Category Archives: Food

Why Teachers are Associated with and Traditionally Given Apples

apple

Gloria N. asks: Why is the stereotype to give apples to teachers? Widespread publicly funded, mandatory education has only been around since about the 19th century. Before then, the responsibility of providing schooling to children fell primarily on their families. Upper- and middle-class families tended to hire tutors or send their children to a private school run by a schoolmaster. […]

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Inventing Bubble Gum

Bubble-gum

Gracen A. asks: What is original flavor bubblegum supposed to taste like? Bubblegum, the ambiguously flavoured, obnoxiously pink candy gum that is the favourite treat of Violet Beauregarde and, seemingly, a shocking amount of stock photo actors was first invented in 1928 by an accountant called Walter Diemer. Despite being asked in dozens of interviews throughout his life, Diemer took […]

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What Happens to Big Food Made to Break World Records?

Guiness World Record

Randal T. asks: When someone makes some giant food item for publicity, what do they actually do with the thing after? According to Guinness World Records, the de-facto authority on world record breaking, this is one of the most common questions they’re asked alongside “What record is broken the most often?” (the heaviest object lifted with glue according to them) […]

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Who Invented the Bloody Mary Drink and Who is It Really Named After?

bloody-mary

Saurabh A. asks: Is the bloody Mary drink really named after Queen Mary Tudor? For many, Sundays mean brunch and a delicious morning cocktail. Quite often, that early alcoholic beverage is the odd combination of tomato juice, celery, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce (see: The Stomach Turning Thing Worcestershire Sauce is Made Of), vodka and other spices that’s known as a […]

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Why Are You Not Supposed to Use Twice Boiled Water for Tea?

tea-service

Jeremy W. asks: Is it true that drinking tea made from twice boiled water is bad for you? There’s a rather persistent idea that “reboiling” water (i.e. boiling water two or more times and allowing it to cool in-between) while making a cup of tea is potentially harmful to your health, with some going so far as stating that regularly […]

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That Time Coca-Cola Tried to Sell Bottled Tap Water in the U.K. and the Hilarity That Ensued

bottled-water

As literally one of the biggest companies on Earth, Coca-Cola has their giant fingers in a lot of equally giant pies. One of those fingers happens to be dipped in the extremely lucrative bottled water market. The product we’re talking about today is Dasani, which currently earns Coca-Cola just shy of one billion dollars per year in the United States, […]

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Why Does the Yolk of an Overcooked Hard-Boiled Egg Turn Green?

hard-boiled-egg

Laura K. asks: Why does the yolk of a hard-boiled egg sometimes turn green? The process of hard-boiling an egg involves denaturation. During this process, the amino acid chains found in the proteins in the egg are altered from their original, raw egg state, with the denaturation temperature varying somewhat depending on the specific protein in question (see chart here). […]

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The Fascinating Ways in Which Breakfast Cereals are Made

breakfast-cereal

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Americans eat nearly three billion boxes of cereal every year. And yet few of us know how Rice Krispies, Corn Pops, or any other cereal is made. Here’s a look at the science behind some of our favorite breakfast foods. NATURAL-BORN POPPER Popcorn for breakfast? It’s not the first thing […]

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The Truth About the Surprisingly Recent Invention of the Tea Bag, and the Women Who Really Invented It

tea-bags

Mark A. asks: Who invented tea bags? Legend says that brewing tea dates back to around 2737 BC, when tea leaves fell into water being boiled for Emperor Shennong of China. There does not appear to be any hard evidence of tea being discovered this way, but evidence we do have suggests that brewing tea did indeed likely start in […]

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The Difference Between “Regular”, Virgin and Extra Virgin Olive Oils

olive-oil2

Karl W. asks: What’s the difference between regular olive oil and virgin? Generally speaking, olive oils fall into one of two broad categories: refined and unrefined, with virgin and extra virgin fitting in the latter category, and pure and light olive oils in the former. Olives used to make the two virgin, unrefined oils aren’t treated with heat or chemicals, […]

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Is Honey Vegan?

honey-bee

Melissa asks: Is honey considered vegan? There’s a reason there’s the expression “busy as a bee.” These buzzing insects’ entire lives are dedicated to making sure the hive keeps humming and the next generation of bees are born. Worker bees are consistently building, cleaning and protecting their home. When they are not tending to the hive, they are foraging for […]

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Why Cashews are Not Sold to Consumers in Their Shells and Why Pistachios Used to Be Dyed Red

cashew

Why Cashews are Not Sold to Consumers in Their Shells Cashews are a member of the same family as poison ivy, Anacardiaceae. Like poison ivy and many other members of the family, part of the cashew plant contains an oily chemical called urushiol, which is a strong irritant for most people and can even be fatal for some if ingested. […]

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