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How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun: Accidental Discoveries And Unexpected Inspirations That Shape What We Eat And Drink Hardcover – May 1, 2012

45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book is like a culinary version of One Thousand and One Nights. Each entry combines the sturdiness and dependability of history with the readability and charm of a folk tale. I wish I'd had this volume at hand back when I was doing my live show on The Food Network. Hardly a day went by when I wasn't asked about the origins of one dish or another."
 ~Sara Moulton, host of PBS’s Sara's Weeknight Meals
 
“I remember eating Caesar salad in Tijuana as a kid. I was always confused about the connection between the two, and it wasn't until I read How the Hot Dog Found its Bun that it all came together. The drama! The fraternal infighting! The appearance of Julia Child! If it weren't for this book, I'd have never known the back story. Thanks, Josh Chetwynd.”
~Meredith Arthur, CHOW.com 

From the Back Cover

Sometimes it’s neither art nor science that serves as the origins of the everyday kitchen and food items we take for granted today. Sometimes, as Josh Chetwynd shows us, some of our greatest culinary achievements were simply by-products of “damned good luck.” Within these pages you will discover the beginnings of kitchen inventions, products, and foodstuff in short essays that dispel popular myths and draw lines between food facts and food fiction, from the serendipitous creation of Granny Smith apples through open pollination to the Caesar salad’s Mexican roots and more.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762777508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762777501
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,194,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a journalist, broadcaster, book writer, lawyer, and former baseball player. All of this has led to a life filled with nice Zelig-like moments, including (but not limited to) flying on Air Force One, walking down the red carpet at the Academy Awards, doing live radio color commentary at the World Series, co-hosting a national TV show, arguing a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, negotiating professional contracts for athletes, and representing Great Britain in baseball -- in addition to playing the sport as a professional on two continents.

I've also written five books on such eclectic topics as the orgins of all things nice, the stories behind our favorite sports and recreation balls, European baseball, and the history of accidental discoveries and unexpected inspirations in the kitchen.

So why do I write about these seemingly varied topics? I love an underdog -- whether it's the often discarded concept of nice, the rarely contemplated sports ball or the history of baseball in places like the Netherlands or Croatia. For the most part, I seek out stories that most people either think are so mundane as not to be interesting (when in reality they are riveting) or, on the other end of the spectrum, are considered obscure but really have an impact on our daily lives.

Who knew that the development of billiard balls led to our everyday use of plastics? Or the word "Hello" only became a regular conversation opener following a war of words (so to speak) between Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell? No doubt, some readers are aware of these historical moments but, hopefully, there are enough of those types of tales in my work to make even the most erudite person raise an eyebrow after learning something new.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gina Arnone on August 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This was a very enjoyable book. It was a lot less biased than the last kitchen based history I read (Consider the Fork: How Technology Transforms the Way We Cook and Eat). This was much more of a presentation of the actual history of the items. I already new some of the stories, but still enjoyed the tales. The ones I didn't know were extremely interesting, one even helped me on a recent trivia game. If you are interested in food, or history, especially the combination of both, I would recommend giving this book a try.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Abby G. Burton on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This delightful, informative book provides the kind of fun facts you can use to impress and entertain people of all ages. It's always fun to find out about the origins of those things we eat and drink everyday without giving much thought to why and how they came to be a natural part of our lives.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MrMoto on September 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I found this book enjoyable. The information was new to me, and presented in a fun and easy format. I would recomend it for anyone looking for this type of "dinner table" conversation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barracuda on June 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I heard about this book on a talk show, and it intrigued me. I bought it and have not been dissapointed. I'm a myth busters kinda guy, and this is a myth busters kinda book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Heinz on November 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking for accidental food discoveries, and this book exceeded my expectations!!! The book is hard covered so I don't have to worry about getting it messed up regardless of where I travel with it, and it fits conveniently into a purse, brief case, or bag. The material is laid out well and is easy to follow if looking for accidental foods in a certain category (i.e. desserts). I am very glad that I purchased this book; it has become an office favorite!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Josephine Ashley on June 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a fun read filled with short stories about how our favorite foods were invented! It was eye opening and interesting to learn about these "lucky" inventions. Great for reading on the train on the commute to work! You can also impress your coworkers with random fun knowledge.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love food, trivia, and odd stories about how now-commonplace items came into being. Those three subjects collide in this book, and the result is a very entertaining, often humorous, usually surprising look at how many things we now take for granted came into being, not just items like the hot dog bun in the title (better than eating it wearing a glove), but also Nachos (creative desperation), Caesar Salad (nope, not the Roman), and Kool-Aid (an inventor goes postal). Aside from food items, we have such standards of modern life as the Saran Wrap, Corningware and the dishwasher, the last developed by an aristocratic woman tired of all his nice plates and cups being broken by the ham-handed help. What many of these food and food-related innovations have in common is that they were created either by accident or through fortuitous incidents. In the book, Louis Pasteur is credited with saying that in the field of observation, the prepared mind is favored by fortune. This is certainly the case in the creation of Bisquick, which was once nothing more than a cooking shortcut in late-night railroad dining cars…until a salesman saw its possibilities. The same is true of the microwave oven in that many scientists noticed how food heated up in the presence of magnetron tubes, but it took a “prepared mind” to make the connection between a melted candy bar in his pocket and a device that now no college student can live without. Not all origin stories are clear cut, for the passage of years have produced many claimants for the mantle of inventor of one thing or another, either for fame or monetary gain, and some of those battles for recognition are as interesting as the inventions themselves. The book is divided into specific sections for ease of browsing, and references are included for all the claims and counterclaims. Whether you are truly interested in the origins of modern food, or just want to annoy your friends, this book is a pleasant and interesting diversion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By downbeat on June 13, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is full of junk food history and is quite interesting to me. This is a fantastic book for back yard chefs - ha. I would suggest you purchase if not for just a brief chuckle. Love it.
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