What is the history of chocolate ?

Chocolate is popular globally and across age groups. No wonder it has its own day! World Chocolate Day is celebrated on July 7 every year to mark the day of its arrival in Europe way back in 1550. Let's take a bite of chocolate's history, its benefits, the flip side, and its social and ecological impact.

Born in the Americas

Every bar of chocolate made is bom from cacao trees whose seeds- cacao or cocoa beans-are a primary ingredient in its preparation. The origin story though takes us to the Americas.  To be specific, Mesoamerica,  spanning southern parts of North America and vot parts of Central America. Scientific evidence dates the use of cacao seeds to over 3,600 year ago by Maya Aztec, Olmec and other ancient civilisations of this region. Cacao was venerated as a gift from god and drinks made from it were used especially during rituals and as energuen and medicine. However, research from a few years ago suggests that the Mayo Chinchipe culture in present-day Ecuador of South America used cocoa beans a good 5.000 years ago-pushing back the date of first use of these seeds by about 1,500 years. While it is contested if Ecuador actually domesticated cacao or if that credit goes to the Maya people, an archaeobotanist settles the argument beautifully saying the Maya turned the consumption of cacao into an art form But back then it was consumed as a bitter beverage, tasting nothing like the solid chocolate we know today. And that transformation happened in Europe

Raised in Europe

Though theories abound on how exactly chocolate entered Europe, it appears to have occurred during the 16th Century and inexplicably tied to Spanish colonisation of the Americas Spanish conquistadors (conquerors) are believed to have brought it to Spain. From Spain, its popularity and demand spread to other parts of the continent, where notoriously slaves were used extensively in cocoa plantations. (By 17th and 18th Centuries, it was available in North America too.) For a few centuries, cocoa continued to be enjoyed as a beverage in Europe, enriched  with milk spices, and flavourings, and invariably among the wealthy.  Gradually, cocoa  reached  the masses, took a powder form-known as Dutch cocoa and easy to mix with water, and inevitably, the solid chocolate bar was born. Today, chocolates are available in every corner of the world and in several unimaginable forms and flavours.


Many studies have been conducted globally to ascertain the benefits of chocolate consumption. Research shows that chocolate can help in brain function, especially in those aged 50 to 70. Dark chocolate consumption has been linked to lower risk of a heart attack. As cocoa helps increase the flow of blood around the brain, it seems to cut down the chances of a stroke too Apart from this, consuming a tiny chocolate square regularly is believed to help lower blood pressure and the chances of succumbing to cardiovascular diseases. Flavanols, substances found in cocoa, boost the body's supply of nitric oxide to help lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate is said to bring down oxidative stress - which causes cell and tissue damage and improves platelet function. Among dark, milk, and white chocolate, studies appear PHOTO: PIXABAY to show that dark chocolate (with less sugar) fares better than the other two.


Since chocolates invariably contain sugar and saturated fat. Unchecked consumption can result in weight gain, putting individuals at risk for cardiovascular diseases. Other concems arising out of chocolate consumption include heartburn, cancer, allergies, and toxic and bacterial contamination during the processing (cacao by itself is not contaminated). Though studies show the benefits of consuming chocolate, recent reports suggest that many such studies could be funded by chocolate manufacturers and hence the findings could be exaggerated or selective in showcasing chocolates in a positive light.

Eco-social impact

While the word chocolate could conjure up happy visuals of this rich and delectable treat for s chocolate lover, its production belies a dark stony Cocoa plantations in West Africa, especially tong Coast and Ghana, are plagued by prevalance of widespread child labour employment, with poor or no wages, and hazardous working conditions. Many reports liken the situation to modern-day slaveny, making chocolates the result of unethical trade practices with little thought for human dignity. On the environmental front since the denund for chocolate is globally high tropical forests are destroyed to make way for cocoa plantations, decimating native wildlife. Not just that since chocolate production also involves ingredients such as milk, sugar, palm oil, etc.. the increased production of these items too affect the environment. As the use of chocolate has crossed, culinary territory to veer into cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries, the demand for it has never been higher Add to this the fairly recent allure of organic and single-origin (grown in a specific region) cacao, the pressure on our environment hasn't been more severe


  • A perfect name? The scientific name of the cacao tree is Theobroma cacao. Coined by Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus, it seems fitting because it translates to Drink of the gods, from the Greek words theos (god) and broma (beverage).
  • How versatile! Historic records show that chocolate was used as more than just a drink. It was used as money, face paint, a disguise for poison, and was even fought over!
  • Culinary experiments if you think chilli-flavoured chocolates are a recent (and fancy) invention, think again During festive times, the Aztecs seem to have had a variety of drinking chocolate, with a dash of maize, chilli, aniseed, and even flowers
  • Pods of pleasure Cocoa beans are encased in the fruit of the cacao tree. The fruit is in the form of a fleshy pod, and each pod contains a few dozen beans. The pulpy fruit or the seeds themselves apparently do not taste anything like chocolate. The seeds acquire this addictive flavour and smell only after they are dried and roasted
  • That's a lot African countries Ivory Coast (Cote d'lvoire) and Ghana are among the largest producers of cocoa in the world, accounting for over 50% of the total global production

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The hamburger first appeared in the 19th or early 20th century. The modern hamburger was a product of the culinary needs of a society rapidly changing due to industrialization and the emergence of the working class and the middle class with the resulting demand for mass-produced, affordable food that could be consumed outside of the home.

