June 15th is Lobster Day. Why celebrate Lobster Day? I like to use it as an excuse to sing “Rock Lobster” and annoy my co-workers.
In the spirit of Lobster Day, enjoy these strange lobster facts and photos:
Lobster blood is colorless until exposed to oxygen, then it develops a bluish color.
Male lobsters are called cocks; females are called hens.
Tomalley (lobster liver) is considered to be a delicacy and turns green when cooked.
A lobster’s teeth are in its stomach. The stomach is located a very short distance from the mouth, and the food is chewed by three grinding surfaces that look like human molars, called the gastric mill.
"The Lobster Ballerina." Will you be seeing him in your nightmares? Pretty sure I will be.
Happy Lobster Day from your friends at the Davenport Public Library!
Did you have an embarrassing yearbook photo? Maybe you had a ridiculous hairstyle or you still had some adolescent gawkiness left in you. The good new is that those days are past you. The bad news: Those photos live on forever at the Davenport Public Library. The Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center, located in the basement of the Main Street Library, has high school yearbooks dating back to the 1910′s. Old high school yearbooks are not only a great way to reminisce, but they can also be useful in identifying people in old snapshots you may have and can be used for genealogical research. For more information on Davenport Public Library’s yearbook holdings, you can call the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center at 563-326-7902.
If you’re still down about your crummy yearbook photo, visit the websites below to see how dorky celebrities looked in their yearbook photos (the photo at the top of the page is of a young Ryan Seacrest.)
What do art theft, forest fires, chemistry, and murder have in common? If you said things that I participated in during my college years, you are no longer my friend (but you are also not very far off the mark.) All kidding aside, these are some of the subjects of books that will be discussed in Davenport Public Library’s new non-fiction book club, “Truth Be Told.” The goal of Truth Be Told Book Club is to offer a variety of books that span the Dewey Decimal System. This is a great group to join if you currently a member of another book club and you’d like to branch out, or if you are new to book clubs and are a fan of non-fiction. If you’re curious about the titles we’ll be reading, I have images of the book jackets below.
Do you like cheese but wish it were partially digested before you ate it? No? How about if it were partially digested by maggots before you ate it? Still no? O.K., what if the maggots were still in the cheese when it were served to you? Hey, where are you going?
Casu Marzu is a traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese. It is made by taking a Pecorino cheese, removing some of the rind and leaving it out for the cheese fly to lay its eggs in. The eggs hatch and the resulting maggots digest the cheese, breaking down some of the fats which makes the cheese soft and spreadable. The cheese is usually served while the maggots are still alive, so look out; the little larvae can jump up to 6 inches.
The European Union once outlawed Casu Marzu due to food hygiene and health regulations. You’ll be pleased to find out that the ban on the cheese has been lifted due to it being a traditional food of the region.
Thus concludes Grotesque or Gourmet? Thank you for stopping by and I promise that next week my posts will contain 95% less maggots.
Huitlacoche (or corn smut) is a pathogenic plant fungus that grows on the above ground portion of corn species. It is popular in Mexico where it is used as a filling in quesadillas and tacos or can be used fresh in soups and stews. Interestingly, corn smut contains lysine, an essential amino acid that is not found in uninfected corn.
The fungus has had difficulty entering into the American and European diets as most farmers see it as blight. In 1989 the James Beard Foundation held a huitlacoche dinner and attempted to popularize the food in the United States by renaming it the “Mexican truffle.”
To be perfectly honest, of the foods covered so far in Grotesque or Gourmet? this is probably the only one that I would actually try. Just don’t call it “corn smut.”
Stop back tomorrow for the final installment of Grotesque or Gourmet? (Hint: I got to make foam maggots for the bulletin board for this one.)