Week 23 of Dave Raymond’s American History course, you’ll be covering “Brother Against Brother: The War Between The States II” As the war progressed, the science of “healthy” vs “non-healthy” foods progressed as well, leading to some controversial opinions, opinions about cucumber salad!
The 1800s was a unique time for food and its evolution. New ingredients and techniques were being used in cookery, and more people were asserting their opinions about food’s health benefits and drawbacks. But just because those opinions were well-known and lauded as being the newest science doesn’t mean they were always correct. People were cautioned by culinary authorities and doctors to be wary of raw vegetables, as they could be unhealthy if not downright dangerous to eat as they were. Housewives and cooks were advised to cook the vegetables to make them edible. But General Ulysses S. Grant apparently decided to forgo the science in order to enjoy one of his favorite meals; a cup of coffee and a a raw cucumber, sliced.
- 1 large cucumber
- 1/2 of a large yellow onion, cut in half through root and stem
- 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/3 tsp. salt
- black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
- 1/8 tsp. dry mustard
- Slice the cucumber very thinly and place in large bowl. Peel and slice onion as thinly as cucumber and add to the bowl. In separate small bowl whisk vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar, and mustard. Pour over cucumbers and onions and toss to combine. Serve as soon as possible, as the salad tends to get soggy the longer it sits.