One of America’s Favorites – Submarine Sandwich

December 30, 2013 at 10:45 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A submarine sandwich.

A submarine sandwich.

A submarine sandwich, also known as a sub, hoagie, hero, grinder, or one of many regional naming variations, is a sandwich that consists of a long roll of Italian or French bread, split width wise either into two pieces or opened in a “V” on one side, and filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables, seasonings, and sauces. The sandwich has no standardized name, and many U.S. regions have their own names for it; one study found 13 different names for the sandwich in the United States. The usage of the several terms varies regionally but not in any pattern, as they have been used variously by the people and enterprises who make and sell them. The terms submarine and sub are widespread and not assignable to any certain region, though many of the localized terms are clustered in the northeast United States, where most Italian Americans live.

 

 

The sandwich originated in several different Italian American communities in the Northeastern United States from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries. Portland, Maine claims to be the birthplace of the “Italian sandwich” and it is considered Maine’s signature sandwich. The popularity of this Italian-American cuisine has grown from its origins in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts to most parts of the United States, Canada, and with the advent of chain restaurants, is now available in many parts of the world. In Europe, it would simply be known as a baguette, or a ciabatta, named after traditional breads long baked in France and Italy.

 

 

Sub sandwich

Sub sandwich

The use of the term “submarine” or “sub” (after the resemblance of the roll to the shape of a submarine) is widespread. One theory is that it originated in a restaurant in Scollay Square in Boston, Massachusetts at the beginning of World War I. The sandwich was created to entice the large numbers of navy servicemen stationed at the Charlestown Navy Yard. The bread was a smaller, specially baked baguette that resembled the hull of the submarines it was named after.
Another theory suggests the submarine was brought to the U.S. by Dominic Conti (1874–1954), an Italian immigrant who came to New York in the early 1900s. He is said to have named it after seeing the recovered 1901 submarine called Fenian Ram in the Paterson Museum of New Jersey in 1918. His granddaughter has stated the following: “My grandfather came to this country circa 1895 from Montella, Italy. Around 1910, he started his grocery store, called Dominic Conti’s Grocery Store, on Mill Street in Paterson, New Jersey where he was selling the traditional Italian sandwiches. His sandwiches were made from a recipe he brought with him from Italy which consisted of a long crust roll, filled with cold cuts, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, oil, vinegar, Italian herbs and spices, salt, and pepper. The sandwich started with a layer of cheese and ended with a layer of cheese (this was so the bread wouldn’t get soggy).

 

 

The term hoagie originated in the Philadelphia area. The Philadelphia Evening Bulletin reported, in 1953, that Italians working at the World War I–era shipyard in Philadelphia, known as Hog Island where emergency shipping was produced for the war effort, introduced the sandwich, by putting various meats, cheeses, and lettuce between two slices of bread. This became known as the “Hog Island” sandwich; shortened to “Hoggies”, then the “hoagie”.
The Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen’s Manual offers a different explanation, that the sandwich was created by early-twentieth-century street vendors called “hokey-pokey men”, who sold antipasto salad, meats and cookies. When Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta H.M.S. Pinafore opened in Philadelphia in 1879, bakeries produced a long loaf called the pinafore. Entrepreneurial “hokey-pokey men” sliced the loaf in half, stuffed it with antipasto salad, and sold the world’s first “hoagie”.
Another explanation is that the word “hoagie” arose in the late 19th to early 20th century, among the Italian community in South Philadelphia, when “on the hoke” was a slang used to describe a destitute person. Deli owners would give away scraps of cheeses and meats in an Italian bread-roll known as a “hokie”, but the Italian immigrants pronounced it “hoagie”.
Other less likely explanations involve “Hogan” (a nickname for Irish workers at the Hog Island shipyard), a reference to the pork or “hog” meat used in hoagies, “honky sandwich” (using a racial slur for white people seen eating them) or “hooky sandwich” (derived from “hookie” for truant kids seen eating them). Shortly after World War II, there were numerous varieties of the term in use throughout Philadelphia. By the 1940s, the spellings “hoagie” and, to a lesser extent, “hoagy” had come to dominate less used variations like “hoogie” and “hoggie”. By 1955, restaurants throughout the area were using the term “hoagie”, with many selling hoagies and subs or hoagies and pizza. Listings in Pittsburgh show hoagies arriving in 1961 and becoming widespread in that city by 1966.
Former Philadelphia mayor (and later Pennsylvania governor) Ed Rendell declared the hoagie the “Official Sandwich of Philadelphia”. However, there are claims that the hoagie was actually a product of nearby Chester, Pennsylvania. DiCostanza’s in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania claims that the mother of DiConstanza’s owner originated the hoagie in 1925 in Chester. DiCostanza relates the story that a customer came into the family deli and through an exchange matching the customer’s requests and the deli’s offerings, the hoagie was created.
A local Philadelphia variation on the hoagie is the zep made in Norristown, Pennsylvania. It is a variation on the traditional hoagie, with no lettuce and only one meat. It is made on a round roll, with provolone cheese covering meat, chunks of raw onion, and slabs of tomato. It is dressed with oregano, salt, pepper, olive oil, and hot pepper relish.

