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Food Culture

  • American History Magazine

    Thomas Jefferson: Founding Foodie

    The new French stove is installed. The dumbwaiters are operational. Housemade cider, beer and French wine fill the cellar at Monticello in anticipation of Thomas Jefferson’s homecoming. After serving two terms as president, Jefferson is...

  • American History Magazine

    Kudzu- Japan’s Wonder Vine

    How a wonder vine unveiled by Japan at the 1876 Centennial began eating America. The amazing wonders on display at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia—the first world’s fair held in the United States—included Alexander...

  • American History Magazine

    The First: American Chicken Breed

    The U.S. is now home to half the world’s chickens, but the bird is not native to the Americas. (Sorry, but the prairie chicken, which is a native American bird, is actually a type of grouse.) Chickens as we know them were brought by...

  • American History Magazine

    The First: Breakfast Cereal

    There were no prizes at the bottom of a Granula tin. Good health was the reward for those who chomped their way through the dense, gritty cereal made from twice-baked whole wheat flour—and nothing else. Dr. James Caleb Jackson introduced...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    CWT Book Review: Starving the South

    Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War by Andrew F. Smith, St. Martin’s Press Unlike the Midwest, which produced huge quantities of wheat and meat in the 1860s, Southern plantation owners focused mostly on cotton and...

  • American History Magazine

    The First Best-Selling Diet Book

    ‘Eat what you like and grow thin,’ claimed Dr. Lulu Hunt Peters, author of the 1918 diet book that introduced Americans to calorie counting. Peters preached portion control and exercise to a mostly female audience who’d come of age...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    What wine goes with rat?

    Somebody enjoyed the world’s best wines during one of the war’s worst sieges. No siege in American military history lasted longer than the Union attack on Port Hudson, the Confederate stronghold overlooking a sharp bend in the...

  • Civil War Times Magazine

    CWT Book Review: Irish & German– Whiskey & Beer

    Irish & German– Whiskey & Beer: Drinking Patterns in the Civil War  Thomas P. Lowry; CreateSpace.com A popular stereotype during the Civil War years was that the Irish were drunk on whiskey and brave in battle, while Germans...

  • World War II Magazine

    WWII Book Review: The Taste of War

    The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food  By Lizzie Collingham, 656 pp. The Penguin Press, 2012. $35.  ‘We’re supposed to die of starvation, to make place for the Germans.” This was how the people of Kiev...

  • HistoryNet

    Gourmet Grunts, 1968-70

    GIs used ingenuity – and initiative – to turn field rations into field “cuisine” during the Vietnam War. In every war, soldiers have griped about their food; American GIs serving during the Vietnam War were no exception. Yet even...

  • America's Civil War Magazine

    Bread-and-Butter issues in the Civil War

    North Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance not have realized it immediately, but the letter he might received from Margaret Smith in February 1863 was a report from another front in the war. Speaking not just for herself but for the rest of the...

  • Wild West Magazine

    Bad Boy of Bodie

    June 23, 1932, was the last day of school in Bodie, Calif., and little Bill Godward wanted ice cream. Times were tough in the eastern Sierra mining town. Founded in 1859 as a promising gold camp, Bodie (pronounced BO-dee) had boomed in the...

  • American History Magazine

    The First: Chain Restaurant

    Good food served fast. That was the promise Fred Harvey made to hungry travelers on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. When Harvey, an English immigrant, opened his first restaurant in the Topeka, Kan., depot in 1876, food...

  • American History Magazine

    American History Gazette June 2013

    Did the World’s First Killer Sub Sink Itself? A MAJOR CLUE HAS SURFACED that may resolve one of the great mysteries of the Civil War: why the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sank on February 17, 1864, just after it sent the Union sloop...

  • American History Magazine

    The Pawpaw Paradox

    A forgotten American treasure makes a comeback. The small maroon bloom is morbidly elegant, not much bigger than a thimble, with an aroma said to faintly resemble rotting flesh. Just about everyone has heard of the pawpaw— towns named...

  • Wild West Magazine

    With Cornmeal and Creativity: Food on the Great Plains

    Farmers on the Great Plains depended on fickle nature for their diet, and many a cook relied on cornmeal. In 1857 Nebraska Territory school- teacher Mollie Dorsey Sanford re- corded that her breakfast was corn- bread and salt pork; lunch...