10 Recipes That Defined the 1960sRecipes
This week we’re talking about recipes that define a decade, starting with the 1960s. Made more popular in the last few years from Mad Men, the recipes of the 60s are defined by strange chicken dishes, the continued domination of Jell-O and other fluff desserts, cocktail party appetizers like onion dip (seen above), and of course anything Julia Child. Some of these recipes remain relevant in recent decades, but they will always have a strong history in the 60s.
Aug 15, 2022
Vintage Pyrex Is Having a Moment — Here’s What You Need to Know About Scoring Your Own
Tips from The Kitchn
“The colorful and quirky patterns you find on vintage Pyrex — they just don’t make stuff like this today."
Jun 25, 2022
I Followed a 1920s Cleaning Routine for a Week
Cleaning Tips from The Kitchn
It was nearly impossible.
Jun 20, 2022
A Brief History of Hot Dogs — Including Why They’re Called Hot Dogs in the First PlaceGroceries
There are at least three plausible explanations for how the hot dog got its name.
May 21, 2022
3 Black Pioneers Who Made Ice Cream What It Is Today
Food History
“Ice cream is one of those supercalifragilistic, whitewashed things where they wrote Black people out of the history."
Feb 2, 2022
A Brief History of Depression Glass, the Gorgeous 1930s Kitchen Staple Making a ComebackKitchen
This cheery-hued, inexpensive glassware trend is back. In a big way.
Sep 17, 2021
Whatever Happened to Red Pistachios?Groceries
Remember red pistachios? Up until the 1970s, it was almost impossible to find pistachios that didn’t leave fiery-red powder on your fingers.So what happened to red pistachios? And where did they come from in the first place? Read on to find out.There are two competing stories that explain why pistachio shells used to be red.In one version, the crimson hue originated with a pistachio vendor named Zaloom in Brooklyn, New York, around the turn of the 20th century.
Jun 23, 2021
This Cheesy, Saucy Hot Brown Sandwich Is Kentucky's Original Hangover CureRecipes
The open-faced turkey sandwich features crispy bacon and creamy Mornay sauce.
Apr 30, 2021
Chef Tanya Holland’s Sweet Potato Rolls and What Many People Still Don’t Know About Soul FoodRecipes
"Soul food is just as expansive as any other cuisine that has been elevated. It’s just as rich and sophisticated and complex as any other ethnic cuisine."
Feb 2, 2021
Before There Was Dump Cake, There Was “Do Nothing” Cake — The Ultimate Cake for Lazy BakersRecipes
We gave the old-school recipe a delicious upgrade.
Sep 17, 2020
How a Glorious Mistake Resulted in Gooey Butter Cake: A St. Louis Tradition Since the ’40sRecipes
Good things happen when you add too much butter.
Aug 22, 2020
Here’s the Story Behind Bumpy Cake — The 100-Year-Old Recipe That’s Blowing Up the InternetRecipes
Plus, a recipe for making the iconic Heartland cake at home.
Aug 21, 2020
What’s the Difference Between Canola and Rapeseed Oil?Skills
Here’s the scoop on both.
Aug 15, 2020
Of All the Desserts That Call Themselves Salads, Strawberry Pretzel Is QueenRecipes
This retro Southern summertime favorite is one of the easiest, prettiest, and most refreshing fresh fruit desserts around.
May 30, 2020
8 Deliciously Vintage Desserts We Rediscovered in 2019
Best of Kitchn 2019
These decadent sweets are not only delicious, but have pretty interesting backstories as well.
Dec 25, 2019
The Secret to an Uber-Spongy Cake Is … Ice WaterSkills
There might be some actual legit science behind why adding ice water to white cake is such a brilliant move.
Dec 13, 2019
These Gorgeous Infographics Show How Kitchen Appliances Have Evolved Over the Past 100 YearsKitchen
Check out the past and future of toasters!
Nov 14, 2019
The Story Behind New England Spider Cake: The Sweet, Quirky Cornbread with a Surprise InsideRecipes
It's worth making for the experience alone, but if you’re a fan of sweet and salty combinations, this unique recipe delivers in spades.
