A listing of our past winners (in reverse chronological order):


Many European countries prepare special brioche or coffee cake like delicacies during the holiday season.  These rich creations are often laced with dried fruit, candied citrus peel, nuts and spices and include English Fruit Cakes, French Three King cakes, German Stollen, Italian Panettone and Danish Kringle

Question:  Which of these specialty holiday cakes are available on Avanti Savoia’s website
Answer:  Other:  Stollen


All Correct Answers!  Merry Christmas!

Didn't win?  Click here to enter again.


Question:  English Christmas Pudding is also known as Plum Pudding because…

Answer:  One of the ingredients, dried currants was once referred to as plums.


All Correct Answers!  Merry Christmas!


Question:  At the first Thanksgiving celebration in 1621, the menu included pies made of what?

Answer: None of the above.


  • Michael Hawkins
  • Sylvie Warren
  • Vickie McGrew
  • Cathy Gibson


Question: Roast Turkey is the is the iconic star of the American Thanksgiving table but, what other famous traditional New World recipe contains turkey, aromatic vegetables, spices, ground seeds, peppers AND chocolate?

Answer:  A. Turkey Mole (Mole Poblano de Guajolote)


  • Charles Hildebrand
  • Mike Nemecek
  • Anette Thanner
  • Larry Holme


Question:  I am a technique for preserving meats such as duck, goose or pork that involves cooking the meat in its own fat, and then storing the meat in this fat in a covered container.

Answer:  Confit


  • Jacob Molin
  • Joseph Menard
  • Richard Kloss
  • Lois Orlando


Question:  I am a French term meaning "to put in place" and I am one of the first and most important steps in cooking.  What is the term?

Answer:  Mise en Place


  • Karen Mullikin
  • Diane DesMaisons
  • Ricka Doerr
  • Renee Staloch


Question: A cooking method where meat or vegetables are first browned in butter and/or oil, then cooked in a covered pot in a small amount of cooking liquid at low heat for a long period of time.  What is the method?

Answer: braise (BRAYZ)


  • Madeleine Seese
  • Allan Spiegel
  • Judy Penn
  • Anne DeRemer


Question: What "pumpkin" were used to carve the original Jack'O Lanterns in Europe.

Answer:  No pumpkin, or Turnips and Rutabega will be accepted.


  • Ken Layton
  • Andrea Talaga
  • Irma Van Dam
  • Mary Baluta


Question:  I am a fungus that grows 3 to 12 inches underground near the roots of trees and never beyond the range of the branches.  I am a tuber with a very specific flavor and aroma.  I am savored in Italian and French cooking, and due to my scarcity I can be rather expensive.  What am I?

Answer:  Truffle


  • Douglas Guy
  • Sheri Lee
  • Linda Finger
  • Sarah Burai


Question:  I am considered the best of all risotto rices.  Developed in 1945 by a Milanese rice grower as a cross between Vialone and a Japanese strain.  I have an outer skin with enough soft starch to dissolve and make the risotto creamy but I also keep a firm consistency.  What am I?

Answer:  Carnaroli


  • Pati McElroy
  • Michael Rockwell
  • Debra Sluis
  • Charles Gallaher
  • Melinda Patrie
  • Lawrence McCauley


Question:  Soft enough to smear or spread I am a German pork sausage.  I am bright red, fatty and seasoned with coriander and white pepper.  Though I am uncooked, I am cured, smoked and ready to eat.  I am usaully spread on bread or crackers.  So, what am I?

Answer:  Mettwurst or Schmierwurst


  • Stancy Heddens
  • Larry Holme
  • Charles Wade
  • James Celen
  • Deana Calvanese
  • Alicia Wallace


Question:  I am a confection and I was originally made from the roots of a shrub that typically grew in marshy places.  What am I?

Answer:  Marshmallow


  • John Wilson
  • Mary Tharp
  • Lisa Pulignani
  • Melissa Ridgely
  • Laura Henry
  • Mary Janssen


Question:  I am combination of flavors, consisting of pineapple, mango, banana, and papaya.  I sometimes referred to as a custard apple.  What am I?

Answer:  Cherimoya


  • Anna Bornino-Glusac
  • Paula VanBuskirk
  • Gail Borio
  • Marie Leclerc
  • Lynette Stumpe
  • Dottie L Hubbard


Question: What egg/veloute liason mother souce did the famous chef Auguste Escoffier change
from a German name to a French name during WWI?

Answer:  Sauce Allemande to Sauce Parisienne


  • Mary Boldin
  • Steven Disney
  • Robert Messinger
  • Katherine Stukel
  • Melinda Patrie
  • Sylvie Warren


Question:  I am known as the "pie plant," however, my roots and leaves contain oxalic acid and are considered toxic.  What am I?

Answer:  Rhubarb


  • Ted Mruczek
  • Steve Hamilton
  • Angie Reon
  • Morgan Fleming
  • Kathy Hornick
  • Aaryn Wilson


Question:  When asked "What would you like for your birthday dinner, Julia Child would always say,_________________

Answer:  roast duck and a big gooey cake.


