A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 23, 2009
Baking Soda

Entry in progress—B.P.


Wikipedia: Sodium bicarbonate
Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slight alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda (sodium carbonate). It is a component of the mineral natron and is found dissolved in many mineral springs. The natural mineral form is known as nahcolite. It is also produced artificially.

Since it has long been known and is widely used, the salt has many related names such as baking soda, bread soda, cooking soda, bicarbonate of soda. Colloquially, its name is shortened to sodium bicarb or bicarb soda. The word saleratus, from Latin sal æratus meaning “aerated salt”, was widely used in the 19th century for both sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate. The term has now fallen out of common usage.

History
The ancient Egyptians used natural deposits of natron, a mixture consisting mostly of sodium carbonate decahydrate and sodium bicarbonate. The natron was used as a cleansing agent like soap.

In 1791, a French chemist produced sodium bicarbonate as we know it today. But it was only in 1846 that two New York bakers, John Dwight and Austin Church, developed the process of making baking soda from sodium carbonate and carbon dioxide. Each started a company, and the two companies later merged to form Church & Dwight, the makers of Arm & Hammer baking soda.
(..)
Cooking
Sodium bicarbonate is primarily used in cooking (baking) where it reacts with other components to release carbon dioxide, that helps dough “rise”. The acidic compounds that induce this reaction include phosphates, cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk, cocoa, vinegar, etc. Sodium bicarbonate can be substituted for baking powder provided sufficient acid reagent is also added to the recipe. Many forms of baking powder contain sodium bicarbonate combined with one or more acidic phosphates or cream of tartar.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Main Entry: baking soda
Function: noun
Date: 1862
: sodium bicarbonate
(...)
Main Entry: sodium bicarbonate
Function: noun
Date: 1885
: a white crystalline weakly alkaline salt NaHCO3 used especially in baking powders and fire extinguishers and in medicine as an antacid —called also baking soda bicarbonate of soda

(Oxford English Dictionary)
soda
Sodium bicarbonate, used largely for domestic purposes; baking or cooking soda.
1851-4 Tomlinson’s Cycl. Usef. Arts I. 183/1 Mix the soda perfectly with the flour.
1893 Westm. Gaz. 21 Apr. 5/2 A half cwt. of soda could be bought for 3s.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Friday, January 23, 2009 • Permalink