Quiz about Amusing or Interesting Food Facts
Quiz about Amusing or Interesting Food Facts

Amusing or Interesting Food Facts Quiz


Ten amusing or intriguing facts on different foods gleaned from encyclopediae or the internet from time to time - just for a bit of fun.

A multiple-choice quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Creedy
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
388,688
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
1230
Awards
Top 10% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 86 (1/10), Exodus33 (6/10), steelman86 (8/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. When corn was first introduced into Europe, many Spaniards quite seriously worried that, by eating this plant, it would result in what? Hint

They would turn yellow
Their ears would fall off
They would pop
They would turn into Indians

2. Farmers in Africa and Asia plant chilies around their food crops to keep which marauding animal at bay? Hint

Elephants
Lions
Rabbits
Hyenas

3. When American hot dogs are described as having traditional "natural casing", what does this mean? Hint

Encased in thickened ketchup
Encased in dog intestines
Encased in pink coloured pickles
Encased in the small intestines of sheep

4. You won't believe this. What does Casu Marzu, a traditional Sardinian cheese, contain? Hint

Chemically treated fingernails
Live Sardinians
Live maggots
Sardines

5. Fanning is the term used for the tea used in most teabags. By what other term is fanning also known? Hint

Scraps
Dusts
Pickups
Leftovers

6. Cysteine, which is an additive added to many commercially made food products, is manufactured industrially from which animal product? Hint

Hog hair
Tiger fur
Elephant tail
Horse teeth

7. Dolley Madison, wife of the 4th President of the USA, supposedly really enjoyed which unlikely flavoured ice cream? Hint

Oyster ice cream
Buffalo hide ice cream
Strawberry ice cream
Kangaroo ice cream

8. Milt, or soft roe, as it is also known, comes from which part of a fish? Hint

The left point of the tail
The bulging eyeballs
The fins once they have stopped flapping
The male genitalia

9. Castoreum is another additive in many commercially made food products. From where, on the Canada and European beaver, is this obtained? Hint

Under its tail
Its ears
Its two front teeth
Its tongue

10. Why was Australia's popular spread, Vegemite, banned from prisons in the state of Victoria in the 1990s? Hint

Prisoners were trying to drug the guards with it
Prisoners were making poison from it
Prisoners were hiding escape plans in it
Prisoners were trying to make beer from it


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. When corn was first introduced into Europe, many Spaniards quite seriously worried that, by eating this plant, it would result in what?

Answer: They would turn into Indians

Corn, or maize as it is also known, was first domesticated in Mexico thousands of years ago, and, by 2,500 BC, had spread throughout the Americas from there. Spanish explorers, conquerors and traders who made their mark on these two continents from the 1500s on, took the seeds of this new food product back to Europe with them, and introduced it there. Oddly enough though, the Spanish were slow to accept corn and corn flour, and this was for two main reasons. The first was, as it was such a religious nation, the Spanish people believed that corn flour could not be substituted for wheat flour in the manufacture of Holy Communion bread. Because of the belief of transubstantiation, they were convinced that only wheat could be transformed into the body of Christ. The other reason, which should give you a chuckle, is that many Spaniards also believed that, by eating corn, they would be turned into Indians.

Did you know that when corn was first cultivated, the plants only produced one cob per plant, and that this cob was only about one inch long? Imagine trying to nibble on that. Over the many centuries that followed, the very clever indigenous people of the Americas managed to artificially select and grow better and better plants so that, by today, we have those glorious crops of very tall maize with several lovely cobs of corn on each plant. Oh yum, there's nothing more delicious than roasted hot corn on the cob, covered in butter, salt and pepper. Hang the diet.
2. Farmers in Africa and Asia plant chilies around their food crops to keep which marauding animal at bay?

Answer: Elephants

Asian and African elephants are known for their nightly raids on fields of crops grown by farmers in these two continents. And why not? To them those fields of easily accessible food would be like a smorgasbord. This, however, does not delight the farmers, and, in an attempt to keep the elephants at bay, they have taken to planting rows of chilies around their products. Elephants have a strong aversion to chilies because of the capsaicin chemical they contain. This makes the elephants very hot, and gets up their long, sensitive trunks, causing rather a lot of discomfort. They don't die from this of course, so for those of us who poked a chili seed up their nose as a child because they were told not to (oh my stars, did it burn), there's something just the tiniest bit amusing about an elephant undergoing a similar experience.