Considerable evidence suggests that either the United States or Germany (the city of Hamburg) was the first country where two slices of bread and a ground beef steak were combined into a "hamburger sandwich" and sold. There is some controversy over the origin of the hamburger because its two basic ingredients, bread and beef, had been prepared and consumed separately for many years in different countries before their combination. Shortly after its creation, the hamburger quickly included all of its currently typically characteristic trimmings, including onions, lettuce, and sliced pickles.

After various controversies in the 20th century, including a nutritional controversy in the late 1990s, the burger is now readily identified with the United States, and a particular style of cuisine, namely fast food. Along with fried chicken and apple pie, the hamburger has become a culinary icon in the United States.

The hamburger's international popularity demonstrates the larger globalization of food  that also includes the rise in global popularity of other national dishes, including the Italian pizza, Chinese fried rice and Japanese sushi. The hamburger has spread from continent to continent perhaps because it matches familiar elements in different culinary cultures. This global culinary culture has been produced, in part, by the concept of selling processed food, first launched in the 1920s by the White Castle restaurant chain and its founder Edgar Waldo "Billy" Ingram and then refined by McDonald's in the 1940s.This global expansion provides economic points of comparison like the Big Mac Index, by which one can compare the purchasing power of different countries where the Big Mac hamburger is sold.

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In which country was Caesar Salad invented?

 Mexico - Italian-American Chef Cesare ("Caesar") Cardini invented Caesar salad at his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico in 1924. As the story goes, the popular restaurant was super busy so they had started to run out of ingredients. As a result, Cardini threw together a salad from items that were to hand: romaine lettuce, parmesan cheese, and egg. The salad was a hit and became especially popular with Americans visiting Tijuana. In 1948, the Cardini family moved to Los Angeles, California, and patented their famous salad dressing. Caesar Salad is a popular dish.

Credit : Try3steps

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What kind of chutney is major GREY?

A mango chutney by the name Major Grey's chutney is popular in the U.K. and the U.S. A 19th century army officer by the same name, living in British India, is believed to have made this mildly flavoured, sweet and sour chutney. Its main ingredients are mangoes, raisins, onions and spices. Since no one has a copyright on the name, several 'Major Grey' chutneys are available on the market.   Major Grey’s Chutney is brand royalty among chutneys.  Being both sweet and savory it pairs well with smoked meats or strong cheeses and tastes great added to dips, grilled chicken or your favorite vinaigrette recipe.  During this long journey the concept changed, until the commercially made mango chutney 'Major Grey's chutney' became the British standard chutney.

Credit : Foodreference

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What is a taco?

Today, we see tacos everywhere and in every form - carnitas, barbacoa, al pastor, adobada, and countless other variations of this corn-based tortilla wrap in authentic Mexican food. Though the taco came from Mexico, it seems to be one of the most universally loved foods, spreading worldwide.

The origin of the word taco comes from the Nahuatl’s “tlahco,” translating to “half, or in the middle” in English, describing the way we fold this tasty flatbread before eating it. 

The origin of tacos begins with corn. Sometime around 3,000 BC, Mexicans excavated the “Valle de Tehuac” and hybridized grasses to create the corn plant. Indigenous cultures viewed corn as the foundation of humanity or the seed of life. They even believed humans were built of corn. 

Ancient culture revered corn because it quite literally kept them alive and improved their overall quality of life drastically. 

Corn kernels are nixtamalized with an alkaline treatment to remove the husk, then ground into a fine corn flour base of our favorite tortillas. Historians date the first traces of nixtamalized corn back to the Olmec culture back in 1,500 BC, meaning they likely included a basic corn flatbread in their diets. 

The famous Moctezuma used these corn tortillas to scoop and hold his food after a hot stone preparation. Years later, after Hernan Cortez overthrew the Aztec empire, he fed his soldiers banquets of corn tortillas and pork. 

Authentic Mexican tacos in their modern form developed sometime in the 19th century in the booming Mexican silver mines. The first true type of taco was the “taco de minero,” or “miner’s taco.” 

