Archive for Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Every food has its day

Lobster, jelly doughnuts and dry martinis among consumables on industry’s quirky holiday calendar

May 31, 2006

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Happy National Macaroon Day!

Or, if you prefer: Merry National Hazelnut Cake Day Eve!

What? You didn't realize the festive season? Didn't buy presents for your friends and family?

Don't worry. There will be plenty of other reasons to celebrate.

Just in the upcoming week, there are days designated for celebrating rocky road ice cream, eggs, cheese, frozen yogurt, cognac, gingerbread and applesauce. Also this month, you can celebrate lobster, dry martinis, fudge and apple strudel, as well as more than two dozen other foods.

In fact, throughout the course of a year, there's pretty much a day, week or month celebrating every type of food.

These holidays aren't exactly recognized by Congress. But they are set by trade groups, fan clubs and, sometimes, just by tradition - enough that they're widely (or sometimes narrowly) recognized and revered.

"It makes sense within reasonable limits, but goes way over the top when we see things like National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day," says Larry Rappoport, a retired Kansas State University professor and author of "How We Eat: Appetite, Culture and the Psychology of Food."

"Is there any law that would forbid me, for example, from buying ad space to announce National Bagel and Lox Day?"

Actually, too late. National Bagel and Lox Day is Feb. 9.

Mark your calendars

Every dog has its day, and so do hotdogs (July 21).

There's a season for seasoning - June 10, Herb and Spices Day.

You can celebrate simple foods (National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day, April 24) and fancy foods (National Caviar Day, July 28).

There's fun for young (Cotton Candy Day, Dec. 7) and old (Prune Breakfast Month, January).

The holidays appeal to the health-conscious (Eat Your Vegetables Day, June 17) and those who aren't (Corn Chips Day, Jan. 29).

You can celebrate celery (March), party for pastrami (Jan. 14) or toast toast (March 23).

Sometimes, the dates make sense. Dec. 24 is National Egg Nog Day, for example. And there are at least six days devoted to ice cream during June, when the weather is turning hot.

Sometimes, the dates are perplexing. Why celebrate guacamole on Sept. 16, when having it coincide with Cinco de Mayo or the Super Bowl might make more sense?

Or why is June National Turkey Lovers' Month, when so much of it is consumed at Thanksgiving?

It's mostly a matter of supply and demand, says Scott Beyer, coach of K-State's nationally ranked poultry judging team.

"Why promote turkey in a month when everyone is buying them?" he says. "Promote them when prices are traditionally low and bird sales are slow, and that's June for turkeys. June is grilling time, and chicken, beef and pork lead the way on your backyard grill, while turkey is left out."

Serious business

That's also why Stacy Dohle and the dairy princesses will be busy during June, which is Dairy Month.

Dohle is industry relations manager for the Midwest Dairy Assn. The dairy princesses are pageant winners from across the country who vie to be the official royalty of ricotta, among other duties.

June has been Dairy Month since 1937, Dohle says. When schools let out for the summer, they stop buying those cardboard cartons of milk, and consumption goes down.

So Dohle and the princesses will be convincing newspaper reporters to write stories about dairy products, organizing farm tours and arranging in-store promotions.

"It's always a busy time for us," Dohle says. "It's just kind of a way for us to use a month to showcase some of the promotions we have."

Cheers!

So, if you're looking for an excuse, go ahead and celebrate your food next month.

Maybe it means an extra glass of iced tea on June 10. Or some peaches and cream on June 21. Or a dollop of tapioca on June 28.

Or maybe, if you're a pecan-lover, go nutty - June holds both National Pecan Sandy Day (June 23) and National Praline Day (June 24).

Bob Russell owns a pecan grove near Perry, but he won't be celebrating. He notes that his pecans won't be ready for picking for another four months.

"Sounds like they're trying to create interest in dead time," he says.

But, he adds: "There's enough holidays without adding those."


















































Enter the J-W recipe contest

Want to celebrate the food holidays of June in style? Join in on the Journal-World's June Food Holiday Recipe Contest. Here's the goal: To come up with a dish using as many foods celebrated in June as possible. The rules: You can either invent the recipe yourself or steal it from another source. And it has to be ruled edible - don't, for instance, expect us to believe you'd really eat "strawberry-rhubarb pie with turkey covered in a jelly doughnut-cheese sauce." Send submissions to Terry Rombeck at trombeck@ljworld.com, or mail them to 645 N.H., Lawrence 66044. The winner will be featured in an upcoming Journal-World story. Here are the food holidays that are celebrated in June, according to www.tfdutch.com, a Web site dedicated to off-the-wall holidays: ¢ National Candy Month ¢ National Dairy Month ¢ National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month ¢ National Iced Tea Month ¢ National Papaya Month ¢ National Seafood Month ¢ National Turkey Lovers' Month ¢ Donut Days (first Friday and Saturday) ¢ National Hazelnut Cake Day (June 1) ¢ National Rocky Road Ice Cream Day (June 2) ¢ National Egg Day (June 3) ¢ National Cheese Day (June 4) ¢ National Frozen Yogurt Day (June 4) ¢ National Cognac Day (June 4) ¢ National Gingerbread Day (June 5) ¢ National Applesauce Cake Day (June 6) ¢ National Chocolate Ice Cream Day (June 7) ¢ Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day (June 8) ¢ National Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Day (June 9) ¢ Herbs and Spice Day (June 10) ¢ National Iced Tea Day (June 10) ¢ National Black Cow Day (June 10) ¢ National German Chocolate Cake Day (June 11) ¢ National Peanut Butter Cookie Day (June 12) ¢ National Strawberry Shortcake Day (June 14) ¢ National Lobster Day (June 15) ¢ National Fudge Day (June 16) ¢ Eat All Your Veggies Day (June 17) ¢ National Apple Strudel Day (June 17) ¢ National Cherry Tart Day (June 18) ¢ National Dry Martini Day (June 19) ¢ National Vanilla Milkshake Day (June 20) ¢ National Peaches and Cream Day (June 21) ¢ National Chocolate Eclair Day (June 22) ¢ National Pecan Sandy Day (June 23) ¢ National Pralines Day (June 24) ¢ National Strawberry Parfait Day (June 25) ¢ National Chocolate Pudding Day (June 26) ¢ National Indian Pudding Day (June 27) ¢ National Orange Blossom Day (June 27) ¢ National Tapioca Day (June 28) ¢ National Almond Butter Crunch Day (June 29) ¢ National Ice Cream Soda Day (June 30)

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