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.
In the early days of the music industry, only a combination of hard work and luck could get musicians a recording contract—and even then, success was limited by the scope of a radio or record distribution deal. But thanks to the reality TV phenomenon, even an appearance on the American Idol competition can make you an instant superstar. Here are some of the show's most famous competitors and judges.
Examine the judges of the popular singing competition show The X Factor, which has drawn comparisons to American Idol. Judges have included Britney Spears, Simon Cowell, Paulina Rubio, L.A. Reid, Nicole Scherzinger, Paula Abdul, Cheryl Cole and more. Pick your favorite celebrity judge of The X Factor on Biography.com.
After the Britpop music scene of the early 90's, a new genre of celebrities stepped into the London spotlight from athletic superstars such as David Beckham to pop culture phenomenons like Simon Cowell and Susan Boyle. Alternative rock acts like Elastica and Oasis were replaced with soulful songstresses like Amy Whinehouse and Adele, and actors like Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley and Robert Pattinson became international superstars. The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton also became a royal, social and fashion icon, as well as a defining figure of the decade. Biography celebrates these cultural icons of the new post-Britpop era.