The surprising history of culinary trends

 Maple syrup dumplings

Did you know that maple syrup was promoted as an alternative sweetener decades before high-fructose corn syrup was even invented? Or that "Meatless Mondays" date back 100 years? A new video series out Tuesday from American Food Roots explores these and more fascinating culinary insights.

The series focuses on "profiling the food of World War I and the lasting impact it's had on American culture." Beginning on November 11 (Veterans' Day holiday in the US), the series will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War as historians trace the story of food trends and happenings that have molded the way we eat in the modern era. "What's surprising in this material are the number of foods and nutritional concepts that we think of as contemporary," says American Food Roots' managing editor Bonny Wolf. "In fact, many of our current culinary habits can trace their beginnings to this seminal event 100 years ago." 

The first video of the five-part series shows that the US began fighting the war from its kitchens long before its soldiers landed on European soil. The second video explores the rise of peanut butter as a meat substitute and discusses a fancy new condiment: mayonnaise. Other videos show that nose-to-tail dining isn't a new concept and that sugar substitutes, as well as ancient grains, were all part of the repetoire of cooks in the early 20th century.

Photo of Maple-syrup dumplings  from indexed mag Saveur Magazine

1 Comment

  • hillsboroks  on  11/9/2014 at 10:35 AM

    Thank you for such a fun post! I followed the link to American Food Roots and spent a lazy Sunday morning reading article after article about American regional cooking. This blog is such a nice complement to EYB.

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