The World’s Food Supply Relies On This Remote Arctic Island



The World’s Food Supply Relies On This Remote Arctic Island

Miles away, in a remote archipelago deep in the Arctic, there’s a treasure vault of seeds that might just save the world one day.

No, that’s not the introduction to a sci-fi novel. Located in the far reaches of the Arctic, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a very real thing. It houses hundreds of thousands of seeds from all around the world, including seeds for many of the world’s most important food crops.

Created by conservationists, this incredible vault was established to preserve plant seeds in the event of a global crisis. Want to learn more? Read on to learn all you need to know about this incredible project.

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What Is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault?

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The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a secure seed bank located on a Norwegian island in the Arctic named Spitsbergen. It sits about halfway between Norway and the North Pole.

The seed vault is home to a huge variety of plant seeds that are duplicates of seeds from gene banks around the world. It represents the largest collection of crop diversity on the entire planet.

Why Does It Exist?

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The idea behind the vault: If other seeds were lost during a global crisis or even because of a mistake in a lab, there would be a spare copy held in the vault. In short, the vault is like a massive backup plan, helping to protect plant diversity and food crops around the world.

A Brief History

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Who dreamed up a vault in the middle of nowhere filled with the world’s most important seeds?

It began with the Nordic Gene Bank (also known as the NGB or NordGen), which began packing up plant seeds as early as 1984 in Svalbard.

However, it wasn’t until 2008 when a three-part agreement between NordGen, the Norwegian hovernment, and the Global Crop Diversity Trust resulted in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault as we know it today.

Acting in collaboration with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, Cary Fowler, an American agriculturalist and former director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, worked hard to make this project a reality.

Interest in the project was high from the beginning. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault began receiving seeds before it even officially opened, and now it contains seeds from about one-third of the world’s most vital food crops. At the time of this writing, the seed bank has received over a million samples.

After withdrawals, the vault currently contains close to 1 million samples and has the capacity to house as many as 4.5 million samples. Currently, the collection of samples represents over 13,000 years of agriculture.

Who Is Responsible For It?

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The Norwegian Ministry for Agriculture and Food, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, and NordGen are responsible for the Vault. Funding for the Global Crop Diversity Trust is supplied from governments and foundations around the world, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

How Does It Work?

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The seeds are secured in an official way. First, they’re sealed into three-ply foil parcels then put in plastic totes and shelved in temperature-controlled storage rooms that preserve their viability and life span.

Who has access to the seeds? Not just anyone: For regular requests, researchers and breeders are to go to the original gene banks, not the seed vault. The vault is like a “break in case of emergency” reserve.

While the facility is owned by Norway, it operates like a bank with safety deposit boxes. Each donating gene bank owns its donated seeds and retains ownership of them. Donors are documented through a detailed database.

The World’s Food Safety Net

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The Global Seed Vault is an important part of our global push for food safety and sustainability. We owe a lot to these researchers and their hard work, and over time, it’s likely that we’ll end up relying on this system to produce many of the foods we take for granted today.

China stops buying US farm products



China stops buying US farm products


China’s Commerce Ministry said on Tuesday that Chinese companies have stopped buying US agricultural products, and that China will not rule out imposing import tariffs on US farm products that were bought after August 3.

“Related Chinese companies have suspended purchases of US agricultural products,” the ministry said in an online statement posted shortly after midnight in Beijing on Tuesday.

The statement said China hoped the United States would keep its promises and create the “necessary conditions” for bilateral cooperation.

US President Donald Trump said last Thursday that China had not fulfilled a promise to buy large volumes of US farm products and vowed to impose new tariffs on around US$300 billion of Chinese goods, abruptly ending the China-US trade truce.

In response to the US accusations, an official with the China’s top economic planning agency said “such accusations are groundless.”

Cong Liang, secretary-general of the National Development and Reform Commission, said from the conclusion of the Osaka meeting to the end of July, a total of 2.27 million tons of US soybeans were newly shipped to China, and another 2 million tons of soybeans are expected to be loaded in August.

Since July 19, Chinese companies have made inquiries about purchasing US soybeans, sorghum, wheat, corn, cotton, dairy products, hay, ethyl alcohol, soybean oil, wine, beer, fresh and processed fruits and other agricultural products.

