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The history of meal times (and number of meals consumed) makes for fascinating study. These differ greatly from culture to culture and through time. They also depend upon the socio-economic class of the person who was eating. If you are studying the meal times of a specific place/people/period please let us know. were introduced by Old World settlers and evolved independently accordingly to fit cultural norms. General overview: , History Magazine
Ancient Greek meal times
"Meal times are variable, but a midday meal was usually called ariston lunch... and an evening meal deipnon, dinner. The latter was perhaps typically the biggest meal of the day, and for some the only meal."
---Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece, Andrew Dalby [Routledge:London] 1996 (p. 12)
British meal times (overview)
"In the beginning of the sixteenth century in England, dinner, the main meal of the day, used to begin at 11:00AM. Meals tended over time to be eaten later and later in the day: by the eighteenth century, dinner was eaten at about 3:00PM...By the early nineteenth century, lunch, what Palmer in Moveable Feasts calls "the furtive snack," had become a sit-down meal at the dning table in the middle of the day. Upper-class people were eating breakfast earlier, and dinner later, than they had formerly done...in 1808...dinner was now a late meal and supper a snack taken at the very end of the day before people retired to bed. For a long time luncheon was a very upper-class habit; ordinarily working people dined in the early evening, and contented themselves as they had done for centuries with a mid-day snack...Supper now means a light evening meal that replaces dinner; such a meal is especially popular if people have eaten a heavy lunch..."
---The Rituals of Dinner, Margaret Visser [Penguid:New York] 1991 (p. 159-160)
"Taking meals at regular times was seen a good thing in moral terms: every mouth needs food; meals shall take place at their proper time'...Gluttony consisted of eating before the time of the meal, as well as taking too much. Regular mealtimes seem to have been seen as evidence of an ordered, civilised life. Morever, in large establishments, serving meals at set hours would have saved time. Punctual meals were particularly important in monasteries where the offices had to be observed. When meals were taken, or even how many meals a day there were, varied according to the calendar, social class, and personal preference. The novice of the Colloquy seems to eat first soon after midday...The Regularis Concordia mentions the prandium ad sextam at noon, and a cena between Vespers and Compline allowed daily from Easter until Whitsun. From Whitsun until September 14 (apart from certain fast days which included Wednesdays and Fridays) and on all Sundays and feasts of twelve lessons there were also two meals a day but the prandium was not taken until none (3 p.m.). A single meal ad noman between Nones and Vespers was the rule for the winter period from September 14 to Lent; in Lent and on Quarter Tense days the one meal was ad vesperam (after Vespers). So it appears there was a main, midday meal, though this might be put back to mid-afternoon, or later, for which the term was ge-reordung or non-mete. According to the Old English Rule of Chodegang, if preostas ate twice a day then it was a midday and evening, and at Aethelwold's monastery the monks had dinner and supper...An ealier meal than dinner or supper is referred to--the undernswoesendum. Undern was roughly the period of dawn...In contrast to the monastic regimen where the main meal was at or around midday, it is possible that in a secular time-table, main meals were at the third hour and again at supper time, to allow a full day's activity between them. A number of individuals, usually for religious reasons, chose to have only one meal a day. There may have been others whose meals were similarly limited from lack of resources, but we do not hear of them."
---A Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food: Processing and Consumption, Ann Hagen [Anglo Saxon Books:1992] (p. 69-70)
"...what were the mealtimes and how often did people eat a day? The very poor doubtless ate when they could, but the slightly better-off peasants seem generally to have eaten three times a day. These meals consisted of breakfast at a very early hour to allow for dinner at about 9 a.m., or not later than 10.00 a.m., and supper probably before it got dark, perhas at 3.00 p.m. in the winter. The times and number of meals were originally derived from the hours of devotions of the Church. Monks ate the main meal of their day after the celebration of nones, which was nine hours after daybreak. This was in practice at some time between midday and 3.00 p.m. The evening meal had to be a reasonable time after this, at or after vespers (around sunset). Three meals a day were accepted as reasonable by most later sixteenth-century writers, such as Andrew Borde, although he thought that this was only good for the labouring man: anyone else should be content with two. It has been suggested that breakfast was only eaten by children and workmen, but certainly by the fifteenth century it was quite commonly taken by everyone....although the 1478 household ordinance of Edward IV specified that only residents down to the rank of squires should have breakfast, except by special order...The time was only specified as a 'convenyent hower', although to break one's fast after devotions was the generally recommended procedure. Earlier reference to breakfast sometimes meant dinner, literally, in these cases, the first meal of the day. Sir William Harrison thought that in previous times (not specified) there had been four meals eaten a day, that is breakfast, dinner, nuntions (or 'nuncheons', taken about noon) and late supper. Nuncheons was usually something eaten by workmen who were given payment for it...Edward Prince of Wales (son of Edward IV) probably dined at 11.00 a.m....and supped at 5.00 p.m....The staggering of meals in large households, with the servants eating earlier than the lord...was common."
---Food and Feast in Medieval England, P.W. Hammond [Wrens Park Publishing:Pheonix Mill] 1993 (p. 104-5)
"...what time to eat? Should the midday meal or evening meal be larger? Entire books were composed on this very topic. Medieval theorists, and common custom through the Renaissance, favored the "prandium," or dinner, at ten or eleven in the morning, as the larger meal. Digestion, it was thought, is fortified by movement and the heat of the sun...authors, armed with a purified Galen and other Greek authors, promoted the larger "coena," or supper, at around six in the evening. They argued that distribution of humors and spirits, the third stage of digestion, is stronger during the day, but concoction is much stronger when the mind and body are at rest...Most authors agreed that two meals are sufficient, although some Arabists favored three meals in two days or food every sixteen hours. The English vehemently defended their custom of taking breakfast. Most agreed in condemning the between-meal and late-night snacks, or "merenda" and "collations." The latter term originally referred to the light monastic meal at the end of the day, which derives its name from John Cassian's "Collations," which was read during the meal. It eventally came to mean all late-night nibbles or after-dinner dainties...Digestions, it must be remembered, was thought to proceed in distinct separate stages rather than one long continual process along the digestive tract. Thus, knowing how long each stage requires also reveals the ideal time to eat. A meal must not commence until the former meal has been thoroughly processed...Such a schedule would mean rising at 6:00, dining from 10:00 to 11:00, supping from 6:00 to 7:00, and sleeping at 11:00."
---Eating Right in the Renaissance, Ken Albala [University of California Press:Berkeley] 2002 (p. 112-3)
Early modern Europe
"One detail that comes primarily from literary evidence is the time of day when meals were customarily taken. This was acutally a matter of debate among dietary writers in the sixteenth century, but most of the deferred to the authority of ancient authors like Galen and recommended two meals per day. The first smaller meal, dinner, should be taken at around 11:00 a.m., and a larger meal, supper, follows six hours later at around 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. These authors reasoned that since the digestive powers are stronger during sleep when the digestive heat is withdrawn inward, and because there are more hours between the evening and morning meal, that supper should be larger. These recommendations follow ancient practice, and concide with early modern custom in Spain and some parts of Italy like Venice and Genoa. But the rest of Europe followed a different pattern--eating the larger meal in the late morning and smaller meal in the evening. The evidence for this comes foremost from literary descriptions of meals that usually take place mid-day. Even in the vast majority of cookbooks that offer menus, the grander meal was held at mid-day...What is clear is that meal times gradually shifted, dinner being held later and later in the day. In the sixteenth century dinner was held around 11:00 a.m. By the seventeenth century it had crept to 12:00 or 1:00 p.m. Samuel Pepys, the seventeenth-century English diarist, recorded several dinners he ate at 12:00 replete with heavy drinking. In the eighteenth century fashionable dinners, and the gentry and business classes in the cities who sought to imitate them, ate dinner later and later in the afternoon...Actually the usual dinner time was 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. by mid-century and by the late eighteenth century it was perhaps as late as 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. Only in more recent times has it come to rest in the evening, when supper consequently became less important. This development necessitated the invention of a new mid-day meal, lunch, which only became standard at the very end of the eighteenth century. Even more elusive is evidence for breakfast. Judging from cookbooks and dietary literature there was no such meal, or at least it was only recommended to children, invalids and the elderly who have weak digestive systems and must eat smaller meals more frequently. Nevertheless, there was such a meal, and some people took it regularly...What appears to have happened is that as dinner moved later in the day, people were hungrier first thing in the morning, especially when the evening meal was relatively small. In countries where the evening meal was larger, breakfast did not become important. In southern Europe it is still not a proper meal, but merely coffee and perhaps a piece of bread or pastry. In England and the north the pattern was quite different...By the eighteenth century breakfast...was eaten around 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning. Only in the nineteenth century did it emerge as a full and sumptuous meal with bacon, eggs and even steaks. Thus the three-meal-a-day pattern we are familiar with is a relatively recent phenomenon. The English afternoon meal called "tea" as a snack between lunch and dinner also did not emerge until the nineteenth century...This kind of evidence of course only relates to the meal patterns of the upper classes. From the comments of dietary writers who usually disapproved of common custom, it is certain that laboring people ate many more meals, usually a breakfast, dinner in the mid-morning, some form of snack at sundown and then a small supper late in the evening. This pattern also persisted despite the shift in meal times among elites."
---Food in Early Modern Europe, Ken Alabala [Greenwood Press:Westport CT] 2003 (p. 231-4)
18th century Britsh mealtimes:
The British Housewife: Cookery Books, Cooking and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Gilly Lehmann (various references throughout the book; charts p. 385-6)
"A Short History of [British] Mealtimes
Breakfast 10AM; Dinner 3-5PM, Tea 7PM, Supper 10-11PM
Breakfast 10AM (leisurely), 9AM (less leisurely), 8AM (working people); Luncheon Midday; Dinner 3-5PM; Supper 10-11PM
Breakfast, before 9AM; Luncheon (ladies only) Midday; Dinner 6-8PM; Supper depending upon the timing and substantiality of dinner
Breakfast 8AM (town), 9-10AM (country); Lunchoen 1-2PM; Dinner 6-8PM (depending upon formality and place)
Early morning 8AM (tea, bread and butter); Breakfast 8-8:30AM; Luncheon Midday; Afternoon tea 5PM, Dinner 7:30-8PM
Breakfast 8AM; Lunch/upper classes or Dinner/rest Midday-1PM; Afternoon tea 4PM; High tea 5-6PM; Dinner 7-8PM; Supper 9-10PM.
---Consuming Culture: Why You Eat What You Eat, Jeremy MacClancy [Henry Holt:New York] 1992 (p. 61-66)
[NOTE: These pages contain far more information than is paraphrased above. If you need details please ask your librarian to help you find a copy of the book.]
, Manual of Nutrition, Ministry of Food [UK], 1945 (p. 54)
Current British meal times
"Mealtimes...These vary somewhat depending on the region of the country you are visiting, but in general breakfast is served between 7:30 and 9, and lunch between 12 and 2. Tea--an essential and respected part of British tradition, and often a meal in itself--is generally served between 4:30 and 5:30. Dinner or supper is served between 7:30 and 9:30, sometimes earlier."
---Fodor's Great Britain  (p. 34)
Early 20th century USA
Mealtimes, and meal titles, at the turn of the 20th century were a reflection of social status, not location. Wealthy folks emulated the latest British etiquette while farm families and poorer folks stuck to the traditional agrarian standards. Folks living in institutional settings (military, hospitals, schools, prisons) ate according to regulations. For example: A wealthy person's dinner party would commence anywhere from 6-8PM, while a mid-western farm family might be sitting down to dinner (their main meal of the day) at noon. The wealthier you were, the later (and longer) the breakfast. Lunch cut across all social classes at this time. Priviledged ladies entertained each other with fancy luncheons while factory workers and school children chowed down sandwiches in brief, prescribed breaks. Regardless of time and place, the general distinction between dinner and supper is the former indicates the main meal of the day; the latter is a light repast. If you took your dinner at noon, you supped at 5 or 6. If you took your dinner at 8, you might sup at 11. Period etiquette books were written for the wealthy and upper middle classes. Meal times and dining notes generally address social occasions rather than family (informal) meals.
"United States' hours for Breakfast, Dinner, and Tea. The hours for meals, with such Americans as delight in the possession of some little degree of nationality, and respect for theh laws of adaptedness, are the same throughout these United States.
Breakfast--From six to eight-o'clock, A.M.
Dinner--From one to three o'clock, P.M.
Tea--From six to eight o'clock, P.M.
Supper--By bona-fide Americans, is not taken; the onnly refreshment for the evening being syrup-water or lemonade and cakes, unless wines are used; or ice-cream and ice-water, if desired; and sponge-cake, or lady-cake, or small wine cake, or any other not too rich, which may be preferred. Capillaire or orgeat may be used to flavor a tumbler of ice-water, instead of syrup or lemonade."
---American Syste of Cookery, Mrs. T.J. Crowenn [T.J. Crowen:New York] 1847 (p. 401)
"The hour for luncheon is usually half after 1, the matter of time being its chief distinction from a breakfast, as the latter is served at noon; though another point of different is that while luncheons are frequently given without any more particular meaning than enjoyment, breakfasts come after certain ceremonies or occasions, as for instance, a wedding breakfast or a hunt breakfast....The dinner hour varies from half after 6 to 8 o'clock." ---The Good Housekeeping Hostess, facsimile 1904 edition [Hearst Books:New York] (p. 14-15)
[NOTE: This reprint is readily available. Your local public librarian will be happy to help you obtain a copy. It contains detailed descriptions of how to give parties from invitations to instructions for serving.]
Formal dinner at 8PM (p. 6); "Formal luncheon is served as a rule at one, half-past one, or two o'clock--not later than the latter hour, lest it spoil the guest's appetite for dinner." (p. 36-7); "The modern supper is not, as a rule, the first and foremost object of an evening's entertainment, but is usually an adjunct to some other form of festivity, such as a theatre or card party, or reception. Among the exceptions to this are the so-called game, wine, and fish suppers, popular among the "men-folk." Suppers are of various degrees of formality--from the delightfuly informal chafing-dish "spread" to an affair scarcely less elaborate than the formal dinner...there is no variation from the general rules applying to those features of the formal dinner...[no specific time recommended ] (p. 42-43); "The formal breakfast--or perhaps it would be more accurate to say the company breakfast, for this meal is not as a rule very formal--is much in favor with people of the leisure class...who frequently have considerable time to kill...The hour for a breakfast is usually twelve o'clock, but very often it is as early as ten; never later than noon, for it would then infringe upon the hours appointed by custom for luncheons." (p. 49); "In America the six-o'clock dinner prevails very generally, and the "Five o'Clock Tea" custom has gained comparitively little foothold; it has been adopted by the leisure clases, and is also popular with the college girl, the bachelor maid, the artist, and the so-called Bohemian circle." (p. 53) ---Consolidated Library of Modern Cooking and Household Recipes, Christine Terhune Herrick [R.J. Bodmer Company:New York] 1905 , Volume 1: The Modern Hostess
When & why did we begin eating meals in "courses?"
Food historians generally agree "course meals" were made possible by the agricultural revolution, approximately 10,000BC. When humans evolved from hunter/gatherers into organized agricultural communities, civilization happened. Farming and domesticated animals provided the stable food base required for more advanced activities to flourish. For the upper eschelons, this included leisurely dining and fancy banquets. One of the earliest examples we have of meals offered in different courses comes from . About .
What is a "square meal?"
What is a square meal? Excellent question with no simple answers. There are two primary schools of thought: (1) Symbolic/metaphoric (a "square meal" is a substantial, satisfying repast) and (2) An actual proposed by a British physician in the 1920s. Shaped, to make it easier for people to understand, like a square. The simple shape concept was embraced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's , c. 1992. In both cases, a "square meal" is an ideal, not a required list of ingredients or recommended dishes.
A brief evolution of "square" concepts in USA social context:
"Colonists were calling city blocks laid out on the grid plan squares by the 1760s... By 1832 men used square approvingly to refer to the natural, even gait of a good horse in such expressions as a square-gaited horse or square trotter. By 1836 square meant full or complete, as a square meal, though people didn't talk about three squares a day until 1882."
---Listening to America, Stuart Berg Flexner [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1982 (p. 487)
"Square meal. a substantial, satisfying, and balanced meal; three square meals a day. Said to derive from nautical use, with reference to the square platter on which meals were served on board ship."
---New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd edition [Oxford University Press:New York] 2005 (p.1644)
Symbolic & metaphoric interpretations:
"...they'll learn how to enjoy a good square meal when they get back if they live long enough."
---"Walker's Deserters in the Park Again," New York Daily Times, August 27, 1857 (p. 4)
"What would you say to see a man tolerably well dressed...down on his knees, scooping remnants of apples, cabbages, very cold potatoes, etc., out from the gutters and devouring them ravenously? Prompted by charity you might perhaps offer him two bits, to go and get something approaching a square meal with, but he would repulse you angrily. This is an everyday sight with us."
---"The Great West, California, The Gutter-Snipes of San Francisco...," New York Times, January 9, 1866 (p. 2)
"A revolt is said to be imminent in the staff of medical assistants at Bellevue Hospital. There are 19 of these assistants, who are young physicians, recent graduates of our City medical colleges, and they give their time and whatever talents they possess in consideration of the experience the acquire in walking the hospital and one 'square meal' a day...They say everything is first-class about the institution, and they are treated handsomely in every respect but in the matter of that 'square meal.' That is poor. In fact, it is usually nothing but hospital soup, which, while abundant in quantity and nutritious enough for convalescents, is pretty weak stuff for stalwart, hard-worked young men. This 'feed' question has been the subject of frequent and earnest consultation among the 19, and a day or two ago they had about made up their minds to send in protest or their resignations."
---"They Want 'A Square Meal," New York Times, October 24, 1878 (p. 8)
"'Soup, any kind of meat, coffee, vegetables and pie, 15 cents,' is the redletter sign of a Los Angeles-street restaurant."
---"A Cut-Rate Dinner: A 'Square Meal' for 15 cents," Los Angeles Times, April 6, 1890 (p. 8)
"Franklin, N.J. While Chief of Police Lester Kierstead slept last night a thief paid him a visit. The thief evidently was hungry, for he went into the cellar of the Chief's house before starting to look for plunder, and ate a square meal of cold meat, bread, preserves, and fruit. To top it of he drank several bottles of beer and smoked a cigar...The Chief was not awakened. He had been out the night before attending the firemen's parade, and was very tired. The first he know of the robbery was when he came down stairs this morning for breakfast."
---"A Chief of Police Robbed," New York Times, October 3, 1897 (p. 1)
"In the interests of scientific research and in behalf of the City Council, The Times has appealed--and not in vain--to well-known experts to settle the question, 'What is a square meal?' Councilman Bowen, the champion of the anti-saloon element, after a long and desperate struggle to establish the legal status of a square meal in the haunts of rounders, the retired, out-numbered, discouraged and disarmed by the solitary hamless sandwich and the lonely mustard pot. Editors of erudite evening journals have labored and strained in anguish, but a rotund and filling definition of a square meal cometh not forth...'Maybe you might come in an order a plate of beans for 10 cents. May be that's all you want... well, that's a square meal for you. Suppose I have an egg for breakfast and you come along ad say 'Aw, that ain't a square meal.' 'Well if it's all I wanted it's a square meal.'..."A square meal is anything you want to eat. It's an old piece of bologna, if that's what you want to eat. You can't pass no law to make you eat what you don't want...'"
---"When Does a Meal become 'Square?'", Los Angeles Times, October 16, 1901 (p. 7)
"How John D. Rockefeller, Jr. came to camp and begged for a morsel of food, and how he ate as if he had never seen a square meal before, is the story Claud Park is telling his friends."
---"Millionaire Begs Food," Los Angeles Times, July 12, 1910 (p. I1)
"Our language is a riddle. A man will eat a pound of round steak, a pyramid of mashed potatoes, half a dozen oval biscuits, a triangle of pie, drink two cups of flat coffee--then call it a square meal."
---"The Square Meal," Toledo Blade, Chicago Defender, June 5, 1915 (p. 2)
"To make a meal really 'square' a fourth group may be said to include the extras and trimmings which greatly vary the caloric concentration of a meal, and which in any particular meal or for any particular person may or may not be helpful. No meal is complete that does not contain a goodly quantity of the first two. The amount of the third depends largely upon activity, temperament, weight, digestive ability and appetite. The fourth group may be eliminated with some and the meal will still be adequate, but it is helpful generally as a means of furnishing energy concentration, appetite appeal and attractive variation. A practical working out of this plan for anybody...will be...Breakfast--Fruit freely in any form. Milk or eggs in ample amounts. Cereal food. This last varying anywhere from a thin slice of toast through the many forms of breakfast breads and cereals to a stack of pancakes or even doughnuts...Lunch--Fruit or salad or both; milk or equivalent dairy products; choice of substantials to satisfy appetite: spreads, dressings, etc. Dinner--Vegetables in any and every form; building form."
---"Square Meal Hints Offered," Belle Wood-Comstock," Los Angeles Times, January 8, 1934 (p. A)
"Revival of interest in the square meal as a national institution was cited as another evidence of returning prosperity here today...The meeting was in conjunction with the annual convention of the New Jersey State Teachers Association...contrasted modern trends in food selection and preparation with historical curiosities regarding diet."
---"Square Meal Returning," New York Times, November 10, 1935 (p. 42)
"America's changing meal patterns must change even more in order to upgrade American diets...The change from three square meals a day at home to haphazard eating, a change affecting all classes of people, is apparently irreversible."
