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Food History, Trivia, Quotes, Humor, Poetry, Recipes
May 9, 2002     Vol 3 #17   ISSN 1535-5659
James T. Ehler, Editor,
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Today in Food History, and other interesting culinary facts.


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"Sagebrush is a very fair fuel, but as a vegetable it is a
distinguished failure. Nothing can abide the taste of it but
the jackass and his illegitimate child the mule."
Mark Twain (1835-1910)'Roughing It'


It is estimated that Americans eat 300 million sandwiches each
day - that's more than one for every man, woman and child in
the country!


Only the best of the best will be recommended here. These are
NOT paid ads, they are my personal recommendations gleaned from
countless websites I have visited during the course of my
research efforts on food related subjects.

U.S. Food & Drug Administration, FOOD DEFECT ACTION LEVELS

WARNING: This webpage is not for the squeamish! You will learn
that ground Paprika is allowed up to 20% mold, 75 insect
fragments and 11 rodent hairs per 25 grams, and that Tomato
Puree may contain 9 fly eggs and 1 maggot per 100 grams.
Many fresh, canned and frozen foods are listed.
Very interesting, if you have a strong stomach. Read the whole
page and you will be ready to go on a diet.


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.



QUESTION: I am looking for facts and trivia on pound cakes?
Could you help? Daria.

ANSWER: 'Pound Cake' because the original recipe consisted of
one pound each of butter, sugar, flour and eggs.
It originated sometime in the first half of the 18th century.

Here is a recipe from the 'Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy'
by Hanna Glasse (1747).
Note the option of a pound of currants.
Note all the 'beating' - and all done with the hand -
in particular the 1 HOUR time.  That's one heck of a workout!

"To Make a Pound Cake"
"Take a pound of butter, beat it in an earthen pan with your
hand one way, till it is like a fine thick cream: then have
ready twelve eggs, but half the whites; beat them well, and
beat them up with the butter, a pound of flour beat in it, a
pound of sugar, and a few carraways. Beat it all well together
for an hour with your hand, or a great wooden spoon, butter a
pan and put it in, and then bake it an hour in a quick oven.
For a change you may put in a pound of currants, clean washed
and picked."
Now compare the above with the recipe in 'American Cookery'
by Amelia Simmons (1796)
Note the oven temperatures and times in both recipes.

"One pound sugar, one pound butter, one pound flour, one pound
or ten eggs, rose water one gill, spices to your taste; watch
it well, it will bake in a slow oven in 15 minutes."


"I've run more risk eating my way across the country than in
all my driving."
Duncan Hines (1880-1959)


The average American eats more than 25 times as much salt as is
necessary for good health.


A recipe for Irish Stew from a curious source:
'La Cuisine Creole', by Lafcadio Hearn (1885)

Take from one to three pounds of loin of mutton, or ribs of
beef; cut it into chops; add by weight as many white potatoes,
sliced, as there is beef. Throw in from two to six chopped
onions, according to size, some pepper and salt, and a large
spoonful of butter to each pound of meat. Let all stew gently
for two hours and serve with boiled rice or macaroni.


"Real Programmers don't eat quiche. 
They eat Twinkies and Szechwan food."


Cleopatra dissolved some pearls in vinegar to prove she could
consume a fortune in a single meal.


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)

1785 Joseph Bramah patented the beer-pump handle.
1868 Reno, Nevada born. First known as Fullers Crossing, then
Lakes Crossing, on this date it officially became 'Reno.'
MAY 10
Trust Your Intuition Day
1889 Fred Astaird born.

MAY 11
1888 Irving Berlin born.
1904 Salvatore Dali born. This artist with the moustache also
wrote a cookbook.
Japan: Cormorant fishing festival begins (ends October 15)
Netherlands: National Windmill Day

MAY 12
Mother's Day
Limerick Day
1792 Charles-Somon Favart died.
French playwright and pastry cook.
1878 Catherine Esther Beecher Died. American educator and author
of 'Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book', etc.
1847 The odometer invented (for covered wagons).

MAY 14
1994 The FDA announces that the new 'Flavr Savr' tomato, a
biotech developed food, is safe.
1607 Jamestown, Virginia founded. The first permanent English
settlement in the U.S.

1930 First flight attendant (stewardess), Ellen Church


"I went to a restaurant that serves 'breakfast at any time'.
So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance."
Steven Wright


Ewes' (sheep's) milk contains more than twice the fat as cow's
milk (8 1/2 % for ewes' milk and 4% for cow's milk). This is
one of the reasons that it makes excellent cheese.


Coroebus of Elis (776 B.C.)
A cook, Coroebus was the first Olympic champion listed in the
records. He won the sprint race in 776 BC.


This is from the daughter of two very dear friends of mine.
James: While in Wisconsin Dells over Easter, our family enjoyed
a terrific meal at the Green Mill.  I had a wonderful chicken
Pasta Dish - but changed it from chicken to shrimp - and added
a few of my own touches. It is absolutely delicious, and my
family can't get enough! (Leave it to my mom (Rosemary) for
inspiring me to do my own thing in the kitchen! (not to mention
the food network on cable!)


Brush marinate on shrimp (I use a bit of soy, halved garlic
cloves (3), ginger, salt and fresh ground pepper) for about an
Sweat peppers (green, red yellow - whatever you like) in a bit
of olive oil with small chopped onions.
Add shrimp and cook until just done
(drain off marinate if necessary)
Add a few pinches of fresh chopped parsley
Add half & half and 2 cloves of pressed garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste

Serve over penne pasta.  Deliciouso! Enjoy! ~Sandi

 Email your recipes, requests, food info or history
 questions to me at

"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is the sign of


Vegetables that are boiled actually lose some of their water
content. They will weigh less after boiling in water than they
did before.
This is caused by the heat, which breaks down the cell walls
and allows some of the water to leak from the plants cells.


"What an awful thing life is. It's like soup with lots of
hairs floating on the surface. You have to eat it nevertheless."
Gustave Flaubert


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Mexico's per capita corn consumption is almost 400 pounds,
in the United States it is about 160 pounds and in India only
about 15 pounds.


"Stiltons, with the exception that they make no noise, are more
trouble than babies."
Statement of Stilton cheesemaker (19th century)


Cows eat for about 6 hours each day and spend about 8 hours
chewing cud.

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 Food Reference Newsletter  ISSN 1535-5659
 James T. Ehler (webmaster, cook, chef, writer)
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 Suite 209 South
 Key West, Florida 33040
 E-mail:   Phone: (305) 296-2614
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