18 Oct 2021

First Comes Spoons, Then Comes Marriage

Q. Spoons feature prominently in the button-tight world of etiquette. Are our silver-plated friends similarly burdened with deeply rooted superstitious beliefs? . A. Spoons definitely play a strong role in old-school manners. In Emily Post’s 1922 Etiquette, for instance, we see pages devoted to teaching mischievous young boys how to

24 Sep 2021

Hodgepodges, Mrs. + Otherwise

Q. ‘Hodgepodge’  is such a great word used to describe slapdash, confusing mixtures of what-not. Where does this word come from and how does it relate to food? . A. Here we see the word ‘hodgepodge’ used in this great ad from a 1961 Life magazine. *Side Note: how open

26 Aug 2021

Rating Pepper Hotness

Q. For decades, cooks, bartenders, and derring-do diners have been rating the hotness of peppers with the Scoville scale. But what is the Scoville Scale and how was it developed? . A. We know that the Trinidad Scorpion rates near the top of the scale with a hotness rating of

29 Jul 2021

Canada’s Favourite Ice Cream

Q. As we prepare for some more unbelievably warm weather, it’s time to stock the freezer. What are Canada’s favourite ice-cream flavours? . A. Well, time will tell in a month or two for this particular heat wave. But, the flavour that fascinated us most in 2020? Banana. This according

01 Jul 2021

No Egg In This Plant

Q. Why is the long purple eggplant called an ‘eggplant’? What part of that shape and that colour says egg? . A. The eggplant gets its name from a different species of eggplant, one that is white, egg-shaped, and was far more common in centuries gone by. This eggplant  –

21 Jun 2021

Deadly Drinks

Q. Some classic cocktails come with rather fearsome names. Examples? . A. Blood and Sand Said to be named after a 1922 Rudolf Valentino movie, the original Blood and Sand combines scotch, Cherry Heering liqueur or brandy, sweet vermouth, and orange juice. . Corpse Reviver This still popular cocktail is

26 May 2021

You Eat What With What?

Q. Do you snack on any strange food combinations that would surprise those who don’t know you that well? Would you pair these foods  proudly in a public place, or is this strictly for in-house dining? . A. First things first. We Canadians are clearly not a poll-passionate people. But,

01 May 2021

Onion Love

Q. What are the superstitions that link romance and onions of all things? . A. It’s not everyday that one draws a natural link between romance and onions. As Jonathan Swift wrote in his poem ‘Onions’: … ‘For this is every cook’s opinion, No savoury dish without an onion; But,

03 Apr 2021

Creme Eggs: Yes Or No?

Q.  It’s time. The Easter Bunnies are starching their bowties and dusting their baskets. Question is: will you be glad to receive a yellow-yolked, chocolate creme egg? Yes or No? . A. We’ll start by admitting that we are unabashedly, pass the purple foil, ready the sweetest buds: Yes. But,

24 Feb 2021

Drinking Toast

Q. Was or, gasp, is there such a thing as toast water? . A. One thing is clear: toast water is all over Victorian to early 20th Century recipe and potion books. Albert A. Hopkins starts our toast post with his 1919 guide: ‘Home Made Beverages. The Manufacture of Non-Alcoholic and