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The Disgusting Food Museum

Malmo, Sweden, is welcoming a new museum opening at the end of this month. The Disgusting Food Museum will highlight recipes from around the world that make some folks salivate and others feel a bit queasy. Museum founder and organizational psychologist Dr. Samuel West is most known for opening the Museum of Failure last year.    

There has been some criticism of the Disgusting Food Museum as an exercise in othering—deeming the food of some cultures to be normal and delicious, and the aromas, flavors, and ingredients of others to be weird and off-putting. Just as the Museum of Failure does more than just poke fun at the idea of Hot Road, the Harley Davidson perfume (the larger purpose is to explore the relationship between failure and innovation), the Disgusting Food Museum paints a more complicated picture of why we eat certain things and push others away in revulsion.

The items features on the museum’s website fall into roughly three, often overlapping categories: unfamiliar creatures (bats, dog, insects) or parts (penis, intestines, heads); very strong flavors, textures, and aromas (durian, natto, root beer); and items that violate certain religious or moral beliefs (pork, meat, jell-o salad).

Read more about the Disgusting Food Museum at Quartz. -via Nag on the Lake


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The Pyrotechnic Ice-Cream Parades of the Nobel Prize Banquet

On December 10, this year's Nobel Prize winners will gather with royalty and dignitaries at City Hall in Stockholm for the Nobel banquet. Some think the highlight of the evening is the awarding of the prizes, but those who know say it's really the dessert parade, a grand entrance featuring a light show of sparklers as an army of servers bring in the dessert.

Nobel banquets have been held since 1901, and each year, the menu is exquisite. That’s to be expected: Some of the world’s most lauded people, not to mention Swedish royalty and dignitaries, are in attendance. In the first few years, the food was mostly French-style, the cuisine of the elite. Only later in the century did Swedish dishes and ingredients take center stage, with filet of sole being replaced by filet of reindeer. But until recently, there was one constant: For dessert, dozens of waiters descended the grand staircase with trays of Nobel ice cream and sparklers, a fitting accompaniment to the Nobel Prize’s explosive origins.

Things change, and even the ice cream is optional these days. However the dessert parade will continue, upstaging the scientists and peacemakers once again. Read about the Nobel banquet and its ice cream parades at Atlas Obscura.


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Margarine Once Contained a Whole Lot More Whale

When you grow up eating Mazola, you tend to think that margarine was always made of corn oil. That's far from the truth, as many different kinds of fats have been used to make the butter substitute. The only requirement was that it had to be cheaper than butter; otherwise people would just buy butter. That included whale oil, which was widely used for fuel before the rise of the American petroleum industry.

Margarine was invented in 1869, just as whale oil was on the verge of falling out of use as a fuel. To simulate butter, margarine must contain some kind of fat. That might come from a variety of vegetable oils—as in most margarines today—or beef fat. But in the first half of the 20th century, since whale oil was “no longer needed for illumination” and a “large amount became available,” as one researcher wrote in the 1960s, most of the world’s supply was being whipped into a spreadable butter substitute.

Read up on the history of whale oil margarine, which was so popular that it led to the formation of one of the world's largest corporations, at Atlas Obscura.

(Image credit: KingaNBM)


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Christmas Tree Chips

It's not unusual for food companies to bring out seasonal flavors for Christmas, but they are usually flavors of other foods associated with the holidays, like peppermint or egg nog or pumpkin spice. Iceland is offering a new flavor of crisps this holiday season- that of a Christmas tree. Okay, in case you're confused, Iceland refers not to the country, but to a British grocery store chain. Crisps are what we Americans know as potato chips. But the Christmas tree flavor is real. The chips are called “Luxury Christmas Tree Flavour Salted Hand-Cooked Crisps,” and the Christmas tree is a pine.

The crisps use the oil from real pine needles to help get that unique Christmas tree flavor. Some point out that pine nuts are a popular add to salads and soups and dishes like pesto—but how far does that piney love go? Enough to look at a Christmas tree and think, “delicious”? Maybe if these crisps had been released in November or something, but on October 8, they’re a little difficult to fathom.

