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Hit-Or-Miss Tastemade/Snapchat

Here’s 6 Little Known Facts That Highlight Persimmons

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There’s probably a thing or two you could learn about persimmons. In fact, there are probably a lot of things you could learn about persimmons because they are so often forgotten about compared to the rest of the fruit community.

Aside from having residential suburban streets named after it, the persimmon is known for its flavorful and distinct nature; it’s definitely got moxy. Did you know that Salvador Dali almost named that one painting The Persimmons of Memory? Okay, I just made that up for the sake of a pun, but here are some additional facts that are 1000% true about persimmons. 

1. Persimmons originated in east Asia.

Thousands of years ago in ancient China the first known persimmon (known as the “Oriental Persimmon”) to ever grace our beautiful planet literally took root in the heart of the country. Eventually, its seeds spread into Korea and Japan, where the persimmon celebrates about 1300 years of harvests, but persimmons didn’t grace American shores until 1870.

2. Gotta catch ‘em all: there are several varieties of persimmon.

There are tons of different variations of the fruit mostly due to the fact it’s been so widely-cultivated, but there are two specific types available commercially, Fuyu and Hachiya. Fuyu are of the non-astringent variety, which means they can be eaten fresh, whereas Hachiya persimmons are astringent, so they’re used more for cooking.

Learn the differences between the two, especially when it comes to storing them properly — astringents only stay fresh for a few days, while non-astringents last up to three weeks. You can also opt to keep them in the freezer, where they’ll last six to eight months.

3. Persimmons need to be cured before they can be eaten.

You easily do this by placing a newly picked persimmon along with bananas or apples in a sealed container for a couple of days; it’s all thanks to the ethylene gas that’s produced by bananas and apples!

4. Each persimmon contains half your daily value for Vitamin C.

Though their sugar content is fairly high, even for a fruit, persimmons are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.

5. Persimmons seeds and leaves create caffeine-free energy drinks.

During the Civil War, ground persimmon seeds were often boiled, roasted, and ground by Southerners to produce a coffee-like drink. Now, the leaves of persimmon trees are used to brew tea.

6. Persimmons have several other non-food purposes.

Unripe Japanese persimmons are full of bitter tannins, an ingredient used to brew sake and preserve wood. They can also be crushed and mixed with water to yield a insect repellent solution.

You also might encounter persimmon vinegar at an Asian market, but otherwise you’ll need to ferment your own. The solution produced by diluting the vinegar with water is touted as a failsafe, detox/weight loss beverage.

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Tastemade/Snapchat

9 Facts About Fermented Foods That You Probably Didn’t Know

Fermentation is a glorious chemical reaction that converts a carbohydrate/sugar to alcohol or acid. Our founding father, George Washington, was so down with fermentation that he owned his own whiskey distillery. The waste his distillery produced was used to feed his pigs, which had to have made the best tasting bacon. If you’re short one presidential distillery, but want to learn more about fermented goods, keep reading.

1. Fermentation increases the nutritional value of raw produce

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In addition to the ramped up vitamins and minerals, fermented vegetables carry friendly bacteria and live enzymes. These cultures are beneficial to both your digestive and nervous system while protecting our bodies from harmful bacteria and other toxic substances.

2. Ancient Chinese people may have fermented the first alcoholic beverage

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In what was a blend of rice, honey, and grapes, a 3,000 year old beverage was discovered in clay pots made in 7000-6600 BC. Corrosion sealed the pots over time, preserving the last batch of the beer-wine hybrid for modern scientists to analyze. Dogfish Head Brewery recreated the drink, Midas Touch, in 2005 with the help of the researchers, and it won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2009.

3. Kefir gives you a good night’s sleep

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Not to be confused with the actor from 24, this protein-rich drink contains tryptophan. That’s the same amino acid causing you to yawn after that turkey dinner. Bonus: a serving of this milk-based pro-biotic provides 20% of the daily calcium you need.

4. Sourdough was more valuable than gold

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That delicious bread bowl we eat clam chowder out of was an integral part of the Gold Rush era. Alaskans would literally sleep with the dough to keep the yeast in it alive. San Franciscans enjoy their bread so much, their 49er mascot is named Sourdough Sam.

5. Kimchi is the national dish of South Korea

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A true staple in Korean cuisine, a custom (read: non-stinky) version accompanied Yi So-Yeon, the first Korean astronaut in space. When stored properly, a jar of kimchi can last for a couple of years.

