History of the Belgian Waffle and Inside the Candy Egg Factory

by in News, April 19th, 2014

WafflesAll’s Fair in Love of Waffles: This month marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens, New York. Did you know we can thank the fair for popularizing the Belgian waffle, in all its whipped cream- and strawberry-covered wonder? The treat was first sold — for $1 — at the fair’s Belgian Village, where it was called the Bel-Gem Waffle, and later by vendors throughout the fair. “For historical purists, the Belgian waffle was actually introduced at a 1958 Paris expo, and migrated to America for the Seattle Fair of 1962,” the New York Daily News reports. “When it got to New York it was still called the Brussels Waffle, which was changed when some reasoned that Americans associated ‘Brussels’ not with the capital of Belgium, but ‘Brussels sprouts.’ The name was tweaked and the rest is World’s Fair history.” Now you know. [New York Daily News]

Baskets at the Ready: Everyone knows Peeps have their die-hard fans, but there are those who vastly prefer the foil-wrapped, chocolate-covered, goo-filled springtime confection known as the Cadbury Creme Egg. Not that Easter candy is a zero-sum (zero-yum?) game. Cadbury parent company Mondelēz International, Inc. produces 350 million such eggs a year — and, no, there isn’t a giant coop full of chocolate-covered, goo-filled chickens doing the work. Wired has ventured behind the scenes at a Cadbury factory in Birmingham, England, to reveal how it does its eggcellent work. The eggs’ cream filling is made of “sugar, water, glucose, and a proprietary goo called ‘blended syrup’ — and free-range-egg powder,” the mag reports. “The ‘white’ and the ‘yolk’ have nearly identical ingredients, but the yellow contains food coloring.” Made year-round, the eggs are sold only from January to Easter, so fans may want to hop to it. [Wired]

Why a Blue Chicken Seems Gross: If you’re repulsed by fine arts photographer Lawrie Brown’s images of a chicken painted a shiny Blue Man Group blue and sitting atop a bed of rice and peas (see it here) and of pink cereal floating in sunshine-yellow milk (here) — both part of her “Colored Food Series” — there may be an evolutionary reason. “Visual cues … can set up expectations about what it is we think we’re going to taste and what the flavor will be,” Oxford University experimental psychologist Charles Spence tells NPR’s The Salt. “And those expectations tend to be a very powerful determinant of what we actually experience.” Shades of red can make foods taste sweeter and green more sour because we think of ripe red fruits as sweet and green, unripe fruits as sour. Blue food, meanwhile, can indicate spoilage, which may be why Lawrie’s chicken turns our stomach. Because ew. [NPR's The Salt]

In Other Food News: IKEA is considering ways to tweak its recipes so as to reduce the carbon footprint of menu items like its popular Swedish meatballs, including introducing a veggie meatball option. Such changes, the company’s head of sustainability says, would have a “real cumulative impact” on the environment. [Business Green] Huy Fong Foods CEO David Tran says the company may move the factory in which it makes its popular Sriracha hot sauce from Irwindale, Calif., where the city council has ordered it to address odor issues, to Texas. [Pasadena Star-News via LAist] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a new report on food poisoning, says the rate of new cases of salmonella has dropped by 9 percent, its biggest decline in nearly a decade. [CBS News]

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