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A Penny For Your Thoughts

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Want to impress your friends with food facts?

If you would like to make a Siberian happy, give him a horse-meat steak.

A black cow is a chocolate soda with chocolate ice cream. The term dates from the Roaring Twenties, although it also came to be used to describe a root beer float. Another term for a black cow was a mud fizz.

The cashew is part of a fruit that grows in tropical regions called 'a cashew apple'. After harvesting, the cashew apple keeps for only 24 hours before the soft fruit deteriorates. The cashew apple is not commercially important since it spoils quickly, but local people love the fruit. To harvest the nut, the ripe apple is allowed to fall to the ground where natives easily gather it. The apple and nut are separated.

South Pittsburgh, Tennessee, better known as "The Cornbread Capitol of the World," has an old ordinance pertaining to the cooking of this southern staple. The law declares: "Cornbread isn't cornbread unless it be made correctly. Therefore, all cornbread must be hereby made in nothing other then a cast iron skillet." Those found in violation of this ordinance are to be fined one dollar.

The Ritz cracker was introduced to markets in 1934, but gourmets had to wait until 1953 for the invention of cheese in a can.

The fortune cookie was invented in 1916 by George Jung, a Los Angeles noodlemaker.

A man named Ed Peterson is the inventor of the Egg McMuffin.

Although the combination of chili peppers and oregano for seasoning has been traced to the ancient Aztecs, the present blend is said to be the invention of early Texans. Chili powder today is typically a blend of dried chilies, garlic powder, red peppers, oregano, and cumin.

Americans eat an average of 18 pounds of fresh apples each year. The most popular variety in the United States is the Red Delicious.

An apple, onion, and potato all have the same taste. The differences in flavor are caused by their smell. To prove this - pinch your nose and take a bite from each. They will all taste sweet.

Mr. Peanut was invented in 1916 by a Suffolk, Virginia schoolchild who won $5 in a design contest sponsored by Planters Peanuts.

John Kellogg invented corn flakes, for a patient with bad teeth. Charles Post invented Grape Nuts. Dr. Kellogg was the manager of a Michigan health spa and Post was a patient. The spa was founded by Sylvester Graham...inventor of the Graham cracker and pioneer of the early 1800s movement to eat more bran.

The secret recipe for Coca Cola, code-named "Merchandise 7X" is kept under lock and key in a vault in the SunTrust Bank Building in Atlanta, Georgia, the home of Coke inventor Dr. John S. Pemberton and current world headquarters of Coca Cola International.

In South Africa, termites are often roasted and eaten by the handful, like pretzels or popcorn.

Table salt is the only commodity that hasn’t risen dramatically in price in the last 150 years.

Burger KingŪ uses approximately 1/2 million pounds of bacon every month in its restaurants.

There are more than 200 kinds of chili peppers, none of which belong to the pepper family.

Ice cream was originally made without sugar and eggs.

The Chinese used to open shrimp by flaying the shells with bamboo poles. Until a few years ago, in factories where dried shrimp were being prepared, "shrimp dancers" were hired to tramp on the shells with special shoes.

Native Americans never actually ate turkey; killing such a timid bird was thought to indicate laziness.

For decades, there's been a hard-fought and usually close battle between Coke and Pepsi in the United States...with each claiming some regional pockets of leadership. But globally it's no contest - Coca-Cola sales far outstrip sales of Pepsi-Cola internationally.

The famous Chef Wolfgang Puck chose the Italian word "Spago" as the name for his popular chain of restaurants. In Italian - spago = "String" or "Twine" - slang for spaghetti.

Grand Rapids, Michigan is the "SpaghettiOs Capital of the World" because per-capita consumption is highest in that city, per the Franco-American Company. Reportedly, there are more than 1,750 "O's" in a 15-ounce can of SpaghettiOs.

Pigturducken is a pig, stuffed with a turkey, which is stuffed with a chicken, deep fried in oil, which is usually put into something similar to a horse trough over propane burners.

