Tacos, Beer, Pizza and More!

by Johna Tanawan

Get ready for daily feasts during the first week of October! So, stock up your pantries, and let’s get the food celebrations and the entertaining trivia rolling.


October 3: National Soft Taco Day and National Caramel Custard Day

The taco is a traditional Mexican dish made of folded corn tortillas with fillings in the middle like beef, pork, chicken, seafood, beans, vegetables, and cheese. They are also often garnished with various condiments like salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and vegetables. Mexico's ancestors were experts in the various ways of utilizing corn for their culinary recipe, like making tortillas. It is said that "taco" comes from the Nauatl word "tlahco" which means "half or in the middle," like placing food in the middle of a tortilla. Still, some historians believe that the word "taco" originated from the Mexican silver miners in the 19th century, which basically means dynamite. A taquito (small taco) looks exactly like small dynamite and very spicy. It was famous among Mexican miners, and the working-class and various recipes have since evolved. This Mexican street food has spread around the world and forms part of Mexico's cultural and gastronomic diversity. We enjoy the soft taco variety on this day, and we'll reserve the mainstream hard-shelled taco for tomorrow.

But if you're craving something sweet, then the Caramel Custard celebration is best for you. Custard is essentially eggs mixed with liquids like milk or cream and thickened using low heat. The process of cooking milk together with eggs to thicken has been practiced since Ancient Rome. Many variations and recipes have since evolved and one of the popular citations was during the Middle Ages. It is said that the name came from the English "custard tarts" wherein custards were usually made or baked into pastries. As for today's celebration, we enjoy the caramel custard or crème caramel or flan, a layer of clear caramel sauce that will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.


October 4: Cinnamon Roll Day, National Taco Day, and National Vodka Day

Cinnamon rolls that we know today are said to have originated in Sweden and are locally called "kanelbulle." In fact, cinnamon roll day was initially celebrated in 1999 to promote Swedish baking traditions, focusing on cinnamon buns. The main ingredients are flour, cinnamon, sugar, and butter. It is made of rolled sheets of yeast-leavened dough, coated with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar mixture, and sometimes added with raisins or other ingredients. It's commonly enjoyed during breakfast or dessert, but go ahead and enjoy it as much as you want on this day.

Since we can't get enough of the different varieties of Taco, we'll celebrate it again during today's National Taco Day. The hard-shell or crispy taco is the most common type of taco in the United States. It was first cited in a 1949 cookbook. It is also the usual tacos sold by restaurants, fast food chains and readily available in most supermarkets. This hard-shell variety is said to have been developed in the United States, making the recipe easily available for mass production. So, go ahead, enjoy another savory taco and try out different fillings and condiments.

For our drinks, we'll have an alcoholic beverage which perhaps became more mainstream when James Bond cited it in the 1962 movie Dr. No. Remember that line? "One medium dry vodka martini, shaken not stirred." Interestingly, vodka came from the Russian word for water, "voda." Both Russia and Poland are claiming to be the origins of vodka, and the debate continues to this day. Poland claims vodka was brought to Russia by Russian merchants with records first citing vodka in a 1405 Poland court document, but mainly referred to medicines and cosmetics. Then in 1533, a Cyrillic record mentioned this medicinal drink being brought to mainland Russia. In Russia, their tale is about a monk named Isidore from Chudov Monastery who made the recipe of the first Russian vodka around 1430. According to the Russian Vodka Museum founder in St. Petersburg, "The whole history of Russian culture is tied to vodka." In fact, during the early 16th-century, vodka was so popular that it became so out of hand that farmers were too drunk to cultivate their land and the male population became deeply indebted to Russian taverns. It has been said that drinking vodka helps Russians deal with the stress of their daily lives that local taverns became rich in producing and serving vodka. Eventually, the state had to step in and take over and monopolize the sale. Vodka is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, so make sure to drink in moderation.


October 5: National Rocky Mountain Oyster Day and National Apple Betty Day

Have you tried Rocky Mountain Oysters?

Then, you'd probably know that they really aren't oysters but testicles from sheep, bulls or pigs that are prepared in a variety of ways, with the most popular being breaded and fried.

This dish originated in the North American West and was created by ranchers.

Annually, ranchers would castrate spring calves to control breeding and regulate animal temperament to protect the herd and ranchers from getting injured. At the end of the day, they'd end up with hundreds of calf testicles, so they avoid waste by cooking and eating these "tendergroins."

In Clinton, Montana, they have been celebrating Testy Fest since 1982 with the defending champion reported to have polished off over two pounds of testes in under four minutes.

But if you'd prefer to enjoy a sweeter dish, then let's have Apple Betty.

This dish is a variation of a traditional American dessert called Brown Betty. They are crust-free pies made from fruits and sweetened crumbs.

Brown Betty first appeared in print in 1864 and is similar to apple cobbler or apple crisp, but fruit and bread crumbs are layered together, making this dessert more hearty and dense.

It is also reported that Apple Betty was one of the favorite desserts of Ronald and Nancy Raegan in the White House.

If you're the adventurous kind in terms of the food menu, go ahead and enjoy Rocky Mountain Oysters and have Apple Betty for your dessert.


October 6: National Noodle Day

Noodles as we all know are a type of food made from unleavened dough that is rolled flat and stretched into long strings.

