy to the touch."
---"Oregon," New York World's Fair Cook Book: The American Kitchen, Crosby Gaige [Doubleday, Doran & Company:New York] 1939 (p. 247-248)
Pennsylvania's state table presents an interesting array of ecclectic foods. Significant markers include English, German, French, West Indian, Italian, Polish, and Pennsylvania Dutch foodways. Our forefathers sustained themsleves with some of the finest foods Philadelphia had to offer during the late 18th century.
"Pennsylvania developed many culinary specialties, one of the earliest being peach pies and tarts baked by the first Quaker housewives in Philadelphia. Apparently the peach trees left by the Spanish in Florida in the 1500s had been carried north by the Indians, as the Quakers found peach trees in Pennsylvania when they arrived. Soups and stews provided hearty meals for the early colonists. One of the most famous was Philadelphia Snapper Soup, made from the snapping turtle found in the Delaware River...Philadelphia consideres itself the birthplace of ice cream in the United States...Sticky buns are another Philadelphia specialty. They were probably descendants of German Schnecken, which are similar to cinnamon rolls. The recipe for Schnecken ("snails") was brought by the Germans who settled Germantown...in the early 1680s...Scrapple can be traced to German immigrants... Pennsylvania Dutch cooking was remained almost unaltered for 200 years."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 60-1)
"Official" state foods are introduced by legistators and enacted by law. Pennsylvania's edible state symbols are: milk, brook trout, white tailed deer and ruffled grouse. You'll find pictures and descriptions here. The1876 Centennial Exposition was held in Philadelphia.
Pennsylvania famous for many different foods. Although these are not official "state foods," they represent the history and people living in the state. If you need to make a food for your state report all you have to do is select a place and period. Some popular examples here:
According to William Woys Weaver (foremost expert in Philadelphia's culinary history) colonial Philadephia was a melting pot of tastes and cuisines. English, French and West Indian influences prevailed. The art of confectionery (including ice cream) was considered the best in America. Taverns abounded, as did local markets and imported supplies. If you want to learn more about Philadelphia's culinary contributions we heartily recommend The Larder Invaded: Reflections on Three Centuries of Philadelphia Food and Drink, Mary Anne Hines, Gordon Marshall and William Woys Weaver (1986 exhibition catalog and recipes), Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Your librarian can help you obtain a copies.
Need to create a colonial Philadelphia tavern or coffee house meal?
Our research confirms coffee houses (both European and American) were not particularly known for their food. Like publik houses and taverns, they were considered destination for exchanging ideas, sharing news and conducting business. Coffee houses drew a crowd that considered themselves more intellectually elite than the average tavern goer. The planners of the American Revolution were among these coffee house customers. Because these customers were generally of the wealthier classes, it is reasonable to assume they would have expected the best foods available at that time. About Colonial American coffee houses & taverns. [NOTE: neither of these establishments furnished menus to customers. Food was often served on a sideboard (like buffet) all at once. If your son needs create a "bill of fare" his best bet is to hand write it on parchment-like paper with a fountain pen. Post on the wall. No prices. Foods came with the drinks.
What to serve? (easy, cheap, appealing to elementary students or middle schoolers)
Meat pies (chicken, pork), stew or soup (vegetable perfectly okay, esp. if some classmates are vegetarian), baked ham, warm potato salad, stews, bread (corn muffins, white/wheat rolls, ), butter, fruit pies, sugar cookies, gingerbread, Sally Lunn (like pound cake), cheese cake, ice cream, cider, cocoa, milk, tea, alcohol-free fruit punch. Coffee?? of course was served but some parents may object because of caffeine. Discuss with the teacher. Very weak coffee with milk & sugar is perfectly period and may interest the students. Popular period commodities you will likely omit (based on price, availability & taste): oysters, terrapin and tripe. Kudos to you if you attempt traditional/popular Philadelphia PepperPot Soup.
Recommended cookbooks with modernized recipes(your local public librarian will help you get these)
Foods from the Founding Fathers/Burke
Philadelphia's City Tavern was a favorite place for eating & drinking. Modernized menus are inspired by colonial era traditions. While this food is more upscale/ gourmet (& expensive) than your project requires, it may be useful for additional ideas & table settings. City Tavern's chef Walter Staib has published cookbooks. Your local public librarian can help you get them.
Quaker traditions are best captured by Penn Family Recipes: Cooking Recipes of Willian Penn's Wife Gulielma/edited by Evelyn Abraham Benson [George Shumway:York PA] 1966 and Domestic Cookery, Elizabeth Ellicott Lea.
 Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats, Eliza Leslie
Valley Forge Commissariat
Sauerkraut Yankees: Pennsylvania Dutch Foods & Foodways, William Woys Weaver
Pennsylvania Dutch Cookery, J. George Frederick
About cookie tables
This popular Pittsburgh tradition also has "Old World" roots. There are many (possible/plausible) theories regarding its origin and history. The Pittsburg-Post Gazette surveyed readers in 1996 to determine the "true origin." The results? Fascinating!
"A wedding without cookies is like a wedding without drink,'' declares Terry Stefl, executive director of the Slovenian Heritage Association. And most of Western Pennsylvania resoundingly agrees. But where did The Cookie Table tradition at regional weddings originate? And is it exclusively regional? (To the second question we can answer no, but because of the Pittsburgh area's celebrated ethnicity, it is a definite stronghold.) We wanted to find out where the custom started, whether it was transported from the Old Country by a particular ethnic group, or whether it was a sweet symbol of the melding of families through intermarriage as mothers, aunts, grandmothers, friends and relatives from both sides of the aisle brought their baked tributes, plain and fancy, to weddings large and small, ethnic and assimilated. Our informal survey yielded no definitive historical scholarship, but rather an interesting spectrum of theories supported by memory and oral history. Several ethnic groups trace cookie or ''sweets'' tables to their countries of origin. Others embrace it as a delicious byproduct of America's melting pot. One theory holds that as immigrants strove to assimilate to their new Americanized culture, they also wanted to retain some of the flavor of their traditions. The introduction of cherished recipes for handmade sweets gave both families the opportunity to commingle their cultures with a distinctly personal touch. Another theory: As ethnic costumes as wedding garb became less and less common, and as store-bought wedding gowns became more popular as a sign of affluence or assimilation, the women of the family were left itching to do something for the couple. So it was out of the sewing room and into the kitchen...Florence Bonadero, a retired home economist and former Pittsburgher now living in San Antonio, Texas, says the Cookie Table is decidedly a southern Italian custom. She writes: ''In the Abruzzi region of Italy, no wedding goes without each guest receiving a special sweet treat. . . . It is usually a colored almond candy made up in a very special arrangement (much like a favor). In the town of Sulmona (east of Rome) there is a 'candy designer' on every corner with his/her small shop. In the windows will be all examples of 'sweet favors' to be given away to guests at weddings.'' In all regions of Poland, it was customary for the bride, on her way to be married, to distribute a pine cone-like cookie, symbolizing good luck, to the townsfolk, according to Donald Mushalko, Ph.D. and chairman of the Polish Room of the University of Pittsburgh Nationality Rooms. The traditional Old World Polish wedding included not a cake but a wedding bread of herbs decorated with live flowers. Tables of cookies were also common, featuring chrusciki, Polish tea cookies and assorted rolled cookies filled with nuts, poppyseeds, apricots, apples, plums and gooseberries, Mushalko reports. Joseph Bielecki, an attorney and chairman of the Czech/Slovak Room at Pitt, has lectured on Slovak wedding customs, and says The Cookie Table did not originate in those countries, but evolved in America. ''From 1880 to 1920, younger men and women came to this country to find work. They met, they married,'' he says. But because they were poor and their families and church halls were back in the Old Country, they devised small home receptions, with a room for dancing and a room for foods and pastries donated by their friends. For verification, Bielecki referred us to his mother, Josephine Bielecki of Mount Pleasant. A professional baker who has seen many a cookie table in her day, Josephine Bielecki agrees that in the olden days, there were no cookies at Slovak weddings. Her parents hailed from Papin, a small town in Slovakia. But it wasn't until she was separated from her Polish husband, also named Joseph, one Christmas during the war that Josephine Bielecki learned the joys of cookies from his sisters and became a cookie recipe fiend (more than 500 and counting). Every group's introduction to the Cookie Table differed. But its appeal is infectious. Once encountered, the custom begs to be copied. And copied and copied. So does it matter where the custom originated as long as we can appreciate the warm, hearth-and-heart-inspired sense of community and ethnic pride it brings to any gathering, whether a wedding, a shower, a bar or bat mitzvah or a christening? It's nice to know that our immigrant forebears, while buying into the American dream and its ubiquitous tiered wedding cake, clung to that home-baked expression of love, the humble cookie."
---Cookie table origins hazy," Betsy Kline, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 19, 1996 (p. C4)
[NOTE: this article sums up the reader responses printed in "The Cookie Table: In Western Pennsylvania, we say "I do and pass the cookies', Suzanne Martinson, Pittsburg Post-Gazette, September 12, 1996 (p.C1). This article is long and very interesting. Your librarian can help you find a copy.]
