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10 Things You Didn’t Know About IHOP


IHOP, officially known as the International House of Pancakes, is just about impossible not to like. We bet there are a bunch of things you didn’t know about this popular chain, though.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About IHOP (Slideshow)

The very first International House of Pancakes opened its doors in Toluca Lake, California, on July 7, 1958. Founders Jerry and Al Lapin and a couple early investors quickly adopted a franchise model, and within two years franchises began sprouting up throughout the state. By 1963, the chain was so successful that it was able to buy out a handful of other fledgling restaurant chains, including Orange Julius, Love’s Wood Pit Barbecue, Golden Cup Coffee Shops, and even a chain called The Original House of Pies (which we really wish were still around today!).

Over the years, the chain just kept rolling right along, with great success. The popular Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity was rolled out in 1985, the 500th location opened in 1992, system-wide sales topped $1 billion for the first time in 1998, the company went public in 1999, and in 2001 the 1,000th location opened. Today, there are about 1,650 locations in all 50 states as well as around the globe, 99 percent of them franchises.

From its early days as a low-key restaurant specializing in pancakes to its modern-day menu of breakfast specialties like stuffed French toast, cinnamon swirl brioche French toast, New York cheesecake pancakes, and banana-Nutella crepes; dinner entrees like fried chicken, roast turkey dinner, and blue cheese and bacon sirloin; and everything in between (don’t forget the wide variety of syrups and big pots of coffee), IHOP has managed to stay ahead of the curve and above the fray. Read on for 10 things you didn’t know about the International House of Pancakes.

The First Location Is Across the Street From the Oldest Bob’s Big Boy


By sheer coincidence, the first location of IHOP is located right across the street from the oldest-extant location of the once-popular chain Bob’s Big Boy, in Toluca Lake, California.

A Co-Founder Was a Prominent Movie Poster Artist


One of the original investors, Albert Kallis, is best known for creating some of the finest movie poster art from the 1950s, mainly for B movies with names like I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Beast with a Million Eyes, and Fire Maidens of Outer Space.


The frozen, paper-thin slices of sandwich meat most commonly used to make DIY cheesesteaks hail from—you guessed it—the Philadelphia suburbs. But when you’re waiting in line next week when the Steak-umm truck pulls into town (Oct. 10-17), note that there’s a lot more to consider than slams on the City of Brotherly Love and its sports fans. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Steak-umm.

1. The same person who invented popcorn chicken invented Steak-umm. Gene Gagliardi Jr., who is in his 80s, has more than 30 patents in food innovation. He wanted to make a more family-friendly sandwich steak product that wasn’t too tough for kids to chew.

2. After changing hands a couple times since officially launching in 1975, Steak-umm is now in the hands of Quaker Maid Meats—a family-run company in Reading, Pennsylvania, that got started in 1960. Its nonagenarian founder Stanley Szortyka is still active in the company. Quaker Maid acquired the brand in 2006, but they know a thing or two about frozen sandwich steaks given they’ve made a competing brand for decades.

3. The official word is that Steak-umm is made similarly to hamburgers, only the beef is more finely ground. It’s then formed into a large block, frozen, and sliced thin. “The beef we buy is called beef trimmings,” says Joey Piazza, director of marketing for Quaker Maid Brands. “It’s not an emulsified beef product known as ‘pink slime.’”

4. Steak-umm sued Philly chainlet, Steak ‘Em Up, in 2012 for copyright infringement and lost. In the courtroom, Judge Lawrence Stengel described the product a little differently than Piazza.

5. Say your visit to the Steak-umm truck is so inspiring that you pick up a box. There’s more to do with them then craft a drunk food Philly cheesesteak. Stick Steak-umm in fajitas, quiches, egg rolls, stromboli, Sloppy Joes, shepherd’s pie, breakfast burritos, and chili.

6. Steak-umm asked firefighters across the country to submit recipes using Steak-umm as a part of a competition last year. “It’s a really good product for them because they cook quickly and can feed a lot of people on a small budget,” Piazza says. The winner? “Steak Balls of Fire.”

7. That bro-tastic guy in the plaid shirt who appears to be the new face of Steak-umm is David Michaels. They were going for a Charlie Kelly-like character from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” They got pretty close.

