Who Wrote the Recipes?
Have you ever wondered who Wrote the Recipes?
I dont know about anyone else, but I have often sat and wondered: Who decided to mix eggs, flour, milk, cocoa and butter together to make a cake? How did they know how much of each to use? This inspired a search through history to discover when certain items made their debuts into the world of food.
Did you know that bread has been around since 10,000BC in the beginning of the Neolithic age? Soup has been around since 6,000BC when previously, boiling had not been a daily cooking method until waterproof containers could be created from animal hides, and later clay.
Ice Cream has been around since about 3,000BC with early allusions to the Roman emperor, Nero ordering ice to be brought from the mountains and fruit toppings added. King Tan of China had a manner of creating milk and ice mixtures. Ice cream was most likely introduced to Europe by China. In Persia, people would pour grape-juice concentrate over snow and eat it as a treat in hot weather.
Chocolate beverages can be traced back to 1900BC in the history of chocolate, beginning in Mesoamerica. Chocolate was a big part of Mayan and Aztec royal and religious celebrations. Europeans added sugar and milk which werent ingredients that Mayans and Aztecs used, in an effort to sweeten and lighten the chocolate. Where the Mesoamericans used chocolate as part of their diets, Europeans reserved it as a dessert. John Cadbury created the chocolate bar as we know it in the 19th century. These days nearly two thirds of cocoa is produced in Africa with almost half growing on the Ivory Coast.
In 900BC polenta appeared on the food chain with the 1st Century seeing the creations of French toast, omelettes, fried chicken, cheesecake and rice pudding. Skip ahead to the 13th Century and we see the introduction of ravioli, lasagne, mozzarella, pancakes and waffles.
1487 saw the first hot dogs, though this is debateable as claims abound as to what the original hot dog constituted. Was the name given to the type of sausage, or putting the sausage on a bun with tomato sauce? Frankfurters come from Frankfurt, Germany, Wieners from Vienna, Austria which are both sausages similar to hot dogs. Some claims to the invention of hot dogs include German immigrant Charles Feltman in around 1870, the wife of German Antonoine Feuchtwanger in 1880, and Bavarian Anton Ludwig Geuchtwanger in 1893.
Pizza originated in Greece. The ancient Greeks spread bread with oils, herbs and cheese. The Romans took sheets of dough, topped them with cheese and honey, and flavoured with bay leaves. Italy is the home of the modern pizza, with legend recounting that Pizza Margherita was invented in 1889, commissioned in honour of Queen Margherita by the Royal Palace of Capodimonte, though this story was disproved by research.
This brings me back to the cake question and I found this history to be a rather extensive topic. The word is of Viking origin, from the Norse word kaka. The Greeks invented beer as a leavener and first cakes were really breads in constitution, though sweetened with honey and often with fruit and nuts added. Ancient Romans fortified bread dough with butter, eggs, and honey, resulting in a sweet cake. In England, the first cakes were also actually breads with just the methods of preparation differing. Predecessors to modern cakes originated in Europe during the 17th century though it was not until the mid-19th century that cakes as we know them found their way into existence.
From this I learn that the creation of food items as we know them has been an evolutionary process rather than an a-ha moment that has produced a singular die-hard recipe that has lasted through the ages. And we still see today the constant improvements, adaptations and new recipes finding their way into popularity and onto daily menus.