The Delicious History Podcast Project


Greetings, Food History Lovers!

It was a year ago that I first started this blog. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I’ve be fortunate enough to find that there are quite a few people out there who are interested in the tasty world of Food History. I now want to take the next step in sharing my food related historical tidbits with the world by creating a companion podcast to go with the website. I think it will be an fantastic way to build a larger following, as well as prove how fun and delicious history can be. Who doesn’t love a little food and humour with their education

Now here’s the tricky part. Thanks to a recent redundancy, I need your help you make this dream a reality. Podcasts need equipment, software, media hosting, artwork, and music – all of which need to be paid for. Because I can’t rely on the kindness of retailers to simply give me the resources I need, I’m hoping that some of my beloved readers can help me to get Delicious History onto the internet airwaves.The best part about pledging to the Delicious History Podcast Project is that every donation entitles you to a reward. That’s right, if we hit our target you not only get Delicious History in your earbuds, you also get a BONUS PRIZE. What’s not to love?

So if you love food, history or my good self, please help get Delicious History into an iTunes store near you! If you also wouldn’t mind reblogging or sharing the project with your friends and other fellow history lovers, I’d be eternally grateful.

Simply follow the link below for more info or to make a pledge –

Delicious History Podcast Project

Thank you in advance for supporting Delicious History and for making this first year in the blogosphere truly amazing.

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The Last Meals of the Damned: Part One


It seems that the Gods are smiling upon on me, albeit in a rather morbid fashion. Last night, I posted on our Facebook Page that today’s post would involve criminals. As this post title ever so subtly suggests, I’m going to discuss the last meals of some well known criminals.

This morning I was scouring the news headlines and one of the top stories was about Gary Simmons Jr, a recently executed inmate who requested an impressive 29,000 calories worth of food for his final meal. According to MSN news, the meal included “…two Pizza Hut pizzas (one a double portion), almost 6 pounds of cheese, 80 ounces of ranch dressing, a family-sized bag of Doritos, two strawberry milkshakes, 40 ounces of Cherry Coke, a supersized McDonald’s fries and two pints of strawberry ice cream.” Considering that many inmates have had far less extravagant meal requests denied, I found this rather astounding, and admittedly, impressive.

I felt that stumbling across this article was a sign to continue with my morbid post. So let’s dig in.

Have you met Ted?

Ted Bundy:
American serial killer, kidnapper, rapist and necrophile. He confessed to committing thirty murders between 1974 and 1978, but the true total is probably far higher. He is well-known for decapitating his victims and keeping the heads as trophies, as well as performing sexual acts on decomposed corpses.

Charges: Bundy was put on trial three times. During the first he was convicted of two counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder, and two counts of burglary. The second and third trials gave him the same conviction – one count of first degree murder. The result? He was handed the death penalty three times.

Interestingly, Bundy shocked the court by marrying a witness for the defense during the proceedings of the third trial. During questioning, the two exchanged vows and, according to Florida law, a verbal promise made under oath is enough to make it legally binding.

Execution: Death by electrocution on January 24 1989

Last Meal: Medium rare steak, eggs over easy, hash browns, toast with jelly (jam for us non-Americans), milk and Juice. This is the standard meal given to inmates if they decline a last meal request.

Military Man turned Terrorist. God bless America.

Timothy McVeigh
Perpetrator of the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995 that killed 168 people and injured over 800. He claims that it was a retaliation for the WACO Siege, as well as other government raids and US foreign policy in general.

Charges: Conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction by explosives and eight counts of first-degree murder. The state of Oklahoma didn’t file charges for the additional 160 deaths due to being given the death penalty in his first trial.

Execution: Death by Lethal injection in Indiana, June 11 2001.

Last Meal: Two pints of mint chocolate chip Ben & Jerry’s icecream. I can honestly say that I’m on board with this choice.

No one who speaks German could be an evil man. Parole granted.

Adolf Eichmann
Senior Nazi official as well as one of the key organizers of the Holocaust. His main role was facilitating and managing the logistics of mass deportations of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps. He managed to escape Germany after the fall of the Nazis and had been in hiding until his capture in 1960 in Argentina.

Charges: Crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership of an outlawed organization.

