They say 'where there is smoke, there is toast!' Whether it's burning a toast or an entire roof down, the best of chefs have landed in the soup (quite literally!). You know you learn from your mistakes but some are lucky enough to earn from them. Psst! These beloved creations where born out of serendipitous slips that aimed to go wrong but hit the right spot. Seven surprising stories of misadventure, luck and delicious discoveries -
How was cheese discovered?
For all the cheese fans here's a story to nibble on. Cheese is known to have been invented accidentally by an Arab merchant. During his travels he carried milk in sacks that were made of the stomachs of certain animals. As he traveled far and wide, the heat of the sun activated rennin, an enzyme found in the stomach lining. The bacteria made the milk curdle and separate into whey. This led to the revelation of the criminally addictive cheese, so good that it's hard to imagine life without it!
A kitchen experiment led to chocolate chip cookies
We can easily say that without Ruth Wakefield the world might not have had the chance to dunk these chocolate studded cookies! Chocolate chip cookies were a result of a kitchen experiment that went oh-so-right! A dietician and food lecturer by profession, Wakefield also managed the Toll House Inn along with her husband. In 1930, while baking away a batch of chocolate cookies for her guests she discovered that she was out of baking chocolate. As a quick substitute she used broken pieces of a semi-sweet chocolate, thinking that it will melt away in the batter. Once baked she found that the chocolate didn't melt instead the chunks retained their shape.
Her recipe became very popular and she named the cookies as the 'Toll House Crunch Cookies'. And that's the humble story behind the creation of the world's first chocolate chip cookie. You know what they say; necessity is the mother of invention.
Chilling out with an ice popsicle...
For 11-year-old Frank Epperson life seemed to be a combination of magic and ice lollies when he accidentally ended up making every child's dream come true! One chilly evening back in 1905, Frank left some flavored soda water in a glass, with a stirring stick in it, on his porch. Later he found that the drink had frozen on the stick. It was only after 18 years, in 1923, that Frank patented 'flavoured frozen ice on a stick' which he called the 'Epsicle Ice Pop'. His children rechristened it to what it's popularly known as today, Ice Popsicles.
Cereal discovery was an accident by Kellogg
In 1894, the Kellogg brothers worked at a hospital and health spa in Battle Creek, Michigan. In a quest to provide healthy meals to the patients, the brothers came up with several recipes using wheat grains and good-for-you substitutes. One day, mistakenly they left some wheat sitting out. On returning they found that the wheat had become stale. They decided to use it anyway, hoping to make sheets of the dough. Once rolled the grains came out as thin, flattened flakes. They served these roasted flakes and that was the light-bulb moment for them. Will Keith Kellogg, the younger of the two, went on to create his own cereal business which famously sells the Kellogg's® Corn Flakes today.
'Serves' you right!
The potato chips that you just can't seem to keep your hands off almost didn't exist! Before you give me that 'what-did-you-just-say' snare, you might want to grab a quick read. In 1853, American chef, George Crum worked at the Moon's Lake Lodge near Saratoga Springs in New York. On the menu were French fried potato chips as the chef's special. One of Crum's customers found his chips too thick to come back for seconds.
Each time Crum would tweak his recipe, the diner would remain unsatisfied. Agitated and tired of trying to please the diner, Crum decided to shoot back with a serving of wafer like chips that were too thin to have with a fork! To his surprise the diner loved the paper thin chips which later became popular as Saratoga Chips, an in house specialty. What followed was the rise of potato chips with a mighty crunch.
Goats stumbled upon coffee first!
As a kid I heard stories of fairies and unicorns but nothing about 'Kaldi and his dancing goats'. It was only recently that I stumbled upon a story so fascinating that I'd like to share it with you. Long back, there was a herder named Kaldi in Ethiopia, whose goats went astray. Once they returned, Kaldi found them somewhat high spirited. He followed the goats and found that they had been chewing on certain red berries of an unknown plant. He tried them and felt an instant rush of energy.
Later, a monk found the overactive Kaldi and asked him the secret of his new found energy. The monk along with others boiled the red berries and made a beverage that allowed them to remain awake during long hours of prayers. And that's how the first caffeine drink was brewed!
Worcestershire Sauce - A forgotten potent that aged through years
John Lea and William Perrins were 19th Century chemists who ran a pharmacy. On a fateful day in 1835, Lord Marcus Sandys, who had been the governor of Bengal in the British colony of India, showed up at their pharmacy, located on the Broad Street in Worcester. He was desperately seeking the recipe for a fish based Indian sauce and asked the two to recreate it. The two men concocted their own version which turned out to be a disaster. To save face, they hid the mixture in a barrel underground and conveniently forgot about it. Alas! They were destined to be famous.
After about two years, they discovered the barrel. Before discarding it forever, they decided to taste it for one last time and voila! The sauce had aged through the years rendering a unique taste and aroma. They bought the rights of the recipe and that's how the distribution of 'Lea and Perrins Original Worcestershire Sauce' began.
Moral of the story - The next time your kitchen experiment fails, embrace it because who knows you just might be on to something.