Thanks to everyone who participated in this week's Food History Happy Hour! In this episode we made the Ice-Cream Soda-Water from Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks (1869). As I went through the laborious process of hand-shaving ice from a block, we briefly discussed the history of ice harvesting and the first uses of soda fountains.
We also discussed all things hot dog! Including the history of hot dogs, how they are made, their prevalence at beaches, ball parks, and fairs, regional variations in hot dog toppings, the origin of the corn dog, and the use of hot dogs in American diplomacy, including famously by Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt in Hyde Park when they entertained King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939. We also discussed sweet v. savory cocktails in history, uses for leftover hot dog buns, and more. Check it out!
Ice-Cream Soda-Water (1869)
In my research for last week's episode into the origins of the root beer float, I found reference in the 1860s to soda fountains and the invention of the ice cream soda that was simply ice and cream and soda water. So it was fun to discover this recipe in the cocktail guide Cooling Cups and Dainty Drinks (1869).
The original recipe doesn't have much direction, but here it is:
Ice-Cream Soda-Water - Equal quantity of fruit syrup and cream; double the same of shaven ice; add bottle of soda water and drink off.
Here's my recipe:
1 cup hand-shaven ice (the more the better)
1 ounce raspberry syrup (a 19th century favorite!)
1 ounce heavy cream
6-8 ounces seltzer or club soda
Place the ice in a large tumbler and pour syrup and cream over, top with seltzer, stir gently, and drink quickly.
"Dog Factory" by Thomas Edison (1904)
A Food Historian friend asked if I was going to "ruin" hot dogs for Food History Happy Hour by discussing how they are made. I didn't make any promises, but thought this Thomas Edison film was fun to watch. In it, dogs are turned into hot dogs, and hot dogs are turned back into dogs. In the background of the "factory" - which closely resembles a hot dog push cart - ropes of sausages hang on the wall labeled by type of dog.
It's a bit gross, but meant to be all in good fun - making a joke (as always) about the origins of the meat used to make hot dogs, something that still occurs today. In the end, more sausages get magically turned into dogs than vice versa.
This was a fun episode to research, and here are a few of the articles I referenced:
Thanks for watching!
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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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