The quote from James Beard aptly defines how we see food. It is our common ground and sometimes a universal language we all speak. Everyone has differences and numerous opinions but they all can sit down and enjoy a meal together.
Food rules a large portion of our lives. Anyhow, did you know that there are so many food-related facts that are fun and also mindblowing?
1.White Chocolate isn’t Chocolate
Many people still think white chocolate comes from chocolate after a specific process or a deliberate misnomer like white coffee. They have some valid points since white chocolate has cocoa butter as one of the ingredients.
However, it’s mostly milk, sugar, and various solid fats. Yes, it means that some of the white chocolate you see in the market barely has any cocoa content. The lack of chocolate-ness in the recipe makes the confectionary much pale than regular cocoa derivatives. Anyhow
2. Original Carrots are not orange
You’re greatly mistaken if you think the purple carrot is a new breed for fancy people. On the contrary, those carrots didn’t go through any hybrid process, unlike the world-famous orange carrots.
Heirloom carrots are small and thin. They are still common in the southern hemisphere of the world such as Australia and Southern America. Anyhow, they need to have minimum to zero artificial help during the cultivation to receive the heirloom status. Another example of heirloom vegetables is heirloom tomatoes, corn, and potatoes.
3. Apples give you more energy than coffee
You may want to rethink how you take your breakfast. A study found that an apple gives you more energy than a cup of coffee. Even when you have the most caffeinated coffee, the energy from an apple can keep you going longer.
It’s all thanks to the healthy combination of carbohydrates, vitamin C, and numerous minerals in an apple. And that’s something that, unfortunately, the coffee lacks.
4. Spam is short for Spiced Ham
No, your junk mail is far from being tasty. We’re talking about canned food. Spam is popular in Hawaii, Guam, and several other countries. The popularity stems back from the world war era when spam is a popular ration item. The name spam is a portmanteau for spiced ham, the main two ingredients.
5. Ancient Egyptians used Onions and Garlic as wages
Even though they were already familiar with gold and various precious stones, Ancient Egyptians deem the metals as expensive currency. Therefore, they paid their laborers for onions and garlic.
6. Bananas are berries
In all technicality, bananas belong to the berries family. It’s because they are from a single seed. Therefore, the USDA classifies them as part of the berries family. And if you notice how bananas are looking alike, it’s because they are clones of the Cavendish family.
Another fun fact about bananas is that humans share 60% of their DNA with them. The remaining 40% comes from our parents. Oh, and to sate your curiosity, strawberries, and blueberries are not berries in USDA classifications.
7. A dentist created cotton candy
It may sound weird, but cotton candy is a dentist’s brainchild. In 1897, an unnamed dentist partnered with a confectioner to create the original cotton candy that they called “fairy floss”. It was not until years later that another dentist built the cotton candy machine and called it as we know it now.
8. McDonald’s isn’t the oldest chain
Many people believe that McDonald’s started the fast food venture. Due to their size today, the notion is not unimaginable. However, the first American fast food joint is White Castle. They started the company in 1921 and still going strong. As for franchising, the A&W restaurant started by franchising its signature root beer in the 1920s.
9. Apple Pie isn’t American
Even though it’s synonymous with Americana culture, the apple pie doesn’t come from America. The pie was already part of the British culture long before they took the Mayflower. They enjoy making pies with various fillings such as meats and peas.
10. Your wasabi isn’t real!
The thing with wasabi is you must have it fresh. The best and only way to serve it is by freshly grinding it before you have it with your sushi. So what about the wasabi in a tube?
Since actual wasabi is expensive, many places choose to have the makeshift version. They use horseradish and colorant to make it look like the real wasabi.
11. The most expensive fruit in the world is a Melon
In all technicality, Yubari King is a premium Melon cultivar. As you know, the Japanese love tropical fruits such as melon and watermelon. A Yubari King melon can cost you up to $20,000. The breaking record for this fruit was at the auction when someone purchased a Yubari King melon for US$45,000.
Yubari King melon is exceptional in many ways. It has smooth skin with a beautiful and unique pattern. The farmers choose only the best fruit from their crops to leave the hothouse.
12. All coffee has caffeine
Many people think that decaf coffee doesn’t have any caffeine content. It still exists and works just as fine as any regular coffee. You can blame it on the marketing group that promoted decaffeinated coffee as a no-caffeine coffee.
13. Crackers are worse than candies
Many people swap candies with crackers when they have the urge to snack. And while they have less sugar, crackers won’t protect your teeth from cavities and decay. Their high salt content can stuck on your teeth and be the hotbed for bacteria to grow.
14. Too many nutmegs can make you look nuts
You can find nutmeg in various Indian dishes. But do you know that having too many nutmegs can cause you to hallucinate? It’s because of the component in nutmeg called myristicin that can give the same effect as hallucinogens.
15. Cashews are not a nut
Even though most people think it’s not because of its close association with chocolate, cashews are not nuts or belong in the same family. It’s a seed, thus it has unsaturated fat that is good for health. However, taking raw cashews can be dangerous due to their anacardic acids.
It’s understandable if you find some of these fun facts astonishing. Or perhaps nothing surprises you since you found that Chinese fortune cookies originated from America instead of China? As food continues to evolve, you can expect to be part of the food history.