Wednesday, January 30, 2008

No.13: Onion

Tear through these layers of odd onion facts to determine which are for real!

1. Once an onion cell is pierced, the reactions release sulfur, which irritates our eyes.

2. To cut down on the crying, chill the onion and cut into the root end of the onion last.

3. In some Torontonian communities, the phrase "Diced onions!" can be used as an exclamation of disbelief or dismissal. (eg: "You can run a kilometer in 1 minute? Diced onions!")

4. The ancient Egyptians worshipped the onion,
believing that its spherical shape and concentric rings symbolized eternity.

5. A traditional Maltese remedy for sea urchin wounds is to tie half a baked onion to the afflicted area overnight.

Reference: Wikipedia, Fort Boise Produce, CDC

Sunday, January 27, 2008

No.12: Daikon (Japanese Radish)

This top notch root sure knows its place in most asian food cultures !

1. The word Daikon is derived from 2words:
dai (large) & kon (root).

2. A secret to cooking daikon is to use water in which rice has been washed or a bit of rice bran added. (to keep it white & reduce brittleness)

3. Newly harvested daikons are to be handled with much care as they are very brittle.

4. Fresh leaves of daikon can also be eaten as a leaf vegetable but they are often removed when sold in a store because they do not adjust well to the refrigerator, yellowing quite easily.

5. Daikon is popular in Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Indian cuisines.

Reference: Whats Cooking America, Garden and Hearth, Wikipedia

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

No.11: Bell Pepper (Capsicum)

It's tough not being the hottest pepper around when you're so cool!

1. Capsicums lack the spiciness that peppers have because of a recessive gene.

2. As bell peppers mature, their color changes from green to red and they become sweeter.

3. Their colors can be green, red, yellow, orange and, more rarely, white, purple, blue, and brown, depending on when they are harvested and the specific cultivar.

4. Green bell peppers have twice the vitamin C by weight than citrus fruits (oranges, lemons etc.) and red bell peppers have thrice what the green bells have.

5. Bell peppers can be frozen for future use.

Reference: Wikipedia, Wikipedia 2, Fun Facts

Sunday, January 20, 2008

No.10: Asparagus

These little spears of goodness are natural diuretics & the food for your healthy gut flora!

1. Under ideal conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10" in a 24-hour period.

2. Some may have a strong urine odor after eating asparagus as they have a sulfur compound called "mercaptan",it releases an odd scent when broken down.

3. Select firm, thin stems with deep green or purplish closed tips.

4. The bottom portion of asparagus often contains sand, so its best to remove them.

5. A well cared for asparagus planting will generally produce for about 15 years without being replanted.

Reference: WH Foods, Asparagus, Wikipedia, Asparagus Facts, Asparagus Online