By Emily Beck
As the Twin Cities prepares to host the 2018 National Football League (NFL) championship game, many locals are busily planning their party menus.
From chicken wings to bacon-wrapped smokies, Minnesotans know how to feed a crowd.
We’re taking an old approach to current favorites with some historical recipes that are ready for a comeback: chicken wings, cheese straws, pretzels, and bacon-wrapped shrimp.
Chicken wings from 1662
Everyone knows that chicken wings are a Sunday football classic. Here is an old and exciting take on this favorite dish.
From the James Ford Bell Library, curator Marguerite Ragnow suggests “A Frigacy of Rabbets or Chickens,” from Salt and fishery, a discourse thereof by John Collins. Published in London in 1682, this cookbook is already a classic, and is sure to impress.
“Take two Rabbets, quarter them, break all their Bones, clap them into a large Frying-Pan with a Cover, into which put a pint of White-Wine, a pint of fair-Water, half a pound of Bacon thin sliced, two Anchovies, a small bunch of Sweet-Herbs to the value of a farthing, chpt small, two pennyworth of Capers. Let all these simmer or gently fry an hour, then take half a Porringer of the Broth, beat it up with the yolks of six boyled Eggs, put all in a Dish, and squeeze on the juyce of a Lemmon.”
If you’d rather use a modern, chicken-based version of this recipe, Marguerite has kindly provided an updated recipe.
Forget cheese curls, try some cheese straws
“A Frigacy of Rabbets or Chickens” will pair well with other finger foods at your Big Game party. For our next selection, cheese curls inspired the selection of a recipe for cheese straws from the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine.
This cheese straws recipe comes from an English manuscript recipe book from the 1830s. Emily Beck, Assistant Curator at the Wangensteen Historical Library, has made this recipe and confirms that they are pretty tasty.
Even more exciting, this manuscript recipe book is a new acquisition for the library, so it isn’t in the catalog yet! Here’s your exclusive preview of the cheese straws recipe to impress your friends and family.
You are sure to score the winning goal when you serve some soft pretzels alongside your 19th-century cheese straws.
Megan Kocher, curator of the Kirschner Cookbook Collection, thinks these cheesy pretzels are great for any NFL championship game party.
Add some bacon
Of course, no party is complete without bacon. Thankfully, Kocher also found this 1937 recipe for “Bacon Roll with Shrimp,” an upscale version of bacon-wrapped smokies that would be a hit at any Big Game celebration.
That’s six points for the University Libraries’ selection of underdog foods from the past that are sure to win your hearts this year.
Visit the James Ford Bell Library, the Wangensteen Historical Library of Biology and Medicine, and the Kirschner Cookbook Collection for additional historical NFL football party food, as well as for your historical research.
Many of the Wangensteen’s handwritten recipe books have been digitized in case your interested in adding some additional old recipes to your game.