Starbucks Is Giving Away Free Cold Brew Coffee Today—No Purchase Required

Benjamin Ho, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Benjamin Ho, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The brutal weather that's been baking parts of the country since July isn't letting up anytime soon. If you're looking for a drink that will cool you down and give you the caffeine boost necessary to power through your heat exhaustion, head to Starbucks. All day today—Friday, August 2—the coffee chain is giving away free cups of its Nitro cold brew coffee to customers, Thrillist reports.

Unlike some Starbucks deals which require additional purchases or are only available at certain hours, there's no catch to this promotion. From open until closing time today, anyone can walk into a participating Starbucks store and ask for a Nitro cold brew at no cost.

The free drink is slightly smaller than a regular portion of coffee. A barista will pour you a 3.5-ounce cup of the drink from the tap behind the counter—that's slightly more than a double shot of cold brew and about half the size of a short coffee. That may not seem like a lot, but keep in mind that Nitro already has more caffeine per ounce than a regular dark roast hot coffee from Starbucks.

The coffee giveaway is a way for Starbucks to promote its Nitro cold brew, which has become a menu staple in recent years. Since it was introduced on a limited scale in 2016, it's been added to 80 percent of all company-operated Starbucks locations.

[h/t Thrillist]

What's the Difference Between Stuffing and Dressing?

iStock
iStock

For carbohydrate lovers, nothing completes a Thanksgiving meal quite like stuffing—shovelfuls of bread, celery, mushrooms, and other ingredients that complement all of that turkey protein.

Some people don’t say stuffing, though. They say dressing. In these calamitous times, knowing how to properly refer to the giant glob of insulin-spiking bread seems necessary. So what's the difference?

Let’s dismiss one theory off the bat: Dressing and stuffing do not correlate with how the side dish is prepared. A turkey can be stuffed with dressing, and stuffing can be served in a casserole dish. Whether it’s ever seen the inside of a bird is irrelevant, and anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong and should be met with suspicion, if not outright derision.

The terms are actually separated due to regional dialects. Dressing seems to be the favored descriptor for southern states like Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia, while stuffing is preferred by Maine, New York, and other northern areas. (Some parts of Pennsylvania call it filling, which is a bit too on the nose, but to each their own.)

If stuffing stemmed from the common practice of filling a turkey with carbs, why the division? According to HuffPost, it may have been because Southerners considered the word stuffing impolite, and therefore never embraced it.

While you should experience no material difference in asking for stuffing or dressing, when visiting relatives it might be helpful to keep to their regionally-preferred word to avoid confusion. Enjoy stuffing yourselves.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

The Reason You Should Never Rinse a Turkey

jax10289/iStock via Getty Images
jax10289/iStock via Getty Images

There are many misconceptions surrounding your Thanksgiving turkey, but none is more dangerous than the turkey-washing myth. Raw poultry can contain dangerous microbes like Salmonella, and it's not uncommon for home cooks to rinse their meat under cool water in an effort to wash away these pathogens. The intention may be admirable, but this is a worse turkey sin than overcooking your bird or carving it before letting it rest. According to AOL, rinsing a raw turkey with water is more likely to make you and your dinner guests sick than not cleaning it at all.

When you wash a turkey in the sink, there's no guarantee that all of the nasty stuff on the outside of it is going down the drain. In fact, the only thing rinsing does is spread potentially harmful microbes around. In addition to getting bacteria on you hands and clothes, rinsing can contaminate countertops, sink handles, and even the surrounding air.

There are three main ways to lower your chances of contracting Salmonella when dealing with raw turkey: Thaw your bird in the fridge, minimize contact with it before it goes into the oven, and give it plenty of time to cook once it's in there. For the second part, that means setting aside time to pat your turkey dry, remove the excess fat and skin, and season it without handling anything else. To reduce the risk of cross-contamination, wash your hands frequently and wash the plates, knives, and other tools that touched the turkey before using them again. You should also cook your stuffing outside the turkey rather than shoving it inside the cavity and creating a Salmonella bomb.

Once the safety aspect is taken care of, you can focus on making your turkey taste as delicious as possible. Here are some tips from professional chefs on making your starring dish shine this Thanksgiving.

[h/t AOL]

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