Food Fun / More Food Fun / Food Facts

Events In Food History

Page 2


The invention of the alkalization of cocoa powder by Coenrad van Houten in The Netherlands enabled the development of chocolate products we enjoy today, including hot cocoa.


Photo courtesy of Recchiuti Confections.

Gourmet Cocoa

Cupcakes, peanut butter, and the invention of the hand-cranked ice cream freezer and gave 19th century foodies something(s) to look forward to.


  • 1800. Jean Avice was an excellent pastry cook of the early 19th century. He was patissier with the famous M. Bailly in Paris, and was also appointed chef to Talleyrand. Careme was trained by Avice, who later called Avice the “master of choux pastry.” Avice is said in some stories to have been the creator of the Madeleine, a small, rich, shell-shaped cake, when he had the idea of baking pound-cake mixture in aspic molds. However, most authorities believe the madeleine is much older than that.
  • 1810. Sir John Leslie, a Scottish physicist and mathematician, was the first to freeze water artificially (create ice artificially). He used an air pump apparatus.
  • 1812. Benjamin Delessert developed the first successful process to extract sugar from sugar beets.
  • 1817. Antoine Beauvilliers Died. French chef who founded the first luxury restaurant, La Grande Taverne de Londres.
  • 1818. Thomas Adams was born. He manufactured the first commercially successful chewing gum, “Black Jack.”
  • 1823. A Frenchman, Count Odette Phillipe, planted the first grapefruit trees in Florida around Tampa Bay. Today, Florida produces more grapefruit than the rest of the world combined.
  • 1824. John Simpson Chisum was born. American frontiersman and cattle rancher. In 1867 he blazed the Chisum Trail from Paris, Texas to New Mexico. Between 1870 and 1881 he had the largest cattle herd in the U.S. near Roswell, New Mexico.
  • 1824. The city of Ciudad Bolivar in Venezuela, was founded in 1764, and was commonly known as Angostura. In 1824 a local doctor first formulated Angostura Bitters, now used as an aromatic flavoring in drinks and cooking.
  • 1824. Ferdinand Carre was born. A French engineer and pioneer in refrigeration methods. In 1859 he invented the ammonia vapor-compression system which became the most widely used. Vapor compression is still the system most used today.
  • 1825. La Physiologie du gout (The Physiology of Taste) published by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
Gourmet Cupcakes
Almost 180 years later, cupcakes get a modern
look at New York’s Let Them Eat Cake.

