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Why Does Morton Salt Use the Slogan When It Rains it Pours?

Morton Salt Company has been using the slogan when it rains it pours, together with the familiar Morton Salt Girl carrying her umbrella, since 1911. I've always found this a curious choice since the idiom alludes to trouble which comes in multiples. Morton, however, was referring to its salt ability to pour even when it rains. This logo was based on what the company called a new packaging innovation which allowed its salt to do something we take for granted today: Pour out of the container,...

All Popcorn Is Whole Grain!

Today, many new food companies attempt to compete in the very competitive world of snack foods not by coming up with a unique product, but by attempting to create a unique and inspiring story behind their company. Visit a website for one of these young and hip companies, and you'll have to read pages of positive feel-good energy-laden inspiration. If you still have any energy left, you'll probably find their list of charities. Somewhere buried in all this will be a description of the company's...

Skin Turns Orange or Yellow From Too Many Carrots?

It is true that eating too many carrots, drinking a lot of carrot juice, or taking excessive amounts of beta-carotene supplements can actually turn your skin a yellow to orange color. This condition is known as carotenemia. It occurs because the carotene is fat-soluble and when you consume large amounts of it, it builds up in the blood and then becomes deposited in the skin, mainly in the stratum corneum and subcutaneous fat layer. The discoloration can occur on the palms of the hands and the...

What Is Freezer Burn?

Before I begin to explain about freezer burn, I want to give you a tip that has to do with freezer burn. If you buy frozen berries at the grocery store, feel the bag to see if the berries seem to be frozen separately. If they are one solid block, they may already be freezer-burned! Berries packed in bags are normally quick-frozen separately. Frozen berries in boxes, however, are frozen in water so expect them to be a solid block. Obviously, discreetly frozen berries in bags are a more convenient...

Difference Between Real and Fake White Chocolate

What is Real White Chocolate? If you are looking for real white chocolate, the first thing you need to know is that white chocolate is not actually chocolate. Chocolate is always a brown to black color. White chocolate is a white confection that is used exensively in candy and dessert making, however. Although it cannot be considered chocolate, because it does not contain any chocolate liqueur, it does contain cocoa butter, the fat portion of the chocolate bean, but not the cacao nibs. The...

Do Chinese People Hate American Chinese Food?

Before you complain about the Americanized Chinese food you get from your local Chinese restaurant, keep in mind that it is Chinese immigrants themselves who invented it. The first major influx of Chinese immigrants into the U.S. occurred during the 1850's, when large numbers of Chinese immigrants came to San Franciso, mostly due to the discovery of gold in California, but also as contract laborers for the railroads and the mining industry. These immigrants were pretty much all men. And, they...

Are Cucumbers Really Cold? Is That Why We Say Cool as a Cucumber?

Yes, the inside of cucumbers are cooler than their surroundings, but that doesn't mean as much as you think. If you were to pick up a room temperature cucumber and insert a temperature probe into it, you'd find it to be somewhat cooler than the temperature of the room. You may even find it to be 10 to 20 degrees cooler on the inside. So, cucumbers are cool, relative to their surroundings. It has been suggested that the origin of idiom 'cool as a cucumber' is owed to this fact. Perhaps even...

Why Does Boiling Temperature Decrease at Higher Altitudes?

As I pointed out in my article about adding salt to water to make pasta cook faster, the boiling temperature of water increases 1° F for every 500 feet climb in altitude. This means, incredibly, that if you boil water on top of Mt. Everest, which is around 29,000 feet, water would boil at around 154° F. As water or any liquid heats, there is a point at which it begins to change to a gas. This point is the boiling point. When water reaches 212°F or 100°C, it begins to turn to steam or vapor....

What is the Difference Between Boiling, Simmering, and Poaching?

Most of us know what it means to boil a food. We do it with dried pasta when we bring water to a rolling boil and put in the pasta. Even if we reduce the heat of the burner to stop the pot from boiling over, we are still boiling the pasta. But, what does it mean to simmer, or to poach? The most precise way to understand the difference between these three cooking methods is to know the temperature ranges they use. Below, I'll explain the relative temperature ranges and describe the methods...

7 Restaurant Myths Most People Believe

There are pages and pages of food and cooking myths here on Culinary Lore. Not surprisingly, the restaurant industry is the subject of its own die-hard myths. Some of these are perpetuated by Food TV and celebrity chefs, especially those looking to stand out in the publishing world. Others are promoted by restaurant employees. Here are beliefs about restaurant dining that I've covered on this site. Restaurants Have the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone for Any Reason So many restaurant owners...