Bon apetit!


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Rice Balls Too Cute to Eat



Food can make a wonderful art medium. Making food "cute" is also a great way to get kids to enjoy their lunch, as we've seen in many artistic Bento boxes. But when does food cross the line from one to the other? Instagram user Peaceloving Pax is a doctor in Thailand who is also a food artist. You have to wonder whether his/her creations ever are actually eaten.



Peaceloving Pax recreates rice balls depicting kawaii characters from Pokémon, Studio Ghibli, and other anime and cartoon worlds. See more of these wonderful rice balls, as well as dumplings, sandwiches, baked goods, and other foods at Instagram.


 
-via Buzzfeed


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Foods Each State Hates

This map by Hackernoon used data provided by the dating app Hater to determine which foods are most disproportionally disliked, relative to how other states feel about those foods. Take a look around, and it appears that many states' pick for the worst food is less about how the food actually tastes, and more about what that food represents. The environmentally-minded coffee connoisseurs of Washington state hate Keurig K-Cups. Macho Montana hates pumpkin spice flavors. And while Texas cattle ranchers love steak, they hate seeing it overcooked. Some make sense, like Kansas disliking shellfish. The shellfish they get isn't as fresh as it would be anywhere else. A few states are confusing, like Missouri. There must be a story somewhere about the last bite of a hot dog. See the enlargeable image at Hackernoon.  -via Uproxx 


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Is This the Most Magical Meal on Earth?

Disneyland in California was originally built with a private luxury apartment inside for Walt Disney himself. After his death, it was made into an art gallery, then an exclusive lodging experience called the Disneyland Dream Suite. It's now called 21 Royal, the setting for a posh dinner offered for $15,000. Don't faint; that price covers 12 people and includes park tickets, so dinner itself is in the realm of a grand per person. As a theme park journalist, Carlye Wisel got to try it out, and she gives us a blow-by-blow description of the evening.

After a seemingly brief cocktail hour, we’re ushered into the dining room. It’s neoclassical by way of New Orleans, all jewel-toned wainscotting and aquamarine velvet chairs with idealized murals of the park’s Mark Twain Riverboat churning through open waters and the famed Haunted Mansion in all its antebellum glory. A floral eruption of sunset-hued ranunculus, roses, and sprigs of rosemary on the table would almost have you forgetting you’re a stone’s throw from mouse-shaped beignets until a candelabra on the mantle is magically lit by, what else, fairy dust.

Sommelier Matt Ellingson does most of the talking throughout the night, with lengthy backstories for every pour, including our first — a Dom Ruinart champagne named for, as we’re told in detail, the 18th-century inventor of “wine with bubbles.” The first course lands, Osetra caviar offset by an acidic yellow tomato sauce and Alaskan king crab with a delicate potato mousseline crepe. The wine and food pairing isn’t just nice, it’s nearly unprecedented: Save for Club 33, nowhere at the original Disneyland Park sells alcohol, for now.

You might never have an evening at 21 Royal, but you can read about it for free at Eater.

(Image credit: Frank Wonho Lee)


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The Hidden Limits of the ‘All-You-Can-Eat’ Buffet

When considering an all-you-can-eat buffet, diners calculate not only whether the experience is worth the price, but other factors such as accommodating the tastes of a group. Restaurant owners, who often operate a razor-thin margin, must calculate the total cost of food and service against the aggregate appetite of everyone who walks in the door. How do they deal with people who eat several times what the proprietor calculates?      

Born in midcentury Las Vegas, the American all-you-can-eat (or AYCE) buffet was all about excess from the start. The phrase itself can be an issue for proprietors, insofar as it sounds like a challenge. Someone might level the place just to prove a point, not because they’re actually that hungry. To that end, owners might include “within reason” in the fine print or style the offer as “all you care to eat” to instill a sense of moderation — that’s on top of various other tricks for getting you to leave before you do too much damage, like uncomfortable seating, not clearing your dirty plates right away and enticing you to fill up on bread and beverages instead of more expensive items.