 

The New York term hero is first attested in 1937. The name is sometimes credited to the New York Herald Tribune food writer Clementine Paddleford in the 1930s, but there is no good evidence for this. It is also sometimes claimed that it is related to the gyro, but this is unlikely as the gyro was unknown in the United States until the 1960s, according to some sources.
“Hero” (plural usually heros remains the prevailing New York City term for most sandwiches on an oblong roll with a generally Italian flavor, in addition to the original described above. Pizzeria menus often include eggplant parmigiana, chicken parmigiana, and meatball heros, each served with sauce.

 

 

 

Roast beef grinder

Roast beef grinder

Grinder, a common term in New England, its origin has several possibilities. One theory has the name coming from Italian-American slang for a dock worker, among whom the sandwich was popular Others say it was called a grinder because it took a lot of chewing to eat the hard crust of the bread used.
In western Massachusetts a grinder is specifically a toasted sub, for example, the sub is toasted in a pizza oven. In Pennsylvania and Delaware, the term grinder simply refers to a submarine sandwich that has been heated in any fashion.

From its origins with the Italian American labor force in the Northeastern United States, the sub began to show up on menus of local pizzerias. As time went on and popularity grew, small restaurants, called Hoagie shops and Sub shops, that specialized in the sandwich began to open.
After World War II, Italian food grew in popularity in the US and started to become assimilated. This brought the use of other meats to the sandwich including turkey, roast beef, American and Swiss cheese, as well as spreads such as mayonnaise and mustard.

 

 
Pizzerias may have been among the first Italian-American eateries, but even at the turn of the [20th] century distinctions were clear-cut as to what constituted a true ristorante. To be merely a pizza-maker was to be at the bottom of the culinary and social scale; so many pizzeria owners began offering other dishes, including the hero sandwich (also, depending on the region of the United States, called a ‘wedge,’ a ‘hoagie,’ a ‘sub,’ or a ‘grinder’) made on a Italian loaf of bread with lots of salami, cheese, and peppers.
—John Mariani, America Eats Out, p. 66
By the late 20th century, due to the rise of large franchisee chain restaurants and fast food, the sandwich became available worldwide. Many outlets offer non-traditional ingredient combinations.
In the United States, many chain restaurants have arisen that specialize in subs including Capriotti’s, Submarina, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Blimpie, Jimmy John’s, Lenny’s Sub Shop, Milio’s, Port of Subs, Eegee’s, Firehouse Subs, Penn Station, Planet Sub, Potbelly, Tubby’s, Schlotzsky’s, Which Wich and D’Angelo Sandwich Shops. Major international chains include Quiznos, Mr. Sub and the largest restaurant chain in the world, Subway. The sandwich is also usually available at supermarkets and convenience stores.

One of America’s Favorites – Cheese Sandwich

December 9, 2013 at 8:36 AM | Posted in cheese, One of America's Favorites | 4 Comments
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A grilled cheese sandwich with American cheese, served with tomato soup

A grilled cheese sandwich with American cheese, served with tomato soup

A cheese sandwich is a basic sandwich made generally with one or more varieties of cheese on any sort of bread. In addition to the cheese, it may also include condiments such as butter or mayonnaise. Cheese sandwiches can be uncooked, or heated so that the bread toasts and the cheese melts (a dish referred to as a grilled cheese sandwich, toasted cheese, cheese toastie or simply grilled cheese).
Cheese sandwiches with added meat (such as ham, bacon, turkey and other meats) are generally referred to by more specific names. If ham is included, for example, the result is a “ham and cheese sandwich”. Grilled cheese sandwiches are often served with soup in the United States.

