Test Your Veggie IQ
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- FALSE: Yam is another word for sweet potato.
The yam (Dioscorea Species) is a tuber, or
underground stem, completely unrelated to the sweet potato (Ipomoea
batatas). Yams are starchier and grow mostly in tropical climates (some up
to seven feet!). They aren't grown commercially in the U.S. and what are often
labeled "yams" are in fact sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are sweeter and
moister. Neither yams nor sweet potatoes are related to the common potato,
either. Both are high in potassium and fiber, although the sweet potato is
higher in calories.
- FALSE: The first eggplant in America was grown by Benjamin
The first eggplant was actually grown by
Thomas Jefferson. He is believed to have brought the plant from France, where
eggplant was popular. Jefferson, a horticulture enthusiast, began growing it in
his own extensive garden. He also was known for developing many strains of
tomatoes that would ensure a longer harvest period and is often credited with
introducing the french fry to American cuisine.
- TRUE: Elephant garlic is not really garlic at all.
Not really garlic on steroids, elephant garlic (Allium
ampeloprasum) is actually part of the leek family. The flavor of its
cloves is similar to garlic and it is often grown in gardens to discourage
- FALSE: Boiled veggies contain more water than fresh.
While they may seem more waterlogged, boiled vegetables
contain less water. The heat releases much of the water retained in their cells
in their raw state.
- TRUE: Egyptians replaced the eyes of mummies with onions.
The ancient Egyptians believed that onions warded off
evil spirits, so the eyes of the dead were often replaced with onions to
protect them against demons in the afterlife. The Egyptians would also have
people place their hand on an onion when swearing to something. The walls of
the pyramids are filled with paintings of onions, as they also believed the
concentric circles of the onion symbolized eternity.