Food trivia. Here is a collection of interesting facts about food or, maybe it should be amusing facts about food, so you can impress your friends. Ask them, did you know...

 

 Newest additions:

  •         Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a herb that takes its name from the Greek war hero Achilles and is considered an important herb for the treatment of wounds.
  •         bananas were noted by Arab traders as small, about the size of a man’s finger, and so called them banan, which means “fingertips” in Arabic. The banana plant is the world’s largest herb and is often mistaken for a tree, but it does not have a woody trunk or boughs.
  •         Dijon mustard originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted verjuice, the acidic "green" juice of not-quite-ripe grapes, for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe.
  •         french yellow mustard was created by Robert Timothy French and debuted at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair as a "cream salad mustard"; this very mild mustard is coloured bright yellow by the inclusion of turmeric.
  •         hot mustards refers to the mustards which have been prepared in such a way to bring out the natural hotness created by the myrosinase and two sulfur compounds, myrosin and sinigrin, that are naturally present in mustard seeds. When mustard seeds are crushed and mixed with cold water, these compounds break down to form a volatile oil which vaporizes to produce the "hot" sensation one experiences when consuming hot mustards. The hotness of mustard dissipates with time and if the mustard is exposed to heat in cooking
  •         mustard is an emulsifier which can stabilize a mixture of two or more unblendable liquids such as oil and water; added to Hollandaise sauce, mustard can reduce the possibility of curdling.

 

 

 Previous Fun Facts:
  •             “brain freeze” was invented in 1994 by 7-Eleven to explain the pain one feels when drinking a Slurpee too fast. The medical term is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.
  •             almonds are a member of the peach family.
  •             americans eat approximately 10kg of tomatoes yearly, over half of which is in the form of catsup and tomato sauce.
  •             apple is made up of 25% air, which is why they float.
  •             apple seed contains cyanide.
  •             apples, onions, and potatoes all have the same taste. Try this: Pinch your nose and take a bite out of each.
  •             asparagus contains a sulfur-containing compound called methyl mercaptan as well as the amino acid asparagine, which when metabolized in the digestive tract causes urine to have have a strong odour.
  •           avocado has the highest protein and oil content of all fruits but most of this is the healthier unsaturated type.
  •             barbecue comes from barbacoa, a Caribbean "crude framework for sleeping or drying meat over a fire".
  •             beer drunk with dinner works better than drinking red wine, gin or sparkling mineral water in controlling homocysteine, a blood factor that promotes heart disease by boosting blood levels of vitamin B6.
  •             beer in a can was first sold on January 24, 1935 in Richmond, Virginia. Brewed by Kreuger Beer in a steel can made by the American Can Company. By August 1935, Pabst became the first major brewer to add canned beer to its regular product line.
  •             beer is a popular ingredient in batter for deep fried foods since the protein in beer provides browning and produces a light, crisp, dry batter when cooked.
  •             beer of 375mL has fewer calories than two slices of bread and contains no fat.
  •             birds eat half their own body weight in food each day! So, why do people say that a poor eater "eats like a bird"?
  •             biscuit is a word derived from Latin via Middle French and means "twice cooked".
  •             black pepper is the most popular spice in the world.
  •             black-eyed peas are really beans.
  •             blenders were invented by Stephen Poplawski when in 1922 he became the first person to put a spinning blade at the bottom of a small electric appliance to make Horlick's malted milk shakes.
  •             brown sugar is either an unrefined or partially refined soft sugar with some residual molasses or produced by the addition of molasses to refined white sugar.
  •             butter and margarine are similar in calories, the difference is that butter is higher in saturated fats, while margarine generally has more unsaturated fats.
  •             butterflies taste with their feet.
  •             cabbage is 91%  water.
  •            canola is derived from "Canadian oil, low acid".
  •           capers are the unopened green flower buds of a wild and cultivated bush which is related to the cabbage family.
  •            capsaicin, which makes hot peppers "hot" to the human mouth, is best neutralized by casein, the main protein in milk.
