Samui Wining & Dining
Tasty Dates

November has many culinary-related curiosities – here are just a few of them!


1st – This was the day, in 2011, that war almost broke out between Switzerland and America. It was the day that Swiss company, Katadyn, announced its cheeseburger in a can, containing an all-beef patty, lettuce, tomato and cheese on a sesame seed bun. One American food critic commented, “I`d rather have a threesome with Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell than eat a boiled cheeseburger.”


2nd – “Statistics show that, of those who contract the habit of eating, very few survive.” So said playwright, George Bernard Shaw who, sadly, died on this day, in 1959.

3rd – This was the day, in 2009, that police were called to a house in Bedford County, Pennsylvania to investigate reports of domestic abuse. The report states that the couple became involved in a verbal altercation with each other at which time Cheetos potato chips were used in the assault. “There was evidence of an assault,” the report read, “however there were no physical marks on either party and the primary aggressor was unable to be determined.”


4th  – This was the day, in 1893, that Raymond Loewy was born. He would later go on to design such icons as the coca-cola bottle, the first toothbrush with ergonomic bristles, and the Jif plastic lemon.


5th – This is the day, in 1985, when it is said that the rogue bush poet, Banjo Patterson, published the lyrics to Waltzing Matilda. This folk-ditty recounts the exploits of a hard-drinking wanderer, sleeping rough and eating wild-kangaroo stew.


6th – Hyper-inflation pushed the cost of a loaf of bread in Germany to 140 billion Deutschmarks, on this day, in 1923. At the time the exchange rate was 4.2 trillion Marks to one US dollar!


7th – It was on this day, just a year ago, that Reuters reported that, “ . . .the price of rat meat has quadrupled in Cambodia this year as inflation has put other meat beyond the reach of poor people.”


8th – Shocked Arizona home-owner, Phil Volk, was awoken on this day, in 2010, by a bear in his kitchen. “It pulled the lid off a chocolate cake on the counter and finished that off, and then it got into the pantry for chips, bread, and jelly beans. It was total disarray. He ate very well,” said Mr. Volk.


9th – This was the day, in 2006, on which Karl Frederickson appeared in court in Des Moines, Iowa, and was fined US$925 for beating his parrot to death. It seems he became displeased after his feathered friend had taken a fancy to his TV dinner.


10th – Another tale (tail?) of Asian fare – this day, in 2007, made headlines as China’s Vice Director of Tourism, Xiong Yumei, announced that dog meat would be absent from all designated Beijing restaurants for the period of the forthcoming Olympic Games.


11th – Another burger story; this time the UK when, on this day, in 2009, a £200 burger went on sale. Containing Wagyu beef, white truffles, pata negra ham slices, cristal onion straws, pink Himalayan rock salt and organic white wine, a London branch of Burger King created the gourmet burger to raise money for charity.


12th – Authorities in Michigan said an apartment complex fire was started by a resident who was attempting to use a propane torch to prepare a squirrel for eating, on this day, in 2009. Fire Chief Jim Kohsel reported that the man was blow-torching the fur from a dead squirrel when the deck caught fire.


13th - This was the day, in 1930, which saw the unveiling of the ‘Rotolactor’. This ingenious revolving platform was able to mechanically milk 50 cows at a time, clanking its way through a total of over 1,500 cows a day.


14th  - It was on this day, in 2008, that Fredric J. Baur, the man who invented Pringles, announced his intention of having his ashes buried in a Pringles can .


15th  At which point it might be a good idea to really clean out your fridge. So let’s kick out those old half-full tins of Pringles, as today is national ‘Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day’.


16th - This was the day, in 2008, that Bennie the giant rabbit was unofficially acclaimed to be the world’s largest rabbit. He is over three feet long and munches his way through £50 worth of food each day, being particularly fond of fig rolls and broccoli.


17th – Another unforgettable hit – on this day, in 1967, ‘Incense and Peppermints’ by Strawberry Alarm Clock went to number one in the US Billboard charts.


18th – This was the day that William Tell was arrested for refusing to bow before the image of the new Swiss Emperor. And he really did secure his release by shooting an apple off his son’s head, on this day, in 1307!


19th – Millionaire’s son, Michael Rockefeller, disappeared on this day, in 1961, whilst researching the primitive tribes of New Guinea. His remains were never discovered, leading to rumours that he’d been eaten by cannibals.


20th – 1820, and this was the day when the whaling ship, Essex, was attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in the South Pacific. The event prompted Herman Melville to create his novel, ‘Moby Dick’, which was published in 1857.


21st – This scheme didn’t last long – this was the day, in 2007, that the then-chief of Bangkok’s police, Colonel Pongpat Chayapan, announced a scheme to reprimand policemen found guilty of minor offences. They had to wear large pink ‘Little Kitty’ armbands for a week. And Little Kitty’s favourite food is … ‘yummy cookies’!


22nd – Seven-legged lamb faces the chop!’ Thus read New Zealand headlines on this day, in 2006, following the birth of a multi-limbed lamb. Unfortunately the strange little creature was missing part of its bowel and was destroyed after several days of media hype.


23rd - Chilli and Chocolate, Builder’s Breakfast, Onion Bhaji, Fish ’n’ Chips and Cajun Squirrel. Not a new fast-food menu, but the winning flavours, announced on this day, in 2008, of a competition hosted by Walker’s Crisps.


24th - It’s the rainy season on Samui. Therefore offer up a thought to St. Columbanus as you splash your way through the bumps and the puddles – he’s the patron saint of motorbikes.


25th – It’s official – beer is better for you than water. This was the finding of a series of experiments at The University of Granada, announced on this day, in 2007. Subjects drinking beer became more rapidly re-hydrated after exercise than their water-based counterparts!


26th – “Nobody’s done anything interesting with ice-cream for the last 100 years.” So said London ice-cream parlour owner, Matt O’Connor, as his breast-milk ice-cream was unveiled, on this day, in 2010.


27th – A US brewery which announced it was making beer out of bull testicles as an April Fool’s Day stunt has now done it for real. The Wynkoop Brewing Company, in Denver, Colorado, has named its creation ‘Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout’, and the brew appeared in the shops on this day, in 2011. “We’ve been making ballsy beer for the past few years. And this is proof of that,” quipped head brewer, Andy Brown.


28th – This was the day, back in 1927, when supermarket shopping trolleys were introduced for the first time. But the owner of the Piggly Wiggly supermarket in New York had to spend a week with his staff posing as trolley-pushing customers – the general public didn’t know what the trolleys were for!


29th – This was the remarkable day, back in 2008, on which the Cameroon government officially outlawed the drinking of urine. This traditional folk-remedy was widely available in different concoctions but was suspected of doing more harm than good!


30th – And, to top off the month, this was the day, in 1969, that Vanilla Fudge’s ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’ climbed into the UK Top Ten.



Rob De Wet

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