Every buffet restaurant has a story about someone who ate more than should be humanly possible, but dealing with them is a delicate balance of economics and reputation. Read about the many ways it's been handled, for individual cases and as policy, at Mel magazine. -via Digg    


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War of the Pizzas: A Bracket to Determine the Best Pizza-Related Moment in History

If you were to name the desires that all people have in common, food would be at the top of the list. And if there was ever a food that people agreed upon, it's pizza. Pizza is the world's most perfect food, containing all the major groups, and the dish people want if they could only eat one thing for the rest of their lives. Add in that someone will make one for you and even bring it to you, and you've got something special. That's true even when we don't eat the pizza ourselves. Andrew Gruttadaro at The Ringer put together a tournament bracket of famous "pizza moments" that penetrated our shared experiences.

As you can see, the pizza moments have been broken up into four regions: In the Movies, On TV, In Sports, and In Life. Each pizza moment was then seeded based on my general opinion of its popularity and recognizability. Because Pizza Day is only 24 hours long, we do not have enough time to stage a popular vote. Instead, I will be deciding the winners of each matchup based on a combination of things: the moment’s popularity and notoriety, the moment’s nostalgia factor, the prominence of the pizza in the moment, how delicious the pizza looks in the moment, and what the moment says about pizza. If you disagree with my pizza moment takes and the outcome of this bracket, then you should make your own. (I genuinely mean this, with no ill will: Pizza is for everyone, and therefore everyone should be allowed to construct their own pizza moments bracket.)

Gruttadaro examines each of the contestants and justifies the matchup winners all the way down to the final championship at The Ringer. -via Digg


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Edible Face Pie



Not long ago, we posted Ashley Newman's People Pot Pie. Newman is a special effects artist, and her pies are made of latex. Tons of friends sent that video to baker Andrew Fuller of Guy Meets Cake, who already does gruesome cakes featuring monsters and body parts. It inspired him to go ahead with an idea he'd been considering: making an edible pie with a creepy face! This is a mint cherry pie with edible decorations. Yes, even the hair is edible. If you want to order one, check with him through Facebook for availability. See more views of this pie at Instagram. Read about Fuller's work (and Newman's) at Atlas Obscura.


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Celery Jell-O and Mixed Vegetable Jell-O

We've posted some completely awful recipes and pictures of the Jell-O craze of the 20th century, although those were mostly recipes from the company. Real people make delicious and fruity Jell-O salads from sweet things like fruit, whipped cream, and marshmallows. Or at least they do after one or two experiments with vegetables in gelatin. But at the height of the Jell-O salad fad, the company made things easier with specific flavors made to go with veggies. Celery and mixed vegetables flavors were introduced in 1964. See more of the advertisements and read a couple recipes for the new flavors at ClickAmericana. Yum! See their other vintage recipes here. -via Metafilter


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Smoked Watermelon Looks Like Meat

(YouTube link)

This is a watermelon. It's been skinned, brined, smoked, basted, and grilled like a ham, so it resembles a ham. Duck's Eatery in New York City offers it as an entree, but you could make it at home, with some skill, particular ingredients and tools, and lots of time. What does it taste like? My guess is that it tastes like a watermelon, no matter what it looks like. My guess is also that it looks better than it tastes. -via Laughing Squid


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How Instant Ramen Became an Overnight Success

(YouTube link)

Instant noodles are a miracle. When you're really broke, they are the cheapest meal you can eat in a hurry, with almost no kitchen equipment necessary. And if you aren't broke, you can dress them up with a variety of other foods. And kids love them. Personally, I avoid ramen because of the association of being way too broke for way too long, but I can understand how others look at these noodles more nostalgically. But where did they come from? Momofuku Ando set out to develop an inexpensive food that could be easily stored. Great Big Story tells us how he did it. -via Geeks Are Sexy 


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People Pot Pie

(YouTube link)

Now, these are some freaky-looking pies! Doesn't matter. If they've got berries in them, I'll eat it. I believe these pies were made by Ashley Newman of Folsom, Louisiana. Her Etsy store is here. Newman posted a tutorial a few years ago on how to make these pies. -via reddit


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How Did Cereal Become a Staple Breakfast Item?

