Slice of History: A Pizza Museum is Coming to Chicago

Courtesy of U.S. Pizza Museum
Courtesy of U.S. Pizza Museum

In the United States, pizza may as well be its own food group. More than 75,000 pizzerias help move an estimated $45.1 billion in pies annually. According to the Department of Agriculture, 13 percent of Americans eat pizza on a given day, while four percent of kids who grab a slice are eating it for breakfast.

If your interest in pizza extends beyond consumption and you want to achieve a better understanding of its history and influence in modern civilization, then the U.S. Pizza Museum should be on your to-do list the next time you visit Chicago's South Loop. Opening August 10 at the Roosevelt Collection at 1146 South Delano Court West, the museum will present a curated collection of vintage pizza boxes, menus, ads, and other items of historical merit. (Yes, that means several Noid-related artifacts will be on display.)

A look at some of the items in the collection of the U.S. Pizza Museum
Courtesy of U.S. Pizza Museum

Founded by pizza historian Kendall Bruns, the U.S. Pizza Museum grew out of a series of pop-up events and an online presence, and will now join the Roosevelt Collection's assembly of shopping and tourist destinations. According to Bruns, pizza has been long overdue for a critical examination.

"As America's favorite food, pizza provides an easy entry point to learn about history, pop culture, and the people behind the pizza," he said in a press release. "We expect the exhibits to have a nostalgic effect on viewers, and I'm thrilled to work with Roosevelt Collection to bring it to life. Visitors will benefit from free entry to the museum and an ongoing calendar of activities."

The Pizza Museum will be open Fridays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. local time and weekends from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. through October, with plans to continue operation if demand warrants. While the museum doesn't actually make pizza, Aurelio's of South Loop will be providing pies during opening weekend.

Why You Shouldn't Buy Your Cereal at Costco

iStock.com/RapidEye
iStock.com/RapidEye

Scoring deals at Costco is an art. Smart shoppers know which price tag codes to look for and which delivery deals to take advantage of at the bulk discount store. But when it comes to navigating the food section, there are some tips even longtime members may not know about. A big one concerns brand-name breakfast cereal: When shopping for groceries at Costco, you should leave the cereal boxes out of your cart if you want to save money, according to Yahoo! Finance.

It doesn't make sense to buy perishable items in bulk, but even products with a slightly longer expiration date, like cereal, can end up costing you in the long run if you stock up on them at Costco. The cereal at Costco costs about $0.17 per ounce, which is comparable to the cereal prices you'd find at regular grocery stores on most days. But to reap the most savings possible, you need to visit the supermarket on days when certain cereal brands go on sale.

During different times of the week—usually weekends—many grocery stores will pick a popular cereal brand, like Kellogg's or General Mills, to sell at a lower price. At their cheapest, brand-name cereals can be purchased for $0.13 cents per ounce on sale days, or $1.50 for an 11-ounce box.

While you may be better off buying your boxed breakfast staples at the nearest grocery store, there are still plenty of reasons to shop at Costco. To many loyalists, their $1.50 hot dog and soda combo alone is worth a special trip. The store's addictive pizza slices (which are perfectly sauced by a pie-making robot) and dirt-cheap and delicious rotisserie chickens are yet two more reasons. Just be prepared to show your receipt when you're all done (and don't for a second believe it's because the employees think you might have pocketed something). 

[h/t Yahoo! Finance]

A Shrine to Brine: The Mysterious Case of Missouri's Highway Pickle Jar

iStock.com/MorePixels
iStock.com/MorePixels

No one knows how it started. No one knows who was responsible. Some may even have dismissed it as an aberration, a glitch in the scenery that would soon be corrected. But eventually, drivers in and around Des Peres, Missouri who took a highway off-ramp connecting I-270 North to Manchester Road began to notice that a jar of pickles was sitting on a dividing barrier on the ramp. And it wasn’t going anywhere.

Since 2012, the pickle jar has confounded drivers and internet sleuths alike, according to Atlas Obscura. Some have speculated that someone was trying to send a secret message or share a private joke. Perhaps someone pulling off to the side due to car trouble felt the need to place the brine-filled jar on the concrete wall and then forgot about it. Maybe someone thought it would be a kind of three-dimensional graffiti, incongruous amid the bustling traffic. Maybe it’s an indictment of commerce.

Whatever the case, once the pickles appeared, advocates refused to let them go. Jars that end up toppled over or otherwise damaged are replaced. Sometimes they reappear in protective plastic containers or with a holiday-themed bow. Sightings are photographed for posterity and posted on a Facebook fan page devoted to the jar, which currently has over 4200 members and has morphed from a place to theorize about the mysterious jar's origins to a place where people swap pickle-related recipes and stories.

There are dry spells—no one has posted of a pickle sighting in several months—but followers remain optimistic the jar will continue to remain a presence in Des Peres even if the motivation for placing them near the roadway remains as murky as the briny juice inside.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

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