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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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.

By Carrie Tatro

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.

By Stephanie Vermillion

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.

By Jeremy Glass

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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.

By Katie Carman

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?

By Dave Roos

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.

By Jeremy Glass

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?

By Alia Hoyt

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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.

By Alia Hoyt

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.

By Stephanie Vermillion

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.

By Jeremy Glass

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

By Stephanie Vermillion

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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.

By Jeremy Glass

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?

By Maria C. Hunt

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.

By Katie Carman

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

By Stephanie Vermillion

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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.

By Jeremy Glass

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

By Stephanie Vermillion

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

By Katie Carman

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

By Jeremy Glass

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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?

By Jeremy Glass

The Shamrock Shake is back at McDonald's. We're breaking down all the quirks that make it so legendary.

By Jeremy Glass

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

By Jeremy Glass

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.

By Stephanie Vermillion

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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.

By Jeremy Glass

Boxed wines have a stigma, and we're here to tell you there's just no need for it. They taste as good, last way longer and are more eco-friendly than bottled.

By Stephanie Vermillion