Pintsized as a pea or big as a bowling ball, nutritional, durable, and versatile, nuts have been a staple of the human diet since time began, and archaeological evidence places them among our earliest foods. For that, the ancients worshiped them. And because they were relatively non-perishable, nuts sustained the imperial armies of Rome and China, the royal navies of England and Spain, and the native tribes that roamed the American wilderness. Today, we think of nuts as mere snacks, but in a poignant segment, we feature how a peanut product is used by organizations like UNICEF to reverse malnutrition in starving children in less than four weeks. And a powder ground from walnut shells cleans everything from ship hulls to the Space Shuttle. From ancient traditions of tree-picking and hand-gathering to today's powerful machine shakers, sophisticated irrigation techniques, and the latest bio-science, we'll provide a spread of history that's just as smooth as your peanut butter!
For every new snack food introduced, there are about 100 duds! Americans buy more than 4.3 billion pounds of snack food a year--in fact, snacking is quickly becoming America's favorite meal. A snack is defined as a meal or food item eaten hurriedly or casually, which might include anything from a candy bar to a hamburger. The word is derived from the Dutch word snacken, "to bite". Whether it's chips, pretzels, or popcorn, Americans love their snacks--especially if salty! Perhaps the first truly American salty snack was popcorn. But of all the salty treats we indulge in--pretzels, peanuts, corn chips--the potato chip is by far America's favorite snack, with annual sales in excess of $6 billion. Today, the larger food manufacturers are generally full-service snack companies--producing chips, pretzels, and other salty goodies. With creative new snack varieties on the way, the salty snack food industry shows no signs of waning.
Discover how many spices go into richly aromatic tikka masala, and why it's Britain's favorite meal; sweet and sour gummy worms get their mouth-puckering flavor; crunchy golden tortillas stay intact until they're stuffed full of Mexican treats on taco night; and seasonal Easter cr me eggs get that yummy and yolky egg-like filling.
Discover how sweet, crispy waffle cones get their ice cream-ready shape; rich, dark chocolate milk is transformed from creamy to dreamy; tangy Doritos nachos go from kernel to crunchy chip; and how the special ingredient in cheesy Indian dessert Kesar Rasmalai could break the bank.
Chuck Berry was one of the most popular and influential performers of rhythm-and-blues and rock 'n' roll music during the 1950s, '60s and '70s. He's known for songs like "Johnny B. Goode" and "My Ding-a-Ling."
"Queen of Hip-Hop Soul" Mary J. Blige has influenced a generation of artists with hits like "Real Love" and "Be Without You." She has also had a successful acting career, including playing Betty Shabazz in the TV movie Betty & Coretta.
Ray Charles was a pioneer of soul music, integrating R&B, gospel, pop and country to creat hits like "Unchain My Heart," "Hit the Road Jack" and "Georgia on My Mind." A blind genius, he is considered one of the greatest artists of all time.
Entrepreneur Sean Combs has produced big-name artists like Mariah Carey, created the Sean John clothing line, and recorded his own platinum albums.
Dorothy Dandridge was an American actress and popular singer. She is the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for best actress.
Ruby Dee is an American actress, playwright, screenwriter, activist, poet and journalist, perhaps best known for starring in the 1961 film A Raisin in the Sun. She's also known for her civic work with husband Ossie Davis.
Born December 11, 1973 in Brooklyn, this acclaimed rapper and actor is known for his socially conscious hip-hop music as well as for his performances in Monster's Ball, The Italian Job and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Singer-songwriter Michael Jackson's award-winning career as the King of Pop transformed the face of pop music and popular culture. He released the best-selling album in history, Thriller, in 1982. He died unexpectedly in 2009.
Coretta Scott King was an American civil rights activist and the wife of 1960s civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Beyoncé Knowles is a multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning recording artist who's acclaimed for her thrilling vocals, videos and live shows.
African-American baseball pitcher Satchel Paige became the oldest rookie in Major League history and the first Negro League player in the Hall of Fame.
Jackie Robinson became the first black player in the major leagues in 1947, signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was named Rookie of the Year in 1947, National League MVP in 1949 and a World Series champ in 1955.
Former star of the hit TV drama St. Elsewhere, actor/director Denzel Washington has earned popular and critical acclaim for his roles in several feature films, including Training Day and American Gangster.
Actor, producer and director Forest Whitaker won an Academy Award for his portrayal of dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland. He's also known for films like Bird, Ghost Dog and The Butler.