Since I have, you know, tons of spare time I was doing a little browsing on the interwebs. I came across a cool web site called Food Timeline. The food timeline illustrates at what point in time certain food items were introduced into the human diet. I mean, we didn't exactly evolve eating Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese.
Mysteriously, this timeline dates back to 17,000 BC and reports that agricultural practices began in 10,000 BC. It seems that the first omnivores ate sheep, which horrifed me at first, because I kept thinking, holy crap, people ate SHEEP? And then I realized, oh yeah, people still eat sheep. We just don't call it sheep, we use euphamisms like "lamb chops."
If this timeline is accurate (and truth be told, I'm skeptical), 1950 is responsible for frozen pizza while the ice cream sandwich is a creation traced back to Renaissance-era English trifles and 18th century Charlottes, rich compositions of sweet cream and biscuits. When the Titanic was sinking in 1912, someone was in a very ambitious kitchen somewhere making Chicken a la King.
I was interested to see that Cobb Salad is fairly new, with a birth date in 1937, yet potato salad was eaten as early as 1597. Oddly, I noticed that the timeline had an entry for "Chinese Chicken Salad" but there was no mention of chicken salad in its purest form. For whatever, reason, I was curious about this, maybe since I'd recently made chicken salad and had a blog post on my mind.
I couldn't find a suggested date for the invention of chicken salad but I did find a great post from The Courageous Cook that put my mind at ease. At least I'm not the only blogger who's embarked on a self-satisfying quest to find out when chicken salad was invented.
Regardless of how old or how young it is, it's one of those recipes that I like because there are few rules and if you have chicken, you can make a chicken salad.
Crunchy Cranberry Chicken Salad
1/2 cup cooked chicken
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
2 Tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. tangy honey mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. curry powder, optional
Directions: Combine chicken, celery and cranberries in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk mayonnaise, honey mustard and curry powder. Stir chicken mixture into dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes one serving, but recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc.