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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.

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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.

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Why Do We Say 'Take That With A Grain Of Salt?'

I am an expert on everything in the culinary world.

You may want to take that with a grain of salt, because, if you believe it, I've got some ocean front property in Arizona you may like.

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Shoplifter Faints From Frozen Food Under Hat

Did you hear the story about the shoplifter who tried to steal a frozen chicken? He hid the chicken under his hat and then went to wait in the checkout line to buy something cheap. Not sure what he was trying to buy. Maybe it was a pack of gum.

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Flesh-Eating Bananas From Costa Rica?

There have been many fearful claims concerning bananas. In fact, bananas, due to their exotic origin, had a rocky reception in the U.S., stoking fears and myths, not the least of which was that bananas are hard to digest or undigestable. But perhaps the scariest rumor about bananas was much more recent, that they could give you necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria.

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How Did Refried Beans Get Their Name?

Refried Beans are Not Actually Fried Twice, So Why are They Called Refried?

I love refried beans. I do not like the day-old glop they throw on every plate at assembly-line Mexican restaurants. I especially do not appreciate it when my tacos are plunked on top of this glop. But a good refried bean, as a side dish or part of a burrito, taco, or what have you, to me, that is pure comfort food. But I love beans in general. I will eat a big plate of southern-style pinto beans for supper. Since I've made my own refried beans plenty of times, I often wondered about the name.

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Origin Of The Word Condiment

Tracing the origin of the word condiment is, perplexingly, easier than determining the exact meaning of the word as used today. Even professional chefs can't seem to pin down the definition.

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Sliced Bread Was Once Illegal In the United States?

If you thought prohibition was a doomed experiment, imaging prohibiting sliced bread. Yet, not long after sliced bread was invented, it was indeed banned, albeit temporarily, in the United States.

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Grocery Warehouse with Oxydol Laundry Soap, 1942

In this photo from July 1942, a warehouse worker for a grocery store distribution company is filling an order for a local store in the Washington, D.C. area. Behind him are stacked many boxes marked Oxydol. The box he is carrying on his shoulder appears to be Duz soap.

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Does German Chocolate Cake Come from Germany?

German chocolate cake, with extravagant richness, is just the kind of recipe German immigrants would have brought with them to the United States. We wouldn't have a hard time associating such a rich chocolate cake, with its decadent coconut and pecan filling, with Germany. And, in fact, it was German immigrants who settled in the midwest that introduced America to one of its favorite chocolate cakes. Or was it?

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Lorings Fat-ten-u & Corpula Fattening Food - Vintage Ad, c. 1895

The fat loss industry is a multi-billion dollar one. It is rife with fraudulent promises and outright pseudoscience. The advertisement on this page illustrates a fascinating fact. During the 1800's, the "fattening" industry was just as rife with pseudoscientific ramblings and fraudulent promises as the fat loss industry is today.

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Universal Food Chopper - 1898 Vintage Ad

Today, when we think of automatic food choppers, we envision a device designed to replace knife work and make chopping ingredients for dishes faster and easier. But this Universal Food Chopper advertisement seems to indicate that the appliance will chop up just about anything, pigs, cows, sheep, fish, lobster, vegetables, etc.

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Who Was Brownie Mary?

Brownie Mary is probably the only person in history to be arrested on brownie-related charges. On January 14, 1981, the police raided her home and found over fifty dozen marijuana (cannabis) brownies along with over 18 pounds of marijuana yet to be, pardon the pun, baked. Her real name was Mary Jane Rathbun. Her punishment was 500 hours of community service and three years of probation.

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What Happened To Sizzlean Bacon?

During the late seventies and eighties, Sizzlean was a popular bacon alternative produced by Swift & Co. The breakfast strips were marketed as a healthier alternative to bacon and boasted less fat and less shrinkage than regular pork bacon.

Sizzlean was supposedly 50% leaner than pork belly bacon, in fact, although it actually contained 37% fat. And let's be honest, if it didn't, it wouldn't have tasted as good.

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© 2018 by Eric Troy and CulinaryLore. All Rights Reserved. Please contact for permissions.