"The Pittsburgh Cookie Table seemed strange to my husband, Ace, and me when we arrived a dozen years ago. Then I wrote the first cover story for our Thursday Food section on the mysterious origins of this Pittsburgh tradition -- it's found few other places, though great ideas do spread as recipe boxes move from place to place. I've come to love The Cookie Table with the blind intensity of a convert. In Bob and Anita's eclectic wedding weekend, in which the reception preceded the ceremony (in Hindu tradition, it's "inauspicious" to wed on a Saturday), the couple put The Cookie Table high on their list for making the event memorable. Cookies, hundreds of homemade cookies...The more I thought about it, a Cookie Table is kind of a marriage in miniature. You need variety (chocolate chips for the kids, something lighter for calorie counters), sustenance (gingersnaps from the PG's newest mother), and stick-to-the-ribs sweetness (no table has too many Mexican Wedding Cakes or heart-shaped butter cookies). Something old (Pittsburgh classics -- beautiful ladylocks and nut rolls) would be balanced with something new."
---COOKIE TABLE IS LIKE MARRIAGE IN MINIATURE, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pennsylvania), May 6, 2001 (p. G13)
"Then, 10 years ago, my husband, daughter and I moved to Pittsburgh, the kingpin of cookies. In this city, cookies are not just a sometime holiday thing but high art. This, after all, is the home of The Cookie Table, which graces every event of any merit -from bar mitzvah to wedding. As a symbol of the pervasiveness of the area's cookie culture, when our daughter was to be graduated from high school, she had but one request: "I want a Pittsburgh Cookie Table." She got it. Just as The Cookie Table reflects the different ethnic groups and family customs that make this city so culturally rich, the holiday cookie tray is the touchstone of memories for many families."
---"Cookies," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 13, 1998 (p. G13)
Rhode Island is a New England state. Many of the traditional foods of this region (chowder, johnnycakes, cranberry muffins) are popular here. Portuguese immigrants who settled early whaling ports (Providence) certainly made an impact of this state's food. In the 19th century both grand Victorian-era resort foods and simple factory menus (diners) are also well known. Johnson and Wales University, one of the premier culinary schools in our country, is headquartered in Providence.
"Tillable land was scarce in Rhode Island, and agricultural products were highly valued...Most early Rhode Island farmers produced only for their family's needs...One of the oldest farms in America is still owned by the same family...The Fry Farm, near the town of East Greenwich...is much the same as when it was settled in 1677 by Thomas Fry...Account books dating form 1719 to 1830 tell about life on the Fry farm. The farm was primarly a dairy farm, although falz and other crops were also grown...The Frys frequently bartered for items they could not produce. Entries in the books showed that butter, cheese, wood, and meat were sold to buy tea, coffee, and spices. Potatoes were once grown, and an apple orchard once produced enough fruit to pay two college tuitions...The first apple orchard was established in Rhode Island by William Blackstone in 1635...Rhode Islanders faced the same food-preprartion challenges encountered by other New England colonists. Whtie flour was scarce and expensive, so Rhode Islanders mainly used cornmeal for their breads and cakes. Fried corn bread, given the name "Jonnycake" (and its spelling) by Rhode Islanders, was first made by Pilgrim women and dates back to 1621. It was made from a batter composed of cornmeal, hot water, and salt and poured onto a hot stone or iron griddle for cooking...Having limited amount of land for agriculture, Rhode Islanders turned to the sea for food and trade...Rhode Island's prime harvests from the sea were quahog and cherrystone clams...In the 1850s Rhode Island began developing oyster beds in the Narragansett Bay."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of Aemrica, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 28-30)
Official state foods
Edible state symbols: Striped bass, Rhode Island Greening Apple, and Quahog (type of clam)
Notable Rhode Island food contributions
Need to make something for class?
Scalded-Meal Jonny Cakes (South County)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon molasses
1 1/2 cups Rhode Island cornmeal
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
Place the first 4 ingredients in a bowl in the order given and pour over these enough boiling water to make a stiff dough. Beat thoroughly and let stand a few minutes while the mixture thickens. Thin down with milk to a consistency that will readily drop off the end of a spoon. Drop on a well-greased hot griddle from a tablesooon. Cook over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, turing once to brown both sides lightly. Split the hot jonny cake in half and place a large piece of butter between the halves. When the butter has melted, serve--and watch the smile of satisfaction go aqround the table. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen small cakes. Note: Some use sugar instead of molasses, whereas others use no sweetening at all. Some thin down the mixture with milk that is scalding hot. An old South County recipe, instead of directing that the mixture be dropped from a spoon says: 'Dip the hands in water and mould each spoonful in balls to be flattened to a half-inch thickness on a hot greased griddle; bake nearly half an hour with occasional turning.'
Milk Jonny Cakes (Newport County)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup Rhode Island cornmeal
1 3/4 cups milk (more as needed)
Put the salt, sugar, and cornmeal in a bowl. Add the milk and mix thoroughly. Bake on a hot griddle greased with bacon fat, as you would bake griddle cakes, Since the meal keeps swelling for some time, add more milk to keep the mixture to the proper thin consistency. Makes 12 to 14 small cakes. Note: Some prefer to omit the sugar."
---Newport Cookbook, Ceil Dyer [Foremost Publishers:Little Compton RI] 1972 (p. 48-49)
[NOTE: This is the BEST source for historic RI food notes & modernized recipes from colonial days to the early 20th century.]
Cobblestones (spice cookies) are also easy to make and bring to class:
Colonial seaports received plentiful supplies of raisins,which were used in cooking and as treats for the children.
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
Cream together butter and sugar; add beaten egg and vanilla. Sift four, soda, salt together; stir this, bit by bit, into creamed mixture and beat well. Fold in raisins. Form a heaping tablespoon and drop 3 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in preheated oven at 375 degrees F. Makes 3 dozen."
---Foods from the Founding Fathers: Recipes from Five Colonial Seaports, Helen Newbury Burke [Exposition Press:Hicksville NY] 1978 (p. 134)
Recommended cook books with historic RI recipes (your librarian can get them for you or we can send one of the recipes listed below).
1. Foods From the Founding Fathers, Helen Newbury Burke
---contains recipes for: Rags and Tatters (cheese biscuits), Pumpkin Soup of Rhode Island (served hot), New England Scallop Chowder, Steamed Clams, Rhode Island Clam Fritters, Rhode Island Clam Pie, Fried Scallops, Portuguese Style, Scrod Broiled in Lemon Butter, Kedgeree (breakfast dish of rice, codfish, eggs & heavy cream, served with fried tomatoes), Salt Codfish in Sauce, Lobster Stew, New England Boiled Dinner, Beefsteak Pie, Jerky (not just a cowboy food!), Roast Goose, Fried Salt Pork with Cream Gravy, Squash, Corn Fritters, Mashed Turnips, Rhode Island Baked Beans, Salmagundi (chopped salad with meat, like Cobb Salad), Creamed Oysters, Summer Succotash, Rhode Island Johhnycake, Fried Cornmeal Mush, Rhode island "Spat-Outs" (round cornmeal cakes, deep fried like doughnuts), Toads & Rye Toads (more doughnuts), Hoecake (white corn meal cooked in open griddle), Rhode Island Corn Pone, Rhode Isalnd Squantum (brown bread), Pumpkin Bread, Cracklin' Bread (cornmeal with pork drippings), Tea Rusk, Spider Corncake (spiders were a type of frying pan with a long handle and three legs), Squash Rolls, Rhode Island sally Lunn, Blueberry Muffins, Apple Pan Dowdy (like cobbler), Berry Grunts (also like cobbler), Rhode Island Apple Slump (more cobbler), Rhodes Island Cob Pie, Mince meat, Blueberry Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Squash Pie, Trifle or Tipsy Parson (layered sponge cake, cream and fruit preserves), Indian Pudding ("Indian" meant maize or corn in colonial American recipes), Indian Apple Pudding, Steamed Spicy Suet Pudding (like plum pudding), Pound cake, Cobblestones (spice cookies), Bean Pot Applesauce, Apple Chutney, Quince Jelly, Apple Jelly, Blackberry Jam, Spiced Crab Apple, Candied Cranberries (candied means cooked with sugar), Watermelon Rind Preserves, Rhode Island Tomato Relish, Dilled Green Bean Pickles, Hoarhound Candy (hoarhound is a type of herb), Molasses Candy, Rum Punch, Brandy Shrub, Artillery Punch (wine, brandy, bourbon, lemons etc.),
Which foods are South Carolina famous for? All sorts of delicious things from plain white rice to complicated stew to West African-inspired benne cookies. Some notes South Carolina's culinary heritage:
"The territory of Carolina...was a land 1663 land grant from King Charles II of Great Britian to eight proprietors. The English explored the area and found fertile soil and a warm climate. Settlers soon followed who brought seeds and root cuttings, which they envisioned would become fields of grain, English vegetable gardesn, and orchards. England hoped that the Carolina colony would supply it with citrus, wines, and other Mediterranean-type produce. Unfortunately, the hope was never realized...Charles Town was the first significant city in the South and for many years remained the principal seaport and trading center for the Deep South. Being a seaport, Charles Town enjoyed a variety of exotic food ingredients from its early days. Sea captains brought spices from the Far East and the Caribbean Islands. Bananas picked only days before in the Caribbean were commonplace in produce markets. Chocolate from Central America became a favorite dessert ingredient used in ice creams, pies, souffles, and cakes. Pickles became popular in colonial days when Charles Town sea captains brought back mango pickles from India and Madagascar...Charles Town quickly developed a French style of cuisine when a shipload of French Huguenots came in 1680...The brought with the years of experience in producing wine...and growing olives...Many of these new colonists started rice plantations along the marshy lowlands of the coast...Rice, the staple crop of the area, was almost always included in the meals...In 1755 Henry Laurens succeeded in growing olives, capers, limes, ginger, pears, strawberries, and grapes...The plantations had so many peaches that they were often often fed to the hogs. ...South Carolina cuisine was primarly based on that of her English and French settlers. Since many settlers had business connections with the West Indies, island cuisine also influenced Charleston cooking. Rice and bean dishes...have noticeable flavors obtained from the cooking of the Caribbean Islands and Africa. Sesame seeds, which originally came from Africa, are still used in sweets and breads."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 133-6)
The two most notable primary sources for this place and time are Harriott Pinckney Horry's Receipt Book [c. 1770] and Sarah Rutledge's Carolina Housewife [c. 1847]. Both books have been reprinted recently by the University of South Carolina Press. Need to make something for class?
