Food Snark

Historic Recipes for Scrambled Eggs

May 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This article was written by Samuel Phineas Upham

Not much can be said about the history of scrambled eggs. We know the Romans had prepared dishes with a broken yolk that are similar to the scrambled eggs we enjoy today, but the recipes for scrambled eggs have varied quite a bit over the years. If you want a taste of yesteryear, grab a carton of eggs and read on for some ancient recipes you can make for yourself.

In sixteenth century England, recipes called for about eight egg yolks beaten into a pint of cream. The cook would then strain the mixture over a fire and stir it., then allowed to curdle before being placed on a cloth. The mixture would then hang so the whey could drain from it, then the whey would be beaten with rose water and sugar until a fine yellow butter was created. The cook would then do the same with the egg whites until a white butter was created.

Scrambled eggs were a popular budget food item in the US. The fried omelet was well-known by 1857, but recipes of the time called for a few eggs mixed into a boiling pot. The mixture is cooked for five minutes, then a selection of vegetables and meats are added to the recipe for flavor. The English had a similar recipe, but they preferred celery, lettuce, spinach, or asparagus tops.

Mrs. Lincoln, a famous cooking teacher from Boston, introduced the concept of poaching eggs. She talked about serving the poached egg over a slice of toasted bread with a butter or anchovy spread, or on top of a piece of broiled ham. Her ham and eggs recipe was so popular it is still eaten today.


Samuel Phineas Upham

About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Samuel Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Facebook page.

The History of Red and Blackberries

May 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Written by Samuel Phineas Upham

Red and blackberries are often called “brambles” and they come from the “rubus” family of berries. Their closest ancestor is the strawberry, which explains why pairing those works so well. The black and red berries can grow in just about any kind of soil, and blackberries are viewed as a drought resistant fruit. Blackberries also adapt better to higher temperatures than other species of bramble.

Blackberries are native to North and South America, Europe, and Asia. The Europeans have used blackberries for more than 2,000 years as both sustenance and medicine. They also used the hedges, which have thorns, to deter marauders from invading a particular property.

Red raspberries were gathered in the wild around Troy and the foothills of Mt. Ida, where they were grown. This would have been around the same time that Christ was alive. The Romans discovered it and wrote extensively on how to cultivate it. Seeds were recovered at Roman forts in Britain too, lending some credence to the idea that the Romans brought the berries with them during their conquest into Europe.

The black raspberry is native to North America, but it was not cultivated en masse until the 1800s. An abundance of wild fruit and plenty of red raspberries drove down demand for the food.

Today, the bramble berry and all of its derivatives are used extensively in jams and preserves. You will also find the berry baked into pies and other baked goods, as well as part of frozen juices and ice creams.


Samuel Phineas Upham

Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Samuel Phineas Upham on his Samuel Phineas Upham website.

The Origin of Nutmeg

May 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This article was written by Phineas Upham

Nutmeg is the pit of a tropical tree called Mysterica fragrans. The spice existed on several continents prior to the nineteenth century, but it’s unlikely that the average British person would have been able to secure even a small supply of it. The Indians consumed it heavily as a flavor for their food.

The Romans and the Greeks didn’t know the spice, but there is plentiful evidence suggesting that Constantinople did.

There are several works from Chinese authors around the eighth century that incorrectly attribute nutmeg to Indochina. While this mistake doesn’t give us any idea on where the Chinese grew nutmeg, it does signal that they received it through indirect routes that probably wove through the Philippines or Taiwan. There is also evidence that the Chinese renamed nutmeg between the fourth and eighth centuries for reasons that are not entirely clear.

Nutmeg sparked a trade war of sorts throughout the ancient world. Europeans knew all about nutmeg by the 12th century, and the Portuguese had it by the early 1500s. They held a monopoly on the spice until the Dutch wrested control from them in the 17th century. The Dutch held onto their monopoly for more than 150 years, but the French managed to smuggle some seedlings out of the country and cultivate them within eight years. Nutmeg was so prized that Europeans would squabble with each other when new plantations were located.