(YouTube link)

Cold cereal is a fairly American habit. The rest of the world eats a light meal of bread, fruit, and a couple of other normal foods, or maybe a hearty cooked meal if you do heavy labor. So why do we eat so much sugary cereal with milk? Yeah, it's tasty, but it's not good for us. However, those cereals were born to be health foods, especially good for the suppression of sexual urges. Simon Whistler of Today I Found Out explains the evolution of breakfast itself first, and then the origins of the cereals we know.


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Hospital Food: Unappetizing Meals for Sick People

Anyone who has spent time in a hospital knows that the food is standardized, bland, overcooked and under-spiced. Kate Washington became deeply interested in the subject when her husband spent several weeks unable to eat and then was charged with gradually getting back to regular meals. He didn't feel good, and hospital meals did not entice him to make an effort to eat. There are reasons behind the way food is in hospitals: the need to deliver scientific nutrition without doing harm, and the industrial scale of feeding all those patients.  

In the move from individual at-home care and feeding for sick patients to mass institutions, medical science shifted to a big-picture, data-driven set of prescriptions and practices. Doing so undeniably saved lives, thanks to astonishing medical advances. But in the midst of institutionalizing and standardizing care, the medical establishment may have lost sight of the function of appetites and individual taste.

Food — for many patients one of the few sensory pleasures they can enjoy — can be an important, healing part of that corrective shift. Catering to patients’ tastes and preferences can certainly be more expensive, yet as Brad and I both learned, it can make a huge difference to the very sick, who may have lost almost all sense of themselves. Eating, among the most basic of human acts, can help reawaken that sense.

Washington turned to cookbooks from hundreds of years ago to find food that would appeal to a patient who didn't want to eat, in recipes from a time when the sick were cared for at home. And she researched the switch from home convalescence to the business of feeding modern hospital patients to find out why hospital food is so bad. The good news is that some institutions are trying new methods to make it better. Read about how hospital food got that way at Eater. -via Digg

(Image credit: Allegra Lockstadt)


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Sad Bachelor Meals

The question at reddit's AskMen forum was "Alrighty, what's the most depressing, single man meal you've made?" The answers are sad, very sad, so sad that you can't help but laugh. The questioner admitted his was peanut butter toast with cheddar cheese with fries. Others were worse.

One man recounts stuffing his face with cereal and washing it down with milk because he was too lazy to do the dishes and fashion a clean bowl.

Another’s meal: “Sliced cheddar cheese and Lays potato chips substituted as crackers.”

Some insane doofus made a Bloody Mary with vodka and SpaghettiOs.

“Spaghetti but with ramen noodles, ketchup and chopped hot dogs.”

Let's hope these guys have learned something about stocking a kitchen since then. You can read the highlights at Mel magazine, or peruse the entire thread at reddit.

(Image credit: Charles Brooking)


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Why Is a ‘Pepper’ Different From ‘Pepper’?

When cooking with other people, you sometimes have to stop and explain what you mean when you say "pepper." There's black pepper, ground from peppercorns, and then there's the various vegetables that originated in America: bell, banana, jalapeño, etc. Black pepper originated in Asia, so why do we call the other plants "peppers"? It was due to Christopher Columbus trying to find a new route to Asia. He didn't, but he still tried to make the best of it by bringing back spices to enrich King Ferdinand. A little misnaming would do.   

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) had been a culinary mainstay of fine cuisine since the Roman Empire, beating out prior spicy compounds such as horseradish, mustard, and the arguably better long pepper. It was a valued addition to both food and medicine, yet getting it from Asia was expensive and difficult. Columbus was so eager to find pepper that he carried peppercorns with him. When he landed, he showed them to locals. They were similar enough to the allspice berries growing wild in Jamaica that Columbus also likened them to pepper: pimienta de Jamaica. Marjorie Shaffer writes in Pepper: A History of the World’s Most Influential Spice that Columbus was likely smart enough to know what he had wasn’t pepper, but that he probably didn’t care. Allspice and hot peppers headed for Europe.

