Indiana Culinary Arts Timeline
A compendium of Hoosier food facts:
The first commercial winery in the United States was founded by J.J. Dufour, on the hills overlooking the Ohio River in Indiana. Mr. Dufour named the town that was developing around his winery Vevay after his hometown in Switzerland.
Herman Hulman of Terre Haute produced a formula for the commercial production of baking powder, and sold it through his family's wholesale grocery business, Hulman & Company.
Farmers have been selling their produce at the Lafayette Farmers' Market since 1839. Fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers and more are sold from May through September at this oldest continuously run farmers' market in the Indiana.
Indiana's first cookbook, Mrs. Collins' Table Receipts Adapted to Western Housewifery, was published in 1851 by J.N.O. Nunemacher in New Albany.
After refining his baking powder formula, Herman Hulman introduced "Clabber Baking Powder". Hulman & Company added the word "Girl" to the name in 1923, along with a shingle-haired young cook on the label, and the Clabber Girl brand became the #1 selling baking powder in the U.S.
Nick Freinstein put pork schnitzel on a bun and sold it from a pushcart in Huntington. The Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich was born and became a signature Hoosier food, still lovingly served at the restaurant that Nick moved into with the proceeds from his street cart sensation, now called Nick's Kitchen.
McCord Candies opened for business on the town square in Lafayette, and began production of their signature candy canes. The candy store still stands at and produced 26,000 for worldwide consumption in 2006.
Ralph Sechler began his family pickle business in St. Joe, Indiana with his wife Anne hand-packing pickles in their kitchen. Sechler's Pickles grew out of the house, but are still made by the third generation Sechlers on the original farm and are sold across the country.
The Taggart Baking Company of Indianapolis launched a 1.5 pound loaf of white bread. Inspired by the International Balloon Race at the Indianapolis Speedway, V.P. Elmer Kline named the new bread "Wonder" after the being awestruck by the hundreds of colorful balloons in the sky over the Speedway. The balloon logo and the name "Wonder Bread" became part of kitchen culture all over America.
Steuben County's Pokagon State Park opened and the Potowatami Inn began serving meals to resort visitors in the lodge overlooking the lake. The artist Helen Aldrich Swenson managed the Inn with her husband Ben from 1936-1948.
Canned tomato juice was developed by Walter Kemp of Kemp Brothers Canning Company in Kokomo. Mr. Kemp invented the beverage as a nutritious baby food at the request of a physician for use in a St. Louis clinic.
The Rev. Ira E. Weaver began bagging and delivering his homegrown popcorn in Grant County. Today Weaver Popcorn covers thousands of acres planted in the U.S. and Argentina and is sold in 90 countries. Ira's grandchildren and great grandchildren carry on his legacy in the family-owned business.
Triple XXX started as a root beer stand with a secret recipe in Lafayette. Part of the original stand is still in use today, making Triple XXX the oldest drive-in in Indiana. Purdue students and alumni have made the rootbeer a tradition, and it is shipped wherever Boilermakers live in the U.S.A.
Charles Kirkhoff opened The Frozen Custard in Lafayette. Frozen custard was a new kind of premium ice cream product made fresh and featuring 10% butterfat and egg yolks with carmelized sugar. The fourth generation of the Kirkoff-Lodde family still owns and operates the walk-up or drive-in restaurant at the same location on Wallace Street.