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February 23, 2021
The History of Peeps – A Marshmallow to Fight Over

Do you have fond memories of the sugary chicks that arrive in Easter baskets every year? Even as adults, many of us secretly indulge in Springtime Peep-eating, even those of us who insist rather loudly that they're their "least favorite candy".  Love them or hate them, Peeps are ubiquitous around Easter. These marshmallow treats have a fascinating history—one […]

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February 21, 2021
The History of Cadbury Eggs – Filled With Cream and Controversy

Cadbury Eggs are a delicious springtime treat and Easter egg delicacy... or a loathsome attack on the tastebuds, depending on who you ask. As it turns out, Cadbury Eggs' history is just as controversial, mostly because the recipe isn't standardized between countries. Since the company's 1824 founding by John Cadbury in Birmingham, England, its products have gone […]

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February 21, 2021
The History of Hot Cross Buns – One or Two a Penny

What do you think about when you think about hot cross buns? The street vendor's cry enshrined in the classic nursery rhyme, "One ha' penny, two ha' penny, hot cross buns!"? (Maybe played on the recorder?) Maybe Good Friday? The spiced sweet bun with a cross on top is an inseparable part of the British Isles' Easter tradition. And – I'm […]

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February 20, 2021
The History of Simnel Cake: From Mothering Sunday to Easter

The history of simnel cake reaches back to medieval times... but the details regarding its true origin remain lost to the Dark Ages' historiographical abyss. As a result, the venerable simnel cake has carried with it countless myths and legends down through the centuries. (And yes, it means I'll have to make some leaps of faith.) […]

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January 17, 2021
Pancake Tuesday and its History: Shrove Tuesday's Lenten Preparation

In Christianity, the liturgical season of Lent represents the 40 days Jesus fasted in the desert and is a period of reflection and abstinence from excess. In the Northern Hemisphere, Lent also coincides with coming out of winter's long, dark days. When faced with an extended period of reflection and moderation, as humans, it makes […]

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January 17, 2021
King Cake and its History: from France to Mardi Gras

The twelfth day of Christmas, also known as the Epiphany, is the day the Three Wise Men – the Magi – first met the baby Jesus. The day also celebrates the start of Mardi Gras or the Carnival season. One of the ways we celebrate the season? We eat king cakes.  This tradition traveled through Spain to France and eventually spread to the […]

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December 3, 2020
History of Apple Pie – The Longstanding, Adopted American Symbol

As a symbol of U.S. culture, apple pie has a special significance. Think of the phrase "as American as apple pie"—and the fact that we celebrate everything from Thanksgiving to Christmas, to the Fourth of July (!) with this iconic pastry. However integral to the United States's cultural identity, apple pie's precursors and ingredients are not American. […]

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November 29, 2020
The History of the Yule Log: From Fireplace Ritual to Tasty Dessert

Burning the Yule log is one of the oldest Christmas customs. In fact, it predates Christianity in pagan rituals that eventually merged with Christian holiday traditions in the early Middle Ages. Today, few Americans still follow the Old World tradition of placing a tree on a hearth and burning it (...do you?).  However, the ritual has a […]

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November 29, 2020
The History of Fruitcake: Legendary Cake (and Christmas Re-Gift)

The fruitcake may be the butt of your re-gifting joke, but the treat's origins date back to as early as Ancient Egypt. Today, this cake is more popular as a punchline than a dessert, but either way, it's made its mark on the holiday. From annual loaf flinging contests, to moistening the cake (possibly with alcohol), […]

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November 29, 2020
History of the Mince Pie: A Holiday Dessert with a Meaty Past

Ever wondered about the mince pie? The first mince pastries developed during the Crusades were savory and literally meaty, hardly resembling the small, sweet morsels we see and enjoy today. What brought about those changes – and how did the mince pie persevere to become a holiday staple? Let's find out together! "Meat" the Mince Pie What […]

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