Category Archives: Culinary

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Celebrate AntiquityNOW Month with Crepes Suzette

crepes suzetteAh, Paris in spring. What could be more glorious? Strolling the boulevards abloom with horse chestnut trees. Taking a boat ride down the Seine. Climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower or gazing rapturously at the Mona …. Wait a minute. What’s that delectable aroma? What are those people consuming with such gusto? Yes! Regard the street vendor deftly creating that culinary perfection. Lo and behold, it’s the inimitable crepe! Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month With Asian Pear and Gouda Grilled Cheese

grilled cheeseApril is a time to fete one of the most popular of dishes, the inimitable grilled cheese sandwich. Last year in our commemoration we explored the very ancient history of cheese and how a mutant gene 7,500 years ago bestowed upon us “lactase persistence,” enabling our species to digest dairy. This year we want to include in our culinary honors the pear, a fruit whose delectability has been enjoyed through the ages and whose pairing with cheese makes this grilled sandwich close to perfection. But first, let’s look at some interesting (or outlandish) anecdotes about the pear. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Kitniyot for Passover

lentilsPassover begins this Friday, April 22nd, and this year will be different for many Jewish families. For the first time in 800 years, conservative Jews are allowed to eat kitniyot. Don’t know what kitniyot is? Don’t worry. We’re here to help. First, we’ll tell you about this centuries old ban and then we’ll bring you a recipe for a version of kitniyot. Whether or not you observe this sacred day, you can enjoy this hearty and nutritious dish. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! National Garlic Month

garlic pressThis month we’re celebrating a fragrant, flavorful addition to any meal. Garlic may have a bad reputation of ruining a first kiss, but it is not only delicious, it is full of health benefits and has a fascinating and ancient past. Today, we’re reminding you of our post about the mysterious black garlic. Read Bon Appetit Wednesday! The Mysterious Origin of Black Garlic to learn about the history of this interesting little ingredient or scroll down to jump straight to the recipe. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Peach Almond Cake

peach cakeSun-kissed a blushing gold, peaches are a deliciously succulent marvel. Fuzzy or smooth, they tickle the palate and are versatility personified when gracing entrees, salads and desserts.

As much as we enjoy peaches today, you may be surprised to learn that they have quite an ancient—make that very ancient—history.

In 2010 a road crew near the North Terminal Bus Station in Kunming, central Yunnan Province, southwestern China, unearthed a strange find in the strata of a rock outcrop from the late Pliocene Ciying Formation. A team of paleontologists led by Dr. Tao Su of Xishuangbanna Tropical Garden and the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology identified the objects as eight fossilized peach endocarps or pits. They realized the discovery as a new species of the genus Prunus and named the pits P. kunmingensis. The endocarps were dated back 2.5 million years. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! National Noodle Month

zucchini noodlesDid you know that March is National Noodle Month? Neither did we! We almost missed out on celebrating this ancient and fantastic food! In our humble opinion, noodles may be one of the world’s most perfect foods. They are the base for recipes from China to Italy and can be savory, sweet, salty and more. Today you can find noodles to suit every taste and inclination. There are zucchini noodles, gluten free noodles, cellophane noodles, flat noodles, thin noodles, long noodles, short noodles, so many noodles! Read our Ancient Noodle post below to learn about the noodle’s fascinating history and scroll down for a yummy zucchini noodle recipe. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Ancient Roman Eggs for Easter

easter-eggsEaster is this Sunday and if you’ve already had enough of brightly-colored hardboiled eggs, we’ve got you covered. Just in time for Easter breakfast we’re reposting an ancient Roman egg recipe that had the Romans begging for seconds. Click here for all of the scrumptious details about Ancient Roman Eggs in Pine Nut Sauce or jump right to the recipe below! Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Celebrate Cherry Blossom Season

cherry_blossom_by_jennyxlove59-d4uraa9The cherry blossoms will be in peak bloom beginning this Friday, so there is no better time to celebrate this beautiful flower and the delicious fruit associated with it. Of course, the cherry blossoms we know so well aren’t actually responsible for the juicy red fruits we love, but you can learn all about that, the ancient roots of the cherry and more tempting facts by clicking on the links below. And of course, we’re bringing you a brand new cherry recipe! Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Flan

FlanHave you ever slid your spoon into a smooth, creamy serving of flan and wondered, “What genius came up with this heavenly creation?” Well, we can’t give you a name, but we can give you the ancient history behind the delectable concoction we call flan.

As with so many of our modern recipes, flan has its origins in Rome. Those crafty Romans developed flan originally as a savory dish, but quickly decided to expand its use. And while they did create a sweet honey-flavored flan, they also indulged in the less appetizing eel flan with pepper.[1] Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Ancient Stir Fry

stir frySimple, delicious and ancient. It’s not difficult to understand why stir fry has endured the test of time. It’s healthy, easy-to-prepare and there are so many variations! Today we’re bringing you a recipe for traditional Chinese stir fry, but first, let’s take a quick look at its history.

There is evidence that the stir frying technique was first practiced during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 221 AD). Inscriptions of the Chinese character “chao” (炒), which means “stir fry”, on bronze vessels point to stir-frying being used in parching grain, and archaeological evidence of woks, along with thinly cut strips of meat, suggest it was also employed as a cooking method.[1] By the time of the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE), stir fry was being used regularly. Remarkably, we have 12 surviving stir fry-related recipes from this time period.[2] Continue reading