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Discovering the World's Perfectly Red Foods

Red is for Red Velvet Cake


By Dave Kumar

Red is for 

Red Velvet Cake

Discovering the World's Perfectly Red Foods

by Dave Kumar

Think you know Red?

Think again.....

Think Again...

Red is for the Strawberry

          The garden strawberry is a 200-year-old fruit and derives from the western hemisphere of the world.  The garden strawberry is a widely grown hybrid species of the genus Fragaria. The strawberry was first bred in the 18th century. It’s a mixture of two wild species of strawberry from North America and Chile. It is able to be eaten in large amounts and can be consumed in different ways such as milkshakes, pies, ice cream, preserves, and juice. The strawberry is a relative to the rose family (how awesome). Weirdly, strawberries are the only fruit to wear their seeds on the outside.

                                                                               Seedy business

            Strawberries are the only fruit to have its seeds on the outside of the skin(Shocking, I know). The seeds on the outside are actually called ovaries, which means that each ovary carries a seed inside it. Because of their seeds being stored on the outside of the fruit, the strawberry is not an actual berry.  Even though the ovaries contain seeds, strawberries are not actually grown from seeds.  

Name: Garden Strawberry

Scientific Name: Fragaria ananassa

Growing season:  June

Top producers: Belgium, California, and France

Varieties: Alpine strawberry, woodland strawberry, and European strawberry

First grown: Brittany, France

Red is for Red peppers

         Red peppers are the fruit of the plant Capsicum. Sugary, bell peppers are also known as sweet peppers. The peppers are widely used in all types of food to give that tangy sweet taste. They were first grown in 1493. They make life easier on the toilet compared to green peppers because red peppers are fully ripened, unlike green peppers.

    Toilet Business

                 Red peppers are far more easily digested than green peppers. The taste of the red peppers and nutritional stats are fully developed which help them be more easily digested. The green pepper has skin that’s unripe which makes acids inside most stomachs have trouble breaking down the skin. Another possible reason that the red pepper is more easily digested is that the less ripe the pepper is, the more starch it contains, causing the digestive system to have problems breaking it down. Red peppers’ skin is much softer and thinner making it easier to break down. These are the reasons that make green peppers much harder to digest.  

Name: Red pepper

Scientific Name: Capsicum

Growing season: July 

Top Producers: China, Mexico, and Indonesia

Varieties: Cherry peppers, green peppers, brown peppers

First grown: Central America


Red is for Red Grapes

                Grapes are from the woody vines of the flowering plant Vitis.They have many uses such as jam, vinegar, juice, and raisins. The fruit was first cultivated 6,000-8,000 years ago. It's a “non-climacteric” fruit, meaning fruit that doesn’t ripen after harvest. Surprisingly, grapes are classified as berries.  

    Scientific Anamoly 

     Grapes are classified as berries for many reasons.  They’re classified as berries because the fruit wall of a grape is fleshy from the outside to the inside. They are also classified as berries because they are grown from a single ovary.  They carry their seeds on the inside. Another reason grapes are berries is because they grow in clusters, like many other berries such as blueberries and raspberries. They have a close association with blueberries. 

Name: Red Grapes

Scientific Name: Vitis vinifera

Growing season: The fall

Top Producers: California, Washington, Oregon, New York

Varieties: white grapes, green grapes, and concord grapes

First Grown: The Near East (Civilizations in the middle east that exist today)

Red is for Red kidney beans

           The red kidney bean is a variety of the common bean Vulgaris. It’s named for its resemblance to a kidney. Beans are commonly eaten with rice. They are associated with Indian and New Orlean dishes. Red beans and rice are eaten worldwide. 

          Yummy Foods      

          Famous, red beans and rice were Louis Armstrong’s favorite food.In New Orleans, rice and beans are a very popular food and is eaten often. Often in letters, Louis Armstrong would write about his love of beans and rice by ending his letters with the famous line ‘Beans and ricely yours’. Armstrong also has a famous rice and kidney beans recipe which was served at a Jazz Festival to honor him.  He always ate them throughout his life.   