  •            carrots were originally purple in colour, changing in the 17th Century to orange with newer varieties.
  •            celery requires more calories to eat and digest than it contains.
  •            cereal as a word is derived from the name of the Roman goddess Ceres, protector of crops.
  •            champagne contains 49 million bubbles in a bottle and has a pressure 3 times that of a car tyre.
  •            cherries are a member of the rose family.
  •            chewing gum may keep you slim by boosting the metabolic rate by about 20%.
  •            chewing gum stimulates signals in the learning center of the brain and thus help save memory as you age.
  •            chicken is one of the few things that we eat before it's born and after it's dead.
  •            chili heat is measured in Scoville units, named after the pharmacist Thomas Scoville.
  •            chocolate bloom occurs when the cocoa butter has separated causing it to rise to the surface of the chocolate and is a result of the chocolate being stored in too humid or too warm a temperature.
  •            chocolate is a particularly good source of magnesium, potassium and calcium. It also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. On the down side it contains caffeine and has a high fat level.
  •            chocolate may have its romantic effect due to the effects on the brain of a naturally occurring substance called phenylethylamine which enhances endorphin levels, increase libido and act a natural antidepressant.
  •            coca-cola was originally green.
  •            coffee is the most recognized smell in the world.
  •            coffee originated from the Arabic word “qahwah”.
  •            condensed milk was patented by Gail Borden in 1856.
  •            corn always has an even number of ears.
  •            corn makes up about 8% of the weight in a box of corn flakes.
  •            cranberries are sorted for ripeness by bouncing them; a fully ripened cranberry can be dribbled like a basketball. 
  •            cream is lighter than milk.
  •            doughnuts were orginally made of raised dough with a nut in the centre.
  •            dried milk was first mentioned by Marco Polo of Mongolian Tatar troops in the time of Kublai Khan carrying sun-dried skimmed milk as "a kind of paste", but the first usable commercial production of dried milk was invented by the Russian chemist M. Dirchoff in 1832.
  •            egg spills can be fixed by sprinkling a generous amount of salt on the egg and let it dry, then sweep the egg up with a broom.
  •            egg that float in water are considered to be “off” and should not be eaten; as eggs age, gases build up inside the shell making it more buoyant.
  •            eggplants are actually fruits, and classified botanically as berries.
  •            eggs contain most of the recognised vitamins with the exception of vitamin C.
  •            fish consumption may be more than brain food but also help protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration, a potential cause of blindness.
  •            flamingos owe their pink or reddish colour to the rich sources of carotenoid pigments in the algae and small crustaceans that the birds eat.
  •            fortune cookies are not Chinese, they were invented in Los Angeles around 1920.
  •            gelato comes from the Italian word gelare which means to freeze; it is made from cow milk and its rich taste comes from being denser (30% air whereas ice cream is around 50%).
  •            Gerber's top selling baby food in Japan is sardine dish.
  •            Guinness beer, after pouring, produces bubbles that sink to the bottom. The bubbles go up more easily in the centre of the beer glass than on the sides because of drag from the walls. As the bubbles go up, they raise the beer, and the beer has to spill back, and it does. It runs down the sides of the glass carrying the bubbles - particularly little bubbles - with it, downward to the bottom of the glass.
  •            hamburgerology can be studied at Hamburger University, located in Elk Grove, Illinois.
  •            hamburgers were invented in 1900 by Louis Lassen. He ground beef, broiled it, and served it between two pieces of toast.
  •            Heinz Catsup leaves the bottle traveling at 40 kilometers per year.
  •            himalayan gogi berry contains, weight for weight, more iron than steak, more beta carotene than carrots, more vitamin C than oranges.
  •            honey is the only edible food for humans that will never go bad.
  •            horseradish was the first product sold by Heinz in 1869.
  •            humble pie comes from the food "umble pie", a pie consisting of the innards of deer, which very poor people in Medieval England ate.
  •            ice cream was brought back by Marco Polo from China in 1295, from a recipe called "Milk Ice." Europeans substituted cream for the milk to create "Ice Cream."
