FASCINATING FOOD FACTS
For all you think you might know about the good stuff, or should we say, food stuff, odds are, you don’t know many of these fascinating, lesser known food trivia.
PSYCHO CHOCOLATE? Master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock filmed the shower scene in the 1960 thriller Psycho using chocolate syrup as blood. Oh, the splendour and simplicity of black and white!
CARBONATED BEVERAGES ARE ‘SOFT DRINKS’… The name ‘soft drink’ owes its origin to simple advertising. The makers of flavoured carbonated beverages had a difficult time marketing their product because the name for these beverages varied around the world – “pop”, “soda” or “fizzy drinks”, among many. They needed to refer to their product in the generic sense, thus the manufacturers chose the term “soft drink” as a universal term for their non-alcoholic carbonated beverages.
LOOPY FLAVOUR… It’s assumed that Fruit Loops are made from an assortment of fruity flavours, right? Wrong, all Fruit Loops, regardless of colour, taste the same – delicious!
A POPSICLE WAS AN EPSICLE… Invented by 11-year-old Frank Epperson in 1905 after he left a soda outside in the cold with a stick in it – he originally called the frozen treat an Epsicle. Nearly two decades later he applied for a patent for the “frozen ice on a stick” that his children dubbed the popsicle.
CHILLY IS SO HOT… The heat sensation in chilies is caused by capsaicin, which is a colourless, odourless, oily chemical found in peppers. Capsaicin is a special case, however, in that it can fool our bodies into thinking chilies are literally ‘hot’. The more concentrated the nerve receptors in a part of your body, the more sensitive that part is to capsaicin. That’s why getting chili in your eye can be unbearable. But don’t be fooled, the hottest part of a chili is not the seeds, as many people think, but the white flesh that houses the seeds.
A HAMBURGER HAS NO HAM… They actually get their name from Hamburg, Germany, home of a cut of beef called the Hamburg steak that eventually evolved into what we now consider hamburgers. Legend has it that the first known “Hamburger”, in the form we know it today, was made by Charlie Nagreen at the Outgamie Country Fair in Seymour, Wisconsin in 1885.
WHY A BAKERS DOZEN IS 13…The next time you get the gift of an extra doughnut added to your dozen, thank crooked 13th-century bakers for the bonus treat. In the 1260s, British bread makers were notorious for shorting customers with skimpy loaves. King Henry III was so irked by the problem that he implemented a new law to standardize the weight of a loaf. Since bakers wanted to stay on the right side of the law, one common trick was to give 13 loaves to any customer buying a dozen. Even if the loaves were light, the extra would cover the shortfall. It was an easy fix for bakers, and since low-carb diets were still seven centuries away, customers rejoiced.
WONDER WHY CRACKERS HAVE HOLES? Well, rather a finishing decorative touch, the holes in crackers ensure that the treats bake properly. The dough used to make crackers contains lots of trapped air bubbles, and when it is heated in the oven, these pockets of air expand. In order to stop these bubbles from expanding and bursting, a machine called a Docker pricks holes in the dough to allow the air to escape. These holes then allow steam to escape during baking and keeps crackers flat and crispy.