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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate

“The pâté of childhood”*…

North Americans weren’t the first to grind peanuts—the Inca beat us to it by a few hundred years—but peanut butter reappeared in the modern world because of an American, the doctor, nutritionist and cereal pioneer John Harvey Kellogg, who filed a patent for a proto-peanut butter in 1895. Kellogg’s “food compound” involved boiling nuts and grinding them into an easily digestible paste for patients at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, a spa for all kinds of ailments. The original patent didn’t specify what type of nut to use, and Kellogg experimented with almonds as well as peanuts, which had the virtue of being cheaper. While modern peanut butter enthusiasts would likely find Kellogg’s compound bland, Kellogg called it “the most delicious nut butter you ever tasted in your life.”

A Seventh-Day Adventist, Kellogg endorsed a plant-based diet and promoted peanut butter as a healthy alternative to meat, which he saw as a digestive irritant and, worse, a sinful sexual stimulant. His efforts and his elite clientele, which included Amelia Earhart, Sojourner Truth and Henry Ford, helped establish peanut butter as a delicacy. As early as 1896, Good Housekeeping encouraged women to make their own with a meat grinder, and suggested pairing the spread with bread. “The active brains of American inventors have found new economic uses for the peanut,” the Chicago Tribune rhapsodized in July 1897…

… and on to the introduction of “chunky,” the wide-mouth jar, the role of George Washington Carver– the story of the bizarre sanitarium staple that became a spreadable obsession: “A Brief History of Peanut Butter.”

* Food critic Florence Frabricant

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As we spread it thick, we might recall that it was on this date (which is, serendipitously, both National Peanut Butter Day and EWW’s birthday) in 1922 that another childhood favorite, the Eskimo Pie– an ice cream center covered in chocolate– was patented. Christian Kent Nelson, a schoolteacher and candy store owner, claimed to have received the inspiration in 1920 in Onawa, Iowa, when a boy in his store was unable to decide whether to spend his money on ice cream or a chocolate bar.  After experimenting with different ways to adhere melted chocolate to bricks of ice cream, Nelson began selling his invention under the name “I-Scream Bars.”  In 1921, he filed for a patent, and secured an agreement with local chocolate producer Russell C. Stover to mass-produce them under the new trademarked name “Eskimo Pie” (a name suggested by Mrs. Stover), and to create the Eskimo Pie Corporation.  After patent 1,404,539 was issued on January 24, 1922, Nelson franchised the product, allowing ice cream manufacturers to produce them under the now-ubiquitous name.  (The invention made Nelson “rich overnight,” according to a 1922 New York Times article about the dessert. By then, Mr. Nelson, then barely 29, was making $30,000 a week in royalties from sales of the product.)

Ultimately the company was acquired by The Dreyers division of Nestlé– which has, thankfully, announced that it will change the name and packaging.

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“I could dance with you till the cows come home. Better still, I’ll dance with the cows and you come home”*…

 

Blosom, a 6′ 4″ bovine, was recently named the World’s Tallest Cow by Guinness World Records.

In an email from Guinness World Records in London, England, owner Patty Hanson read, “We would like to congratulate you on your record breaking achievement — you are truly amazing”…

This tall tale in it’s entirety at “‘Holy cow, she is big:’ Orangeville Holstein sets Guinness World Record“; more photos here.

* Groucho Marx, in Duck Soup

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As we celebrate superlatives, we might recall that the pinnacle of a cow’s produce, the Eskimo Pie–ice cream center covered in chocolate– was patented on this date in 1922.  Christian Kent Nelson, a schoolteacher and candy store owner, claimed to have received the inspiration in 1920 in Onawa, Iowa, when a boy in his store was unable to decide whether to spend his money on ice cream or a chocolate bar.  After experimenting with different ways to adhere melted chocolate to bricks of ice cream, Nelson began selling his invention under the name “I-Scream Bars.”  In 1921, he filed for a patent, and secured an agreement with local chocolate producer Russell C. Stover to mass-produce them under the new trademarked name “Eskimo Pie” (a name suggested by Mrs. Stover), and to create the Eskimo Pie Corporation.  After patent 1,404,539 was issued on January 24, 1922, Nelson franchised the product, allowing ice cream manufacturers to produce them under the now-ubiquitous name.  (Ultimately the company was acquired by Nestlé,)

 

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Written by LW

January 24, 2015 at 1:01 am

Experiments you can eat!…

From io9, “Use Your Microwave to Measure the Speed of Light“…

Can your microwave oven really measure the speed of light? Yes, it can be done. And since many of the suggested experiments also involve chocolate, it will be done. Oh yes, it will be done.

Step-by-step instructions (and an accessible account of the physics involved) here.

Also from io9, “A Drug That Causes One Animal’s Brain to Transform Into Another.”– “Does this mean you could treat a chimp embryo and make its brain human? Possibly – as long as you started very early in the process of development.”  Fascinating.

And further to yesterday’s Evolution Timeline, a tee-shirt that sums up the whole process concisely:

As we say “Hello, Mr. Wizard,” we might recall that it was on this date in in 1671 that Thomas Blood, an Irish Colonel and a “noted bravo and desperado,” dressed as a clergyman and attempted to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London.

Blood was frustrated in the attempt, apprehended, and taken in chains before King Charles.  Despite the attempted robbery, prior involvements in kidnapping and attempted murder, and the fact that Blood had forsaken the Royalist cause for the Roundheads, the King not only pardoned Blood, but endowed him with land in Ireland.  Blood died of natural causes nine years later.

Thomas Blood

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