A Bit About Sweet Potatoes

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Everybody seems to love sweet potato pie. It’s moist flesh, gently spicy-sweet, synonymous with home and the love found there, within. But how did this happen? How have sweet potatoes become the staple food of home?
Sweet potatoes are native to Central America. Peru to be precise. A staple food that is not only good for the human, it is also good for the earth. Growing in most climates, it does prefer the high jungle. This tuber holds many good attributes as a food. From beta carotene to fiber the sweet potato seems to carry it all, vitamins A and C along with protein and B-12. It is even classified as an anti-diabetic food.
Some of the oldest findings of sweet potatoes are the relics that were located in the mountains of Peru. Fragments of pottery displaying the farming and other aspects of the life of a sweet potato. These tubers were used not only for daily consumption they were revered and served to their gods both cooked and uncooked as symbols of peace and harmony.
These delectable, brightly colored tubers were seen as signs of peace and home stability. Later to be used as a symbol of virility and harmony among people. It’s no wonder we all associate the sweet potato with the feeling of a safe, harmonious home.
One of the finest things we can do with a sweet potato is to create the tasty treat of a sweet potato pie. Fortunately collecting them is easy as they are readily available year-round at most grocers. Some of the more interesting facts about sweet potatoes are:

 

  • Our first president, George Washington grew sweet potatoes on his farmland in Mount Vernon, Virginia.
  • Sweet potatoes are the official vegetable of North Carolina.
  • They carry unique health benefits. Including manganese, potassium, iron, copper and B-6.
  • It also contains vitamins A, E, and C.
  • Sweet potatoes are a natural anti-inflammatory.
  • One scientist, George Washington Carver, developed 118 different uses for the sweet potato; including a starch for cotton fabrics and a glue for stamps.

 

 

And now you’re a little smarter about sweet potatoes!


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8 Random Fascinating Facts About Fruit

Well, lookee here! It’s my first guest post!

How much do you know about fruits? They are an important food group. Read this list of fun facts to be smart at the next dinner party when you know the origins of apples. Enjoy!

 

1. China is the #1 producer of apples. China produces 7 times more than the second highest producer, the United States.

2. Speaking of apples: Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan means “Father of Apple” or “Full of Apples” and the area is considered the original home of apples.

3. Grapes, olives, pomegranates, and figs are believed to be the first fruits to be cultivated. This is because these fruits are the easiest to be propagated by plant cuttings.

4. Tomatoes are considered vegetables in the US. In the 1883 Tariff Act, veggies had a 10% tariff but fruits didn’t. When tomatoes were shipped to the US they didn’t have to pay the tariff. Since tomatoes are technically  fruits, the case was brought to the Supreme Court and the Court ruled that while tomatoes were botanically a fruit they were used as a vegetable. So, the importers had to pay the tariff.

5. Pears were the first fruit tree in the US. They were planted in Salem, MA.

6. Massachusetts might have been the first state to get fruits but Washington state is the largest apple producer in the US. Most of the state is in a rain shadow, meaning it gets less rain, and this leads to crisper apples.

7. Quince was a source of pectin for canning. Some farmers use the timing of flowering quince as an indicator of when to plant crops.

8. Nectarines are just peaches without fuzz. The two fruits are different by one gene.

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Who Are the Two Guys In the Sonic Commercials?

The kooky guys usually seen sitting in a car having conversations about SONIC’s new deals and food items are improv comedians Thomas James (T.J.) Jagodowski
and Peter Grosz.

Jagodowski (age 45) is always in the passenger seat and Grosz (age 43) is always in the driver’s seat. The two were chosen from more than 150 actors who auditioned for the TV spots and made their television debut in 2003 for SONIC’s “Two Guys” campaign.

Grosz has received two Emmy Awards for his writing on “The Colbert Report” and  Jagodowski has appeared in “Oz the Great and Powerful,” “Prison Break,” “The Ice Harvest” and “Stranger Than Fiction.”