By the evening of August 2, a number of deals had been concluded, including 130,000 tons of soybeans, 120,000 tons of sorghum, 60,000 tons of wheat and 40,000 tons of pork and pork products, Cong said.

“China and the United States are highly complementary in the agricultural sector and the trade of agricultural products is in line with the mutual interests of both sides,” said Cong.

Cong said the reason that some US products, including ethyl alcohol and corn, failed to clinch a deal in the Chinese market is because their prices are less competitive.

“We hope the United States will do more to clear obstacles and create conditions for China’s purchase of US agricultural products,” said Cong.

Tunisia to Witness Promising Olive Harvest



Tunisia to Witness Promising Olive Harvest

Monday, 5 August, 2019 – 11:15
Women harvest oil from trees in Sidi Thabet, Tunisia (File photo: Reuters)
Tunis – Mongi Saidani
Tunisia is expected to witness a promising olive harvest season this year with olive oil production reaching 350,000 tons, the Ministry of Agriculture has announced.

These prospects would make Tunisia the world’s second top oil producer after Spain, having for years been among the top five, competing with Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal.

Director General of Tunisia’s National Olive Oil Board, Chokri Bayoudh, said that during its recent meetings, the Board discussed mechanisms to support the quality and control the production of olive oil, further adjust the market and facilitate the access of exporters of olive oil and producers to state funding.

The government continues to support the development of the industry by planting millions of olive trees to ensure Tunisia stays among the top international producers. However, there remain several obstacles, namely lack of workers in olive harvesting which usually runs for a short period between November and March.

Last year, Tunisia’s olive oil production dropped to 140,000 tons, 117,000 of which were exported with a value of about $526 million, compared to a record high in 2017.

During recent years, Tunisia’s olive oil production reached 185,000 tons, however, it is expected to improve in the coming years to reach 230,000 tons at an annual rate. This will place Tunisia at a leading position among major international olive oil producers.

The Tunisian olive oil production is a major contributor to the economy’s stabilization. Reduced olive oil exports have affected the food trade, which was about $226 million during the first half of the year.

Production has improved globally this season among the largest producing countries except for Spain, showed figures.

Tunisia’s National Observatory of Agriculture (ONAGRI) announced that olive oil production in Spain will reach 1.35 million tons during the coming season, compared to 1.77 million tons in the previous season.

ONAGRI also noted that production in Italy will reach 270,000 tons and Greece 300,000 tons, marking an improvement compared to the previous season, and the rate in Portugal will reach 130,000 tons. These countries are among the most competitive with Tunisian olive oil in international markets.

The Strangest — & Tastiest — Ice Cream Flavors From Around the World



The Strangest — & Tastiest — Ice Cream Flavors From Around the World

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? If you’re in the west, you’d probably claim one of the classic flavors as your favorite: rocky road, butter pecan, cookie dough, chocolate chip and so on. But these choices are just a small representation of the weird and wild world of ice cream. If you’re interested in checking out a few less-popular ice cream flavors, give one of these a chance.


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You might be familiar with wasabi as the green, spicy, horseradish-like paste that’s served alongside sushi and other Japanese dishes. But did you know that this spicy root can be a great complement to ice cream?

Wasabi ice cream gives tasters the best of both worlds: sweet and creamy top notes followed by a distinct wasabi-like afterburn. It’s an unlikely — yet delicious — combination that fans of spicy foods need to try.

Horse Flesh

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Wasabi is one thing, but Japanese ice cream purveyors took things one step further with a slightly stranger ingredient: raw horse flesh. This delicacy comes to us from a Tokyo-based “food amusement park,” which included an ice cream museum called Ice Cream City. Their mission was to come up with strange, exotic flavors that guests couldn’t help but try — and horse flesh ice cream was one of them.

There don’t seem to be many reports on how this flavor actually tasted. And we may never know. Ice Cream City is now closed, with many of its other memorable flavors being lost to history. Pickle, cow tongue, salad, grilled eggplant, and eel were among the museum’s most curious varieties. Not as strange as horse flesh, certainly, but strange enough.

Spaghetti and Cheese

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Compared to horse flesh, spaghetti and cheese ice cream might seem kind of tame. Offered by the Heladeria Coromoto ice cream parlor in Venezuela, this flavor of ice cream is purportedly made with real spaghetti and cheese, two ingredients not commonly associated with ice cream. And this monstrous creation is only the beginning. The Venezuelan parlor is renowned for its strange ice cream concoctions that may rival even Tokyo’s Ice Cream City with a lineup of flavors including trout, mushrooms, and hot dogs.