  • Joan Tuttle
  • Jean Jackson
  • Mary Janssen
  • Judith Zweighaft
  • Ilse Godfrey
  • Michele D'Alessio


Question:  I am made of whole eggs and sugar whisked over heat until thick, then cooled and combined with flour and melted butter.   What am I?

Answer: Genoise Sponge Cake


  • Van Elmayan
  • Larry Grey
  • Laura Henry
  • Pamela Braun
  • Dana Okamoto
  • Alana Rillo


Question:  This is a classic French culinary term for the caramelized and concentrated bits of
residue left over in a pan after cooking meat.  The ______ is the tasty bits you are after when
you "deglaze" a pan for flavoring sauces and making gravies.

Answer:  Fond


  • Stephanie Betterly
  • Mary Wright
  • Colette Peal
  • Lynn Ristau
  • Michele Bauer
  • Linda Mayberry




Question:  Also referred to as a "binder," what is the process of thickening a sauce, soup, or stew with a mixture made with temepered egg yolks and cream.

Answer:  Liaison

  • John Libby
  • Viktoriya Kim
  • Renee Robl
  • Gayle Watkins
  • Grace Mauer
  • April Ard




Question:  This is the practice of surrounding or enveloping meat with pork fat. The fat keeps the meat moist while it cooks.

Answer:  Barding


  • William Waite
  • Melissa Sawvell
  • Donna Olivo
  • Nancy Zahar
  • Richard Vail
  • Anne DeRemer




Question:  July is National _________ Month.

Answer:  Lasagna Awareness


  • Deborah Anderson
  • Karen Hester
  • Pamela White
  • Ramona Dahl


Question:  What former US President and avid baseball fan announced to the White House Chef his

preference that “ball park dogs are steamed, not grilled?”

Answer:  George W. Bush


  • Anthony Dash
  • Michele Bauer
  • Monika Iszard
  • Jacquie Rogers


Question:  Out of 20,000 species of bees, how many make honey?

Answer:  4


  • Wendy Selznick
  • John Mahoney
  • Alicia Wallace
  • Randy Nimon




Question: The name "Boston Butt" is given to this cut of pork because__________.

Answer: pork in Boston was packaged in barrels called Butts.


  • Susan Borland
  • Mark Krolopp
  • Ron Legamaro
  • Becky Grayson




Question:  When you see the words 'Saint Germain' in the name of a dish, what will it most likely contain?

Answer:  Peas


  • Natalie Ryder
  • Sharon Jeka
  • Darlene Kephart
  • Maureen Baker




Question:  Why is the spice, saffron, so expensive and what plant does it come from?

Answer:  Because it must be hand picked and it comes from the Saffron Crocus.


  • Lane Pinto
  • Karen Mullikin
  • Ted Dupont
  • Ron Legamaro


Question:  Which food can be used to make dynamite?

Answer: peanuts


  • Marisa Lykins
  • Will McCole
  • Hana Harman
  • Jenifer Greenwell


Question: Hickory Syrup is made from?

Answer:  Hickory Bark


  • Joseph Grasso
  • James Harman
  • Christine Padgett
  • Allyn Purvis Schwartz


Question:  What is the more common name for the alligator pear?

Answer:  Avocado


  • David Hopkins
  • Nancy Zahar
  • Kathleen Luongo
  • Cassandra Darensbourg


Question:  Submit your own question week!


  • Pamela White
  • Jerry L Rivas
  • Susan Saroian
  • Bonnie Gluhanich


Question:  When did Mother's Day become a National Holiday? 

Answer:  1914


  • Olivia Evans
  • Melinda Patrie
  • Liz Cassidy
  • Jackie Trimble


Question: What was Englishman Joseph Fry's contribution to the world of chocolate? 

Answer:  Added more cocoa butter


  • Ann Marie DeQuattro
  • Deborah Rosen
  • Douglas Dyakon
  • Mary Kay Janssen




Question:  One of the prominent influences in American cooking today is actually one of the older food traditions in the US. The term “Lowcountry” refers to the costal plains and Sea Islands of________.

Answer:  South Carolina and Georgia


  • Madeleine Seese
  • Grace Toy
  • Catherine DeLorey
  • John Adams


Question:  How many miles will a honey bee colony fly to produce one pound of honey.____________?

Answer:  55,000 miles


  • Melissa Hartley
  • Madalyn Drago
  • Deborah Sorg
  • Robert Manning


Question: The banana is a________?

Answer:  Herb  (Corrected answer is that the "banana tree" is an herbaceous plant the the banana is the fruit and more specifically a berry.)


  • Brenda Riley
  • Paula VanBuskirk
  • Deborah Burley
  • Nicky Danaher


Question:   Who were the first to introduce the tomato to Europe?

Answer:  Spanish


  • Sharon Schmidt
  • Bill Schnefke
  • Linda Viste
  • Janel Myers


Question:  A populare Irish dish that is made up of shredded cabbage, minced onions, mashed potatoes and
melted butter is known as:________

Answer:  Colcannon


  • Gail Borio
  • Richard Robertson
  • Maxine Jackson
  • Peggy Cole


Question:  The term "hard bean" means the coffee _____________________.

