The Man with a Window in His Stomach

William Beaumont didn’t know what to expect when he was called to a fur shop to examine a gunshot victim, but he also knew there was no other alternative. As the only physician present at Fort Mackinac in the Michigan territory in 1822, Beaumont represented the victim's lone chance of survival.

When Beaumont entered the shop and saw a portion of the man’s lungs sticking out from his chest, those chances didn’t look good.

The protruding organ part was “as large as a turkey’s egg,” Beaumont later wrote, and was accompanied by an external portion of the patient’s stomach “with a puncture … large enough to receive my fore-finger.”

Beaumont prodded the man, Alexis St. Martin, considered that any effort to save him would be “useless,” and pondered what to do next. Despite the grim odds, he treated the gunshot wounds, and the doctor wound up with more than just a grateful patient. He had inadvertently struck up a friendship with the man who would offer medicine unprecedented—and literal—insight into the body’s digestive tract. Beaumont could see right into St. Martin’s stomach, watching as it digested the food he lowered into it with a string.

Experiments and Observations via

Beaumont had originally been urged to join his family’s farming business in Connecticut. In 1806, at the age of 22, he headed out of state, eventually settling in Vermont to apprentice under a physician. Armed with his medical license, Beaumont enlisted, treating wounded soldiers during the War of 1812. After spending several years in private practice, he reenlisted in 1819 and was dispatched to Fort Mackinac, where he encountered St. Martin for the first time.

His patient-to-be was a 19-year-old French-Canadian (although he might have been older) who made his living transporting fur from Indian traders to storefronts. While at the American Fur Company, St. Martin had been the accidental recipient of a musket shot full of duck load from less than 3 feet away. As Beaumont tended to him, he noticed the force of the projectile had injected bits of clothing into his stomach and lungs. The former leaked portions of St. Martin’s breakfast.

“After cleansing the wound from the charge and … replacing the stomach and lungs as far as practicable,” Beaumont wrote, “I applied the carbonated fermenting poultice and kept the surrounding parts constantly wet.”

The prognosis is poor for most anyone who endures that kind of wound at close range. With the limited scope of medicine in 1822, St. Martin’s chances were slim: he spiked a raging fever. But just a few days later, the young man seemed to be on the rebound—save for the fistula under his right nipple that wouldn’t close. Beaumont kept the wound covered and administered nutrition and hydration through St. Martin’s rectum until the dressing was able to retain his stomach’s contents, an event marked by the arrival of “very hard, black, fetid stool.”

Just over a year and a half later, St. Martin was as healed as he would ever be. His stomach hole, measuring 2.5 inches in circumference, had developed a fine skin of lining that kept contents in but could ooze gastric juices and bits of food if depressed like a valve. Though Beaumont had suggested they try to suture the edges closed, St. Martin refused. Lethargic and depressed, his days as a fur courier appeared over.

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Beaumont sensed opportunity. With St. Martin out of work, he invited the young man to come live with him and perform odd jobs on Beaumont’s property. For the doctor, it meant having a live-in guinea pig for scientific curiosity regarding the stomach, which was still decades away from being visualized by scopes.

St. Martin, whose options were limited, agreed. Beaumont began his studies in 1825, tying bits of beef, bread, and cabbage to a string and lowering it into the fistula. He would then instruct St. Martin to spend a few hours tending to household chores. When he returned, Beaumont would retrieve the food and log the rate of digestion. At one hour, the bread and cabbage was half-digested, the meat untouched. At hour two, the boiled beef was gone, but some salted samples remained.

Other times, Beaumont siphoned out gastric juices to see if they had the same effect outside of the stomach and in a test tube as they did inside: Although most often the test tubes were kept warm in a sand bath, he also occasionally stuffed the tubes into St. Martin's armpit to keep them warm. While it took far longer, the liquid still broke down food, which revised the commonly-held belief that digestion was mostly a mechanical process. Beaumont would also request St. Martin fast, or allow a thermometer to be introduced into the fistula to gauge his stomach temperature—usually a flat 100 degrees.