Goat Cheese and Beet

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What’s with these folks adding cheese to ice cream? Unlike the spaghetti and cheese concoction, tasters of the goat cheese and beet swirl (available at numerous locations across the U.S.) have nothing but good things to say. Though it sounds strange on paper, ice cream aficionados report that the mixture has a rich, earthy flavor backed by a thick creaminess that only cheese can provide.

Balsamic Fig and Mascarpone

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Okay, maybe cheese ice cream is a bit more common than we thought. Enter our next flavor: balsamic-glazed fig swirled with Italian mascarpone cheese. This luxurious flavor is gourmet in every sense of the word, pairing rich, jammy figs against the sweet/sour combination of balsamic glaze and creamy cheese. Best of all, this isn’t some delicacy you’ll need to travel to find. This flavor is available through plenty of national ice cream vendors, and you might be able to find a pint at your nearest grocer.

Hot Sauce and Scorpion

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When we started writing this article, we didn’t realize how deep the “strange ice cream” rabbit hole goes … and we may have gotten more than we bargained for. However, we must press on and report our next flavor: hot sauce + scorpion. Real scorpion.

Dubbed “The Scorpion Sting,” this flavor is the brainchild of the Delaware-based Ice Cream Store. It combines African vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce in a creamy swirl — garnished with a dried and specially-prepared scorpion right on top, all ready for consumption.

The scorpion is a startling addition, but tasters report that the flavor is actually pretty good. Since its inception, the Scorpion Sting has undergone a few adjustments, including the removal of the hot sauce and adding in some more fruity flavors. Today, it’s known in the Ice Cream Store as “Catching Fire.” But don’t worry — the scorpion hasn’t gone anywhere.

The Weirdest Ice Cream Out There

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We hope you learned something from this — because we surely did. Don’t underestimate how far some companies are willing to go to come up with the weirdest and tastiest ice cream flavors in the world. Many of them are meant to be one-time novelties, but if there’s one area where novelty should be encouraged, it’s ice cream.

Worst ice cream flavors ever created



Worst ice cream flavors ever created

As Howard Johnson proclaimed in his 1920s hit: I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Whether it is the joy of hearing the chime of the ice cream truck, planning a visit to your local parlor, or simply purchasing a tub from the grocery store, there’s a great sensory excitement about eating ice cream. Nevertheless, there are flavors that have us screaming in fear rather than pleasure. Here’s a rundown of some of the most obscure ingredients used in our favorite summertime treat.

Akutaq Eskimo Ice Cream

There’s plenty of reasons to visit Alaska and this delicacy served throughout the state’s remote eskimo villages may or may not be one of them. The name akutaq comes from the Yup’ik language and means “something mixed”. While it can include berries, it also has ingredients such as hard animal fat, seal oil, and tundra greens. The frozen element is created by adding freshly fallen snow. Check out what the guys of Bizarre Foods thought about it.

Beef Tongue Flavor

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The Japanese have been responsible for some incredibly weird flavors over the years, but adding the content of a fatty cow tongue to a sweet frozen snack has to be the height if insanity. This was once a classic at the former Ice Cream City in Tokyo’s Namco Namja Town. While it may not appeal to most palates, beef tongue ice cream was actually a big hit at the 2008 Yokohama Ice Cream Expo. Saying that, its competition was crab, eel, and raw horse.

Cheeseburger Ice Cream

In a bid to push culinary boundaries to their limits, a New Jersey diner celebrated National Cheeseburger Day in 2018 by combining two of America’s most-loved foods. Blending cream, ground beef, cheddar cheese, bacon, and more cheddar cheese, they conjured up a truly adventurous snack. Every order came with a side of fries to dip into the ice cream, too. In a variation, food trucks at Florida State Fair have previously served burgers topped with a scoop of Mexican-style fried ice cream.

Craft Beer Flavor

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Craft beer is great and available on almost every corner. Ice cream is great and has also been available on every corner for decades. However, should the two ever go together and do they go well together? Enter the Atlanta-based craft beer brewers Frozen Pints, who got the idea after someone spilled beer into an ice cream maker at a party. The result is now tubs of curious pairings such as Honey IPA, Pumpkin Ale, and Cinnamon Espresso Stout ice cream.

