These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday Trivia

Today we're talking about food and drink! It's summer!! What can be better for summer!? Especially the first few about barbeque/bar-be-que/Barbecue/bar-B-Q/BBQ or however you spell it.

The first barbecuers may well have been prehistoric cavemen. Anthropologists say they may have started roasting meat some 1.4 million years ago. Language development didn't occur until 200,000 B.C. or later. Other sources say this originated in the Caribbean where the native Indians used wood gratings over a slow fire to cook strips of meat.

Lexington, North Carolina is known as the Barbecue Capital of the World. October is Barbecue Month there, with a month-long Annual Barbecue Festival. The city's first barbecue restaurant opened in 1919; there are currently over 20 barbecue restaurants.

People in the Northeast U.S. are the heaviest barbecuers in the nation. The next most frequent barbecues are in the North Central region of the U.S., followed by the South and then the Western U.S.

The word "barbecue" may have come from the French phrase "barbe a queue" (from whiskers to tail). The term refers to the original method in which a whole animal was cooked on a spit over an open fire), or the Taino Indian word for their method of cooking fish over a pit of coals (barbacoa). Another source says that roast mutton in Romanian translates into "barbec." (This may surprise many who think it came from a ranch in Texas called the "Bar B Q"!!!!)

Three out of four American households own a grill and they use it on average of five times per month.

The word steak is derived from an old Saxon word, steik, meaning meat on a stick. The Saxons and Jutes, who lived in what is now Denmark, brought along their skills as cattlemen when they conquered Great Britain. They favored beef cooked on a pointed stick over a campfire.

Now some other foods and drink, and how about another American favorite, PIZZA! (Just one way to spell that, as far as I know!)

There are approximately 61,269 pizzerias in the United States. Each man, woman and child in America eats an average of 46 slices (23 pounds) of pizza a year.

Pepperoni is America's favorite topping (36 percent of all pizza orders); we eat approximately 251,770,000 pounds per year. Other popular pizza toppings are mushrooms, extra cheese, sausage, green pepper and onion. Anchovies always rank last on the list of favorite toppings. (Go figure! I love anchovies on pizza, but I forego the pleasure if sharing with someone else.)

Around the world, toppings vary greatly to reflect regional preferences. In Japan, for instance, eel and squid are favorites. In Pakistan, curry is a big seller. In Russia, red herring is a topping of choice and Australians enjoy shrimp and pineapple on their pies as well as barbecue toppings. Costa Ricans favor coconut.

Modern pizza was born in 1889 when Queen Margherita Teresa Giovanni, the consort of Umberto I, king of Italy, visited Naples. Don Raffaele Esposito, who owned a tavern-like place called Pietro Il Pizzaiolo, was asked to prepare a special dish in honor of the Queen's visit. Esposito developed a pizza featuring tomatoes, mozzarella cheese (a never before used ingredient made from the milk of water buffalo) and basil - ingredients bearing the colors red, white and green for the Italian flag. He named it the Margherita Pizza, after the guest of honor. Thus, the modern-day tomato-and-cheese pizza was born.

Marie Antionette's sister, Marie Carolina, wife of Ferdinand I of Sicily and Naples, had ovens built in the forest so she could enjoy pizza while the Royal Hunting Party feasted on wild ducklings and pigs killed in the hunt. (Huh. Why didn't she offer to give the masses pizza instead of cake??? She might have fared better!!)

The world's largest pizza was built on October 11, 1987 by Lorenzo Amato and Louis Piancone. The pizza covered 10,000 square feet and measured 140 feet across. It weighed in at 44,457 pounds, consisting of, among other items, 18,174 pounds of flour, 1,103 pounds of water, 6,445 pounds of sauce, 9,375 pounds of cheese and 2,387 pounds of pepperoni. The pie was cut into 94,248 slices and eaten by more than 30,000 spectators at the baking in Havana, Florida.

And what goes with both BBQ and Pizza? BEER, of course!!!

Beer has been a popular beverage for a long time. Babylonian clay tablets show detailed recipes of beer making in 4300 BC. Beer was also brewed by the ancient Chinese, Assyrians and Incas. An Egyptian text of 1600 BC gives 100 medical prescriptions using beer. A few years ago, the New Castle Brewery in England brewed 1,000 bottles of Tutankhamun Ale from a 3,200-year old recipe found in the sun temple of Queen Nefertiti.

Brewing is the process of changing water and grain into beer through a yeast catalyst. The quality of the water is extremely important. Hard water produce a bitter ale, soft water produce bitter lager. Barley or hops, or a combination of them, is used for the grain. Getting dry grain ready for fermentation is called malting. The grain is steeped in water until it sprouts. The sprouting or germination is not allowed to end naturally but is interrupted either by drying or roasting in kilns.

