Thursday, April 09, 2009

Old School Thursday: Chickens and Other Proteins Edition

Happy Passover, happy Easter and happy National Chinese Almond Cookie Day. No, I don’t know what that means, either.

Today in food history: the deaths of the curious. Starting most recently, today in 1850, British chemist William Prout died. He was the first to classify foods into carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Dr. Atkins and the entire town of South Beach salute you, Dr. Prout.

Fortunately for Dr. Prout, his work didn’t actually kill him. Not so for our older member of the curious club. Today in 1626 Sir Francis Bacon died. Besides having a fabulously food-oriented name, Bacon was famous for all sorts of things, from philosophy and writing to diplomacy and even possibly writing some of Shakespeare’s plays (if you’re into that sort of conspiracy theory). It’s his cause of death, though, that gets him a mention here. Apparently he was doing an experiment with a chicken stuffed with snow, trying to see how long the animal would be preserved by the extreme cold (smart, really). Not so smart, though, that he didn’t catch a cold himself – one that he died from a month later.

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