Conversation Piece, May 13, 2018

A weekly series.

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Enjoy our Sunday series, Conversation Piece, a NUVO–curated digest of things on the Internet we think you’ll want to talk about.

The Templar diet. Average folk in the Medieval era couldn’t reasonably expect to live far past 40, unless, curiously, they belonged to the Knights Templar, whose members were known to live into their 60s, even then often dying in combat rather than from illness and age. What amounted to such longevity? Perhaps the brotherhood’s strict dietary guidelines, which specified members limit meat and alcohol consumption, fill up on vegetables, and make their own… almond milk. This was pre-1341. Learn more, here.

Save us, pasta grannies.  Pasta Grannies is a Youtube channel created with the mission to preserve traditional Italian pasta recipes, no longer always passed down between family members, for future generations. A changing, and some say dying domestic skill, pasta making can be a labour-intensive and finickity process. But the results are always worth it (plus these videos are oddly soothing). Discover how to make as many obscure, regional pastas as your heart desires, here.

Pearls before fact-checking. It sounds like a John Steinbeck novel—a free diver discovers a larger-than-life pearl and immediately, inauspiciously dies. The ocean jewel, though beautiful, causes controversy and covetousness wherever it’s taken. Its value rises steadily—it’s worth $3 million, then $75. It’s said to be a prophesized second coming of legendary religious icons. Its ownership inspires a man to reinvent his life. The story gets weirder, and weirder, until it becomes a fascinating theatre of the absurd and a parable on the dangers of believing. Read it, here.

Bourdain goes east. Last fall, Anthony Bourdain paid a visit to Newfoundland for a crash course in the province’s culinary offerings for his TV show Parts Unknown. While he was there, Bourdain went cod fishing, moose hunting, and even attended a screeching-in ceremony (a local initiation ritual involving a shot of Screech rum and the kissing of a cod fish). And though the proper pronunciation of “Newfoundland” seemed to have eluded him throughout his stay, there are still a few things the bad boy chef can teach us about Canada’s most easterly province. Brush up on your Newfoundlander knowledge, here.

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May 13, 2018