by Steven Doyle
In a time when women were kept at home and away from the workplace Maria Luna, who at the time was a single parent, rose from the kitchen to create her mark on Dallas history with Luna’s Tortilla Factory. A strong and devoted woman Luna gathered local women to crush her nixtamal , or corn that would become masa. Once gathered from Luna had the masa formed into tortillas and tamales which became a business that is now 95 years old and run by her son and grandson, both named Fernando.
Maria Luna ran her business, originally located on McKinney Avenue near downtown on a block that Luna purchased in 1938 for about $50,000 and shared with the original El Fenix. There the family worked, living above the tortilla factory. This meant dedication. Maria never turned away a stranger in need of fresh tortillas regardless of the hour. The building has since been remodeled to accommodate Meso Maya, and is considered a historical landmark. Continue reading
Long before Julia Child, James Beard or Anthony Bourdain, Mary Randolph helped define American cuisine.
A Virginia-born member of a plantation-owning and slave-holding family, Randolph had prominent connections. For instance, according to Michigan State University’s Feeding America blog, her brother was married to Martha Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter. But though Randolph’s life was largely like those of many other young women from plantation-owning familes—privately educated for wifehood, married at 18, having eight children in her lifetime—one of her interests had an outsize impact on broader American society. Randolph’s knowledge of how to party led her to write the first cookbook published in America. Continue reading
Growing up in the United States chances are you did your share of watching Saturday morning cartoons while eating breakfast cereal. I grew up eating Cheerios, Grape Nuts, and Rice Krispies while many of my young friends enjoyed Cocoa Pebbles, Lucky Charms and Fruit Loops. The truly fortunate children were served from a variety pack filled with choices that only a child could understand. Was it always this way? History tells us no. In fact, cereal started out very different than the colorful kid-friendly boxes we buy today.
It may be hard to believe, with its endless flavor varieties and sugary additions, but cereal is one of the first widely marketed “health foods.” It was developed as an answer to a growing dyspepsia epidemic in America. During the Civil War, many suffered from this chronic digestion problem that resulted from the unhealthy, high-protein diets of the time. It was clear that eating habits had to change; doctors recognized a need for teaching Americans how to eat and live healthier. Institutions that emphasized exercise and a healthy diet, known as sanitariums, began popping up around the country. Continue reading
A good sports bar needs three things: beer on tap, a television on the wall and a menu that offers Buffalo wings. Wings can be found at nearly every Super Bowl party and barbecue outing in the country, and they are the favored excuse of businessmen who want to visit Hooters. Yet the greasy, finger-staining bar-food staple is only 45 years old. The Buffalo wing was invented in 1964, which makes it younger than Demi Moore, Johnny Depp — and even Barack Obama. On Sept. 5, Buffalo, N.Y., will hold its fourth annual National Buffalo Wing Festival, a two-day celebration for all things wing. But how did the spicy snack come about? And why is it served with celery? Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
Nachos originated in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, just over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. In 1943, the wives of U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan in nearby Eagle Pass were in Piedras Negras on a shopping trip and arrived at the restaurant after it had already closed for the day. The maître d’hôtel, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, invented a new snack for them with what little he had available in the kitchen: tortillas and cheese. Anaya cut the tortillas into triangles, fried them, added shredded cheddar cheese, quickly heated them, added sliced pickled jalapeño peppers, and served them. Continue reading
by Sara Gauchat
With all its exotic ingredients, unfamiliar dishes, and tongue-tingling flavors, Indian cuisine can be both exciting and intimidating. “It’s such a complete world of taste. You combine all the techniques from other cuisines and add magical spices to get a titillating food experience,” says Madhur Jaffrey, an actress and the author of At Home With Madhur Jaffrey ($35, amazon.com) and many other cookbooks.
“Indian cuisine uses the whole palette of flavors—spicy, sour, sweet, and hot all at the same time—making it something that wants to jump off the plate,” says Floyd Cardoz, the executive chef and a partner of North End Grill in New York City and the author of One Spice, Two Spice ($36, amazon.com). Continue reading
by Steven Doyle
Generations have celebrated certain restaurants in Dallas, enjoying the cuisine that made Dallas strong and certainly has given it character. Today we pay homage to a select handful of these Dallas classics and hope you will continue to enjoy them as time honors them with continued success.
I recall some old favorites including Zeider Zee, The Beefeater, Prince of Burgers and Southern Kitchen. Perhaps you have some old favorites that come to mind.