So many foods were not created with purpose! You would be surprised by how many! Here is another Top Ten List of Foods That Were Invented By Accident.
10. Nashville Hot Chicken
Nashville is famous for their hot chicken. Along with Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville Hot Chicken is an attraction. This dish was originally concocted as a revenge dish about eighty years ago. What is a revenge dish? Haven’t you heard the saying, “revenge is a dish best served cold”? Well, actually… in the case of Nashville Hot Chicken, revenge was served and spiced on a dish meant to be as hot as it could possibly could. It was given to a guy named Thornton Prince by one of his wives. We say one of his wives because he was married over five times and had been known to be a womanizer. Upon returning home late one evening one of the women decided to serve him up the spiciest hot chicken she could make in order to punish him for his wrong doings. However, her attempt at getting back at him back-fired. Thornton loved the food! Apparently he was such a fan that in 1936 he opened up a restaurant called BBQ Chicken Shack. Evidently, in the wife’s attempt at punishing her husband through his taste buds she inadvertently gave him a life changing idea. Thornton’s restaurant went on to do very very well. It was so popular and he was so attuned to people’s needs that he ended up opening his restaurant late to profit off of the club crowd. Clever man! Now this one little revenge dish has turned into a local favorite. You cannot go to Nashville without trying a piece of Hot Chicken.
Saccharin. Saccharin. Saccharin. Before we start discussing how and why Saccharin came about by accident why don’t we go over what it is? Saccharine is an artificial sweetener. It is said to have a bitter metallic aftertaste (not super appetizing, but maybe it does the trick for some people) and it is three hundred to four hundred times as sweet as sucrose, more commonly known as regular sugar. It is primarily used in sweetened colas and sweet treats. It is very likely that all the things you thought were sweetened with sugar are actually sweetened with saccharine. It was produced in 1879 in a laboratory at Johns Hopkins University by Constantin Fahlberg. What happened was this: he left his lab one even after working on the compound benzoic sulfimide he must have wipped his mouth with the top of his hand or something of the like, as people are often in the habit of doing. As he did this or something like it he noticed that his hands tasted sweet. Immediately recognizing the potential of this discovery Fahlberg sought the patent for the compound and began preparing it for market. He started factories. He began to sell the compound as saccharine. Eventually, he grew wealthy. However, there was another lab technician who had been working with Fahlberg who felt as though he had been snubbed and deserved some of the fame, profit, and over all personal glory that comes with inventing something. His name was Remsen. When the First World War came around the price of sugar sky rocketed. This was a perfect opportunity for Saccharine to take over the market. It did. Its popularity grew and grew. This increase continued all the way into the 1960’s and 70’s when low calorie sweeteners were all the rage. Remsen never got any kind of revenge on his lab partner Fahlberg, however, his name was listed in the paper which announced the discovery back in 1879. He was a big loser in this sweet sweet story of accidental inventions.
8. Cheese Puffs
Cheese puffs were a total accident. They came into being when a company that was making animal feed had a problem with strings of puffed corn oozing from their flaking machines. These longs puffs were eventually experimented with and turned into a snack! It was as easy as that! That being said, bringing a new item to market is not as easy as all that. Anyone who has watched Shark Tank knows that! Imagining the left over stringy pieces coming out of the animal feed flaking machine is one thing. But holding a patent, marketing, and earning profit is a whole other ball game. Cheese Puffs underwent numerous names (such as Korn Kurls and CheeWees), patent holders, and corporations. They did not come to market simply. But, all in all that is alright because now we have Cheese Puffs and it is all thanks to a little malfunction on a flaking machine.
When you look up “Chimichanga” definition on google it says a chimichanga is a “tortilla wrapped around a filling, typically meat, and deep fried.” When you look at this definition you may think to yourself… well, that is just a burrito that has been deep fried. In fact, yes. A chimichanga is just a deep fried burrito. It was invented by Woody Johnson in 1946. What happened is he put a few burritos in a deep fryer as an experiment. He then served his creation as “fried burritos” at his restaurant El Nido in Phoenix, Arizona. They became very popular. In 1952 the restaurant changed its name and so did the fried burrito. Suddenly, Woody Johnson was working at Macayo’s and serving a chimichanga. Bam. The chimichanga was invented and loved. Doesn’t this make you hungry? Doesn’t it make you want a nice big deep fried burrito? Topped with some sour cream, maybe some finely chopped green onion. Some guacamole… mmmmm. Delicious!
Back in the early Sixteenth Century wine consumption was through the roof. Wine was being transported from continent to continent, usually by ship, and making a few people a lot of money. One clever Dutchman figured out a way to make more room for his wine on his ship, increasing the amount he was able to carry, and therefore, the amount he could sell and the money he could make. Hooray for efficiency and putting your best foot forward! This gentleman’s secret way to remove some of the water from his wine, or just not put in the water the wine needed, until he arrived at the port he desired. So his wine was basically less volume because it was missing water. What he accidently discovered was that the wines actually appreciated in the casts over time. Without the water their compounds changed differently and it began to taste like what we know Brandy to be today. This little take of commerce and trading is where Brandy found its beginnings. You just never know what you will find when you begin to play with and alter compounds!
