While we know it took Colonel Sanders years and 1009 rejections to create and sell the perfect fried chicken recipe, that’s not always the case. Who would have thought that cheese curls were a waste product from a machine? Or that beer came about as an accidental food discovery while storing wheat to make bread?In fact, some of the world's most popular foods were discovered accidentally.
So the next time you try to make something in the kitchen and it turns out as something entirely different, remember to embrace your culinary accidents - they might wind up as the next international taste sensation.
Ruth Wakefield, a lodge owner, ran out of baker's chocolate when she was supposed to bake chocolate cookies for her guests. So she went with her instinct and grabbed a bag of Nestle’s chocolate morsels, assuming that they would melt and blend with the cookie dough.
Well, we can thank fate that she was wrong, and so the first batch of chocolate chip cookies was born. It wasn’t long before people started to come over to her Massachusetts lodge just for the cookies. Nestle embraced its involvement in the happy accident by featuring variations of Ruth’s original cookie recipe on the back of its products' bags for years.
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Although as many as 1.2 billion pounds of potato chips are feasted on every year, apparently we were not meant to like this savory snack. In a restaurant in 1853, chef George Crum was frustrated after a customer sent back his fried potatoes over and over again, complaining that they were soggy and too thick. So, to get back at the customer, the chef sliced the next batch of potatoes as thinly as he could, fried them, and covered them in a great deal of salt. Surprisingly, the customer loved them and spread the word about these thin, crunchy potato slices. Faced with growing demand, Chef Crum opened his own restaurant, called the Crumbs House.
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What’s an easier food to eat than a sandwich? You can eat them with one hand while walking, reading, working, gambling …. Oh wait, that’s how our cherished sandwiches came about.
One day, in 1762, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, was in the middle of an intense gambling session and wouldn't leave the game for meals. He instructed his cook to prepare a food which he could easily eat without leaving the table. So the cook, whom we unfortunately can’t identify, tossed some beef in between two slices of toast, and sandwiches were invented.
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While not every experiment in the kitchen ends well, one experiment brought us precious nachos. Ignacio Nacho Araya, a manager at the Victory Club Restaurant in Mexico, was visited by 10 hungry military wives who had crossed the border. When his efforts to find the chef failed, Nacho improvised something on his own. He covered tostadas with grated cheese and broiled it. To his surprise, the women loved his creation, the “Nacho’s Special.” Eventually, after gaining much popularity over the years, Nacho opened his own place, Nacho’s Restaurant.
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