Welcome to Missouri Week, our second state on our virtual road trip. We've got various avenues of exploration for this state such as Tom Sawyer and the Arch in Saint Louis and Kansas City barbecue (the best in the nation, by the way). But let's start our family exploration a bit further back... Back to 1904 when Saint Louis hosted the World's Fair and the Summer Olympic Games at the same time.
Check out the 1904 World's Fair Society's site that gives lots of great info, including the origins of the saying "Coming down the Pike" -- referring to the entertainment avenue at the fair. See HERE FOR PIKE INFO. But for our family menu planning and learning about the state, we need not look further than the foods that -- if not created at the fair -- were touted and introduced to a wider audience at the world's fair.
Seems the ice cream cone was invented at the fair, according to this web site. (There's part of dessert for our Missouri meal!)
Popular drinks at the fair were iced tea and a newer soda called Dr. Pepper. Waco, Texas, is the actual birthplace of the carbonated drink.
So if you were one of the 20 million at the fair, you could get a quick meal like a"dachshund sausage" on a bun that somewhere along the way turned into the "hot dog." The fair seems to be the first time these links were served with French's Cream Salad Mustard. The 1904 World's Fair Society web site also debunks the hamburger discovery at their fair, tracing that food creation to 1885 in Hamburg, New York. Though the society's research shows a Texan by the name of Fletch Davis set up a concession stand at the Pike selling a ground beef patty between two slices of homemade toast and stuffed with a raw onion slice. And the Tyrolean Alps Restaurant there also offered a Hamburger Steak, Plain or a Hamburger Steak, with Onions, according to the Fair Society.
And for a sweet treat, the fairly new glossy and sugary spun sugar treat called Fairy Floss (what we now called cotton candy) was sold for a quarter a box.
And check this link for adult and children's books based at St. Louis' Louisiana Purchase International Exposition and other World's Fairs at librarybooklists.org including an American Girl historical mystery called "The Minstrel's Melody" and the classic film "Meet Me in St. Louis."