Did you know that chilies also originated in Mexico, and were one of the first self-propagating plants grown in that area of the world? And did you know that, when first introduced into Europe, they were grown first in Spanish and Portuguese monasteries in an attempt to breed a cheaper form of black peppercorns? Those peppercorns were so expensive to buy that they were actually used in some countries as legal tender. And did you know that the capsaicin in some chilies is used in some countries as an analgesic in various ointments, as dermal patches to relieve pain (pardon?), and - you won't believe this - as an actual NASAL spray?
3. When American hot dogs are described as having traditional "natural casing", what does this mean?

Answer: Encased in the small intestines of sheep

What a treat. The small intestine is where the end process of food absorption takes place. This is the part that is then wrapped around your hot dog and given the reassuring name of natural casing. However, because these natural casings are more expensive than otherwise, most hot dogs in the United States are skinless, or enclosed in collagen casing instead. Collagen is found in animal tissue such as tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, corneas and gut. Delicious! Skinless hot dogs though ARE cooked in a casing, usually a long tube of cellulose, but this is removed before the packing process. The meat contained within each typical hot dog is described in Wikipedia as "mechanically separated meat, pink slime, and meat slurry". Mmmm. Meat slurry itself is a liquefied dark meat product used in the manufacture of chicken nuggets or food for your pets. To that hot dog mix, various flavourings such as salt, garlic, paprika, sodium erythorbate (once believed to be made from ground up earthworms) and sodium nitrite are added.

Did you know that hot dogs, originally made from pork meat, were once sold without the bread buns? That dates right back at least to the 13th century in Germany where they were given to people whenever a new king was crowned in that country. Imagine the coronation of a new monarch in Britain today being celebrated with a pork sausage. So undignified. The Germans then introduced this food product to the United States in the late 1800s, where they were usually sold from food stands. Initially still sold without the bun at this stage, and because they were very hot, customers were given gloves to wear in order to hold them. One wonders why they just didn't use paper? However, because many of the customers then trotted off with a new pair of gloves and didn't return them, one of the vendors (his wife actually) came up with the idea of placing the sausage in a bread bun instead. The term "dogs" applied to these products comes from the persistent belief in earlier times that the meat in this product comes from those animals. It appears to be more of an urban legend than anything else. That was long before they were introduced to America though, but just to ease any concerns by potential customers of one hot dog manufacturer in Coney Island, he hired men dressed as surgeons to stand around his stall pretending to heartily enjoy eating them.
4. You won't believe this. What does Casu Marzu, a traditional Sardinian cheese, contain?

Answer: Live maggots

Casu Marzu is a traditional Sardinian cheese that is made from sheep's milk that is allowed to decompose and go rotten before consumption, and contains live maggots. Those maggots are consumed as part of this taste delight. Their larvae are deliberately placed into the cheese to help it ferment and begin to rot. That stage is reached when the rotten fluid (known as tears) begins to seep out the sides. The maggots are white in colour (oh how pretty!), and while some fussy people will brush them off before consuming this product, many others do not, and prefer to squish down on them. Mmmm. It only takes one egg, produced from the cheese fly, to produce thousands of these maggots per cheese.

Did you know that the maggots found in this food are known as skippers? That is because they have the ability to leap several inches into the air when alarmed. All things considered, I'd be mighty alarmed too if I saw a giant set of human teeth about to chomp me to pieces. A further bizarre fact about the consumers of this product is that, for those who can't quite handle the thought of eating live maggots, they have the option to put the cheese in a sealed paper bag where the maggots are deprived of oxygen. As they writhe in agony and jump up in the bag trying to escape, they make a lovely soothing pitter-patter sound as they hit the paper. Every meal, as we all know, is made all the more delightful by such soothing accompaniment.
5. Fanning is the term used for the tea used in most teabags. By what other term is fanning also known?