Nov 5, 2019
The Long, Curious, Profoundly American Journey of the Churro
Cover Story
Churro-flavored ice cream and cereal are just the latest stage in the pastry’s long, strange, profoundly American journey.
Jul 2, 2019
The Famous Fudge Bottom Pie Comes with Mystery, Rivalry, and the Story of a Great ChefRecipes
Of all earthly desserts, people have some deep feelings about pie. Pie is a labor of love. Nothing represents home, community, or slowing down to enjoy the small things in life quite like a slice of pie. Pie is not a cupcake; it’s meant to be shared, and forces what is now considered a luxurious moment of taking a pause and a seat in order to eat it, with a plate and a fork.
Mar 14, 2019
The Real Reason Cops Are Always Eating DoughnutsPeople
You’re about to get a history lesson that involves doughnuts, and here’s your first chance at extra credit: If you can think of a more appealing-sounding genre of history lesson, please let me know in the comments below. Jumping right in with a challenge for the class: Name a cinematic depiction of a bumbling cop that doesn’t involve a dozen half-eaten doughnuts for comic relief.
Aug 14, 2018
5 Surprising Food Things You’ll Learn from a 23andMe Test (Bonus: It’s On Sale Right Now!)People
It's not need-to-know information, but interesting nonetheless.
Jun 6, 2018
Why You Want a Kitchen Island Now (but Didn’t 100 Years Ago)Kitchen
When you think of the kitchen island, you think of homey scenes — your friends nibbling on cheese and pouring you a second glass of wine as you check on the honey-glazed pork tenderloin in the oven, your kid climbing up on a stool to see if she can get a lick of that chocolate stuff you’re mixing, a lingering cup of coffee with your partner before you both rush off to work.
Apr 12, 2018
Why Is it Called a “Dutch Oven” Anyway?People
The kinds of long-cooked stews and deep, rich dishes most people make in their Dutch ovens are hardly the type of foods most associated with the Netherlands. Nor is Le Creuset, the company best known for making the heavy, thick-walled pots, located in France. Yet, even as the tight-lidded, versatile, and iconic vessel is used to make everything from Mexican mole to no-knead bread, we call it “Dutch.” (Also, it isn’t anything like what we would consider an oven these days.
Feb 19, 2018
These Are the Most Popular Kitchen Colors from the Last 100 YearsPlan & Prep
Looking through the kitchen color trends of the last century tells us a lot more than simply the most popular hues of the moment; they tell us about who we were as a culture and how we’ve evolved, including our values, historical priorities, and general sensibilities.
Dec 23, 2017
Fancy Toast Isn’t a New Trend. The Danes Invented It 200 Years Ago.People
It certainly feels as though we’ve reached peak toast mania. Avocado toast was the center of about a thousand think pieces on millennials this year, and you can’t open a trendy brunch menu without spying a jam- and ricotta-topped toast. While we might be newly hooked on toast, its roots stretch back much further than our Instagram feeds suggest. Toast has been a staple of Scandinavian cuisine for 200 years.
Aug 2, 2017
Tell Us Your Favorite Drink and We’ll Tell You What Decade You Belong InPeople
Now would be a good time to start working on that time machine.
May 31, 2017
Poke Cakes Are Kitschy and Dated, but Still a Heck of a Lot of FunSkills
Poke cakes go back to the ancient days of the 1970s, the heyday of boxed cake mixes, Jell-O, and Cool Whip. Colorful and easy to make, poke cakes are the white patent leather go-go boots of the bakery case — kitschy and dated, but still a heck of a lot of fun. Poke cakes were originally created to increase sluggish sales for Jell-O gelatin.
May 23, 2017
Food Rituals Will Help You Bring Your Best Self to the TablePeople
This past winter I began lighting candles each night just before our small family of three sat down to dinner. It changed the way we eat. Even now in the long-lit days of a northern spring, a reminder to take a deep breath and lower our voices before lifting our forks does the same as the candles that once lit our table. For years we slid into our chairs, fresh from email, homework, or feeding the dogs.
