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FOOD FUN: 400 Food Histories

Avocado Halves
[1] Food histories from A (almonds, apple brown betty, avocado and 14 more), to Z…

Zucchini Bread
[2] Zucchini bread (photo #1 courtesy Tio Gazpacho, photo #2 courtesy Betty Crocker).

History Of Cheese
[3] The Edible Series books have deep histories of foods and beverages.
Feast Of Sorrow
[4] A historical novel for lovers of great food and intrigue. Get your copy on Amazon.

  We love culinary history, and today is a red-letter day:

We’ve just added our 400th food history to our History Of Foods & Beverages directory.

We first began to write food histories some 14 years ago, and one day had enough to create The History Of 100 Favorite Foods & Beverages. Little did we think that we’d get to 400.

These histories are embedded in our articles. A gazpacho recipe, for example, includes The History Of Gazpacho.

If we write an article on a particular food, we’ll either link to an existing history or create a new one. Food history #401 will debut in two days.

Sometimes the history is at the top of an article, but often it is at the end. So if you don’t see “The History Of [The Food]” immediately, scroll down.


It enriches our appreciation of different foods, and the people who bred them into their modern form. For example:

  • The kernels of corn on the cob were discovered thousands of years ago as little more than a weed with tiny seeds.
  • Big beefsteak tomatoes (in fact, all tomatoes) evolved from a fruit the size of a cherry tomato.
  • The original pig was the size of a cat.
  • The large citrus fruits of today evolved over millions of years from small berries. Many were not much more than a cluster of seeds in their skin, until farmers bred the flesh to have lots of juicy sacs.
    Dedicated farmers cross-bred and nurtured plants and animals over millennia, until they became the foods we enjoy today. We thank them with every history we write.

    Some of our histories are just a paragraph or two; some are quite detailed, based on the amount of verifiable information available.

    If you want to dive deep into the histories, take a look at Reaktion Press’ excellent The Edible Series, distributed by the University Of Chicago Press.

    There are currently 77 titles for sale on the websites.

    Written by culinary historians in their areas of expertise, the books are some 130 pages long, and often add historical recipes.

    For Mother’s Day, give Mom the history of her favorite food. Peruse the list.

    We greatly enjoyed Feast Of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome (photo #3), which explores the Roman gourmand
    Marcus Gavius Apicius, and the wealthy epicure’s remarkable rise and fall in the first century C.E.

    Set among the upstairs-downstairs politics of a prominent Roman family, the novel by Crystal King focuses on the man who inspired the world’s oldest cookbook.

    His singular ambition to serve as culinary advisor to Caesar—an honor that would cement his legacy as Rome’s leading epicure—led to his destruction.

    But more than a fictional bio, the book describes in historic detail how food was prepared in ancient times.

  • How did the wealthy keep prepare enormous feasts and keep foods cold when they didn’t even have running water, much less electricity?
  • What was the kitchen like? Why was the cook the most expensive slave in the house?
    You’ll be enthralled.

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