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Food and Drink Trivia

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"Court bouillon" is a broth made by cooking various vegetables and herbs, traditionally used for poaching fish, seafood, or vegetables.

"Destroying angel," one of several poisonous Amanita mushrooms that grows wild in forests and fields, has an innocent appearance. It is, however, highly lethal. Even a small bite of this beautiful white mushroom can cause, hours later, violent stomach-ache, a breakdown of blood cells, and finally death.

"Grunt" and "slump" are two names that refer to a fruit dessert with a biscuit topping.

"Sherbet” is Australian slang for beer.

“Baby-cut” carrots aren't baby carrots. They're actually full-sized ones peeled and polished down to size. And there's nothing small about their current popularity: about 25 percent of California's fresh carrot crop is turned into “babies.”

“Poached egg” means “egg-in-a-bag,” from the French word poche. When an egg is poached, the white of the egg forms a pocket around the yolk; hence, the name.

On the average, each American consumes 117 pounds of potatoes, 116 pounds of beef, 100 pounds of fresh vegetable, 80 pounds of fresh fruit, and 286 eggs per year.

Cook's Illustrated conducted blind taste testings of vanillas, and the staff was surprised to find that, in baked goods, expensive, aromatic vanillas performed almost exactly the same as the cheaper brands of real vanilla. The differences virtually disappeared during cooking.

On the average, there are eight peas in a pod.

Food & Wine magazine reported that in Japan, squid is the most popular topping for Domino's pizza.

On the Italian Riviera in Viareggio, there is a culinary tradition that a good soup must always contain one stone from the sea. This stems from the days when an Italian fisherman's catch was scooped up in nets; fish and stones frequently ended up together in the same cooking pot.

In 1996, Chicken Alfredo was introduced as one of the new flavors of Gerber Baby Food.

Once an orange is squeezed or cut, the vitamin C dissipates quickly. After only 8 hours at room temperature or a scant 24 hours in the refrigerator, there is a 20 percent vitamin C loss.

In 2000, the National Chicken Council reported that the average American consumes 81 pounds of chicken a year.

One bushel of corn will sweeten more than 400 cans of soda. A single bushel of corn can produce: 32 pounds of cornstarch, 1.6 pounds of corn oil, 11.4 pounds of 21 percent protein gluten feed, or 3 pounds of 60 percent gluten meal.

In 4000 B.C., Egyptians discovered yeast's leavening abilities and turned out more than 40 types of bread.

One has to eat 11 pounds of potatoes to put on 1 pound of weight — a potato has no more calories than an apple.

In a 1999 National School Lunch Program survey, nearly 70 percent of American grade-school students surveyed said they liked pizza was their favorite entrée, corn their favorite vegetable, and cookies their favorite dessert.

One of the fattiest fishes is salmon: 4 ounces of the delectable fish contain 9 grams of fat.

In a single production shift, 30 miles of string is used on the Barnum's packages, which runs into 8,000 miles of string per year. As many as 25,000 cartons and 500,000 animals are produced per hour in the Nabisco bakeries.

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