Curried Chicken Day Today, Peach Melba Day Tomorrow...

...and National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day on Friday. No, I am not making this up. I've given you the designations for January 12, 13, and 14. January 15 is Strawberry Ice Cream Day, the 16th is National Fig Newton Day and International Hot & Spicy Day. January 17 is Hot Buttered Rum Day. And in case you're wondering, January is National Bread Machine Baking Month -- followed by Candy Month, Egg Month, Hot Tea Month, Canned Food Month, Meat Month, and then, everybody's favorite time of year: Oatmeal Month.

No, really, I swear: This is all true.

While official National Days must be proclaimed by the President, it is permissible to petition the Senate for commemorative resolutions that lead to honorary days -- although these are not backed by law. Such petitioning has become increasingly common as a means for public relations firms, lobbyists, trade associations and others to market every food commodity under the sun. Some designations are more specifically targeted than others -- like, for instance, National Kahlúa Day (February 27). I imagine getting that special day must have cost the company a lot of bottles of Kahlúa.

State legislators and governors have likewise made it a habit to proclaim such days, and mayors of cities are doing it too. That's probably the best explanation as to why there are two National Guacamole Days this year; and why February 18 is both National Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day as well as Drink Wine Day (numerous days are doubled up this way). Don't our legislators have better things to do with their time than officially proclaim National Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day?

I found all this info on a piece about January food holidays on thenibble.com. Reading the list of countless overlapping specialty days for foods is funny -- and also sort of sad. I mean the over-hyping of everything in this country has led to there literally not being enough days and months of the year to fill all the greedy demands of money-wielding marketers.

"Sorry Captain Morgan, but Kahlua already has February 27. Can I interest you in the next day, the 28? It's already been designated as National Chocolate Soufflé Day, but I'm pretty certain we can squeeze you in. Only other doubling-up date we have open is February 23, but not sure you'd want to share this one -- it's Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day. Plus Purina might object. They put up a lot of dough to get that."

The silver lining to all this? The PR-driven calendar provides priceless fodder for food writers and bloggers -- an easy theme per day to flimsily tie a recipe or anecdote to. Ultimately, that's the whole idea. Go ahead guys, take a look at nibbles' list for January and February and pick out your dates. Just a heads up -- I've got dibs on National Bagels & Lox Day (February 9).

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Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein