You can thank inventor, Joseph Lee for that crispy casserole topping

What do homemade meatballs and crab cakes, crispy-topped casseroles, and crunchy fried shrimp all have in common? They all benefitted from one man’s interest in creating a perfect breadcrumb. Joseph Lee (born in 1849), an African-American son of slaves, was a pioneer in the automation of bread and bread crumb making, overcoming the poor odds he was dealt as a young boy. Held in bondage in the South for much of his youth, Lee eventually became a servant in Beaufort, South Carolina, then served for 11 years as a steward in the U.S. Coast Survey, where he picked up an affinity for bread making. By the early 1880’s the self-taught chef and baker owned two successful restaurants in the Boston area. By the late 1890s, Lee owned and managed the Woodland Park Hotel in Newton, MA, and opened a catering business called the Lee Catering Company, serving wealthy Boston clientele. He also operated the…

Pineapple on pizza? Canadian man credited with inventing Hawaiian dies at 83

The Canadian man who is widely credited with inventing Hawaiian pizza, setting of the world-wide debate over whether the fruit has the right to top a pie, died last week at the age of 83. Sam Panopoulos was born in Greece and emigrated to Canada in 1954 at the age of 20. He told BBC that he made the first “Hawaiian” pizza in 1962 at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario, as a fun experiment. “We just put it on, just for the fun of it, see how it was going to taste,” Panopoulos told the BBC. “We were young in the business and we were doing a lot of experiments.” Panopoulos said he and his brothers liked the sweet and savory contrast between the ham and the pineapple, and that they named it “Hawaiian” after the brand of canned pineapple they used. Pineapple on pizza became a trending debate earlier this year when the…