In 1987, the United States’ Congress declared the month of March as Women’s History Month. It is a celebration of women’s contributions to history and society. Thousands of women throughout history have paved the way and broken glass ceilings in various different industries.
Today we are looking at women in the food industry, which can be one of the toughest industries to work in. Here’s a look at some females who have changed the way we look at food.
Bringing French Cuisine To The American Public
Julia Child was a famous chef, author, and television icon who lived from 1912-2004. Best known for bringing her love of French cuisine to the American people. Her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, introduced French cooking to the American home, making fine cuisine accessible. Her popular cooking series, The French Chef, captured audiences with her authenticity, off-beat style and unflappability.
Not many people know that Julia Child was a spy during World War II, working for the Office of Strategic Services. The OSS was a precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency. While stationed in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), she met her husband, Paul Child. Paul was the first to introduce Julia to fine cuisine. She studied at the Cordon Bleu in the late 1940s, after Paul accepted a Foreign Service position in Paris. There she met Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, her eventual co-authors for Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
In 1981, she founded the American Institute of Wine & Food to “advance the understanding, appreciation and quality of wine and food”. In 2007, Child was posthumously inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. Julia Child’s memory lives on through her various cookbooks and her syndicated cooking show. In honor of Julia Child and Women’s History Month, try one of her iconic French recipes this month.
Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies. Ruth Graves Wakefield invented the iconic cookies in 1938. Legend has it she chopped up Nestle chocolate and added the pieces to her butter drop cookie recipe. Wakefield owned the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts. And she was also an accomplished chef and published a cookbook entitled Toll House Tried and True recipes. The Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookie recipe was included for the first time in the 1938 edition of the cookbook.
The Chocolate Chip cookie’s popularity grew during WWII when soldiers from Massachusetts received care packages from home and shared those cookies with soldiers from other states. America’s craze for the chocolate chip cookie grew. Wakefield was inundated with requests for her cookie recipe.
Nestle gained permission to print the recipe for Toll House Chocolate Chip cookies on every bag of its semi-sweet morsels. In return, Wakefield received a lifetime supply of chocolate from the company.
We All Scream For Ice Cream
In 2002, Jeni Britton Bauer founded Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, an innovative ice cream brand centered around artisanal ice cream. 19 years later, there are 53 scoop shops located in 16 states. Britton Bauer has released two cookbooks, one of which won a James Beard Award in 2011. Technomic estimated 2019 sales to be at $42 million.
Endorsed by the international nonprofit B Lab, Jeni’s is a Certified B Corporation. Meaning the company meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Jeni’s is working towards a zero waste model. Currently 95% of what you buy in a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Scoop Shop is reuseable, recyclable or compostable. Also, in 2018, Jeni pledged her company to assist with the nonprofit She Should Run. This organization is on a mission to get 250,000 women to run for elected office by 2030.
Make sure to treat yourself to some artisanal ice cream to commemorate Women’s History Month.
Oh Yes Way Rosé
Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir, two lifelong friends living in New York, quickly realized that their shared near-obsession for sipping blush colored wine on summer nights was not unique to just the two of them. So, in 2013, they decided to launch their lifestyle and wine brand, Yes Way Rosé, as a result of their shared love of rosé and “the happiness, humor, and positivité that rosé wine inspires.”
They have now grown their brand to make their own rosé products and a stylish line of products that aim to spread summery, blush colored, millennial craving, rosé vibes to all and have coalesced a following of other like-minded rosé enthusiasts along the way. It’s the no. 1 French canned wine, the no. 2 sparkling French rosé, and the no. 4 French rosé in America. Even though it’s not quite summer-time, drink Yes Way Rosé all day and all of March as a cheers to Women’s History Month.
Organic and GMO-Free Snacks
Founder, Nicole Bernard Dawes was pregnant with her first son in 2002 and could not find organic saltine crackers. This led to the creation of Late July Snacks. The brand is focused on organic, GMO-free, yet amazingly delicious chips and crackers.
Now, almost 20 years later, Late July Snacks has transformed into a multimillion dollar company, offering more than just your typical crunchy snack from sriracha fresca yellow corn chips, to bite-size cheddar cheese cracker, to her original product of healthy saltines. Popcorn, salsas, and potato chips have also made it into the product line.
Late July prides itself on producing delicious organic snacks and is also devoted to charitable work. The company donates 10% of its overall profits to organizations dedicated to bettering the environment and children’s causes. Host a Women’s History Month celebration party featuring guacamole and Late July Chips found here.
No matter how you decide to honor Women’s History Month this March, it’s inevitable that you will be hungry at some point throughout the 31 days of the month.
Want an easy way to recognize an important holiday, while also feeding yourself? Give us a shout to see how we can help you enjoy food products from these female foodie pioneers. Your stomach and the matriarchy will thank you later.