20 Surprising Food Facts For You To Munch On

Published 1 year ago

Cooking can be a fun and exciting experience which more and more amateurs are getting into especially after our long hiatus from outside dining experiences as a result of the pandemic. Whether you are just getting into your culinary adventures or whether you’re a pro, knowing a few fun facts about your preparations certainly elevates your cool factor. So go ahead and dive into some unexpected food facts which you can pepper your dish with to elevate it from just plain old ordinary to unabashedly extraordinary.

More info: Reddit

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Image source: ClementineCoda, Rudy Issa

Oregano is from the Greek meaning “mountain of joy” and I agree


Image source: camchapel, Famartin

You know how Hershey’s milk chocolate tastes “pukey” to a lot of people? (Especially Europeans who are traditionally more used to high quality chocolate)

It’s butyric acid, and it is intentionally part of the flavor. Back in 1899 shortly after Hershey started making chocolate, they developed the “Hershey method” which was “less sensitive to milk quality.” What that means is the milk would spoil on the way to the factory or in holding, and you would end up with that acidic flavor. Well, people in America essentially just got used to it, especially after M&Ms became part of WW2 rations, and now it’s just “their flavor.” How they do it now isn’t public knowledge but it’s assumed they partially lipolyze their milk to produce butyric acid. Letting the milk spoil wouldn’t fly with modern food safety laws.

So yes, it does taste like puke, and it’s totally on purpose.


Image source: slogginmagoggin, Marco Verch

The reason a bit of salt on your tomatoes tastes amazing is because they’re naturally rich in glutamate, and they react with the salt to create MSG


Image source: fcewen00, rawpixel

Margarine used to be the color pink to let people distinguish between it and real butter.


Image source: BittenAtTheChomp, amirali mirhashemian

I didn’t learn this recently and it’s not so crazy (so I guess this doesn’t fit at all lol), but I’ve always thought it was cute that margherita pizza was invented/named for the Queen of Italy (Margherita of Savoy) and its ingredients were to represent Italy’s flag.


Image source: LadyFreightliner, Daniel Lee

You can “cook” shrimp in lemon or lime juice. Or both! Just throw them in a bowl of juice and watch them turn pink.


Image source: WeDriftEternal, Hermes Rivera

Mac and cheese was considered a really fancy food at one time, during the start of modern-style restaurants in America in the early-mid 1800s, it was the go-to dish to be served to you in a fancy restaurant (because all restaurants were a bit fancy then) in America.


Image source: margalingo, Hannes Johnson

Spam= SPiced+hAM


You can tell the approximate temperature of meat by comparing its toughness to the toughness of your thenar eminence.

Relax your hand, pressing the thenar eminence (muscular pad between wrist and first thumb joint) is comparable to rare. Gently touch the thumb and index finger of one hand. Use the other to touch the thenar eminence. You should notice it is slightly tougher, this is medium rare. Middle finger and thumb is medium. Ring and thumb is medium well. Pinky and thumb is well done.

Image source: PorkChopXpress314


Image source: 4The_Mare, MART PRODUCTION

Thanks to Kenji at SE, I learned that the direction you cut an onion affects the type of flavor it imparts. So, cutting from root to stem end produces milder, sweeter flavor whereas slicing in perpendicularly will be more pungent (and should also be reserved for raw applications only).


Image source: liometopum, Fir0002

Everyone always makes a big deal about tomatoes being fruits not vegetables, but no one seems to notice green beans being fruits all sneaky like.


Image source: TheGreyPotter, Anshu A

It was posted recently on TIL that ketchup was originally a Chinese Fish Brine Sauce in the 17th century. then Brits encountered it in Malaysia, and made a mushroom-based sauce out of it in the 18th century. And theeennn in the 19th century, it became tomato based, and finally by 1850 it dropped anchovies as an ingredient and all semblance of its original fish-based existence was lost.


Image source: BirdLawyerPerson, stu_spivack

Another etymological fun fact: vindaloo, the Indian dish, comes from the port city of Goa, where Portuguese traders introduced the locals to a stewed pork dish with wine (vinha) and garlic (alho), named “meat with wine and garlic,” or “carne de vinha d’alhos.” Eventually the wine became replaced with vinegar, and taboos elsewhere in India against pork eventually caused the dish to branch out to all sorts of different meats.

Interestingly, “aloo” means potato in most South Asian languages, so despite the etymology having nothing to do with potatoes, many versions of the dish eventually included potatoes, too.


Image source: benjiyon, Annie Spratt

Broccoli is mutant cabbage. It wouldn’t exist in nature if not for selective breeding. That said, as a species it is still over 2000 years old.

Here’s another wild one for y’all: More or less every citrus fruit you’ve ever had is descended from the following 3 fruits: Citrons, Mandarins, or Pomelos. The Wikipedia page on Citrus taxonomy explains it well.


Image source: tongamoo, Gabriel Yuji

Fresh pineapple contains an enzyme that digests protein. If you make chicken salad with fresh pineapple and leave it in the refrigerator, the chicken will start to dissolve and get mealy.


Image source: Who_said-that, Elizabeth Tr. Armstrong

Apples are not true to seed. Meaning that if you plant the seed you won’t get the same variety of the seed that it came from. The only way to mass produce a particular variety is to graft a branch of a known variety into the trunk of another apple tree. Then that branch starts producing the variety.


Image source: CrazyPlato, Josephine Baran

When tomatoes were first discovered in the Americas by European colonizers, they thought the plant was poisonous. They recognized some of the plant’s features as a member of the nightshade family, and in Europe they immediately thought of nightshades such as *Atropa belladonna*, a fairly well-known poisonous plant. Plus, they noticed that when they sliced the fruits, and left them on metal plates, their juice would eat away at the plates’ surfaces. This was actually because of the low amount of acids in the tomatoes, and wasn’t actually dangerous to humans.


Image source: UrukHaiGuyz, Young in Panama

Cashews are not actually nuts- they are seeds that grow out of the bottom of the cashew apple, which is also edible.


Image source: Prestor_Jon, Ocdp

Japanese curry was created in attempt to replicate British stew, not Indian curry


Image source: TheIrishladinspain, Kavita Joshi Rai

People often think of France when they hear mention of the croissant, but Austria is the true country of birth for this pastry. Its Viennese, not French! The ‘kipferl’ was believed to be the spiritual ancestor of the croissant. Was created as a propaganda technique by the Austrians, made in the shape of the Crescent Moon of islam so that when Austrians ate it they would be “Devouring” the Ottomans.

So mesay it was also made in Romania around 1683.

But it was brought to widespread recognition by the Austrians and their hate for the Ottomans who at the time were frequently attacking.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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