MONDAY - MARCH 4, 2013
TODAY’S FOOD QUOTE
“Shucked and boiled in water, sweet corn is edible and nutritious; roasted in the husk in the hottest possible oven for forty minutes, shucked at the table, and buttered and salted, nothing else, it is ambrosia. No chef's ingenuity and imagination have ever created a finer dish.”
Nero Wolfe in 'Murder is Corny' by Rex Stout
TODAY IN FOOD HISTORY
- National Pound Cake Day
- National School Breakfast Week (March 4-8, 2013)
- UK: SPAM Appreciation Week (March 4-10, 2013)
1634 Samuel Cole supposedly opened the first tavern in the U.S., in Boston.
1792 Samuel Slocum was born. He invented a machine to make pins with solid heads and a machine for sticking the pins in a paper holder for sale.
1792 Oranges were supposedly introduced to Hawaii.
1927 Ira Remsen died. An American chemist, co-discoverer (with Constantine Fahlberg) of saccharin, the artificial sweetener. (The FDA has required warning labels, since 1972, on products using saccharin because it is a suspected carcinogen).
1994 John Candy died. Canadian comedian and actor, member of 'The Second City' comedy troupe.
DID YOU KNOW?
Avocados will not ripen on the tree. They must be picked from the tree to initiate ripening. The leaves supply a substance that prevents ripening. The best way to store avocados is to leave them on the tree; they will store for 7 months or more when left on the tree.
Non-Stick Cookware Phase Out: It may be time to upgrade your pans, given that the U.S. government has called for a complete phase-out of polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE, otherwise known as Teflon) and related products by 2015, due to health concerns. Read more....
FOOD TRIVIA QUIZ (new on February 26, 2013)
1) A biennial Eurasian plant of the goosefoot family, usually having a swollen edible root; widely cultivated as a food crop. An old Harper's Bazaar article says they are good for removing wrinkles and bags under the eyes.
a) potatoes b) rutabagas c) beets d) kohlrabi e) carrots
2) This Chinese fruit of the soapberry family, has a thin brittle shell enclosing a sweet jellylike pulp and a single seed, often dried. The most desirable varieties have atrophied seeds which are called "chicken tongue." They are sweet, with a slightly acid flavor.
Name this fruit.
3) A brownish, bitter, foul-smelling gum resin obtained from the roots of an Asian member of the parsley family, used as a condiment. Used in minute quantities in Indian cooking, it prevents flatulence.
Name this gum resin.
4) This member of the rose family is a small bushy deciduous tree native to western Asia and North Africa. The highly prized edible nuts are actually the seeds of a plum-like fruit, and as a matter of fact the plant is related to plums and peaches. They are cultivated in southern Australia and California, and they occupy more farming area in California than any other crop except grapes (about 400,000 acres).
Name these nuts.
5) What is the name for a hard cooked egg enclosed in sausage meat and then breaded and deep fried?
6) The common name of about 25 perennial species of plants that are cultivated for their aromatic properties and used for flavoring. They are found growing wild in many places throughout the temperate and subtropical regions of the world.
Pluto's wife Persephone discovered he had a nymph for a lover, and was so angered she turned the nymph into this lowly plant, to be trod upon. Romans considered it to be a symbol of hospitality, and Pliny recommended wearing a crown of this herb when studying because it exhilarates the mind. The 16th century physician Culpeper declared it to be an aphrodisiac. Several of it's members are among the world's most popular flavors, and other members are good insect repellents.
What is the common name of these plants?
7) This spiny shrub is common throughout Europe and is closely related to the plum. It has white flowers and a plum sized fruit with purple skin and tart yellow flesh. It is too sour to eat fresh, but is used in jellies and jams and to flavor liqueurs. The fruit extract is also used in soft drinks, ice cream, candy and baked goods.
Name this plant.
8) The birth date of modern fast food is often viewed as the opening of the first 'automat' by Frank Hardart and Joe Horn.
Where was this first Horn & Hardart automat?
(Bonus question: What year did it open?)
a) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
b) New York City, New York
c) Boston, Massachusetts
d) Los Angeles, California
e) Newark, New Jersey
9) The cluster bean is most likely native to India. It is used as a vegetable, and for producing a food additive that is used as a thickener and stabilizer in commercial food processing. It has almost 8 times the thickening power as cornstarch, and is used in dressings, sauces and baked goods. It is also used in paper manufacturing, textiles, printing, cosmetics and even in pills to hold them together.
Name this food additive.
a) chicle b) guar gum c) agar-agar d) gum tragacanth
10) Despite a physical similarity and a frequent confusion with their names, yams and sweet potatoes are not even distantly related. They are in two different botanical families.
What are yams actually related to?
a) Taro b) Lilies c) Grasses d) Carrots e) Jicama
Click here for the answers to this Culinary Quiz
This website is dedicated to:
Gladys Ehler, my mother, who taught me patience and how to make Sauerbraten
(it is still my favorite)
Edward Ehler, my father, who taught me a love of books and history.
Cpl. Thomas E. Saba, my nephew. Died in action on Feb. 7, 2007 in Iraq.
He was 30 yrs. young.