May 9, 2021


For Everyone Else

The Unsung Influence of a Pioneering Food stuff Journalist

Kimberly Voss, a journalism professor at the University of Central Florida and the writer of “The Food Section: Newspaper Girls and the Culinary Community,” credits Nickerson with laying the basis for contemporary meals journalism. “She did a large amount of real reporting, which shouldn’t be surprising but is,” she instructed me, “because so a lot of early food stuff editors were just using recipes from food corporations and just placing them in the newspaper. Nickerson was wanting for recipes on airplanes and in eating cars and trucks on railways and in eating places and people’s households. She interviewed James Beard in his apartment. She was checking out new meals and technologies and science.”

In 1947, Nickerson broke information of an innovation in the world of hamburgers: the cheeseburger. “At 1st, the mixture of beef with cheese and tomatoes, which often are used, may possibly seem strange,” she wrote in The Occasions. “If you mirror a bit, you are going to fully grasp the mixture is sound gastronomically.” Two several years later on, she launched Instances viewers to the notion of “food writers” in an write-up about a push luncheon aboard the ocean liner Ile de France. She introduced environmentally friendly-goddess dressing to The Occasions, and steak Diane. “These recipes, these tales, Craig Claiborne — they do not exist without Jane Nickerson,” Voss explained.

Just after Nickerson resigned from The Instances to transfer to Florida with her relatives, Claiborne was named her replacement. She did not restart her journalism occupation right up until 1973, when she was named foods editor of The Ledger, in Lakeland, east of Tampa. (The newspaper was then owned by The Occasions.) That calendar year she also revealed “Jane Nickerson’s Florida Cookbook.” The e book is still in print and presents intriguing perception into her passions and reporting style. “It’s not so considerably a Florida cookbook as a Nickerson 1,” Voss said. “Her identify came very first.” There are recipes from dining establishments and mates, state employees and members of the Seminole Tribe. Nickerson traces the roots of her chopped eggplant salad to a Greek community in Tarpon Springs and characteristics her recipe for pickled shrimp to Mary Connect with Collins, the wife of a former governor of Florida. It is an idiosyncratic collection. Her recipe for orange-​coconut layer cake is the one that won next prize in the All-Florida Orange Dessert Contest in 1960.

I especially like her recipe for Florida lime pie, which, like its a lot more renowned cousin, the Essential lime pie, relies on the sweetened condensed milk that was a godsend for Florida cooks in the times ahead of refrigeration. It’s prosperous, creamy and tart, baked in a pastry pie shell instead than a graham-cracker a person and topped with whipped product. To me it preferences of Florida sunshine.

Nickerson died in 2000, about a thirty day period after Claiborne. His obituary ran on the entrance page of The Situations. Nickerson’s was on the 25th website page of the C segment. “Her legacy is in her recipes,” Voss advised me. “You just have to glimpse for them.”