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

Original image
Big Questions
How Long Could a Person Survive With an Unlimited Supply of Water, But No Food at All?
Original image

How long could a person survive if he had unlimited supply of water, but no food at all?

Richard Lee Fulgham:

I happen to know the answer because I have studied starvation, its course, and its utility in committing a painless suicide. (No, I’m not suicidal.)

A healthy human being can live approximately 45 to 65 days without food of any kind, so long as he or she keeps hydrated.

You could survive without any severe symptoms [for] about 30 to 35 days, but after that you would probably experience skin rashes, diarrhea, and of course substantial weight loss.

The body—as you must know—begins eating itself, beginning with adipose tissue (i.e. fat) and next the muscle tissue.

Google Mahatma Gandhi, who starved himself almost to death during 14 voluntary hunger strikes to bring attention to India’s independence movement.

Strangely, there is much evidence that starvation is a painless way to die. In fact, you experience a wonderful euphoria when the body realizes it is about to die. Whether this is a divine gift or merely secretions of the brain is not known.

Of course, the picture is not so pretty for all reports. Some victims of starvation have experienced extreme irritability, unbearably itchy skin rashes, unceasing diarrhea, painful swallowing, and edema.

In most cases, death comes when the organs begin to shut down after six to nine weeks. Usually the heart simply stops.

(Here is a detailed medical report of the longest known fast: 382 days.)

This post originally appeared on Quora. Click here to view.

Original image
This Concrete Block Makes a Fine Espresso
Original image

Have you ever thought your kitchen could use more of a Soviet Union vibe? Do you find the fixtures in abandoned buildings charming? Then the AnZa espresso machine—essentially a coffee maker encased in a concrete block—may be for you.

According to Curbed, the AnZa is part of the art and installation aesthetic dubbed Brutalism, an architectural movement using spare, blocky designs. Moving away from the sleek, shiny appearance of most modern appliances, design firm Montaag crafted a rough block with simple knobs. As post-apocalyptic as it may look, it’s reputed to make a very good cup of espresso. And it’s “smart”: a smartphone app can adjust the brewing temperature to the user’s preference.

A close-up of the AnZa's knob

The project’s Kickstarter recently met its $145,000 goal and is now accepting preorders at Indiegogo for $799. You can hoist this subjectively beautiful appliance on your countertop beginning in March 2018.

[h/t Curbed]


More from mental floss studios