Some people are culinary masterminds, the sorts of foodie maestros whose life calling puts them in a kitchen and who are able to open any cupboard or fridge in the world and turn out a mouth-watering masterpiece of edible joy.
Most of us are not so gifted. This is the quiz meant for those of us who never took the time to become five star chefs. This food quiz is one anyone—and we do mean ANYONE—should be able to pass.
There are people in this world who can’t boil an egg in a pot of water without managing to somehow burn it to a crisp, who can’t cook instant ramen without turning it into some sort of monstrosity from a Stephen King novel.These people try to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and the resulting mess looks akin to a pumpkin that has just been squashed by a stampede of elephants. These people are to the culinary world what a zombie horde is to the world of food critics. They can’t tell the difference between a steak and a can of spam, and yet we feel confident that they can still get 100% on this food quiz.
Who is about to let those people beat them?
1What is the main ingredient in toast?
Toast is a popular breakfast dish. It is one of these easiest foods in the world to make, as it has one ingredient—just one—and that single ingredient toasted (frequently in a toaster, as it is the kitchen appliance designed specifically for the making of toast). Everyone should be able to tell us what this ingredient in toast is. It’s not hard. All one has to have done is eaten—or even seen—a complete spread of breakfast foods. Tell us what it is.
2What color are oranges?
Oranges are a round citrus fruit. The word orange is famous for being one of the only words in the English language with which no other word rhymes. These citrus fruits comprise roughly 70% of all citrus grown in the world. They have been recorded as a major food throughout history, with ancient texts from China mentioning oranges as far back as 314 BC. The word entered the English language in 1512, apparently coming from the French “une orange.” What color is this fruit?
3Which of these is NOT a condiment?
Condiments are those little sauces we use to garnish our food. We dip out fries in them. We spatter them across our burgers and hotdogs. We have whole tiers of quality, from really high quality condiments to cheaper junk food varieties served at ballparks and fast food restaurants. Salt, pepper, and sugar are also considered condiments, as we sprinkled them onto our foods to help add flavor as a spice. That said, many are liquidy, and another term for condiments is “table sauce.” Which item is NOT a condiment?
4Where does sushi come from?
Sushi. It’s raw fish served on rice, frequently wrapped in seaweed. The fish is cut to perfection, knife strokes enhancing the flavor. The rice is dabbed with vinegar and a dash of sugar. Some folks will say other non-fish ingredients can go in, and this is true of raw quail egg or salmon roe, but then others go too far by adding things like cream cheese to the sushi. There is a right way to make sushi, based on traditions set down in the country it comes from. Where?
5What makes bread rise?
Bread. It’s that doughy delicious stuff with a soft interior and a crusty exterior. It is what holds every sandwich together, as well as the bane of every person who says they can’t eat gluten. Practically every culture in the world has developed some variant of baking bread. But there is real work that goes into making the dough rise into its familiar loaf, rather than sitting there like a cracker. There is also chemistry. What ingredient makes bread dough rise?
6Which of these is NOT a vegetable?
Vegetables are more or less self-explanatory. Anyone who has not encountered vegetables is beyond the help of this quiz, that’s for sure. They are the stuff of salads, the greens that are served as the side to a heartier full meal. Oh sure, every now and again, an argument breaks out about whether to call tomatoes a fruit or a vegetable. But we’ve said this is a quiz anyone should be able to get 100% on. ANYONE. So tell us which of these items is not a vegetable.
7What type of meat is typically used in hamburgers?
Hamburgers are not only a delicious food, but a really interesting one. Seriously. Their name suggests they have a German origin, coming from the city of Hamburg. However, scholars find it just as likely that the hamburger came from the cuisine eaten by the Mongol hordes. And yes, that’s right, scholars—real academic scholars—have debated the origins of the hamburger. Because—even more bizarrely—the origins of the hamburger are shrouded in mystery. What isn’t a mystery is the type of meat used to make this delicious food.
8What is NOT a cut of beef?
Cows are big animals, and as such, when we get beef from a cow, there are many parts to consider. Each cut of beef has a different flavor, texture, and nutritional value. Each one also has a different name too. But we will keep this simple. Not everyone is a butcher and so we don’t expect people to have every major edible part of a cow memorized. But if an order of beef has this particular bit of anatomy, something went horribly wrong.
9Most eggs in supermarkets come from this animal.
Biologically speaking, eggs are a common form of bringing young into the world. Birds lay eggs. Lizards lay eggs. Fish lay eggs. Even platypuses lay eggs. And when one considers the function of eggs is to incubate baby critters, the fact that we eat them because kinda gross (though that’s probably true of most food if one thinks too much about it). So it’s strange that the eggs we eat almost all come from a single animal. Hint: if a grocery store has platypus eggs, maybe consider a different grocery store.
