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Miscellany

Miscellany Food

“As if I swallowed a baby,” said William Makepeace Thackeray about eating his first oyster.

Miscellany Food

Vomitorium, noun: A large passageway in an ancient amphitheater out of which crowds emptied. In Antic Hay, published in 1924, Aldous Huxley became the first recorded author in English to state erroneously that it was a domestic room in which overfed Romans vomited after feasts.

Miscellany Food

“I am the emperor, and I want dumplings,” said Emperor Ferdinand I of Austria. His only lucid remark, the historian A. J. P. Taylor thought.

Miscellany Food

To celebrate King Henri III of France’s visit to Venice in 1574, a banquet table was prepared with some 1,286 items—from napkins and cutlery to figures of popes—all made from spun sugar.

Miscellany Food

“I’m not leaving, and by the way I’m hungry,” President George W. Bush said on September 13, 2001, when he was told there was a credible threat to the White House. He ordered a cheeseburger. 

Miscellany Food

About his habit of masturbating in public, Diogenes the Cynic said, “I only wish I could be rid of hunger by rubbing my belly.”

Miscellany Food

The choirmaster of the Cologne Cathedral gave sugar sticks to his young singers to keep them quiet during the long Nativity ceremony in 1670. They were shaped like a shepherd’s crook.

Miscellany Food

About cilantro in a dish, Julia Child said, “I would pick it out if I saw it and throw it on the floor.”

Miscellany Food

At thirty-one ounces, the Trenta, a new drink size introduced by Starbucks in 2011, holds the same volume as the average capacity of the human stomach. 

Miscellany Food

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg’s digestive “milk cure” involved drinking a half pint of milk every half hour for twelve hours, supplemented by bran and paraffin four times a day, fruit twice a day, and two enemas a day.

Miscellany Food

“Hunger is the best sauce in the world,” wrote Miguel de Cervantes in Part II, Chapter V, of Don Quixote, published in 1615.

Miscellany Food

Between 1959 and 1962 in China, Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward increased industrial growth at the expense of agricultural output. More than 45 million people perished from famine and disease, as well as from floods, droughts, and locusts.

Miscellany Food

As a young man studying in Amsterdam, Vincent van Gogh on August 18, 1877, wrote to his brother Theo, “I breakfasted on a piece of dry bread and a glass of beer—that is what Dickens advises for those who are on the point of committing suicide, as being a good way to keep them, at least for some time, from their purpose.” 

Miscellany Food

Tomato, potato, corn, beans, zucchini, squash, avocado, bell pepper, chili, and pineapple are among the foods that Christopher Columbus brought back to the Old World. Onion, garlic, wheat, barley, olives, and lettuce are among the foods he introduced to the New. 

Miscellany Food

“I have made a bet, Mr. Coolidge, that I could get you to say more than two words,” a lady remarked to the president during a dinner. “You lose,” he responded.