---"Mod Meals:Three Squares a Day Out," Jean Murphy, Los Angeles Times, July 11, 1968 (p. H1)
"Our omnibibulous H.L. Mencken...mentions square meal two or three times in his several volumes about the American language, but without really defining it as anything but an interesting proof of our 'instinct for the terse, the vivid, and the picturesque,'...Almost any American of more than a few months' citizenship knows what a square meal is, whether he teaches computer programming or picks crops. A few days ago a man said to me, 'All I really need right now is somewhere to sleep, and three squares a day.' And I knew what he meant: warmth, then food, decent food, something to stick to his ribs and keep him upright and strong. But he did not mean a bowl of beans, or meat between bread slices, no matter how sustaining either of these things may be. He meant a square meal, which perforce means tolls and a place to use them, a knife and a spoon and perhaps even a plate, and a protected place for the enjoyment of all or almost all he could eat. Most of us have eaten square meals in strange places. But no matter where we are or how the food looks, we feel without question that it must be eaten while we are sitting down, and it must be ample, to be truly square...A square...MEAL means plenty of good hot or good cold familiar odorous decent FOOD."
---Square Meals, Jane and Michael Stern, forward notes by M.F.K. Fisher [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1984 (ix)
. Happy to provide color photo if you wish.
"For practical purposes, the easiest way in which to think about a complete diet is in the form of a diagram which we have called 'A Square Meal.' It is illusterated ...in the middle of the fronticepiece. The large circle represents the bulk of the food, the fuel foods, which consist of carbohydrate (starches and sugars) with a moderate quantity of fat. To a considerable extent the proportion of fat to carbohydrate can be varied without ill-effect, but too high a proportion of fat may upset the digestion. Th ordinary proportion is two-thirds carbohydrate to one-sixth fat, dry weight...To make a 'square meal' four corners must be added. In the diagram the corners are marked respectively...showing how they must be filled by the vitamins to make a complete daily diet...In the frontispiece the diagram of the square meal is set within a large square subdivided into four sections so it can be seen at a glance which articles of food must be provided to fill each corner. If the corners are suitably filled and the appetite satisfied with these good foods, the diet will be well balanced. Many foodstuffs in common use do not contain vitamins. Lists of these poor foods are shown on the sides of the square. They are placed for comparison outside the main square in line with the foods which contain the different vitamins. The food consituents of any meal can be checked against this standard diagram (fronticepiece) to see how closely each meal, or the day's food as a whole, approaches to 'squareness.'
"Consider a simple meal of bread and butter, meat and some green salad. The bread supplies carbohydrate...the butter supplies fat, the meat gives protein and mineral salts are contained in the bread, meat and salad. If enough of these foods be eaten to satisfy a normal appetite, fuel for warmth and energy will be provided and also building material for growth and repair. The circle is thus properly filled. To toast the 'squareness,' each corner must be considered in turn. The salad also supplies C. M will not be provided in sufficient amount unless the bread is wholemeal, as none of the other three foodstuffs supply this vitamin. The meal will not be square unless the bread is wholemeal. The lean of the meat provdes PP or B2."
---Food, Health, Vitamins, R.H.A. Plimmer and Violet Plimmer [Longmans, Green and Co. Ldt:London] 3rd edition 1928 (p. 13-15) [NOTE: Plimmers' 1st edition c. 1922 was titled Vitamins and the Choice of Food and contained no "square meal' diagram or explanation.]
Additional USA observations
"A 'square meal' has finally been defined by British scientists after considerable discussion. The term, supposed to have originated in America, should imply more than a substantial repast, in the opinion of Dr. Harvey Henry Aldres Plimmer, professor of chemistry at the University of London. 'A square meal,' the professor says, 'should be be geometrically square, in the sense that it should embrace the cardinal points of good diet, Vitamins A, B, and C and good protein.' In his campaign against impure foods, Sir W. Armuthnot Lane, President of the New Health Society, organized just after the famous surgeon returned from a two months' visit to the United States, says: 'The nation requires not only the square meal but also the 'square deal' in regard to the safety and cleanliness..."
---"'Square Meal' is defined: It should contain three vitamins and protein, says British scientist," New York Times, March 6, 1926 (p. 3)
[NOTE: Dr. Plimmer's findings were published in the book Food, Health, Vitamins c. 1925.]
"The familiar expression 'a square meal' may be adopted to represent a complete diet supplying all the material that the body needs, say R.H.A. Plimmer of the University of London and Violet G. Plimmer in Hygia Magazine. The center of the square is filled with the fat, carbohydrate, mineral salts and water; the corners are filled respectively with vitamins A, B, and C and protein P. The corner A represents both the fat soluble vitamin A and D, which are found in the same foods. Foods from the same corner may be used alternatively, but a food from one corner is not a substitute for one from another corner. A square meal consists of food from all four corners in suitable proportions. Some of the foods in the A corner are butter, red liver, oil, milk, egg yolk and liver. In the C corner are the fresh fruits, especially citrus fruits, tomatoes and green vegetables, either raw or very slightly cooked; the B corner contains whole meal cereal products, dried peas, beans and lentils and nuts; corner D includes meat, eggs. milk and cheese."
---"Material Needed to Make Up Square Meal," The Post [Frederick MD], January 12, 1927 (p. 2)
"[Miss Plimmer's] square meal plan is easy to learn and easy to follow. The square meal is made from foods in four groups: Bread, Butter, Flesh and Salad. Bread includes flour, cereals, nuts, legumes, potatoes, bananas and root vegetables and dried fruits. Butter includes all kinds of fat. Flesh includes meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese and milk. Salad includes fresh or canned fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, berries and green leaves."
---"Square Meal Rule Aids Planning Meals in Wartime," Science News Letter, October 18, 1941 (p. 246)
"Square meals make round people
"The saying "square meals make round people" was used by Mrs. August Belmont in 1920, but became popular in newspaper column beginning in 1954. 11 December 1920, New Orleans (LA) States, pg. 2, col. 1: ...Mrs. August Belmont, apropos of the girls restaurant strike in New York, said, "I approve of the strike because it was justified. The inadequate luncheons," concluded Mrs. Belmont, "these girls would look like different human beings. Square meals, you know, make round people." SOURCE:
Food historians tell us the first fork-type utensils were known in Biblical days. Modern forks (2 prong) were introduced in the eleventh century and spread slowly throughout Europe via Italy. By the 16th century, wealthy European diners were using forks. Three prong forks were introduced late 17th century; four tines became the norm in the 19th. predate forks.
"Most people carried a knife of the traditional, general-purpose dagger shape, and spoons were not uncommon, but the dinner fork was an oddity in most of Europe until the eighteenth century. Kitchen forks had been familiar for hundreds of years, even if most of them were only marginally smaller than a farmer's pitchfork. By the tenth century...small gilt ones were being used at select Byzantine tables, mainly for sweetmeats, and there were known in Greece 300 or 400 years later. From Greece they traveled to Italy, a country whose refined manners had again become the envy of Europe...Yet although Catherine de Medici appears to have take not only her cooks but also her entire kitchen with her when she went to France in 1533...the fork did not catch on. Nor did it in England seventy years later...Until after 1700, although a few eccentrics used a fork for dining, most north Europeans continued to eat with fingers and knives, or spoon and bread..."
---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers Press:New York] 1973 (p. 188)
"Spikes, not only for spearing meat that is roasting but also for lifting food from the fire or from a food heap and carrying it to the diner, are at least as old as the first knives and spoons; a sharp stick must have been one of mankind's earliest tools, in cooking and eating as for other purposes. Ancient Romans had spoons with one prong or two at the end of the handle for winkling out shellfish, and one-pronged dinner spikes survive from the Middle Ages: a perero, for example, was a spear on which one impaled fruit in order to peel it. A fork most simply splits into two tines; early dinner-table forks were generally two-pronged, large, and used mostly to help in cutting, and for serving, not eating, food--our carving forks still keep their size, shape, and original function. Or there were small "suckett" forks, used to lift preserves like ginger out of jars, or to eat fruits, like mulberries, which might stain the fingers. The fork revolution did not...present the world with an utterly strange new implement; what did constitute an important change in the West was the spread of the use of forks, their eventual adoption by all diners, and their use not only to hold food still while it was cut, but to carry it into people's mouths. The first modern fork...is mentioned as having been used in the eleventh century by the wife of the Venetian Doge, Domenico Selvo...Forks are mentioned again three centuries later, in 1361, in a list of the plate owned by the Florentine Commune. From this time onwards, forks are spoken of frequently; more than two hundred years were to pass, however, before they were commonly used for eating...Italy and Spain led the world into the adoption of forks...The use of individual forks began to spread as the seventeenth century progressed."
---The Rituals of Dinner, Margaret Visser [Penguin Books:New York] 1992 (p. 189-190)
"Forks were rarely used in England before the seventeenth century, except for sweetmeats and perhaps for carving the meat."
---Food and Feast in Medieval England, P.W. Hammond [Wrens Park:Gloucestershire] 1998 (p. 111)
"Forks were...new gadgets, especially in northern Europe, where they were still a rarity at the end of the fourteenth century. They were made of gold or silver, like the ten forks appearing in the inventory of the Duke of Berry...Charles V's inventory (1380) mentions one fork for eating cheese...Italy was among the first countries to use forks...But it appears that the Catalans led the way...But for the menagier and others of the same social rank, the use of forks was certainly limited to eating comfits, which were too sticky or powdery to be take between the fingers, wheras 'wet' ones were eaten with spoons."
---Living and Dining in Medieval Paris, Cicloe Crossley-Holland [University of Wales Press:Cardiff] 1996 (p. 182)
"Even after the introduction of forks, it remained customary for dinner guests to provide their own utensils for eating. This undoubtedly explains the ingenious one-piece combinations which were made to serve the purpose of a spoon and fork. The three pronged fork would serve as the handle for a spoon bowl, by fitting the prongs in two loops and fastening it to the back. The handle hinged back to permit folding for convenience when carrying in a pouch...The earliest known fully hallmarked English fork is dated 1632. It is 7 inches long, two pronged, and bears the interesting crest of the Earl of Rutland. It remains today on exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. There was very little change in the style of forks made from the beginning, until nearly the middle of the seventeenth century. At this time, a three pronged types with a flat rectangular handle appeared that closely resembled the Puritan spoon. This was probably copied from a contemporary French specimen...Until about 1730, English forks are found having two, three or four prongs. Thus the number of prongs cannot indicate any particular period. While in the commonwealth, three prongs are common, after the Restoration three or four prongs were in use and dating from the reigns of William III and Queen Anne, many have only two tines."
---The Book of Old Silver: English, American, Foreign [New York:Crown] 1937 (p. 53-4)
"By the time the fork came into popular use in the 17th century, sets of a knife, fork, and spoon were treated as highly personal tools, and were carried around by their owners and used not only at home but in other houses where they might be guests or at inns while traveling. Such sets were made with cases, and later, were designed so that they might be folded, with the handle of the knife and fork acting as a protective shield for the sharp blade and tines. The pistol-grip handle, still greatly admired for the way it fits the hand, and the wide, flared top commonly used even today for fork and spoon handles, were originally designed to sheath the sharp and pointed working members of traveling tableware. These portable implements continued to be popular in the early days of American colonization, and were made by some of the early silversmiths in the Colonies....It closely resembles earlier sets of "pocket tools." During the 18th century, the personalized, portable tableware sets continued to be popular with travelers, but well-equipped houses began to include, among other appointments, knives, forks, and spoons for guests as well as family. Since these pieces traveled only from knife box to table and scullery and back again to the sideboard, the folding feature was dispensed with; but even the fixed handles retained the wide shapes of the earlier sheath handles, ...The pistol-grip handle continued into the reign of George III..."
---American Silver Flatware: 1837-1910, Noel D. Turner [A.S. Barnes and Company:South Brunswick NJ] 1972 (p. 14-15)
"It should not be necessary to refute the oft-told tale that roasts did not grace the English table until after the general acceptance of the individual table fork, usually placed around mid-seventeenth century, although Ben Johnson, for one, know of the use of "your silver fork" in polite society by 1605 (Volpone) and the use of carving forks and even specialized serving forks antedated that by perhaps centuries. Too much is made of the use of a fork as an instrument of civilized eating; the lack of it never prevented the enjoyment of roast meat of all kinds by the English and other Europeans, as the slightest acquaintance of literature or period art would show, to say nothing of the peoples of the Middle, Near, and Far East; who have managed to enjoy opulent feasts with exquisite manners without the help of a fork."
---Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery, transcribed by Karen Hess [Columbia University Press:New York] 1981 (p. 13)
"When the Pilgrims sailed for the American colonies, dinner forks had only recently arrived in England. The newfangled affectation of forks was anathema to Puritan culture. Only after worldly and wealthy tradesmen and governors settled in the colonies did forks' slowly appear...Most seventeenth-century American forks were to spear suckett, or preserved ginger and sweetmeats, and had two slender tines with a spoon bowl at the opposite end. Other early forks were convertible fork-spoons, which could be carried by their owners, or cooking forks of iron. Although silver three-tined dinner forks made in eighteenth-century America survive, most were iron or steel with two sharp tines that steadied a piece of meat while it was being cut with a knife. Morsels were then take to the mouth with the knife blade. Such forks were produced in England from the late sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Americans used them well into the nineteenth century. Three- and four-tined silver forks gained popularity in America in the early nineteenth century and the two-tined variety came be be regarded as rustic and vulgar. During this transitional period, President Andrew Jackson purportedly offered guests both a silver and a steel two-tined fork...However, by 1860 American etiquette writers declared that the three- or four-tined forks were de rigueur...Late-nineteenth-century Americans developed a fanaticism for forks. Oyster forks, produced in England from 1790 and retailed by Tiffany from at least 1846, were requisite at smart American dining rooms by 1860. From 1864, etiquette books instructed diners to cut pastry with the edge of a fork, never the knife...By the 1880s pastry forks with a thickened tine were commonly available on the American market. A decade later individual salad and lettuce forks were also sold. Fruit, melons, strawberries, sandwiches, bread, and even ice cream merited their own forks. Turn-of-the-century etiquette books declared, "Never use a knife or spoon when a fork will do."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 437)
See also: .
and at table surfaced in the mid 19th century.
"In the United States, knives remained the primary utensil well into the nineteenth century. American knives had wide, rounded blades that conveyed food to the mouth like a kind of individual flat spatula. By that date, it had been forgotten that Europeans had once eaten from knife blades; the practice was perceived as distinctly American. In The Young Lady's Friend of 1837, Eliza Ware Farrar maintained: 'If you wish to imitate the French or English, you will put every mouthful into your mouth with your fork; but if you think, as I do, that Americans have as good a right to their own fashions as the inhabitants of any other country, you may choose the convenience of feeding yourself with your right hand, armed with a steel blade; and provided you do it neatly, and do not put in large mouthfuls, or close your lips tightly over the blade, you ought not to be considered as eating ungenteely.' However, by 1845 The Art of Good Behavior advised: "If possible the knife should never be put into the mouth at all, and if at all, let the edge be turned downward." Seven years later, The Art of Pleasing declared that diners should "eat always with a fork or spoon," though it acknowledged that this was not possible at old-fashioned houses...In his seminal work The Civilizing Process, the twentieth-century sociologist Norbert Elias argued that the knife's importance diminished as society deemed it vulgar to brandish a sharp-tooled object at the table For this same reason, knife blades became as nonthreatening as possible. Fish knives, a mid-nineteenth century European invention, have trowellike silver blades. Butter knives, an American innovation of similar date, likewise sport silver blades, as do salad knives."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 436-7)
"There was a fashion in Europe during the nineteenth century for downplaying the knife to such an extent that one was not only to use it as little as possible but to put it aside when it was not in use. You cut up your food with the knife in the more capable hand and the fork in the other; you then put down the knife, being careful to place it with the blade's edge toward the centre of the plate, not facing neighbours. Then the fork changed hands, and was used to take the cut food to the mouth. More elaborate manners demanded that one should perform this manoeuvre for every mouthful consumed. Using only one hand thought polite...and only the right hand is often de riguer. Eaters adhering to this fashion thought that people who ate with both hands holding on to the cutlery were gross and coarse. What Emily Post calls 'zig-zag' eating was still customary among the French bourgeoisie in the 1880s, when Branchereau describes it. He says, however that the English are successfully introducing a new fashion; they hang on to their knives, and take the food to their mouths with the left hand which is still holding the fork. Eating in the 'English' manner means that the fork, having just left of being an impaling instrument, must enter the mouth with the tines down if it is not to be awkwardly swiveled round in the left, or less capable hand. Food must therefore be balanced on the back of the rounded tines. This has two advantages for polite behaviour. First, a fork thus held encourages the mouth to take the food off it quickly and to close the lips... The second advantage is that denying a modern fork its possible spoonlike use is wantonly perverse...The former way of eating was not dislodged in North America as it was in the rest of the world. It has been suggested by James Deetz that the old way was more deeply entrenched in America because forks arrived relatively late. According to this theory, Americans remained attached to eating with their spoons; they would cut food (probably holding it still, when necessary, with their fingers or their spoons), then lift it in a spoon, first shifting it if necessary to the right hand, to their mouths. Forks, imported from Europe, were certainly used sometimes used not only for impaling food but for transporting it into the mouth...But soon forks took their modern spoonlike form, so that they could be treated, after the spearing and cutting was done, as though they were spoons. Europeans, meanwhile, kept eating food impaled on the tines."
---The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolution, Eccentricities and Meaning of Table Manners, Margaret Visser [Penguin:New York] 1991 (p. 192-194)
"Never use your knife to convey your food to your mouth, under any circumstances; it is unnecessary, and glaringly vulgar. Feed yourself with a fork or spoon, nothing else--a knife is oly to be used for cutting."
---, Arthur Martine, facsimile 1866 edition [R.L. Shep:Mendocino CA] 1988 (p. 68-69)
"And now comes Dick Figg to fix it all up and settle all the nice points. It has been considered a proper thing to do 'unfold the napkin at large' and to use the fork considerably with the right hand.. But we are now told that this is all wrong, and by one who speaks with an air of sublime confidence, which indicates that he is unquestionable authority on the subject, at least in his own estimation. But who is to decide between this oracle and others who have written before him with equal assurance! And might we not ask which side up should the fork be held? or ay it be held either side up? And should it be held with the back of the hand up or down, or may it be held both ways? And, after cutting off a piece of meat or pie, is it proper to stab it with the fork and then...impaled and..[lift] morsel to the mouth or should the fork me made to slide under it, and to be thus 'taken up tenderly'!...The methods of using knife, fork, and spoon need not be the same with all persons, but should be such as are, to each one, most convenient and graceful."
---"More About Table Manners," Chicago Daily Tribune, December 1, 1877 (p. 10)
"Small Points on Table Etiquette. Delicacy of manner at table stamps both man and woman, for one can, at a glance, discern whether a person has been trained to eat well--i.e. to hold the knife and fork properly, to eat without the slightest sound of the lips, to drink quietly, to use the napkin rightly, to make no noise with any of the implements of the table, and last, but not least, to eat slowly and masticate the food thoroughly. All these points should be most carefully taught to children, and they they will always feel at their ease at the grandest tables in the land. There is no position where the innate refinement of a person is more fully exhibited than at the table, and nowhere that those who have not been trained in table etiquette feel more keenly their deficiencies. The knife should never be used to carry food to the mouth, but only to cut it up into small mouthfuls; then place it upon the plate at one side, and take the fork in the right hand, and eat all the food with it. When both have been used finally, they should be laid diagonally across the plate, with both handles towards the right hand; this is understood by well-trained waiters, to be the signal for removing them, together with the plate...The knife can be used to cut the meat finely, as large pieces of meat are not healthful, and appears very indelicate."
---White House Cook Book, Mrs. F. L. Gillette [L.P. Miller & Co.:Chicago] 1887 (p. 496-8)
 "It is a much disputed point in this country as to the transference of the fork too the right hand for any purpose whatever; but once accustom yourself to the English method--that of never making such a transfer--and our American fashion seems awkward and indefensible."
---"English Home Ethics: Courtesies Which Should be Copied This Side of the Sea," Chicago Daily Tribune, October 22, 1893 (p. 27)
 "The Englishman takes his knife in his hand like a penholder, and during the meal divides his meat piece by piece on his plate, presses it on to his fork, and so conveys to his mouth. When his meal is finished he lays is instruments together with the handles pointing straight towards him or a little sideways, and never allows them, as so often with us, to hang carelessly over the plate. This is the only on of the man nice things Herr August Blecher, of Basel [Switzerland], says about English behaviour at table in an article in the Feier Abend on 'Table manners and the reverse.'"
---"British Table Manners Through Foreign Eyes," Temperance Caterer [London], May 15, 1904 (p. 22)
"4. Never put the point of the spoon into your mouth.
5. Do not cut our food into bits ready for eating, as if you had but a limited time in which to eat, but cut off what you desire at the time and carry it to your mouth with your fork.
6. Never use a knife, under any circumstances, to convey food to the mouth. This is perhaps the most quickly noticeable, as well as the most disgusting of all table manners."
---Twentieth Century Home Cook Book, Mrs. Francis Carruthers [Thompson & Thomas:Chicago IL] 1906 (p. 384-385)
"A social new-comer asks, 'How shall I carry my fork to my mouth?' The fork should be raised laterally to the mouth with the right hand; the wrist should ever be crooked so as to bring the hand round at a right angle, or the fork directly opposite the mouth...the fork should not be overloaded. To take meat and vegetables and pack them on the poor fork, as if it were a beast of burden, is a common American vulgarity, born of our hurried way of eating at railway stations and hotels. But it is an unhealthy and ill-mannered habit. To take but little on the fork at a time, a moderate mouthful, shows good manners and refinement. The knife must never be put into the mouth at ay time--that is a remnant of barbarism."
