We play with food, laugh about food, and analyze every bite. Food is part of life – it’s been around as long as we have. As a result, there are a lot of funny stories about the precious and hopefully tasty morsels that we consume. Below are just a few true stories . . .
It was April 1, 1957 (April Fool’s Day). Everyone knew that money didn’t grow on trees . . . but spaghetti? BBC (British Broadcasting Company) aired a program about a “spaghetti tree” in Switzerland. A three-minute video showed workers harvesting spaghetti, noting that the “spaghetti weevil” – the tree’s only predator – had been eradicated.
Announcer Richard Dimbly reported that “this is the product of many years of patient endeavor by plant breeders who succeeded in producing the perfect spaghetti.”
Millions of viewers bought the hoax, asking how they could get their own tree. The BBC response was to “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
I wonder what would happen if you put a roll of money in a tin of tomato sauce?
Strange foods you can order from Amazon
Mixed edible bugs
Edible Black Forest scorpions
While out in space . . .
Yuri Gagarin, the Russian astronaut, was the first human to dine in space. The menu was crumb-free, toothpaste-style tubes filled with pureed meat and chocolate sauce (not in the same tube). Gemini astronauts feasted on cubes covered in gelatin to prevent crumbs from floating and possibly harming instruments. The Apollo crews ate freeze dried delicacies reconstituted in a plastic bag and eaten with a spoon or straw. By the time food technology reached the ISS (International Space Station) there were twenty different items on the menu. Astronauts were even allowed to bring a warm sandwich at launch and eat it in orbit.
Four infamous quotes about food
“Things sweet to taste prove indigestion sour.” – William Shakespeare
“The secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” – Mark Twain
“You can’t make everyone happy. You’re not pizza.” – Unknown
“He was a bold man who first ate an oyster.” – Jonathan Swift
Competitive or Sport Eating
What says more about the art of food than competitive or sport eating? The “sport” is a race to eat a lot of food within a specific time frame. The amount of food is large while the amount of time is small. Many people argue that it’s not really a sport even though there are many events and fans. The most famous, Nathan’s July 4 Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island became a multi-million dollar annual show. The most famous competitor, Joey Chestnut, set the world record in 2021 by downing 76 hot dogs in ten minutes – earning him the title of World’s Greatest Eater. He has a website, travels around the world, and sells a line of grilling sauces. Chestnut, (appropriately named) appears in various competitions including Mutton Glutton, Hostess Donettes, and the Ramen Challenge. Chestnut was born in 1983, holds over fifty eating world records, and has a net worth estimated at over two million dollars. That’s a lot of pricey dogs.
A Sample of Eating Contests
(in case you’re interested)
Buffalo Buffet Bowl (wings)
The Vaughan Pizza Fest
The Day-Lee Gyoza Eating Championship
The World’s Ice Cream Eating Championship
Berkwood Farms Bacon Eating Contest
World Pie Eating Championship
Acme Oyster Eating World Championship
The World Twinkie-Eating Contest
Not to be outdone by eating competitions and spaghetti trees, food hoaxes are always good for a few tasty laughs:
The left-handed whopper
A machine that turns water into wine
Helium Coca Cola
Gently used jams
Meatball bath bombs
White-chocolate-flavored cheese puffs