When you think about using alcohol in food, one myth jumps to mind right away. It’s the myth that all of the alcohol will cook out of the food long before you take a bite.
The truth is that much of the alcohol you cook with may stay in that dish, and you could end up getting tipsy, or even drunk, just from eating it. Combined with a drink with dinner, for instance, eating an alcohol-laden dessert could end up causing you to get a DUI on the way home.
Food has the potential to get you drunk
Food does have the potential to get you drunk, depending on what you eat. Many foods naturally contain alcohol, and some dishes use added alcohol for taste.
Some everyday foods that naturally contain alcohol include:
- Burger rolls, with up to 1.28 alcohol by volume (ABV)
- A ripe pear, with up to .04% ABV
- Bananas, which can have up to .2% ABV
- White wine vinegar, with up to 2.64 grams per liter
In other dishes, alcohol is added for taste. Beer, rum, wine and sake are all often added as flavor enhancers. That being said, they can up the alcohol content of a meal significantly.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that alcohol that has been simmered as a part of a dish for just 15 minutes still retains up to 40% of its potency. When you cook a dish for an hour, the alcohol may still remain in quantities of around 25%.
The point at which you add the alcohol does make a difference. Someone who adds a bottle of wine for the last five minutes of simmering a dish should expect the majority of the alcohol content to remain. If a dish has been slow cooked for six or seven hours, then the alcohol content is likely to be in the single digits or nonexistent.
Watch out for your food to prevent a DUI
Whether you’re eating at home or going out, knowing the alcohol content of your food is vital. If you do eat something with a high alcohol content, plan to get a sober ride home to be safe.