Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Sometimes people just stumble into cool idea, ya know? For instance, some dude named Percy Spencer was experimenting with a new vacuum tube called a magnetron while doing research for the Raytheon Corporation in 1945. During one experiment the candy bar in his pocket began to melt. Boom! The microwave was invented.*

*Fun Fact: The first microwave oven was called a Radarange, and it weighed 750 pounds, was 5 1/2 feet tall and cost about $5,000. That’s wild.

Anyway, other stuff like x-rays, artificial sweeteners and even penicillin were invented by mistake. Seriously, look it up. I wouldn’t like to ya. But on to the point of this blog, and that is what foods were invented by accident. Let’s do the thang . . .

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Yep, the delicious goodness called Chocolate Chip Cookies were a mistake. It happened in the 1930s when a restaurant owner named Ruth Wakefield added pieces of chocolate to her cookie mix, hoping the fragments would melt and turn the batter into a chocolate brown. The chips remained solid, however, people loved them, and the chocolate chip cookie was born. And thank God for that, right?

Note: My niece Sasha can cram more chocolate chips into a chocolate chip cookie than any human being on earth. That’s a fact.

POPSICLES

The popsicle was invented by an enterprising 11-year-old kid named Frank Epperson in 1905. You see, young Frank left a glass of soda on his San Francisco front porch by accident one night with a stirring stick still it. The next day, after a chilly night, the drink had frozen. Frank pulled the stick out and, to his surprise, the drink came with it. He went ahead and licked it and found it to be quite tasty. That fateful morning stuck with him, and years later, when he was 20, he patented them as Popsicles.

POTATO CHIPS

In 1853 there was a chef named George Crum at Moon Lake House Restaurant in Saratoga Springs, New York. After a customer sent back a batch of fried potatoes complaining that they were not thin enough, Chef Crum got pissed. He sliced the next batch of potatoes as thinly as he possibly could, fried and salted them, and sent them back out to the complainer. That’ll teach him! However, to George’s amazement the customer loved them, and soon the word of these crunchy fried potatoes spread across the region. The Potato Chip was born.

WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE

First off, this has to be the most widely mispronounced word in the English language, amirite? People always say Worchester Sauce when it’s really Worcestershire sauce, damn it. Anywho, it was invented by the British chemists John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins in the 19th century. The pair were asked to create a tangy sauce for a client who liked Indian cuisine, but the product they created was so strong it was inedible. So, they put it away for a few years. Alas, when they pulled it off the shelf a few years later and tried it again they were stunned to find it was now perfect. Viola!

THE SANDWICH

Wait. What? ‘Tis true! The sandwich is named after John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. It’s said that the Earl, who was quite the gambler, ordered his servant to bring him meat held between two pieces of bread so that he didn’t have to stop to eat a proper meal. Hence, the sandwich!

Note: This story is widely disputed. Still, I like it so I choose to believe it.

NACHOS

Ah, nachos. So good. But here’s how they came to be. Ignacio Nacho Anaya was a maître d’ at a restaurant called the Victory Club in Piedras Negras, Mexico. One day in 1943, a group of ten military wives crossed the border from Fort Duncan Army base and demanded some grub. Unable to track down the chef and faced with the ten hungry ladies, Anaya decided to improvise—he covered a plate of tostadas with grated cheese, passed it through a salamander (a broiling unit that heats food from above), and topped the whole thing off with jalapeños. Of course the women loved it, and one of the women dubbed the dish “Nacho’s Special”, which was later shortened to just “Nachos” when Anaya took the dish to his own place—Nacho’s Restaurant.

BEER

We’re pretty sure the Mesopotamians invented the delicious Barley Pop about 10,00 years ago. What happened, you ask? See, when Mesopotamians began storing grains for bread, their storage spaces occasionally became damp which caused the grains to ferment. This fermentation process resulted in a liquid that was the earliest beer. Some lucky Mesopotamian sampled the strange liquid, got a buzz, and the rest is history. On a related note, three years later the first beer gut was spotted.

HOT & SPICY CHICKEN

Hot & Spicy Chicken was invented in Nashville, and its origins are at the world famous Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack. Restaurant lore traces the recipe back to current owner Andre Jeffries’ great-uncle Thornton Prince, an infamous womanizer. When she thought he was cheating, one of his jealous lover’s fed him extra-spicy chicken out of vengeance. Problem was, Thornton liked it so much that he began cooking it at his restaurant. Crazy but true.

