Sam OBrien's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
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Gastro Obscura
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ancient foods

Before Haunted Houses, There Were Hell Banquets

The macabre feasts have their roots in ancient Rome.
November 17, 2021
Gastro Obscura
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superstitions

Remembering ‘Witch Cakes,’ the Evil-Fighting Baked Goods of the 1600s

Are these cakes weapons against dark forces or just “spiky bagels”?
October 21, 2021
Gastro Obscura
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drinks

Ancient Drinking Games Ended With Wine Stains and Stabbing

Inebriated play, from ancient Rome to Tang Dynasty China.
October 19, 2021
Gastro Obscura
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home-cooked history

Eat Like a Medieval Saint With Her Recipe for 'Cookies of Joy'

St. Hildegard was a mystic, healer, and passionate proponent of spelt and nutmeg.
September 20, 2021
Gastro Obscura
story
cookbooks

Inside the Company Printing America's Community Cookbooks

Churches, scout troops, and clown collectives all depend on Morris Press.
September 10, 2021
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graves

How a Grave Cleaner Uncovers the Past

Alicia Williams's popular headstone-cleaning videos are also history lessons.
August 19, 2021
Gastro Obscura
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soda fountains and pharmacies

How the 'Boston Cooler' Became a Classic Detroit Drink

This sweet, creamy enigma dates back to the late 1800s.
August 4, 2021
Gastro Obscura
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entomology

The Chef Cooking a Cicada Recipe for Every Palate

From ceviche to caramel popcorn, Joseph Yoon is showing how Brood X can be a delicious part of your diet.
June 7, 2021
Gastro Obscura
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recipe

Making the Miraculous Cake of the Patron Saint of Bakers

Test your pastry-making prowess with gâteau St. Honoré.
May 14, 2021
Gastro Obscura
story
ancient foods

Why 18th-Century Scots Performed Mock Human Sacrifices Over Oatcakes

This May Day, make Beltane bannock, a simple snack with a long history of superstition and divination.
April 30, 2021
Gastro Obscura
story
curious kitchenware

The Macabre Mystery of a British Family's Skull-Topped Spoons

The 17th-century artifacts were likely christening gifts.
March 8, 2021
Gastro Obscura
story
home-cooked history

How a Breast-Shaped Cake Became the Symbol of a Sicilian City

History and legend collide in the story of one seriously suggestive sweet.
February 5, 2021
Gastro Obscura
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home-cooked holidays

The Flaming Cocktail Cauldrons of German Christmas

Make things boozy and bright with feuerzangenbowle.
December 18, 2020
Gastro Obscura
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home-cooked holidays

Detangling the Devilish Origins of Scandinavia's St. Lucia Buns

The story of this saffron-hued swirl has become as twisted as its dough.
December 11, 2020
Gastro Obscura
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home-cooked holidays

The Danish Christmas Porridge That Appeased a Vengeful 'House Elf'

Once a magical, murderous farmhand, the nisse has transformed into a beloved holiday figure.
December 9, 2020
Gastro Obscura
story
funeral food

The Lost Art of Swedish Funeral Confectionery

These beautiful mementos of mourning have all but disappeared.
October 29, 2020
Gastro Obscura
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midwest

Inside the Midwest's State Fair Historical Recipe Contest

From biscuits to cherry pie, these award-winning dishes tell family stories dating back to the 1800s.
September 11, 2020
Gastro Obscura
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women empowerment

'Pie for a Suffragist’s Doubting Husband' and Other Recipes That Fueled a Movement

Suffragist cookbooks wielded domesticity as a political tool.
August 18, 2020
Gastro Obscura
story
home-cooked history

Eat Like a 19th-Century Shaker With This Simple Lemon Pie

There’s never been a better time for this forgotten frugal classic.
May 15, 2020
Gastro Obscura
story
ancient foods

How to Make a 5,000-Year-Old Energy Bar

Eat like ancient Great Plains hunters with this simple recipe.
April 30, 2020
Gastro Obscura
story
funeral food

A Guide to the World’s Most Comforting Foods of Grief

In an age of distance, we can still connect in the kitchen to mourn, memorialize, and heal.
April 20, 2020
Gastro Obscura
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food shortage innovation

7 Wondrous Breads to Make When You’ve Had Enough Sourdough

There's a wide world of recipes that don’t require buying yeast.
April 10, 2020
Gastro Obscura
story
great depression foods

7 Historic Dishes Born From Tough Times That You Can Make at Home

Use every last crumb with these feats of culinary creativity.
March 30, 2020
Gastro Obscura
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parades

Every Year, Dresden Kickstarts the Christmas Season With a Four-Ton Cake

Sixty-three bakeries pitched in to build a mega-stollen.
December 17, 2019