Sunday, April 22, 2012

Food Holidays

I really enjoy so-called Food Holidays, and you'll see me providing recipes that fit them now and then. Obviously, none of them are actual US Holidays (partly because even federal holidays that are designated by Congress are technically not state holidays unless a given state chooses to participate). Some are official observances, designated by Congress, the President, or certain executive departments. These are generally calling attention to a food or food-related industry that's economically important to the US, which is why the US Department of Agriculture regularly selects foods to have their own special day.

As for the rest? Marketing. The pork industry can only get so far with slogans like "the other white meat" and "be inspired". Dairy farmers of America did great with "got milk?" but they need to remind the consumer of all the other things their cows produce. So their PR departments and marketing execs give us holidays that aren't holidays, excuses for us to eat their products and keep them in the forefront of our minds.

And I'm ok with that. There are more food holidays than there are days in the year, so we certainly don't celebrate all of them. At the beginning of the month I take a look at the food holiday calendar and if there's anything upcoming that I want to eat, I plan it for that dish's special day. In this house we enjoy our food, and silly little things like Lima Bean Respect Day (April 20th) are one more way to do that.

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