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A. Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

B. Basque region, Spain

C. Styria, Austria

D. Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary

C.

Pumpkinseed oil is a culinary icon in Austria. The oil comes from the seeds of a small, green-and-yellow striped pumpkin. The prized seeds are removed and washed by hand, then roasted, mashed, and pressed. (Far less valued, the pumpkin flesh is turned into feed for livestock). The oil is striking deep black/emerald green in color and has unctuous texture and an almost hauntingly intense, nutty flavor. Austrians drizzle it over lettuces, vegetables, and breads, and pour spoonfuls into soups including, of course, pumpkin soup.

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A. Tea and baked apples

B. Vanilla and mocha

C. Sweat and butter

D. Animal fur and damp earth

C.

In a study recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry—the whiffs of sweat and butter were among the distinguishing aromas that make soft baked pretzels so crave-inducing. According to Atlas Obscura, the researchers determined that the signature smell of pretzels comes from the brown outer crust (not the inside of the pretzel). They then peeled soft pretzel skins, crushed them to a fine powder, and created an extract from the ground pretzels. Using a process called aroma extract dilution analysis, they identified specific odorous compounds in the extract. These included aromas that were sweaty, buttery, malty, mushroom-like, carrot-like, cooked potato-like, caramel-like and cheesy. People laugh when I tell them that pinot noir has the wonderful smell of a sweaty man who just ran one mile. But sweatiness can be attractive. Now I can’t wait to try pretzels with pinot noir.

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A. A breed of cow from Italy renowned for its milk

B. A type of sheep’s milk cheese from Corsica that is aged in patterned molds

C. The nickname for a north African deer-like animal famed for its meat

D. A type of baby goat’s cheese aged inside its stomach

D.

Arguably one of the oldest types of cheese, callu de cabrettu originated in Sardinia, Italy where it can still be found. According to Atlas Obscura, this gamey-tasting cheese is made by taking a baby goat’s stomach still full of its mother’s milk, tying it closed, and letting it age naturally by hanging it in a warm place (conveniently, Sardinia is often quite warm). The cheese is formed in the stomach when the milk reacts with acids and rennet (the contents of the stomach of a young animal). Because this cheese in made in springtime.

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A. Buckwheat

B. Soybeans

C. Rice

D. Bamboo shoots

C.

For centuries, Chinese architects mixed sticky rice with lime mortar to create buildings, bridges, and city walls. Rice would first be cooked into a sticky paste, then blended with sand and lime, creating what was often referred to as “Chinese concrete.” The use of sticky rice, which is naturally water resistant, boosted the structures’ strength and protected the buildings against erosion. According to Atlas Obscura, rice was often used in construction in China by the time of the Tang Dynasty (816-907 AD).

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A. A vegetable related to artichokes 

B. A type of sweet onion similar in shape to leeks

C. Traditional Moroccan candies made from raw sugar, almonds, and spices

D. A fennel-like herb historically used to make curative teas

A.

Cardoons are close relatives of globe artichokes. However, only the ribs of the leaves are edible. Cardoons, like artichokes, are members of the thistle family and are similar in taste to artichoke hearts. Cardoons are among many forgotten vegetables that were very popular in America during colonial times. Many of these vegetables (which still grow in the Colonial Garden and Nursery at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia) are undergoing a resurgence thanks to farm stands and chef markets across the country.

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A. Sigourney Weaver

B. Greta Garbo

C. Melissa McCarthy

D. Norma Jean Mortenson

D.

Norma Jean Mortenson, also known as Marilyn Monroe, was named California’s first honorary Artichoke Queen in 1948 by what would later be known as the Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival. There are numerous versions of how Norma Jean came to be crowned. But, according to Kathryn Parish, chair of the Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival, Norma Jean came to the Monterey Bay area on a press trip for the grand opening of a jewelry store in Salinas. The artichoke industry, hoping to connect with a young headed-for-Hollywood starlet, sponsored a lunch with Norma Jean and officially crowned her Artichoke Queen right then and there. The rest is (delicious) history.

