By Georgia Mierswa
This Valentine’s Day-themed tech post was supposed to be just that—a way to show that all that sexy metadata powering the Oxford Index’s sleek exterior has a sweet, romantic side, just like the rest of the population at this time of year. I’d bounce readers from a description of romantic comedies to Romeo and Juliet to the three-act opera Elegy for Young Lovers, and then change the Index’s featured homepage title to something on the art of love to complete the heart shaped, red-ribboned picture.
I didn’t do any of these things. I got distracted. As it turns out, searching the word “chocolate” (“It is not addictive like nicotine but some people, ‘chocoholics’, experience periodic cravings”) reveals a whole smorgasbord of suggested links to delectable food summaries and from my first glimpse at the makings of a meringue, I was gone—making mental notes for recipes, stomach rumbling, eyes-glazing over. Mmm glaze.
In the end, my “research” was actually quite fitting to the season. Because, really, when it comes to Valentine’s Day in the 21st century, only a handful of things are reliable and certain—and almost all of them are made with sugar.
Best Mouthwatering Dessert Descriptions
Best Quote About Doughnuts…or Anything
“When Krispy Kremes are hot, they are to other doughnuts what angels are to people.”
– Humor writer Roy Blount Jr, New York Times Magazine
Best Etymology Entry
→ Snack was originally a verb, meaning ‘bite, snap’. It appears to have been borrowed, in the fourteenth century, from Middle Dutch snacken, which was probably onomatopoeic in origin, based on the sound of the snapping together of teeth… The modern verb snack, ‘eat a snack,’ mainly an American usage, is an early nineteenth-century creation.
Top 5 Favorite Random Food Facts
- Attempts to can beer before 1930 were unsuccessful because a beer can has to withstand pressures of over eighty pounds per square inch.
- Brownies are essentially the penicillin of the baking world.
- Boston is the brains behind Marshmallow Fluff.
- There is such a thing as the “Queen of Puddings” …and it sounds amazing:
- Cupcakes are known by some as “fairy cakes”.
Best Relevancy Jump
The overview page for “cake”….
→ Plain cakes are made by rubbing the fat and sugar into the flour, with no egg; sponge cakes by whipping with or without fat; rich cakes contain dried fruit.
….leads to a surprising related link: “Greek sacrifice”
→ Vegetable products, esp. savoury cakes, were occasionally ‘sacrificed’ (the same vocabulary is used as for animal sacrifice) in lieu of animals or, much more commonly, in addition to them. But animal sacrifice was the standard type.
The Entry I Wish I Hadn’t Found:
→ Flaky crescent-shaped rolls traditionally served hot for breakfast, made from a yeast dough with a high butter content. A 50‐g croissant contains 10 g of fat of which 30% is saturated.
Best Food-Related Band Names
Best Overall Summary of What Food Is
→ Food is a form of communication that expresses the most deeply felt human experiences: love, fear, joy, anger, serenity, turmoil, passion, rage, pleasure, sorrow, happiness, and sadness.
Georgia Mierswa is a marketing assistant at Oxford University Press and reports to the Global Marketing Director for online products. She began working at OUP in September 2011.
The Oxford Index is a free search and discovery tool from Oxford University Press. It is designed to help you begin your research journey by providing a single, convenient search portal for trusted scholarship from Oxford and our partners, and then point you to the most relevant related materials — from journal articles to scholarly monographs. One search brings together top quality content and unlocks connections in a way not previously possible. Take a virtual tour of the Index to learn more.