On the Radar: When Everyone Had Stoves, But Not Ovens

Called a four banal (common oven, sometimes called four à pain), the history of this oven's practice spanned from medieval times until as recently as World War II. French seigneurs provided their serfs with a communal oven, run by a fournier, to meet their baking needs. Every house could build a fire over which they …

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Rattan, the Mai Tai, and Blue Hawaii: A History in “Exotic” Escapism

Polynesian pop and Tiki culture have always been about escapism.... The trend got its beginnings in the 20s, though social and artistic obsessions with tropical climes have existed for as long as Europeans and Americans have been around to "discover" them. Escapism, however, is not a uniquely "Western" obsession; most everyone finds joy in a …

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The Gilded Age Woman Who Put the Original “Joy” in American Cooking

In the days where many average home cooks rely heavily on cook book recipes and Youtube tutorials, one shudders to think there existed a time without them. Before the amazing preponderance of TV chefs, Buzzfeed's Tasty, and the like, people in America cooked without standardized measurements and without recipes until the last few decades of …

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On the Radar: Barbecue Back in the Day, North Carolina

Modern methods for making pulled pork did not always exist, of course. Back before large pig roasters and custom-made grills, North Carolinians made do with pots, trenches, some sticks, and some sort of utensil to baste on that glorious BBQ sauce. Source: State Archives of North Carolina Flickr Be sure to check out the entire …

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Corned Beef: smuggled aboard Gemini III & other oddities

Corned beef might just have a more illustrious history than many famous figures. The earliest noted reference to the meat dates to the 12th century, when it was called the "demon of gluttony" in an Irish poem about a king who gorges himself on corned beef. The personified "demon" beef goes so far to say …

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