food history

Welsh Rarebit. . . or is it Rabbit? Either Way, It’s Delicious.

On my 10th Christmas, Santa left a cookbook in my stocking. It was the first cookbook I ever owned, a small, spiral bound thing called Betty Crocker’s Good and Easy […]

Meatballs from Around the World: There’s Way More Than You Think

March 9th is National Meatball Day. For those of you unaware of this momentous occasion, or who’s calendar doesn’t include a mention of the holiday (what? Christmas, but no N.M.D?!) […]

What is Demi-glace Sauce?

There’s a good deal of confusion surrounding demi-glace. Many confuse it with the process of de-glazing – which is adding wine or stock to a pan to lift bits of […]

Aïoli, Sauce of the Ancients

Aïoli, pronounced eye-YO-lee, is most often associated with Provence, the region of southwestern France famous for its lavender fields, the numerous shades of ochre mined from its cliffs, and its […]

Hollandaise Sauce: The Gold Standard’s Origin

Hollandaise sauce has a reputation worthy of Cleopatra: tempting, beguiling, and notoriously hard to handle. The reputation is well-earned – but who’s going to pass up a chance to hang […]

Béchamel Sauce: The Workhorse

Photo Credit: Venice Gastronaut Béchamel sauce is a key ingredient in hundreds of recipes, from simple dishes like creamed peas to elegant cheese soufflés. At one time considered a sauce […]

Velouté Sauce: The Versatile Stranger

Photo Credit: Bamitbach  Don’t know a Sauce Velouté from a Sauce Mornay? Me neither. So the other day when I was making a soup recipe that called for “a quart […]

Marinara Sauce: The Sauce that Shook the World

Marinara sauce is one of the world’s great sauces. And, I would venture to guess, the sauce that’s made the most often, found on the most grocery shelves, and served […]

What are Bitters?

Photo Credit: makeandshakecocktails.com Peruse the cocktail list at most bars these days and you’ll surely catch at least a few mentions of “bitters” in the ingredients list. But what exactly are […]

What is Béarnaise Sauce?

You may have seen Béarnaise on a menu and wanted to ask, just what is Béarnaise sauce? Well, no mysteries here. Sauce Béarnaise, to use the French phrasing, is one […]

What are Mother Sauces?

Before explaining the five mother sauces, let’s back up and look at what a sauce itself is. In the most basic sense, a sauce is a liquid that has been […]

What is Bagna Càuda?

Recently, when I told a cousin that I was planning to make bagna càuda for a party, she replied, “What is bagna càuda?” I was surprised because this cousin and […]

What is Coq au Vin?

Contrary to what its pronunciation suggests, coq au vin is not a new food truck dispensing hot chocolate, although that’s not a bad idea either. The literal translation – “rooster […]

What is Prosciutto?

You know it’s delicious. And expensive. And it lays just right across a slice of melon. But have you ever wondered, Exactly what is prosciutto and how did it get […]

Mustard: Mankind’s First Flavoring?

Next time you spread mustard on your ham sandwich, consider this: you’re just repeating history, and very ancient history at that. Mustard seeds were chewed with meat to add flavor […]

As Russian as it Gets: The History of Beef Stroganoff

The commonly accepted history of Beef Stroganoff is that a French chef who worked for a wealthy St. Petersburg family created the dish for a cooking contest in 1891. Following […]

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