Tuesday Trivia: Part Troll

The past couple of weeks have been both good and bad.

Good because I’m still excited about the Textile review, still excited about blogging at the Houston Press, still excited about all the wonderful meals and glasses of wine I’ve enjoyed with friends lately, still excited about writing articles for the Press’ upcoming Menu of Menus edition and still excited about being able to balance everything — work, home, writing, etc. — without too badly damaging any one area in the process.

Bad because I fear that I won’t be able to continue this balancing act, because I’ve been overwhelmed with work from all sides (no, seriously, I do have a day job, despite some peoples’ fanciful ideas to the contrary, and it continues to be quite demanding) and because I’ve been letting the trolls and negative comments — both on my blogs at the Houston Press and on blogs that don’t even belong to me — get me down in spite of myself.  I’m not linking to any of the comments; it’s not worth it and they don’t deserve the attention.  And I’ve begun immediately deleting the particularly nasty ones that discuss things like sex acts and contain vicious personal attacks on my character, as if the trolls actually know me from Adam.

I had a nice discussion with Houston Foodie last night over an amazing dinner at Gravitas, though, which gave me much needed perspective on the whole issue.  This morning, he sent me a fascinating New York Times article that takes a look into the psychologies of trolls.  It makes me sad for what are essentially very damaged and/or very deranged people, taking out their frustrations in the ultimate passive-aggressive medium and cowering behind anonymity.

I’m not new to the Interwebz.  I’m not new to trolling.  I’m not naive or stupid and I usually don’t rise to the bait when I see trolls performing their socially awkward little dances on forums or blogs.  So I’m more disappointed in my own behavior and childish responses than in anything these few people have said, but the only thing to do now is to follow my own advice to countless other people and let them haters hate.  Rising to the occasion only makes me look like the asshole.

So let’s put all this nastiness behind us and instead focus on today’s Tuesday Trivia (or, as I’ve been reminded to call it by Groovehouse on the non-Q&A days, a “survey”).  Let the games begin!

  1. How do you take your coffee?  Don’t drink coffee?  How do you take your tea?  Don’t drink tea?  Good God, man, what do you drink?
  2. My university was practically owned by a bizarre combination of Drayton McClane and Dr Pepper.  We had Dr Pepper hours every Thursday and it was the only carbonated beverage poured on campus.  As a result, I have Dr Pepper coursing through my very veins and would choose it over any soft drink, any day of the week.  What’s your favorite soft drink?  Or, for you Texans, what’s your favorite coke?
  3. Food and wine pairing is a given.  Do you consciously pair your food with beer?
  4. What’s your favorite beverage to cool you down on a hot day?  To warm you up on a cold night?
  5. It was always a huge treat on the rare occasion that my mother put those little silver Capri Suns into my lunchbox as a kid.  What was your favorite drink from childhood?

…and I’ve inadvertently turned this into an all-beverage survey.  No matter.  Drink it up and pour it out in the comments section below.


Thursday Answers: The Envelope, Please

Welcome back, barn swallows!

We had a good turnout for this week’s trivia session, considering it was the first real trivia here on she eats. in at least three months.  Eight of you ventured your guesses, but there was only one winner.  Find out who, after the answers!


  1. The first commercially-available microwave oven sold for $4,000.  No typos there: a whopping $4,000 (in 1947 dollars, no less!)  Frozen dinners sold for $100 apiece (I might have made that last part up).
  2. The most widely-consumed fish in the world is herring (a.k.a. sardines), which has been a staple food since 3,000 B.C. and is sometimes referred to as the “two-eyed steak.”
  3. Tea bags — like stockings — were once made of silk and were once reusable.  In other news, we were once a much less wasteful people.
  4. Authentic mozzarella cheese is made from the milk of water buffaloes, hence its Italian name Mozzarella di Bufata.  Mozzarella made from cow’s milk is called mozzarella fior di latte.
  5. One ostrich egg can make an omelette that will feed ten hungry people (or five very hungry people).
  6. BONUS:  Your body requires eight ounces of water to process a single ounce of alcohol.  That hair-of-the-dog hangover cure you’re trying?  Not exactly the best idea.

