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.
Dec 28, 2023
What Is a Continental Breakfast?Skills
Chances are you’ve stayed at a hotel and had the opportunity to try out the continental breakfast at some point in your life. During your stay, however, you’ve probably spent some time wondering what exactly a continental breakfast is or what does it even mean for a breakfast to be “continental”?While it may depend on the hotel itself, in general a continental breakfast typically comes with a set list of expectations.
Oct 25, 2023
What’s the Difference Between Canola and Rapeseed Oil?Skills
Here’s the scoop on both.
Sep 12, 2022
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
Sense of Place: The Flavors and Ingredients of LouisianaPeople
Like Florida and Alaska, we felt that the Cajun and Creole cuisines of Louisiana deserved a mention all their own. Here you see a blending of Native American, French, Spanish, and African influences that results in a regional flavor that is as unique as it is mouth-watering.Cajun and Creole are actually two very distinct cuisines. Simply put, Cajun is country food while Creole is the food of the urban centers.
May 12, 2022
From Wafers to Cones: A Short History of the WafflePeople
Long before waffle cones and Eggo came on the scene, the waffle was part of the Western culinary tradition. The exact origins of this honeycombed cake are unknown, but the story of its evolution from a thin, crisp wafer to a thick, leavened cake, is a fascinating one. Join us as we take a trip through waffle history…It is hard to imagine the waffle without its iconic honeycombed surface, but in the beginning it probably started as a simple, flat cake.
May 12, 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
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 26, 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
So You Know: Cookie Monster’s Famous Sugar Cookie Dough RecipeRecipes
We all know Cookie Monster loves to eat cookies, but it turns out he’s quite the baker, too! Cookie Monster’s famous cookie dough recipe first appeared in Big Bird’s Busy Book, from the 1970’s.
Sep 30, 2020
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 8, 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 9, 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 9, 2020
These Are the Most Popular Kitchen Colors from the Last 100 YearsKitchen
Looking through the kitchen color trends of the last century tells us a lot more than simply the most popular hues of the moment.
Jul 16, 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 29, 2020
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 YearsTools
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
Family Recipe Gone Wrong: Chocolate Peanut ClustersPeople
We all have our family cooking lore: famed recipes that get passed down from generation to generation, and others that just get lost somewhere in between. Either a selfish cook doesn’t share his closely-guarded secret, or a recipe doesn’t get written down until it is too late. And then there’s the cherished recipe that fails—perhaps it lacks a key ingredient or important step. These chocolate peanut clusters? They only lacked one thing. My Nana.
Jun 5, 2019
Use Your Bean: The Origins of Food IdiomsPeople
Ever wonder why the wealthy are called “the upper crust” or why “sowing your wild oats” is a bad thing?
Jun 4, 2019
Writers and Food, from A-ZPeople
Remember the favorite snacks of these 12 writers? Literature and food have long been entwined and a source of fascination for us today. Awl writer Jane Hu adds to the history by exploring an A-Z guide to the snacks, foods, and food-themed living that accompanied various writers throughout their lives.Charles Dickens was obsessed with baked apples. Molière went on a milk-only diet for two months.
May 30, 2019
Regional Specialty: Scali BreadPeople
It’s pronounced “skah-lee” bread, and unless you grew up in Boston, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of it! Credit for this soft sesame-sprinkled loaf goes to the Italians who settled into Boston’s North End, where it’s still sold and enjoyed as a daily bread. Are you a fan of scali bread?Scali bread is a long, somewhat flat loaf that is often prepared in a braid like challah. It has a soft, white interior with a chewy, glossy brown crust.
May 24, 2019
Egyptian Street Food at Home: KosharyRecipes
Following the news coverage in Egypt these past few months eventually led us to an inevitable, and quite likely predictable, place: Egypt’s food. Koshary is generally acknowledged to be The Ultimate Egyptian street food, and given its blend of pasta, lentils, chickpeas, and tangy tomato sauce, it’s easy to see why. We found a recipe in Saveur, and had to give it a try.There are a lot of parts to this recipe (link below).
May 24, 2019
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.
May 24, 2019
Word of Mouth: Al DenteSkills
Al Dente; adjective, Italian: Literally, “to the tooth.” In practice, this means cooked just enough to still be firm, where the center still remains a bit under-cooked and the pasta still offers resistance when chewed.In medieval times, pasta was cooked for an hour or more until it was soft, mushy, and offered no resistance. This was typical of all cooking at the time (ie, cooking food to death!
May 3, 2019
Sweet Treat: Whoopie PiesRecipes
Whoopie pies tend to show up more frequently on food blogs and in magazines this time of year because, for some reason, pumpkin ones are a popular variation. If you’re not familiar with the whoopie pie or just want to know more about where they came from, read on…Whoopie pies are made from two flat-ish mounds of cake, about the size of a hamburger, with whipped frosting in between. They are most commonly found in New England and Pennsylvania.
