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A. Pear juice

B. White peach purée

C. White fig syrup

D. Sun-dried moscato bianco grapes

B.

While cocktail bars today may often substitute Champagne, the Bellini was most definitely born from Prosecco—celebrated yesterday on National Prosecco Day. The first Bellini was poured in the summer of 1948 by Giuseppe Cipriani, founder and barman of the legendary Harry’s Bar in Venice. Inspired by the region’s fragrant white peaches and world-famous sparkling wine, Cipriani pushed the fresh fruit through a sieve to create a purée, then combined it with crisp, bright Prosecco. The official recipe is one-part pureé to two-parts Prosecco. According to Arrigo Cipriani, current bar owner and Giovani’s son, Cipriani named his refreshing concoction after 15th-century local Venetian artist Giovani Bellini, whose landscapes glowed with similar pale pink shades. Harry’s Bar opened in Venice in 1931 and was declared a national landmark by the Italian Ministry for Cultural Affairs in 2001.

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A. Hazelnut

B. Anise

C. Orange

D. Sour Cherry

C.

These orange liqueurs appear in classic cocktails like the Margarita, Sidecar, Long Island Iced Tea, and Cosmopolitan—no respectable home bar should be without at least one. Liqueur is not the French spelling of “liquor” but a combination of a liquor (a distilled spirit such us vodka or brandy) with added sugar and flavorings. Curaçao was first made by Dutch settlers on the island of Curaçao in the 19th century. A traditionally rum-based liqueur, it ranges from 15-40% abv and is made with tropical oranges. Avoid cheap versions appearing in artificial orange, blue, and green hues—true Curaçao is clear. Grand Marnier was created in 1880 by Frenchman Louis-Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle from a mix of Cognac, distilled bitter orange essence, and sugar. At 40% abv, Grand Marnier is the incendiary ingredient in Crêpes Suzette, the quintessential French dessert made by dousing a crêpe, or buttery pancake, with it and flambéing briefly. Triple sec is a drier style of orange liqueur, whose name is thought to be a translation of the words “triple dry.” The drink was first released in 1875 and is made using a mix of sweet and bitter orange peels and sugar beet alcohol. Cointreau claims to be the world’s first triple sec producer and is 40% abv.

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A. The fattiest portion of the tuna, used for sushi and prized in Japan as a pairing to sake

B. A dish from the Piedmont region of Italy, composed of tuna and carpaccio of veal

C. The meat from a bull killed in a bullfight, eaten throughout most of Spain

D. A thick round cut of beef tenderloin, wrapped in boar bacon and grilled over a fire of used oak barrel staves in Argentinian asados

C.

Toro de lidia is the meat of a bull raised for bullfighting. Bull meat stewed in red wine for several hours is a culinary specialty in the southern Spanish province of Andalusia. Historically, it was believed that eating the meat of a bullfighting bull would imbue the eater with the bull’s strength, courage, and virility. In much of central and southern Spain, cattle were used primarily for utility, pulling ploughs, or transport. In every herd there were some bulls, described as bravos, who were too aggressive for these purposes. Instead, they were sacrificed during bullfighting festivals, which the Spainish call corridas—or “runs” (the most famous being Pamplona’s annual running of the bulls which begins this Sunday, July 5)—culminating with the standoff between bull and matador. Once killed, some of the bull’s meat was given to the triumphant bullfighter, who would take the meat back to his hometown, where it would be made into a stew for the whole village, providing a rare opportunity for poor rural communities to eat beef. Currently, bullfighting is illegal in Catalonia and in the Canary Islands, although it remains well established in many parts of the rest of Spain. The fattiest, and most expensive portion of the tuna is known simply as toro or otoro and is prized because it literally melts in your mouth. The classic Italian dish of raw veal in a tuna sauce is called vitello tonnato. And thick round end pieces of beef tenderloin are called tournedos, the leanest cut of meat, which requires the extra flavor that the fatty bacon provides.

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A. She is credited with writing the country’s first restaurant review, published in 1861 in the now defunct Philadelphia Inquirer.

B. She brought a lawsuit against a Los Angeles restaurant, effectively ending the existence of “ladies menus.”

C. She was the first restaurateur to introduce the idea of adding a gratuity to the bill for distribution among staff.

D. She operated the country’s first food truck, during the Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915 in San Francisco.

B.

