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How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun: Accidental Discoveries and Unexpected Inspirations That Shape What We Eat and Drink
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How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun: Accidental Discoveries and Unexpected Inspirations That Shape What We Eat and Drink

3.22  ·  Rating Details ·  186 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Sometimes it’s neither art nor science that serves as the origins of the everyday kitchen and food items that we take for granted today. Sometimes, as Josh Chetwynd shows us in How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun, some of our greatest culinary achievements were simply by-products of “damned good luck.” In How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun, Josh explores the origins of kitchen invent ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Lyons Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jul 16, 2015 Ralph rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
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 ...more
B. Rule
Apr 26, 2015 B. Rule rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book has some interesting anecdotes about the origins of various types of foods and food-related products, but it's so frothy and insubstantial that it's barely worth the time to read. It's written at the level of trivia blurbs that might pop up on the Food Network, and the author takes a cavalier attitude towards his subject, tossing off competing accounts with a shrug of the shoulders and a refusal to dip below the surface of things. His humor is groan-worthy and the prose is conversation ...more
Gina Arnone
Aug 12, 2013 Gina Arnone rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
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 ...more
Feb 09, 2013 Doug rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I like food. I like fun trivia facts. A book filled with fun trivia facts about food sounds like a winner to me. Couple caveats: some of the facts seem a little tangential (a story about how linoleum was invented? really!?) and it got annoying when a lot of the origin stories can't be fully verified (I really wanted to know whether Philippe's really originated the french dip sandwich and the Buena Vista the Irish coffee, as they claimed). But still, good book to read on the Metro for my commute.
Aug 15, 2012 Irene rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-books
Lots of interesting facts/trivia about food, everything from popsicles to pop rocks, chimichangas to nutella. Great conversation fare.
Jennifer Gilbert-Georgia
Nov 03, 2012 Jennifer Gilbert-Georgia rated it it was amazing
Love the interesting facts behind the making of everyday food we take for granted.
Apr 29, 2015 Kerry rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-and-drink
This book is a fun, light read. It is not an in-depth work of journalism and instead acts as a compilation of already-published information from other sources. However, it doesn't pretend to be anything than what it is, presenting both anecdotes and facts with a lighthearted flair. Some food invention myths are so a part of popular culture that only attempts at their verification offer new ideas. Others educate about the "time before" such taken-for-granted inventions such as plastic wrap or hot ...more
Jul 19, 2014 Rin rated it liked it
for what it is, it's a neat book. It had a lot of interesting essays about how certain foods came to be. Some stories were more interesting than others. It got a little ranty at times but that's okay. It isn't something I'd normally read through if I were looking for an actual book, but it's cool. Lots of fun trivia to annoy my friends with.
Jul 09, 2015 Jan rated it it was ok
It's always interesting to learn how ideas were started. The inventions/ideas in this book are fairly common or well known, but the stories aren't all that interesting. The ideas were logical improvements to a start up company, or no one really knew who came up with the idea.
May 17, 2015 Kirk rated it it was ok
ok. Read alright, but at times I got to the end of a product and it ended in the author in doubt of the story the author just told. Overall, enjoyed it and was pretty interesting....
Rob Warner
Apr 29, 2015 Rob Warner rated it liked it
Lots of information about food origins. Fun to read. Lots of trivia, including the conflicting origin stories for things that will never be resolved.
Jun 18, 2016 Rj rated it liked it
A collection of short pieces about food and how certain foods came to be. Light and amusing reading.
Dec 24, 2015 Krista rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the stories, but having so many of them in the book was overwhelming.
Maroun Mattar
Feb 19, 2014 Maroun Mattar rated it it was amazing
I loved the way it was written, very informative! Wish there was more history about the food/drinks though! I really enjoyed this book!
Jan 25, 2016 Lara rated it really liked it
This was a little wordy but it is filled with fascinating stories about how food items became to be known to us now. I enjoyed it.
Jeff Wamble
Sep 22, 2015 Jeff Wamble rated it did not like it
Interesting in beginning, but quickly became repetitive
Easy little read about our food and how it got that way.
Christina Heredia
Jan 26, 2016 Christina Heredia rated it really liked it
Shelves: 11th, 12th
Fun...nothing heavy.
May 06, 2013 E rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Not very appetizing.

The cover is misleadingly professional, as everything else about the book gives off a very strong "self-published" vibe. Inside, it's a mish-mash of origin stories for various foods, drinks, and kitchen implements, all written in an extremely casual tone (with plenty of chatty parenthetical asides), and occasionally festooned with what appears to be clipart.

Oct 08, 2013 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A list of foodstuffs and how they came to be invented/improved. I was expecting a more in-depth study of these items and the cultural changes to led to their existence, something along the line of "Consider the Fork" by Bee Wilson. Some interesting anecdotes, and some good humor interspersed in the stories (I especially liked the story of graham crackers).
Amit Palrecha
Interesting trivia book about everyday food. Some of the stories are truly amazing. However others were that we already know
Dec 28, 2012 stephanie rated it did not like it
uh, giving up on this one. not at all what i was hoping--so much so that i stopped reading for months!
Mar 01, 2013 Tally rated it it was ok
Fun trivia, but short on details. Reads as though this book was written in a hurry.
Nic Gordon
Some amusing stories, but not a ton of detail for each story.
Cynthia Yanok
Cynthia Yanok rated it really liked it
Sep 28, 2016
Leann Holsapple
Leann Holsapple marked it as to-read
Sep 27, 2016
Marsha Wright
Marsha Wright marked it as to-read
Sep 26, 2016
Alan marked it as to-read
Sep 24, 2016
Alison rated it liked it
Sep 23, 2016
Caroline rated it liked it
Sep 15, 2016
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A longtime journalist, I've worked as a staff writer for USA Today, The Hollywood Reporter and U.S. News & World Report. My byline has also shown up in such varied publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Times (of London), Variety,, The Harvard Negotiation Law Review and the Chicago Tribune.

To date, I've written five books. My most recent effort, The Book of Nice was released in
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