Posts tagged “encyclopedia

An Overview of Drinking Water

Posted on March 22, 2012

Drinking water or potable water is water pure enough to be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm. In most developed countries, the water supplied to households, commerce and industry is all of drinking water standard, even though only a very small proportion is actually consumed or used in food preparation. Typical uses include washing or landscape irrigation. Over large parts of the world, humans have inadequate access to potable water and use sources contaminated with disease vectors, pathogens or unacceptable levels of toxins or suspended solids. Drinking or using such water in food preparation leads to widespread acute and chronic illnesses and is a major cause of death and misery in many countries. Reduction of waterborne diseases is…


Posted on March 14, 2011

Nutshells are not completely useless after the process is over.  Once you’ve enjoyed the delicious fruits of your shucking efforts, hold onto the leftovers.  You can crunch them up and put them in your soil!  The nutshells are a great way to promote proper drainage in your gardening projects.  Foodimentary… my dear Watson.

Pears Helene

Posted on March 14, 2011

Pears Hélène, or Pears Belle-Hélène, is of French origin. It does not carry the American pronunciation, hel-LEEN, but el-ENN, the French version of the name. It’s original name is Poire Belle-Hélène.

The dessert owes its origin to the opera La belle Hélène by composer Jacques Offenbach. It’s a comedic take on the elopement of Queen Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta, with Prince Paris of Troy. This act of l’amour started the Trojan War, as the Greeks sailed to Troy to retrieve their queen. The opera debuted on December 17, 1864, was a big success, and the dessert was developed by Auguste Escoffier as a tribute.

The dessert is composed of pears poached in sugar syrup, topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and crystallized violets (today sliced almonds are more commonly used).

A Parisian menu staple and a favorite dessert for dinner parties, Pears Hélène offers the lightness of fruit with the richness  of chocolate sauce.  In America, March 15 is National “Pears Helene” Day.


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