The 18th Century Gin Craze and it’s Association with Murder

19th-century-London-England-Gin-Craze

Gin was highly consumed in poorer areas of London, England as it was a cheaper alternative to beer. Gin was unregulated during the early 18th century, and was often badly distilled and filled with harmful compounds like oil of vitriol which is similar in construct to modern day turpintine, sulfuric acid, and methylated spirits. By 1750, gin consumption was at its peak, with the city of London consuming 11,000,000 (11 million) gallons per year. In the poorest areas of London, specifically upon the east end, it was not uncommon for everyone in public to be permanently drunk; an analogue to the modern day crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980’s. All members of society consumed gin including men, women, and children, with many cases exhibiting severe addictive traits as was the case with Judith Darfour, who took her child into a heath, murdered them to sell their petticoat clothing and acquire more gin, then attended work later that day as if nothing had occurred. Gin related crime soared and Mothers Ruin which refers to “women who killed their family members to acquire funds for gin” was responsible for the deaths of thousands of men, women, and children. When the death rate climbed higher than the birth rate, the British government was forced to intervene, outlawing small gin distilleries and ending the era referred to as the “Gin Craze”

The Advent of the Restaurant in Paris, France

L'Art-du-Cuisinier-book

The modern concept of the restaurant is a French idea, with the term “restaurant” being derived from the term “restaurer” which means to ”provide food for” in French, with a more literal translation of “restoration” in that a restaurant is a place to restore, replenish, and refill one’s energy. Chef Antoine Beauvilliers (pronounced “ann-twon boo-vill-ee-yay”) opened the Grande Taverne de Londres Restaurant (pronounced “gran tah-vern de lon”) in Paris, France in 1782. Fine cuisine was served at private tables, to the general public, an experience which until then had only been available within the homes of the nobility. The main idea which caught on was not only the introduction of the serving of food, but that the food being served wasn’t preselected as was customary during dinner banquets for nobility. The ability to choose from a selection of items upon a restaurant’s menu was very popular once made available to the Parisian public. The timing for this invention was absolutely perfect as the abolition of the French monarchy and related nobility during the French Revolution left many extremely talented chefs suddenly without work which lead to a large number of these chefs opening up restaurants of their own

The Reason Beer Bottles Are Brown and Green

brown-green-beer-bottlesAlcoholic beverages like beer are brown in color because clear glass allows ultraviolet light to penetrate which can alter the flavor profile. Bottles inevitably became tinted brown to prevent ultraviolet light from achieving full penetration. After World War II, green bottles became popular due to shortages of brown glass

The Bulking Agents Used in the Saffron Spice

saffron-bulking-agentBecause saffron is so expensive it’s often mixed with other plants which are not actually saffron but are closely related to saffron to build up the bulk of the weight of a purchase. Turmeric is a primary example of a plant often used to help bulk up supplies. Distributors also use plastic as it helps add weight and eye appeal whilst actually providing nothing more than visual esthetics. Scientists can perform deoxyribonucleic acid examinations to determine if a sample is actually pure saffron or not. High quality saffron should have a humid scent which indicates that it was picked fresh. If the scent of saffron is slightly rancid, it means that it is old or of low quality

The Lifetime Imprisonment of Typhoid Mary for the Spread of Disease Via Food Preparation

Typhoid-Mary

Mary Mallon was an Irish cook who was imprisoned for life for not washing her hands properly prior to preparing food. Mallon, an immigrant often referred to as “Typhoid Mary” unknowingly spread typhoid as she did not see a need to wash her hands frequently. Everywhere Mallon worked, people got sick or died which eventually lead to her apprehension. In 1882, the German physician Robert Koch had published a paper proving that microorganisms transmit disease. This discovery gave birth to microbiology. In 1907, New York City, United States of America sanitary expert George Soper had tracked the typhoid outbreak down to Mallon. Suspecting Mallon was immune to the disease but still a carrier, Soper pleaded with Mallon to be tested, however Mallon refused, and angrily chasing Soper off with a dining fork. After being visited by the health board of New York City, Mallon found herself under quarantine where she remained for 3 years until she swore an affidavit to never work as a cook again. 5 years afterwards, another outbreak of typhoid occurred, this time traced back to Mary Brown, however Brown was Mallon working under an assumed identity. Mallon was quarantined once again, never being let out and dying from pneumonia while imprisoned

