August 20, 2011 permalink
On gunpowder, ice cream, and sound symbolism
From the post Language of Food: Ice Cream, a fascinating article linking the history of gunpowder, ice cream, linguistics, and even a bit of marketing insight:
Something similarly beautiful was created as saltpeter and snow, sherbet and salt, were passed along and extended from the Chinese to the Arabs to the Mughals to the Neapolitans, to create the sweet lusciousness of ice cream. And it’s a nice thought that saltpeter, applied originally to war, became the key hundreds of years later to inventing something that makes us all smile on a hot summer day.
If you like food, language, or science, the full post is worth a read.
(Via Language Log)