Carbonated water, with nothing else in it, can dissolve limestone, talc, and many other low-Moh's hardness minerals. Coincidentally, carbonated water is the main ingredient in soda.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat more than 22 pounds of tomatoes every year. More than half this amount is eaten in the form of ketchup and tomato sauce.

In Bavaria, beer isn't considered an alcoholic drink but rather a staple food.

Beer is made by fermentation cause by bacteria feeding on yeast cells and then defecating. In other words, it's a nice tall glass of bacteria doo-doo.

Americans eat an average of 18 pounds of fresh apples each year. The most popular variety in the United States is the Red Delicious.

Spam stands for Shoulder Pork and hAM.

The estimated number of M & M’s sold each day in the United States is 200,000,000.

Spirit of proof strength was the technical standard by which strength was measured until 1st January, 1980. Hundreds of years ago, spirit of this strength was proved when Whiskey and gunpowder were mixed and ignited. If the gunpowder flashed, then there was enough Whiskey in the mixture to permit ignition. Such Whiskey was held to have been proved - i.e. "tested". If the spirit was weaker than this, then ignition did not take place and the Whiskey failed the "test". The amount of black powder used was the same amount as was, and indeed still is, used to "proof" the barrels of smooth-bore fire-arms.

In medieval England beer often was served with breakfast.

Researchers in Denmark found that beer tastes best when drunk to the accompaniment of a certain musical tone. The optimal frequency is different for each beer, they reported. The correct harmonious tone for Carlsberg Lager, for example, is 510-520 cycles per second.

Grapes explode when you put them in the microwave.

Only food that does not spoil: honey.

The average McDonald's Big Mac bun has 198 sesame seeds on it.

Before it was unsolicited email, Spam was a luncheon meat. It is so resistant to spoilage that, if kept in the closed can, it may well outlast eternity and will certainly live longer than you. Believe it or not it was first promoted as a health food. In Korea it comes in gift boxes, and placed end to end, all the Spam ever sold would circle the Earth more than ten times.

The famous baby appearing on jars of Gerber baby food is actually a girl named Ann Turner. The picture was drawn by artist Dorothy Hope Smith in 1928.

There are more than 15,000 different kinds of rice.

Rice is the main food for half of the people of the world.

As much as 50 gallons of Maple Sap are used to make a single gallon of Maple Sugar.

Dairy products account for about 29% of all food consumed in the U.S.

Turkey contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which can cause sleepiness (warm milk also contains tryptophan).

When Gerber baby foods began to sell in parts of Africa, they continued to use their usual packaging, with the cute baby on the front. They didn't realize until later that where they were selling it, it was a common practice to help illiterate people buy things by putting pictures on the wrapper of what was inside.

Wine will spoil if exposed to light, hence tinted bottles.

Over a third of all pineapples come from Hawaii.

A hard-boiled egg will spin. An uncooked or soft-boiled egg will not.

Herring is the most widely eaten fish in the world.

Sliced bread was introduced under the Wonder Bread label in 1930.

Opera stars Nellie Melba and Luisa Tetrazzini are famous for more than singing. They are also known for food that has been named after them. Nellie Melba (peach melba and melba toast) and Luisa Tetrazzini (chicken tetrazzini).

The letters VVSOP on a cognac bottle stand for - Very Very Superior Old Pale.

When it originally appeared in 1886 - Coca Cola was billed as an "Esteemed Brain Tonic and Intellectual Beverage".

Ovaltine, the drink was from milk, malt, egg and cocoa, was developed in 1904 in Berne, Switzerland. It was originally named Ovomaltine. A clerical error changed it when the manufacturer registered the name.

In the late 1970s, Coca-Cola Co. boycotted the NBC late-night comedy show "Saturday Night Live" for several years. The giant soda company was retaliating against a frequent character of comedian John Belushi's, a Greek restaurant owner, who repeatedly said to customers, "No Coke... Pepsi," thus saying the rival company's name dozens of times throughout each skit.

The first macaroni factory in the United States was established in 1848. It was started by Antoine Zegera in Brooklyn, New York.

The five favorite U.S. school lunches nationwide, according to the American School Food Service Association, are, in order, pizza, chicken nuggets, tacos, burritos, and hamburgers.