5. Kellogg’s Cereal
Kellogg’s Cereal, better known as Corn Flakes, were created in 1894 by John Harvey Kellogg. John Harvey Kellogg was superintend of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. At the time many Seventh-day Adventists had been complying with a strictly vegetarian diet proposed to them by the church. As superintendent of the Sanitarium Mr. Kellogg was given many of their recipes which included many variations on grains, wheat, oats, rice, barley, and corn. He had been experimenting on the different kinds of foods that he could add to the diets of the fervent dieters along with the help of his brother, Will Keith Kellogg. One day, Will Keith Kellogg had been cooking some wheat on the stove when hospital matters stole his attention away from the task. He must have been gone quite a while because when he returned the wheat had gone stale. He did not want to throw away the food, thereby wasting it, so it continued his process of pushing it through rollers to obtain a dough and much to his surprise he got dry flakes instead. The brothers decided to toast this flakes and serve them to the patients. They then filed for a patent on May 31, 1895 and that is how Corn Flake Cereal came to be!
Not only was this next item on our list invented completely by accident, but it was also invented by a kid! That’s right, an eleven year old boy invented the Popsicle! This young man’s name was Frank Epperson and he was from San Francisco. He was born in 1894 and like most children of his time enjoyed treating himself to sodas. Back then it was popular to mix soda water powder with water to get a soda. It was very simple, you just poured the power in, added water, and stirred. Just like when you used to make Kool-Aid when you were a kid. When you made Kool-Aid you probably used a spoon. Well, when Frank Epperson made his soda he did not use a spoon, but a stirring stick. This little detail was crucial to the invention of the Popsicle, as you can imagine. One winter evening Frank Epperson made his soda, however he forgot it outside. Quite a chill crept up on San Francisco that evening and the drink froze. When he found it the next morning there it was: a solid piece of soda on a stick. He thought nothing of it. Perhaps he made it for himself every now and then. Perhaps it was a family favorite? Either way eighteen years later he acquired the patent for “frozen ice on a stick” and branded it the “Eppsicle.” So, how did the name change from “Eppsicle” to Popsicle? Easy, once again we need to look to kids! It seems kids have all the answer for this summer snack! It was Frank Epperson’s kids who took to calling it Popsicle and the rest is history!
Nachos. Most People love them. You can buy them. You can make then at home. You can put pretty much whatever you want on them. But, how and where did this now infamous snack begin? Let’s go back to August Fifteenth, 1895, in Manuel Benavides, Chihuahua, Mexico. On this day baby Ignacio Anaya was born. Without him there would be no Nachos to eat and that would be very, very sad. Little baby Ignacio Anaya would grow up to be a chef at the Victory Club in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. Those who know their geography will know that this Mexican spot is just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. They are so close that if you wanted to drive from the center of Piedra Negras to the center of Eagle Pass it would take you under twenty minutes. One day when working at the Victory Club a group of women from the Eagle Pass Army Airfield arrived. However, there was not much to give them as a snack. It is unclear why the Victoria Club had little to serve these ladies, however, the ingenious Ignacio Anaya did not fear; he created! He cut up some tortillas into triangles, sprinkled them with cheese and jalapeño peppers and then headed them quickly to melt the cheese. The dish was a smashing hit and would continue to be served at the restaurant as “Nachos Especiales.” After sometime Ignacio Anaya opened his own establishment in Eagle Pass. He called it “El Nacho” where he served his famous special along with other items. Unfortunately, the creator of Nachos never made any money off of his idea. However, very fortunately he invented it! Now you can enjoy a nice plate of Nachos with your friends, or even on your own, whenever you want to!
Apparently beer is one of the oldest known drinks made by humans. There are numerous beverages on the planet that do not necessarily require any human intervention: such as water, coconut milk, coconut water, cow’s milk, and so on. However, a drink like beer needs to be produced. Beer dates back to roughly 3400 B.C. Archeologists have been able to make these claims due to ceramic pots that were excavated and dated which contained a sticky beer-like residue. The most interesting thing is that pots with beer residue have been found in numerous places all over the world. The assumption is that beer was independently produced by numerous tribes and cultures. Specialists believe beer was created by accident by wild yeasts in the air landing in pots and fermenting the drinks. Beer, and the eventual conscious fermentation of it, is one of the things that show development in humanity’s ability to develop technology. Essentially, the accidently invention of beer which occurred in numerous places independently over a large span of time helped to push civilizations forward. Pretty darn neat! That is on heck of a drink with a very long history and very big impact on human development!
The next item on our list of Foods That Were Invented By Accident is Champagne. According to The Wine Institute, American consumption of Champagne Wine has increased over the years. Surely, no one is surprised about this. Champagne rocks. It is a glorious creation that is now synonymous with living a good life. Champagne is a drink for celebrations. Some may think it is demonstrative of wealth. Which, hey, it may be. Some Champagne can be pricy, but others are affordable, and if you like the taste of bubbles then you should not have to wait until New Year’s Eve or an anniversary to pop a bottle open. Champagne was created on August fourth in 1693 when a Benedictine monk, named Dom Perignon, was making wine but could not get rid of the bubbles. He allegedly called for his friends, exclaiming, “Come quickly! I am drinking the stars!” Like anything that happened centuries ago this story is not verifiable. However, it does make sense. When using red grapes to make a white wine pressure accumulates in the bottles, making the desired bubbles needed for Champagne. In fact, many vintners lost numerous bottles due to too much of an accumulation of pressure which caused some of their wine to literally explode. Today there are two steps to the fermentation process in making Champagne. Much has changed, been modified, and perfected in the process of making a good Champagne. That being said, it did all begin with a monk in the late 1600’s and we will forever be grateful.