The Weird Origins of Our Favorite Foods

The history of food is quite interesting although it may not be well known to many people. Some of our favorite foods that we regularly consume have origins that are intriguing. We may often assume that some foods are the work of a genius culinary artist. While this may be true in some cases, some famous food discoveries were a result of improvisation due to a lack of ingredients, a cooking mishap, a revenge plot or some other fascinating story. Let’s take a look at five foods and their origins.

1. Velveeta

We have come to love Velveeta, for its cheesy goodness, smooth consistency and mild yet impactful flavor. Whether used as a dip or a cheese sauce for macaroni, Velveeta is something that many grab from the supermarket shelves. Emil Frey, a Swiss immigrant, created Velveeta in 1918 as a solution to reduce wastage from broken cheese wheels at the Monroe Cheese Company. Frey received cheese scraps from the company to experiment with at home, and he discovered that by adding cheese byproducts like whey to the bits of cheese the finished product had a velvety texture. Because of this consistency, Frey named the product Velveeta.

2. Lucky Charms 

Since 1964, Lucky Charms, produced by General Mills, has made its way to the breakfast tables of many households. This popular cereal enjoyed by kids and adults alike is “magically delicious.” It was created by John Holahan, a product developer. He was inspired by his favorite marshmallow-like candy, Circus Peanuts and Cheerios, a cereal. While brainstorming new cereal concepts, Holahan added chopped Circus Peanuts to a bowl of Cheerios. He loved the combination and shared his new creation with the company. Within a year, Lucky Charms was manufactured on a wide scale and sold in stores.

3. Potato Chips

Potato chip lovers can thank an incident that occurred at Santiago‘s Springs Moon Lakehouse. A customer ordered Moon’s fried potatoes from the menu. This was the restaurant’s specialty. The customer kept returning the order to the restaurant claiming that the fried potatoes were too thick. After several attempts, Chef George Crum became frustrated and sliced the potatoes extremely thin, fried them until they were crisp and added lots of salt. He was sure that the order of fried potato chips would be returned and the customer would complain it was inedible this time around. However, the customer absolutely loved it and potato chips came to be.

4. Hot Spicy Chicken

If you are able to handle the sting of aggressive spices on your taste buds along with a burst of flavor then hot spicy chicken may be just the thing for you. It is said that this popular food was actually developed as a revenge food. Thornton Prince was known to have several affairs which displeased his partner. She prepared him a fried chicken breakfast with extra pepper as retaliation for him having a particularly late Saturday night out. Instead, Prince loved the spicy chicken so much that he developed the recipe and opened a restaurant where it was featured on the menu.

5. Cheese Curls

It may be surprising to note that cheese curls resulted as a byproduct of cleaning an animal feed mill. The Flakall Cooperation processed grain into animal feed but occasionally the machines would jam. The workers would clean it by putting wet corn through the machine. The moist maize baked into puffs as it heated up. The puffs actually looked tasty and were edible. An employee, Edward Wilson, took some home and seasoned it, making delicious cheese curls.


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