As promised, the reason the questions may look familiar to some is because they came from the incredibly awesome @Foodimentary.  Follow them on Twitter for fantastically bizarre and funny daily food trivia.  No, this isn’t an advertisement.  That would require either @Foodimentary or myself to profit and — sadly, or perhaps wonderfully — no one has yet figured out how to truly profit from Twitter.

Speaking of Twitter, today’s winner just so happens to be the very first person who ever followed me on Twitter (and the person who turned me onto what is now my favorite Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Huy), longtime fan and loyal foodie @BigLance!

Congratulations, Lance!  Your win entitles you to a lunch on me at Grandma NoodleBet ya didn’t know there were prizes, huh?  So play along next week!  See y’all then!

Tuesday Trivia: Getting Back to Basics

As a result of last week’s poll, it looks like we’ll be going back to basics here on Tuesday Trivia.  That is to say: straightforward Q&A one week, touchy-feely questions the next.  To quote Baz Luhrman, it’s something for everybody!

And since last week was touchy-feely, that means we’re back to Q&A this week.  So let’s get to it!


  1. The first commercially-available microwave oven was sold in 1947.  It was called the “Radarange” and was as large as a modern dishwasher.  How much did it cost?
  2. What is the most widely-consumed fish in the world?
  3. Before Sir Thomas Lipton patented the paper tea bag in 1903, tea bags were reusable.  What material were they made of?
  4. From what animal’s milk is authentic Italian mozzarella cheese made?
  5. Ostrich eggs weigh anywhere from three to six pounds and often take 45 minutes to hard boil.  How many people could one ostrich egg omelette serve?
  6. BONUS:  How many ounces of water must the body use to process and metabolize one ounce of alcohol?  (You’ll be glad you gave alcohol up for Lent…)

That’s it, folks!  Good luck and we’ll see you back here on Thursday with the answers.

(And if these questions look familiar, clever you!  I’ll tell you why on Thursday.)

Tell Me How You Really Feel

…about Tuesday Trivia. Not about me. Not unless I’ve got a stiff drink in my hand. And something which which to bludgeon you afterwards.

I really want to bring Tuesday Trivia back full-time. It’s my favorite thing to do on she eats. besides ramble incoherently. And you fine folks seem to like it a lot, too. But here’s my question: which version of Tuesday Trivia do you prefer? The straightforward question-and-answer trivia, with answers and a weiner (ahem, winner) revealed on the following Thursday? Or the touchy-feely communal trivia where we all talk about our interests and loves and hates and how our ex-boyfriend’s mom was the worst cook ever?

Your options lie below. Choose wisely, as it will determine how all Tuesday Trivias from here to kingdom come look for the rest of our lives! Or at least until I choose to do something else.

Tuesday Trivia: It Liiiiiives!

After an extended hiatus, Tuesday Trivia is back.  Because I’m on a tight schedule this week, we’re going to start things off all easy-like with the touchy-feely version of Tuesday Trivia favored by some of you.  That’s to say: open-ended questions, no right answers.  So dish, people…

  1. What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a child?  As an adult?
  2. What foods do you crave when you’re sick?  What foods can’t you stand when you’re sick?
  3. What is your favorite meal to have outdoors on a sunny day?  Indoors on a cold day?
  4. Which do you prefer to drink with your meal?  Beer, wine, soda, water or tea?  None of the above?  All of the above?
  5. Who is the best cook you know?  Not chef, cook.

Let’s hear it!  I’m eager for these answers, sweet potatoes!

Thursday Answers

Gosh, you clever little things! I don’t know what I’m going to do with y’all. All I know is that it’s a good thing I wasn’t offering a tangible prize this week, or else I’d be sending folks some hacked up cookbook or something, cause guess what — there was a tie! But first things first: the answers

