10 More Fascinating Food Facts

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It’s been a couple of months since my last food list and, I believed I’d create another one, as it’s my favourite subject. This list looks at ten more facts that have’t been on Listverse. As usual, mention any others you might know in the comments so we can all gain from learning new things!



The nutmeg tree is the only tree that supplies two spices: nutmeg (the one we’re all comfortable with) and the lesser known mace. Mace was quite popular in the 18th century as a flavor additive to meat products and is a fundamental ingredient in the traditionally made French white sauce, where the mace is steeped with an onion in hot milk before being added to a mixture of flour and butter to make béchamel sauce – the French “mom” sauce. Pictured above the nutmeg is the seed that is brownish and the mace is the outside layer that is reddish.


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Sushi isn’t from Japan. It originated in Southeast Asia, in the 4th century BC to preserve it. After a few months of fermentation the fish was taken off the rice, and the rice lost. It finally spread to China, and was introduced into Japan in the 8th century. The Japanese preferred to eat their fish with rice and so the modern Japanese version was born. As an effect of well-being consciousness, in the 1980s, sushi started to disperse all around the globe. If you’re not a fan of raw fish in your sushi, attempt Korean kimbap (pictured above) rather – it’s nearly indistinguishable but generally featured cooked meat products.

Russian Service

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While most of our Western food flavors originate in French cuisine, the fashion of service we’re used to – individual plates pre-filled and served – is called Russian service, and it originates from the table of the Czar. In French cuisine it was conventional for all food shown in enormous numbers on side tables – it was an incredibly lavish event and to be prepared in advance. But the outcome of this was that much food was wasted and was’t not constantly cold. Russian service was so suitable it is the main way we dish our meals at home and caught on.

Earliest Eatery


Stiftskeller St. Peter is a restaurant within the monastery walls of St. Peter’s Archabbey, Salzburg. It’s asserted to be the oldest hostel in Central Europe because of a record mentioning it in 803 AD. Stiftskeller St. Peter is understood to be the oldest continuously operating restaurant and hostel on Earth, and its web site states “Genuine Salzburg hospitality for over 1,200 years”. St. Peter’s Archabbey is also reputed to be the oldest monastery in the German-speaking world, having been founded in 696 AD by Saint Rupert. [Source]

Can Opener


Appeared in the Netherlands, in the 1770s and were used by the Dutch navy. The first patent for tin cans as a process of preservation appeared in 1810, and was submitted by Peter Durand, a British retailer. These first tin cans were not generally lighter than their content and were opened with whatever tools you’d lying about – in fact, one can taken the directions: “Cut round the top near the outer edge with a hammer and chisel ”. It wasn’t until 1855 that the first tin can opener was patented. When a round wheel layout was patented the first openers worked until 1870. This layout was not easy as it needed brute force to use. As we understand it – with the double wheel – was patented in 1925, the tin can opener. To this day it remains the most popular design.

Diet Soda

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The initial diet soda was devised in 1952, and was called “No-Cal Soda-Pop”. Both Russian immigrants living in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and his son Morris, Hyman Kirsch, New York, started selling pops in 1904. Their engagement with the Jewish Sanitarium for Chronic Disease, led them to the creation of a sugar free beverage to satisfy the needs of the hospital’s diabetic patients. Morris and Nyman developed a line of carbonated, sugar free, zero-calorie soft drinks which they called Nocal that was understood for exceptional flavors like chocolate and black cherry. In the mid 2000s, INOV8 Beverage Company brought the merchandise back to life.

Cola or Not?


Despite the name, the principal flavoring ingredients in a cola beverage are sugar, citrus oils (from oranges, limes, or lemon fruit rind), tamarind, cinnamon, vanilla and an acidic flavorant. Makers of cola beverages add touch fixings to create distinct flavors for each brand. Touch flavorings may contain a broad assortment of ingredients and nutmeg, but the base flavorings that most individuals identify with a cola flavor stay cinnamon and vanilla. Acidity is usually supplied by phosphoric acid, occasionally accompanied by other or citric acids that are isolated.

First Takeout

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First created as a stand for peddlers, in 1738, Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba was started in the town center at Via Port’Alba 18, in 1830, becoming takeout joint and the world’s first pizzeria. The eatery replaced road sellers who’d make pizza in wood- and bring it onto the road, keeping it warm in little can ranges they balanced on their head. It shortly became a notable gathering spot for guys in the road. Most patrons were students, artists, or others with almost no cash, so the pizzas made were not usually complex, with toppings including garlic and oil. A payment system was developed that enabled customers to pay up to eight days after their meal. The pizzeria continues to be in company now.



The tongue is a muscle with sensory cells, glands and fatty tissue that helps to moisten food with spit. You can’t taste food unless it’s combined with spittle. For example, if salt is put on a dry tongue, the taste buds WOn’t have the capacity to identify it. The salt dissolves and the taste sensation happens when spit is added. Also, with no sense of smell spit wo’t help you – scent makes an enormous contribution to the flavor of the foods we eat.


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Honey does’t spoil. It’s the only known food source that keeps forever in its raw form. Actually, Archaeologist T.M. Davies found a 3,300-year old jar of honey in an Egyptian tomb. To his astonishment, the honey was in unusually good state. For centuries, honey was the primary sweetener through the entire world. Egyptian grave reliefs from the third century B.C. show workers gathering honey from hives. Chinese manuscripts from precisely the same interval include songs and poems commending its many uses and honey. Honey is an important ingredient in just about any culture’s cuisine now. [Source]

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the creator of Listverse. He spends his time cooking, doing research for new lists, and working on the website. He’s fascinated with all things weird and morbid.

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