B.T. Babbitt’s New York City soap and saleratus (baking soda) factory was near the southern tip of Manhattan, right on the Hudson River. Until the 1970s, anyway.
Benjamin T. Babbitt was a big deal in the late 1800s: he held numerous patents, his soap company was an innovator in advertising, the company had multiple factories and multiple product lines, including a 300,000 sq. ft. (27,870 sq. m) factory in Lower Manhattan.
To improve my homemade bread, I built a DIY proofing box using an Arduino Uno as the microcontroller, and a string of Christmas lights as the heat source.
During my extensive explorations of Flickr Commons, I ran across a magazine called The Utah Farmer, a periodical for all kinds of farmers in the Utah area. Ghirardelli Chocolate, the legendary San Francisco chocolate company (“since 1852”), was one of their regular advertisers, with an ad in most issues. One of their ads in 1915 had […]
I was out walking the other day, and it was hot, so I was really feeling the collar. As I rounded the corner onto Kings Lane, I spotted my old crony George. And so I says to him, “I’m headed to the Lion’s Pub, why don’t you come and have a pickle?” Once we got […]
Bowl of peppers from Thomas Campone Photography (via Flickr). CC BY-NC 2.0. When a bowl of beans or a bowl of soup needs some zing, or if I’m making a quesadilla in the middle of winter and don’t have any decent salsa, I open my freezer and reach for a jar labeled “Spicy Toltec BBQ […]
The Buttolph Collection of Menus at the New York Public Library has grabbed my attention and I’m wondering if I should start a new blog called “Menu Masala.” A food history nerd could spend a lot of time looking for menus with compelling art, analyzing the how contents have changed over time, searching for special […]
As I work on a book review that will certainly take me a while, here’s a short rant about two elements of book design that can be irksome. (For what it’s worth, the book I’m reviewing — The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, by Marc Levinson, […]
As I follow the news on insects as food (entomophagy), I have been wondering if the pace of articles has been increasing because it seems that every time I turn around there is another article about cricket flour or a new book about eating bugs. To answer my question, I visited the U.C. Berkeley library […]
One of my favorite posts on my blog looks at the history and psychology of “insects as food” in European and closely-related cultures and U.S., Canada, and Australia. (A quick summary: These cultures have a long history of associating insects with disease and filth, which makes them unappetizing. In addition, not many large insects that […]