Answer: Dusts

The use of teabags dates right back to the Tang Dynasty in China (618-907) but these were not used as we do today. Instead of dunking a teabag into a cup of boiling water, or placing them into a teapot and pouring boiling water in afterwards, the Chinese used them to store their dry tea leaves in drinkable quantities until needed. The tea in these hand sewn bags stayed much fresher that way. When this novel way of retaining the flavour of tea was introduced into Europe many centuries later, they followed the same procedure, except for using hand-sewn fabric bags instead of paper, and, as in China, these were for individual use only and not sold commercially. It would be an American tea and coffee importer, Thomas Sullivan, who first sold teabags commercially around the world. He put his tea into silk teabags to retain the flavour even further but, at that stage, these bags were still for storage purposes only. The idea was, as before, to open the bags and then tip the tea, followed by boiling water, into the required utensil as needed. When he discovered however, that his customers were not opening the bags, but putting the tea, still encased in same, into their cups instead, his fortune was made, and the humble teabag, as we know it today, was born.

Did you know that you can use tea to get rid of the odour of smelly feet (by soaking them in some), that the damp leaves are a great fertiliser for roses and can also change the colour of hydrangeas? Tea is also said to be good for cleaning floors, and can even be used as a meat marinade. All that and it tastes delightful to boot. Now, can I offer you a nice cup of dusts?
6. Cysteine, which is an additive added to many commercially made food products, is manufactured industrially from which animal product?

Answer: Hog hair

Cysteine is also obtained from feathers as well, but not, as was once commonly believed, from human hair. Cysteine is classed as a non-essential amino acid. It can normally be synthesized (try quickly saying that word five times) by our bodies, and though classed as non-essential under peak physiological condition, it is very necessary for some babies, the frail age, and people suffering from specific illnesses that impact negatively on their systems. Cysteine is found normally in plants such as garlic, onion, broccoli, oats, red pepper, Brussels sprouts (ugh) and lentils - and in animal products such as eggs, dairy produce, beef, pork and chicken. When incorporated into commercially manufactured food products, it is used as a flavouring. So next time you're chomping down into your hamburger or enjoying a packet of potato chips, spare a thought for the hog or the hen that made the ultimate sacrifice for your eating enjoyment.

Did you know that scientists are toying with the idea of utilising cysteine to help counteract the negative effects of over consumption of alcohol? Hangovers, in other words. And did you know that sheep require cysteine to produce wool? Just think, if you manage to purchase regulated doses of cysteine from your pharmacies at some future date, you can become so intoxicated that you'll forget all about the fact that you've just consumed hog hair, you will never have a hangover, and, if you happen to be bald, you'll develop a luscious head of hair - from which you can knit pullovers in winter.
7. Dolley Madison, wife of the 4th President of the USA, supposedly really enjoyed which unlikely flavoured ice cream?

Answer: Oyster ice cream

What a revolting idea - oyster ice cream - but this has been around since at least 1824, where it can be found in "The Virginia Housewife", a cookbook written by one Mary Randolph. Mary's recipe is included below. This flavoured ice cream was once considered only a luxury that the wealthy upper classes could afford, not because of the price of oysters, but because the ice to freeze it was very hard to obtain. Thank goodness for class structure.

Did you know that oyster ice cream was also a favourite of the great American author, Mark Twain? And did you know that Dolley Madison was expelled from her church (the Quakers) for marrying James Madison because he wasn't of that religion? She was known to be a gracious and elegant First Lady, and the first American to answer a telegraph message (sent by Samuel Morse).

Mary Randolph's recipe for Oyster Ice Cream (which is made into a soup first): "Wash and drain two quarts of oysters; put them on with three quarts of water, three onions chopped up, two or three slices of lean ham, pepper and salt. Boil it till reduced one-half, strain it through a sieve, return the liquid into the pot, put in one quart of fresh oysters, boil it till they are sufficiently done, and thicken with four spoonsful of flour, two gills (cups) of rich cream and the yelks (yolks) of six new laid eggs beaten well; boil it a few minutes after the thickening is put in. Take care it does not curdle, and that the flour is not in lumps; ... If the flavour of thyme be agreeable, you may put in a little, but take care that it does not boil in it long enough to discolour the soup." To make the ice cream from this soup (unless you're so tempted, you gobble the soup down first), you simply "...strain it from the oysters and freeze it".
8. Milt, or soft roe, as it is also known, comes from which part of a fish?