"From her plantation or in her Charleston home, Harriott would not have lacked for good food and drinks. At Hampton she had gardens, poultry, and livestock together with game and seafood from nearby fields and rivers. In Charleston there were certainly a kitchen garden, a poultry yard, very likely a cow or two, the daily market, and a wealth of imported delicacies from the West Indies and Europe...Milk and cheese were generally lacking except to the well-to-do. The pork and barnyard fowls, fed on corn and rice, were rated good, but the beef, veal and mutton were but 'middling' or inferior because...the cattle and sheep were not fattened but rather slaughtered direct from the thin pastures. From nearby fields and waters.,...there was a plentiful supply of venison, wild turkeys, geese, ducks, and other wild fowl. Terrapin were found in all ponds, and at times ships arrived from the West Indies with huge sea turtles. Fish were often scarce and expensive, but oysters, crabs, and shrimp could be bought cheaply. Vegetables were available and were preserved for winter months. Travelers noticed that the 'long' (sweet) potatoes were a great favorite and there were also white potatoes, pumpkins, various peas and beans, squashes, cucumbers, radishes, turnips, carrots, and parsnips among other vegetables. Rice was the colony's great staple and it was served with meats and shellfish and used to make breads, biscuits, flour, puddings, and cakes...Corn served all classes to make Journey cakes and the great and small hominy. Wheat was grown by some of the Germans in the interior, but better grades were imported from Pennsylvania and New York. Lowcountry dwellers grew and enjoyed a profusion of fruits: oranges, peaches, citrons, pomegranates, lemons, pears, apples, figs, melons, nectarines, and apricots, as well as a variety of berries...Wealthy planters and merchants were not limited to locally produced foods. From northern colonies came apples, white potatoes, and wheat...as well as butter, cheeses, cabbages, onions, and corned beef. The West Indies, the Spanish and Portuguese islands, and Europe sent cheeses, salad oils, almonds, chocolate, olives, pimentos, raisins, sugar, limes, lemons, currants, spices, anchovies and salt. Boats arrived in Charles Town frequently from the West Indies with many kinds of tropical fruits.As for beverages, only the slaves, the poorest whites, and hard-pressed frontiersmen drank water. The average South Carolinian more likely drank a mixture of rum and water, spruce beer, or cider, and in the frontier areas peach brandy and...whiskey..."
---A Colonial Plantation Cookbook: The Receipt Book of Harriott Pinckney Horry 1770, edited with an Introduction by Richard J. Hooker [University of South Carolina Press:Columbia SC] 1984 (p. 14-17)
About Rice in Georgetown, SC.
South Carolina's low country cuisine is a creole mix of English, French, Caribbean and West African flavors. The Gullah/Geechee people were of West African descent. There does not seem to be much information about Geechee foodways on the Internet. But! According to the Library of Congress (http://catalog.loc.gov) there are two books on the topic:
1. Bittle en' t'ing' : Gullah cooking with Maum Chrish' / Virginia Mixson Geraty.
2. Gullah cooking : creative recipes from an historic past from the low country of South Carolina / by Oscar Vick.
Popular traditional examples are Pine Bark Stew & Carolina Muddle. What are these dishes?
"Pine-bark stew. A fish stew. [1872 Atlantic Mth. 29, 748. In these packages were strips of white pine bark, which in its dried state gives out the flavor of nutmegs--slightly bitter and fragrant.] 1940. Brown Amer. Cooks 49 SC, From Up Country comes the famous Pine Bark Stew that has as many variations as has the Brunswick Stew and the Kentucky Burgoo. 1941 Writers' Program Guide SC 369 neSC, Bream and mollies are made into 'pine bark stew,' and tall tales recounted around the bonfire. 1951 Brown Southern Cook Book 159, Pine Bark Stew, a fish stew with a dark brown color and pungent flavor, is a South Carolina Pee Dee River dish...Some sources state that the stew derives its name from the chocolate-like color similar to pine bark; others, from the pine park used to kindle the open fire over which the stew is cooked. From The Pee Dee Pepper Pot, Darlington, South Carolina, is a third explanation, "Since seasonings were unobtainable during the Revolutionary War Days, the tender small roots of the Pine Tree...were used for flavoring (the stew). With homemade ketchup as a base, the only other seasoning was red pepper."
---Dictionary of American Regional English, Joan Houston Hall chief editor, Volume IV P-Sk [Belknap Press:Cambridge MA] 2002 (p. 160)
"WHAT? Carolina bouillabaisse. A thick, satisfying fish stew, Carolina muddle can be found in eastern Virginia and North Carolina, particularly on the Outer Banks. "Muddle is the traditional feast of the region," Bill Neal wrote in Bill Neal's Southern Cooking. "The simple vegetables potatoes, onions, tomatoes in perfect proportion with the freshest fish achieve the satisfaction sought in all good peasant cooking." The soup also contains bacon, tomatoes, and eggs, which poach on the surface of the simmering liquid; the name "muddle" refers to the fact that many ingredients are jumbled together. Cook a muddle in an iron pot over a pine-bark fire and what have you got? Pine bark stew, of course."
--- Source. [NOTE: page does not connect 11 April 2009]
Colonial-era recipes from South Carolina [modernized for today's kitchens]
The Oxford Dictionary says that a pilau is an Orienta dish of rice with meat and spices. Yet few foods seem to be so home in South Carolina as pilaus. Doubtless the early traders brought the idea of pilaus from India in the days when Charleston was a great seaport, before the Revolutionary War. And southern cooks shifted the emphasis from the secxond to the first syllable, and the ingredient from oil to tomatoes. In Charleston, they pronounce it pelos, and they cook it so that the dish comes out dry and greaseless.
4 slices bacon
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon green pepper, minced
2 sups stewed tomatoes
2 cups okra, sliced thin
Salt and black pepper
2 quarts water
2 cups rice
1 teaspoon salt
Dice the bacon and cook in a deep frying pan until golden brown. Lift out the bacon and fry the onion and green pepper in the bacon fat until brown. Then add the tomatoes and okra and let them cook down, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Season well with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook the rice in the water, to which the salt has been added. After the rice has boiled for 12 minutes, drain, mix with tomato mixture, and turn into the top of a double boiler. Let it steam for 15-20 minutes, at the end of which time the rice should be tender and thorougly flavored with the tomato. Add the bacon just before serving: if it is added too far ahead of time, it will lose its crispness. Makes 6 servings."
---Foods from the Founding Fathers: Recipes from Five Colonial Seaports, Helen Newbury Burke [Exposition Press:New York] 1978 (p. 231-232)
[NOTES: (1) Use regular (not quick or minute) rice; Carolina brand perfect (2)Okra history notes.]
Charleston Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potato pie is to the South what pumpkin pie is to New England...
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
3 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 large sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 cup light cream
1/2 recipe for 9-inch pastry
Line pie pan with pastry; flute edges. Cream butter until soft. Add salt and gradually beat in sugar until mixture is fluffy. Add lemon juice, orange rind, well-beaten egg yolks, nutmeg, and potatoes which have been beaten with cream. Blend well. Fold in egg whites beaten until stiff, but not dry. Pour into pie pan. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 10 minutes. Lower heat to moderate (350 degrees F.), and bake for 40-45 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean." Makes 8 servings."
[NOTES: (1) It's okay to use pre-made pie shell (2) Sweet potato pie history.]
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold cooked rice
1 cup milk
2 eggs, well-beaten
3 tablespoons melted butter
Mix and sift dry ingredients. Add the rice, stirring well, then combine with the milk and eggs, which have been mixed together. Lastly, stir in the melted butter. Turn into well-greased muffin tins and bake in a preheated oven at 425 degrees F. for 25 minutes. Makes 12 muffins."
---ibid (p. 237)
[NOTE: Rice played a key role in Colonial-era SC foodways and economy. This versatile grain was employed in many dishes, from savory to sweet. Rice was also ground into flour. About Rice in Georgetown, SC.]
Benne seed wafers.
Recommended reading (foodways information & recipes, both historic and modernized)
- The Carolina Housewife, Sarah Rutledge , introduction by Anna Wells Rutledge provides authentic South Carolina recipes and foodways notes.
The Carolina Rice Kitchen: The African Connection, Karen Hess (includes authentic historic recipes)
- A Colonial Plantation Cookbook: The Receipt Book of Harriott Pinckney Horry, 1770, edited with an introduction by Richard J. Hooker...historic food notes and recipes
- Foods from the Founding Fathers, Helen Newbury Burke
- The Savannah Cook Book, Harriet Ross Colquit, interesting recipe notes
- The Beaufort Cookbook: A Treasury of Carolina Recipes, collected by Dee Hryharrow and Isabel M. Hoogenboom.
- Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking, John Martin Taylor...In fact? All books by Mr. Taylor are heartily recommended. Bon appetit!