Apr 29, 2017
This May Be the Oldest Food Trivia Question of All TimePeople
Oh, the chicken-and-egg dilemma: Start thinking about it too much, and it’s mind-bendingly philosophical. It’s little surprise, then, that the “chicken or the egg” question’s roots actually stretch as far back as Aristotle. As an idiom, though, we know “chicken or the egg?” was in regular use by the mid-1800s, says Jane Solomon, lexicographer at Dictionary.com, who dug through loads of history to help answer this question for us.
Apr 21, 2017
Why Are Diners Traditionally Greek? It’s an Immigration Story, NaturallyPeople
There’s no official Bureau of Diner Ownership to keep count, but if you’re a diner fan, you know that Greek families traditionally run the show at these beloved 24-hour joints, especially in the Northeast. Obvious giveaways include names like “Olympia Diner,” or charmingly ornate decor, like Greco-style columns, statues, or chandeliers. One diner in South Jersey even proudly displays its WiFi password at the entrance: FetaCheese (caps included!).
Apr 17, 2017
Why Do We Decorate Easter Eggs, Anyway?People
Easter eggs tend to be lumped with all the other things that commercialize the holiday — jellybeans, plastic grass, bunny photos at the mall — but they actually have a surprisingly deep history and symbolism, to boot. Eggs have long represented springtime and fertility, partly due to their spherical shape: Circles have no beginning and no end, so they often represent the cycle of life, religious studies professor Bruce David Forbes writes in America’s Favorite Holidays.
Apr 12, 2017
10 Things You Should Know About Greek EasterPeople
With a name like Fleischer, you might not think that I’d be Greek or that I’d celebrate Easter. But both are true! My mother is Greek, and we’ve celebrated Greek Easter my entire life. I am aware that this baffles people. Perhaps the most confusing part that people seem to struggle with, however, is what exactly Greek Easter is and how it’s different from Western Easter. Let me explain. First of all, it’s technically called Orthodox Easter.
Apr 11, 2017
5 Reasons to Feel Good About Drinking Guinness TodayPeople
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, which means it is also a day when many pints of Guinness will be consumed. And when we say many, we mean roughly 13 million pints over the course of 24 hours. Clearly no excuse is needed to drink a pint of Guinness today of all days, but there are, in fact, many reasons to feel good about raising a glass of the dark-and-creamy stout in honor of the Patron Saint of Ireland. Here are five.
Mar 17, 2017
A Brief History of Artichokes … and the MafiaPeople
In California, where I live, March marks the start of artichoke season. That’s when the vegetable — officially, a spiky flowering plant called a thistle — starts showing up in farmers markets across the state. Cooked and eaten around the Mediterranean for at least two millennia, the ancient artichoke is known as the “aristocrat” of the vegetable world, with its delicate flavor and impenetrable exterior, at least to the uninitiated.
Mar 3, 2017
This Is the Original Girl Scout Cookie RecipePeople
The Girl Scouts are going all out to celebrate their 100th anniversary of selling cookies. This year they debuted two new s’mores cookies to much delight, they partnered with Society 6 to make Girl Scout Cookie-flavored gum, and now they’ve released the first ever Girl Scout cookie recipe from 1922. When the Girl Scouts originally sold cookies, they baked the cookies themselves.
Feb 8, 2017
3 Surprising Stories Behind America’s Favorite Chinese DishesPeople
When it comes to our favorite Chinese foods, the path from China to our plates isn’t as straightforward as you’d think. Several books that have come out in recent years — such as Chop Suey, Chop Suey USA, and Chow Chop Suey (no joke!) — tell the story of a uniquely American cuisine that was born out of a complex relationship between Chinese immigrants and their host country.
Jan 27, 2017
A Brief History of Peking Duck in AmericaPeople
When you think of any Chinatown in any city in the country, the image that springs to mind is almost always of glistening, lacquered ducks hanging in the storefronts. (Whether those are Peking ducks or not is up for debate, but I digress.) Peking duck has long been one of the iconic Chinese dishes, and it’s easy to see why — the tableside preparation, the communal eating, the multiple courses, the pure deliciousness of it.
