Food and Culture Facts

Food & Culture deals with how we perceive food in our daily lives and how it can affect us in both positive and negative ways.


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What's the Difference Between Burrata and Mozzarella?

These two Italian cheeses may look similar on the outside. But it's what's revealed on the inside that makes them so deliciously different.

Sylvester Graham Invented Graham Crackers to Curtail 'Evil' Urges

Graham crackers were invented by Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham as part of a radical 19th century diet. His goal? To curb joy and desire.

How Latkes Became Hanukkah's Favorite Food

Latkes are potato pancakes that are commonly eaten during Hanukkah. What's behind this delicious Jewish tradition?

What's So 'Offal' About Haggis and Why's It Banned in the U.S.?

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?

Vegemite Is the Curious Comfort Food From Down Under

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

It's 2020. Of Course the McRib Is Back

McDonald's cult-favorite sandwich is back on the menu. But what in the world is it anyway?

Pimento Cheese: The Southern Staple With Northern Roots

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

Top Ramen's First 'Chief Noodle Officer' Pays in, Well, Ramen

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

The Halifax Donair Is Canada's Kitschiest Sandwich You've Never Heard Of

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.

Cheerios: 8 Fun Facts About Making Oats Into O's

This iconic cereal has a long and fun history. For instance, its original name wasn't even Cheerios.

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.

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?

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.

U.S. Food Banks Stretched Thin as Demand Skyrockets in 2020

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.

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 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.

Who Put the Baby in the King Cake?

King cake is as much a staple of Mardi Gras as the parades and beads. But what's the story of this brightly colored cake? And why is there a plastic baby baked inside?

Gelatinous, Squishy Mochi Is Having a Moment

Mochi is a super-chewy traditional Japanese delicacy, made from mochigome, a short-grain glutinous rice.

Balut Is the Asian Street Food You Gotta Eat to Believe

At first glance, balut, which is a cooked, fertilized duck egg, might look unappetizing. But it's a favorite snack in Southeast Asia, and has been for centuries.

Truffles: The Rarest and Most Expensive Fungi in the World

Truffles are prized the world over for their pungent, earthy flavor, but what's so special about them, and why is the truffle trade so cutthroat and secretive?

If at First You Don't Succeed, Try Tripe Again

Humans have been cooking and eating tripe for centuries. Think you can stomach it?

6 Cheesy Facts About Cheeseburgers

On National Cheeseburger Day, we're celebrating — what else? — the all-American cheeseburger.

Why Are Certain Foods Eaten Mainly at Breakfast?

Americans have come to expect certain foods for breakfast. But why did these particular foods end up as morning meals?

Take a Bite Out of Cheese Curds

Fried cheese curds are ooey, gooey and oh-so-delicious!

How Food Forests Fight Hunger in Cities

Forests in the city? A growing collection of urban edible forests aims to put a dent in world hunger and food insecurity.