The flesh of the puffer fish (fugu) is considered a delicacy in Japan. It is prepared by chefs specially trained and certified by the government to prepare the flesh free of the toxic liver, gonads, and skin. Despite these precautions, many cases of tetrodotoxin poisoning are reported each year in patients ingesting fugu. Poisonings usually occur after eating fish caught and prepared by uncertified handlers. The end result, in most cases, is death.

The number 57 on a Heinz ketchup bottle represents the number of varieties of pickle the company once had.

Fanta Orange is the third largest selling soft drink in the world.

"Colonial goose" is the name Australians give to stuffed mutton.

"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.

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

Well, before WWII, Twinkies used to have bananna cream in them; but because of the battle at Pearl Harbor, we had a shortage of bananas and had to switch to plain vanilla. It's been that way ever since then. (Update- Recently Hostess re-introduced the Bananna Twinkie)

Beer foam will go down by licking your finger then sticking it in the beer.

Chocolate not only does not promote tooth decay, it might prevent it. According to the American Dental Association, milk chocolate contains ingredients, such as calcium and phosphate, that might modify acid production in the mouth that leads to cavities. Some oils in chocolate might also prevent tooth decay. Chocolate does contain sugar, of course, but these are simple sugars that are less harmful than the complex sugars contained in other foods.

According to the head chef at the United Nations, the president of Iceland eats fish every day for lunch. Additionally, the queen of Denmark has a taste for Japanese food, and Pres. Bill Clinton has a passion for chicken.

According to the National Safety Council, coffee is not successful at sobering up a drunk person, and in many cases it may actually increase the adverse effects of alcohol.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat more than 22 pounds of tomatoes every year. More than half this amount is eaten in the form of ketchup and tomato sauce.

Alcoholic lemonade is outselling premium bottled lagers in United Kingdom pubs, according to a report in "NASFT Showcase" magazine.

Ancient Greeks and Romans believed asparagus had medicinal qualities for helping prevent bee stings and relieve toothaches.

86 is one of many codes once used by soda fountain employees to communicate quickly among themselves. Code 33 meant a cherry-flavored Coke, Code 19 meant a banana split, and Code 86 meant they were out of a particular item. As a result, if a cook "86'd" an order, it meant he was canceling it.

Sixty cows can produce a ton of milk a day.

Worcestershire Sauce is basically an Anchovy ketchup.

For beer commercials, they add liquid detergent to the beer to make it foam more.

When tea was first introduced in the American colonies, many housewives, in their ignorance, served the tea leaves with sugar or syrup after throwing away the water in which they had been boiled.

From 1941 until 1950, violet was part of the color mixture for "M&M's" Plain Chocolate Candies. Violet was replaced by tan.

Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators where it was first developed.

Budweiser Beer, known in much of the world by the ad slogan "The King of Beers", is known as "The Beer of Kings" in The Czech Republic. There are two beers that are trademarked Budweiser. The one known as the "King of Beers" is the American brand while the Czech brand is the one known as the "Beer of Kings". They are NOT the same brand and there is a friendly rivalry between them. If I remember correctly, and its quite possible I don't, the American brand was trademarked first but somehow the Czech beer retained rights to its name. I don't think they are both available in the same country.

You should not eat a crawfish with a straight tail. It was dead before it was cooked.

A turkey should never be carved until it has been out of the oven at least 30 minutes. This permits the inner cooking to subside and the internal meat juices to stop running. Once the meat sets, it's easier to carve clean, neat slices.

During the Middle Ages, almost all beef, pork, mutton, and chicken were chopped fine. Forks were unknown at the time and the knife was a kitchen utensil rather that a piece of tableware.

Brussels sprouts are called Brussels sprouts because they were discovered in Brussels.

The Chuck E. Cheese franchise was created by Atari, a restaurant combining robotic animals and arcade games with family meals. They name the franchise a Pizza Time Theater. Chuck E. Cheese was first opened in 1977.

There are 2,000,000 different combinations of sandwiches that can be created from a SUBWAY menu.

