A look back at the history of takeout food

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many restaurants have made takeout and delivery a bigger part of their business model. The whole idea of a quick bite to eat to eat, has been around for a long time, from the cook shops of the ancient Romans, called “thermopolia,” to the tamale vendors of the Aztec empire. For a little more historical context about takeout and delivery in this country “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Emelyn Rude, food historian and editor of EATEN Magazine. Rude wrote an article on the subject back in 2016.

Ryssdal: Let me start with this, it’s long, but when does [takeout food] become recognizable to us? When does it take the form that we know it in today?

Rude: Yeah, so obviously, everyone knows street food. And that has existed in the United States for centuries. The concept of takeaway as sort of a separate thing.

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