February 16th is National Almond Day!
Five Food Finds about Almonds
1. Almonds are mentioned several times in the New and Old Testaments. They are revered as symbols of divine approval.
2. Almonds are actually fruits, related to cherries and plums.
3. Raw Almonds contain prussic acids, the eating of more than a handful can be lethal.
4. A key indicator of cyanide poisoning was the faint smell of roasted almonds on the victim.
5. Greek mythology tells of the beautiful princess Phyllis, who was left waiting at the altar on her wedding day by her intended, Demophon. Phyllis waited for years for him to return, but finally died of a broken heart. In sympathy, the gods transformed Phyllis into an almond tree, which became a symbol of hope.
Today’s Food History
on this day in…
- 1909 Richard McDonald was born. He was one of the brothers who founded McDonald’s fast food restaurants. Richard also designed the golden arches logo.
- 1932 James E. Markham of Stark Brothers Nurseries and Orchards in Mississippi, received the first patent for a fruit tree. It was for a peach tree whose fruit ripened later than other varieties.
- 1937 Dr. Wallace Hume Carothers received a patent for Nylon. (Which he discovered in 1935). One of its first uses was to replace the hog bristles that had been used in toothbrushes. Think about it: people used to brush their teeth with pigs hair.
- 1959 Rap singer ‘Ice T’ was born (Tracy Morrow).
- 2009 Burgers & Beer on the Road: A truck carrying 40,000 pounds of frozen hamburger patties hit the center median, and dumped thousands of pounds of burgers onto Interstate 15 near Salt Lake City. A few hours later on Interstate 84, also in Utah, a truck carrying 40,000 pounds of Fat Tire Beer hit the center median and spilled its load on the highway. Neither driver was injured.