Thursday, October 21, 2010

Old School Thursday: Cheese, Light & Ice Cream Edition

In the U.S., today is National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day and in the UK it is National Apple Day. Both of these make me happy. I’m looking out my bedroom window right now and it looks like a crisp, bright fall day. They’re appropriate (even if pumpkin cheesecake is a little nouveau to have its own day. I’m giving it a pass.)

In other October 21st news, today in 1422, Charles IV of France died. Charles IV was an early monarch who played a significant role in establishing France as a culinary leader. During his reign, early cookery book author and seminal French chef Taillevent was made Master of the King’s kitchens. In addition, it was Charles IV who gave sole rights of aging the cheese we think of today as Roquefort to the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon (one in a string of many, many French legal forays into food production).

Almost 500 years later, on October 21, 1879, Thomas Edison demonstrated the first commercially practically light bulb in Menlo Park, New Jersey. While this doesn’t sound explicitly food-related, if you try to imagine cooking without commercially practical light bulbs, their benefit becomes immediately obvious.

Finally, just 20 years ago, today in 1990. Thomas Carvel, ice cream impresario, passed away. Somehow I’ve managed to never have any Carvel ice cream cake myself, but the ads were such a prominent part of my childhood that I could probably recreate the logo from memory.

So that’s it – kind of a big day and a complicated one to celebrate. Possibly with Roquefort and ice cream apple-pumpkin cheesecake? All served under the warm glow of artificial light, bien sur.

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