Julia Child Shows Fred Rogers How to Make a Quick & Delicious Pasta Dish (1974)

Julia Child and Fred Rogers were titans of public television, celebrated for their natural warmth, the ease with which they delivered important lessons to home viewers, and, for a certain sector of the viewing public, how readily their personalities lent themself to parody.

Child’s cooking program, The French Chef, debuted in 1963, and Roger’s much beloved children’s show, Mister Rogers Neighborhood, followed five years later.

Rogers occasionally invited accomplished celebrities to join him for segments wherein they demonstrated their particular talents:

With our guest’s help, I have been able to show a wide diversity of self-expression, the extraordinary range of human potential. I want children and their families to know that there are many constructive ways to express who they are and how they feel. 

In 1974, Child paid a call to the neighborhood bakery presided over by “Chef” Don Brockett  (whose later credits included a cameo as a “Friendly Psychopath” in Silence of the Lambs…)

The easy-to-prepare pasta dish she teaches Rogers – and, by extension, his “television friend” – to make takes a surprisingly optimistic view of the average pre-school palate.


Red sauce gets a hard pass, in favor of a more sophisticated blend of flavors stemming from tuna, black olives, and pimentos.

Brockett provides an assist with both the cooking and, more importantly, the child safety rules that aren’t always front and center with this celebrity guest.

Child, who had no offspring, comes off as a high-spirited, loosey-goosey, fun aunt, encouraging child viewers to toss the cooked spaghetti “fairly high” after adding butter and oil “because it’s dramatic” and talking as if they’ll be hitting the supermarket solo, a flattering notion to any tot whose refrain is “I do it mySELF!”

She wisely reframes tasks assigned to bigger, more experienced hand – boiling water, knife work – as less exciting than “the fancy business at the end”, and makes it stick by suggesting that the kids “order the grown ups to do what you want done,” a verb choice the ever-respectful Rogers likely would have avoided.

As with The French Chef, her off-the-cuff remarks are a major source of delight.

Watching his guest wipe a wooden cutting board with olive oil, Rogers observes that some of his friends “could do this very well,” to which she replies:

It’s also good for your hands ‘coz it keeps ‘em nice and soft, so rub any excess into your hands.

She shares a bit of stage set scuttlebutt regarding a letter from “some woman” who complained that the off-camera wastebasket made it appear that Child was discarding peels and stems onto the floor.

She said, “Do you think this is a nice way to show young people how to cook, to throw things on the floor!?” And I said, “Well, I have a self cleaning floor! …The self cleaning is me.”

(Rogers appears both amused and relieved when the ultimate punchline steers things back to the realm of good manners and personal responsibility.)

Transferring the slippery pre-cooked noodles from pot to serving bowl, Child reminisces about a wonderful old movie in which someone – “Charlie Chaplin or was it, I guess it was, uh, it wasn’t Mickey Rooney, maybe it was…” – eats spaghetti through a funnel.

If only the Internet had existed in 1974 so intrigued parents could have Googled their way to the Noodle Break at the Bull Pup Cafe sequence from 1918’s The Cook, starring Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and Buster Keaton!

The funnel is but one of many inspired silent spaghetti gags in this surefire don’t-try-this-at-home kid-pleaser.

We learn that Child named her dish Spaghetti Marco Polo in a nod to a widely circulated theory that pasta originated in China and was introduced to Italy by the explorer, a bit of lore food writer Tori Avey of The History Kitchen finds difficult to swallow:

A common belief about pasta is that it was brought to Italy from China by Marco Polo during the 13th century. In his book, The Travels of Marco Polo, there is a passage that briefly mentions his introduction to a plant that produced flour (possibly a breadfruit tree). The Chinese used this plant to create a meal similar to barley flour. The barley-like meal Polo mentioned was used to make several pasta-like dishes, including one described as lagana (lasagna). Since Polo’s original text no longer exists, the book relies heavily on retellings by various authors and experts. This, combined with the fact that pasta was already gaining popularity in other areas of Italy during the 13th-century, makes it very unlikely that Marco Polo was the first to introduce pasta to Italy.

