Thursday, August 27, 2009

Protose & Nuttolene

Protose is a meat subsitute invented by Kellogg in the early 1900's. It comes in a can and is a type of nutmeat made from grain and peanuts. It was discontinued from production fairly recently around 2000.

Ingrediant list from the can:
ingredients are wheat gluten,water,peanuts,soy oil,contains 2% or less of soy sauce(water,salt,hydrolyzed soy protein,corn syrup,caramel color) yeast extract,salt,hydrolyzed soyand wheat protein, vitamins and minerals (niacinamide,iron(ferrous sulfate)vitamin B1(thiamine mononitrate)vitamin B6(pyridoxine hydrochloride)vitamin B2(riboflavin)vitamin B12(cyanocobalamin).

To make recipes:

Recipes using:

Cookbooks with recipes:

Title Vegetarian Cook Book: Substitutes for Flesh Foods Author E. G. Fulton
Publisher Pacific Press Publishing Company Year 1904 Copyright

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Granola Bars

Now a compact diverse tasty treat. But where did they come from?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Sago is an ingredient that I have seen show up as a thickener in older vegetarian cookbooks. So what exactly is Sago?

Sago is the starch that is extracted from the palm Metroxylon sagu or from cycads. The palm is native to New Guinea. It is similar to tapioca.

It was imported into Britian in the 18th century. It has since fallen out of popularity.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Asparagus, Asparagus officinalis, is an herbatious perennial in the lily family. The name is derived from the Greek word asparagos.

It is native to the Western coast of Europe and ranges from Spain to Great Britain to Germany.

Asparagus history is difficult to track down.
Asparagus has been eaten since early times and a recipe survives from the third century AD De re coquinaria Book III by Apicius.It was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter. It lost its popularity in the Middle Ages but returned to favour in the seventeenth century.
Asparagus appeared in the Americas in colonial times. I will continue to scan my cookbooks for recipes.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Jerusalem artichoke

So what exactly is the difference between a globe artichoke and a Jerusalem artichoke?

Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called sunchokes, are the tubers of a flower in the aster family. They are not related to regular artichokes at all. They are roots/tubers, and look a little like ginger root, and are starchy like potatoes.

The jerusalem artichoke is native to North America and was cultivated here by Native

Americans. Samuel de Champlain is credited with sending it over to England in the early 1600's where it was called "Canada" or "French" potato. The French continued to cultivate the plant.

It has been a turn too food during times of famine or desperation.

During World War II it grew in popularity because it was a food item that could be purchased without ration stamps.

In addition to being a food item it is also used to produce alcohol in Germany called "Topinambur", "Topi" or "Rossler".

It was associated early with Leprosy and was not a common thing to eat.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Being from California artichokes are aplenty here. In fact one of my friends grew up on an Artichoke farm near Monterrey where her family still farms them.
I have seen recipes for Artichoke soup and dishes in historic US cookbooks dating back to the early 1900's so I was wondering when they were introduced to the US.

Common US Artichokes, Cynara scolymus, (also called French artichokes) are native to the Mediterranean. They are an edible flower from the thistle family and are also related to sun flowers. The English name is derived from the Italian name articiocco which in turn is from Arabic word al-khurshuf which means thistle. Cocali is a Ligurian word meaning a pine cone.

Varities: There are many varities of artichoke, the most common being the globe artichoke. They come in many colors including purple.

The artichoke has been eaten by humans for over 3000 years. They first appeared in literature around 40-70 AD in the works of the Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides in his book The Greek Herbal of Dioscorides a medicinal plant book. The Latin name for artichoke is cynara.

Around 800 AD artichoke cultivation began in Granada, Spain by the North African Moors as well as in Sicily by other Arabic people. It is believed that the modern artichoke appeared at this time through these cultivations.

They were introduced to France in the mid 1500's by Catherine de Medici, from Italy, who married King Henry II of France. Quote: "If one of us had eaten artichokes, we would have been pointed out on the street. Today young women are more forward than pages at the court."

It was introduced to England by ?? and first appears in a literature there in the 1500's.

The Artichoke was introduced to the US by French and Italian immigrants in the early 1900's. Cultivation began in the west coast near Half Moon Bay California in the 1920's (where my friends family farm is located).

Due to mafia activity and involvement with artichoke production in 1935 artichokes were banned in New York. They were not permitted to be displayed or sold, even possession was illegal.

"In the 1920s, Ciro Terranova "Whitey" (1889-1938), a member of the mafia and known as the "Artichoke King," began his monopoly of the artichoke market by purchasing all the produce shipped to New York from California at $6 a crate. He created a produce company and resold the artichokes at 30 to 40 percent profit. Not only did he terrorize distributors and produce merchants, he even launched an attack on the artichoke fields from Monetary to Pescadero, hacking down the plants with machetes in the dead of night. These "artichoke wars" led the Mayor or New York, Fiorello La Guardia, to declare "the sale, display, and possession" of artichokes in New York illegal. Mayor La Guardia publicly admitted that he himself loved the vegetable and after only one week he lifted the ban."

Artichoke Lore and Legends

Ancient Greeks believed them to be an aphrodisiac increase the likelihood of having male children.

