Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic is a Bay Area writer and editor. Her first book Suffering Succotash: A Picky Eater's Quest to Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate, a humorous non-fiction narrative and exposé on the lives of picky eaters, will be released by Perigee Books on July 3.
My husband is a calculus professor and one who brings food items into the classroom with surprising regularity. No, he doesn't bring pies on Pi day - though he can recite the string up to a couple dozen digits - but he does bring Pringles. As a teaching aid.
This afternoon when I walked into his study, I nearly tripped over a plastic Safeway bag filled with six red cans of Pringles. "Is it Pringles Day already?" I asked, nudging the bag. Pringles Day is the day Dr. Mathra lectures on the classification of critical points in multivariable calculus, and he uses the saddle-shaped Pringles to illustrate his points.
After class, the students get to eat his illustrations. It's their favorite day.
It’s possibly the cruelest joke a brain can play: One minute you’re devouring a delicious ice cream sundae in delight, the next you’re holding a palm to your forehead in excruciating pain.
For the next 10 seconds, what you laughingly refer to as “brain freeze” (when other people get it) is no laughing matter.
Researchers induced such pain in 27 healthy volunteers in a new study presented at the Experimental Biology 2012 conference in San Diego this week.
Lead author Jorge Serrador and his team were trying to identify exactly what causes brain freeze. They hoped that by pinpointing the cause they would influence future research on migraines or post-traumatic headaches.
You may be clueless about how to start a fire in the wilderness without matches or a lighter, but our ancestors may have figured it out long ago.
Scientists have uncovered evidence that humans used fire at least 1 million years ago, potentially for cooking purposes. The findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Michael Chazon of the University of Toronto led an investigation into the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa. The team found burned bones and ash plant material, including grasses, leaves and twigs. The bones originated from a variety of animals: small rodents, antelopes and horselike mammals.
If you're concerned about the ethics of livestock production but don't want to become a vegetarian, consider this: It may be possible to grow meat in a petri dish.
Dr. Mark Post, professor of vascular physiology at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, is working on creating meat from bovine stem cells. And he's planning to unveil a burger created this way in October, he said Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver.
Croplands and pastures occupy about 35% of the planet's ice-free land surface, according to a 2007 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
"Meat consumption is going to double in the next 40 years or so, so we need to come up with alternatives to solve the land issue," Post said.
What do tomatoes, cheese and mackerel have in common?
They are all responsible for umami, the slightly mysterious fifth basic taste now counted alongside sweetness, saltiness, sourness and bitterness. Umami is often likened to savoriness, but defining exactly what it tastes like can be tricky.
If you have two mini-tomatoes and chew them 30 times before swallowing you should feel a strange sensation that spreads in your cheeks. That, according to chef Kiyomi Mikuni, is the umami taste.
Life just got a little sweeter thanks to a native West African fruit about the size of a cranberry.
The miracle fruit, “miracle berry,” or more formally Synsepalum dulcificum contains a glycoprotein – conveniently named miraculin - that temporarily fools taste buds into believing that sour and bitter things taste sweet.
David Solot is a Ph.D. student in organizational psychology at Walden University, with a Masters in clinical psychology. His background includes the study of animal sensation and perception, and conditioned responses to sweetness in foods. This is part two in a series on "The psychology of food aversions."
From peanut butter cookies to macaroni and cheese, there sure are a lot of food aversions out there. Hundreds of people took the time to tell us their own stories.
Lisa told us about how when she was pregnant she walked past a store selling candied pecans. The pecans got associated with her morning sickness, and now she avoids any food with cinnamon and sugar on it. Ann overdid it on Heath Bar cookies, and today she can’t even look at a Heath Bar wrapper. This leads us to our first question about food aversions:
Why does the sight and smell of these foods make us sick?
David Solot is a Ph.D. student in organizational psychology at Walden University, with a Masters in clinical psychology. His background includes the study of animal sensation and perception, and conditioned responses to sweetness in foods.
Is there a food you just don’t like, and you can’t explain why? Or perhaps a food that made you sick once, and now you can’t come near it? It could be the result of a million-year-old survival mechanism.
When I was about six years old, I started hating cherry Jell-O. There was no apparent reason for it. I liked cherry Kool-Aid and shaved ice, and I was fine with other flavors of Jell-O. But the sight or smell of cherry Jell-O would instantly make me nauseated.
My reaction to it was so bad that my parents used to tell people I was allergic to it, just to avoid my reaction. They even wrote it down under “allergies” on a school form. I just couldn’t touch it without feeling sick.
There’s a saying in Brooklyn, New York – Brooklyn bagels are the best because of the water. Connoisseurs of New York bagels will tell you it’s the local water that gives Brooklyn bagels their unique taste.
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“That is true,” said Ameen Hamin, a manager at Terrace Bagels, a Brooklyn bagel shop at the top of several lists of the best bagel stores in New York. “We have the best water here so everything is made with water. That’s what makes the bagel taste good and gives it that texture.”
Unless you’re grinding peanuts into butter and emulsifying egg yolks into mayonnaise at home, Einav Gefen has probably touched your food in some way.
Since 2008, 39-year-old Gefen has acted as corporate chef at Unilever in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
Unilever is one of the world's leading consumer product companies, encompassing more than 400 brands including such pantry, refrigerator and freezer mainstays as Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Lipton, Breyers, Skippy Peanut Butter, Ragú, Hellmann's, Knorr and Wish-Bone.
Having spaghetti and dumped on a jar of Ragú pasta sauce? Thank Gefen. Cooled down in the summer with a Popsicle®? That’s her team’s doing too. Worldwide, the corporation has close to a 50 percent share of the global grocery market and invests nearly $1 billion every year in research and development – including in the edible category with Gefen as top chef.