In the 17th century, English women baked a special kind of bread as an aphrodisiac by kneading the dough against their private parts (vulva) by wriggling and then baking it. This Cockle bread was then given to the object of the baker's affections.
2. The Montreal style bagel is smaller, sweeter and denser than the New York (or Brooklyn) style bagel and has a larger hole. It contains malt, but no sugar or salt (unlike the New York style) and is boiled in honey-sweetened water before being baked in a wood-fired oven.
3. Dry red kidney beans can be toxic if they are cooked in a slow cooker, which doesn't get hot enough to get rid of phytohemagglutinin, which can cause red blood cells to clump together.
4. Sardinian Cheese is illegal in most countries due to its preparation which is brutal. The cheese is made from goat’s milk which is fermented in the stomach of a newborn baby goat. The baby goat is then killed, its milk-filled stomach then hung up for months while the milk hardens into cheese. It is then served with a knife.
5. When frying fish, you can get rid of the stinky smell by adding a spoonful of peanut butter to the pan.
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Deglazing is a fancy and intimidating word that means to pour some cold liquid into a very hot pan to get up all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Those brown bits are where all the flavors are, and it is called “fond.”
7. The only reason to add salt to water for cooking pasta is to add flavor. It would take 15 tablespoons of salt to raise the boiling temperature of 1 liter of water by 2 degrees.
8. In Iceland, there is a traditional bread named Rúgbrauð that you can bake in a pot by burying it in the ground near a hot spring.
9. When cooking in a cast-iron skillet, the amount of iron in the food may increase by 850%.
10. "Ice beer" is made by freezing beer and skimming off the ice crystals, upping the alcohol content.
An Egg cream is a beverage consisting of milk, carbonated water, and flavored syrup. The drink contains neither eggs nor cream.
12. Cold-brew tea can be made in a fraction of the normal steep time by using ultrasound. The same process can be used for ultrasonic cold-brewed coffee.
13. Over-cooking hard-boiled eggs will typically result in a thin green iron(II) sulfide coating on the yolk. This reaction occurs more rapidly in older eggs as the whites are more alkaline.
14. Vindaloo (curry) originated from Portuguese sailors, carne de vinha d'alhos ("meat in garlic wine marinade"). The basic structure of the dish was "preserved" raw ingredients, packed in wooden barrels of layers of pork and garlic, soaked in red wine. This was "Indianized" by the local Goan cooks.
15. Tortoise jelly (Guilinggao) is available in some tea shops in China with big gold or silver pots. Called gwei ling to go in Cantonese, the genuine stuff is made from powdered tortoiseshell and can be as expensive as 300 HK dollars for a rice bowl's worth.
The pollen of the cattail plant is a good source of protein that can be mixed with flour and used in baking. Young cattail shoots and roots can also be eaten.
17. Sushi pizza originates from Canada. The dish was invented by Kaoru Ohsada while working at Nami Japanese Seafood Restaurant as a chef in Toronto. It uses a fried rice patty as the base and a variety of toppings drizzled with mayonnaise and wasabi powder. The dish is often served in wedges.
18. Panko bread crumbs are made from bread baked by passing an electric current through the dough, yielding bread without crusts.
19. “London Broil” is a North American culinary method of cooking certain cuts of beef, which have no traditional basis in the UK. There’s nothing “London” about a London Broil.
20. There is a salad in Iowa, USA called a Snickers salad. It consists of chopped up Snicker bars, Granny Smith apples, and a whipped topping.
Ikizukuri is a form of sushi where the fish is scaled, filleted, and served alive.
22. Shepherd's pie is made with minced lamb or mutton, while one with minced beef is properly called a cottage pie.
23. Mett (raw minced pork) is a popular dish in Germany, which is eaten for breakfast on bread rolls with chopped raw onions or alternatively shaped as a hedgehog, where sliced raw onions form the spikes.
24. The largest menu item in the world is the roasted camel, claimed to be a traditional Bedouin wedding dish. Like turducken; the steps are: “cook eggs and stuff into fish, cook the fish and stuff into cooked chickens, stuff the chickens into roasted sheep, stuff the sheep into a whole camel that is cooked to taste.”
25. When serving apple pie in Vermont, you must make a good faith effort to serve it with a glass of cold milk, a slice of cheddar cheese of at least 0.5 oz in weight, or a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.