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National Fritters Day

Maruya (Banana Fritters)Happy National Fritters Day!

Fritters are fried cakes or dough containing a primary ingredient of meat, fruit or veggies, such as crab, apples, potatoes or zucchini. This versatile dish can be served as a snack, side dish, dessert or main course. Learn more about fritters and different cultures’ take on the fritter here.

Celebrate National Fritters Day by trying one of the recipes below!

Zucchini Fritters

Apple Fritters

Pumpkin Fritters

Gourmet Pumpkin Fritters

Banana Fritters

Crab Fritters

 

Sources: holidayinsights.com, punchbowl.com, wikipedia.org
Photo Source: Shubert Ciencia from Nueva Ecija, Philippines, CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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National Parfait Day

FreshFruitParfaitNovember 25 is National Parfait Day! Literally meaning “perfect” in French, parfaits are the perfect way to make any sour day a little more sweet.

Parfaits originated as a frozen dessert in France in 1894, and were traditionally made with sugar syrup, cream, and eggs. Parfaits in the United States differ slightly, but many different takes on the parfait have been created. You can go with a more desert like parfait that layers ice cream, parfait cream, Jell-O, and whipped cream or the slightly healthier option of yogurt layered with granola, nuts, and fruit! Just as long as you create a sweet and creamy concoction in a tall glass, your parfait can include pretty much anything.

Here are some of the most scrumptious parfait recipes we could find – celebrate by trying one out!

Sources: Punchbowl, National Whatever Day, CNN Eatocracy

 

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Eat a Cranberry Day

cranberryNovember 23 is Eat a Cranberry Day! Cranberries are small deep red-colored fruits that commonly grow on shrubs or vines in bogs in the Northern Hemisphere.

Cranberries might be small, but their long list of health benefits earn the cranberry “superfruit” status. Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins that inhibit bacteria related to UTIs, gum disease and stomach ulcers and are loaded with antioxidants and other phytonutrients that may fight off heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Cranberry came from the word “craneberry” which is what European settlers first called the fruit because the long stem and flowers on cranberry bushels resembled the head of a crane.

Celebrate by eating as many cranberries as you can and by reading up on this superfruit’s health benefits. Follow these links to learn more:

Also, be sure to try out some of these various cranberry themed recipes!

Sources: Wikipedia, National Whatever Day

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National Apple Cider Day

appleciderpuzzleNovember 18 is National Apple Cider Day! Apple cider is a raw unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic drink made from apples. Apple cider can be differentiated from apple juice in that apple juice is typically filtered to take out apple particles, pasteurized to maximize shelf-life, and sugar and water are often added to the beverage. Because of its limited shelf-life, untreated cider has become a seasonal beverage produced mostly in fall and winter months, making it a popular holiday beverage.

Apples are not a fruit native to the North American continent. After finding only inedible crab apples on the continent, apple seeds were brought to America by colonial settlers from England in the 17th century. The first apple orchard in North America was planted in Boston in 1625. Seeds from Europe were cultivated on Colonial farms as well as spread throughout Native American trade routes. John Chapman, known by many as “Johnny Appleseed,” traveled ahead of western-bound settlers in America and began to plant small cider apple orchards across the Midwest.

Cider can be enjoyed cold or “mulled” by making the cider hot and adding spices like clove and cinnamon. If you would like to celebrate Apple Cider Day, try some of these great recipes!

Happy Apple Cider Day!

Sources: Wikipedia, Almanac of Eats, Serious Eats

 

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National Spicy Guacamole Day

Spicy-GuacamoleNovember 14 is Spicy Guacamole Day! Guacamole is an avocado-based dip or sauce that typically consists of mashed avocados and is mixed with various ingredients such as tomatoes, onions, lime juice, and spices. Guacamole has become so popular that you can celebrate it on TWO days! There is also a National Guacamole Day on September 16.

Guacamole was originally created in the 16th century by Aztecs in Mesoamerica. In their dialect, the dish was called āhuacamolli which translates to “avocado sauce.” Guacamole became a popular dish in Mexico since then, and avocados were introduced to the United States in 1871 by Judge R.B. Ord who planted three trees in Santa Barbara, California. Mexico is still the world’s top producer of avocados, but California is a close second. The most popular avocado in the United States is the Hass avocado, and 95% of them are grown in California. Contrary to popular belief, avocados are actually a fruit, and contain the highest amount of protein of any fruit and have more potassium than bananas. They also contain about 20 vitamins and minerals and monosaturated fats which are “good fats” that have been known to help manage cholesterol and heart problems in place of saturated fats.

