Monthly Archives: January 2010

Quick Bite: Popcorn

is full of people.


If you look closely, you can kind of make out tons of tiny people. Not actually. Image from

In the state of Indiana, there is a town called Popcorn.  If you’ve ever tried Dale & Thomas brand popcorn, then you might be familiar with this place.  That, or you might actually be from there!  But that’s highly unlikely as there really aren’t too many people in Popcorn, Indiana.



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Asians Eat Cellophane

And they can’t get enough of it.  Since cellophane is the go-to material for food packaging, Asians are reducing the amount of waste inherent in processed food items in this way.  Bizarre, but refreshingly sustainable.

candy in cellophane

Why waste time opening the bag when you can eat right through it? Image from Foodcollection.

If only.

Chinese, Korean, and a whole host of Asian eaters happily consume what Westerners have rather appropriately named, cellophane noodles.  Continue reading

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Quick Bite: Honey

lasts forever.


This goopy stuff can outlive you. Image by Megan Fizell, Tres Jolie Studios.

Well, not forever, but a pretty long time.  Thanks to what the bees do to the chemical nature of honey, it could outlast your shelf life on the planet.

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Quick Bite: Banana Peels

can make bruises look better.

banana peel

Maybe you shouldn't throw this away so readily. Image by Tony Latham, Iconica.

Some believe that by holding banana peels over a bruise for ten to thirty minutes the colour will be drawn from it.  Apparently warts, splinters, and even headaches also fall before the incredible utility of the often overlooked banana peel.

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Drunk Monks

I would go so far as to say that the common stereotype for a bartender doesn’t look at all like a disciple of Buddha, but if one were to venture into a bar called Vow’s in Nakano (中野区), this innocent assumption is easily challenged.

Nakano Broadway Shopping Mall

Vow's Bar is located near the Nakano Broadway shopping mall. Image from

Nakano is one of the 23 special wards in the greater Tokyo area, known for its multiculturalism, community spirit and memorable eccentricities.  One of the many dive bars in this small municipality is operated by Shaku Genko, a Buddhist monk.  Continue reading

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Quick Bite: Yams

are not sweet potatoes.

yam and sweet potato

The yam (right) is not a sweet potato (left). Image: Jennifer Baldwin

While both the sweet potato and yam flourish into tropical vines, using these two words interchangeably as many North Americans like to do is, well, wrong.  The yam (hailing from Asia and Africa) and sweet potato (an American descendant) come from entirely different families—dioscoreaceae and convulvaceae, respectively.  And even though it’s common to find orangey “yams” at the supermarket (in North America), they are merely a squishier version of the sweet potatoes sitting beside them.

Happy 2010!


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