8. The East Coast digs Steak-umm the most. Piazza says they’ve seen a 20 percent increase in sales from New York to Richmond. “A lot was reminding people we’re still here and introducing it to younger people,” he says, adding that t he West Coast isn’t feeling Steak-umm quite as much.

9. Ralphie ( Peter Billingsley) from A Christmas Story was in a Steak-umm commercial in 1981. Also according to this commercial, 51 percent of women “work outside of the home.”

10. “Put your Steakums inside the open space your mouth makes, you’ll feel some pressure on the roof of your mouth and the top of your tongue, it’s alright, it just means you’re ready to chew.” Watch the Saturday Night Live parody of Steak-umm with Chris Pratt as Jason Statham.


Sriracha game strong #srirachafactory

A photo posted by Bret Williams (@brattpackk) on Oct 28, 2014 at 2:00pm PDT

Once the chiles are shipped from the farm, the Sriracha-making process begins within three to four hours after delivery. The chiles provide a year’s worth of ingredients, allowing the company to makeਃ,000 bottles an hour and about򠈀 tons per week. The millions of bottles are made and shipped out of Huy Fong’s only industrial plant in Irwindale, CA. The plant is able to crank out so much sauce that, in 2014, residents grew annoyed with the acrid smell of garlic that the sauce produced.


10 things you didn't know about Gordon Ramsay

He has done it all: gone on an expletive-strewn tirade, engaged in cut-throat food bashing, and even walked away graciously from a restaurant. He's now adding hawker food to his repertoire, accepting SingTel's Hawker Heroes challenge. In case you're still in disbelieve, Ramsay sent over another video on Friday, 28 June:

We confess to a love-hate relationship with this Michelin-starred chef, and here are more juicy reasons why:

He could have been a professional footballer
If not for a torn ligament that never really healed, Ramsay could&rsquove enjoyed a longer career as a professional footballer. He started playing at the age of 12 for an under-14 team in Warwickshire, England, and claims to have played two first team games for former Scottish giants Rangers. Because of the injury, the fiery Scot could only focus on his culinary education, and we all know how that has turned out.

He was a personal chef on a private yacht, Idlewild
After working for almost three years under the equally combustible mentor that is Marco Pierre White at Harvey&rsquos, Ramsay sought out Albert Roux at Mayfair&rsquos Le Gavroche, and then continued his French training under Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon in Paris. The stress levels mounted and eventually swallowed him, forcing Ramsay to take up the quieter job on Idlewild, based in far-flung Bermuda. Idle, and wild&hellip how apt.

He has six celebrity turkeys
Ramsay gets a kick out of naming animals after famous celebrities. Six turkeys he raised were named after celebrity chefs: Antony (Worrall Thompson), Ainsley (Harriott), Jamie (Oliver), Delia (Smith), Gary (Rhodes) and Nigella (Lawson). Pigs and lambs weren&rsquot spared either, with a lamb birthed from a Welsh farm christened Charlotte (its last name is Church).


Singapore has voted for the top three Hawker Heroes to be pitted against celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Read about them here

He lost a chopping duel
Talk about life&rsquos surprises and unpredictability. Ramsay had an episode of the cooking sho w 'The F Word' filmed at Doncaster Prison, where he was suitably impressed by the high-speed vegetable-chopping skills of one convicted burglar, Kieron Tarff. Ramsay challenged him to a chopping duel, lost, and Tarff is now working in one of his three posh London restaurants. It&rsquos a Yellow Ribbon-like gesture that we think deserves more recognition.

The blood he spews isn&rsquot all his
What happened is a little cloudy, but Ramsay has had a ruptured spleen that threatened his life once. He subsequently recovered, thanks to someone&rsquos donated blood. This has led him to lend support to the UK&rsquos National Blood Service, appearing on their &ldquoGive Blood&rdquo advertisements.

He has appeared as a cartoon
Some may not have noticed, but &lsquoThe Simpsons&rsquo fans will probably remember. Ramsay voiced himself on the popular cartoon series in November 2011, on an episode titled &lsquoThe Food Wife&rsquo. We reckon it&rsquos a role he relished, as the familiar censored bleeping echoed throughout his dialogue in Marge&rsquos dream.

