26 Mar 2020
Posted in Tidbits & trivia, Uncategorized

So you thought.

We hope you’re at home, trying to stay safe and healthy, attempting to work remotely.

Are you trying not to binge-watch absolutely every episode of everything you love on TV?

Does your brain need a break? If so, we’ve found an interesting website that lists today’s most common misconceptions.

Here are a few selections that we found particularly interesting:

Next time you whip up a bowl of guacamole, remember that chili pepper seeds are not the spiciest part of the vegetable. In fact, seeds contain a low amount of capsaicin, the component that induces the hot sensation in your mouth. The highest concentration of capsaicin is located in the placental tissue attached to the seeds.

Though Americans associate fortune cookies with Chinese cuisine, in fact these sweet little treats were invented in Japan and introduced to us by the Japanese sometime after World War II. Fortune cookies are extremely rare in China, where they are seen as part of American cuisine.

We know you’re a “Sound of Music” fan, so hold onto your seat. “Edelweiss” is not the national anthem of Austria, but rather an original composition created specifically for the musical. The Austrian national anthem is “Land der Berge, Land am Strome” (“Land of the Mountains, Land on the River”). Sorry.

The melody of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” the “Alphabet Song,” and “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” was not composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when he was five years old. it was already a popular French folk decades before Mozart came up with a series of variations on the tune—at the ripe old age of 25 or 26.

There is no evidence that Vikings wore horns on their helmets. In fact, the image of Vikings wearing horned helmets stems from the scenography of an 1876 production of the “Ring” opera cycle by Richard Wagner.

Marco Polo did not import pasta from China, a misconception that originated with the Macaroni Journal, published by an association of food industries with the goal of promoting the use of pasta in the United States. Marco Polo describes a food similar to lasagna in his 13th-century travelogue. Pasta as it is known today was introduced by Arabs from Libya during their conquest of Sicily in the late ninth century, according to the newsletter of the National Macaroni Manufacturers Association (and they should know), thus predating Marco Polo’s travels to China by about four centuries.

Happy Internet wanderings. And stay safe.

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