Like many other great inventions, some of our favorite foods were invented by mistake. Sometimes it’s because someone had a craving and discovered a delicious new taste combination, or perhaps they made a kitchen blunder, which resulted in a revolutionary new dish. Some discoveries can even be attributed to revenge. Whatever the reason, we are extremely grateful for these accidental discoveries!
Today, it’s one of the most consumed alcoholic beverages in the world. But it’s said that beer was likely discovered by mistake. Bread and beer are both made by yeast fermentation, and both items have been made for thousands of years. Historians speculate that it was probably a botched breadmaking session, which led to an extended fermentation, giving rise to beer.
Who doesn’t love a chewy chocolate chip cookie? But its discovery was all thanks to necessity. In 1938, Ruth Graves Wakefield was busy baking cookies in her kitchen, when she discovered her baker’s chocolate was finished. As many of us do, she improvised and used a Nestlé chocolate bar instead. And so, the ultra-famous Nestlé Toll House chocolate chip cookies (named after Ruth’s Toll House Inn) was born. Today, there are many variations, with everyone having their own twist on this popular cookie.
After a late night of partying, Thornton Prince III came home to find his girlfriend upset, and ready to take revenge. To do this, she made him his favorite fried chicken dish, with heaps of extra hot cayenne pepper. But it didn’t have the effect she wanted. It turned out Prince actually loved the new fiery chicken, and decided to tweak the recipe a bit and sell it! Today you can eat this renowned chicken dish at Prince’s Hot Chicken in Nashville, Tennessee. But be warned…it’s not for the fainthearted!
Sometimes all a sauce needs, is a splash of Worcestershire Sauce. But did you know the discovery of this condiment was completely by accident? The story goes that Lord Sandys from Worcester, England, had a sauce recipe, which he got from his visit to Bengal, India. Wanting to recreate the same sauce he tasted while in India, he asked pharmacists John Wheeley Lea and William Perrins to replicate it. They made the recipe, consisting of numerous aromatics such as onions, garlic, tamarind, and vinegar. It ended up tasting pretty awful, so they decided to stash it in a cellar. Fast forward a few years later, and they rediscovered the sauce. And for some reason – we will never know why – they decided to taste it before throwing it away. But we’re happy they did, because it turned out that the sauce became quite tasty after a few years of aging. They bottled it and sold it under the name Lea & Perrins, which you can still find in stores today.