He has been held at gunpoint
In his quest to dig deeper into the dark lairs of illegal shark's fin trading, Ramsay found himself in the company of Costa Rican gangsters while filming &lsquoThe Big Fish Fight&rsquo. After discovering one of their hideouts &ndash where he spotted shark's fins being left to dry on the rooftop &ndash he was doused with gasoline, held at gunpoint and told to leave and never return.

He&rsquos a vainpot
Ramsay admits to having Botox injections that costs £1,000 (close to S$2,000) a pop, and dental procedures to improve his teeth. He undergoes follicular unit extraction &ndash a procedure that removes hair follicles from lush patches of his scalp and then reinserted where his hairline was thinning. All these would go some way in explaining his seeming youthfulness over the years.

He&rsquos a runner with a heart of gold
Even we were caught out cold by this. Ramsay is a seasoned runner and has completed 10 consecutive London Marathons in 10 years (the last one in 2009). The reason? To raise money for the Scottish Spina Bifida Association where he has been the Honorary Patron since 2004. The Ramsays were also the first couple to undertake the role of ambassadors for Women&rsquos Aid &ndash a British charity that protects women and children from domestic violence.

He likes erotica
&lsquo50 Shades of Grey&rsquo is his favourite non-food-related read. Need we say more?

Get live Gordon Ramsay updates here. We have the exclusive to follow him around.

WINNERS ANNOUNCES:Find out who won a pair of tickets to front-row seats at Gordon Ramsay's cook-off with SingTel's Hawker Heroes

Ken Wong can swiftly take down a spring chicken with a knife and fork, just as he is comfortable with words obliterating the whites on his screen. You can spot this lifestyle magazine editor at the latest izakaya sniffing sake and wolfing down fresh sashimi. Wong also contributes to the World Spa and Travel Magazine, from which he gathers ideas for retirement, already.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Grey Goose

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Whether you drink vodka neat or mixed in a cocktail, one of the most well-known brands is Grey Goose. But did you know all of these facts about Grey Goose? Check out this list of 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about the famous drink.

1. The brand name is inspired by where it’s made

Photo courtesy of @Pierre-AlainDorange on flickr.com

The name Grey Goose comes in handy for their catchy tagline ‘fly beyond,’ but it also has an origin story. Allegedly, it’s inspired by the geese that drink from the fountain in front of the Hotel de Ville in Cognac, France, the place where Grey Goose vodka is made.

2. It’s made in France, but it’s designed for Americans

Photo courtesy of @MichaelKumm on flickr.com

Although Grey Goose is made in France, the idea for the brand comes from Sidney Frank, an American who wanted to make vodka for Americans. Frank wanted to create a luxury vodka for Americans, and felt like having a vodka that came from France would give off an aura of luxury.

3. It’s now owned by Bacardi

Grey Goose became so successful that Frank sold the brand to Bacardi for $2 billion in 2004. Not too shabby, eh?

4. The creator was super kind to uni students

Photo courtesy of @thurdl01 on flickr.com

It turns out that Frank was quite the philanthropist. He he went to Brown University in 1942, but had to drop out because he could only afford one year of tuition. After his success later in life, he made huge donations to Brown University so that no student would ever have to leave because of financial struggles again.

5. The man who developed the Grey Goose recipe wasn’t taken seriously at first

While Frank was the one who created the brand, it was Francois Thibault who came up with the recipe. As Thibault was originally working with cognac, the idea that he was now going to work with vodka was openly mocked.

Luckily, after the success of his recipe, the mockery subsided, and the practice of fellow Matire de Chai (masters of the cellar) making vodka became more common.

6. Grey Goose production is surprisingly small scale

Photo courtesy of @QuinnDombrowski on flickr.com

When wine and spirits writer Carly Wray went to see how Grey Goose was made, she found that “the entire world’s supply of Grey Goose comes through the mill and distillery in La Vallee de l’Oise, a facility manned, when I visited, by all of 17 people.” That’s impressive for such a well-known vodka brand.

7. Grey Goose uses only the best wheat in production

Photo courtesy of @Sleepyclaus on flickr.com

When it comes to Grey Goose, they are careful to use ‘soft winter wheat‘ instead of summer wheat, as this has had four extra months of growing time. On top of that, they only use the soft winter wheat that is classified as ‘superior bread-making wheat,’ which insures their vodka is top-quality.

