Food is news. Mad Cow disease devaststes the British beef industry. Macdonalds makes a hamburger for "adults". E. coli, most likely transmitted by food, strikes down Japanese school children. And chocolate is accused of acting like marijuana on the human body (remember Alce B. Toklas brownies?Are we talking "double whoopie" here?).

Looking back 200 years, food was many things in 1796.

In Europe, food was politics. On February 1st, protestors in London, angry over the high price of bread, threw stones at George III and Queen Charlotte. The Queen was hit by one of the stones, but not seriously injured.

Two weeks later a rebellion is provoked in the penal colony at Sydney, Australia, when governor John Hunter bans the distillation of spirits.

In France, with inflation running rampant, a dozen eggs that had cost the equivalent of 24¢ just six years ago, now costs $5.00.

In North America, Ontario horticulturist John McIntosh creates the apple that bears his name today.

In the U. S., Amelia Simmons publishes American Cookery...Adapted to this Country and all Grades of Life , the first cookbook by an American.

And food was the inspiration for heroic verse, as Joel Barlow, U. S. consul to Algiers and a poet, publishes his mock-epic The Hasty Pudding, a recipe in verse, which describes its ingredients and concludes with directions for consumption:

Fear not to slaver; 'tis no deadly sin.
Like the free Frenchman, from your joyous chin
Suspend the ready napkin; or, like me,
Poise with one hand your bowl upon your knee;
Just in the zenith your wise head project,
Your full spoon, rising in a line direct,
Bold as a bucket, heeds no drops that fall,
The wide-mouthed bowl will surely catch them all.


For Classical 91.5 this is David Minor




©1996 David Minor / Eagles Byte

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