Jan 26, 2017
The True Story Behind General Tso’s ChickenPeople
Whether it goes by the name General Tso’s, General Gau’s, or General Gao’s (see a spirited Yelp discussion on the matter here), the deep-fried nuggets of boneless chicken tossed in sweet-spicy sauce and served on a bed of broccoli is America’s reigning Chinese dish. According to the food delivery site GrubHub, General Tso’s chicken was the most popular Chinese takeout item of 2014, and the fourth most-ordered dish overall.
Jan 25, 2017
The Unlikely History of Fortune CookiesPeople
It’s hard to imagine a meal at a Chinese restaurant without fortune cookies. Even though most people crack them open, yank out the fortune, and toss the cookie part back onto the table with nary a nibble, Chinese food still would not be the same without them. I remember early on in my career, when I used to write a column about food factories in New York City, I visited Wonton Food Inc. in Long Island City, Queens, makers of Golden Bowl brand fortune cookies.
Jan 24, 2017
How Food Rituals Turn Hope into SustenancePeople
This year I’ve been writing about food and ritual here at Kitchn, and what I’ve learned is just how much food rituals rely on hope. We put up food for winter in the hope of survival; we pack a traveling feast, hopeful that the gods will bless us with warmth rather than curse us with rain; and sometimes we have to just keep hoping we’ll return to a lost cookie ritual, and we might eventually get there.
Jan 23, 2017
What Is a Continental Breakfast, and What Makes It Continental?Skills
Read this and the next time you're at a hotel, nibbling on a complimentary muffin while sipping free coffee, you'll know how it all came about.
Jan 13, 2017
How Breakfast Has ChangedPeople
Most mornings are hectic, making us lucky to grab food at all, let alone give much thought as to why we eat breakfast the way we do. Not to get too philosophical on you or anything, but breakfast is actually a pretty good indicator of the times: how we’re living, what our culture is like, and how the economy is doing. If breakfast never changed, we’d still be eating a heavy meal of meat and wine at 11 a.m.
Jan 9, 2017
What Is Boxing Day? How to Celebrate This Perfectly Sensible British Holiday.People
Christmas falls on a Monday this year, which means we get it off from work. Hooray! But across the pond, the day after Christmas — or more accurately, the weekday after Christmas — is always an actual holiday. It’s call Boxing Day and it has nothing to do with pugilism (or the “unboxing” phenomenon, which I admit to not understanding one bit). There are many theories as to how Boxing Day got its name. Some posit the name comes from church donation boxes.
Dec 26, 2016
What Do Jelly Doughnuts Have to Do with Hanukkah?People
Latkes get all the attention this time of year — as they should, latkes are awesome — but another Hanukkah treat has been gaining in popularity stateside in recent years. Put your hands together for the jelly doughnut. What the two have in common symbolically is also the ingredient that makes both so delicious: oil.
Dec 21, 2016
The Midwestern Drink That’s Making a ComebackPlan & Prep
Every year as the weather grows cold, small red, white, and green plastic tubs suddenly line the shelves of grocery stores in the upper Midwest. Anyone not from the area might read the labels with total confusion: “Tom and Jerry Batter,” they say, often surrounded by drawings of holly leaves and snowy winter scenes. But this batter isn’t for cake, and it has nothing to do with the cartoon cat and mouse — it’s the base for a classic punch.
Dec 16, 2016
Why Do We Say “Pleased as Punch”?Kitchen
Just saying “pleased as punch” conjures up thoughts of a cheerful, bubbly drink at the center of some fabulously festive party. Surely the origins of this phrase date back to some happy 18th-century public house talk, right? Sorry — like so many strange turns of phrase in our lexicon, the back story on this one is actually kind of a downer. Punch in this case refers not to the delicious, big-batch cocktail, but rather a very naughty puppet: Punch.
Dec 15, 2016
Tiny Facts: Why Do We Eat Candy Canes for Christmas?People
Even without trying, we somehow seem to rack up quite a stash of candy canes every year, and it got us thinking: How did they come to be such a thing, anyway? We checked with holiday historians and candy makers, and found the backstory to be pretty hilarious: Candy canes were basically invented to get kids to shut up in church. Keeping children quiet during religious services is apparently a struggle that goes back for centuries.
