Food History

Once the most famous Chinese dish in America, chop suey helped spur the growth of Chinese restaurants. A Smithsonian curator is now criss-crossing the country to research its beginnings. 

The restaurant that changed the way we dine—

When Charles Dickens first came to the United States in 1842, he did not like our clothes, our speech, or our manners. But he reserved perhaps his deepest scorn for our dining habits. Read more >>

Back from France with an epicure’s knowledge of haute cuisine , our third President served the most lavish dinners in White House history

I dined a large company once or twice a week, Jefferson dined a dozen every day,” remarked the frugal New Englander John Adams in recalling early hospitality in the “President’s House” in Washington. “I held levees once a week. Read more >>