Quantcast
DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 05/23/12

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

ANOTHER 10 AMAZING FOOD FACTS!

  Here's another list of some pretty interesting facts about different food and their combinations.   So I am now presenting you with a second list of even more fascinating food facts. If you want to add some interesting facts of your own to the comments, please feel free.



10. Butter Tea
Picture 1-51



   Fascinating Fact: In Tibet, a common drink is butter tea – it is made from yak butter, salt, and tea.
   The average Tibetan can drink 50 – 60 cups of this tea in any one day! It is made by drying Chinese tea in the road for several days (to let it acquire a strong flavor). The tea is then boiled for up to half a day and churned in bamboo churns to which salt, a pinch of soda, and rancid butter have been added. When drinking the tea, you can blow the scum (from the butter) away from the edge of the cup and sip. Some Tibetans add “tsu” and flour to their tea (in much the same way as we add milk and sugar). Tsu is a mixture of hardened cheese, butter, and sugar. When you sip the tea, your host will refill your cup as it should always remain full. We now move on from one drink to another:

9. Hot Chocolate
Img 8647



   Fascinating Fact: The ancient Mayans made truly hot chocolate – they added chilies and corn to it!
   The first records of chocolate being used for drinking come from residue found in ancient Mayan pots – it dates back to the 5th century AD. The drink was made by pounding chocolate beans in to a paste which was then mixed with water, chili peppers, cornmeal, and assorted spices. The drink was then poured back and forth between a cup and a pot, which gave it a foamy head. This was drunk cold, and people of all classes drank it regularly. The drink tasted spicy and bitter, unlike today’s hot chocolate. When Chocolate finally reached the west, it was very expensive, costing between $50 – $70 per pound in equivalent modern US dollars. If you ever get to Paris, be sure to visit Angelina for the best hot chocolate in the world – try the Chocolat l’Africain (pictured above – recipe below).
   Combine 3/4 cup whole milk, 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar and heat over med-high till bubbles appear around edges. Remove from heat and add 4 oz of the best bittersweet chocolate (72%) you can find (chopped). Stir till melted (you may need to return it to low heat). Serve with whipped cream.



8. Mysterious History of Donuts
Donuts



   Fascinating Fact: No one really knows when donuts were invented or who invented them.
   Donuts (doughnuts in UK English), were originally made as a long twist of dough – not in the ring form that is most common these days. It was also common in England for donuts to be made in a ball shape and injected with Jam after they were cooked – this is still very common. Both methods of cooking involve no human intervention as the ball and twist will turn itself over when the underside is cooked. The ring donut common to America just seemed to appear – but one Hansen Gregory, an American, claimed to have invented it in 1847 when he was traveling on a steam boat; he was not satisfied with the texture of the center of the donut so he pressed a hole in the center with the ship’s pepper box.



7. Apple, Potato, or Onion?
800Px-Onions



   Fascinating Fact: Apples, potatoes, and onions all taste the same when eaten with your nose plugged.
   As a child we had a science class in which we were blindfolded, had our noses plugged, and given an apple or onion to eat – we were not told which of the two we would be given. Not one person was able to state which was which. This shows the incredibly important part that the nose plays in the sense of taste. The fact that the three items have a similar consistency makes it virtually impossible to tell them apart without the sense of smell. If you try this, I should warn you: once you unblock your nose, you can tell what you have just eaten.



6. Floating Eggs
Eggs 0



   Fascinating Fact: When an egg floats in water, it is “off” and should not be eaten.
   As eggs age, gases build up inside the shell making it more buoyant. This is the best way to test whether an egg has gone rotten without having to break open the shell, risking the foul odor escaping. When an egg is extremely fresh it will lie on its side at the bottom of a glass of water. As it ages, the egg will begin to point upwards, and will finally float completely when it has gone bad. Fresh eggs have a very firm white, whilst old eggs have a very watery white. This is why it is best to use the freshest eggs possible for poaching and frying. Older eggs are perfectly good for omelets or scrambling.



