Most of the time, we buy our food without too much thought. We fill up our grocery bags with our favorite ingredients without ever wondering where they came from and what else they can do. The world of food is full of so many fun facts and secrets to learn.
Here are eight weird facts about food you might not know:
Scientists can make diamonds from peanut butter
Diamonds form when highly organized carbon is subjected to extreme pressure and high temperatures. This happened naturally in the Earth’s crust billions of years ago, which is why real diamonds are so expensive. Because peanut butter is so rich in carbon, scientists can recreate these extreme conditions to turn it into diamonds.
White chocolate isn’t chocolate
The name of this sweet treat is misleading. White chocolate does contain cocoa butter, but it doesn’t contain any cocoa solids. Instead, it’s made of sugar, milk products, vanilla, and lecithin. Because cocoa nibs are responsible for real chocolate’s distinctive flavor, their absence in white chocolate means it’s actually categorized as candy.
We all know to gently squeeze a fruit in the grocery store to see if it’s ripe, but have you ever bounced it? One of the best weird facts about food items is that cranberries bounce like rubber balls when they’re ripe. Believe it or not, farmers and consumers use this as a legitimate test to check if a cranberry is ready to eat.
Honey never expires
When honey bees make honey, they gather nectar and use enzymes in their body to break down the nectar and reduce the water content. As a result of this process, natural honey has extremely low moisture levels—meaning it never expires. In fact, archaeologists have found pots of honey that are thousands of years old yet still perfectly edible.
Strawberries aren’t berries
It’s no secret that tomatoes are technically a fruit. However, another weird fact about food you might not know is that strawberries aren’t really berries. Technically speaking, berries are fleshy fruits that come from a single ovary. By this definition, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries don’t count. Next time you have berries on your shopping list, you might look at watermelons, bananas, or pumpkins instead.
Grocery store bananas are clones
Bananas, like many other fruits, have a ton of varieties around the world. However, the ones you buy at the grocery store are all clones of just one type—the Cavendish. This banana variety doesn’t have seeds, and it lasts longer than other varieties, making it a popular purchase. Unfortunately, the lack of seeds means that farmers have to clone the Cavendish banana in order to grow it.
Black pepper was once a luxury item
You’ll rarely find a dining table without salt and pepper shakers. Despite how common it is now, black pepper was once an extravagant spice. It was so expensive in the Middle Ages that people used it to pay their rent and taxes.
Sandwiches were invented by a card player
As the story goes, a man named John Montagu—the Earl of Sandwich—invented this modern-day staple. An avid card player, the Earl wanted a meal that didn’t disrupt his card games. He (or more likely his servants) created the handy and delectable sandwich to eat at the card table.
If you’re a foodie, check out our post on the best foodie vacations.