September 7th National Salami Day

What is salami? Well, it’s sausage with spices added to it to add a little kick, or a lot of kick, depending on the spices you add. It goes great with bread, cheese and a little wine. So if you like pork and like sausage, you’ll probably like salami. In fact there are those I know that don’t like sausage but love salami. Go figure? Many are able to make a full meal out of salami, cheese, crackers, and whatever drink you prefer. It also makes a great snack and is perfect for those holiday parties as it can be a proper finger food. Oh and it can be made out of beef as well, and chicken, or turkey. Oh how the world progresses!

How to celebrate – Have some salami. Learn to make your own salami. Have a salami party.

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November 9th National Scrapple Day

Scrapple is the first pork dish invented in America. It comes from the 17th and 18th centuries in the Pennsylvania Dutch region where it was called “panhaas” (pon haus).

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Scrapple is made from bits and pieces of pork mixed with cornmeal, wheat flour and spices. Those spices may include one, or all, of sage, thyme, savory and black pepper). It is served as a side breakfast dish along with the traditional eggs and hash-browns. It is mashed into a loaf, sliced and pan fried before serving.

the-forefather-scrapple-sandwich-labelsScrapple, while traditionally made from pork, can also be made from beef, chicken, or turkey. It is generally served with apple butter, ketchup, jelly, maple syrup, honey, horseradish or just plain mustard.

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Here’s a scrapple recipe for you to try.

How to celebrate – Have scrapple for breakfast this morning. Who knows, you might even like it! Serve scrapple up as a surprise and ask your family members, or friends, what they think it is. Visit the Pennsylvania Dutch region and get some real scrapple.

October 4th Taco Day

People love tacos, I love tacos! In fact, last year we ate over 4.5 billion tacos. Laid end-to-end that’s a trip to the moon (490,000 miles).

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No one knows exactly where tacos came from, or the name anyway. One theory states that tacos came from Mexican miners who used to place gunpowder between pieces of paper to blow iron ore out of the rock. Apparently they thought about putting meat between tortillas and naming it after the bombs they made for the mines. The second theory is that it comes from Spain where they used small fish, live insects, ants, locust, and snails in the tortilla for a lively lunch in the 16th century.

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The first known reference of a taco, to eat, came in the late 19th century called, “Miner’s Taco”. Looks like the miners won! (I’m sorta glad cause I wasn’t looking forward to the locust and snails)!

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Tacos can be filled with just about anything though. Fish, chicken, beef, eggs, cheese, lettuce, bacon, you name it, and it could go into a taco. In fact, the actual taco part of a taco is probably the shell the other stuff goes in. Add spices and sauces of your choice and it is a taco!

Taco Bell is the first company to make the taco as popular as it is. Beginning in 1962 in California, Taco Bell has served more tacos than any other restaurant in the world! – though they do tend to stick to the more traditional styles – meat and chicken. Fish has become very popular over the last few years. Ensenada, Mexico is given credit for the fish taco.

The first taco trucks appeared in New York City in 1966, operated by two ladies that hoped there would be a demand for their product. There was! I have to wonder though if they served two of the more interesting types of tacos. Tacos de Cabeza, made from the brains, eyes, tongue, and lips of cattle. Or Tacos al Pastor, made like a shepherd’s pie placed in a taco shell. There are now even dessert tacos!

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No matter what kind of taco you enjoy, this is your day to enjoy it even more!

How to celebrate – Invent your own type of taco (it has probably already been served somewhere though). Go to Taco Bell and savor the flavor!  Have tacos for dinner tonight!

June 12th National Jerky Day

Jerky has been around for a while, dating back to at least 1550. In fact the term jerky comes to us from the Quechua tribe in South America, a part of the great Inca Empire. They used the word “ch’arki” which mean “to burn” meat.

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1 pound of meat is reduced to 4 ounces of jerky by drying it, normal in a salt cure, for use at a later date.  It hardly ever goes bad and is low fat, low calories, and low carbs. The meat is trimmed of it’s fat before the curing stages which produces a nutrient rich treat capable of replacing a meal if so required. Cowboys driving cattle on the open ranges often ate jerky while in the saddle. It was easy to carry, didn’t go bad and required only your fingers and at least two matching teeth to chew.

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Today it continues to be a healthy snack. Even the astronauts have chosen it repeatedly to carry into space with them. Most jerky today is made from bovine, but across the world there are numerous other types of meat used to create it.  Many include: pork, goat, mutton, lamb, deer, kudu, springbor, kangaroo, bison, turkey, ostrich, salmon, alligator, tuna, emu, horse, camel, and earthworm.

National Jerky Day was founded by Jack Link’s beef in 2012.267889

How to celebrate: Try some jerky. Make your own jerky. Try a type of jerky you have never tried before.