Dec 6, 2016
Marshmallows on Sweet Potatoes: Who Thought This Up Anyway?Plan & Prep
When it comes to holiday meals, I am all about the side dishes. I would happily forgo the turkey, ham, or centerpiece protein altogether in favor of a panoply of starchy, gooey goodness to pile on my plate. And I’m no side dish snob. At Thanksgiving, I crave unpretentious dishes like green bean casseroles, corn puddings, and mashed potatoes choking beneath a pool of butter and gravy. There is, however, one notable exception to my love of traditional Thanksgiving sides.
Nov 7, 2016
From Jesus to Oprah: A 5,000-Year History of Bread HeroesPeople
Bread flourishes in so many forms around the world: naan, tortillas, injera, arepas, pita, etc. And as consumers of grain-based sustenance, we all contribute to the history of bread in our own small ways. Although you did an excellent job of finishing that bagel this morning, some of us have made a more significant impact than others. Here’s a look back at a few pivotal people in the history of bread. Egyptians were the first civilization to leaven their bread.
Oct 19, 2016
Is There Any Snack More Mysterious Than the Whoopie Pie?People
It’s debate season! And because we try to stay out of politics, we bring you instead the great debate surrounding the origin of the whoopie pie. Did it begin with the Amish in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Dutch Country? Does Maine earn the bragging rights for this decadent treat?
Oct 18, 2016
Oyster Crackers Are Oyster-Free, So Why Are They Called Oysters?Skills
Let's investigate this curiously-named cracker, shall we?
Oct 10, 2016
How Did the Cast Iron Skillet Take Over the World?People
If you search for “cast iron” on eBay, you will see about 15,000 cookware items for sale. There are also about 20 cast iron cookbooks presently on the market, not to mention numerous blogs dedicated to cast iron collecting and cooking. And there is, of course, a Facebook group, of which I am now a member, dedicated to celebrating all things cast iron.
Sep 27, 2016
7 Fun Facts About PicklesPeople
Today, pickle enthusiasts converge in their spiritual home — the Lower East Side — to celebrate the 15th annual Pickle Day. To mark the occasion, here are seven facts from New York City’s pickled past. When the Dutch settled in the 1600s, New York became home to the largest concentration of picklers anywhere at the time. The majority of cukes were grown in modern-day Brooklyn, where the pickling tradition lives on.
Sep 25, 2016
The English Muffin Is Not English at AllPeople
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but English muffins did not originate in England.
Sep 5, 2016
A Look at the Enduring Allure of Canning and PreservingSkills
I come from a long line of Missouri farmers. Our roots were literally in the soil for generations. That is, until my Grandma Dot got fed up with wearing feed sack dresses and growing her own food, getting by on what you could and being reluctantly grateful for the Ball jars still left in the root cellar come February. In the mid-century promise of modernity just after WWII, she packed her bag and took a train to St.
Sep 3, 2016
Beyond Southern Sweet Tea: How Sweet Tea Is Drunk Around the WorldKitchen
A mistake had been made. My mother absentmindedly asked for an iced tea at the roadside barbeque joint in rural North Florida. To her chagrin, before she could chase down the waitress and clarify unsweetened tea, a beverage appeared with a glycemic index somewhere between that of a Coca Cola and straight simple syrup. At 8 years old, I was more than happy to drink the sweetened beverage, the sucrose completely masking any bitterness in the tea that my immature pallet would have rejected.
Aug 30, 2016
A Short History of the Mason JarPeople
Mason jars are everywhere. They line the shelves of artisan grocery stores, filled with homemade blood orange marmalade or pickled fennel; they store your sugar and spices (and everything nices); and they serve as lanterns, candles, and vases at weddings. There are entire cookbooks dedicated to Mason jar salads. Brooklyn bars serve beer in them and, perhaps, so do you. But how did it get to be so? Here is a short history of this iconic and ubiquitous jar.
