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See also - the darling buds of May. The British version of the phrase - 'touch wood', pre-dates the American 'knock on wood' and was itself preceded by a Latin version - 'absit omen', meaning 'far be that omen from us'. This dates from at least the early 17th century, when it is quoted by John Heywood in his collections of proverbs.


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It isn't clear when 'touch wood' began to be used as a token of good fortune but it must have been by , when the academic correspondence magazine Notes and Queries published this:. There probably is some old English expression for averting evil, but it does not come to mind; "I touch wood," "Bar omen," "Bar ill-luck," seem clumsy.

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Kontio actively recognises and addresses its impact on the environment. We also ensure the forests have minimal interference to allow wildlife to thrive.


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  7. It is in our genes to look after it. Perhaps there is still hope yet in saving and maintaining the earth we are privileged to inhabit. While ice cream's main ingredients include milk, cream, sugar, and egg yolks, the secret to making gelato is to use much less cream and sometimes little to no egg yolk. This leads to a much smaller percentage of butterfat in gelato.

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    The FDA rules say that ice cream cannot contain less than 10 percent milkfat though it can go as high as 25 percent while gelato, much like soft serve , stays in the 4- to 9-percent range. The churning method for both also differs, which affects the treat's density.

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    Ice cream is churned at a much faster pace, leading to more air being whipped into the mixture. Ice cream's higher butterfat content comes into play here—due to all of that milkfat, the mix absorbs the air more readily. Gelato, on the other hand, is churned at a slower pace and absorbs far less air, creating a much denser dessert.

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    You also might have noticed that the serving style for the two treats aren't the same, either. Ice cream is then scooped into fairly uniform balls with the round ice cream scooper, whereas a spade or paddle is best for molding gelato into mound in a cup or a cone. You can't really go wrong with either gelato or ice cream on a sweltering summer day, but there is one more difference to keep in mind while you debate which to get: taste.

    If you want a bolder flavor, you'll want to go with gelato. Because of the density of the cream and because there's less butterfat to coat your taste buds, gelato can seem to have more intensity to its flavors.

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    Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, send it to bigquestions mentalfloss. Basketball and hockey coaches wear business suits on the sidelines.


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    Football coaches wear team-branded shirts and jackets and often ill-fitting pleated khakis. Why are baseball managers the only guys who wear the same outfit as their players?