Thanks to everyone who joined in this weeks' Food History Happy Hour! In this episode we made the Guadalcanal Cocktail and discussed rhubarb, abolitionist boycott of sugar and the slave trade, rhubarb recipes and all the animals who are eating my rhubarb, breakfast cereals, in particular GrapeNuts and the real story GrapeNuts ice cream (and its predecessor GrapeNuts pudding), graham flour and graham pudding, Kellogg v. Post cereals (as seen on The Food That Built America), including the history of Granula, the accident of corn flakes, C.W. Post and the California Fig Nut Company, sugary breakfast cereals in the 1950s and on, shredded wheat, the Victorian interest in grain-based products with milk on top, Wheatina, frog eye salad, Cool Whip, rural v. urban breakfast trends, food deserts, housing policy and suburbs, TV and dinners, the addictiveness of sugar, the food pyramid, the history of lunch, including nuncheon, and the introduction of fellow food historian Niel De Marino, who specializes in 18th century foodways and runs The Georgian Kitchen, Russian/Georgian food and cookbooks, Black Panthers, and the reaction to the film "Birth of a Nation."
With a cameo by Sweetie Pie, of course! And I believe this was our longest and most lively Food History Happy Hour yet!
1 jigger bourbon (Old Crow is most accurate)
2-3 ice cubes
unsweetened grapefruit juice
In an old fashioned glass, pour jigger of bourbon over ice. Fill with grapefruit juice and stir.
The REAL Story of Grape Nuts Ice Cream
Well as you may know I get a lot of media requests, so one on the origin of Grape Nuts ice cream was fun to research, even if the request was VERY last-minute. Sadly, my commentary on the history did not make the cut of the rather frivolous radio spot (annoying, considering how much work I put into it, all free of charge), but it DID result in some fun research on Grape Nuts ice cream, which was, sadly, NOT invented by Hannah Young in Wolfville, Nova Scotia in 1919, as many people, including her grandson Paul, have claimed. Or at least, Hannah may have come up with the combination independently (although I doubt that could ever be verified), and likely had a hand in popularizing it in Nova Scotia, but I've found references that predate Young by at least 10 years.
This reference, from the American Housekeeper Advertiser dates to 1909 and is the earliest published reference I could find.
Of course, in 1916, the Post company published, "Good Things to Eat From Wellville."
The first recipe listed in "Good Things to Eat" is very similar to the one from the American Housekeeper Advertiser, but the second is simply vanilla ice cream with Grape Nuts folded in. Also notice with "coffee" flavored Postum ice cream! The cookbook also includes Post Toasties ice cream and several other confection recipes using the cereals. And of course, all these recipes predate the 1919 Hannah Young story.
At any rate - it was a fun research project and I'm glad I was able to add to the historiography of Grape Nuts Ice Cream.
Here's a flurry of other links related to tonight's talk!
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Sarah Wassberg Johnson has an MA in Public History from the University at Albany and studies early 20th century food history.
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