Durian Flavor

If you aren’t familiar with the smell of the durian fruit then perhaps it’s a good thing. Food writer Richard Sterling once described it as “turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock.” The odor is so aggressive that it has been prohibited from public spaces in Malaysia, public transport in Singapore, and hotels in Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand. If you are in New York and fancy tackling this potent charmer then stop by the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.

Vegetable Flavor

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Häagen-Dazs has done many excellent things for the ice cream industry, although the SpoonVege range launched in Japan is perhaps a step too far. Apparently the idea was to produce a slightly healthier dessert by adding elements of fruits and vegetables to an already tried, tested, and much-loved recipe. The result was the choice between either tomato and cherry or carrot and orange flavor. Maybe better to eat a plate of greens first and then finish with a pint of cookie dough chip.

The Tastiest Asian Dishes You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of



The Tastiest Asian Dishes You’ve Never Heard Of

Everyone loves some good Chinese takeout on the right occasion, but there’s a whole lot more out there than Kung Pao chicken and beef-and-broccoli. Depending on where you travel in Asia, people eat just about everything that moves, and a big part of the secret is that they learned how to make it delicious. Without dabbling too far into the bizarre, there are a handful of absolutely decadent dishes within Asian cuisine across the continent that you’d do yourself a disservice not to try.

Nasi Lemak – Malaysia

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Nasi Lemak is the national dish of Malaysia. The literal translation of its name is “oily rice,” but “creamy” makes for a more accurate (and appetizing) contextual translation. The preparation of the dish starts with soaking rice in coconut cream before it’s steamed with pandan leaves. The fragrant rice is served wrapped in banana leaves with garnish of cucumber slices, fried anchovies, roasted peanuts, and fried egg. This is a popular breakfast food.

Kare-Kare – Philippines

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This Philippine stew derives its name from the word “curry,” but it’s nothing like anything you’ve had at an Indian or Thai restaurant. The broth is made from stewed oxtail, beef, and tripe, though it can sometimes be made with seafood, vegetables, or offal. The broth is mixed with savory peanut sauce to make a thick and complex flavor profile.

Char Kway Teow – Malaysia

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If you don’t know about Asian pork buns, then you need to find your nearest dim sum restaurant as soon as possible—but this lesser-known Malaysian street food is just as delicious, though not quite as portable. The name translates to “stir-fried rice cake strips,” which is a somewhat straightforward description. The noodles are browned with soy sauce and served with meat, fish cake, egg, and sausage to create a stir-fried street-food delight.

Amok Trey – Cambodia

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To celebrate the Water Festival in Cambodia, the locals serve their traditional dish, Amok trey—a light and colorful dish. The preparation involves coating a fish with thick coconut milk and freshly ground spices known as kroeung, though many dishes offer variants served with chicken, beef, and other alternatives. It’s then steamed in banana leaves to form a thick curry that features noni leaves and fingerroot.

Gamjatang – Korea

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This spicy Korean soup uses a broth made from pork neck bones with red hot peppers. The high heat of the broth-making softens the meat to its ideal tenderness. Potatoes, cellophane noodles, radish greens, green onions, and perilla leaves are added to the soup to make a savory-spicy treat. Though it used to be nearly impossible to find the soup outside of Korea, these days it’s featured prominently in Korean restaurants in the United States and abroad.

Babi Guling – Indonesia

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There’s a hint of irony to be found in that one of the most delicious pork dishes has its origins in a Muslim-majority nation, but the Balinese know how to cook a pig. The slow-roasted pork is seasoned with ginger, galangal, turmeric, chilies, and shrimp paste to make a sweet, spicy, and savory profile that compliment the tender-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside porcine.

Rendang – Indonesia & Malaysia

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This food of the Minangkabau culture sits on the fence as to its status as a curry, but its classification has no bearing on its flavor. There’s a whole laundry list of ingredients that goes into rendang, including ginger, galangal, turmeric, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, chili’s, anise, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and lime leaves among others. The ingredients are slow-cooked until all the liquid is gone and the meat is well-done, which makes for hefty absorption of the intense flavors.