Ah well.

We’re glad Child went with the China theory as it provides an excuse to eat spaghetti with chopsticks.

Nothing is more day-making than seeing Julia Child pop a small bundle of spaghetti directly into Fred Rogers’ mouth from the tips of her chopsticks…though after using the same implements to feed some to Chef Brockett too, she realizes that this wasn’t the best lesson in food hygiene.

In 2021, this sort of boo-boo would result in an automatic reshoot.

In the wilder, woolier 70s, a more pressing concern, at least as far as public television was concerned, was expanding little Americans’ worldview, in part by showing them how to get a commanding grip on their chopsticks. It’s never too late to learn.

Bon appétit!

JULIA CHILD’S SPAGHETTI MARCO POLO

There are a number of variations online, but this recipe, from Food.com, hews closely to Child’s original, while providing measurements for her eyeballed amounts.

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS 

1 lb spaghetti 

2 tablespoons butter 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 teaspoon salt black pepper 

1 6-ounce can tuna packed in oil, flaked, undrained 

2 tablespoons pimiento, diced or 2 tablespoons roasted red peppers, sliced into strips 

2 tablespoons green onions with tops, sliced 

2 tablespoons black olives, sliced 

2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped

1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded 

2 tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Cook pasta according to package directions. 

Drain pasta and return to pot, stirring in butter, olive oil, and salt and pepper. 

Toss with remaining ingredients and serve, garnished with parsley or cilantro.

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Coca-Cola Was Originally Sold as an Intellectual Stimulant & Medicine: The Unlikely Story of the Iconic Soft Drink’s Invention

We all know that sweetened, carbonated soft drinks have effects on those who drink them. The most conspicuous, among especially avid consumers, include obesity and its associated health troubles. This, fair to say, was not the intention of John Stith Pemberton, the Georgia pharmacist who in the 1880s came up with the drink that would become Coca-Cola. In that era, writes Smithsonian.com’s Kat Eschner, “people overwhelmed by industrialization and urbanization as well as the holdover of the Civil War and other social changes struggled to gain purchase, turning to patent medicines for cures that doctors couldn’t provide.” And it was in a patent medicine, one of the countless many dubiously ballyhooed in the nineteenth century, that Coca-Cola first appeared.

Injured in the Civil War, Pemberton developed a morphine addiction for which he fruitlessly sought treatment. But then he got word of a new substance with the potential to cure his “morphinism”: cocaine.  At the time, cocaine was an ingredient in a wine-based beverage enjoyed by Parisians called Vin Mariani.


“It actually made people feel great, and it was sold as medicine,” writes Eschner. “Combining cocaine and alcohol produces another chemical more potent than what’s normally found in cocaine, enhancing the high.” Adapting Vin Mariani for his own local market, Pemberton introduced what he called “French Wine Coca”: a treatment, as he promoted it, for everything from dyspepsia to neurasthenia to constipation, as well as a “most wonderful invigorator of the sexual organs.”

Coca-Cola carries many associations today, few of them having to do with the life of the mind. Yet it was to upper-class intellectuals, their minds disordered by the rapid development of nineteenth-century America, that Pemberton promoted his invention. It would be called “a valuable Brain Tonic, and a cure for all nervous affections.” Its supposed mental benefits became the main selling point in 1886, when temperance laws in Atlanta prompted a re-engineering of the formula. Even the non-alcoholic version contained “the valuable TONIC and NERVE STIMULANT properties of the Coca plant and Cola nuts,” as advertisements put it, but in the early decades of the twentieth century (long after Pemberton’s death in 1888, by which time he’d sold off his rights to the drink), the Coca-Cola Company phased that ingredient out. If it weren’t illegal, a cocaine-fortified soft drink would now benefit from the retro appeal of the eighties — the eighteen-eighties and nineteen-eighties alike.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

Why Do Oreos Never Come Apart Evenly?: MIT Researchers Build an “Oreometer” to Find the Answer

Despite having been around for well over a century, the Oreo cookie has managed to retain certain mysteries. Why, for example, does it never come apart evenly? Though different Oreo-eaters prefer different methods of Oreo-eating, an especially popular approach to the world’s most popular cookie involves twisting it open before consumption. That action produces two separate chocolate wafers, but as even kindergarteners know from long and frustrating experience, the crème filling sticks only to one side. It seems that no manual technique, no matter how advanced, can split the contents of an Oreo close to evenly, and only recently have a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sought an explanation.

