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Miscellany

Miscellany Food

Thirty to sixty million—the estimate of buffalo in the United States in the early 1800s. 1,200—the estimate some ninety years later.

Miscellany Food

Breaking the necks of pigeons in the Luxembourg Gardens while the gendarme went for a glass of wine was supposedly how Ernest Hemingway on occasion fed his family in Paris in the 1920s. He hid the bodies in his son Bumby’s stroller. Sometimes when he went without, the novelist studied the paintings by Paul Cézanne, which “looked more beautiful if you were belly empty, hollow hungry.”

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

“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

The first Olympic champion on record, Coroebus, was a cook. He won the sprint in 776 BC.

Miscellany Food

As to why he didn’t drink water, an inebriated W.C. Fields purportedly responded, “Fish fuck in it.”

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

Paul Newman’s character amazingly eats fifty hard-boiled eggs in one hour in Cool Hand Luke. 141 hard-boiled eggs eaten in eight minutes is the actual world record, held by Joey Chestnut.

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

“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

In the 1790s in the United States, the average American over the age of fifteen consumed almost six gallons of pure alcohol per annum. The modern figure is 2.8.

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

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

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.”