4th of July gives us all a chance to slow down and revel in the awesomeness of summer. Whether you like sitting out in the summer heat with a cold one, or spending cool summer nights in the hot tub, summer has definitely got something for everyone. With Independence Day right around the corner, chances are food will play a big part in the festivities, particularly barbecue. And when it comes to grilling, the 4th of July is the most popular weekend in the whole year to do so!
Fun food facts:
--There is a 1 in 3 chance that any hot dogs or pork sausages consumed on July 4th will originate in Iowa. Iowa is home to nearly one third of the whole nation's total of hogs and pigs!
--Who doesn't love a good ole' American hot dog?! According to TIME magazine, Americans eat about 20 billion hot dogs a year! That averages out to about 70 hot dogs per person, per year!
--You can thank California for the lettuce you put on your hamburgers or in your salads...they make up for nearly 75% of American lettuce production!
--We all know we like to cool down in the heat of a summer day with some delicious ice cream, but how many pounds of it do you think Americans consume each year? The answer is 4.3 BILLION pounds...wow!
--One of my personal favorite desserts-pie-actually didn't used to be spelled "pie." Researchers have found early 12th century writings spelling the word "pye"...interesting!
--If you're a carnivore during your 4th of July celebrations, you'll be interested to know the word "steak" comes from the Saxons and Jutes, where the Saxon word "steak" comes from their word "steik" which means "to roast meat on a stick"!
--According to to Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, 4th of July beats out any other holiday for grilling outdoors...more than Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Fathers Day! Also, 87% of "All American Homes" have an outdoor grill.
--The US Census Bureau states that the week before the 4th of July approximately 700 million pounds of chicken are bought in preparation for festivities!
--Just be careful when handling those sparklers on the 4th...July 4th is America's NUMBER ONE beer drinking holiday on which we buy, serve, and drink beer--still beating out Memorial Day, Labor Day, and even the Superbowl!
The 4th of July throughout History:
--Did you know back in 1776 when the US was a newly independent nation there was about 2.5 million people living here...now the population is about 318.9 million!
--History,com tells us Americans have technically been celebrating the 4th of July since 1777, but the first official event at the White House wasn't until 1801, when Thomas Jefferson opened the doors to the world and served "bowls of punch and plates of sweets" at his huge party.
--The national animal almost wasn't a bald eagle?! That's right, Benjamin Franklin tried diligently to get the national animal to be the turkey, but in the end, was outvoted by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who obviously chose the bald eagle.
--Benjamin Franklin even wrote about his displeasure about the bald eagle being chosen stating "He is a Bird of bad moral character. He does not get his Living honestly," he wrote. "You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk." "A turkey," Franklin went on to argue, "is a far more respectable bird." "Turk'y… [is a] true original Native of America," Franklin wrote. "He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."
--Strangely, most of our nations flags and patriotic paraphernalia in relation to the 4th of July is produced in China. The US spends about $349 million dollars each years importing flags, banners, decorations, etc.
--The stars on the original American Flag where actually in the shape of a circle, to ensure all colonies were seen as equal.
--Perhaps my favorite little known fact of all--according to legend, when John Adams and his wife Abigail sat down for their first 4th of July meal, they actually ate turtle soup, New England poached salmon with egg sauce, green peas, and boiled new potatoes in jackets, and the followed the meal with dessert with a traditional Native American pudding...how cool!
So now the big question is...what do we do in Knoxville on July 4th?!
World's Fair Park holds an AMAZING celebration from 4pm-10pm that is free to the public and holds a wide array of family friendly activities, entertainment, and treats. Throughout the day you'll hear great music, have great food and hopefully have a great time! This event is rain or shine, and, of course, there will be fireworks at the end starting about 9:40! Parking is also free, and they ask you do not bring any pets, alcohol, tents or any kind of canopies. Visit their website HERE for all the info you need!
Comment below with YOUR favorite 4th of July traditions, foods, and celebrations...we'd love to hear them!!!