Cooked bread and cheese is an ancient food, according to food historians, popular across the world in many cultures; evidence indicates that in the U.S., the modern version of the grilled cheese sandwich originated in the 1920s when inexpensive sliced bread and American cheese became easily available The cheese dream became popular during the Great Depression.
It was originally made as an open sandwich, but the top slice of bread became common by the 1960s. U.S. government cookbooks describe Navy cooks broiling “American cheese filling sandwiches” during World War II. Many versions of the grilled cheese sandwich can now be found on restaurant menus across the United States.

Uncooked cheese sandwiches simply require assembly of the cheese slices on the bread, along with any additions and condiments.
A grilled cheese sandwich is assembled and then heated until the bread crisps and the cheese melts, sometimes combined with an additional ingredient such as peppers, tomatoes or onions. Several different methods of heating the sandwich are used, depending on the region and personal preference. Common methods include being cooked on a griddle, grilled, fried in a pan or made in a panini grill or sandwich toaster (this method is more common in the United Kingdom where the sandwiches are normally called “toasted sandwiches” or “toasties”).
When making grilled cheese on an open griddle or pan, one side is cooked first, then the sandwich is flipped and cooked on the other side. The sandwich is finished when both sides are toasted and the cheese has melted. Butter, oil, or mayonnaise may first be spread on either the bread or the cooking surface in the case of butter and oil. An alternative technique is to toast or grill each half of the sandwich separately, then combine them. Another method sometimes referred as an “inside out” grilled cheese has an extra layer of cheese put on the outside of each side and cooked, causing the cheese to caramelize into a crispy outer layer.
When using butter best results are achieved at a medium heat. This prevents the milk solids in butter from burning and allows sufficient time for heat to thoroughly penetrate the sandwich and melt the cheese without burning the bread. A crispy golden-brown crust with a melted cheese center is a commonly preferred level of preparedness. Cooking times can vary depending on pan dimensions, ability to control the intensity of the heat source, bread type, cheese variety and overall thickness of pre-cooked sandwich.

A Grilled Cheese Basic Recipe and Web Links Grilled Cheese Recipes

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients:

4 slices white bread
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 slices Cheddar cheese

Directions:

* Preheat skillet over medium heat. Generously butter one side of a slice of bread. Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet bottom and add 1 slice of cheese. Butter a second slice of bread on one side and place butter-side-up on top of sandwich. Grill until lightly browned and flip over; continue grilling until cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining 2 slices of bread, butter and slice of cheese.

10 Greatest Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
http://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/10-greatest-grilled-cheese-sandwiches-71411

50 Grilled Cheeses (Food Network)

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/50-grilled-cheeses/index.html

One of America’s Favorites – Hash

July 15, 2013 at 8:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 2 Comments
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An order of corned beef hash.

An order of corned beef hash.

Hash is a dish consisting of diced meat, potatoes, and spices that are mixed together and then cooked either alone or with other ingredients such as onions. The name is derived from the French verb hacher (to chop).

In many locations, hash is served primarily as a breakfast food on restaurant menus and as home cuisine, often served with eggs and toast (or biscuits), and occasionally fried potatoes (hash browns, home fries, etc.). The dish may also use corned beef or roast beef.
Corned beef hash became especially popular in some countries during and after World War II as rationing limited the availability of fresh meat.
Hash has recently made a comeback as more than just a dish for leftovers or breakfasts of last resort. High-end restaurants now offer sophisticated hashes and the first cookbook dedicated exclusively to a wide variety of hashes was self-published in 2012.

 

 

In Northern England, corned beef hash is a traditional cheap and quick dish dating back many years. Corned beef (beef treated with saltpeter) is nearly always from a tin and almost always imported from South America. Tinned corned beef was available more plentifully during war years (when fresh meat was heavily rationed) and a staple food in the armed forces. The meal is made with tinned corned beef, stirred with browned onions, before having liquid added (either gravy or stock, or tinned tomatoes) then having lightly boiled sliced potatoes layered over the top before being browned under a hot grill. Alternatively cubed boiled potatoes are stirred in. Some recipes would add peas or carrots.[citation needed]
In Scotland, the dish of “stovies” is very similar to hash. There are many variations on the dish, but all consist of a base of mashed or coarsely chopped potato, with onions and leftover meat, usually minced or roast beef although there are many variations including corned beef.

 

 

The meat packing company Hormel claims that it introduced corned beef hash and roast beef hash to the U.S. as early as 1950, but

Texas hash with cornbread and green beans.

