Monday, February 21, 2011

Food for Thought

Everyone that knows me knows that I LOVE food. I love to look at food, smell food, talk about food, learn about food, cook food and of food. Here are some fun food facts I have encountered over the years that you  may or may not already know:

1. The cheesy powder you often find on your fingers after eating cheetos actually has a name. It is called "cheetle."

2. Cashew shells cause a nasty skin rash (hence the the reason you don't see any cashews with shells in the stores) and they should actually be classified as "seeds" since they are the seeds of a cashew tree.

3. Yams are NOT the same thing as sweet potatoes. Yams are related to grasses and lilies, while sweet potatoes are members of the morning glory family. Yams are native to Africa and Asia. The reason the two often get confused is because there are two types of sweet potatoes (firm and soft). Firm sweet potatoes were the first to be commercially grown in the U.S. When soft sweet potatoes were introduced, there was a need to differentiate between the two. Since African slaves had already been calling soft sweet potatoes "yams" (due to the fact that they resembled actual yams grown in Africa) the name stuck. Today the U.S. department of Agriculture requires that all sweet potatoes labeled "yams" must be accompanied by the name sweet potato. Real yams can be found in international markets.

4. German chocolate did not originate in Germany, but was named after Englishman Sam German who developed it for the American Baker's Chocolate Company.

5. People who are allergic to peanuts are not allergic to peanut oil. It is the protein portion, not the lipid, that causes a reaction.

6. The only difference between a green and black olive is green olives are unripe, while black olives are fully ripe.

7. The white stringly portion of an egg is called the "chalaza." Its purpose is to anchor the yolk and suspend it in the white. It is totally edible and has nothing to do with baby embryos (contrary to childhood myths). Actually, the larger the chalaza the fresher the egg.

8. A red bell pepper contains more vitamin C than an orange.

9. There are over 1,200 varieties of watermelon that vary in color and shape.

10. Honey is a super food! It contains antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial properties as well as anti-tumor and carcinogen preventing properties. In addition, honey is also useful in helping to heal sore throats (antimicrobial) and cuts and burns (stimulates tissue healing). It can help aid in weight loss (especially when mixed with lemon juice or cinnamon) and has shown to increase energy and athletic performance by helping to maintain blood glucose levels, facilitate muscle recuperation, and restore glycogen after working out.

1 comment:

  1. I am faithfully reading your blog! now tell me and your other secret readers about your new job haha!

    And I must say, I really want to try all 1200 melon varieties. mmmmmm melon :)