8. Some have been suspicious of its smoothness

Photo courtesy of youtube.com

In fact, Grey Goose vodka is such good quality that many people have been suspicious of its smoothness. While people have thought the smoothness is due to the addition of glycerol, tests carried out prove this is not the case. So Grey Goose drinkers can sip and enjoy in peace.

9. There are many variations of Grey Goose

Photo courtesy of @TheMiamiMaven on flickr.com

Aside from the classic Grey Goose vodka, there are also fruit-infusions: L’Orange, Le Citron, La Poire, Cherry Noir, and Le Melon. As Carly Wray pointed out, all of these fruit flavours are from actual fruits, and all (except the oranges, which are from Florida), are from France.

They also have another drink, Grey Goose VX, which has a hint of cognac mixed in with the vodka.

10. They have made other wheat products too

Photo courtesy of ABC News

They don’t only use their wheat to make vodka they also use it to make bread. Recently, Grey Goose has opened various pop-up boulangeries in places such as London, New York, Paris, and Berlin. Their creations not only look delicious, but have won awards to boot.


10 Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Your Garden

Gardening is hardly a straightforward practice &mdash goodness knows it takes skills, dedication, and more than a little luck to grow flowers and veggies. But while certain facts about gardens are perplexing (like the delicate nature of herb garden growing), some are just plain fun, silly, or even mind-boggling. And because we love all things gardening, we couldn't help but share this random assortment:

1. A sunflower is not just one flower.
Both the fuzzy brown center and the classic yellow petals are actually 1,000 &ndash 2,000 individual flowers, held together on a single stalk.

2. There are more microorganisms in one teaspoon of soil than there are people on earth.
It's aliiiiive! OK, in all seriousness, that fact might make you itchy, but microbes are important for keeping your soil full of nutrients.

3. Plants really do respond to sound.
Talking to plants to help them grow is a well-known old wives' tale, but studies have shown vibration (like music, or perhaps even the sweet sound of your voice) can affect plant growth. Plus, the Myth Busters (in an admittedly not-so-scientific study), compared a silent greenhouse to one where they piped in a voice soundtrack, and found that plants in the latter grew more.

4. Butterflies might be more attracted to your weeds than your flowers.
Colorful blooms aren't the chief reason these insects love your garden &ndash it's more about the fragrance and nectar. According to the Smithsonian Institute, new cultivars of popular flowers have been bred for enhanced color and size, but have often lost their fragrance in the process. So everyday weeds, like dandelions and clovers, might actually be the most appealing things in your yard to butterflies (they hate pesticides, too). Taking care to choose heirloom flower seeds can get them to also fly your way.

5. A little baking soda can help you grow sweeter tomatoes.
A regular sprinkling of this kitchen staple into your plant's soil can help reduce acidity, which sweetens up your crop.

6. Some of your favorite fruits are actually in the rose family.
Apples, pears, peaches, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, and more are rosaceae, making them cousins to the long-stemmed Valentine's Day variety.

7. The right orchid combination can smell like your favorite dessert.
Did you know that the vanilla bean comes from a orchid varietal? And it's not the only sweet-smelling kind: "An oncidum hyrbrid called Sharry Baby smells like chocolate," says George Hatfield, president of the Santa Barbara Orchid Show. "It's 'baking cookie' aroma has made it a winner." And that's not all: The cymbidium Golden Elf smells lemony, and the phalaenopsis violacea has a cinnamon scent. "Just like you'd combine Jelly Belly beans to create new flavors, you can combine orchids to create a garden that smells like a dessert buffet," says Hatfield.

8. You can change a hydrangea's color by altering the pH level of the soil.
A more alkaline soil will result in pinker blooms, while more acidity will produce blue blooms. To coax your plant to the blue side, add more organic matter to your soil, like egg shells and coffee grounds (though the acidity in used coffee grounds can vary greatly, so you might try a high-acid fertilizer, too). The change won't happen overnight, but eventually you should succeed in manipulating your soil's pH level.

9. Deer can jump eight feet high.
They might require a running start to reach such heights, but a tiny fence often isn't enough to keep these garden nibblers away. Try a taller one, plant thorny or pungent plants as a natural barrier, or scare them off with lights or wind chimes.

