Food facts: Nectarines - Oregano

Facts and quirky pieces of information about the food we eat always interest me, both from an historical and a nutritional point of view.

Did you know that people who eat a fair amount of fish have lower chances of depression? Or that Australians on average eat 8 - 9 times more salt per day than is required by our bodies.

Up until just over 100 years ago Americans didn't eat tomatoes - they thought they were poisonous! I'm including lots of these food facts on each of the recipe pages on this web site. More are listed here on this page:

 

Nectarines

Nectarines are thought to have originated in China, however the name nectarine comes from the word nectar which means the drink of the Gods. They are rich in vitamin C. They are similar to peaches but have a higher nutritional value.

Nutmeg

Nutmegs come from evergreen trees native to south East Asia and Australasia. In Indian cuisine the spice is almost always used in sweet dishes but in the Middle East it is used as a spice for savoury dishes. Indonesia provides 75% of the world's nutmeg.

Oats

Oats are a popular grain in Northern Europe, particularly in Scotland where it is used in porridge and oatcakes. Oats have a high nutritional value. When harvested, oats need to have their hard hulls removed. When the hulls are removed the resultant product is oat groats. Further production involves heating the oat and rolling it flat. This product is called rolled oats. If rolled oats are precooked in water and then dried they are then called quick cooking oats. We might find our cooking job faster if

Olive Oil

Olive oil is made from pressing tree-ripened green olives. Almost the entire production of green olives in Italy is converted into olive oil. Due to different olive varieties there are variances in the flavour, consistency and colour of olive oil. Some olive oils are prized much like vintage wine.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is produced by the first pressing of the olives and has less than 1% acidity.
Virgin Olive Oil is produced from olives that are slightly riper than the ones used to make extra virgin oil. It has 1.5% acidity rating.
Refined Olive Oil has a natural acidity of greater than 3.3% and it doesn't have a great flavour or odour.
Pure Olive Oil is produced either from the second pressing of the olives or from the chemical extraction of the olive mash left after the first pressing. It is light in colour and bland in comparison to extra virgin oil. This is a general purpose oil.
Olive oils with the word Pomace in the title are not good quality and are not recommended by olive oil experts.
Light and Extra Light Olive Oils contain the same number of calories as regular olive oil. They are derived from low quality olive oils and are produced through chemical processing. The word "light" is used to describe the colour and flavour and has nothing to do with the amount of fat in the oil.

Onions

Onions are high in energy and have good amounts of B6, B1, and Folic acid in them. They contain chemicals which fight free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals cause disease and destruction in our cells. Onions have anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties in them. These properties are most potent when the onion is eaten raw. Onions raise the levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol and they lower the levels of the bad LDL cholesterol.

Oranges

Eating an orange per day will usually supply sufficient vitamin C for an adult. Oranges also contain phosphorous, potassium, calcium, beta carotene and fibre. The pectin in oranges has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.

Oregano

Oregano is a version of marjoram. It grows wild in the Mediterranean region. It is hardier than its very close cousin marjoram and it has a slightly stronger but less sweet taste than marjoram has. Egypt produces 90% of the world's oregano.

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Read other interesting food facts (in alphabetical order):

Allspice - Avocados
Allspice, almonds,amaranth, apples, apricots, asparagus, aubergines, avocados

Bananas - Buckwheat
Bananas, barley, basil, bay leaves, beans, beetroot, black berries, black currants, blueberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, buckwheat

Cabbage - Chestnuts
Cabbage, capsicum, caraway, cardamom, carrots, cashews, cauliflower, cayenne, celeriac, celery, cheese, cherries, chestnuts

Chicken - Cumin
Chicken, chickpeas, chicory, chilies, chives, cinnamon, cloves, coconut, coriander, corn, couscous, cucumbers, cumin

Dates - Fish
Dates, dill, eggplant, eggs, fennel, fenugreek, figs, fish

Galangal - Green Beans
Galangal, garlic, ginger, globe artichokes, gooseberries, grapefruit, grapes, green beans

Hazelnuts - Limes
Hazel nuts, honey, horseradish, Jerusalem artichokes, kafir lime leaves, kale, leeks, lemon balm, lemon grass, lemons, lentils, lettuce, limes

Macadamia Nuts - Mustard
Macadamia nuts, mace, mandarins, mangoes, maple syrup, marjoram, mar ow, melons, milk, millet, mint, miso, molasses, mushrooms, mustard

Nectarines - Oregano
Nectarines, nutmeg, oats, olive oil, onions, oranges, oregano

Papayas - Pumpkin
Papayas, paprika, parsley, parsnips, peaches, peanuts, pears, peas, pecans, pineapples, pine nuts, plums, potatoes, pumpkin

Quince - Rye
Quinces, quinoa, radishes, raspberries, rice, rosemary, rye

Sage - Sweet Corn
Sage, sea vegetables, seeds, silver beet, soy sauce, sprouted seeds, squash, strawberries, swede, sweet corn

Tamari - Zucchini
Tamari, tarragon, tempeh, thyme, tofu, tomatoes, triticale, turkey, turmeric, turnips, vanilla, walnuts, wheat, zucchini