Thursday, July 08, 2010

Old School Thursday: Lots of Chocolate Edition

Today is National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day. Because, well, why not?

It’s also a day full of interesting birthdays. First, today in 1831, John Styth Pemberton was born. Pemberton’s not exactly a household name, but maybe he should be, since he was the pharmacist who invented Coca-Cola in 1885.

A decade later, in 1844, another American icon-creator was born – Mary Johnson Bailey Lincoln. She was the original author of the Boston Cooking School Cook Book, which was later taken over by Fannie Farmer. And we all know how that turned out.

Our next birthday doesn’t belong to a person, but to something that is still an important part of American life. Today in 1881, the ice cream sundae was invented by Edward Berner of Two Rivers, Wisconson. It was a Sunday and apparently, on Sundays, flavored soda water wasn’t served to “respectable people,” so instead of using chocolate syrup to flavor a soda, Berner used it as an ice cream topper. The rest is history.

Today is also Wolfgang Puck’s birthday (he was born in 1949). Puck, obviously, is one of the original celebrity chefs. The Cindy Crawford of chefs, you could say.

Unfortunately, the last piece of history today is a sad one. Today in 1957, chocolatier William Cadbury passed away. At least we will always have the eggs.

There’s so much to celebrate today. Maybe start with a meal out of the Fannie Farmer cookbook, jazzed up with a few Puckish techniques, then finish it with a Coke float sundae, made with Cadbury chocolate? Chocolate with almonds, of course.

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