---A-B-C of Good Form, Anne Seymour [Harper & Brothers Publishers:New York] 1915 (p. 90)
"There are various and sundry ways of holding the knife and the fork. English people dine with the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right. In America it is quite the other way. One-handed eating is the rule. That is, we eat with the fork held in the right hand. We transfer it to the left only when the knife has to be used in cutting. The minute we have finished with the knife we put it down on the plate, and transfer the fork back to the right hand. Whether you are going to use the American or English way of eating, learn to handle your silver with ease. The daintiest way is to let the fork rest with the prongs up on the side of the middle finger and the first finger joint, held in place by the tips of the thumb and index finger. Let the fourth and little fingers curl under the fork. Don't let them stick out at an affected angle."
---"Table Manners," Washington Post, March 14, 1926 (p. MS8)
"...I have heard a number of English people, and several of my Italian friends comment on the to them curious way in which Americans are always changing from the knife to the fork with the right hand."
---"Table Manners in These United States," Persis Standish, Chicago Daily Tribune, April 14, 1929 (p. F2)
"What's the correct way to use the knife and fork? Knives and forks are used either American or Continental fashion but a combination of the two systems is now often seen and is quite acceptable. Even when one uses the American zigzag system, it is not necessary to lay down the knife, place the fork tines up, in the right hand to convey a bit of cut-up chop to the mouth. Instead one may place the eat in the mouth with the left hand with the tines of the fork down."
---"Table Manners, 1952," Amy Vanderbilt, Los Angeles Times, October 5, 1952 (p. I36)
"Manners and Food: Knives and Forks. Many Americans who travel a great deal have changed from the American zig-zag method of eating to the Continental style. However, both methods are correct--if properly executed--and so is a modified version of the two. Here are the basic differences and the correct way to use each system: American. The knife is used only for cutting and is then placed on the side of the plate with the blade toward the center of the plate. The fork is then switched to the right hand and the food is conveyed to the mouth with the tines up. However, it is usual (and sensible) to use the fork in the left hand, tines down, for food one has just cut. The tines of the fork are kept down, also, regardless of which hand is used, to eat a bit of bread and gravy. Vegetables and other foods which do not require cutting are eaten with the fork in the right hand, tines up. A small bit of bread may be used as a block for evasive foods such as peas. Continental Using this method, you convey all food to the mouth with the fork always in the left hand, knife in the right. 'Slippery' foods such as peas, and 'drippy' foods such as creamed celery, are guided onto the fork, tines up, with the knife, but meat, potatoes and other vegetables are impaled with the fork, tines down, or guided onto the back of the fork with the knife. The biggest mistake newcomers to this method make is to pile up and pack down food on the back of the fork. The old rule of never putting more food on the fork or spoon that will comfortably fit in one's mouth applies to both methods of eating. ...Whichever method you use, the important thing is to manipulate your knife and fork with ease and assurance, and with enough grace not to offend others. Never apologize, for feel you need to apologize, for the style in which you eat. Europeans acknowledge our method just as we should accept theirs."
---The Amy Vanderbilt Guide to Table Manners, Extracted published in booklet form by American Cyanamid [Wallingford CT] to promote Melmac dinnerware, undated, photo of Amy Vanderbilt c. 1961 (upaged, p. 4-5)
"Americans who travel abroad for the first time often wonder why Europeans handle their knives, forks and spoons in ways so contrary to American custom. The Continental way of dining involves the simutaneous use of fork and knife. The ofrk is held in the left hand, the knife in the right. At no time is the knife put down and the fork transferred to the right hand. The knife is used not only for cutting, but also to press doods onto the back of the fork. According to Emily Post, it is Americans and not the rest of the Western world who are out of step. As long ago as 1922, when Mrs. Post's book on etiquette was first published, she deplored the zigzag custom in which the fork is constantly transferred from the left ot the right hand, saying it was 'strange' and 'not seen at the tables of fashionable people.' Amy Vanderbilt, however, believes that either custom is propler, a long as it is performed with ease and grace. 'But the Continental style often encourages people to bolt their food,' Miss Vanderbilt warned. 'I've noticed that women who dine in the European fashion way often bend too far over the table in a way that is less than elegant.' Many Americans stoutly defend their custom and say that to adopt foreign ways would be an affectation. Others, however, have chosen to switch because the European manipulation of table implements seems faster and more efficient. Rober Meyzen, maitre d'hotel of La Caravelle restaurant, reports that more and more Americans are adopting the Continental method. 'I think that people are beginning to realize that to put the knife down after cutting the meat, aand then to switch the fork into the right had represents a loss of both time and taste,' Mr. Meyzen said. There is speculation as to the origin of each method and wy they differ. The American custom, Mrs. Post has suggested, may have started as a way to slow down children who were fast eaters. Mr. Munves Jr., of James Robinson, dealers in antique silver and tablewares, says it may be traceable to the robber barons of the 19h century. 'It was a form of pretentiousness adopted here around 1880, when the robber barons went respectable...But by now, it would be more pretentious than practical for people to return ot the old, or European way of eating' In commenting on the same era in America, James Beard, a gourmet and cookbook author, said: 'It was considered more elegant to sit with one had in your lap during most of a meal than to use both hands to simlify dining."
---"In Europe, Table Knife is Versatile: Use of Silverware Often Puzzling," Rita Reif, New York Times, April 29, 1963 (p. 47)
"Because most American customs and rules of etiquette are drawn from those of Europe, any that differ are of special interest. How did the differences come about and what do they represent, if anything?...Americans differ from Europeans in the use of the knife and fork. Europeans hold the for in the left hand and the knife in the right and, when food is cut, it is carried to the mouth by the left hand. The knife is always in use, not only for cutting, but also for pushing and for dabbing gravy onto the potatoes and other such useful functions. There are some differences between the English and the Continentals, for though both keep forks in the left hand, the English keep the tines turned over and pile food onto the back of the fork. Beginning with eat as a platform, they may smooth on potatoes into which they press peas and then transport the whole mouthful at once. Other Europeans turn the tines over after cutting and push food onto the fork with a knife. But for many years American etiquette dictated that the fork must be switched to the right hand after the food is cut, and that the knife should rest on the edge of the plate. During actual eating, the left hand was supposed to lie idle on the lap. This cumbersome and awkward switching of hand continues today even though it was declared out of date as far as 1848 in 'Vogue's Book of Etiquette,' written by Millicent Fenwick, who was then an associate editor of Vogue and is now the United States representative to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome. After describing the old rule, Mrs. Fenwick wrote, 'Today, it is reversed so commonly that the left handed method is almost preferred to the other. Both are perfectly good usage, but it is now axiomatic that whenever food is cut with a knife, the left hand can quite naturally carry it up to the mouth'...Even through the European method is smoother and more efficient, as any time-motion study would prove, most Americans persist in this 'zigzag' method, as it is described in 'The New Emily Post's Etiquette' by Elizabeth L. Post. The author suggests that Americans are reluctant to follow the European method because they feel it would be 'putting on airs to adopt a foreign way of eating.' Ms. Post advises, 'I can see nothing wrong in adopting a custom that sees more practical than your own.' Letitia Baldridge, who revised 'The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette,' also considers the Continental style more 'sensible.' In preparing this book, which was published in 1978, Miss Baldridge tried in vain to discover how the zigzag method developed in the United States. 'I even called the Library of Congress but they could not come up with anything,' she said...Perhaps in the early days of our country, the change in rules was a populist protest against royalists. Or, as a European friend suggested, one-handed eating may be a holdover from frontier days, when it was necessary to keep one hand at the ready for self-defense. Left-handed Americans have, perhaps, the best of both worlds. Those I know hold the fork in the right hand, cut with the knife in the left hand and eat without changing hands. Thereby they follow the European school of nonswitching, but eat with the right hand and so draw no undue attention from their counterparts."
---"Of Knives and Forks and American Manners," Mimi Sheraton, New York Times, September 10, 1983 (p. 48)
See also: ,
Appetizers & hors d'oeuvres
Appetizers, , , , gustus, , , , , ...small bites served before meals to whet the appetite play integral roles in many cultures and cuisines. Offerings and traditions developed according to regional taste. It is important to note that appetizers were not part of all menus through time. In many cuisines this is a relatively recent practice. This explains why there is no such thing as "authentic" colonial American appetizers; only creative adaptations based on period recipes. Americans, being Americans, did not summarily embrace the .
"...many of the great cuisines of the world -- Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, Spanish, French and Italian, just for starters -- have long recognized that dawdling over small servings of many different dishes, sharing tidbits and discoveries, not only stretches out a pleasant social evening but bonds friends together in a very emotional way. In fact, the very word "companion" comes from the Latin com panis, or "with bread," meaning the person you share meals with -- friendship defined by dining...The most familiar versions are Middle Eastern mezze and their Spanish derivatives tapas; Chinese dim sum (meaning, sweetly, "touch the heart"); French canapes and hors d'oeuvres (themselves derived from the Russian zakuski); and Italian antipasti. In Vietnam, such drinking dishes are called "do nhau" -- literally, "little bites," and sounding not unlike "doughnut." The Thai, who might be the world's masters of outdoor gourmet dining, call them "kanto." Indians refer to samosas and other such little fried finger foods, cheerfully enough, as "chat."
---"Bite-Size Cusine," Eve Zibart, Washington Post, Sept. 4, 1998 (p. N26)
Ancient Greece & Rome
"The Athenians were also responsible for inventing the original hors d'oeuvre trolley, which other Greeks adduced as proof of their miserly disposition. An Athenian dinner, claimed Lynceus, was an insult to a hungry man. 'For the cook sets before you a large tray on which are five small plates. One of these holds garlic, another a pair of sea urchins, another a sweet wine sop [probably some scraps of wine-soaked bread or marinated fish], another ten cockles, the last a small piece of sturgeon'."
---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Crown:New York] 1988 (p. 69)
"The Romans served many different appetizers to begin their banquets. The most popular items were seasoned eggs and egg-based dishes, vegetables, salad, mushrooms and truffles, assorted shellfish, cheese with herbs, olives, sausages, and even more filling dishes, such as complicated fricassees and casseroles, which today would be considered complete meals in themselves."
---A Taste of Ancient Rome, Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa [University of Chicago:Chicago] 1992 (p. 49) [book includes recipes adated for modern kitchens]
"Salads, cooked vegetables, fungi and some light egg or fish dishes supplied the 'gustus' or hors d'oeuvre at a Roman meal."
---Food and Drink in Britain, C. Anne Wilson [Academy Chicago:Chicago] 1991 (p. 326)
Sample starter recipes (modernized) .
"Antipasto...is an Italian term for 'hors d'oeuvres'...English actually took the word over in the sixteenth century, and partially naturalized it to antepast ( The first mess [course], or antepast as they call it, is some fine meat to urge them to have an appetite,' quoted in the Harleian Miscellany, 1590)."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 7)
[in the 19th century]" The debate on popular, bourgeois, and aristocratic cooking influence the structure of the meal, modifying it profoundly. Many dishes were moved to a subsequent course, while others were assigned a new role...Among the many issues related to form, the question of the antipasto was the most important. With its profusion of different foods, it was the only part of the meal that reflected the courses offered on the tables of the aristocracy. Its evolution in the bourgeois meal continued to be tied to the stimulation of appetite and the dietary organization of the menu. The success it attained in lower-middle-class festivities, in trattorie and fine restaurants, and its decline at the dinner table made it all the more enigmatic, especially since its contents altered without ever changing completely...From the historical viewpoint antipast should not really be considered in the category of hors d'oeuvre. The term antipasto first appears in the sixteenth century, and Domenico Romoli usues it in the modern sense to mean the initial course. The term "hors d'oeuvre" by contrast is used by Massailot in Paris in 1691 to indicate dishes, such as artichoke hearts or pork trotters, that served as a supplement to the first of second course, as a kind of entrements that could also be presented after the roast. Etymologically, as Panzini shows, if a meal is considered to be the main project (oeuvre), then preparations that are supplementary or marginal to it are considered outside (hors) its scope. Il cuoco piemontese (The Piedmontese cook), written in 1766, uses the term in this sense, citing supporting soups as the hors d'oeuvre but limits its use to the first course. It was only in the following century that "antipasto" and "hors d'oeuvre" became synonymous. Romoli reflects the appetizing function of this course by proposing fresh, unsalted cheese, capers, and little fritters, which are meant to stimulate the appetite without filling the stomach. It was initially a cold but very varied course..."
--Italian Cuisine: A Cultural History, Alberto Capatti & Massimo Montanari [Columbia University Press:New York] 1999 (p. 147-8)
Artusi, in Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well ( c. 1891) adds: "Appetizers or antipasti are, properly speaking, those delicious trifles that are made to be eaten either after the pasta course, as is practiced in Tuscany, which seems preferable to me, or before, as is done elsewhere in Italy. Oysters, cured meats such as prosciutto, salami, mortadella, and tongue, or seafood such as anchovies, sardines, caviar, "mosciame" (which is the salted back of the tuna fish), etc., may be served as appetizers, either alone or with butter. In addition, the fried breads I describe below make excellent appetizers." Artusi's recipes include Crostini di Capperi (canapes with capers), Crostini di Tartufi (truffle canapes), Crostini de Fegatini di Pollo (canapes with chicken livers), Crostini de Fegatini di Pollo Con La Salvia (canapes with chicken livers and sage), Crostini di Beccaccia (woodcock canapes), Crostini Diversi (various canapes), Crostini di Caviale (caviar canapes), Crostini di Accuighe (anchovy canapes), Crostini die Caviale, Acciughe E Burro (canapes with caviar, anchovies and butter), Sandwiches, Crostini de Fegatini e Acciughe (canapes with chicken livers and anchovies), Crostini di Milza (canapes with spleen), Crostini Fioriti (fancy canapes), and Baccala Montebianco (salted codfish mont blanc style). Artusi's book is easily obtained in English translation. We recommend the Murtha Maca/Stephen Sartarelli translation, Marsilio Publishers, NY ISBN 1-56886-039-0. Your librarian will be happy to help you get a copy.
"The tapas tradition--that delightful Spanish custom of gathering before lunch and again before dinner for a glass of wine or beer and a sampling of appetizers--is so very popular in Spain as much for the Spaniard's overriding need for company and conversation as for the delicious food, which may range from the sophisticated to the most simple fare...Tapas will be found in even the smallest bar in the tiniest village. The choice in such places will typically be limited to cured ham, chorizo, and cheese, unless there is someone unusally inventive in the kitchen. But it is in the big regional centers of Madrid, Barcelona, Santiago de Compostela, Sevila, and Malaga where tapas often become inspired and are of an overwhelming variety. The Bar Gayango in Madrid is perhaps the epitome of a tapas bar, where no less than seventy-six tapas...are available...Tapas are sometimes taken on the honor system, but in general are served by waiters...The word tapa, meaning cover or lid, is thought to have originally referenced to the complimentary plate of appetizers that many tascas would place on top of one's wineglass--like a "cover." Anything, however, served in small portions can be considered a tapa...Tapas and first course dishes are often interchangeable...While it is obvious that canapes and tartlets would be served only as tapas, any of the clam or mussel dishes are also excellent as first-course offerings."
---Foods and Wines of Spain, Penelope Casas [Alfred A. Knopf:New York] 1982 (p. 3-4)
[NOTE: This book contains recipes for several popular tapas items.]
"Tapas are savour snacks served in Spanish bars, and typically washed down with glasses of cold vino or manzanilla sherry. They are now of considerable diversity, ranging from simple olives, potato salad, and small spicy sausages to fried shrimps, stuffed peppers, and squid cooked in its ink. The word tapa literally means 'lid' in Spanish, and its gastronomic application comes from the practice of covering glasses or jugs of drink on the bar with edible 'lids', such as a piece of bread or sausage, to keep out the flies."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p. 336)
Chinese dim sum
plays a very special role in the Cantonese meal.
"Hors d'oeuvres...a French term which has been current in a food context since the 17th century (In England, only from the 18th), indicating minor, usually cold, items of food served at the beginning of a meal. In the 20th century, until quite recent times the hors d'oeuvres trolley was a familiar sight in restaurants, incorporating up to several dozen little recipients containing the various delicacies on offer. Typical items would be anchovies, sardines, slices of smoked fish, olives, radishes, sliced tomato (or other salad vegetable), various sorts of sausage and other charcuterie, etc. Hot hors d'oeuvres could be miniature savoury pastries or tiny fritters or other similar tidbits; but these do not belong to the mainstream hors d'oeuvres tradition."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 387)
"Hors-d'Oeuvre in General Use. In this chapter I give a selected list of the hors-d'oeuvre most in use in ordinary households; it may be objected, that these belong rather to the maitre d'hotel's department, than to the cook's; but this will not be the case in smaller establishments, where the plain cook will have to attend to these, in addition to her ordinary work; this list of hors-d'oeuvre has therefore appeared to me to have its proper place in domestic cookery. It is customary to dish up hors-d'oeuvre in small oval dishes or flat boats."
---The Royal Cookery Book, Jules Gouffe, translated by Alphonse Gouffe [Sampson Low, Son and Marston:London] 1869 (p. 76)
[NOTE: Gouffe's Hors' d'oeuvre selections are: radishes (raw, with dressing), Butter (shaped like shells), Gherkins (served in a boat with vinegar), Lyons Bologna or German Sausage (served cold with parsley), Olives (green), Anchovies (trimmed & served with oil), Sardines, (tinned, garnished with parsley & capers, covered with oil), Pickled herrings (served with oil, parsley & capers), Pickled oysters (sprinkle parsley on top), Mixed pickles (arranged tastefully), Cucumber (topped with ravigote), Raw artichokes a la Poivrade (seasoned with vinegar, oil, pepper & salt), Black radish (peeled, sliced & served in a boat).]
"Cold and Hot Hors-d'Oeuvre
The name of these types of preparation clearly defines their place in the menu. They are adjuncts, and if omitted from the menu should not alter the general harmony of the meal, especially where dinner menus are concerned. It is therefore indicated that they should be composed of light items of a delicate nature and they should not constitute a complete dish in themselves. But if these items are any less in terms of quantity they should be compensated for this by being of an excellent taste and by giving careful attention to the presentation--both of these should be above reproach. There are two types--cold Hors-d'oeuvre and hot Hors-d'oeuvre--each being entirely different from the other, both from the point of view of preparation and service...As a general rule cold Hors-d'oeuvre are suitable only in a meal which does not include a soup...However, this rule is not always observed especially in a la Carte restaurants; it is a means more usually of serving de-luxe Hors-d'oeuvre such as caviare, oysters, plovers' eggs etc. which do not have an undue influence on the digestion as would be so in the case of fish, salads and marinated vegetables. It is often noted that at least most of the time when these are offered, their use as Hors-d'oeuvre is nothing more than an expedient to occupy the customer whilst waiting for the preparation of the dishes he may have ordered (p. 120)...The hot Hors-d'oeuvre of our modern service are the old Entrees Volantes or side dishes of the French Service which have survived but with a change of name; their use, however, remains the same. They sometimes figure on luncheon menus together with cold Hors-d'oeuvre coming after them, but their real place is on the dinner menu where they come after the soup and serve as a link between this and the main dishes. Nowadays, there is an unfortunate tendency to exaggerate the amount and importance of hot Hors-d'oeuvre: it is too easily forgotten that the essential characteristic of these preparations is their lightness and delicacy. From the point of view of gastronomic logic they can be deemed superfluous and nothing except custom justifies their use. (P. 133)
---Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery, Escoffier , first translation into English by H.L. Cracknell and R.J. Kaufmann of Le Guide Culinare in its entirety [John Wiley:New York] 1979
"Smorgasbord. The best-known feature of the cuisine of Sweden, is related to the Russian Zakuski and also to Hors D'oeuvres and Mezze, but less closely to Tapas. It assumed something like its present form in the course of the 19th century, following old traditions of placing all foods on the table at once and of guests bringing their own contributions. Nowadays, it is usually prepared by the hostess, without contributions, and consists in an assortment of cold dishes, cometimes supplemented by hot ones, served either as the preliminary to a meal...or as a full buffet meal. The literal meaning of the term is 'buttered-bread table', which might lead one to expect an array of open sandwiches. In practice the various savoury items (cured herring in various forms, other seafood delicacies, cold meats, various salads, and cheeses) are presented with various Swedish crispbreads or the like, and only a few items, if any, would appear as miniature open sandwiches. When smorgasbord is a full buffet meal, a typical sequence of course' would be herring (always first); other seafood items such as gravlaks; what are called small warm dishes'...cold meats and the like; cheese/fruit/light dessert."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 727)
Swedish smorgasbord in the United States
"Smorgasbord. A buffet meal of Swedish origins that has become in this century a very popular party spread. The word...first appeared in American print in 1893. The idea soon caught on, so that by 1941 the West Hartford Ladies Aid Society Swedish American Cook Book listed several suggestions for a smorgasbord, including the following items: butter balls, Swedish rye bread, pumpernickel, hardtack, pickled herring, baked ham, smoked tongue, lingonberries, radish roses, omelets, "Rulle Pulse" (rolled pressed lamb), "liver pastej" (liver paste), jellied veal, head cheese, hot Swedish meatballs, Swedish pork sausage, brown beans, Swedish fish pudding, smoked salmon, stuffed eggs, potato salad, "sill salad" (herring salad), meat and potato sausage, fruit salad, Swedish apple cake, and coffee with cream. Today smorgasbords may still contain many of these same times, as well as dishes from other countries."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p 298)
"[The Fifties] While French cooking carried the most cachet (and was considered the most difficult), Scandinavian cookery--to go with the plethora of blond Danish Modern furniture and bright -colored Dansk pots decorating the choicest homes--was In, In, In. And though Scandinavian restaurants were popular...Scandinavian food was most often found a buffet parties. For what could be more modern, more chic, more fun, and easier, than a smorgasbord at a party? Said House & Garden (November 1959), "As a good delicatessen can supply the bulk of the fish appetizers, cold cuts, Scandinavian cheese and breads, you can afford to spend time making salads and hot foods and preparing and garnishing one or two spectacular dishes such as a Swedish salmon in aspic." Decorations for a smorgasbord were easy, too. All the hostess needed were a few Swedish straw stars, some slim white candles, and the food, arrayed on teak trays, Swedish crystal bowel, and gleaming chafing dishes. To go with the food: beer and aquivit...and pots of strong, hot coffee...Salmon in aspic never caught on big as a party dish, but Swedish meatballs became an American standard for both home eating and for buffets.
---Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovegren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 203-4)
"About Smorgasbord. This Scandinavian spread has bee in this country so thoroughly adapted to the casusal cocktail hour that some of us have lost sight of its original importance. Smorgasgord in its original country is a square meal in itself, not the prelude to one. Its mainstays of meat and fish--and the aquavit which washes them down--are climactic inperatives when subarctic weather hovers for months outside the door...The food of which a somrgasbord is traditionally composed are sufficeitnly dissimilar to require at least three plates and silver services per person...Typical of those [dishes] first presented are herring, hot and cold, smoked el, salmon or shellfish--a served with small boiled potatoes, seasoned with dill-and at least three kinds of bread with small mountains of butter balls...With the first change of plate come cheeses, deviled eggs, pancakes and omelets with lingonberries, sausages, marinated and pickled vegetables and aspics. With the next, hot foods follow, such as meatballs, ham with apples, goose with prunes, tongue and baked beans."
---Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker [Bobbs-Merrill:Indianapolis IN] 1962 (p. 61)
Wondering about ?
The custom among Continental nations of commencing dinner with some savory plate, which shall stimulate a jaded appetite or serve as a whet to the palate, is gaining ground, probably more in deference to fashion than from individual requirement. As to the wisdom of the practice, much difference of opinion exists. On the one hand, it is asserted that such dishes are injurious, where appetite and digestion are lacking, and that given a good appetitie, they are quite unnecessary; while on the other, it is urged that they are in many cases of real benefit. But between the two extremes--from the Russian habit of indulging in several varieties of highly-flavoured food, followed by strong liqueur or spirit, to the oyster served au naturel, declared by many to be the hors d'oeuvre par excellence--there is ample scope for the introduction of little dishes, appetising and free from injurious properties.
It should be remembered tht while over-elaboration should be guarded against, in such as precede a simple dinner, careless service is inexcusable. Dainty service and suitable garnish must not be neglected; tiny dishes of glass or white china, holding just enough for one person, are most suitable and effective for dotting about the table; though for less ceremonious occasions large dishes may be used, say two or three, each containing a distinct variety.
The following list will enable a selection to be made, and suggest many other combinations. The chief materials available are anchovies, anchovy paste or butter, beetroot, capers, cress, celery, chervil, cods' roe paste, cucumber, caviare, herring roes or filets, marinaded herrings, lemons, lax (Norwegian salmon), mussels, olives plain or stuffed; oysters, pickles, smoked ham, sausages, tongue, &c.; tarragon, tomatoes, &c. &c. Various potted meats, fish pastes, and butters, play an important part in the garnishing of the dishes. Many small savouries which would also be served as Hors D'Oeuvres will be found under that and other headings later on...." (p.21)
Recipes in this book include Anchovies, Bouchees de Harengs, Bouchees de Saumon, Caviare, Devilled, Canapes a la Premier, Canapes d'Olives, Croutons a l'Alberta, Sardines in Aspic, Shrimps a la Dorisa and Hors D'Oeuvres Assortis. (p. 21-23)
Related meal? .
Some contemporary American restaurants offer "starters" in place of traditional separate , soup, and salad courses. Starters are generally composed from items selected from these courses. They may also include . These small plates compress the classic multi-course meal into a lighter dining experience. They also encourage diners who normally skip to the entree to try a more rounded meal. The guiding principle is menu simplification, perhaps inspired by the Ancient Roman three course menu. What did Ancient Romans serve for ?
From the Oxford English Dictionary:
3b. A dish eaten as the first course of a meal, before the main course (also in pl.). colloq.
1966 Sunday Express 16 Oct. 18/3 You get a three-course dinner, with four ‘starter’ courses and seven main dishes to choose from, and a sweet. 1966 Vogue Nov. 154/3 Starters include fish soup, cock-a-leekie, duck-liver pвtй. 1966 Woman 24 Sept. Pullout 1 (heading) A starter. A main dish. A dessert. 1968 New Society 22 Aug. 266/1 The first course of a meal is sometimes called a ‘starter’, which is perhaps not so much non-U as jargon. 1969 P. Highsmith Tremor of Forgery xvii. 155 ‘Try this Tunisian starter. Turns up on every menu.’ He meant the antipasto of tuna, olives, and tomatoes.
The word "starter" can also mean the natural spontaneous leavening used for making .
Breakfast: , , , &
Breakfast, like most meals, is a moveable feast that depends upon cuisine, culture, and class. Food historians agree on these three points when it comes to breakfast:
Most people through time "broke their fast" with a warm drink (soup, tea) and a simple grain product (rice, oatmeal, bread). This combination stimulated the stomache, preparing it for the day's meals. While many "traditional" [British, American] breakfasts items consumed today trace back to ancient times (eggs, sausage, pancakes, doughnuts/fritters), few people through time were fortunate enough to enjoy them as is customarily promoted today. "Traditional" breakfasts marketed to today's holiday celebrants and vacationers are typically reminiscent of wealthy-class Victorian fare. is closely related. Today few people partake of this traditional meal. Why? Time constraints and health concerns.
Who ate breakfast?
"Even more elusive is the evidence for breakfast. Judging from cookbooks and dietary literature there was no such meal, or at least it was only recommended for children, invalids and the elderly who have weak digestive systems and must eat smaller meals more frequently. Nevertheless, there was such a meal, and some people took it regularly. The word itself comes from the late Latin disjejunare, meaning "to un-fast' or break the fast of the evening. Remarkably, the word was contracted in the Romance languages to disnare or disner in Olde French, or dinner in English. Thus the word dinner actually means breakfast. But the word is not recorded in English until 1463 in a royal account book that records expenses for breakfast, but it is not entirely clear whether this was an early dinner or another meal, the one we know know as breakfast, eaten first thing in the morning."
---Food in Early Modern Europe, Ken Albala [Greenwood Press:Westport CT] 2003 (p. 232)
What time was breakfast?
This is a fascinating study. The answers depend upon who you were, where you lived, how much money you had, and what you did for a living. As a rule, the more money you had, the more you ate, the later you ate it, and the more time you spent around the table. Throughout our country's history, it is not unusual for many hard workers to put in a couple of hours of work BEFORE breakfast. About .
Recommended reading: The Breakfast Book/Andrew Dalby (2013) & Breakfast: A History/Heather Arndt Anderson (2013)
Breakfast also tells the story of social interaction and scientific advancement:
"Breakfast...Native American breakfast consisted of cornmeal mush and perhaps cornbread, both items the first European settlers adapted for their own breakfasts. The settlers also breakfasted on a quickly prepared porridge called "hasty pudding," made with cornmeal and molasses. Later bread or toast and coffee or tea were the usual breakfast, while in the nineteenth century affluence brought more variety to the diet and larger portions of meats, fish, cheese, bread, jams, and often a tot of rum or cider. Also popular were pancakes, especially buckwheat pancakes, which were consumed in stacks with butter and molasses or maple syrup... In different parts of the United States different food items are served for breakfast, although a meals of eggs, bacon, toast, and coffee seem ubiquitious, with the addition in the South of grits, ham, or biscuits, in the West with chile peppers, and in the Northeast with sausages and hash-brown potatoes, and in urban restaurants with preparations of eggs benedict, finnan haddie, melon, french toast, caviar, waffles, Danish pastry, fruit, English muffins, and many other items In Jewish communities breakfast may consist of bagels and cream cheese. The popularity of breakfast cereals began in the middle of the nineteenth century and has continued since then, especially a children's breakfast item."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 41-2)
[NOTE: This book is an excellent resource for historic profiles of selected foods. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy]
. Why eggs in the morning? Some hypothesize the practice descends from the days when many people had their own chickens, hense ready eggs supply. Eggs were harvested in the morning. The fresher the egg, the tastier it was. Immediate consumption might also been a a convenience to the cook: eggs eaten are eggs that do not need to be stored. And then, there's the practical side. Eggs cook quickly.
Some traditional American breakfast foods:
"Traditional American Breakfast" through time
Of course, what people eat in all times depends upon who they are (ethnicity/religion), where they live (New Orleans? Boston? Des Moines?) and how much money they have (the wealthy usually have more food choices than the poor). The following menus are not indicative of what all Americans were eating during specific period. The idea of one homogenous American breakfast table is a 20th century concept made possible by national-level food production and distribution. If you are researching the breakfast habits connected with a specific people/place/period please .
"For breakfast. Have a white cloth, with the folds regular and perceptibble; let each dish be plished with a soft napkin as it is placed upon the table...The plates may be put in a pile at the left hand of the carver, or at regular intervals around the table...The coffee-urn or pot should have on its brightest face...the cream or boiled milk should not lack heat, and, not 'to waste its sweetness' on the unappreciating air, should be contained in a covered pitcher of tin or other metal; the sugar-basin, wheter of the same as the other dishes or of metal, should be bright and covered, wtih a large-sized tea or sugar-spoon beside it; the cups and saucers may be placed in heals of three, within the circle of the sugar, slop, and cream vessels. Let the urn or coffee-pot be set at the right-hand side of the person who serves it; and if tea is used, let it be placed on the same side in a line with it...Sall napkins of doyles, folded in four and ironed very smoothly, may be laid at each plate...Opposite the tray or head of table, let the steak, or fry...be placed, with a carving-knife and fork before it, and dishes of hominy or boiled rice, or mashed potatoes and boiled eggs or hash, opposit each other, and the plates of bread, betwween the steak-dish and tray, having the plates of bread and butter bbetween each two and the castor in the centre; also one or two salt-stands filled with fine salt and neatly marked with a teaspoon otherwise...These, with a pitcher of ice-water and serveral tumblers, occupying the corners of the table on either side of the carver, complete the breakfast table...
"Bills of fare...Coffee and tea, or chocolate, either or both; broiled beef-steak, or veal or lamb, fried or broiled; with boiled hominy or mashed potatoes, or potatoes fried, baked, or roasted; and sliced wheat bread and corn breakfast-cakes or griddle-cakes. Broiled or fried chicken; or clams stewed, or fritter, or fried; or broiled or fried ham, with eggs fried, boiled, poached or omlet [sic]; with ashed or fried potatoes, and such war and cold bread as may be desired. Salt or fresh fish, fried or broiled, and hot rolls or cold bbread, with tea or coffee, constitute a very popular family breakfast in summer; there may be the addtion of such a variety of bread, hot or cold, as may be preferred; and mashed, or fried, or roasted potatoes; or broiled hominy; also dressed cucumbers, or stewed tomatoes, and stewed fruit or ripe bberries. Clam omlet will benerally be liked by those who are fond of clams. Green sweet corn, boiled, and served with cold meat or steaks, is suitable for breakfast. Smoked beef, fried or frizzled, or salt cod, relish; or a bit of salmon or smoked shad, broiled, with the other requisites, make a nice relishing breakfast. Hashed meat, or meat with potato hash, is sutiable at any time, and with anhy other dishes. Hot rolls or muffins, warm biscuits, velvet cakes or bread cakes, and twisted bread or rye bread, or short cakes, are some of the varieties of bread for summer breakfasts, together with dry and milk toast. Bread for breakfast should be cut in slices nearly half an inch thick, and arranged neatly on a folded napkin or doyle, on flat plates. Rye bread one day old, cut in this way, is much liked. none but the best sweet butter should be brouht to the breakfast or tea-table.
"For Winter Breakfasts. Fried oysters; or soft-shell clams, fried; or fried or broiled chicken; or tripe, broiled or fried; with boiled hominy, or hot corn bread and rolls; and tea or coffee. Buckwheat griddle cakes, with fried steaks, ham, or sausagees, or cold meat or hash, are a popular breakfast for winter. With many families, buckwheat cakes anre the constant breakfast, with some little varieties of meat, and tea or coffee..during the winter. It will be found more healthful to vary occasionally, with corn griddle-cakes, or muffins, or some other hot cakes. The best of sweet butter, and syrup, should be served with these cakes. Head-cheese, with rolls and coffee, make a nice breakfast; also fried sausages; or meat or cod-fish cakes. A shoulder of lamb may be boned and broiled; or a breast may be nicely and thoroughly broiled; or lamb or chickens stewed. Cold meat, sliced, and fried potatoes, and parsnips, fried; with boiled hominy, or corn bread or griddle-cakes, may be liked."
---The American System of Cookery, Mrs. T.J. Crowen [T.J. Crowen:New York] 1847 (p. 398-401)
"Breakfast. We are of the opinion that everybody out to eat as little meat as possible, and drink no wine, beer, or any other liquor at breakfast, no matter what the sex or age, except when prescribed by the physician in case of sickness, disability, etc. The food may be selected from the following: Bread and Butter, Eggs, Omelets, Fried Fish, Fried Potatoes, or other vegetables, Sardines, Fruit, according to the season. As for meat, in case some should be eaten, it ought to be cold, such as fowl or veal, cooked the day before. Muffins, and other cakes or pastes, served warm, are very bad for the stomach and teeth. The beverage ought to be either coffee, with milk, chocolate, cocoa, choca, or cold water, but do not by any means drink tea at breakfast. Although cold meat is not by far so injurious as warm meat for breakfast, it ought, nevertheless, to be as little partaked of as possible, and especially by the young."
---What to Eat and How to Cook It, Pierre Blot [D. Appleton:New York] 1863 (p. 247-8)
, Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving, Mary F. Henderson
, Buckeye Cookery, Estelle Woods Wilcox
, Science in the Kitchen, Ella Eaton Kellogg
, Boston Cooking School Cook Book, Fannie Farmer
," New York Times, February 14, 1909 (p. SM10)
Pictures of American cereal boxes & prizes (fun stuff!): & (scroll down to the end of the page)
If you want to research 20th century American restaurant menus, use the Los Angeles Public Library's ---keyword breakfast & cross it with a decade (193)
. Healthy, filling, economical & easily digested. Granola (granula) was a 19th century interpretation.
Mass produced dry cereals intended to be combined with milk in a bowl debuted in the early 20th century. Early products were marketed as health foods and served to convalescents in sanitariums. In the sugar-crazed 1920s sweeteners were added. This shattered the original consumer demographic and brought breakfast cereal into modern homes. Today’s consumers are confronted with many choices, each presenting a unique set of health claims and marketing strategies. General summary .
Survey of British breakfasts through time
"...what were the mealtimes and how often did people eat in a day? The very poor doubtless ate when they could, but the slightly better-off peasants seem generally to have eaten three times a day. These meals consisted of breakfast at a very early hour to allow for dinner at about 9.00 a.m., or not later than 10.00 a.m., and supper probably before it got dark, perhaps at 3 p.m. in the winter, The times and number of meals were originally derived from the hours of devotions of the Church. Monks ate the main meal of their day after the celebration of nones, which was nine hours after daybreak...It has been suggested that breakfast was only eaten by children and workmen, but certainly by the fifteenth century it was quite commonly taken by everyone. Breakfast was regularly allowed for in the accounts of Dame Alice de Bryene at the beginning of the fifteenth century, although the 1478 household ordinance of Edward IV specifies that only residents down to the rank of squires should have breakfast, except by special order...The time was only specified as a convenyent hower', although to break one's fast after devotions was the generally recommended procedure. Earlier references to breakfast sometimes meant dinner, literally, in these cases, the first meal of the day."
---Food and Feast in Medieval England, P.W. Hammond [Wren's Park:Phoenix Mill] 1993 (p.104-5)
"For those who had the means or lived in a region where wine was plentiful and cheap, pieces of bread, or "sops," soaked in wine were a popular breakfast."
---Food in Medieval Times, Melitta Weiss Adamson [Greenwood Press:Wesport CT] 2004 (p. 51)
"People in the Middle Agest usually ate two meals a day: as substantial dinner around noon, and a light supper in the evening...Although not officially recognized as a meal through most of the Middle Ages and frowned on by moralists, breaking the overnight fast too soon for an early-morning breakfast was a comon practice among peasants and craftsmen, who started work at daybreak and found it hard to hold out until dinner. By the fifteenth century, the nobility, too, began the day with bread, meat, and ale. Also traditionally allowed a small morning meal were children, the elderly, and the sick. Grown men, not wanting to be associated with these groups, tended to feel apologetic or embarrassed to admit that they had breakfast."
---ibid (p. 155)
"Breakfast was not a family meal: those who took it (and not all did) had it in their rooms."
---Elizabethan England, A.H. Dodd [B.T. Batsford:London] 1973(p. 92)
What kinds of food were available in ? If you need to serve a Tudor breakfast you might consider toasted bread with marmelade and some (cold) ham. Tudors didn't drink coffee or tea. They drank ale (beer) with most of their meals!
"Breakfast when eaten, had no coffee or tea until the early seventeenth century. Beer or ale served as beverage. The meal varied with individuals, depending upon their prosperity, but usually consisted of a slice of bread, a glass of ale, beer, or dry wine. Pepys speaks mostly of "drinking my morning draft" at some ale house...The morning draught' at the inn, was, in fact, the ordinary breakfast of the majoity of Englishmen at this time...Pepys did indulge in breakfast. He mentions breakfast dishes sucha s these "turkey pie and goose, mackerel, pickeled oysters, beef, cake and ale, collar of brawn, b read, butter and sweetmeats, cold chine of pork, hashed mutton, dish of cold creame, creame and cakes," and he sices one breakfast menu consisting of "neat's tongue, wines of all sorts, ale, anchoves, a baffel of oysters, and gammon of bacon." He also mentions a pot of chocolate several times, which he bought at the inn. Chocolate was introduced into England about the year 1652...Pepys also writes of going into an inn where he "did send for a cup of tee (a China drink) of which I never drank before."...Tea is said to have been sold in England as early as 1635...and presents of it were considered appropriate for princes and other grandees until the year 1657..."
---"Dining With Pepys in Seventeenth Century England," Margaret Alberi Flynn, Essays on the History of Nutrition and Dietetics [American Dietetic Association:Chicago IL] 1967 (p. 129)
[Georgian & Regency periods]
"10a.m. A substantial and highly conversational meal, to which visitors are invited, and which can last hours. Cold roast beer, cheese, ale, fish, eggs, often chops and steaks. Tea, toast, bread, butter, and-for those who can afford it-coffee, chocolate, and cakes."
"For the leisurely, 10 a.m.; for the less leisurely 9 a.m.; for the busy lawyers, copyists, shop assistants and so forth 8 a.m. or earlier. Tea and coffee, replacing ale...At Headlong Hall...the hospitable butler stood sentinel at a side-table near the fire, copiously furnished with all the appratus of tea, coffee, chocolate, milk, cream, eggs, rolls, toast, muffins, bread, butter, potted beef, cold fowl, and partridge, ham, tongue, and anchovy."
"Now more commonly held before 9 a.m.. Less formal and punctual than before. Losing some of its social flavour and prestige to luncheon. Though still including a variety of grilled dishes, hot toast, fancy breads, butter, and jams are becoming more prominent."
"Already, in 1840, breakfast was becoming more substantial, earlier, and less social, and the tendency spread and crystallized until, but 1860, the meal had a pronouced menu of its own."
"As early as 1854...the White Lion fortified its guests against a wet Sunday morning with pot of hare; ditto of trout; pot of prepared shrimps; dish of plain shrimps; tin of sardines; beautiful beefsteak; eggs, muffin; large loaf, and butter, not forgetting capital tea'."
"In town 8-8.15 a.m., in the country 9-10 a.m. For the middle and upper-middle classes in town, a brief family meal, including cold meats and hot dishes. No guest unless especially invited. In the country, a more leisurely meal."
 , Mrs. Beeton (#2144-2146)
Early morning. 8 a.m. For the fortunate, a tray with tea and bread and butter brought to them, while still in bed, by a maid. Breakfast: London businessmen and their families, 8-8.30 a.m. Chops and cold meats are no longer served; instead, kedgeree or a fried slip with buttered eggs and bacon.
About 8 a.m., earlier for the poor, later for the rich. For the rich, toast, butter, marmalade, porridge, other cereals, eggs, bacon, fruit. The poorer classes do without fruits, cereals, and marmalade, eat less bacon and eggs, and often substitute margarine for butter. The well-to-do drink coffee and tea, others only tea."
[SOURCES: Consuming Culture: Why You Eat What You Eat, Jeremy MacClancy [Henry Holt:New York] 1992 & Movable Feasts: A Reconnaissance of the Origins and Consequences of Fluctuation in Meal-Times with special attention to the introduction of Luncheon and Afternoon Tea, Arnold Palmer, Oxford University Press:London, 1952.]
/Great British Kitchens
What's for breakfast in different parts of the world?
Breakfast Around The World
---brief descriptions of traditional breakfast of many countries, some with historic notes. Clickable map makes this site easy to use.
The International breakfast book: greet the day with 100 recipes from around the world/Martha Hollis
Around the world on a breakfast tray/John Tissot
The complete international breakfast/brunch cookbook/Kay Shaw Nelson
traditional large meat and egg-based breakfasts. Most often this meal is connected with France. Why? The original name for it was "petit dejeuner."