- 200 Years of Charleston Cooking, Blanche S. Rhett... recipes with a dollop of history
Every state sets a unique table illustrating the history of its people. South Dakota's table is little known, which makes it even more intgriguing.
About South Dakota foodways
"Following the discovery of gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota in the mid-1870s, prospectors, and merchants swept into the state with visions of quick wealth...One of the main problems of the gold seekers was food...The basis of much of the food was the hog...Slung in a crate beneath a covered wagon or waddling, grunting, and rooting behind the slow-moving oxen on the wagon train, the hog became the staple diet of the prospectors. After slaughtering, the meat was salted down in barrels or smoked. Although food was of vital importance, there was not a great deal of care in its preparation. Anyone who could soak beans and fry bacon was a cook, until a more profitable means of making money came along. The food was monotonous. The menus did not vary and consisted of fried bacon and beans, corn bread in various forms, and sourdough bread...The original cattle brought to South Dakota were rangy longhorns from Texas...In the late 1800s a Scottish accent was all that was needed as collateral for a mortgage to start a ranch and raise cattle in South Dakota. Along with the Scots came their cattle--Scottish Highlanders, Aberdeen Angus, and white-faced Herefords. Many returned to Scotland as meat...the miners favorite meat continues to be pork. Pork roast with baked sweet poratoes and a rhubarb pie...The South Dakota homesteaders at the turn of the cuentury subsisted primarily on potatoes, plus salted pork, and whole wheat bread. If they had a cow, they also had milk, butter, and cheese to add to this diet. Water was often scarce...Coffee breaks were the norm twice a day for the Scandinavian families...At mid-monrning and mid-afternoon the women carried steaming coffeepots and baskets of almond cakes, spice cookies, and yeast crullers out to the men in the fields. The Swedes introduced rutabaga to this country, and in South Dakota it is still cooked with apples and brown sugar...The most exotic game bird in South Dakota is the Chinese ring-necked pheasant. It was imported from China in the 1890s and became the state bird of South Dakota...The birds are roasted with salt pork, braised with a tangerine stuffing, or cooked in a casserole with onions and mushrooms...For centuries the Arikaras Indains cultivated corn, melons, beans, and squash...farming was not extensive in South Dakota until an agricultural population began settling the Indian lands in the southeast."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 192-5)
Need to bring something class representative of South Dakota?
An ice-cold glass of water will do. Plain and simple. Wall Drug (Wall, SD) established a world-wide reputation based on that. Water is life. Recommended reading: Historical Cookery of the Black Hills, Kay Riordan
Need to make something for class? The official state dessert is Kuchen, an enriched coffee cake-type item that sounds delicious!
"Kuchen 1 package dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
ј cup lukewarm water
2 cups warm milk
Ѕ cup shortening
6-8 cups flour
Ѕ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in lukewarm water. Combine milk and eggs, beat well. Add shortening, beat again. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt and add first mixture to it. Mix well. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, sprinkle with a little flour at a time. Put in warm place to rise until double in bulk. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each piece to fit a pie plate. Let rise 20 minutes. Put fruit on top—can use apples, peaches, raisins or prunes.
2 cups sweet cream or sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
Ѕ cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
Ѕ teaspoon vanilla
Top the fruit with cream filling. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until brown."
Tennessee's contribution to the American state buffet is the very best of southern Appalachian cuisine.
"Western Tennessee along the Mississippi River was first explored by Hernando de Soto in 1541 and by Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, the French explorers from Canada, in 1673. Despite the early Spanish and French claims to what is today Tennessee, the first permanent settlements were made by the English in eastern Tennessee in 1679. ..The majority of the first white settlers in Tennessee were from Virginia and the Carolinas and were of English, Scotch-Irish, or French Huguenot descent...The pioneers grew corn, potatoes, some vegetables, and a little fruit. Most settlers had at least one apple tree. In the mountains and hollows, deer and wild turkey were plentiful. Racoon, whose lard was considered choice, abounded. So did bear, squirrel, and rabbit. A hog or two provided meat for winter, The women learned to make stews of opossum and squirrel, and stews have remained a part of Tennessee cooking...The cuisine of Tennessee followed the terrain. In hill country the main dishes were basically stews and roasted meats. This food had more in common with the mountain folk of Kentucky and West Virginia than that of the western part of the state. The food of western Tennessee, with its more luxurious plantation life, had more formal meals with multiple dishes. Plantation cooking was similar to that of Tidewater Virginia and the Carolina low country. There was also a French influence, which had come up the river from New Orleans. Two foods were common to both groups were corn and ham, especially country cured ham. Each small settlement had its own flavor of country ham, and travelers claimed they could travel hundreds of miles without tasting the same ham twice. Corn was not only served as a vegetable but was used in different breads. Greens, which were frequently cooked with some ham, pork, or "fat back" for flavoring, were also eaten by both cultures in Tennessee...Ramps, called wild leeks outside of Tennessee mountain country, still grow abundantly in the mountains of Tennessee...Home-cured country hams became well-known in Tennessee and often rival those of Virginia. Tennessee hams are known as "country hams" and are substantially different from the Smithfield hams of Virginia...Ham and red-eye gravy have become a traditional Tennessee dish. Red-eye gravy starts with the drippings in a pan, in which slices of ham were fried. To this is added some water and a little black coffee. The gravy is then poured over the ham slice and served with grits or biscuits. Both the grits and biscuits are bland enough to contrast the ham and dry enought to absorb the gravy. Fried ham slices are also served with creamed potatoes and wilted lettuce."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 82-3)
Official state foods
Tennessee does not have any official (enacted by law) state foods/recipes but it does have three edible state symbols: Bobwhite quail, largemouth bass and the tomato. Notes here. The official Tennessee Web site offers additional history, agricultural/product information and popular modern recipes.
Shelia Hibben's National Cookbook  contains these recipes for Tennessee: Blackberry jam cake, Cinnamon roses, Confederate pudding, Corn cob soup, Corn meal dodgers for potlicker, Corn meal muffins, Egg flip, Milk sauce, Opossum, Pan broiled spare ribs and Rolled almond wafers. Sample recipes below:
"Blackberry Jam Cake
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups flour
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 level teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup blackberry jam
1/2 cup strong black coffee
1/2 cup sugar
Cream the butter until light and add it to the sugar; beat well and add jam. Dissolve the spices in coffee and add to butter; then add well-beaten egg yolks, and alternately the flour and sour cream, in which the soda has been dissolved. Finally fold in whites of eggs stiffly beaten, and bake in cake pan from 45 to 55 minutes in moderate oven. Ice with Baker's Icing while still warm."
---National Cookbook: A Kitchen Americana, Shelia Hibben [Harper & Brothers:New York] 1932 (p. 389)
Add 3 tablespoons of cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to a cup of powdered sugar. Beat until well blended, and spread while the cake is still hot. Instead of cream, orange juice may be used."
---ibid (p. 406-7)
"Murray County Corn-Meal Dodgers for Pot Licker
1/2 pt. White corn meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
large tablespoon melted lard
Mix the meal and salt and add melted lard and enough cold water to form with the hand into small cakes about the size of a biscuit. Drop into the boiling pot licker, on the top of the greens, and cook for twenty minutes with cover on the pot. Serve around the greens. In middle Tenneessee these corn dodgers, or dumplings, are called poorsouls."
---ibid (p. 236)
Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking/Joseph E. Dabney
...excellent source for regional recipes with historic notes
You can locate state-specific cookbooks with the Library of Congress catalog. Subject search: cookery, tennessee ...your local public librarian can help you obtain these books.
Looking for something unusual? Ramps!
"Ramps: ("Tennessee Truffles")...Ramps reign royally in Cosby, Tennessee, every April. The Cook County community, nested, in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains, goes wild over the odoriferous mountain leek, stagin a Ramp Festival...But Cosby isn't alone. Ramps are celebrated across the lofty, fertile, and shady coves in Southern Appalachia...The Appalachian "ramp country" ranges from West Virginia to north Georgia. Wild ramps, a member of the lily family, and called "Tennessee Truffles" by some, flourish in buckeye flats...old-time mountain people love the wild leek. Take Gary Davis, a retired conservation ranger from Fannin County, Georgia. "If I don't get some ramps to eat in the spring, I may not make it to the fall. It slicks you off [as a tonic], makes you feel good and do good all summer..."
---Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine: The Folklore and Art of Southern Appalachian Cooking, Joseph E. Dabney [Cumberland House:Nashville TN] 1998 (p. 273-4)
When most people think of Texas food they think of beef and Tex Mex. A little research confirms The Lone Star state is famous for many interesting dishes. The Texas table is constructed from contributions by folks hailing from divergent cultures. Czech-Mex, anyone?
Edible state symbols
Texas rustles up an impressive list of edible state symbols: Pan de Campo (state bread), chili (state dish), pecans, sopapilla and strudel (state pastries), red grapefruits, japalenos, prickly pear cactus (nopales), tortilla chips & salsa (state snack) and sweet onions.
Indigenous plants & animals (Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept.)
