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10 Shocking Food Facts, We Bet You Didn't Know

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Foodies, this is your time to test your knowledge. How many of these shocking food facts do you know? Read on for 10 fun foodie facts and more!

Weird facts about pine nuts

#1: PINE NUTS Pine nuts are one of the most expensive nuts you'll find at the store, but did you know that this is due to their labor intensive harvesting process? Pine nuts come from pine cones (as the name suggests) but there are only 20 species of pine trees that produce seeds large enough to harvest. It takes said pine trees 15 to 40 years to begin producing pine nuts (!!) and then the seeds must mature for another 18 months before they are able to be harvested. Then they must be removed from the cones by hand. Who knew so much went into these little seeds! Want to cook with pine nuts? Use them in a delicious homemade pesto in our Pesto and Focaccia cooking class. BOOK HERE >

Weird facts about poppy seeds

#2: POPPY SEEDS Did you know that these little black seeds come from the same plant that produces opium? Don't worry, the seeds themselves are completely safe to consume. The opium alkaloids (which is also required to make morphine!) are actually found in poppy latex, a white fluid that comes from cutting the poppy pods. In fact poppies are banned in China, Singapore, and Taiwan due to these opium alkaloids. The nutty, sweet flavor of poppy seeds make them a fixture in baked goods around the world. Learn how to use them in delicious Hungarian Beigli! BOOK HERE >


#3: SAFFRON Saffron is the world's most expensive spice - one pound of saffron costs anywhere from $500 - $5,000! Similar to pine nuts, its hefty price tag comes from the arduous harvesting process. Saffron comes from the Crocus flower, but each of these flowers only contain three saffron threads (which must be picked by hand). To top it off these flowers only bloom for three weeks in the fall. In fact, it takes 75,000 Crocus flowers to produce one pound of saffron! As we mentioned, saffron is expensive, but thankfully it only takes a pinch to give it's signature yellow color and flavor to a dish. If you're looking to learn more about this luxurious spice, take our Seafood Paella cooking class! BOOK HERE >

Hearts of palm raw and hearts of palm salad

#4: HEART OF PALM Did you know that Hearts of Palm are, quite literally, the heart of a palm tree? This curious vegetable is harvested by cutting the stalks of palm trees until you reach the tender stalk at the center. Only certain varieties of palms contain edible hearts, one of them being coconut palms. They have a similar flavor to artichoke hearts and are a fabulous mix of crunchy and soft. Hearts of palm are the perfect addition to salads. Learn how to make an authentic Peruvian salad straight from the Amazon in our Visit the Amazon cooking class. BOOK HERE >

Cashew nuts and how they grow on trees

#5: CASHEWS: Now this will be a shocker to some, but cashews are not technically nuts. Cashew trees are native to Brazil and grow cashew apples (AKA that funny red fruit) with the actual cashew growing below it protected in a shell. This makes cashews technically classified as a drupe seed. The outer shell is inedible due to a toxin found in it, which is why you will only see shelled cashews at the store. Buttery, creamy, and filled with nutrients, whether they're nuts or not, we still love cashews. Learn how to make Cashew Chicken & Tom Yum Soup, live from Thailand. BOOK HERE >

Lobster Bisque and Cooked Lobster

#6: LOBSTER We hate to disappoint you, but the odds are high that unless you're in New England, you're not eating real lobster. Real lobsters love the icy cold waters of the northeast, while Rock Lobsters and Langoustines can be found in various warmer climates. Langoustines are typically cheaper than Maine Lobster, and though they have a very similar flavor and appearance, they are smaller and tougher in texture. The good news is that there are websites (like Lobster Anywhere!) that allow you to purchase real Maine Lobster and have it shipped to your home. Learn how to cook the real deal in our Everything Lobster cooking class! BOOK HERE >


#7: EGGPLANT Did you know that Italians once thought eggplants made you insane? The Italian word for eggplant is melenzana which literally translates to "apple of madness". They believed that because it was a nightshade it was toxic and couldn't be consumed. Thankfully, eggplants are indeed completely safe to consume (sorry ancient Italians). If you want to learn how to cook it in whole new ways, discover our Mastering Eggplant cooking class! BOOK HERE >