Acccording to the Larousse de la Langue Francaise [Librarie Larousse:Paris] 1979 (p. 511), the word 'dejeuner', meaning "to take a meal in the morning or afternoon," dates in print to 1155. The term petit dejeuner' was in use by 1540.
"What appears to have happened is that as dinner moved later in the day, people were hungrier first thing in the morning, especially when the evening meal was relatively small. In countries where the evening meal was larger, breakfast did not become important. In southern Europe it is still not a proper meal, but merely coffee and perhaps a piece of bread or pastry. In England and the north the pattern was quite different."
---Food in Early Modern Europe, Ken Albala [Greenwood Press:Westport CT] 2003 (p. 232,234)
"Breakfast. The first meal of the day, which literally breaks the fast of the night. Two quite different breakfast traditions can be traced--the first hot drink (and pick-me-up) of the day, and the first meal of the day, which is much more substantial. In France this is the petit dejeuner, milky coffee with bread in some form, not commonly called the 'continental' breakfast, and often bought in the cafe, on the way to work...Other simple foods that are popular for breakfast include fresh fruit and yogurt."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely Revised and Updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001 (p. 161-2)
Continental breakfast was known to Americans by the turn of the 20th century. According to this article from the New York Times, it was not very popular.
"Undoubtedly it is true that during the past few years there has been a well defined effort to substitute the Continental breakfast of rolls and coffee for the hearty meal of many dishes that has so long been served in this country but, though this project has received the support of more than one American of high social station, it has failed ignominously, and simply because the great mass of the people agree with William Dean Howells in designating breakfast as their "best meal."
---"Game and Other Delicacies More Expensive...The American Breakfast," New York Times, October 20, 1907 (p. X5)
If you are a culinary/business student studying the "business" aspects of continental breakfast (consumer preference, market trends, innovative ideas) ask your librarian how to access magazine and newspaper articles. Here you will find notes from travel magazines, hospitality journals (free continental breakfast as a guest incentive) and foodservice trades (what's new in continental breakfast?).
Food historians generally agree brunch is a turn of the 19th/20th century tradition originating in Britain. The meal descends from hunting luncheons, a substantial leisurely meal consumed by wealthy people at their country houses after the morning's activities. While most people focus on the origin of the term to date the meal, we have evidence "brunch" existed before the term. This is not unusual in the food world. Like meal times and recipe titles, meals names evolve too.
Where and when was "brunch" first referenced in print?
Food historians all cite to the same source(s) but none of them quote from them directly. We have a copy of the original [August 1, 1896]. We're still searching for the oft-quoted, but vaguely dated  Hunter's Weekly reference. If you have a copy, would you please share it with us?
"As a family became richer the breakfast grew, almost as a reflection of the power and afflucence of the British Empire itself. As the map of the world glowed pink, the sideboard in the morning room began to be laden with extra dishes. It already had a choice of cold cuts, comprised of sliced meats, and perhaps even a whole leg of ham or tongue...it was a short step to dipping chicken or pheasant legs in mustard and heating them up in the oven...A Breakfast Book of 1865, suggesting a huge number of other dishes...brawn, pickled pork, cures and devilled bones, fried potatoes, pork chops, veal cutlets, bloaters and anchovies. As well as this, the cook could make us dishes like ham toast, croquettes, hashed game and rissoles...Then there were savoury puddings, savoury pies, galantines and meat in jelly...Major L., who published Breakfasts, Luncheons, and Ball Suppers in 1887, divides breakfast into four types: the family breakfast; the dejeuner a la fourchette, where the items were introduced in courses similar to dinner; a cold collations (which must produce an ornamental effect); and the ambigu which is an entertainment of a very heterogenous character, having the resemblance to a dinner, only that everything is placed on the table at once; releves, soup, vegetables, and hot entremets are held to be ineligeble...These are breakfasts designed for the weekend house party; Major L. suggests that they should contain a variety of items and he repeats much of what we hav heard before: he thinks that sportsmen can eat whatever they like, but he is concerned that ladies should be more abstemious though he admits that they rarely eat meat for breakfast'. By meat he means roasts and cutlets becuase then he goes on to list what ladies may eat; this includes ham, bacon, chicken, kidneys, roast larks, broiled duckings and devilled turkey...Such opulence and conspicious consumption of luxuries is reminscent of Renaissance princes, medieval kings and Roman emperors."
---British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History, Colin Spencer [Columbia University Press:New York] 2002 (p. 260-1)
"Although the meal itself came to glory in the United States, the word is a British invention, coined in 1895 by Guy Beringer in a visionary article titled "Brunch: A Plea." Instead of England's early, a postchurch ordeal of heavy meats and savory pies, the author wrote, why not a new meal, served around noon, that starts with tea or coffee, marmalade and other breakfast fixtures before moving along to the heavier fare? By eliminating the need to get up early on Sunday, brunch would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers. It would promote human happiness in other ways as well. "Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inticing," Beringer wrote. "It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.""
--- "At Brunch, The More Bizarre The Better," William Grimes, The New York Times, July 8, 1998 (p. F1)
The earliest description we find for "brunch" describes the meal perfectly including the odd timing:
"We do not understand by breakfast a meal taken under that name in the afternoon; then it should be called dinner, or at least lunch; at such a meal, the following dishes may be served:
Calve's head, served cold, Cervelas of any kind found at pork butchers, Headcheese, Mutton Chops, Veal Cutlets, Eggs cooked in any way, Fried Fish, Fruit according to the season, Galantine of Birds, Galantine of Veal, Ham, Cold Meat of any kind, Oysters, Omelets, Pate de foie gras, Meat and Fruit Pies, served cold, Salad of Chicken, Salad of Partridge and other birds, Salad of Lobster, Sandwiches, Sardines, Sausages of any kind, fresh or smoked, Smoked Fish or Meat, Fried Vegetables, Drinks according to taste."
---What to Eat and How to Cook It, Pierre Blot [D. Appleton:New York] 1863 (p. 248)
"Brunch. Sir,--We were much interested in seeing in the Academy of December 15 an allusion to the word 'brunch.' Does the poet of the Westminster Gazette think he has invented it? If so, it is another case of plagiarism. This useful word was introduced to us about four years ago by a youthful subaltern of artillery, since when we have used it constantly. There are some other words of the same type which we might mention. 'Brupper' is the joyous meal you have after a very late dance, for instance, and consists of supper, which might almost be breakfast. 'Brea' is early morning tea, or chota haziri. 'Tunch' is rather a common meal in the country, and would be partaken of on coming back late in the afternoon, after a long morning's hunting or bicycling; some people call it 'an egg to their tea.' 'Brinner,' on the contrary, can only be eaten by those people whose custom it is to dine heavily in the middle of the day. Germans probably find it a favouritemeal. But, of course, 'brunch is undoubtedly far the best of them all, and is, indeed, as you remark the 'resource of the indolent.'--I am, &c. M."
---"Brunch," The Academy,[London] December 29, 1900 (p. 650-651)
"Guests are usually invited to luncheon, supper, or dinner, but there is a type of company meal which may be successfully used on holidays-the company breakfast, generally held not earlier than half-past ten or eleven in the morning; the menu is of the same nature as the French dejeuner--or what is laughingly called "brunch" in England--the combination in reality of breakfast and luncheon.
A Winter Breakfast
Broiled Ham (sliced thin) Potatoes au Gratin
Waffles (Electric Waffile Iron) Maple Syrup or Strawberry Jam
A Summer Breakfast
Raspberries or Blackberries Cream
Shirred Eggs, Swiss Style
Popovers or Potato Flour Muffins Butter
"'Brunches' (Late Bridge Breakfast)...'Brunch,' the eleven-o-the morning social event is decidedly the vogue this year in Los Angeles. Because of the unconventionality of the hour the 'Brunch' menu, as the name implies, has the elements of both breakfast and luncheon, creating a repast wholly new and distinctive. Marian Manners, Director, Los Angeles Times Home Service Bureau, will demonstrate two delicious menus for 'Brunches,' correct in every detail, emanating the spirit of this smart, modern innovation. Every woman reader of The Times is cordially invited to attend this program. No obligations whatsoever...Free file-size recipe...Bring a friend and 'learn about brunches.'
The Informal Brunch: Tomato Juice, Popovers, Planked Corned Beef Hash with Eggs, Coffee The Formal Brunch: Coffee Cocktail, Fruit Melange, Balloon Potatoes, Baked Stuffed Squab, Pecan Muffins, Grapelade."
---Display ad, Los Angeles Times, November 3, 1931 (p. A3)
Related meal? . Related services: & .
gives the entire family the chance to enjoy an elegant, leisurely meal together. Mom presides at the head of the table, not in the kitchen. Nor does she have to clean the house for company. Midday meal also give mom plenty of time to catch up on her chores later on in the day. This explains why we don't typically find suggested menus for Mother's Day in standard household cook books.
The earliest print references we find for Mothers Day Brunch are newspaper advertisements, circa 1944. These brunches were held in country clubs and churches. Savvy restauranteurs knew a good opportunity when they saw it. Sample early menu:
"Mother's Day Brunch
What could be more fun than...morning brunch for the whole family on Mother's Day? Brunch is a sort of glamourous, leisurely, combination of breakfast and lunch that is more hearty than an ordinary breakfast. In fact, it often includes a dessert too. Start the menu with grapefruit shells filed with icy cold grapefruit sections and with fresh or frozen strawberries. A fluffy omelette with a tomato and ripe olive filling is quite delicious with crisp bacon curls and broiled canned cling peaches..."
---"Menus and Recipes," Philadelphia Tribune, May 8, 1948 (p. 8)
Lunch was introduced as a ladies' meal in the 18th century. Definitions and menus evolved through time. The Industrial Revolution played a key role in establishing this meal as our modern noontime repast. was served in 19th century American bars and saloons to entice mid-day customers. is British pub fare.
"At the beginning of the sixteenth century in England, dinner, the main meal of the day, used to begin at 11:00 a.m. Meals tended over time to be eaten later and later in the day: by the eighteenth century, dinner was eaten at about 3:00 p.m. French dejeuner, like "breakfast." once meant the first food eaten after waking from a long spent foodless...dejeuner is now used for "lunch,"... In English, lunch or luncheon (originally also called "nunch" or nuncheon") was in the first place a snack between meals. Dr. Johnson's Dictionary (1755) said Lunch or Luncheon was "As much food as one's hand can hold"; he suggests that it derives from "clutch" or "clunch."...By the early nineteenth century, lunch...had become a sit-down meal at the dining table in the middle of the day. Upper-class people were eating breakfast earlier, and dinner later, than they had formerly done. Lunch having displaced the afternoon dinner...and having become a substantial regular meal with a name of its own...By the late nineteenth century, luncheon had become a social occasion mainly for elite women; at this time of day their menfolk were busy seeing to their financial affairs...The corresponding French institution was dejeuner a la fourchette, the lady-like "fork luncheon." Nowadays, lunch...has returned to its ancient function as a workday snack."
---Rituals of Dinner, Margaret Visser [Penguin Books:New York] 1991 (p. 158-9)
"The midday snack was not dignified by a name in the eighteenth century, but the omission was not long permitted. In 1808 Jane Austen described to her sister a day she had recently spent at Godmersham" 'The Moores came yesterday in the Curricle betwen one & two o'clock, and immmediately after the noonshine which succeeded their arrival, a party set off for Buckwell to see the Pond dragged...' Thsi term is a variant on wht Dr. Jonson called 'nunchin, defined as 'a piece of victuals eaten between meals'. Twenty years later, it was called 'lunch' (defined by Johnson as 'as much food as one' hand can hold') that had take over. IN 1829 the committee of the exclusive Almanack's Club decreed that the correct word was 'lunch': 'luncheon is avoided as unsuitable to...polished society'. The lexical uncertainty, and the preoccupation with the politeness of the term, shows that the new meal was at first reserved for the upper classes: hardly surprising, since the main meal of the day, dinner, was still at mid-day for the working classes."
---British Housewife: Cookery Books, Cooking and Society in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Gilly Lehmann [Prospect Books:devon] 2003(p. 318-319)
"The prolonged and busy morning meant that there was no real need or accepted hour for lunch, and this meal crept only gradually into existence during the second half of the nineteenth century; by that time breakfasts had become earlier and dinners still later, so that lunch was viewed as a private family affair for mothers and children who needed some nourishment in the middle of the day, not yet as another social meal to whoch guests could be invited. Afternoon tea in the drawing-room, as we know know it-- tea, with any combination of bread and butter, sandwiches, biscuits and sweet cakes, taken about four or five o'clock--was the latest of modern meals to be created, a specifically social function inveneted by the leisured hostesses of the Edwardian era. However, even if lunch did not officially exist in Jane Austen's lifetime, its origins were already there in the custom of offering refreshments to morning callers, who by definition would arrive between 11.00am and 3.00pm. Such refreshments could include cold meats, sandwiches, cake and seasonal or preserved fruits, which taken together could add up to quite a satisfying meal. If the morning's business were shopping in town rather than calling upon neighbors, pastry-cook shops would provide tarts, buns and other confectionery, to be washed down with a glass of whey, at a very modest charge. The coaching inns would also undertake to provide cold food for travellers breaking their journeys in between the recognised mealtimes. Such an unofficial small meal might be referred to, especially in the south of England, as a 'nuncheon'-a dialect word, with many variant spellings and pronounced something like 'noonshine'."
---The Jane Austen Cookbook, Maggie Black & Dierdre Le Faye [Chicago Review Press:Chicago] 1995 (p. 10)
"...dinner was by far the most significant meal of the day. At one time it had been held around noon, or in the early afternoon, but the association of high status with mealtimes led ot a creeping inflation of the dinner hour. My Austen's day, the upper classes served dinner to their children at about 2:00 or 3:00PM, while the adults ate at 5:00 or 5:00. The result was a long gap in the middle of the day when no food was served...as the gap between breakfast and dinner widened, with everyone trying to eat later than their neighbors, it became more common to have a little something between breakfast and dinner. However, this meal, known variously as noonshine, nuncheon, or luncheon, did not become standard during Austen's lifetime. Even families who regularly indulged in sandwiches, cold meat, or some other light fare around noon, the food was seen as refreshments or a "collation"...rather than a full meal. It was eaten in the drawing room, which rather deprived it of full mealtime status. It might also be consumed on the road at a inn, when travelers were at the mercy of schedules and of inn location. In such circumstances, they ate when they had the chance, regardless of time and fashion. "Lunching" was not an English verb until the 1830s and did not become an acceptable term among the educated until still later. On occasion, people chose to take their afternoon meal outdoors, in which case the meal might be referred to as 'cold meat," a "cold collation," or a "picnic," The practice of eating outside with packed lunches was also known as "gipsying." All members of the party were supposed to contribute something to the meal, rather like a potluck dinner today..."
---Cooking with Jane Austen, Kirsten Olsen [Greenwood Press:Westport CT] 2005 (p. 18-19) Sample menus from this book (p. 391): "The Nicest Cold Luncheon in the World," Raw cucumbers, Salad of asparagus, Porter, mead, or fruit wines & "A Cold Collation at Pemberley," Butter cake, Cold roast beef, Cold roast ham, Pyramid of grapes, Pyramid of nectarines, Pyramid of peaches, Selection of gooseberries, raspberries, currants, figs, mulberries, pears, plums, muscadines, melons, and/or pineapples.]
"The Nineteenth Century. The traditional meal pattern began to change during the mid-nineteenth century, due in part of the growth of cities and the shifting occupations of American men. The first meal to change was dinner. As towns and cities grew, it became more difficult for workers to return home for dinner at midday as the distance between the home and the place of work increased. Workers earning an hourly wage did not have paid lunch breaks, so they tended to eat as quickly as possible...Dinner, the most important meal of the day, moved to the evening, wene the family could dine together at a more leisurely pace. The midday repast came to be called lunch (shortened from "luncheon") and evolved into small, light, and frequently rushed meal--often something brought from home in a tin pail or a brown bag, or a quick bite in a workplace cafeteria. Sandwiches, soups, and salads became common luncheon foods. Although somewhat more the masters of their own schedules, professionals, such as doctors, lawyers, and businessmen, rarely had time to return home for a long afternoon meal. So they ate larger, hearty breakfasts and big dinners, and skipped lunch or ate something light at work...By the late nineteenth century, the evening meal became the major meal of the day; it evolved into an occasion for entertaining. Among the affluent, dinner was served later and the offerings were much more sumptuous then they had been."
---The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America/Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 66):
No such thing as a False!
Interesting question with several possible answers. Food historians confirm laborers (medieval ploughmen, pastoral shepherds, copper miners, etc.) typically consumed simple, portable, belly-filling foods at midday. These dinners (the practice of calling this midday meal lunch began in the 18th century, but was not widely accepted until the 20th) were brought from home. Most often they consisted leftovers from the previous night's supper. Indeed, bread, cheese, salted meat and preserved fruit/vegetable (aka pickle) were simple to pack and easy to consume without the aid of utensils. Copper miners in Cornwall "lunched" on Cornish pasties for this reason. The "Ploughman's Lunch" one finds in British pubs today is a modern twist on this old theme. According this British food historian, this standard menu option dates to the 1960s. Notes here:
"The ploughman's lunch is often taken as an example par excellence of the hijacking and perversion of traditional food. What, it is asked, could a ploughman find less satisfying after a back-breaking morning in the fields than an exiguous piece of tasteless, unidentifiable cheese, a flaccid roll, a couple of limp lettuce leaves, and a dollop of commercial pickle? The ploughman's as it is often abbreviated, began to appear in the pubs of Britian in the late 1960s. It was quick to arrange, making it easy for publicans to satisfy the growing demand for pub food more adventurous than a packet of crisps, and it had the added advantage for the marketing men of conjuring up a nostalgic vision of a simple hearty country food. The basic ingredients--cheese, bread, and pickle--have remained the same, although what a Victorian farm labourer would have thought of the pate which is now sometimes substituted for the cheese is nobody's business. What was the nineteenth century's idea of what a ploughman had for lunch? ‘The surpised poet swung forth to join them, and an improvised sandwich, that looked like a ploughman's luncheon, in his hand.' (J.G. Lockhart, Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott, 1839)."
---An A to Z of Food and Drink, John Ayto [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2002 (p.259-260)
Period American cookbooks offer few suggested luncheon menus. Luncheon in the mid 1800s was still considered a fashionable meal practiced by the wealthier classes. Dinner was still the main meal of the day for most folks; often served at noon. This distinction sometimes causes confusion when searching for menus of this era. There are entire books written on dinner menus.
American lunch notes, 1863:
"We do not understand by breakfast a meal taken under that name in the afternoon; then it should be called dinner, or at least lunch; at such a meal, the following dishes may be served: Calf's head, served cold, Cervelas of any kind, found at the pork butchers, Headcheese, Mutton Chops, Veal Cutlets, Eggs, cooked in any way, Fried Fish, Fruit, according to the season, Galantine of Birds, Galantine of Veal, Ham, Cold Meat, of any kind, Oysters, Omelets, Pate de foie gras, Meat and Fruit Pies, served cold, Salad of Chicken, Salad of Partridge, and other birds, Salad of Lobster, Sandwiches, Sardines, Sausages, of any kind, fresh or smoked, Smoked Tongue, Smoked Fish or Meat, Fried Vegetables, Drinks according to taste.
Lunch. What we have described above for breakfasts taken in the afternooon, may be served for lunch, no matter at what hour it is taken."
---What to Eat and How to Cook It, Pierre Blot [D. Appelton:New York] 1863 (p. 248)
Sample luncheon menus, c. 1886
"Roman Punch Served in Ice Tumblers
Sweetbreads a la Creme Served in Paper Cases
Partridges on Toast
Salmon Croquettes, Sauce Hollandaise
---Mrs. Rorer's Philadelphia Cook Book, Mrs. S[arah] T. Rorer [Arnold and Company:Philadelphia] 1886 (p. 251)
About & .
Tiffin was a light midday meal enjoyed by 19th century British families stationed in India.
"Tiffin. In colonial India, when the evening dinner beame a heavy daily repast, only a light afternoon meal was necessary. This was called tiffin, a word which first appears in AD 1807 in Anglo-Indian writing. It meant a light family meal of salads, done-over remnants of the meats of the previous day in the form of minces, pies and even curry, fruit fools, jellies and ice-creams. The word tifin itself is a coloquial English term, which comes from the word tiffing for eating and drinking out of mealtimes, and the word tiff, which was to eat the midday meal. The word tiffin has been adopted particularly in the Madras area for a light afternoon snack of items like the uppuma, dosai and vada, to the extent that many take it to be an Indian language word."
---A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, K.T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1998 (p. 252)
"And what of the ubiquitous tiffin, the present late-afternoon snack meal of south India? Originally the word stood for the Anglo-Indian luncheon, and surprisingly its origin is not Indian at all. The word derives from both the slang English noun tiffing, for eating or tif, which was to eat the mid-day meal. When dinner became a heavy evening meal, only a light snack lunch was customary, which explains why the word tiffin appears only as late as 1807 in Anglo-Indian writings."
---Indian Food: A Historical Companion, K.T. Achaya [Oxford University Press:Delhi] 1994 (p. 178)
The Oxford English Dictionary (online, accessed 24 June 2012)provides these print references:
"Tiffin...Etymology: Appears to have originated in the English colloquial or slang tiffing , vbl. n. < tiff v.2 to take a little drink or sip (compare quot. 1785), which has been specialized in Anglo-Indian use. 1785 F. Grose Classical Dict. Vulgar Tongue, Tiffing, eating, or drinking out of meal time. 1867 H. Wedgwood Dict. Eng. Etymol., Tiffin, now naturalised among Anglo-Indians in the sense of luncheon, is the North country tiffing (properly sipping).... (Show More) Anglo-Indian.