Texas Plant Information Database ...native plants, searchable by county or region
Texas Habitats ...game, vegetation, history
Celebrating the multicultural contributions composing early Texas cuisine
"The heritage of Texas cuisine is like a five-pronged star. Each of the five regions of Texas was settled by pioneers from different parts of the United States and Europe. Each had different food heritages. In northeastern Texas the new settlers learned how to plant corn and use wild plants from the Indians...They also supplemented native foods with produce grown from seeds they had brought with them. The Dutch oven vecame the stew pot and the utensil for baking various types of corn bread. When wheat flour became cheap, corn bread gave way to biscuits. Deep east Texas was settled by inhabitants of the lower southern United States--Alabamians, Georgians, Mississippians, and Louisianians. Some were poor whites, who existed on wild berries, fruits, edible weeds, and whatever game they could hunt. Others were plantation owners, who brought the tradition of fine foods and southern hospitality to their Texas plantations...Plantation owners served their guests fish and game, followed by an assortment of cakes, pies, and puddings...The third prong of the Texas star, Central Texas, was originally settled by 300 people Stephen Austin brought to his colony...While the European settlers cooked beef and lamb, they favored roast pork, which they served with dumplings or mashed potatoes...South Texas...was influenced by the cuisine of Mexico and Spain. By the mid 1850s Mexican cooking had become popular in Texas. Tamales, made of cornmeal filled with chopped meat and hot peppers, then wrapped in a corn husk and steamed, were more appealing than the settler's Johnnycakes. Tacos, guacamole,' enchiladas, and tortillas became the daily foods of many settlers...The fifth prong of the Texas star is West Texas. Until the discover of oil in the area, beef was king...West Texans adopted one of their essential foods--beans--from the Mexicans. Thus beef, beans, and corn bread or tortillas became the staple food of West Texas...Chicken-Fried Steak originated on the cattle drives in that part of Texas."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 209-211)
What did they eat at the Alamo?
What did texan settlers eat in the 1820s to 1900s?
The answer to this question depends upon the ethnic heritage of the settler and how much money he had. Sending you food notes on selected ethnic groups connected with Texas:
German settlers Chicken fried steak
Czech settlers & Kolache
Much is written about the influence of Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and German influences on the culture and cuisine of Texas. One has to do more sleuthing to uncover evidence of French settlement and influence. Certainly, French immigrants transported their culinary heritage wherever they went. Like all immigrant cultures, they adapted their recipes (by necessity) to include/accomodate local ingredients and cooking facilities. They also most likely sampled/ate local fare. In places of large French settlement (New Orleans, Detroit, Montreal) culinary influence is quite evident and well documented. In places where small pockets of French settled (Dallas, lower Rio Grande, headwaters of the Medina & Frio rivers), the culinary influence is less pronounced. Even in settlements that were completely French (La Reunion 1858) the food was most likely French with a Texas twist. La Renunion did not flourish. According to a survey of food history books, neither did French cuisine. The French restaurants you find in Texas today are are not products of the state's gastronomic connection to the "mother country." They are, as in most places, products of classically-trained chefs catering to consumers who are partial to this cuisine.
La Reunion/Dallas 1 & 2. Recommended reading: The French in Texas, Francois Lagarde (ask your librarian to help you find this book).
Barbecue (Texas style featuring beef)
Historic notes & modernized recipes (your local public librarian will be happy to help you get these books)
- A Pinch of This and a Handful of That, Delma Cothran Thames (best source for modernized 19th century recipes)
- Cuisine Texas: A Multi-ethnic Feast, Joanne Smith
- Melting Pot: Ethnic Cuisine in Texas, University of Texas at San Antonio
- The Saga of Texas Cookery, Sarah Morgan
- Eats: A Folk History of Texas Foods, Ernestine Sewell Linck
- Texas Home Cooking, Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
- Texas recipes I & 2
Historic Texas cookbooks (facsimile paperbacks, ask your librarian to help you get copies)
-  First Texas Cook Book/First Presbyterian Church of Houston
-  Capitol Cook Book/Mrs. E. G. Myers, Austin
Today in Utah you can find all sorts of food from fine gourmet to hearty family meals, to ethnic fare to fast food/chain restaurants. If you need foods that have special connections to the history and culture of this state these links will get you started:
Utah is the "Beehive State." Bees signify unwaivering industry. Honey also happens to be one of the biggest commodities in the state. Edible state symbols feature cherries, spanish onions and sugar beets. Which foods are grown in Utah?
In 1847 Mormons settled in Utah. Their journey was long and hard. Mormon recipes/cooking methods/journals, from the Utah Education Network
If you need to make something for class? This book is perfect: The Essenial Mormon Cookbook: Green Jell-O, Funeral Potatoes, and Other Secret Combinations, Julie Badger Jensen ...your local public librarian will be happy to help you obtain a copy.
"Mormon Scones," Salt Lake Tribune (Utah), Nancy Hobbs, June 9, 1999, Pg. B1
"Outsiders may scoff, but Utah's deep-fried version is a hit with the folks at home Regular diners at Johanna's Kitchen in Sandy, or Sill's Cafe in Layton, know what to expect when they order a scone: a hot, deep-fried disc of bread the size of the plate or bigger, with a huge scoop of honey butter slowly melting and pooling on top. Just the way folks like it, says Stan Stevens, general manager at Johanna's, where scones sell by the "thousands" -- more than 1,500 orders weekly, with two to an order. But to people outside the Beehive State, these scones are an aberration. In Utah, scones originating in the British Isles -- those bumpy-looking biscuit-type things sold in European-style bakeries, coffee shops and upscale mountain resorts -- are the oddity. Native Utahns are the ones at those spots who say, "You call those scones?" Letty Flatt, pastry chef at Deer Valley Resort, has been on both sides of the "debate." To her, scones are the fruit-filled, baked delicacies that people from outside Utah recognize instantly. When she has made deep-fried bread dough, she called them sopaipillas and served them with a huevos rancheros breakfast. Even so, Flatt said, she felt herself turning bright red in Phoenix during a recent conference of culinary professionals from around the world, when Wall Street Journal editor and columnist Raymond Sokolov targeted the "Utah scone" as something stranger than strange. "He went off on a good, 3-minute discussion of Utah scones, and how they are deep-fried. ... It almost seemed like [Sokolov] put it in for a touch of comedy." Sokolov has a similar take on Utah scones and the Four Corners area as the "fried bread capital of the world" in his book Fading Feast: A Compendium of Disappearing American Regional Foods. The book, originally published in 1981, was reprinted by a new publisher last year with the addition of several new essays, including "Everyman's Muffins." He writes that as he prepared for a trip to Salt Lake City, he was excited to read in another author's book about Utah's unique scones, since the city "is not a rich area for gastronomic research." He tried scones at Johanna's Kitchen "in Jordan, Utah" and at one of Vickie and Gerald Warner's 13 statewide Sconecutter shops, where scones are served with everything from honey butter to meat, as sandwiches. "We've been doing business in Utah -- just Utah -- for 23 years, and our specialty is scones. All kinds of scones," said Vickie Warner. "I've never really heard of them being anywhere else. We have a lot of people who say they look forward to coming [to Utah] for our scones." In trying to research the origins of the Utah scone, Sokolov naturally compares it to Navajo fry bread and Mexican sopaipillas, suggesting that Utah's early Mormon pioneers liked the fried bread when they tried it and adapted it to their tastes with a sweeter dough. He points out that recipes for scones from the Lion House -- "the Mormon world's closest approximation to an official restaurant" -- and in Donna Lou Morgan's What's Cooking in Utah Kitchens? (published by The Salt Lake Tribune) use eggs, buttermilk and sugar. Utah's scone makers seem to have come to the same conclusion about the fried bread's origin, as Gerald Warner from the Sconecutter and Stan Stevens from Johanna's described their products, without any prompting, as similar to Navajo fry bread. "But we have a special recipe that's been in Johanna's family for eons," and has been used at the restaurant for all of its 28 years, Stevens added. Deer Valley's Flatt gives a sneak preview of her upcoming cookbook, Chocolate Snowball and Other Fabulous Pastries from Deer Valley Bakery (to be published in October by Falcon Publishing), with her recipe for Dried Cherry Scones. She suggests serving them with butter and fruit preserves for breakfast or, as the British do, for afternoon tea. "This is a very adaptable recipe," she writes. "I often add nuts to the dough or use another dried fruit, such as apricots."
1 quart warm buttermilk
2 packages (2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
10 to 11 cups flour
Heat buttermilk; pour into a large mixing bowl. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add to the buttermilk: sugar, eggs, oil, salt, baking powder, baking soda, dissolved yeast and 6 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Place in a greased bowl; turn. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk; punch down. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight. Roll out 1/2-inch thick and cut into squares just before frying in hot, deep vegetable oil. Serves 15 to 18; recipe can be halved. Serve with Honey Butter, made by beating 1 cup softened butter with 1 cups honey for 10 minutes, or until fluffy. Adapted from Three Decades of Cooking With Donna Lou Morgan
1 cup (sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups honey
Beat together butter and honey for 10 minutes, until fluffly.
From Three Decades of Cooking With Donna Lou Morgan.