Name: Red Kidney bean

Scientific Name: Phaseolus Vulgaris

Growing season: Early Autumn 

Top Producers: North Dakota, Michigan, and Nebraska

Varieties: Adzuki, black beans

First Grown: Peru

Red is for Red Velvet Cake

          Red velvet cake was traditionally a red “non-dutched” cocoa, layered with white cream cheese or ermine frost, a frosting made by whipping a cooked flour and milk paste into butter and grainy sugar. Delicious red velvet cake is commonly served during Christmas or Valentine’s day because of its red color. Red dye or beetroot is used to create that red color of the cake. Originally, the red color of the cake was due to the non-dutched anthocyanin-rich cocoa. The cake uses a chemical reaction to make it as red as possible.

Baking is easy, right

         Shockingly, this chemical reaction works to help the red pop out at you. A chemical reaction of acidic vinegar and buttermilk makes the cake’s red coloring really pop out at you. The reason why these two ingredients create that red texture is because of an antioxidant in cocoa known as anthocyanin. This anthocyanin gets triggered by a reaction of acidic vinegar and buttermilk mixing. This reaction helps better reveal that famous red color. This scientific fact is possibly how the cake got its name. 

Name: Red velvet cake

Types of Red velvet deserts: Cupcakes, brownies, pancakes, pie, cookies, dip, ice cream, etc

Baked: Everywhere

Creator: Adam’s extract company

Century Created: 19th Century

Varieties: Southern and Northern red velvet cake. 

Red is for Paprika

         Paprika is a ground spice from the red air dried fruit of the larger and sweeter varieties of the plant Capsicum annuum. In many languages the word paprika refers to the pepper it’s created from. The hungarian word paprika comes from the Serbo-Croatian word papar meaning pepper. The tomato pepper is the most commonly used pepper to make paprika. Hungarian cuisine uses the spice very often in their food. 

     Origins, huh 

          Even though Hungarian cuisine uses this spice often and Hungary is often associated with this spice, it does not originate from there. Interestingly, paprika actually made its way to Hungary from the Balkans, a group of people living around the Mediterranean Sea. This was during the 16th century. When the Hungarians tasted the spice, they enjoyed it and added it to their culture. Nowadays, Hungary controls most of the paprika exports.

Name: Paprika

Scientific Name: Capsicum Annuum

Top Producers: Mexico, Hungary,& Spain

Origins: Central America

Varieties: Spanish sweet and smoked paprika

Crushing season:  Summer

Red is for Bacon

           Bacon is a type of salt-cured meat usually pork. Typically, it is made from the back or belly of a pig thus the name bacon. It can also be cured from other animals such as turkey, lamb, chicken, and goat.  While bacon tastes good fresh, it can also be dried for weeks to months at a time in cold air, and it would still be edible. The less the stress and mistreatment of the pig, the better the overall taste and quality will be of the bacon. 

        Stress is not just for humans     

     Mistreating a pig changes its meat quality and taste. Sometimes to give them a stress release the pig farmers give the pigs things to play with in their pens. Overfeeding these animals will affect the taste of the bacon.  The type of diet that pigs are on will also affect the bacon. Research has been done to guarantee that stress relates to meat quality. 

Name: Bacon

Harvesting season:  Early winter

Top producers: Iowa,Illinois, and Minnesota

Origins: China

Varieties:Back bacon, slab bacon, and cottage bacon

Word roots: refers to the back of a pig. Comes from German and French dialects.

Red is for Beetroot

          Red beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant. Conveniently, it has uses other than food such as food coloring and as a medicinal plant. That means that it can be used as a medicine.  The color of the beetroot is due to a variety of betalain pigments. Betalain are red and yellow pigments.  The leaf part of the red beetroots are called beet greens.  Beets are edible from the top of the crop to the bottom. 

