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Americans Eat More Than Ten Billion Bowls Of Soup Every Year – Their Favorite Is Chicken Noodle Soup.

Having been nicknamed “the soup that won the war,” Pepper Pot has its very own day. National Pepper Pot Day is observed annually on December 29th.

  • The winter of 1777 – 1778 was brutal.  The Continental Army was fighting for the newly formed country of the United States of America.  As they were camped at Valley Forge on December 29th, 1777, George Washington asked the army’s chef to prepare a meal that would boost their morale and warm them.  The chef rounded up some peppercorn, small bits of meat, tripe and other ingredients and called it Pepper Pot Soup, also known as Philadelphia Pepper Pot Soup.
  • The soldiers were low on food because the farmers in the area had gone and sold all their supplies to the British Army for cash rather than the weak currency that the Continental soldiers could offer.
  • Christopher Ludwick, a baker general of the Continental Army, gathered whatever food he could scrounge together to feed the cold and frail soldiers.
  • The chef was able to find scraps of tripe, meat, and some peppercorn. He then mixed the ingredients together with some other seasonings and created the hot, thick, and spicy soup we now know as pepper pot soup. It quickly became known as “the soup that won the war.”
  • The soup gave the soldiers the warmth and strength that they needed to push the enemies back through the harsh winter weather.
  • In the early 19th century, artist John Lewis Krimmel depicted the pepper pot street vendor in Philadelphia with his painting, Pepper-Pot: A Scene in the Philadelphia Market.
  • Krimmel’s work was first exhibited in 1811 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The painting shows a barefoot black woman serving soup from a pot to white customers.
  • Pepper Pot shares the same name as soups in the Caribbean and is also credited to black Philadelphians. According to Catherine Clinton’s book on “Harriet Tubman” on page 46, “steaming peppery pot was served right on the street—a dish of vegetables, meat, and cassava, imported by West Indians”.
  • A can of condensed Pepper Pot soup was available from the Campbell Soup Company for around 100 years until it was discontinued in 2010.
  • A canned seafood Pepper Pot soup was formerly sold by Bookbinder Specialties, a gourmet soup manufacturer in the Philadelphia area.
  • Andy Warhol used Campbell’s canned version in a famous 1962 painting, sold 12 years ago for almost $12m.
  • The Philadelphia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America even began using the pepper pot as the symbol for its annual awards in 1968.
  • Food historians tell us the history of soup is probably as old as the history of cooking. The act of combining various ingredients in a large pot to create a nutritious, filling, easily digested, simple to make/serve food was inevitable. This made it the perfect choice for both sedentary and traveling cultures, rich and poor, healthy people and invalids.
  • Soup (and stews, pottages, porridge’s, gruel’s, etc.) evolved according to local ingredients and tastes. New England chowder, Spanish gazpacho, Russian borscht, Italian minestrone, French onion, Chinese won ton and Campbell’s tomato…are all variations on the same theme.
  • Advancements in science enabled soups to take many forms…portable, canned, dehydrated, microwave-ready.
  • “Pocket soup” was carried by colonial travelers, as it could easily be reconstituted with a little hot water. Canned and dehydrated soups were available in the 19th century. These supplied the military, covered wagon trains, cowboy chuck wagons, and the home pantry.
  • “The etymological idea underlying the word soup is that of soaking. It goes back to an unrecorded post-classical Latin verb suppare soak’, which was borrowed from the same prehistoric German root (sup-) as produced in English sup and supper. From it was derived the noun suppa, which passed into Old French as soupe. This meant both pieces of bread soaked in liquid’ and, by extension, broth poured onto bread.’ It was the latter strand of the meaning that entered English in the seventeenth century.
  • Until the arrival of the term soup, such food had been termed broth or pottage. It was customarily served with the meat or vegetable dishes with which it had been made, and (as the derivation of soup suggests) was poured over sops of bread or toast (the ancestors of modern croutons).
  • But coincident with the introduction of the world soup, it began to be fashionable to serve the liquid broth on its own, and in the early eighteenth century it was assuming its present-day role as a first course.”
  • Etiquette experts tell us we “eat,” rather than “drink” soup because it is considered part of the meal. Additionally, in most cultures soup is consumed with a spoon rather than sipped from the container.
  • What is the difference between soup and stew? On the most basic level there is no absolute difference. Like ancient pottage, both soup and stew descend from economical, easy, healthy, forgiving, and locally sourced family feeds. Throughout time, these two interrelated menu items converge and diverge. Modern American cultural context does, however, separate soup from stew quite simply. The test is not in the ingredients or method, but which course it is served. Soup is starter/accompaniment; stew is main course.
  • In 1897 Dr. John T. Dorrance, who was a chemist with the Campbell soup company, invented condensed soup.
  • The origin of word soup comes from the combination of two Sanskrit words suand po, which means good nutrition.
  • Americans eat more than ten billion bowls of soup every year and their favorite is chicken noodle soup.
  • In the U.K they love tomato soup.
  • There is evidence that shows soups were being served around 6000 BC.


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