Wednesday, 25 April 2007

More food writing

Serendipitously, I happened to come across this passage from Bill Bryson:

The Indians introduced the colonists not only to new foods, but to more interesting ways of preparing them. Succotash, clam chowder, hominy, corn pone, cranberry sauce, johnny cakes, even Boston-baked beans and Brunswick stew were all Indian dishes. In Virginia, it was the Indians, not the white settlers, who invented the Smithfield ham. Even with the constant advice and intervention of the Indians, the Puritans stuck to a diet that was for the most part resolutely bland. Meat and vegetables were boiled without pity, deprived of seasonings, and served lukewarm. Peas, once they got the hang of growing them, were eaten at almost every meal, and often served cold. The principal repast was taken at midday and called dinner. Supper, a word related to soup, was often just that--a little soup with perhaps a piece of bread--and was consumed in the evening shortly before retiring. Lunch was a concept unknown, as was the idea of a snack. To the early colonists, snack meant the bite of a dog.

Which is exactly what one particular snack meant to Chekhov!