The first recipes for guacamole appeared in recipe books in the 1940s, but it didn’t gain popularity in America until the 1970s. To celebrate today and make your own spicy guacamole, be sure to add chile peppers to your original recipe for a kick! If you don’t have a recipe of your own, check out these delicious recipes:

Sources: TortillaLand, Wikipedia

 

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Vanilla Cupcake Day

cupcakeNovember 10 is Vanilla Cupcake Day!

A staple of the dessert world, vanilla cupcakes should never be considered “boring.” Vanilla is one of the most-used and expensive spices out there, with a rich history to back it up. Aztecs in ancient Mesoamerica used to cull vanilla from a certain species of orchid. They mixed it with honey to make a sweet and delicious flavoring that is still used today in too many recipes to count.

Cupcakes first began to make their rounds in the 18th century, receiving their name from the measurement used to make them. Now the name is used to describe any small cake that is about the size of a tea cup. In England, cupcakes are sometimes known as “fairy cakes” because their miniature size is thought to be perfect for groups of tiny fairies to share.

It comes as no surprise that these two delicious parts of the food world would combine to make a scrumptious dessert that would get its very own day. Vanilla Cupcake Day has become so trendy that even popular TV shows are starting to capitalize on it. You can celebrate Vanilla Cupcake Day by checking out these yummy recipes and whipping up some treats for your family, friends, and yourself!

Sources: Yahoo, Wikipedia, Food.com, BroadwayWorld.com 

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National Nacho Day

nachosNovember 6 is National Nacho Day! Nachos can be eaten both as a snack and a meal and typically consist of tortilla chips and melted cheese, but can be embellished with a variety of other toppings.

This crispy cheesy fare first made it’s way into our hearts and bellies in 1943 in the Mexican city of Piedras Negras, located just across the Texas border from Eagle Pass. Ten wives of U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan were shopping in Eagle Pass and stopped at a Piedras Negras restaurant called Victory Club to eat. The restaurant had already closed for the evening, but  maître d Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya decided to whip something up for the hungry women from what he could find left in the kitchen. He cut tortillas into triangles, sprinkled them with cheese, heated them and added jalapeños. When asked what the delicious new dish was called, he called them “Nacho’s especiales.” The name later lost the apostrophe and was shortened to just “nachos.” Anaya later worked at Moderno Restaurant in Piedras Negras, which still uses his original nachos recipe. He went on to open his own restaurant and his recipe was first seen in print in St. Anne’s Cookbook in 1954. The first appearance of the word “nachos” though was seen in a 1950 book called A Taste of Texas.

Throughout Texas and the southwestern United States, nachos became a wildly popular dish. A waitress named Carmen Rocha introduced nachos in San Antonio before taking the recipe with her to El Cholo restaurant in Los Angeles. In 1976, owner of Rico’s Products, Frank Liberto, tweaked the traditional nacho recipe to include a melted cheese and some special secret ingredients instead of shredded cheese. Giving nachos a longer shelf life, he began to sell his version in Arlington Stadium in Arlington, Texas during sporting events. His new invention was dubbed “ball park nachos.” Nacho prevalence spiked even more after famed Monday Night Football sportscaster Howard Cosell tried Liberto’s nachos and mentioned them during a broadcast.

After Ignacio Anaya died in 1975, a bronze plaque was erected in Piedras Negras in his honor. There is also a nacho festival held in Piedras Negras every year featuring the “biggest nacho of the world.”

Whether you like the traditional tortilla chip and shredded cheese nachos, “loaded” nachos piled high with toppings, or even the less common lobster and crab East Coast version of the nacho, today is the day to whip up your favorite recipe and dine on this delicious cheesy dish!

Check out some great classic and gourmet nacho recipes here!

Sources: Wikipedia, NationalNachosDay.com, CNN Eatocracy

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National Sandwich Day

sandwichNovember 3 is National Sandwich Day! It was picked to be celebrated on this day because November 3 is also the birthday of the eponymous inventor of the sandwich, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.

