JULY 31 - Today in Food History
• National Raspberry Cake Day (Raspberry Trivia)
• St. Neot, patron of fish. (Fish & Seafood Articles)
On this day in:
1714 Queen Anne of Britain, the last of the Stuart dynasty died. She had grown so large that her coffin was almost square.
1790 The first U.S. patent was granted to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont. The patent was for a process for producing potash and pearlash . Potash was used in soap and fertilizer. Pearlash was also used in baking. It produced carbon dioxide gas in dough, used in the first 'quick breads.' (Commercial baking powder was not available until 1857 [phosphate baking powder]).
(Quick Bread Facts & Trivia)
1867 Sebastian Spering Kresge was born (died Oct 18, 1966). American merchant who started a chain of variety stores. Renamed Kmart Corp. in 1977, which evolved into Sears Holdings Corp, parent of Sears and Kmart stores.
1921 There are reports that it rained frogs in Sterling, Connecticut. (Connecticut Food Trivia)
1937 Charles Elmer Hires died (born Aug 19, 1851). Hires, a Philadelphia pharmacist, introduced root beer to the world in 1876 at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. This naturally effervescent beverage was billed as the 'National Temperance Drink.' The original formula included sarsaparilla, sasafras, ginger, pipsissewa, wintergreen, juniper and other flavor ingredients. (Why Does Root Beer Foam So Much?)
1962 The 'Little Debbie' trademark was registered by McKee Baking Co. for their line of snack cakes (first sold in 1960).
1974 Canada: Quebec makes French the official language of government and business in Quebec.