When researching potential topics for our Weekly Scholar video newsletter, we try to identify subjects that many of you will be interested in. Well, food certainly seemed like a natural choice. After all – who isn’t interested in eating (and drinking!)?
America’s First Ever Restaurant
The first American restaurant was located in downtown NYC – and it’s still there today, as detailed by Yale Professor, Paul Freedman. Although it was French, the owners were actually from Switzerland, and various totally American dishes were introduced and perfected there – including Baked Alaska!
The Birth of… McDonald’s
Are there parts of the world where there are no McDonald’s restaurants? Yes – but not very many. It wasn’t always that way, though, as Trinity Washington Professor Allen Pietrobon explains. Originally, fast food was only for drivers and people living in the suburbs, not in cities.
And Don’t Forget Howard Johnson’s
Georgetown Professor Marcia Chatelain (also a Pulitzer Prize winner!) explains how the concept of food prepared in a single location and then distributed elsewhere is a “game-changing” concept developed by the restaurant chain Howard Johnson’s. There were once nearly 1,000 spread across the entire country, but now there are just two left.
The Rise and Fall of Bread
Eric Pallant teaches at Allegheny College and is considered a world-class expert on (wait for it)…..bread. How important is that? For starters, the French Revolution is said to have begun over bread! We all know the famous phrase “If the People have no bread, let them eat cake,” which, unfortunately, everyone thinks was proclaimed by Marie Antoinette, but wasn’t.
They Didn’t Waste a Single Drop
Bard Professor Joseph Luzzi, a One Day U fan favorite, explains that many Italians–like his parents–were early “foodies” because they literally had no choice if they wanted to survive!
How is Whiskey Made?
The rules for making whiskey are actually pretty specific. Will Schragis from the Culinary Institute of America explains that in every major country (except India) the rules are followed strictly.
Ice Cream Parlours: Women are Welcome All by Themselves
Sarah Lohman is a food historian who loves ice cream! Here she explains that in the late 1800’s ice cream parlours were especially popular with women. Why? Because they were a place they could go unchaperoned, or simply to meet other women.
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