Boston is one of the most historical cities in the U.S. and as you walk through the city it is so apparent. There are so many historical sites. So many, in fact, that there is a walking trail you can follow through the city to hit some of the biggest historical spots. There’s the Boston Tea Party, and Paul Revere, and the Boston Massacre. There’s the Bunker Hill Monument, the U.S.S. Constitution, and the Boston Common. There’s Harvard University and Fenway Park. Every single thing in Boston has quite a history. But there is a much lesser known story in Boston’s history. More specifically, in the North End of Boston (also known as Boston’s Little Italy).
On January 15, 1919, a silo filled with molasses burst open and flooded the North End, killing 21 people and injuring 150! It sounds so ridiculous, but there was so much molasses that there were apparently waves! It’s such a unique and interesting story that, at least outside of Boston, seems mostly unknown. If you’re not familiar with this event, I highly suggest checking out my favorite method for learning history – Drunk History on Comedy Central. There is a Food themed episode (Season 4, Episode 9) during which you’ll hear the story of the Molasses Flood (along with an interesting story about artichokes in New York, and you’ll learn a bit more about Julia Child’s super interesting life).
Because I now live in the North End, and because this week marks the 100th anniversary of the flood, I have made a dessert to honor this event. It combines my southern roots with my Boston home. It’s Bourbon and it’s Molasses. A taste of both of my homes combined in a chocolate pecan pie. And I hope you enjoy a slice while you watch the story of the Molasses Flood. And when you visit Boston, though you won’t see this in any markings or memorials (as far as I know), I hope you remember this momentous event as you explore the more well-known history of the city.