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Food Facts & Fun

Food Facts is a listing of articles that teaches you how all types of foods, drinks and diets work.

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The Once-banned Gooseberry Has Made a Comeback in the U.S.

The U.S. banned the gooseberry back in the early 1900s because it was a host for white pine blister rust disease. But now few states prohibit the tart berry, so eat up!

When Bad Watermelons Explode on Good People

Yes – it could happen to you, good person. KABOOM! It's fairly rare, but a potentially catastrophic rind failure lurks under the green-striped shell of every seemingly innocent watermelon in the produce aisle.

What's the Difference Between Snow Crab and King Crab?

Size is the most obvious difference between king and snow crab, but the distinctions don't end there. We'll tell you what makes each crab special.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Instant Carbonated Ice Cream

Yep – carbonated ice cream that doesn't have to be shipped frozen could be a win-win for both environmentalists and ice cream lovers everywhere.

How Carmine, the Red Dye Made From Bugs, Makes It Into Your Food

Carmine, a natural red dye also known as cochineal extract, is indeed made from the crushed bodies of the cochineal bug. And it provides the color for many of the foods we eat.

How Gin Works

In the 18th century, gin was considered as addictive as crack. Then it became part of a cure-all for tropical ailments. Oh, and let's not forget its starring role in Prohibition. Bathtub gin, anyone?

Why Saffron Is More Expensive Than Gold

It takes up to 170,000 individual flowers to yield just 1 pound of saffron, and each individual strand, or stigma, is painstakingly picked from the flower by hand.

The Surprising Reason Why Vanilla Is So Expensive

Vanilla is probably the most popular flavoring out there, but most of what we consume is the imitation variety as the real extract is pricey. What accounts for the high cost? And is it worth it?

Why You'll Go Bananas for Mangosteens

Sometimes referred as the 'queen of fruit,' the mangosteen has a soft white interior, a mild taste and is notoriously difficult to find in the U.S. Here's why.

Must-have Bar Essentials to Make Killer Cocktails at Home

You don't have to go out to have a killer cocktail if you have a killer bar setup at home. We'll tell you exactly what you need to make it happen.

How Gin and Tonic Became the Ultimate Cocktail Combo

The gin and tonic, that cool, fresh, citrusy summer delight, has a long and romantic history, beginning with its use as a "cure" for malaria.

Butter 101: From Sweet Cream to Cultured

All butters are not created equal. We take five different butters, including "plant-based butter" and explain what makes them different.

The Definitive Guide to Jerky: It's Not Just Beef Anymore

Beef jerky has been around for hundreds of years, and these days there are lots of options that aren't beef-based, like soy-based jerky, vegan mushroom jerky and the unusually delicious coconut jerky.

How Matcha Went From Ancient Ceremonial Tea to Health Drink Du Jour

Matcha tea has roots in Zen Buddhism and Japanese tea ceremonies. So how did this ancient tea end up on the menus of hip tea houses and even Dunkin' Donuts?

Turkish Coffee Is Steeped in Tradition — And Easy to Make

Since its introduction in 15th-century Yemen, Turkish coffee has served as a cultural touchstone in Middle Eastern, Eastern European and north African countries, its brewing infused with magic and myth.

The Right Glass Could Make Your Wine Taste Better

How much does the shape of your wineglass really affect the taste of your favorite pinot noir? Probably more than you realize.

What Makes a Whiskey Scotch Whisky?

Our scotch connoisseur says that what makes a whiskey 'scotch whisky' comes down to the legalities of where it's from and how it's made. Oh, and scotch whisky doesn't have an 'e' in its name.

How Will Food Pantries Meet the Demand of Coronavirus?

Food banks normally help feed people during times of need. But the coronavirus pandemic could send that need in the United States soaring to unprecedented levels.

Ancient Pisco Is Enjoying a Modern-day Renaissance

A smooth, South American brandy, Pisco is experiencing an American renaissance after centuries of popularity — and disputed history — in Peru and Chile.

Is Half-and-half Really Half and Half?

A lot of us use it every day, but what is actually in half-and-half and where did it come from?

The Nutty Story of Red Pistachios and the Iran Hostage Crisis 

There was a day, not so long ago, when you ate pistachios with the understanding that you'd come away with red fingers and a red mouth. What happened to the red pistachio?

How the Shamrock Shake Became McDonald's Mintiest Legend

The Shamrock Shake is back at McDonald's and now it's celebrating its 50th anniversary. We're breaking down all the quirks that make it so legendary.

Soju: The Wildly Popular Spirit of South Korea

Soju is South Korea's unofficial national drink, a rice-fermented concoction often likened to vodka, but with about half the alcohol content.

How Chopsticks Became the Staple Utensil of Asia

Chopsticks have been in use since 1200 B.C.E. And today more than 20 percent of the world's population uses chopsticks as its primary utensil.

That Frozen Treat From Dairy Queen? Not Really Ice Cream

You may be a huge fan of Dairy Queen's Blizzard treat, but this may be news to you: That frozen stuff isn't ice cream. In fact Dairy Queen doesn't sell ice cream at all.

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