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Famous Foods Discovered by Mistake

Discover the surprising origins of some of our favorite foods!

Big companies like Nestlé, PepsiCo, Tyson Foods, and other big names in the food industry spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on developing and marketing new products. Sure, these food items and beverages that were designed with purpose are often delicious and instant successes, but you might be surprised which of these popular foods were discovered completely by mistake! Let’s take a look at ten of the happiest accidents to happen to our tastebuds.

Potato Chips

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These crispy, crunchy delights were not only invented by accident, they were invented out of spite! No wonder they taste so good. George Crum was a cook at a fancy restaurant in Saratoga in 1853. Customers complained that his French fries were too big and often a bit soggy. He was tired of hearing their complaints, so he devised a plan to get revenge. They don’t like big potato fries? He’ll give them the thinnest potato crisp he can! It turns out, the customers loved George’s new take on fries, and soon they were marketed and sold everywhere.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Chocolate chip cookies are such a staple in our lives, it’s hard to imagine that less than 100 years ago, they didn’t exist! It wasn’t until 1930 that Ruth Graves Wakefield came out with her now-famous chocolate chip cookie recipe that she served at her Toll House Inn.

Ruth was making chocolate cookies, which are made with baker’s chocolate that melts and blends in with the cookie dough. Only, she discovered she didn’t have any baker’s chocolate. She did, however, have a block of chocolate from Nestlé. Ruth chopped up the chocolate, thinking it would melt and blend in with the dough just like baker’s chocolate. As you probably guessed, the chocolate bits stayed separate from the dough. Thus, the chocolate chip cookie was born. The recipe was catapulted into popularity when it was featured on Betty Crocker’s popular radio show at the time.

Ice Cream Cone

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Ice cream cones seem like they would have been invented right along side ice cream itself, but that’s not the case. Some of the earliest records of an ice cream-like food date back to the year 618 AD in China. The ice cream cone didn’t come around until 1896!

It all started with a New York ice cream vendor, Italia Marchiony. He served his ice cream in little glass bowls. As you might imagine, these bowls often ended up broken or stolen, thus creating a tighter profit margin for him. Italia knew he had to come up with a disposable cup of sorts. He tried all sorts of different things and finally was inspired by his waffle maker. Italia had several trial and errors before finally making a waffle thin enough to roll into a cone. The best part? The cone was as much of a treat as the ice cream itself!

Beer

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The exact origin of beer is fuzzy at best, but the accidental discovery of this beverage has been attributed to several regions including Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, and China. These claims go back as far as 7000 BC, with one timeline tracing all the way back to 11,000 BC. This would suggest beer was invented shortly after grain itself was first cultivated for domestic production.

Experts believe this accidental discovery probably happened by leaving bread dough outside during a rainstorm. The bakers would have been shocked to discover the yeast, along with the moist environment, caused a chemical reaction – fermentation. The bread was then stored in a stone container where some sort of gruel-like beer formed. Thankfully, the process has been streamlined and cleaned up a bit into what we now know as beer!

Popsicles

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Would you believe these delicious summer-time snacks were invented by an 11-year-old boy from San Francisco? It’s true! Frank Epperson was outside on his porch enjoying a homemade soda. He left the drink outside overnight with a stirring stick still in it. The next morning, Frank found his drink completely frozen. Nonetheless, he licked the frozen but still sugary treat, and thus a brilliant snack was formed!

Seventeen years later, Frank Epperson got a patent for what he called “Epsicles”. He sold them at a California amusement park and realized he had a winner on his hands! A few years later, Frank’s kids told him they didn’t like the name. The kids brainstormed a few ideas and eventually came up with popsicle!

See the rest of the list in the video below!