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October 21, 2020
History of Pumpkin Beer – From Beer of Necessity to Seasonal Staple

Pumpkin beer is one of my favorite – if controversial – tastes every fall. And for me, autumn doesn't really begin until I see pumpkin beer on the shelves. But apart from being a fall staple, did you know that pumpkin beer has deep roots in American history? I've spent the past weeks researching the story of […]

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September 12, 2020
History of the Eggplant – from Asia to Europe with a Poisonous Reputation

Eggplants are an interesting (culinary) vegetable. Exotic seeming yet delicious, eggplants make their way into numerous dishes without always stealing the show. It's got an interesting flavor profile and texture – and oh, wow, that color. Like its nightshades cousins, the tomato and tomatillo, it's also been unfairly labeled as poisonous. What an intriguing food! […]

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September 12, 2020
The History of Corn – From Wild Grain to Staple Crop

Try this: go to your pantry and pick up a boxed food. The odds are pretty good you'll find corn in there in some form: corn syrup, cornmeal, plain old corn, or one of many variants. Corn makes the world go around nowadays – it's a staple in many diets and provides a reliable food […]

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September 11, 2020
The History of Aluminum Foil: Just Don't Call it Tin Foil

Aluminum foil – sometimes incorrectly called tin foil – is a thin, prepared sheet metal made of aluminum, often used in cooking (and food storage!). Although it may seem a little dull at first glance (especially on its dull side), aluminum foil has quite a fascinating story behind it. Many incredible things occurred before it became a staple in […]

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September 10, 2020
The History of Waffles – The Perfect Breakfast or Dessert

Waffles – with their crispy outsides and perfectly sized syrup holes – are a breakfast staple in the US – one that certainly blurs the line between breakfast and dessert. But beyond your breakfast plate, the history of waffles goes back further than you might expect. Waffles first added their trademark honeycomb design to flatbread sometime in […]

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September 10, 2020
The History of the Tomatillo – 52 Million Years and Counting

The tomatillo, or "little tomato" in Spanish, is a Mexican cuisine staple – and very popular in America. You might have tried this distant relative of the tomato that gives a lovely acidic punch to soups and salsas. Personally, I first ran across them in college in Los Angeles (there aren't many on the East […]

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September 9, 2020
History of the Pumpkin – World-Traveler and Halloween Staple

What fruit inspires cultivar names like Baby Boo and Warty Goblin, makes a great-tasting beer, and was an everyday dinosaur snack thousands of years ago?  (If your guess was the pumpkin, you've probably read the title of this article.) Jokes aside, there's so much more to pumpkins than what meets the eye. From its domestication 10,000 years ago to its journey across […]

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September 9, 2020
The History of Candy Corn – Chicken Feed to Controversial Autumn Treat

Few candies are as polarizing as candy corn. As it begins to appear on shelves each October, most people have one of two reactions:  Some have been waiting all year for this moment and will eagerly grab bags of candy corn greedily.  Others will reflexively shake their heads in disgust before finding their preferred treat.  […]

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September 9, 2020
History of Pumpkin Pie – from Savory, to Sweet, to Thanksgiving Staple

Pumpkin pie occupies a prominent place in America's culinary heritage. Upon their (re-)introduction to the pumpkin, the New World colonists discovered its versatility in savory dishes, from pies cooked inside pumpkins to pumpkin bread.  And pumpkins are undoubtedly versatile! While it has a bland taste on its own, a pumpkin's orange flesh could easily feature in a […]

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September 9, 2020
The History of Pumpkin Spice – From Spice Wars to Lattes

Nowadays oft-associated with Ugg Boots and the autumn season, the longer history of pumpkin spice reveals the evolution of pumpkin and spice combinations used throughout the past – and, let's face it, into the future. This seasonal spice combination evokes thoughts of our past and present – and gives the nod to our future.  Whenever […]

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