When Toll House Inn owner Ruth Graves Wakefield ran out of baking chocolate, she decided to cut up chocolate pieces and put them into the cookie batter, hoping it would melt and turn the batter into a chocolate brown. What resulted, was a cookie covered with chunks of chocolate. Soon, her Massachusetts inn was known for its chocolate chip cookies.
About 10,000 years ago, when Mesopotamians began storing grains for bread, their storage spaces sometime got damp, which caused the grains to ferment. This fermentation process resulted in the earliest beer. We should all raise a glass to that first Mesopotamian who was brave enough to taste the strange liquid.
3. Potato chips
Chef George Crum created chips in 1853 at Moon’s Lake House near Saratoga Springs, New York. Fed up with a customer who kept sending his fried potatoes back, complaining that they were not crunchy enough, Crum cut the potatoes as thin as possible, fried them in hot grease, and topped them with lots of salt. The customer loved them and “Saratoga Chips” quickly became a popular item at the lodge and throughout New England.
4. The Sandwich
It’s believed to be named after John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich. The Earl was so busy with his game of cards that he ordered his servant to bring him meat between two pieces of bread. Montagu’s refusal to get up for a meal resulted in one of the greatest culinary delights in history.
In 1905, 11-year-old Frank Epperson left a glass of soda on his San Francisco porch with a stirring stick still in it. The next day, after a cold night, the drink had frozen. Frank pulled the stick, and the drink came with it. In 1924, he applied for a patent for his new discovery, which he originally dubbed the “Epsicle.” Later on, he changed the name to popsicle.
In 1894, the Kellogg brothers worked at a hospital and health spa in Michigan. To provide healthy meals to the patients, the brothers came up with recipes using wheat grains and other substitutes. One day, they left some wheat sitting out and found it had become stale. They used it anyway, and once rolled, the grains came out as thin, flattened flakes. They served these roasted flakes and that was the light-bulb moment for them.
At the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, an ice-cream vendor had run out of dishes. Hamwi, a neighbouring vendor, rolled the waffle-like pastries he was selling (called zalabis) into a cone so his neighbour’s ice-cream could be held inside. The cone became an instant hit with customers.
When he returned to England, Lord Marcus Sandy, the formal Bengal colonial governor found himself craving his favourite Indian sauce and commissioned drugstore owners John Lea and William Perrins to recreate it based on his descriptions. The product smelled so bad, they couldn’t sell it at their store so they locked it away in their basement for two years. This ageing period improved the flavours and the sauce became a hit with customers.
Nachos were invented by the head waiter of a restaurant, Ignacio Anaya, who made the first batch for a group of hungry U.S. military wives at a restaurant in Mexico. He fried some tortilla chips, topped them with shredded Cheddar and sliced jalapeños, and served them as canapés. He named them after his nickname, Nacho, and the rest is history.