Who would have thought...

You will have to forgive me the frivolity of this week’s column; you might feel it is a bit silly, but I’m afraid my brain is fried.

You see, I am usually a bit overwhelmed by this point in the summer as we are working long days catering and then I’m still trying (but not succeeding) at keeping up with my garden and its harvest.

As a result, I’m offering you some interesting (if possibly useless) food trivia to think about.

Who knows? One of them could always be a good conversation starter if you find yourself at an awkward dinner party.

Did you know that peanut butter was invented by a doctor who wanted his toothless patients to have something easy to eat? It was popular in the U.S. as far back as the 1800s; however before the Great Depression. it was considered more of a luxury product.

Nowadays, the ubiquitous peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich has gone by the wayside for many families as they battle nut allergies. How times change.

Here’s a good one if you believe it all: When the English colonist pilgrims sat down for their first Thanksgiving dinner in February 1630, one of the offerings from an aboriginal chief was popped corn.

(I don’t know whether popcorn being around at an important food occasion is the cool part of this story, or if it is more interesting that we could have had Thanksgiving in February.)

Here’s a few bonus popcorn points for you: popcorn has been around as a snack food for 6,000 years. On Sept.19, 1995, a great popcorn celebrity died – Orville Redenbacher. Please have a moment of silence before you set your microwave to pop this weekend.

Something to try at a boring cocktail party: a raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continually on the bubbles. (If this doesn’t work, you can always just say you need a fresher glass!)

OK, I am sure you can have fun with this tidbit: “In the Middle Ages, chicken soup was considered an aphrodisiac.”

Is that what all that talk about Chicken Soup for the Soul really means? (wink wink) One wonders — does this mean they didn’t have much imagination when it came to setting a mood, or that they had plenty?

Lastly, here is one that poses the question, “Who got paid to figure this out and what were they trying to prove?” Talk about having an interesting job…

“If Jello is hooked up to an ECG (heart monitor), it registers movements  virtually identical to the brain waves of a healthy adult.”

I hope these little bits of water cooler conversation will give you some fun simple moments to share with a friend or family member. Think of them as no-calorie ways to use food as a stress reliever this week.

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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