The 1860s brought nutmeg to Grenada, where the plant has been successfully cultivated since then.


About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phineas on his LinedIn page.

Gelato Is the Best Frozen Treat Out There

May 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

By Gelato Products

With summer just around the corner, your mind may be on all the frozen options out there for staying cool and satisfying your sweet tooth. For most people, that will mean ice cream. Others may have their sights set on getting some frozen yogurt. However, a good number of people out there are becoming more and more convinced that gelato is where it’s at.

Frozen yogurt suppliers all around the country are actually fulfilling orders for gelato shops, not their typical customers. That’s because they essentially both call for the same thing, but people are beginning to find out about and fall in love with gelato.

If you’ve taken the plunge and now crave satisfaction for your gelato needs, you should know that ice cream shop supplies will easily do for what you need. As far as ordering gelato, you can actually find it at a lot of grocery stores these days. Otherwise, you may need to do some research in order to find out whom to order it from in order to receive it in your area.

More and more, however, we’re also beginning to see gelato shops dedicated solely to the amazing treat. As such, you can just drive to the closest one to enjoy some gelato whenever you like.

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Gelato Products sells all the supplies you need to support your store and keep your customers happy. When you need gelato supplieslike ice cream spoons, napkins or even supplies for coffee, you’ll find them all here.

All About Salad

May 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This article was written by Phineas Upham

The dinner salad, as we know of it today, started to gain real popularity in the Renaissance. Though salad was consumed by the ancient Greeks and Romans, their version was simple. It often called for the leafy green with a dressing of oil or vinegar. The word salad has the base Latin word “sal” in it, which means “salted.” Literally, “salata” meant “salted things” and salt was often used as a primary ingredient for the green mix.

While most people who look at lettuce immediately perceive salad in their minds, the key ingredient to salad is actually the dressing. It’s a misconception that the Romans began the Caesar salad tradition. That actually comes from Tijuana Mexico during the 1920s, when Hollywood folk would cross the border to get away from prohibition. The Caesar salad was a unique taste invented by Caesar Cardini.

Salad was also popular as a dietary supplement. Ancient doctors believed that salads would help the digestion for anything that came after them. There was also debate about the merits of the dressing, with some saying that the vinegar dressing destroyed the taste of wine. So it was not uncommon to see salad at the beginning or the end of the meal, depending on the beliefs that the host subscribed to.

When salad started to gain popularity in the United States, it was during a period of extreme order. The “tossed” salad we know today was carefully rearranged to show some form of order in the mix. Thus, Jell-o molds were more popular ways to serve salad as they allowed the cook to arrange the ingredients in an aesthetically pleasing manner.


About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phineas on his LinedIn page.

Saffron, the Most Expensive Spice

May 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This article was written by Phineas Upham

Saffron was popular throughout the western world because of its color, flavor and fragrance. It’s a plant that’s native to the eastern region of the Mediterranean, but evidence also suggests it was cultivated in Persia and Mesopotamia as well.

Saffron was an abundant spice in the ancient days. It was used as an ointment in ancient Persia, and the Egyptians believed that the plant had the power to heal. Saffron was prized primarily for its deep gold color with its reddish hue. Both of these colors were known extensively throughout early civilizations to denote status.

The Romans used saffron, but there is no evidence suggesting they brought it with them into Europe. It seems not every Roman treat was important enough to bring with the army. It wasn’t until the fourteenth century that medieval Europe began to import the spice and start an industry based around it.

There is some evidence that suggests it was the Phoenicians who introduced the Spanish to saffron. The herb had been used extensively for cooking prior to then, but Spain would eventually become the world leader in saffron production.

So what makes saffron expensive?

Saffron is the dried stigma of the flower Crocus sativus. These blossoms must be handpicked by flower, which is an incredible undertaking. As a result of the required man power and painstaking labor, saffron is still one of the highest cost herbs. During the Renaissance, it was common to garnish a guest’s plate with saffron as a show of wealth. When the herb became more affordable, it actually suffered a hit to its popularity.


About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phineas on his Twitter page.