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A. Southern Germany

B. The Midwest of the United States

C. Northern Mexico

D. The mountains of China

A.

Spelt originated in Germany (and Switzerland too), according to the Northern Grain Growers Association. Spelt (aka “dinkle” in Germany), is similar in flavor and texture to wheat, and is typically milled into bread flour. Breads made from this grain are often heavier and denser in texture than breads made with wheat flour. Spelt has been grown for over 6,000 years. However, the grain went out of fashion in the early 20th century because wheat was easier to thresh. Over the past decade, the demand for spelt has skyrocketed as consumers search for alternatives to wheat.

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A. Smoked sausage

B. Salted cod fish

C. Shrimp ceviche-style

D. Grilled octopus

B.

Bacalhau, or dried salted cod, is Portugal’s national dish. By the time Columbus journeyed to America, the Portuguese were fishing for cod as far away as Newfoundland. The best bacalhau was salted at sea with sea salt from Setúbal, an area north of Lisbon, after which the salted cod would be dried onshore. The large, white, almost mummified fish can be seen hanging in bacalerias, shops that specialize in the fish dish.

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A. The Sierra Nevada Mountains in the U.S.

B. The Atlas Mountains in Africa

C. The Andes Mountains in South America

D. The Ural Mountains in Russia

C.

Quinoa (pronounced kin-WAH) is native to the Andes Mountain region (although today quinoa is grown in more than 70 countries worldwide). According to HuffPost Life, quinoa starts its life as a leafy green stalk that sheds its leaves when the quinoa seed is ready to be harvested. Once the quinoa seeds are separated from the seed heads, they are rinsed to remove the seeds’ bitter coating of saponin, a protectant against natural predators like birds and insects. Quinoa is then shipped to supermarkets all over the world—to be consumed in salads and veggie burgers alike.

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A. Seoul

B. Paris

C. Singapore

D. Tokyo

A.

According to The Economist’s 2018 Worldwide Cost of Living report, Seoul, South Korea, has the highest average price for a loaf of bread—$15.59. This is more than double the average price in the second most expensive city: Geneva at $6.45 a loaf. Surprisingly, bread costs more in Paris (arguably the bread capital of the world) at $6.33 a loaf than it does in Singapore—$3.71.

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A. Sea urchins

B. Wasps

C. Pickled radishes

D. Ants

B.

Jibachi senbei, or digger wasp rice crackers, contain an insect called digger wasps. Hunters set traps for the wasps in the forests surrounding Omachi, a town about 120 miles from Tokyo where these crackers were invented, specifically to make jibachi senbei. After being boiled and dried, the wasps are added to the rice cracker mix. According to Gastro Obscura, the snack was invented by a wasp fan club (who knew?) and a cracker-baker. It’s now a favorite among the elderly population (Omachi’s youth aren’t so keen). A reviewer claims the crackers taste slightly sweet and savory, with the wasps coming across “like burnt raisins.” A wine to pair? Hmmm. Port to mirror the sweet/savoriness or Champagne to amplify the crunch?

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A. A bitter, greenish jelly made from a tropical fruit that Australians spread over cheese and toast

B. A mixture of spinach, cabbage, and lima beans that is puréed and often served in Australian school cafeterias

C. A type of nut butter made from nuts and peas that is popular in Australia

D. A spread made from brewer’s yeast that was a favorite of Australian soldiers during World War II 

D.

Vegemite, one of the most popular Australian foods of the 20th century, was invented in 1922 in Melbourne by a food manufacturing company named Fred Walker. A spread made from brewer’s yeast (and hence a strong source of B vitamins), vegemite was slow to catch on at first. But intense promotional efforts (including a limerick competition with compelling prizes such as Pontiac cars) propelled the spread to fame. During World War II, the Australian Army purchased huge quantities and it became immensely popular among soldiers, especially after rations of the British spread Marmite became scarce. Vegemite received official product endorsement from the British Medical Association in 1939. By 1942, it was said to be in every kitchen in Australia.