Texas hash with cornbread and green beans.

“hash” of many forms was part of the American diet since at least the 19th century, as is attested by the availability of numerous recipes and the existence of many “hash houses” named after the dish. In the United States, September 27 is “National Corned Beef Hash Day.”
Alternatively, in the southern United States, the term “hash” may refer to two dishes:
* a Southern traditional blend of leftover pork from a barbecue mixed with barbecue sauce and served over rice. This is a common side dish at barbecue restaurants and pig pickin’s notably in South Carolina and Georgia.
* a thick stew made up of pork, chicken and beef, generally leftover, traditionally seasoned with salt and pepper and other spices, reduced overnight over an open flame in an iron washpot or hashpot.
* Some areas in the south also use the term hash to refer to meat, such as wild game, that is served as BBQ or Pulled meat that is boiled first.

 

 

* In Denmark, hash is known in Danish as “biksemad” (roughly translated, “tossed together food”), and it is a traditional leftover dish usually served with a fried egg, worcestershire sauce, pickled red beet slices and ketchup or Bearnaise sauce. The meat is usually pork, and the mixture is not mashed together into a paste, but rather the ingredients are coarsely diced and readily discernible in its cooked form.
* In Sweden, there is a version of hash called pyttipanna[8] and in Finland, pyttipannu, and Norway, pyttipanne. It is similar to the Danish version. The Swedish variety Pytt Bellman calls specifically for beef instead of other meats and adding cream to the hash. It is named after Sweden’s 18th century national poet Carl Michael Bellman.
* In Austria and perhaps more specifically Tyrol, there exists a similar dish called “Gröstl“, usually consisting of chopped leftover meats (often being pork sausage), potato and onions fried with herbs (typically marjoram and parsley) and then served topped with a fried egg.
* In Malaysia, a similar dish is called “bergedil”. It is usually made with minced meat, potatoes, and onions, fried until brown.
* In Ibero-American (Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American) cuisines, there is a similar dish called picadillo (Spanish) or carne moída (Portuguese). It is made with ground meat (usually beef), tomatoes (tomato sauce may be used as a substitute), vegetables and spices[9] that vary by region (the Portuguese and Brazilian version is generally carne moída refogada, very heavy on garlic, in the form of an aioli sofrito called refogado, and often also heavy on onion and bell peppers). It is often served with rice (it can be fried in aioli sofrito if those who will eat have a strong fondness for garlic), as well as okra, in the form of quiabo refogado—okra fried in an aioli sofrito, just as the hash itself and the collard greens used in feijoada—, in Brazil, there constituting a staple) or used as a filling in dishes such as tacos, tostadas, or as a regular breakfast hash with eggs and tortillas (not in Brazil and Portugal). In Brazil and Portugal, it is used as bolognese sauce for pasta, and also used as a filling for pancake rolls, pastel (Brazilian pastry empanada), empadão and others (not with okra as it is far too perishable to be used in a fill for fast food and its consumption together with wheat flour-based foods often does not fit cultural tastes). The name comes from the West Iberian (Spanish, Leonese and Portuguese) infinitive verb picar, which means “to mince” or “to chop”.
* In Germany there is Labskaus.

 

 

 

 

 

Corned Beef Hash

Ingredients:
6 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (12 ounce) can corned beef, cut into
chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup beef broth
Directions:
1. In a large deep skillet, over medium heat, combine the potatoes, corned beef, onion, and beef broth. Cover and simmer until potatoes are of mashing consistency, and the liquid is almost gone. Mix well, and serve.

National Dish of the Week – United Kingdom

October 27, 2011 at 1:01 PM | Posted in baking, Food | 3 Comments
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English cuisine encompasses the cooking styles, traditions and recipes associated with England. It has distinctive attributes of its own, but also shares much with wider British cuisine, largely due to the importation of ingredients and ideas from places such as North America, China, and India during the time of the British Empire and as a result of post-war immigration.

In the Early Modern Period the food of England was historically characterized by its simplicity of approach and a reliance on the high quality of natural produce. This, was in no small part influenced by England’s Puritan flavor at the time, and resulted in a traditional cuisine which tended to veer from strong flavors, such as garlic, and an avoidance of complex sauces which were commonly associated with Catholic Continental political affiliations. It is possible the effects of this can still be seen in traditional cuisine.

