Tag: food

Wheels Of Cheese

Mammoth Cheese

The Cheshire Mammoth Cheese was a gift from the town of Cheshire, Massachusetts to President Thomas Jefferson in 1802. The cheese was created by combining the milk from every cow in the town, and made in a makeshift cheese press to handle the cheese’s size. The cheese bore the Jeffersonian motto “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.”

I’ve long complained that we don’t apply enough pomp and circumstance to our eating habits. Everything else on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs maintains some mysticism or grandiosity, but those who handle or dispense our food are often some of the lowest paid people in society.

You could point at high priced restaurants/foodies/celebrity chefs as proof to the contrary, but go ask the farmer who supplies the produce, or the grocery store clerk who stocks it, or even the waiter who denies the temptation to spit into it as it moves towards your table, and you’ll likely find someone making a barely livable wage.

The final product weighed between 1200 and 1600 pounds, was four feet wide, and fifteen inches thick. Due to its size, it could not safely be transported on wheels, so the town hired a sleigh to bring it to Washington, D.C. during the snowy winter months. With Leland steering the sleigh, the three week, 500 mile trip became an event from town to town as word spread about the gift.

Why We Need Annoying People Sometimes

LobsterI get a lot of guff for having a picky palette – largely due to my distaste for the insects of the sea – and I want to re-iterate a point I tried to make back in episode 037, Beef-pocalypse.

Variety in behavior isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. I may be picky, but that’s a survival trait that puts me in a certain statistical bracket where I’m unlikely to be poisoned by an ocean-born toxin. This spectrum is what makes us so resilient during wide-spread disasters, even if it comes across as an annoying refusal to eat at Red Lobster.

There are those amongst us who are the exotic mushroom tasters, just as there are those amongst us who fly experimental jets, and, although the one may not seem as romantic as the other, they’re both holding up the fight on one of humanity’s frontiers.

To those trailblazers: I applaud you – I just won’t dine with you.

TV Dinner

Nightmare SausageWhat ever happened to the trope of the “bad food” nighttime hallucination? It seemed like there was an era when any television-based father figure who ate a sausage and took a nap, while suffering some sort of moral quandary, would have their rest interrupted by a roaming hallucinatory spirit, or alternate-universe versions of their own children.

Cliff Huxtable eats a hoagie and bam, he’s suffering the delusion that Theo is dropping out of school and Rudy is climbing up his leg with a knife clenched between her teeth.
Huxtable and a Hoagie
For the youngsters in the crowd who might be doubting that this sort of thing happened, allow me to quote a snippet from TV.com, regarding The Cosby Show, season 6, episode 8.

Cliff dreams that the eruption of a volcano in Peru has sent spores into the drinking water and caused men to become pregnant. Cliff, Elvin, Martin and Theo are all pregnant. Theo deals with stares and unkind comments because he is an “unwed father.”

Was ergot poisoning just a lot more common back then?

The Cos wasn’t the only one to suffer through this situation (repeatedly) though, I’m fairly sure that this gag was used in quite a few shows to help grease the wheels for a seasonal ripping off of “A Christmas Carol” – heck, if I recall correctly, the entire run of Newhart was blamed on some bad “Japanese food” in the final episode.
Newhart finaleI’m reminded of this Mitch Hedburg quotation:

I hate dreaming. Because when you sleep, you wanna sleep. Dreaming is work, you know – there I am in a comfortable bed, the next thing you know I have to build a go-kart with my ex-landlord. I want a dream of me watching myself sleep.

Picky (Apple Axiom)

My first taste of Christmas this year involved Alton Brown’s Good Eats – and I learned something during the show which answered a long standing question I’ve had.

Snow White meets the guy in charge of the local produce section

How and why does a single rotten apple ruin the barrel?

First, a little background from botany.org

In addition, ethylene promotes fruit ripening. Like many hormones, it does so at very low concentrations. Apple growers take advantage of this by picking fruit when it is not ripe, holding it in enclosed conditions without ethylene, and exposing it to ethylene right before taking it to market. This process is why we have newly ripened apples grown in temperate North America even in the spring and summer (apples ripen in the fall).

Ethylene acts as the signal for apples to ripen, but if that signal never reaches them, they can apparently be kept – unrefrigerated – for three or four months. The suggested method is to wrap each apple individually in newspaper, then simply store.

The trick is, you’ve got to be careful not to store a bruised fruit alongside your good ones – the bruise will throw off gouts of ethylene, causing your one bad apple to ripen the rest too early, and spoil the bunch.
Snow White Witch with Apple