Archive

Miscellany

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

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

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

“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

“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

The G8 met in Hokkaido, Japan, in July 2008 to address the global food crisis. Over an eighteen-course meal—including truffles, caviar, conger eel, Kyoto beef, and champagne—prepared by sixty chefs, the world leaders came to a consensus: “We are deeply concerned that the steep rise in global food prices coupled with availability problems in a number of developing countries is threatening global food security.”

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

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

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

“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

“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

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

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

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

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.”