Peppers from the New World were a hit, to the chagrin of Dutch spice traders. Read about the initial misnaming of peppers and how that affected world trade at Atlas Obscura.


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Pizza Wedding Bouquet

Remember when KFC made prom corsages out of fried chicken a few years back? This is a step beyond that. You can have a wedding bouquet made of pizza! Villa Italian Kitchen in New Jersey is offering an edible wedding bouquet and a matching boutonniere for the groom. They're even giving some away to affianced couples who enter a contest.

On the one hand, this is a way to save money by combining the expense of flowers with the expense of food for the reception. On the other hand, pizza grease can leave a real mess behind on a wedding gown or a rental tux. Read more about the pizza bouquet at Elite Daily. -via Metafilter


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How Ketchup Revolutionized How Food Is Grown, Processed and Regulated

The original condiment called ke-tchup was a fermented fish sauce from China. It became popular among sailors for spicing up bland food on long ocean voyages, and folks in other parts of the world then tried to duplicate it for themselves. The recipes varied widely until any fermented and/or vinegary sauce was called ketchup.

But ketchup became truly American once it was wed with the tomato and bottled industrially. While an early ketchup recipe with tomatoes appeared in Britain in 1817, calling for “a gallon of fine, red, and full ripe tomatas [sic],” and also anchovies, shallots, salt, and a variety of spices, it was Americans who really invented tomato ketchup.

The American tomato, with its origins in what is now Mexico and South America, was introduced to Europeans and North Americans by the Spanish conquistadors, and by the 19th century had become a ubiquitous garden plant. (Earlier it had been considered unhealthy and even poisonous.) Tomatoes became the base of many a sauce or stew, and before long were bottled as concentrated, fermented ketchups, preserved with vinegar and spices much the same way housewives would make a mushroom ketchup.

Tomato ketchup was a sensation, but recipes still varied until a company called Heinz started tweaking the recipe to balance shelf life and taste. That's when the story really takes off, and the success of Heinz ketchup led to other milestones in American agribusiness and cuisine. Read the story of ketchup at Smithsonian.

(Image credit: Visitor7)


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Butter Tarts

Do you like butter tarts? Have you ever heard of a butter tart? I had to see a recipe to know what they are, and have ascertained that they are like tiny pecan pies, except sometimes they are made with walnuts or raisins instead of pecans, and sometimes with no nuts at all. In fact, Wikipedia describes them as just that, except the filling is runnier than American pecan pie because they don't use corn starch, and that's why they are in individual crusts. Sweet! Butter tarts are a favorite Canadian treat and comfort food. This came up because Saturday, June 9, is Ontario's Best Butter Tart Festival in Midland, Ontario. The festival opens with The Piping of the Tart with a bagpipe and drum band, and includes all the normal festival trappings, but the main event is the butter tart cooking competition. So if you want to try Canada's best butter tarts, you've got a week to get there. -via Fark

(Image credit: Rob Campbell)


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The History of the Pineapple

Europe had no pineapples, and they were completely unknown there until Christopher Columbus returned from his second voyage to the New World in 1496. He packed some of the fruit for import along with parrots, tomatoes, tobacco, and pumpkins. While the tobacco and pumpkins survived the journey the best, it was the pineapple that really made an impression.

The fateful pineapple that reached King Ferdinand was the sole survivor: it was the only specimen that had not dissolved into a sticky rot during the journey. It produced enough of an impression for Peter Martyr, tutor to the Spanish princes, to record the first tasting: “The most invincible King Ferdinand relates that he has eaten another fruit brought from those countries. It is like a pine-nut in form and colour, covered with scales, and firmer than a melon. Its flavour excels all other fruits.” At least part of the excitement came from the fruit’s spiked form, which sent Europeans into rapture. King Ferdinand’s envoy to Panama, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdes, writes, “[It is] the most beautiful of any fruits I have seen. I do not suppose there is in the whole world any other of so exquisite and lovely appearance.” The sweetness of the pineapple, too, should not go unmentioned. Renaissance Europe was a world essentially bereft of common sweets. Sugar refined from cane was an expensive commodity, and orchard-grown fruits were subject to seasons. The pineapple may well have been the tastiest thing anyone had ever eaten. But delicious or otherwise, it was still the preserve of adventurers, and the pineapple might never have made it into common lore if it hadn’t coincided with yet another global development: the widespread dissemination of the written word.

