Food History

Our primers on food history dive into the backgrounds of the iconic dishes and foodstuffs you know and love so that you can deepen your understanding.
Garifuna dish of hudutu
The Garifuna Diaspora Celebrates 223 Years of its Cuisine
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The History of Bouillon Cubes
Divided States of Chili: A Guide to America's Most Contentious Stew
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A History of Soy Milk
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What Are Dippin' Dots, Really? The History of Cryogenic Ice Cream
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The History of Astronaut Ice Cream
Whirley Pop Popped Corn
The History of Popcorn: How One Grain Became a Staple Snack
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Toni Tipton-Martin's Cookbook, Jubilee, Is a Source of Black Joy
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The Real History of Hushpuppies
Liquid Smoke
Pantry Essentials: All About Liquid Smoke
A bowl of ambrosia, a fruit salad with coconut, pineapple, pecans, mini-marshmallows, and cherries.
How Ambrosia Became a Southern Christmas Tradition
The Story of Carolina Gold, the Best Rice You've Never Tasted
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The Complete History of Ice Cream Cones
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The Joy of Eating Mutura, Nairobi’s Blood Sausage of Ill Repute
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The True Story of Traditional New Year's Lucky Foods
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The Rise and Fall of the Lime Rickey, the Soda Fountain Comeback Kid
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From Trash to Treasure: The History of BBQ Ribs
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Celery Forever: Where America's Weirdest Soda Came From and How It's Stuck Around
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How a 1920s Novel Started an International Restaurant Craze
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The Real Reason Sugar Has No Place in Cornbread
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A Social History of Jell-O Salad: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon
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The 1904 World's Fair: A Turning Point for American Food
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The Historic Problem With Hoppin' John
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How Bottled Water Became America's Most Popular Beverage
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Soda: The Dubious History (And Great Flavor) of Vernors Ginger Ale
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The Real Story of Gumbo, Okra, and Filé
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The Whiskey That Won the Wild West
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From Napoleon to Nutella: The Birth of the Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread
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The Philly Pretzel: One Twisted Jawn
The Real Origins of the Boiled Peanut
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13 Burrito Styles Everyone Should Know
pastrami sandwich
How Pastrami Really Arrived in New York City
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Malört: Chicago's Favorite Bitter Liqueur
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The Big Apple Inn, A Little Mississippi Diner With an Outsize History
How Chicken-Fried Steak Got Its Texas Twang
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Digging Into Detroit's Corned Beef Egg Roll
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A Song of Spice and Fire: The Real Deal With Hunan Cuisine
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From Scientific Cuisine to Southern Icon: The Real History of Pimento Cheese
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Obsessed: The Kitsch and Artistry of Pâté en Croûte
The Snowball: A Baltimore Summer Classic
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Mull, Muddle, and the 12-Gallon Soup Pot: The Secret History of the South's Most Obscure Stew
A cereal aisle in a grocery store.
How Cereal Became the Quintessential American Breakfast
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Country Captain is the Southern Icon You May Have Never Tasted
A Bloody Mary cocktail in a tall glass garnished with a celery stick and some shrimp on a toothpick.
The Bloody Mary: The History and Science of an Oddball Classic
How Banana Pudding Became a Southern Icon
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Why "As Southern as Sweet Tea" Isn't Very Southern at All
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What is Moonshine?
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Prohibition and Wine's Darkest Hour
How Oreos Got Their Name: The Rise of an American Icon
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The Surprisingly Recent Story of How Shrimp and Grits Won Over the South
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Thíŋpsiŋla: The Edible Bounty Beneath the Great Plains
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From Southern Tradition to Mechanical Marvel: How Fried Chicken Lost its Bones
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The History of Chewing Gum, From Chicle to Chiclets
How Congress Almost Killed the Southern Boiled Peanut
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The Rise and Fall of America's Beer Gardens
A slice of New York style cheese pizza on a white paper plate.
A Slice of New York Pizza History
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Cocktail 101: All About Bitters, Part 1
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Abbott's Bitters: Reintroducing a Classic