Top 5 Food Accidents

Have you ever thought about the origin of the food you’re eating? I don’t mean from which supermarket or grocery store. I mean all the way back to the inventor of the food on your plate. Most of our everyday food was actually created by accident. This week we go back to explore the accidents that shaped our culinary world today.

ice cream cone

Ice Cream Cone

We’ll start with my personal favorite, the ice cream cone. In 1904, Ernest Hamwi, a Syrian concessionaire was selling crisp waffle-like pastry called zalabis at the St.Louis World’s fair. To his surprise, an ice cream vendor was in the booth right next to him. The ice cream stand ran out of bowls and Hamwi saw an opportunity. He rolled the zalabis he was selling into the form of a cone and came to rescue of the ice cream hungry people.


Popsicles photo credit: Vanilla and lace via / CC BY

Popsicles were a purely accidental act as well. They were invented by an 11-year-old boy–Frank Epperson. On a cold evening, Frank forgot a mixture of flavored soda water with a stick in it on the porch. Due to the cold weather outside, he woke up to find his soda water frozen and as he went to remove the stick he was surprised to see that the flavored soda came out with it. It wasn’t until 18 years later in 1923 that Epperson introduced his frozen treat to the public and we don’t need to tell you how big of a success it was.

Potato Chips

Potato Chips

This is an interesting one; potato chips were invented as a vengeful act from a chef to a customer at a restaurant in 1953. As a reaction to commenting on the thickness of his potato slices, George Crum decided to serve his picky guest potato slices so thin that he would not be able to pick them up with a fork. To his surprise, the customer loved the salty crispy treats.



We all know and love Kelloggs’ Corn flakes. Some of us grew up eating them and enjoying the many flavors and shapes that came out each year. But Cornflakes were actually a kitchen accident. In a sanitarium in 1894 the Kelloggs brothers were trying to create a healthy food option for their patients. As they cooked some wheat and accidentally burned it; little did they know that they were on the brink to creating one of the world’s most popular breakfast items. They tried to shape the dough-like product and it was cracking into little flakes. And that is how Kelloggs’ Corn Flakes was created.

Pink Lemonade

Pink Lemonade

If you love Pink Lemonade, then I suggest you stop reading now! This story is not for the weak hearted. In the mid-1800’s, in a circus in the US, a man was selling lemonade. And as he ran out of water, he went to the back of the circus tent only to find a bucket of pink water. He used that water to make some lemonade. However, he did not know that the bucket belonged to a circus performer who was washing her pink stockings in the water! The Pink Lemonade that we drink today, made with grenadine syrup or with berries syrup, does not have a clear origin. 

If you enjoyed these food-accidents then check out how chocolate chip cookies were invented here .