Series F, Episode 12 - Food
- Friday 20th March 2009
- BBC One
- 30 minutes
- 4.67 million viewers (21.70% audience share)
- Each member of the panel is given a tongue map, with ring sections on it. The panel are asked to label each section with each of the five main tastes, these being sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami. However, it turns out that the idea of a tongue map is nonsense. There is not a part of the tongue which detects a certain taste. However, these maps still appear in many textbooks.
- The kind of animal that you can eat without killing is a stone crab. You can break off their claws and these claws grow back within a year, although the new pair is not of the same quality. Stone crab claws are very popular in Florida. The other acceptable answer is cows, because the Masai Mara tribe of Kenya and Northern Tanzania drink a mixture of the cow's milk and blood. They remove the blood without killing the animal by cutting the throat and binding the wound.
- You can teach an oyster to keep its mouth shut. Oysters will stay fresh out of the water as long as they remain closed, but they live their lives opening and closing their shells in order to take in nutrients. So you have to teach them to keep their mouths shut for long periods of time so they will stay fresh. In France, this was done by hitting the oysters with metal rods, and they would learn to stay shut to avoid being hurt. When settlers first arrived in New York they found lots of oysters, some a foot long, but they could not transport them across America because they had no way of keeping them cool. So what they did was move them up river banks each tide, so the oysters had more time in the air and that would teach them to close their mouths for longer.
- The Mounties used fruit machines in order to discover homosexual civil servants. There was a worry in Canada that gay civil servants would be blackmailed into giving official secrets to the Soviet Union, so the Mounties who are the sole Canadian police force, used machines which, amongst other things, showed pictures of nude men and women and detected which group of pictures the person is aroused by. Unfortunately, if a person was found to be gay, they were fired. More advanced machines were made, including versions for both men and women. The machine itself is called a "Plethysmograph". The man who brought it to Canada, a German called Kurt Freund, originally invented it to discover heterosexuals (to catch out those who claimed that they were gay in order to avoid going into the Czech army). Correction: While the Mounties are the largest police force in Canada, they are not the only one. There are other law-enforcement agencies in the various Canadian provinces.
- The difference between French dinner service and Russian dinner service is that in French service you get all your courses at once, while in Russian service you get your courses one at a time. In France, the "French service" style was popular right up until the 19th century, but then a Russian ambassador then told Napoleon about their idea and it caught on, especially when it was introduced by Escoffier. Because David got the answer right, he is given a special "Teacher's pet" fanfare.
- XL: You cannot turn fat back into living muscle, as they are two completely different things. Stephen introduces the question by saying he has put on weight because he has stopped playing Greco-Roman wrestling, which was invented in France. (Forfeit: Greeks; Romans)
- XL: The worst thing to eat for tooth decay is potato starch. While sugar is bad, it dissolves quickly in the saliva. Potato starch however hangs around on the teeth. Crisps are especially bad. If you have gum disease, the chances of you having coronary heart disease doubles, as there is a direct link between the two. Bacteria from the mouth reach the heart and it becomes infected. Therefore, flossing is good for your heart as well as your teeth. Plus it can be said that chips do not just make you fat, but they can also cause your teeth to fall out.
- XL: The miracle of the herring is an usual miracle ascribed to St. Thomas Aquinas, mainly out of desperation on the part of the Catholic Church because, although he was a great writer, he did little in the way of sainthood. Therefore, they created this miracle. The story goes that St. Thomas Aquinas was on his deathbed and wanted some herring, but there was no herring where he lived (the Mediterranean) so they gave him pilchards instead. When Thomas ate them, he said they were the best herring he ever tasted. The church claimed that the pilchards turned into herrings in his mouth.
- There are only two kinds of poisonous snake: the Japanese grass snake (Rhabdophis tigrinus) and the common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). Technically, most snakes are venomous. A "Venomous" animal is one that kills you by injecting poison into the blood. A "Poisonous" animal is one that kills you when you eat it. (Forfeit: Piers Morgan)
- The idea that you should not eat cheese before you go to bed is an urban myth. Research in 2005 has shown that it gives you good dreams because of a kind of amino acid called "Tryptophan" which is in cheese and other dairy products. However, it should be pointed out that the study was organised by the British Cheese Board. (Forfeit: Cheese)
O Cloacina, Goddess of this place,
Look on thy suppliants with a smiling face.
Soft, yet cohesive let their offerings flow,
Not rashly swift nor insolently slow.
"Cloaca" is Latin for a drain of lavatory. "Rashly swift" is a "Pathetic fallacy", in which you give an object an emotion which it is not capable of.
- The quote "Let them eat cake" was not invented by Marie Antoinette, but it may be possible that she was quoting it herself. She was born in 1755 and the phrase was first seen in print in 1760. Jean-Jacques Rousseau claimed to have since it in use in 1740. (Forfeit: Mr Kipling; Marie Antoinette)
- No genre of website makes up 70% of the internet. Pornography makes up less than 1% of the whole internet, according to a survey conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union. However, between 85-89% of all email traffic is spam. (Forfeit: Porn)
- David Mitchell: 10 points
- Rich Hall: -2 points
- Alan Davies: -12 points
- Jimmy Carr: -46 points
This episode was not broadcast in the expected slot (9pm on 13th March 2009) because Comic Relief was broadcast in that week.
The "Teacher's Pet" fanfare actually appeared in all of the recordings in Series F, but the fanfares in all the other episodes were edited out.
For the correction, see the QI Qibble Blog.
- Saturday 21st March 2009 at 22.00
- Tuesday 31st March 2009 at 22.00
- Tuesday 8th December 2009 at 21.00 on Dave (45 minute version)
- Thursday 4th February 2010 at 21.00 on Dave (45 minute version)
- Friday 23rd April 2010 at 22.10 on Dave (45 minute version)
- Friday 30th April 2010 at 20.30 on BBC1
- Friday 14th May 2010 at 20.30 on Dave
- Thursday 1st July 2010 at 21.00 on Dave (45 minute version)
- Tuesday 31st August 2010 at 21.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Friday 1st October 2010 at 22.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Sunday 30th January 2011 at 22.20 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Tuesday 15th March 2011 at 22.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Sunday 19th June 2011 at 21.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 20th June 2011 at 00.20 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Saturday 10th September 2011 at 23.15
- Wednesday 25th July 2012 at 23.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Thursday 26th July 2012 at 01.50 on Dave (45 minute version)
- Tuesday 4th December 2012 at 22.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Sunday 30th December 2012 at 21.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 31st December 2012 at 21.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Thursday 10th January 2013 at 19.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Friday 22nd March 2013 at 22.40 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Friday 17th January 2014 at 19.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Friday 17th January 2014 at 23.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 31st March 2014 at 20.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 31st March 2014 at 23.35 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Tuesday 17th June 2014 at 21.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Tuesday 28th October 2014 at 21.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Wednesday 29th October 2014 at 00.20 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Tuesday 24th February 2015 at 21.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Wednesday 25th February 2015 at 02.40 on Dave (45 minute version)
- Saturday 2nd May 2015 at 17.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|Lorraine Heggessey||Exec Producer|
|Katie Taylor||Exec Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Design|
|Tayyaba Irtizaali||Production Design|
|Other cast & crew|
|John Mitchinson||Question Wrangler|
|Justin Pollard||Question Wrangler|
|James Harkin||Question Wrangler|
|Molly Oldfield||Question Wrangler|