Traditional meals have ancient origins, such as bread and cheese, roasted and stewed meats, meat and game pies, boiled vegetables and broths, and freshwater and saltwater fish. The 14th century English cookbook, the Forme of Cury, contains recipes for these, and dates from the royal court of Richard II. In the second half of the 18th century Rev. Gilbert White, in The Natural History of Selborne made note of the increased consumption of vegetables by ordinary country people in the south of England, to which, he noted, potatoes had only been added during the reign of George III: “Green-stalls in cities now support multitudes in comfortable state, while gardeners get fortunes. Every decent laborer also has his garden, which is half his support; and common farmers provide plenty of beans, peas, and greens, for their hinds to eat with their bacon.”

Other meals, such as fish and chips, which were once urban street food eaten from newspaper with salt and malt vinegar, and pies and sausages with mashed potatoes, onions, and gravy, are now matched in popularity by curries from the Bangladesh and Pakistan, and stir-fries based on Chinese and Thai cooking. Italian cuisine and French cuisine are also now widely adapted. Britain was also quick to adopt the innovation of fast food from the United States, and continues to absorb culinary ideas from all over the world while at the same time rediscovering its roots in sustainable rural agriculture.

The Sunday roast was once the most common feature of English cooking. The Sunday dinner traditionally includes roast potatoes (or boiled or mashed potatoes) accompanying a roasted joint of meat such as roast beef, lamb, pork, or a roast chicken and assorted

Sunday roast, consisting of roast beef, roast potatoes, vegetables and Yorkshire pudding.

other vegetables, themselves generally boiled and served with a gravy. Sauces are chosen depending on the type of meat: horseradish for beef, mint sauce for lamb, apple sauce for pork, and bread sauce for chicken. Yorkshire pudding normally accompanies beef (although it was originally served first as a “filler”), sage and onion stuffing pork, and usually parsley stuffing chicken; gravy is now often served as an accompaniment to the main course. The practice of serving a roast dinner on a Sunday is related to the elaborate preparation required, and to the housewife’s practice of performing the weekly wash on a Monday, when the cold remains of the roast made an easily-assembled meal. Sunday was once the only rest day after a six-day working week; it was also a demonstration that the household was prosperous enough to afford the cost of a better than normal meal. An elaborate version of roast dinner is traditionally eaten at Christmas, with almost every detail rigidly specified by tradition. Since its widespread availability after World War II the most popular Christmas roast is turkey, superseding the goose of Dickens’s time. Before the period of cheap turkeys, roast chicken would be more common than goose although Chicken was still a once a year treat until the 1950’s; goose being unsuitable for small groups of diners. Game meats such as venison which were traditionally the domain of higher classes are occasionally also eaten by those wishing to experiment with a wider choice of foods, due to their promotion by celebrity chefs, although they are not usually eaten frequently in the average household.

It is a widespread stereotype that the English “drop everything” for a tea time meal in the mid-afternoon. This is no longer the case in the workplace, and is rarer in the home than it once was. A formal tea time meal is now often an accompaniment to tourism, particularly in Devon and neighboring counties, where comestibles may include scones with jam and clotted cream (together known as a cream tea). There are also fairy cakes, simple small sponge cakes which can be iced or eaten plain. Nationwide, assorted biscuits and sandwiches are eaten. Generally, however, the tea time meal has been replaced by snacking, or simply dispensed with.

Although a wide variety of fish are caught in British waters, the English tend to mainly eat only a few species. Cod, haddock, plaice, huss, and skate are the fish-and-chip shop favorites. (The unadventurous approach and the tendency to eat fish battered were mocked by Keith Floyd with the phrase “unidentified frying objects”. A few other species, such as coley and pollack are found in the anonymous form of breadcrumbed fish cakes and fish fingers.

English sausages are colloquially known as “bangers”. They are distinctive in that they are usually made from fresh meats and rarely smoked, dried, or strongly flavored. Following the post World War II period, sausages tended to contain low-quality meat, fat, and rusk. However, there has been a backlash in recent years, with most butchers and supermarkets now selling premium varieties.

Pork and beef are by far the most common bases, although gourmet varieties may contain venison, wild boar, etc. There are particularly famous regional varieties, such as the herbal Lincolnshire, and the long, curled Cumberland with many butchers offering their own individual recipes and variations often handed down through generations, but are generally not made from cured meats such as Italian selections or available in such a variety as found in Germany.