12 Cooking Rules You Can Safely Ignore

There are still a lot of antiquated cooking rules which, due to being repeated on countless websites, may never quite go away. Some of these rules are even repeated by professional chefs. Some are modern and others are quite old. Here are some kitchen rules, covered on Culinary Lore, which you can safely ignore. Since I used the word 'safely' in the title, it makes sense to start out with rules regarding food safety. These first three may surprise you. Always Rinse Chicken Before Cooking Yes,...

How Do They Decide Whether an Egg is Grade AA, A, or B?

Eggs are categorized into three grades, AA, A, and B based on quality considerations. To determine these grade ratings, eggs are sorted into categories by size, weight and quality factors concerning the shell, white, egg yolk, and the internal air cell. Also, abnormalities are looked for, such as the presence of spots of blood, which indicates a fertilized egg, unfit for consumption. Historically, a candling device was used and a similar method is used even today, except with a flashlight and...

Why Are Some Dishes Not Microwave Safe?

I mentioned in a previous article that microwaves pass through many of materials we use in them. Yet, if you are an experienced microwave user, you know that not all containers or dishes are microwave safe. First, certain plastics, like foam containers, simply melt easily from the heat of the food. You don't have to be a magnetron scientist to know that foam is not a good cooking vessel, though. You also know that you can't put metal in a microwave (the reason for that deserves a separate...

The Invention Of The Microwave Oven

A longstanding and peculiar myth about microwave ovens, that microwaves cook food from the inside out, got started at the very beginning of the microwave oven industry. It was based on the observations of Dr. Percy L. Spencer of the Raytheon Corporation. The company had worked on Radar during World War II, but in 1946, Spencer, more or less by accident, hit on the idea of cooking food with microwave energy. He had been testing a magnetron, which is the device that emits the microwaves. Taking...

Does Anybody Eat Raw Chicken?

At dinner the other night, my son asked me an interesting question. Why are beef and other meats eaten rare or even raw, but not chicken? While I pointed out that there is some risk of salmonella poisoning from consuming raw or undercooked chicken, requiring a higher temperature to guard against, the simple reason we don't eat raw chicken is that it is nasty. As an answerer on Quora pointed out in response to this same question, take a raw bite of the best piece of beef and the best piece of...

Global G-2 8-Inch Chef's Knife Review

The Global brand of knives, handmade in Japan, is popular among home users and chefs. The G-2 8-inch chef's knife, their best-selling product, shares some of the design characteristics of other Japanese knives. It is very lightweight with a thin blade and it keeps a very sharp edge. However, it rather than a separate piece of a softer material for a handle, such as wood or plastic, the knife is all of one piece with a metal handle. The actual length is 20-cm or 7.87 inches. Is the Global G-2...

What Is A Stir-Fry?

A discussion thread for a recipe on a Disqus channel I followed made me realized that there are some misconceptions about the stir-fry technique we associate with Chinese and other Asian quisines. This recipe was for an Italian Chicken Stir Fry. Could you use traditional Italian ingredients and make a stir fry dish? Sure! But it is not the ingredients which make it a stir fry, it is the technique. This recipe involved cooking methods you'd find in many Italian recipes. The chicken is marinated...

Who Invented Eggs Benedict?

It would be natural to assume that everyone's favorite brunch dish (isn't it?), Eggs Benedict, was named after an actual person. But, there are so many stories about who this person we simply can't be certain who invented the dish. Also possible is that the dish is a modern rendering of an old French dish, and the name Benedict doesn't derive from a person, but from the word Benedictine. However, since this word refers to the Order of Saint Benedict (Benedictine Order), we could say that the...

Who Invented the Slurpee (ICEE)?

During the 1950's, a guy named Omar Knedlik, who owned a Dairy Queen in Coffyville, Kansas, got fed up with how inefficient the ice cream cone was at producing a brain freeze and invented a machine to make a frozen drink called an ICEE. After that, you could produce the headaches by the dozen, leading the all but universal brain damage in my generation. Just kidding, the brain freeze is harmless. At least I think so. The sugar, however, according to many, is addictive. Slurpee versus ICEE If...

What's the Difference Between White, Baby Bella, and Portabella Mushrooms?

The difference between white mushrooms, baby Bella or cremini mushrooms, and portabellas may surprise you. In fact, these familiar varieties are actually are not different mushrooms, but different cultivars of the same mushroom. A cultivar is a plant, or in this case, mushroom, of a particular species that is selected and/or bred for certain desired characteristics. The white button, cremini (often called Baby Bella, and the Portabellas, all come from the most important and widely used genus...

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