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9 Things You Didn’t Know About Julia Child

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Julia Child

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This legendary culinary personality brought French cooking to the masses — but that's not all she did

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Julia Child

In the culinary world, few figures loom larger than Julia Child. Even though she never cooked in a professional kitchen, Child changed the way that Americans look at food forever and left an indelible mark on television, cookbooks, and gastronomy at large. But even if you’ve seen every single episode of The French Chef, we bet that there are some things you didn’t know about Julia Child.

She Had Top-Secret Duties in World War II

Wikimedia Commons/ US Army

At six feet, two inches, Child was too tall for the Women’s Army Corps, so she instead joined the Office of Strategic Services as a typist. She was quickly promoted to the role of top-secret researcher for the head of the OSS, and then assisted developers of a shark repellent that kept sharks away from underwater mines. She was later transferred to Asia, where she managed communications for the OSS’s secret stations there.

Her First Meal in Rouen, France, Changed Her Life

Wikimedia Commons/ Naotake Murayama

Child told The New York Times that the meal, which consisted of oysters, sole meunière, and fine wine, was “an opening up of the soul and spirit for me.”

Publisher Houghton Mifflin Rejected ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’

Believe it or not, the publisher passed on the manuscript because they thought it read too much like an encyclopedia. When the 726-page book was finally published by Alfred A. Knopf, it was nearly immediately regarded as a seminal work.

She Made an Omelette in Her First Television Appearance

Wikimedia Commons/ Cyclone Bill

Child didn’t appear on television until 1962, when she was 50 years old. On her first television appearance, on a book review show on Boston’s WGBH, she demonstrated how to cook an omelette. Her demo was so successful that the following year WGBH gave her a show of her own, The French Chef.

‘The French Chef’ Was the First Captioned Program

In 1972, her show became the first in the history of television to include captioning for the hearing impaired. As opposed to “closed captioning,” which needs to be activated by the viewer, her show was “open captioned,” meaning that all viewers could see the subtitles.

She Despised the ‘Fanatical Fear of Food’

Wikimedia Commons/ John Sullivan

Child was criticized for her use of butter and cream in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when it was believed that margarine was healthier than butter, and she hated this criticism. Child was convinced that this “fanatical fear of food” would destroy the country’s dining habits, and that paying too much attention to nutrition ruins the experience of eating good food. “We should enjoy food and have fun,” she told The New York Times in 1990. “It is one of the simplest and nicest pleasures in life.”

‘Saturday Night Live’ Parodied Her, and She Loved It

Dan Aykroyd parodied Child in a 1978 sketch, portraying her as a bumbling chef who profusely bleeds after cutting her thumb, eventually dying from her wound while muttering “Save the liver.” Child loved the sketch, and even saved a copy of it to show to friends at parties.

Her Kitchen Is on Display at the Smithsonian

Wikimedia Commons/ Kevin Burkett

Her Last Meal Was French Onion Soup

Wikimedia Commons/ Jeffrey W

Child passed away from kidney failure at her retirement home, Casa Dorinda in Montecito, California, on August 13, 2004, shortly after eating French onion soup, made from one of her own recipes by her longtime assistant.

15 Fascinating Facts About Julia Child

Julia Child was much more than just a bestselling cookbook author and chef. Over the course of her life, she was also a breast cancer survivor, a TV trailblazer, and a government spy. It's the famed chef's spy game that will be the focus of Julia, a new series being developed by ABC Signature and created by Benjamin Brand.

The project will draw its inspiration from Child's PBS program Cooking for the C.I.A. “I was disappointed when I learned that in this case, the C.I.A. stood for the Culinary Institute of America,” Brand told Deadline. “Cooking Secrets of the Central Intelligence Agency always seemed like a more interesting show to me. Many years later, when I read a biography of Julia Child and learned about her experiences during World War II, working for the Office of Strategic Services—the precursor to the C.I.A.—the story of Julia quickly fell into place.”

Though Julia will be a work of fiction, here are 15 facts about the beloved cook, who was born on August 15, 1912.

10 Fussing Over Blog Views

As soon as Julie gets her blog up we find her constantly analyzing the possibility of whether or not people are reading her blog. She is fixated on receiving approval from other people--and not just people close to her, but strangers.

Julia Child, on the other hand, was somebody who did what she wanted because she wanted to do it, and if somebody didn't approve, it was of no consequence to her. She was a woman who did not take herself too seriously, something Julie Powell definitely doesn't seem to be.

She was a late bloomer

Child didn't meet her husband Paul until she was 31 years old, and she married at age 34, which was considered unusual in the 1940s. Even though she made a huge impact on the world with her cooking, she didn't actually discover her passion for it until she turned 36.

