Food History

Egg nog has not always been such a refined holiday quaff.

Eggnog: It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Starts a Holiday Riot

When four gallons of whiskey were smuggled into a West Point Christmas party, a third of the academy erupted into chaos

One of the first "sneeze guards" appeared in Johnny Garneau's American Style Smorgasbord in Monroeville 1958.

How the "Sneeze Guard" Changed Buffet Tables Forever

A germaphobe invented the protective glass barrier over your all-you-can eat meal in 1959

A street food market in San Andrés Cholula, in Mexico's Puebla state

What to Really Eat on Cinco de Mayo

Put down the margaritas and tacos, and pick up a chalupa

Making guacamole

How Did Avocados Become the Official Super Bowl Food?

Did you know this off-season penchant for guacamole is an industry creation?


An Edible White House, and the Long History of Gingerbread

The history of gingerbread starts as early as the 11th century

New Orleans in a bowl: Proper gumbo is an appetizer as filling, rich and complicated as any dish that follows it.

Best. Gumbo. Ever.

He ate far and wide, but the author found only one true version of the New Orleans dish—Mom's

Chicken reigns in the 21st century.

How the Chicken Conquered the World

The epic begins 10,000 years ago in an Asian jungle and ends today in kitchens all over the world


Great Moments in Chicken Culinary History

Where did these six poultry-based dishes (with one imposter) get their start?


There’s No Place Like Naples for Pizza

Forget Chicago deep-dish, Roman pizza bianca and Domino's. For the best, most authentic pizza, go to Napoli

Mexican silver miners likely invented the taco, Mexican Americans in the Southwest reinvented it, and Glen Bell mass-marketed it via the crunchy Taco Bell shell.

Where Did the Taco Come From?

Dating back to the 18th century, the dish has jumped from the Mexican silver mines to fast food staple

Shrimp and rice grits.

Rice Grits: Southern Comfort Food From Flaws

Nearly all of the intact grains were exported, but Carolinians developed a fondness for the faulty brokens, or middlins, that stayed at home

Traditional Thanksgiving dinner includes turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes but the First Thanksgiving likely included wildfowl, corn, porridge and venison.

What Was on the Menu at the First Thanksgiving?

The history of the holiday meal tells us that turkey was always the centerpiece, but other courses have since disappeared

Although the potato is now associated with industrial-scale monoculture, the International Potato Center in Peru has preserved almost 5,000 varieties.

How the Potato Changed the World

Brought to Europe from the New World by Spanish explorers, the lowly potato gave rise to modern industrial agriculture

A parent hopes an authentic Roman banquet will bring the Latin language alive for their son.

Ad Nauseam

Recreating a Roman banquet seemed like a good idea

Jamaica possessed superb growing conditions for sugar cane, and by 1513, Spanish farmers in Sevilla la Nueva tended fields bristling with the green stalks.

Sugar Masters in a New World

Sevilla la Nueva, the first European settlement in Jamaica, is home to the bittersweet story of the beginning of the Caribbean sugar trade

The Humdinger sandwich is a mother-in-law with melted cheese on top.

Searching for a Mother-in-Law Sandwich

Eager enthusiasts track Chicago’s indigenous—and sometimes endangered—food traditions

A carpet of moss.

Ancient, Doomed "Iceman" Had Been Eating Mosses

Scientists found six species of moss in the stomach of the famous five thousand-year-old glacier mummy

Happy Repeal Day!

Cheers! Today marks the 75th anniversary of the US government changing its mind about Prohibition

Fried chicken: the last meal of choice.

What Would You Choose for Your Very Last Meal?

That's what the National Museum of Crime and Punishment asked 500 of its visitors

A proud turkey.

The Eat-ymology of the Turkey

What do you really know about where the turkey came from?

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