#8: MOLE When Americans think of Mole sauce, we typically think of the rich, dark brown, savory chocolate sauce served on top of enchiladas. But in Mexican cuisine mole is so much more than just that. The chocolatey mole sauce is a sauce from the Puebla region of Mexico, but mole is actually a blanket term for any sauce in Mexican cuisine. Guacamole is even considered a type of mole (hence guacamole). Learn to make Adobo Sauce, Enchiladas, and the best Guacamole you've had in our Enchiladas Mineras cooking class, live from Mexico. BOOK HERE >

#9: APPLES VS. ORANGES When you use comparing apples to oranges in reference to two dissimilar objects, you're speaking more truth than you think. Apples are a part of the family Rosaceae, which means they are more closely related to roses than oranges. In fact, these two fruits haven't shared a common ancestor in 90 million years. Want to use both your apples and oranges? Whip up some Spanish Sangria (the perfect cocktail to welcome spring) and pair it with a selection of perfectly delectable Spanish Tapas. Cause after all, there's no party like a Tapas Party! BOOK TAPAS PARTY COOKING CLASS >

#10: SPICY FOOD This may shock you, but reactions to spicy food are mental, not physical. Foods register as spicy due to a chemical named capsaicin. It actually tricks your pain receptors, which sends a message to your brain that you're in pain and your tongue must be burning. Sweating, turning red, etc. are all a reaction to your brain telling itself that you are burning. Ready to take your spice factor up to a 10? Try Vindaloo. It is beloved for it's fiery heat and intense, flavorful sauce. BOOK HERE >




ABOUT THE CHEF & THE DISH


The Chef & The Dish has chefs around the world that you video conference into your kitchen for a private 1:1 virtual cooking class. Learn how to make pasta with a chef video calling you live from Italy, Pad Thai with a chef virtually in your kitchen live from Thailand. Together you cook, share stories, laugh and make a multi course meal together. Rated 'Best Date Night,' 'Best Gifts,' and "Best Cooking Classes" by WSJ, Forbes, Vanity Fair, Martha Stewart, Rolling Stone and tens more. Transport your kitchen for the day.™


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10 Shocking Food Facts, We Bet You Didn't Know

Foodies, this is your time to test your knowledge. How many of these shocking food facts do you know? Read on for 10 fun foodie facts and more!

Weird facts about pine nuts

#1: PINE NUTS Pine nuts are one of the most expensive nuts you'll find at the store, but did you know that this is due to their labor intensive harvesting process? Pine nuts come from pine cones (as the name suggests) but there are only 20 species of pine trees that produce seeds large enough to harvest. It takes said pine trees 15 to 40 years to begin producing pine nuts (!!) and then the seeds must mature for another 18 months before they are able to be harvested. Then they must be removed from the cones by hand. Who knew so much went into these little seeds! Want to cook with pine nuts? Use them in a delicious homemade pesto in our Pesto and Focaccia cooking class. BOOK HERE >

Weird facts about poppy seeds

#2: POPPY SEEDS Did you know that these little black seeds come from the same plant that produces opium? Don't worry, the seeds themselves are completely safe to consume. The opium alkaloids (which is also required to make morphine!) are actually found in poppy latex, a white fluid that comes from cutting the poppy pods. In fact poppies are banned in China, Singapore, and Taiwan due to these opium alkaloids. The nutty, sweet flavor of poppy seeds make them a fixture in baked goods around the world. Learn how to use them in delicious Hungarian Beigli! BOOK HERE >


#3: SAFFRON Saffron is the world's most expensive spice - one pound of saffron costs anywhere from $500 - $5,000! Similar to pine nuts, its hefty price tag comes from the arduous harvesting process. Saffron comes from the Crocus flower, but each of these flowers only contain three saffron threads (which must be picked by hand). To top it off these flowers only bloom for three weeks in the fall. In fact, it takes 75,000 Crocus flowers to produce one pound of saffron! As we mentioned, saffron is expensive, but thankfully it only takes a pinch to give it's signature yellow color and flavor to a dish. If you're looking to learn more about this luxurious spice, take our Seafood Paella cooking class! BOOK HERE >