  • 1828. The word “cupcake” is first found in “Receipts” by E. Leslie.
  • 1828. Jean-Joseph Close Died. The very first pâté de foie gras (goose liver paste) is said to have been created in Strasbourg in 1765 by a Norman chef named Jean-Joseph Close (although the technique for producing foie gras goes back as far as the ancient Egyptians).
  • 1828. Dutch process cocoa (cocoa powder) is developed by C.J. Van Houten of the Netherlands.
  • 1829. Sylvester Graham invented the Graham cracker.
  • 1834. The first U.S. patent for a refrigerating machine was issued. Jacob Perkins patented a refrigerating machine which used sulphuric ether compression.
  • 1835. Cesar Ritz, the famous hotelier whose name became synonymous with luxury, was born in Niederwald, Switzerland.
  • 1835. Frederick Henry Harvey was born in London. Fred Harvey operated a chain of restaurants called the “Harvey House,” and a series of railroad dining cars and hotels. The restaurants were established along the route of the Atchison, Topeka and Sante Fe Railroad, and were staffed by “Harvey Girls,” who over the years numbered in the thousands. Will Rogers said that Harvey “kept the West in food and wives.”
  • 1837. Louis, Marquis de Cussy died. French gastronome, a friend of Grimod de la Reyniere, who stated that Cussy had invented 366 different ways to prepare chicken. Cussy wrote “Les Classiques de la table.”
  • 1839. Marie, Vicomte de Botherel, installed kitchens on buses in Paris to serve food. The venture failed, but they were probably the first “dining cars.”
  • 1845. Eliza Acton’s “Modern Cookery for Private Families” is published in London.
  • 1845. Peter Cooper, inventor and founder of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, obtained the first American patent for the manufacture of gelatin.  In 1895, cough syrup manufacturer Pearl B. Wait purchased the patent and developed a packaged gelatin dessert. Wait’s wife, May David Wait named it “Jell-O.”
  • 1846. Nancy Johnson invented the hand-cranked ice cream freezer. Nothing more is known about her. Her design was patented in 1848 by William G. Young.
  • 1847. Supposedly, Captain Hanson Gregory originated the hole in the center of the doughnut. He used the top of a round tin pepper container to punch the holes, so the dough would cook evenly.
  • 1847. Benjamin Delessert died. French industrialist who developed the first successful process to extract sugar from sugar beets.
  • 1848. Pasta is produced commercially in the U.S. for the first time.
  • 1849. Self service restaurants first appear in San Francisco during the California gold rush of 1849. At first a selection of free food was placed along the bar in saloons. There were so many people, that soon other businesses opened which charged for serving yourself. You went down the line with a tray, picked what you wanted, and paid at the end of the line.
  • 1849. The “Hangtown Fry” is created during the California Gold Rush. The Hangtown Fry is eggs, oysters and bacon cooked together, scrambled or an omelet.
  • 1850. The first commercial chewing gum is introduced, State of Maine Spruce Gum.
Rigatoni with Shrimp
Rigatoni with shrimp and asparagus. Photo
courtesy of the National Pasta Association.
  • 1851. Dr. John Gorier of Apalachicola, Florida was granted the first U.S. patent for mechanical refrigeration in 1851.
  • 1855. Henri Baboons was born. Nicknamed Ali-Bab, he was a well traveled engineer who collected recipes and cooked for his companions on his travels around the world. He published “Gastronomie Pratique” (Practical Gastronomy) in 1907.
  • 1859. James and E. P. Monroe were issued a patent for an eggbeater.
  • 1859. Battle Creek, Michigan was incorporated as a city. The Breakfast Cereal center of the world (Kellogg, Post and Ralston Purina are all there).
  • 1859. Eliza Acton died. She wrote the first cookbook for the housewife, rather than for the professional chef.
  • 1859. Ferdinand Carre invented the ammonia vapor-compression system for refrigeration, which became the most widely used. Vapor compression is still the system most used today.
  • 1863. Granula, probably the first breakfast cereal, is introduced. It was created by Dr. James C. Jackson of Dansville, N.Y.
  • 1866. Gregor (Johann) Mendel published his work on the laws of heredity. Mendel was an Austrian botanist whose work was the foundation of the science of genetics. He worked mainly with garden peas (some 28,000 plants over 7 years).
  • 1869. Joseph Campbell, a fruit merchant, and Abram Anderson, an ice box maker, got together to can tomatoes, vegetables, fruit preserves, etc. This was the beginning of the Campbell Soup Company.
  • 1870. During the Siege of Paris in 1870, camel is listed on the menu of Voison restaurant’s Christmas Eve menu.
  • 1871. Luther Burbank developed the Russet Burbank potato.
  • 1871. Thomas Adams patented a chewing gum producing machine. He manufactured the first commercially successful chewing gum, “Black Jack.”
  • 1872. Walter Scott of Providence, Rhode Island invents the horse-drawn lunch wagon.
  • 1872. Henry Tate, an English sugar merchant, patented a method of cutting sugar into small cubes in 1872. He made a fortune.
  • 1872. Alexandre Dumas’ “Grand dictionnaire de la cuisine” was published.
  • 1872. Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland) was born. French gastronome and writer. He was given the title “Prince of Gastronomes,” a title he was awarded in a public referendum in 1927, and a title no one else has ever been given.
Peking Duck photograph by Marina Oliphant for
The Age.
Click here to read the review of the
best Peking Duck in Melbourne.

