Bees Love Coffee, and Oysters Are Gender Benders: Amazing Facts About the Food You Eat!

A bumble bee feeds on blueberry blooms As human beings, even the most sheltered of us know an awful lot about food.  How could we not?  We need it to survive, we interact with food multiple times a day,...

A bumble bee feeds on blueberry blooms
A bumble bee feeds on blueberry blooms

As human beings, even the most sheltered of us know an awful lot about food.  How could we not?  We need it to survive, we interact with food multiple times a day, and for many of us, it's not just a survival tactic--it's an obsession.  Food has the power to shape our day, our mood, and even our ability to have a good time.  No matter if we are seasoned cooks, or new to the game, how we like our food, what flavors go well together and how to safely prepare a variety of foods are elementary and quickly learned.

Yet, there are millions of interesting, quirky, and downright bizarre facts about the food we eat, and love everyday that somehow, many of us just don't know.   While learning these fun facts, won't necessarily make us a better cook, it certainly helps with gaining the status of a bonafide food enthusiast!

Aching for a cup of joe?

Coffee is king, it's an undisputed fact.  Even in traditionally more tea friendly countries, coffee has been slowly inching up in popularity worldwide.  For those who are already complete coffee addicts, the process of making coffee is almost as vital as the bean used.  The drip coffee machine that was standard in the kitchens of yester-year is now being pushed aside for stove top espresso makers, and percolators, guaranteed to produce intensely fragrant and bold flavored coffee drinks.  But did you know that the caffeine in coffee, that extra buzz that keeps us coming back for more, is the plant's natural attempt at attracting pollinating bees?

Coffee
Coffee

Caffeine works as an attractant for bees, as it assists the bees in making long term memories and allowing them to remember the "caffeinated" flowers longer than the "non-caffeinated" variety, prompting them to return again and again.  Much like their human counterparts, bees are apparently first rate java junkies Jonesing for the perfect cuppa along with the rest of us. So, next time you find yourself dragging before your first cup, don't feel bad, you have about a billion bees on your side!

Sauerkraut, love it, hate it.  Either way, it does a body good!

There is a definite line in the sand when it comes to those who love sauerkraut and those who see it as a hill of rotting cabbage.  Yet, on the ancient seas, sauerkraut was highly prized on long journeys for its massive vitamin and probiotic content.

Aside from boosting the general health of the sailors, the increased vitamin B (caused from the fermentation process) and the vitamin C naturally found in the cabbage, worked to combat many deficiencies sailors were prone to.  On ships where casks of sauerkraut were consumed over time, Scurvy was documented as being almost negligible.  To this day, sauerkraut offers not only a tasty, but a healthy condiment for bratwursts, hotdogs and Reuben sandwiches alike.

Come, mister tally man, tally me banana...

Bananas
Bananas

Ever wonder why all bananas look the same?  Well, you aren't imagining things.  These days, the common banana looks exactly like every other banana, not because they are a specific variety, or came from the same plantation, but because they are all genetically identical and they have been for decades.

Thanks to the banana industry deciding that there was really only one type of banana that the average consumer would be interested in purchasing, the "Cavendish" banana (or common banana) became the tree of choice.  In order to ascertain a constant identical product, the Cavendish trees were never allowed to reproduce in the way of nature, but instead were asexually cloned to preserve an identical genetic code in each and every fruit.  Sadly, this practice makes all trees, and the fruit produced from the Cavendish banana trees susceptible to the same disease.  Meaning of course, that in one felled swoop, our days of the banana split, or Bananas Foster could be nothing but a sweet memory.

Dude looks like a lady... Nah, that's just an oyster.

When it comes to meat sources, we don't often think much on male, or female unless it affects the quality of meat.  More often than not, the meat we eat was from a female animal, as the meat tends to be more tender.  However, when it comes to oysters, it's literally a mixed bag as to what gender bivalve you are consuming.  That's because oysters are notorious for gender shifting throughout their lives.

The majority of young oysters tend to be male, however as they mature, most have switched to become females.  Depending on conditions of their terroir (the place they mature in), some oysters have even been known to then shift back to male in order to help with reproduction rates.  Whether they are male, or female doesn't affect flavor however and they all serve up equally beautifully carefully opened, on a bed of ice with a wedge of lemon!

Honey is truly the nectar of life.

As one of the very oldest foods known to man, honey has long had a special place in legend, history and the true foodie's heart.  There is very little not to love about honey.  It never spoils, it is 20% to 60% sweeter than sugar, and contains no fat, or cholesterol--making it relatively healthy.  It's also the only "insect created" food that we humans ingest.

Honey
Honey

But did you know that honey is one of the only foods on Earth that contains within itself all the components necessary to sustain life?  Complete on its own with everything from water, to enzymes, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins, honey provides many health benefits to those consuming the delicious substance, including anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties down to helping fight certain cancers and heart disease with helpful flavonoids. Spoon some honey into your tea, or yogurt today and see why honey has been prized since the dawn of mankind as the nectar of the Gods.

There is so much to learn about the food we eat, as well as the way we eat it!  Contact us today for all your cooking and food needs.