Archive for Epicurean’s Corner

Pop Goes the Corn

The history of popcorn seemed of interest to me last weekend, so I thought I’d share my findings with you here, in Epicurean’s Corner. My parents just visited me. We did our normal routine – eat, shop, relax, eat again. We also did our normal rent a movie & eat microwave popcorn thang. I always wondered where popcorn came from. And is it a vegetable since corn is? Well, I didn’t find an answer on the Internet about whether or not popcorn is a vegetable although several sources said it was nutritious and here’s what else I found out that seemed interesting.

Popcorn.org represents the little kernel quite well. According to this site, the first popcorn was found in a bat cave in New Mexico between 1948 and 1950. Before that though, there was a popcorn dance in 16th Century Aztec Indian ceremonies. Popcorn was considered a luxury, at 5 or 10 cents a bag, during the Depression. Microwave popcorn emerged in the 1940s. “The average American eats about 54 quarts” of popcorn each year now.

Anyone up for the popcorn dance? Yeah, I think I’ll just stick with my standard movie & microwave popcorn too.

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Mardi Gras

On February 28th, the city of survivors, New Orleans, will celebrate the merrymaking carnival called Mardi Gras.  As an employee at Celebrity Foods, I am always curious about how holidays with so much emphasis on food came about.

 
According to InterCommerce Corporation, Mardi Gras “originated in the middle of the second century in Rome when the Fast of the 40 days of Lent was preceded by a feast of several days during which time participants delivered themselves up to voluntary madness, put on masks, clothed themselves like specters, and considered all pleasure allowable.” Mardi Gras was just simply called a “Carnival” back then. Mardi Gras was born in 1827 in New Orleans when a group of students back from going to school in Paris started dancing in the streets of New Orleans one day wearing costumes.

 
Now, that’s student activism.

 
According to AmericanCatholic.org, “its roots lie in the Christian calendar, as the ‘last hurrah’ before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.”  The official colors of Mardi Gras signify justice, faith, and power – purple being a symbol of justice; green being a symbol of faith; and gold signifying power.”

 
Justice looks quite flamboyant then to me….

 
The phrase “mardi gras” is French and means “Fat Tuesday” – implying the notion of eating a lot or indulging the day before Lent starts.

 

The traditional desert – King Cake

 
According to Emeril’s Food of Love Productions, “King Cake” became part of the Mardi Gras celebration “in 1870, when the Twelfth Night Revelers held their ball, with a large king cake as the main attraction. The story goes that the Twelfth Night Revelers would put a bean in the middle of the cake. The lucky gal to get a piece of cake with the bean in it was deemed the queen of the ball. Once the masses heard about the Twelfth Night Revelers boasting about the fun times with king cake, they all started to have their own king cake parties. 
 
If you think you’re the king cake at Mardi Gras or know of any Mardi Gras trivia you’d like to share, indulge us.

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History of Popular Super Bowl Sunday Foods

  

When you’re watching the games on Sunday, consider this about the day’s menu:

  

Chili

  

Legend and story is rampant about this tasty soup-like stew. Many historians think it started out as a creative dish made by large families with a small food supply. Legends also include a Spanish nun having a vision about it, a Spanish priest denouncing it as the “Soup of the Devil” because of its hot taste, Texan cowboys introducing it as part of their hot grub, and Texas prisoners introducing it as an alternative to bread and water. In Texas, Latino women nicknamed “Chili Queens” fed chili to Spanish soldiers when they came to the city of San Antonio in the 1880s. For more historical information on chili, check out Wayne Allen’s Chili. Today, chili is the state dish of Texas and the city of San Antonio honors the “Chili Queens” by holding an annual festival called the “Return of the Chili Queens Festival” during the Memorial Day celebrations in May. Although on game day I’m called the “Chili Queen,” Celebrity Foods gets credit for the hearty and delicious soup-like stew now known as a family favorite on game day.

  

French Fries

  

When did the potato pair up with oil and get fried? Some historians say that for Americans, potato and oil got paired up in Belgium and Northern France during World War I, when American soldiers bought hot, crispy, potato snacks from French-speaking people, and then started calling the snack, “French Fries.” According to other historians, Thomas Jefferson started the french fries craze in America after serving french fries at dinner one night at the White House. You can read more about the history of potatoes on Boise State Radio’s webpage.

  

During Super Bowl Sunday, I just like Celebrity Foods Crinkle Cut French Fries because they settle down the kids for a bit and I don’t think a fry or two, on the way to the grill, somehow ending up in my mouth is such a bad way to spend an afternoon either.

  

Ribs

  

What’s the beef? Ever wonder how we got to become so fond of the cow? Celebrity Foods ages its beef, but in America, the age of beef started a little earlier. The American beef industry has had an unusual timeline. According to some historians, it wasn’t until after the Civil War that beef was commercially introduced into the United Sates when the Spanish introduced cattle to Mexico. Professor Drury of the Georgia Institute of Technology Language Institute presents more interesting historical information on beef on his History of Steak web page. Well, on game day, there’s no war waged in the kitchen. I cook Celebrity Foods Beef Back Ribs. They start cooking in the crock pot and then make their way to the grill. Once completely cooked, I dress ‘em up with Smitty’s barbeque sauce. The guys never complain.

  

Super Bowl Sunday is a great time of enjoying good food with friends and family. Share your menu on game day by replying to this post. Celebrity Foods Employees are friends and family too.

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In Celebrity Foods’ Corner – The Potato

Each month I like to feature a particular food, some common, some not so, and highlight a few of the benefits beyond the mere flavor.  This month’s featured food is the potato.

 
Packed with Vitamin C, potassium, and protein, the potato is featured on the Celebrity Foods’ menu in a number of manifestations ranging from fries to mashed and is probably a staple of your cupboard at home as well. According to The Rodale Institute’s® Youth Educational Program, the potato was recently ranked by researchers as being one of the top ten most hunger craving foods and Idaho grows enough potatoes a year to give 3 pounds of potatoes to every person on the planet. If you haven’t tried Celebrity Foods’ Prepared Mashed Potatoes, you’re not just missing out on unbelievable fresh taste, but also a mouthful of nutrients.

 
More thoughts or questions about the potato spring to mind? We’d like to know. Share your thoughts. Post them. Reply to others with your own. Blog away Celebrity Foods’ Employees.

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