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JANUARY 21 - Today in Food History

• National Squirrel Appreciation Day (Founded in 2001 by Christy Hargrove, a wildlife rehabilitator in Asheville, North Carolina because food sources are scarce in mid-winter)
• National Granola Bar Day (Granola and its Origins)
• New England Clam Chowder Day (Chowder Trivia)
  (New England Clam Chowder Recipe)
• St. Agnes of Rome, patron of gardeners and Girl Scouts.

• Fresh Squeezed Juice Week (Jan 15-21, 2017)

On this day in:

1338 Charles V of France was born. It was Charles V who commissioned Taillevent to write what would become the first professional cookery book written in France, 'Le Viandier'. Forks were mentioned in an inventory during his reign. Some believe that he died as a result of eating amanita mushrooms.

1868 Felix Hoffman was born (died Feb 8, 1946).  German chemist who synthesized aspirin in 1897. (see also Feb 27, 1900)

1908 New York City makes it illegal for women to smoke in public.

1912 Konrad (Emil) Bloch was born. Nobel prize winner for his work on cholesterol and fatty acids. He discovered that high levels of cholesterol may lead ultimately to increased risk of heart attacks.

1922 Actor Telly Savalas was born today (died Jan 22, 1994).  In the TV series 'Kojak' he played tough NY City detective Lt. Kojak who had a fondness for Tootsie Roll Pops (lollipops).

1924 The musical 'Lollipop' opened at the Knickerbocker Theatre in New York City.

1937 Marcel Boulestin became the first television cook when he presented the first of the Cook’s Night Out programs on the BBC (1937-1939). (There is some dispute about exact dates - various sources differ on the year. Accurate records appear not to be available). (TV Chefs Trivia)

1949 Gennaro Contaldo was born. Chef, restaurateur and cookbook author. Website:

1976 The supersonic Concorde commercial aircraft built with funding from the French and British governments, began regular service today.

1976 'Spice Girls' singer Emma Bunton was born today.

1985 James Beard, culinary expert and cookbook author, died in New York at age 81 (born May 5, 1903).
James Beard Foundation website:

1996 Cleanup of a 1.8 million gallon oil spill began after a barge ran aground near Block Island National Wildlife Refuge on January 19, 1996.


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