6. Tempeh is tofu’s kick-ass cousin.

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While both are made from soybeans, their similarities end there. This Indonesian meat substitute has a better texture, making for tasty versions of fried chicken and tacos. The Swedish Department of Food Science even found a way to create this vegan-friendly protein without soybeans (with a blend of oats and barley) in regions where they can’t thrive.

7. Dosas are basically fancy crepes

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A fermented batter of rice and lentils, this popular South Indian snack is delicate and paper-thin when grilled properly. It’s the country’s answer to sliced bread, often stuffed with pickles and flavorful chutney sauces. To eat it like a local, put down the fork and knife and get your hands in there.

8. You can wear kombucha

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Microbial cellulose is the scientific term for dried kombucha culture, the “living,” tea-based beverage. A leathery texture, cellulose can be manipulated to create seamless clothing. Not bad for a fizzy and protein-rich drink that’s been around for over 2,000 years.

9. Sauerkraut helps you poop

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This aesthetically bland, German condiment is best known as a sausage topping. The shredded stuff shouldn’t, however, be mistaken for the pickled variety: the only ingredient mixed with cabbage is salt. Unpasteurized kraut carries the same kind of healthy bacteria found in yogurt, helping with both digestion and constipation.

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Hit-Or-Miss

The Humble Beginnings Behind Your Favorite Foods [Infographic]

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You can thank the middle ages for your apple pie and a clever man named Eddy Lainesse for inventing melty poutine. The history behind popular foods provide another layer of depth to these dishes, giving you something to, ahem, chew on the next time you’re munching greasy pizza.

 

For those of you who ponder the origins of your average burger and for those of you who don’t, but love collecting random trivia in the case of an unexpected invite to Jeopardy… the infographic below breaks down where foods like ice cream, sushi, etc. came from, how they gained popularity and other tasty details.

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Picthx the culture-ist

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Hit-Or-Miss

How Much Countries Spend on Food, Based on Annual Income [INFOGRAPHIC]

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When dishes like chicken mole pizza and a deep fried bacon wrapped turkey leg exist, it might seem like us Americans put a lot of time, energy and money into our diets. But compared to other countries, the average American spends a small amount of income on homemade food — only 6.6%.

According to this USDA data, richer countries tend to spend less on food overall. Of course there are factors affecting these conclusions, like the price of food and varying taxing systems, but the US still spends less than any other country in the world.

Although the average US citizen shells out about $2,273 per year for food, Pakistan still spends the most based on income percentages — about half their annual income, or around $415.

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Another interesting discovery is higher food spend is often linked to malnutrition. This could mostly be due to crop failures and droughts in poorer countries, leading to a raise in food prices.

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H/T, Picthx Vox

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Hit-Or-Miss

Interactive Map Offers a Global Guide to Coffee

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Caffeine comes in all sorts of forms, like the Starbuck’s PSL or the world’s strongest coffee. Every fan of that morning jolt has his or her own preferred variety, but here in America, we’re only exposed to a small portion of the world’s coffee consumption. It’s about time we educate ourselves on this topic, eh?

Spanish design company Hey Studio and Mansel Fletcher of the fashion site Mr. Porter joined forces to create one of the coolest infographics to date. The interactive map allows users to scroll over countries and learn all sorts of cultural coffee facts, like unique filtering methods and which country drinks the most java.

Fill up on your coffee knowledge here.

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PicThx Mr Porter

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Hit-Or-Miss

8 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Sushi

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Sushi is a mysterious creature. From cats to cologne, we already know the Japanese dish comes in many varieties. But there’s way more to the raw fish rolls than we ever thought, and thanks to blogger Ryoko Iwata, we’re about to get schooled in sushi.

Iwata created the ‘Sushi 101’ infographic below to share fun tidbits about the cuisine, because even though you might enjoy chowing down on shrimp or tuna rolls, did you know there’s a proper way to dip it into soy sauce? Or how to put out that mouth fire that is wasabi overload?

Iwata also says ‘there’s really no wrong way to eat sushi,’ but hey —  a little sushi knowledge never hurt anybody. Check it out below:

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PicThx I Love Coffee

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Features

Random Food Facts As Told By Hot Chicks [NSFW]

For the average horn dog, learning proper facts can be quite the challenge ever since the advent of porn, the Internet, Internet Porn, and the idea of porn in general. Thanks to the geniuses over at the Facts and Chicks concept blog, we can now observe the world’s most useless facts plastered over photographs of beautiful, scantily-clad women.

We put in a few hours of research sifting through their archive and picked out the food-related facts we figured everyone, male or female, could appreciate. Yes, some may be unsafer for work than others. Just a heads up: