Consider the cheese curl, or the microwavable dinner, or beef jerky. These foods are not just tasty: They are scientifically optimized to be shelf-stable, perfectly consistent in taste from serving to serving, filling, addictive, savory, and cheap. Achieving all those goals requires more than a handful of pantry items—it requires state-of-the art production techniques and a serious helping of laboratory chemicals. So while most of us could identify our favorite homemade dishes from ingredients alone (olives, garlic, capers, linguine … sounds like puttanesca!), we would be hopelessly lost trying to recognize our favorite snacks.
Nevertheless, Slate challenges you to do just that. We give you a list of ingredients; you select the correct grocery-store foodstuff from a lineup. (If you're right, your guess will turn green and you'll be able to move on to the next set of ingredients; otherwise, it will turn red. Keep trying until you get it right.) At the end of the quiz, you can compare your results with those of other Slate readers.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Right Target
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Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.
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Survivors might be immune. Let’s recruit them to care for the infected.
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America in Africa
The tragic, misunderstood history of Liberia—and why the United States has a special obligation to help it fight the Ebola epidemic.