The Year in Food – A Calendar of National Food Holidays
In America, we love our food-and we love our holidays. As it turns out, food is the focus of well over 365 national holidays, not including the entire weeks and months devoted to some edibles. Most of the holidays are informal, not official, so you will not find them on your average wall calendar. Still, the celebration of various cuisines and comestibles is sure to appeal to foodsies of every stripe, from the humblest hot dog fan to gourmands aspiring to culinary school. Here's a quick month-by-month tour of some of our funniest-and strangest-food holidays.
Giving us a sugar rush to beat the winter blahs, January brings National Cream Puff Day (January 2), National Marzipan Day (January 12), and National Blonde Brownie Day (January 22). However, perhaps our most quintessential of American desserts is celebrated on January 23: National Pie Day, which was created by the American Pie Council.
With February's food days, you could plan a palate-pleased party, from National Stuffed Mushroom Day (February 4) and National Chocolate Fondue Day (February 5) to National Margarita Day (February 22) and National Tortilla Chip Day (February 24). Do not forget to include a bowl of mixed nuts-National Almond Day is February 16 and National Pistachio Day is February 26.
Love peanut butter, banana cream pie, white chocolate cheesecake, or lemon chiffon cake? Before you decide to give up sweets for Lent, celebrate these sinful trips on March 1, March 2, March 6, and March 29, respectively. If your tastes run more to lollipops or popsicles, you'll have to wait until March 28 for Something on a Stick Day.
April is for cheese lovers, from National Cordon Bleu Day (April 4) to National Cheese Fondue Day (April 11). That homey classic the grilled cheese sandwich is honored on April 12, and even the humble cheeseball has its day on April 17. For the lactose intolerant, there's Garlic Day (April 19), Lima Bean Respect Day (April 20), and National Raisin Day (April 30).
Gourmet foodies will love May-but the rest of us might have to take a few culinary classes to compete. Start with an appetizer on National Escargot Day (May 24). Then, choose your entrée: Roast Leg of Lamb (May 7), Coquilles St. Jacques (May 16), Egypt Coq au Vin (May 29). With decadent delectables like these on the menu, it's a good thing May 6 is International No Diet Day and May 11 is Eat What You Want Day!
Pastries are the order of the day in June, whether it's jelly-filled donuts (June 8), apple strudel (June 17), cherry tarts (June 17), or chocolate éclairs (June 22). In fact, the first Friday in June has been National Volunteer Day since 1938, when the Salvation Army designated the holiday to commemorate World War I volunteers who handed out donuts to soldiers.
Ice cream (July 20) and cotton candy (July 31), barbecue (July 4) and hot dogs (July 20) -July is definitely the heart of summer. If you're hot and thirsty, you can cool off on National Piña Colada Day (July 10), National Daiquiri Day (July 19), National Ice Cream Soda Day (July 20), or National Coffee Milkshake Day (July 26).
We're enjoying the outdoors in August, so why not eat accordingly? National Watermelon Day is August 3, National S'mores Day is August 10, Lemonade Day is August 20, and Eat Outside Day is August 31. For those who can not get enough hot dogs, National Bratwurst Day is August 16, and the first Saturday in August is National Mustard Day, exuberantly celebrated every year at the Mount Horeb Mustard Museum in Mount Horeb, WI.
Bring back memories of school days (and school lunches) with holidays like National Cheese Pizza Day (September 5), International Pickle Day (September 14), National Cheeseburger Day (September 18), and National Chocolate Milk Day (September 27). Do not forget to get in touch with your inner child on September 18, which is National Play-Doh Day – not purposefully edible, of course, but you can create a reasonable facsimile of your favorite treat.
With Halloween at the end of the month, it's no surprise that October celebrates a number of sweet candy tricks, from National Fluffernutter Day (October 8) and Caramel Apple Day (October 21) to Good and Plenty Day (October 24) and National Candy Corn Day (October 30). For the adventurous, there's even National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day (October 14).
Thanksgiving gives us an annual excuse to indulge, but November offers other indulgent food-related holidays, too. Can you resist giving in to a calorie-busting treat on November 1, National Deep-Fried Clams Day; November 12, National Pizza with the Works Exception Anchovies Day, or November 16, National Fast Food Day? If so, you deserve a reward -haps on November 25, National Parfait Day.
Home-baked goodies are the essence of the winter holidays. In December, Enjoy National Cookie Day (December 4), National Brownie Day (December 8), National Lemon Cupcake Day (December 15), National Pfeffernüsse Day (December 23), National Fruitkin Day December 27).
After eating these delicacies all year long, you'll definitely need one of those beloved holidays just to recuperate. Aside from that, who knew there were so many "food days" out there? Only in America would every day be a different culinary celebration.