A staple part of many BBQs and picnics, the corn on the cob has been celebrated with a national day for over 150 years.
Corn or maize was grown by Native American tribes as a key crop and even today 40% of the world's corn harvest is grown in America. As well as many health benefits including high levels of nutrients, the by-products of corn are used in many more ways than you might think, especially in America. High fructose syrup can be found in a lot of sweets, or candy, and in most carbonated drinks. Corn can also be used to produce products such as oil, flour and cereal just to name a few.
Most corn has 800 kernels arranged in 16 rows and can come in a variety of colours from the yellow we all know to purple, red and even black.
Whether you choose to grill, boil or roast, slather in butter or cover in spices, you can enjoy the corn on the cob in so many ways but we're celebrating by drinking the Corn-on-the-Cob garnished with its own baby corn.
According to calculations by Eratosthenes, a Greek scholar from the third century BC, on this day in 1184 BC Troy was sacked and burned by revenging Greeks.
They had sailed to Troy to bring back Helen, stolen by Paris of Troy from Menelaus, the king of Sparta, ten years previously. The Greeks, still unable to infiltrate the city, had built a huge, hollow wooden horse, left it outside the city gates, and pretended to sail away. The unwitting Trojans dragged the Trojan Horse into the city, and after darkness, Greek soldiers, hidden inside, crept out and opened the gates. Thus the Trojans had brought about their own destruction.
It may all be fiction, of course, but in thanks for a great story, today we're drinking a Horse's Neck with a Kick.
If you've ever seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, you'll know the work of Richard Strauss. The "der, der, der" which introduces the monolith is almost as ingrained into popular culture as Beethoven's "da da da dum" Fifth Symphony - You'll hear it in Wall-E, where the jello-like humans begin to walk, in Zoolander, where he tries to figure out how to use a computer, in The Simpsons Movie, when Itchy and Scratchy go to the moon, and more. During the 70s, Elvis used it to accompany his entrance onto stage, while a funk version made the charts.
Yep, the man who brought us the intimidatingly-titled-unless-you're-German Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Said Zarathustra), was born this day in 1864, in Munich, Germany. And some argue he's the greatest musical figure of the 20th century - his operas, most notably Der Rosenkavalier and Salome - are still performed the world over.
We're toasting Strauss, and all his works, but particularly Zara...whatever, with an aptly named Zaza, an eminently drinkable, old school blend of gin and Dubonnet.
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