This endeavor necessitated an investigation of the Oreo’s rheology — the study of the flow of matter, especially liquids but also “soft solids” like crème filling. Like all scientific research, it involved intensive experimentation, and even the invention of a new measurement device: in this case, a simple 3D-printable “Oreometer” (seen in animated action above) that uses pennies and rubber bands.


With it the researchers applied “applied varying degrees of torque and angular rotation, noting the values that successfully twisted each cookie apart,” writes MIT News‘ Jennifer Chu. “In all, the team went through about 20 boxes of Oreos, including regular, Double Stuf, and Mega Stuf levels of filling, and regular, dark chocolate, and ‘golden’ wafer flavors. Surprisingly, they found that no matter the amount of cream filling or flavor, the cream almost always separated onto one wafer.”

Crystal Owens, a mechanical engineering PhD candidate working on this project, puts this down in large part to how Oreos are made. “Videos of the manufacturing process show that they put the first wafer down, then dispense a ball of cream onto that wafer before putting the second wafer on top. Apparently that little time delay may make the cream stick better to the first wafer.” But other physical factors also bear on the phenomenon as well, as documented in the paper Owens and her collaborators published earlier this year in the journal Physics of Fluid. “We introduce Oreology (/ɔriːˈɒlədʒi/), from the Nabisco Oreo for “cookie” and the Greek rheo logia for ‘flow study,’ as the study of the flow and fracture of sandwich cookies,” they write in its abstract. For a scientifically inclined youngster, one could hardly imagine a more compelling field.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the Substack newsletter Books on Cities, the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

All Espresso Drinks Explained: Cappuccino, Latte, Macchiato & Beyond

What separates the Cappuccino from the Latte, and the Macchiato from the Double Espresso? These are some important questions–questions that demand answers. And European Coffee Trip–a YouTube channel run by two Czech guys with a love for specialty coffee–has answers. Above, they break it all down for you. Find timestamps for the different variations below.

0:58 Single Espresso

1:35 Double Espresso

1:55 Americano

2:18 Lungo

2:37 Filter coffee (no espresso!)

3:16 Cappuccino

3:46 Espresso Macchiato

4:07 Cortado/Piccolo

4:30 Flat White

4:54 Caffé Latte

To delve deeper, you can also watch James Hoffman’s always informative video. It covers similar ground, but also touches on some other variations of espresso drinks.

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How to Actually Cook Salvador Dali’s Surrealist Recipes: Crayfish, Prawns, and Spitted Eggs

The sensual intelligence housed in the tabernacle of my palate beckons me to pay the greatest attention to food. – Salvador Dali

Looking for an easy, low-cost recipe for a quick weeknight supper?

Salvador Dali’s Bush of Crayfish in Viking Herb is not that recipe.

It’s presentation may be Surreal, but it’s not an entirely unrealistic thing to prepare as The Art Assignment’s Sarah Urist Green discovers, above.

The recipe, published in Les Diners de Gala, Dali’s over-the-top cult cookery book from 1973, has pedigree.

Dali got it off a chef at Paris’ fabled Tour d’Argent, who later had second thoughts about giving away trade secrets, and balked at sharing exact measurements for the dish:

Bush of Crawfish in Viking Herbs

In order to realize this dish, it is necessary to have crawfish of 2 ounces each. Prepare the following ingredients for a broth: ‘fumet’ (scented reduced bullion) of fish, of consommé, of white wine, Vermouth, Cognac, salt, pepper, sugar and dill (aromatic herb). Poach the crawfish in this broth for 20 minutes. Let it cool for 24 hours and arrange the crawfish in a dome. Strain the broth and serve in cups.

