The Unsung Influence of a Pioneering Food Journalist

Kimberly Voss, a journalism professor at the University of Central Florida and the author of “The Foods Area: Newspaper Ladies and the Culinary Neighborhood,” credits Nickerson with laying the basis for contemporary food stuff journalism. “She did a ton of genuine reporting, which shouldn’t be shocking but is,” she advised me, “because so many early food stuff editors were just having recipes from foods corporations and just putting them in the newspaper. Nickerson was searching for recipes on airplanes and in dining automobiles on railways and in restaurants and people’s properties. She interviewed James Beard in his condominium. She was checking out new foods and technologies and science.”

In 1947, Nickerson broke news of an innovation in the planet of hamburgers: the cheeseburger. “At first, the mix of beef with cheese and tomatoes, which occasionally are applied, may possibly feel weird,” she wrote in The Situations. “If you reflect a little bit, you will fully grasp the combination is audio gastronomically.” Two many years later on, she launched Instances readers to the principle of “food writers” in an posting about a press luncheon aboard the ocean liner Ile de France. She brought environmentally friendly-goddess dressing to The Occasions, and steak Diane. “These recipes, these tales, Craig Claiborne — they really do not exist with out Jane Nickerson,” Voss explained.

Immediately after Nickerson resigned from The Instances to transfer to Florida with her family, Claiborne was named her substitute. She did not restart her journalism profession right up until 1973, when she was named food editor of The Ledger, in Lakeland, east of Tampa. (The newspaper was then owned by The Moments.) That year she also posted “Jane Nickerson’s Florida Cookbook.” The guide is continue to in print and features intriguing perception into her interests and reporting model. “It’s not so significantly a Florida cookbook as a Nickerson a single,” Voss stated. “Her identify came initial.” There are recipes from dining places and good friends, state workforce and customers of the Seminole Tribe. Nickerson traces the roots of her chopped eggplant salad to a Greek group in Tarpon Springs and attributes her recipe for pickled shrimp to Mary Simply call Collins, the wife of a former governor of Florida. It is an idiosyncratic selection. Her recipe for orange-​coconut layer cake is the one that received next prize in the All-Florida Orange Dessert Contest in 1960.

I particularly like her recipe for Florida lime pie, which, like its much more famed cousin, the Vital lime pie, depends on the sweetened condensed milk that was a godsend for Florida cooks in the times right before refrigeration. It is wealthy, creamy and tart, baked in a pastry pie shell somewhat than a graham-cracker a person and topped with whipped product. To me it tastes of Florida sunshine.

Nickerson died in 2000, about a thirty day period just after Claiborne. His obituary ran on the front website page of The Periods. Nickerson’s was on the 25th website page of the C portion. “Her legacy is in her recipes,” Voss explained to me. “You just have to seem for them.”

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