food history food history

Cloud eggs: It's not just Instagrammers who find them pretty. Chefs of the 17th century whipped them up, too. Then, as now, they were meant to impress. Maria Godoy/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Maria Godoy/NPR

Cloud Eggs: The Latest Instagram Food Fad Is Actually Centuries Old

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

At the turn of the 20th century, when access to professional care was spotty, many cookbooks served up recipes for the sick — some (brandy) more appealing than others (toast water). Even the Joy Of Cooking included sickbed recipes up through the 1943 edition. George Marks/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
George Marks/Getty Images

This upland rice is a remarkable link between West Africa, the Gullah-Geechee sea islands of the American South, and the Merikin settlements of southern Trinidad. Courtesy of Francis Morean hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Francis Morean

Fortified dwelling and open air banquet, detail from a mosaic portraying a Nilotic landscape from El Alia, Tunisia. Roman Civilisation, 2nd century. Musée National Du Bardo (Archaeological Museum) DeAgostini/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
DeAgostini/Getty Images

American servicemen enjoy a hot cup of coffee at a Salvation Army hut in New York, circa 1918. During World War I, instant coffee was a key provision for soldiers on the front. They called it a "cup of George." FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Anyone who has read or seen Victor Hugo's masterpiece knows the plot of Les Miserables turns on the theft of a simple loaf of bread. There was no sharper barometer of economic status in 19th-century France than bread. Minnie Phan for NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Minnie Phan for NPR

La Belle Limonadiere, hand coloured etching (1816). Lemonade was ubiquitous in mid-17th century Paris. Where the limonadiers went, piles of spent lemon peels followed. As rats nibbled on the peels, they killed off plague-infected fleas, Tom Nealon argues in his new book. Courtesy of The British Library Board/The Overlook Press hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of The British Library Board/The Overlook Press

From happy Neolithic-era accident to inspiration for student protests to tabletop staple, butter has had quite the ride over the past 10,000 years. A new book tells the story. Lew Rovertson/Getty Images/StockFood hide caption

toggle caption
Lew Rovertson/Getty Images/StockFood

Freda DeKnight was Ebony's first food editor and author of a best-selling African-American cookbook in the 1940s. Her recipes presented a vision of black America that was often invisible in mainstream media. Sierra Nicole Rhoden/Chicago Tribune hide caption

toggle caption
Sierra Nicole Rhoden/Chicago Tribune

A still from Budweiser's Super Bowl ad tells the story of one of Budweiser's founders. Budweiser via YouTube/ Screenshot by NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Budweiser via YouTube/ Screenshot by NPR

Marie-Antoine Carême began his hardscrabble life in Paris during the French Revolution, but eventually his penchant for design and his baking talent brought him fame and fortune. Wikipedia hide caption

toggle caption

In the 1970s, Mr. Coffee became iconic, an American byword for drip brewing. By Christmas 1977, department stores were selling more than 40,000 Mr. Coffees a day. Credit for some of that success goes to the machine's longtime pitchman, former New York Yankee Joltin' Joe DiMaggio, seen here in a television commercial from 1978. Richard Drew/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Richard Drew/AP