Most larger supermarkets in England will stock at least a dozen types of English sausage: not only Cumberland and Lincolnshire but often varieties such as pork and apple, pork and herb; beef and stilton; pork and mozzarella, and others. There are estimated to be around 400 sausage varieties in the United Kingdom.

Sausages form the basis of toad in the hole, where they are combined with a batter similar to a Yorkshire pudding and baked in the oven, this can be served with an onion gravy made by frying sliced onions for anywhere over an hour on a low heat then mixed with a stock, wine or ale then reduced to form a sauce or gravy used in bangers and mash.

Northern European countries generally have a tradition of salting, smoking, pickling and otherwise preserving foods. Kippers, bloaters, ham, and bacon are some of the varieties of preserved meat and fish known in England. Onions, cabbage and some other vegetables may be pickled. Smoked cheese is not common or traditional, although apple-wood smoked cheddar has become available in many supermarkets. Meats other than pork are generally not cured. The “three breakfasts a day” principle can be implemented by eating bacon sandwiches at any time. (These have many colloquial names such as “bacon sarnies” or “bacon butties”).

Traditionally pubs in England were drinking establishments and little emphasis was placed on the serving of food, other than “bar snacks”, such as pork scratchings, and pickled eggs, along with salted crisps and peanuts which helped to increase beer sales. If a pub served meals they were usually basic cold dishes such as a ploughman’s lunch. In South East England (especially London) it was

Traditional pub food - a pie and chips, along with a pint

common until recent times for vendors selling cockles, whelks, mussels and other shellfish, to sell to customers during the evening and at closing time. Many mobile shellfish stalls would set up near pubs, a practice that continues in London’s East End.

In the 1950s some British pubs would offer “a pie and a pint”, with hot individual steak and ale pies made easily on the premises by the landlord’s wife. In the 1960s and 1970s this developed into the then-fashionable “chicken in a basket”, a portion of roast chicken with chips, served on a napkin, in a wicker basket. Quality dropped but variety increased with the introduction of microwave ovens and freezer food. “Pub grub” expanded to include British food items such as steak and ale pie, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, bangers and mash, Sunday roast, ploughman’s lunch, and pasties. In addition, dishes such as burgers, lasagna and chilli con carne are often served.

Since the 1990s food has become more important as part of a pub’s trade, and today most pubs serve lunches and dinners at the table in addition to (or instead of) snacks consumed at the bar. They may have a separate dining room. Some pubs serve meals to a higher standard, to match good restaurant standards; these are sometimes termed gastropubs.

Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II, took the tea habit to Great Britain around 1660, subsequently to the introduction of coffee. Initially, its expense restricted it to wealthy consumers, but the price gradually dropped, until the 19th century, when tea became as widely consumed as it is today.

In Britain, tea is usually black tea served with milk (never cream; the cream of a “cream tea” is clotted cream served on top of scones than normally strawberry jam on top, a tradition originating from Devon and Cornwall). Strong tea served with lots of milk and often two teaspoons of sugar, usually in a mug, is commonly referred to as builder’s tea. Much of the time in the United Kingdom, tea drinking is not the delicate, refined cultural expression that the rest of the world imagines—a cup (or commonly a mug) of tea is something drunk often, with some people drinking six or more cups of tea a day. Employers generally allow breaks for tea and sometimes biscuits to be served. A mug of tea is the standard accompaniment to a meal in an inexpensive unlicensed eatery, such as a café or”caff”.

Earl Grey tea is a distinctive variation flavored with Bergamot. In recent years, herbal teas and speciality teas have also become popular.

Beer was the first alcoholic drink to be produced in England, and has been brewed continuously since prehistoric times. England is one of the few countries where ale (cask conditioned beer) is still a major part of the market. Lager or Pilsener style beer has

A glass of Bitter

increased considerably in popularity since the mid 20th century, and is often used as an accompaniment to spicy ethnic food. Any kind of beer may accompany a meal in a pub. English beer cookery includes steak and ale pie and beer-battered fish and chips.

Stout is a globally known style of beer which originated in England, although it came to be associated with Ireland. It has a culinary association with oysters; they can be used to flavor stout, or it can be drunk with them.

In Britain, “cider” always means an alcoholic drink of fermented apple juice. Technically, it is a member of the wine family, but it is always served by the pint or half pint like beer. It is traditionally associated with certain regions, such as the South West, Worcestershire and Herefordshire, but commercial brands are available nationwide. The cloudy, unfiltered version is called scrumpy, and the related beverage made from pears, is called perry. In England it is sometimes distilled into apple brandy, but this is not as widespread as with Calvados in France. culinary, cider is sometimes used in pork or rabbit dishes.

