Trivia

Hard

In The 1930s A Newspaper Reporter’s Hoax Led To A Longstanding Tradition Of?

Yodeling On New Year's Day
Washing Bacon Before Cooking
Not Washing Salad Bowls
Seasoning Cigarettes

Answer: Not Washing Salad Bowls

For the better part of three decades, thousands upon thousands of Americans did something entirely curious (and completely foolish) all because of a bored (but clever) journalist’s little prank.

In 1936, one George Rector, a journalist for the Saturday Evening Post and food critic, decided to put on a little hoax to take advantage of Americans love of all things Parisian and sophisticated. In the 5 September 1936 edition of the Saturday Evening Post, he wrote a completely fabricated little piece about how Americans have been making salads all wrong and we should learn a thing or two from the French.

He insisted that in order to properly prepare a salad, as the French did, you had to rub a fresh clove of garlic on the inside of a wood salad bowl, then wipe it down with oil, and, most critically, never wash it. He explained:

Wood, you see, is absorbent, and after you’ve been rubbing your bowl with garlic and anointing it with oil for some years, it will have acquired the patina of a Corinthian bronze and the personality of 100-year old brandy.

This curious bit of advice definitely won’t make your salad taste any better and, given the very absorbent nature of the wood bowl Rector highlights, will lead to a bowl positively soaked in rancid oil that will smell up your entire cupboard and impart no “personality” to your salads at all.

However, given Rector’s pedigree (his father ran one of the most successful and flashiest restaurants in New York City) and his acclaim as a food critic and writer, the readers bought the ruse hook, line, and sinker. Not only did they start following his instructions immediately, but well until the late 1960s his instructions were found in cookbooks and food prep manuals across the country.

Trivia

Hard

What Company Lobbied For A 7.5 Cent Coin?

Trivia

Very Hard

The Largest Asteroid Impact Site In The World Is Located In?

Trivia

Hard

A Group Of Off-The-Shelf Computers Run In Parallel As A Super Computer Is Called A?

Trivia

Hard

There Was Once A TV Crossover Between Star Trek: Voyager And?

Trivia

Hard

Which Sci-Fi Movie Featured A Cameo Appearance By The Millennium Falcon?

Trivia

Hard

The Largest “Hidden Mickey” In The World Is A?

Trivia

Hard

The Modern Celebration Of Halloween Was Heavily Influenced By The Festival Of?

Trivia

Easy

The First Payphone Was Located In?

Trivia

Hard

The Design of Apple’s FireWire Cable Was Influenced By What Unlikely Source?

Trivia

Hard

Which Video Game Company Originally Sold Leather Goods?