Pineapple became a sensation for three reasons: it was completely new, it was expensive due to shipping and was therefore reserved for the wealthy, and it was really tasty. Read about the rise of the pineapple at The Paris Review.

-via Messy Nessy Chic


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A Brief History of America’s Appetite for Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese has been an American (and Canadian) staple since Thomas Jefferson regaled the recipe he encountered in France. It expanded to nearly all American tables because it was simple, delicious, and most of all, cheap. After all, cheese itself was invented as a survival food to make milk last longer when there was nothing else to eat.   

Although processed cheese was invented in Switzerland, big American cheese producers—as part of our factory-scale, get-big-or-get-out philosophy of food production—bought into processed cheese so heavily that the very definition of “American cheese” has come to be a processed product. Many Americans may never have had a macaroni and cheese made with real cheese, and many who grew up on mac and cheese may never have had a version that wasn’t made with a powdered mix. While the most popular brand of boxed mac only just recently quietly removed artificial colors and preservatives from their “cheese sauce,” it seems, from a traditional roux-making perspective, still far removed from the original recipe.

Macaroni and cheese has been served as long as there has been a United States of America, but in a 20th-century economy driven by convenience packaging and industrialization, it was elevated to an ideal American food: Pasta and processed cheese are very cheap to make and easy to ship and store, and they certainly fill up a belly. It’s no wonder a hot gooey Velveeta mac and cheese tastes like a winner to so many Americans, even those attending a fancy contest in San Francisco.

The contest the author refers to is one in which the popular vote went to a chef whose recipe for macaroni and cheese included Velveeta, causing a scandal among the gourmet judges. Read about how Americans fell in love with macaroni and cheese at Smithsonian.


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Where Did the Prohibition on Combining Seafood and Cheese Come From?

As someone who does not eat seafood, I never thought much about seafood recipes. I've read in several places that you shouldn't combine cheese with seafood. Okay, but why? I assumed it was some ancient prohibition against combining a food that spoils easily (seafood) with a food that uses things like bacteria or fungus to exist at all (cheese). Dan Nosowitz did some research on the "rule," and found that it is far from universal.

The prohibition on combining seafood and cheese is ancient and strong, but localized. The Top Chef judges state this prohibition as if it is a universal rule, but of course there are dozens of centuries-old dishes combining seafood and cheese that are beloved outside the United States—in Greece, Mexico, France, and even in specific pockets of the U.S. itself. To assume that the combination of seafood and cheese is inherently wrong is bizarre, and yet common. So where did it come from?

“It definitely originated in Italy, there’s no doubt about that,” says Julia della Croce, a cookbook author, teacher, writer, and one of America’s foremost experts on Italian cuisine. “Italians are very religious about mixing cheese and fish or seafood, it just isn’t done.” I spoke with several food historians and nobody seems to disagree on this point: The prohibition, and its aggressiveness, come from Italy.

The next question is why. While there is no consensus on the reason, there are quite a few possibilities, which you can read about at Gastro Obscura.

(Image credit: Aïda Amer)


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Your Saddest Desperation Cocktails, Ranked

Remember back in college, when you had limited money, limited access to alcohol, and limited supplies in the dormitory kitchen? Making a cocktail, or even a highball, was a matter of inventiveness often driven by desperation. You mixed what you had. It can also happen when you are adult, but broke, or a high school student sneaking what's available up to your room.

Deadspin collected stories of these cocktail recipes born of desperation dredged from readers' pasts. -via Metafilter, where you'll find even more.

(image credit: Elena Scotti (GMG))


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The Turkish Roots of Swedish Meatballs

King Charles XII ascended to the Swedish throne at the age of 15 in 1705, and immediately set out to wage war against the world around him. He earned the nickname "the Swedish Meteor" when he conquered Denmark-Norway and Saxony-Poland-Lithuania in the 18th century.