Answer: was grown at an altitude above 5000 feet


  • David Fisher
  • Diane Maurer
  • Joseph Grasso
  • Michael Rockwell


Question:  This week's question - According to folklore, beans and peas planted during a leap year, "____________".

Answer:  grow the wrong way


  • Myra French
  • Kathleen Riggio
  • Jimmy Arcade
  • Lisa Shafran




Question: In 1872, Rex the King of Mardi Gras chose the offical colors purple, green, and gold.  Each color has a meaning, purple represtents justice; green, faith, and gold,_______.  What does the color gold represent?

Answer:  Power


  • Donna Kilburn
  • Jess Moleano
  • Hope Rabi
  • James Klepoch


Question:  George Washington was very fond of Cherries.  What was his favorite way
to eat them?

Answer: Cherry Pie


  • Vivian Deliz
  • Chuck Aeschbacher Jr.
  • Travis Snyer
  • Kathleen Clayton


Question:  What is the earliet known culture to enjoy "cacao"?

Answer:  Olmec


  • Mary Beth Simcik
  • Melanie Paholich
  • Andrew Gilbride
  • Lisa Woods


Question:  In which Shakespeare play is St. Valentine mentioned?

Answer:  Hamlet


  • Victor Ledesma
  • Donna Olivo
  • Judith Betterly
  • Kirk Lund


Question: What is the shelf life of honey?

Answer: Never goes bad.


  • Ronald Cone
  • Joyce Suurmeyer
  • Blandina Bonazzoli
  • Mary Ryan


Question:  The earliest archeological evidence for the consumption of soup dates back to 6000 BC.  What was the soup?

Answer:  Hippopotamus


  • Kate J. Weiner
  • Mike De Luca
  • Karen Weeks
  • Carrie Conley


Question:  Freshly picked olive fruit is not palatable because it contains phenolic compounds and oleuropein, a glycoside which makes the fruit___________, although not unhealthy.

Answer:  Too Bitter


  • Colette Peal
  • Edna Gregorowicz
  • Lori Morgan
  • Nolan Bourgeois


Question:  What is the name of the truffle hunting dog used to sniff out those "black diamonds"?

Answer:  Bonnie


  • Dana Nance
  • Anthony Dash
  • Michael Ruppert
  • Kathleen Riggio


Question:  In the movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," what is Clark Griswold's middle initial?

Answer:  W.


  • Autumn Hall
  • Vivian Deliz
  • Julie Falsetti
  • Nick Babiak


Question:  In the movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" what were Nora and Frances making while their husbands were sleeping?

Answer:  A Gingerbread house


  • Shawn Andree
  • Phyllis Katcher
  • Brenda Riley
  • Panu Zoller


Question:  In the movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" What is Clark Griswold's occupation?

Answer: Food Additive Designer


  • Jackie Colwell
  • James Celen
  • Narda Young
  • Meredith Carr


Question:  In the movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" the Jell-O mold that Aunt Bethany brings to Christmas Eve Dinner had a special ingredient that added a bit of crunch to the dish.  What was it? (hint: Avanti Savoia does not carry it)

Answer:  Cat Food

4 Winners:

  • Christopher Carroll
  • Linda Mayberry
  • Eileen Gendron
  • Michele Baron



Question:  What happened to the turkey the Griswolds had for Christmas Eve dinner? (In the movie "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation")

Answer:  really dried out

4 Winners:

  • Jessi Graven
  • Travis Snyder
  • Cody Payne
  • Mandee Lasseter


Question:  A horn-shaped basket portrayed with fruits and vegetables inside is called a...?

Answer:  Cornucopia

4 Winners:

  • Elizabeth Pawlak
  • Christine Padgett
  • Kimberly Dull
  • Mia Fitzgerald




Question: In the spirit of Christmas, What did Pierce Egan add to the basic eggnog recipe when he created a variation of eggnog called "Tom and Jerry."

Answer: 1/2 ounce of brandy

4 Winners

  • Frank Yager
  • Grace Toy
  • Deborah Penix
  • George Lee


Question: How many sides does each honeycomb cell have?

Anwser: 6

4 Winners

  • Mike Nemecek
  • Robert Weiss
  • Angels Upvhurch       
  • Grace Jolley      




Question: Which country consumes the most chocolate per person per year?

Anwser: Switzerland

4 Winners

  • Vj Scelfo     
  • Tom Wethern           
  • Marcelle Carson
  • Roy McDonald



Question: What was the brownie named after?

Answer: Its' brown color!

4 Winners

  • Genevieve Warren        
  • Marie Gray        
  • Daniel Krosky
  • Daniel Horne 



Question:Who is our honey expert on Avanti Savoia TV?

Answer: Doug Slocum

4 Winners

  • Carol Hansen
  • Felicia Block       
  • Edgar Keedy
  • Jeff Weiss  


Question: How many varieties of tomatoes are there?

