It took Taco Bell food engineers two years and 40 different recipes to create the Doritos Loco taco. It became so popular that it led to Taco Bell adding 15,000 jobs, propelling the company to outgrow Pizza Hut, KFC and even McDonald’s.
Ketchup was sold in the 1830s as medicine. In 1834, it was sold as a cure for an upset stomach by an Ohio physician named John Cook. It wasn’t popularized as a condiment until the late 19th century.
In Milwaukee, it is a Christmas tradition to eat raw ground beef and onions on rye bread.
In mid-18th century France, eating potatoes was considered cruel and unusual punishment: potatoes were thought of as feed for livestock, and they were believed to cause leprosy in humans. The fear was so widespread that the French passed a law banning them in 1748.
Heinz petitioned American bun companies to consider equal hot dog-to-bread ratio.
Swedes have a national weekly eating plan. Thursdays are traditionally pancakes and split pea soup.
Pepperoni is an American invention. It’s similar to the spicy salamis of southern Italy, but it also has elements characteristic of German sausages (smokiness, beef content, and fine grind). In Italian, “peperoni” just means “bell peppers”.
Marco Polo did not introduce pasta to Italy from China. Italians adopted pasta from the Greeks, first mentioned between 1000-800 BCE and called laganon – the inspiration for what would later become lasagne.
Owing to a surge in production at the end of the 19th century, oysters became cheaper than meat, poultry, and fish, making them a popular dish on working class tables in the United States and Europe. This period of mass production is known as the Golden Age of Oysters.
New York is right next to where a giant oyster reef used to be. People used to be able to just walk outside and collect them for dinner. The oysters also cleaned the water and protected the city from storms. Each adult oyster filters 50 gallons of water per day.
Then they ate them all. Now the city is vulnerable to storms and has water pollution problems.
Russian fishermen learned to farm caviar as early as the 12th century and for centuries it was considered nothing more than cheap peasant food, served with porridge and eaten by the bowlful.