Lets deconstruct this culinary dream of ours:
Space cheese?! Well that's in the news and what sparked the conversation.
SpaceX sent a cheese wheel into space on their recent rocket launch of Falcon 9 Flight 2. (Article on Discover Blogs: Discoblog)
Discover Blogs have a great reputation, and I've seen this story evolve step by step on other news websites regardless.
The container, shrounded in mystery:
SPACE CHEESE, UNCOVERED!
This playful fromage homage to the Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch was lighthearted and refreshing. MMMM I love cheese, but space cheese!? That has to be the pinnacle of excitement throughout cheese history!
Step 1: success
Now on to the mammoth meat and ancient bread:
My friend explains that he read story a while back about scientists unthawing a mammoth preserved in ice, cooking the ancient meat, and having a good ol' banquet.
At this point I'm skeptical.
How do you confirm/debunk a story using just the internet? Informally, start with a seach engine of course.
Amazon's Askville site turned up, which gave me some interesting info on the edibility of acient mammoth unthawed.
"'...the meat that does survive is nearly always revolting. The Science article says that "all the frozen specimens were rotten," and though some firsthand accounts of long-ago mammoth finds have claimed the flesh looked OK, typically it smelled horrifying and only wild scavengers and the locals' dogs would eat it."
Not looking good.
Askville references an article with more specific citations. Cecil Adams on StraightDope writes a seemingly comprehensive list of references to this piece of palaeontological lore.
He cites an 1872 New York Times article, so I went to the New York Times Archive.
Dead end. None of my queries turned up anything!
Cecil's second reference is to a 1912 article on the Chicago Tribune. Looking this up, a lot of hits for promising articles pop up.
Moseying on over to Scribal Terror, who I've never heard of, (grumble) covering the topic, quotes the 1920 book "A Journey to the Earth's Interior."
A quick lookup of this publication reveals it to be a pseudo-scientific book about the Earth being hollow! UGH!
I call it quits with a modicum of confidence that unthawed mammoth steak has been tasted, but is quite unpalatable.
At this point, the dream is falling apart! Will our sandwich hopes be dashed?
I looked into the bread aspect of the sandwich, to no avail:
search terms in google,
"made from" ancient preserved "bake bread" [and]
bake ancient preserved "year old bread" is it possible [and]
mummification grain preserved bread [and]
mummification grain preserved today
Turns up nothing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat is a bust too. DAMNIT!
Now our sandwich dreams are looking downright silly.
When you have a certain fact you're looking up on the internet, confirmation is normally quite straightforward in relatively few steps. Ideally you want to end up on arXiv or IOP or a .gov or .edu site.
A pipe dream like our sandwich turns out to be a lot more challenging.
It's just typical. You start out with a grand scenario, too good to be true.
I'd rather have a bit more info and a slightly better grasp on the subject, than maintain the dream and a twinkle in my eye. That's just my attitude.
Deja Vu... I've had this happen to me before. Hmm, smells familiar. Not a steak and cheese, that smells like the influence of science to me.
Cyanide & Happiness @ Explosm.net
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