The truth about Rachael Ray's unique voice

Business woman, cook, talk show host, and face of a lifestyle brand, Rachel Ray has obviously had huge success in the world of food. Part of what made all of her achievements possible is her humble, and relatable demeanor. In fact, she insists she's a cook, not a chef and she's never been to culinary school so all of her skills are — in theory— possible to hone in your own home. Meanwhile, something that's hard to ignore about Ray is her charmingly-raspy voice. But, something that may surprise you about Ray's unique voice, is that it is actually a result of an illness she suffered during her early years (via Cheatsheet).

Unfortunately, when Ray was small she suffered from a pretty gnarly reoccurring case of croup. If you're not familiar, croup is the swelling of the voice box, windpipe, and bronchial tubes (via Mayo Clinic). The condition can cause a bark-like cough, and most of the time isn't serious.

Rachel Ray's croup had lasting effects

Unfortunately, the damage caused by Ray's (clearly very bad) case of croup was permanent for the celebrity chef, er, cook. What's even worse is that the 51-year-old required surgery to remove a benign lump on her larynx (via The Recipe). The hardworking star could have potentially recovered a "normal" voice post-op if she had properly rested and cared for her voice box. 

Unfortunately, the life of a food star is demanding and fast-paced, and Ray went back to work too early for her larynx to properly heal. Luckily for her, we all love her and her hoarse voice, and have come to identify her by it. If one day Ray gets her voice to heal, we will still love her of course, but for now, it looks like her particularly unique voice is just another thing that makes this Food Network star one of a kind.