Answer: 10,000

4 Winners

  • Sue Hennen
  • Brenda Waters
  • Maurice Oates
  • Ron Lee



Question: Which month is National Rice month?

Answer: September

4 Winners

  • Kristie Perry
  • Madonna Hanes
  • Angela Upchurch
  • Bill Schnefke   



Question: What is the only post-fermented Chinese tea that can actually improve its flavor by aging?

Answer: Pu-erh

4 Winners

  • Sally Telling  
  • Northa Turner            
  • Stanley Pala
  • Burt Eschen 


Question:  How many apple varieties are there?

Answer:  7,500

4 Winners:

  • Bill Schnefke
  • Diana Shenderovich
  • Pamela Shaw
  • kathy Knutson




Question: Extra virgin olive oil is a balance between...

Answer: Peppery, bitter and fruity

4 Winners

  • Brett Tryner        
  • Sam McNeal        
  • Myra French        
  • Mary Conti     


Question: How many pasta shapes are there worldwide?

Answer: 600

4 Winners

  • Gwen Lenker
  • Ralph Connor
  • Kermit Quinn
  • Tracy Carico   


Question:  Which dessert can be known as Omelette Surprise or Norwegian omelette, but was given an American and much more famous name of today?

Answer:  Baked Alaska

4 Winners

  • William Waite
  • Batya Bauman           
  • Lee Mathis
  • Donna Wensch


Question: How many beekeepers are there in the United States?  An estimated

Answer: 211,600

4 Winners

  • Linda Viste    
  • Michael Grammer      
  • Judy Penn 
  • Patricia Lincoln


Question: Italian and Mexican cooking both use this sauce, "salsa verde". What does the name mean?

Answer: Salsa verde means green sauce.  The salsa verde that is used in Italian cooking is green from parsley, whereas the Mexican version is green from tomatillos.

4 Winners

  • Carole Reed     
  • Jamie Dorfman        
  • Kelvin Jones        
  • Meg Taylor       


Question: How far does a hive of bees fly to bring you one pound of honey? Over

Answer: 55,000 miles

4 Winners

  • Lori Byrd
  • Sasa Pudar
  • Ken Merrick
  • Holly Thomas 


Question:  Which president of the United States was a huge fan of chocolate?

Answer: Thomas Jefferson

4 Winners

  • Geraldine Rodriguez
  • Pamela Braun
  • Paul Muldown
  • Lawrence McCauley       


Question:  This sauce is fermented then brewed. It's made with soybeans and it also contains roasted grains, water and salt.

Answer:  Fish Sauce

4 Winners

  • Carol Kmak    
  • Barbara Noel  
  • Frank Spanitz 
  • Mika Yoshida


Question: Which is rarest: Black truffle or white truffle?

Answer:  White

4 Winners

  • Charles White
  • Lorna Solberg 
  • Athena Russell 
  • Robert Davey    


Question: Blueberries are native to which continent?

Answer: North America

4 Winners

  • Luann Kwiatkowski
  • Norman Barr, Jr.
  • Gerry Lantto
  • Travis Snyder  


Question: Is an artichoke a perennial, herb, annual, or semi-annual flower?

Answer: Perinnial

4 Winners

  • Reesa Rimmer
  • Deedra Chaney
  • Maurice Forrester
  • Larry Holme       


Question:  What nation produces two thirds of the world's vanilla?

Answer:  Madagascar

4 Winners

  • Nicole Bosco  
  • Lynn Dobriko
  • James Harman
  • Charles Stumpe


Question: A popular ingredient in Southeast Asian cooking, I am the fruit of a tree that is native to Africa, and now grows in Asia, the Caribbean, and Mexico. Valued for my acidic taste, I am the secret ingredient in Worcestershire sauce. Finally, my juice is a popular home remedy for relieving an upset stomach. What am I?

Answer: Tamarind

4 Winners

  • David Hopkins Clearwater 
  • Christopher M. Carroll        
  • Susan Saroian        
  • Debbie Treptow


Question: Which word comes from salt?

Answer: Salary

4 Winners

  • Wendy McMurray
  • Rupal Patel
  • Kathleen Mitchell Gentry
  • John Mahoney


Question:  The difference between jam and preserves is...

Answer:  All of the above

4 Winners

  • Martha Homrich
  • Colette Peal
  • Alfred McKay
  • William Kopshever


Question: Who can’t live without eggs?

Answer:  Chef Joseph

4 Winners

  • Vickie McGrew
  • Nicole Collu 
  • John Libby
  • Regi Burns 



Question:  Olive oil has a shelf-life of ____?

Answer:  18 to 24 months after harvest

4 Winners

  • Emma Foster 
  • Jo Anne Apostol        
  • Elaine Kontra 
  • Robert Messinger


Question:  What is America’s favorite pizza topping?

Answer:  Pepperoni

4 Winners

  • Dan Liu
  • Melissa Hartley
  • Lori Haantz     
  • Dan Beard   


Question: When adding liquid to risotto during the cooking process, it is important that they are ________.

