Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for years.
When it comes to our favorite foods, we often don't stop and think about just what we're consuming. Whether it's a guilty pleasure or a nutritious meal, we all have our weaknesses. Some of these tasty treats have some pretty wacky facts about them. Let's take a look!
1. Bananas are berries, but strawberries are not. Bananas, kiwis and cucumbers are all classified as berries, while strawberries aren’t because they have seeds on the outside and berries only have seeds on the inside.
2. The most stolen food in the world is cheese. Around 4% of all the cheese in the world is stolen. In fact, there’s even a black market for cheese!
3. The red food dye for Skittles is made from boiled beetles. Carminic acid, a common red food dye, is created from the crushed bodies of a beetle called the dactylopius coccus.
4. One fast food burger can have meat from 100 different cows. Both fast food restaurants and grocery stores use ground beef from a collection of muscle tissue.
5. The world’s most expensive pizza costs $12,000! This is because it takes 72 hours to make and can be made personally in your home by 3 Italian chefs. The pizza itself is topped with 3 types of caviar, lobster from Norway and Cilento, bufala mozzarella and Pink Australian sea salt.
6. Nutmeg is a hallucinogen. If large quantities are consumed, it acts as an hallucinogen due to a natural compound called myristicin.
7. Large groups of pistachios can spontaneously combust! The oily fibrous materials used to transport pistachio nuts can cause them to burst into flames!
8. One in four hazelnuts ends up in Nutella.
9. In 1965, a corned beef sandwich was smuggled into space by astronaut John Young for a 6-hour mission. Due to zero gravity, Young had to quickly put it away to make sure no floating crumbs or debris could damage the shuttle.
10. Chocolate had been used as currency in ancient civilizations of Mexico and South America. The Aztecs had to rely on the Mayans for cocoa beans and traded with them.
11. McDonald’s sells 2.5 billion hamburgers every year.
12. Honey is technically bee vomit. When bees collect nectar, they drink it and keep it in their stomach. Once they return to the hive, they regurgitate the nectar back into the hive.
13. Despite its name, white chocolate isn’t actually chocolate. It is composed of sugars, vanilla, milk products, lecitithin and cocoa butter: no chocolate components.
14. Fruit snacks and cars are coated in the same type of wax (carnauba wax).
15. Farm-raised salmon is naturally white and then dyed pink.
16. Fruit Loops are actually all the same flavor, despite their colorful appearance.
17. Apple pie is not actually an American dish. Despite its patriotic connotations, pie was invented in Medieval England and the apple pie with lattice crust was crafted by the Dutch.
18. Raw oysters are often still alive when you eat them. Since they deteriorate so fast, chefs serve them very quickly and more often than not they are still alive on your plate.
19. Honey, sugar, salt and raw rice have an eternal shelf life.
20. Most wasabi is actually just dyed horseradish. Wasabi costs $80 a pound, so it’s much more cost effective to use initiation instead.
21. In Ancient Egypt, radishes, garlic and onions were used as payment methods for workers. They were given to the workers because they helped with infectious diseases.
22. French fries were actually created in Belgium, not France. They are called “French fries” because of how they are prepared; they’re julienned.
23. The cream in a Twinkie isn’t really cream; it’s mostly just vegetable shortening.
24. Pumpkin pie was introduced at the second Thanksgiving in 1623.
25. Tea bags were actually created by accident by an American, despite being a Brit favorite. New Yorker Thomas Sullivan would send samples of the product in silk bags and people started putting them in the teapot.
26. Artificial/imitation vanilla contains castoreum, which is actually a product that comes from the gland of a beaver’s butt.
27. The most expensive ice cream sundae can be found in New York City. The $1500 dessert is made from Tahitian vanilla cream with a 23-karat gold leaf, caviar, almonds and a sugar-encrusted orchid. It takes 8 hours to make.
28. The first food ever to be consumed in space was applesauce.
29. Ironically enough, cotton candy was created by a dentist. It was invented in 1897 by William Morrison, a dentist who partnered with a confectioner to create what they originally called “fairy floss.”
30. Tootsie Pops can take anywhere from 144-411 licks to get to the center.
31. Lollipops are rumored to have been around for thousands of years. Cavemen are believed to have invented them by collecting honey from beehives with a stick and licking them to eat it.
32. Figs are made by fig wasps which mate inside the fig, leaving it to blossom.
33. Thomas Jefferson is responsible for the popularity of pasta in the United States. He brought over the first macaroni machine after spending time in Paris. Jefferson even created the design himself and was the first person to introduce mac and cheese to Americans.
34. If you add sugar to a vase of freshly cut flowers, it can help to prolong their life.
35. Lobsters were once served as prison food and regarded as food for the poor because they were so plentiful.
36. The first wedding cake was actually savory. The earliest records of wedding cakes go back to Ancient Rome, when a groom sealed his marriage by smashing a barley cake over the bride’s head.
© 2020 Rachel M Johnson