The Fork…

Roman patricians and plebeians ate with their fingers, as did all European peoples until the dawning of a conscious fastidiousness at the beginning of the Renaissance. Still, there was a right and a wrong, a refined and an uncouth, way to go about it. From Roman times onward, a commoner …

Easter eggs….

Only within the last century were chocolate eggs exchanged as Easter gifts. But the springtime exchanging of real eggs—white, coloured, and gold-leafed—is an ancient custom, predating Easter by many centuries. From earliest times, and in most cultures, the egg signified birth and resurrection. The Egyptians buried eggs in their tombs. …

March 26th…….

English novelist Arnold Bennett died trying to impress his girlfriend. When a Parisian waiter advised him against drinking the café’s toxic tap water, Bennett took a sip to show his lady companion that he wasn’t afraid of a little bacteria. “Ah, ce n’est pas sage, Monsieur, ce n’est pas sage!” …

March 25th…..

After serving as President of Poland for five years,the splendidly mustachioed Lech Wałęsa resumed his old job as an electrician at the Gdansk shipyard, on the Baltic coast, repairing forklifts and electric vehicles for the equivalent of $1.40 an hour. When he returned to the shipyard gates on April 2, …

March 24th…..

According to Italian tradition, the city of Venice was founded at the stroke of noon on Friday, March 24th, 421, when a group of Paduan refugees gathered in the marshlands off the northern coast of Italy and laid the cornerstone of San Giacomo Church. Venice’s creation myth was part of …

Dionysus and ale……

Greek tradition has it that the god of wine, Dionysus, fled from Mesopotamia in disgust because its people were so addicted to beer – or, more correctly, ale, since the preservative herbs used in true beer were not introduced until the end of the Middle Ages. Certainly, a staggering amount of the …