Here’s How to Eat Like a Weary Traveler from the 1700s

By Mike Pomranz |

YouTube Screenshot

Everyone’s favorite rock star of 18th century cooking is back. No, I’m not talking about your grandma. (I’m not sure if that is a zinger or a compliment to your grandma.) Jonathan Townsend of Jas. Townsend and Son, Inc. has once again donned his tricorne hat and gathered his shopping list – consisting largely of things from (cough) Jas. Townsend and Son, Inc. (hey, YouTube videos won’t pay all the bills!) – for another excitingly mild-mannered episode of 18th Century Cooking!

Many of Townsend’s recent videos have focused on centuries-old takes on foods we still eat today like fried chicken and pancakes. But this week, he focuses on a decidedly old-school item: Journey Cakes – so named because these portable food items were often “served at taverns for weary travelers.” I guess you could consider it, like, the 1800s version of a 7-Eleven Monterey Jack & Chicken Taquito.

The specific recipe Townsend whips up this week was included in a collection of recipes from 1770 and couldn’t be much easier to make: The ingredients are just whole hominy, flour, milk and salt. Sure, that might seem kind of boring, but they were made by tavern workers, not Michelin-starred chefs. Plus, the travelers they were sold to were weary; you can sell weary people anything. Why do you think infomercials run in the middle of the night?

Still, Townsend says the final product has a “wonderful, nice salty corn flavor… just like I like really.” Though, to be fair, he also likes wearing the same clothes as George Washington. Maybe just grab a bag of Bugles instead.


Video Section