Food Facts & Lore

Food Facts for Table Talk

There is no doubt that you are a good conversationalist, but even you find yourself in the awkward position of sitting in the middle of a dinner chat that is rapidly spiraling down into a list of small complaints about the state of the world. Not that there is anything wrong with that. We all need to vent. But sometimes it can drain the playful, carefree spirit of a meal in seconds.

Nothing like a bit of spur-of-the-moment trivia to shift the focus. You may be teased about being the “walking encyclopedia,” but we guaranty you will make a welcome, lasting impression. Good food trivia feeds the mind. What better place to share it than at the Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner table?

Here are 5 random food facts, seasoned with a couple of mouthful-to-pronounce scientific terms to inspire, and perhaps even save, your next table-side conversation.

1) Arachibutyrophobia – The fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. More accurately, the term is a sort of illustrative derivation of the fear of choking, scientifically known as pseudodysphagia. This mouthful of a word comes from the Latin, “arachis” for peanut and “butyrum” for butter, and the Greek “phobia,” for fear. We think that attempting to pronounce this word while any food is stuck to the roof of your mouth may possibly be the perfect antidote.

2) Broccoli – For many people, broccoli is as difficult to swallow as peanut butter stuck to the roof of the mouth. They may love the latter, but they despise the second with a raging passion. Nevertheless, it is estimated that Americans currently consume nearly 1000% more broccoli than we did in the year 2000. It is especially delightful on pizza. You know this already if you’ve ever had JPD’s Pesto Pizza.

3) Gummy Bears – Nearly everybody loves gummy bears. We hope you won’t be disappointed to learn that those succulent lime and apple-flavored green bears are not lime or apple flavored at all, but strawberry.

4) Sugar – Speaking of sweet treats, sugar is the only taste humans are wired to crave, and despite our struggle with sugar addiction it is entirely to the benefit of our survival that we should be thus programmed. Perhaps Mother Nature simply did not anticipate that we would apply our creative savoir-faire to developing such addictive delights as cakes and cookies and pies. Why would we be the only creature to take a natural inclination to such lengths? Hmm… maybe other creatures simply realized that they did not need to go through the painstaking evolution that made us bakers and candy makers. All they had to do was wait, watch, and snatch!

5) Geomelophagia – It sounds something like “eating earth melons,” but if you suffer from this condition you are likely suffering from people teasing you about your uncommon craving, which has nothing to do with melons whatsoever. And what might that be? The irresistible urge to eat raw potatoes. Notice that you might want to check your iron intake, for this condition is associated with a deficiency. The “geo” prefix means “earth” indeed, but in the sense of “from the earth,” as in raw. “Melo” refers to starch, and potato by derivation. Incidentally, a small cube of raw potato sprinkled with salt is quite delightful, but we would not make a meal of it.

If you enjoy this sort of conversation strategy, also explore our Table Talk segment for question prompts for uncommon meal time chats.