And though we can’t say for sure, experts believe that “taco” referred initially to gunpowder wrapped in a thin piece of paper, used to blow up holes in the rock face and excavate the ore. It’s easy to see how a tasty tortilla wrap may have resembled them, earning the taco’s modern moniker. A small taco, taquito, looks exactly like a small stick of dynamite and might burn as badly as one for those not well acquainted with chile spice!

From there, tacos spread through the working-class of Mexico, with taquerias popping up to offer modestly priced meals. Migrant women brought the taco to Mexico City to sell, and the city quickly transformed into the country’s biggest taco hub. 

In 1908, the city of Cuautla, Morelos birthed tacos made with sausage, chorizo, green sauce and pork rinds, mole Verde, and many more modern favorites. Eventually, these tacos made their way to the capital, Cuernavaca. 

Credit : Uno Casa

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Where did the burrito originate from?

Burrito is a popular Mexican dish consisting of a grilled or steamed tortilla wrapped into a cylindrical shape and filled with varied ingredients. Did you know that the word “burrito” means “little donkey” in Spanish? This could be because a burrito can carry many things just as a donkey can. Another theory is that the stuffed tortilla looks like the bundles often carried by the pack animal.

Another popular theory tells of an unnamed street vendor in Ciudad Juárez, who created the burrito in the 1940s, to sell to poor children at a nearby school. His affectionate nickname for the children was “burritos”, slang for “slow” or “dimwitted”, and that was how the food got its name.

There is one more theory, according to which the burrito was invented in Sonora (a region in northwest Mexico) as a food that was easy to carry around while traveling. Since traveling was commonly done by donkey, the burrito was named after the travel companion. Gustavo Arellano, who wrote the book “Taco: USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America” and is an expert on the topic, believes this theory is the most plausible, since Sonora is the region of Mexico known for growing wheat, which is the main ingredient in flour tortillas.

The original Mexican burritos (which are still consumed in Mexico today) are small and thin. They are filled with basic ingredients like meat, fish, cheese, beans, rice and hot peppers – but never all together, just one or two of these ingredients in a single burrito. Migrant workers from Mexico had possibly brought burritos with them to the United States between the 1940s and the 1960s. Americans quickly fell in love with the flavourful dish, and taquerias serving burritos started springing up in Southern California in the following decades.

The arrival of the burrito the States helped catalyze its transformation into the big, juicy super-burrito we know today. The Mission-style burrito, also known as the San Francisco burrito, was invented by El Faro, a grocery store in San Francisco’s Mission District, in 1961. El Faro’s owner, Febronio Ontiveros, claims to have come up with the extra-large burrito that contained rice, guacamole and sour cream alongside the standard fillings of meat, beans and cheese.

Of course, that’s not how the burrito story ends. Sixty years later, burritos in dizzying varieties are available in restaurants and grocery stores across the globe. Pretty incredible for a dish that started as a functional meal for travelers!

Credit : Quesada 

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How did Indian-Chinese come to Kolkata and Mumbai?

Tracing its roots

The birth of Indian-Chinese cuisine can be attributed to Chinese migrants who moved to Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Bombay (now Mumbai) in the late 1700s. One of the first recorded migrants who travelled to India for material prospects was Yang Tai Chow, a Chinese businessman, in 1778. With more number of Chinese migrants arriving, Chinatown was established in Calcutta,

Like most immigrant communities, the Chinese acquired and incorporated Indian sensibilities into their food and this eventually led to the birth of the famous Indian-Chinese cuisine. According to reports, the first Indian Chinese restaurant called Eau Chew, opened in Calcutta. The dishes on their menu were a blend of Chinese ingredients such as soy sauce and noodles, and Indian spices. The dishes impressed the locals, and eventually, a number of such food joints sprung in Calcutta

An iconic dish

Mumbai, which too had a substantial number of Chinese immigrants, also witnessed a similar trend. One of the most iconic moments was the invention of chicken manchurian, which today is synonymous with Chinese food in India. Invented by Nelson Wang, the then caterer of Chinese food at the Cricket Club of India, chicken manchurian was first prepared in Mumbai in 1975. Wang, who was born in Calcutta moved to Bombay for work.

According to popular legend, he created the dish by tossing soy sauce, cornstarch and chicken together in a pan, when a customer demanded a new dish. Now, there are a few varieties of manchurian available in our restaurants.


Though the Chinese community in India has dwindled significantly, the dishes are a fan-favourite According to reports, there is a significant rise in the consumption of restaurant food among the millennials, and many choose Indian-Chinese food, as it is easily available across the country. The predominance of gravy and rice makes Indian-Chinese a comfort cuisine.

Indian-Chinese dishes have become a quintessential part of Indian cuisine, that most of these items can hardly be found anywhere outside the country, even in China. Several Indian-Chinese dishes bear very little resemblance to the food actually eaten in China. These dishes include chilli chicken or paneer, spring rolls, chowmein and fried rice, and date pancakes.

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Who invented the first commercial popcorn machine and when?

