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Watch: How to Make Wine-Battered Fried Beets From the 18th Century

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A bar snack from the past

Whether it's fish, potatoes, pickles, or Twinkies, Americans love a fried food. In the 18th century, a popular snack was fried beets with a crispy wine batter. This video shows how they're made.

The recipe comes from Richard Bradley's 1727 cookbook The Country Housewife and Lady's Director, and it's a pretty simple process. Blanch and slice the beets; dip them in a white wine batter seasoned with clove, salt, and pepper; dredge them in flower; and fry them in bacon fat (though, the recipe calls for lard). The finished product is tasty enough to impress our historian chef, who isn't really a fan of the root vegetable.

"It think fried up, it definitely removes a lot of the things that I dislike about beets," he says in the video. "The very, very earthy flavor, which I find distasteful, is really subdued in this, and the batter is excellent."

"Fried Beets" from 1727 [YouTube]
All Video Interludes [E]


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