Which experiments and innovations people did with pizza?

Mount Vesuvius and the first pizzeria

What does Mount Vesuvius have to do with pizzas, other than they're both from Italy? Up until the early 19th century, pizzas were sold by street vendors, baked on wood-fire ovens. And then opened Antica Pizzeria Port' Alba in 1830 considered to be the first pizzeria in the world. The pizzas were baked in ovens lined with lava rocks from Mount Vesuvius. What's hotter is the payment system back then, called pizza a otto, that allowed customers to pay up to eight days after enjoying a pizza. Three cheers to Port' Alba that exists to this day!

Pizza...served on pizz

Vinnie's Pizzeria is surely winr hearts with what they have on offer on their menu. Seriously, who wouldn't want to enjoy a slice of pizza topped with mini slices of pizza. But that's not the only thing they're famous for. They're famous for coming up with a delightful packing solution for pizzas. Why give pizzas in cardboard boxes that can't be gobbled up? The solution - a box made of pizza that you can eat after you finish the pizza inside!

Pizzas with a technological edge

Having trouble choosing one pizza from among a bunch of delicious ones? You're not alone! A Swedish company has decided to take up the matter to set things right. And thus comes about the "subconscious menu". The technology scans people's eye movements while they look at toppings, offering one from thousands of different combinations. Let's save time clicking or speaking and pray that this technology is whole-heartedly embraced by all pizzerias.

A $2000 extravaganza

The world is obsessed with super-expensive food items, and the pizza hasn't been spared the extravagant décor and the accompanying price tag. Industry Kitchen is a restaurant in New York's posh financial district. Rush and order this precious $2000 pizza if you like these toppings: truffle, French foie gras, English Stilton cheese, caviar, and 24-carat gold leaves! Enjoy a pizza that's worth about $50 a bite!

The humble origin of Pizza Margherita

Pizzeria di Pietro e Basta Cosi (the name is quite a mouthful) in Naples, Italy is credited with being the birthplace of modern pizza. Until that time, pizza was food for the poor, hurriedly assembled together from leftover ingredients on a piece of flatbread. For Queen Margherita who had travelled to Italy, a special pizza was put together using mozzarella, tomatoes and basil, representing the colors of the Italian flag. Apparently, that was the first time it was made with mozzarella and the first time it was enjoyed by a queen. That pizza was the lucky charm - today Pizza Margherita is popular just about everywhere.

Fresh robot pizza

Zume Pizza, founded in 2015, decided that they needed more than human hands shaping and topping the pizza. So, the company invested in robotic devices to lovingly squirt out tomato sauce, spread it with precision onto the pizza base, and place it in the hot ovens, For those among us who care about beauty and perfection in their slices, this seems to be the deal. For the rest of us, pizza is pizza!

Picture Credit : Google

Which are the strangest foods people eat?

A fungal delight

While you may not hesitate to eat mushrooms, surely fungal mold something you'd shy away from? Well, Mexican delight called Huitlacoche features exactly this. Organic corn that has not been sprayed with any fungicide develops smut as they ripen during the rainy season. It soft and velvety, exactly how you'd expect mold to be, but surprisingly it can be eaten raw and it's nutritious too! It used in soups, enchiladas, sauces and many other dishes.

Turning pests into food

Locusts can be major pests, eating up vast fields of crops. What could be better way of scaring away these pests than by catching and eating them? In Israel, locusts make great snacks. From what experts say, they taste great whether they're fried in batter or covered chocolate. They're not only supposedly yummy but also loaded with nutrients like zinc, iron and protein.

This delicacy stares at you

If you're one to be easily put off by strange edible things, you must approach Japanese market stalls with caution. As true seafood lovers, the Japanese don't shy away from anything that arrives from the sea - octopus, squid, eels and... tuna eyeballs! Don't be surprised if you find large eyes staring you from transparent packages While the rest of the world throws them away, the Japanese include tuna eyeballs in many dishes as they are good for your brain, being rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, makes you why French fries can't deliver this goodness.

Buried and rotting delight

When you hear that a dish is called 'stinkheads' you know that can't be lip-smacking good. Imagine salmon being put in wooden barrels and under the ground for weeks. a few days... a then works its magic, turning it into a ripe and squishy would be an understatement to say that it smells a bit strong. Some say it smells like rotten onions, rotten flesh and ammonia that can challenge even the most adventurous palate.

Silkworm snacks

In South Korea, a snack means a bowl of steamed silkworm pupae. Delivering a medley of textures and flavours, it is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside with a slightly acidic, fishy flavour. For sweet-toothed fans, a candied version is also available. For those who cannot enjoy it on the streets of Korea, it is also possible to buy the canned version.

Onion halwa, anyone?

Onions throw themselves into most delicious spicy treats we've known. But what if they instead made friends with milk and sugar? Onion halwa is for those who are adventurous enough to test the pungent goodness of onions tamed into a sweet dessert.

A special potato dish

Phan pyut can be translated to 'extra-aged potatoes', but in truth potatoes find their place in this side dish only after they are completely spoilt. The potatoes are left untouched in the field until they rot and only afterwards are they cooked with choice spices. Would the spices be enough to mask the pungent taste? Guess not!

Picture Credit : Google

In what year was the first macaroni-and-cheese recipe printed?

