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Points to Ponder

1. Who was that Crazy-assed person that figured out how you eat an artichoke?
2. What lazy baker left his dough to sit out under a tree, neglecting it all that time to find it had doubled in size?
a. in fact, the whole bread process....you take a crappy piece of grass, knock off the tops, somehow get rid of the crud, dry it, crush it, mix it with other stuff, add tree-crud to it, neglect it, bake it (were the first "loaves" eaten raw?)
3. how many Japanese do you supposed croaked before they figure out how to get pufferfish belly sliced right and in the right amount to be a delicacy?
4. And hats off to those early pioneers who took a anemic looking blade of grass with a cple of "pustules" on it and then practiced GMO techniques until they finally arrived at those golden ears
5. "Seriously Walter.ya take these here leaves.dry 'em and then roll em up and smoke 'em and you'll eventually have doctors smoking more Lucky Strikes than any other brand?"
6. That big red thing off that nice plant that will kill you! Maybe we can give some to Italians and take care of the problem down there
7.Bury the fish then dig it up later? Are you nuts? That's good fertilizer!
8.We can take those sharks we catch, slice em up and freeze them and no one will ever know it's not Swordfish....how cheap is that?
9. If the Warden tries to feed us that damn red bottom feeder one more time, we gonna revolt! That's the 3rd time we've had lobster this week!
10. Ok, this machine will "zap" the food with special rays and it will cook the food but not heat the plates up too much. It's safe to humans as long as you stay behind this shield

11. Bonus Round........Are you Crazy, Doctor? Bread Mold is bread mold..it's no damn good for anything except ruining bread!

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  1. somebody please explain how beer or wine were found to me, I've heard stories of observing monkeys enjoying naturally fermented rotting fruit, but I don't quite buy that.

    "hey honey! would you taste this? I threw some stuff in a bucket last month and want to know if it's any good"

    6 Replies
    1. re: hill food

      You're right; observation of monkeys had nothing to do it. It was a result of the shift from hunter-gatherer culture to agricultural society.

      A fascinating book for anyone interested in either history in general, or the history of beverages, is "A History of the World in 6 Glasses" by Tom Standage.

      Standage's book covers in chronological order, the discovery/development of Beer, Wine, Spirits, Coffee, Tea, and Coca-Cola and how each impacted the world.

      At any rate, it would take a much longer post than this to explain beer, but accidental fermentation of gruel left too long (especially that made with a malted grain) was one starting point, storage problems with fruit or honey another.

      1. re: mcsheridan

        Maybe not entirely as monkey observation has its place. In World War II my husband was instructed that if his plane went down in a jungle, he should find a monkey and watch it carefully as "you can eat anything a monkey eats, and you can also eat the monkey".

        1. re: Querencia

          Good advice for survival, but I'd hope to never have to eat the monkey.

          1. re: Querencia

            Great story. They are cousins, after all.

        2. re: hill food

          "I threw some stuff in a bucket last month and want to know if it's any good""

          It must have been a question on the Chowhound wall hieroglyphics. Most responded it'll be fine, go ahead and try it.

          1. re: chowser

            I suspect it was a spouse or elderly in-law who was recruited to try it.

        3. "Hey, Sven, why don't we take this here fish and dry it with lye. We'll rinse it off later so nobody dies, and turn it from a board to a wiggly, gelatinous, amorphous mass, and people will LOVE it!"

          1. Steal that thing from under that bird.
            Break it open.
            Divide it into clear and yellow parts.
            Put the clear part into a very cold metal bowl*
            Stir it really really fast to add a lot of air.
            Add some 5 year old curdled baby goat food
            Place under heat until it rises
            eat it before it falls.

            *anachronistic step

            1. <waving madly from the back of the room> I know #10! For that we have reliable testimony; although bread baking was more than likely a series of happy accidents combined with iterative experimenting, the modern microwave oven is the result of one good news/bad news accident.