In India and neighbouring eastern countries, A light midday meal; luncheon.
1800 Ward in Carey's Life (1885) vi. 137 Krishna came to eat tiffin (what in England is called luncheon) with us. 1803 M. Elphinstone in T. E. Colebrooke Life M. Elphinstone (1884) I. v. 116 We were interrupted by a summons to tiff. at Floyer's. After tiffin Close said he should be glad to go. 1810 T. Williamson E. India Vade-mecum I. 352 The [Mahommedan] ladies, like ours, indulge in tiffings (slight repasts). c1816 M. M. Sherwood Stories Church Catech. xvi. 141 She gave them a good tiffing about one o'clock. 1831 E. J. Trelawny Adventures Younger Son II. 115 When the gong sounds one, you will find tiffin in the hall. 1896 ‘H. S. Merriman’ Flotsam xx, I'll call for you after tiffin. 1906 Peking & Tientsin Times 9 May 1/2 Those wishing to have tiffins at the forthcoming spring meeting will please apply at the secretary's office. Price .00 per tiffin."
What's the difference between dinner and ? Excellent question with no simple answer. Today in the USA we use the terms interchangeably. Historic context reveals several a variety of different answers, each appropriate for their given period and people. Today's family-style comes closest in purpose to the original meal. Menus (classic roast, bbq kabobs), dining times (after church? after work? after football?) & serving locations (dining room? around the TV?) are determined by family priorities, obligations & taste.
What is "dinner?"
French, from verb "diner," meaning to dine. First instance of this work in English print is 1297: "The chief meal of the day, eaten originally, and still by the majority of the people, about the middle of the day...but now, by the professional and fashionable classes, usually in the evening."
---Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition.
""Dinner," in North America, increasingly means any evening meal, light or heavy; the word "supper" is used less and less, and "dinner" can now be quite swift and small. Dinner parties usually take place at night."
---Rituals of Dinner, Margaret Visser [Penguin Books:New York] 1991 (p. 160)
"Dinner...The main meal of the day...The word dinner, dating to the thirteenth century in England, derives from the French "diner." Supper is also found in English as of the thirteenth century, from the French so(u)per, itself possible related to "soup," which was often the simple repast of the evening meal. In American usage, "dinner dates in print to 1622. In America the tradition of eating the heaviest meal at midday was superceded in the 1820s by the demands of workers whose mealtime was often not paid for by their employers, thereby necessitating a quick, light meal before getting back to work. This became known as lunch, and the main meal of the day, "dinner," was consumed after work ended.
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 112)
"For large dinners, soup is always the first dish, and after it is fish or boiled meat, with potaotes plain, boiled, and mashed, and such sauces as may be proper with the fish and meat; after these come the roasts, with every variety of seasonable vegetable; small dishes of fried or stewed meat or poultry, and oyster and meat pie or chicken-salad and currie, sweetbreads ad ragout, may be interspersed throughout the table, those opposite each other to be dished in the like manner, to give the whole a tasteful appearance...After thses are done with, the cloth is cleared, and the crumbs and bits of bread are brushed from it on to a small salver by means of a table brush; then is placed the dessert...
"Bills of Fare for Ceremonnious Family Dinners. Summer. At one end of the table, a tureen of soup with a pile of plates beside it, or a boiled fish with potatoes and its proper sauce--at the other end, a roast of meat or poultry with potatoes and seasonable vegetables. For dessert, astry, with pudding, or ripe fruit, or nuts and raisins. A raost of meat, or a boiled annd roasted ham, with mashed potatoes and spinach or asparagus, at one ed, and a boiled lobster and lettuce, or a lobster salad with bread, butter, &c., at the other. Dessert--boiled pudding or rice, with a sauce; pastry may be added; or, instead of any of these, a baked pudding or custard, and paste cakes or jelly tarts. A fine boiled fish, with potatoes and sauce, and a meat pie or pot pie with pickles or salad; with pastry and ripe fruit or melon, or a boiled pudding or boiled rice. Pine apple [sic] may be pared and sliced or cut small, and strewed plentifully with sugar an hour before serving."
---The American System of Cookery, Mrs. T.J. Crowen [T.J. Crowen:New York] 1847 (p. 403-404)
"It is...easy to understand that the habit of cooking a joint on Sundays and using up the remains far into the following week derives from the difficulties of shopping in English town life."
---The Orgins of Food Habits, H.D. Renner [Faber & Faber:London] 1944 (p. 221)
"The tradition the main meal in the afternoon was carried on as the "Sunday dinner," since Sunday was for most people the only day of the week off from work. Even after the five-day workweek became the norm, the Sunday dinner, held anywhere from noon onward, continued to be an American family gathering."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 112)
In French, the term "ambigu" means ambiguous. In English, this culinary interpretation of this word makes perfect sense. Essentially, a meal served "Ambigu" presents cold, hot, and dessert courses together on a sideboard. It is an efficient, yet confusing, entertainment model. Food historians tell us Ambigu was a generous meal enjoyed by the upper classes after formal social gatherings. Today's and sometimes emulate this model. The difference? A classic Ambigu was an offshoot of . Servants filled the plates of the guests. Dessert, while present, was not served until the end of the meal. Buffet, as we know it today, is generally a help-yourself-affair with the exception of professionally attended serving areas. Think: omelette bars and carving stations.
The Larousse de la Langue Francaise traces ambigu, as a meal, to 1600: "Repas froid or ou l'on servait a la fois le dessert et les autres mets." (1979 edition, p. 66)
The Oxford English Dictionary places ambigu on UK tables in the 17th century: ambigu, n. Etymology: < modern French in same sense: prop. adj. = ambiguous adj.(Show Less) Obs. An entertainment at which the viands and dessert are served together; or at which a medley of dishes are set on. 1688 London Gaz. mmccclxxi/3 They were all entertain'd to their Satisfaction, at a very splendid Ambigu. a1695 A. Wood Life (1848) 287 This ambigu or banquet cost the University Ј160. 1753 Chambers's Cycl. Suppl., Ambigu denotes a kind of mixed entertainment, wherein both flesh and fruit are served together."
"Ambigu.--A convenient French name for a repast of one course--all the dishes, hot and cold, together with the dessert, being on the table at once--as at a ball supper."
---Kettner's Book of the Table, E.S. Dallas, facsimile 1877 editon [Centaur Press:London] 1968 p. 28)
"Ambigu (Cold collation).--Trevoux Dictionary gives the following definition: 'A mixed collation at which meat and fruit are served together in such a manner as to make one wonder whether it is a simple collation or a supper' In other dictionaries the same definitoin, or nearly the same, is given with the proviso that the dishes served at this kind of a meal must be cold. In his Dictionnaire Universel de Cuisine Joseph Favre says that the word ambigu is applicable to a meal which is taken between luncheon and dinner, or between dinner and luncheon, and that which all the dishes, the sweet courses and the dessert are served at the same time. We think that this definition should apply specifically to the night meal, a supper, served in the course of a soiree (an evening party), between midnight and two o'clock in the morning."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne [Crown Publishers:New York] 1961 (p. 32-33)
[NOTE: This is a direct translation of the original 1938 French edition enry.]
"Ambigu. A distinctive sort of evening meal, or supper, which enjoyed some popularity among the upper classes of England from roughly the middle of the 17th century until the middle of the 18th. It was less formal than a dinner, but was nonetheless carefully planned and provided substantial fare. The meaning of the French word which was appropriated to use in England in this way can be 'a mixture or different things', and this meaning was reflected in the wide variety of dishes laid out on the 'sideboard' for an ambitu. The dishes were mainly cold, as for a supper."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson, 2nd edition, Tom Jaine editor [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 2006 (p. 15)
Related services? and .
French, from verb "souper," to sup. First instance of this word in English print is 1275. "The last meal of the day; (contextually) for the hour at which this is taken, supper-time; also such a meal made the occasion of a social or festive gathering...Formerly the last of three meals of the day (breakfast, dinner, and supper); now applied to a substantial meal of the day when dinner is take in the middle of the day, or to a late meal following an early evening dinner. Supper is usually a less formal meal than late dinner."
---Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition.
"Our words "soup" and "supper" both come from "sop," the soaked bread that so often used to fill out the broth in its bowl."
---Rituals of Dinner, Margaret Visser [Penguin Books:New York] 1991 (p. 213)
""Supper" now means a light evening meal that replaces dinner; such a meal is especially popular if people have eaten a heavy lunch." ---Rituals of Dinner, Margaret Visser [Penguin Books:New York] 1991 (p. 160)
People have been cooking on open fires since the beginning of human history. The meat they cooked, fuel they used and structures they built depended upon what was available in that place at that time. The history of barbeque is connected with European explorers and the New World. According to the food historians, there are several theories about when & where barbeque (barbecue, BBQ) began:
"The word comes from the Spanish "barbacoa," which in turn had probably come from a similar word in the Arawak language, denoting a structure on which meat could be dried or roasted. When the word first entered the English language, in the 17th century, it meant a wooden framework such as could be used for storage or sleeping on, without a culinary context. However, by the 18th century it took on the first of its present meanings, and--at least in the USA--the second one too. The third meaning, like the apparatus itself, became commonplace in the latter part of the 20th century."
---The Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 58)
"Barbeque (outdoor grill)...An open-air cooking apparatus, usually charcoal burning, for grilling or spit-roasting meat or fish. Charcoal cookery is the most ancient of cooking methods. The Barbeque method is of American origin, being associated with the legendary conquest of the West. It was subsequently adopted in Europe. The word probably comes form the Haitian "barbacoa," meaning grills, but some attribute its origin to the French "de la barbe a la queue" (from the beard to the tail), referring to the method of impaling the animal on the roasting spit. There may even be a connection with the French "barbaque" which comes from the Romanian "berbec" meaning roast mutton."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Jenifer Harvey Lang [Crown:New York] 1988 (p. 66)
"From the Caribbean sources, directly or indirectly, the colonists also discovered how to barbeque. The northern part of Hispaniola, one of the Spanish Islands, had never been properly settled, the early pioneers having done little more than ship in come cattle and pigs. These, left to their own devices, had flourished, so that when ship-wrecked sailors, runaway servants and other kinds of vagabond began to take refuge on the island, the food supply presented no problems. From surviving Caribs they learned the old island trick of smoke-drying meat on greenwood lattices erected over a fire of animal bones and hides. The Caribs called the technique boucan,' which passed into French as boucanier and gave the outcasts their name of buccaneers. In Spanish the greenwood lattice was called barbacoa,' which intimately became 'barbeque'.
---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Crown:New York] 1988 (p. 222-223)
"An Arawak barbacoa was a grating of thin green sticks upon which meat was grilled above and open fire....The Indians sliced their meat into thin strips, laid it upon the barbacoa and cooked it slowly, exposing it to the smoke of the wood fire below, which was constantly enhanced with the fat of the animal. Cooked and cured in this way, meat took on a more interesting flavor than that obtained by the South American Indians, who cured their meat by drying it in the sun...To cook meat on a barbacoa was, in the language of the early settlers, to boucan...One of the first men to report on the Indian methods was Pere Labat, and extraordinary French priest who live in the Caribbean in the late 1600s..."
--- Cooking of the Caribbean Islands, Linda Wolfe [Time Life:New York] 1970 (p. 39-40)
[NOTE: This book has much more information than can be paraphrased here. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]
"The Dictionary of American English shows that the word [barbeque] was in used in America at least by 1655, when it first appeared in print, and by 1733 it had taken on the implications of a social gathering. By 1836 barbeques were popular in Texas...Regional distinctions and preferences for various styles have long been part of folkloric debate in America..."
---The Encyclopedia of American Food, John Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 19)
"Barbecue is a method of slow-cooking meat over coals, also known a barbeque, bar-b-q, BBQ, or simply cue....Most authorities agree that both the word "barbecue" and the cooking technique derive from the Taino and Carib peoples of the Caribbean and South America. The Spanish conquistadores reported natives of Hispaniola roasting, drying, and smoking meats on a wooden framework over a bed of coals, called a barbricot, which the Spaniards pronounced barbacoa. The derivation from the French barge a queue, literally "from beard to tail," has been discounted. Europeans had of course been cooking meat over fires for thousands of years. It was the low heat of the coals and the consequent slowness of the process that set the New World method apart. One Early French explorer reported: "A Caribbee has been known, on returning home from fishing fatigued and pressed with hunger, to have the patience to wait the roasting of a fish on a wooden grate fixed two feed above the ground, over a fire, so small as sometimes to require the whole day to dress it." The Europeans in the New World quickly adopted this novel method of slow cooking, discovering fairly early that hogs made great barbecue...Barbecue parties featuring whole hogs became fashionable enough by the late 1600s that Virginia passed a law banning the discharging of firearms at barbecues...The barbecue as a social occasion has been well documented...The oldest form of American open pit barbecue is practiced all along the flat coastal plain of the southeastern United States where the English colonists originally settled."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 64-65)
[NOTE: This book contains descriptions of regional American barbecue variations and a bibliography for further study.]
People have been marinating fire-roasted meats with sauces to tenderize and enhance flavor since ancient times. The primary difference between ancient marinates [vinegars, fermented fish extracts, soya sauce] and barbeque sauce as we know it today is the [a new world food].
We will probably never know who invented the first tomato-based barbeque sauce [and how it tasted] but we can make educated guesses as to how various recipes evolved based on local ingredients, cultural preferences and popular demand. A close cousin is ketchup, also made with tomatoes, vinegar, sugar & spices.
Many Americans take great pride in their region's recipe for BBQ sauce. Most of these sauces originate from the southern and central regions of our country: Texas, Kansas City, the Carolinas, Louisana, Arkansas and Memphis. Other regions also produce local sauces, such as Syracuse, New York.
The practice of raising funds (as well as donating labor & materials) for charitable causes dates back to the dawn of civilization. Modern bake sales descend from this venerable tradition. The general purpose of a bake sale is an inexpensive way to raise funds for a common cause. Bake sales are hosted by churches, schools, scouts, community organizations and library volunteers.
The Oxford English Dictionary (online ed., updated through 2006) traces the first print reference to a bake sale (as a fundraising event) to 1902. This term is used in North America/USA. Earliest references pop up in local newspapers in the eastern states. By WWI, the term is common. Presumably it was a favorite way of Ladies Aid Societies to raise money for their causes. It is interesting to note that earliest reference are connected to churches. Such was also the case of ice cream socials. " bake sale n. orig. N. Amer. a sale of donated (and usually home-made) baked goods, held as a fundraising event. 1902 Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.) 21 Sept. 14/2 The ladies of the Baptist Church held a bake sale."
[1907: New Brunswick NJ]
"The social and bake sale held at the home of Rev. E. J. Meeker under the aucpices of the ladies of the Highland Park Reformed Church last evening was a very pleasant and successful event. About thirty dollars was cleared. Violin music was rendered by Miss Catherine Craven accompanied on the piano by Miss Ethel Flemming."
---"Bake Sale a Success," Daily Times [New Brunswick NJ] April 20, 1907 (p. 5)
Several cultures have traditions for serving large numbers of people from a common table laden with festive food. Ancient and Medieval civilizations banqueted. In the Netherlands it's called Rijstaffel, in Sweden it's , Spain has and Denmark offers Smorrebrod. The French invented Buffet.
It is difficult to acertain the exact history of buffet because this word has several meanings relating to food:
It is not always possible, when reading primary texts, to determine with certainty how the author is using the word. Food historians tell us the word "buffet" appears first in France, then England, in the 18th century. became popular during the Great Depression.
"Buffet. A term which may either indicate a sort of sideboard (usually for the display of silver or other tableware or for setting out prepared foods); or tables of food set out for guests to help themselves; or a meal for which such an arrangement has been made; or refreshment room in a railway station (buffet de la gare in France); or a railway carriage serving refeshments (buffet car)."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 112)
"At formal medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque dinners, an edifice of shelves known as a "buffet" was erected to one side of the dining hall; upon it the family silver--which was often far too valuable to be subjected to the hazards of use--was proudly displayed. Later the food was displayed there as well, so that guests could have a preview of what they would be eating, rather as modern restaurants often exhibit dishes of food to tempt their customers. Later still, yet another little room led from the dining room, where guests could visit the buffet. These shelves for display, like the tables, had often been boards set up (dressers in French) for special occasions; they are the origin of our dresser and cup boards...Beginning apparently in the nineteenth century, a 'buffet' meal used to be laid out, not on the dining-room table but on the dresser or sideboard...A buffet dinner now refers mainly to the action of helping oneself to the food and then carrying it away to eat it elsewhere; guests often stand to eat, or sit down with their loaded plates on their laps..."
---The Rituals of Dinner: the Origins, Evolution, Eccentricities, and Meaning of Table Manners, Margaret Visser [Grove Weidenfeld:New York] 1981 (p. 149)
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the oldest print reference to the word "buffet," as it relates to a refreshment bar, is 1792: "1792 Observer 19 Feb 3/3: At two o'clock, the buffets were opened and the company regaled with a cold collation." Also: "1810: W Hickey Mem. (1913) I. xi. 129: The buffets, which refreshments were numerous, were abundantly supplied with refreshments of every kind."
"Buffet (Restaurant).--In culinary terminology, the word buffet means a fairly large tiered table, often set at the entrance to one of the rooms of a restaurant, or which various dishes of meats, poultry, fish, cold weets as well as pastries, are arranged in a decorative manner. Fruit in boxes or elegant baskets is also placed on these tables. Buffets of large restaurants, always artistically presented, also often have a display of choice vegetables, such as garden peas, French (spring) beans, asparagus, as well as the best of cultivated mushrooms and, when in season, cepes, morels and truffles. Tempting poultry, game, both ground and winged, fresh caviar and a great selection of other choice products are also displayed on the buffet, as well as fish, crustacea and shellfish arranged on boards covered with seaweed. The buffet of a large restaurant is, in fact, a show of choice edibles. Large tables, generally tiered, with a display of foods of all kinds, set in a ballroom (or near a ballroom) are also called buffets. At these the food is dispensed by a butler and the guests come to be served either with refreshments: sandwiches, of cold meats, or pastries, and various drinks: champagne, port, orangeade, lemonade, chocolate, bavaroise, etc. or to have consomme served in cups. Buffet of this type are also arranged for wedding lunches. At large receptions of the days gone by the buffets used to be magnificent. Those arranged by Careme remain to this day models of this method of serving food."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Prosper Montagne, edited by Charlotte Turgeon and Nina Froud [Crown Publishers:New York' 1961 (p. 183)
dining option was not a new concept. Neither was all-you-can-eat. Colonial taverns, grand passenger ships, college dining halls and Victorian eating clubs were founded on these principles.
What made Depression-era buffet different was that it presented the perfect human fueling option in a time of need. Buffets, in this scenario, were all about quantity. This gave restauranteurs the wiggle-room they needed to make a profit. Diners enjoying the challenge of piling high their plates, even when they could return as many times as they liked, were especially welcome. The epitome of the grand American buffet was perfected in . Today's is often served "buffet style."
Buffet was a popular American party option in the 1930s:
"Buffet service is one of the simplest and most delightful ways of entertaining large groups. For formal occasions, such as wedding breakfasts, formal teas and receptions it is most usual. But it is equally charming for the informal Sunday breakfast or supper, holiday breakfasts, indoor picnics and church socials. The general procedure for formal and informal buffet service is the same--the elaborateness of decoration, the types of foods, the kinds of linen, and the presence or absence of servants mark the distinction between formality and informality. The buffet table should be as much of a "picture" as possible. A handsome cloth of damask, lace or embroidery, or runners of lace or linen are suitable. The floral centerpiece should be truly beautiful and flanked by tall candles in holders of silver, glass or porcelain. A candelabra may be chosen as the center decoration, with flowers on either side. Candles are not used, however, before four in the afternoon. The coffee or tea tray and the punch service are placed at opposite ends of the table. Plates filled with sandwiches, cakes, little cookies, salted nuts, and if the menu is elaborate, with salads, or other foods, are arranged down the sides of the table, with the silver and china needed in their service, laid close by. If the silver is placed in rows, the effect is graceful. Piles of plates and of small folded napkins should be conveninetly near. Everything should be balanaced to create an artistic and orderly effect. If guests are numerous, the punch may be served from a separate table. At a formal affair, waitresses preside at the buffet table and serve the guests. They also collect the used dishes. If a frozen dessert is provided, it is served from the table, or individually from the pantry. A frappe or soft ice is usually placed in a bowl. It is served in cups or glasses, placed on doily-covered plates, and a teaspoon is placed on the plate. Moulds of ice cream are sliced and served on plates; forks are laid on the side of the plates. The guests stand or sit at a buffet meal, as convenient--special tables are not provided. The informal buffet table may be gay with colored linen and simple flowers. The table is set as for formal buffet service with this exception: decorations and foods are less elaborate, and guests serve themselves informally, or are served by the hostess or members of the party."
---When You Entertain: What to do, and how, Ida Baily Allen [Coca Cola Company:Atlanta GA] 1932 (p. 27-8)
Home buffet menus:
1920's American buffet
1940's American buffet
1960's American buffet .
"The man who inspired the all-you-can-eat buffet and brought the Beatles to Las Vegas died Saturday, better known by his deeds than his name. A visionary who helped mold Las Vegas for more than a half century, Herb McDonald, 83, was one of the first publicists on the Strip, founder of the group that brought the National Finals Rodeo to Las Vegas and an innovator in professional golf tournaments. "He was the godfather to all of us in publicity and marketing -- he made the footprints that we follow today," said Jim Seagrave, vice president of marketing and advertising for the Stardust...McDonald inspired the buffet in 1946 more out of hunger than genius, he recalled. One night while working late at the El Rancho Vegas, the first hotel on what would become the Strip, McDonald brought some cheese and cold cuts from the kitchen and laid them out on the bar to make a sandwich. Gamblers walking by said they were hungry, and the buffet was born. The original midnight "chuckwagon" buffet cost .25."
