Thomas Jefferson: The Original Foodie

Thomas Jefferson: The Original Foodie

At the time of the American Revolution (around 1775) colonists had been nevertheless feeding on a mostly British diet regime, consisting of meats, stews, puddings, breads and sweets, with constrained veggies. Beer, ale and cider were being repeated beverages. For the more affluent, there was port wine and some liqueurs. Soon after the death of Martha Jefferson in 1782, widower Thomas was provided the appointment of “minister plenipotentiary” (your primary diplomat) by the newly fashioned U.S. Congress and dispatched to France. Consequently commenced the life of a main foodie, wine connoisseur and kitchen area gadget aficionado (we are conversing France, here, the state acknowledged for haute cuisine). There he identified great eating, olive oils, delicious mustards, succulent cheeses and pastries, all one of a kind food items that ended up nearly unknown again in the Colonies. And he was hooked.

On his next vacation to France, Jefferson took a younger male slave with him for culinary teaching and returned residence in 1789, bringing some of his preferred delicacies with him, along with 680 bottles of wine (wine connoisseur extraordinaire). He also introduced residence his most recent gadget acquisitions, which incorporated the to start with ice cream freezer, a cheese grater and a pasta maker. While unsuccessful in setting up a sizeable vineyard for domestic wine generation on his Monticello residence, he was an enthusiastic gardener and horticulturist. Alongside with many greens familiar to the spot, he released and efficiently cultivated eggplant, okra, tomatoes, garlic, lima beans, peanuts, and very hot and sweet peppers, all of which experienced formerly been regarded as Mediterranean warm climate vegetables, just about mysterious to the British eating plan. Over his life span, he experimented with natural and organic gardening, acquiring new species and grafting fruit trees to deliver flavorful fruits. He practically altered the landscape of gardens from colonial situations forward. Historians estimate that he was liable for developing 330 kinds of vegetables and herbs, and 170 varieties of fruits.

Dinners at TJ’s provided copious meats and fowl for his friends, but he most popular the bulk of his own food to consist of many contemporary vegetables from his backyard, with a good deal of imported wines to clean down everything. You undoubtedly desired to be on his invite checklist. Following a usual evening meal at the White House or Monticello, a person can only surmise that the gentlemen retreated to the library to imbibe in tobacco, cognac and most likely a handful of loud belches, then nodded off. The girls retired to the parlor, where by some of them would have let out a couple of notches on their corsets. Small question, with the description one particular guest recorded in her diary as a “casual” evening meal: a light rice and bean soup, roast beef, turkey, lamb, ham, veal cutlets, fried eggs, macaroni, a assortment of refreshing vegetables, and a last system of pudding, fruit, cheeses and ice product with sauce. Accompanied by a lot of imported wines, of training course. As a recognized gourmand, Jefferson frequently recommended other luminaries and American presidents on menus for point out dinners, and served enlighten cooks with suitable preparation of his special recipes.

Evidently we have Jefferson to thank for introducing America to a potpourri of new dishes, with lots of ingredients clean from his gardens: french fries, peanuts, Johnny-cakes, mashed potatoes, sweet potato pudding, sesame seed oil, fried eggplant, and those people good American staples, tomato ketchup, pumpkin pie and mac and cheese. He also introduced ice product to astonished evening meal friends. Combining Western European gardening with his special Monticello cooking, he savored merging diverse cuisines and experimenting with new veggies and fruits. The good thing is for long term generations, TJ usually wrote down recipes during his European travels, as very well as recording menus and collaboration with his cooks. His daughters and grandchildren preserved some of those treasured recipes for perpetuity.

Thomas Jefferson was a remarkable person. A visionary, a gourmand, creator, wine connoisseur and Southern gentleman. 1 can only fantasize what his dinner company professional. Were being he alive nowadays, there is no issue he would have his own exhibit on TV’s Food items Community.