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Tired of the sporadic and outdated food holidays that were quietly celebrated each year--most of which were created by food companies to market their products--blogger John-Bryan Hopkins decided to revamp food celebrations and spice them up with his own favorite foods. Creating a food holiday for every day of the year, Hopkins launched Foodimentary.com, which became an immediate overnight success with Google adopting his bespoke calendar. With thousands of fans across multiple platforms, Foodimentary.com is the number-one go-to resource cited by numerous magazines, newspapers, and websites to definitively know which food is being celebrated and when.
Mixing Hopkins' online success with fun food facts, forgotten histories, and classic recipes, while folding in scrumptious illustrations and rare photographs, Foodimentary is a festive jubilee of America's culinary roots and inventions, from today's more recent novelties, such as Ranch Dressing Day (celebrated on March 10), to popular dishes of yesteryear such as National Thermidor Day (celebrated on January 24). Whether enjoyed a la carte or consumed in one sitting, get ready to be swept into a twelve-month course created exclusively by Foodimentary.com
Foodimentary is an online entity that unites foodies across the world. The Foodimentary philosophy is one of eating well to live well, but in a relaxed atmosphere that is different from that of the gourmet or the uptight nutritionist. Good local eating, quality ingredients, health tips, and fun facts are the substance of Foodimentary's many online expressions. It began as a twitter page which quickly grew and is now upwards of 100,000 members. Foodimentary was also the first-time user of a few twitter hash tags including #dailyquote and #todaynfood. The twitter page recently won a shorty award in the #food category.
John-Bryan Hopkins describes in detail the history of the word Foodimentary in a press release. "Two years ago I came up with the word 'Foodimentary,' I Googled it and it came up 'Misspelled.' Now I Google it and there are hundreds of pages," said Hopkins. "I think it's great to create a word and then make it have meaning. How many people get to do that? I am so humbled that so many people care about facts and information about the food they eat. There is room for a little Foodimentary knowledge in everyone's life. Don't you think?" Foodimentary continues to grow as an online presence, expanding to facebook and creating its own website. An Urban-Dictionary entry was created for Foodimentary on July 2, 2009. It has also been referenced in several online publications including Philebrity, SlashFood, and Epicurious The Foodimentary Guy, John-Bryan Hopkins, has begun to work his way into the public spotlight through local and national media. He was recently mentioned on the Wendy Williams Show as a useful source of food trivia and culture. It is reasonable to expect this new word to spread around the internet quickly over the next few years.
Awards, Rankings, and Growth
Shorty Awards winner in the Food category.
Top 100 tweet quality on twitter rank 
Social News Watch's likely to Follow Back
Top 55 Foodies to Follow on Mashable
Top 250 in VIRL
Ranked 168 on Whuffie
Featured on Canadian Morning Show, CTV
TweetValue's 5th most valuable twitter profile.
Urban Spoon top contributor.
Topsy's top rated list.
Nominated for a 2009 Shorty Award
Other Foodimentary Works
I Tweet You Not
Ask The Foodie
I Eat Local
- ISBN-13: 9781577151531
- ISBN-10: 1577151534
- Publisher: Wellfleet Press
- Publish Date: September 2017
- Page Count: 352
- Dimensions: 8.1 x 8.1 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
A nostalgic celebration of food
Despite the title, John-Bryan Hopkins’ Foodimentary: Celebrating 365 Food Holidays with Classic Recipes isn’t quite a calendar or a cookbook. The first entry is “Peanut Butter Lover’s Day” on March 1, and from there the book covers everything from the Aztecs and Incas to health-food pioneer Dr. John Kellogg to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
The January 1 entry, many chapters later, is not about black-eyed peas, soba noodles or lentils but a specialty concoction for “Bloody Mary Day.” It is one of many holidays that Hopkins shamelessly admits to having personally anointed. “I looked up all sorts of recipes going back to the 1910s and ’20s,” he says. Ultimately, Hopkins makes his Bloody Mary with vodka, for those into such spirited debates.
