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National Fruit Cake Toss Day & More Food History

Quote for Today: “Wonderful. Gives a whole new meaning to flour power. You’ll undoubtedly change the world, one fruitcake at a time.” Kimberly Frost

National Fruit Cake Toss Day

It’s been less than a week since I’ve written about the joys of Fruit Cake. I recommended that everyone give them a second chance. Tales were told that homemade Fruit Cakes could be so good that children would ask for them as presents. Apparently, some people just don’t want to change.

Today, January 3rd is National Fruit Cake Toss Day. Every year residents of Manitou Springs Colorado compete by hand, sling shot, or even cannon to see how far they can toss the Holiday treat that these snow bunnies just don’t want to eat. This event first took place in 1995 and has since grown into a huge festival that attracts contestants from all across the country. Along with tossing for distance, they also hurl for accuracy and if you are brave enough there is a Fruit Cake Catching Contest. Several hotels and inns will provide you with heavy Fruit Cakes to use during the event and free coaching is given by all.  Watch previous event on YouTube.

Pierre Athanase Larousse, Today in Food History, Roadtrips R UsOn another note Pierre Athanase Larousse died on this day (1875) in Paris. As a teenager he won a scholarship to a teaching school in Versailles. Four years later he returned to his hometown of Toucy France and began teaching in a Primary School. It didn’t take him very long to find the traditional methods of teaching very frustrating. In 1851, he met Augustin Boyer another frustrated teacher. Together they founded the Librairie Larousse creating modern textbooks for children and new manuals for teachers emphasizing the pupils creativity and independence. On December 27th 1863 they came out with the first volume of the Great Universal 19th-Century Dictionary. This volume was praised by Victor Hugo and was an instant hit.

Pierre spent the rest of his life working on the dictionary. His final tally ended up being fifteen volumes. Years later some of his works were put together and edited by Prosper Montagné with Prefaces by Georges Auguste Escoffier and Philéas Gilbert. The book was translated into English in 1961 and is known as the World’s Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia. Ask your favorite chef what he thinks about it. Buy one and you will find it hard to put down.

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