10. You don't need to be a dedicated composter to reap similar benefits.
Call it cheating, but applying used coffee grounds, eggshells, chopped-up banana peels, and other organic matter directly to your soil (no composting required) can offer plants nutrients as they decompose. For already-growing beds, scatter and bury the items within the first few inches of soil.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Bar Rescue,’ by Show Host Jon Taffer

The main reason for the show’s success lies in host Jon Taffer—a nightlife consultant who brings a fiery intensity to every episode. Once you watch him once, you’re hooked. It’s kind of extraordinary that this is show represents the first time he’s helmed a series.

I got a chance to briefly chat over the phone with Taffer last week. Our talk came after what is always an important moment in the show: Taffer had just finished training the staff, and he was about to bring in a construction crew who would helm a 36-hour remodel of the store. On Sunday, the barkeeps and owner would come back to their newly redesigned bar for a big reveal.

In the meantime, here are 10 things Taffer revealed to me about his life and Bar Rescue:

1. Taffer’s schedule is rough.

We shoot for five days. I’ll get there on the first day and do the recon. I’ll stick my nose in the competition, and I’ll get to the bar that night. When I leave the bar that night, that’s normally at around 2 in the morning or so. The comes Day Two. Day Two is the most brutal day for us on Bar Rescue, because that’s stress test day. We start early in the day and we train all day long, then we do the stress test and that goes until about 3 or 4 in the morning. When you see me talk to the staff after the stress test, that’s really late at night.

The third day is a little easier for me, but harder on my experts. The third day is all about training. So we’re teaching them to bartend, cook the food all that…. Then Day 4 is transformation day. And the last day is reveal day. I come in at 3 in the afternoon because my designers were building all day, and then we typically show it to the staff around sundown, 7 p.m. And then we open our big launch reveal and then I’ll stay the night till around midnight or 1 in the morning.

So to make a long story short, it’s five 12-hour days in a row. It’s brutal.

2. The bars are normally in worse shape than you think.

When I started Bar Rescue, I said to the network, “Listen guys. I don’t want to be set up with bars that are easy. If I’m going to do this, I want to get the worst disasters in America. Find me stuff that I can’t do easily, give me challenges.”

And son of a gun, that’s what they’re doing. I NEVER realized they could be this bad, to be honest with you. You typically don’t see depths of failure that bad in normal life. These people are disasters.

3. The bar owners kind of know when Taffer is coming.

This really gets me. I’ve done 37 episodes now of Bar Rescue. This will be our 30th episode that aired [on Sunday night]. In almost all the rescues I’ve done… they think I’m going to come to one of three bars in the neighborhood. So they’re not sure I’m walking through the door, but they’re pretty certain I will. You’d think after watching 20 or so episodes of Bar Rescue, they’d CLEAN UP before I come because they know I’m going to go ballistic! And they STILL don’t clean up. I’ve found that it speaks to why you’re failing. Even when you know I’m coming, you still can’t get it together!

Sometimes it’s laziness. Sometimes it’s ego. A lot of the guys think, “I’m the guy Taffer’s going to love. He’s not going to scream at me. He’s going to love everything I do.” A lot of them are surprised to find the opposite. You’d be stunned to find how many people say to my producers and such, “Oh, he’s not going to scream at me. Everything is going to be perfect.” And then I walk into an incredible– excuse my language–shithole. It’s just remarkable. And it happens all the time.

4. And it still surprises Taffer when owners fight back. (They fight back a lot.)

It astonishes me to tell you the truth. Think about it: For some of these people, they’re $900,000 in debt. They’ve lost their homes, their lives are on the line. They can’t afford to buy me lunch, much less pay me a fee for being there! So I show up with a checkbook and 30 years of experience. You think they’d be thanking the heavens. It doesn’t happen that way.

5. One of the most ridiculous episodes came two weeks ago. It involved a horse in a bar, blacked-out drunk co-owners, and an incredulous Taffer.

One of the most remarkable moments [involving bad owners] came during last Sunday’s episode. Think about this: Married couple. The bank is about to foreclose. They’re in debt, they’ve had to move out of their home. So this is over for them, they’re done. So I show up, and they’re UNBELIEVABLY drunk. And in the morning, they don’t even remember meeting me! And their lives are on the line!