After several years working for Beaumont, St. Martin left without his consent and returned to Canada. The two didn’t meet again until 1829, when Beaumont hired the American Fur Company to find St. Martin and convince him to return. This time, Beaumont conducted his experiments at Fort Crawford, Wisconsin. Again, the doctor lowered bits of food into the fistula, eyeing it for a response to various foods. When St. Martin grew annoyed at the experiments, Beaumont jotted down that anger had an effect on digestion.

This new arrangement lasted for two years, at which time St. Martin and his family moved back to Canada. In 1832, Beaumont was able to reunite with his singular patient briefly, and took the opportunity to examine how St. Martin’s stomach responded to food and how food responded to stomach acid before the two split for the third and final time.

Experiments and Observations via

St. Martin intended to allow Beaumont to continue his studies, but the death of one of St. Martin's children halted any further travel. With enough clinical material collected, Beaumont published a book in 1833 titled Experiments and Observations on the Gastric Juice and the Physiology of Digestion. For the first time, medicine had an understanding of the role of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, how it differed from mucus, and discovered how the stomach’s motility aided food processing. His contributions were so significant that he was later lauded as the “father of G.I. physiology."

Though St. Martin arguably made the biggest contribution in the partnership, he was not as well-regarded. Prone to excessive drinking, he complained frequently of the discomfort created by the fistula, took demeaning public appearances for money, and was coolly referred to as “old fistulous Alex” by Beaumont.

In 1853, the doctor died after taking a bad fall on ice. Despite his chronic ailment, St. Martin outlived him by 27 years, succumbing to old age in 1880. He had endured roughly 238 of Beaumont's experiments. One of their last meals together was on October 26, 1833, when St. Martin enjoyed fricasseed breast of chicken, liver, gizzard, boiled salmon, boiled potato, and wheat bread. All of it was pre-chewed and stuffed into tea bags. St. Martin's stomach did the rest.

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Eggo Came Up With 9 Perfect Recipes for Your Stranger Things Viewing Party
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As the return of Stranger Things draws near, you can expect to see fans break out their blonde wigs, hang up their Christmas lights, and play the Netflix show’s theme song on repeat. But Eggo knows the best way to celebrate the season two premiere on October 27 is with a menu featuring Eleven’s favorite snack. As Mashable reports, the brand has joined forces with Netflix to release a menu of gourmet waffle recipes to serve at your Stranger Things viewing party.

The lineup includes nine creative takes on Eggo waffles, each one named after an episode from the new season. The menu kicks off with “MADMAX,” a spin on chicken and waffles served with maple syrup and Sriracha. As the season progresses, pairings alternate between sweet (like “Will the Wise,” featuring ice cream and hot fudge) and savory (like “Trick or Treat, Freak,” a waffle version of a BLT). Check out the full menu below with directions from the experts at Eggo.


Eggo recipe.

1 Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle Waffle
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha
1 deli hot chicken tender

1. Toast Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle Waffle according to package directions.

2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine syrup and Sriracha. Microwave on high for 15 to 20 seconds or until just warm.

3. Place warm chicken tender on top of waffle. Drizzle with syrup mixture. Serve with knife and fork.


Bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiched between two waffles

4 Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle waffles
2 lettuce leaves
4 thin tomato slices
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
8 slices turkey bacon, crisp-cooked and drained
3 tablespoons blue cheese salad dressing

1. Toast Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle Waffles according to package directions.

2. Top two of the waffles with lettuce and tomato slices. Sprinkle with pepper. Top with bacon. Drizzle with salad dressing. Add remaining waffles. Cut each into halves. Serve immediately.


Eggo recipe.