Answer: Hot

4 Winners:

  • Yvonne Morris        
  • Vera Keough        
  • Jack Schaffer        
  • James Celen        


Question:  What flower symbolizes Mothers Day?

Answer: Carnations

4 Winners:

  • Sarah Burai        
  • Warren Marler        
  • Gracie Napierkowski        
  • Tanya Grays



Which replica animal is found in many pastry shop windows around Easter time molded out of almond paste, chocolate or marzipan and tied around the neck with a red ribbon? 

Answer:  Lamb

4 Winners

  • Douglas Dyakon            
  • Jim Wiesner             
  • Mary Rice            
  • Ann Dolyniuk        


Question:  Ancient Greeks physicians believed that lettuce could help their patients in which of the following ways?

Answer: Lettuce was thought to induce sleep.  In fact lettuce soup was served as the last course at Greek banquets to give the guests a restful night.

4 Winners:

  • Christine Look
  • Les Black        
  • Karen Martin        
  • Lance Saltzman 


Question:  How long does the asparagus plant take to mature properly?

Answer:  About 3 years

4 Winners

  • Lawrence Kase
  • Gay Lyons
  • Ann Marie DeQuattro
  • Harold Moore       


Question:  In southern Italy you might come across a menu featuring "Pesce in crosta di sale". You know that "Pesce" means fish… but how has it been cooked?

Answer:  Baked in a salt crust

4 Winners

  • Marlene Rosenberg 
  • Iris Kunofsky  
  • Perry Harmon  
  • Ken Stevens         


Question: Which ancient Roman author called the 'artichoke' one of earth's monstrosities?

Answer: Pliny

4 Winners:

  • Betty Joyce 
  • Yolanda Bost 
  • Mia Fitzgerald
  • Enerst Rinaldi 


Question:  How many varieties of olives are there in the world?

Answer:  More than 100 varieties

4 Winners:

  • Debra Wostmann
  • Viktoriya Kim
  • John Daviduke
  • David Thompson


Question:  True or False: Mardi Gras in America was begun in New Orleans.

Answer: False

4 Winners:

  • Jeffrey Byko
  • Sharon Camhi
  • Jonell Hagner
  • Paul Sproul


Question:  Which grain is considered by the Incas to be "the mother of all grains?"

Answer: Quinoa

4 Winners:

  • Ronald Schwartz
  • Jacqueline Sweely
  • Louise Becker
  • May Schultz


Question: Which of the following tea names translates to 'Black Dragon' in English?

Answer: Oolong, Long' means dragon in Chinese, while 'oo' (or 'ou') is a term for dark, black or murky.

4 Winners:

  • Janet Redling
  • Mary Casper
  • William Faison
  • Jennifer Chadwick


Question: Hachez Chocolate Company, out of Bremen, Germany, is known for their Ecuadorian cocoa beans which are _______.

Answer:  dried under layers of banana leaves

4 Winners:

  • Bonnie Laurie
  • Mark Auteritano
  • Nina Tobier
  • Audrey Larson


Question: How can you remove strong odors on your hands left by garlic, onions or seafood?

Answer:  Wash hands in cold water with soap and then rub hands on stainless steel.

4 Winners:

  • Ronald Dorton
  • Robert Noll
  • Suzanne Yanchisin
  • Judith Zweighaft


Question:  At Avanti Savoia, we are proud of our status as olive oil “________.”  We will continue to search Italy for this “culinary treasure” and go to great lengths to bring you the finest extra virgin olive oils at the very best ________.

Answer:  fanatics, price

4 Winners:

  • Michael Corradettim
  • Danielle Gregg
  • Ann McDonald
  • Jay Tice


Question: The first Americans to learn the trade of making maple syrup called their creation ____.

Answer:  sinzibukwud, meaning 'sweet buds'

4 Winners:

  • Melissa Chappell
  • Ronald Cone
  • Jodi Kozloff
  • Lane Pinto


Question: Approximately how many different varieties of rice are there worldwide?

Answer:  40,000

4 Winners:

  • Barbara Beecher
  • Michael Auteritano
  • Barbara haeley
  • Paul Young


Question:  Lowcountry cuisine refers to a style of cooking which is typically associated with what two states?

Answer:  South Carolina and Georgia

4 Winners

  • Janet Martin
  • David Guss
  • Sanford Mead
  • Barbara Argoe


Question:  Mistletoe has long been thought to be:

Answer:  all of the above (aphrodisiac, bestower of life, guard against poison)

4 Winners

  • Leslie Carcaise
  • Kathleen Riggio
  • Geoff Kaufman
  • John Draft


Question:  The week before Christmas in Switzerland is full of gifts, celebration, hot chocolate, and ____.

Answer:  homemade doughnuts

4 Winners

  • Sylvie Warren
  • James Klepoch
  • Connie Harrison
  • Karen Leader


Question:  In Italy, the children open up their presents on which day?

Answer:  January 6th

4 Winners

  • David Coggins
  • Julie Falsetti
  • Patricia Mortimer
  • Laura Dickson


Question:  How many turkeys are sold each year for Thanksgiving celebrations!

