The Chocolate Chip Cookie didn’t exist prior to 1938, when it was invented by the owner of the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts named Ruth Wakefield. She sold the idea to Nestlé in return for a lifetime supply of chocolate.
When curry was introduced in Japan it was considered a British dish, not an Indian one, because of its popularity among British sailors.
A songbird named Ortolan is a French delicacy. It involves blinding this small bird and force-feeding it before you drown in Cognac. It is then eaten whole (save for feet) in one bite with a napkin over the face to preserve its aroma.
In the 1950's, donut shops were some of the first food businesses commonly open late at night. They became hot spots for police working the night shift since it gave them a place to grab a snack, fill out paper work, or even just take a break. This is why donuts became associated with cops.
Nearly 200 years before turducken became popular, a Parisian gastronomist invented the Rôti Sans Pareil, a warbler stuffed inside a bunting, inside a lark, inside a thrush, inside a quail...lapwing, plover, partridge, woodcock, teal, guinea fowl, duck, chicken, pheasant, goose, turkey, bustard. It is a 17-bird stuffed meal.
Oklahoma’s state meal is chicken-fried steak, barbecued pork, fried okra, squash, cornbread, grits, corn, sausage with biscuits and gravy, black-eyed peas, strawberries, and pecans.
Lobsters used to be considered “cockroaches of the sea.” It was fed to prisoners and apprentices, and was used as fish bait. They would actually grind up whole boiled lobsters so the prisoners would have to pick through the little bits of shell and meat. It was considered cruel and inhumane and some groups fought to have it put to an end.
In Peru, guinea pigs are such a large part of the traditional cuisine that the Cathedral Basilica has a rendition of the last supper that depicts Jesus dining on a guinea pig.
The Japanese considered raw salmon dangerous since Pacific salmon were prone to parasites. Norway had too much salmon and decided to focus on teaching Japanese consumers that Atlantic salmon was safe to eat raw. It took 10 years for Salmon sushi/sashimi to finally become popular in Japan.
Kiviak is a traditional wintertime Inuit food from Greenland that is made of little birds stuffed inside a seal skin to be fermented. In 2013, 2 people in Greenland died of botulism after eating poorly prepared Kiviak. The family of the first victim not knowing that the meal caused his death served it at his funeral, leading to the death of his daughter.
There are only nine restaurants in the United States that are certified by the Kobe Beef Association in Japan to carry real Kobe Beef. Every other restaurant with the word “Kobe” in their menu is misleading their customers and serving a knock-off product.
Dandelions are not only completely edible raw and cooked but also packed with nutrients and may have many other benefits to their consumption.
The Scottish 'Munchy Box' is a pizza box containing up to 3000 calories of chips, donner meat, fried chicken, onion rings, garlic bread, pizza, pakora, and more. It is sold from takeaway restaurants, primarily in the West of Scotland and Glasgow.
‘Fish and Chips’ is historically so important to the UK that during World War 1, the British government made safeguarding supplies of them a priority and during World War 2, Churchill refused to ration the dish.
Pad Thai, the national dish of Thailand, is actually not a traditional dish, but was invented, standardized and promoted by the Thai government, and imposed upon the people, as part of a broad cultural effort to establish a sense of national identity.
The red liquid seeping out of a cooked rare steak isn't blood. It is, in fact, a mixture of a protein called 'Myoglobin' and water. Myoglobin helps muscle tissue store oxygen and just like hemoglobin, contains iron that turns red when it binds with oxygen.
Alcatraz had some of the best food in the federal prison system including chili dogs, butter-drenched potatoes, pork chops, biscuits, and gravy & banana pudding because the warden believed “most trouble in prison is caused by bad food.” The prison staff ate the same food as the prisoners.
Wounded Viking warriors were always given strong onion soup. After a few minutes, someone would smell the wounds and if onions could be detected it meant that there were serious abdominal injuries and that death was inevitable.
Chicken wings used to be discarded as waste, but a restaurant owner was out of food, so he barbecued and served them in 1964, creating buffalo wings. It was named after the city, not the animal.
Francesinha, Portugal's national sandwich has steak, ham, dry sausage, fresh sausage, cheese and then it's covered in melted cheese and beer sauce.
Sodium Citrate is the secret ingredient to make any cheese into a smooth, creamy nacho cheese sauce. Coincidentally, Sodium Citrate's chemical formula is Na3C6H5O7 (NaCHO).
The Scots had a tradition of deep-frying chicken in fat. Scottish immigrants to America continued this frying chicken tradition and are responsible for the introduction of it to African slaves.
The British slang for sausages is “Banger” because of World War 1 food shortages. Meat shortages forced sausages to be made with high water content, causing them to burst when being cooked, hence the name.
Spam (the canned meat) is considered a delicacy in South Korea. It's common for people to give each other large Spam gift packages for special holidays.
The first successful company to market chow mein in the United States was founded by the son of Italian immigrants who used Italian spices in his recipe. President Ford commented, “What could be more American than a business built on a good Italian recipe for chop suey?"
Cassowary meat is so tough that people were told to cook it with a stone in the pot. “When the stone is ready to eat, so is the Cassowary.”
In 2006, 75% of the Chinese didn't know that sharks were killed to make shark fin soup. But now, 91% of Chinese support a nationwide ban, thanks to activism work by Yao Ming and others.
Surströmming is a Swedish delicacy which is known for being the world’s smelliest food. It is made by fermented Baltic Sea herring. It smells so bad that several airlines have banned passengers from carrying tin cans of this stuff. In one case, a tenant was evicted in Germany after spreading the Surströmming brine in the stairway. The landlord was taken to court, where he brought a can of Surströmming as evidence. After being opened, the court unanimously ruled in his favor because of the smell.
Though sweet baked beans may come across as excessively sugary or a product of the processed food industry, it is actually a traditional Native American dish. It was originally sweetened using maple syrup, also a native product.
PB&J sandwiches were originally considered a delicacy, only enjoyed by those of the upper class. In the early 1900s, this sandwich was adopted down the class structure as the price of peanut butter dropped.
The origin of French Fries is a hotly contested issue between Belgium and France. Belgium claims a 1781 family manuscript proves they were invented there, while France claims Paris street vendors invented the dish just before the French revolution.
The use of vinegar in sushi rice helps limit the growth of salmonella and listeria in raw fish by lowering the fish's pH value, making bacteria less able to survive. Fresh wasabi also has bactericidal effects.
Originally, the Yorkshire pudding was served as a first course with thick gravy to dull the appetite with the low-cost ingredients so that the diners would not eat so much of the more expensive meat in the next course.
Ramen comes from Japan but it is made from Chinese ingredients, causing the Chinese people to think it is a Japanese dish and Japanese people to think it is a Chinese dish.
Perpetual Stews were common in the middle ages. It was a stew that was kept constantly stewing in a pot and rarely emptied. It was just constantly replenished with whatever items they could throw in it.
Although corned beef was originally produced in Ireland it was mostly consumed by Britain and America as the Irish raising the beef were too poor to afford it.
British invented the “toast sandwich” which is literally a sandwich with buttered toast as the filling. A 1861 recipe suggests adding salt and pepper to taste, and that it “will be found very tempting to the appetite of an invalid.”
The earliest known recipe for macaroni & cheese dates back to 14th century England.