Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Website of the Week

Food Timeline 

Do you ever wonder where your food comes from? I don’t just mean where it was grown, but where it originated. You can trace the origin of foods back to the earliest times (17,000 BC and earlier) with the Food Timeline. This internet resource is great for better understanding the earliest conditions of foods, as well as discovering how modern day foods were invented.

Did you know ice cream was invented in China? It took the form of something closer to flavored ice and dates all the way back to 3000 BC. There are claims that Marco Polo brought it to Italy, where the creamy, cold treat we know today as ice cream was invented during the 17th century.

Another example is the delicious breakfast (or brunch) dish known as eggs benedict, which was invented in New York in the 1890s. However, there is a rich and perhaps controversial story about how this eggy favorite came to be. Besides finding out when these foods were first mentioned, there are often accompanying recipes, which allows the researcher to replicate the original dish.

The timeline presents information in chronological order with water, ice, and salt making the top three earliest forms of food (no dates given). Some of the more recent entries include cronuts and test tube burgers. While the design leaves much to be desired on this website, the simplicity of the Food Timeline does offer an easy to use experience. Librarian Lynne Olver created the website and the content. Her research on the topic comes from a variety of sources, and her background in cooking and researching food is discussed on her site.

If you’re the type of person who when eating a watermelon wonders if Cleopatra might have eaten one too (she probably did), then the Food Timeline is a great resource to check out.

Review by Lauren McFall, SWC Librarian

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