“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”
―author/nutritionist Adelle Davis
“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.”
―journalist John Gunther
“Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.”
– James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States
“Nothing quite takes the taste out of peanut butter than unrequited love.”
– Charles M. Schulz (Peanuts)
“If you can’t control your peanut butter, you can’t expect to control your life.”
– Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes)
January 24 was National Peanut Butter Day in the U.S. This American dietary mainstay is so popular it has more than one national holiday devoted to it (or its central ingredient) – if you consider yourself a “peanut butter lover,” your day is March 1; if it’s peanuts alone you crave, you’ll have to wait until September 13. How long has peanut butter been in existence, and when did it become an obligatory item on everyone’s pantry shelf?
Today, January 16, is International Hot and Spicy Food Day, an appealing prospect for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere who are currently battling the bitter winter weather or a stuffy nose. Just the thought of spice conjures up warm and sunny locales, dishes that make us sweat, and tropical beverages that help us put out the fire on our tongues.
What gives spicy food its heat and why are some spicy foods hotter than others? Is spicy food good for you, or is it a health hazard? Or a little of both?
To answer the first question, most spicy foods contain a common element: the chili pepper, which is native to northeastern Mexico and has been in existence since at least 7,500 BC. One of the very first Europeans to encounter it was none other than Christopher Columbus (imagine his shock when he sampled one!), and it was he who gave the pepper its name, from the genus Piper, from whence also comes black pepper.
Happy 2019! This year marks the 70th anniversary of an American culinary institution: The Pillsbury Bake-Off®, which has given housewives (and house-husbands, too) an opportunity to showcase their creativity in the kitchen since 1949, when company executives dreamed up the competition as a simple way to spur sales of their products.