The best taste usually is acquired at an alcohol contents of 4.7% ethanol per volume. Less than that results in a beer with a bland taste. More than that and the higher alcohols (butanol, pentanol etc) become overpowering and spoils the taste. The strongest beer type by alcohol content is doppelbock, which is usually 8%-10% ethanol by its volume content. The strongest beer brand in production is German "Eisbock", with some 14% ethanol by volume.

The oldest brewery in Munich, the Augustiner brewery, was founded in 1294, when, on the order of the bishop of Freising, an Augustinian monastery was established at the Haberfeld, just outside the gates of the city. Munich was famous for its breweries operated by monks.

Ice beer is produced by freezing the brew and filtering the ice crystals, increasing the alcohol content. This process was already known in the Middle Ages to "cold-distil" brandy from wine, and the ancient Chinese produced rice hooch that way. The Canadians adopted the cold-distillation method for ice beer.

Commercial beer making was established in 1200 AD in present-day Germany. In 1506, the German Purity Law is issued, specifying that beer ingredients must only be water, barley, wheat and hops. Bottling of beer started in 1605. Currently worldwide, 20,000 brands of beer are brewed in 180 styles, from ales, lagers, pilsner and stouts to bitters, cream ales and iced beer.

Who knew all that went into making beer?

OK, there you are, go on about your business, wiser for the reading time you spent here, and if you're like me, H.U.N.G.R.I.E.R than you were a few minutes ago!! LOL!! All the sudden, I can't wait to have dinner!!


  1. Love me some barbe et queue!!! Which if you think about it makes sense (but hold the tail for me, okay?). :)

  2. Such sad news of Anheuser-Busch (an American icon) being sold. I LOVE bar-b-que, pizza and beer.

  3. I love a good BBQ as well as some good BBQ. Nothing like good vinegar based southern BBQ. OMG.

    I love pizza too. I would gladly share anchovies with you as no one else I know likes them either (bet they've never even tried them).

    Not a fan of beer though. Ack.

  4. Now I am absolutely STARVING, and it's only 8:30AM. I LOVE me some barbecue,with brisket being my personal favorite. And i have toagree with Patti that Southern bbq sauce is the best! And pizza...mmmm.i have grown to love pineapple on my pizza lately. And,of course, mushrooms always make me happy!

    Thanks for such a fun post.

  5. Sherry, uh, they can hold the head as well, thank you! And perhaps the feet! I'd just as soon my BBQ or barbe et queue doesn't look as if it is going to jump off the spit and run away, glaring at the indignity of it all! :D

    Daisy, I hadn't heard that. Not living in the Midwest any longer and not being a fan of most Busch products, I probably just didn't pay attention. I'm with you .... three of my favorite consumables!

    Patti, Yay!!!! Another anchovy lover!! I think you're right about many people not knowing what they taste like. I've know people who love Caesar salads, but wrinkle their noses at the mention of anchovies! Uh, excuse me, but what do they think the most important flavoring in that is????

    Cheryl, LOL! Patti was making me crave corn on the cob recently, so I guess I'm just passing along the favor!! Yeah, I'm wishing I had some ribs or brisket to cook today myself! I like most pizza toppings, but I prefer to have just 2-3 at a time. the "supreme" types have so much that I don't enjoy, savor the individual flavors.

    As to BBQ, I have to say it is a toss up between Southern style and KC BBQ for me. I love them both. Even then it depends on the individual sauce, some good, some not so much! And by and large I'm not so fond of Texas BBQ. Usually too much chili. I love my spicy Mexican foods, but BBQ isn't one I want to be really fiery.

  6. Beer - an art and a science! I'll miss that for the next year & 1/2.

  7. Melissa, yeah, but it will be so worth it!! Have you tried O'Douls? Some like it, some don't, but it might suffice!

    IE, me, too!! I didn't make anyone worse off than myself with this post!!

  8. Now I am wanting some BBQ. We had a "Famous Dave's" open up in KC and it really is the best BBQ I have ever had. Their portions are so big that when we go there for lunch I always have enough left over for 1-2 more meals.

  9. Caroline, I'm not familiar with Famous Dave's, although you've talked about it several times. Are ya telling me it's better than Lawnside? Better than Bryant's? Better than Gates? LOL!

  10. Lawnside??

    Yes, I think it's better then all the above. But then again I have only tried one thing on the menu. :) It is cool because they have 6 different sauces. I would make my coworkers go more often but the parking is horrible and we usually have to pay $5 to park. If we don't pay we end up walking 1/2 mile.

  11. BB's Lawnside BBQ. It's on 85th, close to where Stroud's South used to be. I only had it once, but it was really good!

  12. Ahhh..OK. Sophie's groomer is right down the street and I am taking her there on Saturday, so maybe I will stop and get lunch there. I've always wondered how the food was there.


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