COKE

Coke was invented in 1886 by a guy named John Pemberton. Pemberton was a wounded veteran who had become addicted to morphine, so he tried to create a replacement to stave off his addiction. Through some messing around in his pharmacy, he created a tonic that eventually became the original Coca Cola formula. As you may have heard, it contained small amounts of cocaine as well as the caffeine-rich kola nut. Let’s just say the original Coke could give you quite the high. Anyway, in 1887, another Atlanta pharmacist, Asa Candler, bought the formula for Coca Cola from Pemberton for $2,300. By the late 1890s, Coca Cola was one of America’s most popular fountain drinks.

CHEESE PUFFS

Here’s what happened. The Flakall Company up in Wisconsin invented a machine that crushed grains for animal feed without hulls and grain dust. A bro named Edward Wilson noticed that workers poured moistened corn kernels into the machine to reduce clogging. The machine got so hot that the moist cornmeal came out in puffy ribbons, hardening as it hit the air and fell to the ground. Wilson took the ribbons home, added oil and seasoning, and made the first cheese curls. Genius!

ICE CREAM CONES

At the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, an ice-cream vendor had run out of bowls. Back then that’s how everyone ate ice cream, from a bowl. Earnest Hamwi, a neighboring concessionaire, rolled the waffle-like pastries he was selling (they were called Zalabis) into a cone so his neighbor’s ice cream could be held inside, just to lend a friend a hand. People loved it, and the Ice Cream Cone was born.

SLURPEES

Omar Knedlik, owner of a Dairy Queen franchise in Kentucky, had a fountain machine that kept breaking down, so he had to store his sodas in the freezer, sometimes for too long. His customers didn’t mind, though. In fact, they kept on ordering “those pops that were in the freezer a little bit longer.” Realizing that his disaster had turned into an opportunity, Knedlik built a new machine to deliberately produce that strange, frozen drink that everyone loved. Later, the ICEE dispenser was bought by more than 300 companies before 7-Eleven licensed it in 1965 and renamed the drink “Slurpees.”

And there ya have it, cool foods that were created entirely by accident? Cool, right?

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Nope.

Rueters: No one loves the Home of Unlimited Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks as much as one Arkansas couple who has decided to name their daughter after Olive Garden. When Justin and Jordan Garton found out that they would be having their first child in December 2017, they knew they wanted to give her a name with “Italian origins,” ABC News reports. After considering and then rejecting the name Olive Garton, they landed on the much more subtle Olivia Garton. Soon after marrying in 2015, the Gartons bought Olive Garden’s famous “never-ending pasta pass” for $100, allowing them to eat unlimited amounts of pasta and guzzle countless soft drinks at their local restaurant for a set period of time. For six to seven weeks, the couple ate there every single day. Because of Justin’s Italian roots and their love of the eatery, when the couple found out they were expecting, they knew they wanted to give their first child an Italian name. For a while, they considered naming her Olive but ultimately decided it would be too much — they feared kids would bully their daughter named after the Italian eatery. When they landed on Olivia, though, they both knew “immediately” that it was the one. In their minds, that’s a less mockable pun. The couple also landed on a middle name, Michelle. Her initials will be OMG.

Hey Justin and Jordan Garton, let me give you some advice. If you don’t want your kid bullied, don’t name her after an Italian restaurant chain. And what will you name your next kid? Redd Lawbster? Crakker Barrell? Buffelow Wildwing? PF Chang? Wait. That last one might actually work.

And OMG for her initials? Nah, that will never get here picked on.

On a related note, I shall now give my Top 5 restaurants you could name your kid after and it would be cool:

  1. Bonefish
  2. Carrabba
  3. Longhorn (boys only)
  4. O’ Charley
  5. Benihana

Thank you and goodnight.

Sweet Mother of all that is holy, somebody make me this.

I question the accuracy of this map.

Sweet Lord Almighty.

In the ’80s and ’90s, Domino’s guarantee of a 30-minute delivery led to so many fatal car crashes their employee death rate was equal to that of coal miners.

