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Food History, Trivia, Quotes, Humor, Poetry, Recipes
AUGUST 23, 2002     Vol 3 #30   ISSN 1535-5659
James T. Ehler, Editor, [email protected]
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"Animal crackers, and cocoa to drink
That is the finest of suppers, I think
When I'm grown up and can have what I please,
I think I shall always insist upon these."
Christopher Morley (1890-1957)


When the fruit of the South American Sandbox tree is ripe, it explodes. The explosion is so loud it could be mistaken for gunfire, and has such force that it scatters the seeds as far as 50 feet from the tree's trunk!


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The mission of the Organic Alliance is to encourage an ecologically and socially responsible agriculture which reflects humankind's obligation to protect the health of the planet for future generations. The Alliance promotes the environmental and economic benefits of certified organic food production to farmers, processors, distributors, retailers, and consumers.


The Food Trivia Quizzes are now moved to their own separate section after the newsletter is e-mailed. Check the Navigation Bar at the top of the page.


You won't believe the selection!  100,000 recipes!  Contributions from the top chefs in the world!  Get a wide variety of bonus non-cooking ebooks, too!  You can check it all out today at



QUESTION: How do you fry eggplants. thank you, les

ANSWER: Eggplant is full of air sacs just like a sponge. One method is to put weight on them to flatten them out a bit which presses some of the air out and collapses some of the air cells.
The main thing I do is to use as little oil as possible, watch them so they do not burn - turning them several times - at a certain point the heat breaks down the air cells and the eggplant will release most of the oil (just like mushrooms do when they are sautéed). Remove from heat immediately - they are done and it is easy to overcook and have them fall apart.


"Broken cookies don't have calories"


Tarragon came to France from the plains of Siberia in the 15th century by the Arabs who had been using it since the 13th century.


by Charles Elme Francatelli, late Maitre d'Hotel and chief cook to her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria

Put a very clean pot containing a gallon of water to boil on the fire, and as soon as it begins to boil, add twelve ounces of brown sugar, and one ounce of bruised ginger, and two ounces of cream of tartar; stir well together; pour the whole into an earthen pan, and cover it over with a cloth, and let the mash remain in this state until it has become quite cold; then stir in half a gill of fresh yeast; stir all well together until thoroughly mixed, cover the pan over with a cloth, and leave the ginger-beer in a cool place to work up; this will take from six to eight hours; the scum which has risen to the top must then be carefully removed with a spoon without disturbing the brightness of the beer, and it is then to be carefully poured off bright into a jug with a spout, to enable you easily to pour it into the bottles. These must be immediately corked down tight, tied across the corks with a string, and put away, lying down in the cellar. The ginger-pop will be fit to drink in about four days after it has been bottled.


"Give me a platter of choice finnan haddie, freshly cooked in its bath of water and milk, add melted butter, a slice or two of hot toast, a pot of steaming Darjeeling tea, and you may tell the butler to dispense with the caviar, truffles, and nightingales' tongues."
Craig Claiborne


Although the tamarillo is native to South America, most of the tamarillo sold in the U.S. is imported from New Zealand, where it is grown commercially. The original name, tree tomato, was used until 1967 when New Zealand invented the tropical sounding name tamarillo to market it.


Don’t for get to check David Jenkins,
he features some of my articles and recipes in addition to some
GREAT content from chefs around the world.


(Check the website daily for additional calendar entries)

1902 Fannie Merritt Farmer opened Miss Farmer's School of Cookery in Boston, Massachusetts.

1918 Ray McIntire was born. A chemical engineer who worked for Dow Chemical Company, he invented Styrofoam.

1910 Arnold Neustadter was born. Inventor of the Rolodex rotating card file. An indispensable tool for every chef.

1978 Frankie Valli's 'Grease' reached number 1 on the charts.

Feast of St. Monica, patron of homemakers, housewives.

1837 John Lea and William Perrins of Worcester, England started manufacturing Worcester Sauce (Worcestershire).

1896 Supposedly, the Chinese-American dish, chop suey, was created in New York City by Cantonese chef, Li Hung-Chang.

1979 President Jimmy Carter was attacked by a rabbit while on a canoe trip in Georgia. He beat it away with a paddle.
 FOOD REFERENCE Dates in Food History CD-ROM
I have finished work on a CD-Rom of Culinary Dates: it contains over 2000 Food related Dates, Birthdays and Events. This is the ONLY one stop source for Culinary Dates and Events. A fun and informative reference source.
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"Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza."
Dave Barry


Mealy potatoes are the best for baked and mashed potatoes. Waxy types are best for boiling (potato salad). If you are not sure which type you have, make a brine of one part salt to 11 parts water (11 fl oz water and 2 TB salt). Waxy potatoes float, mealy potatoes will sink.


Lorenzo Delmonico (March 13, 1813 - 1881)
Lorenzo Delmonico was born in Marengo, Switzerland and was invited to join his uncles in their successful pastry shop and catering business in New York in 1831.  He soon transformed the business into one of the first, best, most elegant and famous restaurants in the country. Lorenzo was not a chef, but he purchased the food and created the very extensive menu. He helped make the concept of the 'restaurant' an acceptable and successful one.


Chinese Barbecue Sauce (Char Sui)
1/2 cup sherry
2/3 cup hoisin sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons black bean paste
1 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
1 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a double boiler and simmer for 10 minutes or until it begins to thicken.
 Email your recipe requests, food info or history
 questions to me at [email protected]

"Talk of joy: there may be things better than beef stew and baked potatoes and home-made bread -- there may be."
David Grayson, 'Adventures in Contentment' (1907)


Modena Italy's balsamic vinegar (Modena aceto balsamico) is aged at least 6 to 10 years and some are aged for 50 to 100 years. As could be expected, these vinegars can be quite expensive, some costing over $200 per ounce!


"When I get a little money, I buy books. And if there is any left over, I buy food."
Desiderius Erasmus (1466? - 1536)


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Ancient Romans bred moray eels in seaside ponds and supposedly fed them on live slaves. There are some 80 species and their flesh can be toxic. Henry I of England died from indigestion caused by eating moray.


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 Food Reference WebSite at


"Biotech companies love to talk about feeding the world, but their products must pay off in a market that measures dollar demand, not human need. By far the greatest effort has gone into the potato that makes fast-food fries, not the yam grown by folks with no cash. The corn that feeds America's pigs and chickens, not the dryland millet that feeds Africa's children. The diseases of the rich, not the plagues of the poor. There is some public funding and corporate charity directed toward gene manipulations that might conceivably help feed the world, but the vast majority of minds and bucks are working on caffeine-free coffee beans, designer tomatoes, seedless watermelons. They always will, if the market is the guide."
Donella Meadows, 'Are Bioengineered Potatoes Organic?'
Whole Earth, Summer 1999


Most of America's catch of salmon, crab, halibut, and herring come from Alaska.

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 Food Reference Newsletter  ISSN 1535-5659
 James T. Ehler (webmaster, cook, chef, writer)
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 E-mail: [email protected]   Phone: (305) 296-2614
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