Sunday, August 2, 2009

1920 - 1929

Cooking in 1920's America
http://www.foodtimeline.org/fooddecades.html#1920s
http://www.1920-30.com/food/
http://www.1920-30.com/cooking/
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/494071.html

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)
Jello
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)

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