Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Coke rots your teeth. Don’t feed Gremlins after midnight. The world without food myths would be a much happier place - and most of them aren’t real any way.
Here we debunk 10 popular culinary urban legends.
Cornish pasties aren’t Cornish
Thank heavens Cornwall has sun and surf because it’s just lost the humble pasty. British food historian Peter Brears says the term pasty was first used by London cookery teachers, to describe a meat pie popular with the Victorian middle classes. Whoops.
Salads aren't all healthy
Not always. According to a 2013 Health Protection Agency investigation, pre-packaged salad leaves often contain bacteria too hardy to kill.
In Italy, peperoni doesn’t mean pepperoni
Pepperoni is the number one pizza in the world. We all agree, right? Wrong. In Italy, they don't even know what one is. Order ‘pizza con I peperoni’ and you’ll actually get a pizza topped with bell peppers without a meaty disc in sight. Maybe they meant Peroni.
Protein shakes don’t boost muscle mass
Pumping iron and necking whey powder – it’s all in a day’s work for the modern day muscle man. But bodybuilders have been doing it all wrong. That’s according to a study from the University of Memphis, which found that consuming extreme amounts of protein does not increase muscle growth.
Decaffeinated coffee does contain caffeine
Coffee beans destined for the decaf jar undergo a vigorous decaffeination process. They’re steamed and then rinsed in solvents several times in order to extract the caffeine – but not all of it. Even the EU standard for decaf coffee is 99.9 per cent caffeine-free. Close, but not close enough.
French Fries don’t come from France
The beret-wearing, onion loving French - they really know their way around a kitchen don’t they? Even if they didn’t invent the mighty chip. That accolade belongs to the Belgians who were frying potatoes long before Les Bleus. Also, Austria invented the croissant. Mind blown.
A Full English Breakfast is good for you
Okay, so avoid the fried slice and 2 per cent pork sausages but after that you’re in the clear. Trimmed bacon, poached eggs, baked beans, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms and wholemeal bread are all surprisingly good for the gut. Just go easy on the oil and lashings of brown sauce.
Searing meat doesn’t seal in the juices
We’ve been frying meat on a high temperature ever since 19th century chemist Justus von Liebig told us it kept in all those luscious liquids. Sadly, Leibig’s seminal experiment was a bit of a con as he only compared seared steak to over-boiled meat. That’s not to say you shouldn’t fry your pork chops – it may not moisten them but that delicious browning really takes the meaty biscuit.
You don’t eat Thai food with chopsticks
Pop into a Thai restaurant and there are always chopsticks on the table but in the motherland it’s all about the spoon (and some fork action to boot). Away from the heavily Chinese-influenced bowls of noodles, most traditional Thai dishes include rice, scooped up handily with a spoon.
Fat-free foods are pumped full of rubbish
True, not all fat-free foods are spawned in the devil’s kitchen but an awful lot are. Fat is often the key for good flavour, so when you remove all the yumminess something has to replace it – namely sugars and food additives.