Obscure Food Holidays – June

papaya-day-instawaresThe month of June is home to Father’s Day and Flag Day, but there are many other holidays and special observances that are less widely known. Check out this collection of obscure food-related holidays as we prepare for the official start of summer:

National Papaya MonthThe papaya is a nutrient-rich fruit that is most commonly found in South America. The culinary uses of papaya are typically limited to smoothies, fruit salad, and salsa, but papaya is also found in powdered meat tenderizers, as it contains papain, an enzyme that is used for breaking down proteins. Celebrate this month by trying several papaya recipes, or watch Disney’s The Jungle Book and sing along with Baloo as he compares the papaya to a prickly pear in “The Bear Necessities.”

Turkey Lovers MonthNearly 700 million pounds of turkey are consumed every Thanksgiving day in America, but true turkey lovers eat this protein-rich bird year-round. Did you know that 3 ounces of boneless turkey breast contains more protein than 3 ounces of beefsteak or chicken breast? Turkey also contains less calories and saturated fat than most cuts of pork, lamb, chicken, and beef. Learn more about this “perfect protein” at the Eat Turkey website.

National Doughnut DayIt doesn’t get much better than a freshly cooked doughnut, and the first Friday of June is dedicated to this deep fried dessert. Doughnuts are typically made of flour dough that is formed into a ring, deep fried, and then covered with various icings and toppings. To celebrate this deliciously diverse dessert, why not try making your own doughnuts at home? Try this recipe for crispy and creamy doughnuts from All Recipes.

June 6 – National Applesauce Cake Day
The sixth day of June is known as D-Day, when the Battle of Normandy began and the allied troops stormed the beaches in France. This date is also reserved for the observance of applesauce cake, a dessert that also has ties to American war efforts. During the World Wars, a sugar shortage resulted in the rise of artificial sweeteners and alternative recipes, and applesauce cake became popular. The applesauce is used as a sweetener and provides an incredible amount of moisture to this dessert. Check out this simple chocolate applesauce cake recipe from Hillbilly Housewife.

June 10 – National Black Cow Day
Despite the confusing name, this holiday is really quite simple.
Step 1 – Pour a nice, tall glass of root beer.
Step 2 – Drop a smooth scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
Step 3 – Enjoy your black cow!

June 13 – National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day
Do you often spill food in the kitchen, break plates by accident, or burn your hand on the stove? If so, then you’re a kitchen klutz, and this day is a celebration of your repeated failures! Today is the day when all kitchen accidents are forgiven, and the process of cleaning up after a mess becomes a party rather than a chore. Do you have any hilarious kitchen klutz stories? Let us know in the comments section below!

June 24 – National Pralines Day
Pralines are a creamy confection made of nuts and sugar syrup that are popular in the Deep South. Most pralines are made with pecans, but almonds and walnuts can also be used. Brown sugar, butter, and cream is heated up until thick. This mixture is then combined with nuts, spooned onto a slab, and then left to cool. Paula Deen has an excellent praline recipe, but the best pralines I’ve ever had came from River Street Sweets in Savannah, Georgia.

June 29 – National Almond Butter Crunch Day
This dessert holds the distinction of being the first candy to be stored in sealed tins. The air-tight seal  ensured that the contents remained fresh, making butter crunch candy extremely popular with troops during World War II. Crunchy almond brittle is covered with melted chocolate and drizzled with sliced almonds to create this delicious treat. Follow this recipe from Cowgirl Chef to celebrate this national holiday and experience the joy that this classic dessert brings.