5. Vanilla Junkie
Vanilla-Orchid



   Fascinating Fact: The consumption of natural vanilla causes the body to release catecholamines (including adrenalin) – for this reason it is considered to be mildly addictive.
   When vanilla plants were first exported from Mexico to other tropical climes, they flowered but wouldn’t produce vanilla pods. It was discovered that a bee native to Mexico was the only creature that could pollinate vanilla flowers (vanilla comes from a special species of orchid). Attempts to move the bee to other countries failed and it was not until a slave boy discovered a method of artificial pollination that Mexico lost its monopoly on vanilla. As well as being mildly addictive, vanilla has also been found to block bacterial infections.



4. Banana Trees
796Px-Inside A Wild-Type Banana



   Fascinating Fact: Banana trees are not actually trees – they are giant herbs.
   The large stem that is mistaken for a trunk on a banana tree is actually a “pseudostem” meaning “fake stem”. Each pseudostem provides a single bunch of yellow, green, or red bananas. This then dies and is replaced by another pseudostem. Smaller bunches of bananas (such as the ones we buy in shops) are actually called “hands” – not “bunches” which can weigh up to 50 kilograms. The bananas that we eat are specially cultivated to exclude seeds – therefore you can’t plant a banana tree from a commercially grown banana. Wild bananas have many large hard seeds (pictured above).



3. Brain Freeze
Picture 2-42



   Fascinating Fact: The term “brain freeze” was invented by 7-11 to explain the pain one feels when drinking a slurpee too fast.
   Believe it or not, there is a real scientific name for “brain freeze” – it is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia (try saying that 5 times fast!) When something very cold (usually ice cream) touches the top palate of the mouth, it causes the blood vessels to constrict. This makes the nerves send a signal to the brain to re-open them. The rapid re-opening of the vessels causes a build up of fluid in the tissues causing a slight swelling in the forehead and, therefore, causing pain. It normally takes 30 – 60 seconds for the fluid to drain, relieving the pain.



2. Ancient Sauce
Ketchup-Tomato



   Fascinating Fact: Ketchup was originally a fish sauce originating in the orient.
   Two words from the Fujian region of China were used to describe a fish brine / sauce and a tomato sauce – both words bear a striking resemblance in sound to the word “ketchup”; the words are: ke-tsap and kio-chiap. Early western ketchups were made with fish and spices, or mushrooms. In fact, mushroom ketchup is still available in the United Kingdom and it is prized by some modern chefs for its natural inclusion of monosodium glutamate – the only substance known to stimulate the 5th human taste sense umami (savoury).



1. Feel Good With 7-Up
2091400441 40D54230E9




   Fascinating Fact: 7-Up – invented in 1920 contained Lithium – the drug commonly prescribed now to sufferers of bi-polar disorder.
   The drink was originally marketed as a hangover cure – due to the inclusion of lithium citrate. It was released just a few years before the Wall Street crash of the 1920s and it was marketed under the name “Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda” – quite a mouthful! The name was changed to 7-Up shortly after its release but lithium remained one of the ingredients until 1950. Some popular myths surround the name of the drink – but the name is most likely due to the original recipe containing 7 ingredients (with the “up” portion relating to the lithium) or the fact that lithium has an atomic mass of 7.






WHY TRYING TO WAIT OUT THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE COULD GET YOU KILLED!!




    I want to bring up some alternate methods of thought, that the best way to survive the zombie apocalypse is to stay mobile and not hunker down in a single place. Here's why that it might be true.



A Zombie Apocalypse Isn't Siege Warfare

    Zombie survivalists like to make a parallel between fending off zombies and medieval forms of siege warfare. At first glance, it's easy to see why they might make that comparison: you have an overwhelming mass of combatants outside your gates, but within a well-stocked stronghold, a small number of defenders can hold off almost indefinitely.
    The problem with this idea is that surviving a siege puts faith in the idea that your attackers will eventually get bored or be incapable of feeding or otherwise supplying themselves and will soon stop attacking you.





