40 Random Food Facts That I Haven't Been Able To Stop Thinking About Since I Learned Them

    I'll never look at a Trader Joe's banana the same way again.

    1. Cilantro and coriander are the same thing.

    2. Peaches and nectarines are basically the same, too.

    Peaches and nectarines next to each other

    3. In the U.K., arugula is called rocket.

    In Italy, a bag of arugula labeled as 'Wild Rocket'

    4. The all-time bestselling food items at Costco are rotisserie chicken, bacon, and food court hot dogs.

    5. The cheapest item at Trader Joe's is bananas. They cost 19 cents each — and the reason why is a little dark.

    A sign at Trader Joe's advertising 19-cent bananas

    6. Trader Joe's employees use a bell system to communicate with each other because higher-ups didn't like the way P.A. announcements sounded at other grocery stores.

    7. This is how quinoa grows:

    A large quinoa plant — with the quinoa growing similar to a flower.

    8. And this is how cranberries grow:

    Cranberries being harvested in a Wisconsin marsh

    9. A few years ago, Butterfinger changed its entire recipe.

    Two Butterfinger bars next to each other, one in the old packaging, and one in the new

    10. Glass Gem corn! It exists.

    Harvested our first corn of this season. I’m blown away!!!

    Via Twitter: @watermicrobe

    Oklahoma farmer Carl Barnes spent years breeding the colorful corn as a way to reconnect with his heritage.

    11. Elephant garlic exists, too. 👀

    A woman holding up elephant garlic next to regular garlic

    12. Allspice isn't a mix of other spices.

    A container of ground allspice

    13. But chili powder *is* a mix of other spices.

    14. McDonald's fries were cooked in beef fat until 1990.

    15. And in France, McDonald's offers thick-cut potato wedges — in addition to the regular fries.

    Thick-cut potato wedges from McDonalds France

    16. Jam is made with fruit — and jelly is made with fruit juice.

    A jar of jam next to a jar of jelly

    17. Fruity Pebbles are just grains of white rice that have been flattened and puffed up again.

    18. Pomegranates grow on trees.

    A pomegranate tree in bloom

    19. Asparagus grows straight outta the ground.

    White asparagus growing out of the ground

    20. On Sesame Street, Cookie Monster's cookies are actually painted rice cakes.

    Cookie Monster eating a cookie, as shown on 'Sesame Street'

    21. Rhubarb leaves are poisonous in large doses.

    A pile of fresh rhubarb with leaves visible

    22. Raw cashew shells are poisonous too.

    Unshelled cashews going down an assembly line

    23. The same guy invented Cool Whip, Pop Rocks, and Tang.

    A tub of Cool Whip, a container of Tang, and packets of Pop Rocks all next to each other

    24. A chipotle pepper is just a dried and smoked jalapeño.

    A chart depicting various chiles

    25. European chocolate generally tastes better than U.S. chocolate because it's required by law to have more milk fats and dry milk solids.

    Kinder chocolate on display at a store

    26. Sour Patch Kids and Swedish Fish have the same base.

    A bag of Sour Patch Kids and a bag of Swedish Fish next to each other

    27. Mahogany cake was America's first chocolate cake — though it's been largely forgotten since.

    Slice of mahogany cake with creamy frosting

    28. A single spaghetti noodle is called a spaghetto.

    29. Too much nutmeg can get you high.

    Container of ground nutmeg

    30. Paprika is made of ground up red bell peppers.

    Red peppers being sliced, dehydrated, and pulsed into Paprika

    31. Reese's Pieces have a different filling than Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

    32. A few years ago, Nabisco redesigned its famous animal crackers box after PETA flagged it.

    Boxes of Nabisco Animal crackers next to each other, one in the old packaging, and one in the new

    33. Pineapples can take two to three years to grow.

    A pineapple growing on a farm

    34. It can take at least three years for a vanilla plant to produce its first vanilla bean.

    A pile of vanilla bean pods

    35. Jelly Belly is one of the few jelly bean companies that flavors both the inside *and* the outside of the bean.

    36. Ritter chocolate bars were invented to be square so they could fit into jacket pockets without breaking.

    A grocery store shelf display of Ritter chocolate bars

    37. Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kohlrabi all come from the same plant.

    Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower all next to each other

    38. One of the most bizarre food-related disasters in history was the Great Molasses Flood in Boston.

    View this video on YouTube


    In 1919, a storage tank that contained more than 2 million gallons of molasses exploded. It flooded Boston streets, crushed buildings, and killed 21 people and injured 150 more.

    39. Out of all the popular alcoholic drinks, red wine makes you the sleepiest.

    Several alcoholic beverages next to each other, with an arrow pointing at the red wine

    40. Tootsie Rolls start out as gigantic 13-pound logs that are then shaped down to their mini size.

    Tootsie Rolls being shaped on an assembly line

    What's the most interesting food fact you know? Share in the comments!