Food and Drink Trivia
One of the top-selling Girl Scout cookies, Samoas, uses caramel made the old-fashioned way. It's cooked at 230 degrees in copper kettles.
In a traditional French restaurant kitchen, a "garde-manger" is responsible for salads.
One pound of wheat will make about three cups of flour.
In Alaska's Matanuska Valley, the long hours of sunlight are used, by some farmers, to grow giant vegetables. One such farmer grew a 100-pound cabbage.
One tablespoon of most brands of ketchup contains 4 grams of sugar, 15 calories and 190 grams of sodium. There is no fat in ketchup and processed red tomatoes are supposed to be a good source of lycopene, which may reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases.
In ancient China and certain parts of India, mouse flesh was considered a great delicacy.
In ancient Egypt, onions were an object of worship. The onion symbolized eternity to the Egyptians who buried onions along with their Pharaohs. The anatomy of the onion suggested a circle-within-a-circle structure, symbolizing eternal life.
In ancient Greece, where the mouse was sacred to Apollo, mice were sometimes devoured by temple priests.
The custom of serving a slice of lemon with fish dates back to the Middle Ages. It was believed that if a person accidentally swallowed a fish bone, the lemon juice would dissolve it.
The darker the olive, the higher the oil content. High oil content means a richer flavor.
The deletable dessert parfait's name comes from the French word for “perfect.”
Onions are usually eaten in such small amounts that they make very little difference nutritionally, but the most nutritious ones are scallions, with four times the vitamin C and 5,000 times the vitamin A as other onions. If you enjoy eating onions by the pound, one pound has about 175 calories.
The dish Boston baked beans is so named because it was made and baked by Puritan Bostonian women on Saturday to be served for dinner that night. Because cooking was forbidden on the Sabbath, the leftover beans were served with Boston brown bread for Sunday breakfast or lunch. The dish is a mix of navy beans or pea beans (the latter is preferred by New Englanders), salt pork, molasses, and brown sugar, baked in a casserole.
Only men were allowed to eat at the first self-service restaurant, the Exchange Buffet in New York, opened in 1885. Customers ate standing up.
The dish sukiyaki was originated by Japanese peasants who prepared it secretly in the fields, in violation of dietary taboos against meat or fowl. The word in Japanese means literally “grilled on a plowshare.”
Over 180 million Cadbury's Creme Eggs are sold between January and Easter each year — that's more than three Creme Eggs for every man, woman, and child in the United States.
In ancient Rome, flamingo tongues were considered a great delicacy. Their existence was threatened by hunters. The Romans made a law making it illegal to hunt flamingos but, it failed.
The drink Ovaltine was made of milk, malt, egg, and cocoa, and was developed in 1904 in Berne, Switzerland. It was originally named Ovomaltine. A clerical error changed it when the manufacturer registered the name.
Oysters Rockefeller were created in 1899 at Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans when a European snail shortage prompted chef Jules Alciatore to turn to local oysters. This was a daring move, as the creatures were usually shunned at the time. Alciatore created a sauce of unsurpassed richness, and so he named the dish after the immensely wealthy Rockefeller family. The famed oyster dish remains one of history's great culinary creations, and its recipe remains a closely-guarded secret at Antoine's, though it has been imitated countless times.
In ancient Rome, it was considered a sin to eat the flesh of a woodpecker.
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