    We can't assume those things of zombies. Zombies don't get bored. Zombies are always hungry, but hunger won't stop them. They're impervious to disease and they will never revolt or turn on one another. They don't tire, and the chill of winter or the brunt of a storm won't faze them. There's no commander you can kill to demoralize the rest of the group. The only thing that will stop a zombie is a bullet to the head or (if you can hold out long enough), the slow process of bodily decay. And we're even assuming that zombies do decay. What if the zombie virus has some preservative quality that means the walking dead won't atrophy away to wind-scraped bones? Then you're looking at an indefinite period of zombie activity and you will never have enough supplies or ammo to survive an onslaught like that. The zombies may not get you, but you'll starve to death and won't be any better off.






Why Staying Mobile Is a Good Idea

    By staying on the move, you can scavenge supplies as you go, killing zombies when it's advantageous to do so, and running when the numbers are stacked against you. You're also more likely to meet other survivors and be able to band together. It's not an easy lifestyle, and in the long run, it may not give you any better chance of surviving than staying put, but it's a way to take a more active role in your survival.
    You need different skills to survive the zombie apocalypse on the move than you would bunkered down in a stronghold: you need to be in shape and you need to be able to navigate without the aid of modern devices - there's no Mapquest to help you out anymore. You need to be able to scrounge food from the world around you - whether that means hunting and foraging in the wilderness, or scavenging for canned goods in abandoned supermarkets.







    The mobile zombie survivalist has more dangers to face than just zombies: they're exposed to the elements, may have trouble finding clean drinking water, and even a "minor" injury like a sprained ankle from a slip or fall could levy a death sentence if it keeps them from getting to a defensible position before the zombies arrive. Even failing that, being on the run is exhausting, and mobile survivalists may soon find their energy reserves drained when they need them most.
Just in case you wanted to send a letter during the apocalypse



Mix The Two

    When possible, the best survival strategy may be to mix the two: stay on the move until you find a good place to make a stand, defend it for a bit while you rest and recover from your recent journey, but get out and move on before too many zombies accumulate or before your supplies start running low.

MAY DAY IN GREAT BRITIAN AND AROUND THE WORLD!








   May Day on May 1st,  is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday;   it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures.

Traditional May Day Celebrations

   May Day is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night. May Day falls exactly half a year from November 1, another cross-quarter day which is also associated with various northern European pagan and the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations.
   As Europe became Christianized, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and either changed into popular secular celebrations, as with May Day, or were merged with or replaced by new Christian holidays as with Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and All Saint's Day. In the twentieth and continuing into the twenty-first century, many neopagans began reconstructing the old traditions and celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival again.

 Origins

   The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane. Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe. A more secular version of May Day continues to be observed in Europe and America. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the maypole dance and crowning of the Queen of the May. Various Neopagan groups celebrate reconstructed (to varying degrees) versions of these customs on May 1st.
The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the first day of Spring, May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was Midsummer. In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary's month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this connection, in works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary's head will often be adorned with flowers in a May crowning. Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of "May baskets," small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbours' doorsteps.







 Europe

Great Britain

   Roodmas was a Christian Mass celebrated in England at midnight on May 1.
Traditional British May Day rites and celebrations include Morris dancing, crowning a May Queen and celebrations involving a Maypole. Much of this tradition derives from the pagan Anglo-Saxon customs held during "Þrimilci-mōnaþ"  (the Old English name for the month of May meaning Month of Three Milkings) along with many Celtic traditions.
   May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries. May Day is most associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings. Since the reform of the Catholic Calendar, May 1st is the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, the patron saint of workers. Seeding has been completed by this date and it was convenient to give farm labourers a day off. Perhaps the most significant of the traditions is the Maypole, around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons.
   The May Day bank holiday, on the first Monday in May, was traditionally the only one to affect the state school calendar, although new arrangements in some areas to even out the length of school terms mean that the Good Friday and Easter Monday bank holidays, which vary from year to year, may also fall during term time. The May Day bank holiday was created in 1978. In February 2011, the UK Parliament was reported to be considering scrapping the bank holiday associated with May Day, replacing it with a bank holiday in October, possibly co-inciding with Trafalgar Day (celebrated on 21 October), to create a "United Kingdom Day".




