We all love a good meal. But, usually, we don’t think a whole lot about the food we eat, such as where it came from, how it was created if it’s processed food, other uses for the food product, or cool fun facts that are simply shocking.
Let’s take a look at 25 strange but fascinating food facts that you’ve probably never heard of before.
Graham Crackers Were Invented to Do What?
Evangelical minister Sylvester Graham actually invented the Graham cracker to quell sexual urges, according to The Atlantic. He is also considered to be a “father” of the early vegetarian movement in the U.S.
Honey Never Goes Bad
Most foods we eat eventually spoil as a result of bacteria and microorganisms, which survive on moisture. But if you’re a honey lover, we have some good news for you. Honey never spoils because it contains just a small amount of water! Just keep it sealed and dry, and it will last forever.
Raw Oysters Are Alive When You Eat Them
Next time you order up some delectable raw oysters, remember they are still alive when you eat them. If they weren’t, you could get sick, since dead oysters contain a large amount of bacteria.
Chocolate Was Once Used as Money
The Aztecs and Mayans used chocolate as currency during the 14th century. Specifically, they used cacao beans, which were considered extremely valuable.
Ketchup Was Once Sold as Medicine
Certain tomato ketchup recipes used to be sold — in the 1800s — as tonics or pills to cure ailments. Unfortunately, it was all just a scam, and the quality of ketchup at the time was deemed by some as “filthy, decomposed, and putrid.”.
Bananas Are Berries
Really? Bananas are berries? It’s true. And so are eggplants. For a fruit to be considered a berry it must have two or more seeds inside of it, plus come from a single flower with just one ovary.
Strawberries Are Not Berries
Now I’m totally confused! But, alas, it’s true. Despite their own name descriptors, both strawberries and raspberries are not actually berries.
Who Invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?
These delicious treats were actually invented in 1976 by Richard Montañez, a janitor who worked at a Frito-Lay plant, according to The Kansas City Star. His ingenuity led him from janitorial work to executive vice president at PepsiCo North America.
George Washington Created an Eggnog Recipe
It seem that George Washington loved eggnog! It’s not actually known how many eggs the first president used in his eggnog recipe, although some guess it was half a dozen or so. He did use a lot of liquor, though, including brandy, whiskey, and Jamaica rum! For the full recipe, check out Time.com.
This Vanilla Flavoring Comes From a Beaver’s Butt
Bet you’ll never look at candy or baked goods the same again. Castoreum, which is used as vanilla flavoring in some goodies, comes from a secretion from the anal glands of beavers. But don’t get too grossed out just yet. According to Snopes, its use these days is extremely rare.
How Spam Got its Name
Spam was named by combining the words “spice” and “ham” — even though neither of these ingredients are in this meat product. Spam is actually a mash-up of pork, water, salt, potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrate, according to Eater.com.
Chewing Gum Contains Lanolin
Chewing Gum contains a softening agent, called lanolin, which is also contained in many skincare products. Doesn’t sound too gross right? But when you dig further, it turns out that lanolin comes from an oily discharge found in sheep’s wool. Ewww!
What Do the Different Bell Pepper Colors Mean?
The red, yellow, green, and orange colors of bell peppers actually represent different stages of development of the same vegetable. So why do they smell and taste different from each other? Because at different stages of development, they produce different chemicals.
Pineapples Do Not Grow on Trees
Seems like pineapples would grow on trees, right? But nope! They actually grow from a leafy plant out of the ground. “Unlike most fruits, pineapples are not grown from seeds,” according to Live Science.
Sliced Bread Was Banned in the U.S.
For a short time in 1943, sliced bread was banned by the U.S. government. According to The New York Times, the ban was “aimed at effecting economies in the manufacture of bread and in the use of paper.” The ban wasn’t effective and met with sharp resistance by housewives, so the sliced bread ban only lasted a couple of months.
How Are Ranch Dressing and Sunscreen Related?
Apparently, Ranch dressing contains a chemical called titanium dioxide. The chemical helps to make Ranch look whiter. But did you know that titanium dioxide is also used in sunscreen and paint?
How Do They Make Jelly Beans So Shiny?
It’s easy! They use shellac to make jelly beans shiny. Shellac is a resin actually created from Kerria lacca insect excretions. But shellac can be used as more than just a food glaze. It’s also used as a wood finish and brush-on colorant.
Carrots Have Babies?
Those cute, little baby carrots are, in fact, not the spawn of big carrots. Baby carrots are just regular-sized carrots cut down to a smaller size.
Peanuts Are Not Nuts
Huh? But “nut” is in the word “peanut.” That’s true, but that still doesn’t technically make a peanut a nut. They are actually legumes. Peanuts grow underground, not on trees like walnuts and almonds, which are known as drupes.
Pretzel “Twists” Actually Mean Something
The twists in pretzels aren’t just made to impress you. They actually mean something. They are meant to resemble arms crossed in prayer.
An 11-Year-Old Created the Popsicle in 1905
Now don’t you feel like an underachiever? No, not really. But what an inventive 11-year-old! The feat was actually an accident. Frank Epperson forgot about a cup he had left on his porch in San Francisco filled with water, powdered soda, and a stirring stick. Because it was so cold overnight, the concoction froze, and the rest is history.
The Pizza Hut and Kale Connection
Before the kale craze began in about 2012, Pizza Hut was the largest purchaser of the leaf cabbage. The pizza chain used kale as a salad bar garnish.
Is White Chocolate Actually Chocolate?
White chocolate is technically not even chocolate at all. Instead of containing chocolate solids, it’s made from cocoa butter, milk, vanilla, sugar, and lecithin. Man, are they tricky!
Thirsty? Eat a Cucumber!
Because a cucumber is more than 90% water, it’s extremely hydrating. This fruit also has many other health benefits, including supporting eye health, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, and detoxifying the body.
Hawaiian Pizza Was Not Invented in Hawaii
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Hawaiian pizza was invented in Hawaii, right? You’d think so by the name, but it was invented by the late Sam Panopoulos of London, Ontario, Canada.