19 Fascinating Food History Facts That I Can't Stop Thinking About

    I can't stop thinking about people making fake bananas out of parsnips.

    1. Lobsters used to be so plentiful in the US that they were used as fertiliser.

    2. Cornflakes were originally invented to discourage masturbating.

    3. A spud-loving French pharmacist used to put guards around his potato patch to make the veg seem valuable, and then remove them at night so the potatoes would be stolen.

    4. Tomatoes aren't native to Italy, spuds aren't native to Ireland, and chillis aren't native to Asia.

    5. Ciabatta was first made in the '80s.

    6. Most chickens in the States today are bred to be similar to the winning bird from "chicken of tomorrow" contests that were held in the '40s.

    7. Black pepper was once worth more than its weight in gold.

    8. Forks were once considered by some to be an affront to God.

    9. Ancient Greeks had waffle irons.

    10. Cocoa beans were used as currency in Aztec communities.

    11. European invaders left islands full of feral pigs behind as backup food supplies during their trips to the New World.

    12. During World War 2, British people made mock bananas by adding banana essence to parsnips.

    13. Speaking of the Second World War, there was once a German plan to feed Churchill an exploding chocolate bar.

    14. People used to say "receipt" rather than "recipe".

    15. Mac'n'cheese is hundreds of years old.

    16. Oh, and NBD, but popcorn has existed for thousands of years.

    17. Some rhubarb used to be picked by candlelight, and in some cases, it still is.

    18. Popsicles were made by accident when a kid left his drink out overnight.

    19. The first meal eaten on the moon was bacon.

    Hat tip to The Smithsonian Magazine for many of these fun facts!