In 2010, the Two Guys were dropped from SONIC’s national advertising campaign and this caused an uproar amongst fans. Their 2012 comeback was staged as a social media publicity stunt featuring the duo pleading for their jobs.

The SONIC Two Guys campaign is one of the longest-running marketing campaigns in history.

BONUS FACT:  In 2014, the company announced plans to add 1,000 restaurants in the next 10 years, including an additional 300 in California alone.


SOURCES:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Grosz

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._J._Jagodowski

http://americanprofile.com/articles/who-are-two-guys-in-the-car-in-the-sonic-commercials/

http://sonicfranchises.com/research-sonic/why-does-sonic-franchise-marketing-work/

Did Churchill Have A Prescription for Booze?

I’ve read many times before that Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill received a prescription for booze so he could skirt around America’s prohibition laws in the 1930s. As clever as that all may sound, no one is entirely sure that this is true.

While on a lecture tour, in New York, 1931, Churchill was struck by a car going about 35 miles per hour as he hurriedly tried to cross the street to meet someone for dinner. He suffered a broken nose, a gash on his head, and a few broken ribs.

Even after being hit by a car, Churchill decided to continue his tour so his doctor in New York prescribed him a minimum of five shots of alcohol to possibly help him with relaxation and pain management.

The actual prescription seen below reads:

This is to certify that the post-accident convalescence of the Hon. Winston S. Churchill necessitates the use of alcoholic spirits especially at meal times. The quantity is naturally indefinite but the minimum requirements would be 250 cubic centimeters.

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Image from Churchill Archives Center, Churchill College

Churchill’s case is not unique as many doctors used to prescribe alcohol for all kinds of ailments. But, during the ban of alcohol in America in the 1920s and 30s, people took advantage of this and doctors did as well. Some doctors and pharmacists saw the prohibition as an opportunity to make a few extra bucks by performing “check ups” on patients and charging out the wazoo for their “medicine”.

Was this the case for Churchill?

So today’s question is: Do you think Churchill’s prescription was legit, or just a way to get trashed during the prohibition? Tell me what you think in a comment below!

Alcohol Prescription

Alcohol Prescription Flask, Amazon

BONUS FACT: Winston Churchill’s mother invented the Manhattan cocktail in the early 1870s.


SOURCES:

http://www.ripleys.com/weird-news/winston-churchill/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/during-prohibition-your-doctor-could-write-you-prescription-booze-180947940/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manhattan_(cocktail)

The $214 Grilled Cheese Sandwich

The world’s most expensive sandwich is a grilled cheese sandwich known as “The Quintessential Grilled Cheese” served at Serendipity 3 in New York.

This luxury sandwich is made with French Pullman bread that has been infused with Dom Perignon champagne and brushed with truffle oil that contains flecks of edible gold. Between the two slices of fancy bread is Caciocavallo Podolico cheese, a rare Italian cheese made from the milk of free-ranging cows that have been fed a diet of fennel grasses and wild strawberries. After it has been grilled, the melted cheese at the edges of the sandwich are dipped in edible gold leaf and served with tomato lobster bisque.

Sounds pretty fantastic to me! I’d love to try it but darn it, I’m poor and that sandwich costs almost as much as my electricity and internet bill combined. Would you like to try it?

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The Grilled Cheesus Sandwich Press {Amazon}


SOURCES:

http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2014/12/08/what-does-214-grilled-cheese-taste-like.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3118362/You-won-t-brie-leave-New-York-restaurant-create-world-s-expensive-grilled-cheese-sandwich-214.html

What is Casu Marzu? {Gross Alert}

Casu marzu is a cheese made of sheep’s milk that contains live maggots. The words casu marzu in English literally means “rotten/putrid cheese”.

According to Wikipedia:

“…casu marzu goes above and beyond typical fermentation to a stage of decomposition, brought about by the digestive action of the larvae of the cheese fly Piophila casei. These larvae are deliberately introduced to the cheese, promoting an advanced level of fermentation and breaking down of the cheese’s fats. The texture of the cheese becomes very soft, with some liquid (called lagrima, Sardinian for “tears”) seeping out.”