---"Strip Visionary McDonald Dies," Gambling Magazine, July 10, 2002
"Herb McDonald, a business pioneer whose ideas helped make Las Vegas a hub of international tourism, died Saturday. He was 83. A publicist for nearly 50 years, McDonald has been credited for the development of Las Vegas-area signatures such as the Strip's first all-you-can-eat buffet and the city's status as a popular convention site...In the early 1950s, McDonald launched an inexpensive buffet at the El Rancho, a tactic that has since been used to attract patrons at virtually every hotel-casino in Southern Nevada."
---"Veteran publicist who helped promote LV as destination dies at 83," Chris Jones, Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 10, 2002, D; Pg. 2D
Early advertisement for , courtesy of the UNLV.
Of course!!! There are other claims to this particular fame:
"Jane Ann Morrison's Monday column was unclear about Claudine and Shelby Williams being the first to open a buffet on the Las Vegas Strip. In her oral history, Claudine Williams said the first Las Vegas Strip buffet was started at their Silver Slipper Casino. A misplaced clause in the column incorrectly made it sound like she was referring to the Holiday Casino. However, historians credit the late Herb McDonald for starting the first Las Vegas Strip buffet, starting with a "chuck wagon" of mostly cold cuts at the El Rancho Vegas in 1946."
---"Corrections," Las Vegas News Journal, May 27, 2009 (p. 3A)
Related services? and
Dessert is a complicated topic because the role/importance of last/sweet course in a meal are cuisine and time dependent. Some cultures (China, most notably) traditionally prefer fresh fruit over sweet confections.
Who "invented" dessert? No one knows. Food historians tell us the practice of ending a meal with something sweet probably had something to do with ancient medical ideas regarding digestion. Many of these ideas continued until the genesis of modern nutrition science (mid 19th century). Did you know ancient cultures avocated ending the meal with cheese because it was thought to aid digestion? Culinary evidence confirms peoples of ancient cultures enjoyed sweet treats such as cakes, cookies, confections, sugared nuts, and dried/candied fruits. These were typically the food of the wealthy classes. Other people might partake of these treats for special occasions (weddings, religious festivals). The idea of enjoying a sweet dessert every day by "average people" is a relatively modern concept.
Food historians caution us that "dessert-type" courses were known by other names in times past. Ancient Romans consumed "secundae mensa." Medieval England delighted in "subtleties." Elizabethan England feasted on "banquets." 19th century France dined on "dessert" inspired by Antonin Careme.
A sampling of (Secundae mensa)
Why the word "dessert?"
According to the Larousse de la Langue Francaise, the word "desserte" derives from the French verb "desservir," meaning to clear the table. The noun "Dessert," denoting a sweet served after the main meal was cleared, seems to have surfaced in 17th century. By the 18th century dessert was frequently referenced in both France and England.
"Dessert...(de dessevir 2; 1539). 1. Dernier service d'un repas, compose de fromages, fruits, gateaux, etc.--1. (1692). Fruits, patisserie, etc., qu'on mange a la fin d'un repas; moment ou on sert ce mets." "Desservier (lat. deservire, servir avec zele; v. 1050)"
---Larousse de la Langue, direction de Jean Dubois [Librarie Larousse:Paris] 1979 (p. 531)
The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd edition) confirms the this information:
"Dessert...[a. F. dessert (Etienne 1539) 'removal of the dishes, dessert', f. desservir to remove what has been served, to clear (the table)...
1.a. A course of fruits, sweetmeats, etc. served after a dinner or supper; 'the last course at an entertainment'. The oldest reference to the word dessert in the OED was published in 1600: "W. Vaughn Direct. Health (1633) ii.ix. 54 Such eating which the French call desert, is unnaturall. 1666. Pepys Diary 12 July, The dessert coming, with roses upon it, the Duchesse bid him try."...
1.b. "In the United States often used to include pies, puddings, and other sweet dishes...Now also in British usage (oldest reference is provided comes from 1789).
"Desserts. A collective name for sweet dishes considered suitable for the last course of a meal, including cakes, ice creams, creams, raw and cooked fruit, puddings, pastries, and pies. Cheese have also be included amongst desserts. In Britain, 'dessert' is sometimes regarded as an elegant synonym for the words 'pudding', or 'sweet', which are used in the same collective sense. The word derives from French desservir, meaning to remove the dishes, or clear the table. Originally 'the dessert', singular, denoted a course of fruit and sweetmeats, either placed on the table after the meal, or served at a separate table; in English, it replaced the word banquet, an older name for a similar course, during the 18th century. The change in emphasis from the 18th century French dessert' to the 20th century miscellany of sweet desserts appears to have taken place in North America. The word had a wider meaning for Americans as early as the end of the 18th century, whereas this usage was not common in England until the 20th century. Originally, dessert, apart from providing something sweet to nibble, was designed to impress...A formal dessert in the old sense is now a rarity. One interesting survival is the Provencal gros souper' on Christmas Eve, which finishes with a ritual presentation of les treize desserts, the 13 desserts, based on local fruits, nuts, baking, and confectionery...Traditions vary between areas and families, but there are always 13 items, and they are said to represent Christ and the twelve apostles."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 247)
[NOTE: If you are looking for the history if a specific dessert this book is excellent. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]
"Dessert, The last course of a meal. The word comes from desservir (to remove that which has been served) and consequently means everything offered to guests after the previous dishes and corresponding serving utensils have been cleared away. In former times at great banquets, dessert, which was the fifth course of the meal, was often presented in magnificent style. Large set pieces fashioned in pastry, described often and in great detail by Careme, whose accounts are accompanied by splendid illustrations, were placed on the table at the beginning of a meal...It was not until about 1850 that the word dessert took on its present meaning. In ancient times, meals generally ended with fresh or dried fruit, milk or cheese dishes, often served between meat courses, consisted of jellies, flans, blancmanges, tarts, compotes, nieules (flat round cakes), fouaces (fancy pastry), echaudes (poached pastry), waffles and various other small cakes, The dessert proper consisted of the issue, a glass of hippocras served with oubiles (wafers), followed by boutehors (dragees with spice and crystallized fruit). In the 17th century, desserts had become more elaborate and were decorated with flowers. They included marzipan, nougat, pyramids of fruit, dry and liquid preserves, biscuits..., creams, sugar sweets...sweet almonds in sugar and orange-flower water, green walnuts, pistachios, and marrons glaces. At the end of the century, ice creams made their appearance, and at the same time patisserie became extremely diversified, with different basic mixtures, such as puff pastry, sponge, choux pastry and meringue. In the 20th century, dessert in France evolved to include cheese and fresh fruit as well as sweet dishes. However, the term is usually take to mean the sweet course of the meal, whether it is served before or after the cheese course. The contemporary dessert may include one of a wider range of dishes, from elaborate gateaux and pastries to simple fruit dishes at a dinner party..."
---Larousse Gastronomique, Completely revised and updated [Clarkson Potter:New York] 2001(p. 414)
If you are inclined learn more about the evolution of meals/courses we suggest Margaret Visser's The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolution, Eccentricities, and Meaning of Table Manners [Penguin:New York] 1995. If you want to research a particular time and place let us know. We will be happy to help you find the information you need to complete your project.
The term "potluck" has two meanings; both practices are related and have ancient roots:
1. Taking one's chances with what is being served (in the cooking pot)
---Travelers and other unexpected guests took their chances (luck!) with whatever was being served that night.
2. Community meal composed of food contributions.
---Early societies often pooled food resources for special occasions (weddings, funerals, etc.)
The Oxford English Dictionary traces the term "potluck" in print to the 16th century:
"Potluck. One's luck or chance as to what may be in the pot, i.e. cooked for a meal: used in reference to a person accepting another's hospitality at a meal without any special preparation having been made for him; chiefly in phr. to take pot-luck. 1592 Nash Four Lett. Confut. Ded., "That that pure sanguine complexion of yours may never be famisht with pot luck."
"Take potluck. To take what is offered to you...Unannounced guests who show up at a friend's home at dinnertime are likely to be invited to stay for dinner by are reminded that they will have to take potluck, i.e., to eat whatever the family is eating. This notion of the luck of the pot goes back to Elizabethan times [as evidenced by OED definition above], then an unnanounced guest was invited to share potluck, i.e., the contents of the large cast-iron pot on the hearth, with the rest of the family...This take -your-chances-notion of potluck has developed in modern times into a more general meaning of to take potluck, i.e., to take whatever comes your way-whatever is available at that particular time and place...The surprise-me aspect of potluck has increased with the invention of the potluck supper (late 19th century), to which each invitee is expected to bring a "dish to pass" or a "dish to share"...Such meals are popular at churches, schools, and fund-raisers because they capitalize on individual specialties and minimize individual costs. In some parts of the country a potluck supper is called a covered-dish supper."
---Food: A Dictionary of Literal and Nonliteral Terms, Robert A. Palmatier [Greenwood Press:Westport] 2000 (p. 357)
"Group meals often involve the contribution of food by the guests themselves: the banqueters are in these cases both hosts and guests. The phrase "pot luck" was originally used when inviting someone to a very informal family dinner, on the spur of the moment. The visitor was to expect nothing specially prepared, but only what the family would have eaten in any case that day. The guest's "luck" lay in what day he or she happened to arrive, and what meal had been prepared for the family. The phrase changed ints meaning with the increasing popularity of meals or parties where the guests come with contributions of food: the "luck" now lies in the uncertaintly about what everyone will bring. The host can suggest what might be needed, but cannot control the quality of the offering. "Pot luck" dinners in this sense have an ancient history, and exist in some form in most societies on earth. They usually celebrate the intimacy of the guests, or at least the hope that they have a great deal in comon. The host's authority is considerably reduced by means of the arrangement, but the fact remains that the party has to be held somewhere, and the host or hosts remain responsible for the venue, the guest list, even for the possibility of gate-crashers. The success or failure of the party still depends mostly on the "givers" of it. Being expected both to sustain loss of authority, and to retain responsibility, is a peculiarly modern predicament. But the informality gained is so important to some that we are prepared to pay the price; and enough honour still attaches to having the premises, being able to pay for a party (even if the guests help and must accept the blame for the food provided), and to knowing the "right" people to ask, that hosts continue to shoulder the burden and risk of inviting people for "pot luck."
---The Rituals of Dinner: The Origins, Evolution, Eccentricities and Meaning of Table Manners, Margaret Visser [Penguin Books:New York] 1991 (p. 84-5)
"Potluck. A meal composed of whatever is available or a meal (also called a "carry in" or "covered dish meal") whreby different people bring different dishes to a social gathering. In the West "potluck" meant food brought by a cowboy guest to put in the communal pot."
---The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 254)
"Potluck. A word used by the cowman and other frontiersmen, for food contributed by a guest. To bring potluck means to bring food with one."
---Western Words: A Dictionary of the American West, Ramon F. Adams, New edition, revised and enlarged [University of Oklahoma Press:Norman] 1968 (p. 234)
"Potluck meal. Also potluck (dinner), potluck supper, and var. combinations [By ext from potluck the luck of the draw, whatever food is being served] widespread, but less frequently in the South, Central Atlantic, New York. Of covered-dish meal, pitch-in dinner, tureen. A meal to which people bring food to share, usu. without assignment of particular dishes; the food at such a gathering; also adj potluck in the form of such a meal. 1929: AmSp 4.420 [College English] Pot luck-Food contributed by the guest. To take pot luck is to bring food with one to a party. This is a Western usage, unknown in New York and New Jersey." [NOTE: This source contains much many more definitions in different American regions through time. If you are interested in tracing this word, your librarian can help you find a copy.]
---The Dictionary of American Regional English, Joan Houston Hall, ed., Volume IV P-Sk [Belknap Press:Cambridge MA] 2000 (p. 311)
Early 19th century American references to "pot luck" affirm the term meant taking one's chances at another's table. In the last quarter of this century, the contemporary American definition of "pot luck" emerges: participating guests contributing dishes for a common table. The meal described below qualifies as a 'society' event. Of course, more common (less newsworthy) meals most likely were enjoyed as well. In churches, community centers, schools, political gatherings, &c.
"Pot luck.--A German was invited by an English family, to partake of pot-luck for dinner. He would eat no roast beef for dinner, no turkey; all the dishes passed him untouched. On being asked the reason for his loss of appetite--'I do wait for dat [sic] excellent Pote Loock,' said he."
---"Anecdotes," Weekly Visitor, or Ladies' Miscellany, May 7, 1893; I, 31; American Periodicals (p. 245)
"...[General Sam Houston] dined and taken 'pot luck' with his old enemies, Col. Morgan and Dr. Ashbel Smith'."
---"Texas," New York Daily Times, June 8, 1854 (p. 2)
"Surely it is very pleasant to have so well-furnished a house that it will never be necessary to darken the parlor windows whoever calls, and to set such a table as that we shall not be ashamed to have any visitor suddenly drop in to try pot-luck."
---"Save a Little Something," New York Daily Times, April 18, 1855 (p. 4)
"The Pot-Luck Picnic...An Impromptu and Enjoyable Dinner--A Display of Culinary Skill. Last evening, at the Free Trade Club, a dinner was given by Hon. Robert R. Roosevelt to a large number of his friends. Though invitations had been issued for a week previous, the feast was decidedly of an impromptu character as far the viands went. The origin of the dinner was something of this kind: The host having met several; ladies and gentlemen who declared that they were learned in the art of de la gueule, Mr. Roosevelt challenged them to make a display of their culinary ability. The wager was taken up at once, and hence the the dinner. Cards of invitation of an amusing character were issued, on which the menu was indicated, with the names of the improvised cooks who were to concoct gumbo, lobster cutlets, plumb pudding, various salads, and coffee. About 50 guests were present...Course followed course in a tumultuous way. Culinary inspirations and cookery nocturnes of all flavors and tastes crowded one another. Anything like system was discarded, and this was thought likely to destry the artistic effects of this pot-luck picnic. Hungry guests were perfectly satisfied with whatever particular dish they happened to find before them...Appetites seemed whetted with the novelty of the banquet...Eating and drinking, laughter and gayety held their sway for a couple of hours...On the propostion of Mrs. Croly, the great success of the Pot-Luck Picnic having been firmly established, the lady insisted that such talent ought not to be forever lost, but that a club should be formed, when similar dinners should be given...This propostion was accepted by acclamation...Fortune and merit decided that the following ladies and gentlemen should become the high dignitaries of the Potluck Picnic Club..."
---"Pot Luck Picnic," New York Times, March 26, 1879 (p. 5)
"Soul food" is a culinary movement, not a dictionary term. Many traditional recipes and ingredients descended from . While there is some general concensus regarding the "core list" of ingredients/recipes considered soul food, there are many subtle nuances and culinary diversions. The term "Soul food," as it relates to cuisine, entered the "scene" of food history in the 1960s. Some notes here:
"The expression "soul food" is a term grafted from the expression "soul music," which in the 1960s referenced black artists noted for their soulful blues and rhythmic music. The term "soul" was applied also to artists noted for their culinary skills, particularly to field-hand cooks in antebellum America, who performed culinary miracles with foods then thought to be too common for the master's table. These included the South's cheapest staples, such as black-eyed peas, yams or sweet potatoes, collard greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, chitterllings (the small intestines of hogs), how maws (the stomach of the hog), ham hocks, trotter (the feet of the hog), hog jowl (the cheek of the hog), cornbread, and so on. The numerous African American authors who wrote soul food cookbooks in the 1960s...invariable listed a wide range of foods."
---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 27)
[NOTE: This book contains much more information than can be paraphrased here. Ask your librarian to help you find a copy.]
Although this term applies to traditional foods eaten by African -Americans, especially in the South, it is of rather recent vintage, first in print in 1960, when it became associated with the growth of ethnic pride in African-American culture, of which food was a significant part. The term dates in print to 1964 and comes from the faternal spirit among African-Americans that their culture, heritage, and cooking gives them an essential "soulfulness" that helps define the African-American experience. Soul food dishes include chitterlings, blackeyed peas, collard greens, hominy, grits, ham hocks, and more. As Bog Jeffries, in his Soul Food Cookbook  notes "While all soul food is southern food, not all southern food is soul."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 304)
[NOTE: the 1964 reference is this: The Last Word from Soul City, New York Times Magazine, August 23, 1964 p. 62. This brief article defines terms popular with African-Americans in Harlem at that time. The definition provided of "Soul food" is chitterlings, collard greens, ham hocks, grits, black-eyed peas and rice, and the like."]
"Soul Food, early 1960s, being the "down home" food associated with poor southern Blacks, Black ethnic dishes often stem from slavery days when slaves were given the cheapest southern staples and the food parts discarded by the plantation owners, to which they added greens they had grown themselves or picked wild--and a touch of African cooking. it includes beet greens, collard greens, dandelion greens, poke greens, and turnip greens; black-eyed peas (1738, they were brought by slave traders from Africa to Jamaica in 1674 and from there to the American colonies), hog maw, hog jowel, trotters, and ham hocks; sweet potato pie, and such ubiquitous southern favorites as corn bread, fried chicken, and watermelon. The new Black awareness and pride made soul food something of a fad by the late 1960s and both Blacks and Whites were talking about the new soul food restaurants."
---I Hear America Talking, Stuart Berg Flexner [Simon & Schuster:New York] 1982 (p. 51-2)
"Soul food" in the news:
"Consider yourself a square if you don't know what 'soul food' is. It includes such down-home delicacies as stewed chicken and rice, fried chicken, rice, gravy and greens, and ham hocks and black-eyed peas."
---"Masco Young: Philly After Dark," Philadelphia Tribune, March 25, 1961 (p. 5)
"'I'll travel many miles out of the way to get to a place where I can get that down-home 'soul food,' Hank Ballard declared recently. 'When I say soul, I'm talking about chitterlings, barbecued ribs and chicken, black-eyed peas, collard greens and rice.' Going a step further, the King recording star said, 'I really believe that the right kind of 'soul food' can really insopire a musician or a singer to come up with some swinging 'soul music.' If you don't believe it, then just notice where most musicians go whenever they're in town. They don't flock to the big fabulous steak houses. 'They'll usually eat all their meals at some Sally Mae's,. Miss Lucy's, or Pearl's small restaurant or in a home near the theater or ballroom thats 'known for good eatin.'"
---"'Soul Food' Inspires Tub, Wrinkles Top 'Scarf' Where Hank Ballard is Concerned," Pittsburgh Courier, May 27, 1961 (p. A23)
"How singer James Brown keeps in condition for his exhausting singing and dance routine. Said Brown: 'I eat plenty of soul food--and that includes chitterlings, collard greens, chicken, rice and gravy, ham hocks and beans..."
---"The Grapevine," Masco Young, Pittsburgh Courier, August 25, 1962 (p. 22)
"President Johnson set the pace New Year's Day for good luck throughout 1964. He ate blackeyed peas."
---"LBJ Feasted on Lucky Soul Food," Chicago Defender, January 4, 1964 (p. 4)
[NOTE: Blackeyed peas & rice is called .]
"Turnip greens, the nation's most famous 'Soul Food,' has been barred from the cafeteria of the A&M Consolidated School here. Supt. W.T. Riedel told trustees that parents had complained students were not eating in the cafeteria because of greens and other vegetables on the menu. Upon hearing the news, a 'Soul Brother' commented: 'Man, they must not be integrated.'"
---"Texas School Bars Soul Food on Menu," Philadelphia Tribune, February 13, 1965 (p. 3)
"Temptations' David Ruffing toasting singer Tammi Terrell with champagne on her birthday. Gotham club prexy Chile Springer turning down the three dinner parties on his natal day. Settled for a soul cooked meal by our gal Honey."
---"Zagging with Ziggy," Ziggy Johnson, Chicago Defender, May 7, 1966 (p. 26A)
"A word about 'soul,' a vogue word among Negroes having had a number of transmogrifications these days. Sould can mean a mild manifestation of race pride and social colidarity--'our thing'--a shared emotional bond of unity and good feeling. In the early sixties there was a 'soul music' movement among Negro jazz musicians, most of them conservatory-trained, advocating a return to the roots of Negro music for inspiration, a return to field hand chants work songs, funky blues and gospel rhythms in what was a rejection of sophistication in favor of strong feeling. Some even felt compelled to eat 'soul food'--deep South and ghetto dishes like ham hocks and collard greens, pigs' feet, pigs' knuckles and chitterlings."
---"The Big, Happy, Beauty of the Detroit Sound," Richard H. Lingeman, New York Times, November 11, 1966 (p. SM25)
"History has caught up with Davis Roberts. For years he has cooked the traditional foods of his people. Today, the came foods are symbols in a social revolution. Down-home cooking has become soul food. 'Aside from its social connotation, soul food is worthy of popularity on its own merits-for the simple reason that it tastes good.' said the Alabama-born actor. 'It also turns out to have great nutritional value,' he added with a smile. General acceptance of soul food, a term that has been in public use for about three years, stems from the civil rights movement. Roberts called it 'a kind of affirmation.' 'It's now enyoing a public popularity, but in the old days there was always a sort of stigma attached to it as an economy food. Gumbos, for example, were clean-out-the kitchen dishes. But now soul food has become a sort of luxury. Some of the ingredients are expensive, and you have to run all over town to find them,' he said. Soul food, a new term for old dishes, was daily fare in the Southern countryside during Roberts' boyhood in Alabama and Tennessee. The simple cookery was based on what was available, on what could be grown on a little plot of land--turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, kale, field peas, corn, sweet potatoes, cabbage, rutabagas, salt pork and ham hocks. 'People could often keep a pig when they couldn't keep a cow.' Roberts said. 'Much sould food requires a lot of time because it was cooked by people who had a lot of time,' he observed. For that reason, the busy actor does not cook it as often as he would like to eat it...One of Roberts' menus, cooked from childhood memory, consists of collard greens and salt pork, cold beets in vinegar, baked sweet potatoes, buttermilk and corn bread. Another consists of smothered pork chops and gravy, succotash 'and the perennial corn bread.' Roberts, how had to grapple with the problem of converting cooking habits into specific recipes, explained that 'soul food requires the kind of cooking that is done by taste, by someone who stands there and watches and stirs and tastes.'"
