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Ten Fascinating Food Facts

by Reynan Rozul

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10. Buttered Tea


Fascinating Fact: In Tibet, a common drink is
butter tea it is made from yak butter, salt,
and tea.
The average Tibetan can drink 50 60 cups
of this tea in any one day!
It is made by drying Chinese tea in the road
for several days.
The tea is then boiled for up to half a day
and churned in bamboo churns to which salt, a
pinch of soda, and rancid butter have been
added.
Some Tibetans add tsu and flour to their
tea. Tsu is a mixture of hardened cheese,
butter, and sugar.
When you sip the tea, your host will refill
your cup as it should always remain full.

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9. Hot Chocolate
Fascinating Fact: The ancient Mayans
made truly hot chocolate they added
chilies and corn to it!
The first records of chocolate being used
for drinking come from residue found in
ancient Mayan pots it dates back to the
5th century AD.
The drink was made by pounding
chocolate beans in to a paste which was
then mixed with water, chili peppers,
cornmeal, and assorted spices.
This was drunk cold, and people of all
classes drank it regularly.
The drink tasted spicy and bitter, unlike
todays hot chocolate.
When Chocolate finally reached the
west, it was very expensive, costing
between $50 $70 per pound in
equivalent modern US dollars.
If you ever get to Paris, be sure to visit
Angelina for the best hot chocolate in the
world try the Chocolat lAfricain.
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8. Origins of Donuts
Fascinating Fact: No one really knows
when ring donuts were invented or who
invented them.
Donuts (doughnuts in UK English), were
originally made as a long twist of dough
not in the ring form that is most common
these days.
It was also common in England for
donuts to be made in a ball shape and
injected with Jam after they were cooked.
Both methods of cooking involve no
human intervention as the ball and twist
will turn itself over when the underside is
cooked.
Hansen Gregory, an American, claimed to
have invented the ring donut in 1847 when
he was traveling on a steam boat; he was
not satisfied with the texture of the center
of the donut so he pressed a hole in the
center with the ships pepper box.

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7. Apple, Potato, or Onion?


Fascinating Fact: Apples, potatoes,
and onions all taste the same when
eaten with your nose plugged.
This shows the incredibly important
part that the nose plays in the sense of
taste.
The fact that the three items have a
similar consistency makes it virtually
impossible to tell them apart without
the sense of smell.
If you try this, you should be warned:
once you unblock your nose, you can
tell what you have just eaten.

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6. Floating Eggs
Fascinating Fact: When an egg floats in water, it
is bad and should not be eaten.
As eggs age, gases build up inside the shell
making it more buoyant. This is the best way to
test whether an egg has gone rotten without
having to break open the shell, risking the foul
odor escaping.
When an egg is extremely fresh it will lie on its
side at the bottom of a glass of water.
As it ages, the egg will begin to point upwards,
and will finally float completely when it has gone
bad. Fresh eggs have a very firm white, whilst old
eggs have a very watery white.
This is why it is best to use the freshest eggs
possible for poaching and frying. Older eggs are
perfectly good for omelets or scrambling.

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5. Vanilla
Fascinating Fact: The consumption of
natural vanilla causes the body to release
catecholamines (including adrenalin) for
this reason it is considered to be mildly
addictive.
When vanilla plants were first exported
from Mexico to other tropical climes, they
flowered but wouldnt produce vanilla pods.
It was discovered that a bee native to
Mexico was the only creature that could
pollinate vanilla flowers .
Attempts to move the bee to other
countries failed and it was not until a slave
boy discovered a method of artificial
pollination.
As well as being mildly addictive, vanilla
has also been found to block bacterial
infections.

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4. Banana Trees
Fascinating Fact: Banana trees are not
actually trees they are giant herbs.
The large stem that is mistaken for a
trunk on a banana tree is actually a
pseudostem meaning fake stem.
Each pseudostem provides a single
bunch of yellow, green, or red bananas.
This then dies and is replaced by
another pseudostem. Smaller bunches
of bananas are actually called hands
not bunches which can weigh up to 50
kilograms.
The bananas that we eat are specially
cultivated to exclude seeds therefore
you cant plant a banana tree from a
commercially grown banana. Wild
bananas have many large hard seeds.

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3. Brain Freeze
Fascinating Fact: The term brain
freeze was invented by 7-11 to explain
the pain one feels when drinking a
slurpee too fast.
Believe it or not, there is a real
scientific name for brain freeze it is
sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.
When something very touches the top
palate of the mouth, it causes the blood
vessels to constrict. This makes the
nerves send a signal to the brain to reopen them.
The rapid re-opening of the vessels
causes a build up of fluid in the tissues
causing a slight swelling in the forehead
and, therefore, causing pain.
It normally takes 30 60 seconds for
the fluid to drain, relieving the pain.

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2. Ancient Sauce
Fascinating Fact: Ketchup was originally
a fish sauce originating in the orient.
Two words from the Fujian region of
China were used to describe a fish brine /
sauce and a tomato sauce both words
bear a striking resemblance in sound to
the word ketchup; the words are: ketsap and kio-chiap.
Early western ketchups were made with
fish and spices, or mushrooms. In fact,
mushroom ketchup is still available in the
United Kingdom and it is prized by some
modern chefs for its natural inclusion of
monosodium glutamate the only
substance known to stimulate the 5th
human taste sense umami.

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1. Feel Good With 7-Up


Fascinating Fact: 7-Up invented in 1920
contained Lithium the drug commonly prescribed
now to sufferers of bi-polar disorder.
The drink was originally marketed as a hangover
cure due to the inclusion of lithium citrate.
It was released just a few years before the Wall
Street crash of the 1920s and it was marketed
under the name Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime
Soda.
The name was changed to 7-Up shortly after its
release but lithium remained one of the ingredients
until 1950.
Some popular myths surround the name of the
drink but the name is most likely due to the
original recipe containing 7 ingredients (with the
up portion relating to the lithium) or the fact that
lithium has an atomic mass of 7.

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