Samui Wining & Dining
Tasty Dates

Here are some events that have made it into April foodie history.


1st - Not only is it Easter Monday this year, but it's also April Fools' Day. So um, don't be caught for a sucker ( excuse the foodie pun!).

2nd – On this day, in 1863, the Richmond bread riots occurred. Shortages of food caused hundreds of angry women to gather in Richmond, Virginia and march to the governor's office, and then to the government commissary to demand bread. It ended in a riot when they broke into the commissary and other buildings carrying out anything they could. Even the hospital reported losing over 136kg of beef.

3rd – On this day, in 1985, The Brown Derby Restaurant in Hollywood closed after 57 years. Owner, Robert Cobb, created the Cobb Salad there in 1936. On the same day in 2010, students at a Utah high school created a replica of Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' using two tonnes of Malt-O-Meal cereal.

4th –  From today until the 7th of April, the Barossa Vintage Festival takes place, which is the largest and longest running wine tourism festival in Australia. The first festival was held in 1947, and grows in strength each year. The 2013 program includes more than 150 events including art and craft, music, literature, heritage and, of course, food and wine.

5th –  As this is National Soy Food Month, in the states, why not sample this healthy meat alternative. Thailand is the right place to be, as soy is used in many dishes.

6th – This is Chakri Day in Thailand; a public holiday that celebrates the current royal dynasty. As with any Thai holiday, there'll be feasting galore.

7th – This day, in 1860, marks the birth of Will Keith Kellogg, founder of the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co. (later the W.K. Kellogg Company), manufacturer of cereals. Cornflakes, those tasty little flakes with the red rooster on the box, were developed by his brother, John Harvey Kellogg.

8th – Today is St Walter of Pontnoise's Day; patron-saint of vintners. And we are so blessed to have wine, so cheers to him!

9th – In 1626 on this day, Sir Francis Bacon died. He was an English statesman, philosopher and author of 'Novum Organum', a work on scientific inquiry. Some also rather controversially claim that he wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare. He died after stuffing a dressed chicken with snow to see how long the flesh could be preserved by the extreme cold. He caught a cold and died from complications about a month later. Unlucky for him, but perhaps his discovery led to modern fridges as we know them.

10th – On this day, in 1982, Saturday Night Live asked viewers to vote whether to boil 'Larry the Lobster' or not. The audience voted to free him. And on the same day, in 1995, a smoking ban was implemented in New York for restaurants with more than 35 seats – an event that had a significant influence on dining out in the 'Big Apple'.

11th – This day, in 1986, marked the end of Kellogg’s tours of its breakfast cereal plant for fear that industrial spies would obtain company secrets.

12th – On a more current note, today marks the opening of the Cake International Fair, this year held in London from 12-14 April. It's a must-visit show for all cake enthusiasts, combining all the latest ideas, supplies, live competitions and demonstrations from the world of sugar-craft, cake decoration and baking.

13th – Happy Thai New Year! Today is the start of Songkran in Thailand. It's arguably the best time to visit, as the country hosts the world's biggest water fight. Although not strictly speaking a 'food date', it most certainly involves water - and lots of it. Be prepared for a drenching!

14th – On this historical date, in 1912, the British luxury liner, Titanic, struck an iceberg shortly before midnight. It sank at 2:20 am on April 15th. For most on board, that evening's meal would be their last.

15th – In 1955 on this day, the first franchised McDonald's was opened in Des Plaines, Illinois, by Ray Kroc, who bought the hamburger restaurant owned by the McDonald brothers. On opening day, a two-patty hamburger was 15 cents and French fries were 10 cents a portion. Not quite so today.

16th – This is St Magnus of Orkney Day, who is the patron-saint of fishmongers. So why not head down to one of Samui's many fresh seafood eateries in celebration.

17th – Oddly enough, today is National Cheese-ball Day in the USA. It's also National Pecan Nut Month, so grab a few of these tasty treats to snack on today.

18th – Again the USA celebrates a bizarre food item. Today is National Animal Crackers Day. Well OK then...

19th – Today is Garlic Day – now that’s something worth celebrating. Perhaps today isn't the best day to go on that first date then.

20st – The manned lunar module from Apollo 16 landed on the moon on this day, in 1972, confirming that the moon is not, in fact, made of cheese.

21st – In 1910 Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died. This American author wrote ‘Tom Sawyer’, and ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'. He's equally as well-known for his quotes, many of which seem beyond his time. Here's one relating to food, “Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”

22nd – On this day, in 1970, the first Earth Day was celebrated. Is our environment better or worse today, and can our Earth sustain our food resources?

23rd – In 1985 Coca-Cola announced it was changing its 99-year old secret formula. The new Coke was a big flop!

24th – Another one for the records list: On this day, in 1994, the world's largest lollipop was made in Denmark, weighing in at 1,365kg.

25th – On this day, in 1856, Charles Luttwedge Dodgson met a little girl named Alice Liddell. Alice had a habit of consuming unknown food, pills and liquids that she found while exploring a very large rabbit hole, often leading to bizarre consequences. You may know them better as Alice in Wonderland and Lewis Carroll.

26th – On this day, in 2006, Chicago banned the sale of foie gras. Whether you agree with the production method of this controversial delicacy or not, it's still widely available, including here on Samui.

27th – Today is Freedom Day in South Africa. What do most South Africans do on a public holiday? Well braai (BBQ) of course.

28th – On this day, in 1796, 'American Cookery' by Amelia Simmons was published in Hartford. It is the first cookbook written by an American, and is considered to be a classic.

29th – This marks the second wedding anniversary of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge. Having the royal chefs at their disposal, they're sure to be celebrating over a special dinner.

30th – We end the month with reference to a much-enjoyed food item. In 1792 John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, died. Captain Cook (another foodie name) named the Sandwich Islands (now known as Hawaii) after him. The story goes that he invented the sandwich as a quick meal so as not to interrupt his gambling sessions.


Rosanne Turner


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