In two earlier articles I wrote about false sports myths and false movie myths. Well there are virtually myths about every category you can think of, including food. One food myth that is not false is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, so be on the watch for him. But here are some food myths that are false.
German cooks are known for using extravagant ingredients making for a rich dining experience so many people believe that a German cake seemed to fit this recipe. But the German cake is not German, it’s American. The first recipe for German cake appeared in a Dallas newspaper in 1957. The German name comes from Sam German who developed a sweet baking bar for the Baker’s Chocolate Co. which was used in the original German cake recipe.
With a name like Caesar salad it seems obvious that the Caesar name is from Julius Caesar right? That’s what most people think; either Caesar salad was invented by or name for Julius Caesar. But Caesar salad has no connection Caesar or any other Roman leader. Caesar salad was actually named after Caesar Cardini who invented the dish in Tijuana, Mexico.
We’ve all seen in our favorite episode at least one episode where the characters on the show are given sushi and they are disgusted by having to eat raw fish. Well contrary to popular belief sushi is not raw fish. The raw fish is called sashimi. The sushi is simply the vinegared rice that can be (but doesn’t have to be) paired with the sashimi. Sushi can be made without any raw fish present.
Somewhere along the way it became a popular story that Twinkies were made completely out of artificial ingredients with no food products and therefore had an unusually long shelf life. Some people have even gone so far to say that Twinkies never go bad and have an indefinite shelf life. Those people will tell you that Hostess hasn’t actually made any new Twinkies in years. This myth of course is ridiculous. Twinkies do have an unusually long shelf life for a snack cake due to its lack of dairy products. However, the shelf life is only twenty-five days not indefinite, not twenty years, not five years, and not even one year.
In an episode of one of my favorite TV shows, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there was once a musical episode. In one song Anya sings about her fear of bunnies in which she says “and what’s with all the carrots? What do they need good eye sight for anyway?” I was very disappointed to learn that this is another food myth. While carrots are a good source of vitamin A they do boost your eyesight. The myth began during World War II when Britain’s air ministry spread the word that carrots helped pilots see Nazi bombers at night. However, the word they were spreading was a lie to cover up the real reason for their success, the Airborne Interception Radar. The secret new system was detecting enemy bombers before they reached them and they wanted to keep the system a secret so they came up with the carrots myth.
I remember hearing this myth when I was younger. The story goes that a kid ate a bag of candy called Pop Rocks and then afterwards he drank Pepsi. When the two substances combined in his stomach they exploded and killed him. To make the story really good people said the kid it happened to was Mike from the LIFE cereal commercials. He reportedly did not like it. This myth is false as well. General Foods took out full page ads in major publications and wrote over 50,000 letters to principals across the country explaining that Pop Rock generate less gas than half a can of soda and eating the carbonated candy would do nothing worse than cause you to belch. In 1983 General Foods stopped marketing Pop Rocks and some people think this was proof that they were dangerous. But the truth is Pop Rocks never went a way completely. Kraft bought the rights to Pop Rocks and changed the name Action Candy.