Provisions: Hooray for Holidays!
Who knew that January 26th was National Peanut Brittle Day? Well according to Foodimentary™, the website that recognizes and celebrates food holidays 365 days a year, today is the day to get your sweet nutty on.
In celebration of this one day of the year where it’s perfectly fine to go a little nuts, here are a few snappy facts from the peanut gallery at Foodimentary:
“Brittle”, a flat hardened sugar candy, is thought to be one of the first candies ever made.
Peanut brittle made with corn syrups & nuts began appearing in cookbooks around the 19th century.
Because we find peanut brittle recipes most commonly in American cookbooks, it is generally recognized as an American recipe.
The history of peanut brittle is tied to Tony Beaver, a lumberjack folk hero. In the story, Tony Beaver creates peanut brittle when he stops a flood using peanuts and molasses.
Turns out there’s a food holiday for every day of the year, and if your Club does long-range social event planning, why not sprinkle in some fun foodie events among the big perennial crowd pleasers of Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Fourth of July to keep your membership engaged and active?
A steady, well-planned schedule of food holiday events can provide fresh, unique, and innovative opportunities for members to enjoy their Club. After all, with a 24/7 roster of per-diem food fêtes there is little inspiration needed to whip up a good party, special happy hour, new member marketing mixer, or food-focused addition to an existing golf, tennis, spa, or fitness event.
Days past, special food observance days were most often determined by Presidential decree or national and state legislatures. Today, these holidays mostly come about by way of petitions from trade associations, farmers unions, and public relations and marketing firms that offer up their proclamations for comestibles to be promoted. As a result, local and regional food specialties--New Mexico chilis, Georgia peaches, Chicago deep-dish pizza--can enjoy multiple days of observance from a variety of constituencies and organizations.
Celebrating and highlighting food holidays that focus on your area’s local foodways can even become part of your Club’s brand identity and marketing strategy.
Are you a Club in the Carolinas? May 10th is “National Shrimp Day”, the perfect time to feature your signature shrimp and grits with a special dinner and cooking class. Michigan celebrates their beloved cherry growing heritage on “National Cherry Pie Day”, February 20th. Clubs in the Great Lakes State can roll out a cherry pie eating contest and bake sale for a fun mid-winter icebreaker.
So take a look at the months in your event planning pipeline and start prep on a food celebration agenda! Your Club’s “National Lobster Roll Day” or “National Taco and Tequila Day” celebrations can become not only eagerly anticipated traditions, but events that put the everyday to profitable use.
I'll leave you with this quote for Peanut Brittle Day:
“A fanatic is a nut who has something to believe in.”
~ Dean Koontz
Chef Mary Howley is the culinary consultant to the RCS Hospitality Group and a former Executive Chef of her own catering company, several country clubs, and fine dining restaurants. She studied throughout Europe and honed her skills on the East Coast working with a myriad of culinary styles. She had the honor to serve as research and development chef for Food Unlimited, and held the position of Pastry Chef in two James Beard Dinner Events. Contact her at mary@consultingRCS.com or visit the RCS website at www.consultingRCS.com.