Accidental Food Inventions
Accidental Food Inventions
Great ideas that came from mistakes!
One day in the 1700s, the Earl of Sandwich was so busy gambling, he did not want to go to eat. Therefore, he ordered some food to be piled between two slices of bread, which he ate while gambling. The sandwich has been popular ever since.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
In 1930, Ruth Wakefield was making chocolate cookies at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Mass. When she ran out of baking chocolate, Ruth broke a bar of semi-sweet chocolate into little pieces and added them to the dough. When the cookies were baked, the chocolate had not melted. Instead, there were little chips of chocolate throughout the cookie. Ruth was soon selling chocolate chip cookies.
One day in 1853, a diner at Moon Lake Lodge in Saratoga Springs, New York, refused to eat an order of French fries because they were too thick. The chef, George Crum, fried a thinner batch, but the customer also rejected these. Crum decided to teach the diner a lesson. He sliced a potato paper-thin and fried it so heavily it could not be cut with a fork. However, the customer loved them. Soon other customers were asking for potato chips.
Ice Cream Cones
Ernest Hamwi was selling Syrian pastry at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. When a nearby ice cream vendor ran out of dishes, Hamwi rolled some pastry into a cone so ice cream could be put inside. The ice cream cone was a huge a hit. However, an Italian immigrant named Italo Marchiony received a patent to manufacture ice cream cones earlier that same year, suggesting more than one person invented ice cream cones.
In 1894, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his brother Will, both Seventh Day Adventists, were searching for wholesome foods to feed patients on a strict vegetarian diet. Will accidentally left boiled wheat out, it went stale. They sent it through rollers hoping for dough, but they got flakes instead. They toasted the flakes, which were a big hit with patients, and patented them under the name Granose. Interestingly, after Kellogg’s was formed, Will would not join his brother because he refused to add sugar to the recipe, thus lowering the healthy benefits.
In 1905 an eleven-year-old Frank Epperson was mixing powdered soda and water to make soda pop. Frank accidentally left the mixing bucket outside. During the night the mixture froze solid, with the wooden stirring stick standing straight up. But the frozen pop tasted great! Frank started selling Epperson icicles for five cents, later changing the name to popsicles.
Saccharin, the oldest artificial sweetener, was accidentally discovered in 1879 by researcher Constantine Fahlberg, who was working at Johns Hopkins University in the laboratory of Professor Ira Remsen. Fahlberg’s discovery came after he forgot to wash his hands before lunch. He had spilled a chemical on his hands and it, in turn, caused the bread he ate to taste unusually sweet.
It’s believed that yogurt developed at a time when milk-producing animals became domesticated, possibly around 5,000 B.C. To transport the animal milk, the milk was often placed in sacks made from the stomachs of animals. It’s believed that the bacteria as well as the acidity from the lining of the stomachs prompted the milk to coagulate, forming the beginnings of yogurt.
It’s believed that humans first discovered raisins when they stumbled upon a crop of dried grapes. The time period during which this occurred is still debated, but the first accidental commercial raisin crop is said to have materialized in California in 1873. Two years later, vineyardist William Thompson introduced his thin-skinned, sweet tasting “Thompson Seedless” grapes, which today, are the basis for most raisins.
According to the Food Timeline, created by librarian and food buff Lynne Olver, the invention of cheese puffs puffed corn coated with cheese flavoring – was discovered quite by accident right in Wisconsin.
During the 1930s, the Flakall Co. of Beloit created a machine to crush grains to produce animal feed without sharp hulls and grain dust. One day, Edward Wilson noticed that workers poured moistened corn kernels into the machine to reduce clogging. He found that when the flaking machine ran continuously, it got quite hot. The moist cornmeal came out of the machine in puffy ribbons, hardened as it hit the air and fell to the ground. Wilson took the ribbons home, added oil and flavor and made the first cheese curls. Early versions were called Korn Kurls.
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