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, April 07, 2009

Tuesday Trivia

Trivia about Food & Drink, lots of it. And if youre not hungry when you get through with this, sumthin's wrong wit' you!!

In 1880, California’s first Commissioner of Agriculture brought cuttings from France to California. He sent his first wine from his vines to the Gran Prix in Paris where it won top honors in 1889.

If a dry wine is fully fermented, about 40 percent of the sugar will be converted to carbon dioxide while 60 percent will be converted to alcohol.

The seeds and skin of the grape contain tannins. Tannin is a bitter tasting substance that cause the “dry mouth” feeling associated with some red wines.

The vintage year isn’t necessarily the year the wine was bottled. In the northern hemisphere, white wines may not be bottled the same year the grapes are picked.

Australia developed wine in a box in the ‘70s. The wine inside of the box is stored in a bladder that is not exposed to air. This means that the wine may last up to a few weeks compared to a few days.

The famous Chateau Petrus in Pomerol makes the world’s most expensive Merlot, which sells up to $2,500 or more.

Popcorn's scientific name is zea mays everta, and it is the only type of corn that will pop.

The first commercial popcorn machine was invented by Charles Cretors in Chicago in 1885. The business he founded still manufactures popcorn machines and other specialty equipment.

Each kernel contains a small amount of moisture. As the kernel is heated, this water turns to steam. Popcorn differs from other grains in that the kernel's shell is not water-permeable, so the steam cannot escape and pressure builds up until the kernel finally explodes, turning inside out.

Nebraska produces more popcorn than any other state in the country -- around 250 million pounds per year. That's about a quarter of all the popcorn produced annually in the United States.

On average, a kernel will pop when it reaches a temperature of 347 degress Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Unpopped kernels are called "old maids" or "spinsters."

Popped popcorn comes in two basic shapes: snowflake and mushroom. Movie theaters prefer snowflake because it's bigger. Confections such as caramel corn use mushroom because it won't crumble.

In A.D. 610, while baking bread, an Italian monk decided to create a treat to motivate his students. He rolled out ropes of dough, twisted them to resemble hands crossed on the chest in prayer, and baked them. The monk named his snacks pretiola, Latin for "little reward." When pretiola arrived in Germany, they were called bretzels.

The pretzel has long been considered a good-luck symbol. German children wear pretzels around their necks on New Year's Day. In Austria in the 16th century, pretzels adorned Christmas trees, and they were hidden along with hard-boiled eggs on Easter morning.

Hard pretzels were "invented" in the late 1600s, when a snoozing apprentice in a Pennsylvania bakery accidentally overbaked his pretzels, creating crunchy, seemingly inedible, knots. Lucky for him that the master baker took a bite of his creation and loved it!

Until the 1930s, pretzels were handmade, and the average worker could twist 40 a minute. In 1935, the Reading Pretzel Machinery Company introduced the first automated pretzel machine, which enabled large bakeries to make 245 pretzels per minute, or five tons in a day.

More than $550 million worth of pretzels are sold in the United States annually; 80 percent are made in Pennsylvania, where hard pretzels originated.

Julius Sturgis opened the first commercial pretzel bakery in Lititz, Pennsylvania, in 1861. He received his original pretzel recipe as a thank you from a down-on-his-luck job seeker after Sturgis gave the man dinner.

Archaeological surveys show that cheese was being made from the milk of cows and goats in Mesopotamia before 6000 B.C.

Travelers from Asia are thought to have brought the art of cheese making to Europe, where the process was adapted and improved in European monasteries.

The world's largest consumers of cheese include Greece (63 pounds per person each year), France (54 pounds), Iceland (53 pounds), Germany (48 pounds), Italy (44 pounds), the Netherlands (40 pounds), the United States (31 pounds), Australia (27 pounds), and Canada (26 pounds).

The only cheeses native to the United States are American, jack, brick, and colby. All other types are modeled after cheeses brought to the country by European settlers.

Processed American cheese was developed in 1915 by J. L. Kraft (founder of Kraft Foods) as an alternative to the traditional cheeses that had a short shelf life.

Someone who sells cheese professionally at a cheese shop or specialty food store is called a cheese monger.

M & Ms
Forrest Mars came up with the idea for M&Ms during the Spanish Civil War when he learned that soldiers were looking for chocolate that could withstand hot temperatures. He developed the famous candy, which he originally packaged in heavy tubes.

In 1948, the packaging for M&Ms changed from a tube into the famous brown bag that we still know today.

The year 1954 was big for M&Ms: peanut M&Ms (only in brown) made their first appearance, the famous tagline, "melts in your mouth, not in your hands," is born, and the cartoony M&M characters make their television debut!

Red, green, and yellow colors were added to peanut M&Ms in 1960, but orange wasn't added until 1976.

M&Ms are introduced internationally in 1980, making their way to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.

In 1982, astronauts chose the candies to take with them into space, and they have been part of shuttle missions ever since!

And finally, a delicious quote:

"Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar
into four pieces with your bare hands -
and then eat just one of those pieces."

Judith Viorst, (1931-),
American author, newspaper journalist, and
psychoanalysis researcher

HA!! Just try now to wait till lunch to eat!!


  1. I am not a huge wine drinker although I can enjoy a glass now and again.

    Popcorn I LOVE

    Pretzels - love them too - especially the big soft ones. My Uncle John used to be a Pretzel Vendor in Philly, PA!

    Cheese, - Oh cheese, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

    M&M's I could happily do without seeing the rest of my life. Not a fan at all.

  2. See, Patti? Something for everyone on that list!

  3. There's a Mars candy company in the U.K. I thought it was the same as the American confectionary but apparently not. They manufactured Mars "planets" that looked like goobers. I brought some back from England and boy were they good.

  4. Now that you mention it, Dave, I have an inkling of memory about a Mars candy company in England. Probably from some previous trivia I posted here! That's interesting. So their planets are better than our goobers, eh? Not hard to imagine. Not a fan of Goobers. Thanks for another interesting tidbit!

  5. Love pretzels hard and soft I have been through the snyders pretzel plant when I was little very interesting. Love popcorn,m&ms and cheese could leave the wine. I am glad I ate lunch before I came here lol.

  6. Bobbie, I'm with you! I just love food!

  7. Well, I was surprised to read about the Greeks eating so much cheese- I thought they had a healthy diet. They must be eating goat's cheese, I reckon.


  8. Betty, I would assume you're right. When I think of Greek cheese, it is always goat, although I'm no expert.

  9. Do you know how yummy m&m's are with popcorn? Yummy, yummy.


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!