Green, the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s former curator of contemporary art, soldiers ahead with  a Styrofoam topiary cone and a boxful of Fed-Ex’ed Louisiana crayfish, masking their demise with insets of Dali works such as 1929’s Sometimes I Spit with Pleasure on the Portrait of my Mother (The Sacred Heart).


Green, well aware that some viewers may have trouble with the “brutal realities” of cooking live crustaceans, namechecks Consider the Lobster, the heavily footnoted essay wherein author David Foster Wallace ruminates over ethics at the Maine Lobster Festival.

Green may seek repentance for the sin of poaching lobsters’ freshwater cousins, but Dali, who blamed his sex-related guilt on his Catholic upbringing, was unconflicted about enjoying the “delicious little martyrs”:

If I hate that detestable degrading vegetable called spinach, it is because it is shapeless, like Liberty. I attribute capital esthetic and moral values to food in general, and to spinach in particular. The opposite of shapeless spinach, is armor. I love eating suits of arms, in fact I love all shell fish… food that only a battle to peel makes it vulnerable to the conquest of our palate.

If your scruples, schedule or savings keep you from attempting Dali’s Surreal shellfish tower, you might try enlivening a less aspirational dish with Green’s wholesome, homemade fish stock:

Devin Lytle and Jared Nunn, test driving Dali’s Cassanova cocktail and Eggs on a Spit for History Bites on Buzzfeed‘s Tasty channel, seem less surefooted than Green in both the kitchen and the realm of art history, but they’re totally down to speculate as to whether or not Dali and his wife, Gala, had a “healthy relationship.”

If you can stomach their snarky, self-referential asides, you might get a bang out of hearing them dish on Dali’s revulsion at being touched, Gala’s alleged penchant for bedding younger artists, and their highly unconventional marriage.

Despite some squeamishness about the eggs’ viscousness and some reservations about the surreal amount of butter required, Lytle and Nunn’s reaction upon tasting their Dali recreation suggest that it was worth the effort:

Cassanova cocktail

• The juice of 1 orange
• 1 tablespoon bitters (Campari)
• 1 teaspoon ginger
• 4 tablespoons brandy
• 2 tablespoons old brandy (Vielle Cure)
• 1 pinch Cayenne pepper

This is quite appropriate when circumstances such as exhaustion, overwork or simply excess of sobriety are calling for a pick-me-up.

Here is a well-tested recipe to fit the bill.

Let us stress another advantage of this particular pep-up concoction is that one doesn’t have to make the sour face that usually accompanies the absorption of a remedy.

At the bottom of a glass, combine pepper and ginger. Pour the bitters on top, then brandy and “Vielle Cure.” Refrigerate or even put in the freezer.

Thirty minutes later, remove from the freezer and stir the juice of the orange into the chilled glass.

Drink… and wait for the effect. 

It is rather speedy.

Your best bet for preparing Eggs on a Spit, which Lytle compares to “an herby, scrambled frittata that looks like a brain”, are contained in artist Rosanna Shalloe’s modern adaption.

What would you do if you discovered an original, autographed copy of Les Diners de Gala in the attic of your new home?

A young man named Brandon takes it to Rick Harrison’s Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, hoping it will fetch $2500.

Harrison, star of the History Channel’s Pawn Stars, gives Brandon a quick primer on the Persistence of Memory, Dali’s famous “melting clocks” painting (failing to mention that the artist insisted the clocks should be interpreted as “the Camembert of time.”)

Brandon walks with something less than the hoped for sum, and Harrison takes the book home to attempt some of the dishes. (Not, however, Bush of Crayfish in Viking Herb, which he declares, “a little creepy, even for Dali.”)

Alas, his younger relatives are wary of Oasis Leek Pie’s star ingredient and refuse to entertain a single mouthful of whole fish, baked with guts and eyes.

They’re not alone. The below newsreel suggests that comedian Bob Hope had some reservations about Dalinian Gastro Esthetics, too.

