Tori Avey is a food writer, recipe developer, and the creator of the popular cooking website ToriAvey.com. She explores the story behind the food—why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s recipes can inspire us in the kitchen today.
1. In Latin, onion translates to large pearl. Ancient Egyptians worshipped onions, buried them with their pharaohs and presented baskets full as funeral offerings.
2. According to an Ethiopian legend, the caffeinated power of coffee was discovered when a goat herder witnessed his goats’ energetic behavior after snacking on the berries of the coffee plant. He tried some for himself and felt the same buzz-like effects. Read more about the history of coffee here.
3. While fish tastes great with a bit of lemon, the pairing actually originated during the Middle Ages, when it was believed that juice from a slice of lemon would dissolve any small fish bones that may have been swallowed.
4. Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery Expedition required a lot of food to fuel the men for the long journey ahead. Clark reported that 4 deer, or an elk and a deer, or one buffalo were eaten in a 24-hour period and that when meat was plentiful, each man would eat about 9 pounds of meat per day. Learn more about Lewis and Clark’s journey here.
5. When food was being rationed in England during WWII, bananas were one of many things to go. “Mock bananas,” made from boiled turnips, sugar and banana flavoring, were a popular substitute.
6. President Richard Nixon banned soup from being served at state dinners because, according to National Security Council staffer Roger Morris, “he almost invariably dribbled it on himself at the table.” More presidential food facts here.
7. The Popsicle was actually created by accident in 1905. When 11-year-old Frank Epperson left a sweet drink and its stirring stick on the porch overnight, he awoke to find that the drink had frozen to the stick. He shared his ‘Epsicle’ with his friends and later his own children, who called the treats Pop’s ‘sicles. In 1923 Epperson applied for the patent and the Popsicle brand name was born.
8. Nutella, originally known as pasta gianduja, was created in Italy when hazelnuts were used to stretch the rationed chocolate supply during WWII. The earliest version was a foil-wrapped loaf that could be sliced and served on a piece of bread.
9. John Glenn was not only the first American to orbit the earth; he was also the first person to eat in space. His meal? Semi-liquid applesauce, spaghetti, roast beef and bite-sized cubes of solid food that would often break into crumbs and float around the capsule, causing concern about damage to equipment.
10. The famous food quote, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” comes from Benjamin Franklin, who would ask his wife to send him barrels of apples while living abroad. Read more about founding foodie, Benjamin Franklin, here.
Tori Avey is a food writer, recipe developer, and the creator of the popular cooking website ToriAvey.com. She explores the story behind the food—why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Find her onFacebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.