 

 

Good God, man.

Tasty dessert.

Alcohol makes up 23% of all sales at Buffalo Wild Wings.

 

 

Well, sure.

The Giant Ditch Frog is the first thing I ate on my initial visit to Montserrat back in 1995, and it was tasty. It’s also known as the Mountain Chicken, and is also native to Dominica. Its population has declined 81% in the last 10-years and is now critically endangered, so I’m guessing you can’t eat them anymore. The Giant Ditch Frog is one of the largest frogs in the world, with adult females growing up to 9-inches long. This fat boy eats almost anything that can be swallowed whole, much like my classmate Frankie Mortenson back in 5th grade. It’s well camouflaged and remains still for long periods of time before ambushing its prey, usually at night. Diabolical. It eats crickets, insects, crustaceans, other frogs, snakes, and even bats. Hence, his obesity. Anywho, Giant Ditch Frog.

Tasty.

A brazen meat thief has been caught on camera stuffing hundreds of dollars worth of prime cuts down his pants.

Sheriff’s deputies in Mobile County, Alabama, on Tuesday said they are seeking a man and a woman in connection with the stunning broad-daylight meat heist that took place on April 19th.

‘We are actively looking for these “Meat Packers”,’ the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Security cameras at the Greer’s Market in Theodore, Alabama, which is about 20-miles south of Mobile, caught the criminals in the act around 1:15 pm.

First off, how in the hell can you fit hundreds of dollars of steaks down your pants? What’s the average price of a nice steak at Greer’s Market in Theodore, Alabama, maybe $15-$20? Hell, you’d have to stuff 20 to 25 Porterhouses down your britches to get to “hundreds” of dollars. Dude must have had a lot of room in there. Stunning meat heist indeed. And I’m glad the sheriff is “actively looking for the meat packers.” Lawmen who inactively look for bad guys are rarely successful.

PS- Yes, although I was tempted I refrained from making a joke using the words “prime cut” and “pants”. That’s self-control right there, kids. 

PPS- While searching for an appropriate photo I typed “meat stuffed into pants” into Google Image search. Don’t ever do that.

They call it “The Chickle” and it is either fantastic of disgusting, depending on your culinary tastes. Anywho, The Chickle.

I don’t know why but this cracked me up.

Combining two of the greats.

Say goodbye to Hi-C Orange at McDonald’s. The fast-food chain will begin phasing out the beverage on May 1, according to a memo posted this week on Reddit. A representative for McDonald’s told Eat This, Not That that all locations will stop carrying the drink after July.

According to the memo, the chain is introducing a new “proprietary” beverage called Sprite TropicBerry that will be served exclusively at McDonald’s locations. It’s part of the company’s partnership with Coca-Cola.

McDonald’s website touts Hi-C Orange Lavaburst as “packed with crisp citrus flavor,” but customers won’t be able to enjoy it for much longer. You may still have time to order the drink because McDonald’s locations are advised to keep selling it until their current supply is gone.

At least one McDonald’s franchise owner expects a backlash from the move, writing, “It’s gonna be a fun few weeks up ahead. Hi-C is one of the more popular drinks at my location.”

Why, McDonald’s, why?

It’s a dark, dark day in the world of fast food beverages, kids. Just couldn’t get any bleaker. You know what I’ve ordered to drink every time I’ve visited Mickey D’s, ever? Hi-C Orange, man. Why? Because it’s the Nectar of the Gods. It’s the beginning of the end for McDonald’s.

As far as I’m concerned McDonald’s and their Sprite TropicBerry can go straight to hell.

Lay’s Chips? For realz?

What? No Sweet Cheezus? Sad really.

*Not really, but I knew a lot of people wouldn’t click on a link about bananas, and this blog is about bananas. It’s a banana blog. However, since you’re here you might as well stick around, right? After all, Shoe:Untied prides itself on its eclecticism. It also prides itself in using words like eclecticism. Full Disclosure: I originally typed eclecticness but spell check kept telling me I was dumb. But seriously, stick around. On to the bananas…

Bananas, man. Did you know they’re consistently the #1 selling item at Walmart superstores? True story. Bananas have been around the USA forever, true?

False.

Americans were first introduced to bananas in 1873. Think about that, man. Abe Lincoln never had a banana. That’s wild.

