About a year ago, I started what I intended to be an occasional series about landmark food-related moments in history. Then I forgot and, although Amanda and I have certainly written about food’s role in history since then, I haven’t returned to my original idea—until now. “Occasional” can mean once a year, right?


Inspired by the fact that it is Bastille Day, the celebration of French independence. I could have started with our own Independence Day, 10 days ago, since the Boston Tea Party of 1773 was a defining food-related moment in the run-up to the American Revolution. Although the term Tea Party has recently been co-opted by groups who oppose taxes in general, or who feel they are taxed too much (or for dubious purposes), the original Tea Partiers’ complaint was against taxation—including high tariffs on tea—without representation in British Parliament.