A Week of Feasts and Gratitude

by Johna Tanawan

This week is filled with celebrations that will make your mouth water, satisfy your cravings and fill you to the brim.

And since it's another pig-out week, we've prepared the food trivia, podcast suggestions you can enjoy while celebrating, and of course, we made sure to wrap up the week with gratitude. 


October 10: National Angel Food Cake Day, National Tic Tac Day, and World Porridge Day

Angel food cake is said to be "so light that angels could eat it and still fly without being weighted down." Made from egg white, sugar, and cake flour, this type of sponge cake uses no butter. It originated in the United States and became popular in the 19th century. The first detailed recipe of this cake was published in 1884 in the Boston Cooking School Cook Book. In some cultures, angel food cakes are considered wedding cakes, believing angels will bless the couple. On the other hand, some cultures serve this cake in funeral receptions with the idea that the deceased person is now living among angels in heaven.

Tic Tac, on the other hand, is a hard mint manufactured by Ferrero, an Italian company. It was first produced in 1969 under the name "Refreshing Mints." The original flavors were mint and orange and were dyed specific colors for different flavors. In 1970, the name was changed to Tic Tac, after the distinctive sound made by the plastic boxes as they are being flipped open and closed. Nowadays, there are a variety of flavors for this hard candy, famously known for its slogan, "it's not just mint, it's tic tac."

The final food holiday for October 10, World Porridge Day was created in 2009 to raise funds for the charity Mary's Meals to aid starving children in developing countries.

Porridge, is a rich, delicious, and nourishing dish usually made from oats. It has been a staple food around many parts of the world. They were first produced during the Paleolithic period by hunter-gatherers in Southern Italy.

The dish has also been traditionally associated with Scotland, possibly because oats can be successfully cultivated on marginal upland soils. Traces of barley porridge have been found in Outer Hebrides, Scotland which dates 2,500 years ago.

Other grains like rice, wheat, barley, corn, triticale and buckwheat are also used for porridge and have their own names like polenta, grits, and kasha.

Porridge is one of the most readily accessible and nourishing foods. On this day, we join this celebration to spread food and health to children in need around the world.


October 11: National Sausage Pizza Day and World Biryani Day

Sausage is one of the ten most popular pizza toppings around the world. Evidence also suggests that sausages have been around for a very long time. A similar dish was written in Akkadian cuneiform tablet records from Ancient Mesopotamia, described in 589 BC-420 BC in Ancient China, and the Greek poet Homer even mentioned a kind of blood sausage in the Odyssey. In the mid-15th century, it was spelled as "sawsyge" in the English language and eventually evolved into sausage.

Sausage making is an outcome of efficient butchery, wherein no parts go to waste. Various organ meats, tissues, blood, and fat were salted and stuffed into clean tubular casings made of animal intestines to preserve them. They are cured, dried, or smoked and can be stored for an extended period. Hence, sausages are among the oldest of prepared foods, just like pizza. Nowadays, sausages are made with a wide range of meats, flavoring spices, and manners of preparation. There are also national and regional varieties giving your modern-day sausage pizza unending variations and tastes.

Want to try a unique pizza topping, check out our Yumday shop.

Our next celebration is World Biryani Day. Biryani is commonly known as an Indian dish made with rice, meat from chicken, goat, lamb, prawn or fish, and mixed spices. Sometimes vegetables and eggs are also added in certain regional varieties. The exact origin of biryani has been widely debated with various theories and claims. One theory claims that modern biryani was developed in the royal kitchens of the Mughal Empire in Persia and was brought to India by the Mughals. Others believe it was the Arab traders who brought the recipe to Southern India. Still, others believe that it is purely an Indian / South Asian invention. Throughout all these heated debates, one thing is for sure; Biryani is a delicious and flavorful dish 100% worth celebrating.

Do you have a special biryani recipe that you'd love to share with us? Tell us in the comments below.


October 12: National Gumbo Day and National Pulled Pork Day

Gumbo is a stew consisting of a strongly-flavored stock, meat, or shellfish mixed with celery, bell peppers, onions, and a thickener. It originated in southern Louisiana during the 18th century and was first described in 1802 and mentioned in various cookbooks in the latter half of the 19th century. Gumbo eventually became Louisiana's official state cuisine in 2004. This dish combines ingredients and culinary practices from several cultures, including African, French, Spanish, and Native American. It is a heavily seasoned stew that combines several varieties of meat or seafood with a sauce or gravy. So if you're craving a thick, mouthwatering, and filling food, stock your pantries and be ready for National Gumbo Day.

Another mouthwatering dish for today's celebration is pulled pork. Pulled pork, which is a shredded barbecued pork shoulder, is said to have originated in the southern parts of the United States. Although cooking meat with fire began about 1.8 million years ago, the modern barbecue process wherein meat is cooked over a grill or pit and covered in spices and basting sauce originated in the Caribbean. The natives of the Caribbean and Americas were also experts in smoking meat through the use of indirect fire to keep the bugs away and preserve the meat. When the Spanish settlers arrived in America, they learned the cooking technique from the natives. Spaniards also brought pigs to America in the 1500s, and in 1526 the word "barbaco", or grilling on a raised wooden grate, first appeared in a Spanish explorer's account of the West Indies. Since then, the process of barbecuing spread like wildfire. Barbecuing pigs became especially popular in the southern parts of the US. In fact, Carolina barbecue is the recipe variation wherein pork is served pulled shredded or chopped and sometimes sliced. Nowadays, pulled pork is a famous mouthwatering and filling food that can be eaten on its own or served on bread and various side dish.

