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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If you've ever had sediment — or crystals — in the bottom of your wine glass or on a cork, you've had wine diamonds. Are they a sign of a bad bottle?

By Jennifer Walker-Journey

Xanthan gum is a flavorless food thickener that's been around for decades. Is it the pantry staple that's missing for your pantry?

By Jennifer Walker-Journey

You read that right. Frank's RedHot is the reason we now eat chicken wings. So what's the backstory? We'll tell you.

By Jeremy Glass

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The national dish of Scotland (popular at New Year's Eve and Burns Night) is banned in America because it contains a certain outlawed ingredient. But whose idea was it to stuff a sheep's stomach bag and boil it? And what does it taste like?

By Alia Hoyt

The wonderfully thick, dark syrup called molasses has been used in cooking for centuries and is still prized around the world today for its smokey sweetness.

By Patty Rasmussen

Some form of marzipan can be dated back to ancient Egypt. But today this sweet confection is as traditional a holiday treat as they get.

By Stephanie Vermillion

There's really no shortage when it comes to milk alternatives. But oat milk seems to stand out. Why is it so hot right now? And how do you make it?

By Jeremy Glass

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A favorite treat in British children's stories of the past, Turkish delight might be an unfamiliar taste to American readers. So, what is it like, and how do you make it? We get insight from the Culinary Institute of America.

By Alia Hoyt

You might have seen lychees at an international farmers market and not known they were lychees. The dark red tropical fruit looks a little like raspberries and are packed with potassium — and sugar.

By Stephanie Vermillion

Men at Work sang about the stuff in their 1981 hit 'Down Under.' But what is this thick, black spread anyway?

By Stephanie Vermillion

This 180-year-old sauce can be used to add zing to just about any dish. But what's in it? And why is it so effective? And, most of all, how do you pronounce it anyway?

By Alia Hoyt

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Paprika comes from the dried Capsicum annuum variety of red peppers, and can range in flavor from sweet to very hot.

By Patty Rasmussen

Shallots belong to the same family as onions, leeks, scallions and garlic. They look like small, elongated onions but have a sweeter, milder flavor.

By Tara Yarlagadda

Not selling the cult-favorite sandwich year-round is all part of the "McPlan." And it seems to be working just fine.

By Jeremy Glass

Capers are actually the flower buds of the caper bush. So where does all that flavor come from?

By Stephanie Vermillion

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Is that pepper too hot to handle? See where it falls on the Scoville scale.

By John Donovan

Heart of palm, with a similar taste and texture to artichoke heart, is a staple in Central and South America and a healthy addition to almost any menu.

By Tara Yarlagadda

We usually equate the Masters golf tournament with azaleas blooming in the South. But this year, the tournament got us thinking about that pimento cheese sandwich, which it's also famous for.

By Stephanie Vermillion

The Chicken of the Woods mushroom is jam-packed with protein and easy to spot with its bright orange color and ruffled edges.

By Katie Carman

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This starchy, staple fruit that grows in the tropics has the potential to provide food security to millions. So what exactly is it and who's eating it?

By Stephanie Vermillion

What does it take to be a chief noodle officer? Top Ramen is hiring its first ever in honor of its 50th anniversary.

By Jeremy Glass

If Subway's bread is legally not bread, then what in the heck is it?

By Jeremy Glass

Canada isn't a country known for its cuisine. But there is one sandwich from Halifax with a cultlike following that you just have to try to believe.

By Jeremy Glass

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If you've ever dreamt of living out 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' now's your chance — golden ticket hunt, winning a candy factory and all.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Cronk was a mildly alcoholic beverage, popular from about 1840 to 1910, that's once more being brewed and just might become a sensation again.

By Jeremy Glass