The earliest written record of noodles is found in a book dated to the 25-220 CE during the Han dynasty, and the oldest evidence was found from a 4,000 years old earthenware bowl found in China.

Noodles can be paired with different sauces and meals and have since evolved to many varieties around the world.

What's your favorite noodle dish? Tell us in the comments below!


October 7: National Kale Day, National Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Day, and National Frappe Day

National Kale day started in 2012 and was created to promote the Superfood which is loaded with all sorts of healthy vitamins and minerals. Kale originated in the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor and has been cultivated for food since the beginning of 2000 BCE. Want to enjoy kale in a delicious and satisfying food bar? Check out Real Food Bar from our shop.

On this day, you can also enjoy a sweet chocolate-covered pretzel snack. Crunchy pretzels dipped in chocolate are credited to German baker Franz Joseph Leibniz who invented the snack in 1544 when he partnered with a chocolatier. But pretzel is said to have been first invented in the 6th century by an Italian monk who baked twisted dough shaped into a person praying. It was originally called pretiola, Latin for "little reward" and was given to children to learn their prayers. When it was brought to Germany, it was called bretzels, which eventually led to different variations, one of which is the chocolate-covered pretzel.

For our drinks, we'll have the cool and refreshing Frappe. Frappe is a French word that describes drinks chilled with ice and as first cited at the beginning of the 19th century. These ice beverages are made by shaking or blending coffee drinks. The modern Frappe that we know today is credited to Dimitris Vakondios, a Nescafe representative in Thessaloniki, Greece. He is said to have invented the beverage in 1957 to promote coffee consumption on hot days. Since then, many variations of the beverage have evolved and became popular around the world.


October 8: National Fluffernutter Day, National Pierogi Day, National Salmon Day, and World Egg Day

Flutternutter is a sandwich made with peanut butter and marshmallow creme on white bread. It is also called peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich or peanut butter and marshmallow fluff sandwich, and sometimes peanut butter marshmallow stuff sandwich. Marshmallow creme, one of the two main ingredients in the Fluffernutter, was invented in the early 20th century by Archibald Query in Somerville, Massachusetts. However, due to the sugar shortage during World War I, Archibald faced difficulties. He sold his recipe to two men who began distributing the product under their company Durkee-Mower Inc. This same company marketed the sandwich under the term "Fluffernutter" to make it more appealing and eventually trademarked "Fluffernutter" in 1960.

Our second food celebration, "Pierogi" is a Polish word for filled dumplings. They are made by wrapping unleavened dough around savory or sweet fillings, which are then cooked in boiling water. Typical fillings include potato, cheese, quark, sauerkraut, ground meat mushrooms, or fruit. Pierogi's exact origin is unknown but it is said to have likely been a variation of Chinese dumplings brought to Europe by Marco Polo after his expeditions through the Silk Road and China.

On this day, we also get to celebrate a food holiday that promotes health, taste, convenience, and the diverse benefits of salmon. Salmon has long been consumed and part of the livelihood of coastal dwellers, which goes as far back as 5,000 years. Currently, salmon is America's second most consumed seafood, but ironically, it's a celebration as a food holiday only started in 2015. The Chicken of the Sea company is credited for proposing this celebration to encourage Americans to increase the consumption of salmon for its high protein, high omega 3, and delicious universal taste enhanced by the diverse recipe around the world.

Finally, we celebrate World Egg Day. This was established in Vienna in 1996 to celebrate the incredible nutrient powerhouse. It centers around the brilliant versatility of the egg, which is also known to have a multitude of benefits. Egg also pairs well with a lot of food and a great source of nourishment.


October 9: National Sub-Hoagie-Hero-Grinder Day, National Beer and Pizza Day, and National Moldy Cheese Day

We save the best and most filling food holidays on this last day of the week. Submarine sandwich or "sub" for North Americans, "hoagie" for Mid-Atlantic and Western Pennsylvania, "hero" for New Yorkers, and "grinder" for New England is basically an Italian sandwich. This originated from several different Italian American communities in the U.S. in the late 19th and 20th centuries. They're usually made with a cold or hot sandwich from a cylindrical bread roll, split lengthwise and filled with meats, cheeses, vegetables, and condiments.

On this day, we also get to celebrate beer and pizza as a food pair! As we now know, beer is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages known to man, and pizza goes as far back as 997 AD. This beer and pizza food pair celebration started in 2016 and was advocated by a certain Nick Salino. And we fully support Nick by enjoying beer and pizza with friends and family.

Last, we also get to enjoy the moldy cheese. Mold-grown cheese usually includes blue cheese and soft-ripened cheese like Brie. These types of cheese production used Penicillium (P.) roqueforti, P. glaucum, and P. candidum to produce unique taste, texture, and appearance sought by many cheese connoisseurs. According to legend, blue cheese was discovered by a young boy. He was having a snack on bread and ewe's milk cheese when he saw a beautiful girl. He abandoned his food in a cave to follow the girl, and when he returned months later, he found that mold has transformed his cheese to have blue veins which was eventually the first Roquefort blue cheese. Needless to say, the origin of moldy cheese is unknown, but it is believed to have been accidentally invented.


Do you know other legends and tales surrounding our food celebrations this week?

Tell us in the comments below, and make sure to check out Yumday snack shop for hassle-free healthy food to help you celebrate this week's food holiday.


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