Yes, there were once “ladies menus.” (Yours truly was given such a menu several times in New York back in the day). Ladies menus were the same as men’s but did not include prices. Virtually extinct today, “ladies menus” were a fixture of upscale restaurants throughout Europe, but fairly rare in the United States. However, in 1980, Kathleen Bick sued the Los Angeles restaurant L’Orangerie (owned by Parisian émigrés Virginie and Gerrard Ferry) for giving her a ladies menu when she took her business partner, Larry Becker, out for dinner and discovered that only he was privy to the prices of the dishes, since only his menu listed them. Bick’s suit stated that the restaurant’s policy was discriminatory and violated California’s Civil Rights Act. Bick’s well-known feminist attorney, Gloria Allred, explained that the sanitized menu “insulted businesswomen, as well as married women, who might want to have a say on what was being spent on their meal.” L’Orangerie’s owners, meanwhile, defended the practice as “a tradition done in the same spirit as lighting a cigarette or standing up when [a woman] enters the room.” After much public scrutiny, the suit was eventually dropped, as were the ladies’ menus.

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A. Baguettes

B. Crème Brûlee

C. Cheese

D. Dijon Mustard

C.

Terre de Lait, an organization for the French dairy industry, has created the “Fromagissons” campaign, a combination of fromage (cheese) and agissons (let’s act). The campaign asks people to start buying traditional cheeses in support of French cheesemongers who have seen sales fall as much as 60 percent since the crisis began. French magazine Agri Culture reports that only 500 tons of an anticipated 2,000 tons of cheese were sold in April. Terre de Lait is urging it’s countrymen to “work together” so that France remains the country of over 1,000 cheeses.

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A. Tomatoes

B. Pasta

C. Grapes

D. Artichokes

D.

The U.S. Artichoke industry emerged around 1900 in California, and much of the crop was shipped east, where Italian Americans paid handsomely for the edible thistles. At first, mafia families used their control of rail-line entry points into New York to impose an informal import tax on artichoke shipments. But later, they began intimidating growers into limiting crop sizes and selling at deflated prices. By 1935, the Sicilian American mafia had controlled the American artichoke market (worth about $12.5 million in 2020 dollars) for at least two decades. Mayor LaGuardia had campaigned for office on a promise to take on the mob, and had a penchant for drama. On December 21, 1935, surrounded by horn-blowing policemen, he hopped onto the back of a vegetable truck at the Bronx Terminal Market to denounce the mafia’s tactics and embargo the artichokes.

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A. Grasshoppers

B. Coffee beans

C. Turkey breasts

D. Rattlesnake skin

C.

To make a special savory/spicy mezcal known as mezcal de pechuga (pechuga is Spanish for breast), maestro mezcaleros (master mezcal makers) traditionally hang skinless turkey or chicken breasts inside the still during a third distillation.  Variations include deer, rabbit, and even iguana. The steam cooks the meat as the spirit distills, allowing the meat’s fat and juices to drip into the mezcal. Collagen released from the protein creates a rich, robust mouthfeel not found in most mezcals. The meat also provides a subtle savory note that balances the sweetness of fruits and grains often steamed with it.  Mezcal, by the way, is slightly different than tequila.  Mezcal can be produced from up to 28 varieties of agave, around the city of Oaxaca and a few surrounding states. Tequila is made only from blue agave and must be produced in the state of Jalisco and its environs. Mezcal is made by roasting or grilling the agave hearts in pits (for its unique, smoky flavors), while tequila makers bake them in above-ground ovens.

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A. An old fashioned, humble French stew made with rabbit marinated in red wine for 2 days

B. The traditional process of making foie gras by force-feeding geese to swell their livers

C. A type of pork hash, a specialty of southern France, generally consumed with glasses of Armagnac

D. An ancient method of tempering chocolate so that the chocolate is smooth and silky

B.

Gavage is the process of force-feeding geese and ducks to swell their livers to make the French delicacy foie gras (the words mean “fatty liver”).  The process is highly controversial, with critics asserting that the practice is both unethical and cruel because it involves forcing feeding tubes down the animals’ throats.

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A. Ecuadorian bitter chocolate

B. Plum pudding

C. Earl Grey tea

D. Oysters

D.

The London restaurant Wright Brothers recently partnered with The Ginstitute Distillery of West London, to create an oyster-flavored gin said to have “high mineral notes and a pink-pepper finish.” It’s also claimed to be a perfect gin to accompany seafood dishes. The gin is made with Carlingford oyster shells, which are cold-macerated in neutral spirits and then distilled. The oyster distillate is then added to the gin along with juniper, Amalfi lemons, and kelp seaweed.

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A. Peru

B. Kazakhstan

C. China

D. Nova Scotia

B.

All of those Fujis, Romes, Deliciouses, and Granny Smiths in your market can be traced back to one place where apples still grow wild—Kazakhstan. According to Gastro Obscura, the ancestor of the domestic apple is the Malus sieversii, which grows wild in the Tian Shan Mountains. Scientists believe that Tian Shan apple seeds were transported out of Kazakhstan by birds and bears long before humans ever cultivated them. By the time humans did begin to grow apples the Malus sieversii was growing in Syria. The Romans discovered it there and then spread the fruit around the Roman Empire. Wild apple forests still exist in Kazakhstan in protected patches within National Parks.