May Day 1904




   May Day was abolished and its celebration banned by puritan parliaments during the Interregnum, but reinstated with the restoration of Charles II in 1660.   1 May 1707 was the day the Act of Union came into effect, joining England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
   In Oxford, it is traditional for May Morning revellers to gather below the Great Tower of Magdalen College at 6:00 am to listen to the college choir sing traditional madrigals as a conclusion to the previous night's celebrations. It is then thought to be traditional for some people to jump off Magdalen Bridge into the River Cherwell. However this has actually only been fashionable since the 1970s, possibly due to the presence of TV cameras. In recent years, the bridge has been closed on 1 May to prevent people from jumping, as the water under the bridge is only 2 feet (61 cm) deep and jumping from the bridge has resulted in serious injury in the past. There are still people who insist on climbing the barriers and leaping into the water, causing themselves injury.
   In Durham, students of the University of Durham gather on Prebend's Bridge to see the sunrise and enjoy festivities, folk music, dancing, madrigal singing and a barbecue breakfast. This is an emerging Durham tradition, with patchy observance since 2001.
Whitstable, Kent, hosts a good example of more traditional May Day festivities, where the Jack in the Green festival was revived in 1976 and continues to lead an annual procession of morris dancers through the town on the May Bank Holiday. A separate revival occurred in Hastings in 1983 and has become a major event in the town calendar. A traditional Sweeps Festival is performed over the May bank holiday in Rochester, Kent, where the Jack in the Green is woken at dawn on 1 May by Morris dancers.









   At 7:15 p.m. on 1 May each year, the Kettle Bridge Clogs  morris dancing side dance across Barming Bridge (otherwise known as the Kettle Bridge), which spans the River Medway near Maidstone, to mark the official start of their morris dancing season. Also know as Ashtoria Day in Northern parts of rural Cumbria. A celebration of unity and female bonding. Although not very well known, it is often cause for huge celebration.
   The Maydayrun involves thousands of motorbikes taking a 55-mile (89 km) trip from London (Locksbottom) to the Hastings seafront, East Sussex. The event has been taking place for almost 30 years now and has grown in interest from around the country, both commercially and publicly. The event is not officially organised; the police only manage the traffic, and volunteers manage the parking.
   Padstow in Cornwall holds its annual 'Obby-Oss' (Hobby Horse) day of festivities. This is believed to be one of the oldest fertility rites in the UK; revellers dance with the Oss through the streets of the town and even through the private gardens of the citizens, accompanied by accordion players and followers dressed in white with red or blue sashes who sing the traditional 'May Day' song. The whole town is decorated with springtime greenery, and every year thousands of onlookers attend. Prior to the 19th century distinctive May day celebrations were widespread throughout West Cornwall, and are being revived in St. Ives and Penzance.
   Kingsand, Cawsand and Millbrook in Cornwall celebrate Flower Boat Ritual on the May Day bank holiday. A model of the ship The Black Prince is covered in flowers and is taken in procession from the Quay at Millbrook to the beach at Cawsand where it is cast adrift. The houses in the villages are decorated with flowers and people traditionally wear red and white clothes. There are further celebrations in Cawsand Square with Morris dancing and May pole dancing.









