One of the highest accolades a food can get is being named a state food. You see, state foods follow a legislative process in which the food is introduced as a bill, which goes through a rigorous process to hopefully become a law and ultimately the official icon of a state. One of our favorite state foods is chili, the official dish of Texas.
The Texas legislature officially proclaimed chili as the state food of Texas in 1977. This dish is a staple of the Lonestar State, as chili hotspots like Texas Chili Parlor in Austin, Goode Co. Armadillo Palace in Houston and Tolbert’s Restaurant & Chili Parlor in Grapevine prove.
Rattling off official state foods is just one of the fun food facts we like sharing. From why Rice Krispies snap, crackle and pop to foods that explode when microwaved to the number of licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll in the center of a Tootsie Pop, here are more of our favorite fun food facts.
Ever since Rice Krispies hit store shelves in 1928, breakfast cereal lovers have often wondered what makes the puffed rice cereal snap, crackle and pop. The iconic sound comes from the tiny air pockets in each grain that break down when milk is added, causing the walls of the air pockets break. The result is that magical cereal symphony of snap, crackle, and pop. We also bet you have no idea how this iconic cereal is made!
There are a lot of things you don’t know about Coca-Cola. For instance, Coca-Cola is reportedly the second-most widely understood term in the world after the word “OK.”
McDonald’s celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac in 2018, and more than 1.3 billion Big Macs were sold globally in 2017. Invented by franchisee Jim Delligatti in 1967, the Big Mac was added to the national McDonald’s menu in 1968 and has been a fan favorite ever since.
Since Snapple Real Facts were introduced in 2002, Snapple has printed interesting tidbits like “If you could drive your car upwards you would be in space in less than an hour” inside its lids. The first fact was “A goldfish's attention span is 3 seconds.” To date, there have been 1,100 such facts printed on Snapple drink lids, with 75 new facts introduced every year.
What is Cheetos’ signature cheese dust anyway? That powdery substance left on your fingers after consuming Cheetos is called “cheetle.”
Ever wonder why you can bob for apples? 25 percent of an apple’s volume is air — that’s why they float. And that’s not the only fun apple fact. Pilgrims planted the first U.S. apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony; more than 7,500 apple varieties have been identified worldwide; the science of apple growing is called pomology; and it takes about 36 apples to create 1 gallon of apple cider!
Cibophobia is the fear of food itself, and folks can have food-specific phobias like turophobia (fear of cheese), mycophobia (fear of mushrooms) and bananaphobia (fear of bananas). And if you have mageirocophobia, that means you have a fear of cooking, and even these crazy easy chicken recipes would be too much.
The first Starbucks opened in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971, but it wasn’t until 1995 when the Frappuccino blended beverage debuted. The Frappuccino can be customized more than 36,000 ways. Some ways to make the drink with fewer calories include skipping the whipped cream, switching the milk to nonfat, selecting sugar-free syrups and asking for fewer pumps of syrup. That’s only a few ways to order Starbucks’ secret menu items like a pro.
There are 40 billion Oreo cookies made each year. The ubiquitous chocolate sandwich cookie with white creme filling is the world’s most popular cookie and sold in 100 countries around the world. Some 50 percent of Oreo eaters prefer to open the cookies before eating them. Oddly enough, women are more likely to twist their Oreos apart than men, according to Mondelez International, which produces Oreos.
Yes, it’s true. Oysters are still alive when they are shucked, which is why restaurants must be diligent about sourcing, shucking and serving oysters. Despite this, there’s little reason to fear getting sick from eating raw oysters — just follow our tips.
Before you toss your banana peel, did you know the enzymes in it can work wonders? From helping to draw out a splinter to buffing out scratched DVDs, the banana peel is not trash; it’s a treasure. And a banana peel isn’t the only way you can clean with food!
Under the right conditions and with proper storage, rice, hard liquor, sugar, pure vanilla extract, honey, salt, ghee (clarified butter), sealed soy sauce and distilled white vinegar have no expiration date. One item that does expire? Your bottled water; here’s why.
Ever wonder why cranberries are collected by flooding bogs? Each berry has four air pockets, which allows the fruit to bounce and float in water, making it easier to harvest cranberries that way.
Yes, it’s true. Most commercially mass-produced sprinkles have wax in them. Not a fan of eating wax? Check out our wax-free recipe for DIY sprinkles.
The owl in to the Tootsie Pop commercials famously asked how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll in the center for a Tootsie Pop. A trio of schools has attempted to find the answer over the years but can’t agree on the answer. Engineering students at Purdue University used a licking machine to find one answer; the machine took 364 licks to get to the chewy center, but a group of 20 human volunteers only required an average of 252. A University of Michigan engineering student’s licking machine took 411 licks to reach the center, and a study done by middle schoolers at Swarthmore School reported an average of 144 human licks. It truly seems the world might never know.
The golden sponge cakes known as Twinkies that are generously filled with fluffy white cream were invented in 1930 by Jimmy Dewar. Originally sold two for a nickel, Twinkies were named after a “Twinkle Toe Shoes” billboard that the bakery manager saw on his way to show off his idea.
