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Who Invented the Turducken?

Whether you interpret this question as "Who's to thank for the turducken?" or "Who's to blame for the turducken?" the answer is equally muddled.

Nearly every attempt to trace the history of the turducken—chicken stuffed inside of a duck, which is then stuffed into a turkey—cites early examples of similar poultry nesting dolls from the 18th or 19th century. The 1774 book The Art of Cookery contains a recipe for "Yorkshire Christmas Pie" that involves stuffing pigeon, partridge, fowl, goose, and finally turkey all into one another. Several sources claim that, in 1807, Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de La Reynière, a famous Napoleonic-era gastronomist, served a rôti sans pareil, or "roast without equal," that applied the same principle to what may have been as many as 17 different birds. An American reference pops up in the 1832 diaries of John B. Grimball for a "Charleston preserve of fowl" that included dove, quail, guinea hen, duck, capon, goose, and either a turkey or peacock.

With precedents like that, the three-bird turducken doesn't seem quite so extreme. But still, credit is contested. The honor is often awarded to Paul Prudhomme, a celebrity chef who claimed to have invented the Thanksgiving indulgence at a lodge in Wyoming (although he wouldn't say when). Prudhomme himself, however, was from Louisiana, and was credited during his lifetime with popularizing Cajun and Creole cuisines—a notable fact that lends some credence to a less widely-circulated theory that turducken actually stems from a specific nine-bird dish created by the owner of Corinne Dunbar's, a Creole restaurant in New Orleans.

Prudhomme's recipe for turducken appears in his 1987 cookbook, and it was around then that he started serving the decadent dish at his New Orleans restaurant, K-Paul. Elsewhere in Louisiana, at a butcher shop in Maurice, brothers Junior and Sammy Hebert claim that while Prudhomme's celebrity status helped raise the dish's profile, they actually beat him to the invention—at least of the name. Junior has said that, in 1984, a farmer came into his shop with a chicken, a duck, and a turkey asking to have them stuffed. Junior improvised, putting the three together before filling the cavity with cornbread stuffing and calling the whole thing a "turducken." Unfortunately for the Hebert brothers, Prudhomme would go on to trademark the name in 1986.

Although we'll never know for sure who first engineered or named the turducken, it's largely uncontested that football announcer John Madden gets credit for making it a phenomenon.

''The first one I ever had I was doing a game in New Orleans,'' Madden told The New York Times in 2002. ''The P.R. guy for the Saints brought me one. And he brought it to the booth. It smelled and looked so good. I didn't have any plates or silverware or anything, and I just started eating it with my hands.'' That game wasn't on Thanksgiving, but Madden liked the dish so much he brought it back for his holiday broadcast and it quickly became a Thanksgiving tradition.

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Food
The First-Ever Troop of Homeless Girl Scouts Just Crushed Their Cookie Sales Goal
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Selling 32,500 boxes of cookies in a single week would be noteworthy for any team of Girl Scouts, but it's an especially sweet achievement for Troop 6000: The New York City-based chapter is the first-ever Girl Scout troop composed entirely of children living in homeless shelters.

According to NBC News, this season marked the first time the troop took part in the organization's annual cookie sale tradition. In early April, they received exclusive permission to set up shop inside the Kellogg's Café in Union Square. They kicked off their inaugural stand sale aiming to sell at least 6000 boxes of cookies: At the end of six days, they had sold more than 32,500.

Some customers waited in line an hour to purchase boxes from the history-making young women. Others gave their money directly to the troop, collectively donating over $15,000 to fund trips and activities. After purchasing their cookies, customers could also buy special Girl Scout cookie-inspired menu items from the Kellogg's store, with all proceeds going to Troop 6000.

The troop formed in 2016 as a collaboration between the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, Mayor de Blasio, and the city Department of Homeless Services. Meetings are held in shelters across the city, and many of the troop leaders, often mothers of the scouts, are homeless women themselves. About 40 percent of New York's homeless population are children, and Troop 6000 had to expand last summer to accommodate a flood of new recruits. Today, there are about 300 girls enrolled in the program.

[h/t NBC News]

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Pop Culture
Solve a Murder Mystery (and Eat Cheesecake) with The Golden Girls
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NBC

Something is rotten in the city of Miami. A murder has been committed—and nobody knows who’s behind the dastardly crime. The police are likely no match for the killer, so it’s up to the Golden Girls characters to combine their wits (over cheesecake, of course) to crack the case. But they can’t do it without your help.

That’s right: Peddler’s Village, a quaint shopping village in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, is now offering a Golden Girls Murder Mystery dinner and show every Friday and Saturday night through August 25, 2018. The whodunit takes place at Peddler's Pub at the Cock 'n Bull Restaurant, at 7 p.m.

While the major plot details have been kept under wraps (it is a murder mystery, after all), we do know that Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia have "invited a couple of well known detectives to join the party and discuss their famous capers." And given that the show is titled "The Golden Girls: The Curse of Jessica Fletcher," we can only guess (and hope) that an amateur sleuth from Cabot Cove, Maine will be making an appearance.

It's not the first time Peddler's Pub has hosted the gals from Miami; the current show is a sequel of sorts to the original Golden Girls Murder Mystery that Peddler's Pub put on back in 2016. Fun fact: Mental Floss Editor-in-Chief Erin McCarthy beat out a room full of other Betty White sangria-drinking armchair detectives to correctly solve the mystery during its original run. (She has the mug to prove it.)

Tickets are $69.95 per person, and you can make a reservation (which is required) by calling 215-794-4051. As for what you'll be dining on: You can scope out the menu online (and yes, the Girls’ favorite dessert is involved).

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