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Nugget of Knowledge: Food facts

Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

(WYTV) – Which steak sauce got its name from the King of England?

Around 1820, King George, IV asked the royal chef to come up with a new steak sauce for him.

The chef went back to the royal kitchens and tinkered with spices and condiments. When he presented his new sauce to the king, George said it was perfect.

It said it was A1.

A1 steak sauce became very popular in England and eventually came to America in 1906.

We mentioned before that an alkaloid called capsaicin makes chilly peppers hot.

A pharmacologist named Wilbur Scoville came up with a scale to measure hotness in 1912. Pure capsaicin is unbearable; you can use it as a spray weapon.

Being an oil, capsaicin is not water soluble, meaning if you eat a pepper too hot for you, don’t try to douse the fire with water or beer. It’s better to use milk or yogurt to wash away the spicy oils.

There are two other cures: hard candy and bread can work as your mouth’s fire extinguisher.

In 1887, a Minnesota grocer named P.J Towle wanted to come up with a new table syrup. The syrup we used at the time was mostly corn syrup and molasses, though maple syrup was better.

Towle blended Vermont and Canadian maple sugar with sugar cane syrup and sold it in small, sealed tin containers that looked like log cabins. He was a marketing genius, and Log Cabin syrup became very popular.

During World War Two, the military needed the tin, so Log Cabin switched to bottles.

But why a log cabin?

P.J. Towle’s boyhood hero was president Abraham Lincoln, and Towle wanted to honor the president who was born and lived his childhood in a log cabin.

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