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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Honey has been used as medicine for millennia and, in this century, the old remedies seem to be holding up to science.

By Jesslyn Shields

Ube is a sweet species of yam that stands out because of its vivid purple color and sweet, creamy taste.

By Jeremy Glass

You crack open the fortune cookie at the end of your meal and ... well, it may not exactly tell your future, but who doesn't secretly hope it promises something fabulous?

By Jeremy Glass

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Farro is a grain you may not be familiar with, but it's been around a long time, it's incredibly versatile and it's oh so good for you, so what's not to like?

By Jeremy Glass

Hot dogs are about as American as baseball and apple pie. You know you love them, but do you know what's actually in them?

By Sarah Gleim

One of the most expensive spices in the world, cardamom is native to India, Bhutan and Nepal and has a rich, intoxicating flavor used in sweet and savory dishes and teas worldwide.

By Jeremy Glass

The Maillard reaction is the scientific process that makes your steak (and other foods) taste and smell delicious. So, how does that work? We'll explain.

By Jeremy Glass

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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!

By Stephanie Vermillion

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