Food History

A:

Baking soda is a chemical compound that is formed by combining sodium, hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. These elements undergo a chemical reaction to form baking soda. The chemical formula for baking soda is NaHCO3, and its chemical name is sodium hydrogen carbonate.

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  • How did the Mayan people farm?

    Q: How did the Mayan people farm?

    A: The Mayan are known for the controversial farming technique know as "slash and burn." Slash-and-burn farming involves cutting down trees and shrubs in heavily wooded areas and burning the area to create fields for crops. Rapid deforestation often results.
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  • Where did French fries get their name?

    Q: Where did French fries get their name?

    A: It is debatable whether French fries originated in France or Belgium. Belgian history indicates that French fries were created in the 1700s in the Wallonie region, where people consumed fried fish. When the river froze over during cold weather, the Belgian people ate potatoes fried in fat.
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  • What was the Great Molasses Flood?

    Q: What was the Great Molasses Flood?

    A: The Great Molasses Flood occurred on January 1919 in Boston when a five-story-tall vat of molasses exploded and filled the streets with two million gallons of the thick, heavy substance. Twenty-one people died and another 150 were injured in the unexpected and traumatic event.
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  • Who was the first celebrity chef?

    Q: Who was the first celebrity chef?

    A: Celebrity chefs might seem like a recent phenomenon, but the very first internationally famous celebrity chef never had his own show on Food Network. Antonin Careme took the art of cuisine to new heights in the early 19th century, creating sophisticated dishes for Napoleon, the future King George IV and other members of high society across Europe.
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  • What flavor was the first Pop-Tart?

    Q: What flavor was the first Pop-Tart?

    A: Pop-Tarts originally came in four flavors: apple currant, strawberry, blueberry and brown sugar cinnamon. As of 2015, these Kellogg’s breakfast pastries were available in nearly 30 flavors in the United States, ranging from the traditional to the truly strange. Confetti Cupcake Pop-Tart, anyone?
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  • Were Fritos meant to be junk food?

    Q: Were Fritos meant to be junk food?

    A: Charles Elmer Doolin bought the patented recipe for fried corn chips from a man at a gas station in the 1932. With his brand-new recipe and the help of his mother and brother, Doolin created Fritos. But although the chips were fried, Doolin didn't envision Fritos as junk food; rather, he thought they would be nice as a side dish with a salad or a cup of soup.
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  • What did people eat in the 1800s?

    Q: What did people eat in the 1800s?

    A: Although dining habits evolved considerably over the course of the century, meat, fish, vegetables and bread were the most commonly consumed foods of the 1800s.
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  • When is National Pizza Day?

    Q: When is National Pizza Day?

    A: National Pizza Day, or Pizza Pie Day, is on Feb. 9. According to OC Foodies, there are also a few other unofficial pizza-themed holidays, including National Cheese Pizza Day on Sept. 5, National Sausage Pizza Day on Oct. 11 and National Pizza with Everything Day on Nov. 12.
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  • Where did the dish succotash originate?

    Q: Where did the dish succotash originate?

    A: Succotash is a dish that is believed to have evolved from misckquatash, which in the Naragansett language of the Algonquin Indians means broken kernels of corn or boiled whole kernels of corn, depending on the translation. Succotash dates back to at least 1751 and likely would have been a staple given the crops available in the area of Rhode Island that the Algonquin called home.
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  • What country did waffles come from?

    Q: What country did waffles come from?

    A: Belgium is the country that is most associated with waffles, but it is believed that the recipe of making waffles originated somewhere in the Mediterranean. Every region of Belgium has its own special recipes for the batter-based flat cake.
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  • Has lobster always been an upscale food?

    Q: Has lobster always been an upscale food?

    A: Lobster is usually on the menu if there's a celebration or a special occasion, but that wasn't always the case. Lobster used to be regarded as an embarrassingly commonplace food; in fact, it was so ubiquitous on the East Coast that people were only allowed to serve lobster to indentured servants no more than three times per week.
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  • Where does baking soda come from?

    Q: Where does baking soda come from?

    A: Baking soda is a chemical compound that is formed by combining sodium, hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. These elements undergo a chemical reaction to form baking soda. The chemical formula for baking soda is NaHCO3, and its chemical name is sodium hydrogen carbonate.
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  • Where did the tres leches cake originate?

    Q: Where did the tres leches cake originate?

    A: The tres leches cake is believed to have originated in Latin America. The name tres leches is short for "Pastel de Tres Leches." When translated into English, tres leches means "three milks."
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  • What common vegetable was a Victorian luxury item?

    Q: What common vegetable was a Victorian luxury item?

    A: When dinner hosts in Victorian-era America really wanted to impress their dinner guests, they were sure to place a tall, glass vase in the center of the table. However, this wasn't meant to hold flowers. Instead, the vase would hold a green, leafy stalk of celery, the status-symbol vegetable of the mid- to late-19th century.
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  • What are the different utensils found in the kitchen?

    Q: What are the different utensils found in the kitchen?

    A: Common utensils in an American kitchen include pots and pans, sharp knives, chopping boards, wooden spoons, serving spoons, graters, measuring spoons and cups, and peelers. A kitchen is not complete without some basic utensils, but the minimum requirements vary between cultures.
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  • Where did dumplings originate?

    Q: Where did dumplings originate?

    A: Dumplings are thought to have originated in the Eastern Han Dynasty over 1,800 years ago. According to legend, a man named Zhang Zhongjing recognized that the ears of many people were frostbitten during the winter. He developed the first dumplings, which were filled with mutton, chili and herbs.
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  • What were some crops grown in colonial Massachusetts?

    Q: What were some crops grown in colonial Massachusetts?

    A: Because of the rocky, mountainous terrain and poor soil of colonial Massachusetts, corn was the only major crop grown in the area, but beans, pumpkins, rye and squash were also grown in limited quantities. The settlers learned how to grow the crops thanks to the Wampanoag Indians who lived in the area. They also relied on fish and livestock for food.
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  • Q: What did the ancient Greeks drink?

    A: Wine, water, beer and honey mead were the main drinks in ancient Greece. Milk was rarely drank because drinking milk was considered barbaric. Wine was also usually watered down before being drank because it was considered barbaric to drink it straight.
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  • Q: Where did Red Bull originate?

    A: Red Bull originated in Thailand. In 1976, Chaleo Yoovidhya developed Krating Daeng, an energy drink. The drink was successful across Asia and was noticed by Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz during a trip to Thailand. In 1984, he and Yoovidhya founded Red Bull GmbH and brought the drink to international markets.
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  • Q: Who created the first food pyramid?

    A: Anna-Britt Agnsäter, head test-kitchen chef for Swedish retail cooperative Kooperativa Förbundet, created the first food pyramid in 1974. Agnsäter based the pyramid on the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare's recommendations regarding cheap, nutritious basic and supplemental foods.
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  • Q: What kind of food did Lewis and Clark eat?

    A: The Lewis and Clark expedition subsisted primarily on animals hunted during the journey, including deer, elk, bison, antelope, sheep, bear, beaver and otter. The expedition also consumed a variety of fowl, including geese, grouse and turkey. Along the way, they also purchased a number of dogs from Indian tribes that were used as food and subsisted off fish and other miscellaneous wildlife and scavenged vegetables.
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