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A sampler platter for you
Some bonus tasty stories (and a request for your own favorites)
Hello, Snackers. I’ve seen a few delicious stories over the last few weeks, all very relevant to our interests here at Snack Stack, and I thought I'd share them with you. Enjoy!
While we’re at it, I'd love to hear what you're reading (or listening to or watching) on the subject of food, culture, and history. Magazine stories, podcasts, Netflix shows, anything you've got. Share your recommendations with the masses in the comments or, if you prefer, send them to me directly at email@example.com.
That time the USA banned sliced bread
When the ban was first announced, New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia said bakeries and delis with slicing machines could continue to use them. However, a few days later, the Food Distribution Administration clarified that the ban prohibited the sale of all pre-sliced bread. (It’s unclear if this clarification was a direct response to LaGuardia. The US Government claims it wasn’t.)
BTW, I highly recommend subscribing to The Curiosity Cabinet, which is full of fascinating stories like this. You can also go back in the Snack Stack archives to read Jeffrey’s guest post on the historic links between waffles and technology.
As someone who recently spent many hours in various airports, I appreciate this short essay by comedian Josh Gondelman:
You are trying your best, pre-made airport sandwich, which makes it even sadder.
But despite your shortcomings, which are as numerous as open seats at my flight’s gate are scares, you are important. You are often our only viable option. I prefer not to arrive at the airport six hours in advance, which leaves me sadly unable to acquire a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks, where the lines are Genius Bar or DMV long.
Why Toblerone is a staple of airport duty-free shops
Sometimes I have an idea for a post and then I Google it and find that someone else has already written the definitive story on the subject. Lilith Marcus scooped me with this excellent CNN Travel piece (from 2020 but new to me).
“[Toblerone] represents travel,” says Marianne Klimchuk, chair of the Packaging Design department at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. “The type style is like a vintage luggage label. It has authenticity and European cultural heritage. For something that is so dated in history, it feels very fresh.”
How Ferrero Rocher became a status symbol for immigrant families
The Toblerone story reminded me of this piece on another sorta-fancy chocolate, Ferrero Rocher, by Liana Aghajanian (who’s written some of my favorite stories from the last few years; here's more of Liana’s work), published in Thrillist in 2018:
It was a truth acknowledged amongst the hospitality-ladened cultures of their families: You never showed up to someone’s house -- whether they were strangers or family -- without a gift. And if the gift turned out to Ferrero Rocher, it was a surefire way to know you had almost literally struck gold with your hosts.
It also had a permanent place on the tables inside immigrant homes, served to guests as a way to honor their presence.
Happy snacking and please share your food/history/culture story recommendations!