The World of Fast Food

September 8, 2011 at 12:26 PM | Posted in bacon, BEEF, Food | 5 Comments
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While coming home the other day I was looking at all the fast food and drive – thrus along the way. Virtually anything you want and all in a matter of minutes, but just not real healthy for you on the most part. I looked up the origins of fast food and thought I would pass it along.

Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a packaged form for take-out/take-away. The term “fast food” was recognized in a dictionary by Merriam–Webster in 1951.

Outlets may be stands or kiosks, which may provide no shelter or seating, or fast food restaurants (also known as quick service restaurants). Franchise operations which are part of restaurant chains have standardized foodstuffs shipped to each restaurant from central locations.

The capital requirements involved in opening up a non-franchised fast food restaurant are relatively low. Restaurants with much higher sit-in ratios, where customers tend to sit and have their orders brought to them in a seemingly more upscale atmosphere, may be known in some areas as fast casual restaurants.

The concept of ready-cooked food for sale is closely connected with urban development. In Ancient Rome cities had street stands that sold bread and wine. In the cities of Roman antiquity, much of the urban population living in insulae, multi-storey apartment blocks, depended on food vendors for much of their meals. In the mornings, bread soaked in wine was eaten as a quick snack and cooked vegetables and stews later in the day at a popina, a simple type of eating establishment. In the Middle Ages, large towns and major urban areas such as London and Paris supported numerous vendors that sold dishes such as pies, pasties, flans, waffles, wafers, pancakes and cooked meats. As in Roman cities during antiquity, many of these establishments catered to those who did not have means to cook their own food, particularly single households. Unlike richer town dwellers, many often could not afford housing with kitchen facilities and thus relied on fast food. Travellers, as well, such as pilgrims en route to a holy site, were among the customers.

In areas which had access to coastal or tidal waters, ‘fast food’ would frequently include local shellfish or seafood, such as oysters or, as in London, eels. Often this seafood would be cooked directly on the quay or close by.[5] The development of trawler fishing in the mid nineteenth century would lead to the development of a British favourite fish and chips.

British fast food had considerable regional variation. Sometimes the regionality of dish became part of the culture of its respective area.

The content of fast food pies has varied, with poultry (such as chickens) or wildfowl commonly being used. After World War II, turkey has been used more frequently in fast food.

A British form of fast food is the sandwich, popularised by John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich in 1762 when he wrapped dried meat in bread so as not to interrupt his work or his gambling (accounts vary). The sandwich has similarities in other cuisines and cultures such as the filled baguettes popular in France. Despite its wide appeal and consumption in the UK, it is only in recent years that the sandwich in its various forms has been considered to be fast food, initially being promoted as such by chains such as Subway and Pret a Manger.

As well as its native cuisine, the UK has adopted fast food from other cultures, such as pizza, Chinese noodles, kebab, and curry. More recently healthier alternatives to conventional fast food have also emerged.

As automobiles became popular and more affordable following the First World War, drive-in restaurants were introduced. The American company White Castle, founded by Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson in Wichita, Kansas in 1921, is generally credited with opening the second fast food outlet and first hamburger chain, selling hamburgers for five cents each. Walter Anderson had built the first White Castle restaurant in Wichita in 1916, introducing the limited menu, high volume, low cost, high speed hamburger restaurant. Among its innovations, the company allowed customers to see the food being prepared. White Castle was successful from its inception and spawned numerous competitors.

Franchising was introduced in 1921 by A&W Root Beer, which franchised its distinctive syrup. Howard Johnson’s first franchised the restaurant concept in the mid-1930s, formally standardizing menus, signage and advertising.

Curb service was introduced in the late 1920s and was mobilized in the 1940s when carhops strapped on roller skates.

The United States has the largest fast food industry in the world, and American fast food restaurants are located in over 100 countries. Approximately 2 million U.S. workers are employed in the areas of food preparation and food servicing including fast food in the USA.

Fast food outlets are take-away or take-out providers, often with a “drive-through” service which allows customers to order and pick up food from their cars; but most also have a seating area in which customers can eat the food on the premises.