In her autobiography, My Life in France (via NPR), Child remembered, "As a girl I had zero interest in the stove. I've always had a healthy appetite. but I was never encouraged to cook and just didn't see the point in it." She only became interested in cooking when she married Paul, who had been raised by a mother who knew how to cook.

She signed up for a "bride-to-be's" cooking class before their wedding. The first meal she made for Paul, brains simmered in red wine, came out terribly, according to Julia (via The New York Times). "The results, alas, were messy to look at and not very good to eat. In fact, the dinner was a disaster!" she wrote. But this only made her more determined to learn how to cook well. She didn't let her age, or her lack of experience, stop her from learning something new.

5 Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About Julia Child, America’s Most Beloved Chef

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Today, beloved chef and author Julia Child would have been 105. In an age when America’s eating habits where comprised of Cheez Whiz and TV dinners, Child managed to make French cooking—then viewed as snooty and stuck up—seem approachable, manageable, and most of all, like it was a fun thing to do.

To honor her birthday, here are five fascinating things you may not know about the famed French chef.

1. Her Mother Hated Cooking

Like mother, like daughter? Not in the Child family: Julia’s mother had no interest in cooking, so instead hired a chef to cook for the household. A typical meal, she told the Washington Post in 1992, was “gray lamb with mint.” On the cook’s day off, they’d go out to eat (or Julia’s mother would occasionally make an “English cheese thing”).

2. Before She Was a Cook, She Was a Spy

During WWII, Child worked in the OSS, which later became the CIA. Ironically, her main mission was working on a recipe that no one would want to eat, sharks in particular. The curious beasts kept accidentally triggering explosives meant for German U-Boats, and Child developed a powerful shark-repellant. It’s still used today.

Later on, she was stationed in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)—where she met her husband, Paul—and in Kunming, China.

3. The First Meal She Cooked on Television Was an Omelet

Hoping to drum up publicity for her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Child appeared on a local Boston television station to make an omelet. She arrived with only a copper bowl, a whisk, and some eggs. Russell Morash, her producer, remembers thinking: “Who is this madwoman cooking an omelet on a book-review program?”

4. Money Problems May Have Contributed to Her “Candidness”

In the beginning, Child’s show, The French Chef, had a tight budget. Allegedly, it was filmed on used tape, and they couldn’t afford to reshoot. The whole thing was filmed in one session, screwups and all. Little did they know that these drops, spills, and candid moments made her all the more endearing to her audience.

5. You Can Visit Her Famous Provence Country Home

American woman and avid cooker Makenna Johnston bought La Pitchoune, Child’s idyllic countryside home, in 2016. She turned it into a rentable space of all trades: It can be used as a cooking school, vacation getaway, and wedding venue, to name a few.

Now grab a nice French wine, cook up some coq au vin, book a trip to Paris, and turn on Julia and Julia to properly celebrate.

She discovered Julia Child

Judith Jones (left), who was Julia Child’s cookbook editor and longtime friend, has a new book due in September titled “The Pleasures of Cooking for One.’’ (Knopf)

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In the new movie “Julie & Julia,’’ opening Friday, Judith Jones is credited with discovering Julia Child. That’s not hyperbole. As a young editor at Knopf, Jones took a chance on “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,’’ then went on to guide more books by Child, James Beard, and many others. The two women remained close friends until Child’s death in 2004. Author of “The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food,’’ Jones, 85, has a new book due in September titled “The Pleasures of Cooking for One.’’

Q. What do you remember most about visiting Julia in Cambridge?

A. I remember she had this huge house and you never got out of the kitchen most days. And you didn’t want to!

Q. Do you agree that Julia “changed everything,’’ as the movie says?

A. Very much so. She made people see that cooking was fun and sensual. She made sounds that were delicious. She lifted the hideous Puritanism that had, particularly in New England, made food uninteresting. Suddenly everybody was “cooking Julia.’’ And then they were exploring the Middle East, China, India . . . she loved it all.

Q. Moviegoers might wonder why you didn’t show up for dinner with (“Julie & Julia’’ author) Julie Powell.

A. I didn’t know I was invited to dinner. I had agreed to come to her apartment because I wasn’t sure how you put a blog together and I also wanted to talk about recipe rights. . . . But the real reason I canceled is that Julia looked at her blog and didn’t think Julie was a serious cook. There were all these four-letter words - that isn’t how you describe food if you care and if you’re a good writer. Julia thought we shouldn’t have anything to do with it.