              In 1945, Percy Spencer was experimenting with a new vacuum tube called a magnetron while doing research for the Raytheon Corporation. He was intrigued when the candy bar in his pocket began to melt, so he tried another experiment with popcorn. When it began to pop, Spencer immediately saw the potential in this revolutionary process. In 1947, Raytheon built the first microwave oven, the Radarange, which weighed 750 pounds, was 5 1/2 feet tall, and cost about $5,000.

              The good news was a brand-new money-maker; the bad news was a lost chocolate bar and a dry-cleaning bill. (some may include the development of microwave popcorn in the bad news column as well.)

              PS: regarding Tobacco - Bob Newhart did a great bit many years ago on the comic possibilities of explaining the use of tobacco.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mcsheridan

                Fortunately, it was too early for Mr. Spencer to be wearing a pacemaker..and I hope his kids turned out ok

                thgnks for the info

                1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                  Lucky thing. His pacemaker might've become a peacemaker.

                2. re: mcsheridan

                  (Also waves) I have a little bit of knowledge about #6 - the plants, roots, and leaves of the tomato plant do indeed have some bad stuff in them, which would make people wary about the fruit.

                3. There's a really big difference between current "GMO techniques" and hybridization... Unless you know of a way to breed corn until round-up grows/appears/whatever inside of it, that is.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: wapfcat

                    I believe that this thread is about doing things that at first seemed hairbrained but turned out to be a good ideas. Not ideas that are simply hairbrained.

                  2. And, my best to those mushroom foragers, lost to the gene pool by Darwin's laws over the years, who helped figure those rules out. Gives a whole new meaning to kissing a lot of toad(stool)s.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: MGZ

                      Not to mention their cousins who figured out you could EAT the legs rather than kiss them! ( and all that time, they were working on the wrong end!)

                      1. re: MGZ

                        As the saying goes, there are bold mushroom hunters and there are old mushroom hunters. But there are no old bold mushroom hunters...

                        I've always wondered who was the first to look at a lobster and say, "Gee, I wonder what that tastes like?"

                        1. re: eclecticsynergy

                          I don't know who that man was, but I bless all of his ancestors and descendants. Mmmmmmmm...Lobster.

                      2. Who ever thought to EAT something that came outta of a chicken/duck/goose or any other fowl??

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: kseiverd

                          I can answer that one - someone saw an animal eating the white thing that dropped out of the bird butt. If the animal ate it, it probably wasn't poison.

                        2. Who was the crazy Frenchman who saw mollusks sliming through his vineyard and thought, "Wow, I'll bet they taste great with butter and garlic"?

                          9 Replies
                              1. re: gaffk

                                Here's a pretty wild combination:
                                Yes, that's salmon-with-butter-passion-fruit-vodka-garlic-dill-sauce

                                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                  Not sure I can get behind a passion-fruit vodka (as a vodka purist), but I must admit that sauce recipe is intriguing.

                                  1. re: gaffk

                                    Here's another odd mix:
                                    BBQ Marron with kiwi fruit & garlic butter

                            1. re: gaffk

                              and what is next Mon ami.....chocolat' covered Grasshoppers?

                              1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                Well everything tastes better dipped in chocolate.

                                1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                  In my experience, they are just crunchy chocos.

                                  It's an easy story to write-- woman, craving chocolate on a hot summer day, prepares a plate. A bug jumps onto the plate, entangling himself in the melting confection.
                                  She gets grossed out, temporarily, but finally is overcome by her desire for chocolate and eats the encrusted item.

                              2. At what point in time did the first cannibal eyeball the guy next to him and think "mmmm.....delicious".

                                1. What about cheese? I always picture a forgotten bucket of milk left in a barn that became all thick and nasty

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jacquelyncoffey

                                    Milk was stored in animal stomachs for portability, the rennet in the stomach helped make it cheese.

                                  2. Fundamental thing to remember is that if you're primitive you can be really smart, but don't have the learned hangups we "civilized" folk do. Like, no "Eeewwww!" button. If you see one of your gang eat some leaves and suddenly get sick or drop dead, you take a really good look at those leaves and don't eat them, but for the most part your attitude is that of my cat: almost everything is either food or a toy. Sometimes both.