          Resourcefulness at its best

     When harvested properly, beetroots are fully edible.  Many agricultural resources are used in order to make sure that even when fully consumed, it is all edible.  Beetroots can be eaten raw or cooked, just like carrots.  Healthy, every part of it will give a different nutritional boost.  For example, the beet greens of the beetroot will give you Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, potassium, copper, vitamin B2, fiber, and calcium as well as iron, vitamins B1, B6, B, and protein. Imagine what all the other parts will do for you.  Great for people trying to grow and get stronger!

Name: Beetroot

Scientific Name: Beta Vulgaris 

Top Producers: California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, and New York

Origins: Mediterranean Region

Varieties: Detroit dark red, Formanova, Chioggia, and the Golden Beet

Growing season: Late summer

Red is for Grapefruit

         The grapefruit is a citrus fruit known for its sweet and sour taste.  It's a hybrid from sweet oranges and Pomelo also known as Shaddock.  It was named grapefruit is because it resembles how grapes cluster on a vine. When it was first found, it was mistakenly called the “forbidden fruit.”  Grapefruit is the accidental creation between two already known fruits.

        Innovative creations

       Captain Shaddock brought pomelo seeds from Indonesia to Jamaica.  In Jamaica, the pomelo seeds were bred with the Jamaican sweet orange and created the grapefruit.  The hybrid mix was a great turn out for the future of the fruit. Now, it is called a grapefruit. The Jamaican sweet orange itself is an ancient hybrid between two Asian countries.

Name: Grapefruit

Scientific Name: Citrus Paradisi

Top Producers: Florida, California, Texas, Arizona, South America

Origins: Barbados

Varieties: Ruby red and star ruby

Growing season: late fall 

Red is for Watermelon

           Watermelon is a scrambling trailing vine of the plant family Cuerurbitaeneae. The fruit's origins are in Southern Africa.  It is grown in subtropical and tropical areas.  Its insides can be eaten pickled, raw, or even cooked.  In Japan and China, giving a watermelon as a gift is a sign of respect.

          Yeah, I'm glad to be a host

        Watermelon is a popular gift to give a host in Japan and China since it has spiritual meaning. Often, people offer it to the gods as part of their Buddhist religion. In addition, Japan has a luxury fruit market.  Fruit in both Japan and China is a sign of respect. In addition, if a couple is looking to bear a child, a watermelon is supposed to give them luck in doing so.

Name: Watermelon

Scientific Name: Citrullus Lanatus var. lanatus

Top Producers: Georgia, California, Florida, Texas, Arizona

Diseases and Threats: viruses, mildew, mold, injury, and bugs

Growing season: Summer

Varieties: Orange, Yellow, Green, and White watermelons.

  • Ingredients for Red velvet cake:

  •  3/4 cup Crisco, 2 1/4 cups grainy sugar, 3 eggs, 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla flavoring, 3/4 teaspoons of butter flavoring, 2 oz. of red food coloring, 3 cups of self-­‐rising flour, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, 1 1/2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda

  • Icing Ingredients: 2/3 cup of flour,3 cups of milk, 3 cups of Crisco, 3 cups of granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon of vanilla flavoring, 1 1/2 teaspoons of butter flavoring

A Special Southern Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Baking Directions: 

  • 1. Heat the oven to 350°F and grease the bottom and sides of the 13x9-inch pan or two 9-inch round cake pans and lightly flour, or spray the pan with baking spray and then add flour.

  • 2. In a large bowl, beat the cake ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then put your mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, while scraping the bowl occasionally. Then pour out the mix.

  • 3. Cool rounds every 10 minutes; then remove the cake from the pans. Cool the cake completely.

  • 4. In a chilled large bowl, mix cream cheese and milk until its smooth. Then beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar with the electric mixer on high speed, also keep scraping the bowl occasionally, until it's in a soft form. Then frost the top of your 13x9-inch cake or fill and frost the cake layers. Finally, loosely cover it up and put it in the refrigerator

Awesome Varieties of Beetroot