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A. Italian cordials (often homemade) produced from fermented fruits, barks, and spices

B. Ancient Sicilian vegetables once thought to have gone extinct

C. Types of specialty dried pasta

D. Rare cheeses that are specialties of the wine regions that ring the Italian Alps

C.

There are well over 100 different shapes of pasta, which come dried or fresh. All of the pastas in the question are dried. Fisckariedd are the leftover cuts after other forms of pasta are made. These leftover pieces are dried and then tossed into soups. Strozzapreti are tightly rolled short ropes. The name translates as “strangle the priest.” And corzetti are large flat disks which can be stamped with a logo or other mark. They are usually served with a sauce or in a soup.

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A. Finches

B. Frogs

C. Shrews

D. Snails

D.

The Romans fattened snails on choice tidbits of food and housed them in special snail boxes, before they were cooked. Today, the French, and especially the Alsatians, have raised the eating of escargots to a fine art. The drizzling of snails with garlic butter is merely the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of ways of preparing snails, including a famous one in which the mollusks are simmered with wild chanterelle mushrooms, garlic, and shallots in a wine and whipped cream stock, then served with a chilled riesling.

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A. Canned Beaver

B. Squid Milk

C. Fried Beer

D. Alligator Tacos

C.

Fried beer was created in Texas (logically enough) in 2010 by a beer lover named Mark Zable, according to Gastro Obscura. Fried beer is not, as one might think, a batter made with beer which is then fried. That would be too easy. Zable concocted a method (using Guinness) to keep the beer liquid while frying the pretzel dough encasing it. Each liquid beer-filled nugget is fried 20 seconds, but Zable will reveal nothing more about the secret recipe. Fried beer made its debut at the Texas State Fair. And yes, you had to show your ID to “eat” it.

 

 

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A. Eggs

B. Beef

C. Grapes

D. Prunes

D.

According to statistics compiled by the Napa County Agricultural Commissioner, the leading food product in the Napa Valley in 1945 was prunes with a value of $3,622,000. Although Prohibition had ended in 1933, by 1945 grapes ($2,600,000) still trailed prunes by a million dollars. And eggs ($2,553,750) weren’t far behind.

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A. Given to a local convent

B. Scattered in the vineyard as fertilizer

C. Given to local schools to be used for egg dishes for children

D. Used by the winery for lubricating winemaking equipment

A.

Historically, convents located in wine regions often developed signature desserts and breads based on egg yolks. The nuns would then sell these food items as a source of income for the convent.

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A. The popover baking pan

B. The garlic press

C. Tupperware bowls

D. The waffle iron

D.

After using his wife’s waffle iron to imprint patterned grips on the soles of a new type of shoe, Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman applied for a patent in 1972. Bowerman later founded Nike which went on to manufacture running shoes with waffle-shaped rubber studs on the soles for better traction according to Smithsonian.com.

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A. Cannoli

B. Cantucci

C. Panforte

D. Carnaroli

B.

Cantucci are stubby, twice-baked, small biscotti traditionally served with vin santo at the end of a Tuscan meal. It is customary for Tuscans to dip the cantucci in the vin santo. The creamy, honey-roasted flavor of the sweet wine is complimented by cantucci’s almond and butter flavors.

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A. Joe was a famous Sicilian barista from Palermo, Italy

B. Joe refers to a former secretary of the U.S. Navy who wanted soldiers to drink coffee instead of wine and liquor

C. Originally Johannesburg slang, the word joe was adopted by South African coffee importers

D. Joe was the nickname given to coffee by British servicemen stationed in India during World War I

B.

Joe refers to Josephus Daniels, former secretary of the U.S. Navy under President Woodrow Wilson. During World War I, Daniels tried to reform Navy morals. He increased the number of chaplains, discouraged prostitution, and, most controversially, banned the consumption of alcohol, suggesting the soldiers would be better off drinking coffee

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A. A mixture of grape juice, skins, seeds and stems

B. Minced leaves from muscat vines

C. Indigenous South African cereals soaked in Vin de Constance

D. A pint of traditional South African beer

A.

The brioche-like, buttery South African bread, mosbolletjies (pronounced mos-bol-eh-kis)  is leavened with fermenting must— a mixture of grape juice, skins, seeds, and stems. French Huguenot immigrants settled in Western Cape in the late 1600s and began cultivating grapes. The loaves are often flavored with anise and are typically served with butter and a jam called moskonfyt, also made from must.

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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.