---"Soul Food to Shout About," Jean Murphy, Los Angeles Times, October 12, 1967 (p. G1)
[NOTE: This article offers three recipes: Davis Roberts' Pasta Con Pesto, Down-Home Succotash, and Collard Greens and Salt Pork.]
"Even the little restaurants that before simply offered 'home cooking' now carry large signs in their windows advertising 'soul food.' The food itself has not changed: chicken and dumplings, spareribs and ham hocks, greens and yams, cornbread and biscuits. The difference is that now these Southern Negro foods are viewed as part of 'our black cuisine.'"
---"African Influence Thriving in Harlem," Earl Caldwell, New York Times, March 12, 1968 (p. 45)
Vegetarian Soul Food? It can be done, according to Mary Burgess' Soul To Soul: A Vegetarian Soul Food Cokbook c. 1976. FoodTimeline library owns a copy. If you want recipes . Animal protein substitutes are commercial products (soy &c.).
Humans have been pairing alcoholic beverages and delicious food for thousands of years. Offering small bites to thirsty stand-up crowds is nothing new. Think: . Food historians generally place the origin of the in the 19th century. The "cocktail party," as we Americans know it today, deftly transforms ancient themes to new experiences. offers a unique perspective historic partying.
Who "invented" the cocktail party? History does not record. Many historians generally credit Americans (unofficially) during Prohibition/1920s. Think: Gatsby's great parties. Instructions for perfect cocktail parties first surface in American texts in the 1930s. British authors, with the exception of Alec Waugh's generally dismiss cocktail parties as prime examples of American vulgarity.
James Beard's suggestions for hosting a successful cocktail party transcends time:
"The most important key to the success of a cocktail party is the attitude of the hosts. Things should be arranged so that there are no worries on the guests' arrival, and no misgivings about the amount of food in the refrigerator or the amount of liquor in the cellar. True hospitality means that the host is giving his undivided attention to his guests and enjoying the party. No one can feel at home with a worried host. So keep up a steady happy attitude no matter what happens and if there are worried, keep them in the back of your head and don't give them away to anyone else."
---Hors D'Oeuvre and Canapes With a Key to the Cocktail Party, James Beard [M. Barrows:New York] 1940 (p. 168)
Super Bowl parties
Spectators have consuming food at sporting events from ancient times forwards. What fans eat depend upon the event, place & period. From Ancient Roman Coliseums to modern tailgating: these meals are special. Game day feeds fuel more than bodies. These edible bonds cement team allegiance. First we eat, then we battle. Then we continue to eat. Because we're human and we're hungry. About .
Super Bowl I 
The first Super Bowl converged in the Los Angeles Coliseum, January 15, 1967. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers. Packers won (35-10). The Los Angeles Times documented what is arguably the "first" Super Bowl party. It took place in Mexico. "Pepsi Cola biggie Samuel Dresch and Mrs. Dresch flew into town with two private planes full of friends for the Super Bowl Game. They entertained later in Perino's private dining room with a dinner party."
---"Snow and Ski Devotees Take a Powder to Mexico," Christy Fox, Los Angeles Times, January 16, 1967 (p. D9)
[Perino's is on Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles.]
What do Americans eat during the Superbowl?
Most fans start with items representing the competing teams: sourdough bread for the 49'ers, crab cakes for the Ravens, Clam chowder (Manhattan for Giants vs New England for Patriots), Buffalo Wings for the Bills, Cheese platters for Green Bay, Deep Dish Pizza for the Bears, Kansas Style ribs for the Chiefs, Horseshoe sandwiches for the Colts, Cheese steaks for the Eagles, Po'boys for the Saints &c.
After that, the menu is mostly composed of man cave finger foods: easily consumed, plate optional, washed down with beer in mass quantities. This meal is consumed on coffee tables in TV rooms. The television (the larger the better) is the focal point; not the table. No place for fussy salads and complicated desserts. Women's magazines sometimes offer festive ideas for dressing up "your man's" party. Fuggetaboutit. Another phenomenon: this is one American holiday where catering/delivery is not only okay, it's recommended.
"In fact, many observers say, Super Bowl Sunday has become one of America's biggest binge days. In terms of food consumption it ranks third, behind only Thanksgiving and Christmas, according to research by Hallmark Cards. "The event has become much more than a football game - it's a party phenomenon," said Hallmark spokeswoman Kathi Mishek. She noted that the greeting card concern sells as many party goods for the Super Bowl as it does for the Fourth of July. The Super Bowl party is a tradition that's grown in part because of the proliferation of large-screen TVs, marketing efforts of food retailers and producers and the desire to keep festivities of the not-so-long-ago holidays going. Americans want to linger a little longer in the holiday mood, said Lawrence Wenner, a professor of communications at San Francisco University, who has written extensively on the Super Bowl. "There's a big void in the first part of the year, when there are no festive holidays." Super Bowl Sunday has "become, what you might call, a cultural high holy day," he added. "I guess it's the last hurrah of the holiday season," Reif confirmed, "the last excuse to overeat." Unlike the scene at Christmas and Thanksgiving, Super Bowl party hosts aren't necessarily slaving in their kitchens baking hams or roasting turkeys. The menu for the day centers on snacks and finger foods, which can be easily eaten in front of the TV set. Often the food is spicy and greasy. Dips, pizza, chili and chicken wings figure prominently. "It's guy food," said Sandra Oliver, editor of Food History News, a newsletter she publishes in Isleboro, Maine. "Guys eat spicy things, like Buffalo wings. We're not talking refined." "It's a culinary celebration of uncertain traditions," Michael Weiss posted on the Claritas Corp. Demographic Detective Internet home page. Claritas, which gathers demographic data, found that Super Bowl parties are "associated with a mixed grill of finger foods with imported pretensions: salsa and corn chips, brie and pita, mozzarella and bruschetta, heat-and-serve pizza rolls and platters of elaborately rolled deli meats." For many party givers, this feeding frenzy demands takeout food, rather than home cooking. "It's our single biggest day, believe it or not," said Jim King, owner of Kitchen Kabaret, an East Hills caterer, echoing the sentiments of many in his business. King supplies fare that ranges from chicken wings to antipastos and crudites to filet mignon. Other popular takeout items with caterers on Long Island include oversized hero sandwiches, deli-meat platters, taco salads and football-shaped cakes. "This is the one day people don't go out," said Ronnie Dragoon, owner of the Ben's Kosher Delicatessen chain. "They stay at home, turn on the TV, and invite over friends and neighbors." It's also the biggest day for consuming snack foods, among them potato chips, pretzels and nachos, according to the Washington-based Snack Food Association, which estimated that Americans consumed 10.8 million pounds of potato chips on Super Bowl Sunday last year. Marketing gets a lot of the credit for whetting our appetite to party on during the Super Bowl. It's helped, Wenner said, by the two-week period between the conference championships and the big game. "The hype level got bigger and bigger," he noted. Food historian Oliver said the marketing machines of Madison Avenue are working hard. "Take a look at January," she said. "Generally speaking, grocery stores don't have white sales. There's really nothing in the month to hang promotions on." Another factor: Women moving out of the kitchen into the living room. Over the past 18 years, the percentage of women watching the Super Bowl has increased, according to Hallmark. Today, nearly 50 million, or 44 percent, of all Super Bowl viewers are women, said Hallmark's Mishek. On top of that, there's also been a proliferation of large-screen TVs, such as the one owned by the Reifs. "You can get more people into your living room," Wenner noted."
---"Super Bing: Championship-level Feasting Turns Super Bowl Sunday into one of the Year's Three Biggest Food Holidays," Alan J. Wax, Newsday (New York), January 21, 1998 (p. B14)
Humans have been gathering in large groups to witness competitions from ancient times forward. Military encounters, sporting events, theatrical performances and political rallies all draw crowds. Sooner or later crowds get hungry. Then, as today, spectators brought their own food or puchased from . Some arrived hours or days before the event in order to get the best seats. They laid picnics and cooked with portable messing units. Tailgating happened.
Tailgating, as we Americans know it today, is a beloved institution. It's the perfect convergence of our competitive spirit and zest for outdoor adventure. In the olden days we tailgated from our Conestoga wagons. In the early 20th century new car owners raced off to enjoy . In the mid 20th century we built family-oriented camping facilities, inevitably resulting in friendly outdoor culinary (sometimes competitive) exchanges. In all scenarios, some folks were fine with roughing it while others insisted on dragging civilization along for the ride. Where else but America can fine linen, pate and champagne neighbor nicely with paper plates, bratwurst and beer?
Why call it tailgating?
James Beard said it best: "For a Tailgate picnic you need a station wagon, for this is simply a picnic that utilizes the spacious rear flap as the buffet table. Drive to the prettiest spot you can find, unload your grill and serve a delightful tailgate buffet."---James Beard's Treasury of Outdoor Cooking, James Beard [Golden Press:New York] 1960 (p. 220)
[NOTE: Mr. Beard's "Tailgate picnic for four" menu features Chicken and Rice Paella, Crisp Green Salad, Blue Cheese, French Bread & Beer.]
Historians generally agree college football fans were the first to embrace the tailgating ritual. Some football historians state spectators feasted on picnics before witnessing the first intercollegiate football game (Princeton vs. Rutgers, 1869). Others credit Yale for hosting the first American tailgate party during the Great Depression: "Since it got going at the Yale Bowl more than a half century ago, the pre-game parking-lot picnic known as tailgating has become an almost universal tradition on football Saturdays."---"Tailgating in Style," Robert McG. Thomas Jr., New York Times, September 16, 1985 (p. C2). Our survey of newspaper articles confirms "parking lot picnics," (renamed "tailgating" in the 1950s when sales of oversized station wagons soared) as a pre-event on-site social feeding option, first surfaced in the mid 1930s. Yale's tradition is well documented. ?
Large spectator events today regularly contribute to the national tailgate party. Each offers a unique buffet based on place and taste. "Old fashioned" station wagons have been replaced by SUVs, pick-ups, vans, RVs and mini-coopers. Tailgating has morphed from ivy league social to a competition event in its own right. For some people, the pre-game party IS the main event. Like American Thanksgiving, tailgating is all about food, fraternity, and taking a break from daily routine to taste the passion of national pride. Go Bills!!! ?
A selected chronology of modern American tailgate parties
"It was impossible to feed this throng, so field kitchens, set up at strategic corners of the fields in back of the campus, dispensed the American sporting lunch, hot dogs and hamburgers and coffee. All over the lawns basket parties sat in picnic fashion..."
---"53,000 See Yale Score Stirring Football Upset by Halting Princeton, 7-0," Robert F. Kelley, New York Times, November 18, 1934 (p. S1)
[NOTE:Norman L. Macht, in his book Football's Last Iron Men 1934, Yale vs. Princeton, and One Stunning Upset draws this conclusion: "The lawns with picnic basket parties, the equivalent of today's tailgate parties." (p. 3)]
"No visitors are allowed to picnic in the Yale Bowl."
---"Sorts of the Times, John Kieran, New York Times, November 30, 1935 (p. 10)
[NOTE: Presumably, this explains why the picnics were consumed in the parking lot.]
"'Games are social affairs. People bring picnic baskets and eat at parking lots. They exchange social pleasantries, then go in Yale Bowl and watch the game.'"
---"Traveleing Olivars," Jean Hoffman, Los Angeles Times, September 7, 1955 (p. C4)
"Tailgate party is the name for picnics off the rear end of the family station wagon."
---"Household Hints," Delta Democrat [Greenville MS] September 15, 1959 (p. 3)
"The parking lot cookout--or tailgate party--is picking up where the backyard barbecue left off. This new American dining custom occurs in parking lots near football stadiums in many college towns on Saturdays. For a tailgate party you need a station wagon, food, ice, cool martinis, people and a lot of unexpected happenings bordering on the hectic. The latter is what makes the tailgate party a kiss n'cousin of the backyard barbecue. Theoretically, friends meet, the tailgate is lowered, the food is spread and the football fans quietly down a simple lunch before the game. Not long ago, the tailgate party was exclusively a ritual in Ivy League circles. But it has spread. Our family tailgated recently at that citadel of rigid discipline, the U.S. Military Academy--West Point. If the superintendent had known we were coming he would have locked the gate. Events just cannot move with military precision at a tailgate party. The modus operandi in tailgate circles involves planning ahead to meet your less fortunate friends who must arrive in an ordinary car. The idea: Share your tailgate. The trick: Find your friends and have them find you so you can eat before the game. Some folks really make an affair of a tailgate party--bringing a big pot of spaghetti, a roast, or barbecued chicken for all. The ultimate in tailgate party occurred one recent Saturday before a Princeton game, The host arrived early in a station wagon with a kitchenette inside. HE made a stew before the game!"
---"From One Woman to Another," Bedford Gazette [Bedford PA], November 10, 1961 (p. 4)
"Tailgate mania ...has led to an unusual display of culinary art in collegiate parking lots nationwide. One sample: At West Point home games, a lady arrives in a chaffeur-driven limousine. Said driver switches to a white coat. With all due ceremony, he puts up table, arranges arranges comfy chairs, and proceeds to serve a feast complete with wine poured into cut glass goblets. Some tailgaters embellish tables with floral decorations and lighted candles. Others please the palate while portable stereo tickles eardrums..."
---"A Tailgater's Life Can Be Hectic," Lowell Sun [Lowell MA] October 10, 1967 (p. 12)
"Tailgating is strictly American and it's part of that Saturday madness known as the college football season. It's also part of the U.S. food picture. To the uninitiated, tailgating is the practice of eating...and and also drinking...from the rear end of a station wagon, a camper or some other kind of vehicle, usually in the parking lot of a football stadium on a Saturday afternoon before a game. The tailgating fans arrive early to get choice parking spots and out comes the food...and drinks. It seems the bigger the stadium, the more the tailgating because the bigger the crowd the more the hot dog without, waiting in line for and endless period. Tailgating apparently had its origin in New England. That's where I first encountered this fascinating American tradition and it brings back fond memories. It was on our wedding trip 17 years ago  and three children ago when I subjected my bride of two days to attending a football game at Michie Stadium at West Point, N.Y. when the Cadets played Dartmouth...on that beautiful Saturday afternoon...there were hundreds of fans eating in the parking lot near the banks of the Hudson before the game...Now the most popular type of tailgating is to obtain chicken, potato salad and baked beans from any of the many chicken franchise spots...Others prepare lunches of the popular schoolboy type of bologna, pickle loaf or ham sandwiches plus the fan's favorite home made side dishes like macaroni salad and baked beans. As a rule the fans prepare just what they would for a summer picnic and generally several carloads of football and food enthusiasts get together to plan the menu and enjoy the feast together. We've seen fans using hibachi grills to prepare their own hot dogs, minute steaks and the like. We've seen pecan pies and other goodies emerge from the rear end of a station wagon as the topping for a tailgating adventure. And many come with large quantities of eight-packs and also the ingredients for other liquid refreshments. It seems to be a particularly popular practice at homecoming games when fans come from great distances to see the football team of their alma mater and to meet school friends from other areas. There's a great fellowship in a tailgating party...and it's even economical because of the price of hot dogs at most stadiums....Time normally spent in waiting in line for food can be used to enjoy good food and to greet old friends."
---"1-2-3 Hike! It's Tailgating Time," Journal-News [Hamilton OH], September 23, 1971 (p. 30)
"In parking lots near the football stadiums Saturday afternoons all kinds of cheerful sounds ring out during the pregame time. Sunday afternoons, too. The tailgate party and picnic season...now a fixture each fall, takes lace among fans of the college, high school, sandlot and pro teams. Victuals range from the simple--brown bag containing bottle of beer or soda and sandwich--to the really splendid: champagne, French bread, whole cold chicken, cheese, nuts, fruits. Some tailgate parties or picnics are complicated but fun. Sample: cooking on the site a spaghetti dinner, using a portable kitchen set up in a camper. The more elegant tailgate affairs include tables, usually card tables, spread with real tablecloth. A bowl of flowers suits such an al fresco eating and dining ritual. Tailgating takes its name from the use of a station wagon's tailgate. The popularity of tailgate parties on autumn days has increased through the years. With today's high food prices, sandwiches and a mug of beer would seem to be the best fare. But an elegant feast need not require the hosts to take out a second mortgage. For example, a per person spread might include: whole cold chicken, assorted fruits, cheeses and nuts, fresh French bread and champagne. Another tailgate party tip: pack the picnic-lightening way...For the neatest tailgate party of all, aim for a finger-food menu...Leftovers? After the game is over avoid inching along in traffic jams. A post-game tailgate party gets you out of traffic jams and makes leftovers disappear. PS. --Don't be afraid to make your tailgate feast overly splendid. Anything absolutely anything goes. I have seen lighted candles in sterling silver holders on folding tables with linen cloths in stadium parking lots. Black tie, anyone?"
---"Football Tailgate Parties," The Times [San Mateo, CA] September 25, 1974 (p. 12)
"Roy Lilley watched fans gather for the Louisiana State-Kentucky football game with he benevolent air of a man who started it all. Modest house trailers, recreational vehicles, campers--every manner of modern mobile living--maneuvered into parking spaces under the prideful Lilley gaze...'We were the first ones,' he said...'The Lilley Pad,' one of a hundred or so mobile homes lined up in a huge lot 400 yards from LSU's Tiger Stadium. 'We were the first ones to bring a camper to an LSU football game.' His wife, Marge, said, 'That was back in 1964.' He pushed his glasses higher on his nose. 'We were the only ones that year. Then, in 1965, there were three and in 1966 there were 11. After that it just sort of mushroomed.' The Lilleys typify the new breed of football fan, who no longer is satisfied with open-air tailgate parties in the family station wagon. Nor does he want to battle traffic, reserving motel rooms far off campus months ahead or standing in the drizzle or snow while quaffing a pregame stimulator...Across the country, from Florida to California,...these affluent thousands gather on autumn weekends for college and professional football games. It is hard to tell if the games come with parties of the parties come with games. The traditional tailgate party is not dead. Rather it waxes with imagination that would have boggled the early Ivy league tailgaters in their Stutz Bearcats and front-drive Cords."
---"New Breed of Grid Fan Uses Camper, Trailer," Racine Journal Times [WI] November 7, 1975 (p. 16)
"For some people, the best part of the football season is tailgating...those festive picnics that take place in stadium parking lots before football games. Amid tall the excitement of a college or pro game, tailgating has become a tradition in many areas across the country. People even have at-home tailgate parties before watching a game on TV."
---"A Mexicali Tailgate Party," New Pittsburgh Courier, November 8, 1980 (p. 16)
"The gastronomic tradition associated with tailgating has undergone many changes as the vehicles from which they are held. A generation ago, typical tailgaters lumbered onto grassy parking fields in cavernous station wagons with growling V-8 engines, a surfiet of passenger space and wide rear doors. Vegetable soup in squat thermoses, ham and Swiss on rye, chocolate brownies, and Scotch and soda--or slight variations on that theme--were standard fare. Today's tailgaters are likely to putter to the game in a lunch-box-sized import from which unfortunate back east revelers emerge to spend the first part of cocktail hour attempting to stand erect. While the accommodations today are more austere than the big-car era, the food may make up for it. Colorful pasta and grain-based salads, homemade breads, imported cheeses, cold poached chicken and fish with herb sauces, roast game birds, lobster bisque, fruit tarts--these and more are showing up at pregame festivities. As a recent outing at the Yale Bowl in New Haven demonstrated, the table settings for tailgate picnics seem to be getting as fanciful as the food...tailgate picnics offer more culinary license than summer picnics. For one, the weather is generally cooler, so one can consider mayonnaise-based dishes that may present problems in hot weather; secondly, all varieties of hot foods are appropriate....Planning a tailgate picnic...is not unlike designing football strategy for their down and short yardage" You want just enough flair and unpredictability to keep the other side guessing, but not so much fancy footwork that you risk a disaster."
---"Tailgate Feasts," Bryan Miller, New York Times, October 23, 1983 (p. SM26)
"There is little fast food among die-hard tailgaters. For some fans, the time spent cooking is half the fun. At Louisiana State University, some fans show up 48 hours before kickoff to start tailgating..."
---"Before the Sunday Kickoff, Tailgating With Gusto," Peter Kamkinsky, New York Times, September 24, 2003 (p. F1)
"Garner Food Company has launched the Texas Pete(R) Ultimate Tailgate Contest to find the most amazing tailgate party in the country among 2010 college football fans. If your tailgate party photos convince the judges that yours was the "ultimate tailgate party" among college football fans from today through November 13, 2010, you'll win a grand prize package worth nearly ,000, including a Honda "Companion" generator, a Vizio 42" flat screen TV, a DirectTV Package and a Char-Broil Quantum Series Grill."
---"Sporting Activities; Football. Texas Pete Ultimate Tailgate Contest," Food Weekly News, September 23, 2010 (p. 46)
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