Do you know why salmon is pink or what is the correlation between soda and Alzheimer’s disease? Here are 10 curious food facts.
Ketchup to science!
Did you know that, at one time, tomato pills were sold as medicine? In the 19th century, ketchup was thought to be a remedy for maladies ranging from indigestion to rheumatism. This notion was soon disproved, and ketchup was demoted to a simple condiment. The recipe has since changed so much that the sweet sauce we now use on hamburgers and fries – among other things – is not even considered health food.
Is white chocolate chocolate?
Have you ever wondered why there are no bitter white chocolates? The answer lies in the composition of white “chocolate” – milk, sugar, and cocoa butter. Technically it cannot be considered chocolate as it does not contain pure cocoa, or the color and flavor we associate with chocolate, but it does contain the butter extracted from the cocoa bean.
Tickle me pink
“You are what you eat” and this phrase applies perfectly to salmon. The delectable pink hue of its flesh is due to its diet of crustaceans such as krill and shrimp. Crustaceans contain carotenoids – also found in carrots and tomatoes – and as the salmon metabolize this compound it lends them a pink color, the same way it does to flamingos!
American cheese is not American
The inspirational source of this cheese was the original white cheddar, sold in England and made of cow’s milk and rennet. This evolved into a product made from a mixture of cheeses, and the packaged orange slices we now enjoy are a processed cheese made from a blend of milk, milk fats and solids, other fats, and whey protein concentrate.
Froot Loops illusion
The different colors of Froot Loops fool us into thinking we are tasting different flavors, but it is surprising to learn that they all contain the same ingredients, and taste exactly the same. Proof that we eat with our eyes first.
Taste the rainbow…of bugs!
Originally, the red color of Skittles was due to compound E120, a carmine dye obtained from cochineal insects that live on cacti and are native to Mexico, as well as other subtropical climates. Today, however, they are colored with a synthetic red dye 40.
French fries are not French
These tasty taters are popular around the world, however they did not originate in France. Discovered by American soldiers in Belgium during the first world war, they earned their moniker from the language spoken in their place of origin, rather than the country from which they came.
Cauliflower is not white
Cauliflower comes in colors: green, purple, yellow. But the typical white cauliflower we are used to is covered while growing, to keep out the sun. This prevents it from developing chlorophyll, the pigment that gives all plants their green color.
Forget the soft drinks
Not only is soda consumption associated with obesity, but also with Alzheimer’s disease and other brain maladies such as strokes. Studies find that sugar consumption accelerates aging and shrinkage of the brain, and are best avoided.
A bad egg
If you are unsure about the freshness of your eggs, here’s a trick – if an egg floats when placed in water, it is no longer safe to eat. That’s because decomposition produces gasses that cause it to float. A fresh egg will always sink.