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Tasty Trivia, Installment 1

January 25, 2010

I am starting a new recurring feature here on FBM!

The other night I attended a Trivia Night that my friend put together to raise money for an organization he is involved in. Trivia nights are one of my favorite kind of nights. If you are from St. Louis, you are most likely familiar with them, as it seems to be a St. Louis “thing” (not saying other cities aren’t into the trivia… we are just really really into it…. you could easily find, like, 2 to go to every night of the week here).

For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, a trivia night is usually held in a church basement, school gym or a VFW-like hall. People put them on generally to raise money for some sort of non-prophet cause/organization. You reserve a table and gather a team of usually 8-10 of your smartest and/or most fun friends, and proceed to spend the evening answering 10 rounds of questions from various categories.

And the best part? Trivia night team tables usually become pot-luck  smorgasbord of party food and booze. It is customary for the organizers to provide stale popcorn and pretzels (that make you thirsty), as well as soda and ice and sometimes cheap beer. But most tables bring their own food ( I even have a habit of table hopping between rounds to mooch off others.)

The trivia night I was at this weekend had one category that made me the table’s ringer… Kitchen gadgets. They showed pictures of odd  kitchen thing-a-ma-jiggs (read: unitaskers) and we had to name them. They were items such as an Avocado slicer, potato ricer, tagine, etc. I was pleased to be able to help my team out so much. You see, while I adore going to trivia nights, I generally am not much help.

Anyway, inspired by that category, and remembering the fun of Slow Food St. Louis’ annual food trivia night (check out Cupcake Project Stef’s recap of it a couple years ago, complete with a pic of me winning a raffle in all my cleavaged glory :D), I thought I’d start a recurring feature here on FBM… Tasty Trivia. I will pick a food theme, and list 10 interesting tidbits that may someday help you in a trivia night. I will also select recipes from us mobsters’ other blogs that would make good trivia night fare.

Today’s theme, in honor of it being Burns Day, is Food in Celebration.

  1. The nickname of Scottish poet Robert Burns was The Ploughman Poet because he was a farmer. His famous poem, Address to a Haggis, is traditionally read before slicing into the Haggis on Burns Day., which is January 25.
  2. On April Fool’s Day, the French try to trick each other. A person who is tricked is called poisson d’Avril or “April fish”. As such, the chocolate treats in the shape of a fish is the snack of the day.
  3. In the Passover Seder meal, a course called Maror consists of bitter herbs (often horseradish) is eaten to symbolize the bitterness of slavery. The Charoses or Harosset is a mixture of apples, nuts, wine and cinnamon and represents the mortar used by the Jews in the construction of buildings as slaves.
  4. In some areas of China, for the New Years celebration, fish is included in the meal, but not completely eaten, as the Chinese phrase “may there be surpluses every year” sounds the same as “may there be fish every year.”
  5. In Oaxaca, Mexico, Christmas Eve is also the Night of the Radishes (Noche de Rábanos), when large radishes are cut into animal shapes.
  6. A New Year’s tradition in Spain is to eat 12 grapes, one at a time at each chime of the clock at midnight, for good luck.
  7. Since the 1950s, panettone (literally, “Tony’s bread”) has become popular all over Italy at Christmas time.
  8. In Poland, pączki are eaten especially on Fat Thursday (the last Thursday before Lent). Many Polish Americans celebrate Pączki Day on Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). Traditionally, the reason for making pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs and fruit in the house, because they were forbidden to be consumed due to Catholic fasting practices during Lent. A small amount of grain alcohol is added to the dough before cooking; as it evaporates, it prevents the absorption of oil deep into the dough.
  9. Nut-Crack Night is an old Scottish and Northern English name for October 31st. It’s also called the Oracle of the Nuts (Somebody please write a song with that as a title or something!). On this night people would put two nuts on the grates over the fire, and how they would burn would tell the fortune of two lovers.
  10. La Tomatina tomato fight in Buñol, Spain near Valencia happens every year on the last Wednesday in August. It is said to have started when a tomato cart was tipped during a parade.

Feel smarter? Now it’s time for food! Here are recipes from each of our blogs that would be perfect for sharing with your brainiac trivia table:

Annie’s Fromage Fort (cheese spread)

Steph’s Bacon Kettle Corn

Kelly’s Cookie Dough Brownies

Kelli’s Cheese Crackers

Happy Trivia Nighting!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2010 8:47 am

    Great post, Steph!

    I can’t wait to have an FBM table at Slow-Food’s trivia night!

  2. Kelly permalink
    January 26, 2010 10:23 am

    Very tasty post! I’m just sorry I didn’t get any of your bacon kettle corn on Saturday…never arrive late to a Trivia Night!


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