May 3, 2019
Amish Friendship Bread: Have You Ever Made It?Groceries
For the past few weeks, bags of liquid starter for this Amish friendship bread have been spreading among our friends faster than a 1980’s chain letter. “How are you?” has been replaced by “What day are you on?” and “Have you made yours yet?” We’d be a little frightened except that everyone is so gosh darn excited…For the unfamiliar, Amish friendship bread is your basic sweetened quick-bread.
May 3, 2019
Word of Mouth: BavarianRecipes
Bavarian (bah-vare’-ian), noun: A stirred custard that is mixed with gelatin and then lightened with whipped cream, poured into mold, and allowed to set until firm.Here’s another classic French dessert to try next time you’re in the mood for something fancy!Bavarians date back to the days of French chef Marie Antoine Carême toward the beginning of the 19th century.
May 3, 2019
The Canape: A Classic Cocktail Party NibbleRecipes
The other day I thifted the amazing canapé cookbook pictured above (circa 1934) for just a few dollars. At first the book’s design drew me, with its deco cover and amusing black drawings. But then I started reading the fascinating recipes with names like Devil’s Knapsack, Diamond Cut Diamond and Rainbow’s End. Intrigued, I set out discover more about the canapé, a retro cocktail mainstay.
May 2, 2019
What’s the Deal with Tuscan Bread?People
The first time you try Tuscan bread, it feels like someone must be playing a joke. This bland-tasting, pale-crusted, thoroughly un-appetizing bread surely can’t be right. But Tuscan bread it is! In fact, the bread is (quite deliberately) missing one key ingredient.Tuscan bread is intentionally made without salt. If you need any proof of salt’s flavor-enhancing properties, just try a slice of Tuscan next to a slice of something like ciabatta.
May 2, 2019
Ya Ka Mein: The New Orleans Hangover CurePeople
It’s anyone’s guess where this ramen-esque noodle dish originally came from. Chinese immigrants to New Orleans? Vets back from WWII? Someone’s midnight run through a corner store after a night of drinking?One thing is for sure: this dish of spaghetti, slow-roasted pork or beef, hardboiled eggs, and green onions served up in a broth made rich with soy and ketchup is the hangover cure to end all others.Have you ever had it?
May 2, 2019
Handwritten Recipes by Michael PopekKitchen
Why would someone tuck a recipe for Chicken and Spaghetti Casserole in the pages of Michael Crichton’s Sphere? Could that Dutch Apple Cake be someone’s long-lost family recipe? Michael Popek has spent years with these mysteries while collecting recipes from the used books at his shop, first for his blog Handwritten Recipes and now for this cookbook.
May 2, 2019
A History of Food in 100 Recipes by William SitwellRecipes
“Take nessh chese, and pare it clene, and grinde hit in a mortar small, and drawe yolkes and white of egges through streynour, and cast there-to, and grinde hem togidre;  then cast thereto Sugur, butter and salt, and put al togidre in a coffin of faire past, And lete bake ynowe, and serue it forthe.“Just in case you don’t recognize this recipe, it’s for Else fryes or Cheese Tart.
May 2, 2019
Recipe: Classic Mamie Taylor CocktailRecipes
Every week I write the 10-Minute Happy Hour to allow each of us permission to make a moment. No overly involved dinner party or stress-filled gatherings touted here. Just 10 minutes and you get to take a beat and toast the week behind or the weekend to come. Following suit, the newly released book Storied Sips, page after page, highlights how a simple cocktail can “strip away the mundane, gild an evening … and add a little flair.
May 2, 2019
The 9-Bottle Bar Recipe: The Diplomat CocktailRecipes
It’s easy to imagine the circumstances: A social function, gathering that worldly stratum of government officials whose members go by titles such as consul, attaché, and ambassador. The drinks are flowing, the pressures of one’s post are at their most acute, and yet the wisest of the group know well that conducting sensitive state business could be gravely jeopardized by dulled faculties. Enter the Diplomat.
May 2, 2019
What’s the Difference Between a Cuisinart, KitchenAid, and Robot-Coupe Food Processor?Tools
Just as tissues have become synonymous with Kleenex and bandages with Band-Aid, Cuisinart is the brand that often comes to mind when we think about food processors. But it’s certainly not the only one on the market. Food processors first made their way to market in Europe in the 1940s. They evolved over time to include the commercially favored Robot-Coupe.
May 1, 2019
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.
May 1, 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.
Apr 30, 2019
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
The evolution of the kitchen island maps out not only how American kitchens have changed over the 20th century, but also how our lives have shifted from decade to decade.
Apr 12, 2018
Why Is it Called a “Dutch Oven” Anyway?Tools
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
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 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?Skills
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 ComebackRecipes
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”?Skills
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?Recipes
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