Celebrating February's Food Days
by Linda Y.
Did you know that there are important dates in February beyond Groundhog Day (Sorry, Punxsutawney Phil!), Presidents' Day, and Valentine’s Day, where specific foods are celebrated?
Here's just a few to mark on your calendar to celebrate this month!
Drink Wine Day – February 18
Wine was an important drink of the mythical Greek and Roman gods. Drink Wine Day is a time when adults can responsibly enjoy aged fermented grapes, take the opportunity to indulge in a wine tasting, go on a wine tour, or go to a wine bar to order a glass of their favorite wine.
The 24-Hour Wine Expert by Jancis Robinson
From explaining to choosing, tasting, matching food, tips for purchasing and pricing, storing, known wine regions, and more, this book helps anyone learn all that is really important about wine. The contents of this book are presented in a conversational manner from the experiences of Jancis Robinson, an expert wine critic living in London. Robinson is also is a journalist, writes a column for the London Financial Times, and is known to have provided advice for Queen Elizabeth’s wine cellar.
Pennsylvania Wine: A History by Hudson Cattell and Linda Jones McKee
Pennsylvania's local wine history initially began in the 1600s and 1700s. Benjamin Franklin also had a part in the wine history of Pennsylvania, as he praised wine and shared a recipe for making it in Poor Richard’s Almanack. Throughout the history of Pennsylvania, there is the existence of wine produced locally spanning from the shores of the Delaware River to the side of Lake Erie. It is not surprising to know that the Keystone state has a lengthy history of cultivating wine, having been the first distributary in the United States. It is also important to note that there are strict laws concerning the consumption, purchase, and distribution of wines. The book shows a snapshot of the history of the Pennsylvania wine industry as an optimistic one. Cattell and McKee are both wine journalists with different experiences of travel and judging, all to further the industry of wine consumption in the United States.
National Pancake Day – February 25
Repeat after me: "Pancakes are not waffles! Pancakes are not crepes! Pancakes have different names and they're all delicious!" The distinct difference between waffles and crepes is the ingredients and the way the dish is prepared, but people do sometimes mistake them because of their shape or taste.
Pancakes: A Global History by Ken Albala
This is part of an edible food series that also includes an entry for pizza. What makes this a good book is its unwavering homage to pancakes, including its global reach, history, popularity, and influence. What type of interesting toppings are there? Which television shows have featured memorable pancake commercials and restaurants? There are recipes since this is a “cookbook”, but this is primarily a culinary examination of a thin cake that can be flipped in a pan. Recently there was a rather momentous change for a pancake brand in the United States, when Aunt Jemima changed its name and branding (As of 2021, they are now known as Pearl Milling Company.) Author Ken Albala is a history professor but also a prolific writer of food books and a cultural ambassador, especially on his blog Ken Albala’s Food Rant.
Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle
Pancakes, Pancakes! is a delightful story of an old-fashioned breakfast. Modern-day pancake mix holds little charm compared to starting from scratch, and young readers will find their mouths watering, and will wish that they, too, could have real pancakes, pancakes!
National Chili Day – February 26
Chili cannot be considered as a soup, regardless of whether or not you may see chili listed on the soup section of a menu. Anyone who makes chili swears up and down that their recipe has a secret ingredient that may or may not include beans, meat, tomatoes, or special spices. On this day, you can add chili as a topping, as a stuffing, an accompanying side dish, or enjoy it all by itself. The idea is to just consume and enjoy chili!
Chili Madness by Jane Butel
Beloved chili. Passionate chili. Hot chili... and not just because of the chiles. Chili, the star of cook-offs, the obsession of societies, and the subject of endless debate over its proper preparation. This book contains over 160 chili recipes, including Reno Red, Buzzard’s Breath Chili, Moroccan Chili, and White Lobster Chili. Take a bite and savor the heat!
The International Chili Society Official Chili Cookbook by Martina Neely
Over 100 delicious ways to prepare chili, including celebrity recipes and the championship selections of the International Chili Society. Also, over 150 recipes for what to serve with it, from breads and salads to desserts and drinks.
Celebrating these days can be easy or elaborate, by yourself, with family, or virtually with others. You could either cook something or order something. Foods are basic, life-sustaining, and are a subject that inspires and connects.
Check out #DrinkWineDay (responsibly!), #NationalPancakeDay, and #NationalChiliDay hashtags online for ideas and recipes, and browse our catalog for more books and ebooks on these topics as well!