Supper summit at a D.C. stalwart
February 9th, 2011
05:15 PM ET
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Larry Shaughnessy is CNN's Pentagon Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) - France's reputation for fine cuisine is well established. So when one of France's top government officials came to visit Washington, you'd think he'd be treated to dinner at one of Washington's most trendy, elite restaurants - the kind that get mentioned on food blogs or in glossy magazines.

Instead, Defense Secretary Robert Gates took his counterpart, the French Minister of Defense, Alain Juppe, to Gadsby's, an Arlington, Va tavern that serves down-to-earth fare like meatloaf and pork chops.

When Gates mentioned the dinner to reporters Tuesday, it wasn't Gadsby's food he mentioned; it was the restaurant's more than 225 years of history.

"Last evening, I had the pleasure of hosting Minister Juppé along with other French and U.S. officials for dinner at a tavern where Secretary of State John Quincy Adams played host to General Lafayette in 1824. Two centuries later, France remains our strong and valued partner on the global stage."

General Lafayette was one of the French generals who served in the American Continental Army under George Washington during the Revolutionary war. Being treated to dinner at a tavern that once played host to the French hero seemed to delight Minister Juppe.

"I appreciate very much, Mr. Secretary, our wonderful dinner yesterday evening in a very elegant place. And we served prestigious predecessors; I am here after Lafayette. And for me, it's a very great honor."
FULL POST

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Filed under: Classic • History • President Obama • Restaurants • White House


Every thing you ever wanted to know about noggin the nog
December 8th, 2010
12:45 PM ET
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(Mental Floss) - There's a good chance you'll either drink too much eggnog this holiday season or spend time around someone who has. Here's a look at the background of this December staple.

Eggnog can trace its roots back as far as the 14th century, when medieval Englishmen enjoyed a hot cocktail known as posset. Posset didn't contain eggs - the Oxford English Dictionary describes it as "a drink made of hot milk curdled with ale, wine, or the like, often sweeten ed and spiced' - but over the years eggs joined in on the festive fun.

While the egg-laden version of posset was popular with the English, it became less common as time went by. Milk and eggs were both scarce and expensive, and the sherry and Madeira used to spike the mixture was pricey, too. Over time, the concoction became a drink that only aristocrats could really afford.

All of that changed in the American colonies, though. What we lacked in parliamentary representation we made up for in easy access to dairy products and liquor. Since many Americans had their own chickens and dairy cattle, tossing together a glass of eggnog was no problem, and the drink's popularity soared among the colonists even as it sagged back home.

Read the rest of "Eggnog: Everything you need to know" on CNN Living

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Filed under: Bite • Christmas • History • Holidays • Sip


Slurping through history
November 16th, 2010
11:45 AM ET
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When President Obama commented that the Republicans were standing around drinking Slurpees while the Democrats were busy creating real change in Washington, it caused quite a storm. Now that he's sitting down with the new Republican leadership this week, the so-called "Slurpee Summit" is the talk of the nation.

While most of us have had one of 7-Eleven's frozen concoctions, there's plenty more you probably don't know about this too cool drink.

Read the entire COOL HISTORY OF THE SLURPEE from Mental Floss.

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Filed under: Bite • History • Products


The CNN Challenge: Beer Me!
October 12th, 2010
02:15 PM ET
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From America's oldest brewery to the origins of Oktoberfest, think you are well versed in the field of cold ones? Tap into today's featured CNN Challenge all about brewskis.

To get started, pick your favorite host – whether it be Jane Velez-Mitchell, Sanjay Gupta or John King – and get ready to chug down a little boozy trivia.

Take the quiz HERE.

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Filed under: Beer • History • Sip


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