Q. Julia’s recipes get portrayed as rigid and haughty, but wasn’t she also forgiving and pragmatic?

A. She adapted to what we have in America and found substitutes. You didn’t have to go to 10 markets looking for a shallot if it wasn’t there, it wasn’t there. . . . And she would have said “nonsense’’ to what’s going on today when they call for one sprig of fresh parsley, three fresh bay leaves. . . . You spend about $9 on what’s practically a decoration.

Q. What is the state of food and food writing now?

A. Julia really changed the way we wrote cookbooks. She changed expectations of what a cookbook should be. We’re still in an exciting time, but I’m not happy with most of the television shows. The Food Network says “we’re more than about food,’’ well, why do you want to be more than about food? Food is the greatest subject!

Q. What would Julia think of today’s rock-star chefs?

A. She was herself and spontaneous, where these guys are just pathetic. It all started with Emeril, and he was such a nice guy and such a good cook until they ruined him. But the response to this film makes me feel that more people are going to again discover the fun of cooking at home. You don’t do nonsense - dehydrating and rehydrating, all that kind of stuff - at home. You just do good cooking. Soigné, as Julia would say.

Inside the Fascinating Marriage of Julia and Paul Child

In this exclusive excerpt from The French Chef in America , author Alex Prud'homme, Julia's grandnephew, explores the legendary author's relationship with her husband, Paul.

Julia was always careful to use "we" rather than "I" in talking about her career. Paul had been her original inspiration and mentor, and was essential to her success. In The French Chef Cookbook, Julia thanked him thus: "Paul Child, the man who is always there: porter, dishwasher, official photographer, mushroom dicer and onion chopper, editor, fish illustrator, manager, taster, idea man, resident poet, and husband."

Later, she'd say, "Not everybody realizes that Paul and I are a team, and that we work together on developing menus and dishes."

When they hosted dinner parties, Paul and Julia would plan a menu and shop together she would cook, while he chopped vegetables, set the table, made cocktails, poured wine, and helped with serving at the end of an evening, they would share pot scrubbing, floor-mopping, and trash removal. "We always finished our individual tasks at the same time&mdashbecause, I suppose, we did everything that was to be done together," Julia said. "Two are so much faster than one."

He was always there for her, and she for him, but they also knew when to give each other space. "We each need long, silent times by ourselves, and it's worked out awfully well," Julia said. "We agree on just about everything. I think I'm more social than Paul. I enjoy big parties, he doesn't. But we don't fight about it. We like the same friends."

"We had a happy marriage because we were together all the time."

Julia described the institution of marriage as a "lovely intertwining of life, mind, and soul," and asserted that she was content as a housewife: "I think the role of a woman is to be married to a nice man and enjoy her home. I can't think of anything nicer than homemaking." She fondly recalled that in all their years of living abroad, she and Paul were rarely apart: "We had a happy marriage because we were together all the time."

These are appealing sentiments, and they were genuine. But once Julia became a celebrity the day-to-day reality of the Childs' marriage grew more complex. There was a tension inherent between her wish to be a good wife and her professional ambitions. The first required selflessness while the latter required selfishness maintaining a balance wasn't easy.

Beneath her modest exterior, Julia was a very determined person who loved to work hard and was energized by success. Cookery was not merely a pastime to her: it was a vocation and a nearly religious calling. She had found her raison d'être in Paris and never deviated from it, though she denied she was goal oriented. "I'm not driven. I'm enjoying what I do, and I don't have any great ambitions," she said. "I'm lucky to be in this profession that I just adore."

With all due respect, she was driven and ambitious. She had to be. One doesn't stumble into the kind of remarkable career she had in books, television, magazines, newspapers, and live performance, or invent and reinvent oneself as often and as successfully as she did&mdashespecially as a woman of that era&mdashunless one is focused on doing so.

Julia's professional obligations dictated how and where she and Paul spent their time. This could mean working twelve to sixteen hours a day at home or in the TV studio, rising before dawn to perform live cooking demonstrations in far-flung cities, or undertaking cross-country book tours, transatlantic cruises on the Queen Elizabeth, or visits to the White House. She felt guilty about ignoring Paul, and made sure to include him and take care of him as much as she could. The two of them occasionally slipped away to "recharge the batteries" in Maine or California or France. But most of their time was devoted to the care and feeding of Julia Child, Inc.

Paul was content with this arrangement. He was proud of Julia's success, and happy that she was the public face of the team while he remained in the background. This is one of the most remarkable aspects of the Childs' marriage. While Julia was naturally social, Paul was a quiet observer who trained himself to be an effective public speaker, writer, and editor. "My whole life has been concerned with communication," he explained. "Communication is the glue that holds people together . . . it's the mortar of civilization's structure."

