Category Archives: Food

How Did Cereal Become “Part of a Complete Breakfast”?

Mike D. asks: Why is cereal considered a breakfast food? For kids who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, it was sugary cereal commercials that dotted the television landscape, featuring lucky leprechauns, wise-cracking droids and adorable Gremlins. A common theme among all of them was advocating these products were a “magical part of a complete breakfast“, helping to ingrain […]

Read more

How the Practice of Putting Candles on Cakes for Birthdays Started

Heily O. asks: How did the tradition of having cakes with candles on them for birthdays start? For most of human history, ordinary people’s birthdays weren’t cause for much celebration. In fact, in the ancient world if you weren’t among the elite, odds are your birthday would have mostly just been noted for things like astrological purposes, rather than throwing […]

Read more

Chewing on Gum’s History

Gum is everywhere. It could be in someone’s pocket, in a woman’s purse, underneath a classroom’s desk or lining the checkout lines at the local grocery store. Or it could be in a person’s mouth- teeth chomping away on a stick that rapidly loses its flavor. Gum is one of the most ubiquitous confectioneries in our culture, yet few know […]

Read more

The Story of Pasteurization and How It Changed the World

In the mid-19th century, French scientist Louis Pasteur made a discovery that has reverberated through the ages. Perhaps working at the behest of Emperor Napoleon to figure out why wine and beer sometimes soured during fermentation, he found out that this was due to unwanted microorganisms, or “germs,” converting the alcohol into acetic acid. This produced the sour or vinegary […]

Read more

Inventing Bubble Gum

Gracen A. asks: What is original flavor bubblegum supposed to taste like? Bubblegum, the ambiguously flavoured, obnoxiously pink candy gum that is the favourite treat of Violet Beauregarde and, seemingly, a shocking amount of stock photo actors was first invented in 1928 by an accountant called Walter Diemer. Despite being asked in dozens of interviews throughout his life, Diemer took […]

Read more

What Happens to Big Food Made to Break World Records?

Randal T. asks: When someone makes some giant food item for publicity, what do they actually do with the thing after? According to Guinness World Records, the de-facto authority on world record breaking, this is one of the most common questions they’re asked alongside “What record is broken the most often?” (the heaviest object lifted with glue according to them) […]

Read more

Who Invented the Bloody Mary Drink and Who is It Really Named After?

Saurabh A. asks: Is the bloody Mary drink really named after Queen Mary Tudor? For many, Sundays mean brunch and a delicious morning cocktail. Quite often, that early alcoholic beverage is the odd combination of tomato juice, celery, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce (see: The Stomach Turning Thing Worcestershire Sauce is Made Of), vodka and other spices that’s known as a […]

Read more

Why Are You Not Supposed to Use Twice Boiled Water for Tea?

Jeremy W. asks: Is it true that drinking tea made from twice boiled water is bad for you? There’s a rather persistent idea that “reboiling” water (i.e. boiling water two or more times and allowing it to cool in-between) while making a cup of tea is potentially harmful to your health, with some going so far as stating that regularly […]

Read more

That Time Coca-Cola Tried to Sell Bottled Tap Water in the U.K. and the Hilarity That Ensued

As literally one of the biggest companies on Earth, Coca-Cola has their giant fingers in a lot of equally giant pies. One of those fingers happens to be dipped in the extremely lucrative bottled water market. The product we’re talking about today is Dasani, which currently earns Coca-Cola just shy of one billion dollars per year in the United States, […]

Read more

Why Does the Yolk of an Overcooked Hard-Boiled Egg Turn Green?

Laura K. asks: Why does the yolk of a hard-boiled egg sometimes turn green? The process of hard-boiling an egg involves denaturation. During this process, the amino acid chains found in the proteins in the egg are altered from their original, raw egg state, with the denaturation temperature varying somewhat depending on the specific protein in question (see chart here). […]

Read more

The Difference Between “Regular”, Virgin and Extra Virgin Olive Oils

Karl W. asks: What’s the difference between regular olive oil and virgin? Generally speaking, olive oils fall into one of two broad categories: refined and unrefined, with virgin and extra virgin fitting in the latter category, and pure and light olive oils in the former. Olives used to make the two virgin, unrefined oils aren’t treated with heat or chemicals, […]

Read more
1 2 3 4 9