Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Great-Grandmas, Balanced Diets, and Cookies

The whole "If your Great-grandma wouldn't recognize it as food, don't eat it" seems to assume great-grandmas with limited culinary experience. My own great-grandmas grew up during the Irish potato famine, the Prague Upheaval, and the American Civil War. I feel sure that not one of those women was a picky eater. I also know that three of them worked as cooks in rich people's kitchens before they took command of kitchens of their own, and my Prague great-grandma was remembered as a notable cook 40 years after her death in 1938.

In What Would Great-Grandma Eat? - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education, we see some other reasons to wonder about the "great-grandma dictum:"

In 1890, 90 percent of the country's bread was baked in homes. The rest was purchased from tiny neighborhood bakeries. By 1930, this trend had reversed completely: 90 percent of bread was purchased, and purchased from increasingly large, increasingly distant factories. Despite their success, industrial bakers lived in constant fear that bread would lose its place on the nation's tables. Compared with newfangled fruits arriving by refrigerated train from California, or the novelty of modern wonders like Jell-O, bread was just basic. But something remarkable happened during the first three decades of the 20th century. Not only did Americans switch to store-bought bread en masse, but also per-capita bread consumption increased. Modern factory bread wasn't just a more convenient version of the ancient staple; it had taken on new meanings and appeal.

A couple more unrelated food links:

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