Do you know why I’m the most sought-after person when friends and family are pairing up for Trivial Pursuit? It’s because I’m a vault of interesting facts, a treasure trove of useless knowledge. Presidential trivia, word origins, and food facts — I know a lot about all of this weird stuff… and I’m totally willing to share a little, so you can kick butt at trivia games, too. Here are 8 fun food facts.
1. How Did Hot Dogs Get Their Names?
No, at no point in history did frankfurters ever contain dog meat. They’re called hot dogs because of the way they look — just like little stubby-legged dachshunds. At the turn of the century, in New York, a particular cartoonist and a small army of concession-sellers helped coin the phrase, and launched what’s become one of America’s favorite picnic foods… which now bear little resemblance to the sausages they once were.
2. Do Pregnant Women Really Crave Pickles?
The short answer — yes. Most women have strange cravings when they’re expecting because their bodies are asking for something, a vitamin or mineral. We crave pickles for their salt! I craved pretzels, too, and couldn’t get enough of them.
3. Why is Most Bubble Gum Pink?
For years, bubble gun was pink for the simple reason that the man who created the bubble-blowing gum we all love only had pink dye on hand when he was in his lab. Which is a good thing, too… would we have wanted to chew brown gum? I don’t think it would have been as appealing.
4. Is Pizza Italian?
Nope. Our favorite weekday rush dinner actually originated in Greece as an edible plate (much like the bread bowls some fancy soups come in). This is why I’m so very proud of my Greek heritage… can you blame me?
5. Why do People Think Garlic Keeps Vampires Away?
This myth started in the Dark Ages, when the plague was rampant and swept away millions of people across Europe. People assumed the dreaded disease was caused by vapors, or vampires, and were mystified about how to prevent it. But because garlic naturally contains an antibiotic called allicin, garlic sellers seemed to be immune to the plague, so people started eating more, and wearing it as a talisman against plague-causing vampires and vapors. The idea stuck, and now, along with seasoning our pasta sauces, garlic wards off movie vampires of the sparkling and non-sparkling varieties.
6. Once and for All, is It “catsup” or “ketchup”?
It’s both. That’s right, both words can be used interchangeably, depending on the brand. Myself, I’m a Heinz girl, so it’s “ketchup.” Both words originated from a Chinese word ke-tsiap, and since both are just a phonetic spelling of the word, both are fine.
7. Where Did Gatorade Come from?
Any college football fan can answer this one — in 1965, the University of Florida’s Dr. Robert Dade was trying to create a drink that would help keep the football team hydrated, and he developed a formula for his “Gators” that seemed to do the trick, and now helps replenish athletes all around the world.
8. Any Fun Facts about McDonald’s?
Sure! After Coca-Cola, McDonald’s is the most recognized logo in the world. Americans spend almost 8% of their food budgets at McDonald’s, and one Big Mac value meal has 1,365 calories, which is more than half of all the calories you ought to consume in one day. Yikes!
See? I truly am a vault of useless knowledge, and now you can be, too! Soon you’ll be the Trivial Pursuit MVP, and then you can share some of your own expertise… or perhaps you’re already a fact whiz? If so, do you have any other fun food facts to share?
Top Photo Credit: M@t M.