  •            ijka corn - the Arhuaca people of northern Columbia call themselves Ijka, which means 'men of corn'. They eat corn in all their meals and use corn's four colours (yellow, coffee, black, and white) to outline their view of the universe.
  •            instant coffee was invented by Japanese American chemist Satori Kato of Chicago in 1901.
  •            instant noodles (modern version), or ramen, were invented by Momofuku Ando in 1958 after watching his wife prepare tempura; dunking freshly cooked noodles in chicken soup before flash-frying them in palm oil would enable water to leach out while preserving the flavour of the broth. From here, they would be ready to eat after just a few minutes in boiling water.
  •            ketchup was originally a fish sauce originating in the orient. Two words from the Fujian region of China were used to describe a fish brine / sauce and a tomato sauce – ke-tsap and kio-chiap.
  •            Kopi Luwa from Indonesia is the world's costliest coffee, at USD$700 a kilogram, thanks to a unique taste and aroma enhanced by the digestive system of droppings of palm civets, nocturnal tree-climbing creatures about the size of a large house cat, which eats ripe robusta coffee cherries for treats. The coffee beans, which are found inside of the cherries, remain intact after passing through the animal. Plantation workers track them and scoop their precious poop.
  •            lemon slices have been served with fish since the Middle Ages, when people believed that the fruit's juice would dissolve any bones accidentally swallowed.
  •            lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.
  •            lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.
  •            lettuce is the only vegetable or fruit which is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh.
  •            lobster was so common in Maine in the 18th Century that it was used as fertiliser.
  •            margarine was first called Butterine in England when it was introduced.
  •            mayonnaise will kill lice and also condition your hair. 
  •            Mel Blanc (voice of Bugs Bunny) was allergic to carrots. 
  •            milk from reindeer has more fat than cow milk.
  •            milk is the new diet drink since low-fat, high-calcium dairy foods may burn off fat since extra calcium increases metabolism.
  •            nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.
  •            olive oil has lots of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory activity to fight rheumatoid arthritis.
  •            olive oil is the only vegetable oil that can be created simply by pressing the raw material.
  •            onion is named after a Latin word meaning large pearl.
  •            orange does not rhyme with any other word.
  •            organ meats were known as garbage in the 16th Century, the term then used for the innards of an animal.
  •            parmigiano is a natural source of and has a high concentration of Monosodium glutamate (MSG), giving it the unami taste, found as small white crystals formed during maturation.
  •            peanuts are legumes and not a tree nut.
  •            peanuts are one of the ingredients in dynamite.
  •            pear is a fruit that ripens from the inside out.
  •            Pepsi-Cola was invented by Caleb Bradham in 1898. Originally called "Brad's Drink," the beverage was first marketed as a digestive aid and energy booster.  It was renamed Pepsi-Cola because of its pepsin and kola nut content.
  •            percentage alcohol in a bottle of liquor is estimated by dividing the proof by two.
  •            pineapple is the international symbol of hospitality.
  •            pizza originated in the early 1700's in Naples, Italy.
  •            pizza toppings of squid are the most popular variety in Japan.
  •            Popsicle were invented by an 11 year old, Frank Epperson when he left his soda water drink with a stirring stick overnight on his porch.
  •            potato crisps were invented by a North American Indian called George Crum in 1853.
  •            pound cake was so named because of its original proportions of 1 lb (500g) each of butter, sugar, and flour.
  •            puffed grain were invented by Alexander Anderson in 1902. Unlike popcorn, a type of corn that naturally pops or puffs up with heat, puffed cereal or snacks are formed by exploding whole grain kernels under high pressure and steam.
  •            raisin in a glass of champagne will keep floating to the top and sinking to the bottom.
  •            refried beans aren't really what they seem. Although their name seems like a reasonable translation of Spanish frijoles refritos, the fact is that these beans aren't fried twice. In Spanish, refritos literally means "well-fried," not "re-fried."
  •            rice paper does not contain one grain of rice - its made from either Rice straw, Bamboo, Hemp, Mulberry leaves, Wingceltis or Gampi.
