Discover Trader Joe’s key role in introducing fun and unusual foods into the American diet decades ago, when the company was already encouraging the non-health food store shopper to try “better for you” versions of already-popular foods. Wyshak compares items featured in a 1982 flyer to how we eat now to show TJ’s importance in creating a nation of adventurous food lovers. Continue reading →
Gus Flesor came to the United States from Greece in 1901. His journey led him to Tuscola, Illinois, where he learned the confectioner’s trade and opened a business that still stands on Main Street. Sweet Greeks sets the story of Gus Flesor’s life as an immigrant in a small town within the larger history of Greek migration to the Midwest. Continue reading →
“The basic Chicago dog has its own ingredients,” said Dennis Foley about the “Magnificent Seven” of mustard, onions, relish, tomatoes, pickle (or cucumber), sport peppers and celery salt that should top a dog with snap in a steamed bun. Continue reading →
Presented by Mike Sula, Senior Writer, The Chicago Reader
Mike’s favorite stories were about the people on the edges of the city’s food system; the oddballs, the uncelebrated, the immigrants cooking for their own—and especially the people willing to break the law to put food on the table. There was Shirley the Muffin Lady, making the rounds of the bars with baskets full of weed-spiked treats. Continue reading →
Presented Samuel Klee, Ph.D. candidate (Program in conjunction with the Highland Park Historical Society)
During World War II, some
farmers in Marengo, Illinois negotiated with a large food corporation and
federal agencies to make local farm fields into restricted, prison-like spaces.
When the Curtiss Candy Company brought Japanese-Americans from the Tule Lake
Internment Camp in California to cultivate and pick potatoes in 1943, the
Marengo community struggled with the federal government and the candy company
to eliminate the outsiders’ presence.