Arts & Life


Wed April 2, 2014
The Salt

The Old And Mysterious Practice Of Eating Dirt, Revealed

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 7:51 am

Dr. William Rawlings holds a piece of kaolin from his hometown of Sandersville, Ga.
Courtesy of Adam Forrester

There's an old saying in the South: "A child's gotta eat their share of dirt."

Mamie Lee Hillman's family took this literally, but they weren't after just any old dirt.

"I remember my mom and my aunties eating that white dirt like it was nothing," says Hillman, who grew up in Greene County, Ga., and used to go with her family to dig for their own dirt to snack on. "It was an acceptable thing that people did."

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Tue April 1, 2014
The Salt

School For Making Toast: The Best Food Fooling 2014

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 5:39 am

Bring your own bread (BYOB) if you're going to take the class in San Francisco to learn the art of making the perfect toast.

Here at The Salt, we get a lot of emails from public relations firms hawking newfangled food products and services. Sometimes it's difficult to discern whether they're for real.

So when we got an email from the San Francisco Cooking School on Tuesday shilling a one-day class on How to Make Toast, we did the email version of a double take.

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Tue April 1, 2014
The Salt

It's Official: Americans Are Floating In A Pool Of Ranch Dressing

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 4:37 pm

Tomatoes, pizza, Pringles — Americans are not afraid to douse everything in ranch.
Mr.Ducke/Flickr; Jamaila Brinkley/Flickr; Hajime Nakano/Flickr; Janet Hudson/Flickr

Many a gab session of my 1980s suburban youth was fueled by Cool Ranch-flavored Doritos — after school, on a campout, on a sleepover — whenever the girls got together. We'd seek out that tangy, salty flavor, inhale a bag or two, and lick the red, blue and green flecks off our fingers when they were all gone. (Ah, the pre-calorie-counting days.)

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Tue April 1, 2014
The Salt

Do Girl Scout Cookies Still Make The World A Better Place?

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 1:40 pm

Girl Scouts sell cookies on Feb. 8, 2013, as a winter storm moves in on New York City.
John Moore Getty Images

It's a pretty bold move to blast Girl Scout cookies, those precious sugary treats whose limited run from late winter to early spring is just about over for the year.

But a few brave voices argue it's no longer all that delightful to see little girls peddling packaged cookies, or to buy them in the name of supporting the community. (And no, this is not an April Fools' joke.)

To some doctors and parents, the tradition increasingly feels out of step with the uncomfortable public health realities of our day.

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Tue April 1, 2014
Fine Art

Girls Are Taught To 'Think Pink,' But That Wasn't Always So

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 6:23 am

Photographer JeongMee Yoon felt her daughter's life was being overtaken by pink. She illustrated that in her 2006 portrait Seo Woo and Her Pink Things.
JeongMee Yoon Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Jenkins Johnson Gallery

With sleet, snow and freezing temperatures extending through March, the National Cherry Blossom Festival — which recently kicked off in Washington, D.C. — is decidedly less pink this year. In a few weeks the Tidal Basin will be ringed by rosy, pink blossoms, but until then, we traveled north to Boston, where a show at the Museum of Fine Arts called "Think Pink" explores the history and social impact of the color.

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