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By American Food Roots

Eating nose to tail meant more meat for Europe in WWI

  Eating nose to tail was more patriotic than trendy during World War I. Because of the dramatic food shortages in Europe, Americans were encouraged to eat “alternate” meats (something other than beef) and all parts of the animal. One way to reduce beef consumption, according to the authors of “Win the War in the Kitchen,” was …

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Cuccidati means Christmas in Sicilian

When Wayne Baden was growing up his grandmother made a mysterious cookie every Christmas. Around November, she would open all the windows and roll the buttery dough in the freezing cold kitchen, working fast so it wouldn’t melt. The fig-stuffed treats were covered in “jolly” sprinkles, Baden remembered, but he never knew the name of …

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Learning to go without meat and wheat in WWI

World War I cookbooks indicate most Americans at the time thought protein could only be obtained from red meat, and that without it their health would suffer.  And now, they were being asked to go without meat. Cookbooks written for wartime use tried to re-educate the public. “Although most persons believe that protein can only be obtained …

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Video: The life of the cranberry

There’s more to growing a cranberry than wading into the bog. As part of a video series called, “How Does it Grow,” Nicole Cotroneo Jolly walks you through the cranberry’s life cycle  in just over five minutes. She and her crew visit a New Jersey cranberry farm and show the native American fruit on dry land, in …

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Thanksgiving stuffing recipes are all winners

No matter what you call it — “stuffing” or “dressing” — that bready staple is always a star at the Thanksgiving table. Thanksgiving stuffing recipes are also where many families express their long-held traditions or even their ethnic backgrounds. Our contest winner, selected at random to receive a copy of Rick Rodgers’ “The Big Book of …

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Thanksgiving recipes: we’re talking pies

There may be as many Thanksgiving pie traditions as there are families. “Tell me where your grandmother came from,” wrote 20th century cookbook author Clementine Paddleford, “and I can tell you how many kinds of pie you serve for Thanksgiving.” Whether your family’s tradition includes mince, key lime or sugar cream, chances are you’ve got …

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Thanksgiving recipes: chestnuts sweet and savory

The American chestnut was once king of the forest. One of every four hardwoods in Eastern woods was a chestnut. Just around Thanksgiving, the fruit of the tree was ripe. Hence, chestnut stuffing, chestnut puree, chestnuts roasting on an open fire. By the 1950s, a lethal fungus pretty much wiped out the American chestnut. We’ve been making do …

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WWI food shortages changed American eating habits

Meatless Monday are nothing new. The same term was used during World War I to encourage Americans to eat non-meat proteins in response to food shortages in Europe. Red meat was considered the most desirable animal protein. Home economists put together cookbooks with meat alternatives such as milk, cheese, eggs, fish, legumes and nuts. (Poultry …

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Thanksgiving recipes: Mashed potatoes are a must

People may argue about the recipe for the Thanksgiving mashed potatoes. Milk or cream? Garlic, no garlic? Yukon golds or russets? The only rule is they have to be there. But here’s the big reveal: there’s almost no chance potatoes were part of the original feast. Potatoes are native to South America and, according to …

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Thanksgiving recipes: Midwestern wild rice, Southern spoonbread

Thanksgiving can be frustrating for adventurous cooks. Friends and family who will happily eat steamed barnacles and ox tartare any other day of the year are likely to flip over the table if the stuffing has goji berries or if Grandma’s cranberry mold has quietly been “disappeared.” So American Food Roots has partnered with Cookstr.com to …

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