Cornell University & HarborChase: Engaging Community Together

Posted By on July 15, 2019

While you may not think about it, chicken was not as popular a dish as it is today. In the 1950s that all changed, thanks to a professor at Cornell University. Founded in 1865, Cornell University has always had a positive impact on the surrounding community, much like HarborChase Senior Living, and the two continue to have a long-standing and positive relationship.

The Year Summer Changed

In 1950, Dr. Robert C. Baker, Professor Emeritus of the Department of Animal Sciences at the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, changed the way the United States chose to barbecue by publishing Barbecued Chicken and Other Meats. Baker saw a massive opportunity that most overlooked: chicken. At the time, Americans mostly preferred pork and beef over chicken, and Baker decided he wanted to change that. Though most of his ideas did not catch on, he came out with various recipes and methods that are still used to this day.

While you may have never tried chicken bologna, chicken hot dogs, or chicken salami, you’ve likely eaten chicken nuggets. Baker invented the prototype for chicken nuggets that would eventually become the chicken nugget we know today! In addition,, Baker worked to create a new method of modified atmosphere and vacuum packaging that changed the way we shipped and processed chicken. 

The Sauce

Cornell Chicken Barbecue Sauce was Baker’s first victory and is what he is best known for in the region. Even though Baker’s recipe is simple, it was almost required at every summer social event to guarantee guests:

  • 1 pint of cider vinegar
  • 1 cup of cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 egg

The egg was the essential ingredient, as it allowed the sauce to stick to the chicken. While the recipe may seem simple compared to some of the barbecue sauces we have today, it changed the game. Many people were scared of using the egg in the sauce due to the microbes in an egg. While the concerns were legitimate for this time, the concerns have since been dealt away with. Obviously, in today’s cooking world, we have a plethora of barbecue sauces at our disposal, but without Cornell University or Robert C. Baker, this would likely not be the case. 

A Culinary Legacy

Robert Baker was known by many; even former President Bill Clinton heard of his chicken and sought out his booth, Baker’s Chicken Coop, during the 1999 New York State Fair. While you may not know his name, you likely enjoy his inventions. Cornell University is known for bettering the community it surrounds and for shaping the young minds who attend class within its walls.

At HarborChase Senior Living, we stick closely to the model of Cornell University by bettering our community and nurturing those within our walls. If you’re interested in joining a vibrant and luxurious community, look no further! HarborChase provides an unparalleled level of care, with ample experiences and amenities. From our top-notch culinary team to our rich atmosphere, HarborChase delivers a one-of-a-kind experience to our community members. Find your ideal HarborChase community and start living your retirement the right way!

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