What the Hell is That?
The truth behind those strange lumps and colors in food
THE GREEN SPOT ON A POTATO CHIP?
What we thought: Mold.
What it is: Chlorophyll, the stuff that makes plants green. When potatoes are exposed to light—like during harvest—they produce it in an attempt to grow.
THE RED SPOT IN THE RAW EGG?
What we thought: Chick embryo.
What it is: A tiny, completely harmless drop of blood released from the hen while she's creating the yolk.
THE BIG CORN FLAKE?
What we thought: Big, mutant corn flake.
What it is: A corn snowball. Corn flakes start out as tiny bits of ground corn, but occasionally a renegade kernel escapes the grinder. As it rolls through the flake-making process, more corn clings to it, forming a giant ball.
THE HARD CHUNK IN SAUSAGE?
What we thought: A tiny chip of bone.
What it is: Sometimes it is a chip, bit more often it's a bit of tough connective tissue—a ligament or tendon—that toughens as the meat cooks.
THE RAINBOW ON HAM?
What we thought: Oil Slick
What it is: Light reflecting off a very thin layer of fat on the surface of the ham slice.
THE RED BLOTCHES IN A CHICKEN LEG OR THIGH?
What we thought: A blood clot.
What it is: Yes, a clot! Red blood cells at the core of the bone sometimes leech into the surrounding meat, where they can't be cooked away.