While they were cataloging a range of native grass species, researchers in Australia made a rather bizarre discovery.
During the study of native grass species in the lab, University of Western Australia research scientist Matthew Barrett and PhD student Ben Andersonit noticed it tasted exactly like the flavouring found on salt and vinegar chips.
“We were doing late night experiments… handling specimens of that species,” Dr Barrett told the ABC, “Someone licked their hand at some point and tasted that flavour.”
The grass was spinifex (Triodia species) — a tough, spiky tussock grass that dominates much of the red sand desert and rocky ranges of Central Australia that is known for its ability to resist even the harshest of droughts.
Dr Barrett explained that the salt and vinegar taste comes from tiny droplets of liquid found on younger grass stems.