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Saturday, September 20, 2008

ahRrrrggg-Squared – Talk Like a Pirate Day

Yesterday, which happened to be Talk Like a Pirate Day, I did a pro bono webinar for a crew of food scientist students assembled by their teacher Tyre at North Carolina State University . They are located in Raleigh – not far from where the notorious Blackbeard hung out in his hay days. Evidently he hosted some very wild parties with his bloodthirsty cohorts, as detailed at this Pirates Realm . (Their webmaster warns that copyright “thieves shall be gullied and fed to the sharks!”)

Tyre and his NC State crew concocted a punch that purportedly imitated an orange drink similar to Kool Aid® -- a brand of artificially-flavored drink mix now owned by the Kraft Foods Company but originally invented by Edwin and Kitty Perkins of Hastings, Nebraska.

Now I know that no Carolinian would touch such a tame Midwestern beverage. Thus I strongly suspect that NCSU keeps at least a firkin of rum handy for their apprentice galley slaves – oops, I meant to say food scientists. I am thinking that rum may be the principal component in the mysteriously unidentified “flavor” in the recipe sent to me by Tyre. Given that the a proper rum-laced pirate grog often included lime juice to help to stave off scurvy and a measure of cane sugar to help kill the bitterness of the water, it stands to reason that this NCSU “orange drink” also contains citric acid and sucrose. However, being as I was without a spyglass for this webinar, who knows what this piratical Carolinians were up to.

The treasure these tasters seek is 5 on a 0 to 10 intensity scale. Notice on the graph how they favor this so-called “flavor.” As a statistician turned pirate I say ahRrrrggg-Squared to that. They’d best send me a hogshead of this so-called “kool-aid” or I will be forced to send Tyre the Black Spot in lieu of my usual report.


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