The DailyMeal's Top 50 Inventions and Discoveries in FOOD ~ Can You Guess What Made the List?

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Food InventionsI simply couldn't cook without my…cast-iron frying pan?  Ginsu knives?  Immersion blender?  Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker?  Everybody who prepares food has things they consider essential to their culinary practices.  But how important are these things?  How many are truly essential, or at least very important, to the preparation — and the ultimate consumption — of food?

To settle the question, The Daily Meal, Headed by Colman Andrews, co-founder of Saveur, has released a list of the 50 Most Important Inventions in Food and Drink. Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker doesn’t make the cut, but number 40: Tupperware, which has been an enduring fixture in everyone’s fridge since 1946 sure does. Other inclusions are:

#1 Salt

Let the fight begin, what is more important to food preparation, salt or the #2 listing, fire? A pinch of salt goes in everything, but does that make it more important than killing bacteria (and Crème Brulee).

#6 Fermentation and #13 Distillation

Our mastery of these two processes has been a certain boon to humanity, not to mention gone a long way to enlivening otherwise boring parties. Best put by Benjamin Franklin, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

#11 Chopsticks and #14 Fork

East meets west in this argument. What is the more perfect means of getting food from plate to mouth? This last step is the most important of them all.

#24 Oven

What would we do without it? The oven has been with us in some form for thousands of years. Now we have them in more forms than ever… Microwave, Convection, Toaster…

#28 Thermometer

Without the thermometer, how would we ever ‘preheat an oven to 400 °F and bake for 25 minutes?’  What about ‘keep food chilled at 40 °F or below?’  We take it for granted, but this little marvel is ever-present in the kitchen.

#43 Teflon

DuPont’s magic polytetrafluoroethylene (say that five times fast) has kept hack cooks from ruining a nice salmon since the 60’s. Just make sure you don’t put it in the dishwasher!

#49 Liquid nitrogen

Sure, we may not use it much at home, but the folks on “Top Chef” put it to amazing use. At nearly 200 °F below zero, instantly freezing food allows those masters to make food that we couldn’t dream of with a regular freezer.

For the complete list of the 50 Most Important Inventions in Food and Drink visit:


What food-related items do you consider essential?  Anything you think should have made the list, but didn't?

I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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