Answer: The male genitalia

Milt is also the seminal product from fish, molluscs and other water creatures, as well as being the actual male genitalia that contains this sperm. Different cultures throughout the world eat this product, usually fried, without batting an eyelid. In Russia, for example, they pickle milt, pickle the herrings from which it is obtained, and also pickle the roe (the eggs of Mrs Herring) as three separate dishes. Nyet, nyet! In Japan, male cod, pufferfish, salmon and squid kiss their wives and children goodbye and swim for their lives when they see Japanese fishing boats approaching. And be careful what you eat in Sicily, because the milt of tuna is used as a frequent pizza topping there.

Did you know that Creedy has just sent a memo to self to remove pizza from her list of frequently consumed junk foods?
9. Castoreum is another additive in many commercially made food products. From where, on the Canada and European beaver, is this obtained?

Answer: Under its tail

Castoreum is made from the castor sacs of beavers. And where are the castor sacs located on a beaver? What an indelicate question. They're located in fact, under its tail, right next to their anal glands. These castor sacs contain a yellow fluid called castoreum. This is used in the manufacture of several products. The first of these is perfumes. After the removed castor sacs have been allowed to mellow and age a little bit - like wine really - they are then added to "perfume" to give it a leathery scent. Presumably men would be using the end product as an after shave lotion. It's doubtful whether any woman who would wish her perfume to smell like animal hide. The second use for castoreum is as a natural food additive. This is odd: Although it smells like leather, it is used as a substitute for vanilla, strawberry and raspberry flavouring.

Did you know that castoreum, no longer used by pharmaceutical authorities in the western world, was once widely utilised to treat headaches, hysteria and fever? When burned, its fumes were also used to bring on an abortion. In addition to that, it was used as an anti-inflammatory, to raise blood pressure and to increase the circulation of the heart. Castoreum has also been given credit for the discovery of salicin in willow trees. Used to create aspirin, salicin was consumed in the bark of the trees that the beavers ate, and then converted into salicyclic acid. Other uses over time (and sometimes still today) were to increase honey production by bees, to add to the flavour and scent of cigarettes, and, in Sweden, to add to the flavour of the alcoholic drink, Schnapps. The common term for this drink is "Baverhojt" - and that translates to "Beaver shout". Hopefully the castor sacs aren't removed while the beavers are still living, but if so, that certainly explains the translation.
10. Why was Australia's popular spread, Vegemite, banned from prisons in the state of Victoria in the 1990s?

Answer: Prisoners were trying to make beer from it

Australia's popular dish, Vegemite, is healthier than you think. It is made from an extract of yeast, onion extracts, salt, and celery. That surprised you for sure. It is also chock-a-block full of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate - B1, B2, B3, and B6 in other words. Potassium is also to be found in this product in small quantities. Those yeast extracts are the source of Vegemite's umami flavour, which is one of our five basic recognisable tastes. This is fascinating: The flavour of umami is one of the components in breast milk. That must be why babies take so readily to Vegemite when it is first introduced to them - although, to be honest, most get killingly funny expressions on their faces when they first taste it. Vegie, as it is fondly known in this country, contains no fat, no sugars, only a low level of salt according to Australian standards, and has no animal products in its mix. It's good for you, my friends. It was banned from Victorian prisons in Australia in the 1990s because the inmates there, never noted for their brains, were trying to brew beer from Vegemite's yeast extract component. Unfortunately for them, Vegemite doesn't contain live yeast, and that is necessary in the making of beer. Silly dills. All they did was lose a delicious spread.

Did you know that Vegemite was never banned in the United States in 2006 at all? That was just another urban legend. Did you know President Barack Obama tasted this product in 2011, during a visit from then Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and cheerfully described it as horrible? It's an acquired taste, to be sure. Did you know that Australians like nothing better than to give a sample of Vegemite to overseas visitors - just so they can fall about laughing their heads off at the look of disgust on the faces of their visitors? And did you know that when a name was being sought for this new product after it was first made way back in 1919, the public was invited to submit same to a competition with a prize worth fifty pounds (several thousand dollars in 2017)? The winners were two local sisters, only young women at the time, but for the rest of their very long lives - somewhat to their indignation - people constantly referred them as "The Vegemite Girls".
Source: Author Creedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor WesleyCrusher before going online.
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