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 December 18, 2007
Food for the Gods

"Food for the Gods” is not to be confused with ambrosia ("Food of the Gods"). made of fruits and coconut layers. Foor for the Gods contains dates, walnuts, and cracker crumbs.

The origin of Food for the Gods is unknown, but it is believed to be a Southern dish popularized in the early 1900s.


Cooks.com
FOOD FOR GODS
3 1/2 tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp. baking powder
1 scant c. sugar
1 pkg. dates
1/2 lb. English walnuts
3 eggs, beaten

Mix egg yolks and cracker crumbs, sugar, and baking powder. Cut dates and nuts, then add beaten egg whites. Bake 1/2 to 3/4 hour in slow oven. Serve with whipped cream.

2 July 1908, Sioux Valley News (Correctionville, Iowa), pg. 9, col. 5:
Food for the Gods.
Take two eggs, beaten separately; to the yolks add one cup sugar, two tablespoons cracker crumbs (salted), one pound dates and one pound English walnuts (chopped). Fold in the whites lightly. Bake in a long pan an hour in a moderate oven.

This will keep well and is a most delicious dessert with whipped cream or ice cream.

12 April 1911, Indianapolis (IN) Star, pg. 9?, col. 5:
FOOD OF THE GODS.
One pound of English walnuts and one-half of dates, chopped; two cupfuls of sugar, ten tablespoonfuls of cracker crumbs, two teaspoonfuls of baking powder, one-half dozen eggs. Mix baking powder with the crumbs and sugar, then add the walnuts and dates and the eggs well beaten. Pour the mixture in a pan about two inches in depth, that has been well greased and floured and bake one-half-hour. When cold serve with whipped cream. 
MRS. BENJAMIN SCOTT.
Clayton, Ind. 

Google Books
Modern Women of America Cook Book
compiled and edited by Anna Claire Vangalder
Rock Island, IL: Modern Woodman Press
1913
Pg. 126:
Food for the Gods.
One cupful chopped nuts, one cupful chopped dates, one cupful sugar, one teaspoonful baking powder, three eggs, three tablespoonfuls bread crumbs. Mix all the ingredients and bake for forty minutes. Put in a pan of water while baking. Serve with whipped cream.—Mrs. E. J. Francis, Lincoln, Neb.

Google Books
Housewives Favorite Recipes for Cold Dishes, Dainties, Chilled Drinks, Etc.
by White Enamel Refrigerator Co.
1916
Pg. 82:
FOOD FOR THE GODS
6 eggs.
1 c. sugar.
1/2 lb. dates.
1/2 lb. English walnuts.
6 crackers.
3 tsp. baking powder.

Beat the whites of six eggs to a froth and add a few grains of salt and one cupful of sugar, then the well beaten egg yolks. Cut into small pieces one-half pound of dates and one-half pound of English walnuts, and stir all together. Then ad six crackers rolled fine to make one tablespoonful crumbs and a heaping teaspoonful of baking powder. Bake in a slow oven and then break into small bits. Then take one pint of whipped cream and make a layer of the cake and then of cream and so on until all is covered with cream and smooth.
MRS. B. WAYNE, 611 W. THIRTY-THIRD ST., KANSAS CITY, MO.

22 July 1916, Duluth (MN) News-Tribune, pg. 5:
“Food for the Gods”—Beat together yolks of three eggs, add one cup sugar, four tablespoons cracker crumbs, two tablespoons milk, one cup walnut meats, one cup dates (chopped). Fold up in the stiffly beaten whites of three eggs. Add teaspoonful baking powder. Bakes 40 minutes in a slow oven. Serve with whipped cream. Serves nine persons. 

Google Books
Aunt Caroline’s Dixieland Recipes
by Emma and William McKinney
Chicago, IL: Laird & Lee, Inc.
1922
Pg. 95:
FOOD FOR THE GODS
One cup of sugar,
One-fourth pound of dates,
One-fourth pound of nuts,
Three tablespoonsful of cracker crumbs.
Beat whites of three eggs stiff and add one heaping teaspoonful of baking powder and the above ingredients. Cut the dates and almonds into small pieces. Put mixture in a pudding pan set inside of a pan of water and bake in oven one hour. Cover while cooking. Serve with cream.

19 October 1922, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, pg. 12:
For M. B. J.:
Food for the Gods Dessert:
Cream together the yolks of three eggs and one cup of granulated sugar; add the broken meats from one-half pound of English walnuts (measured before shelling), then stir into the mixture one heaping teaspoon of baking powder mixed with five rounded teaspoons of fine cracker crumbs (ground almost to dust). Now add one-fourth pound of dates chopped, and fold in the stiffly-beaten whites of three eggs. Spread this batter in a buttered cake pan and bake for one hour in a very slow oven. Cut in squares and serve with whipped cream piled on top. Mock whipped cream may be used if desired; this is simply egg-white beaten stiff with a tablespoon of jelly then sweetened.

9 November 1922, Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram, pg. 12:
Food for the Gods Dessert (Contributed): “One cup of sugar, one-fourth pound of dates, one-fourth pound of almonds and three tablespoons of cracker crumbs. Beat whites of three eggs stiff and add one heaping teaspoon of baking powder, then add the ingredients mentioned above. (The dates and almonds should be cut into small pieces.) Turn the mixture into a pudding pan, place the pan in a large pan containing a little water, and bake in a moderate oven for one hour, covered. Serve with cream.”

Here is another recipe for this dessert, sent me by “H. H. C.” in response to a request for it from “M. B. J.” which I recently published:

“Food for the Gods: One cup granulated sugar, one cup nuts (hickory nuts, black walnuts, English walnuts or pecans may be used), one cup of dates seeded and cut fine, one teaspoon of baking powder, three and one-half teaspoons (heaping) of cracker or bread crumbs, and three eggs. It is not necessary to beat the eggs; simply mix them well with the other ingredients. Bake quickly, then cut into squares and serve with whipped cream. Some prefer to bake this in a well greased and floured muffin pan.”

“M. F. B.” has also sent a recipe for Food for the Gods: “Three tablespoons of sugar, one-half cup of corn sirup, three eggs (yolks and whites beaten separately), seven heaping tablespoons of bread crumbs, one level teaspoon of baking powder, one package of dates chopped, and one cup of chopped English walnuts. Bake 45 minutes in a slow oven. Serve with whipped cream. This recipe serves eight people.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (1) Comments • Tuesday, December 18, 2007 • Permalink


Hi thanks for posting the Food for the Gods recipes. I have been looking for this for a long time. I have been making this since i was little girl.but I was doing it from memory of my great grandmother’s recipe..the last few years it hasnt been coming out quite the same.I have looked for this exact recipe.there are alot of different ones out there.. my greatgrandmother said that her mother brought this recipe from Germany abt 1895. We only make this for Christmas.. our whole family loves it. thanks again for making it possible for me to find it again. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Karen

Posted by Karen  on  12/11  at  03:11 PM

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