This Candy Is From Heaven (But Don't Eat It) | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

This Candy Is From Heaven (But Don't Eat It)

Pop quiz: What is this thing?

Maybe it's because Halloween is right around the corner, but our first thought was, candy! Specifically, nougat — a confection made with nuts suspended in egg whites and sugar or honey. In Spain, it's called turron; in Italy, torrone. In the Provence region of France, it's one of 13 de rigueur desserts traditionally served during Christmas. Iranians have a version called gaz, sweetened with the sap of the desert plant gaz-angebin.

Nougat has been around for centuries. But what we're looking at is a whole lot older — and more heavenly.

It's a chunk of the Fukang Meteorite, found in China's Gobi Desert in 2000. Those enticing shiny "nuts" are bits of the mineral olivine, encased in a matrix of nickel-iron. This little beauty, a rarer type of meteorite called a pallasite, is 4.5 billion years old — a leftover from the birth of our solar system.

The nougat doppelganger was one of many meteorites up for auction last Sunday in New York. Asking price started at $100,000.

Alas, no one bit.

"It did not sell," says meteorite dealer Darryl Pitt, "and so we ate it, so to speak."

Perhaps it was because, as meteorite expert Meenakshi Wadhwa explains, it only looks like candy in pictures. In person, she tells The Salt, "it's clearly metal and stone."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

Thomas Edison built and sold about 500 dolls back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing their supercreepy voices possible for the first time in decades. (Thanks, technology.)
NPR

Tea Tuesdays: Butter Up That Tea, Tibetan-Style

Yak butter tea is often referred to as the national drink of Tibet. It's been consumed in the Himalayas for centuries and helped inspire the Bulletproof Coffee craze in the U.S.
WAMU 88.5

Potomac Yard, DOD Facility Divide Mayoral Candidates At Alexandria Debate

Mayor Bill Euille faces challenges from former Mayor Kerry Donley and current Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg. A new Metro station and a Department of Defense facility on the West End were points of contention at a debate Tuesday night.

NPR

Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

Thomas Edison built and sold about 500 dolls back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing their supercreepy voices possible for the first time in decades. (Thanks, technology.)

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.