Lithiated Lemon was the creation of Charles Griggs from Missouri, who introduced the lemon-lime drink in 1929. Four years later he renamed it 7-Up. Sales increased significantly.

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.

Milk delivered to the store today was in the cow two days ago.

The wheat that produces a one-pound loaf of bread requires 2 tons of water to grow.

In Australia, the popular McOz Burger combines 100 percent Australian beef, cheese, tomato, beetroot, lettuce, and cooked onions on a toasted bun. This burger was created by Australian McDonald’s restaurant owners, and became a permanent menu item after a successful promotional period in 1998.

Most common sports drinks are the equivalent of sugar-sweetened human sweat. That is, they have the same salt concentration as sweat (but are less salty than your blood). An increase of as little as 1% in blood salt will cause you to become thirsty.

Under U.S. federal guidelines, there should be 21 to 25 jumbo shrimp in a pound.

The MAI TAI COCKTAIL was created in 1945 by Victor Bergeron, the genius of rum, also known as Trader Vic. The drink got its name when he served it to two friends from Tahiti, who exclaimed "Maitai roa ae!" which in Tahitian means out of this world - the best!

Every year, Bavarians and their guests drink 1.2 million gallons of beer during Oktoberfest. The first Oktoberfest was in 1810 and celebrated the marriage of King Ludwig Iof Bavaria.

Many wonder what the difference is between jelly, preserves, jam, and marmalade. In all cases, jelly is the common denominator. Jelly is fruit juice with added sugar, cooled and congealed, usually by the addition of gelatin or pectin. Preserves preserve the largest percentage of the original fruit, containing whole chunks of it in addition to jelly. Jam is jelly plus fruit pulp. Marmalade has bits of fruit and the rinds in a jelly. Although the orange variety is most common, it is often made from other citrus fruits. Spread either of the four on toast, add a nice cup of tea, and you have one sweet treat.

Flamingo tongues were a common delicacy at Roman feasts.

According to Hershey's Chocolate Company, Valentine's Day ranks fourth in candy sales, behind Halloween, Christmas and Easter.

Chicago, Illinois is the candy capital of the world. Chicago has more chocolate manufacturers within a small radius than any other place in the world. This dates back to the 1800's when Chicago was a national hub for transportation and manufacturing, in addition to being very close to sources for key candy ingredients — milk and corn syrup, it was also convenient to ship candy products to either coast from Chicago.

Today companies like Brach's Confections, Ferrara Pan Candy Co., Tootsie Roll Industries, American Licorice, and Archibald Candy still call Chicago home. Mars, Inc. and Nestle also have manufacturing plants in Chicago.

Ketchup was sold in the 1830s as medicine.

Strawberry Pop Tarts may be a cheap and inexpensive source of incendiary devices. Toasters which fail to eject Pop Tarts cause the Pop Tarts to emit flames 10-18 inches in height.

Dunkin' Donuts serves about 112,500 doughnuts each day.

Europeans drink more wine than Americans. France and Italy produce over 40% of all wine consumed in the world.

The "last meal" for Death Row inmates has became embedded in the American death-penalty ritual. Reporters have dutifully recorded the last meal menus: John Wayne Gacy had fried chicken and strawberries; Ted Bundy passed on steak and eggs; James Smith, executed in Texas in 1990, requested a "lump of dirt" (request was denied); Missouri inmate Lloyd Schlup asked for venison and hare (request was granted).

A tenth of the 7 million tons of rice grown in the U.S. each year goes into the making of beer.

According to the National Safety Council, coffee is not successful at sobering up a drunk person, and in many cases it may actually increase the adverse effects of alcohol.

There are more than 7,000 varieties of apples grown in the world. The apples from one tree can fill 20 boxes every year. Each box weighs an average 42 pounds.

Soy milk, the liquid left after beans have been crushed in hot water and strained, is a favorite beverage in the East. In Hong Kong, soy milk is as popular as Coca-Cola is in the U.S.

There are professional tea tasters as well as wine tasters.

