There was an annual baseball championship series recently; you may have heard something about it, including the fact that the victor was the Boston Red Sox (sorry, Chicagoans…maybe next year). The two competing cities often wager that the losing city supplies the winner with a selection of its most iconic foods. Which got us to thinking: what falls into that category for Boston? As it turns out, there are quite a few…
The World of Food
As restaurateurs well know, the dining experience is about so much more than the quality of the food. Depending upon the circumstances, dining out can be a fun escape, a decadent luxury, a cozy gathering of friends, a chance to see and be seen, a special celebration…or, if necessary, it can be a quick stop to refuel on your way to the next thing on your schedule. Whatever the occasion and your motivations for dining out, they are very much taken into account by the people who design restaurants, and their work has a strong effect on us – whether we are aware of it or not.
As we all know, restaurant trends come and go. But some are timeless and enduring, and this is certainly true of the steakhouse. And if there was ever a style of restaurant that was especially suited to Chicago, it's this one, perfect for a city that was once famously dubbed by Carl Sandburg “Hog Butcher for the World.”
Steakhouses began not in America but in Great Britain, specifically London, in the late 17th century; back then, they were known as “chophouses,” named for the individual portions of meat that were served to patrons. Chops were not just beef, but also lamb, veal, pork, mutton, and even game meats such as venison. The cuts, cooked in a variety of ways, were the main event in expansive meals that also included starchy side dishes and plenty of tankards of ale.
The word “autumn,” of course, conjures up many universal images, especially to folks in the Northern Hemisphere: shorter days, muted colors, heading back to school, falling leaves, cooler temperatures, and heavy sweaters. To foodies, though, it means just one thing: pumpkin spice is back! In seemingly everything.
Corn (whose name comes from the Old Norse word “korn” which means “grain”) has been in existence for thousands of years. Once it arrived in the United States from its place of origin in Central America, it was known as “Indian corn,” which we use today as a customary — and colorful — decoration to signify autumn.
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