Our primers on food history dive into the backgrounds of the iconic dishes and foodstuffs you know and love so that you can deepen your understanding.
Three magazine covers depicting avocados done in a pulp sci-fi fashion
Avocado: The Origin Story
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How Does a Restaurant Last 35 Years? The History of Chicago's Heaven on Seven
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How Spam Won Over America's Restaurants
How to Make a Pickleback (and the Truth Behind its Origins)
Overhead view of a messy table at Miramar
All Hail the Buenos Aires Bodegón
Gefilte fish displayed on a circular plate with red horseradish and garnish
The Gentile Origins of Gefilte Fish
A cream tea prepared the Devon way next to a cream tea prepared the Cornish way
A Tale of Two Cream Teas: Why the British Are Still Arguing Over Their Scones
A Tea Advertisement featuring an Indian actress
All the Tea (Not) in China: The Story of How India Became a Tea-Drinking Nation
Close-up of njahi (Kenyan Black Beans)
The Njahi Wars: Behind Kenya's Controversial Black Bean
pastillas de leche on a plate surrounded by candy in intricately cut wrappers, an art form known as pabalat
Mayela's Gift: Unwrapping Pastillas de Leche
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The History of Hibiscus Drinks in the African Diaspora
Garifuna dish of hudutu
The Garifuna Diaspora Celebrates 223 Years of its Cuisine
Closeup of a pile of gold foil-wrapped bouillon cubes. One has been unwrapped to reveal the cube itself.
The History of Bouillon Cubes
A spoonful of Texas chili con carne is held up to the camera. A bowl of chili is visible in the background.
Divided States of Chili: A Guide to America's Most Contentious Stew
Overhead view of a glass being filled with soy milk.
A History of Soy Milk
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What Are Dippin' Dots, Really? The History of Cryogenic Ice Cream
Closeup of an opened package containing an astronaut ice cream sandwich. The sandwich lies nearby, broken in half.
The History of Astronaut Ice Cream
Whirley Pop popped corn.
The History of Popcorn: How One Grain Became a Staple Snack
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Toni Tipton-Martin's Cookbook, Jubilee, Is a Source of Black Joy
A plate of hushpuppies and chicken and a biscuit
The Real History of Hushpuppies
Liquid Smoke
Pantry Essentials: All About Liquid Smoke
A bowl of ambrosia, a fruit salad with coconut, pineapple, pecans, mini-marshmallows, and cherries.
How Ambrosia Became a Southern Christmas Tradition
Carolina Gold rice spilling out onto a wooden counter from a paper bag.
The Story of Carolina Gold, the Best Rice You've Never Tasted
Closeup of freshly-made waffle cones.
The Complete History of Ice Cream Cones
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The Joy of Eating Mutura, Nairobi’s Blood Sausage of Ill Repute
A spoonful of cotechino con lenticchie is held up to the camera.
The True Story of Traditional New Year's Lucky Foods
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The Rise and Fall of the Lime Rickey, the Soda Fountain Comeback Kid
Closeup of barbecue ribs, cut into individual ribs and arranged on a well-seasoned baking sheet.
From Trash to Treasure: The History of BBQ Ribs
Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray soda being poured from a can into a tall glass.
Cel-Ray Forever: Where America's Weirdest Soda Came From and How It Stuck Around
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How a 1920s Novel Started an International Restaurant Craze
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The Real Reason Sugar Has No Place in Cornbread
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A Social History of Jell-O Salad: The Rise and Fall of an American Icon
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The 1904 World's Fair: A Turning Point for American Food
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The Historic Problem With Hoppin' John
bottles of water
How Bottled Water Became America's Most Popular Beverage
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Soda: The Dubious History (And Great Flavor) of Vernors Ginger Ale
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The Real Story of Gumbo, Okra, and Filé
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The Whiskey That Won the Wild West
A slice of bread with a generous smear of chocolate hazelnut spread on a wooden board.
From Napoleon to Nutella: The Birth of the Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread
Three soft Philly pretzels with salt.
The Philly Pretzel: One Twisted Jawn
The Real Origins of the Boiled Peanut
cross section view of a plancha-seared Dorado-style burrito
13 Burrito Styles Everyone Should Know
pastrami sandwich
How Pastrami Really Arrived in New York City
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Malört: Chicago's Favorite Bitter Liqueur
Artistic rendering of the exterior of the Big Apple Inn in Jackson, MS.
The Big Apple Inn, A Little Mississippi Diner With an Outsize History
How Chicken-Fried Steak Got Its Texas Twang
A split Detroit corned beef egg roll.
Digging Into Detroit's Corned Beef Egg Roll
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A Song of Spice and Fire: The Real Deal With Hunan Cuisine
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From Scientific Cuisine to Southern Icon: The Real History of Pimento Cheese
A selection of the charcuterie Shapiro produces. At center is a mini ham. Clockwise from the right: pâté en croûte, chicken galantine, saucisson à l'ail, capocollo, pancetta, guanciale.
Obsessed: The Kitsch and Artistry of Pâté en Croûte
The Snowball: A Baltimore Summer Classic
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Mull, Muddle, and the 12-Gallon Soup Pot: The Secret History of the South's Most Obscure Stew
A cereal aisle in a grocery store.
How Cereal Became the Quintessential American Breakfast
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Country Captain is the Southern Icon You May Have Never Tasted
A Bloody Mary cocktail in a tall glass garnished with a celery stick and some shrimp on a toothpick.
The Bloody Mary: The History and Science of an Oddball Classic
How Banana Pudding Became a Southern Icon
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Why "As Southern as Sweet Tea" Isn't Very Southern at All
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What is Moonshine?