We intend to ignore those charts and tables in which chemistry takes the place of gastronomy. If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive, and far too impertinent for you. – Salvador Dali

You can purchase a copy of Taschen’s recent reissue of Les Diners de Gala online

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

John Locke’s Personal Pancake Recipe: “This Is the Right Way” to Make the Classic Breakfast Treat

No student of Western political philosophy can ignore John Locke, whose work defined the concepts of governance we now know as liberalism. By the same token, no student of Western cuisine can ignore pancakes, a canonical element of what we now know as breakfast. The oldest pancake recipe we’ve featured here on Open Culture dates to 1585. Ernest Hemingway had his own preferred pancake-making method; so do Simon and Garfunkel, though theirs are of the potato variety.

Locke, as you might imagine, opted for a more traditionally English recipe. Three centuries on, how well his vision of liberalism has held up remains a matter of active debate. As for his pancakes, Marissa Nicosia at Cooking in the Archives put them to the test just last year. “When David Armitage posted this recipe for pancakes in the Bodleian collection on Twitter, I knew that I wanted to try it,” Nicosia writes. Her transcription is as follows:

pancakes
Take sweet cream 3/4 + pint. Flower a
quarter of a pound. Eggs four 7 leave out two 4 of
the whites. Beat the Eggs very well. Then put in
the flower, beat it a quarter of an hower. Then
put in six spoonfulls of the Cream, beat it a litle
Take new sweet butter half a pound. Melt it to oyle, &
take off the skum, power in all the clear by degrees
beating it all the time. Then put in the rest of
your cream. beat it well. Half a grated nutmeg
& litle orangeflower water. Frie it without butter.
This is the right way

“From the start, I was intrigued by the cross-outs and other notes in the recipe. It appears that it was first drafted (or prepared) using significantly fewer eggs.” As meticulous in his cooking as in his philosophy, Locke clearly paid close attention to “the details of separating and whisking eggs as well as adding just the right amount of orange blossom water (‘litle’) and nutmeg (‘Half a grated nutmeg’) — an exceptional, expensive amount.”

Drawing on her significant experience with early modern pancakes, Nicosia describes Locke’s version as “a bit fluffier and fattier than a classic French crêpe,” though with “far less rise than my favorite American breakfast version”; her husband places them “somewhere between a classic English pancake and a Scotch pancake.” Perhaps that somewhat northerly taste and texture stands to reason, in light of the considerable influence Locke’s non-pancake-related work would later have on the Scottish Enlightenment.

The final line of Locke’s recipe, “This is the right way,” may sound a bit stern in context today. But whether you work straight from his original or from the updated version Nicosia provides in her post, you should end up with “pancakes made for a decadent breakfast.” Locke’s inclusion of an extravagant amount of nutmeg and splash of orange-blossom water “elevates this specific pancake recipe to a special treat.” Nicosia includes a picture of her own honey-drizzled Lockean breakfast with the a copy of Two Treatises of Government and a cup of coffee — the latter being an especially ideal accompaniment to pancakes, and one that also comes thoroughly philosopher-endorsed.

via Rare Cooking

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Bialetti Moka Express: A Deep Dive Into Italy’s Most Popular Coffee Maker

Which coffee maker is most deeply embedded in American culture? I would nominate the humble Mr. Coffee, a device referenced on Cheers as well as Seinfeld, in the work of Raymond Carver as well as that of the Bloodhound Gang (to say nothing of the 1970s mass-media phenomenon that was its commercials starring Joe DiMaggio). But I would also urge my fellow Americans to ask themselves when last they actually used one, or at least used one to satisfying results. Italy, by contrast, knows what it is to take a coffee maker to heart. As one study found, nine out of ten Italian households possesses, in one form or another, the same basic model: the Bialetti Moka Express.

As Ted Mills wrote here with confidence last month, “many an Open Culture reader has a Bialetti Moka Express in their kitchen. I know I do, but I must add that I knew little about its history and apparently even less about how to properly use one.” Enter coffee Youtuber and The World Atlas of Coffee author James Hoffmann, whose introductory video proved popular enough to launch a mini-series that takes a deep dive into the mechanics and variations on the nearly 90-year-old “moka pot.”


In the second episode, just above, Hoffman performs a series of experiments varying elements of the simple device — starting temperature, grind size, heat power — in order to determine how it makes the best cup of coffee.

