This event is truly as American as apple pie.
Sarah Lohman, a historical gastronomist and creator of the FourPoundsFlour blog, will present a free lecture on the history of pumpkin and apple pie at King Manor Museum in Jamaica on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 3 p.m. She will also discuss her forthcoming book, “Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine,” which explores black pepper, chili powder, curry powder, garlic, MSG, soy sauce, Sriracha, vanilla and these ingredients’ impact on the history of the United States.
This lecture is truly a labor of love. Originally from Cleveland, Lohman started cooking historic food with a wood-burning stove at age 16. For her undergraduate thesis at Cleveland Institute of Art, she opened a restaurant that reinterpreted Colonial era cuisine for the modern dining scene. Lohman moved to New York City in 2006 and currently works with cultural venues – including the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Lower East Side Tenement Museum — to create programs about food.
Despite the hype, apple pies weren’t invented in America. The first recorded recipe dates to 14th century England, although it call for using dates, raisins, and saffron. A 1514 Dutch cookbook contains the first recipe that is very similar to those of today.
Meanwhile, pumpkins were first cultivated in Central America, and they became very popular in Europe after explorers brought them back to their home countries, starting in the 16th century. Recipes for pumpkin pie appear in 17th century cookbooks from several European countries.