Food and drink promotions are by far the most fun. Often they are given as gifts to faithful clients or incentives to hard-working employees. As a promotion, a tasty treat emblazoned with a logo leaves a lasting—and delicious—impression. No matter where the fruit baskets or beer steins are headed, the spirit of merry-making follows in their wake. In that spirit, here is a collection of fun and fascinating facts about food. Funny, amazing and astounding, store these facts in the back of your mind and drop them along with your next food and drink promotion:
• Hundreds of years ago, the tomato was widely considered to be poisonous in Italy and was not widely accepted as food throughout Europe until the 18th century. Today, Americans eat approximately 22 pounds of tomatoes per year, mostly in the form of ketchup and marinara sauce.
• Italian shops report that Parmesan cheese is by far the most frequently shoplifted item—making up 10 percent of thefts.
• Bagels have a history dating back to the 1600s, when Eastern European Jews would give them as gifts to midwives and women about to give birth since the bagel’s round shape symbolized the circle of life. It later became customary to serve them at circumcisions and funerals, as well.
• When Coca Cola was first introduced, it was green.
• The average person will eat about 35 tons of food in his or her lifetime.
• The tradition of serving fish with a wedge of lemon dates back to the Middle Ages, when people believed the acidic juice would dissolve any bones that were accidentally swallowed.
• Americans eat enough peanut butter each year to cover the floor of the Grand Canyon.
• An ear of corn never has an odd number of rows.
• Vikings were known to use the skulls of their enemies as drinking vessels.