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Do you know what this is? Chances are,
you’ve consumed it (and some people
consume it a lot!). Photo by Bob Walker |
Today is National Carbonated Beverage With Caffeine Day. Yes, some of these official food holidays are quirky. But each one offers a teaching moment.
There are only six plants on earth that contain caffeine. Quick: close your eyes and try to name them.
Cacao: the cacao bean (the seeds of a tree fruit) is used to make chocolate and cocoa.
Coffee: the leaves, cherries and seeds all contain caffeine; the seeds are roasted to become coffee beans.
Kola: the nut of the tree is used to make cola drinks (that’s it in the photo).
Guaraná: the seed is extracted as a beverage ingredient; it’s present in just about every energy drink.
Tea: the leaf of the plant is an herb that has become a culinary mainstay throughout the world.
Yerba maté: the leaf of a tree that’s a member of the holly family, it is brewed like tea and drunk in parts of South America the way some Americans drink coffee: continuously, for vitality and mental clarity (more about yerba maté).
They’re all leaves, nuts or seeds of trees.
They’re all used to make beverages.
What do all of these foods with caffeine have in common?
As you sip your caffeinated beverage, think of how much you’ve learned!
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