Waco, Texas, pharmacist Charles Alderton created Dr Pepper in 1885. It is said the owner of the drugstore, Wade Morrison, named it "Dr Pepper" after the father of a young girl he was once in love with. The soda, a combination of 23 flavors, is the oldest major soft drink brand in the U.S.
Not willing to wait three hours for a Jell-O fix? The jiggly gelatin snack can be made with a mix of boiling water and ice to reduce the wait time to 30 minutes for soft set or one hour for firm Jell-O.
Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest champion Joey Chestnut holds the world record for the most hot dogs eaten at 74, or the equivalent of 16 pounds, which he consumed during the annual Fourth of July contest in Coney Island in 2018.
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Tootsie Roll Industries make 64 million Tootsie Rolls per day. The candy, first produced by Austrian immigrant Leo Hirschfield in New York City, is named after his daughter Clara, whose nickname was “Tootsie.” But this tidbit is only one surprising facts about your favorite candy brands.
Hotels from Hong Kong and Singapore to Thailand and Vietnam forbid bringing durian into their establishment. The pale green and yellow, oblong, spiky fruit is infamous for its pungent odor, which is known to linger long after its consumed and can be present even if the fruit is uncut. Fines for bringing in the forbidden fruit are hefty. At the New World Saigon Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, bringing durian into the luxury hotel results in a $200 fine. Despite this, there are reasons that durian is worth eating, especially in these creative ways.
Hawaiian Punch was invented in a converted garage by A.W. Leo, Tom Yates, and Ralph Harrison in Fullterton, California, in 1934. The men were trying to create a tropical syrup to their line of ice cream syrups. Consumers discovered adding water turned the ice cream topping into a delicious juice. The main ingredients for the juice concentrate were originally shipped from the Hawaiian Islands; thus, the name Hawaiian Punch was born.
Rocky Mountain oysters may sound like seafood, but this confusingly-named dish is actually bull-calf testicles. Rocky Mountain oysters are among the most iconic dishes in the U.S., considered delectable in many ranching regions of North America, where the testicles of young bulls are removed to prevent aggressive behavior. And if you’re thrown off by the name of Rocky Mountain oysters, you won’t believe what these other deceptive dishes really are!
Given the cost of real wasabi (a pound can cost nearly $100 or more) and the labor-intensive treatment it requires (real wasabi is grated just before being served, since wasabi’s scent is ephemeral), you likely aren’t being served the real deal. So what is the wasabi you're eating? Well, unless you’re dining at an ultra-luxe sushi restaurant, chances are you are consuming a mixture of horseradish, mustard and green food coloring.
Also known as civet coffee, kopi luwak is a type of exotic coffee bean produced by Asian palm civets. When these cat-like creatures eat whole coffee cherries, the beans pass through their digestive tracts intact and are then harvested to brew coffee. Once released from the civet, these beans are washed extensively and left out in the sun to roast. Kopi luwak exudes a strong coffee scent and has less of a bitter aftertaste than other brews. And if you didn’t know this, you probably don’t know these other coffee facts, either.
Invented in 1937 by Hormel Foods, more than 100 million pounds of SPAM product were shipped abroad to feed troops during World War II, where it became a cult favorite item. Despite its popularity, the story behind the brand name remains a mystery. Some think it stands for “spiced ham,” but the company is silent on the meaning behind the name.
Betty Crocker was a pen name created to respond to consumer inquiries. Betty was chosen because it was a friendly sounding name and Crocker was chosen because it was the surname of William Crocker, a recently retired director of The Washburn Crosby Company, a predecessor of General Mills. The first Betty Crocker product was dried soup, which was introduced five years before the iconic Betty Crocker cake mixes debuted in 1947. Today, those cakes taste better than homemade pastries; these boxed foods also taste better than anything you can make at home.
M&M’s may be an all-American classic today, but these candy-coated chocolate buttons were inspired by another confection, Smarties. These British candies similarly have a chocolate interior and hard candy exterior. M&M’s were a big hit early on, especially with the U.S. armed forces — the military was M&M’s first big customer. The “melt in your mouth, not in your hand” tagline appealed to soldiers in tropical climates.
Cream-filled eggs were first invented in 1923, but U.K. chocolatier Cadbury debuted the ever-popular Cadbury Creme Egg in 1971. The eggs are made in two halves, one filled with white fondant and the other with white and yellow fondant. The two halves are quickly closed together to form a delicious creme-filled egg.
Roughly 5.5 million Peeps are “hatched” each day, amounting to roughly 2 billion sugar-coated marshmallow treats each year! And if you happened to be a Peep fiend and know that, we bet you don’t know these other facts about Peeps!
Oregon is the latest state to make it legal to eat roadkill. As of January 1, 2019, drivers salvaging deer and elk struck by a vehicle can legally take the carcass home and eat it at their own risk; however, there are some rules that go along with this, including turning in the head and antlers. Other states that allow drivers to eat roadkill include Colorado, Georgia, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania . And if this food fact blows your mind, we bet you won’t believe the answers to some of the craziest food mysteries.
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