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Food History

Roast pig, boiled rockfish, and apple pie were among the dishes George and Martha enjoyed during the holiday in 1797. Here are some actual recipes.

A menu for a 1779 New England Thanksgiving included dishes from turkey and venison to pumpkin pie.

Editor's Note: The nine Thanksgiving recipes linked to below are reprinted from The American Heritage Cookbook, which was published in eight editions from 1964 to the mid-1980s. Read more >>

Daisy Bonner, who cooked for Franklin Roosevelt for twenty years in the Georgia White House, recalled his favorite dish.

American barbecue is more than a way of cooking — it’s myth, folklore, and history

A wood engraving from 1887 depicts a whole-hog, Read more >>

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 >>

A history of the food reformers and cereal kings who made Battle Creek the center of a revolution in Americans eating habits

At one of the first American “health resorts” in upstate New York, shortly before the Civil War, a bilious health seeker named Albert Wheeler munched his Graham cracker and committed his thoughts to paper: Read more >>

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