                                    I know some folks who buy into the young-earth thing: we and the earth were created simultaneously ca. 4004 BC. Of course the strongest evidence against that is geological, but the most compelling to me is how long it had to take us to figure out the processes by which we find, grow or hunt our food, prepare it for consumption, and (most of all) preserve seasonal foods to feed us through winters or other lean times. Vacuum-pack canning was developed in the late 1700s, pasteurization and mechanical refrigeration in the next century, but until then salting, drying and fermentation were all we had for preserving food. Wine and beer originated as strategies for preserving fruit and grain crops, with distillation not far behind; I've known people who insist that the wine Jesus knew was unfermented grape juice, but grapes can start fermenting as soon as they're picked, so such a thing was impossible to keep until a Dr. Welch developed a pasteurization method which he patented in 1869.

                                    17 Replies
                                    1. re: Will Owen

                                      <I've known people who insist that the wine Jesus knew was unfermented grape juice>

                                      Well, those people are as silly as (and are probably a subset of) those same individuals who believe in a "young earth." The archeological evidence for wine, as I'm sure *you* know, even if they refuse to accept it, goes back to around 5,000 BCE, while written citations by Greek and Roman philosophers and playwrights on wine and its effects can be found as late as 825 BCE. Besides, do they really think their Jesus Christ wasted a miracle turning water into *grape juice*?!?!?! Silly, silly, silly.

                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                        The primary reason people object to Christ turning water into wine-like-today's-wine is Not because they think alcoholic wine did not exist, but they prefer to think He wouldn't create something that would potentially cause drunkenness [against which there are prohibitions all the way back in Proverbs].

                                        1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                          And they get really upset if you point out that the wedding guests are said to have asked the host why he'd saved the really good stuff for last!

                                          For the record, mcsheridan, they mostly ARE the same people, including a close relative or two … however, the Welches who devised and sold the non-alky grape juice were teetotalling Methodists who were convinced that wine was necessary back when water was unsafe, but now that we know better we can use an "improved" version for our communion services. Teetotalling churches are still a large and reliable market for Welch's grape juice.

                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                            Anything marked "new and improved" is always suspect. ;p

                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                              our (Lutheran) church always used something like cheap port or muscatel whatever it was it sure had a kick...

                                              1. re: hill food

                                                Since the Lutherans peeled themselves off as basically Popeless Catholics (as the Church of England did) I would assume that they would use the same sort of sacramental wine.

                                                All fundamentalists are not always doctrinaire about non-alcoholic communion elements. When I was going through my Church of Christ phase (I was young, and a woman was involved, okay?) an Air Force major who was teaching a Sunday school class told us about being in the Philippines during WW2 and the only stand-in for wine available locally was a kind of native-made sake, which they used.

                                                1. re: hill food

                                                  haha Hill Food! I was raised Missouri Synod, at least as a young kid (mm, in my early teens the parents took a crazy turn towards "charismatic, that sucked). Anyway, I really liked church when little due to communion. I always tried to get a really big gulp of whatever the communion wine was - muscatel probably. And at our church you also got a nice hunk of bread as a snack to go with your wine. Communion was my favorite part! I survived while waiting for communion by reading the bloodier, more exciting parts of the old testament.

                                                  1. re: Teague

                                                    yeah Leviticus and Job can get really juicy... (wait, you used leavened bread? oh sure if ya want to dribble crumbs of the sacred flesh on the ground like a drunken toddler, oh right Prots are transubstantiationists)

                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                      I quite enjoyed the tale about jael driving a spike thru sisera. Waiting for my wine.

                                                      1. re: Teague

                                                        Just to bring this back to food-- he asked for water and she gave him milk!
                                                        My mom and I were discussing the tent peg impalement tonight on the phone-- our point being that if people ever read the Bible, there are some things that would Not be forgotten!