1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, divided
3/4 cup strawberry ice cream
3 Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle waffles or Kellogg’s Eggo Chocolatey Chip waffles
1 Banana, sliced
3 Strawberries, sliced
2 cups frozen reduced-fat, non-dairy whipped dessert topping, thawed
Assorted small candies (optional)
Gold-colored decorator’s sugar or edible glitter (optional)

1. Place vanilla and strawberry ice cream in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes until slightly softened.

2. Meanwhile, on large piece of parchment paper or wax paper, trace 4 1/2-inch circles. Place paper on baking sheet. Working quickly, spoon 3/4 cup of the vanilla ice cream onto one circle. Flatten into a 1/2-inch-thick, 4 1/2-inch-diameter disk. Repeat with remaining vanilla ice cream and strawberry ice cream, making disks. Lightly cover with wax paper and freeze at least two hours or until firm.

3. Toast Kellogg's Eggo Homestyle Waffles according to package directions. Cool. Leave one waffle whole. Cut remaining waffles into quarters.

4. Remove paper from ice cream disks. Top with one of the vanilla ice cream disks and four waffle quarters, leaving a small space between pieces. Top with vanilla ice cream disk and more waffle pieces (always arrange waffle quarters so they align with waffle quarters on lower layers). Add the remaining vanilla ice cream disk and more waffle pieces. Top with strawberry ice cream disk and the remaining four waffle quarters. Wrap in plastic wrap. Gently press down on the stack. Freeze at least 3 hours or until firm.

5. Remove waffle stack from freezer. Remove plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Mound with whipped topping. Decorate with candies and gold sugar (if desired).

6. To serve, cut into four pieces, cutting between waffle quarters.

TIP: To easily form ice cream disks, place a 4 1/2-inch round cookie cutter on parchment or wax paper on baking sheet. Place ice cream inside of cookie cutter and smooth into solid disk. Remove cookie cutter and repeat for remaining ice cream disks. Freeze as directed above.


Eggo waffle.

1 Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle Waffle
1 tablespoon hot fudge ice cream topping
1/3 cup vanilla ice cream
1 tablespoon caramel ice cream topping
2 tablespoons aerosol whipped cream
1 tablespoon dry roasted peanuts

1. Toast Kellogg's Eggo Homestyle Waffle according to package directions. Heat fudge ice cream topping according to package directions.

2. Scoop ice cream onto center of waffle.

3. Drizzle with fudge and caramel toppings. Add whipped cream. Sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with knife and fork.


Eggo waffle.

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
6 Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle waffles
3 tablespoons orange-colored decorator’s sugar
6 oblong chewy fruit-flavored green candies or 2 small green gumdrops, cut into 6 pieces

1. In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese, pumpkin, powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or until firm enough to shape.

2. Meanwhile, toast Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle Waffles according to package directions.

3. Place orange-colored sugar in a small bowl. Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, shape about 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture into pumpkin shape. Roll in orange sugar. Place on one waffle. Repeat with remaining cream cheese mixture, sugar and waffles.

4. Press green candy into each cream cheese ball for pumpkin stem. Serve with spreaders or knives to spread cream cheese mixture over waffles.


Eggo waffles.

3 frozen fully-cooked sausage links
2 tablespoons green bell pepper
2 tablespoons water
1 Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle Waffle
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha

1. In a small nonstick skillet, cook sausage links, bell pepper, and water, covered, over medium heat for five minutes. Remove pepper from skillet. Set aside. Continue cooking sausage, uncovered, about two minutes more or until browned, turning frequently.

2. Meanwhile, toast Kellogg's Eggo Homestyle Waffle according to package directions.

3. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine syrup and Sriracha. Microwave on high for 15 to 20 seconds or until just warm.

4. Arrange sausage pieces and pepper pieces on waffle. Drizzle with syrup mixture. Serve with knife and fork.


Eggo waffle.