10Spaghetti is dish most popular in...
Spaghetti is a great easy food that’s delicious, fairly versatile, and requires absolutely no culinary competence to cook. It goes with tomato sauce just as well as with cheesy alfredo sauce, meatballs, and pesto. Grocery stores on all six of the major inhabited continent sell spaghetti, and no, that’s not exaggeration. For all its universality, it can be easy to overlook that spaghetti is a food with a very specific national origin. Which regional cuisine produced these long stringy noodles which we eat today the world over?
11What berry is pictured here?
Berries are the perfect fruit for all occasions. They’re small, making them easily portable for snacks when on the road. Their size also makes them great toppers for desserts. They don’t need to be cut up so there’s no mess or fuss over eating them. They’re incredibly sweet, but not too sweet. Generally speaking, berries are just an overall great food to eat. But there are so many kinds of berries to choose from. Which type is featured in the picture?
12This root vegetable grows in the ground.
They come in a whole panoply of flavors, shapes, colors, and growth patterns. Quite a number of vegetables grow in the ground, and it is their roots that we eat. This might seem a bit odd. After all, at what point in history did someone decide digging a root out of the ground to gnaw on was a good idea? Of all of the vegetables to choose from those listed below, which one grows in the ground as a root?
13Which of these is traditionally a vegetarian dish?
Vegetarianism is a choice where people abstain from eating meat. There are various types of vegetarians. Pescetarians are willing to eat fish. Vegans refuse to eat any products from animals, so also will not have dairy products or Jello. Some people do this for religious reasons. A number choose to be vegetarians for health reasons. Many choose to become vegetarian because of the (mis)treatment of animals raised on industrial farms (which is the stuff of nightmares). Which of these dishes is primarily prepared as a vegetarian-friendly meal?
14Lobsters and crabs are frequently eaten with this to enhance the flavor.
Lobsters and crabs are considered delicacies, their tender white meat being sweet and bursting with flavor. However, there was once a time when eating these hard-shelled arthropods was seriously unthinkable. Good thing we humans have learned just how delicious these pincher-clawed sea roaches can be. Sure, one has to boil them alive to prepare them, but the taste is divine. And with one simple additional item, the flavor is enhanced. What is it?
15These shellfish are frequently served raw on the half shell.
The half-shelled shellfish is an iconic image in Western cultural history. It has been famously depicted as a vessel for the goddess Venus in a Renaissance painting by Botticelli, as well as in the science fiction novel entitled Venus on the Half-Shell by Kurt Vonnegut (and in a punk song created by the fictional DC Comics character John Constantine, “Venus of the Hard-Sell”). Basically, half-shelled shellfish is one the classic food items to permeate the cultural consciousness. Just what shellfish is served raw on a half shell?
16Keeping cucumbers in vinegar turns them into what?
Cucumbers in vinegar are a magical combination when done right. Vinegar has been used to preserve and change a number of foods in various dishes. It is also such a strong ingredient that some forms of it can be used to scour away stains, and anything which is used as a cleaning agent is strong enough to change the nature of vegetables stuck in it for an extended time. Cucumbers are delicious on their own, but after being preserved in vinegar, they become a totally new food. What is it?
17This is the main meat served at KFC.
KFC is one of the most popular chains across the world. While the K in the name stands for Kentucky, it has spread internationally. Not only did this fast food conglomeration find widespread appeal in other countries, but its mascot, Colonel Sanders, has become a Christmas character likened to Santa Claus throughout Asia, and people start reserving their Christmas morning meal of KFC as early as October each year because of the massive demand. What is the main dish served at KFC?
18Putting this in a hot pan keeps food from sticking to the pan.
We’ve all seen it. That moment where someone who doesn’t know how to cook stands there at a stove, putting ingredients in a hot pan, until something goes horribly wrong. Maybe the meal catches fire, spontaneously erupting into a melodramatic inferno. More likely, it starts spitting clouds of smoke. Perhaps the person uses too many spices. Or too few. But frequently, it seems that one of the main failings is food sticking to the pan. What prevents food from sticking to a heated pan?
19Which type of milk is NOT from a dairy farm?
Milk is everywhere. It comes from cows, sheep, and goats. One of the factors that defines a mammal is the ability of females of the species to produce milk. So, literally every place in the world humans have been, milk affects the human experience. Of course, humans are the only species to drink the milk of others. Hence the popularity of dairy farms. And while dairy farms are usually associated with milking cows, other animals can also be milked on a dairy farm. What type of milk cannot be found on a dairy farm?
20Eggs are usually bought in a group of what unit?
