Sirloin was not named or knighted by some king, as some legends recount. It comes from the French surlonge, since it is meat from above (sur) the loin (longe).
Chop suey is an American dish, probably created in San Fransisco.
Caesar salad is not named for Julius Caesar. Nor is it Italian. Caesar Cardini created it in the 1920's in his Tijuana, Mexico restaurant.
Hot dogs, being sausages "wearing" a bun, got their familiar name from allusions to the nineteenth-century slang term "hot dog," which was used to describe a dressed-up dandy.
Ramen noodles in block form were invented in 1958 by Nissin Foods founder Momofuku Ando. Ramen is the Japanese pronunciation of lo mein.
Americans buy more candy at Easter than they buy at Halloween.
Honey is not exactly "bee vomit." Honey is made from nectar that bees collect in a stomach-like pouch that is not used for digestion. It is then condensed by drying in the hive.
Most common food plants contain natural poisons. Carrots, for example, contain carotatoxin, myristicin, isoflavones, and nitrates
Chocolate chip cookies are the baked goods most likely to cause tooth decay. Pies, unfrosted cake and doughnuts are less harmful to the teeth.
It takes the nectar of about two million flowers to make one pound of honey.
Most nuts will remain fresh for a year, if kept in their shells.
The Uraguayan Army won a sea battle using Edam cheeses as cannonballs.
The Hershey Chocolate Company did not spend a single penny on advertising until July, 1970, sixty-eight years after it started selling candy.
The Snickers Bar (made by Mars) is America's favorite candy bar.
Beef and cheese contain a cancer-fighting compound called conjugated linoleic acid
It is OK to keep bananas in the refrigerator. They just won't ripen very quickly if you do.
Canola oil is just Canadian rapeseed oil (but that sounds a little violent to cook with).
Honey will not spoil. In fact, honey in Egyptian tombs has been tasted by archaeologists, who found it to be still edible.
Henry David Thoreau invented raisin bread.
According to the Curtiss company who invented it, the Baby Ruth candy bar was not named after baseball great Babe Ruth, but was named for the daughter of Grover Cleveland, "Baby" Ruth Cleveland. The claim might have been simply a way to cash in on the Sultan of Swat's name recognition without paying him. However, the courts ruled that a candy bar later sold with "Babe Ruth" as part of its name and authorized by the Bambino himself violated the Baby Ruth trademark, so the Curtiss company story sort of held up in court. Eighty years later, Nestle, the current maker of Baby Ruth, is sticking with the Baby Ruth Cleveland story on the official Baby Ruth candy website. Yet, the whole site is themed around baseball. A wink and a nudge?
Chicken soup was considered an aphrodisiac in the Middle Ages.
Eating too many carrots (or taking too much beta carotene) can turn your skin orange.
In ancient China, people would commit suicide by eating a pound of salt.
Eating celery very slowly (chewing about half an inch of the stalk per minute) will actually burn more calories than the celery provides.
Cilantro is the same thing as corriander, which is also known as "Chinese parsley," even though it is indigenous to Europe.
In 1970, the FDA banned the artificial sweeteners known as cyclamates. The one study that the FDA based its decision upon has been discredited by the World Health Organization, the U.N. Joint Committee on Food Additives, and the National Academy of Sciences. Several identical experiments have failed to reproduce the results of the flawed study. Today, cyclamates can be purchased in almost every country in the world... except the United States
Buttered bread was allegedly invented by the astronomer Copernicus. He was trying to find a cure for the plague.
In 1987, a 1,400-year-old lump of still-edible cheese was unearthed in Ireland.
In 1983, a Japanese artist made a copy of the Mona Lisa completely out of toast.
The original recipe for margarine was milk, lard and sheep’s stomach lining.
To a point, red wine will improve with age after it is bottled. Distilled liquor is unaffected by age once bottled, and white wine (including champagne) will degenerate with age.
Washing a chicken egg will strip it of natural coatings that
keep out bacteria; it will rot very quickly thereafter.
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Generally Useless Facts
Copyright 2003-2007 by Ray Bromley.
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