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         June 24, 2001 - Vol 2 # 24  ISSN 1535-5659
       James T. Ehler, Editor,
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"Berlinzone, the land of the Basques, in a country called
Bengodi, where..... there was a mountain made entirely of grated
Parmesan cheese, on which lived people who did nothing but make
macaroni and ravioli and cook them in capon broth.  And then
they threw them down, and the more of them you took, the more
you had.  And nearby ran a rivulet of white wine whose better
was never drunk, and without a drop of water in it."
Bocaccio (1313-1375) Decameron (Day 8, Tale 3)

QUIZ question each day on the website, along with a Daily
Culinary Quote, Daily Trivia and other interesting food items.

Two billion pounds of celery are grown each year in the U.S.

Boil 1 quart of kraut for 20 or 30 minutes, after which add a
batter made as follows: Take 1 well-beaten egg, 3 tablespoonfuls
of flour, 1/2 teaspoonful of baking powder, a pinch of salt, add
milk sufficient to make a batter just stiff enough to drop from
the spoon. Add this to the boiling kraut, by spoonfuls, and boil
all together for 20 minutes.
Sister Catharine Snyder, Robins, Iowa
Inglenook Cook Book, Sisters of the Brethren Church (1906)

"Your pasta with Mushroom Sauce was fantastic!"
"Bravo on the introduction of the healthy foods!"
Over 200 quick, easy and healthy choices.
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"If we are what we eat, with all the genetically modified and
imitation foods we now eat, what the heck are we?"

Although the pesticide DDT has been banned in the U.S. since
1972, it is so slow to break down that it's residue is still
found in many foods grown in the U.S.

I recently tried some "Villa La Pietraia" Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
It is a 100% Tuscan Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Absolutely superb!
I very rarely promote a product in the newsletter, but this is
so good I had to share it with everyone!

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.

"Those from whom nature has withheld taste invented trousers."
Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826)

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control), something less than
1/2% of all foodborne illness is related to eggs. According to the
USDA, only one egg in 20,000 might be contaminated with
Salmonella. Based on the USDA statistics, that means that the
average person might eat a contaminated egg once in 84 years.

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 more calendar events.
1951 CBS sends first color TV broadcast over the air.
Birthdays: 1874 Rose Cecil O'Neill, designed the Kewpie Doll.
           1903 George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair), author

National Columnist's Day
1974 Bar Code introduced
Birthdays: 1819 Abner Doubleday (one of baseball's 'inventors')

1859 Mildred J. Hill composed melody for 'Happy Birthday to you'
1949 "Captain Video and his Video Rangers" premiered on TV
Birthdays: 1880 Helen Keller

Birthdays: 1577 Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish painter
           1712 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Philosopher
           1946 Gilda Radner, actress, comedian

1956 Bill signed creating the Interstate Highway System

1859 Charles Blondin walks over Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
Birthdays: 1917 Lena Horne, singer, actress

JULY National July Belongs to Blueberries Month
     National Baked Bean Month
Canada: Canada Day Celebrations
1862 IRS Established
1847 First U.S. Postage Stamp issued
1941 First Scheduled TV Broadcast (NBC)
1963 ZIP Codes inaugurated
1979 Sony Walkman debuts
Birthdays: 1915 Willie Dixon, blues legend
           1804 George Sand, French novelist

"Any healthy man can go without food for two days --
but not without poetry."
Charles Baudelaire, French poet (1821-1867)

Hungarian goulash (gulyás) is the traditional stew of Hungary. 
Its origins can be traced back to the ninth century Magyar
shepherds.  Originally it consisted of chunks of meat and
onions, slowly cooked until all the liquid was boiled away,
and then dried in the sun.  The meat could then be used to
prepare a stew by boiling it in water.  Paprika was added to
the recipe in the 18th-century.

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 Letters From our Readers:
Dear James,
I am not surprised to see your site moving up to the top. As I
mentioned before, I love your site. I would like to add your
link to our site and give my customers the advantage of your
great newsletter.

Hi James!
First let me say how MUCH I like your web site!!  What a wealth
of information!  Maybe you can help me...  I'm doing research
on the History of (Beef) Stew. I am having a hard time trying
to find out the origins of stew.   Melissa.

Stew.  Depends on where you would like to begin.

As for written records ('cookbooks'), just look in the oldest
cookbook known. There are recipes for lamb stews & fish stews
in 'Apicius de re Coquinaria', whose identity is uncertain,
there having been 3 Romans by that name in the period 1st
century BC to 2nd century AD. What is known is that the book
has survived, and there are recipes for stews of lamb and fish
in it. (An English translation is available "'Apicius: Cookery
and Dining in Imperial Rome', A Bibliography, Critical Review
and Translation of the Ancient Book known as Apicius de re
Coquinaria" by Joseph Dommers Vehling, which is available in
reprint paperback from Dover Publications.)

Taillevent (French chef, 1310-1395 whose real name was
Guillaume Tirel) wrote Le Viandier, one of the oldest cookbooks
in French, also has ragouts or stews of various types in it.

To go back even further, there is ample evidence from primitive
tribes who survived into the 19th and 20th centuries, that they
could and did boil foods together (which is what a stew
essentially is). Amazonian tribes used the shells of turtles,
boiling the entrails of the turtle and various other
ingredients.  Other cultures used the shells of large mollusks
(clams etc) to boil foods. There is archaeological evidence of
these practices going back 7,000 or 8,000 years or more.

Herodotus tells us of the Scythians (8th to 4th centuries BC),
who "put the flesh into an animal's paunch, mix water with it,
and boil it like that over the bone fire. The bones burn very
well, and the paunch easily contains all the meat once it has
been striped off. In this way an ox, or any other sacrificial
beast, is ingeniously made to boil itself."  (Some sources feel
this was how some of the first 'boiling' was done by primitive
man, perhaps as long ago as 1/2 to 1 million years ago!)

The development of pottery, perhaps 10,000 years ago, made
cooking, and stews in particular, even easier.

Basically any combination of 2 or more foods simmered in a
liquid is a 'stew'. Hungarian Goulash, Coq au Vin, Carbonnades
a la Flamande, Beef Stroganoff, Boeuf Bourguignonne, these are
all stews.

Hungarian Goulash dates back to the 9th century Magyar
shepherds of the area, before the existence of Hungary. Paprika
was added in the 18th century.

The first written reference to 'Irish stew' is in Byron's
'Devil's Drive' (1814): "The Devil . . . dined on . . . a rebel
or so in an Irish stew.'

I hope these facts and examples give you an idea of how old
and varied 'stews' are to the cuisine of all cultures.
 Email your recipe requests, food info or history
 questions to me at
On fruitcake: "A geological homemade cake."
Charles Dickens, (1812-1870) Martin Chuzzlewit

Nathan Handwerker started his own Coney Island boardwalk
business in 1916 ('Nathan's') to sell hot dogs for a nickel.
Reportedly this was on the advice of a singing waiter and his
piano player, Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante.

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"All passions, rationalized and controlled, become an art:
gastronomy, more than any other passion, is sensitive to
rationalism and direction."
Charles Pierre Monselet, French journalist and author (1825-88)

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Be very careful of the stem end of mangos if any part of the
branch or leaf is attached, as the sap can cause allergic
reactions. (They are related to cashews and poison ivy).

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"Mustard's no good without roast beef."
Chico Marx, Monkey Business

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 Food Reference Newsletter  ISSN 1535-5659
 James T. Ehler (webmaster, cook, chef, writer)
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