In some cases, we can trace the creation of a food to a specific place and time, when a specific need motivated a solution to solve said problem. A classic example of this is the sandwich, which was created by the servants of John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich.
In this case, such was his addiction to card games that he came to neglect meals, which led his servants to search for a suitable formula that would allow him eat without leaving the game.
However, other dishes, recipes or foods did not originate from a conscious decision or the result of an express process of investigation. On the contrary, many of them are great examples of serendipity, being created in a totally casual way or even as a result of an error or accident. We tell you the story of some of them.
This popular and cold sweet that helps you spend your summers better is the result of chance. In 1905, Frank Epperson, an 11-year-old boy living in San Francisco, forgot a soda glass and a shaker on the street. That night the temperature had dropped below freezing, which didn’t happen often there, so the liquid froze with the stirrer inside.
Neither short nor lazy, he tried it: he found it really delicious and shared it with his neighbors. Years later, in 1922, he applied for the patent which was granted to him in 1924, and he opened a kiosk in an amusement park where he sold them for 5 cents. From here, driven by success, the business continued to grow.
Apparently the chips were created in 1853 by George Crum, cook at Moon Lake Lodge’s restaurant in the American city of Saratoga Springs. On the menu were French fries prepared, cut with a certain thickness and highly praised in the 18th century by Thomas Jefferson when he was the United States ambassador to France.
On one occasion, a customer complained that they were too thick. Then Crum fried another batch of finer potatoes, but he didn’t like them either. The cook, already exasperated, decided to take revenge by frying potatoes so thin and crisp you couldn’t prick them with a fork. The surprise was that the demanding customer was enthusiastic and other diners ordered the same potatoes.
From that moment on, they became the star dish on the menu under the name Saratoga Chips. Soon after, he began to sell them packaged and over time, the lucky cook opened his own restaurant, where they were the star dish.
The creation of the nachos is attributed to Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, who was a maître d ‘at Viceroy’s Club in Piedras Negras, a city on the border between Mexico and the United States. According to research for the Oxford Dictionary, in 1943, a group of US military wives approached the restaurant when the cook was away.
Anaya put on her apron and improvised a plate of corn tostadas with shredded cheese and a pinch of jalapeños. The dish was highly appreciated by women and it was dubbed ‘Nacho’s Special’. Little by little, the fame of the recipe spread until it became one of the most popular dishes in Mexico and much of the world.
If there is an iconic product of the western world and popular in most of the world, this is without a doubt the drink with the red label. Its origin is also due to a coincidence that occurred in 1886. Atlanta pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton was experimenting with various ingredients to treat digestive pains when he accidentally made a syrup concoction that he mixed with carbonated water, resulting in a pleasant taste.
Jacobs Pharmacy was the first to market the preparation to a price of 5 cents a glass. Only 11 years after its creation, in 1897, Coca-Cola was leaving the United States for the first time. In 1889, the first agreement to bottle Coca-Cola was signed throughout the United States, starting the future business model of the company around the world.
One of the favorites for those who follow vegetarian and vegan diets. The history of tofu goes back centuries. Like many of the recipes and foods grown by our ancestors, much of the process was accidental and it came through trial and error.
The most accepted version of how tofu appeared says that it was discovered in ancient China when boiled ground soybeans were inadvertently mixed with impure sea salt, which eventually caused the mixture to solidify and form a soft, jelly-like food.
In 1837, chemists William Perrins and John Wheeley Lea joined forces to mass-produce the recipe for an indian sauce provided by a former governor of Bengal. After many attempts, the result was not what was expected and the failed production was forgotten in a basement.
Some time later, they opened one of the jars, to the surprise that as a result of the natural fermentation, which happened completely by chance, had greatly improved its flavor.
Chocolate chip cookies
The best-known version of how this sweet came to be claims that Ruth Wakefield, co-owner of Toll House, a popular restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts, accidentally created it in the 1930s when she was left with one of the main ingredients, the walnuts.
To substitute this dried fruit, he decided to change it for small pieces of bittersweet chocolate. The surprise was that when removing the cookies from the oven, the chocolate chips had not meltedInstead, they kept their shape. The success of the new recipe was immense and little by little it became a very popular dessert that has survived to this day.
One of the most consumed beverages. It is believed that its origin dates back to the end of the 15th century, from the wine which was produced in the French region of Champagne. An unusual increase in temperature caused changes in the fermentation process producing excess carbon dioxide and, with it, the appearance of bubbles.
The bottles containing this bubbly wine were suddenly exploding and for a long time it was considered to be a defective and unacceptable drink. It was already in the seventeenth century when a Benedictine monk, Dom Pierre Perignon, made some improvements to this drink that made it what it is today.
If there is one sweetener that is almost on a par with sugar in popularity, it is saccharin. Its origin is in a mistake made by chemist Constantin Fahlberg at the turn of the century XIX. He discovered the sweet taste of anhydroortosulfaminebenzoic acid by analyzing the chemical compounds in coal tar.
The fortuitous discovery occurred due to a fact as trivial as not washing hands after manipulating the elements of the laboratory, which gave a very sweet taste to the food you were eating. Surprised, he realized that the taste came from the substance he was investigating. A few years later, he patented the product and started manufacturing it in Germany under the name saccharin.
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