  •            Ringo Starr appeared in a Japanese advertisement for apple sauce. Ironically his name means "apple sauce" in Japanese.
  •            salary is derived from salarium (Latin) or "soldier's allowance for the purchase of salt”.
  •            sandwiches are named after John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-92), for whom beef was placed between 2 sliced pieces of bread so that he could stay at the gambling table without interruptions for meals.
  •            shredded wheat was the first breakfast cereal to ever be produced.
  •            sliced bread was introduced by Otto Frederick Rohwedder who invented the bread slicer, which he started working on in 1912. At first, Rohwedder came up with the idea of a device that held the slices together with hat pins (not a success). In 1928, he designed a machine 1.52m long by 0.90m high that sliced and wrapped the bread in waxed paper to prevent the sliced bread from going stale. On July 7, 1928, the first loaves of sliced bread were made by the near bankrupt baker Frank Bench.
  •            soup has its origin as a word from 'sop' or 'sup', meaning the slice of bread on which the broth was poured.
  •            soy flour and soya flour are richer in calcium and iron than wheat flour, gluten-free and high in protein.
  •            soy flour is ground from raw soybeans; soya flour from lightly toasted soybeans.
  •            spilling salt is considered good luck in Japan.
  •            strawberries are the only fruit which has its seeds on its outer skin.
  •            swiss cheese ferments with bacteria generating gas which bubbles through the cheese leaving holes; cheese-makers call them "eyes."
  •            tea strengthens bones because isoflavonoid chemicals in tea may have a weak estrogenic effect, reducing bone deterioration and osteoporosis risk.
  •            ten gallon hats only hold about 6 pints or 2.8 Litres.
  •            thyme's most active ingredient is thymol, the antibacterial ingredient found in mouthwashes and Vicks Vaporub.
  •            TIPS were given by people in coffee houses in the 18th century who wanted good service and better seating by putting money in a tin labelled "To Insure Prompt Service".
  •            toasters for bread using electricity were invented by Crompton and Company, Leeds, England in 1893; the first automatic pop-up electric toaster was designed in 1919 by Charles Strite.
  •            toasting bread began as a method of prolonging the life of bread and was a very common activity in Roman times, 'tostum' is the latin word for scorching or burning.
  •            tomato used to be considered poisonous.
  •            Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.
  •            traditional italian food is an anagram of radiation, toil, fat and oil.
  •            TV dinners were invented by Gerry Thomas and introduced in 1954 by his Omaha-based CA Swanson & Sons featuring roast turkey with stuffing and gravy, sweet potatoes and peas, selling for 98 cents.
  •            V-8 Juice contains tomato, spinach, celery, carrot, beet, lettuce, watercress and parlsey juice.
  •            Vegemite is an Australian icon which was developed in 1922 by Dr. Cyril Callister. He took used brewer's yeast and blended the yeast extract with ingredients like celery, onion, salt, and a few secret ingredients to make this paste rich in B vitamins; it was developed for the Fred Walker Company which is now Kraft Foods.
  •            Wheaties were discovered by accident when in 1921, a health clinician in Minneapolis was mixing a batch of bran gruel for his patients when he spilled some of the mix on a hot stove. The gruel crackled and sizzled into a crisp flake. Tasting the very first Wheaties prototype, he decided this delicious accident had promise and took the crisped gruel to the people at the Washburn Crosby Company (later known as General Mills).
  •            white chocolate is not a true chocolate because it contains no chocolate liquor, instead its made of sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, lecithin and vanilla.
  •            white shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and earlobes while brown eggs are produced by hens with red feathers and earlobes; the colour has no relationship to the nutritional quality or taste of the eggs.
  •            Wrigley's gum was the first product to have a bar code.
  •            xerophagy is the eating of dry food, a form of fasting that some members of the early Christian Church practiced.
  •            yelling for 8 years, 7 months and 6 days produces enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.
  •            zymology or zymurgy is the science or study of the processes of fermentation.
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