Weird History
166 voters

Food History Facts That Sound Made Up, But Aren't

October 27, 2020 1.3k votes 166 voters 7.8k views16 items

List RulesVote up the most bizarre historical stories about common foods.

Waffles, bagels, and bacon sounds like an awesome breakfast - but did you know that 17th-century Polish women got bagels as birthing gifts, the ancient Greeks had waffle irons, and Neil Armstrong ate bacon on the moon? These bizarre food history facts will make you think twice before reaching for a chocolate bar or shelling out extra for lobster as a treat. 

Some weird food history facts sound completely fake. For example, ketchup used to contain fish and mushrooms. Or medieval bakers used bird claws to carry their chicken pot pies. And while you might know something about astronaut food (we all remember the dehydrated ice cream sandwich from that one field trip, right?), you probably don't know the first meal man ate on the moon. On our journey through the most bizarre food facts in history, you'll also learn what an "Epsicle" is and how the ancient Romans fattened up their chickens.

Vote up the most interesting food facts that sound too bizarre to be true.

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    The First Meal Eaten On The Moon Was Bacon, Peaches, And Sugar Cookies

    When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, he declared it one small step for [a] man, and one giant leap for mankind.

    But what did the first man on the moon eat? Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent nearly a full day on the moon's surface, so they had to eat during that time.

    Turns out the first meal on the moon was breakfast. When the lunar module landed, the astronauts sat down for "meal A," which contained peaches, bacon, coffee, sugar cookies, and a pineapple grapefruit drink. And no, the astronauts didn't bite into strips of bacon. Instead, it came in small cubes.

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    PEZ Was Created As A Smoking Alternative

    PEZ wasn't always a fruit-flavored candy sold in novelty dispensers. When an Austrian named Eduard Haas III invented PEZ in 1927, he thought the drops would be used as a smoking alternative.

    At first, customers could only buy PEZ in round drop form. And the only flavor was peppermint. That's how the candy got its name: Pfefferminz, the German word for peppermint, was shortened to PEZ. But Haas eventually changed the design to the tiny brick shape and added more flavors. 

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    • Photo: Missouri History Museum / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
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      On the Lewis And Clark Expedition, Men Sometimes Ate 9 Pounds Of Meat Each In One Day

      In 1804, the Lewis and Clark Expedition set out on its way to the Pacific Ocean. Unsure of what they would find in the West, the team brought along a huge amount of food. On a keelboat hauled from Camp Dubois in Illinois, the expedition carried 7 tons of flour, coffee, pork, corn, beans, and sugar. That included 93 pounds of dried soup.

      A year into the trip, Clark jotted down a note about their dining habits. "We eat an emensity of meat; it requires 4 deer, or an elk and a deer, or one buffaloe to supply us plentifully 24 hours."

      When the men could catch wild game, they ate as much as 9 pounds of meat per day. 

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    • Photo: Jean Fouquet / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
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      In Early English Chicken Pies, The Feet Of The Fowl Hung Out The Sides For Use As Handles

      Pies date back thousands of years. For much of history, people ate savory meat pies. Instead of crust, the ancient Romans filled reed tubes with pies to hold the filling.

      But medieval English pies took the food to a whole new level. The English called their crusts a "coffyn" for the filling. And what went inside the pie? Chicken, of course. It was easy for customers to see exactly what flavor of pie they were about to eat, since bakers left chicken claws hanging through the side of the crust. 

      The legs weren't just decorative - they were used as handles.

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