  1. Twinkies originally contained banana-flavored filling.  Yes, I cannot think of anything more awful, either.  Thankfully, we had a World War that corrected this disgusting lapse in taste through a banana shortage and we now have artificial-vanilla-flavored Twinkies instead.  Ah, progress!
  2. In addition to saving the famous Lansdowne portrait from advancing British troops who torched the White House during the War of 1812, Dolley Madison served ice cream at state functions, leading to its acceptance and popularity in America.  Ice cream has been around — in some way, shape or form — since Roman times, but wasn’t popular in America until Ms. Madison began serving it.
  3. Tapioca is made from cassava (a.k.a. manioc) root, which is toxic until processed correctly.  Processing cassava is a time-consuming ordeal that involves peeling the roots, griding them into flour, soaking the flour in water, squeezing the flour dry several times, and then toasting the flour.  You’ve gained a bit more respect for your tapioca pudding now, haven’t you?
  4. Bubblegum is a bizarre, slightly disgusting concoction of wintergreen, peppermint, vanilla and cinnamon flavorings.  This mixture probably explains why I find bubblegum flavored anything mildly offensive (although bubblegum itself is acceptable, if only for its bubble-blowing properties).
  5. Southern Culture on the Skids (you really should just check them out for yourself) are known for throwing fried chicken and banana pudding to their audiences at shows.  That’s true Southern hospitality for ya.
  6. BONUS:  Mars, Inc. produces the world-famous Snickers Bar, which inexplicably tops the best-selling candy bar list year after year despite the presence of the far superior Baby Ruth.

And there you have it, folks!

This week’s tied winners — with all six answers correct! — were two newcomers, so give them a nice, warm, welcoming round of [virtual] applause.  Let’s hear it for Erin and Healthy Houston Foodie.  Congratulations, ladies!

Stay tuned for next week’s round of trivia, where we’ll be mixing it up a bit.  Till then, sugarplums!

Tuesday Trivia: Junk Food Edition

ZOMG!  Tuesday Trivia has returned from hiatus!  I’m not sure what it was doing on hiatus; it just left me a note one morning saying it needed some “personal space” and returned just as suddenly last night, staggering up to the sliding glass door on the patio and falling into the garden hose, stinking of cheap gin and Drakkar Noir.  I think it’s been holed up at Marfreless.

So today’s Tuesday Trivia is gorging itself on junk food, I think in a dual effort to enrage me in the early, stabby stages of my diet, as well as to quell its raging hangover.  Hope you’re in the mood for a sugar rush, folks…

  1. What was the flavor of the original filling in Twinkies and what prompted the change to its current flavor, vanilla?
  2. In addition to lending her (misspelled) name to the eponymous snack cake company, the wife of the fourth U.S. President, Dolley Madison, is also credited with popularizing what treat in America?
  3. What snack enjoyed by children worldwide is made from the root of a plant that’s not only bitter but also poisonous, containing concentrated cyanide?
  4. The flavor that we call “bubblegum” is actually a combination of four different flavors.  Name three of them.
  5. The North Carolina-based rockabilly band Southern Culture on the Skids has been known to throw what treats to their audiences at shows?
  6. BONUS:  What famously secretive and reclusive, privately-owned candy company is responsible for producing the world’s most popular candy bar?  And what is that candy bar?

And there you have it, folks!  I’m going to drag Tuesday Trivia into a cold shower and sober it up while y’all make with the answers.  We’ll see you back here on Thursday!

Trivia, Get Yer Trivia!

I know.  Okay?  I KNOW.

Do I have to sing an Andrew Lloyd Webber song to you, or are we all cool?

…good, because I’m a terrible singer.

So, who wants trivia answers?  More importantly, who wants the trivia winner?  Okay, answers first:

  1. The six additional ways to commit gluttony are: Praepropere – eating too soon; Laute – eating too expensively; Nimis – eating too much; Ardenter – eating too eagerly; Studiose – eating too daintily; Forente – eating wildly.  And with that list, Thomas Aquinas managed to condemn basically anyone who’s ever eaten a single bite of food.
  2. The price of grain has risen roughly 250% since 2000.  Good job, commodities traders.  You must sleep so well at night.
  3. The highest grade of Russian caviar is malossol.  It isn’t a distinct variety of caviar (like sevruga or beluga) but simply refers to how much salt has been used during the preservation process.
  4. Abalone is not an aphrodesiac.  It is, however, a highly-valued symbol of wealth and prestige, particularly in China.
  5. Easter Island is believed to have been almost completely depopulated by a civil war resulting from massive food shortages after their natural resources had been depleted through overpopulation.
  6. BONUS:  That honor belongs to Carl Jr’s Double Six Dollar Burger, a monstrosity that clocks in at over 1,500 calories and 111 grams of fat.  No, that’s not a typo.

This week’s winner might surprise you!  I was certainly surprised…  It’s Chris, who got the most correct answers (four of them right on the head, and a damn close answer for #2) straight out of the gate!

