Archive for ‘Food’

October 18, 2018

Waffle House Index

Waffle House

The Waffle House Index is an informal metric used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to determine the effect of a storm and the likely scale of assistance required for disaster recovery. The measure is based on the reputation of the restaurant chain Waffle House for staying open during extreme weather and for reopening quickly, albeit sometimes with a limited menu, after very severe weather events such as tornadoes or hurricanes.

The term was coined by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate in 2011, following the Joplin tornado, during which the two Waffle House restaurants in Joplin, Missouri, remained open.

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May 22, 2018

Mezcal

Mezcal (lit. ‘oven-cooked agave’) is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave plant native to Mexico. Agave, which is often misidentified as a variety of cactus, grows in many parts of Mexico, though most mezcal is made in Oaxaca, a southern state. A Oaxacan expression regarding the drink is: ‘Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien, también.’ (‘For everything bad, mezcal, and for everything good as well.’)

It is unclear whether distilled drinks were produced in Mexico before the Spanish Conquest. The Spaniards were introduced to native fermented drinks such as pulque, a milky-looking, alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant (also known as agave americana). Soon, the conquistadors began experimenting with the agave plant to find a way to make a distillable fermented mash. The result was mezcal.

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February 19, 2018

George Foreman Grill

Foreman Grill

The George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine, commonly known as the George Foreman Grill, is an indoor, electrically heated grill manufactured by Spectrum Brands. It is promoted by former boxing champion George Foreman. Since its introduction in 1994, over 100 million George Foreman grills have been sold worldwide.

The Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine, as it became known, was introduced in 1994 and promoted with distinctive infomercials which featured Foreman. A combination of his affable personality and the unique features of the product made it a huge success. Such was the popularity of these infomercials that Foreman’s famous tagline, ‘It’s so good I put my name on it!,’ is now part of popular culture. In Asia, the grill is endorsed and promoted by both George Foreman and Jackie Chan.

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January 6, 2018

Porter

Arthur Guinness

Porter is a dark style of beer developed in London from well-hopped beers made from brown malt. The name was first recorded in the 18th century, and is thought to come from its popularity with street and river porters.

The history and development of stout and porter are intertwined. The name ‘stout’ as used for a dark beer is believed to have come about because strong porters were marketed under such names as ‘Extra Porter,’ ‘Double Porter,’ and ‘Stout Porter.’ The term ‘Stout Porter’ would later be shortened to just ‘Stout.’ For example, Guinness Extra Stout was originally called Extra Superior Porter and was only given the name Extra Stout in 1840.

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December 16, 2017

Gingerbread House

Hansel and Gretel

gingerbread house is a novelty confectionery shaped like a building that is made of cookie dough, cut and baked into appropriate components like walls and roofing. The usual material is crisp ginger biscuit made of gingerbread. Another type of model-making with gingerbread uses a boiled dough that can be molded like clay to form edible statuettes or other decorations. These houses, covered with a variety of candies and icing, are popular Christmas decorations, often built by children with the help of their parents.

Records of honey cakes can be traced to ancient Rome. Food historians ratify that ginger has been seasoning foodstuffs and drinks since antiquity. It is believed gingerbread was first baked in Europe at the end of the 11th century, when returning crusaders brought back the custom of spiced breads from the Middle East. Ginger was not only tasty, it had properties that helped preserve the foodstuffs it was in.

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June 21, 2017

Bourbon Whiskey

Pappy Van Winkle

Bourbon [boor-buhn] whiskey is a type of American whiskey, a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily from corn. The name is ultimately derived from the French Bourbon dynasty, although it is unclear precisely what inspired the whiskey’s name (contenders include Bourbon County in Kentucky and Bourbon Street in New Orleans).

Bourbon has been distilled since the 18th century. The use of the term ‘bourbon’ for the whiskey has been traced to the 1820s, and the term began to be used consistently in Kentucky in the 1870s. While bourbon may be made anywhere in the United States, it is strongly associated with the American South, and with Kentucky in particular.

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May 30, 2017

Alcohol Belt

vodka war

The alcohol belts of Europe are regions in Europe which are considered to be divided by association with either beer, wine, or hard liquor.