  • 1873. All of the Peking (Pekin) ducks in the U.S. are descended from 9 ducks imported to Long Island, New York in 1873 (also called Long Island duckling).
  • 1873. Adolphus Busch developed a method of pasteurizing beer so it could withstand temperature fluctuations, which enabled national distribution.
  • 1873. Burbank potato was developed by Luther Burbank.
  • 1874. Pascal celery was first cultivated, in Michigan.
  • 1876. Kudzu was introduced to the U.S. in 1876, to control soil erosion in the South. Native to China and Japan, it can grow up to 1 foot per day, and virtually takes over telephone poles, trees, buildings, and anything else in its way. In the U.S. it is known as an uncontrollable weed, sometimes used as cattle forage. In Japan and China, it is also grown for its edible roots, which can reach 7 feet long and weigh 450 pounds. The roots are dried and pulverized into kudzu powder. This kudzu powder is used in cooking to thicken soups and sauces, dredge foods for deep frying, etc. The leaves and stems can be used as in salads.
  • 1876. The “spreading chestnut tree” from “The Village Blacksmith,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, was a real tree in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the corner of Brattle and Story Streets. It was cut down to widen the streets in 1876.
  • 1879. James J. Ritty, of Dayton, Ohio invented the cash register.
  • Lobster1880. E.W. “Billy” Ingram was born. Ingram was cofounder, with Walter A. Anderson, of the White Castle hamburger chain.
  • 1880. The wholesale price of lobster was ten cents per pound.
  • 1881 Dr. Satori Kato of Japan introduced the first instant coffee at the Pan American World Fair.
  • 1882. Swiss flour manufacturer Julius Maggi begins commercial production of the first bouillon cubes. He developed them so the poor had a cheap method for making nutritious soup.
  • 1884. W. Johnson patented an egg beater.
  • 1885. Philadelphia brand cream cheese went on sale.
  • 1885. Dr Pepper was invented in Waco, Texas. there is no period after the Dr in Dr Pepper.
  • 1887. Asa Candler (1851-1929) a wholesale druggist, purchased the formula for Coca-Cola from John S. Pemberton an Atlanta pharmacist for $ 2,300. He sold the company in 1919 for $25 million.
  • 1888. The first chewing gum to be sold in vending machines was made by Thomas Adams. He sold his gum in vending machines on elevated train station platforms in New York.
  • 1889. Aunt Jemima Pancake mix was introduced. It was the first ready-mix food to be sold commercially.
  • 1890. Peanut butter was developed by a St. Louis doctor for his patients with bad teeth.
  • 1891. Many food historians consider the first cafeteria to have been in the YWCA of Kansas City, Missouri in 1891. It provided cheap, self-service meals to working women.
  • 1891. Fig Newtons were created by Kennedy Biscuit Works in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts
  • 1893. Juicy fruit chewing gum introduced.
  • 1893. At the 1893 Chicago Fair, Pabst beer won a blue ribbon, and was called “Pabst Blue Ribbon” beer from then on.
  • 1895. Cough syrup manufacturer Pearl B. Wait purchased the patent for gelatin, invented in 1845 by Peter Cooper, and developed a packaged gelatin dessert. Wait’s wife, May David Wait named it “Jell-O.”
  • 1895. Postum cereal beverage introduced by Postum Cereal Co.
  • 1895. Rudolph Boysen was born. He developed the boysenberry, a raspberry-blackberry hybrid in 1923.
  • 1895. Gennaro Lombardi opened the first pizzeria in the U.S. in New York City.
  • 1895. Cordon Bleu school of cooking was founded in Paris by Marthe Distell to teach cooking to upper class women.
  • 1896. Tootsie Rolls were introduced by Leo Hirshfield of New York who named them after his daughter's nickname, “Tootsie.”
  • 1897. Campbell’s Soup invents condensed soup.
  • 1898. Caleb D. Bradham, a New Bern, North Carolina pharmacist created Pepsi-Cola, in imitation of Coca-Cola. (He originally called it Brad’s Drink).
Photo courtesy of the Midwest Dairy


Click here to continue to 1900-1949.


Historical material © James T. Ehler 1990 - 2005. All rights reserved. Additional material

© Copyright 2005- 2018 Lifestyle Direct Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. Images are the copyright of their respective owners.

© Copyright 2005-2018 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.