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  • feedwordpress 08:01:51 on 2018/06/13 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Jimmy Dean, macaroni and cheese, , sausage,   

    “All food is comfort food… maybe I just like to chew”*… 

     

    To understand the evolution of macaroni and cheese is to realize that pursuit of the “cheapest protein possible” has been a longstanding quest of the American food system. At times, cheese itself has shared a similar trajectory. Cheesemaking, which began 10,000 years ago, was originally about survival for a farm family or community: taking a very perishable protein (milk) and transforming it into something less perishable (cheese) so that there would be something to eat at a later date. Many of us today think of cheese in the context of tradition, flavor, or saving family farms, but a basic goal—whether a producer is making farm-made cheddar or concocting the cheeseless dairy product Velveeta—has always been getting as much edible food from a gallon of milk as possible…

    Macaroni and cheese has been served as long as there has been a United States of America, but in a 20th-century economy driven by convenience packaging and industrialization, it was elevated to an ideal American food: Pasta and processed cheese are very cheap to make and easy to ship and store, and they certainly fill up a belly…

    The story of a the versatile dish, popularized by Thomas Jefferson, that satisfied the quest for “the cheapest protein possible”: “A Brief History of America’s Appetite for Macaroni and Cheese.”

    * Lewis Black

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    As we dig in, we might spare a thought for Jimmy Ray Dean; he died on this date in 2010.  First successful as a country singer (he’s in the Country Music Hall of Fame), he later found success as an actor (as Fess Parker’s sidekick in Daniel Boone), a television host (The Jimmy Dean Show, which introduced Jim Henson and the Muppets to the wider world), and as a businessman.  With his brother Don, he founded Jimmy Dean Sausage Company, for which he served for many years as its TV pitchman.

    Jimmy on the right

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:46 on 2016/10/11 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , National Sausage Pizza Day, , , sausage, , vegetarian,   

    “The thought of two thousand people crunching celery at the same time horrified me”*… 

     

    Eliminating meat from our diets would bring a bounty of benefits to the planet’s health and to our own – but, a quick transition would not be without its costs: it could harm millions of people…

    People become vegetarians for a variety of reasons. Some do it to alleviate animal suffering, others because they want to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Still others are fans of sustainability or wish to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    No matter how much their carnivorous friends might deny it, vegetarians have a point: cutting out meat delivers multiple benefits. And the more who make the switch, the more those perks would manifest on a global scale.

    But if everyone became a committed vegetarian, there would be serious drawbacks for millions, if not billions, of people.

    “It’s a tale of two worlds, really,” says Andrew Jarvis of Colombia’s International Centre for Tropical Agriculture. “In developed countries, vegetarianism would bring all sorts of environmental and health benefits. But in developing countries there would be negative effects in terms of poverty.”…

    More at “What would happen if the world suddenly went vegetarian?

    * George Bernard Shaw (vegetarian)

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    As we opt for the vegiburger, we might recall that, for all our sins, to day is National Sausage Pizza Day. While pizza dates back (at least) to the ancient Greek custom of covering bread with oils, herbs and cheese (in Byzantine Greek, the dish was spelled πίτα (pita)meaning “pie”), pizza-as-we-know-it seems to have been born in modern Italy as Neapolitan flatbread.  An estimated 3 billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. every year, an average of 350 per second; 17% of all restaurants in the U.S. are pizzerias, more than 10% of which are in New York City. [source]

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  • feedwordpress 08:01:18 on 2015/08/25 Permalink
    Tags: containers, , handmade, , , , , , sausage, ,   

    “Do you know what I miss most about baseball? The pine tar, the resin, the grass, the dirt — and that’s just in the hot dogs”*… 

     

    When Tamar Adler decided to hand-make hot dogs for a summer wedding party, she had no idea what she was getting herself into…

    The extraordinary tale in its entirety at “How the Sausage Is Made: A Look Inside the World of Bespoke Hot Dogs.”

    * David Letterman (during the baseball strike)

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    As we relish relish, we might recall that it was on this date in 1810 that Peter Durand was granted a patent (No. 3372) by King George for the preservation of food in metal (and glass and pottery) containers– the tin can.  Durand was acting as an agent for his friend, the French inventor Nicolas Appert, who had won 12,000 francs from the French military for devising a method of storing food.  Sometimes called “the father of canning,” Appert actually used sealed glass jars to preserve food.  Durand switched to metal.

    One of Durand’s first cans

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