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Miscellany

Miscellany Food

Puréed applesauce—the first food eaten in outer space, by John Glenn in 1962. Shrimp cocktail, macaroni and cheese, candy-coated peanuts, Metamucil wafers—among what he ate thirty-six years later aboard the spaceship Discovery

Miscellany Food

Scurvy, or lack of vitamin C, killed the Danish-born explorer Vitus Bering in 1741. His men survived by clubbing seals—after smashing the cranium, brains spilling out and teeth in shards, “the beast still attacks the men with his flippers,” one sailor recalled.

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 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.

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

“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

Charles Lindbergh bought five sandwiches for his flight across the Atlantic in 1927, saying, “If I get to Paris, I won’t need any more, and if I don’t get to Paris, I won’t need any more either.” It took him thirty-three and a half hours. Amelia Earhart in 1932 flew across the Atlantic in fourteen hours and fifty-six minutes, during which she drank chicken soup from a thermos, and a can of tomato juice—opened with an ice pick. 

Miscellany Food

Kobe beef, black truffles, seared foie gras, aged Gruyère cheese, wild mushrooms, and flakes of gold leaf, are most of the components that comprise the hamburger served at the Wall Street Burger Shoppe. Price: $175.

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

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

Miscellany Food

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

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

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

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

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.