6 cups canned pineapple slices, drained
1 tablespoon flaked coconut, toasted
1 Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle Waffle
2 tablespoons aerosol whipped cream
1 tablespoon macadamia nuts, chopped

1. Cut pineapple slices into four pieces.

2. Toast Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle Waffle according to package directions. Place on serving plate. Top with coconut, pineapple slices, whipped cream, and macadamia nuts. Serve with knife and fork.


Eggo waffle.

6 eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle waffles
1 tablespoon butter
3 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
6 thin slices Monterey Jack cheese or cheddar cheese (3 oz. total)
Ketchup or salsa (optional)

1. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper with a fork until well combined. Set aside.

2. Place frozen waffles in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, at 450°F for five minutes.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet. Pour in egg mixture. Cook, over medium heat, until mixture begins to set on bottom and around edges. With spatula, lift and fold partially cooked eggs, allowing uncooked portions to flow underneath. Continue cooking and folding for two to three minutes or until egg mixture is cooked through.

4. Top waffles with egg mixture, crumbled bacon, and cheese slices. Bake, uncovered, at 450°F about one minute more or until cheese melts. Serve with ketchup or salsa (if desired).


Eggo waffle.

6 Kellogg’s Eggo Homestyle waffles
6 slices mozzarella cheese or provolone cheese (6 oz. total)
24 slices pepperoni (about 2 oz. total)
1/3 cup pizza sauce

1. Place Kellogg's Eggo Homestyle waffles in single layer on baking sheet. Bake at 450°F for three minutes. Turn waffles over. Bake at 450°F for two minutes more.

2. Cut waffles into quarters. Return to baking sheet.

3. Cut cheese slices into pieces to fit on waffle quarters.

4. Top waffle quarters with cheese pieces, pepperoni slices and pizza sauce. Bake, uncovered, at 450°F for three to four minutes or until cheese melts. Serve warm.

Making the full nine-course menu might take a lot of work, but then again, it’s probably healthy to plan some cooking projects to break up your binge-watching session. Once you're done burning through all those waffles (and episodes), Eggo has a few suggestions for what to do with the empty box. Accessories like an Eggo flashlight or a bloody tissue box sound like the perfect way to make your Stranger Things costume stand out at this year’s Halloween party.

Instructions for crafting with leftover Eggo box.

Instructions for crafting with leftover Eggo box.

[h/t Mashable]

All images courtesy of Eggo.

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David Kessler, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
The Little-Known History of Fruit Roll-Ups
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David Kessler, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

The thin sheets of “fruit treats” known as Fruit Roll-Ups have been a staple of supermarkets since 1983, when General Mills introduced the snack to satisfy the sweet tooth of kids everywhere. But as Thrillist writer Gabriella Gershenson recently discovered, the Fruit Roll-Up has an origin that goes much further back—all the way to the turn of the 20th century.

The small community of Syrian immigrants in New York City in the early 1900s didn’t have the packaging or marketing power of General Mills, but they had the novel idea of offering an apricot-sourced “fruit leather” they called amardeen. A grocery proprietor named George Shalhoub would import an apricot paste from Syria that came in massive sheets. At the request of customers, employees would snip off a slice and offer the floppy treat that was named after cowhide because it was so hard to chew.

Although Shalhoub’s business relocated to Brooklyn in the 1940s, the embryonic fruit sheet continued to thrive. George’s grandson, Louis, decided to sell crushed, dried apricots in individually packaged servings. The business later became known as Joray, which sold the first commercial fruit roll-up in 1960. When a trade publication detailed the family’s process in the early 1970s, it opened the floodgates for other companies to begin making the distinctive treat. Sunkist was an early player, but when General Mills put their considerable advertising power behind their Fruit Roll-Ups, they became synonymous with the sticky snack.

Joray is still in business, offering kosher roll-ups that rely more heavily on fruit than the more processed commercial version. But the companies have one important thing in common: They both have the sense not to refer to their product as “fruit leather.”

[h/t Thrillist]


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