Category: Food History

Culinary Classic: Tacos

October 4th is National Taco Day. Not only that, but National Taco Day also falls on a Tuesday this year, making it a Super Taco Tuesday! How much do you know about everyone’s favorite Tuesday-night, build-your-own, family dinner dish?

Taco

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Spice Explorer: Blackening Seasoning

Do you find yourself using the same spices and herbs over and over again? Want to get exotic? You don’t have to fly around the planet to get that experience. You can do it right in your own kitchen. With Spice Explorer, we’re taking you on a trip, a journey of palate-pleasing discoveries. Every culture has certain flavor characteristics that make its cuisine unique, distinctive, identifiable. Inject your cooking with new life and new flavors from around the world with Lobel’s Spice Explorer. Buckle up! Here we go!

Spices and bottles

Blackening is an incendiary cooking technique that fuses spicy dry seasonings into a crispy, intensely flavored, buttery crust. It was originally used on fish, but the technique has been applied to all manner of meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetables.

The late and legendary Louisiana chef, Paul Prudhomme, invented the technique in the mid-80s, and rocked the food world for a loop that has rippled through popular food culture for more than 30 years.

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Maple Syrup: How Sweet It Is

Some foods just have an affinity for one another. Take pancakes or waffles, for example. They are so inextricably bound to maple syrup that you have to think twice about what else you might put on them—besides butter, of course.

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Sausage in Profile: Hot Dogs

While the concept of sausage is simple, thousands of variations can be found throughout the world.  Sausages can be fresh, cured, smoked, or cooked. They are made of beef, pork, veal, chicken, and more. And they can include myriad ingredients, from spices and herbs to fruits, vegetables, and cheeses—and even liquids such as beer, whiskey, or blood. Our “Sausage in Profile” series aims to introduce you to different types of sausage—their flavor profiles, histories, and uses—from familiar favorites to unique finds.

Grilling season is finally here and you know what that means—time to throw the hot dogs on the grill! While you may have enjoyed a boiled or pan-fried hot dog during the long, cold winter, there’s almost nothing better than a hot dog fresh off the grill.

The hot dog has become synonymous with American traditions like baseball and backyard barbecues. So you might be surprised to learn that the hot dog actually has German roots.

Hot Dog
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Sausage in Profile: Kaese Krainer

While the concept of sausage is simple, thousands of variations can be found throughout the world. Sausages can be fresh, cured, smoked, or cooked. They are made of beef, pork, veal, chicken, and more. And they can include myriad ingredients, from spices and herbs to fruits, vegetables, and cheeses—and even liquids such as beer, whiskey, or blood. Our “Sausage in Profile” series aims to introduce you to different types of sausage—their flavor profiles, histories, and uses—from familiar favorites to unique finds.

Addictively flavorful and plump with cheese, Kaese Krainer is a hidden gem among sausages. Swiss cheese mingles with mildly smoked pork and beef to create this luscious and hearty sausage.

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Cajun-Creole Unmasked

Imagine it’s Mardi Gras, and you are walking down Bourbon Street—the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Merry makers—many with a Hurricane or other libation in hand—flood the streets and revel all around you, all the while collecting as many strands of cheap beads as necks and inhibition allow.

Against the crowd’s noise, blues, jazz, zydeco, ragtime, and more pour from every filigreed cast-iron balcony and open doorway at every club, music hall, dive, and juke joint up and down the boulevard. Street merchants lend their own cadence hawking trinkets, gewgaws, and souvenirs.

And what cuts through all that clutter and sputter are the aromas that waft into the proceedings from the restaurants, food stalls, and street vendors. So varied. So pungent. So enveloping. So intoxicating.

You’ve just gotta have something to eat.

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Culinary Classic: Shepherd’s Pie

Tracing its 18th century origins to the British Isles, Shepherd’s Pie is a humble dish, born of frugality.

Early on it was called Cottage Pie, consisting of stewed ground meat (usually left over roast), potatoes, carrots, and peas combined in a rich gravy, topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes, then put in a hot oven to warm the contents and brown the potato topping. (more…)

Mustard: Everywhere You Go

Mustard is the world’s oldest condiment. Celebrated in the U.S. with National Mustard Day on the first Saturday of August, it is the most universally used condiment in the world, as well.

Whole, cracked, ground, and powdered mustard seeds have been mixed with other ingredients to create a sauce of many hues and intensities since the days of ancient Rome.

Half a world away, the Chinese have been using mustard seeds whole, rather than ground, in cooking for thousands of years.

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Meat on a Stick – It’s That Simple

Does the prospect of preparing a grilled party menu for more than 10 people make your palms sweat? Kabobs can feed armies. In fact, Middle Eastern armies are credited with the invention of kabobs having used their swords as skewers for meats that were roasted over open-flame fires.

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Corned Beef: A Salty Tradition

Corned beef has nothing to do with stalks, silk, husks, or cobs.

The corn in corned beef refers to the English use of the word to describe various particles with a bigger-than-granular texture. And, in this case in particular, it means the coarse salt used to cure the beef. (more…)

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