On a farm, eggs are lain one at a time. To collect the eggs, a farmer has to train chickens not to guard their nest, or else find some other way to separate the eggs from the mother hens. When those eggs are taken from the farm to be sold at a grocery store or market, they are put in a box and packages as a unit. How many eggs usually come in a box? Anyone who has ever bought groceries should be able to answer this.
21This is frequently eaten in a sandwich with jelly.
Sandwiches are a popular food, and one that predates the dish made popular and named for John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, who would eat a meal of meat between two slices of bread while playing cards, inciting others to order their meal of meat with bread “the same as Sandwich.” These meals come in a variety of styles. This is one of the simplest types imaginable, and lacks the meat of John Montagu’s original dish. Besides jelly, what is put on bread in this famous sandwich?
22A BLT has bacon, lettuce, and...?
BLTs are another popular type of sandwich. It became popular during the time of World War II, then gained increasingly in popularity in the 70’s. With just three ingredients squeezed between the slices of bread, it’s delightfully easy to make. The dish’s name is an obvious acronym. As stated in the question, B stands for bacon (that most delicious of all meats), while the letter L represents the crisp vegetable layer of lettuce. What is the T in a BLT?
23French fries are made from this vegetable.
What could be better than French fries? These crispy salt-flecked side dishes are popular all over the world. People eat them with ketchup, mustard, mayo, or vinegar. Some variations of the dish include steak fries, beach boardwalk fries, chili cheese fries, and poutine. Other variations change up the shape, as is the case in curly fries and waffle fries, where the new shape changes density and thus affects the flavor. Which vegetable is used in the preparation of French fries?
24Someone who is lactose intolerant can’t digest this drink.
Allergies can really put a damper on one’s eating habits. For example, someone with celiac disease cannot have gluten. This means no bread, and thus no bread products, be they bagels, pizza, or cheeseburgers with the bun. But gluten appears in so much more. Those who are gluten intolerant can’t eat most breakfast cereals or baked goods because of the wheat, and likewise can’t have spaghetti, ramen, fried calamari, or soy sauce. Another common allergy is lactose intolerance. What common drink can’t be had by someone who is lactose intolerant?
25Tacos are part of which culinary tradition?
Tacos are a popular dish consisting of either tortillas or taco shells (made from hardened tortillas) with a mix of ingredients inside. They are eaten using ones hands, sans utensils. While these ingredients aren’t consistent, common taco fillings include shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, onions, cilantro, guacamole, tomatoes, and some form of meat. These meats are frequently either chicken, beef, or pork, but seafood tacos have grown increasingly popular over the years. What ethno-cultural culinary tradition is responsible for creating taco?
26Guacamole is made from which fruit?
Guacamole is a delicious green dipping sauce whose roots can be traced back to the Aztecs living in what today is the modern country of Mexico. This dish is so popular that it has its own holiday, National Guacamole Day, which just so happens to also fall on September 16th--the exact same day as Mexican Independence Day. Coincidence? We think not. Clearly, guacamole is representative of freedom, as well as of deliciousness. What is the fruit used in making guacamole?
27This fruit has its seeds on the outside.
Plants reproduce through their fruit. Thus, fruits frequently have seeds. Or if not, the equivalent, such as having pits or nuts. But the whole design of fruit biology puts these seeds (or pits or nuts or whatever) on the inside of the fruit. At least, that is how it normally is. There is one fruit that is a major exception—a fruit whose seeds are not on the inside at all, but instead dot its exterior. Which fruit has its seeds on the outside?
28Strips of seared pig belly are also called…
Pork products are delicious. They also are eaten across the majority of the globe (which is quite impressive when one considers that two of the world’s largest religions have prohibitions against eating pork products or even handling them). One popular pork dish in Western countries is made from strips of cured pork stomach that are cooked in a skillet. This tasty dish is frequently for breakfast, but there is never a wrong time to eat it. This food is called what exactly?
29Fill in the blank: “A(n)_________ a day keeps the doctor away.”
This old adage has been spoken in the English language for centuries. How, where, or when it was coined is unknown, as is the identity of the first person to create the phrase, but its oldest surviving record of being written down is in documents from Wales in the 1860s. The missing word describes a specific food which when eaten is said to improve one’s health. Modern scientific studies have found the food lowers cholesterol and the risk of strokes. What is the missing word?
30How should the fish in sushi be served?
Sushi is probably the most famous Japanese food. The dish is made up of fish, rice, and seaweed, all rolled together and served ornately in a presentation that is as pleasing to the eyes as the palate. While there are a few specific sushi dishes that use ingredients other than fish, it is generally understood to be a seafood delicacy. Several factors affect the quality of the sushi. But what we want to know is what makes sushi’s unique. How must the fish must be served?
