Listen to this article: Macaroni and cheese was one of my favorite dishes growing up. Today, it remains one of my favorites. As it turns out, this dish has been a comfort food for hundreds of years. In honor of my favorite dish, the next two posts will be dedicated to its history and chemistry. […]
Listen to this article: Every 48 years, the bamboo forests of northeast India (within what is now the state of Mizoram) erupt in flowers. It is both a stunning display and a harrowing sign of impending disaster. Along with the flowers comes a tidal wave of rats. Arrival of the flowers, rats, and ensuing famine […]
Listen to this article: In the early 19th Century, confectionary chefs from Naples had become known across Europe for their innovative dessert creations. With arrival of the Italian Diaspora, Neapolitan bakers and chefs were moving into US cities. In the 1870s, one of the most well-known ice cream combinations around the world was introduced: Neapolitan ice […]
Beginning this week: Professor Elliot’s Bookshelf, the podcast. Each article will be accompanied with an audio version. Enjoy! One of my favorite treats as a kid in Morocco, was sfenj; a fried donut either topped with powdered sugar or soaked in honey. Although it has been a long time since then, going on donut runs always comforts […]
There has only been one comprehensive study on the effects of starvation on human beings. An experiment by Dr. Ancel Keys, which remains the sole source of information on the subject to this day. And for good reason: it has become illegal to starve your subjects, even if they volunteer.
In reading Henry Williams’ 1903 collection Curious Facts, I came across the description of a tree that grows on the plateaus of Venezuela: The sap of the cow tree, as its name implies, resembles milk, both in look and taste. A slight balsamic taste has been reported by some naturalists who have drank of the strange […]
When approaching Mono Lake in the summer months, you can hear a persistent and steady buzzing. As you get closer to the lake, you notice the black sands are all vibrating. These aren’t sands, but flies! And these flies seem to avoid your every step, as you aren’t on their menu, but it’s often the […]
There is a reason why you cannot buy cashews in the shell. Cashews are poisonous if they aren’t processed properly. That’s no big surprise considering they are in the same family as poison ivy. In fact, its toxin, urushiol, is the same allergen that gives poison ivy its itch.
In Walt Disney’s vision of the future, public landscaping utilized only edible plants. This idea claimed that no one would go hungry due to the foods freely available in the public space. Tomorrowland demonstrates this concept by mostly using edible plants for landscaping. There are lavender hedges, pepper trees, and more throughout that area of […]