There are thousands of varieties of shrimp, but most are so tiny that they are more likely to be eaten by whales than people. Of the several hundred around the world that people do eat, only a dozen or so appear with any regularity in the United States.

Spinach is native to the area of Iran, but didn't spread to other parts of the world until the beginning of the Christian era.

There are two types of asparagus: green and white. One of the most popular varieties of green asparagus is named after Martha Washington, the wife of George Washington.

Thin-skinned lemons are the juiciest.

Though most people think of salt as a seasoning, only 5 out of every 100 pounds produced each year go to the dinner table.

Goat milk is used to produce Roquefort cheese.

Carrots were first grown as a medicine not a food. The Ancient Greeks called carrots "Karoto".

It takes more than 500 peanuts to make one 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.

In Australia, the Number 1 topping for pizza is eggs. In Chile, the favorite topping is mussels and clams. In the United States, it's pepperoni.

Over 15 billion prizes have been given away in Cracker Jacks boxes.

The Chinese developed the custom of using chop sticks because they didn't need anything resembling a knife and fork at the table. They cut up food into bite-sized pieces in the kitchen before serving it. This stemmed from their belief that bringing meat to the table in any form resembling an animal was uncivilized and that it was inhospitable, anyway, to ask a guest to cut food while eating.

The first frozen foods were launched back in the mid-1920s. (Of course, the microwave to cook them in took a while longer!) Clarence Birdseye came up with the idea from his work with the US government surveys of fish and wildlife in Labrador in 1912 and 1915. While working on the surveys, he noted that the natives preserved their fish in ice. He claimed: "I saw natives catching fish in fifty below zero weather, which froze stiff as soon as they were taken out of the water. Months later, when they were thawed out, some of those fish were still alive." Birds Eye's first products were individually boxed packages of peas, cherries, berries, spinach, fish, and meats. Birds Eye products, of course, are still sold.

The National Sausage and Hot Dog Council says when kids were asked what they would like on their hot dogs if their moms weren't watching, 25 percent said they would prefer chocolate sauce.

A bushel of apples weighs about 42 pounds.

The color of a chile is no indication of its spiciness, but size usually is - the smaller the pepper, the hotter it is.

The Southern dish "Chitlins" is made up of pigs' small intestines.

The dark meat on a roast turkey has more calories than the white meat.

The most widely eaten fruit in America is the banana.

The first U.S. consumer product sold in the old Soviet Union was Pepsi-Cola.

Sometimes vanilla ice cream looks as if it has bits of chocolate in it, as if only that could make the flavor acceptable. What are those dark specks, anyway? If you thought they might be parts of vanilla beans, you're right. But they're only the flavorless residue of the bean. Companies put them in just for show, to prove that they used real beans and not artificial flavor.

What is the difference between a yam and a sweet potato? According to the Mayo Clinic dietician, a true yam is a large, starchy root that can get up to 100 pounds. It is native to Africa and Asia and is seldom available in the USA. The sweet potato is a native American plant. It was a staple for early settlers and was actually brought to Europe by Columbus. There are two varieties of sweet potatoes: One is moist and orange-fleshed, the other is drier and yellow. The orange-fleshed potato is commonly - and incorrectly - called a yam. This common practice has resulted in confusion when it comes to labels. Some stores incorrectly label the darker of the two sweet potatoes as being a yam, and they list the nutrient content for yams. True yams have no vitamin A. So consumers mistakenly think that the product has no vitamin A, even though it actually does. Consumers are most likely eating sweet potatoes - and sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.

Juan Metzger, a former Dannon Co. executive, is credited with putting fruit in yogurt. Metzger was recognized for suggesting the addition of fruit at the bottom of containers of the dairy product to improve its taste. The first flavor was strawberry. Metzger's father, Joe, co-founded Dannon Co. in the Bronx in 1942.

Ice Cream Sundaes were created when it became illegal to sell ice cream with flavored soda on a Sunday in the Evanston, Illinois during the late 19th century. Some traders got round it by serving it with syrup instead, calling it an 'Ice Cream Sunday' and eventually replacing the final 'y' with an 'e' to avoid upsetting religious leaders.

Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?

Crazy but True