While in the Foreign Service, Paul was the "senior" member of the Child team after his retirement, he took care of the less glamorous side of things. He was a dedicated gardener and was handy with broken lamps, leaky toilets, or caulking around the furnace. He had a sophisticated eye, and helped Julia&mdashwho was not an especially visual person&mdash style her dining tables and the sets of her TV shows. "'Paul,' was my frequent plea, 'this platter of vegetables just doesn't look right,'" Julia recalled. "And with a few deft movements he'd almost always manage to transform it."

At home, Julia could be found in the kitchen on the first floor, or in her office on the second floor. While she loved the "big, rambling Victorian house" on Irving Street [in Cambridge, Massachusetts], she did not care for vacuuming, bed making, or other non-culinary housework. She liked to have cut flowers on the table, particularly roses, but had a brown thumb in the garden. (Julia complained bitterly about Simca [Simone Beck, her longtime collaborator]'s habit of buying lots of plants for [the house they shared in France], then leaving for Paris and expecting Julia to water them. Julia couldn't be bothered, so Paul did the job.) Julia loved animals, especially "poussiquettes" while she kept a cat named Minette ("Pussycat" in French) in Paris in the 1950s, she was too busy thereafter to keep a permanent feline in residence she would temporarily adopt local farm cats while at La Pitchoune.

There were times when Julia grew wistful about not having a child and grandchild, as her siblings did, and commiserated with Simca about their lack of progeny. Yet, Julia acknowledged that had she conceived she would have devoted her energy to her children and would not have had the career that she did.

Paul was Julia's first reader and toughest critic. He pushed her to write clearly and originally, without cliché, and to say exactly what she meant. For most of his life, he was a prolific writer of letters, journals, date books, and poetry. Paul wrote hundreds of words a day, usually in long- hand, in a clear flowing script, in blue, black, or green ink. He recorded mundane details and globally significant events with equal fervor: noting the pink socks on a clothesline in Paris, the price of Champagne on a Wednesday in 1952, the internal politics of the U.S. Consulate in Marseille, the impact of the Cold War on German civilians, the subtleties of Norwegian humor, and the sounds of Julia cooking&mdashas if to fix each moment in time. In this accretion of journalistic detail, he seemed to be writing for the ages it was as if he hoped that one day someone might use his notes to write about his and Julia's remarkable lives.

Julia saw his epistolary output as a way for Paul to bring order to his exciting but often chaotic existence&mdash"a curry of a life," he called it. His father, Charles Tripler Child, was an electrical engineer who died of typhoid fever when Paul and Charlie were six months old. Their mother, Bertha Cushing Child, was a beauty, a singer, a theosophist, a wonderful cook, and a distracted single mother. His older sister, Meeda, was an attractive and fiercely intelligent woman who grew dissolute and died young. As boys, Paul and Charlie bounced around various schools and jobs, such as carting supplies in a munitions factory during the First World War, mostly around Boston.

Julia noted that much of Paul's writing was to, or about, Charlie. Like many twins, they were mutually supportive and rivalrous. While Charlie "opted for chaos," Paul preferred the "fortress-castle-square" of calm and control. When they were seven, Charlie accidentally blinded Paul's left eye with a sewing needle. Paul never complained about it, and managed to earn a black belt in judo, could drive a car, and taught perspective drawing.

Known in the family as "Cha" or "the Eagle," Charlie was brawnier, louder, more charismatic, and less sensitive than Paul, who was called "P'ski." Charlie was apparently the favored twin. One of Bertha's paramours&mdashsaid to be Edward Filene, the founder of Filene's department store in Boston&mdashpaid his tuition at Harvard Paul was given tuition for one year at Columbia. When the money ran out, he worked on ships, at odd jobs, and traveled across the country.

"Without Paul Child," she said, "I would not have had my career."

Yet Paul was a voracious reader and autodidact, and for much of the 1920s and 1930s he worked in Italy, France, and the United States as a private tutor and teacher. As mentioned earlier, he fell in love with Edith Kennedy, and they lived together unmarried in Cambridge, until she died in 1942. Charlie was a professional painter, while Paul made art in his spare time, but was arguably more talented. In his letters, Paul went to great lengths to appraise, analyze, and critique Charlie's artwork, and frequently suggested techniques, exhibits, or readings to his brother. Charlie was an evocative writer, but he rarely returned the favor he ignored Paul's questions, and preferred to write&mdashand talk&mdashabout himself, a habit that grated on Paul and Julia.

