40 Fascinating Food Facts That I Honestly Think About Way Too Often

40 Fascinating Food Facts That I Honestly Think About Way Too Often

I’ll never look at a Trader Joe’s banana the same way again.


Peaches and nectarines are basically the same, too.

Sanny11 / Getty Images, Sneska / Getty Images

They’re almost genetically identical except for one thing: a gene that’s either dominant (peaches) or recessive (nectarines). That’s what makes the skin either smooth or fuzzy.


In the U.K., arugula is called rocket.


It’s derived from the French word roquette.


The cheapest item at Trader Joe’s is bananas. They cost 19 cents each — and the reason why is a little dark.

Medianews Group / Getty Images

An episode of Inside Trader Joe’s revealed that TJ’s used to sell bananas by the pound back in the day. They were packaged in bags of four or five, so if you wanted less than that, you were out of luck.

But 13 years ago, company CEO Dan Bane was visiting a TJ’s — and he saw a much older woman buying fruit. “I asked her, ‘Ma’am, if you don’t mind me asking, I saw you looking at the bananas but you didn’t put anything in your cart,’” Bane said. “And she says to me, ‘Sonny, I may not live to that fourth banana.’”

Bane said they decided the very next day that Trader Joe’s would sell individual bananas. They priced them at 19 cents each, and they’ve been that way ever since.


Trader Joe’s employees use a bell system to communicate with each other because higher-ups didn’t like the way P.A. announcements sounded at other grocery stores.


This is how quinoa grows:

Aizar Raldes / Getty Images

The part of the quinoa plant that we eat is the seed. But to get the seed, the plant first needs to flower.


A few years ago, Butterfinger changed its entire recipe.

The brand reworked the chocolate mixture, among other things. (But worth noting: some people *really* hated the new version.)


Elephant garlic exists, too. 👀

Just like regular garlic, the large mature bulb is broken up into cloves. You buy seeds online here, or a watch a video of elephant garlic being harvested here.


Allspice isn’t a mix of other spices.

Although it smells like nutmeg and cinnamon, Allspice is actually a fruit that’s picked, dried, and sold either as whole “berries” or ground up into its own spice.


But chili powder *is* a mix of other spices.

It’s not just chili peppers. Chili powder also typically includes spices like cumin, onion powder, and oregano — plus garlic and salt.


McDonald’s fries were cooked in beef fat until 1990.


And in France, McDonald’s offers thick-cut potato wedges — in addition to the regular fries.

Marie Telling / BuzzFeed


Jam is made with fruit — and jelly is made with fruit juice.

Jam is made with fruit, sugar, and often pectin (a thickener). Jelly is made with fruit juice, sugar, and pectin. Another way to remember the difference? Jam is chunky (it’ll have mashed fruit); jelly is smooth.


Fruity Pebbles are just grains of white rice that have been flattened and puffed up again.

Food Network

With some coloring and flavoring added.


Pomegranates grow on trees.

Viewstock / Getty Images

They’re so big that I think at first I assumed they… grew underground?? IDK IDK.


Asparagus grows straight outta the ground.

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

All varieties: green, white, purple.


On Sesame Street, Cookie Monster’s cookies are actually painted rice cakes.


That’s because the grease from the chocolate and oil in real cookies could damage the puppets.


Rhubarb leaves are poisonous in large doses.

Oli Scarff / Getty Images

The raw leaves contain oxalic acid, among other things. And if you eat a ton of them, it can be lethal.


Raw cashew shells are poisonous too.

Issouf Sanogo / Getty Images

They contain urushiol, which is toxic. To remove it, cashews go through an extensive roasting or steaming process before they’re packaged and sold.


The same guy invented Cool Whip, Pop Rocks, and Tang.


A chipotle pepper is just a dried and smoked jalapeño.


European chocolate generally tastes better than U.S. chocolate because it’s required by law to have more milk fats and dry milk solids.

Sopa Images / SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett


Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish have the same base.

Sour Patch Kids are just pumped into a different mold and finished with a sour coating.


Mahogany cake was America’s first chocolate cake — though it’s been largely forgotten since.

Joe Lingeman / Via

Dating back to the 1800s, it’s America’s first chocolate cake on record. Early versions used ermine frosting, a whipped buttercream that was the icing of choice in the US before cream cheese frosting came along.


A single spaghetti noodle is called a spaghetto.




Too much nutmeg can get you high.

It contains myristicin, a compound that has hallucinatory qualities — and bad side effects — if ingested in very large doses. (Don’t try it, obvs.)


Paprika is made of ground up red bell peppers.

To make paprika, they’re chopped, dried, and ground. And while they’re typically red bell peppers, paprika can be made from other types of peppers too — depending on the variety. (Smoked, sweet, etc.) Watch a video of how to make homemade paprika here.


Reese’s Pieces have a different filling than Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

The filling of Reese’s Pieces has a slightly different formula and consistency. Also, the color distribution of the Pieces is preset: A bag or box will be approximately 50% orange, 25% brown, and 25% yellow.


A few years ago, Nabisco redesigned its famous animal crackers box after PETA flagged it.

Nabisco / PETA

The new design uncages the animals and puts them in the wild.

Getty Images

It’s a looong process. The next time you grab one at the grocery store, think about how far the thing has come!


It can take at least three years for a vanilla plant to produce its first vanilla bean.

Tony Karumba / Getty Images

Real vanilla is incredibly labor-intensive to produce. When the flowers finally do bloom, they stay open for only one day and have to be pollinated within 12 hours.


Jelly Belly is one of the few jelly bean companies that flavors both the inside *and* the outside of the bean.

This results in a more intense flavor — because jelly beans are typically only flavored on one or the other. Also, of the 100+ flavors that Jelly Belly makes, the most popular include: Very Cherry, Licorice, Buttered Popcorn, and Sizzling Cinnamon.


Ritter chocolate bars were invented to be square so they could fit into jacket pockets without breaking.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

And last year, Ritter won a German lawsuit allowing it to be the only major chocolate brand to sell a square bar rather than a rectangular one.


Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi all come from the same plant.

Karaidel / Getty Images

Brassica oleracea was selectively bred over hundreds of years to create dozens of very different veggies.


Out of all the popular alcoholic drinks, red wine makes you the sleepiest.

Jon Premosch / Buzzfeed

That’s according to a study by British Medical Journal, which surveyed 29,000 people about how they felt (energized, relaxed, sexy, confident, tired, aggressive, etc) after drinking various types of alcohol.


Tootsie Rolls start out as gigantic 13-pound logs that are then shaped down to their mini size.

Cooking Channel

What’s the most interesting food fact you know? Share in the comments!

Published at Thu, 18 Feb 2021 01:16:09 +0000

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Written by Riel Roussopoulos


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