Foodimentary—inspired by Hopkins’ popular blog, foodimentary.com—is what he calls a celebration, a daily indulgence and an appreciation of food, culture and nostalgia. It’s also an evocation of Hopkins’ own story, “fleshed out” with recipes, vintage photographs and delightful trivia.
“It’s how I wanted to tell my tale,” says the Birmingham native, “with as much layering as I could bring to it.” It’s comfort food in both senses, a hometown story alongside his favorite dishes.
Hopkins, whose blog began in 2005, came up with the Sherlock Holmes-inspired name during a freewheeling and slightly inebriated post-dinner conversation. Ironically, he had a mild bias against blogs because he felt they tended to be about the blogger, not the subject. He styles himself more as the wizard behind the delicious and decadent curtain. When he discovered the word “foodimentary” was free and clear of copyright, he took it as a sign.
Hopkins’ goal is to lead his readers to their own food-inspired “A-ha!” moment: “When you learn a fact about a food or recipe you think, oh, that makes sense!”
For Foodimentary, Hopkins originally tested 176 recipes, which have been whittled down to a few dozen highlights. Some are personal favorites; others, such as Eggs Benedict, are classics. There’s also his own “personal best” dish, an extra-savory take on grilled cheese featuring sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and sautéed mushrooms on baguette slices.
Altogether, Hopkins estimates he’s introduced the world to around 150 national food holidays. So many, in fact, that one of his proudest achievements is that Google has taken up his food calendar. Foodies can sign up for his daily alerts that include food trivia along with fun historical facts, like his salute to bologna and its Italian origins.
Some holidays are comparatively serious (September 25 honors the multitude of waiters, busers, servers, dishwashers, chefs, etc. in the food service industry) while others are more akin to guilty pleasures. We have “Cheez Doodle Day,” March 5; “Pizza and Beer Day,” October 9; and “Whiskey Sour Day,” August 25 to name a few. This reviewer is looking forward to both the soft and hard taco days, October 3 and 4, respectively, though it seems like October 5 should probably be Alka-Seltzer Day instead of “Apple Betty Day.” While the ubiquitous and beloved fall flavor, pumpkin spice, is seasonally celebrated on October 1, sometimes Hopkins eschews tradition in favor of his own agenda. For example, August is famously among the months when it is considered inadvisable to eat oysters. Perhaps flaunting the all-season convenience of our modern age, he has assigned Oyster Day to August 5.
Adding to the nonstop fun are the trivia questions in the sidebars. The word “zucchini” may translate from Italian into “small squash,” but a full-grown fruit can grow the size of a baseball bat—no doubt thanks to the same food science that allows us to eat oysters year-round. Peanuts have more antioxidants than either green tea or spinach; Brits like to enjoy pigs in a blanket on Thanksgiving; ramen noodles were taken into outer space; Italy is the world’s largest exporter of caviar. This is a book that could easily be displayed in the kitchen or on a coffee table for visitors to leisurely graze.
One of the more intriguing elements of Foodimentary is that the illustrations are by four different artists, one for each season, which are harmonious without being identical. “I wanted each season to have a slightly different feel as you travel through the book,” Hopkins, a former interior designer, says. “I didn’t want the concept just to be about a series of days, I wanted [the nostalgia] to visually rise up under a seemingly simple premise.”
Now that his whimsical almanac has gone public, Hopkins is stirring up ideas for a second book. He envisions a more serious reference title, though still accessible: “Need a quick substitute in a recipe? Don’t go to Google, go to Foodimentary.” He managed most of his first book’s text in six weeks, so followers may not have to wait too long.
Speaking of whimsy, Foodimentary begins with March because spring is Hopkins’ favorite food season. He says it’s the “best time to me to celebrate food.” Hey—it worked for the Romans.