Explore the Origins of French Cuisine With This 200-Year-Old Map

France is known as the unofficial culinary capital of the world to many, and for good reason. French products like brie, cognac, and champagne are enjoyed far beyond the nation’s borders. For a look at where France’s most beloved gourmet exports originated, refer to the early 19th-century map above.

As highlighted on Atlas Obscura, the "Gastronomical Map of France" was created by Jean François Tourcaty in 1809. A scan of the map takes viewers through the country’s most delectable landmarks, from Roquefort, home to the region’s pungent blue cheese, to Dijon, the birthplace of the world-famous mustard. While some places are no longer producing their signature delicacies, many of them are still home to the food and wine they were known for 200 years ago.

The map first appeared in the book Cours Gastronomique, which was written by Charles Louis Cadet de Gassicourt, the possible illegitimate son of Louis XV. The culinary tome was published a decade after the French Revolution, around the same time the fine dining industry was starting to explode in France.

For more unique maps from history, check out Cornell University’s PJ Mode Collection of Persuasive Cartography online.

[h/t Atlas Obscura]

All images: Cornell University // CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

'Lime Disease' Could Give You a Nasty Rash This Summer

A cold Corona or virgin margarita is best enjoyed by the pool, but watch where you’re squeezing those limes. As Slate illustrates in a new video, there’s a lesser-known “lime disease,” and it can give you a nasty skin rash if you’re not careful.

When lime juice comes into contact with your skin and is then exposed to UV rays, it can cause a chemical reaction that results in phytophotodermatitis. It looks a little like a poison ivy reaction or sun poisoning, and some of the symptoms include redness, blistering, and inflammation. It’s the same reaction caused by a corrosive sap on the giant hogweed, an invasive weed that’s spreading throughout the U.S.

"Lime disease" may sound random, but it’s a lot more common than you might think. Dermatologist Barry D. Goldman tells Slate he sees cases of the skin condition almost daily in the summer. Some people have even reported receiving second-degree burns as a result of the citric acid from lime juice. According to the Mayo Clinic, the chemical that causes phytophotodermatitis can also be found in wild parsnip, wild dill, wild parsley, buttercups, and other citrus fruits.

To play it safe, keep your limes confined to the great indoors or wash your hands with soap after handling the fruit. You can learn more about phytophotodermatitis by checking out Slate’s video below.

[h/t Slate]

Drinking Up to Eight Cups of Coffee a Day Could Help You Live Longer

Good news for coffee fiends: That extra cup of joe in the afternoon could help you live longer, according to a new UK-based study spotted by Newsweek. Researchers determined that people who drink between one and eight cups of coffee per day may have a lower chance of death, regardless of whether their bodies are able to metabolize caffeine well.

To reach these conclusions, the team of researchers analyzed data from the UK Biobank pertaining to the lifestyle choices, demographics, and genetic information of 500,000 people, 87 percent of whom were coffee drinkers. More than 14,000 participants died during the course of the study from 2006 to 2010, and an inverse relationship between coffee drinking and the risk of death was recorded.

These findings were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, but scientists say more research is needed to determine the link between coffee and other health outcomes. A similar study last year by the European Society of Cardiology suggested that people who drink up to four cups of coffee a day are 64 percent less likely to die early than those who hardly drank coffee. Every two additional cups of coffee improved one’s odds of an extended life span by 22 percent, researchers determined.

However reassuring these results may be to latte lovers, public health specialist Robin Poole of the University of Southampton told Newsweek that this doesn’t necessarily mean non-coffee drinkers should suddenly start caffeinating. (Poole was not involved in the study.)

"We know that some people metabolize caffeine quite slowly and are less tolerant of the apparent physical affects of caffeine, which of course comes from many sources other than coffee,” Poole said. “Such people would be better to avoid too much coffee, or move toward decaffeinated choices, [which] this study has shown still have beneficial associations.”

[h/t Newsweek]


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