So when did food get so complicated
Food. Yes but what is it? We eat, we enjoy and in this age we go to endless lengths to discover, explore and innivate. But back then? We just eat, didn't we? Well not really. So I thought it might be fun to explore what food we eat., how we prepared it and where iot came from - not cows and pigs and sheep but shops and stores and stuff.
And then a friend sent me one of those jokey things that the internet is full of and which set out to show us just how out of date the geeks around us are. Mostly by showing how old-fashioned us oldsetsr are. And it was funny indeed. But it was also mostly wrong. For everything we think started during decade usually started in the one before if not even earlier. For, just as the decades take a few years to get going - the 60s start in 63 really - so trends are not spotted until they have reached mainstream.
The list was entitled: ""For those of you who are old enough to remember, enjoy. For the rest - it's a history lesson!!"
I have added the italics:
Pasta had not been invented (in the UK) . CORRECT-ish Well, it had been invented in Italy way earlier but arrived on the shelves in the UK in the early 60s. But we did eat macaroni cheese and this goes even further back http://www.theoldfoodie.com/2007/03/macaroni-with-cheese.html
Curry was a surname. NO - my brother made curries in the 50s (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curry#Historical_development) and left.
A takeaway was a mathematical problem. True - First seen in UK in 1964. Except of course for fish and chips, pie and mash and stuff...
A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower. Spelled otherwise maybe but it was Invented 1889 in Italy; Pizza Express arrived in the UK in 1965. I do recall it being a new thing late in the 50s.
Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time. Both pretty absent during the war for obvious reasons BUT UK aristos made fortunes from banana plantations from the 1700s on ; they grew them both in orangeries in the UK the name of which tells us everything; posh nosh perhaps but here long before the 50s; I was eating both in the 50s - banana custard - yum yum! This is a great site for this period
All crisps were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not. Well that was the Smiths and the little twist of blue salt. Smiths founded 1923! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/. In fact the Crisp was invented mid 1800s in US. Flavours arrived in the 60s. Images taken from this site https://www.flickr.com/photos/castlekay/2630591987/
A Chinese chippy was a foreign (? nah! good English word for centuries) carpenter. No comment! Well maybe this - the Chinese were here from the 1600s on; Cardiff has an area called Canton. A chippy was a carpenter but we bought chips in the 40s and 50s; not chinese tis true!
Rice was a milk pudding, and never, ever part of our dinner. Brought to Europe by the Moors; my mum made rice as a veg in the 50s; we hated it.
A Big Mac was what we wore when it was raining. First MacDonalds in Woolwich 1973 ish. Before that it was a Wimpy; before that a steak hache and French! Picture right with a little personal; history from this excellent source https://thamesfacingeast.wordpress.com/tag/paul-preston-ceo-mcdonalds/
Brown bread was something only poor people ate. My grandpa reckoned it was brown because the flour was he said, the sweeping off the mill floor!
Oil was for lubricating, fat was for cooking. Hmmm Refining vegetable oil is a very old process and the stuff was in use in the US at the end of the 19th century. Trex arrived in the 30s here and while it was 'solid' is was vegetable oil. There is reason to think that they sold it solid because who would use it liquid? http://www.vegetableoilblog.com/history-of-vegetable-oil
Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and never green. Well first Tetley in 1953 drove the introduction of tea bags in Britain, but other companies soon caught up. Posh people did drink green tea. Milk first or second that's the key!
Coffee was Camp, and came in a bottle. Or Bev and stayed in the bottle. BUT this is rubbish - Britain was drinking good coffee from the 1700s; the London coffee houses spawned the entire financial system. And anyone who thinks the US knows anything about good coffee just need to get a life (in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Turkey - oh plee'ease!) Starbucks sells furniture polish; not coffee. Read more about the coffee bar culture of the 50s here http://www.nickelinthemachine.com/2008/07/soho-and-the-2-is-coffee-bar/
Cubed sugar was regarded as posh. No way; invented 1843 and on sale in the UK from early in the 20th century. We used them. In the early 20th it was still often ground off a sugar block.
Only Heinz made beans. TOSH. Read this : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-446502/The-history-humble--yummy--baked-bean.html That's baked bean; plenty of other canners to choose from.
Fish didn't have fingers in those days. Wrong - launched in 1955 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/7868771/ Fish-fingers-10-things-you-almost-certainly-dont-know.html
Eating raw fish was called poverty, not sushi. Hmmm - not even sushi - raw fish is sashumi but roll mops etc have been around for years;.but read this; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sashimi
None of us had ever heard of yoghurt. Oh dear, we had and mum bought it every week - came in glass pots, was slightly firm and only plain, vanilla, strawberry or raspberry.
Healthy food consisted of anything edible. Ah, well in the absence of much processed and home cooking most food was healthy!
People who didn't peel potatoes were regarded as lazy. How very true.
Indian restaurants were only found in India. NO - The origins of Indian cuisine in the UK can be traced back to The East India Company which was set up in the 17th century for Britain to trade goods with the Indian subcontinent. As the British influence in India escalated as a result of this trade, so did the interest in Indian food back in Britain. Indian recipes were published and curry powder was made commercially available in 1780. - See more at: http://hungryhouse.co.uk/blog/a-brief-history-of-the-curry-house-in-the-uk/#sthash.sEaxlzVF.dpuf
Cooking outside was called camping. Odd, since we had garden furniture and garden picnics were common. By 1958 we had had our first barbie... Tasted of paraffin but we felt really with it.
Seaweed was not a recognised food. Except in Wales where they have been eating it for years - delicious laver bread!
"Kebab" was not even a word never mind a food. Odd since it entered the language in 1914 http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=kebab but if we mean the doner then read this http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/4295701/The-man-who-invented-the-doner-kebab-has-died.html
Sugar enjoyed a good press in those days, and was regarded as being white gold. White gold referred to the result of exploited slave workers in plantations and is not exactly PC.
Prunes were medicinal. True and we eat them once week in the 50s with custard.
Surprisingly muesli was readily available, it was called cattle feed. Not exactly - the word arrived in 1926; product soon after. Anyway, porridge is much the same idea frankly; But Alpen launched in the 60s.
Pineapples came in chunks in a tin; we had only ever seen a picture of a real one. Tinned during the war if you could get them. But - they were everywhere and we eat them in the 50s. Read this http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/pineapples/pineapples.htm
Water came out of the tap, if someone had suggested bottling it and charging more than petrol for it they would have become a laughing stock. Absolutely true... except that mineral water is an ancient and respected substance used for health reasons and to dilute whisky. Malvern water anyone? First bottled in 1843 but sadly read thjs http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1322537/Queens-favourite-Malvern-Water-axed-Coca-Cola-orders-dry-up.html
The one thing that we never ever had on our table in the fifties .. was elbows! Now that is true!.