The alcohol belts refer to the traditional beverages of countries rather than what is most commonly drunk by the populace today, as in terms of drinking habits beer has become the most popular alcoholic drink in the whole world – including various parts of the wine and vodka belts.

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April 8, 2017

Eggs Benedict

Delmonico's

Eggs Benedict is a traditional American brunch or breakfast dish that consists of two halves of an English muffin each of which is topped with Canadian bacon, ham or sometimes bacon, a poached egg, and hollandaise sauce (egg yolk, liquid butter, water, and lemon juice). The dish was first popularized in New York City. Many variations on the basic recipe are served.

There are conflicting accounts as to the origin of Eggs Benedict. Delmonico’s in lower Manhattan claims on its menu that ‘Eggs Benedict was first created in our ovens in 1860.’ One of its former chefs, Charles Ranhofer, also published the recipe for ‘Eggs à la Benedick’ in 1894.

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December 8, 2016

Pizzagate

pizzalluminati by erick nelson

Pizzagate is a debunked conspiracy theory which alleged that emails from John Podesta (Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman), which were leaked by WikiLeaks, tied a number of pizzerias and members of the Democratic Party to a child-sex ring. The theory has been discredited by the District of Columbia Police Department who characterized it as a ‘fictitious conspiracy theory,’ and determined to be fake by multiple organizations including Snopes.com, The New York Times, and Fox News.

Several sites noted that purported evidence cited by the conspiracy theory’s proponents had been fabricated or taken from entirely different sources and photoshopped to appear as if they supported the conspiracy. Images of children of family and friends of the pizzeria’s staff were taken from social media sites such as Instagram and claimed to be photos of purported victims.

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October 31, 2016

Tootsie Pop

shooting star indian

wise-owl

Tootsie Pops are hard candy lollipops filled with chocolate-flavored chewy Tootsie Rolls (a taffy-like candy that has been manufactured in the U.S. since 1907). They were invented in 1931 by Lukas R. ‘Luke’ Weisgram, an employee of The Sweets Company of America. The company changed its name to Tootsie Roll Industries in 1969.

Tootsie Pops are known for the catch phrase ‘How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?’ The phrase was first introduced in 1969 an animated commercial. In the original television ad, a questioning boy poses the question to a cow, a fox, a turtle and an owl. Each one of the first three animals tells the boy to ask someone else, explaining that they’d bite a Tootsie Pop every time they lick one. Eventually, he asks the owl, who starts licking it, but bites into the lollipop after only three licks, much to the chagrin of the boy, who gets the empty stick back. The commercial ends the same way, with various flavored Tootsie Pops unwrapped and being ‘licked away’ until being crunched in the center.

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September 15, 2016

Seltzer

harry golden

selter

Carbonated water (also known as club soda, soda water, sparkling water, seltzer, fizzy water, or water with gas) is water into which carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved. This process, known as carbonation, is a process that causes the water to become effervescent (form bubbles). Most carbonated water is sold in ready to drink bottles as mineral water and carbonated beverages such as soft drinks. However, it is rather easy to prepare at home with soda makers.

Whether homemade or store-bought, soda water may be identical to plain carbonated water or it may contain a small amount of table salt, sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium citrate, potassium sulfate, or disodium phosphate, depending on the bottler. These additives are often included to emulate the slightly salty taste soda water developed years ago from first using them as preservatives. Naturally occurring processes also produce effervescent mineral water similar to carbonated water in artesian wells, such as in Mihalkovo in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains, in Medžitlija in Macedonia, or most notably in Selters in the German Taunus mountains.

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July 6, 2016

Sprouted Bread

ezekiel bread

Sprouted bread is a type of bread made from whole grains that have been allowed to sprout, that is, to germinate. There are a few different types of sprouted grain bread. Some are made with added flour, some are made with added gluten, and some, such as Essene bread, are made with very few additional ingredients.

These are breads that contain the whole grain (or kernel, or berry) of various seeds after they have been sprouted. They are different from ‘white’ bread inasmuch as ‘white’ breads are made from ground wheat endosperm (after removal of the bran and germ). Whole grain breads include the bran, germ and endosperm, therefore providing more fiber, and naturally occurring vitamins and proteins. A comparison of nutritional analyses shows that sprouted grains contain about 75% of the energy (carbohydrates), slightly higher protein and about 40% of the fat when compared to whole grains.

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