Here is the article by Mr. Sokolov from Natural History magazine:
"I would have liked to include a few scone recipes in this chapter, but once you start on scones where do you stop? Like me, most of you probably grew up thinking of scones as rich muffins. My mother used to bake small circular ones when I was growing up in Detroit. Later, when I lived in England, I ran into similar buns a teahouses. That was twenty years ago, and I hadn't given scones a second though until I was recently preparing for a visit to Salt Lake City and noticed in Michael and Jane Stern's Good Food that scones were a specialty of the city. This seemed odd, and when I read the Sterns' description of Utah scones, I was sure they were not the scones I had known elsewhere. Michael Stern was as puzzled as I was. Salt Lake scones were most unsconelike, he told me on the phone before I left: they were fried, puffy, and sometimes split and used as buns for sloppy Joes. This was confusing but exciting news. Salt Lake is not a rich area for gastronomic research. The Mormons, who settled the city and whose culture is surely still the dominant local strain, were (and are) a religious group drawn from many traditional cultures, not an ethnically coherent population with a settled food tradition. Mormons are zealous missionaries who proselytize among nearby heathen, notably American Indians, and all over the world. This international outlook led them to develop their own script and lingua franca, Deseret. But on the culinary level, they seem to have been content to continue the diet the first Mormons brought with them in the second half of the nineteenth century. Since the early settlers departed from the Midwest, it isn't surprising that today's typical Mormon food should closely resemble midwestern farmhouse food. In Salt Lake, I was able to verify this assumption at the Mormon world's closest approximation to an official restaurant, a cafeteria called the Pantry, situated in the Lion House, a former home of Mormon patriarch Brigham Young. The building is not open to the public but serves the Mormon community as a sort of banquet hall and dining club. No fewer than five wedding parties were celebrating the day I was taken there. From years of such prominence in Mormon feasting, the Lion House kitchen has taken on a special luster among the faithful. Reservations for the banquet rooms are said to be made years in advance. It seems reasonable to say, then, that the kitchen of the Lion House represents Mormon traditional cooking at its best. And judging by what I ate at the Pantry and by the recipes collected in 1980 for Lion House Recipes, Mormon cooking is an unreconstructed expression of mainstream middle American food: jello salads, pies, meat and potatoes. Lion House Recipes does contain some relatively exotic dishes, such as Greek salad and Mexican taco salad. What it lacks almost completely is purely local food ideas not imported from somewhere else. It would be unfair, however, to blame the lack of purely Utah recipes only on the Mormons. You will find almost no bona fide regional recipes in the secular counterpart to Lion House Recipes, a compilation entitled What's Cooking in Utah Kitchens, edited by Donna Lou Morgan, food editor of the Salt Lake Tribune. There are, to be sure, original dishes, such as Chicken Porter Rockwell (a chicken pie), and various other concoctions culled from family recipe files, but the only dish in either of these books that seems to have developed in Utah and taken root in the regional culture is the anomalous fried bread called scone. In Utah, by the evidence of both local cookbooks and three local restaurants, the scone starts out as a yeast-raised, sweet dough that is cut into 2-by-2-inch squares (or other shapes of similar surface area) and deep-fried. The most popular method of service is with butter and honey. That is how I ate a midmorning scone at Johanna's Kitchen in a mall at Jordan, Utah. They didn't bother to bring honey at the Pepper Tree in Salt Lake, but they did advertise a free scone with each breakfast "entree" on the sign out front. Clearly, the Utah scone is not a vanishing bread. Certainly not at the two-restaurant chain in Salt Lake City called Sconecutter. At these twenty-four-hour drive-ins, the Utah scone rises to challenge the doughnut and the hamburger bun as a fast-food commodity. Cooked on the spot from yeast dough, the scones come out crisp, puffy, and rectangular. The dough inside is airy and pleasantly chewy. But are they scones in the normal sense? And if not, where do they come from? How did they start? Traditional English scones are too diverse to classify with much certainty, as Elizabeth David warns us. But they do generally qualify as muffinish quick breads, and mostly they are baked. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, scones (derived from the Middle Low German schonbrot, or fine bread) are baked, cooked on a griddle stone, or even fried (but not deep-fried). Yeast does crop up sometimes, for example, in Jane Grigson's recipe for Northumbrian wholemeal scones in English Food. But no traditional British scone I have ever eaten or read about comes close to resembling the Utah scone. So it seems improbable that early Mormons of British extraction imported the deep-fried scone to their New World Zion. When I asked her about it, donna Lou Morgan guessed that pioneer Utah cooks, who were inveterate bread bakers, had taken to frying some of the yeast dough they often had on hand. She remembered her own mother pinching off pieces of bread dough and frying them, but Morgan's own recipe for scones, which is very much like the Lion Houses's, is not based on a conventional bread dough. It is richer and sweeter and has chemical raising agents in it, undoubtedly to boost the puffing of the scone as it fries. The first time I ate a Utah scone, I was certainly not reminded of bread or of traditional muffin scones. I thought instantly of two other puffy fried breads popular in the West: Navajo fry bread and New Mexican sopaipillas (see recipes). The taste of both these regional "breads" is very close to the taste of Utah scones. Yes, the shapes and textures vary a little. But with the sopaipilla, there is an extra link. Like Utah scones, sopaipillas are served with honey. Until some researcher makes a lucky strike in a Mormon woman's diary or a pioneer cookbook, we are never going to know for sure how it is that Navajos, Chicanos, and Mormons ended up eating similar fried breads. It could all be coincidence, but in the absence of hard facts, it is tempting to construct an explanatory scenario that will connect all the fried breads so popular in the mountain time zone, from Bountiful, Utah, to Hatch, New Mexico. Here is one. Let us suppose that both the Navajo fry bread and the sopaipilla predate the Utah scone. They are simpler and history is on their side Both Navajos and Hispanicized New Mexicans were in their present regions long before the Mormons. Their fry breads are almost identical, and so it makes sense to look for an archetypal southwestern fry bread from which both descend. Now since most culinary ideas in the U.S. Southwest moved there from the south, when Mexico controlled the area, there ought to be a Mexican ancestor for the sopaipilla and for the Navajo fry bread. In fact, there is one. Diana Kennedy located sopaipillas in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which shares some of its northern border with New Mexico. Sopaipillas are uncommon there, but they are called sopaipillas and are similar to those eaten in New Mexico, except that in Chihuahua they aren't made with a chemical rising agent (or with yeast). This greater simplicity argues in favor of Chihuahua as the birthplace of American fry bread. Still, it may be that the Chihuahuan sopaipilla is a later simplification of a New Mexican original. But I doubt that. Common sense tells me that the baking soda now used by Navajos and Chicanos came to them at a late date from the intruding Anglo world. The primitive fry bread now preserved in Chihuahua was probably once indigenous to the entire region we are talking about and now survives only in Chihuahua because of its remoteness from outside influences. Most probably, then, when Mormons first came into contact with southwestern Indians, they found them eating an unleavened fried bread that puffed up in hot oil. Inevitably, they tasted it and liked it. Mormon women then tried to duplicate the recipe and added a whole battery of raising agents they knew about from English baking. They put in buttermilk because its mild acidity was necessary to activate baking soda and make it give off carbon dioxide. They added eggs and sugar and ended up with a delicous and original bread, related in kind to the beignet family, but a thing unto itself. And lacking a name for the thing, they remembered scones, quick sweet breads from back home that were also cut into individual serving pieces before cooking. This is only a hypothesis, not a substitute for real evidence. At any rate, the Utah scone flourishes on its native ground, hard by its Indian cousins. And no matter how Navajo bread, sopaipillas, and Utah scones actually came about, it is the case that the Four Corners, where Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado meet, is the fried bread capital of the world."
---"Everyman's muffins; Includes recipes," Sokolov, Raymond, Natural History, June, 1985, Vol. 94 ; Pg. 82
---Jell-O: A Biography, Carolyn Wyman [Harcourt:San Diego] 2001 (p. 121-2)
"That probably strengthens the campaign to hold all Olympics in New Orleans, for purely gastronomical reasons. But the Utah food pins don't stop with the image of gloppy pink fry sauce. Some collectors fancy the pin featuring green Jello. It so happens Utahans eat more gelatin per capita than consumers in any other state. Who knew?"
---"SALT LAKE 2002," Cathy Harasta, The Dallas Morning News, October 28, 2001, Pg. 4B
"Utah's Famous Green Jell-O
This salad inspired an Olympic pin
1 cup water
1 (6-oz) package lime Jell-O
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablspoons fresh lime juice (optional)
1 cup crushed pineapple, undrained
2 cups whipping cream
Bring water to boil. Put Jell-O and sugar in a medium-sized bowl; add boiling water, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Add lemon juice, if desired. Stir in crushed pineapple. Refrigerate until syrupy. Whip cream until stiff. Fold into Jell-O mixture. Place in a 9 X 13-inch pan. Refrigerate for serveral hours until firm. Makes 12 servings.
---The Essential Mormon Cookbook, Julie Badger Jensen [Deseret Book:Salt Lake City UT] 2004 (p. 20)
Need to make something for class? (besides green Jell-O, that is?)
Vermont, the Green Mountain State, is famous for maple sugar and dairy products.
"Vermont was settled primarily by the English, Irish, Scots, and French Canadians. Most of these settlers farmed, since there was little other employment except granite quarrying. Farmers used hand tools to ssed, cultirvaed, and harvest their grain...Farming was not an easy task in the hilly, rocky soil of Vermont. Meals were served in the field during daylight hours so that the farmers could make use of every minute of available light. The lunch break at midday was always a welcome repast. It was usually simple fare and often included a drink called switchel--a combination of spring water, molasses, ginger, and vinegar. A handful of oatmeal thrown on top was thought to prevent heat prostration."
---Taste of the States, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 31)
About maple syrup
Official state symbol, history & facts and recipes.
About Vermont cheese...Cabot is marketed nationally.
Historic food: Vermont Common Crackers are perfect! So is Ben & Jerry's!
Virginia is known for many foods. Two of the most famous are ham & peanuts. Brunswick Stew was a popular community meal associated with political rallies and other large outdoor events.
Top crops & official state foods
Current statistics on Virginia's crops. The commonwealth of Virginia has three edible state symbols: milk, brook trout & oysters.
