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Gilded Age Food Poetry (II)

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A cowboy poet/singer in the early 20th century talking about the glories of evaporated milk:

Carnation milk, best in the lan’
Comes to the table in a little red can.
No teats to pull, no hay to pitch
Just punch a hole in the sonofabitch.

Carnation was founded in 1899, so I assume this was relatively soon after it. It’s quoted in David Nye’s Consuming Power: A Social History of American Energies, but without a date.

Canned food was central to the cowboy diet. For that matter, canned food dominates most food narratives of the 19th century American West. The idea of living off the land was mostly a myth. Living off the land is really hard. Opening canned food is very easy. Which would you choose.

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