   In St Andrews, some of the students gather on the beach late on April 30 and run into the North Sea at sunrise on May Day, occasionally naked. This is accompanied by torchlit processions and much elated celebration.
   Both Edinburgh and Glasgow organize Mayday festivals and rallies. In Edinburgh, the Beltane Fire Festival is held on the evening of May eve and into the early hours of May Day on the city's Calton Hill. An older Edinburgh tradition has it that young women who climb Arthur's Seat and wash their faces in the morning dew will have lifelong beauty.








 Ireland

   May Day has been celebrated in Ireland since pagan times as the feast of Bealtaine and in latter times as Mary's day. Traditionally, bonfires were lit to mark the coming of summer and to banish the long nights of winter. Officially Irish May Day holiday is the first Monday in May. Old traditions such as bonfires are no longer widely observed, though the practice still persists in some communities, such as Arklow, County Wicklow.








 France

   On May 1, 1561, King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court. At the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime, on May 1. The government permits individuals and workers' organisations to sell them tax-free. Nowadays, people may present loved ones either with bunches of lily of the valley or dog rose flowers.








Germany

   In rural regions of Germany, especially the Harz Mountains, Walpurgisnacht celebrations of pagan origin are traditionally held on the night before May Day, including bonfires and the wrapping of a Maibaum (maypole). Young people use this opportunity to party, while the day itself is used by many families to get some fresh air. Motto: "Tanz in den Mai!" ("Dance into May!"). In the Rhineland, May 1 is also celebrated by the delivery of a maypole, a tree covered in streamers to the house of a girl the night before. The tree is typically from a love interest, though a tree wrapped only in white streamers is a sign of dislike. Females usually place roses or rice in form of a heart at the house of their beloved one. It is common to stick the heart to a window or place it in front of the doormat. On leap years, it is the responsibility of the females to place the maypole. All the action is usually done secretly and it is an individual's choice whether to give a hint of their identity or stay anonymous. May Day was not established as a public holiday until 1933. As Labour Day, many political parties and unions host activities related to work and employment.








 Finland

   Celebrations among the younger generations take place on May Day Eve, see Walpurgis Night in Finland, most prominent being the afternoon 'crowning' of statues in towns around the country with a student cap.
   May Day is known as Vappu, from the Swedish term. This is a public holiday that is the only carnival-style street festivity in the country. People young and old, particularly students, party outside, picnic and wear caps or other decorative clothing.
Some Finns make a special lemonade from lemons, brown sugar, and yeast called "sima". It contains very little alcohol, so even children can drink it. You can also buy a similar product in all stores. Some Finns also make doughnuts and a crisp pastry fried in oil made from a similar, more liquid dough.
   Balloons and other decorations like serpentines are seen everywhere.







 Sweden

   The more traditional festivities have moved to the day before, Walpurgis night ("Valborgsmässoafton"), known in some locales as simply "Last of April".
The first of May is instead celebrated as International Workers' Day.




May Day is also known as Lei Day in Hawaii


 Pacific (USA)

   In Hawaii, May Day is also known as Lei Day, and is normally set aside as a day to celebrate island culture in general and native Hawaiian culture in particular. Invented by a poet and a local newspaper columnist in the 1920s, it has since been adopted by state and local government as well as the residents, and has taken on the sense of a general spring celebration. The first Lei Day was proposed in 1927 in Honolulu by poet and artist Don Blanding. Leonard "Red" and Ruth Hawk composed "May Day is Lei Day in Hawai'i," the traditional holiday song. Originally it was a contemporary fox trot, later rearranged as the Hawaiian hula song performed today.







United States of America

   May Day was also celebrated by some early European settlers of the American continent. In some parts of the United States, May Baskets are made. These are small baskets usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someone's doorstep. The giver rings the bell and runs away. The person receiving the basket tries to catch the fleeing giver. If they catch the person, a kiss is exchanged.
   Modern May Day ceremonies in the U.S. vary greatly from region to region and many unite both the holiday's "Green Root" (pagan) and "Red Root" (labor) traditions.
May 1 is also recognized in the U.S. as Law Day.