Learn about the history of chocolate from its ancient beginnings in Meso-America through the centuries to the modern day. An interactive presentation will focus on how chocolate has changed through time both in terms of its cultural value and how mechanization has altered its production process over time. A timeline of how chocolate evolved as an ingredient in recipes will also be explored. The presentation will be followed by a chance to taste an assortment of historic chocolate recipes.
This program teaches participants how to read chocolate labels to make more informed decisions before purchasing either mass-produced or artisanal varieties. Participants will learn about cacao, the fruit from which chocolate is made and also learn how cacao was processed from the pre-industrial days to the modern-day to reinforce the numerous variables that evolved over the years to effect chocolate's taste, texture, and appearance. At each step in this chocolate discovery, participants will be given a wide assortment of samples to taste such as cacao nibs, 18th century style spiced chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and a variety of dark chocolates made from different types of cacao. This program stands on its own but is also a great follow-up program to my Chocolate Through Time Program.
Special pricing for this program; this program needs to be booked in groups of 20.
Learn about the history of Maryland’s most iconic food traditions and food businesses, such as Maryland beaten biscuits, hominy, crab cakes, terrapin, muskrat, stuffed ham, coddies, lemon sticks, Smith Island Cake, the Baltimore fish pepper, McCormick Spices and Old Bay to some lesser known fare including white potato pie, and Jewish Apple Cake. In addition, other notable facts will be explored including Maryland’s history as the leading producer in the US of both peaches and strawberries, and more. This presentation is based on work presenter Joyce White did in her role as a researcher for the state of Maryland permanent exhibit for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans, LA. The presentation includes tastings of an assortment of sweet and savory Maryland treats.
Learn about the various foods that sustained Marylanders in the early days of settlement through to the 18th century with distinctions being made for class, wealth, race, and time-period. This program explores foods that were grown or harvested in Maryland and looks at exotic imports from around the world such as spices, cheeses, pasta, isinglass, and more. Cooking techniques, food preservation, and period dining styles are also explored. An assortment of tastings accompany this program.
Travel through time from the earliest days of settlement of Maryland in the seventeenth century up through the nineteenth-century in a discussion covering the more popular spirited drinks early Marylanders enjoyed. This talk focuses on drinks such as cider, perry, beer, Sampson, whiskey, brandy, punch, toddy, shrub, and bounce, among other curious historic spirited drinks. Joyce will provide the mix-ins; the booking organization provides the alcoholic spirits, all service-ware and ice, and any alcohol licenses needed.
Learn about the history of the tea drink, the many varieties of tea and how they are processed, and how the tradition of taking tea has changed over the centuries. Learn about the differences between high tea and afternoon tea and discover the history of classic tea treats such as English muffins, crumpets, scones, and clotted cream. The presentation will be followed by the opportunity to taste hot tea and assorted tea cakes.
This program explores the varieties of teas that were available to Americans in the 18th century. Also, it explores the many ways in which the plant camellia sinensis is processed to produce so many different types of tea. Guided tastings of Bohea, Gunpowder, Young Hyson, and Congou teas will be presented during this program. This program stands on its own but also works well as a follow-up to my Taking Tea: Teatime Through the Centuries program. Note: For logistical reasons, there is a cap of 20 people who can participate in this program at each presentation.
What’s a rout cake? Does Mr. Woodhouse like any food at all? What might Lady Catherine serve for dinner to her exalted guests? Fans of Jane Austen’s novels will appreciate this look into the dining styles of late 18th and early 19th century England. References to the novels will accompany this presentation of the dining styles of England’s late Georgian and Regency eras. Lots of fun and interesting tasting samples will be included.
This presentation explores the political, social, economic, and cultural traditions that have made Thanksgiving the truly American holiday that it is. Learn how Thanksgiving has transformed itself over time from the celebration of Harvest Home, as it was called in 1621 by the settlers at Plimoth Plantation, and been influenced by such prominent figures in American history as George Washington, women’s magazine editor Sarah Josepha Hale, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. You’ll learn that not only have the reasons we celebrate Thanksgiving changed over time, but so has the food! The PowerPoint presentation will be followed by a variety of historic tasting samples of Thanksgiving foods from across the centuries.
This presentation is chock-full of a variety of Christmas culinary traditions that have traveled across the Atlantic to make the American celebration what it is today. Christmas candies, cakes, breads, drinks, and cookies are described revealing their origins and the reasons they are associated with the Christmas season. Participants will have the chance to taste an assortment of historic festive treats.
A HSITORY OF SUGAR AND DESSERT
Learn about the history of sugar cane and how it has changed over the years in Western culture. From its introduction to Medieval England to the Victorian days, sugar has had many incarnations. It was first used as a medicine and a spice, then used in courtly dining as part of an after-dinner ritual known as the Void. Sugar was also used to create masterful sculptures and was the focal point of the Tudor banquet. The transformation of dessert over the centuries will be addressed, culminating in a look at how dessert and sweets changed as a result of industrialization during the Victorian era. The presentation will be followed by a chance to taste assorted sweets that were popular dating back as far as the Medieval days.