Though she was very fond of his wife, Freddie (Fredericka), "Charlie brings out the absolute worst in me," Julia confided to [her friend and longtime editor] Avis DeVoto. "He is inclined to holier-than-thou statements . . . I become crass, violent, materialistic, gluttonous, mean. Paul finds his ancient twindom animosities rising to the fore, though is far nicer than I. It is probably really much better not to see one's intimate family for more than 21&frasl2 days at a time."

Charlie would pout, or yodel "Ohhh, Juuuullliaaa!" in exasperation, rolling his eyes, when he felt that she was being pushy or intrusive&mdash which she could be, though some would say she was merely being enthusiastic or watching out for her husband.

Paul needed Julia. She was strong, enthusiastic, funny, and smart. She provided the emotional love and humor that he did not have as a boy, and the intellectual and physical love that he needed as a man. He did not want children as much as she did. I suspect Paul wanted Julia all to himself, and she was happy to have him. She made sure to tell inter- viewers how intelligent and supportive he was, and how she admired his "EOT" ("Eye on the Target") ability to get things done.

"Without Paul Child," she said, "I would not have had my career."

Excerpted from The French Chef in America by Alex Prud'homme. Copyright © 2016 by Random House. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

This recipe is adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. It’s somewhat of a long recipe, but no one ever said French cooking was easy. Have a glass of wine while preparing this wonderful dish, and the results will be rewarding.


  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • One 6-ounce piece of chunk bacon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups red wine (burgundy)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • A crumbled bay leaf
  • 18 to 24 small peeled white onions (about 1″ in diameter)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
  • 1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered

Cooking Instructions:

Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sauté lardons in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.

Dry beef in paper towels it will not brown if it is damp. Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the lardons.

In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.

Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).

Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered.

Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.

Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet.

Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly.

Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.

Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.

Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.

Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.

Wash out the casserole and return the beef and lardons to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top.

Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock. Taste carefully for seasoning.

Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.

Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.

Please leave your experiences with this recipe in the comments section below.

9 Facts You Didn't Know About Pistachios

It's time to get cracking! The pistachio harvest in California (the number one producer of these tasty nuts) runs August to early October and is just wrapping up. As a consultant to the Pistachio Health Institute, I give you the green light to grab a bag of these "skinny" nuts, nosh on a 49-nut serving and absorb both their health benefits and the fun facts below!

1. The Italians were ahead of the game. In the first century A.D. Emperor Vitellius introduced Rome to the pistachio. Apicius, Rome's 5th-century A.D. recipe book, and that era's version of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, includes pistachios. (Word's still out on how much longer it took the Italians to come up with pistachio gelato—YUM.)

2. What's in a name? That which we call a pistachio is known as the "smiling nut" in Iran and the "happy nut" in China. They're also known as the "green almond."

3. Better than a caveman diet. The nuts are also the original prehistoric snack! One of the oldest flowering nut trees, humans have eaten pistachio nuts for at least 9,000 years. Plus, pistachios are one of the only two nuts mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 43:11).

4. Where's the green come from? Pistachios are the "colorful" nut, owing their green and purple hue to antioxidants.

5. Abide by the "Pistachio Principle." Research suggests that as one of the only in-shell snack nuts, pistachios may help slow consumption and the empty shells offer a visual cue, potentially reducing calorie intake. A preliminary behavioral eating study suggests that in-shell snackers ate 41 percent fewer calories than those who snacked on shelled nuts. This effect is known as "The Pistachio Principle."

6. Chock full of. nutrition. Pistachios are a good source of protein, fiber, magnesium, thiamin, and phosphorus. They're an excellent source of vitamin B6, copper, and manganese.

7. Surprise branches in the family tree. Among its "kissing cousins": pistachios are related to the mango and the spice sumac.

__8. A queen-sized craving.__Perhaps the original royal nut, the Queen of Sheba loved pistachios. In fact, she demanded that the entire region's pistachio harvest be set aside for her.

9. Here's to your heart. Scientific evidence suggests that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pistachios, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.

When it came to food, Child was a late bloomer. She freely admitted she couldn’t cook until her early 30s, and she had a lot of mishaps along the way. She embraced her experiences, however, and knew that if recipes sometimes failed, she just had to try again. “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude,” she famously said. Child didn't get her first TV show until after she had turned 50, but she enjoyed decades of well-deserved success, serving as an inspiration to anyone who finds their passion later in life.

Child passed away in 2004, just a few days before she would have turned 92. But throughout her life, she clearly enjoyed many delicious — and rich! — foods. Child often touted eating well, but in moderation. In a 2001 TV interview Child declared, "I don't consider vegetarianism a sensible diet at all, because you're supposed to have a little bit of everything. How about red meat? Which I believe in." She continued, "As I've often said, red meat and gin."