Our resident chef, Randy Feltis, is spilling the tea on the best kept food secrets – and our minds are slightly blown.
Cheddar cheese does not “turn” orange — it is dyed. In its natural state, cheddar cheese is a white or yellowish colour. The natural colour of a cheese can fluctuate according to a cow’s diet. Milk contains beta-carotene, the same natural pigment that gives carrots their orange colour.
Farm-raised salmon, which makes up 70 percent of the market, is naturally grey. The pink colour is added afterwards, and has nothing to do with quality. Wild salmon are naturally pink due to their diet, which includes astaxanthin, a reddish-orange compound found in krill and shrimp.
For centuries, almost all carrots were yellow, white or purple, but in the 17th century, most of those crunchy vegetables turned orange. This is because in the 17th century, Dutch growers cultivated orange carrots as a tribute to William of Orange – who led the struggle for Dutch independence – and the colour stuck!
Over 95% of wasabi served in sushi restaurants does not contain any real wasabi. Most fake wasabi is made from a blend of horseradish, mustard flour, cornstarch and green food colorant. This means that most people who think they know wasabi have actually never tasted the stuff!
This sweet treat has been called the only food that truly lasts forever, thanks to its magical chemistry and the handiwork of bees. The nectar from flowers mixes with enzymes inside the bees that extract it, which changes the nectar’s composition and breaks it down into simple sugars that are deposited into honeycombs. Fanning action from the bees’ wings and the enzymes from their stomachs create a liquid that is both highly acidic and low in moisture—truly inhospitable digs for bacterial growth.
Here’s another food that’s nearly invincible! White rice retains its nutrient content for 30 years when stored in oxygen-free containers. No wonder it’s the food of university students everywhere!
Sodium chloride – aka salt – is a mineral that is taken from the Earth. It’s been used for centuries as a tool for preserving other foods because it removes moisture. The salt in your cupboard may not last forever though. Adding iodine to table salt reduces the shelf life, so if your container says iodized salt, expect it to only last about 5 years.
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