Answer:  280 million

4 Winners

  • Darlene Frederick
  • Patricia Nieh
  • Robert Sorrentino
  • JF Wilson



Question:  Which of these products does Avanti Savoia not carry?

Answer:  "large batch, mass produced "fat free" olive oil"

4 Winners

  • Anna Bogle
  • June Eggers
  • Judith Betterly
  • Stephen Tenyak



Question:  Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every November, a vote approved by Congress in 1941.  Why did it change from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday in November?

Answer:  Sometimes the last Thursday would be the fifth Thursday and that's just too close to Christmas for a business.

4 Winners:

  • Mark Boyer
  • Kim Branson
  • Allison Picone
  • Theo Braswell


Question:  In the production process of making olive oil, pressing olives to extract the oil must happen quickly and at a controlled temperature of less than __ degrees [F].

Answer:  80

2 Winners:

  • Courtney Schott
  • Hal Lubow


Question:  Although wealthy Italian families have produced balsamic vinegar for their own use for over a thousand years, it's only become available commercially in the last how many years?

Anwer: 40

4 Winners:

  • Toni Savchuck
  • Margaret Campbell
  • Paul Heitzenrater
  • Robert Waites


Question:  The liqueur that fills the Strega chocolates consists of more than ___ herbs and spices.

Answer:  70

4 Winners:

  • Timothy Doyle
  • Michael Hawkins
  • Mark Solomon
  • Deborah Weinstein


Question:  While there are many different kinds of flavor extracts, vanilla is the most popular.  Approximately what year did vanilla extract first start showing up in food and drink?

Answer:  1810

4 Winners:

  • Kathy Gillmore
  • Ernesto Jimenez
  • Susan Gawarecki
  • Sandra Pappalardo


Question:  What does the word "Avanti" mean in Italian, in the context of our name?

Answer:  "To move forward"

4 Winners

  • Mary Cummings
  • Anne Rosen
  • Mary McMenamy
  • Martha Ann Henry


Question:  The ancient Totonaco Indians of Mexico were defeated by the Aztecs and forced to surrender their exotic fruit of the Tlilxochitl vine.  What was this fruit?

Answer:  vanilla pods

4 Winners:

  • Bill Scott
  • Patrice Pruitte
  • Marion Weiss
  • Sue Hooley


Question:  Mead, the legendary drink of kings and Vikings, is the combination of what ingredients?

Answer:  fermented honey and water

4 Winners:

  • Jennifer Barnett
  • Laura Kessel
  • Barbara Johnson
  • Patti Cantrell


Question:  Black truffles are produced almost exclusively in Europe with Italy accounting for __% of this.
Answer:  20%

4 Winners:

  • Denetra Weaver
  • Nance Moore
  • Ben Susser
  • Stephen Eddy


Question:  There are thousands of different types of bees, but none of them are as prolific or as docile as the_________?

Correct Answer:  European Honey Bee

4 Winners:

  • Mary Marlett
  • Lynn Reid
  • Mark Morenz
  • Matt Clark


Question:  the most common discovered variety of tea on the market today is?

Correct Answer: All of the about

4 Winners:

  • Robyn Dones
  • Kenneth Jackson
  • Tanya Sicina
  • Carol throckmorten


Question:  The best Arabica beans typically grow at 3,500 to 7,000 feet.  Cooler weather at these higher elevations causes the beans to:

Correct Answer: take longer to mature

4 Winners:

  • Judy Dorton
  • Linda Russell
  • Andrew Gilbride
  • Carleen Blankenship


Question: Now we all know should know that not all balsamic vinegars are created equal.  Buyer beware!… there is plenty of fake balsamic vinegar on the market.  Often found in grocery stores, Aceto Balsamico di Modena, is not the same as regulated Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale.  The better quality Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale's are aged at least  __ years while the low-quality balsamic vinegars are aged only a couple months in stainless steel tanks and are artificially sweetened and thickened.
Correct Answer: 12

 4 Winners:

  • Barb Bovee
  • Cheri Sabuda
  • Scott Vance
  • Milton Brooks


Question:  How many calories are in a serving of Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
Correct Answer: 120

4 Winners:

  • Sheryl Wright
  • Kathryn Lamb
  • Deborah Anderson
  • Sheryl SoRelle


Question: Approximately how many recipes does Avanti Savoia have posted on the "Recipes & Menus" portion of the website?
Correct Answer: 700

4 Winners:

  • Fulton Li
  • Donna Glomski
  • Larry Grey
  • Sandra Crispo


Question: in Italy, Porcini mushrooms are commonly referred to as the________?
Correct Answer: Poor man's steak

4 Winners:

  • Donna Kilburn
  • Randy Nimon
  • Barbara Salley
  • Ken Hull


Question: Historians believe cheese-making may have originated in the Middle East as far back as 3500 B.C., but there is definite evidence of _____ cheese-making dating from _____.
Correct Answer: Egyptian cheese-making dating from 2300 B.C.

