6 Great Food Invented Accidentally

BP World Research | Feb 24 2019

Our idea about food that is exhilarating on the pallet is that we need careful planning and systematic execution to create it. Having said that, some of the greatest food of all times were discovered by sheer accidents!

Difficult to believe isn’t it? Much more than our expectation of a skillful chef, high-quality materials and great  recipes there was destiny behind some of these great food discoveries.

Learn the secret behind the discovery of some of your most favourite dishes.

   1. The South Indian ‘Aviyal’

Aviyal or avial is a unique dish that has a place in typical Kerala as well as Tamil cuisines. Avial is a mixture of cooked vegetables dressed with grated coconut, coconut oil and curry leaves. What is interesting with Avial is that there is an interesting story about how Aviyal has been discovered. This story is interwoven with more fantasy than facts.

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According to the Indian mythology, Bhima (one of the Pandava brothers of the epic Mahabharata) invented Avial. When Pandavas lost in the game of chess with Kauravas, they had to go for a 12 year exile. During the last year,  Bheema, the second of the brothers was assigned as a cook (in disguise) in the kitchen of King Virata. Not knowing how to cook, he just chopped different vegetables, boiled them, dressed the same with grated coconut and seasoned it with some salt. This is just one version of the story.

There are certain mythological variations in the story of Avial. Another version is that Kauravas attempted to kill Bhima by drowning him in water and they arranged a feast after completion of the days of mourning which is actualy a ritual. Bhima was however rescued by Nagas and he himself prepared a mixed vegetable dish and provided the feast to Kauravas.

Here goes a further version of how the birth of Avial was marked! Royals of  Thiruvithamkoor in Kerala arranged a feast for people, but the shortage of dishes became a trouble. The king ordered the cook-in-charge to make some curry from the leftover vegetables.The talented cook, boiled the vegetables together and added some spice and coconut to create today’s Avial.

   2. The Nutty Pasty Nutella

Who doesn't like Nutella? Children and adults alike love the delicious cocoa-hazelnut paste. But how many of us know that this is an accidental invention?

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Actually, the shortage of cocoa during the Second World War resulted in discovering this  mouth-watering spread.

Pietro Ferrero, a pastry maker from Piedmont in Italy accidently created a tasty spread from hazelnuts and sugar by adding just a little of the rare cocoa he had. He named it 'Giandujot' after a famous local carnival character at the time. The ‘Giandujot' paste then transformed to a new product called SuperCrema.

Pietro improved his recipe and invented the first-ever jar of a new hazelnut and cocoa cream. His creative hat had contributed, the world’s most famous spread: Nutella. Later it had been expanded into Europe and was  launched in the French market which became a great success.

The success of Nutella was so much so that Sara Rosso, an Italo-American blogger and Nutella lover declared February 5th 2007 as the Nutella lovers’ day!

   3. Beer, The Chillout Beverage

Beer is one of the most popular drinks in the world. The less alcohol in it compared to the other drinks, makes it having a better pub experience. A drink that’s a true social drink, studies say that beer plays a role in bettering socialization and friendship

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Beer is also one of the oldest beverages in human history. The oldest human drink, beer dates back to the 5th millennium BC and most likely first produced in Iran of Middle East. Closely connected to the grain culture of ancient humans, it’s difficult to conclude how beer was invented.However, an interesting mention about the same is this:

Mesopotamians used to store grains including barley in large spaces for future use. Occasionally the humidity of the storage places would increase. This invariably would have resulted in fermentation of the stored grain. Thus resulting in the forming of early beer.

Ninkasi is considered as the patron goddess of brewing in ancient Sumer. ‘Hymn to Ninkasi’ is an old song praising the goddess of beer and also narrating the brewing recipe.

   4. Hot Brewing Cup Of Coffee

Coffee is one of the largest beverages consumed by people worldwide. Just to mention an example, in Finland there is a per capita consumption of 12 Kg of coffee a year. Every year millions of cups of coffee is consumed around the world. 

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The myth of coffee is kind of interesting. According to the story, an Abyssinian goat herder from Kaffa noticed a strange behaviour among his goats. They were found dancing on their hind legs. Their energy level was higher than normal. He found that the source of the excitement was a small shrub with bright red berries.

The goat herder mentioned about his findings to the monarchy around. The monks made a drink out of the beans and found that they were alert and attentive all through their evening prayers. The magic of coffee beans started to spread resulting in more people brewing coffee. The rest is history!

   5. Irresistible Potato Chips

This crunchy snack came out of frustration a chef had for the bad customer reviews, if stories can be believed.

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In 1853, Chef George Crum was disturbed as his customers were complaining about the thick potato fries that were served to them. The customer concern was that it’s soft and soggy. This made the chef think a little differently. Instead of the long thick cuts, the chef sliced the next batch of potatoes as thinly as he could and deep fried them with salt. No need to say that the  customers loved the new version of crunchy potato fries.He opened his own restaurant, called the Crumbs House to meet the growing demand of the new avtar of his potato chips.

   6. Risotto Cacio e Pepe, the food of Unity

Northern Italy in 2012 was hit by twin earthquake. These two quacks happened nine days apart. Many towns were badly affected.

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Italy is famous for its different variants of cheese. In the quack thousands of massive wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese stored for aging got crashed down.Later when the authorities decided to thank the world for the help during the  adverse times, ‘unity’ was chosen as the theme. They assigned Massimo Bottura, a famous chef to prepare the food. The chef has created a comfort food marvel called Risotto Cacio e Pepe, by mixing cheese and rice.

Read: Love Cheese? These Are The Most Expensive Cheeses In The World

The food that was created became a worldwide hit.