The inhabitants of this cheese have the ability to JUMP about six inches when disturbed, so it’s best to clear the maggots away before consuming. Some casu marzu eaters, however, do not do that.

Yummy.

BONUS FACT: Pule, or smoked donkey milk cheese, is the most expensive cheese in world at $600 per pound.

 


SOURCE:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casu_marzu

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/276980-5-most-expensive-cheeses-in-the-world/

Is There Real Gold in Goldschläger?

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Image Credit: Crown & Wine Spirits

Goldschläger is a Swiss cinnamon schnapps (43.5% alcohol by volume or 87 proof) with very thin flakes of gold in it. The gold flakes in Goldschläger liquor are actual flakes of edible gold leaf. Gold leaf is created by flattening or “beating” real gold bars into incredibly thin sheets.

 

BONUS FACT: Urban legend has it that the gold flakes in Goldschläger are intended to increase alcohol absorption by creating tiny cuts in the throat and stomach of the consumer,  thus speeding up the process of getting tanked. This is not true as the flakes are soft and not sharp at all.


SOURCES:

https://www.reference.com/food/gold-flakes-goldschlager-liquor-279ef98c58cc0560#

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldschl%C3%A4ger

http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/goldschlager.asp

What is Imitation Crab?

 

Invented in Japan in 1973 by Sugiyo Co., Ltd., imitation crab (or kanikama), is made from finely pulverized white fish, most often the Alaska pollock. The pulverized fish is mixed with fillers such as wheat, and egg white or other binding ingredient, such as the enzyme transglutaminase. Artificial crab flavoring is added and a layer of red food coloring is applied to the outside to give it that “fresh from the crab” appearance.

I’m a big fan of “krab”. In fact my mother used to buy it for me as a special treat when I was a wee lass. Other kids wanted candy and soda and all I wanted was some sweet, sweet, succulent seafood sticks.

So tell, me. Do you like imitation crab? If so, how do you like to eat it? I’m a pretty big sushi fan so hit me with summothat any day.


SOURCES:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_stick

Why Don’t Muslims Eat Pork?

Simply put: In the Quran (the Muslim bible) it is stated:

“Forbidden to you are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine, and that on which hath been invoked the name of other than Allah.”

[Al-Qur’an 5:3]

Translation: Don’t eat roadkill (er, anything you come accross that’s already dead), blood, pork, or any animal that wasn’t slaughtered in the name of Allah.

I cannot say one hundred percent why pork is on the “no no” list in  Islam as well as Judaism (and some Christian denominations ) but it is believed that because pigs are omnivores who will eat anything including their own poop, they are subject to housing a number of diseases, parasites, and viruses.

 

Do you get down with the swine? Tell me all about it in a comment below!


SOURCES:

https://www.whyislam.org/faqs/restrictions-in-islam/why-do-muslims-abstain-from-pork/

What’s in SPAM?

First introduced in 1937, SPAM is a pre-cooked, canned meat product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation. Best known for being a “mystery meat” the ingredients to this product are no mystery. In fact, they’re printed righted on the label: pork shoulder meat, with ham meat added, salt, water, modified potato starch as a binder, sugar, and sodium nitrite as a preservative.

SPAM was named by Ken Daigneau after his product name suggestion won in a product-naming contest hosted by Hormel in 1937. It’s not sure if anyone today knows what the word “Spam” actually means, but it is believed to be short for “spiced ham”, “spare meat”, or “shoulders of pork and ham”. It is also popular belief that SPAM is an acronym standing for “Specially Processed American Meat”.

BONUS FACT: The Waikiki Spam Jam Festival is a street festival that celebrates the people of Hawaii’s love for SPAM. It’s held every year, with the next one scheduled for April 29, 2017.

Before reading this post, what did you think was in SPAM? Let me know in a comment below!


SOURCES:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_(food)

http://spamjamhawaii.com/

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