How McDonald’s took over the world



How McDonald’s took over the world

Some say they love it, some say they hate it, and those raking in megabucks through franchises certainly say I’m Lovin’ It. Whatever your opinion of McDonald’s, there’s no denying its worldwide popularity and influence on the fast food industry. From a single restaurant in 1940, in 2018 the chain reported over 36,000 restaurants in 101 countries that collectively served around 69 million customers per day. The company has battled environmental criticismlawsuits and mass staff strikes, yet remain a leader in their field. Here’s how McDonald’s took over the world.

The McDonald Brothers and Early Years

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The rags-to-riches journey began in 1940 in San Bernardino, California when siblings Richard and Maurice McDonald had a dream to make $1 million before turning 50. They opened a drive-in restaurant with carhop girls delivering cheap sandwiches to a clientele of mostly teenage and young adult males. Eager to streamline the business, the brothers introduced the Speedee Service System in 1948, which featured 15 cent hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes. On the back of their newly-found success, the siblings launched their first franchising campaign, with new stands opening in 1953.

Ray Kroc and the First Official McDonald’s

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In 1954, the Chicagoan Ray Kroc, who was a distributor for a milkshake machine used by the McDonald brothers, visited the San Bernardino stand. Impressed by the potential of the business, Kroc convinced the McDonalds to let him become their franchising agent. He opened the first official McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois and had plans to expand nationwide and globally. By 1959 he had inaugurated 102 locations and bought the brothers out in 1961.

The Big Mac and the Golden Arches

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The 1960s was a time of great change and development for McDonald’s. The Filet-O-Fish debuted in 1962 and helped combat falling hamburger sales on Fridays in areas with strong Roman Catholic communities. Ronald McDonald replaced the Speedee chef as the company mascot in 1963. He was later joined by characters such as Hamburglar and Mayor McCheese, who helped to increase the chain’s appeal to children. Today’s legendary Big Mac appeared on menus in 1967 and some five billion were consumed in the first two years. At the end of the decade the iconic golden arches started to spring up. The colors were chosen because red is said to trigger hunger and yellow happiness.

The Drive-Thru and International Expansion

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With soldiers from Fort Huachuca prohibited from getting out of their vehicles in uniform, McDonald’s opened its first drive-thru in Sierra Vista, Arizona in 1975. This proved to be a catalyst for drive-thru restaurants across the USA and fast food fans relished in the company policy of delivering orders in 50 seconds or less. Having already successfully opened restaurants in British Columbia and Puerto Rico, the company entered 58 new countries by the early 1990s. In China the name has been adapted to Mai Dang Lao to fit with the phonetics of the language. Kosher food is served in Israel, and halal products are offered in Arab countries.

McDonald’s Today

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Today the McDonald’s brand is omnipresent the world over. Restaurant designs have changed from a kids’ focus to a family environment. There’s braille and picture menus specifically designed to aid customers with hearing, speech, and vision difficulties. There’s table service at some, self-service kiosks, mobile ordering, and home delivery. The menu has moved with the times, expanding from hamburgers and fries to include options such as breakfast, coffee, gluten-free items, ice creams, juices, and salads. What’s more, avid fans can relax knowing that the Big Mac, Happy Meal, Quarter Pounder, and other classics are all here to stay.

5 things apples have been used for throughout history



5 things apples have been used for throughout history

Apples have always been a popular fruit all over the world. While they were not originally from America (the first country to make apples a sought-after food was Persia), they have become an extremely “American” fruit, being used in everything from apple pie, to savory dishes like pork roast. Apples have had many different uses in different places throughout the centuries, though, some of which may surprise you.

Planting orchards

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The first American apple orchard was planted in 1625 by a man named William Blackstone. He created this orchard by planting apples/apple seeds from Europe on Beacon Hill in Boston in order to bring the beloved fruit to America. Many other Americans followed suit, planting their own apple orchards on American soil. The first governor of Massachusetts, for instance, wrote all about his own orchard in his account book, where he also mentioned that his children set fire to part of it and burned down 500 of his trees. Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were orchardists as well, although their orchards fared much better than the governor’s.

To explain gravity

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While most of us remember the story about Isaac Newton getting bopped on the head by an apple in the 17th century and suddenly coming up with the concept of gravity, that is most likely not exactly how it happened. Newton, a college student at the time, really was in his family’s orchard in England when he saw an apple fall from a tree, but it probably didn’t hit him on the head. The way that it fell straight down to the ground instead of to the side or in another direction got him to thinking, which eventually led to his developing the universal law of gravitation.


