Here are some fun pizza facts to help celebrate National Pizza Day:
- Pepperoni pizza is the most popular pizza type in the world.
- Over 3,000,000,000 (three billion) pizzas are ordered every year in the U.S.
- Over 1,000,000,000 (one billion) frozen pizzas are purchased every year in the U.S
- The 1st pizzeria to open in the U.S. was Gennaro Lombardi in 1895 in New York City.
- It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter.
- By law, any product labeled “peanut butter” in the United States must be at least 90 percent peanuts.
- It takes fewer than 5 gallons of water to produce 1 ounce of peanuts. (Bonus fact: 1 ounce of almonds takes 80 gallons)
- The average peanut farm is 100 acres.
- The Huffington Post (Sept. 2014) asked, “What makes the best peanut butter and jelly sandwich? “Good question,” we say! Results show, 36 % say strawberry jam is favorite (grape is 31%); favorite bread is white bread (54%); favorite type of peanut butter is smooth (56%) and a whopping 80 % like their PB & J with the crust left on the sandwich. Discover why the PB&J is the best sandwich ever.
- Two peanut farmers have been elected president of the USA – Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
- Astronaut Alan Shepard brought a peanut with him to the moon. Read about peanuts bringing good luck to NASA and making a PB&J on the International Space Station.
- Former President Bill Clinton says one of his favorite sandwiches is peanut butter and banana; also reported to have been the favorite of Elvis “the King” Presley.
- There are six cities in the U.S. named Peanut: Peanut, California; Lower Peanut, Pennsylvania; Upper Peanut, Pennsylvania; Peanut, Pennsylvania, Peanut, Tennessee; and Peanut West Virginia.
- According to Little Brownie Bakers, cookie bakers use about 230,000 pounds of peanut butter per week to bake Girl Scout’s Do-si-dos and Tagalongs. Click here for a peanut butter cookie recipe.
- Women and children prefer creamy, while most men opt for chunky. Click here for a creamy peanut butter smoothie recipe.
- People living on the East Coast prefer creamy peanut butter, while those on the West Coast prefer the crunchy style.
- “Boiled peanuts” are considered a delicacy in the peanut growing areas of the South. Freshly harvested peanuts are boiled in supersaturated salt water until they are of a soft bean like texture. They are most frequently enjoyed at the end of the day with a favorite beverage.
- Goober—a nickname for peanuts—comes from “nguba”, the Congo language name for peanut.
- Peanuts are sometimes called “ground nuts” or “ground peas” because peanuts grow underground.
- George Washington Carver was known as the “plant doctor” and the “grandfather of peanuts”. Though he did not invent peanut butter, he discovered many ways to use peanut and innovative farming methods, including crop diversification and soil conservation.
Thank you, National Peanut Board.
The oldest popcorn known to date was discovered in 1948 by anthropologist Herbert Dick and botanist Earle Smith in the “Bat Cave” in west central New Mexico.
Archaeologists deduce that popcorn was first made by throwing corn kernels on sizzling hot stones tended over a campfire, or onto heated sand, causing the kernels to pop. It was not eaten as a snack food: the corn was sifted and then pounded into a fine, powdery meal and mixed with water. This same cooking technique was used by the early Colonists, who mixed ground popcorn with milk and ate it for breakfast as a kind of cereal.
A fourth century C.E. Zapotec funeral urn found in Mexico depicts a maize god with symbols representing primitive popcorn in his headdress. Ancient popcorn poppers, shallow vessels with a hole on the top and a single handle, have been found on the northern coast of Peru and date back to about 300 C.E. Peruvian Indians called the popcorn pisancalla. A 1,000 year old popped kernel of popcorn was found in a dry cave inhabited by predecessors of the Pueblo Indian in southwest Utah.
Native Americans flavored popcorn with herbs and spices.
Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes first learned of it during his 1519 of what is now Mexico. He cataloged in his travel journals that the Aztecs used the popped corn, or momochitl, as decoration for ceremonial wreaths, necklaces and ornaments on the statues of their gods. Click here to read more.
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup boiling water
1 to 3 tablespoons rum
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the ice cream, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover and store in the freezer.
For each serving, place 1/2 cup butter mixture in a mug; add boiling water and stir to dissolve. Stir in rum. Yield: 7 servings (3-1/2 cups mix).
Originally published as Hot Buttered Rum in Taste of Home December/January 2011, p26