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'There's No Such Thing As a Free Lunch' Origin

What Does 'There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch' Mean?

When we say 'there's no such thing as a free lunch,' we mean to express that there are few things in life that are truly given to us at no cost or free. There are usually strings or at least expectations attached. The cost of goods or services has to come from somewhere. In other words, you can't get something for nothing. A similar saying is "there is no such thing as a free ride."

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Diner Lingo: Adam And Even On A Raft, the Blue Plate Special, and Other Slang

Dinger lingo is becoming a thing of the past but there are still diners where the servers use this colorful language to call out orders. Not all of this language originated in diners, though. Some if it came from the old soda fountain and lunch-counters. Some diners have their own peculiar slang, but there are some age-old gems that have been passed down. If you've ever heard a counter-person calling out orders using this slang, you may have thought you were listening to a complicated insider's code that only the inner circle of diner-world can understand. But the language handed down from the soda fountains and lunch counters to the modern diner, originally served a purpose. Although some of the terms may have originated as early as the 1870's, with the soda jerks, they had their hey-day between the 1920's and 1970's.

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Are Fajitas Just Do-It-Yourself Tacos?

In the article How Do You Eat Tacos Without Them Falling Apart I stated that many folks claim that much of the food labeled 'Mexican' in America is actually from the Southwest or from Texas, labeled Tex-Mex. They say that the Mexican origins of these foods is exaggerated or is a myth. This is often a myth in itself!

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How Do You Eat Tacos Without Them Falling Apart?

It seems confoundingly difficult to eat a crunchy taco without the shell breaking and the taco falling apart as you eat it. Have you ever been tempted to ask a native Mexican how in the world you were supposed to eat a taco without the shell falling apart and the fillings falling out all over the place? Good thing you didn't because he would have thought you were off your rocker.

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Did Ronald Reagan Say Ketchup Was a Vegetable?

During Ronald Reagan's terms as president, I was in junior high and then high school. At some point during that time he became a running joke during lunch period. When French fries were served, or anything else involving ketchup, we'd say "Good thing Ronald Reagan says ketchup is a vegetable." Did President Ronald Reagan really declare ketchup a vegetable during his term?

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Why Do People Think Julia Child Was a Spy?

You may be quite aware of how many people maintain that our beloved Julia Child was a spy.

Was she? No, not really. So why, then, do people keep saying she was? Is it just some weird urban legend that came out of nowhere? Or, does it have some basis?

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What is the Origin of the Word Soy in Soy Sauce, Beans, etc.?

Although soy sauce comes originally from China, our word for the sauce comes from the Japanese word, shoyu. This has nothing to do with the actual Japanese word for soybeans themselves, which is daizu. The Chinese word for soy sauce, on the other hand, is jiàngyóu, while the word for the beans is dàdòu.

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Who Makes Those Plastic Packets of Soy Sauce in Chinese Takeout?

We tend to associate soy sauce with Chinese food first, and with Asian food second. When you order Chinese food, you usually get about 300 or so of those little packets of the black salty liquid. But, what type of bottled soy sauce do you have at home right now? The most likely answer for most of my readers is Kikkoman. It's Japanese soy sauce. Ironically, most of the common soy sauces we buy at the grocery store are Japanese.

Does Kikkoman make those little packets of soy sauce? Perish the thought.

See also Origin of the Word Soy.

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Did Marie Antoinette Really Say 'Let Them Eat Cake?'

Marie Antoinette, one of the most well-remembered queens in history, is remembered most of a callous statement attributed to her. When the French people were starving, and bread was scarce, she is said to have replied: "If they have no bread, then let them eat cake." She is often blamed for being the spark that ignited the French Revolution.

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How Did The Navel Orange Originate?

If you've eaten an orange lately there is a very good chance it was a navel orange. Navel oranges are the most popular eating oranges in the world. They are large, sweet and juicy but not too juicy. They have a crisp texture and are easy to peel. They are also seedless. What's not to love?

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What Is The Plural Of Asparagus?

The plural of asparagus is an interesting lesson in language. The word, in fact, could be said to not actually have a plural, or to have two plurals, depending on your viewpoint.

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Safeway Customers Sent Hoax Email

Safeway Customers Received a Bogus Email Announcing a Huge Price Increase and a Suggestion they Shop Elsewhere

Imagine getting an email from your grocery store telling you that they were going to increase their prices by 25% and that perhaps you should shop somewhere else.

This is exactly what happened to over 1,000 Safeway customers in Britain, on August 9, 2000.

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Poison Blue Grapefruits

In 1988, a rumor started spreading in Italy about poisonous grapefruits entering Italy from Israel. The grapefruits were said to have a bluish stain on them. The press reported that, in an act of terrorism, the Israeli grapefruits had been injected with a blue poison. As the story went on, many details were added.

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Who Invented Chicken Nuggets?

Like the fast food kid's meal, and the drive-through window, many people assume McDonald's invented the chicken nugget. Certainly, when we think of chicken nuggets McDonald's is generally the first thing to come to mind. In fact, it is fair to say that McDonald's popularized chicken nuggets and brought them into the mainstream when they introduced McNuggets in 1980, but this was long after they were invented. The inventor was a food scientist named Robert Baker, who thought up these crispy little nuggets in the 1950's. He was looking for a way to use leftover chicken and he actually published his recipe in the 1950's without bothering to patent the invention.

Since then, the basic way chicken nuggets are made haven't changed much, although the quality and proportions of the ingredients used may vary.

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Chew Your Food 32 Times: Where Did This Advice Come From?

Did your parents, or grandparents ever lecture you on the importance of properly chewing your food? Well, chewing is certainly important. It is actually the beginning of the digestion process, where not only mastication starts to break down foods into smaller pieces, but an enzyme is released to begin the process of digesting starches. But why should you chew 32 times? Where did this precise number come from?

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© 2016 by Eric Troy and CulinaryLore. All Rights Reserved. Please contact for permissions.