Facts you can digest
Food For Thought
By Chef Tim Tibbitts
This week has been a bit of a downer for a lot of people recovering from the storm, so I thought today I would lighten the mood with some fun, interesting facts about food.
You may already know some of these but I'm sure there will be a snippet or two of interesting new information that may surprise you.
The most expensive coffee in the world comes from civet poop. Kopi Luwak are coffee beans that come from civet (a cat-sized mammal) poo. The animals gorge on only the finest ripe berries, and excrete the partially-digested beans, which are then harvested for sale. Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, selling for between $120 and $600 USD per pound, and is sold mainly in Japan and the United States, but it is increasingly becoming available elsewhere. My question is: who discovered that it tasted good?
The largest food item on a menu is roast camel. The camel is stuffed with a sheep's carcass, which is stuffed with chickens, which are stuffed with fish, which are stuffed with eggs. This feast is sometimes featured in Bedouin weddings.
The first soup was made of hippopotamus. The earliest archeological evidence for the consumption of soup dates back to 6000 BC, and it was hippopotamus soup!
Worcestershire sauce is made from dissolved fish. Worcestershire sauce, the popular English sauce, is made from dissolved anchovies. The anchovies are soaked in vinegar until they have completely melted. The sauce contains the bones and all.
Dynamite is made with peanuts. Peanut oil can be processed to produce glycerol, which can be used to make nitroglycerin, one of the constituents of dynamite. Note however, there are other processes that can be used to make dynamite without using peanuts at all.
Coconut water can be used (in emergencies) as a substitute for blood plasma. The reason for this is that coconut water (the water found in coconuts not to be confused with coconut milk, which comes from the flesh of the coconut) is sterile and has an ideal pH level. Coconut water is liquid endosperm it surrounds the embryo and provides nutrition.
Coca-Cola was originally green.
Orange juice naturally contains a small amount of alcohol.
Strawberries have more vitamin C than oranges.
Avocados have more protein than any other fruit and are poisonous to birds.
Mushrooms: One in Oregon covers over three square miles and is still growing.
Ketchup was originally created as a drug, not a condiment.
Apples have more natural stimulant than caffeine.
Almonds are a member of the peach family.
Honey is the only food that will not spoil.
Cherries: Tart cherries can have more pain killer than aspirin and are also a member of the rose family.
Butterflies taste with their feet.
Cabbage is 91 percent 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 color, 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 three times that of a car tire.
Chewing gum may keep you slim by boosting the metabolic rate by about 20 percent, stimulates signals in the learning center of the brain and thus help saving memory as you age and is illegal in Singapore and has been since the 1980s.
Chicken is one of the few things that we eat before it's born and after it's dead.
Chocolate is a particularly good source of magnesium, potassium and calcium. It also has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. On the down side it contains caffeine and has a high fat level.
Several ancient cultures viewed the apple as a feminine symbol and found a resemblance between the two halves of a vertically cut apple to the female genital system. Alternatively, an apple cut horizontally resembled a pentagram, which was considered key in revealing knowledge of good and evil.
The banana tree is not a true fruit at all but a giant herb and the banana is actually its berry. A banana plant produces only one bunch or "hand" in its life, but that bunch may have between 100 to 400 bananas. Despite its phallic shape, the banana is sterile and no fertilization takes place in the banana flowers. A banana plant grows when one of its shoots is planted.
Onion is Latin for "large pearl." A basket of onions was considered a respectable funeral offering in ancient Egypt, second only to a basket of bread. Onions, with their circular layers, represented eternity and were found in the eyes of King Ramses IV who died in 1160 B.C
Perhaps as a relic of an ancient Ro-man custom of planting parsley on graves, a sprig of parsley was either associated with the devil or as an antidote for poison. Adding a sprig to a plate of food may have originated as a gesture of good faith and as way to safeguard the meal from evil.
The tomato is technically a fruit, not a vegetable. It was also the first genetically engineered whole product that went on the market in 1994. Since then, more than 50 other genetically engineered foods have been deemed safe by the FDA.
During the Middle Ages, a lemon slice was served with fish because it was thought the juice would dissolve any bones that were accidentally swallowed.
The warriors of Attila, king of the Huns, (A.D. 450) preserved their meat by placing fresh meat under their saddles. All the bouncing squeezed fluids from the meat, and the horse's sweat salted the meat and removed more moisture. When the warrior stopped to eat, they had a dried and salted meal.
People were using garlic to repel vampires long before Bram Stoker's Dracula was published. Folklorists suggest it is because vampires have a heightened sense of smell and the garlic's strong smell was overpowering. Garlic is proven to be effective against two other bloodsuckers: mosquitoes and ticks.
A row of corn always has an even number of kernels and an even number of rows. There is also, the same number of silks on a cob as kernels.
The potato chip was invented in Saratoga Springs, NY in 1853 when George Crum, chef at the Moon's Lake House, served them to a patron who complained that Chef Crum's French fries were too thick.
Chef Crum proceeded to shave some potatoes paper thin, fry them in oil and serve them to the patron who then encouraged Crum to open his own restaurant across the lake. Crum's new restaurant opened without taking reservations and so the rich and famous, such as Commodore Vanderbilt had to stand in line like everyone else who wanted a taste of the famous Saratoga chips.
"Brain freeze" was invented in 1994 by 7-Eleven's marketing team to explain the pain one feels when drinking a Slurpee too fast. The medical term is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.
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.
Hopefully you found these fun food facts both interesting and informative! If you have any questions regarding this or any other article, please feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2012 The Freeport News