Execution: Death by hanging in Israel, 1962

Last Meal: A bottle of Carmel, which is a dry Israeli wine. I think there was a great deal of wisdom in this choice. I would certainly rather be tanked than sober whilst facing the noose.


This is why I’m scared of clowns

John Wayne Gacy
American serial killer and rapist. He sexually assaulted and murdered at least thirty-three young men and boys between 1972 and 1978. Disturbingly, he became known as the Killer Clown due to his involvement in fundraising events, parades and children’s parties where he would dress up as a clown. Terrifying.

Charges: Thirty-three counts of first degree murder, sexual assault and taking indecent liberties with a child.

Execution: Death by lethal injection in Illinois, May 10 1994.

Last Meal: 12 fried shrimp (prawns), a bucket of original recipe KFC chicken, fries,and one pound of strawberries.

Fun Fact: Gacy managed three KFC restaurants prior to his conviction.

“I’m a happy-go-lucky scamp!”

Saddam Hussein
I think we all know who Saddam was, so I’ll keep the mini bio simple. He was the fifth president of Iraq and a well-known dicktator. Yes, I did spell that correctly.

Charges: Crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

Execution: Death by hanging in Iraq, December 26 2006.

Last Meal: A rather bland serving of chicken, rice and hot water with lemon.

So there you have it, a small taste of the final meals of some of the world’s most notorious murderers. As the title suggests, it’s only the first in a series of grisly posts, so stay tuned for part two. I’ll also be writing a sister series on the last meals of celebrities and important figures from history.

See you all next time.

Cocktail Party: Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville…


…searching for my lost shaker of salt.

Greetings, lovelies!

How are you feeling after your first two drinks? Ready for some more? I certainly hope so because we’re heading into Tequila Territory, and there’s just no coming back from that. We’re at that point of the party where you know you shouldn’t do it, but you’re just sauced enough to throw caution to the wind and to let your Future Self deal with the stomach churning consequences. Then, when you’re paying homage to the Porcelain God the following afternoon, you curse your Past Self and swear to never touch tequila again, because it is truly Not of the Lord. But it’s never true.

Never. True.

I’m sure you’ll all be shocked to learn that the Margarita is yet another cocktail with an elusive history. That doesn’t mean we can’t take a peek at the possibilities though! There are of course numerous accounts of ‘this bartender here’ and ‘this bartender there’ being attributed with its invention, but I want to keep things interesting. As such, here are a few short tales describing the birth of this tasty and dangerous beverage. I’ll leave it up to you to choose which reality to believe.

It looks so pretty despite being a demon liquor from hell.

Our first story hails from Acapulco in 1948. A Dallas socialite had a holiday home in the Mexican city that she would visit with her family during the holidays. She was well-known for indulging in a game where she would duck behind the bar and mix up weird and wonderful concoctions for her guests. I know I’ve said it before, but I would rather enjoy partying with this dame.

During a Christmas gathering she decided to mix tequila, Cointreau and lime juice for her guests, and did so with great success and praise. They were so enamoured with the drink that they took it home to the States where it spread like wildfire. They thought that it was only fitting to name th drink after their socialite friend, Margarita.

Our next story is yet another shout out to the ladies. We’re in Mexico, circa 1938 and following a showgirl by the name of Majorie King. Unfortunately, our damsel suffered from a truly tragic ailment – she was allergic to all alcohol, with the exception of tequila.

King was visiting Rancho Relaxo Del Gloria Bar in Rosarita Beach, Mexico and, like a champion, wasn’t going to let her allergies get in the way of a good time. She explained her predicament to the bartender and he proceeded to pour tequila over shaved iced and then added some lemon and Triple Sec. Once again, the drink was a hit and he decided to name the concoction after the Spanish equivalent of Majorie – Margarita.

Our final story comes from Juarez, Mexico. A gentleman named Pancho Morales was working as a bartender  in 1942 when a patron ordered a drink called a Magnolia. Alas, Morales couldn’t remember what was in the cocktail, except Cointreau. Instead of explaining this, he decided to roll the dice and fake it. I’m sure you can all guess what happened next. He decided to name the his new invention after his favourite flower, the daisy. For those of you who are well aquainted with the language will already know that daisy translates to Margarita in Spanish.

And now – recipe time!

