Tuesday, March 28, 2006

American Revolutionary Recipes

Mars has teamed up with historical foundations like Colonial Williamsburg and Monticello to create chocolate based on recipes from the Revolutionary era. The bars and drinking chocolate are slightly gritty because methods for grinding cacao beans were quite primitive in the 1700s. (Mars admits to using electricity this time around.) The treats contain authentic spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, anise and cayenne pepper. Revolutionary Americans like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed chocolate as a breakfast drink. Somewhat prophetically, chocolate was perceived as healthy (albeit as a treatment for asthma; polyphenols hadn’t been discovered yet). Foodies go crazy for the story behind the food. They embrace artisanal, handcrafted products that teach and take them back in time. Plus, chocolate. Products are sold at Fort Ticonderoga, Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, Monticello and the Smithsonian. See the website for mail-order info and historic recipes.

American Heritage Chocolate http://www.americanheritagechocolate.com

Friday, March 03, 2006

Historic American Cookbooks

The goal of "Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project" at the Michigan State University project is to create an online collection of the most influential American cookbooks published between the late 1700's and the early 20th Century. The digital archive includes page images of 76 cookbooks from the MSU Library's collection as well as searchable full-text transcriptions. This site also features a glossary of cookery terms and multidimensional images of antique cooking implements from the collections of the MSU Museum. The Feeding America online collection intends to highlight an important part of America's cultural heritage for teachers, students, researchers investigating American social history, professional chefs, and lifelong learners of all ages. The introductory essay by Jan Longone that discusses the project and the history of cookbooks in America. Browsing through the gallery of digital images and full-text transcriptions of these ancient cookbooks will give you insight into culinary history. Visitors can also search the site by text or author to read about a specific cookbook or chef.

Feeding America http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/index.html