Thursday, May 27, 2010

Food Facts

General Tso's chicken is named after Zuo Zontang, a Chinese commander who put down the Taipeng rebellion in 1860. The dish is most likely North American in origin, since such a dish is not part of traditional Chinese cuisine. It is hypothesized that it was named after him by a Hunan restaurant in his honor.

The chocolate chip cookie was invented before the chocolate chip. Ruth Wakefield, the owner of the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts, was running late making her chocolate cookies and figured that instead of melting the baking chocolate and mixing it into the batter, she'd just put it in in little chucks and let it melt and mix in while the cookies baked. Of course, it didn't mix in, but she served them anyway to a rousing reception. The cookies at the Toll House Inn became well known and when The Boston Globe printed the recipe, Nestle's baking chocolate started flying off the shelves. Puzzled about the sudden spike in sales in the northeast, Nestle's investigated, found the cookies, and created pre-broken bars of semi-sweet baking chocolate with the recipe on the package.

Other good food stories?