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.
Jane Addams co-founded one of the first settlements in the United States, the Hull House in Chicago, Illinois, and was named a co-winner of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize.
Actress Jane Alexander won Emmy Awards for her roles in Playing for Time and Warm Springs. In 1992, she became chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Clara Brown, a freed slave, established a successful laundry business during the Colorado gold rush and helped former slaves get on their feet.
Esther Dyson, named by Forbes magazine as one of the most powerful women in American business, is regarded as one of the most influential voices in technology.
Matilda Joslyn Gage was an author and one of the leading figures in the women's rights and suffrage movement that began in the mid-1800s.
A fixture in the Disney universe of TV shows, movies and music, Selena Gomez is famous for her role in Wizards of Waverly Place, in which she plays a wizard named Alex.
Fannie Lou Hamer was a civil rights activist who helped African Americans register to vote and who co-founded the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.
Teresa Heinz Kerry has had a varied career as a U.N. translator, a noted philanthropist, the widow of U.S. Senator H. John Heinz III and the wife of one-time presidential nominee John Kerry.
Actress Audrey Hepburn, star of Breakfast at Tiffany's, remains one of Hollywood's greatest style icons and one of the world's most successful actresses.
Charlotte Mason was an American socialite and philanthropist who was an important patron of Harlem Renaissance figures, including Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston.
Cindy McCain is an Arizona businesswoman, a philanthropist who works with international nonprofit organizations, and the wife of U.S. Senator John McCain.
Heather Mills is best known as the ex-wife of musician Paul McCartney as well as for her activism and philanthropy.
Dana Reeve was an actress and the wife of actor Christopher Reeve. She established and chaired the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Center.
Cristina Saralegui hosts the talk show The Cristina Show for the Univision Network. It has been on the air since 1989 and has won 11 Emmys.
Controversial radio host Laura Schlessinger, also known as "Dr. Laura," is an expert at giving listeners—and readers—a piece of her mind when it comes to moral living and leading a successful family life.
Maria Shriver married Arnold Schwarzenegger and was the first lady of California from 2003-10. She is part of the Kennedy family and was an NBC journalist for many years.
Faye Wattleton, former president and CEO of Planned Parenthood—as well as the first African-American, first female and youngest president in the organization's history—has been one of the strongest champions of women's rights and reproductive health for more than four decades.
Billionaire Oprah Winfrey is best known for hosting her own internationally popular talk show from 1986 to 2011. She is also an actress, philanthropist, publisher and producer.
Reese Witherspoon was introduced to the world of acting at a young age. She has since won numerous awards and worldwide recognition for her film performances.