Quite Useless, but nevertheless interesting facts

Do you know who Pete Moore is? Well you will when you listen to this. He composed it. Written in 1968 it is one of the most recognisable jingles in the UK.

It has been estimated that an unspecified number of people have heard it six billion times.

David Lean's Dr Zhivago was a snow movie. Apart from some buildings, covered in plaster of Paris near Pinewood (see above), the location shooting was at Joensuu in Finland.

Legendary commentator Murray Walker coined the slogan "Trill makes budgies bounce with health" (well it did until they took the hemp seeds out of the recipe)

Jean Baptiste Lully was responsible for introducing the conductor's baton as we know it today. Lully, like all musical directors of the day, used to beat time with a staff. That was until JB put the staff through his foot, dying later of gangrene.

MSG Monosodium Glutamate. According to the Mayo Clinic anecdotal reports of people suffering
  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Sweating
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Numbness, tingling or burning in face, neck and other areas
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
have no basis in Scientific fact as a direct causal link to MSG.

Courtesy of http://www.directfood.net/bluediamond/history.asp

Discovery of Glutamate
The first steps in the discovery of MSG took place at Tokyo Imperial University in 1907. Professor Kikunae Ikeda noted "There is a taste which is common to asparagus, tomatoes, cheese and meat, but which is not one of the four well-known tastes of sweet, sour, bitter and salty."

He started experimental work on Kombu Seaweed, another source in which he found the taste was present. He succeeded in extracting crystals of Glutamic Acid, 100 grams of Kombu Seaweed containing around 1 gram of Glutamate. He noted that the Glutamate had a distinctive taste, different from Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Salty, he gave this taste the name "umami".

The Beginnings of MSG
The Professor decided to create a seasoning from his newly extracted Glutamate. To be used as a seasoning, his creation would need to have characteristics similar to those of sugar and salt, i.e. be easily water soluble, but neither absorb humidity, nor solidify.
Monosodium Glutamate was found to have excellent storage properties, and had a rich "umami" taste. It turned out to be an ideal seasoning. Because MSG has no specific texture or taste, it can be used in a vast variety of dishes, naturally enhancing the original flavours of the food. Professor Kikunae Ikeda.
Professor Kikunae Ikeda

Not a fact, but another odd track:


Jim said...

I'm thinking ' Pearl & Dean' with popcorn and kia ora adverts.
Monosodium glutomate doesn't sound as bad as I thought. Seaweed and salt can't be that bad I wouldn't think. Might try it in some Scotch Broth ;)

Richard said...

Pearl and Dean, for sure. I used to love that pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa type of singing that was so avant-garde in 1964. I can't think why. And, as a side-order, the author of the famous slogan 'Go to work on an egg' was, of course, our very own Fay Weldon.

Jim Baxter said...

Ah yes, Eggs is Cheap. Somebody should see if somebody has posted Hancock at the Breakfast Table anywhere and repost it on a blog.

Richard said...

And lo, it was so.

Dave said...

When I worked as a storeman at Kensington Olympia back in the early 70s, one of the chefs would bring in a chit for some "Accent". I never knew what it was until someone told me that it was the original brand name for MSG.
As far as I could see, its main function was to fool one's taste buds into thinking that the food you were eating actually tasted of something. It was present in almost every tinned food, but seems to have fallen out of favour.
I worked in the food industry for many years and almost everything that was squeezed out of a machine (burgers, sausages, breakfast cereal, ice cream, yellow fat, etc) has had all the food value and texture beaten out of it. MSG gives the illusion that the gunk tastes of something/anything. If you don't add in MSG you have to increase the salt and fat content as they're the only ingredients that have any taste.
Fresh is best- if you can afford it.

"Go to work on an egg"
Didn't Salman Rushdie claim that for himself?