A Harte Appetite

Every Tuesday at 7:31 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Tom Harte shares a few thoughts on food and shares recipes. 

A founder of “My Daddy’s Cheesecake,” a bakery/café in Cape Girardeau, a  food columnist for The Southeast Missourian, and a cookbook author, he also blends his passion for food with his passion for classical music in his daily program, The Caffe Concerto.

Local support for A Harte Appetite comes from Cyclewerx.

Flickr user robinmcnicoll (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

I enjoy baking cookies. It gives me great satisfaction to see how my family and friends enjoy the results of my efforts. But the truth is I really do it for the dough.

Let’s face it. It’s hard enough to keep your hands out of the cookie jar, but what’s really difficult is keeping your fingers out of the mixing bowl. In fact, the practice of eating raw cookie dough has become so popular that many people buy packaged cookie dough from the grocery store with absolutely no intention of ever baking it.

flickr use jeffreyw (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

What’s the one item you’re likely to find on nearly every menu in Italy?  If you said spaghetti and meatballs, your answer is plausible, but it’s wrong.

Spaghetti and meatballs is actually an American dish, invented, it is true, by Italian immigrants to this country, but invented here nonetheless.  These days you can find spaghetti and meatballs on the menu in Italy, but more often than not at tourist traps.  In contrast, the one item you are almost always assured to find on any restaurant menu there is spaghetti carbonara.

The Origins of Oatmeal

Jan 23, 2017
flickr user Daniella Segura (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

It is not true, as the humor website Cracked satirically suggests, that oatmeal was invented by a research scientist at Britain's Royal Academy of Adhesives and Sealants during an experiment in search of new forms of industrial glue. But if your idea of oatmeal is the pasty variety made in a microwave from a packet, the story can seem plausible.

In Scotland they know better. Their oatmeal, or porridge, is a hallowed dish, celebrated every year at the World Porridge Making Championship in the village of Carrbridge.

Hail to the Chef

Jan 16, 2017
flickr user Matt Wade (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode)

Gesturing toward the White House, a senator once facetiously asked Calvin Coolidge, "Who lives there?" Coolidge replied, "No one. They just come and go."

Though Coolidge was correct that occupants of the White House are only temporary tenants, their impact is often felt long after they move out. And perhaps nowhere is this more the case than with dining and entertaining. Each first family has left its own culinary imprint on the country and the executive mansion.

flickr user Boston Public Library (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

  

Ever been in a sticky situation? We all have. But probably none as sticky as the Great Molasses Flood, sometimes called the Molasses Massacre, which hit Boston in 1919.

The tragedy occurred when over 2 million gallons of molasses stored in a 50-foot tall tank at the Purity Distilling Company burst forth, when the temperature rose from below zero one day to 40 degrees the next.

A wall of molasses estimated to be as high as 30 feet swept down Boston's Atlantic Avenue at the rate of 25-35 miles per hour, engulfing everything in its path.

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