Nearly from its inception, fast food has been designed to be eaten “on the go”, often does not require traditional cutlery, and is eaten as a finger food. Common menu items at fast food outlets include fish and chips, sandwiches, pitas, hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries, chicken nuggets, tacos, pizza, hot dogs, and ice cream, although many fast food restaurants offer “slower” foods like chili, mashed potatoes, and salads.

Many petrol/gas stations have convenience stores which sell pre-packaged sandwiches, doughnuts, and hot food. Many gas stations in the United States and Europe also sell frozen foods and have microwaves on the premises in which to prepare them.

Traditional street food is available around the world, usually from small operators and independent vendors operating from a cart, table, portable grill or motor vehicle. Common examples include Vietnamese noodle vendors, Middle Eastern falafel stands, New York City hot dog carts, and taco trucks. Turo-Turo vendors (Tagalog for point point) are a feature of Philippine life. Commonly, street vendors provide a colorful and varying range of options designed to quickly captivate passers-by and attract as much attention as possible.

Depending on the locale, multiple street vendors may specialize in specific types of food characteristic of a given cultural or ethnic tradition. In some cultures, it is typical for street vendors to call out prices, sing or chant sales-pitches, play music, or engage in other forms of “street theatrics” in order to engage prospective customers. In some cases, this can garner more attention than the food itself; some vendors represent another form of tourist attraction.

Allthough fast food often brings to mind traditional American fast food such as hamburgers and fries, there are many other forms of fast food that enjoy widespread popularity in the West.

Chinese takeaways/takeout restaurants are particularly popular. They normally offer a wide variety of Asian food (not always Chinese), which has normally been fried. Most options are some form of noodles, rice, or meat. In some cases, the food is presented as a smörgåsbord, sometimes self service. The customer chooses the size of the container they wish to buy, and then is free to fill it with their choice of food. It is common to combine several options in one container, and some outlets charge by weight rather than by item. Many of these restaurants offer free delivery for purchases over a minimum amount.

Sushi has seen rapidly rising popularity in recent times. A form of fast food created in Japan (where bentō is the Japanese equivalent of fast food), sushi is normally cold sticky rice flavored with a sweet rice vinegar and served with some topping (often fish), or, as in the most popular kind in the West, rolled in nori (dried laver) with filling. The filling often includes fish, chicken or cucumber.

Pizza is a common fast food category in the United States, with chains such as Papa John’s, Domino’s Pizza, Sbarro and Pizza Hut. Menus are more limited and standardized than in traditional pizzerias, and pizza delivery, often with a time commitment, is offered.

Kebab houses are a form of fast food restaurant from the Middle East, especially Turkey and Lebanon. Meat is shaven from a rotisserie, and is served on a warmed flatbread with salad and a choice of sauce and dressing. These doner kebabs or shawarmas are distinct from shish kebabs served on sticks. Kebab shops are also found throughout the world, especially Europe, New Zealand and Australia but they generally are less common in the US.

Fish and chip shops are a form of fast food popular in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Fish is battered and then deep fried.

The Dutch have their own types of fast food. A Dutch fast food meal often consists of a portion of french fries (called friet or patat) with a sauce and a meat product. The most common sauce to accompany french fries is mayonnaise, while others can be ketchup or spiced ketchup, peanut sauce or piccalilli. Sometimes the fries are served with combinations of sauces, most famously speciaal (special): mayonnaise, with (spiced) ketchup and chopped onions; and oorlog (literally “war”): mayonnaise and peanut sauce (sometimes also with ketchup and chopped onions). The meat product is usually a deep fried snack; this includes the frikandel (a deep fried skinless minced meat sausage), and the kroket (deep fried meat ragout covered in breadcrumbs).

In Portugal, there are some varieties of local fast-food and restaurants specialized in this type of local cuisine. Some of the most popular foods include frango assado (Piri-piri grilled chicken previously marinated), francesinha, francesinha poveira, espetada (turkey or pork meat on two sticks) and bifanas (pork cutlets in a specific sauce served as a sandwich). This type of food is also often served with french fries (called batatas fritas), some international chains started appearing specialized in some of the typical Portuguese fast food such as Nando’s.

A fixture of East Asian cities is the noodle shop. Flatbread and falafel are today ubiquitous in the Middle East. Popular Indian fast food dishes include vada pav, panipuri and dahi vada. In the French-speaking nations of West Africa, roadside stands in and around the larger cities continue to sell—as they have done for generations—a range of ready-to-eat, char-grilled meat sticks known locally as brochettes (not to be confused with the bread snack of the same name found in Europe).

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