December 15, 2017
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15 Favorite Food and Drink Histories From 2017
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Thomas Jefferson had some thoughts about history. “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past,” he once told John Adams. We agree with you, Thomas Jefferson. Sort of. The future is always ahead of us, and as we—the editors of TASTE—turn another page on the calendar, we’re excited for what lies ahead in the world of home cooking. But with that said, and with respect to Thomas “quote machine” Jefferson, we do think that Heather Arndt Anderson’s deep dive into Victorian-era celery culture is pretty entertaining. As is Tatiana Bautista’s deep look at bread machines in the 1990s. As is John Kessler’s return to the fine-dining trends of the 1980s. As is Sara Franklin’s detailed assessment of the history of the American cookbook, from Clementine Paddleford to James Beard to Martha Stewart. As is Allison Robicelli’s report on doughnut lassies from World War I. We really love looking at food history, both popular and bizarre. Here are 15 that really stuck out.

Duck Two Ways

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Duck Two Ways

Here John Kessler recalls his time at the L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Maryland, during the 1986-1987 academic year. On the menu: Duck.

Cooking in the 1980s

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Cooking in the 1980s

A blood-splashed culinary school binder recalls the timelessness of French culinary pedagogy and the bold awfulness of ’80s restaurant food.

What Is Australian Food, Really?

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What Is Australian Food, Really?

Consider, for just a moment, what you know of Australian food. We’re all throwing prawns on the barbie, adding beetroot to our burgers, and smearing strange, salty, coal-hued Vegemite on toast—meanwhile, there are kangaroos bouncing down every main street. Well, okay, there are, but it depends which suburb you’re in. And yes, crustaceans add sophistication to any soirée. As for beetroot on burgers? You bet. And Vegemite? Once you get the butter, bread, and spread ratio correct, it’s a revelation. But generalized perceptions are rarely the rule.

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