If You Think You’re Eating Real Banana, You’re Not
But when you eat a banana, you can barely spot those seeds! It’s because most of us these days are chomping down on clones of the Cavendish variety. (Yes, there are different species of bananas. As in, more than 1,000!) That special type was chosen because it’s seedless.
Plus, it lasts longer. No store wants to waste money on trying to sell food with a short shelf-life. Oh yeah, and bananas are technically berries. (Same goes for watermelons). It’s because their seeds are inside the flesh.
Which makes strawberries and raspberries, not true berries! By definition, they’re fruits since the seeds are on the outside. But orange has its seeds on the inside like a berry too. That’s right, it’s another case of mistaken identity! Oranges are also a human invention, not a product of nature! They were created as a hybrid of pomelo and mandarin.
And if you see a green orange, it doesn’t mean it’s sour and unripe. It’s just got its sunscreen on! When the weather’s too hot for their liking, oranges produce more of the green pigment chlorophyll to protect themselves from sunburn. But if you have a green banana you want to turn yellow faster, just throw it in a plastic bag with an apple or tomato. These two give off ethylene gas, which helps other fruits ripen.
Fun fact: unripe fruit tastes so yucky for a reason. It’s because the seeds aren’t done growing yet! In the wild, any fruit’s goal is to be gobbled up by animals because they help spread the seeds. When the seeds are finally ready, the fruit ripens, gets a new yummy taste, and the animals start munching!
Limes, lemons, and oranges are obviously relatives. Bananas have their family too: lilies and orchids! If you ever look at banana leaves and compare them with those flowers, you’ll see they’re cousins!
By the way, peaches and nectarines are basically the same fruit. It all comes down to one little gene that decides whether the peel will be smooth or fuzzy.
Apples are also roses! Just like pears, cherries, and almonds. Next time you show up on a date, bring a bag of apples and share this fact! Oh, how romantic!
Oddly enough, if you make a salad from red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, you’ll get a dish made from three entirely different vegetables. They’re all unique plants with their own unique seeds!
You see a banana, you think of a warm tropical climate. But they can easily grow in Iceland! It’s the world’s most northern producer of fruit. I mean, berry? The funny thing about Iceland, they grow a lot of tropical fruits up there. The cold country pulls it off thanks to the geothermal underground heat. That’s the same thing powering their epic volcanoes and geysers!
Sorry, but calorie-negative veggies are a myth. Some people claim that your body uses more energy to break down, say, lettuce and celery than those foods give. They’re still extremely low-cal (about 5–10 calories a serving). But your body only burns half a calorie to digest them.
Kiwi fruits in the wild look like big hairy grapes. But many people instead thought it resembles that tiny little kiwi bird. So, they named this fruit after it and not vice versa. Technically “renamed” — kiwi was originally called Chinese gooseberry.
Up for some sushi? If you grabbed wasabi at the grocery store, there’s a 99% chance you didn’t get the real thing. True wasabi is hard to make, so it’s usually replaced with horseradish, some extra flavorings, and colorants. Like green.
The ketchup we eat today has nothing to do with the original recipe. The origins go back to the 17th century when the Chinese made a sauce out of pickled fish and spices. Later, the British version featured mushrooms, shallots, and even walnuts. The word “ketchup” changed its name and was used for any dark-colored sauce.
The first carrots were completely different too. The carrot we’re used to is thick and orange. They used to be thin and purple! Carrots are tougher than any other vegetable. It’s because they can survive a winter in the ground and not wither.
Also, if you thought baby carrots are a totally different sort, not true. These are often just unattractive, regular-sized carrots trimmed down to bite-sized. They’d be too hard to sell the way they are, but they look appetizing cut up!
Watermelons and tomatoes are mostly water, and you can tell while eating them. But potatoes are too — about 80%! So if you wanted to, you could squeeze a potato and have a glass of its juice! Eh, think I’d rather fry them...
Carrots are over 80% water, and apples are about 25% air. That’s why they float, and you can bob for them! So when you spend $10 on apples, $2.50 of that is going toward...nothing! And here you were always worried about paying for air in chip bags!
Apples taste better when they’re sliced because they’re exposed to oxygen. It activates a special enzyme that makes the fruit ripen (and turn brown). The same happens when you hit an apple: the oxygen gets inside through tiny cracks, and it’ll be sweeter!
Get this: a scientist in Germany figured out how to turn peanut butter into diamonds! Peanut butter has a lot of carbon in it. To turn it into a diamond, all you do is put it under extremely high pressure. Yeah, good luck with that!
If you ever order a “Welsh rabbit” in the UK, don’t expect a meat dish. It’s actually some crispy bread with a cheesy sauce poured on it. Yeah, that makes sense. By the way, Worcestershire sauce was invented by accident!
Two English chemists tried to make an Indian fish sauce. The batch turned out too strong to be edible, so they put it in the basement. They forgot about it for a couple of years, and it fermented in that time. When they remembered about it, they thought, “Hey, why not give it a try?” And it tastes much better! And, yes, your favorite steak sauce is still made with fish today!
Those instant noodles you buy when the budget’s tight were originally a luxury product! The main idea was to create something with a long shelf life. After several unsuccessful attempts, the inventor finally got it! The noodles had to be steamed, dried, deep-fried, and then seasoned. This complicated production made them cost much more than the fresh noodles everyone was used to.
Now let’s travel back in time to the 1700s. As the story goes, a man named John Montagu really liked card games. As in, he couldn’t even be bothered to take a break for lunch. So he just asked for some meat tucked between two slices of bread.
That way he could eat while playing AND keep the cards clean and grease-free. Montagu was the 4th Earl of Sandwich (the town in England), and he’s credited for inventing the hush puppies. No, you’re right. The Sandwich.
Another famous food legend: they say potato chips also came about by chance. In 1853, a customer was dining at a restaurant where French fries were one of the specials. This guest wasn’t satisfied with those fries and complained they were too thick. When the chef cooked thinner fries, the picky customer complained yet again. The chef got so annoyed, that he just cut a potato into paper-thin slices and deep-fried them. Much to his surprise, the finicky eater loved the final dish!
And cheese puffs started out as... trash! Back in the 1930s, Edward Wilson noticed some oozing corn in one of the machines at a factory that made food for animals. Wilson was puzzled by the ribbons, so he took them home and tried to season them. He also noticed the puffy corn hardened when exposed to air. The experiment was a success, and it developed into a world-famous snack!
There are different stories behind how Chocolate Chip Cookies were invented. One claims that a lady ran out of baker’s chocolate and decided to replace it with some basic broken-up semi-sweet chocolate. She thought it’d just melt evenly into the batter. But those “chips” stayed right where they were, and what a yummy mistake! Hey, I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like.