ddmccowan
David McCowan
ddmccowan
David McCowan is a contributor to The Takeout and a physicist at The University of Chicago. He loves food history and talking spirits, cocktails, beer, and wine.
Apr 24 2018
1

That title alone deserves a high five.

Jan 9 2018
1

I believe legend has it Bob Uecker was born on the side of the road during his parents oleo run to Illinois.

Jan 8 2018
10

I know Canada is a mostly forgotten footnote in world history, but I feel like this article should at least mention Canada’s weird history with margarine. Before Newfoundland was officially part of the country, margarine was an illegal substance in Canada. But Newfoundland is a big frozen rock unfriendly to dairy Read more

Jan 8 2018
3

And after the war. My mother was born on Pearl Harbor day and she and her siblings had a ritual of tossing the margarine bag around until the dye was blended in.

Jan 8 2018
5

The worst thing about margarine is its name.

The spelling is absurd; there is no justification for a soft G before an A. The letter G can be pronounced with its soft sound only before the vowels E, I, or Y. So the word should be either “margiarine” or “margerine”.

This is the English word that I hate most.

Jan 8 2018
4

Wisconsin takes their butter extremely seriously. It was only last year that you could sell Kerrygold butter in the state again, given the hoops one has to jump through. WI has a law (dated 1953) requiring all butters to be rated on various measures — including flavor, body and color — by the federal government or Read more

Jan 8 2018
33

So I’ll go a bit more into hydrogenation:

All fats come in a form called “triglycerides.” These molecules have a glycerol backbone and 3 fatty acid chains. Fatty acid chains are long molecules that are essentially big carbon chains. Now, if every carbon on this chain has the maximum possible number of hydrogen atoms

Jan 8 2018
4

Margarine was also a big deal in Jewish culture, such that it’s still widely used by non-SK Jews and considered to have a nostalgic quality that coconut or even real butter can’t equal.

Jan 8 2018
24

Should’ve made beignets instead.

Jan 6 2018
11

Standing in the checkout line, I realized I had forgotten to get butter. I dispatched Mrs Lizardo to get it while I emptied the cart. She came back with margarine. How long should I hold it against her? Note: it has already been more than 20 years.

Dec 6 2017
16

Yeah, I think McCowan might be in the pockets of Big Spoiled Meat.

Dec 5 2017
339

I mean, you’re still gonna die. Happy Tuesday!