A. Tomatoes

B. Pasta

C. Grapes

D. Artichokes


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.


A. Grasshoppers

B. Coffee beans

C. Turkey breasts

D. Rattlesnake skin


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.


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


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.


A. Ecuadorian bitter chocolate

B. Plum pudding

C. Earl Grey tea

D. Oysters


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.


A. Peru

B. Kazakhstan

C. China

D. Nova Scotia


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.


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


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.


A. Finches

B. Frogs

C. Shrews

D. Snails


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.


A. Canned Beaver

B. Squid Milk

C. Fried Beer

D. Alligator Tacos


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.




A. Eggs

B. Beef

C. Grapes

D. Prunes


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.


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


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.


A. The popover baking pan

B. The garlic press

C. Tupperware bowls

D. The waffle iron


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


A. Cannoli

B. Cantucci

C. Panforte

D. Carnaroli


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.


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


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


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


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.


A. Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

B. Basque region, Spain

C. Styria, Austria

D. Tokaj-Hegyalja, Hungary


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.


A. Tea and baked apples

B. Vanilla and mocha

C. Sweat and butter

D. Animal fur and damp earth


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.


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


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.


A. Buckwheat

B. Soybeans

C. Rice

D. Bamboo shoots


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).


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


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.


A. Sigourney Weaver

B. Greta Garbo

C. Melissa McCarthy

D. Norma Jean Mortenson


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.