6. And the angriest he ever got was to the owner of the failing Denver bar, Zanzibar.

[Expert and executive chef] Duffy is a dear, dear friend of mine. He’s also one of the greatest guys I know. Just a great father and sweet guy. And [Zanzibar owner] Ami looked at him and said “Fat boy!” to him three times. I couldn’t believe it. What you didn’t see is that before he called Chef Duffy “fat boy,” he called his employees “jerks.” “They’re jerks,” he said. “And fat boy, hey, fat boy!” And honestly, if he had insulted me that way, I probably wouldn’t have reacted like that, but he insulted one of my experts. And that [fight] was real, and that was intense.

But I’ve got to tell you, I watch Bar Rescue on a computer as we’re going through the editing process and such. And I have never cried like a baby at the end of an episode like I did with that one. The first time I saw the cut on my computer, I watched Ami say [at the episode’s end,] “I prayed to God and he sent me an angel, Jon Taffer.” I teared up. To think that we went from a physical altercation to THAT in four days was remarkable to me. And that was true.

The amazing part of Bar Rescue is the emotions and personalities. It almost could be called People Rescue, you know?

7. The reveals are the best part.

I’ve got to tell you: It’s fun for you to see the bar on Bar Rescue. But watching the faces of the employees when I reveal it is a very unique experience. That’s not something you get a lot as a consultant. To blindfold them and reveal their own businesses to them is unbelievably exciting and rewarding. It’s a unique phenomenon.

It’s really about more than the bar. In every case, their families are involved, their lives are on the line, their retirements are on the line, this is serious stuff. These people are really, really in trouble…. So we’re changing lives.

8. After the disasters that Taffer walked into at New Orleans’ T.J. Quills and Fells Point’s J.A. Murphy’s, it might not be the best idea to open a bar with your fraternity buds.

I look at this way: If you’re into drugs, I wouldn’t suggest you become a pharmacist. If you’re into drinking and partying, I wouldn’t suggest you open a bar. It makes no sense. Sometimes, people get involved in the bar business for the wrong reasons.

But you know, [owner of the former T.J. Quills] Darren is a really good guy. And they’re doing incredibly well. Annex is up about $40-50,000 a month. I understand the line goes around the building. They never took their shirts off again. They’re mature… I’m incredibly proud of those guys. They just needed a little kick in the ass, and they needed their eyes opened.

And you know, after Zanzibar, Murphy’s is probably the angriest I’ve gotten. They served that tainted food to my daughter. My friends affectionately call it the “Chicken Meltdown.”

Raw chicken can kill you…. I was furious man, that was my little girl in there.

9. Taffer’s Bar Rescuenotoriety ensures he now gets top-notch service at restaurants and bars.

When I’m out, if [the service staff] really screws up, then I get angry, but normally… I tend to deal with it, I’m out to have a good time. I can separate the two [lives]. Now if the food sucks, that’s different, I’ll have them take it back.

But you know it’s funny. Now, because of Bar Rescue, people sometimes know who I am, so I tend to get pretty good service. [laughs] I think they don’t want to know what will happen if I don’t.

10. Finally, I passed along a joke TV pitch, thought up by CollegeHumor writer Alex Watt, for a show called Life Rescue. The premise: Taffer goes around and teaches people to be more like him.

Unbelievably, this is actually kind of happening.

Honestly, I can’t say specifically what it is, but I am shooting a pilot next week for a show that is not dissimilar from what you just described. I can’t say much of what it is other than that it’s a talk show format, we’re shooting a pilot next week, and we’ll see what happens. You’re the first media I’ve mentioned that too.

Bar Rescue is currently on hiatus, but you can watch it on Spike TV.


When Reese's Peanut Butter Cups first hit shelves in 1928, there were no fancy, extravagant ads promoting their release, like you see above. In fact, they weren't even a freestanding product yet. The peanut butter cups came in five pound bags of assorted candies, which stores bought in bulk. It was only later that the cups became popular enough to sell on their own.

Yes, you read that right. World War II actually helped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups become the world-renowned candy they are today. Both sugar and chocolate were rationed during the war, which made it tough for candy companies to keep up with the demand for sweets. Luckily for Reese's, peanut butter was never rationed, which lead Reese to use automated production when making his peanut butter cups. Reese's decided to scrap the rest of their candy, and devote all their efforts towards producing peanut butter cups. The rest is history.


20 Things You Didn't Know About Popcorn

High in fiber, low in fat, and a tiny spirit in every kernel -- here are 20 things you didn't know about popcorn.