31Baskin-Robbins serves 31 flavors of this dessert.
Baskin-Robbins is a popular restaurant chain that makes its profits from understanding the basic fact that people will pay a fortune for sweets. The officials in Baskin-Robbins’ management understand that they don’t need to provide a bunch of different dishes or any food so nutritional as to qualify as a meal. No, they understand that a sweet tooth is all it takes to bring in business. So, they sell one item—one dessert, to be specific. But they sell 31 flavors of it. What dessert does Baskin-Robbins sell?
32Waffles are famously associated with this country.
Waffles are amazing. They’re basically a new and improved version of the pancake with a much more engaging texture that is ridged to better absorb syrup. Waffles go well with strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream, and chocolate. Interestingly, waffles predate the advent of maple syrup. In fact, they can be traced back to the middle ages, where they are the descendent of communion wafers. Since then, many regional styles have emerged, but one country is most famed for its waffles. Which country is most associated with waffles?
33This drink is made from espresso shots and steamed milk.
Coffee is life. According to legend, an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi first discovered coffee beans and brought them to a monastery, where the monks quickly recognized the power of the coffee bean as divine. Espresso is the express form of the drink made by a machine, which was first created by Angelo Moriondo’s steam-powered coffee machine. There are lots of coffee drinks which rely on espresso shots to provide the caffeine and flavor that is the core of their success. Which of the following drinks is made from espresso and steamed milk?
34This dessert is often served at birthdays and weddings.
Desserts make life sweeter. That’s probably why we serve them on happy occasions, making sweet days sweeter with sugar-filled consumables on which we can dine. Birthday parties and weddings are particularly good occasions to celebrate (with one happening only once a year, and the other hopefully only happening once a lifetime for those involved), and both of these joyous occasions are traditionally commemorated with the same dessert. In both cases, the dessert is also topped with something special. Wedding toppers feature a bride and groom, while for birthdays, it’s candles. Which dessert celebrates both occasions?
35This fish is typically served still in its shell.
Seafood is one of the fine dining experiences where there is no limit to what one can partake of. Now, we say “fine dining” but that doesn’t necessarily mean five star restaurants and overpriced dinner bills. From freshwater fish to those caught from deep sea fishing expeditions, and from cheap boardwalk delights eaten on paper plates to elegant meals served by elite chefs on fine China, there is no limit to what one can enjoy with seafood. That said, this particular fish from those listed below is normally cooked and served in its shell.
36Cream cheese is most often spread on this breakfast food.
Breakfast: it’s the most important meal of the day, or so we are led to believe. A hearty breakfast can be the thing that starts one’s day right, while having too little for breakfast can lead to failure throughout the day as malnourishment leads to lightheadedness and poor performance. This food is not necessarily only a breakfast food, but it is most commonly eaten at breakfast time. And while it can be eaten with other things, such as lox or butter, it is most commonly enjoyed with a spread of cream cheese.
37One can’t make an omelet without breaking….
This question is a quote, an old saying that actually can be traced back to the 18th Century French soldier and statesman Francois de Charette (or as he was named in fully, François Athanase de Charette de la Contrie). Even back then, omelets were popular enough dish that they could be used in a metaphor about the nature of breaking things to make something new—a metaphor that crossed the language barrier from Charette’s “on ne saurait faire d’omelette sans casser des œufs.” What is broken to make an omelet?
38This fish is frequently boiled alive.
Fish are best served fresh. Some are served a bit fresher than others. In fact, some dishes are so fresh that there are ethical concerns about eating them. The worst of these are served with the fish still alive, as in the Japanese dish ikizukuri or the Taiwanese dish Yin Yang fish. However, while many might dismiss such practices as the purview of East Asian cuisine, a number of globally popular seafood dishes involve boiling the fish alive. Which of these fish is served through being boiled alive?
39Maple syrup comes from which type of tree?
Maple syrup is one of the sweetest toppings ever to grace the breakfast table. The Algonquian people of the First Nation cultivated sweet tree sap in an early example of maple syrup. When the people of Europe landed in the New World, they also began to eat it. It is eaten with waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, French toast, and porridge, making all of these sweeter for its addition. Not only has the flavor of maple syrup been discussed by culinary experts, but the chemistry behind its flavor has also been investigated. What tree does maple syrup come from?
40Which of these is NOT a nut?
Nuts are technically just a type of fruit. They are distinctly separate from other fruits because they have both a hard interior seed (the nut) encased in a hard shell. For the purpose of this question, we are not too focused on the technicalities of what defines a nut in the study of botany, but rather on the culinary definition of nuts. So, now we ask: which of the following is NOT a nut? Anyone who gets this wrong will be saying “aw, nuts!”