In episode three, Hoffman (who clearly knows a thing or two about not just coffee, but how to name a Youtube video to algorithmic advantage) refines “the ultimate moka pot technique.” Much depends, of course, on factors like what sort of beans you buy, as well as subjective considerations like how you want your coffee to taste — your preferred “flavor profile,” as they now say. The longtime moka pot user will inevitably feel his/her way to his/her own idiosyncratic procedure and set of accessories, and will more than likely also accrue a formidable collection of moka pots themselves. Here Hoffman lines up ten of them, half of which are just different sizes of the classic Moka Express, its silhouette recognizable at any scale.

Less familiar models take center stage in the fourth episode, “The Moka Pot Variations.” In it Hoffman puts to the test the Bialetti’s double-cream espresso-making Brikka; their cappuccino-capable Mukka; the tiny, discontinued Cuor di Moka, with its correspondingly avid fan base; and finally something called the Kamira, which looks less like a coffee maker than a piece of recycled industrial art. Even apart from these, a variety of companies now make a variety of moka pots, every single one of which has no doubt at least a few serious coffee drinkers swearing by it. I myself have a weakness for Bialetti’s Moka Alpina; whether it makes a superior brew I couldn’t say, but the jauntiness of that Tyrolean feather is hardly debatable.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

The Bialetti Moka Express: The History of Italy’s Iconic Coffee Maker, and How to Use It the Right Way

I am sure that many an Open Culture reader has a Bialetti Moka Express in their kitchen. I know I do, but I must add that I knew little about its history and apparently even less about how to properly use one. Coffee expert and author of The World Atlas of Coffee James Hoffmann introduces us to the appliance we think we know in the above video.

Alfonso Bialetti didn’t originally get into the coffee business. In 1919, the Bialetti company was an aluminum manufacturer, with the Moka Express invented somewhere around 1933 by Luigi de Ponti, who worked for the company. According to Deconstructing Product Design by William Lidwell and Gerry Mancasa, the inspiration came from Bialetti’s wife’s old-fashioned washing machine: “a fire, a bucket, and a lid with a tube coming out of it. The bucket was filled with soapy water, sealed with the lid, and then brought to a boil over the fire, at which point the vaporized soapy water was pushed up through the tube and expelled on to the laundry.”


As Hoffmann shows, earlier coffee-makers did use steam and a drip technique, but the Moka Express was the first all-in-one maker that could sit on the stove top and do the work. All the user has to listen for was the tell-tale gurgle when it finishes brewing.

In 1945, Alfonso’s son Renato returned from a prisoner-of-war camp and took over the family business. He was instrumental in focusing on the Moka Express and turning it into an international coffee brand. He hired cartoonist Paul Campani to design l’omino coi baffi, “the mustachioed little man” whose image is on the side of every Moka Express, and during the 1950s was in a series of humorous animated commercials. Bialetti was the pride of Italy, and for Italian immigrants living abroad, it was a treasured object in the kitchen.

Such was the identification of Renato Bialetti with the Moka Express that when he died in 2016, his ashes were interred in a giant replica pot. Hoffmann details the fate of the company afterwards, how it has fared against competitors in Italy and outside. Will it still be around in decades? Who knows. But it does make a great cup of coffee.

And he shows the correct way to brew a cup with the Moka Express in this other video. Here’s a few things I was doing wrong: not using hot water in the bottom to start; trying to pack in the ground coffee like I was making an espresso. (Note: a Moka Express coffee is somewhere between an espresso and a pour-over.) Using too fine a grind; and not cooling the bottom as soon as it’s done working its magic. (All these tips I’m going to try tomorrow morning.) Maybe you have been making your Bialetti cup the right way all along. Let me know in the comments. I’ll read them over a freshly brewed cup.

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An Espresso Maker Made in Le Corbusier’s Brutalist Architectural Style: Raw Concrete on the Outside, High-End Parts on the Inside

Philosophers Drinking Coffee: The Excessive Habits of Kant, Voltaire & Kierkegaard

Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the Notes from the Shed podcast and is the producer of KCRW’s Curious Coast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.