View Single Post
Old 07-14-2013, 11:27 PM
Sciencewoman's Avatar
Sciencewoman Sciencewoman is offline
GreekChat Member
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,943
Originally Posted by SWTXBelle View Post
Here is the story as I was told:

During one of Gamma Phi's first initiations at Syracuse (sometimes reported to be THE first) a lovely after-initiation feast was laid out to be enjoyed by all the sisters. While they were performing the initiation, SOMEONE (Alpha Phi? Helen M. Dodge had been asked to become an Alpha Phi but declined, and then there is always friendly panhellenic rivalry. Fraternity boys playing a prank? We'll never know!) stole everything for the banquet - except, you guessed it, peanuts and olives. So now they are the traditional food served by Gamma Phis. We even have "The Peanuts and Olive Song".
This is similar to the version we were told. According to The Legacy of Gamma Phi Beta, there are two other common myths:

Myth #2: Someone comes to visit the Alpha chapter, but the only refreshments that can be found are peanuts and olives...which are served graciously.

Myth #3: A young Alpha chapter member is assigned the duty of arranging food for a rush event. She gets busy, distracted, etc. and forgets to get the food. Right before the event, she rushes to the cupboard, but only peanuts and olives are available (which are served graciously).

The real story, as told by Founder E. Adeline Curtis and affirmed by the first pledge, Clara Worden, goes as follows. It actually reminds me of the cookie shine.

Apparently, simple buffet banquets were popular in the late 1800s. Eva Seymour (1885) invited Alpha chapter to what she termed a "chocolatetaire," in which chocolate was served in many forms. A few weeks later another member entertained the chapter. One of the featured refreshments was peanuts and olives. The guests dubbed the event a "peanutetaire." The combination so captivated the fancy or the appetite of these college women that they straightaway adopted the peanut and olive spread as one of the features of their informal gatherings.

According to the Legacy, when this "true account" was published in the Crescent in 1998, IH received quite a few e-mails from indignant members who questioned this account and defended their own chapter's version of the origin.

I also want to know about the tomatoes story.
Gamma Phi Beta

Last edited by Sciencewoman; 07-14-2013 at 11:29 PM.
Reply With Quote