4 Winners:

  • Angie Merritt
  • Andy Chan
  • Peter Durnin
  • Robert Inderbitzen


Question: From the outset, Americans celebrate independence on July 4th, the date shown on the Declaration of Independence written in 1776.  When, though, was the resolution of independence approved in a closed session of Congress?
Correct Answer: July 2, 1776

4 Winners:

  • Michael De Luca
  • Fawn Ulam Hammons
  • Geri Pritchett
  • Robert Winstead


Question: Any rice that has had only the outermost layer [husk] removed, but with the outer bran layer left intact can be termed:
Correct Answer: Brown Rice

4 Winners:

  • Cathy Wilcox
  • Megan Anderson
  • Raymond Kinney
  • Michael Pasternack


Question: Italy, alone, produces approximately how many different varieties of rice?
Correct Answer: 50

4 Winners:

  • Pati McElroy
  • Mary Capps
  • James Finke
  • Kevin McCloy


Question: The first recorded observation of an American Father’s Day occurred on June 19, 1910.  It was left to which President to establish permanent observation of Father’s Day on the 3rd Sunday in June?
Correct Answer: President Richard Nixon

4 Winners:

  • Robert Inderbitzen
  • Matt Kreider
  • Carol Robinson
  • Christy Ryan


Question: Used by the Etruscans as a votive offering, honey was mentioned for the first time by the Romans in which way?
Correct Answer: Honey was first mentioned by the Romans "in detailed descriptions of culinary usage - as a sauce".

4 Winners:

  • Anthony Freeman
  • Mary Janssen
  • Melissa McCool
  • John South


Question: Dry rub mixtures are typically made out of...
Correct Answer: Ground Spices and herbs

4 Winners:

  • Ernest Bertram, Jr.
  • Theresa Jenkins
  • James McKeever
  • Rita Seraphim


Question: Which one is not true when discussing the difference between jam, jelly, preserves, and marmalade?
Correct Answer: Jelly is made by boiling fruit and contains fruit bits

4 Winners:

  • Barbara Bibel
  • Dana Lyn Brandenburg
  • Rick Bogren
  • Craig Strete


Question: Morchella esculenta is more commonly known as the Morel mushroom. What is a nickname of these delicious, gourmet mushrooms that occur throughout North America?
Correct Answer: dry land fish

4 Winners:

  • Rick Bogren
  • Eva Daniell
  • John Fry
  • Renee Turner


Question: The Mayans were among the first to cultivate cacao trees more than a thousand years ago. During this time, the elite throughout Mesoamerica used the seeds to:
Correct Answer: Purchase and trade

4 Winners:

  • Victoria Ploplis
  • Wayne Bowen
  • Larry Grey
  • Sharon Beckwith


Question: Originally, what was the distinctive focus of Mother's Day?
Correct Answer: Patriotic commemoration

4 Winners:

  • Madeleine Seese
  • Steve Taylor
  • Joanne Quarz
  • Kate Higgins


Question: It's spring time in Tennessee! That means Joseph, Ben and I are taking to the woods both here in the valley, and in the Smoky Mountains. Which wild foods are we looking for this time of year?
Correct Answer:
 All of the above: Ramps, Poke Salat, Watercress AND Morel Mushrooms

Extra Credit: The U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed with ink made from what berry?
Extra Credit Answer:
 Pokeberry ink

4 Winners and a Special Winner:

  • Tanya Sicina
  • Steve Gillard
  • Jon Erickson
  • Peggy Ferguson

Special Winner: Hannah Beck who just knew we would find fiddlehead ferns if we were on the lookout during our hike.


Question: "Black Pigs" are used to produce what variety of ham?
Correct Answer:
 Jamon Iberico

Extra Credit: How many Bourbon Whiskeys are actually distilled and produced in the state of Tennessee?
Extra Credit Answer:
 none, zero, zipola. We make whiskey in Tenneesse, not bourbon.

4 Winners:

  • Gerlinde Smith
  • Joseph Grasso
  • Gayle Watkins
  • Robert Evans


Question: All Country Hams are cured by:
Correct Answer: The Dry Cure Method

Extra Credit: Today the State of Tennessee is known as The Volunteer State. Back in the early 1800's, what was its nickname?
Extra Credit Answer: The Hog and Hominy State

4 Winners:

  • Herb Eddy
  • Al Falcone
  • Joyce Russell
  • Bob "The Saxman" Barton


Question: In Chef Joseph's Easter feast blog, what brand of bacon does he recommend for his potato salad?
Correct Answer:
 Benton's Smoky Mountain Ham and Bacon

Extra Credit: Name the town where this bacon is produced.
Extra Credit Answer:
Madisonville, TN

4 Winners:

  • Angela Palmer
  • Ed Ring
  • Harry McElroy Jr.
  • Pat Couty


Question: In Italian cheese making tradition, what is the meaning of the word "Affinamento?"
Correct Answer:
 Aging and refining the cheese

Extra Credit: What French word means the same thing?
Extra Credit Answer:

Bonus Question: What is Chef Joseph serving for dessert on Easter Sunday?
Bonus Answer:
 Strawberry Tiramisu

4 Winners

  • Bill Buchanan
  • John Caldwell
  • Darlene Wright
  • Ronni Fox


Question: What is the name of the ancient Italian sweetener made from the buds of a pine tree?
Correct Answer:

Extra Credit: To what concentration of sugar is maple sap "boiled off"?
Extra Credit Answer: 60% Maple Syrup Reduction

4 Winners

  • Charles Hildebrand
  • Deacon Maccubbin
  • Merry Graham
  • Sharla Long


Question: Originally Guffanti, our world famous cheese supplier, accomplished the aging process in what location?
Correct Answer: An abandoned silver mine.

Extra Credit: What year was the company established?
Extra Credit Answer: 1876

4 Winners

  • Ken Layton
  • Susan Pertierra
  • Dan Roller
  • Jason Fiske


Question: Which two Italian families are responsible for Avanti Savoia's new line of fine cheese?
Correct Answer: Guffanti & Fiori

Extra Credit: For how many generations have these two families been aging cheese?
Extra Credit Answer: 5 Generations

4 Winners

  • Cynthia Dash
  • Scott Vance
  • David Mee
  • Susan Noll


Question: Who was the first African-American professionally trained chef?
Correct Answer: James Hemings

Extra Credit: Who did he cook for?
Extra Credit Answer: Thomas Jefferson

4 Winners

  • Peter Barber
  • Kathy Brown
  • Nancy Buick
  • Shelly Mortenson


Question: What regional "departement" in France also shares its name with a river, a melon and a fortified wine?
Correct Answer: Charente

Extra credit: What is the fortified wine?
Extra Credit Answer: Pineau des Chartentes

4 Winners

  • Joe Titone
  • Hannah Beck
  • Michael Rockwell
  • Anne Rosen


In France stands a statue erected in honor of the legendary creator of one of the worlds most famous soft cheeses (Hint: When not busy inventing famous French cheeses, she apparently liked to wear funny hats).

Question 1: What is the name of the cheese?
Answer 1: Camembert

Question 2: What is her name?
Answer 2: Marie-Harel

5 Winners

  • John Seals
  • Sandra Pappalardo
  • Jim Crandall
  • Alicia Wallace
  • Joy Casas*

*Special Winner for her clever comment. We love clever comments!


Question: You have just received a gift of one dozen eggs from a friend. Your friend assures you that the eggs are very fresh, but you are dubious. You decide to check their freshness by floating them in a solution and judging their buoyancy.

Correct Answer: 1/2 cup of 100% salt solution in 4 cups of water

Extra Credit Question: What time did the train leave the station?

Extra Credit Answer: 5:33

5 Winners

  • Dana Okamoto
  • Michael De Luca
  • John South
  • Tommy Karkoska
  • Lori Ramani*

*Gave the most creative answer to the extra credit question: "…if you're wasting your scotch and using Hamburger Helper, no train would take you"


Question: On the 25th of January, poetry lovers from around the world celebrated the 251st anniversary of the birth of Scotland's most revered poet, Robert Burns. At that celebration, plenty of Scotch whiskey is passed around in hopes of drowning out the bag pipe music and in preparation for the entrée. Robert Burns himself called this dish the "great chieftain o' the puddin' race".

Correct Answer: Haggis

Extra Credit Question - Who wrote the following:
"O pointy birds, o pointy pointy,
Anoint my head, anointy-nointy."

Extra Credit Correct Answer: John Lillison

Extra Extra Credit Question: How did he die?

Extra Extra Credit Answer: He was struck by a car

6 Winners!

  • Darlene Wright
  • Robert Bradshaw
  • Karen Gill
  • David Lucking
  • Sandy Okstad
  • Colby Coates


Question: What wine was used to christen the USS Constitution?

Correct Answer: Madeira

7 Winners!

  • Johnny McGee
  • Matthew Clark
  • Roxann Trexel
  • Maureen Murphy
  • Joy Casas*
  • Deborah Rosen*
  • Wilma Tipton*

*Special Winners


Question: The French make a wonderful sauce which features both wine and truffles called Perigueux sauce. What wine is traditionally used in the preperation of this sauce?

Extra Credit: Where does it come from?

Correct Answers: Madeira, which comes from the Madeira Islands in the Atlantic, (Portugal).

4 Winners:

  • Michelle St. James
  • Christina Sparks*
  • Ricardo Valenzuela
  • Bill Schnefke

Christina was first to give a correct answer for Extra Credit.


Question: This cured meat is primarily taken from the neck and shoulder portions of a hog (the meat must come from a hog raised in the Emilia or Lombardy regions of Italy). The meat is lovingly massaged and flavoured with a mixture of salt, pepper, sugar and various spices which may include cloves, cinnamon and laurel seed (not to mention eye of newt and ground bat toenails). The meat is then rolled up in the hog's diaphram and aged for 6 to 9 months. This cured meat product is typically served on an Antipasto plate. The name of this delicacy is...

Correct Answer: Coppa

4 Winners

  • Timothy Harper
  • Norma Zaleski
  • John Fry
  • John Adams

View a list of our 2009 Winners.