Hearts of palm raw and hearts of palm salad

#4: HEART OF PALM Did you know that Hearts of Palm are, quite literally, the heart of a palm tree? This curious vegetable is harvested by cutting the stalks of palm trees until you reach the tender stalk at the center. Only certain varieties of palms contain edible hearts, one of them being coconut palms. They have a similar flavor to artichoke hearts and are a fabulous mix of crunchy and soft. Hearts of palm are the perfect addition to salads. Learn how to make an authentic Peruvian salad straight from the Amazon in our Visit the Amazon cooking class. BOOK HERE >

Cashew nuts and how they grow on trees

#5: CASHEWS: Now this will be a shocker to some, but cashews are not technically nuts. Cashew trees are native to Brazil and grow cashew apples (AKA that funny red fruit) with the actual cashew growing below it protected in a shell. This makes cashews technically classified as a drupe seed. The outer shell is inedible due to a toxin found in it, which is why you will only see shelled cashews at the store. Buttery, creamy, and filled with nutrients, whether they're nuts or not, we still love cashews. Learn how to make Cashew Chicken & Tom Yum Soup, live from Thailand. BOOK HERE >

Lobster Bisque and Cooked Lobster

#6: LOBSTER We hate to disappoint you, but the odds are high that unless you're in New England, you're not eating real lobster. Real lobsters love the icy cold waters of the northeast, while Rock Lobsters and Langoustines can be found in various warmer climates. Langoustines are typically cheaper than Maine Lobster, and though they have a very similar flavor and appearance, they are smaller and tougher in texture. The good news is that there are websites (like Lobster Anywhere!) that allow you to purchase real Maine Lobster and have it shipped to your home. Learn how to cook the real deal in our Everything Lobster cooking class! BOOK HERE >


#7: EGGPLANT Did you know that Italians once thought eggplants made you insane? The Italian word for eggplant is melenzana which literally translates to "apple of madness". They believed that because it was a nightshade it was toxic and couldn't be consumed. Thankfully, eggplants are indeed completely safe to consume (sorry ancient Italians). If you want to learn how to cook it in whole new ways, discover our Mastering Eggplant cooking class! BOOK HERE >

#8: MOLE When Americans think of Mole sauce, we typically think of the rich, dark brown, savory chocolate sauce served on top of enchiladas. But in Mexican cuisine mole is so much more than just that. The chocolatey mole sauce is a sauce from the Puebla region of Mexico, but mole is actually a blanket term for any sauce in Mexican cuisine. Guacamole is even considered a type of mole (hence guacamole). Learn to make Adobo Sauce, Enchiladas, and the best Guacamole you've had in our Enchiladas Mineras cooking class, live from Mexico. BOOK HERE >

#9: APPLES VS. ORANGES When you use comparing apples to oranges in reference to two dissimilar objects, you're speaking more truth than you think. Apples are a part of the family Rosaceae, which means they are more closely related to roses than oranges. In fact, these two fruits haven't shared a common ancestor in 90 million years. Want to use both your apples and oranges? Whip up some Spanish Sangria (the perfect cocktail to welcome spring) and pair it with a selection of perfectly delectable Spanish Tapas. Cause after all, there's no party like a Tapas Party! BOOK TAPAS PARTY COOKING CLASS >

#10: SPICY FOOD This may shock you, but reactions to spicy food are mental, not physical. Foods register as spicy due to a chemical named capsaicin. It actually tricks your pain receptors, which sends a message to your brain that you're in pain and your tongue must be burning. Sweating, turning red, etc. are all a reaction to your brain telling itself that you are burning. Ready to take your spice factor up to a 10? Try Vindaloo. It is beloved for it's fiery heat and intense, flavorful sauce. BOOK HERE >




ABOUT THE CHEF & THE DISH


The Chef & The Dish has chefs around the world that you video conference into your kitchen for a private 1:1 virtual cooking class. Learn how to make pasta with a chef video calling you live from Italy, Pad Thai with a chef virtually in your kitchen live from Thailand. Together you cook, share stories, laugh and make a multi course meal together. Rated 'Best Date Night,' 'Best Gifts,' and "Best Cooking Classes" by WSJ, Forbes, Vanity Fair, Martha Stewart, Rolling Stone and tens more. Transport your kitchen for the day.™




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Transport Your Kitchen for the Day.™