Aug 29, 2016
My Complicated Relationship with The Great British Baking ShowPeople
It's complicated, but Philip Larkin has the last word.
Aug 12, 2016
A Tale of 3 Caesar SaladsPeople
The original Caesar, a product of neither America nor Italy, but of Tijuana, Mexico, has come a long way. In its century of existence, the salad has evolved from finger food to American classic to questionable health food. For the armchair historian or the Caesar devotee, here is a condensed history of the legendary salad in three iconic Caesars.
Aug 4, 2016
Tiny Facts: Caesar Salad Isn’t Named After the EmperorPeople
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Caesar salad has no relation to Julius Caesar, the Roman emperor of yore. It’s an understandable mistake to make though. It feels like the salad could be from the days of chariots and togas, right? It has the black pepper, eggs, and fishy flavor profile, all which are typically found in ancient Roman cooking. But, alas, it’s not the case. Caesar salad was, in fact, invented in Tijuana, Mexico, in the 1920s.
Aug 4, 2016
Our Love Affair with Picnics — The Moveable FeastPlan & Prep
For the first six months of her life, my daughter lived entirely on picnics. A mother’s moveable feast — packed not in a basket, but a nursing bra — taught her that eating was a pleasure to be had wherever you might find yourself. Then at the six-month solid-food milestone, mealtimes suddenly became lessons in modern civility: silverware, linen (aka bibs), and being confined to a chair rather than reclining as if at a Roman banquet.
Jul 30, 2016
Seed Saving and Iowa’s Corn Train GospelSkills
In Iowa, you can hear the corn grow. The other night my friend Howard brought over some grass stalks to show me the sound. Corn kernels, like other grains, are the edible seeds of certain types of grass plants. He wanted to demonstrate the sound he heard growing up on an Iowa farm, so he pulled the stems of each stalk through its leaf sheath; one weedy stalk made the gentle popping sound he’d heard on hot humid nights.
Jul 24, 2016
Tiny Facts: Where Did the S’more Come From?People
Ah, the s’more — it’s a campfire treat that’s as essential to summer as sunscreen and flip-flops. The combination of charred marshmallow, crunchy graham crackers, and melted chocolate seems like a no-brainer, but where did this little piece of sandwich heaven come from? Like all great foods, the origin story of the s’more is disputed. The first published recipe appeared in 1927 in a Girl Scouts handbook called Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.
Jul 11, 2016
3 Women Who Made England Mad for TeaPeople
When the heads of the G20 nations gathered in London in 2009 to grapple with the economic crisis, angry British protestors demonstrated in front of the Bank of England … by taking tea. Their concern was not bloated bankers’ bonuses, the lending crisis, or the mortgage scandal. To them, the disappearance of time for a nice cuppa represented everything that is wrong with modern capitalism.
May 27, 2016
The Luxury of Lunch at the Department StorePeople
For me, glamour is an onion. Not just one, but many more than you think you’ll need — thinly sliced, sautéed into caramel, soused in a broth and wine cocktail, dressed with baguette sops, and then all of it tucked under a thick blanket of toasted cheese and christened French onion soup. That dish was a lot of what made the St. Louis department store Famous-Barr simply “Famous” to the locals.
May 14, 2016
An Illustrated History of Cocktails in the SouthPeople
It could be argued that the history of America is inexorably linked to the history of drinking. After all, legend has it that the real reason the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock was because they ran out of beer; they dropped anchor at first sight of land in order to, ahem, rectify the situation. Flash forward a few years, and our nation’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, used the country’s affinity for alcohol to pay back the debt owed from the Civil War.
May 11, 2016
The Tart and Tangy Ingredient Hawaii Can’t Stop EatingPeople
I don’t remember the first time I had dried plum. Maybe it was on a playground at my elementary school in Guam. Whenever it was, what I’ll never forget is how my fingers would be stained red after eating one, and how I could still taste traces of saltiness hours after nothing was left but the marble-sized pit. In Guam, these Chinese pickled and dried, sweetened plums are called “sweet and sours” because they are just that — sweet, sour, and a bit salty, too.
Apr 29, 2016