Anywho, author Jules Verne introduced bananas to us in his novel Around the World in 80 Days, which was eventually turned into a movie starring Jose′ Greco but that’s neither here nor there. In the book, Verne described bananas as being “as healthy as bread and as succulent as cream.” Perhaps an overstatement but people were intrigued, man.

Fun Fact:  The scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which means “fruit of the wise men.” Cool. Plus banana is way more fun to say.

Bananas were originally from Asia but were brought to Central America by the Spanish along with smallpox, measles, mumps, whooping cough, influenza, chicken pox, typhus, and oh yes, slavery. Good times.

Actually some people from our country had eaten bananas, but very, very few. Why, you ask? Because it took too long for them to get here and they would go bad. Of course that all changed later with steamships and airplanes and whatnot, and by then we could all enjoy the wonder that is the banana.

There was a downside, of course. The big banana companies used the governments of the countries where the bananas were grown for their own good, manipulating and bribing the politicians, organizing coups, and exploiting their workers. Basically, the companies stunted the country’s growth and cultivated a corrupt form of so-called capitalism. A lot of the problems in places like Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Honduras still continue today. Sad really. On a related note, that’s where we got the term  “Banana Republic” which is defined as ” A small country, especially one in Central America or the West Indies, that is dependent on a single export commodity (traditionally bananas) and that has a corrupt, dictatorial government.”

Random thought: Are Banana Republic stores still a thing? I haven’t seen one in awhile.

Before you go, take a look at this awesome banana trivia:

  • Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a mosquito bite or on poison ivy will help keep it from itching and getting inflamed.
  • Rubbing the inside of a banana peel on a scrape or burn will help the pain go away, keep the swelling down, and keep the wound from getting infected.
  • Bananas don’t actually grow on trees—they grow on plants that are officially classified as an herb. They’re in the same family as lilies, orchids, and palms, and are actually berries.
  • The band Bananarama had a #1 hit song with “Venus” in 1986. Thought I’d throw that in there.

So now you know more about bananas than you did 5-minutes ago. Your life has been enriched ways you never have imagined when you awakened from your slumber this morning. You’re welcome.

PS- On a personal note, is it odd that I like to eat a banana but I hate anything banana flavored or anything with bananas in it? The world is a vast, complex and confusing place, man.

PPS- Next up, my Beet blog. Stay tuned.

 

 

So I read somewhere the other day that Seinfeld’s last episode aired 19-years ago and I was sort of shocked. Anyway, it got me to thinking, which often leads to something like you’re about to read. What follows are 10 things that will turn 30-years old in 2017, and some are pretty surprising. Read on . . .

Full House

Yep, the TV show with the obnoxious, mouthy little girl began 30-years ago. I blame Michelle for all the little disrespectful punks that have come since. Damn you Michelle Tanner. Damn you to hell.

The Princess Bride

If you don’t recognize the line, “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die”, well then, you need to rent this movie poste haste because you’re living a life unfulfilled. Anyway, 30-years old.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Yessir, Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael kicked off with their cartoon back in ’87. Since then we’ve seen toys, TV shows. movies, and a ton of other stuff.

Disposable Contact Lenses

Yes kids, there was one a day when people had to carefully take out there contact lenses, put them in a little container, and repeat the exercise every night. Barbaric, I know.

Panera Bread

If you’ve never had their Pasta Primavera with Shrimp you’re a dirty rotten communist. Again, seems like yesterday.

Red Bull

Yep, some dude from Austria mixed some caffeine, sugar, taurine, niacin, jackal urine and some other stuff and came up with Red Bull. Fun Fact: According to the exhaustive research done by my crack staff, the energy drink biz exploded in 2005. I have no idea why. Anywho, I’m a Rock Star guy myself.

The Simpsons

Yep, it all started on the Tracey Ullman Show. Memba her? Bart and his family were featured in short cartoons during that show.

Dirty Dancing

Nobody puts Baby in a corner, man. The Swayze at the peak of his powers.

Congressional Ban On Inflight Smoking

Hard to believe it now but there once was a time when people smoked everywhere – in airplanes, on TV, in restaurants, bars, even hospitals. Crazy times fo sho.

