13 Foods That Were Invented by Accident
If you love Popsicles, beer, or ice cream cones, you have one of these accidental foodies to thank for stumbling upon them!
The earliest reference of beer in history is from the sixth century BC in Sumeria, according to Smithsonian. No one is 100 per cent sure, but most people believe beer was invented by accident during bread making. Horst Dornbusch, a beer consultant and author, told Smithsonian that someone was probably making bread outdoors before stopping for rainfall. Then, after forgetting about the wet dough, they came back to a fermented liquid.
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Dr. John Harvey Kellogg and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, operated a sanitorium in Battle Creek, Michigan back in the late 1890s. While looking for foods to feed their patients that were part of their strictly vegetarian diet, the duo accidentally left wheatberry cooking in the kitchen, causing the kernels to flake. They continued to experiment with their newly discovered breakfast food, eventually experimenting with corn and creating the Corn Flakes we know and love today.
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Chocolate Chip Cookies
The creation of the chocolate chip cookie is extremely relatable. Ruth Graves Wakefield was making her signature cookies, but she ran out of baker’s chocolate. She improvised and broke up a Nestle chocolate bar instead, hoping it would melt. Instead, she accidentally invented chocolate chip cookies.
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Back in 2000 BC, people found dried grapes on vines. These raisins were used for decoration, before becoming popular trading items, prizes at sporting events, and even medicine.
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If you’ve ever let a milk container sit out for too long, you’re kind of on your way to making yogurt. That’s the theory many people believe about yogurt’s accidental creation, at least. At some point, raw milk was exposed to bacteria in warm climates, causing the milk’s fermentation into a creamy yogurt.
Ice Cream Cones
Technically, Italo Marchiony first produced the ice cream cone and had a patent in December 1903. However, Ernest A. Hamwi also deserves some credit for the invention. In the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, Hamwi sold a crispy waffle-like pastry right next to an ice cream vendor. The ice cream vendor ran out of dishes, so Hamwi rolled up his waffle in the shape of a cone, and the rest is history.
Dairy Queen owner Omar Knedilk had a broken soda machine. So one day in the late 1950s, he put a few bottles of soda in the freezer resulting in a frozen slushy-like drink. People loved it and started specifically asking for that frozen drink. He eventually built his own machine to combine and freeze a flavor mix, water, and carbon dioxide before his product was sold to convenience stores and eventually, 7-Eleven.
Plain lemonade dates back to the arrival of European immigrants in the 17th century. But pink lemonade has a more eclectic background. According to Smithsonian, the earliest mentions of pink lemonade also mention traveling circuses. One theory is that Henry E. Allot invented pink lemonade by accidentally dropping red-coloured cinnamon candies into his mix sold at a circus. The other, gross theory is that Pete Conklin ran out of water for his lemonade stand—and used the dirty water that cleaned pink-coloured tights as a stand-in.
Nashville Hot Chicken
This famous dish stems from revenge. Thornton Prince III came home late one night after galavanting, but his girlfriend had enough of him and wanted to teach him a lesson. She prepared his favourite chicken dish with lots of extra cayenne and spices. Ironically, Prince loved the heat, made a few tweaks to the recipe, and sold it at his BBQ Chicken Shack.
Although not verifiable, most people credit Dom Perignon with the creation of champagne. The Benedictine monk was responsible for overseeing wine production at the abbey. He was asked to get rid of bubbles forming in a few of the wines. He couldn’t, and instead tasted the bubbly drink. Perignon reportedly said, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!”
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There are about 2,000 Dippin’ Dots in a cup. That sounds like a lot, but the mini frozen ice cream bits are tiny. Curt Jones spent his days working in a lab developing flash freezing, but at night he applied his knowledge to his homemade ice cream making. According to Thrillist, he simply aimed his liquid nitrogen at his homemade ice cream creating the dots.
Frank Epperson was 11 years-old when he invented the Popsicle. After playing with a mixture of water and powdered soda mix, Epperson left his concoction outside. It froze overnight with his wooden stir stick lodged inside. He tasted it and knew he had something amazing on his hands. Epperson sold his “Epsicles” around the neighbourhood and eventually at amusement parks. As an adult, he patented his product. But his kids couldn’t get used to the name, calling them “Pop’sicles.” Unfortunately, Epperson couldn’t afford to keep the business, sold it, and later said he never reaped the financial reward of his creation.