Here’s one for your list of foods you may not be in a hurry to try: a tortilla chip so spicy it will make you gasp, cough, weep and beg for mercy (or water or milk, honey, yogurt, ice cream … anything that might help!).
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Have you ever stopped to consider — really consider — the school lunch? Stop making that face; it’s not that bad. And anyway, I mean the history of it.
Writing in Time, food historian Emelyn Rude looks back at how America’s school lunch program came to be and how it has developed into the robust program it is today.
School lunches have had their ups and downs. Here’s a rough timeline, culled from Rude’s eye-opening piece:
Are you a “foodie” and Instagram addict who chooses a restaurant based on how ready for a close-up its dishes are and then calls a halt to all eating at the table until you have dutifully snapped pics and posted them on social media for all to see? If so, you are so on-trend.
The folks at Zagat, those restaurant-rating gurus, have released the results of a recent dining-trend survey, reflecting the sentiments of 9,865 passionate eaters nationwide, and the findings are rather interesting.
Here are some key facts and figures:
Next time you call a food “scrumdiddlyumptious” — and there should be a next time, even if there has never been a first time — and someone tells you that’s not a real word, you can tell them with assurance that it absolutely is.
Who says? The Oxford English Dictionary, actually. The august linguistic arbiter has seen fit to mark what would have been author Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday by including and/or revising the definitions of a bunch of Dahl-related words — those he coined or popularized in his vast and beloved collection of written works — in its latest quarterly update.
Pop vocabulary quiz! A “coffee cabinet” is: A) a piece of furniture in which you store your coffee, your trusty coffeemaker and all the other coffee-related paraphernalia you never use but are certain you will someday; or B) a milkshake-like beverage people drink in Rhode Island.
It was the best of dressings, it was the worst of dressings; it has an origin story that is, frankly, in some dispute. The story of how Thousand Island dressing — that creamy-sweet salad-and-sandwich-topping mix of mayonnaise, ketchup and a handful of other ingredients (though recipes vary) — came to exist is a tale of two theories.
It may seem like only last year (actually, it was only last year) that scientists were celebrating the discovery of a sixth “basic taste” — something to join the ranks of sour, sweet, salty, bitter and that Johnny-come-lately, umami, as a fundamentally distinct and discernable flavor.
Well, fat, we hardly knew ye, because now there’s a new sixth primary taste in town: starchy.
Could this explain humanity’s common craving for carbs?
Trend alert! If you still think ramen is the only hip noodle in town, udon know what you’re missing.
The toothsome wheat-flour noodle from Japan has a history that dates back anywhere from 900 to 1,200 years (depending on whom you ask), when Buddhist monks are said to have introduced it. Now Mashable has dubbed udon “your newest midnight craving” and “the heir to ramen’s throne.” Read more
Oh, pizza. You vexing vixen. You mealtime minx. You saucy (cheesy, crusty) food fatale. Is there nothing we wouldn’t do to devour you, piece by piece?
Researchers have found that the promise of pizza can prompt people to be more productive at work — even more than cash incentives can. In an experiment outlined in his forthcoming book, Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations, and highlighted in New York magazine, Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, offered workers at an Israeli semiconductor manufacturer one of three incentives for completing a certain amount of work in a given day: a cash reward, a voucher for a free pizza or a big pat on the back from the boss. (Some workers served as the control group and received no promise of a reward at all — poor schlubs.)
Could the secret to making healthy yet bland dishes taste as decadently delicious as craveworthy comfort foods be as plain as the nose on your face? Quite possibly.
A team of chemists at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research’s Center for Taste and Feeding Behavior, led by Thierry Thomas-Danguin, Ph.D., has developed a device that uses smell to trick the brain into thinking the fat, sugar and salt content of desserts and other foods — the stuff we yearn for even as we try to limit our consumption of it — is much higher than it truly is.