Learn more about pulled pork in our podcast episode, “Barbecue: Hot Grill Summer.”


October 13: National Yorkshire Pudding Day and National M&M Day

Yorkshire pudding is made from a batter of eggs, flour, and milk or water. It is a common English side dish and was originally called dripping pudding. They were called dripping puddings because they were invented by cooks in northern England as a dish to utilize the fat that dropped into the dripping pan while roasting meat. It was renamed Yorkshire pudding in 1747, and was said to have gotten its name from Yorkshire, a region associated with coal and the higher temperatures that helps produce a crisper batter.

Originally, Yorkshire pudding was served as an economical first course meal with thick gravy so that diners would not eat so much of the more expensive meat in the next course. Nowadays, Yorkshire pudding is a versatile dish and may even be served as a main course dish with beef and gravy.

Next up, we celebrate the famous colorful candy-coated chocolate that "melts in your mouth, not in your hand." M&M's originated in the United States in 1941 and is credited to the son of Mars Company founder, Forrest Mars Sr. He copied the idea for the candy in the 1930s during the Spanish Civil War when he saw soldiers eating British-made Smarties. Mars received a patent for his own process on March 3, 1941, and began production. The company's first big customer was the U.S Army and was exclusively sold to the military in World War II. This candy invention allowed soldiers to carry and enjoy chocolates in tropical climates without the treats melting due to higher temperatures. After the war ended, American soldiers became hooked with the treat, and so did the rest of the world.


October 14: National Dessert Day

No one knows for sure when National Dessert Day was started in the United States.

But the English word "dessert" originated from the French word "desservir" which means to "clear the table."

After the French Revolution, the course at the end of a formal meal was usually known as "le fruit," but the bourgeois renamed it "dessert."

Desserts in the 17th and 18th century were mostly fruit-based treats, often using jams and preserves. As time passed and sugar became cheaper and readily available, desserts became more ornate and complex.

Nowadays, many people consider a meal is incomplete without a dessert. While some consider a dessert as their whole meal.

However and whatever your definition of dessert maybe, you can always find something to enjoy from our Yumday shop.


October 15: National Mushroom Day, National Cheese Curd Day, and National Red Wine Day

Mycophagy or the act of consuming edible mushrooms dates back to ancient times. In fact, edible mushrooms have been found in 13,000-year-old archaeological sites in Chile. The Ancient Chinese also utilized mushrooms for medicinal purposes and food. Ancient Romans and Greeks were also recorded to have used mushrooms for culinary purposes. The popularity of mushrooms in the culinary scene was said to have started in the 19th century when French chefs began using and promoting them to diners. Since then, many recipes using mushrooms have evolved, even the expensive and unique gourmets. Although mushrooms were made famous in France, did you know that the Mushroom Capital of the World is Kennet Square in Philadelphia, PA? They produce over a million pounds of mushrooms a day and hold Mushroom Festivals each year. Mushroom is a versatile culinary ingredient with loads of health benefits. So let's celebrate and make this day an opportunity to spread awareness about these delicious and nourishing mushrooms.

Cheese curds or squeaky cheese are moist pieces of curdled milk eaten alone as a snack or used as an ingredient in dishes. They are made from fresh pasteurized milk during cheese processing, and the squeakier they are on your teeth, the fresher they are.

Cheese curds are said to go way back in the olden days. Mentions of cheese curds were noted from records of Ancient Rome where a dish Globuli or fried cheese curds have been enjoyed during the period, and a Celtic song "Visions of MacGonlannee" in 1100s also mentioned cheese curds in its lyrics.

In the United States, cheese curds became especially popular in Wisconsin starting in 1840 because of the state's rich farmland. By 1922, there were more than 2,800 cheese factories in the area. Since cheese curds have to be fresh and consumed within 12 hours before drying out, Wisconsin's proximity to various cheese factories made it the best place to get cheese curds.

Today, we have the best pair to go with our cheese curd - red wine.

Although red wine was celebrated on August 28, we'll celebrate it again just in case you missed it.

And, if you did celebrate it last August 28, this event is just too good, it bears repeating.

Red wine, as we all know, is one of the most popular alcoholic beverages of all time, dating back to the Neolithic period...

And since you already know that story, we'll let you enjoy your glass of red wine with our recommended podcast episode, “Wine Bottles and Cans (and Just Clap Your Hands).”


October 16: National Liqueur Day, World Food Day, and World Bread Day

Did you know that liqueurs are historical descendants of herbal medicine? They were prepared by monks in Italy as early as the 13th century. They were steeped bitter herbs and sweetened with sugar to become more palatable to the patients. Their potency and cure were said to give the ailing patient a restful boost from its alcohol content. We all need a "restful boost" these days, so take a pick of your favorite liqueur and enjoy it neat, over ice, with coffee, in cocktails, or with your favorite dish.

Finally, we also celebrate World Food Day and World Bread Day.

These events commemorate the founding of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945. They were also created to celebrate other organizations concerned with hunger and food security, including the World Food Programme and International Fund for Agricultural Development. Every year, it has been observed in more than 150 countries to raise awareness on the issues behind poverty and hunger.

For this last day of the week, we'll just chill and be grateful for all the food bounty that we have.


And if you want to join the celebration by doing a good deed and gifting someone a box of nourishing snacks, check out Yumday's curated snack box or monthly snack subscriptions.


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