Colonial Virginia Food
Foods of Jamestown
Life at Jamestown
History is Served (modernized recipes)
Daily Schedule for a Cook in a Gentry Household
Feeding the Eighteenth Century Townfolk
Provisioning Tidewater Towns
Notes on foodways and class from Colonial Williamsburg. George Washington's Mount Vernon
Thomas Jefferson's Monticello
19th century Virginia
The Virginia Housewife/Randolph
Housekeeping in Old Virginia/Tyree
The Robert E. Lee Family Cooking and Housekeeping Book/Anne Carter Zimmer
Martin family food notes
The following passage describes food typical of a middle class land owning family living in early 19th century Fauquier County, VA. The words were penned by the Food Timeline editor's great-grandfather, who recorded his family stories from memory. They are transcribed as originaly set forth. Complete with phonetic spellings and creative grammar. What better way to taste the past?
"France Martin 4th (1768-1824)...[lived in a] territory abound in games, Elk-, deer, wild turkey, quail, bears, beavers mink, muskrat and otta, of course skunk coon and O,possum was renown as a meat cook with sweet-potatoes. With Foods, white gravy was the empire builder, made with lard from fried meat-season with flower, and condiments, Polk was the main meat-Salted hams, was the food of the elite, sholders and fat back, went to the servants, it is said that Francis Martin and his ninth Son Robert Lewis Martin, never permitted a ham to come on the table the 2nd time, after first carven by slicing in the middle-it from the early days at Jamestown-the eastern rivers of Virginia offered sponding grownds for shad and the Herrin, Potomac Herrin was known all over virginis, salted it could be kept through the summer, and besides it was cheap, a dollar per thousand was a good price with Shads throw in-later shads sold for 10 cents each, which to the old timers was a prohibit price, There was much fown consumed, Geese, turkers and chicken-though Salty fish-and molasses (when they had it) along with corn meal mixed with water and cook in the ashes of the hearth was the chief food for slaves,
"All of the old plantation had their orchards, and much dried fruit was made in to stews, pies and dumplings- Cabbage was the main vegetable, with turnips next-Tomatoes, Lettuce, celery was slow to be adapted-Squash they inhearted from the Indians, and it was often used, Winter vegetables, was those that would stand burying and cabbage was a great favorite.
"Cooking was done by servants, some cooks, was raises and wore out their natural lives-preparing meals for one after the other generation of their masters, No recipes, or written discription was used-in Fact there were no news papers, or could many folks write, and practical the art of writing was unknown among the negro servants.
"Our Grand Folks, came about-with out Matches to light their fires-of Baken powders to puff up their biscuits, Candle light, shorten evenings to long deleys in feather beds, some used them the year found-The kitchen was an out house, with open fire place some had built in warming closets for those that delayed their meals, some had ice, from the previous winter freeze to keep their mutton, which was mostly eaten cold. hugh stacks of wood was used both winter and summer, from the ashes came lye-that went in to soap making... Grain and stock had no immediate sale, for there was no money for exchange-Cotton and slaves was their redy money gains, to buy things from Europe, came mostly from these two products, there was no food imported-or caned hames from Progue or sardeand from Portugal-or corned beef from the Argintines, Spade and the hillin hoe- was the impliment to raise things, the sod plow was wooden and the mold board never peel off the sod like the Oliver Chill Mold boards-and John Kemper 1st, the German emigrant of Germantown invented the double shovel. Corn was planted by hand- and worked 4 to 6 times- cut by hand and some times ground by hand- the meal was consumes muxed with water and baked with out shortening or baken powders, in the hot ashes of the hearth.
"Kitchen utilsils, was the hand me down, from one generation to a nother-all bult for open fire place, there was no skill amoung the cooks, living was hard, sanitary condition had not been put on the map by Microbe discovery by Pasturer."
---Francis Martin 4th our Grand-Father, R. Brawdus Martin, November 20, 1960 (p. 6-7) [typed family history manuscript]
Washington's bountiful table reflects the state's unique geography, people, history and creativity.
"Discovery of gold in 1855 brought a rush of prospectors to what is now the state of Washington. Close on the heels of the prospectors came settlers, attracted by reports of lush valleys and free land grants. Most of these pioneers were of English, Dutch, German, and Scandinavian origin. Although each ethnic group had its own distinct culinary traditions, they were melded into the cooking of Washington state. Salmon had been the main sustenance for coastal Indians of the Northwest since prehistoric times. These Indians lived at the mouth of the Columbia River, and over the years they had perfected intricate fishing techniques and various rituals honoring the salmon...In 1884 ont of the first canneries in Washington as built on the Columbia River near the Dalles to take advantage of the fish wheels that had been built there by Indians...During the peak canning years of the 1880s, canners packed 6.5 million pounds of salmon annually...In addition to salmon there are more than 30 species of fish harvested off the coast of Washington, including rockfish, cod, lingcod, sablefish, and smelt. After salmon and oysters, crabs are the most abundant seafood harvested...At the turn of the century whole communites of oyster gatherers lived and worked on floating homes in the tidal inlets of the southern Puget Sound near Olympia. Steamers came periodically to pick up the oysters in burlap sacks."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 247-8)
"Whatever their heritage, many of the early settlers quickly learned to adapt their recipes to ingredients available in Washington. The New Englanders who settled near the Puget Sound...found that chopped clams could be substituted for beef in corned-beef hash...Clam chowder, a dish familiar to New Englanders, became another mainstay of many pioneer diets. The pioneer women learned to go out at low tide to gather the large geoduck clams, which they sliced an fried like chicken. They also learned from the Indians how to cook salmon and other fish over an open fire. Today, the cuisine of Washington is not defined by a specific culinary style. Rather it is one that blends fresh produce, seafood, and locally raised meats into a light style of cooking, simply prepared and unadorned by heavy sauces."
---ibid (p. 251)
Traditional recipes: Celebrate 100 : the Washington State Centennial cookbook.1st ed. Seattle, Wash. : Romar Books, c1989.
Space Needle recipes [World's Fair, Seattle, 1962]
- Tom Douglas, Seattle's renowned chef is known for Northwest or "Pacific Rim Cuisine."
- Bite of Seattle (annual festival, check dining & contact organizers for ideas/suggestions)
- Pike Place Market (what's fresh, featured items)
Official state foods
Two of Washington's state symbols (these are enacted by law) are edible: Steelhead trout and apples. Washington's popular commodities (with recipes!). If you need to make something (easy, delicious!) for class? Make it with Washington apples!
West Virginia has a rich and diverse ethnic history which translates into dozens of interesting recipes. Golden Delicious Apples are the official state fruit (Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 7, 2.20.95)--"A variety of the yellow apple, the Golden Delicious, originated in Clay County. The original Grimes Golden Apple Tree was discovered in 1775 new Wellsburg. (From official West Virginia Web page). More apple information here. About apple butter, a WV traditional treat. Ramps, an early spring green are also celebrated. As are Pepperoni Rolls. The other edible state symbol is the Brook Trout. About WV's history & state symbols.
West Virginia's culinary heritage
"Buckwheat, peaches, and apples are the most important agricultural food products of the state. The Golden Delicious apple, which was developed form a stray seedling by A.H. Mullins in Clay County, West Virginia, in 1890, is now grown throughout the country and is known for its mellow flavor and lovely pale-yellow skin...One of the main meals of the early frontier familis was stewed squirrel cooked with onions, garlic, thyme and bacon. Bear meat was also prized. Wild greens were the early vegetables of the settlers until they planted corn, beans, and potatoes. Most pioneer families maintained a few pigs to supplement their diet of wild game meat."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 96-97)
[NOTE: The West Virginia recipes offered in this book include Sally Lunn, Fluffy Spoon Bread, and Pumpkin Pie.]
Need to make something for class? How about spoon bread!
Fluffy Spoon Bread
Spoon bread, so named because of its light, fluffy, custard-like texture, is served with a spoon. The addition of cream in this recipe gives the spoon bread a richer consistency. Serves 6 to 8
1 2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup stone-ground white cornmeal
2/3 cup water
3 tablespoons soft butter
1 tablespoon sugar
Dash of salt
4 extra-large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons baking powder
Combine the milk, cream, cornmeal, water, butter, sugar, and salt in a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a slow boil over medium-low heat and then simmer for 2 minutes, stirring vigorously. Eemove from heat and turn the mixture into a large bowl. Let it cool slightly. Beat the egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Beat the egg yolks with the baking powder until the yolks are light and lemon-colored. Stir the egg yolks into the cornmeal mixture quickly. Fold in a quarter of the egg whites and then fold in the remaining egg whites. Gently pour the batter into a greased 3-quart souffle dish and bake in a preheated 375 degree F. oven for 35 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The center should still be creamy and soft. Spoon out individual servings at once and top with butter."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 98)
The West Virginia recipes included in Shelia Hibben's National Cookbook [c. 1932] are Pigeons in cornmeal, Spanish cream and Turned out custard. If you need more recipes we recommend Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread, & Scuppernong Wine, Joseph E. Dabney.
