Special


T

he “special” section of this site is the right place for insights that, even if about food, do not relate to a specific course or recipe. Insights about disciplines, like history and science, only apparently distant from the “eating experience”.

FOOD IN THIS SECTION:

General insights about the world of food.




Food of the Native North Americans. Food of the Native North Americans.

Food of the Native North Americans.

S

peaking about the food eaten by Native North Americans is a tremendous task. They are all depicted as great eaters of bison meat: nothing further from the truth. For comparison, it would be like thinking about Europeans as one people who eats just lasagna or sauerkraut. (First part, second part, third part)

: United States




Eating on the I.S.S.: food in space. Eating on the I.S.S.: food in space.

Eating on the I.S.S.: food in space.

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ven in 2016, thinking about a group of people eating in a space station … well, it still seems quite odd. It’s the I.S.S., the International Space Station, a very complex structure speeding around the Earth many kilometers above our heads. Quoting a famous sci-fi television serie, it’s the “final frontier” of food! (continue)

: United States




Banquets by Vatel: magnificence and power. Banquets by Vatel: magnificence and power.

Banquets by Vatel: magnificence and power.

T

he people belonging to the richest and most influential class have always been used to organize magnificent banquets to impress their guests and to gain their respect. Francois Vatel, cook and master of ceremonies, was one of the most skilled directors of this type of events. (continue)

: France




Eight cooking schools in China. Eight cooking schools in China.

Eight cooking schools in China.

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hina: a huge country, an ancient civilization. Two elements of great importance in the development of the local culinary tradition … or should we say “traditions”? Even if in the West a lot of people thinks there is just one school of Chinese cooking, there are actually eight of them!

: China




The Great War: eating in a trench. The Great War: eating in a trench.

The Great War: eating in a trench.

“C’

est la soupe qui fait le soldat” (“soup makes soldiers strong”): words attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte. The famous French general believed that, during a conflict, feeding troops is as important as training and arming them. His thought proved to be right especially in the First World War, when food played a critical role in the balance of power between the two warring sides. (First part, second part)

Lord Byron about food ©:1

The “bacari” of Venice

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trolling through the “calli”, the narrow alleys of Venice, it’s not so difficult to come across a “bacaro”: it’s basically a very small tavern, noisy and lively, where you can spend some of your time, surrounded by nice and colorful local people. In a bacaro you can drink wine, beer and simple cocktails. You can also eat some simple and yet very tasteful snacks: the so-called “cicchetti”.

Fire in the chili pepper

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hat we feel when eating some chili pepper, the stinging sensation of warmth, is not heat at all. Those flames that literally explode in our mouths (and not just there), are really only an illusion. There is a substance inside this fruit, the so-called “capsaicin”, that stimulates our heat receptors: these send to the brain a fake signal. All tests have proved that there is no real increase of temperature.




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©:1 (*) – The Birth of Venus, Botticelli 1483 (Wikipedia Link)

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(**) Image released in public domain by its author.