Candy

A Digital Thermometer Makes Cooking Infinitely Easier

Photo by Christina Xu.

Temperature is probably the most important variable in cooking, but it can be hard to control if you don’t know what it is. Sure, there are various tests you can employ to test “doneness” of various foods—the ol’ palm trick for steaks; the toothpick inserted in a cake—but these only give you approximations. If you really want to cook your meats, cakes, and candies perfectly every single time, you need a thermometer.

Because the whole point is accuracy, a good cooking thermometer is worth investing in. We’re big fans of the Thermapen, which takes readings in fewer than three seconds, and is accurate to less than a degree—but its more cost-friendly friend, the ThermoPop is a good choice as well. It’s also worth checking out your local restaurant supply store, and just buying whatever the pros use. Whatever you do, don’t get one those round, metal models. Not only do…

Ice particles shaped like lollipops fall from clouds

LOLLY LOOK-SEE A research flight observed tiny ice particles that look like miniature lollipops in clouds above the British Isles.

A small ice particle made of a needle-shaped ice crystal and a single drizzle-sized water droplet

Right now, somewhere in the world, it could be raining lollies. A 2009 research flight through clouds above the British Isles gathered ice particles with an unusually sweet look. Each millimeter-sized particle consisted of a stick-shaped piece of ice with a single water droplet frozen on the end, giving it the appearance of a lollipop. Atmospheric scientist Stavros Keppas of the University of Manchester in England and colleagues report the discovery of the atmospheric confections in a paper to be published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Why Are Dairy Queen Blizzards Served Upside Down?

It’s part lactose performance art, part boastfulness, and mostly awkward. Walk into any one of Dairy Queen’s 6000-plus U.S. locations (or up to a window) and there’s a very good chance your server will hand you a Blizzard—their soft serve treat packed with chunks of candy, cookies, baked goods, or fruit—upside-down, the spoon handle facing the floor.

A ritual since the national debut of the dessert in 1985, the eccentric hand-off has been questioned, puzzled over, and was even part of a nationwide promotion in 2016: If an employee failed to adhere to the policy, customers received a coupon for a free Blizzard. (Many outposts still offer a free Blizzard if yours isn’t served upside down, but it’s up to each franchise owner to determine whether or not it’s a standard policy.)

If you’ve ever wondered why they do it, you can credit an obnoxious 14-year-old kid in St. Louis.

Mike Mozart via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Like most restaurant chains, Dairy Queen has often relied on its franchisees to help shape its menu. Founded in 1940 to capitalize on the soft serve ice cream phenomenon, the brand was fortunate enough to attract the attention of St. Louis businessman Sam Temperato, who owned dozens of locations and proved to be a steady fountain of ideas. His Full Meal Deal, which packaged a burger, fries, drink, and sundae for one flat price, was a hit. So was his notion to add chili dogs to the menu’s lineup.

In the 1970s, Temperato took notice of a custard stand operated by…

Candy-Flavored String Cheese Exists. Why? Your Guess Is as Good as Ours

image credit: Courtesy of Cow Candy

Kids and teens need plenty of calcium, but it’s hard to get enough of it when they prefer candy to cottage cheese. To entice picky diners, Eater reports that a Wisconsin-based company called Cow Candy has created fruit-flavored Monterey Jack cheese sticks, designed to be a sweet alternative to sugary treats.

Contrary to its name, Cow Candy’s products aren’t packed with sugar. According to the manufacturer, each cheese stick contains just 1 to 2 grams of the addictive additive and gets its taste and color from natural fruit flavoring. And just like conventional cheese sticks, they’re packed with calcium.

Cow Candy’s current selection of flavored cheese snacks includes grape, orange, honey, and two…