The Mystery of the Mustard Family
An archaeological dig turned up eight bottles of mustard powder in one eighteenth-century homestead. Why the condiment love?
How Oysters Became a Food Fad Way out West
Oysters in Wyoming and Arizona? In the nineteenth century? Yes, and mighty tasty too!
How Pigeons Helped Fight World War I
At ten weeks old, many of the birds headed to the trenches, carrying back messages over distances of about ten miles.
The Nice Married Couple Who Inspired People to ’Shroom
In the 1950s, Gordon and Valentina Wasson encountered magic mushrooms. Then they wouldn't stop talking about them.
What Happened to Peanut Butter and Jelly?
The rise and fall of the iconic sandwich has paralleled changes in Americans' economic conditions.
The Charities That Gave Flowers to the Poor
Presenting impoverished city dwellers with a fresh bouquet might seem condescending. On the other hand, flowers are awesome.
Smoking Banana Peels to Get High Was Briefly a Thing
But it didn't work. The rumor, spread by the underground press in 1967, probably led to many disappointed hippies.
The Mediums Who Helped Kick-Start the Oil Industry
Apparently some people communed with spirits to locate the first underground oil reserves.
The Anatomical Machines of Naples’ Alchemist Prince
Rumor had it that these machines were once the Prince’s servants, whom he murdered and transformed into anatomical displays. Scholars showed otherwise.
Recipe for an Ancient Roman Glow Up
Start by saying yes to antioxidant-rich barley pap, and avoid wine tainted with newts.