Page 8 - Hobe Sound Reflections - September '22
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Page 8, Hobe Sound

                                                          book review

      The Secret History Of Food:                        tall and dependable                               who ‘discovered’ it in the sixteenth century and called it
      Strange But True Stories                           grain they could live                             vainilla, a Spanish derivative of the Latin vagina, because
                                                         on. So it was a lot
                                                                                                           of its resemblance when spread open to harvest its seeds
      About The Origins Of                               like dating in high                               (and probably because they hadn’t seen their wives in a
                                                                                                           long time). They then brought the plants back home to
      Everything We Eat                                     Those of us of                                 Europe and spent three hundred years trying in vain to
                                                         a certain age will                                pollinate them because they couldn’t find the rostellum.
      By Nils A. Shapiro                                 remember the                                      (Insert clitoris joke here.)”
         On Page 141 of this                             ubiquitous chain of                                  One of the things we learn in the chapter, “Attack
      month’s selection, author                          Howard Johnson                                    of  the  Killer  Tomatoes,”  is  that  it  took  six  years  of
      Matt Siegel connects                               restaurants, 1,000                                escalating court battles before the U.S. Supreme Court
      comments  by  two  other                           of which lined the                                took the case that led to a key decision in 1893: “Supreme
      writers to make an                                 nation’s highways                                 Court justices read from various dictionaries and heard
      interesting point:                                 and dotted big cities                             testimony from expert witnesses before ultimately ruling
         “Average Americans                              during and after                                  that tomatoes were vegetables because they ‘are, like
      and Europeans not only live                        the World War  II                                 potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, cauliflower,
      better than more than 99                           era, a new location                               celery, and lettuce, usually served at dinner...and not,
      percent of the human beings                        opening every nine                                like fruits generally, as dessert.’”
      who have ever existed, they                        days. They were famous for their giant outdoor signage      Such other chapter titles as “A History of Swallowing,”
      live better than most of the royalty of history...gas-station   advertising 28 flavors of ice cream. This book’s chapter,   “Pie, Progress, and Plymouth Rock,” “Breakfast of
      minimarts now sell cabernets and chardonnays ‘far   “The Vanilla of Society,” points out among its many tasty   Champions” and “Honey Laundering” further attest to
      superior in quality to the wines once drunk by the kings   facts that Mr. Johnson himself once admitted that most   the variety of topics and the author’s sense of humor.
      of France.’ Today supermarkets offer at low cost dozens   people simply preferred vanilla.              One doesn’t often find on a literary menu a tasty
      of items almost anyone who has ever lived considered      Of course, while the author does not claim this as the   smorgasbord of hearty information, served with a
      unattainable delicacies and died without tasting.”  reason for the flavor’s overwhelming popularity, he does   generous helping of sweet wit. I strongly recommend
         It is an interesting point most of us never even think   point out the following:                 that you place your order for The Secret History of Food
      about. And by the time you reach that paragraph in      “ ... vanilla is one of the few ice cream flavors to be   as soon as possible.
      this 270-page book, (193 of text plus 77 of Notes and   named after genitalia, thanks to Spanish conquistadors
      Index),  you  will  already  have  learned  many  hundreds
      of surprising, even shocking, facts about a subject that
      consumes us every day of our lives.
         Even better, the whole is served up deliciously by a
      writer with a sense of humor that prompted one reviewer
      to describe this as “a laugh-out-loud funny read.”                                                        You’re Retired
         Siegel has written about food and culture for such
      publications as  The Atlantic, Fast Company, and  The                                                     Your Money Isn’t.
      Paris Review. He is a former English professor who
      lives with his dog, Waffles. Having now read The Secret
      History of Food, I would unhesitatingly place him at the                                                   To learn why consolidating your
      top of my list of ideal dinner companions.                                                                 retirement accounts to Edward Jones
         It is clear that the author has done a great deal of                                                    makes sense, contact your Edward
      research in the development of this book. He covers an
      impressive range of topics related to this one subject,                                                    Jones  nancial advisor today.
      taking  us  on  a  journey  that  extends  from  mankind’s
      earliest days on this planet to the present day – and
      includes both the ways in which humans have altered the
      very nature of the foods we eat and the impact that foods        Sally S Stahl, AAMS®             
      have had on us, physically and psychologically.                  Financial Advisor                            M e m b  P I S   r e  C
         As just one example of human intervention, here is an         1851 W Indiantown Rd Ste 106
      excerpt from the chapter on corn (originally called teosinte);   Jupiter, FL 33458
      some of the text has been omitted for lack of space:             561-748-7600
         “We’re not even sure what the people who first ate
      teosinte actually did with it; for starters, an ear of it
      contained only five to twelve kernels compared to the five
      to twelve hundred on an ear of corn today, and each of
      them was only around one-tenth the weight of a modern
      kernel. So an entire ear of teosinte would have been about
      the size of a cigarette, though probably shorter. And
      there wasn’t a central cob, so you couldn’t eat the whole
      thing ... You could eat only the tiny kernels, which were
      individually wrapped in an almost impenetrable outer
      casing ... Yet for some reason our ancestors saw potential
      in this lowly grass and kept replanting it, choosing only   Est. 1926
      the seeds with the most attractive traits – say, height, girth,                  The Heart of Hobe Sound
      tenderness, and disease resistance – until it grew into a

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