Charles Cretors invented the first commercial popcorn machine in 1885. Charles Cretors redesigned a peanut roaster machine after he purchased it for his confectionery shop in Decatur, Illinois but was deeply unsatisfied with how it functioned. After redesigning the peanut roaster machine for better function, he realized he was able to use it to pop popcorn. His invention marks the very first popcorn machine could pop popcorn uniformly in seasoning. Cretors moved to Chicago to sell popcorn and show off his new popcorn machine invention. When he purchased his first vendors' license to legally sell the popcorn outside of his shop on December 2nd, 1885, his company, C. Cretors & Company was born and the world of popcorn was forever changed.

His popcorn machine was run by a little steam engine, which promoted the popcorn popping process, and by 1893, he had created a popcorn machine could pop popcorn in oil. His invention was patented same year. Cretors took his popcorn machine to Chicago’s Columbian Exposition, which is now known as the World’s Fair: Columbian Exposition and introduced it to the public. He offered free samples of his hot buttered popcorn and by the time he left, people were lining up to purchase his popcorn. A traveling salesman named J. M. Savage tried Cretors product and offered to sell the steam-powered popcorn machine in his territory. Thrilled by this deal, Cretors agreed and Cretors hired his first salesman.

By 1900, Cretors invented the Special, a popcorn machine wagon drawn by horses and it became a huge success. From the success of the Special, several different versions of it were created, including one wrapped in walnut wood. As electricity was becoming more available, Cretors was the creator of the very first popcorn machine with an electrical motor. Electrical popcorn machines became more popular than their steam-powered parent and as movie attendance in the 1920s grew, so did the demand for Cretors popcorn machine. In 1988, the United States Postal Service issued a postage stamp featuring a picture of Cretors’ 1902 version of the first popcorn machine wagon as a tribute to America's first snack.

Credit : America’s Favourite Popcorn

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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!

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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!

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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 

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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 

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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

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Which cartoon character is known for his love of doughnuts?

If a poster could describe Homer Simpson, it’d be him with all things junk. From burgers to pizzas, Homer loves it all. But if there’s one thing he can’t live without, it’s doughnuts.

Homer Jay Simpson is a fictional character and one of the main characters of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared on television, along with the rest of his family, in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987. Homer was created and designed by cartoonist Matt Groening while he was waiting in the lobby of James L. Brooks' office. Groening had been called to pitch a series of shorts based on his comic strip Life in Hell but instead decided to create a new set of characters. He named the character after his father, Homer Groening. After appearing for three seasons on The Tracey Ullman Show, the Simpson family got their own series on Fox, which debuted December 17, 1989. The show was later acquired by Disney in 2019.

Homer is one of the most influential characters in the history of television, and is widely considered to be an American cultural icon. The British newspaper The Sunday Times described him as "The greatest comic creation of [modern] time". He was named the greatest character "of the last 20 years" in 2010 by Entertainment Weekly, was ranked the second-greatest cartoon character by TV Guide, behind Bugs Bunny, and was voted the greatest television character of all time by Channel 4 viewers. For voicing Homer, Castellaneta has won four Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance and a special-achievement Annie Award. In 2000, Homer and his family were awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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What is the name of the dessert made of sponge cake, ice cream, and meringue?

Baked Alaska, also known as Bombe Alaska, omelette norvégienne, omelette surprise, or omelette sibérienne depending on the country, is a dessert consisting of ice cream and cake topped with browned meringue. The dish is made of ice cream placed in a pie dish, lined with slices of sponge cake or Christmas pudding, and topped with meringue. The entire dessert is then placed in an extremely hot oven for a brief time, long enough to firm and caramelize the meringue but not long enough to begin melting the ice cream.

The meringue insulates the ice cream while the dessert is browning and you end up with a delicious mixture of flavors and textures, the most surprising of which is the ice cream center that doesn’t melt while it is in the oven! Many chefs are credited with the invention of the dessert, and there were many hot-and-cold dessert pairings served as ice cream became widely available, but the name “Baked Alaska” was coined at Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City in 1876 to honor the recently acquired American territory of Alaska.

Baked Alaska is not a difficult dessert to make at home, since it has only three components: cake, ice cream and meringue. You can easily put your own spin on the original recipe by using brownies or pound cake, instead of a plain sponge cake, and you can even use store-bought cake instead of homemade. The ice cream flavors can be mixed and matched to suit your tastes, too. The only element of this dessert that you can’t change is the meringue. You need to make a classic meringue with eggs and sugar to finish the dessert off properly, since the air pockets created by whipping the egg whites are what insulate the ice cream while the dessert is browning. It’s a fantastic dessert to impress a crowd with, and since the base can be prepared well in advance and frozen, it is a great make-ahead dessert when you want to serve something special without being pressed for time.

Credit : Baking Bites 

Picture Credit : Google