By Joe Wilkes
  1. False: Apples are the most popular fruit in America. Bananas have apples beat hands down. Americans consume about 33 pounds of bananas a year per person. Which is not a bad thing, as they contain high amounts of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.
  2. True: The artichoke is a member of the sunflower family. Artichokes and sunflowers are both members of the thistle family. The artichoke is native to the Mediterranean and Canary Islands. Its Latin name, Cynara scolymus, comes from a legend of a young girl, Cynara, discovered by the god Zeus, who in typical fashion, seduced her; moved her into a Mt. Olympus-adjacent home (for easy cheating access when his wife was out of town); and when, homesick, she snuck back to Earth, turned her into what we now call an artichoke in a fit of rage. Zeus could be a real jerk.
  3. False: Ladyfingers is another name for Jerusalem artichokes. Actually, it is a slang term for the humble okra. A staple in African cuisine, it is rarely eaten in America except in Cajun and Creole cuisine. It is the okra that gives gumbo its unique gelatinous texture. It is high in fiber and has lots of vitamins.
  4. True: In ancient Greece, if a man threw an apple at a woman, it meant he wanted to marry her. Today, the prospective groom would just be booked for assault. But back in the day, you could throw assorted produce at a woman and it meant all kinds of good things. In other apple history, the ancient unmarried Celts started the practice of bobbing for apples. The superstition was that whoever got the first apple would be the next to be married.
  5. False: Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, was allergic to carrots. An urban myth has long circulated that he was allergic, but in fact he just didn't like them. He tried eating other vegetables like celery, when voicing the cartoon hare, but nothing had that distinctive carrot-y crunch. So he would eat the carrot, say Bugs' line, then spit the carrot in the garbage while they stopped tape.