There is no doubt that grilled vegetables recipes are tasty and here are some fun facts you can use to impress your friends about the most popular barbecued veggies:
- Tomatoes are high in lycopene, which is a cartenoid and can lower your risk of cancer. Spinach, carrots, collard greens, and sweet potatoes are also high in cartenoids.
- A hornworm can eat a whole tomato plant by itself in a day.
- More tomatoes are eaten in the United States than any other vegetable.
- Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C.
- The Supreme Court ruled in 1893 that the tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable.
- There are thousands of tomato varieties.
- The tomato is in the same family as the pepper, potato, petunia, and eggplant.
- The local Indians from the Andes mountain range in South America were the first to cultivate white potatoes.
- Potatoes appeared in Europe in 1586 and in North American in 1719.
- A baked potato is a great source of dietary fiber and contains four grams of it.
- Sweet potatoes are not the same as yams.
- Germans eat twice as many potatoes as people in the United States.
- Potatoes should be kept somewhere dry and dark but not necessarily in the refrigerator.
- A potato is 20% solids and 80% water.
- If you hold your nose, apples, potatoes, and onions taste identical.
- Most of the nutrients in a potato are just below the skin.
- A pound of potato chips costs two hundred times, what a pound of potatoes does.
- Onions are thought to have originated in Asia but they were probably growing wild on every continent. They date back to 3500 BC and were one of the few foods that did not spoil over the cold winter months.
- When you choose onions, look for ones that feel solid and dry and have no sprouts, green or dark patches or soft bits. The outer skin should be shiny and the neck should be closed tightly. Onions should smell mild, even if they are a strong flavored variety.
- Squash is technically a fruit, not a vegetable.
- Small squash are usually tastier than bigger ones.
- Summer squash varieties include yellow crookneck, patty pan, chayote, zucchili, and yellow straightneck.
- Winter squash varieties include banana, buttercup, acorn, calabaza, spaghetti, pumpkin, turban, sweet dumpling, hubbard, delicate and golden nugget.
- Asparagus Facts
- Asparagus should be refrigerated immediately. Wrap it in a damp cloth and store it in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.
- Asparagus comes in green, white, and purple varieties. Purple is extra tender, has a nutty flavor, and contains 20% more sugar than green asparagus.
- You should allow ½ lb asparagus per person when you buy it because asparagus is trimmed before you cook it.
- France was the first country to cultivate mushrooms in the 1600s.
- Mushrooms are related to mold, mildew, and yeast, which are all fungi. There are about one and a half million species of fungi.
- Button mushrooms are the most popular kind and more than 90% of the mushrooms imported into the United States are button mushrooms.
Facts about Other Veggies
- Nearly all the broccoli sold in the United States is grown in California.
- Bell peppers can be green, red, yellow, orange, or purple.
- Avocadoes are toxic to birds.
- Ears of corn always have an even number of kernel rows.
How many of those did you know? The next time you make a grilled vegetable recipe, you can test your family and friends’ vegetable knowledge!
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