|The origins of cooking are obscure.
Primitive humans may first have savoured roast meat by chance,
when the flesh of a beast killed in a forest fire was found
to be more palatable and easier to chew and digest than the
customary raw meat. They probably did not deliberately cook
food, though, until long after they had learned to use fire
for light and warmth.
||Plant cultivation begins in
the Fertile Crescent region of the Middle East. Sheep are domesticated
in the Middle East. Mesoamerican (what is now Mexico and Central
America) peoples begin domesticating plants --gourds, peppers,
avocados, and a grain, amaranth
| 4,000 BC
||Egyptians used yeast as a leavening
Onions, radishes and garlic were the mainstay of the diet of
Egyptians who built the Great Pyramid at Gaze. This low-fat,
pungent and highly aromatic diet obviously served as fuel for
that mammoth project.
| 3,000 BC
||Farmers of Mesapotomia were
growing crops of turnips, onions, broad beans, peas, lentils,
leeks, radishes and maybe garlic. Probably breeding ducks at
The Chinese Emperor; Sung Loong Sze 'discovers' the medicinal
properties of herbs Turkey from this era have been found in
American Indian refuse sights
|This was an active period for
food development in the Roman Empire. The agricultural revolution
during this period brought the shift to a largely grain diet.
People became loyal to their land -- the first step toward nationalism.
| 2,000 BC
||Pomegranates are believed to
have originated in Persia. Their skins were used to dye wool.
The pomegranate was a fertility symbol in many ancient cultures,
undoubtedly because it has so many seeds.
| 500 BC
||Sugar cane and bananas cultivated
in India. Avocados were recorded in hieroglyphics by the Mayan
Indians in southeastern Mexico and Central America. This highly
developed civilization appreciated the many virtues of this
tropical fruit, and they seemed to enjoy it in its natural state.
| 50 BC
||Apricot trees were first cultivated
in China. From there, they made their way west to India, Armenia
and Persia. Before the 13th century, they'd made their way to
England, via Italy. Shakespeare probably enjoyed the fruit.
| 400 AD
||Pasta, the Italian word for
dough, was probably introduced to Italy by Germanic tribes,
who invaded throughout the 5th century. The German word for
pasta -- nudel -- gave us the English word noodle.
pineapple on the West Indies island of Guadeloupe. The people
there called pineapple nana, meaning fragrance. This lovely
fruit wasn't introduced to Hawaii until centuries later.
||The first Thanksgiving Day was
a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims of Plymouth colony
in 1621. After a devastating winter in 1620, they celebrated
a successful harvest in 1621. The Pilgrims had 20 acres of corn,
grown from seeds furnished by Indians.
||The first American cookbook
was published -- "The Complete Housewife" or "Accomplish't
Gentlewoman's Companion" by Eliza Smith. Its success led
to a reprint in 1764.
||George Washington falls in love
with ice cream at a dinner party hosted by Mrs. Alexander Hamilton,
who served the creamy frozen dessert. Did she serve cherry flavor?
| Sept. 26, 1830
||Col. Robert Gibbon Johnson dispels
the common misconception that tomatoes are poisonous. He ate
tomatoes publicly on the courthouse steps in Salem, New Jersey,
on this date. Tomatoes were believed to be poisonous because
they are in the nightshade family, some members of which are
| March, 1850
||Agoston Haraszthy, a legendary
Hungarian also known as the "Father of California Viticulture,"
began to plant the first of his California vineyards. He had
planted grapes in Wisconsin before that.
| April, 1933
||Repeal of The Volstead Act.
The end of Prohibition launched the New Beer's Eve celebration.
After 14 dry years, the US government was encouraging the drinking
of a low-alcohol (3.2 percent) beer, and breweries had geared
up for the occasion.
| 1945 -- 1965
||Nouvelle cuisine was born in
France, thanks to the Young Turk chefs. Expert chefs got together
and agreed it was necessary to simplify French cooking to streamline
the kitchen and appeal to modern tastes and health concerns.
||Julia Child's "The French
Chef" series aired on WGBH-TV, the public television station
in Boston. After that debut, her cooking shows were so successful,
they were aired nationally.
| October 28, 1996
||The world celebrated the 150th
anniversary of French Chef Auguste Escoffier's birth. He was
called the King of Chefs and Chef of Kings.