Food trivia tidbits

This week my brain is mush, what with the start of the busy summer season and a ridiculous summer cold that I really don't need :) So, I'm regaling you with some water cooler talk, tidbits you can share around the dinner table that will amaze your guests with their banality! What the heck, we can't always be serious, right?

Did you know that peanut butter was first patented by a Canadian in 1884? He was a pharmacist who wanted to create something easy to eat for the many people in those days who had trouble chewing solid food. It has existed in many cultures of course; the Aztecs first ground peanuts into a paste. Nowadays, despite the fact that approximately 6% of the population has a peanut allergy there are still many products to enjoy with peanut butter; the peanut butter sandwich is not dead yet! I wish the ads today were as much fun as they used to be, though.

I love peanut butter on toast with sliced bananas, so I looked up the tropical snack. Chew on this: bananas are not a fruit, because the banana tree is an herb so that makes bananas the berry of said herb. And a banana tree will bear only one branch, or hand, in its life. That hand will hold 100-400 bananas though. Go figure.

* If you're looking for a recipe this week, check out the Peanut Butter Criss Cross Cookies on my blog :)

Here’s a good one if you believe it all: When the English colonist pilgrims sat down for their first Thanksgiving dinner in February of 1630, one of the offerings from an Indian Chief in attendance was popped corn. (I don’t know whether popcorn being around at an important food occasion is the cool part of this story, or if it is more interesting that we could have had Thanksgiving in February!)

Note: popcorn has actually been around for 6000 years. On September 19, 1995 a great popcorn celebrity died – Mr. Orville Redenbacher. Please have a moment of silence before you set your microwave to pop this weekend.

Something to try at a boring cocktail party: a raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continually on the bubbles. (If this doesn’t work, you can always just say you need a fresher glass!)

Okay, I am sure you can have fun with this: “In the Middle Ages, chicken soup was considered an aphrodisiac.” Is that what all that talk about Chicken Soup for the Soul really means? (wink wink) One wonders – does this mean they didn’t have much imagination when it came to setting a mood, or that they had plenty?

Lastly, here is one that begs the question, "Who got paid to figure this out and what were they trying to prove?" Talk about having an interesting job…

“If Jello is hooked up to an EKG (heart monitor), it registers movements virtually identical to the brain waves of a healthy adult.”

I hope these little tidbits will give you some fun simple moments to share with a friend or loved one. Think of them as no-calorie ways to use food as a stress reliever!

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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