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Why eggplants are called eggplants and 9 other fun food facts

It’s funny how food is something that, presumably, every person on Earth has encountered each and every day of their life—probably three times a day, for most of us. And yet, food never ceases to surprise us. There are endless new flavor mash-ups, hidden histories and health benefits to discover.

So, in honor of this…as we are more likely to celebrate Pi day, Mar 14, with a deep dish pizza or merengue-filled pastry than we are to do anything remotely mathematical, let’s sink our teeth into some fun food facts, shall we?

Enjoy 10 savory, sweet, and even surprising morsels of food-based tidbits below.

1. There’s actually a good reason we call them eggplants

Though across the pond these nightshades are called aubergine, they are called eggplants in the U.S. Which doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense, given that the eggplants we buy at the store are oblong and purple. I don’t know about you, but I’d be concerned for whatever bird laid an egg like that.

But when eggplants were first discovered in the mid-18th century (well, discovered by the British occupiers of India, anyway) they grew small an white out of the vine, much more akin to a chicken egg. These types of white eggplants still exist, but just aren’t as marketable as their purple counterparts.

Oh, and eggplants are technically more of a berry. Remember that next time you’re at Olive Garden.

While we’re on the subject of berries….

2. Order a bouquet of…raspberries?

Raspberries, as well as strawberries and blackberries, aren’t actually berries, but are instead part of the rose family. Thorns and all.

However, botanically speaking, bananas, pumpkins and lemons totally are berries. Cause why not.

3. Going camping? Don’t forget the Doritos!

According to Mashed.com, Doritos have the perfect combination of cornstarch, vegetable oil, and salt to make them “flammable enough to maintain strong flames.” This goes for any corn based chip, really. So if you’re more of a Fritos or Cheetos person, fear not!

4. Julius Caesar did not create the Caesar salad. A guy in Tijuana did.

Back in 1927 hotel owner Caesar Cardini made the salad for some guests using the limited ingredients he had on hand at the time: lettuce stalks, olive oil, raw egg, croutons, parmesan cheese and Worcestershire sauce.The concoction became one of the most popular salads of all time.

Granted, Caesar had moved from Italy to Tijuana to avoid Prohibition, so you could still say Caesar salad is an Italian food.

5. Spam stands for ‘spiced ham’

Considering Spam is made with just six ingredients—pork, salt, water, potato starch, sugar and sodium nitrate—seems a bit misleading. But definitely catchy.

6. Croissants aren’t as French as they seem

What with cookie dough croissants going viral right now, this history lesson seemed the most appropo.

While these fluffy, flaky, buttery pastries seem about as Parisian as it gets, it is widely agreed that this style of baked bread first came from Austria, with the kipferl.

As the popular legend goes, the kipferl celebrated Vienna’s defeat of the Ottoman Empire, its shape representing the moon on the Ottoman flag.

Essentially, Vienna was eating its enemies.

7. Peanuts are the bomb. Literally.

The oil in peanuts makes glycerol, which is sometimes used to make nitro-glycerine—a key ingredient of dynamite. Of course, peanuts are not an essential dynamite ingredient.

8. Don’t let Froot Loops’ rainbow colors fool you

There is only one flavor. “Froot flavor.” That’s it. That’s all there ever was, and likely all there ever will be.

9. German chocolate cake was brought to you by a Texan

The first-ever published recipe for German chocolate cake can be traced back to a Texas homemaker in the ’50s. “German” was used as a credit to Sam German (also not German) whose brand of baking chocolate was used to bake the cake. In fact, it was originally called “German’s Chocolate Cake. But eventually the “‘s” was dropped.

10. One single spaghetti noodle is called a spaghetto.

Welp, SpaghettiOs make even less sense now.

Of course, these fun facts are only appetizers in the never-ending courses of interesting stories our foods provide. But still, something to chew on.

Source: Upworthy
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