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According to some legends, apples have a connection to the “fairy world.” The tradition of bobbing for apples at Halloween is related to the idea that both apples and water have a supernatural link to other worlds beyond our own. Some other Halloween traditions say that taking a bite out of an apple and sleeping with it under your pillow will make you have a dream about the person who will be your true love. It is also said that falling asleep in an apple orchard could make you wake up years later, and that burying treasure under an apple tree will ensure that it will never decompose or be discovered by anyone else.


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Everyone has heard the story of the Garden of Eden, in which Eve is tempted to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and she does it, dooming her companion Adam and the rest of the human race that came after them. For centuries, people have believed that the fruit that is referred to in this story is the apple, but this is actually not true. The type of fruit is never specified, meaning it could have been anything from a fig to an olive to a banana. Early artists, though, depicted this fruit as being an apple, perhaps because in Latin the word “malus” means both “evil” and “apple.” This associated the Forbidden Fruit with an apple in everyone’s mind, and the symbolism has hung on for hundreds of years.


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You knew we couldn’t get through an article about apples without reciting the compulsory phrase: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This idea has been around for thousands of years, with some cultures believing that apples could make them immune to sickness, or even immortal. Today, apples have been scientifically proven to help reduce allergic reactions by slowing down the body’s secretion of histamine, as well as to shorten the length and severity of migraines. They have also been shown to help with digestion by slowing down the process and making you feel fuller and more satisfied longer.

5 Essential Indian Spices to Have in Your Kitchen



5 Essential Indian Spices to Have in Your Kitchen

Spices are a defining element of all Indian cuisine. No matter the complexity level of the Indian dish you are preparing, somewhere along the line it will call for a combination of spices. Marrying the flavors of spices in Indian cuisine is something of an art form. Make sure you’re ready for whatever Indian dish you want to prepare by keeping these five essential spices in your kitchen.


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Cumin is a strong aromatic spice, typically sold either as seeds or in a ground form. Cumin is typically used to impart a warm and earthy flavor to many different Indian dishes and is well known for its ability to be paired with other common spices. Its straightforward flavor profile means that it works well on its own with vegetables such as potatoes and carrots and simple meat dishes like chicken.


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One of the most ubiquitous spices used in Indian cuisine, coriander is one of the oldest-known spices in the world. Coriander has a nutty flavor with citrus notes that makes it a key ingredient in spice mixtures such as garam masala and is used heavily to make popular dishes such as chicken tikka masala.


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Instantly recognizable from its bright hue, turmeric is used in many Indian dishes to give it a distinctive color and flavor. Turmeric has an earthy fragrance and a warm, peppery flavor that make it wildly popular in many curries and rice dishes. Turmeric is made from pulverizing rhizome, a relative of ginger, and is also renowned for its many health benefits. It is known to provide anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal benefits for individuals who consume it regularly.

Mustard Seeds

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Another common spice in Indian cooking are black and brown mustard seeds, which can be used interchangeably. These distant cousins to white and yellow mustard seeds, which produce the deli mustard that is common in many American refrigerators, impart a smoky, nutty flavor after they are “bloomed,” a process in which they are heated briefly in oil before they pop open. Their warm flavor makes them a common ingredient in curries and curry powders.


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Like mustard seeds, cardamom comes in two different colors, green and black, both of which are used in Indian cuisine. However, unlike mustard seeds, these different colors are not interchangeable and impart very different flavors to different types of dishes. Green cardamom is the more common type, and it is known to impart a light, sweet flavor with strong eucalyptus and pine notes. It is commonly used by adding whole pods to curries or steamed pots of rice.

On the other hand, black cardamom is a very powerful spice, which must be used with caution to keep it from overpowering the dish. The powerful smoky flavor associated with it is achieved by adding only a few seeds to a dish. If a whole pod is used, it is best to remove the pod before serving as biting into one can be an unpleasant experience for the casual diner.

There are well over a dozen other spices that many Indian dishes call for, and learning how to use all of them in tandem with one another is a skill unto itself. But if you stock these five essential Indian spices in your kitchen, you can be confident in pulling off all of the classic Indian flavors you are hoping to replicate at home.

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The best-selling candy bars of all time



The best-selling candy bars of all time boils down the sugar to describe the word “candy” as a single piece of “any of a variety of confections made with sugar [and] syrup” and “often combined with chocolate, fruit, [and/or] nuts.” Sounds pretty good, right?