As the story goes, the 18th century nobleman was an avid gambler, who never wanted to leave a game to eat. During a 24-hour gambling event, he commanded his servants to put meat between two slices of bread so he could eat with one hand, and continue to gamble with the other. That is supposedly how the popular lunchtime food was invented.

The actual history of the sandwich is traced back to a Jewish sage named Hillel the Elder who wrapped lamb meat with herbs between two pieces of soft matzah bread during Passover, which was the precursor to the flatbread sandwich. Also, during the Middle Ages, flat usually stale pieces of bread known as “trenchers” were used as plates. These trenchers piled with food were often served to dogs or beggars at the tables of wealthy individuals or were eaten in more modest circumstances. Trenchers were thus the precursors to open-faced sandwiches. The sandwich as we know it grew in popularity during the 19th century in Spain and England when portable and inexpensive meals became essential. When bread started to become a staple food in the United States in the early 20th century, sandwiches began to rise in popularity there as well.

In America, another advanced form of the sandwich, the hamburger, is the second most consumed lunch food by full-time workers, right after fruit. 75% of restaurants that serve sandwiches also serve hamburgers on the menu and hamburgers are the most popular take-out food in the U.S.

If you want to celebrate National Sandwich Day properly, here are 25 classic and gourmet sandwich recipes for you to choose from!

Sources: Wikipedia, Punchbowl, kidzworld.com

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National Caramel Apple Day

candyapplesrecipe (1)Today might be more widely known as Halloween, but it’s also a day to celebrate a sticky sweet treat that goes hand in hand with Halloween – caramel apples. October 31 is National Caramel Apple Day!

Caramel apples are made by dipping apples-on-a-stick in hot caramel and then rolling them in nuts or other confections and allowing them to cool before consumption. Granny Smith or Fuji apples are usually preferred because of their tart contrast to the caramel. Some recipes also involve dipping the apples in chocolate and other sweets rather than the usual caramel and nut combination.

Though the origin of National Caramel Apple Day is not known, many think the caramel apple was created by Dan Walker, a Kraft Foods sales representative, in the 1950s. In 1960, Vito Raimondi of Chicago, Illinois invented and patented the very first caramel apple machine. To this day, he owns and operates one of the largest mass producing caramel apple companies.

You can celebrate National Caramel Apple by making some caramel apples of your own at home. Here are some great recipe suggestions courtesy of Food.com and Saratoga Food Fanatic!

Sources: gone-ta-pott.com, Wikipedia, LindaSellsMoore.com

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National Greasy Foods Day

Fried bubble gum at the State Fair of Texas.

Fried bubble gum at the State Fair of Texas.

October 25 is National Greasy Foods Day! Even though greasy foods are probably the least healthy foods that you can consume, they deserve a day all to themselves. Today you can to skip the salad and go straight for the tasty fatty goodness you can only get from the greasiest grub. Whether you love the traditional cheeseburger and fries, a sugary sweet glazed doughnut, or some other strange fried concoction, today is a day to let go of all inhibitions and go for the greasy gold.

What is it that makes greasy foods so greasy, you ask? The answer is simple: oil. Cooking oil comes in four different varieties: vegetable, nut, seed, or fruit. Some of these oils are more common like peanut oil and canola oil, while others are less well-known like avocado oil and sesame oil.

Now for some fun greasy food facts! Did you know that fried chicken is the most ordered meal in sit-down restaurants in the United States? Or that the popular greasy side we know as “French fries” was actually invented in Belgium in 1830? How about the fact that in 2011, the winner of “Most Creative” fried food at the State Fair of Texas was fried bubble gum! If you’re going to get gum stuck in your digestive system for a while, it may as well be fried, right? Find other fun historical greasy food facts here.

If you’re looking for some more creative ways to celebrate National Greasy Foods Day than going to your favorite burger joint or fried chicken spot, we’ve got a couple of suggestions:

1. Cook up something from this list of 25 Ultimate Greasy Food Recipes.

2. Take a road trip and try one of America’s most well-known greasy concoctions.

3. Try one of Formula 409′s silly greasy food activities.

Sources: Punchbowl, Examiner.com, Formula 409, CNN’s Eatocracy, Today Food

 

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