Thursday Answers

We’ve had a rather interesting turn of events in this week’s trivia contest.  Although only three of you submitted your guesses, it still made for an entertaining grading process.  The winner…after the answers:

  1. Meat and other foodstuffs were preserved in honey in classical Rome and Greece.  Sounds much tastier to me than vinegar, frankly.  And this marks the second time that “honey” has been an answer on Tuesday Trivia!  Perhaps I need a fresh source of trivia material…
  2. Wine bottles are tinted green to keep out light, specifically the ultraviolet light which is one main culprit in wine spoilage.  The green tint absorbs the UV wavelengths; not just any color will do, you know!
  3. Cheese, yogurt and sour cream are the three most common cultured dairy products here in the West.  The fourth deserves just as much credit, in my opinion: buttermilk.  Can’t make decent cornbread or pancakes without it!
  4. False.  An egg’s grade has nothing to do with its freshness and everything to do with the thickness of its albumen (the white part) and the strength of its yolk.  A grade AA egg has a thick white and a firm yolk.  A grade B egg, however, has a runny white and a weak yolk, which is easily broken.  To quote McGee, if you’re simply “scrambling or boiling them or making them into a custard,” then the extra grades (AA or A) aren’t necessary.  However, if you’re planning on making a meringue or a souffle, then the higher grade is worth it.
  5. The chestnut is composed of a whopping 52% water!  Acorns stand at about 14% and cashews at only 5%.   The trade-off, of course, is that cashews are extremely high in fat — 46%! — while the chestnut only has 2% to its name.  The chestnut and the acorn are both extremely low in fat, actually, with most nuts having an average fat content of 57%.  The good news?  At least it’s unsaturated fat.
  6. BONUS: the cashew’s little friend is the cashew apple, a false fruit.  Also called an “accessory fruit,” this is the part of a plant which wasn’t produced by the ovaries.  A false fruit is perfectly edible, and some false fruits are highly prized, such as the familiar strawberry (the seeds of the strawberry are the real fruit; the flesh of the strawberry is false).

So here’s the fun part: the winner.

Congratulations go to long-time reader and commenter coffeefrappe!  He or she doesn’t have a website to which I can direct you, nor do I know their real name or gender.  All I know is that I adore them for being a constant supporter, reader and commenter.  You rock, coffeefrappe!

Tied for second place are the lovely croquecamille and the always-funny Cory, which I found amusing as Cory never takes these seriously and usually provides dirty, hilarious answers instead.  I’m sure he’ll be at least somewhat shocked to learn that he tied for second-place this go round.  For more Cory, check out his Houston foodie blog at I’ve Got The Munchies.

Congrats to all and happy eating until next time!

600 Stores? That’s A Latte!

Punderful headline courtesy of my ever-amusing “Starbucks source,” who shall remain anonymous.

After yesterday’s short article here on the Starbucks closings, I couldn’t help but feel energized by y’alls’ comments and encouraged to write yet another piece on the news.  However, this article was for Houstonist and ended up being quite different in perspective.  It also benefits from having a short interview with a source familiar with the closure situation.

Would You Like That Iced?

Go give the article a read and if you’ve got comments or thoughts, please feel free to leave them on Houstonist.  Enjoy!

Back For Another Round!

If you enjoyed the review and photos from Randy Rucker’s last dinner, then you don’t want to miss your chance to attend his next dinner.  To be held on July 10th (next Thursday!), the menu features fresh local ingredients with his trademark ingenuity and creativity.  Some dishes which hold particular fascination for me are:

  • Gulf coast brown shrimp tartare, icicle radish, kyuri & baby lemongrass
  • Guinea fowl, petite courgette, white beech mushrooms & foamed béarnaise
  • Smoked & broiled speckled trout, red malabar spinach & creamy brown butter

To see the entire menu and reserve your place at the table, visit Randy’s website.  With only seven days until the dinner, spots are limited!  And, of course, if you’re attending, make sure to bring a bottle of wine or two for yourself and to share with the new friends you’re sure to make.

Hope to see you there!