Tropical foods, flavors and ingredients: You eat them, drink them and use them as flavors and spices just about daily, but how much do you really know about the delicacies that fill your refrigerator and grace your pantry?
For instance, do you know that Brazil was named for the nut rather than the reverse? Think pineapples are native to Hawaii? Nope, they’re from South America. What about bananas? They originated in the Indo-Malaysian region, extending to Northern Australia, but the English word, “banana” came via West Africa where it was called “banema.”
Learn more about the origins and remarkable facts that illuminate the daily treats we assume have always been available and will always continue to stock the shelves of our markets. New articles are posted on a regular basis, so be sure to check back regularly to learn more about the foods, flavors and ingredients we all love as well as wonderful recipes that will showcase their unique properties.
Coffee is so important to the world that it’s the second most traded commodity on the stock market, only surpassed by petroleum products. See coffee article (6 articles)
For nine-tenths of its history as a food and flavor, chocolate has been consumed as a beverage. Fortunately, we live in the last tenth and can eat it too! See chocolate articles (9 articles)
Only two percent of “vanilla” foods, beverages, medicines, perfumes, bodycare, and industrial products used worldwide actually contain pure vanilla. See vanilla articles (16 articles)
Tea is second only to water as the beverage of choice worldwide. More tea is drunk than coffee, sodas, milk, hot chocolate and alcohol combined. See tea articles (8 articles)
Over 600 fruits originated in the tropics, yet only five percent are sold commercially. Learn about the uniqueness of some of the ones you rarely see in the market. See fruits articles (37 articles)
Most so-called nuts are actually fruits or seeds. The majority of them never make it to the United States or Europe, but help to sustain people in developing countries. See nuts articles (8 articles)
Most herbs have originated in temperate climates but spices, valuable enough to have changed the world, come from the tropics. See spices articles (10 articles)
Sugar is the only taste that humans crave at birth. As sugars provide an immediate energy source, we have sought it out since time immemorial. See sugar articles (1 article)