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Fun but useless food facts to chew over

August 5, 2014 - 12:05am

Who needs important facts about food when you can spend your time with the weird stuff? For example:

GYROS-SCOPING: (Almost) everyone loves gyros, the great Greek contribution to fast food: a spiced combination of lamb and beef, sliced right off the spit, served on warm pita with onion, tomato and tzatziki — that delicious, cooling sauce made of yogurt and cucumber, and maybe some fresh herbs.

But (almost) no one in America pronounces it right. It’s pronounced “YEE-rohs.” Also, the word is singular, as in “I would like one gyros, please.” Greek words often end in the letter “s,” but for obvious reasons when Americans see an “s” at the end of a word they automatically assume it is plural.

HAMMING IT UP: Virginia ham, and Smithfield Ham in particular, is prized by aficionados for its unique, robust and unmistakable flavor. Why do pigs from Virginia taste better?

The difference is not in the pigs, but in what they eat. Southeast Virginia, where the town of Smithfield is located, happens to be peanut country.

The farmers there feed their pigs peanuts, which, over time, adds a wonderful taste to the ham. One can only imagine the pigs do not complain.


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