Recent Posts

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April 5, 2021
History of the Potato - A Stupendous Spud and Global Growth

The potato is more than a side dish – it's a historical figure. Everyone's favorite root vegetable has been around for tens of thousands of years and has contributed to everything from famine to fashion to war to pop culture. So, what makes the potato special? It could be the spud's versatility or perhaps its […]

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March 4, 2021
The History of Jelly Beans – Quintessential Easter Treat

Oh, jelly beans... that classic candy seen in Easter baskets and candy jars worldwide. This hugely popular candy has become such a part of popular culture that it makes you wonder about its origins.  Interestingly, even though jelly beans originated in America, we don't know their full history. Let's take a look at what we do know […]

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March 3, 2021
The History of Colcannon – From Fortune Telling to St. Patrick's Day

You can find steaming batches of colcannon in homes across the U.S. every St. Patrick's Day as people celebrate Irish culture with this traditional dish. But in Ireland, Colcannon is more often associated with Halloween than St. Patrick's Day – and is used as a fortune-telling device often along with a meal. Fun stuff, and tasty too […]

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March 1, 2021
Green Beer and its History on St. Patrick's Day

Modern St. Patrick's Day is an inspiring day of green: clothes, face paints, decorations, food, and, yes, beer.  Raising a green glass to the Irish has long been a fun American tradition on March 17, the day internationally known as St. Patrick's Day. Let's take a closer look at how that happened and explore some of the […]

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February 28, 2021
The History of Soda Bread – Soft Wheat, Soda, and Staple Food

Sit down at any traditional Irish restaurant (or, sure, browse their menus online), and you'll find soda bread on the menu—particularly around St. Patrick's Day.  How did this seemingly spartan bread get so ingrained in Irish culture? Let's take a closer look at the history of soda bread and find out. Soda, Bread, and Wheat […]

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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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