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Yummy Fruit Company

Former Bachelor Contestant Sets World Record for Loudest Apple Crunch

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Yummy Fruit Company

What do you get when you combine noisy New Zealand apples with a reality TV star? A world record, naturally.

“Our main reason for going for the Guinness World Records title was to show the world just how amazing our SweeTango apples are!” Yummy Fruit’s brand manager Emma Wulff explained in an exultant email to mental_floss. “SweeTango apples have cells that are twice the size of other apples', which fracture apart when bitten … creating a HUGE CRUNCH!!”

This might sound like hyperbole, but it’s not. Created by apple breeders at the University of Minnesota, the SweeTango was engineered with acoustics in mind.

“… SweeTango has much larger cells than other apples,” agriculture writer John Seabrook noted in a 2011 New Yorker column, “and when you bite into it the cells shatter, rather than cleaving along the cell walls, as is the case with most popular apples. The bursting of the cells fills your mouth with juice. Chunks of SweeTango snap off in your mouth with a loud cracking sound.”

So if there was going to be a record, the SweeTango was a likely contender. To improve their chances, Yummy Fruit (the company behind the apple variety) recruited fellow New Zealander and former The Bachelor NZ contestant Art Green to execute the record-attempting bite. Green was a good pick; his girlfriend Miranda Rice told The Spinoff that she had previously been “taken aback” by the volume of his chewing. He also has a nice, big mouth. “A big mouth makes for a great crunch,” Yummy Fruit’s Paul Paynter told The Spinoff. “You don’t want any little rat bites.”

Green spent weeks practicing at home. “Fresh apples were delivered to my doorstep almost on a daily basis and I’ve been trying all sorts of techniques. It all comes down to the fruit and the size of a bite. It was a challenge to find out if smaller apples crunch louder than larger and what difference their temperature makes. Honestly, this is apple science at its best.”

The entire wacky situation is unprecedented. Before the Yummy Fruit attempt, there was no Loudest Crunch of an Apple record, so to create a hurdle for Green’s bite to clear, Guinness World Record scientists tested apples. They arrived at a benchmark of 75 C-weighted decibels (dBC).

As you could probably have guessed from the headline, Green and his SweeTango apple succeeded. The record-setting bite rang out at 79.1 dBC, much to the delight of the Yummy Fruit cheering section (you can watch it here).

Official apple chomper Art Green and Yummy Fruit Company chief Paul Paynter. Image Credit: Yummy Fruit Company

“There have been earlier, non-official, scientific attempts to measure the crunch of an apple,” Paynter said in the press release. “However, these were not attempted by a human being and certainly not in an official soundproof environment. Tonight’s success confirms what I’ve always known; in a world of soft mushy apples or hard impenetrable apples, SweeTango really stands out.”

Yummy Fruit is now taking its show on the road, bringing their world record certificate, crates of apples, and a soundproof booth across New Zealand. They’ve also donated 5000 SweeTango apples to families in need.

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Big Questions
Why Don't We Eat Turkey Tails?
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Turkey sandwiches. Turkey soup. Roasted turkey. This year, Americans will consume roughly 245 million birds, with 46 million being prepared and presented on Thanksgiving. What we don’t eat will be repurposed into leftovers.

But there’s one part of the turkey that virtually no family will have on their table: the tail.

Despite our country’s obsession with fattening, dissecting, and searing turkeys, we almost inevitably pass up the fat-infused rear portion. According to Michael Carolan, professor of sociology and associate dean for research at the College for Liberal Arts at Colorado State University, that may have something to do with how Americans have traditionally perceived turkeys. Consumption was rare prior to World War II. When the birds were readily available, there was no demand for the tail because it had never been offered in the first place.

"Tails did and do not fit into what has become our culinary fascination with white meat," Carolan tells Mental Floss. "But also from a marketing [and] processor standpoint, if the consumer was just going to throw the tail away, or will not miss it if it was omitted, [suppliers] saw an opportunity to make additional money."

Indeed, the fact that Americans didn't have a taste for tail didn't prevent the poultry industry from moving on. Tails were being routed to Pacific Island consumers in the 1950s. Rich in protein and fat—a turkey tail is really a gland that produces oil used for grooming—suppliers were able to make use of the unwanted portion. And once consumers were exposed to it, they couldn't get enough.

“By 2007,” according to Carolan, “the average Samoan was consuming more than 44 pounds of turkey tails every year.” Perhaps not coincidentally, Samoans also have alarmingly high obesity rates of 75 percent. In an effort to stave off contributing factors, importing tails to the Islands was banned from 2007 until 2013, when it was argued that doing so violated World Trade Organization rules.

With tradition going hand-in-hand with commerce, poultry suppliers don’t really have a reason to try and change domestic consumer appetites for the tails. In preparing his research into the missing treat, Carolan says he had to search high and low before finally finding a source of tails at a Whole Foods that was about to discard them. "[You] can't expect the food to be accepted if people can't even find the piece!"

Unless the meat industry mounts a major campaign to shift American tastes, Thanksgiving will once again be filled with turkeys missing one of their juicier body parts.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Food
Here's the Butterball Hotline's Most Frequently Asked Turkey Question
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If you’re preparing to conquer a whole turkey for the first time this Thanksgiving, you may have some questions. Like, is bigger really better? How long should the turkey rest? And is dunking the bird in a deep-fryer a bad idea? But if data from the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line is any indication, the first and most important question you have concerns defrosting. As Fox News reports, how to properly thaw a turkey is the hotline's most frequently asked question—and has been for some time.

Dial the Butterball experts in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and they’ll likely tell you that there are two ways to handle a frozen turkey. The first is to unwrap it, place it on a tray, breast-side up, and leave it to sit in the refrigerator for a few days. The rule of thumb is to allow one day for every four pounds of turkey you’re thawing. So if you have an eight-pound bird, begin the defrosting process two days before Thanksgiving; if it’s 16 pounds, you need to let it thaw for four days.

Don’t panic if you’re reading this Wednesday night. There’s a quicker method for home cooks who prefer to wait until the last minute to start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner. Empty and clean the sink in your kitchen and fill it with cold water. With the plastic wrapping still on, submerge the turkey in the bath, breast-side down, and leave it alone. After 30 minutes, change out the water and flip the turkey so that it’s breast-side up. Repeat the process until the meat has fully thawed, which should take half an hour per pound. (So if you’re willing to stay up the night before, you can have a frozen turkey oven-ready by Thanksgiving morning.)

Have more burning questions about your dinner’s starring dish? You can call or text Butterball for guidance between now and December 24 (for those Christmas Eve questions). For additional turkey-cooking expertise, check out our list of tips from real chefs.

[h/t Fox News]

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