A thousand years ago the Aztecs knew something that Norteamericanos are still struggling with, at least once a year: Turkey just isn’t very good. Sure, deck it out with mom’s stuffing, aunt Carol’s squash soup, some candied carrots, a metric ton of mashed potatoes, a couple of pies and plenty of liquor, and it will [...]
Of Ginnie or Indian Pepper: Gerard is a little less certain that chile’s newness pose some threat to England, but he does note that it has none of the virtue of Calcutta pepper, damages the liver and other entrails and possibly kills dogs.
I found this recipe for chile sauce inside my well-used copy of The New England Cookbook or Young Housekeeper’s Guide (New Haven, 1836). You’ll notice the recipe calls for two “sweet” spices (and sugar – though not human flesh), cloves and cinnamon, as well as two cups of vinegar (which seems like a lot of [...]
1534: A Spanish trader is returning to his ship in Seville after another unsuccessful attempt to sell his carefully tended hull full of tomato plants. The actual tomatoes that he’d brought had long ago rotted en route, and he’d had a hell of a time explaining to his customers what, precisely, the tomatoes were for. [...]