While antique shopping the other day, we purchased this curious Bakelite-handled kitchen gadget. At first we just liked the way it looked but then we realized it might actually be very useful. Do you know what it is?
Even growing up in Southern California, as a child the only tacos I ate were made of seasoned ground beef, chopped tomato, shredded lettuce and a sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese in a crisp, yellow, U-shaped shell. When I was finally introduced to the soft, vegetable-less, cheese-free taco truck version, I realized the tacos I grew up eating were not Mexican at all. But where did the American taco originate? And what's with the crispy shell?
Colonial Americans were dour, Puritanical people who took no pleasure in eating, right?
Wrong. The late historians Karen Hess and John L. Hess published a book in 1977 that debunked the myth that America was founded on an anti-epicurean tradition. The surprising truth is that Americans of nearly every class ate better then than we do today.
It's anyone's guess where this ramen-esque noodle dish originally came from. Chinese immigrants to New Orleans? Vets back from WWII? Someone's midnight run through a corner store after a night of drinking?
One thing is for sure: this dish of spaghetti, slow-roasted pork or beef, hardboiled eggs, and green onions served up in a broth made rich with soy and ketchup is the hangover cure to end all others.
Maybe you know the difference between a malt and a shake, but do you know what distinguishes a rickey from a phosphate? Or a fritz from a fruit ade? This detailed flow chart of soda fountain drinks makes it easy to identify any fruity, creamy or fizzy concoction that might cross your path.
As you head to the store this weekend for holiday barbecue supplies, consider this: to enjoy a cookout 7,700 years ago, you would have had to club an auroch and butcher it with a flint blade before carrying a majority of the meat back to your settlement. Archaeologists recently discovered evidence of such a meal in the Netherlands, with a surprising appetizer.