The world of food is so fascinating! There are always new things to learn, new recipes to try, and new facts to discover about some of our favorite foods. Did you know that you can predict the weather for the day by looking into your morning cup of coffee? Or that pineapples were once so expensive people used to rent one for the evening as a status symbol? Find out the reasons behind these food facts, and discover many more in the list below!
Why Crackers Have Holes
The holes in soda crackers serve a purpose other than decoration. In fact, without the evenly spaced holes in soda crackers, they wouldn’t bake properly. According to this article from The Thrillist, the holes let steam escape, which allows the crackers to turn out flat and crisp. The positioning of holes matter as well. If the holes are too close together, the crackers will be too crispy. If the holes are too far apart, the crackers will end up having little bubbles in them.
Why Milk Is White
Milk is about 87% water mixed with proteins and fats. Specifically, milk is about 5% lactose, 4% fats, and 3% proteins, according to livescience.com. As you might guess, certain fats and proteins in milk appear white – especially the casein protein. If you remember back to your elementary school science class, we perceive that an object is white when all of the colors in the visible spectrum are being reflected in our eyes. Since most milk we buy in stores has been homogenized, the fat and protein particles are evenly distributed, making the entire bottle (glass, jug, etc.,) of milk white.
Pineapples Were A Sign Of Wealth
Did you know that in the 18th century, pineapples were a sign of wealth? In fact, pineapples were so outrageously expensive that people used to rent a pineapple for an evening just so they could carry in around with them at parties as a status symbol. Just how expensive were pineapples back in the day? Experts estimate that a single pineapple cost around $8,000 in today’s dollars. Pineapples were expensive for a few reasons. First, they were a rare and exotic fruit back in the 1700s & 1800s. They could only be grown in certain conditions which means they either had to be imported from the Carribean or grown in specialty hothouses – and there were only two hothouses in all of England at the time. So go ahead and treat yourself like royalty – by eating a pineapple! Make sure to carry it around at a party first though.
Citrus Stress Relief
In an interview for Prevention magazine, Mayo Clinic doctor Barbra Thomley said that smelling or eating an orange can reduce stress and anxiety up to 70 percent. Isn’t that amazing? If you’ve ever tried essential oils, you’ll know that lavender is usually to go-to for all things anxiety related, but a new study done by Brazilian doctors shows that orange and other citrus scents are just as effective, if not more so. Other citrus scents to try for stress relief include grapefruit, lemon, and lime.
Coffee Weather Forecast
Your morning cup of coffee can do more than just provide a caffeine boost to your system. Did you know your coffee can help you predict the weather for the day? That’s right! Clear skies and sunny weather are indicated by a high air pressure system. This will push the bubbles in your coffee towards the center of the cup. Rainy weather, on the otherhand, will tend to push the bubbles towards the outer rim of the cup. Try it out tomorrow morning and see if this theory holds up!
Why Onions Make Us Cry
Anyone who has ever diced up onions knows the familiar sting of tears that come with the territory. This reaction is caused when the sulfuric acid, sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide are released from the onion upon slicing it open. This combination makes up the unstable compound known as syn-propanethial-s-oxide. The compound turns into a gas, which interacts with the moisture in your eyes to cause a burning sensation. When the brain senses an irritant in the eye, it sends out a message to flush it out – hence, the tears. There are a few methods for preventing this reaction. Some people say chewing gum helps, but the most effective trick is actually to burn a candle next to the onion while you’re cutting it. The flame will “suck up” the gaseous chemicals put out there by the onion.
Why Mint Tastes Cold
There’s something so refreshing about the taste of mint. Whether you’re drinking water with a few mint leaves in it, sucking on a peppermint, or even brushing your teeth with a minty fresh toothpaste, the flavor of mint gives a clean, cool sensation in your mouth. However, I’m sure you know that your mouth isn’t actually getting colder. The menthol found in mint binds to the cold receptors in your tongue. The ion channels in these receptors are made extra sensitive, therefore tricking your brain into believing you’re feeling cold, according to this article on bigpictureeducation.com.
Why Popcorn Pops
Popcorn is a favorite snack for movie nights both at home and at the theater. But what is the science behind this light and fluffy snack? Not just any kernel can turn into popcorn. The perfect popcorn kernel has to have the right percentage of water, a starchy middle, and a hard shell with no cracks in it. Then, when the kernels are heated up, the water turns to steam which creates pressure inside the kernel. The starch heats up and turns into a sort of gel that pops out of the hard shell and immediately cools down and hardens upon hitting the air. Thus, we have popcorn.
How To Make Clear Ice Cubes
Have you ever seen a perfectly clear and clean ice sculpture and wonder how the ice got so transparent? You’ll probably notice that the ice you have sitting in your freezer at home is white and cloudy. This is due to the oxygen in the water. If you want to have gorgeous, clear ice, you should boil the water first. This helps to release the oxygen in the water, thus giving you beautiful, clear cubes.
The Difference Between Jelly And Jam
Do you know the difference between jelly and jam? Yes, there a few major differences! Jelly is made by crushing the fruit and the straining it, thus only using the juices of the fruit. The juice is then boiled with sugar and pectin added, which gives jelly a thicker consistency. Jam, on the other hand, uses the whole fruit – seeds included. The fruit “mush” is then boiled, just like with jelly, with added sugar. Jam usually doesn’t need the pectin, as the fruit and seeds give it enough of a texture on its own.
How many of these did you know?