When most people are asked about unique foods, they often mention ostentatious dishes that contain ingredients that are nearly impossible to find. Well, this article is not about those kinds of foods. In this piece, we’re going to talk about common foods with hidden secrets. From fruits and vegetables to nuts and spices, some of these everyday foods have some unique properties that might make you think twice about eating some of them. Here’s a list of the bizarre things that happen to the food we eat.
For a long time, cranberries were never compared to a child’s bouncing ball until it was discovered to share a key trait with the toy. Ripe cranberries can bounce in a similar manner and it’s all because the fruit has small air pockets. From the time that this feature was discovered, cranberry farmers have used it to their advantage and is now the main way to test if their fruits have reached ripeness… and it’s all thanks to John “Peg Leg” Webb. He discovered this little secret when he was forced to pour cranberries down a flight of stairs, because of his leg.
Corn, which was a staple in Mayan and Aztec culture, has been around for centuries and it’s surprising that many people didn’t know that there’s something odd about corn. The vegetable will always have an even number of rows and if you have doubts, you can count it yourself. This weird trait is because corn is an inflorescence, and it will produce approximately 1000 female flowers or future kernels. The even number is due to the fact that each one of the corn’s spikelets will produce two florets. Watermelon is another fruit that is said to have an even number of stripes.
Pistachios are a good source of healthy fats, and they are also extremely tasty, but they have a very dark side. When stored in large quantities, there’s a risk that they will spontaneously combust. Fats tend to burn easily and because of the nut’s high fat content, nearly 50%, and little to no water, they can easily become flammable. When packed closely, the oils in the nut are able to heat the nuts which cause them to burst into flames and this often occurs with no warning. Because of this risk, pistachios can only be transported by ships.
Nutmeg is a well-known spice that is commonly used around the holidays in treats like pumpkin spiced cake and eggnog. Bizarrely, much like pistachio, this spice has a skeleton in its closet that not many people know about. The truth is that nutmeg is a hallucinogen with some not so pleasant side effects. This is due to the myristicin in nutmeg. If ingested in large amounts, a person would experience dry mouth, enuresis and sudden bursts of panic. The strange part is that people from 12th century Europe knew this fact.
For many people carrots are synonymous with the color orange but they actually come in a wide variety of colors. Oddly enough, carrots started out as purple, but a mutant gene spread among the plant population which made carrots yellow. Around the time that the Dutch gained their independence, they created a variety containing beta-carotene, a pigment that caused the carrots to become orange. They soon began to produce the carrots in honor of William the Orange. Orange carrots are now widely produced around the world.
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