Fancy jellies graced 19th century tables, molded in dishes made of tin, zinc, copper, and various ceramics. Photographs of antiques, together with vintage advertisements, illustrate this Victorian kitchen staple.
July 6th is (United States’) National Fried Chicken Day. A perfect time to acknowledge and celebrate the love of fried chicken throughout the nineteenth century. Not only was this dish well-established in the colonies (17th and 18th centuries), it was a favorite throughout the States as the nation expanded to the California coast. Vintage newspaper clippings detail restaurant menus featuring fried chicken and provide vintage instructions for frying succulent drums, thighs, and breasts. Apparently folks said thank you with a good meal then, the same as they do now.
Today, January 24th, is the United States’ National Peanut Butter Day. On March 1st, calendars declare the day National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day.
Who first invented peanut butter? Doctors worried about elderly patients’ nutrition, right? Sometime in the nineteenth century?
Uh, no. Not exactly.
But peanut butter–an “All American” spread–was enjoyed by our Victorian-American ancestors. Read vintage articles instructing knowledgeable housewives of the many dietary uses of the peanut, vintage recipes instructing the proper making of “peanut paste”, the inclusion of pulverized peanut (paste, flour, finely chopped), and ultimately, advertised brands to buy at their grocers’ markets.
Today, June 20th, is National Ice Cream Soda Day! We’re all familiar with Ice Cream Sodas… any flavor ice cream, floating in any flavor soda, right? Yes, unless you’re a Victorian American at the oh, so popular Soda Fountain. The nineteenth century’s Ice Cream Soda just might surprise you!
Potato Chips are an American (and world-wide) favorite. Invented by accident–or should we say “accidentally-on-purpose”?–these potato crisps first graced the table of an elite resort in 1853 in upstate New York. News of the “invention” spread far and fast, and quickly became part of every homemaker’s repertoire, available on grocer’s shelves, served in restaurants, peddled by salesmen, and inspired further inventions.