Tuesday Trivia, Part McGee

I have several books on my desk at work.  Most of them are HR-related, since that’s what I do all day, and have fascinating titles like The Quick Reference Guide to ERISA Compliance and Consumer-Driven Healthcare Benefits: A Continuing Evolution.  Some days I feel like building a giant pyre out of those books and the stacks of reports and invoices I have around my office and sacrificing a lamb to God in hopes that He will pull me out of this dank pit of seething desperation and monotony.  But then I remember that He probably has better things to do, and I busy myself with other things (like making song lists on Seeqpod).

I have two non-HR-related books on my desk, which assist me in preserving my sanity on days like this.  One is a book on Houston.  It’s the only book in which I’ve ever been published.  That’s not saying anything, really; it’s not as if I’ve ever written a manuscript or an article and submitted it somewhere in hopes of being published.  This was a total fluke.

The other book is On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, by Harold McGee.  I like to think that these two books are instrumental in the daily maintenance of my sanity, stalwartly reminding me of what I do love and what I aspire to do someday.

Coincidentally, I also publish these little quizzes from the relative comfort of my office, hence my turning to Mr. McGee with some frequency when looking for trivia questions.  He’s wonderful like that.  You can read On Food and Cooking on two different levels: looking for little bits and bobs of information that you never knew, or diving in and coming out from the entire experience changed.  Changed in the way you view food, cooking, ingredients, horticulture, agriculture, history, science — it’s that great of a read.

With that in mind, here are today’s trivia questions — all courtesy of Mr. McGee:

  1. What liquid was used to preserve meats and other foods in classical Rome and Greece?
  2. Wine bottles are tinted green to screen out what harmful substance, which can excite the molecules in the wine and spoil its flavor?
  3. What are the three most common cultured dairy products in the Western world?
  4. True or false: the higher the grade, the fresher the egg.
  5. Which of these three nuts has the highest water content?  Chestnut, Cashew or Acorn?
  6. BONUS:  Which of those nuts has a “false fruit” called an “apple”?

Good luck and happy eating!