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!

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10 responses to “Tuesday Trivia, Part McGee

  1. Ooh, goody, I’m the first to answer this week!

    1. verjus (I was going to say garum, but that was really more of a flavoring agent.)
    2. light
    3. yogurt, cheese, and soured cream
    4. true
    5. chestnut
    6. cashew – although I believe the cashew apple is edible – what makes it false?

  2. I have a copy of HIWI. It really captures Houston like nothing else.

    What did you contribute to it?

  3. You know my name, Misha. Look for it in the index! 😉

  4. Cool about HIWI. I have three photos in that book.

    I’m not going to try on the poll. I’m new here and I need to learn! 🙂

  5. What liquid was used to preserve meats and other foods in classical Rome and Greece? Honey, I think
    Wine bottles are tinted green to screen out what harmful substance, which can excite the molecules in the wine and spoil its flavor? Light. Or maybe smurfs.
    What are the three most common cultured dairy products in the Western world? yogurt, sour cream and cheese.
    True or false: the higher the grade, the fresher the egg.
    Which of these three nuts has the highest water content? Chestnut, Cashew or Acorn? Chestnut.
    BONUS: Which of those nuts has a “false fruit” called an “apple”? I know I have heard of a cashew apple, don’t really remember the details.

  6. Oh, I forgot! The one about the grade and freshness in eggs is false.

  7. 1. Beer. Of course, it wasn’t used on the meat. Everyone got drunk and peed on the meat, the higher salt content in the urine did the trick.

    2. Light – You’d think it would be something else, but these are the French we’re talking about here. They can’t even excite a molecule.

    3. Whole, 2% and 1% spoiled milk in the back of the refrigerator that families forgot to drink. Of course, those are unintentional. Intentional cultures are cheese, yogurt and sour cream.

    4. That would be false. Higher grade eggs came from smarter chickens.

    5. The Chestnut. – Oddly enough, this wasn’t the first nut that was suggested to be “roasted” over an “open fire”.

    Bonus: The cashew is preceded by the cashew apple, which dries up and falls off so the true “fruit” (the cashew) can mature. You can see the human equivilent of this in the Sheen family, as Martin is drying up and falling apart while Charlie slowly matures.

  8. Pingback: Thursday Answers « she eats.

  9. Uh….when did honey become classified as a liquid?

  10. Well, Conn, under which of the other three principal states of matter would you classify honey? Solid? Or gas? I’m afraid plasma is out, since it has to be in a temperature range of 1000 C to 1,000,000,000 C. But please feel free to make your argument below.

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