Food History

Jimmy Carter: American homebrew hero?

As crazy as it may seem now, homebrewing used to be illegal and Jimmy Carter actually played a part in changing that, contributing to the craft beer revolution. But that’s just one unexpected facet in the story of how our current beer industry came to be.

Bringing the outdoors in . . . one squirrel at a time

Squirrels seem to be everywhere until you need a few for your Buttermilk Fried Squirrel recipe.

“Hyperlocal, ultraseasonal, uber-healthy, and utterly delicious”: Reviving indigenous food cultures

When Chef Sean Sherman began speaking about his experiences growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, he shattered all-too-common stereotypes of indigenous life in 20th-century America.

Place on the plate: Smith Island, Chesapeake Bay

The women of Smith Island are known for creating multilayered cakes for church suppers, fundraisers, and other community events. After gaining attention over the years, in 2006, Smith Island cake was named the official dessert of Maryland.

"What's on your neighbor's table..."

Like okra slime in a bowl of gumbo, questions about Southern food swirled around the minds of the Smithsonian Food History Team as we focused on this year's annual theme.

Who are the Dewdrop Fairies?

While most of us have heard of the victory gardens of World War II, you may not know that during World War I, children across the U.S. enrolled as soldiers in the United States School Garden Army, a program that promoted sustainable gardens in suburban and urban communities.

Grape gluts and Mother Clones: Prohibition and American wine

When Prohibition barred Americans from from making and selling intoxicating liquors, discover how winemakers survived (or didn't).

La Choy and Korean cofounder Ilhan New: Negotiating Asian culinary identities in America

If you are a regular shopper in the international aisle of your grocery store, you have seen La Choy soy sauce and canned chop suey. But how did La Choy get its start?

Prohibition was fantastic for American beer, or, cheers to homebrewers

Without Prohibition, would America have experienced a vibrant tradition of mid- and late-20th-century homebrewing? Probably not.

300 years and counting: A new look at New Orleans and “Creole cuisine”

Celebrating the 300th anniversary of its founding this year, New Orleans is a city whose culture and cuisine have captivated the American imagination for generations.

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