"Wisconsin was off the main path of the westward settlement that followed the Revolutionary War. The region's first frontier communities had developed around the fur trade...The first pioneers subsisted largely on salt pork and cornmeal, embellished occasionally with baked beans and whatever meat the men hunted. Passenger pigeons, cooked in clay in the Indian style, was a popular game dish. Many families survived the winter on just a few bushels of potatoes. Other families, too poor to buy flour to make bread, survived by foraging for fish, wild onions, and roots...Vegetable gardens and commercial crops were soon established, and surpluses were either traded or sold...After clearing the land and bringing in the first garden crops, the typical farm family acquired a cow and a few chickens, which provide homemade butter and fresh eggs. The more precious commodities--tea, coffee, flour, sugar, and salt--had to be obtained in town...Foreign immigrants came mainly from England... Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, the Netherlands and Norway...Once established, immigrants planted kitchen gardens with vegetables as well as herbs for their familiar old-world dishes...Each ethnic group tended to retain the cooking styles of its homeland. The German settlers...considered a cabbage cutter and a crock for making sauerkraut as indispensible in their kitchens...The Scandinavians loved herring and used either those from the Great lakes or salt herring imported from Europe in five or ten-pound wooden kegs...German sausage making is still an important industry in Wisconsin...In Wisconsin's loggin camps hearty and plentiful food was indispensable...[the cook prepared a] breakfast of buckwheat pancakes...oatmeal, ham, potatoes, fried salt pork, beans, blackstrap molasses, fried cakes...black coffee with brown sugar...noon meal [consisted of] pork and beans, homemade bread, fried cakes, and cookies...Dinner...consisted of...potatoes with gravy, fresh meat, salted beef, pea soup, stewed prunes or dried apples, rice pudding, fried cakes, and pie of dried apples, prunes, or raisins." ---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 163-4)
Wisconsin's dairy industry
"In 1844 an almost total crop failure occurred in Switzerland. As a result the Swiss government subsidized emigration of some of its farmers to Wisconsin...Experienced in livestock breeding, the Swiss settlers began to build theri dairy herds and make cheese from the milk. By the 1860s cheesemaking had moved from the home to commercial operations. The first Wisconsin cheesemaker was Chester Hazan, who had come from New York State and opened his establishment in Lagoda in 1864...The cream separator, a Wisconsin development in the 1870s, took butter making out of the home and into commercial creameries. In 1890 Stephen Mouton Babcock, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin, developed a standard test for butterfat content in milk...All types of cheese have been made in Wisconsin over the years, but only one can be called a native Wisconsin variety--Colby. This most, mild yellow cheese was developed in 1885 by Josephy Steinwand, whose father had opened a cheese factory west of the Clark County town of Colby."
Wisconsin's edible state symbols are: sugar maple (tree), muskellunge [aka muskie] (fish), white tailed deer (state wildlife animal), dairy cow (state domesticated animal), honeybee (state insect), milk (state beverage)and maize [corn] (state grain).
Milwaukee, Wisconsin's unique ethnic heritage is responsible for creating an interesting blend of local culinary traditions. Who settled here? This list is provided by the Milwaukee County Historical Society. Traditional foods are enjoyed at GermanFest (annual, late July).
The Settlement Cook Book, Mrs. Simon Kander, was published in Milwaukee in 1901. It contains many recipes popular with immigrant households. The 1906 Capital City Cook Book /Grace Church Guild [Madison WI] offers additional recipes. We can send you recipes.
Recommended reading (with recipes!)
The Flavor of Wisconsin, Harva Hachten (we have a copy of this book...if you need a recipe let us know (which historic period, ethnic group & menu course)
Historic Recipes, courtesy of Milwaukee Public Library (newspaper clippings, 1960s-1980s; online, full text & searchable).
Need easy Wisconsin-based recipes your classmates will enjoy?
Flat bread (Norwegian)
1 quart buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted
Whole Wheat flour.
Combine buttermilk, sugar, baking soda, and melted butter. Mix well. Add enough wheat flour to make a stiff dough. Roll out on a board dusted with white flour; roll as thinly as possible. Cut into squares and bake on baking sheets at 300 degrees. Watch closely, as it browns quickly."
---The Flavor of Wisconsin, Harva Hachten [State Historical Society of Wisconsin:Madison WI] 1981 (p. 154)
Apple Sauce Cake
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup chopped ates
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups apple sauce
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
Using a wooden spoon, cream butter and sugar. Mix in egg, dates, raisins, apple sauce, cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla and mix well. Mix in flour and baking soda. Batter will be very thick. Bake in large cake pan or in twe or three loaf pans at 325 or 350 until done, about 30 to 60 minutes, depending upon size of pan."
---ibid (p. 281)
Kartoffel Torte (German)
1 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup milk
1 cup mashed potatoes
4 ounces bitter chocolate, melted
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks. Add milk, mashed potatoes, choco;ate, flour, and spices. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold in. Bake in an ungreased 9-inch spring-form pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour."
---ibid (p. 282)
Chocolate Cookie-Sheet Cake
2 cups sifted flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoons alt
1/2 pound butter
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Sift together flour, sutar, and salt into mixing bowl. In a saucepan, combine butter, water, and cocoa and bring to a boil. Pour over dry ingredients, and mix. Beat together eggs, baking soda, buttermilk, vanilla, and cinnamon, if desired; add to batter and mix well. Bake in a greased 15 1/2-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Make frosting about 5 minutes before cake is done, and frost as soon as it is removed from the oven."
---ibid (p. 286)
Quick and Easy Chocolate Frosting
1/4 pound butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix butter, cocoa, and milk in a saucepan and heat over low heat, but do not boil. Remove from heat and add sugar, nuts, and vanilla. Mix well."
---ibid (p. 288)
Wyoming is great state to get for a food project. A convergence of people from many cultures offers several tasty options.
"By 1851 wagon trains carrying prospectors and a few settlers began coming to Wyoming. The prospectors were heading west in search of gold, and the settlers came to establish farms...While the settlers were building their homesteads and planting crops, they subsisted on braised bear meat, venison steak, hominy cooked with dried beef, and sometimes rice with honey and cinnamon. Pioneer women soon became experts at improvising, For coffee they roasted anything that would turn brown over a fire. They used a Dutch oven for everything from boiling water to baking cakes...People came to Wyoming from all over the world. Before 1900 there were already 47 different nationalities represented in Rock Springs...There was a French bakery that make fluffy croissants and rich eclairs. The owner of the Greek candy shop baked almond cakes, spice bars, and made halvah, a type of pudding. The Chinese restaurant served sweet-and-sour pork and wonton soup. The Germans made Wiener schnitzel and cheesecake, and the Norwegians prepared cold fruit soups. Since the late 1800s, when the Chinese came to work on the railroads, there has been an Oriental influence on Wyoming's cooking. This influence expanded when the Japanese, who were interned in Wyoming during World War II, began to farm the land...Farming started in Wyoming in the mid-1850s when a group of Mormons arrived in a wagon train at Fort Supply in the southwestern corner of the state. They brought seeds, herds of cattle, flocks of chickens, and plentiful food supplies."
---Taste of the States: A Food History of America, Hilde Gabriel Lee [Howell Press:Charlottesville VA] 1992 (p. 235-6)
If you need an "Official state food" you can use the cutthroat trout. If you need to make something for class that your friends will actually eat? You have many historic options...all you have to do is explain how the recipe you select fits into the history of the state:
True, this state is best known for bean production. Beans played an important role in the diet of Wyoming's Native Americans, early explorers, and settlers. They provided a staple base of protein, were easy to grow, store and cook. If you want to make something people will like? How about chilli! If this option appeals, ask your teacher about how best to serve this. Can you bring it in a crockpot?
Native Americans, trappers, and early settlers in Wyoming territory ate dried meats (buffalo, elk, moose, deer, beef). Sometimes it is called pemmican. If you are not required to cook something, jerky works well. Most grocery stores carry this product and it requires no special serving gear. Or? You can make your own.
The Shoshone who were the first inhabitants of the Yellowstone area were known as sheep-eaters. (page through for more information). What about lamb kabobs (small pieces of lamb served on wooden skewers...grilled outdoors if possible)? Serve hot or cold, make sure they are properly stored (not left in a locker until the end of the day).
The staple of the U.S. Army and homesteaders. Easy (and inexpensive) to make, transport to school and serve. About the bakery in Ft. Laramie.
5. Contemporary fare
Everything from 5 star cuisine to mountain gourmet to 50s chic to family meals to fast food to home cooked dinners to.... Nice places to eat (yes, we have been there!) Mangy Moose & Cadillac Grille, both in Jackson Hole.
Looking for doable, tasty recipes?
Cooking in Wyoming /Woman's Suffrage Centennial edition [Prairie Publishing: Casper, WY] 1965 offers these:
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
2 cups grated tart apple
Mix in order given. Pour into greased and floured pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 35 minutes (You may use 2 pie tins or one other pan-- cut in pie shape to serve). May be served warm with ice cream or cool with whipped cream. Don't worry if it falls--it is supposed to!"---(p. 196)
Sheila Hibben's National Cookbook  includes two recipes for Wyoming: Currant Pudding and Potato Molds. We can send these recipes if you like.
Sorry, no Buffalo wings
While Buffalo wings may seem an obvious choice, we're sorry to say these won't work. While buffalo historically roamed the great Wyoming grassland, Buffalo wing chicken snacks were invented at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY . There is no buffalo meat or Wyoming connection. What does work? Jerky or venison/elk/buffalo sausage. You can serve these with crackers (plain saltines/soda crackers), rounds of sourdough, or mini baking soda biscuits. Jerky is easy to buy in most parts of the United States. You can find packages in supermarkets and convenience stores. This is your least expensive and easiest option. The sausages may be harder to obtain. Gourmet shops and mail-order work, if you have time and money. You can serve spicy cheese or cheese sauce, although these are not a native products of Wyoming.
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About culinary research & about copyright
Research conducted by Lynne Olver, editor The Food Timeline. About this site.
© Lynne Olver 2000
30 January 2015