                                                          1. re: Teague

                                                            Fair enough :)

                                                            OT: there's a ChristianMeme that references Samson and What Does the Fox Say

                                              2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                it goes farther before Proverbs into Genesis, Noah was lying naked and shit-faced in his tent, his son Ham found him and covered his shame (and for this he was cursed and forever banished)

                                                they never run the episodes of "COPS: BCE 4952, Canaan"

                                                1. re: hill food

                                                  In the '50s, when some of our racist brethren were using that story to claim that God had cursed the colored folks because they were descendants of Ham, our minister proclaimed from the pulpit that it wasn't God that uttered the curse, but Noah, "and he was DRUNK at the time!" One of his best sermons …

                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                    what a cool minister to make that distinction.

                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                      hill food, if Bob Swain were to be reincarnated I might re-think my post-Christian ways. Fine man all the way through, and not a sanctimonious bone in his body.

                                                      He was also livid about the addition of "under God" to the pledge of allegiance; argued that it cheapened religion and improperly elevated rote patriotism.

                                                2. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                  There are prohibitions against gluttony as well, but very few groups have tried to ban food, and breatharians have never lived very long.

                                                  Drunkenness was bad behaviour, wasting the wine that had to last until the next harvest, and making one useless for work.

                                              3. I've got this thing from south america - it's called manioc - anyone want to try it?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. Yup. & who figured out that if you soaked an olive in salt it became not only edible but delicious? Ever taste one off the tree?

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. How about oysters? Looks like a rock but with sharp edges that will slash your fingers when you try to open them and once you get it open, it looks like someone already got to what was in there chewed it up and then spit it back into the shell. But oh how I love them.

                                                    1. If it is good enough for coins, it should work on pots and pans. And think of the profit margins!!!! Clad with even cheaper aluminum.

                                                      Trust me. The insides of that yellow flower will do wonderful things to leftover fish soup and bread. First you have to find a thousand wild flowers to have enough to taste.

                                                      We were marooned on this island, we are in the tropics, and there is no dry salt. Best to preserve the meat over smokey fires. I wonder if this will ever catch on?

                                                      These are the last of the barrels in Bourbon county. Used for brining meat and salt fish. If I char out the insides, I'm sure the customers down the Mississippi will hardly taste anything but your whiskey.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                        You want me to pick this stupid looking little stem???????? and leave the lovely petals? Next thing you know, you'll be telling me thosewrinkly things the pigs dig up under the acorn tree are worth cleaning and cooking!.if I can beat the pig to it!

                                                      2. Wow, that's a really vibrant red pepper on that plant, I wonder what it tastes like?
                                                        (said the first guy who ever tried a ghost pepper)

                                                        1. No. 10 is easy. When radar was being developed during WWII, the engineers tested it on popcorn.

                                                          1. Take this wierd pod from a small, inconspicuous tree by whacking it down possibly from some height.
                                                            Break it open but DO NOT eat the yummy fruity pulp surrounding those large, bitter seeds. Instead, pile it all into a heap and cover with leaves. Let to sit in the sun and rot for a while.
                                                            After everything is nice and rotten, extract the seeds and dry them.
                                                            Now toast them for some time and peel off the husk.
                                                            Then take the bitter stuff remaining and grind it really, really fine.
                                                            Take the sour, bitter pasty brown substance you now have, add some sugar, grind some more, and slop it around for a while in pans.
                                                            Bring it carefully to just the right temperature, then pour out into slabs.

                                                            Who managed to come up with this process? (Admittedly the later stages are well documented but how people discovered stages 1 through 4 is still a mystery.)

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: AlexRast

                                                              Dear Lawd.I'm not even sure what it is?

                                                              1. Hey, Juan Valdez -- ¿Estás loco? If it looks like civet s**t, and it smells like civet s**t, it probably tastes like civet s**t. You can't convince me that if you rinse the s**t off these undigested coffee beans, then roast and grind them, Starbucks will be beating a path to your doorstop.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: CindyJ

                                                                  And idiots will pay BIG BUCKO$ to drink it......more than a glass of wine