Ingredients

35ml Tequila
20ml Triple Sec
15ml Lime Juice
Salt

Method

Rub the rim of the glass with lime slice to make the salt stick to it. Shake the ingredients with ice, then strain into the glass.Garnish with a lime or lemon wedge and serve over ice.

So there you have it, three drinks down and four to go. I do hope you can all manage to stay standing for tomorrow’s exciting brew.

See you then.


You Will Taste Man Flesh – A Short History of Cannibalism


Over the past fortnight there has been a lot of hype surrounding the impending Zombie Apocalypse. Some of the discussions and news articles have been quite tongue in cheek, whereas others are convinced that we are all doomed to develop a taste for human liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

The fact of the matter is that the recent spate of cannibalistic violence is nothing new. Humans have been practicing cannibalism for at least 2000 years, and that’s just what we have on record. Whether it be ritualistic or a murderous kink, interest and panic surrounding the practice has gone in and out fashion throughout the centuries. Today I’m going to give you just a small taste of cannibalism throughout history. Although this may not be a topic you expected from a blog about food history, cannibalism absolutely involves both. Besides, did you really expect me not to cash in on a topic that has gone viral? I’m nothing if not shamelessly opportunistic.

My plan for the Zombie Apocalypse – “Hole up, have a cup of tea and wait for this whole thing to blow over”

Evidence of Cannibalism is riddled throughout history, starting in ancient times. For example, archaeologists in 2001 found evidence of Iron Age cannibalism in Gloucestershire. The bones they discovered not only showed signs of murder, but also of having the marrow scraped out. This practice can in no way be accidental and is therefore considered to be reliable evidence of cannibalistic activity.

Because cannibalism is such a broad topic and subject to a great deal of controversy, I’m making the executive decision to stick to one basic area – murder and pleasure. Although I find the history behind ritual and survival cannibalism fascinating, it’s just too big a task to take on and I don’t think I would do it justice. I may revisit these areas in the future if you guys can’t get enough of the human flesh stories.

I will however make two basic observations before moving on:

Survival

Survival cannibalism seems to be the most easily forgiven in the minds of Westerners, although it’s happened more commonly than ‘civilized’ society would feel comfortable admitting. This may be because it serves as a reminder that despite our condemnation of ‘less civilized’ societies for utilizing cannibalism, we too are capable of indulging in the practice if our lives depend on it. One example of this was in 1972 when a plane carrying the Uruguayan rugby team crashed in the Andes. During their seventy days in the mountains, the surviving members of the team ate the flesh of  those who died in the crash.

Ritual

From ancient history onwards, tales of ritualistic cannibalism have emerged from every continent on earth. It is my belief that many accounts of cannibalism were documented for a very specific reason – It was an easy and highly convenient tool for exploiting other cultures. For example, Christopher Columbus described Carib Indians as “sub-human eaters of men.” By doing this he effectively placed their culture firmly below that of Europeans. Labeling a culture as cannibalistic dehumanizes it, and in the context of colonization, justifies murder and land-grabbing.

So now that I have passed judgement from the top of my extremely high horse, we can move onto the disturbing main event. Outlined are some of the notorious cases of cannibalism that were committed for the sake of pleasure. Please be advised that I in no way condone these and have purposely omitted many of the grisly details.

Issei Sagawa

Sagawa was a Japanese student completing an English Literature degree in Paris in 1981. It was there that he murdered a fellow female student and spent two days consuming her. Sagawa was eventually arrested by French authorities but was deemed unfit to stand trial due to insanity. The truly disturbing part was that a paperwork error allowed Sagawa to check himself out of his mental institution after little more than a year of confinement. He is now living in Japan as a free man.

Armin Meiwes

Meiwes began practicing cannibalism at a young age. As a teeanger he would break into morgues and cut off pieces of flesh from the expired corpses before taking them home to cook them in his mother’s kitchen. It was in these early years that he discovered the sexual gratification that he received from the act.

In 2001 Meiwes posted an advertisement on the internet asking for a well-built 18 to 30 year old to volunteer to be slaughtered and then consumed. After meeting several young men who inevitably backed out, Meiwes received a serious response from a willing participant. The two men met on Christmas Day and proceeded to commit and videotape the act. The first of these was cutting off the mans penis and proceeding to dine on it together. Police had already caught wind of the incident online and interrupted the couple during the middle of their feast. Meiwes is currently serving a life sentence in a German prison.