The Financial Costs of High Society Dinner Parties During the Victorian Era

high-society-dinner-party

During the 19th century, a typical high society dinner menu for 20 people would have cost $100.00 in total, for the Earl of an estate, equivalent to the annual salary of a maid for 2 full years of service. When accounting for inflation, the cost of hosting and entertaining a monarch during this period was even more costly, costing hosts approximately $500,000. Earl’s needed to constantly be aware of and ready for a royal visit as their title is considered one step below the pole position of Duke, which of course is one step below the title of King or Queen

The Myth of Betty Crocker

Betty-Crocker

Betty Crocker is not a real person, rather she, or perhaps it, is a corporate name. The name Betty was thought to be sweet, kind, and gentle, and the last name Crocker was taken from an executive of the General Mills company. Betty Crocker was created as an advertising campaign but was promoted as a real woman. General Mills hired hoards of women to answer telephone calls posing as Betty Crocker and even had the same group of executives sign her name to ensure the signature remained consistent. The first product Betty Crocker released was a soup mix in 1941, 4 years prior to the iconic Betty Crocker cake mix which made the brand so recognizable

Prince Charles’ Environmentally Friendly Vehicles

Prince-Phillip-Aston-Martin-Volante

Prince Charles owns an Aston Martin Volante which has been retrofitted to run upon surplus British white wine and whey. Charles received the vehicle when he was 21 and requested that engineers find a more sustainable fuel source for its engine because of his initiative to address climate change and the issues facing humanity before the 21st century. The engineers who worked upon the project felt that the task was insurmountable during the beginning of their research however after having successfully built such an engine, it is now accepted that the retrofitted engine actually runs better with more power upon white wine and whey than it does upon petrol, and as an added bonus feature, Charles has proclaimed that he thoroughly enjoys the delicious scent of the vehicle as it runs. Charles also had his royal train retrofitted to run upon cooking oil, another task which was successfully completed so that Charles can use the train half a dozen times per year

The Role of Dabbawalas in Indian Society

Indian-dabbawala

Indian railways are unique in that they have what are referred to as “dabbawalas” which means “lunch box men” in Hindi as the term “dabba” means “box” or in this case “lunch box” in Hindi and the term “wala” means “man” in Hindi. These dabbawalas deliver food which has been cooked by the loved ones of the people who are eating it (e.g. spouse who cooks food while their significant other commutes to work. The first spouse has that food delivered to second spouse so that it is hot and ready to eat after having started the work day). This system works extraordinarily well as holding a bag while traveling upon any Indian train is nearly impossible due to the volume of people who use the railway each day. There are 5000 dabbawalas in Mumbai, India and this collective makes an astounding 200,000 deliveries per day, equating to each member of the group making an average of 40 deliveries each. Each dabbawala carries approximately 145 lbs. of food daily. The system is actually quiet elegant as some members pick up food, some members commute on trains with food, some members travel by bike or other vehicle with food, and all members typically share responsibility in that they trade meals if they run across a partner who is traveling the direction in which they need to go. This helps boost efficiency and allows for more income to be generated than if these individuals decided to work solo. Food is often marked with specialized code words so that dabbawalas know where something came from and where it is intended to be. Food is typically prepared by a clients wife, mother, or sister, but as India is changing and more women enter the workforce, shifts in who fills which role are beginning to emerge. Those who do not have a significant other at home who is available to cook for them will often have food prepared by restaurants or hotels and delivered via dabbawala. It typically costs 550 Indian Rupees ($7.75) per month which is affordable and within reach for most Indian citizens as even lower income members of society like dabbawalas earn 13,700 Indian Rupees ($192.00) per month. This system continues to flourish even as India moves into the 21st century with modern fast food and traditional restaurant establishments available to most people, as the cost is generally lower than eating out and the quality of the food is virtually always healthier. This is one of many reasons as to why leaders within this sector of business believe that the continued vitality of the industry will continue to last into the foreseeable future