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2
votes
1answer
67 views

Why should food be frozen quickly?

I was reading one of the articles in Uncle John's Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader about the history of harvested ice and ice houses. The article mentioned that electrical freezers and ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

Why do doughnuts have holes?

We're all familiar with the ring doughnut as an American confection. One thing I've always been curious about is why they have holes in them (or are toroidal in shape). What advantages, if any, does ...
9
votes
2answers
485 views

Why are non-orange coloured carrots so uncommon?

Carrots come in a great variety of colours, from almost white to dark purple. However, the most ubiquitous colour variety is orange, and often the only to be found in regular supermarkets. Why is ...
7
votes
2answers
725 views

How can I eat or drink chocolate as Montezuma would have consumed it in pre-Colombian Mexico?

I know that pre-Colombian chocolate was less sweet and more bitter, but I can't find a recipe for it. That fact probably means that it doesn't taste great, but I'd like to try it anyway. The closest ...
-1
votes
1answer
163 views

Looking for coffee from the 80's for my father, Lucern? [closed]

my dad mentioned today that he loved this coffee he used to get once in a while in the early 80's called Lucerne (not sure about the spelling). He said it was in a white can with red lettering and he ...
17
votes
5answers
10k views

Why did my grandfather-in-law salt his beer?

My grandfather-in-law was born in England in the 1920s and fought in WW2. Somewhere along the line he acquired the habit of salting his beer before drinking it, which persisted for the rest of his ...
7
votes
2answers
420 views

How can I cook chicken in a similar way to how it was done in Biblical times?

I want to make a historically accurate biblical meal for a group. I'm using chicken, and serving it with flatbread and an Israeli salad (sans tomatoes and other new world vegetables) Does anyone have ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Cooking cakes on asbestos mats

My mother tells me when she was young her mother would bake cakes on an asbestos mat inside a lidded electric frypan. I'd assume the practice is gone now because of the reputation of asbestos, but ...
28
votes
2answers
826 views

Why are salt and pepper the “classic” dinner table seasoning?

Is there a reason we use salt and pepper on so many dishes and they can be found in any kitchen table at dinner time? Does it have to do with their flavor synergies, or were they just more available ...
2
votes
2answers
605 views

How spicy is authentic, traditional Palak paneer?

I have heard that the spiciness of Palak paneer is regional, but I don't have any historical or geographical facts to confirm this. So, is there anybody around here that knows if a proper, old-school ...
7
votes
2answers
324 views

Is a “typical” jam sweeter today than the typical jams of centuries ago?

I have a new early morning snack this week - toast and jam, but after putting the (fridge temp) jam on the toast, I put the whole plate of toast and jam in the microwave for 20 seconds to warm the ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

What is the origin of cheese dip?

I want to know where cheese dip was invented. Based on this article it was invented in Arkansas. This documentary goes into more detail about it being from Mexico Chiquito, a restaurant in Arkansas. ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Did tomato paste come in only one size of can in the 1950s?

I found an old cookery book while on holiday at the german coast, it was published by Peter Pauper press, Mt. Vernon, New York in 1959. All recipes that use tomato paste just say "1/2 can tomato ...
5
votes
1answer
218 views

Forties dinner buffet

I'm serving food to 11 people in a dinner that is supposed to be set at the house of the Deputy Mayor of Casablanca in 1942. I can't seat that many people at table, so the food will have to be capable ...
3
votes
1answer
435 views

Where does the shape of pretzels come from?

I wonder where the shape of pretzels originated. My guesses: The holes make it easy to put them on a stick or rope and store them in a place (under the roof?) where mice would not get it. ...
13
votes
8answers
8k views

Why is the alcohol content in British beer so weak?

I am a Brit married into a French family, so there has obviously been some teasing and so-on over the years about the relative merits of the two cooking cultures :P I recently took my wife's uncle to ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is a tablespoon defined as 20mL in Australia?

In Australia, a tablespoon is defined as 20mL whereas it is 15mL in nearly all other countries. I'm interested to know where this comes from, and also what other Australian people do about this ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Where did hot dogs get their name?

Were they orginally made from real dogs?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the origin of the name of the “Chinese Cookie” found in Jewish deli's in the US?

At a classic Los Angeles Deli for lunch yesterday, I snagged my usual take-out guilty pleasure for later: a fresh-baked Chinese Cookie. This is a four or five inch diameter short-bread cookie with a ...
7
votes
4answers
811 views

How the heck did people in the olden' days learn to beat eggs and other laborious tasks?

Did they have whipped cream in the olden days before electricity? I think that they might have. I'm sure I've seen a portrait of Henry VIII munching some of that creamy goodness before. But what on ...
30
votes
6answers
6k views

Why are there so many different pasta shapes?

Do the different pasta shapes serve any purpose, or are they just for fun? Some difference appear to be cultural (lo mein vs spaghetti), but there are so many different syles of Italian pasta, is ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

What were the popular cookbooks of the 1950s?

What were the most popular cookbooks in the 1950s in the US? I have seen lists that cite the many Betty Crocker cookbooks, but what about other authors (or companies)?
14
votes
7answers
604 views

where can I find ancient ages/middle ages recipes and preparation techniques?

I always had an interest for recipes from ancient ages (ancient Greece, Roman empire) and middle ages (i.e. after the fall of the Roman empire until the Renaissance). It's nice to experience what ...
4
votes
2answers
748 views

Why powdered eggs?

Powdered egg is emblematic of all that was was ghastly and difficult about cooking during WWII. At least in Britain, but perhaps also in other countries during that period. Supposedly it was pretty ...
13
votes
7answers
12k views

Why do chefs traditionally wear a high white hat?

The stereotypical chef beloved of TV, cartoons, and elsewhere is always pictured wearing a high white hat. A hat I can understand. But why so high?
17
votes
3answers
999 views

Cups v. weighing scales - is there an historical explanation?

Broadly speaking UK recipes will specify amounts by weight (lbs/ounces or metric), whereas American recipes will specify amounts by volume (cups). Is there an explanation for how the two different ...