This guy loves some man flesh

What I find particularly fascinating about Meiwes is the controversy surrounding his sentence and the crime itself. Unlike the majority of famous cannibals, he wasn’t interested in murder and his partner can’t necessarily be considered to be a victim.  When police arrived on the scene the cannibalized man kept insisting, as he slowly died before their eyes, that this is what he wanted. Furthermore, No harm came to the previous applicants who changed their minds.

Jeffrey Dahmer

Dahmer was an American serial killer and necrophiliac, as well as one of the most infamous modern-day cannibals. Dahmer would lure young men into his apartment where he would sedate them with drugs before strangling and dismembering them. After disposing of his victims he would consume or experiment with their remains. Once caught, he was charged and convicted of 15 murders and given numerous life sentences. On November 28, 1994 Dahmer was beaten to death at the Colombia Correctional Institution in Milwaukee. I cannot say that I am entirely surprised.

So there you have it, just a small sample of the many cases of cannibalism in modern-day society. Although they prove that cannibalism is nothing new, they may not disprove the much feared Zombie Apocalypse. Afterall, these murders were premeditated, whereas some of the accounts from the past fortnight seem to have been spontaneous and somewhat more animalistic. Perhaps we really are all doomed.

I guess we’ll find out if I start obsessively writing about brains and sweet breads in the near future.

Did you enjoy this post? Would you like to hear it in your earbuds? If so, I humbly ask you to take the time to donate $1 to the Delicious History Podcast Project.Only $500 is needed make this dream a reality, and all donations over $10 receive a reward! 

Was the Champagne Coupe Modelled on Marie Antoinette’s Breasts?


Oh la la, what a titillating title!

Yes, that did just happen.

How are you my lovelies? Good? Good.

Welcome to another exciting Delicious History blog post – now with 100% more boob references! Yeah, I know what my readers want.

Well, let’s dive right in shall we?

On more than one occasion I’ve heard people spout a rather interesting historical tidbit – that the traditional champagne coupe was based upon one of Marie Antoinette’s breasts. Fascinating, no? For those of you who were wondering, it’s supposedly the left. No, I haven’t the slightest idea why anyone would know that.

I’ve always thought that this was an amusing little historical tidbit and never bothered to look further into it.

Got Champagne?

Recently, I was at a dinner where this sordid little piece of information was dropped into the conversation. Perhaps it’s my impending and frankly, indecent, descent into my late twenties, but for some reason I felt a lot more skeptical about it this time. A quick Google search confirmed my suspicions – it’s little more than a historical rumour. I showed my findings around the dinner table immediately because I’m That Guy.

First of all, Marie Antoinette is only one of the lucky ladies whose breasts have been attributed with the coupe. Other rumoured possibilities are:

Madame de Pompadour – The mistress of Louis XV and almost companion of Doctor Who.

Empress Josephine – The mistress-turned-wife of Napoleon. I guess whoever started this rumour found rotting teeth to be incredibly sexy.

Helen of Troy – She had the face that launched a thousand ships, and supposedly the breasts that launched countless rich housewives into alcoholism.

Unfortunately, none of these women had anything to do with the creation of the coupe. They weren’t even born in the same century or country of origin.The coupe was invented in 1663 by an Englishman who, as far as we know, didn’t model it on any part of the human anatomy.

The champagne coupe and champagne flute. It would be a cause for concern if the latter was modelled on someone’s breasts.

Although the true origin story of the coupe is far more dull than its rumoured counterpart, there is some redemption! It has been confirmed by historians that several ceramic milk bowls that were commissioned by Marie Antoinette herself were indeed modelled on her breasts. In fact, the queen had these made as part of her ‘Pleasure Dairy.’ This was located at her personal hamlet at Versailles where the queen and her ladies in waiting would dress up as milk maids (or shepherdesses according to some sources) and spend their days frolicking and partaking in rural tasks such as milking cows and churning butter. Delightful!

Although it may be disappointing that such a fascinating historical rumour has been debunked, at least something was molded from the famous French Queen’s breasts, right? Besides, I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds the existence of the milk bowls amusing, in a highly immature way of course.

See you all next time!