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One legendary fixture on the Titanic was a gregarious popcorn vendor known as Popcorn Dan (Coxon). He was one of America’s first food truck operators and a highly successful purveyor of popcorn.

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He was lost on the Titanic and his body was never recovered, although a NY Times article claimed it was him when it wasn’t

Coxon lived an interesting life. He resided in a Queen Anne house on the Wisconsin river, which people thought was haunted. He dressed in a fur-lined coat and loved to maintain a flashy appearance. But he was still a working-class man. For that reason, our culinary spotlight on him is a staple of laborers in the early 20th century (now it’s a delicacy)—Tripe and Onion Soup

Culinary Spotlight: Tripe and Onions

  • 3 1/2 pounds tripe
  • 1 pig or cow trotter (foot), cut in half
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons oil and 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 6 medium-size onions, peeled but not cut
  • 6 potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 3 Tablespoons mild or medium curry powder (optional)
  • 1 cup good vegetable stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 Tablespoons corn flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley or 1/2 cup chopped coriander

Cut the tripe into bite-size pieces and wash very well. Clean the trotter well. Put into a large pot and cover with water. Boil for 5 minutes, throw the water off, and cover with clean water again. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, and pepper and simmer for about 4 to 4ó hours. The tripe must be tender and the meat should fall off the bones. Stir now and then to prevent the tripe from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add a little water if needed.

While the tripe is simmering, add the oil and butter to a saucepan. Add the onions and potatoes. (Add the curry powder at this point, should you so wish). Sauté for ten minutes. Be careful not to burn. They must just be nicely coated. Add the stock and simmer until onions and potatoes are almost cooked. Set aside.

When the tripe is just about cooked, add the potatoes and onions and stir in. Cook for another 30 minutes. Add the milk and simmer slowly for about 15 minutes, then thicken with corn flour and water mixed to a thin paste. If serving the plain tripe, sprinkle with parsley. If serving the curried tripe, sprinkle with coriander.

About the Producers of the Series

Veronica Hinke is an expert in Food History & Culinary Narrative. She is the author of the acclaimed historical novel “The Last Night on the Titanic: Unsinkable Drinking, Dining & Style).” Veronica is passionate about sharing her love of history, culinary arts and most of all…. people. “Every food story I’ve ever written, always, at the core of each one, ended up being about the people, and that doesn’t seem to change. My book, “The Last Night on The Titanic,” is no different. Those stories of hope and resilience…I think that’s why the Titanic story is still alive today.”

Veronica’s mouthwatering books, short stories and magazine articles explore food history and the delicious culinary narratives that take you back in time. My heart calling is writing, teaching and speaking about the art of storytelling.

 

 

Scott Michael Rank, Ph.D., is the editor of History on the Net and host of the History Unplugged podcast. A historian of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, he is a publisher of popular history, a podcaster, and online course creator.

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Read Scott’s Full Bio.

Cite This Article
"Last Night on the Titanic: The Popcorn Vendor" History on the Net
© 2000-2020, Salem Media.
June 5, 2020 <https://www.historyonthenet.com/last-night-titanic-popcorn-vendor>
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