Thursday, March 6, 2008

Food! Glorious Food!

Last week we visited with two friends we met on LibraryThing. One of them we've met before, but the other was from England, so it was very exciting meeting face to face for the first time. We had a great time showing off the NY Botanical Garden, where the orchid show is now being exhibited. Sierra put on her tour guide hat and led us all around the conservatory, where we had a welcome respite from the shivery cold outside and enjoyed the brilliant display of color. I will post pictures, but I'm saving that for the weekend when I have more time to sort through our photos.

Our English friend came bearing gifts of typical London treats. There were crumpets and Cadbury chocolates. She gave us postcards of her hometown and a magnet. She also brought Marmite, which is a yeast spread that the English claim is better than Vegemite (Australians beg to differ). We were told that people either love Marmite or they hate it. Sad to say, we did not love it. The taste was...interesting. My father liked it. At least, he said he did. I'm not sure if it's meant to be eaten straight up like honey the way he had it. Our friend also brought Kit Kats.

Wait. What?

Yes, someone had mentioned that Kit Kats taste better from England because they have a higher chocolate content. So of course, we had to get scientific about it and conduct a blind taste test.

Here we have our Kit Kat bars. Note the differences in packaging. Most notable is that they are designed to be turned over differently. The American Kit Kat has to be flipped up to view the back information right side up, while the UK Kit Kat must be flipped from side to side to view the back properly. In the picture, we flipped it side to side, so the back of the US bar is upside down.

Another interesting difference were the descriptions. We have "crisp wafers in milk chocolate" while the English have "crispy wafer fingers covered in milk chocolate." Have I mentioned my love for linguistics?

Marina conducted the study. She put pieces of the UK Kit Kat on plate A and the US bar on plate B. After each subject (the rest of the family) tasted a piece from each plate, she asked us which we thought was more chocolately, which had a better wafer, and which tasted better overall. Here are our results:
  • 3 out of 4 of us thought the UK bar was more chocolatey. We also all noticed a darker chocolate color for the UK bar.
  • We were evenly divided about the better wafer.
  • We were also evenly divided about which tasted better.
So there you have it. Our scientific study.

In other news, we were studying ancient Europe recently, and since our visitor was not able to bring a stone from Stonehenge, we decided to build our own. Out of suger wafers. I got the idea from a picture I found when we googled Stonehenge. As my three kids built theirs, I read historical information I found at the English Heritage website. We also found an interactive page that gives a 360 degree view from the center of Stonehenge.

I've decided we should make all of our models out of food. That way we can eat them after we take pictures. Even if we don't eat them, I can throw them out without any guilt.


Anonymous said...

Hi, jp!

Kit Kats are fabulous. I'm glad you posted your study on them. :)

Loved the squirrel videos!


appleleaf said...

Delicious looking Stonehenge and interesting experiment. Our Aussie Kit Kat wrapper looks most like the British one but I think theirs might be tastier than ours. I've heard that Aussie Cadbury factories need to use more preservatives because of our warmer climate.
Thanks for your comment on my blog. So you've battled depression too. You are proof that we can be both creative and upbeat and I always appreciate your enthusiasm.
On another tangent, my dh ordered a sax mouthpiece from New York and the parcel came stuffed with "The New York Times" as packaging, so I was reading the paper, having a great time. I found out how much condos in Manhattan and Queens cost, but I've never been sure what a condo is. We don't have them over here. Are they like small houses, or more like flats or apartments? Excuse my ignorance.

TobyBo said...

Hooray for CookieHenge!

muddy mama said...

Sugar wafer Stonehenge? What a great idea! When I tell my kids where I got the idea, they will love you even more than they do now. (They love your comics!)

B&B said...

Love the yummy lessons!

Spinneretta said...

Love the waferhenge :) I might have to try that next time ;)

As for the chocolates... I think all chocolates from England taste better. And they are BIGGER... did you hear about the US Cadbury creme eggs being smaller than their UK counterpart. Mine didn't last long enough for me to make a comparison though... wonder if Mum could send me some more ;)

School for Us said...

I love your Stonehenge, too! I might have to start making edible models. :-)

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