Food is delicious and nutritious! It is one of the things we love the most and more… But did you know that the ordinary foods you can find in the kitchen right now - like carrots, jelly beans, sandwiches, and broccoli - also have a fascinating story to tell? Learn 10 interesting tales about the foods that we love (or hate) to eat.
1. The first carrots were not orange!
Believe it or not, original carrots were either purple or white, and they had a thin root - says the National Carrot Museum in the UK. You can still find purple and white carrot varieties today, but they’re much less common. Scientists say that the orange pigment started showing up as a result of an unexpected genetic mutation that occurred sometime in the late 16th century.
2. Pistachios are technically fruits
Unlike hazelnuts or walnuts that grow in a hard shell alone, pistachios are actually part of a berry, so they are technically the seeds of a fruit. The fruit itself is removed from the pistachio “nuts” during the production process. And that’s how we get the pistachios we find in stores!
3. The origins of your everyday sandwich
Legend has it that everyone’s favorite snack was invented in the 18th century by the Earl of Sandwich in Kent, England. Sir John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, was reportedly an avid gambler and hated to interrupt his game, even for a lunch break. So he asked for something he could eat without putting his cards down. You know how this story ends, it’s a wrap!
4. The stickers on apples, oranges, and other fruits are edible
Have you ever bitten into an apple only to notice that you accidentally swallowed part of the fruit sticker too? Well, worry not, the manufacturers thought about that and made the stickers edible. Of course, the fact that they’re safe to eat doesn’t mean that you should do it. These stickers don’t have any nutritional value, so it’s best to remove them whenever possible.
5. The Caesar salad comes from Mexico
The origins of the famous Caesar salad can be traced to the Mexican city of Tijuana. In 1924, Chef Caesar Cardini was hosting a 4th of July celebration at his restaurant and he ran out of food. So he mixed together some leftovers and created the iconic salad we still call by his name.
6. Making jelly beans takes a lot of time!
The production of a jelly bean doesn’t require fancy ingredients. Sugar, corn syrup, and pectin or starch are all that’s necessary. But the panning process used in the production process of jelly beans has countless steps, so it takes between 7 to 21 days to make just one batch of jelly beans! The production of jelly beans is now almost fully automated, but back in the day, jelly beans were made by hand.
7. Some people are afraid of cooking
The official name of the fear of cooking is mageirocophobia, and it’s a surprisingly common condition. For some people, it means that they’re just afraid of cooking for large gatherings, but others are too scared to come near the oven. Note that mageirocophobia is not the same as you being reluctant to enter the kitchen when you have a pile of dishes in the sink. The condition has to interfere with the person’s daily life to be considered a phobia.
8. Onion rings are older than you think!
Although we usually associate onion rings with fast food, the first instances of recipes of deep-fried onions date back to the 1800s! The first recipe of onion rings appears in a British recipe book from 1802 that calls for slicing up onions, dipping them in batter and Parmesan cheese, and then deep-frying them. The recipe also suggests serving them with mustard. Honestly, all that doesn’t sound half bad! We’d totally give this old recipe a try.
9. Thomas Jefferson made macaroni popular in the US
There’s a lot we can say about the Founding Fathers that you already know, but here’s one fact about Thomas Jefferson you won’t find in school textbooks. From his travels through Italy, Jefferson brought a pasta machine mold and detailed plans of the device. He was also one of the first people to popularize macaroni in the US, and you can even find a macaroni recipe served to guests during his presidency on the Monticello website. If you decide to make it, tell us how it was!
10. Steak has less protein than broccoli
Did you know that broccoli is one of the most protein-rich vegetables? 1 cup or about 91 grams of broccoli provides 3 g of protein. In fact, if you count calorie for calorie, broccoli has more protein in broccoli than beef.
Share these fascinating facts with family and friends!