The Food History Project
A Kitchen Project Newsletter, May2, 2013

This is Stephen Block from the
Food History Project

Welcome to the latest edition 
of the Food History 


Food History Coming Full Circle

I think it is so much fun to look at older recipes and see how things were done 60 years ago and 160 years ago.

Christopher Kimball who started "Cooks Illustrated" said that he likes reading really old cookbooks, because when he finds a recipe or technique that has been tried and true for 100's of years there must be something unique about it no matter how simple or even awkward it may seem.

200 years ago food you ate was for the most part local. There were spices that came on ships, and some tropical fruit but trains, trucks and high tech distribution logicians had not yet come on the scene.


It 's Asparagus season so 200 years ago during Spring you would see asparagus stands, asparagus dishes poping up.

To the right is a cookbook that was published in 1825 and had a recipe for cooking asparagus on toast.

Go here to read this vintage recipe for cooking asparagus

Now that we can get asparagus in Mega -Marts year around in most urban areas, you don't have to wait for Spring any more. However a new trend is happening called "eating local" sourcing food 100 miles of yourself. and they even have a name for you if you want ..a " Locavore" . I suppose it is like a Carnivore or Hervivore. You eat local your a Locavore. So maybe we are going back to what was tried and true.

Mid Century Modern Recipes

Mid Century Modern is a term for architecture and style of the 1950's.

As you can see in this Mid Century Modern recipe to the right,
the picture looks almost cartoonish comapared to the HD quality food styling fotos you see everywhere today. The recipe shows canned asparagus and it looks as if they used canned pineapple as well.

I remember that certain dishes back then were served with" toast points".
Like the daily special when I was a chef in 1975 could be Chicken Ala King with Toast Points.

Maybe our food isn't perfect but through farming and distribution we can have ALL fresh vegetables most all year around. Someday we will have this and grown sustainable as well. I look for great strides to happen. I think there is a lot of foods that would be great if we could get them all local, but I don't think I will be a total "Locavore.



More on the
History of

Here is one modern way to do this dish,
Substituting the Hollandaise with Cheese
Norma's Asparagus-Ham Rollups with Cheese Sauce

You can always just wrap them in bacon
and roast for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Prociutto Wrapped Asparagus



The olive tree seems t





o be the source of the begining of
vinaigrette dressing. Some Olive trees like this one in Pelion, Greece are
over 2000 years old. This is a start .......

In this issue...........................

The History of Vinaigrette Dressing

a few vinaigrette recipes from this book
Acetari written in 1699 by James Evelyn's book,
A Discourse of Sallets




Go here for the recipe for Mastering the Basic Technique of Vinaigrette Dressing




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My Personal Food History Projects

This is our history of my grandmother and how she came over from Germany at the turn of the century.

Her German heritage blended with the new world and her new family and this is her story and the recipes that go with it.

We discuss our heritage and German recipes and German food history in this newsletter

The German Goodies Newsletter

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Stephen Block

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