“The Drive”

Sorry, Cleveland fans, but this Fall is the anniversary of John Elway’s drive to beat you in the playoffs. Good thing all those Super Bowl wins have made up for it since then though.

Bonus:

A Bunch of Famous People

Yep. Ronda Rousey, Kesha, Lil Bow Wow (was he the first of the “Lils”?), Kendrick Lamar, Blake Lively, Wiz Khalifa, and Zac Efron were all born in ’87. Man, that was a shitty year for celebrity birthdays, wasn’t it? Good Lord.

Where was I, you ask? Teaching Reading, and a few other things, to Greenfield McClain to bunch of unsuspecting Junior High kids.

Howzabout you?

Why not?

Sometimes, it’s all in the marketing. And a shitty name always hurts as well. Here’s the story.

Kids, there once was a cookie brand called Hydrox, and it is the original “sandwich cookie.” Hydrox debuted in 1908 and a cookie you may have heard of, Oreos, began in 1912. Oreos have been the knock-off brand all along, man.

Be honest. Did you know that?

It’s a familiar story. A small, fledgling company comes up with a great new product, so great that a bigger, more powerful company copies the idea. The larger firm flexes its better distribution and promotional muscles, the smaller outfit watches helplessly as its business slips away, and suddenly it’s all over. Another case of the strong running roughshod over the weak. It’s the American Way really, when you think about it.

Hydrox cookies were originally the signature product of a small company called Sunshine Biscuits. The public loved them and they single-handedly ruled the sandwich cookie market for four years, until they looked around and saw a giant peeking through their window.

National Biscuit, the massive company that would later become Nabisco, took an interest in this strange new product and created their own ripoff version, using their vastly superior, already established distribution channels and massive advertising budgets to steamroll the good old USA with it. Sunshine was a cool little company and all, but they didn’t have a real good strategy to fight this other than saying, “Hey! We were first, man!” with ads like this:

Yeah, that’s pretty weaksauce. Sad really. Plus that kid is terrifying.

The problem is, after a few years Oreos had become so popular that Hydrox began being perceived as the imitation. It probably didn’t help that Hydrox sounds like something you’d buy to clean your toilet or to bleach your dirty linen, so there’s that as well. Branding, man. It’s important.

So anyhoo, Sunshine was eventually bought by other companies and their products discontinued, while that filthy imitation product known as “Oreo” went on to become a cultural icon, which I happen to adore.

I guess the lesson to be learned here is to always be looking over your shoulder, trust nobody, and never give a food you invented a name that sounds like a cleaning solvent.

You’re welcome.

So I stopped at a gas station today to fill up the Jeep. While there I mosied inside to grab a pop for myself and a Slim Jim for the Spark. As I was grabbing my stuff, I proceeded to witness the following bizarre exchange between the lady at the counter and a older, hunched over geezer on a mission:

Geezer: “Where’s yer Zagnuts?”

Lady: “My what?”

Geezer: “Yer Zagnuts!”

I mean, this guy was speaking really loudly.

Lady: “Sir, we don’t carry . . .”

Geezer: “ZAGNUT! I WANT A ZAGNUT!”

Man, I gotta tell ya, this guy really wanted a Zagnut. Bro was unhinged. He was yelling now, and he hadn’t walked in there for a Baby Ruth, a Milky Way, nor a Butterfinger. Dude wanted a Zagnut and he wanted one now.

Lady, showing extraordinary patience: “Sir, we don’t have Zagnuts. I don’t even know what they are.”

Geezer: “How in the HELL could anyone not know what a Zagnut is? They’re ZAGNUTS!”

At this point the lady was totally confused as to what to do, and actually seemed a little frightened. So, being the gentleman I am, I tried to help:

Hey buddy, how about some Goobers? Goobers are good.”

At that point the old dude glared at me, made a noise that sounded like somebody stepped on a baby squirrel, turned, stormed out the door, got into his 1981 Chrysler Cordoba and squealed out of the lot, presumably on a quest for the elusive Zagnut.

Me? Although I had to pay for my pop, the Spark got a free Slim Jim. Damn Sparky always seems to come out ahead, and he’d stayed in the car.

But man, I’d never seen anybody so intent on getting a Zagnut.

PS- Do they even make Zagnuts anymore?

PPS- I looked it up. They do.