Slice of History: A Pizza Museum is Coming to Chicago

Courtesy of U.S. Pizza Museum
Courtesy of U.S. Pizza Museum

In the United States, pizza may as well be its own food group. More than 75,000 pizzerias help move an estimated $45.1 billion in pies annually. According to the Department of Agriculture, 13 percent of Americans eat pizza on a given day, while four percent of kids who grab a slice are eating it for breakfast.

If your interest in pizza extends beyond consumption and you want to achieve a better understanding of its history and influence in modern civilization, then the U.S. Pizza Museum should be on your to-do list the next time you visit Chicago's South Loop. Opening August 10 at the Roosevelt Collection at 1146 South Delano Court West, the museum will present a curated collection of vintage pizza boxes, menus, ads, and other items of historical merit. (Yes, that means several Noid-related artifacts will be on display.)

A look at some of the items in the collection of the U.S. Pizza Museum
Courtesy of U.S. Pizza Museum

Founded by pizza historian Kendall Bruns, the U.S. Pizza Museum grew out of a series of pop-up events and an online presence, and will now join the Roosevelt Collection's assembly of shopping and tourist destinations. According to Bruns, pizza has been long overdue for a critical examination.

"As America's favorite food, pizza provides an easy entry point to learn about history, pop culture, and the people behind the pizza," he said in a press release. "We expect the exhibits to have a nostalgic effect on viewers, and I'm thrilled to work with Roosevelt Collection to bring it to life. Visitors will benefit from free entry to the museum and an ongoing calendar of activities."

The Pizza Museum will be open Fridays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. local time and weekends from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October, with plans to continue operation if demand warrants. While the museum doesn't actually make pizza, Aurelio's of South Loop will be providing pies during opening weekend.

General Mills Is Recalling More Than 600,000 Pounds of Gold Medal Flour Over E. Coli Risk

jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images
jirkaejc/iStock via Getty Images

The FDA recently shared news of a 2019 product recall that could impact home bakers. As CNN reports, General Mills is voluntarily recalling 600,000 pounds of its Gold Medal Unbleached All-Purpose Flour due to a possible E. coli contamination.

The decision to pull the flour from shelves was made after a routine test of the 5-pound bags. According to a company statement, "the potential presence of E. coli O26" was found in the sample, and even though no illnesses have been connected to Gold Medal flour, General Mills is recalling it to be safe.

Escherichia coli O26 is a dangerous strain of the E. coli bacterium that's often spread through commercially processed foods. Symptoms include abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Most patients recover within a week, but in people with vulnerable immune systems like young children and seniors, the complications can be deadly.

To avoid the potentially contaminated batch, look for Gold Medal flour bags with a "better if used by" date of September 6, 2020 and the package UPC 016000 196100. All other products sold under the Gold Medal label are safe to consume.

Whether or not the flour in your pantry is affected, the recall is a good reminder that consuming raw flour can be just as harmful as eating raw eggs. So when you're baking cookies, resist having a taste until after they come out of the oven—or indulge in one of the many edible cookie dough products on the market instead.

[h/t CNN]

The World's Spiciest Chip Is Sold Only One to a Customer

Paqui
Paqui

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to get pepper-sprayed directly in your mouth, Paqui Chips has something you can’t afford to miss. Following the success of their Carolina Reaper Madness One Chip Challenges back in 2016 and 2017, Food & Wine reports that the company has re-released the sadistic snack. Continuing their part-marketing gimmick, part-public safety effort, the Reaper chip won’t be sold in bags. You just get one chip.

That’s because Paqui dusts its chips with the Carolina Reaper Pepper, considered the world’s hottest, and most (attempted) consumers of the chip report being unable to finish even one. To drive home the point of how hot this chip is—it’s really, extremely, punishingly hot—the chip is sold in a tiny coffin-shaped box

Peppers like the Carolina Reaper are loaded with capsaicin, a compound that triggers messages of heat and pain and fiery consumption; your body can respond by vomiting or having shortness of breath. While eating the chip is not the same as consuming the bare, whole pepper, it’s still going to be a very uncomfortable experience. For a profanity-filled example, you can check out this video:

The chip will be sold only on Paqui’s website for $6.99 per chip or $59.90 for a 10-pack. The company also encourages pepper aficionados to upload photos or video of their attempts to finish the chip. If it becomes too much, try eating yogurt, honey, or milk to dampen the effects.

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