The exact origin of macaroni and cheese is unknown, though it most likely hails from Northern Europe, with the earliest known recorded recipe being scribbled down in 1769. A staple of American cuisine, the creamy combo made its way to the United States courtesy of Thomas Jefferson, who, while visiting France, became enamored of fashionable pasta dishes served there. He brought back noodle recipes and a pasta machine, since this foodstuff was unavailable in the Colonies. As president, he served macaroni and cheese at an 1802 state dinner.

Kraft Foods introduced its boxed macaroni and cheese in 1937, when America was in the throes of the Great Depression. The product could serve four for 19 cents, and the company sold 8 million boxes of its quick-and-easy macaroni and cheese in a year. With rationing in effect during World War II, the boxed mix continued to gain in popularity; staples such as fresh meat and dairy were in short supply. It's now the standard incarnation of the dish, and along with ramen noodles, the Kraft Dinner (as it's known in Canada) is a mainstay of college student cuisine.

But some chefs are taking back the mac, putting inventive twists on this comfort food classic and making it worthy of fine dining establishments. (And yes, they're upping the ante from Kraft's novelty noodles, which resemble anything from cartoon characters to political mascots.) Some restaurants, such as S'Mac in New York, specialize in tantalizing variations on the dish—such as subbing in brie, figs, rosemary and mushrooms for the traditional cheddar-based sauce. Most restaurants, however, will have only have one or two options—but in a place like D.C., diners still have a fabulous variety to choose from, as the Washington Post will attest.

And then there's Paula Deen, who wraps her mac and cheese in bacon, breads it and flash fries the stuff. (Although you can forego the bells and whistles and stick to her more traditional presentation of the casserole.)

When making mac and cheese for myself, I turn to the 1953 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, which calls for a sauce made from Velveeta, onion and cream of mushroom soup. Top it off with some salsa and a side of broccoli and I'm in a good place. So basically, it's just an ever so slightly dressed up version of what you find on grocery store shelves. 

Credit :  Smithsonian 

Picture Credit : Google

Did Hansel and Gretel inspire gingerbread houses?

The tradition of decorated gingerbread houses began in Germany in the early 1800s, supposedly popularised after the not-so-Christmassy fairytale of Hansel and Gretel was published in 1812. The Grimms’ original fairy tale includes the line: “When they came nearer they saw that the house was built of bread, and roofed with cakes, and the window was of transparent sugar.” (In later versions it became gingerbread, rather than just bread.) Inspired by the story, German bakers began to craft small decorated houses from lebkuchen, spiced honey biscuits.

The origins of gingerbread are not precise. Ginger root was first cultivated in China around 5,000 years ago, and was thought to have medicinal and magical properties. When its usefulness as a preservative was discovered is unclear, but some food historians say that the first known recipe for gingerbread dates from around 2400 BC in Greece. Others trace its history to 992 AD, when Armenian monk Gregory of Nicopolis is thought to have taught Christian bakers in France how to make it. Later references include a gingerbread guild in Germany, probably formed in the 15th century to protect the rights of certain bakers. At around the same time, nuns in Sweden were baking gingerbread to ease indigestion.

In 2017, Jon Lovitch, sous-chef at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, broke the record for the fourth time for the “largest gingerbread village”. It was displayed at the New York Hall of Science. Another contender was the Pepperkakebyen (Gingerbread Town) in Bergen, Norway (on display until 31 December, £9). In 2015 it had more than 2,000 individual buildings that lit up, as well as ships, cars and a train. But only 1,020 of the structures were made of gingerbread, and it was denied the record for including non-edible components.

The walled medieval town of Dinkelsbühl, southern Germany, is often thought of as a real-life town of gingerbread houses. Its picturesque and well-preserved historic centre has gabled half-timbered buildings in yellow and peach, a church, a little town square and cobbled streets.

Credit : The Guardian 

Picture Credit : Google

What was the name of the Inn owned by the inventor of the chocolate chip cookie?

Today it’s the most popular cookie in America, but the original Toll House Cookie, the first chocolate chip cookie, was invented right here in New England by Ruth Wakefield at the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts, during the 1930s. Made with flour, brown sugar, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and walnuts (the nuts are optional, of course — it may be that only the great “hot or cold” lobster roll debate is more passionately argued than “nuts or no nuts”), Toll House cookies are a simple drop cookie that children, adults, and even Santa Claus can agree on.

They were invented, it turns out, as a happy accident. Ruth and her husband had purchased the 1709 toll house in 1930 with plans to turn it into an inn (appropriately named the Toll House Inn) since the location was perfectly situated between Boston and New Bedford. A former dietician and food lecturer with a passion for quality cookery, Ruth was experimenting in the kitchen one day when she decided to take a bar of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate and break it up into bits, which she added to a butter drop cookie batter. When she took them out of the oven, she was surprised to see that the chocolate hadn’t melted, and the firm bits gave the cookies a unique (and addictive) crunch.

She liked the texture so much she called them Chocolate Crunch Cookies, and added the recipe to her collection.

The recipe made its way to a Boston newspaper, and as its popularity grew, so did the sale of Nestle chocolate bars. With Ruth’s permission, Nestle began printing the recipe on the bar’s wrapper, and in 1939, they started selling the chocolate bits on their own in bags, calling them “morsels.” The recipe, nearly identical to the original Toll House Cookie recipe, is still printed on each bag today.

Credit : New England

Picture Credit : Google