You’re not alone if your mouth waters when you think about your favorite candy. In fact, candy has become so popular, they have it in bar form now!

Bad jokes aside, candy bars are enjoyed around the world for their unique flavors, appealing ingredient combinations and catchy commercial mascots. Chances are just mentioning the word “candy bar” conjures up flavors of your favorites.

Here’s a quick look at some of the best-selling and most popular candy bars of all time (in no particular order).


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Mars Wrigley Confectionery boasts that Snickers is the world’s best-selling candy bar, and when the candy bar outpaced M&Ms in 2012 (with more than $3 billion in global sales) it was all uphill from there. Snickers bars have done pretty well for a candy bar first made in 1930 and supposedly named after founder Frank Mars’ favorite horse.

Snickers began life as the Marathon bar and only got its now-iconic label in 1990 when the Mars company decided to change the name. Now, Snickers is synonymous with settling your hunger, snacking on the go and chocolate/peanuts/nougat/caramel goodness around the world.

Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar

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The classic Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar is almost as nostalgic and delicious as a chocolate bar can get in the United States. The Hershey flagship candy bar is one of the oldest candy bars ever created—with nearly 120 years of history under its belt—and it holds the title of the first mass-produced chocolate in the United States.

In fact, the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar has been so prevalent as a chocolate candy bar in the U.S. throughout history that most Americans associate the taste of chocolate with the Hershey’s Bar. Eater beware, though. Hershey’s isn’t as popular outside of the United States, and many foreign countries would go as far as to say the classic American chocolate flavor tastes like vomit!

Cadbury Dairy Milk

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The Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar is also among the longest-living candy bars to-date, launching in the United Kingdom in 1905. The now world-renowned bar boasts the use of fresh milk from the British Isles, which gives it its distinct taste and texture.

Just like Hershey’s Bars helped define the taste of chocolate in the U.S., the Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar has done the same for people in the United Kingdom. Not surprisingly, the chocolate feud between Mondelez International (producers of Cadbury chocolates worldwide) and Hershey (the producer of Cadbury chocolates within the United States) is still a hot topic. Due to a deal in 2015, you shouldn’t expect to see any true-to-the-original-recipe Cadburys imported into the U.S. any time soon.

Kit Kat

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Kit Kat bars were the first candy bars to focus marketing around the idea that sharing is caring, so to speak. “Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar” solidified its place in marketing history as a now instantly recognizable jingle, and sharing Kit Kats has gone global.

Hershey’s and Cadbury carved out their respective corners of the chocolate candy bar market, but Kit Kat was the first candy bar to gain a global following (thanks to the sharing concept). Some might even argue that Kit Kat is the most influential candy bar of all time.

Not a fan of Kit Kat bars? Don’t worry, the Japanese are super fans! You can find a wide variety of unique Kit Kat flavors in Japan like wasabi, sake, rum raisin, banana, apple, and green tea.

Honorable mention: Butterfinger

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Butterfinger is a widely loved, one-of-a-kind “crispety, crunchety, peanut buttery” candy bar, with Butterfinger history stretching as far back as the 1920s. It’s been a staple of Halloween candy bags throughout the years, but you just don’t see them around as much as you used to.

The reason why Butterfinger deserves an honorable mention here, aside from its classic Bart Simpson-starring commercials and irreverent nature as a candy bar outlier, is the new “improved recipe.” “Better” Butterfinger’s new recipe is making waves in candy circles, so much so that it was awarded the 2019 Product of the Year award in the candy bar category.

Honorable mention: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

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While not technically a bar, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have long been an orange-wrapped neighbor in the candy bar isle, making them worth listing here. Their bite-size iterations topped the list of most-sold snack size chocolate candy brands in 2017, with almost 172 million units sold in the United States alone.

Chocolate candy will continue to settle your sweet tooth

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Every candy bar on this list includes chocolate as a main ingredient, which goes to show that people love settling their sweet tooth with some chocolate. Chocolate candy bars/packs account for almost 25 percent of all sales in convenience stores in the United States. Approximately five billion units of chocolate candy were sold in the United States in 2018, and seasonal chocolate sales in the United States are consistently in the billions of dollars year after year. The uphill affinity toward chocolate (both candy and candy bars) doesn’t show signs of stopping!

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