By DeLane McDuffie

Over the course of history, many inventions have come about by complete accident. Vulcanized rubber, the pacemaker, plastic, and penicillin are just a few of these discoveries. But it doesn't stop at the inedible. Frank Epperson accidentally left his drink outside in the cold (Popsicles®), and Constantin Fahlberg spilled a chemical on his hands in his lab, forgot to wash it off, and later ate an unusually sweet dinner roll (saccharin). See if you can guess which of the following statements are truths and lies.
  1. True: Many people claim to have invented the ice-cream cone. Nick Kabbaz, Abe Doumar, David Avayou, and Charles Menches all claimed to be the king of the ice-cream cone. In 1902, England's Antonio Valvona received a patent for an "Apparatus for Baking Biscuit Cups for Ice Cream." The following year, Italo Marchiony acquired a patent for a "molding apparatus for forming ice-cream cups and the like." However, the International Association of Ice Cream Manufacturers (IAICM) throws its support behind Ernest Hamwi, a pastry maker at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair who gave a fellow vendor a hand. The vendor had run out of ice cream dishes, and Hamwi rolled up some of his pastries into cones, a sweet and tasty substitution.
  2. False: Potato chips were created out of sadness. They were created out of anger. In the early 1850s, you didn't want to mess around with Saratoga Springs' chef George "Speck" Crum. Criticize his cooking and you would be sorry. Cornelius Vanderbilt didn't get the memo. While dining at the Moon's Lake House, he sent back his fried potatoes because they weren't crispy and crunchy enough. Chef Crum, incensed over the customer's lack of gratitude, sliced the batch of potatoes as thin as he could, refried them in hot grease, and dumped on a ton of salt. But Vanderbilt loved the "sabotaged" dish, and potato chips were soon a national sensation.
  3. False: Teabags were invented by the British. Tea seller Thomas Sullivan needed to keep his costs down. So rather than send out loose tea to his clientele, the New Yorker saved money by sending out small silk sachets of tea. Ironically, many of his customers misunderstood his intentions. Instead of cutting the sachets to brew the loose tea, they dunked the whole sachets into their teacups. It caught on, and the silk teabags were later replaced with gauze. The British didn't accept the teabag for almost 50 years.
  4. True: Cheese puffs were made by accident in Beloit, Wisconsin. It's only right that cheese puffs were invented in a state known for its cheese. To ensure that its animal feed didn't have any sharp hulls in it, The Flakall Company developed a grain-grinding machine. So that the machine wouldn't clog up, moist corn kernels were poured into it. Edward Wilson noticed that the machine would get insanely hot when left running, and the damp corn kernels would exit the machine in puffy strips—immediately hardening when exposed to air. Wilson took the strips home, threw on some oil and flavoring, and became the daddy of the original cheese curls, or puffs, or whatever you want to call them.
  5. True: The Graham cracker was developed to curb people's sexual urges. Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham's theology was simple; he preached that everyone should have clean diets and practice "clean" living (regular bathing, exercise, 7 hours of sleep nightly, daily toothbrushing, fresh air, etc.). During the 1820s, he believed meat, spices, and alcohol fueled sexual lust, leading to human suffering, indigestion, poor circulation, spinal diseases, insanity, epilepsy, and other unpleasant issues. He was an advocate for unprocessed foods and detested refined white flour, which was stripped of dietary fiber. Therefore, he made Graham flour from unbleached whole wheat, from which the Graham cracker sprang forth. During that time, most people wrote him off as a nutcase (mainly because of his views on sexuality), but a lot of his philosophy would be later adopted by vegetarians and the health-minded. Graham had a great strategy, though. There is nothing sexy about a Graham cracker.