Kimberly Voss, a journalism professor on the College of Central Florida and the creator of “The Meals Part: Newspaper Girls and the Culinary Neighborhood,” credit Nickerson with laying the inspiration for contemporary meals journalism. “She did numerous precise reporting, which shouldn’t be surprising however is,” she instructed me, “as a result of so many early meals editors had been simply taking recipes from meals firms and simply placing them within the newspaper. Nickerson was searching for recipes on airplanes and in eating vehicles on railways and in eating places and folks’s properties. She interviewed James Beard in his condominium. She was exploring new meals and applied sciences and science.”
In 1947, Nickerson broke information of an innovation on the planet of hamburgers: the cheeseburger. “At first, the mixture of beef with cheese and tomatoes, which typically are used, could seem weird,” she wrote in The Occasions. “In the event you replicate a bit, you’ll perceive the mixture is sound gastronomically.” Two years later, she launched Occasions readers to the idea of “meals writers” in an article a few press luncheon aboard the ocean liner Ile de France. She introduced green-goddess dressing to The Occasions, and steak Diane. “These recipes, these tales, Craig Claiborne — they don’t exist with out Jane Nickerson,” Voss stated.
After Nickerson resigned from The Occasions to maneuver to Florida together with her household, Claiborne was named her alternative. She didn’t restart her journalism profession till 1973, when she was named meals editor of The Ledger, in Lakeland, east of Tampa. (The newspaper was then owned by The Occasions.) That yr she additionally revealed “Jane Nickerson’s Florida Cookbook.” The e-book continues to be in print and affords fascinating perception into her pursuits and reporting type. “It’s not a lot a Florida cookbook as a Nickerson one,” Voss stated. “Her title got here first.” There are recipes from eating places and buddies, state staff and members of the Seminole Tribe. Nickerson traces the roots of her chopped eggplant salad to a Greek neighborhood in Tarpon Springs and attributes her recipe for pickled shrimp to Mary Name Collins, the spouse of a former governor of Florida. It’s an idiosyncratic assortment. Her recipe for orange-coconut layer cake is the one which gained second prize within the All-Florida Orange Dessert Contest in 1960.
I notably like her recipe for Florida lime pie, which, like its extra well-known cousin, the Key lime pie, depends on the sweetened condensed milk that was a godsend for Florida cooks within the days earlier than refrigeration. It’s wealthy, creamy and tart, baked in a pastry pie shell reasonably than a graham-cracker one and topped with whipped cream. To me it tastes of Florida sunshine.
Nickerson died in 2000, a few month after Claiborne. His obituary ran on the entrance web page of The Occasions. Nickerson’s was on the twenty fifth web page of the C part. “Her legacy is in her recipes,” Voss instructed me. “You simply should search for them.”