Congratulations, Chris!  You’re not only the proud winner of she eats. bragging rights — worth at least $0.15 on the open market — you’ll also be getting a copy of In the Devil’s Garden: A Sinful History of Forbidden Food courtesy of, well, me.

And since I was so late with the answers this time — and since I’ve clearly completely punked out on trivia this week — my self-flagellating penance is that it’s your turn for trivia.  So ask away.  I’ll answer anything you throw out there* to the best of my ability.

…aaaaaand go!

*It’s 42.  Next question, please.

UPDATE:  Chris, email me at sheeats at hotmail dot com to claim yo’ prize.  I tried emailing you, but the email gods are not smiling down upon me today.

Tuesday Trivia: Thursday Edition

Your patience with our much-delayed Tuesday Trivia will be rewarded this week with a shiny new prize! What is that prize? Find out after trivia…

  1. Medieval writers and religious figures took a very broad view on gluttony, arguing that the sin encompassed more than simply over-indulgence in food and beverage. Thomas Aquinas went so far as to prepare a list of six additional ways one could commit gluttony while consuming a meal. What were three of these ways?
  2. Gluttony isn’t the only deadly sin that relates to food. Avarice, or greed, is responsible for driving up the cost of food items worldwide as investors and commodities traders profit from the abject poverty and hunger in countries like the Phillipines, Honduras and Bangladesh. Since 2000, the worldwide price of various oils and fats has risen by 300%, the price of milk by over 150%. By how much has the price of grains gone up since 2000?
  3. People have historically used food as one of many displays of wealth and pride, and still do to this day. Caviar is generally accepted as one of the food items most easily associated with a prideful life. What is the highest grade of Russian caviar on the market? Hint: its name is derived from the Russian word for “little salt.”
  4. Throughout history, people have sought aphrodesiacs to increase their own virility or induce lust in the object of their affections. Which of these foods is not traditionally considered an aphrodesiac: balut, arugula, ginseng, kelp or abalone?
  5. People go to war for many things: religion, land, natural resources. Food (and famine) has been one of the main causes of wrath and wars throughout human history. In fact, most anthropologists now believe that the population of what mysterious island was wiped out after a civil war over food (or, rather, a lack thereof)?
  6. BONUS: Sloth has created a nation (and a world) obsessed with fat-and-calorie-laden fast food and pre-packaged meals. What creation has been widely dubbed the “worst fast food burger” in America, nutritionally-speaking?

Now, obviously, the theme this week was…the Seven Deadly Sins. And the reason for that is two-fold. The first reason is that this week’s prize is one of my all-time favorite food anthropology books, In the Devil’s Garden: A Sinful History of Forbidden Food.

Today’s trivia winner will receive a copy of this truly fascinating book, shipped directly to their front door. I promise that none of today’s questions come from the book, either, so you’re guaranteed a fresh, interesting, eye-opening look at food taboos and food history as it relates to the Western concept of the Seven Deadly Sins.

The second reason is that Randy Rucker will be holding his highly-anticipated Seven Deadly Sins dinner this Monday, October 20th, at Culinaire Catering on Milam. The menu for the night includes seven courses, one for each sin. You don’t want to miss this special tenacity dinner. As always, you can email Randy at rrucker79 at hotmail dot com to RSVP for the dinner. Do it soon! Spots are filling up fast for this one.

Answers (and this week’s winner! — I’m very excited about this!!!) will be announced tomorrow afternoon, so hurry up and get those guesses in before anyone else comes in to crib off you! See you all back here on Friday, bluebirds!

Pre-Trivia Poll: Input, Please!

Since this will be our first ever Tuesday (er…Thursday) Trivia contest with an actual prize, I’d like to get your input on the fairest way to choose the winner for said prize.

Since we will occasionally have two or more people with the highest score (or with all the answers correct!), take a look at the poll below and let me know what you think is the fairest means for selecting a winner.

The poll will close at noon and Tuesday Trivia will be on!

UPDATE: The poll hath spoken.  If more than one person has all the correct answers (or ties for the most correct answers), the winner will be chosen at random from that group.  I will write the names on a piece of paper and my dog, Niblet, will do the honors of sniffing/eating/peeing on/choosing the winner.