A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 27, 2019
Watergate Cake

Entry in progress—B.P.

Watergate Salad is another food named after the Watergate scandal.

Wikipedia: Watergate scandal
The Watergate scandal was a major American political scandal that lasted from 1972 to 1974, following a burglary by five men of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972, and President Richard Nixon’s subsequent attempt to cover up his administration’s involvement. After the five burglars were caught and the conspiracy was discovered—chiefly through the work of a few journalists, Congressional staffers and an election-finance watchdog official—Watergate was investigated by the United States Congress. Meanwhile, Nixon’s administration resisted its probes, which led to a constitutional crisis.

The term Watergate, by metonymy, has come to encompass an array of clandestine and often illegal activities undertaken by members of the Nixon administration.

Atlas Obscura—Gastro Obscura
Watergate Cake
Beneath its “cover-up” of icing, this dessert hides a bunch of nuts.

By Rachel Rummel
As companies were pushing instant foods in the 1950s and ’60s, dishes like fruit salads got makeovers. When “pistachio salad” debuted, the only fruit inside was canned pineapple—mini marshmallows, chopped nuts, pistachio-flavored pudding, and Cool Whip made up the rest.

By the 1970s, housewives transformed the salad into cake with the addition of white cake mix, vegetable oil, and club soda. They also swapped out the pineapple and mini marshmallows for pecans (or sometimes walnuts) and sweetened, dried coconut flakes. They frosted their finished creations with pistachio pudding–laced Dream Whip.

Some time after President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974, both dishes were renamed Watergate salad and Watergate cake. With a “cover-up” of green icing or pudding hiding a bunch of nuts, each treat offered a bright, sweet counterpoint to one of the most shocking periods of modern political history.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Friday, September 27, 2019 • Permalink