Monday, August 3, 2009

WWII Food posters

and ridiculousness


Nutmeat is a meat substitute used by vegetarians around the 1900's and was popular until ??. Nutmeat is a product that appears in cookbooks around ??. Kellogg produced nutmeat products commercially under different names. Nutmeat is made from beans, nutter (nut butter), vegetable flavoring, seasoning. The type of bean and nut can vary depending on the end product desired. The vegetable can range from onions to tomatoes and it can be flavored in any way desired. Sometimes wheat gluten is used instead of beans. The product is blended and poured into a can where it is steamed until firm. The product is then removed and sliced and cooked according to the recipe. Regardless of what you do the end product is highly caloric.

Nutmeat also seems to be the name of products that are smilar to peanut butter or almond butter today from litertature such as this:
Report of the Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of California...‎ - Page 97. Nutmeat here is made of almond poweder, water, cand sugar, and cornstartch. The term may have been used interchangably with nutter (nut butter).

I find nutmeat fascinating and plan to make some when I find a recipe in an older cookbook or I will prepare it from one of the recipes listed below. My husband told me absolutely not to make this stuff.

recipe for nutmeat:

Video Preparation of Nutmeat

Companies that sell canned nutmeat

Recipes using nutmeat

Contemporarty recipes using nutmeat

Sunday, August 2, 2009





1950 - 1959

1940 - 1949

1930 - 1939

1920 - 1929

Cooking in 1920's America

Prohibition came into effect January 16, 1920 and had a profound effect on the way Americans were eating. Restaurants and hotels faced financial difficulties as a result of the loss of income from alcohol and tried to make up income through soda and candy sales. Many did go out of business. "When Prohibition went into effect in America on January 16, 1920, it did more than stop the legal sale of alcoholic beverages in our country...[it] increased the production of soft drinks, put hundreds of restaurants and hotels out of business, spurred the growth of tea rooms and cafeterias, and destroyed the last vestiges of fine dining in the United States...Hotels tried to reclaim some of their lost wine and spirit profits by selling candy and soda pop The fruit cocktail cup, often garnished with marshmallows or sprinkled with powdered sugar, took the place of oysters on the half shell with champagne and a dinner party opener....The American wine industry, unable to sell its wines legally, quickly turned its vinyards over to juice grapes. But only a small portion of the juice from the grapes was marketed as juice. Most of it was sold for home-brewed wine. Needless to say, this home brew was not usually a sophisticated viniferous product, but sales of the juice kept many of the vineyards in profits throughout Prohibition. Prohibition also brought about cooking wines and artificially flavored brandy, sherry, and rum extracts. Housewives were advised to omit salt when using cooking wines, as the wines themselves had been salted to make them undrinkable...Some cooks gave up on alcoholic touches, real or faux, altogether...The bad alcohol, the closing of fine restaurants, the sweet foods and drinks that took alcohol's place, the artificial flavors that were used to simulated alcohol, all these things could not help but have a deletrious effect on the American palate." ---Fashionable Foods: Seven Decades of Food Fads, Sylvia Lovgren [MacMillan:New York] 1995 (p. 29-30)

Ethnic Foods In America: Chinese food was very popular. Italian food was introduced to the masses through speakeasies. "Prohibition, with its tremendous impact on the eating habits of the country, also had a great deal to do with the introduction of Italian food to the masses. Mary Grosvenor Ellsworth, in Much Depends upon Dinner, (1939), said this about Prohibition and pasta: "We cooked them [pastas] too much, we desecrated them with further additions of flour, we smothered them in baking dishes and store cheese. Prohibition changed all that. The Italians who opened up speakeasies by the thousand were our main recourse in time of trial. Whole hoards of Americans thus got exposed regularly and often to Italian food and got a taste for it. Now we know from experience that properly treated, the past is no insipid potato substitute. The food served in the speakeasies--with Mama doing the cooking and Papa making the wine in the basement--was not quite the same as the food the Italians had eaten in the Old Country. Sicilian cooking was based on austerity...But America was rich, and protein rich country, and the immigrants were happy to add these symbols of wealth to their cooking--and happy that their new American customers liked the result. Meatballs, rich meat sauces, veal cutlets cooked with Parmesean or with lemon, clams ctuffed with buttered herbed crumbs, shrimp with wine and garlic, and mozzarella in huge chunks to be eaten as appetizer were all foods of abundance, developed by Italian-Americans..." ---Fashionable Foods (p. 37-8) Many cookbooks published during this time have Alcohol Replacements in the book or leave out alcohol completely. Frozen Foods Became Available - Birdseye

Popular foods of the 1920's in America
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches (Fad invented in the 1920's)
Fruit Salad
Caesar and Waldorf Salad
Finger Sandwiches
Fried Chicken
Pinapple Upsidown Cake Lots of Cakes (the 20's are known as the Cake Era)

1911 - 1919

Cooking In America 1910-1919

During this time period technology was rapidly advancing and foods were becoming available throughout the year.

World War I

Electric Refridgeration 1914 The product was introduced for commercial use but was not made available until after World War I for home use. This invention enabled the transport of fruits and vegetables.

1900 - 1910