I credit ketchup for my love of food. My dad, in his infinite wisdom, introduced ketchup as a last resort to his obstinate toddler as he coaxed her (me) to eat. While successful in the early days, little did he know that I would later identify ketchup as its own food group.
For a long time, I loved ketchup more than I loved any other food, and I put it on just about everything that wasn’t salad. My ketchup usage hit such highs that I remember my grandmother telling me to “quit it” as ketchup was just “red sugar” that I was “drinking like soup.” (Probably true.) I don’t recall rethinking my choice for even a minute.
To this day, sometimes I crave ketchup and go out of my way to make or buy something I can eat it with. Just ask the server at America’s Dogs in O’Hare International Airport. Continue reading
Every native Philadelphian has a special place in her heart for pretzels, and I am no exception. As Wikipedia will tell you, “in the 19th century, Southern German and Swiss German immigrants introduced the pretzel to North American.” (Thank you, Southern German and Swiss German immigrants.) “The immigrants became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, and in time, many handmade pretzel bakeries populated the Central Pennsylvania countryside, and the pretzel’s popularity spread.”
And so it went. By the time I came along in the mid 1980s, pretzels had been a Philadelphia staple for almost 200 years. Every class party, every field trip, every football game, every city street corner featured Philly pretzels. Oblong, crusty, salty, and moist on the outside, white and soft on the inside, and squeezed together shoulder to shoulder. Continue reading