Watch This Video To Find Out Where Your Favorite Foods Got Their Names

By Mack Rawden 2013-08-21 13:48:26
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You know what’s more annoying than simply not knowing the story behind something? Mistakenly thinking there’s not a complicated story behind something that seems really obvious, only to find out you couldn’t be more wrong. I felt that annoyance about ten minutes ago when I sat down to watch this week’s new Mental Floss video and discovered German chocolate cake wasn’t invented in Germany, nor does it have any connection to Germany in the slightest. Instead, it was apparently invented by some guy named Sam German who figured out a way to make presweetened dark baking chocolate way back in 1852. He named it after himself, though it’s unclear whether or not he realized it would cause mass confusion for centuries.

That hot fact is just one of twenty-eight John Green and company’s newest video hits us with this week. Luckily, not all of them are so shocking. Instead, most of them simply offer the real life story behind foods we always assumed were named after someone but were far too lazy to look up the origin for—like Melba Toast or Granny Smith Apples or Cobb Salad.

Ordinarily, I’m a fan of lists getting as long as possible. I love being bombarded with information, and as those AT&T commercials with the children have taught me, more is better. When it comes to Mental Floss, however, I actually think the episodes work a little better when there are less entries on the list. That gives Green a little more time to breath as he’s recounting why certain things are on the list, and it keeps the show from taking on an “and then…”, “also…”, etc vibe. Plus, it’s nice to hear the long form version of stories rather than brief snippets that could be expanded on.

As such, I’ve decided to go ahead and embed another video that I think works particularly well because it doesn’t cover a whole lot of territory. It’s called 26 Alcoholic Drinks, and in many ways, it’s the perfect partner to pair with this food video. It also outlines the name origins, though it obviously focuses on libations. Whether you’re a big drinker or not, there will be types of alcohol you’ve heard of, and besides, watching it is far more enjoyable than doing real work.

You can check it out below…


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