All posts tagged: lecture

Slurping Sounds Welcome Here

My very neat and orderly tasting/note-taking setup. Don’t mind my spit cup. Yesterday and today I had a crash course in tasting olive oils led by a jolly old man from Tuscany with a perfect mustache. His strategy was a little bit like one’s journey of alcohol consumption in college–drink the cheap stuff first (Andre! Franzia!) so that you can appreciate the good stuff later. You may be anxiously wondering about the strange and potentially disturbing title of this post. Well, when you taste olive oil, you take the tiniest sip but then encourage a very violent entrance of air into your mouth via a slurping noise to help disperse the oil droplets over all of your taste buds. Everyone was a bit self conscious to do this until the professor slurped away BIG TIME and then, poof, social anxiety gone. The first thing we tasted, that tricky dog, wasn’t even olive oil! It was peanut oil! This is where the spit cup comes in handy. I then learned that the cheap-o olive oil that I grabbed at the grocery store one day is …

The Universe in a Glass of Wine

Above: the remnants of fraternizing with FC17 (secret code for the Master’s program that began in September). Say the word “Physics” and it brings back some very scary moments of my first year of high school thinking I would legitimately fail a test on waves or motion or similarly vague concepts that I never quite understood. But of course, here I am in graduate school in Italy, and in a lecture today on the “Interdisciplinarity of Gastronomy,” the professor brings up theoretical physics. WTF. Somewhere in the midst of a three hour ramble (with a 15 minute espresso break) that touched on various yet somehow related topics such as food waste, divestment and European laws regarding chocolate labeling, I perked up when I heard something about a guy named Richard Feynman, a Caltech professor who casually won a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 but also looks like he could have been a movie star. Am I right? The text below, excerpted from one of his Introductory Physics lectures, might be the most beautiful and accessible description of the sciences I have ever read. A poet …