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.read more »
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.read more »
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.read more »
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.read more »
Elizabeth Coleman White (1871 – 1954) was a New Jersey agricultural specialist who collaborated with botanist Frederick Vernon Coville to develop and commercialize cultivated blueberries. White was Quaker, graduating from the Friends’ Central School in Philadelphia in 1887. Afterwards she worked at her father’s farm, Whitesbog in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, supervising cranberry pickers in the bogs. Pine barrens are plant communities that occur on dry, acidic, infertile soils dominated by grasses, low shrubs, and small to medium-sized pines.
In the early part of the 20th century, White offered pineland residents cash for wild blueberry plants with unusually large fruit. Her collaboration with Coville began in 1910. Their project revealed the importance of soil acidity (blueberries need highly acidic soil), that blueberries do not self-pollinate, and the effects of cold on blueberries and other plants. Their work doubled the size of some strains’ fruit, and by 1916, Coville had succeeded in cultivating blueberries, making them a valuable crop in the Northeastern United States.read more »
“Where’s the beef?” is a catchphrase in the United States and Canada. The phrase originated as a slogan for the fast food chain Wendy’s. Since then it has become an all-purpose phrase questioning the substance of an idea, event or product.
The phrase first came to public attention in a television commercial for the Wendy’s in 1984. In reality, the strategy behind the campaign was to distinguish competitors (McDonald’s and Burger King) big name sandwiches (Big Mac and Whopper respectively) from Wendy’s ‘modest’ Single by focusing on the large bun used by the competitors and the larger beef patty in Wendy’s sandwich. In the ad, titled ‘Fluffy Bun,’ actress Clara Peller receives a burger with a massive bun from a fictional competitor, which uses the slogan ‘Home of the Big Bun.’ The small patty prompts Peller to angrily exclaim, ‘Where’s the beef?’read more »
Muk-bang (Korean: ‘eating broadcast’) is a type of performance in which a host eats large quantities of food, while interacting with their audience. Usually done through a webcast (such streaming platforms include Afreeca), muk-bang became popular in South Korea in the 2010s. Foods ranging from pizza to noodles are consumed in front of a camera for an unknown audience who pay to watch the individual eat. In each broadcast, a host will often interact with their viewers through online chatrooms.
There are several genres of muk-bang, including ‘cook-bang’ (cooking and muk-bang). The idea of socializing with an audience remains the same however, the host would then eat what was cooked and eat it and describe to the audience what was consumed.read more »
The Pepsi Challenge is an ongoing marketing promotion run by PepsiCo since 1975. It is also the name of a cross country ski race at Giant’s Ridge Ski Area in Biwabik, Minnesota, an event sponsored by Pepsi. The challenge originally took the form of a single blind taste test. At malls, shopping centers, and other public locations, a Pepsi representative set up a table with two white cups: one containing Pepsi and one with Coca-Cola. Shoppers were encouraged to taste both colas, and then select which drink they prefer. The results of the test leaned toward a consensus that Pepsi was preferred by more Americans.
The Pepsi Challenge taste test ad campaign is frequently credited for Coca-Cola’s decision to introduce New Coke in 1985. In his book ‘Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking’ (2005), author Malcolm Gladwell presents evidence that suggests Pepsi’s success over Coca-Cola is a result of the flawed nature of the ‘sip test’ method. His research shows that tasters will generally prefer the sweeter of two beverages based on a single sip, even if they prefer a less sweet beverage over the course of an entire can. Additionally, many participants recalled a difference in temperature between the two drinks. According to these claims, Pepsi was served chilled, while Coca-Cola was served at room temperature, thus making the Pepsi more appealing.
Apéritifs and digestifs are drinks, typically alcoholic, served before (apéritif) or after (digestif) a meal. An apéritif is served to stimulate the appetite, and is therefore usually dry rather than sweet. A digestif is intended to aid digestion. When served after a coffee course, it may be called ‘pousse-café.’ Digestifs are usually taken straight and typically contain carminative herbs, which are thought to aid digestion. ‘Apéritif’ is a French word derived from the Latin verb ‘aperire,’ which means ‘to open.’ The French slang word for ‘apéritif’ is ‘apéro,’ although in France an ‘apéro’ is also light food eaten in the late afternoon/early evening.
Common apéritif choices include dry vermouth, champagne, pastis (an anise-flavored spirit from France), gin, and dry sherry (e.g. fino and amontillado). ‘Apéritif’ may also refer to a snack that precedes a meal. This includes an amuse-bouche (a single, bite-sized hors d’oeuvre), such as crackers, cheese, pâté or olives. Common kinds of digestif include: Brandy, Cream Sherry, Sweet Vermouth, Port, Grand Marnier, Jagermeister, Kahlua, limoncello, ouzo, and tequila. In certain areas, it is not uncommon for a digestif to be taken before a main course. One example is le trou Normand, a glass of Calvados taken before the main course of a meal.read more »
The silent service code is a way for a diner to ‘talk’ to servers during a meal without saying a word, mainly to tell them that the diner is finished. This will prevent any embarrassing situations where the server would take a meal prematurely.
To tell a server you have finished place your napkin to the left of your plate, and place all your utensils together in a ‘4-o’clock’ position on your plate. Utensils crossed on a plate signify that a diner is still eating. If you must leave during the meal, you should place the napkin on your chair to avoid any confusion. The code is almost always taught during business dining etiquette classes.
Fika [fee-kah] is a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning ‘to have coffee,’ often accompanied with pastries or sandwiches. A more contemporary generalized meaning of the word, where the coffee may be replaced by tea or even juice, lemonade or squash for children, has become widespread. In some social circles, even just a sandwich or a small meal may be denoted a fika similar to the English concept of afternoon tea. In Sweden pastries in general (for example cinnamon buns) are often referred to as ‘fikabröd’ (‘fika bread’).
Fika is a common practice at workplaces in Sweden where it constitutes at least one break during a normal workday. Often, two fikas are taken in a day at around 9:00 in the morning and 3:00 in the afternoon. The work fika is an important social event where employees can gather and socialize to discuss private and professional matters. It is not uncommon for management to join employees and to some extent it can even be considered impolite not to join one’s colleagues at fika. The practice is not limited to any specific sector of the labor market and is considered normal practice even in government administration.read more »
Aquafaba [ah-kwuh-fah-buh], or chickpea brine, is the liquid from canned chickpeas, used as an egg substitute because of its function as an emulsifier, leavening agent, and foaming agent. Vegan baker Goose Wohlt coined the term aquafaba (‘bean liquid’) to describe the substance, which French chef Joël Roessel discovered could be used as substitute for egg whites in recipes. Aquafaba has been used to create meringues, macarons, nougat, and other products that normally require the use of eggs, making them suitable for people with egg allergies, vegans, and lacto-vegetarians.
There is currently no scientific consensus on the chemical properties of aquafaba and why it mimics egg whites so effectively. Seed proteins, including albumins and globulins, as well as soluble fibers, sugars, and glycosides have been proposed as contributing to the similarity. Roessel purports that the most likely agent that causes the liquid to foam are saponins, plant molecules containing a combination of hydrophobic (fat-soluble) and a hydrophilic (water-soluble) components.