Food & Drink » Glenda Bartosh on Food

Food and drink: Know-it-all food stuff

Impress your pals at dinner parties, with apologies to Harper’s Index



Number of oysters New Zealanders eat on average each year: 100,000,000

Population of New Zealand: 4.1 million

Number of times Koreans wash their rice before cooking: 4

Number of varieties of seaweed or laver found around the shores of Korea and Japan: 1,000

Average amount of salted and dried cod that each Portuguese resident eats a year: 100 pounds

Colour many Chileans paint their kitchens to keep flies away: Deep blue

Number of years corn has been cultivated in Mexico: 7,000

Number of hours the main Mexican meal of the day, the comida , unfolds over: two or three hours, usually between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Time the evening meal is usually served in Spain: 10 p.m. or later

Amount of milk in the typical diet in mainland China: 0

Amount of time Chinese thousand year eggs are usually stored: 6 to 10 weeks

Age of a fork found in China that pre-dates chopsticks: 4,600 years

Number of distinct, separate dishes in Chinese cuisine: 80,000

Number of separate recipes for egg dishes that can be found in Larousse Gastronomique : 282

Number of sauces France's "King of Chefs" Marie-Antoine Carême categorized in French cuisine: More than 200

Number of hams the gastronome Brillat-Savarin claimed he could cook down to a bottle of sauce "no bigger than your thumb": 50

Number of hours a Japanese ramen cook will boil pork for soup broth: nine

Number of distinct regional cuisines in France: 12

Years that hardy young Frenchwomen ( filles du roi ) arrived in New France in Canada, each with "an ox, a cow, a pair of swine, two barrels of salted meat and 11 crowns": late 1600s

Number of ethnocultural groups with their own culture and cuisine now living in Canada: More than 100

Rank of Canada's per capita egg consumption in the world in 1928: first

Average annual per capita egg consumption in France in 1790, 1938 and 1964: five dozen, 12 dozen and 19 dozen respectively

Increase in the weight of the average egg from 1850 to 1999: From 1.8 to 2.1 ounces

Number of varieties of wheat known: About 30,000

Number of years ago that spelt was grown in what is now southern Germany: 6,000 years

Amount of grapes needed to make one cup/250 ml of balsamic vinegar: 70 lb/36 kg

Number of kinds of common vinegars: seven (wine vinegars; cider vinegars; fruit vinegars, including pineapple and coconut; malt vinegars; Asian vinegars; white vinegars; distilled vinegars)