The meteor, as it happened, fizzled. In 1708, Charles XII decided to make what is now considered a military misstep: invading Russia. After Russian forces destroyed his troops at the battle of Poltava in 1709, Charles fled to the Ottoman Empire, another enemy of Russia. Settling with 1,000 men in what is now Moldova, he spent five years shuttling around the Empire, including Constantinople. In 1710, he convinced Sultan Ahmed III to declare war on Russia.

Though Charles was champing at the bit to get back to Sweden, it’s said he and his men gained a taste for Ottoman Turk cuisine, such as sherbet and what’s now known as Turkish coffee. Voltaire even wrote that a Russian-paid assassin tried to slip poison in Charles’s coffee. While the Swedish government didn’t specify which recipe Charles XII liked so much, the king and his followers likely encountered köfte, the spiced lamb and beef meatballs of Turkish cuisine.

Having made several nations of enemies, Charles did not live a long life. Like a meteor, indeed. It was a while before his favorite meatball recipe slipped into the public eye and became Sweden's pride and joy. Read how that happened at Gastro Obscura.


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Pickled Basilisk Eggs with Wasabi and Avocado

You've probably been using the same deviled egg recipe your entire life; now its time to try something different! Tye Lombardi at the Necro Nom-nom-nomicon has a spicy, colorful recipe for pickled basilisk eggs. You will need:

6-8 basilisk eggs.
1 fireproof suit and gloves.
Large mirror
Blindfold

Oh, wait, that's the recipe for immortals. For the rest of us, it's a matter of pickling your eggs for a few days with brine colored with beet juice, then deviling the yolks with with wasabi and avocado filling. That's where the fuchsia and chartreuse color scheme comes from. Bone appetit!


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O Moldy Night: A Celebration of Molded Food

Three old friends in Durham, North Carolina, staged a pop-up museum project at the Durham Hotel called "O Moldy Night," featuring premiere dishes of molded food from 40 experienced chefs, home cooks, and artists. The idea of molded food was dominated by tributes to old family recipes involving Jell-O, agar, or aspic, but it was not limited to those ingredients. Some were molded of chocolate or cooked beans. The dish pictured is “Jell-O by the Sea” by Kate Fulbright.

Medium: Agar agar, Jell-O, coconut milk, Swedish Fish, graham crackers, sprinkles

Inspired by an episode of “Rugrats,” I set out to make a grand, wiggly-jiggly mold of the ocean. Using Swedish fish to represent ocean life, and a combination of tapioca balls and zigzags representing bubbles and kelp, I suspended this all in layers of agar agar (a gelatin derived from algae). Crushed graham crackers and sprinkles adorning the edge as sand and seashells completed the tableau.

The dishes ranged from the nostalgic (“Nothing Says I Love You Like Green Jell-O”) to the exotic (“Big in Japan”) to the alcoholic (“Jiggle Gin Fizz”) to the disgusting (“I Would Heart for You to Trotter on Over and Vent Your Spleen”). The best-named dish was certainly "Congealed Item." You can see the most notable of the molded foods at Bitter Southerner. -via Metafilter


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A Japanese Take on American Sushi

(YouTube link)

Jun Yoshizuki of Jun's Kitchen makes American-style sushi with what seems like the entire contents of a grocery store to the beat of a fast, bouncy soundtrack. You don't even need to like sushi to enjoy the efficient moves of his practiced technique. His "studio audience" consists of his curious and appreciative cats Haku and Nagi, who are both well-fed and well-trained. We can assume that Poki is in another room with the door shut. -via Laughing Squid


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How Hostess Cakes Are Made

(YouTube link)

Come close and watch robots in Emporia, Kansas, make Hostess cupcakes, donettes, and Twinkies! No, we're not going to get any recipes, but we will see battalions of cakes marching in formation through the factory as layer after layer of sweet sugary stuff is added to them. Cream filling? Check. Frosting? Check. Swirls? Check. Powdered sugar? Check. You might get a sugar high just by watching, but my guess is that you'll go find a sweet snack right after the video is finished. -via Geekologie  


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