Exercise 1


Match the food items (1–8) with the descriptions (a–h).

1. Chocolate chip cookie
2. Cotton candy
3. Chewing gum
4. Ice cream cone
5. Ice pop
6. Sandwich
7. Marshmallows
8. Potato chips

a) In 1762, John Montagu, an English earl, was too busy playing cards to leave the table and have a formal meal. He asked his servant to put some meat between two pieces of bread and bring it to him. This snack was named after
him, and these days it is the most popular lunchtime meal in the USA.

b) In 1853, a customer at the Moon Lake Lodge resort in Saratoga Springs, New York, was being very difficult about his French fries – he was complaining that they were too thick. Chef George Crum made up another batch, but the
customer was still not satisfied. Annoyed by the customer, Crum made a batch that was so thin it was impossible to eat with a fork. To his surprise, the customer loved them, and these days so do people around the world.

c) In 1905, eleven-year-old Frank Epperson mixed up a fruit drink in his back yard, in San Francisco, California. By accident, he left the drink outside overnight. When he discovered it in the morning, the juice had frozen around the mixing stick. Young Frank had invented something which would make him a lot of money.

d) In 1897, William Morrison and John C. Wharton, from Nashville, Tennessee, invented a way of heating and spinning sugar in thin threads onto a stick so that it forms a large ball of fine material. When you eat it, it melts in the mouth. It is
commonly found, along with candy apples, at fairs and carnivals.

e) In 1904, at the St. Louis World’s Fair, an ice cream vendor ran out of dishes to put his ice cream in. Ernest Hamwi was in the next stall selling Syrian pastry and offered to help. He rolled up some of the pastry so that the vendor could put
his ice cream inside. It was a great success, and ice cream has been sold in this way ever since then.

f) In 1930, Ruth Wakefield was busy making her favorite dessert in Whitman, Massachusetts, when she realized that she had run out of cooking chocolate. She broke some normal eating chocolate into the mixture instead. Ruth noticed
that when her cookies came out of the oven, the chocolate hadn’t melted, but was still in small pieces. These cookies have sold very well ever since.

g) In 1845, Thomas Adams gave up trying to make a synthetic type of rubber from chicle, the dried sap of a Mexican tree. He put some chicle in his mouth and started munching on it. He realized that he had discovered another use for
it. He added some flavors such as licorice and mint, and it has not stopped selling since then.

h) This soft candy was originally made and eaten by the Egyptians more than three thousand years ago. They made it from the root of the plant which shares the same name and grows by the banks of the Nile River.

Exercise 2

Without looking back at the text, decide which sentences are true (T) and which are false (F).

1. The man who invented the sandwich was named James Mortimer.

2. The sandwich is the most popular lunchtime meal in the USA today.

3. When George Crum made potato chips, he hoped to annoy the customer.

4. The customer was annoyed when he was presented with the potato chips.

5. Frank Epperson left his fruit juice outside overnight intentionally.

6. Frank Epperson didn’t make any money from his invention, the ice pop.

7. Cotton candy is commonly found at fairs.

8. The first ice cream cone was a piece of rolled Syrian pastry.

9. The ice cream cone was invented in 1914.

10. Ruth Wakefield invented chocolate chip cookies by accident.

11. Chocolate chip cookies are made with baking chocolate.

12. Thomas Adams made synthetic rubber from chicle.

13. Chewing gum was invented in 1845.

14. The Greeks first made marshmallows two thousand years ago.

15. Marshmallows used to be made from the root of a water plant.





Exercise 1

1. f
2. d
3. g
4. e (Several other people started making ice cream cones around the same time in various countries, but the cone certainly became popular after the 1904 World’s Fair, and this is the usual story of its invention.)
5. c (It was first called the “Epsicle” – a mixture of Epperson and icicle – and later became the “Popsicle®.”)
6. a (John Montagu was the fourth Earl of Sandwich – that’s why a sandwich is called a “sandwich” and not a“montagu”!)
7. h (These days, gelatin is used rather than marshmallow root to make marshmallows soft and squishy.)
8. b

Exercise 2 

1. F 2. T 3. T 4. F 5. F 6. F 7. T 8. T 9. F 10. T 11. F 12. F 13. T 14. F 15. T

Related websites
Facts about junk food and how some of it was invented, with a list of references.
From Esquire magazine online, a collection of patent applications for strange food inventions, some of which have been produced and sold to consumers.
From TLC (The Learning Channel), some cutting-edge technological developments related to food production.


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