1. Popcorn's scientific name is zea mays everta, and it is the only type of corn that will pop.

2. People have been enjoying popcorn for thousands of years. In 1948, popped kernels around 5,000 years old were discovered in caves in New Mexico.

3. It is believed that the Wampanoag Native American tribe brought popcorn to the colonists for the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

4. Traditionally, Native American tribes flavored popcorn with dried herbs and spices, possibly even chili. They also made popcorn into soup and beer and made popcorn headdresses and corsages.

5. Some Native American tribes believed that a spirit lived inside each kernel of popcorn. The spirits wouldn't usually bother humans, but if their home was heated, they would jump around, getting angrier and angrier, until eventually they would burst out with a pop.

6. Christopher Columbus allegedly introduced popcorn to the Europeans in the late 15th century.

7. The first commercial popcorn machine was invented by Charles Cretors in Chicago in 1885. The business he founded still manufactures popcorn machines and other specialty equipment.

8. American vendors began selling popcorn at carnivals in the late 19th century. When they began to sell outside movie theaters, theater owners were initially annoyed, fearing that popcorn would distract their patrons from the movies. It took a few years for them to realize that popcorn could be a way to increase revenues, and popcorn has been served in movie theaters since 1912.

On the next page, you'll find the rest of our list of things you didn't know about popcorn.

In this segment of our list on things you didn't know about popcorn, you'll find unique names for unpopped kernels and how much popcorn Americans consume each year.

9. Nowadays, many movie theaters make a greater profit from popcorn than they do from ticket sales, since for every dollar spent on popcorn, around ninety cents is pure profit. Popcorn also makes moviegoers thirsty and more likely to buy expensive sodas.

10. What makes popcorn pop? Each kernel contains a small amount of moisture. As the kernel is heated, this water turns to steam. Popcorn differs from other grains in that the kernel's shell is not water-permeable, so the steam cannot escape and pressure builds up until the kernel finally explodes, turning inside out.

11. On average, a kernel will pop when it reaches a temperature of 347 degress Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).

12. Unpopped kernels are called "old maids" or "spinsters."

13. There are two possible explanations for old maids. The first is that they didn't contain sufficient moisture to create an explosion the second is that their outer coating (the hull) was damaged, so that steam escaped gradually, rather than with a pop. Good popcorn should produce less than 2 percent old maids.

14. Ideally, the moisture content of popcorn should be around 13.5 percent, as this results in the fewest old maids.

15. Popcorn is naturally high in fiber low in calories and sodium-, sugar-, and fat-free, although oil is often added during preparation and butter, sugar, and salt are all popular toppings.

16. Americans consume 17 billion quarts of popped popcorn each year. That's enough to fill the Empire State Building 18 times!

17. Nebraska produces more popcorn than any other state in the country -- around 250 million pounds per year. That's about a quarter of all the popcorn produced annually in the United States.

18. There are at least five contenders claiming to be the "Popcorn Capital of the World" due to the importance of popcorn to their local economies, and only one of them is in Nebraska. They are Van Buren, Indiana Marion, Ohio Ridgway, Illinois Schaller, Iowa and North Loup, Nebraska.

19. Popped popcorn comes in two basic shapes: snowflake and mushroom. Movie theaters prefer snowflake because it's bigger. Confections such as caramel corn use mushroom because it won't crumble.

20. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world's largest popcorn ball measured 12 feet in diameter and required 2,000 pounds of corn, 40,000 pounds of sugar, 280 gallons of corn syrup, and 400 gallons of water to create.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS:

Helen Davies, Marjorie Dorfman, Mary Fons, Deborah Hawkins, Martin Hintz, Linnea Lundgren, David Priess, Julia Clark Robinson, Paul Seaburn, Heidi Stevens, and Steve Theunissen


Learn and grow!

Analyze the Situation! One important key to minimizing damage – or even making the most of adversity – is to analyze the situation and find a way to work through it or around it. We all have strengths and weaknesses we need to build on our strengths, while also locating and using whatever help we need to deal with our weaknesses. You carry a great laboratory in your own mind. If you use that laboratory, by a careful process of observation, you will discover wonders within yourself and may find solutions to the great issues that confront you – including how best to regulate your sense of wellbeing.


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