Tag: food and drink

russian easter

Pancakes, eggs, and effigies: springtime in Russia

Russia is a notoriously chilly place. And while snow may have its appeal, there comes a time when even the hardiest Muscovite starts willing for the first signs of spring and the chance to pack away their fur coat (shuby/шубы) for a few months. As the saying goes: vesna ne prosto vremya goda, a sostoyanie […]

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The Shirley Temple drink is one notable example of a drink named after a person.

9 drinks named after people

Not unlike certain kinds of food, sometimes people end up being strongly associated with certain drinks, especially cocktails. Usually, the famous are those who end up with their name attached, even if the drink was not their own invention. This is the case with several of the drinks below. However, it seems as though other […]

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Video: is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?

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The origins of Christmas words

Mistletoe encounters can be very hit-or-miss. My own experiences usually involve kissing a definite non-target rather than the person I’d been lingering beneath the foliage for. It was therefore with some satisfaction that I discovered that the literal meaning of mistletoe is ‘dung-on-a-twig’, the inspiration of the Anglo-Saxons who realized that the plant is fertilized […]

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Give thanks… for Native American loanwords!

Since I’ve only been in the US a year and a half, so far I’ve only experienced one Thanksgiving – but I must say that given it’s a holiday seemingly mainly devoted to eating delicious food and enjoying spending time with family and friends, it’s one I especially enjoy. The atmosphere in the days before the […]

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What exactly does 'ich bin ein Berliner' mean?

‘Ich bin ein Berliner’, JFK, and jam doughnuts

The fall of the Berlin Wall (initially called antifaschistischer Schutzwall, or ‘anti-fascist protective barrier’) in 1989 is a momentous occasion in German history and a crucial milestone hailing the end of the GDR, which had been founded in 1949 and was officially dissolved in 1990. Over 51 years, the GDR formed an important part of […]

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Salaries, dragons, and musk: rooting around in the spice rack

As the Bard said, “That time of year thou mayst in me behold” a pumpkin-spice latte–or beer, bubble gum, even burgers, such is the market. While we may have reached so-called “peak pumpkin” this year, the autumn season is indeed one of seasonings, of herbs and spices with the special power to evoke that cozy sense of home. From trade […]

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meanings of pasta names

The meaning of pasta names

Let’s look at a selection of words for different types of pasta. Unsurprisingly, many pasta names are simply the Italian for the shape in which the pasta comes, but they may well surprise anybody who doesn’t speak the language. Agnolotti Pasta squares stuffed with a variety of fillings, like small ravioli. The name is probably […]

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