Fun Facts about your Four Favorite Snacks!
A deeply cherished childhood memory for all of us eating our favorite snacks. Be it buying those spicy papads from the street vendors or pestering mommy to make us favourite fry-ams. Snacking has always been associated with summer holidays, Sundays, last day of exams and everything else happy!
Now all grown up, our relationship with snacks hasn’t changed much. They are still a huge part of our lives. They are with us when we are celebrating (as the famous chakra with our favourite poisons), when we are sad (nothing like good comfort food to cheer us up!), when we are bored (munching the boredom away) or when we are too busy at work to get lunch (snacks to the rescue!).
We decided to do some research to go back to the origins of our munch favorites! Grab your favorite snack, because we are going to go on a trip down the memory lane!
Evolution of the word SNACK!
The term “snack” was first used around the 1700s and had originated from the Dutch word “snacken” which means “to bite” or “to snap at”. During this time, snacks were mostly leftovers. However with time, snacks evolved into the famous cakes and sandwiches which were an important part of the English high tea.
The origin of our 4 favorite snacks!
PEANUTS:The first snacks in US, peanuts, were brought by South Africans. People started using them for cooking purposes and slowly the taste for peanuts spread to the Northern parts of America where they were incorporated into the culture of baseball games. Over the years, peanuts have become an integral part of the Indian cuisine as well.
POTATO CHIPS: The story of how everyone’s favorite potato chips were invented is indeed very interesting. Commonly known as “crisps” at that time, potato chips were prepared by a chef to please an unhappy customer and became famous as “Saratoga Chips”. From then to now, potato chips, and with French fries, have remained our favorite snacks of all times and will continue to do so.
POPCORN: STONE AGE SNACK? :According to researchers, Popcorn was first eaten by cave people. This theory came into existence after archaeologists found 80,000-year-old corn pollen (which is exactly the same as modern popcorn pollen) in Mexico City. Popcorn was also used in China and India hundreds of years before Columbus reached the Americas. Popcorn today is an integral part of every snacking ritual.
PRETZELS: Another favorite, pretzels, were introduced in America by the Dutch in the 17th century. Though the exact origins of the pretzel remain mysterious, sources trace it back to A.D. 610. Italian monks used to present their young students with treats of baked dough twisted in the shape of crossed arms. (At the time, crossing one’s arms was the traditional posture for prayer.) Soon pretzels became popular throughout Europe and the twisty baked good remained associated with good luck, long life and prosperity. Long live pretzels!
Snacking – closer home
The history of Indian food and especially the snacks is closely related to the country’s vivid culture and traditions. As outsiders from different parts of the world started settling in India, they brought with them new cultures and traditions. They also brought a wide variety of cuisines and snack recipes, which were slowly adopted by Indian natives. In fact, Persian invaders were the ones who brought most of our favorite snacks like Jalebi, GulabJamun, Biryani, Samosa,etc.
Indian snacks are as diverse as its people. In fact, there are so many variations available of a single snack that every house makes the same snack differently.
Despite the variety, a lot of Indian snacks and appetizers are based on a fusion of potatoes with different spices and ingredients. The AlukiTikki , Samosa, Aloopakodas are some of the oldest snacks and remain to be hot favorites.
Over time, as lifestyles have evolved, so has the concept of snacking. As we have become more health conscious, our snacking choices are becoming more nutrient and ingredient specific. While we still want to indulge in great tastes and flavors, we are conscious of which way our weighing scales are tipping.
In fact, now a whole lot of snacks are crossing over international boundaries and making their way well into our plates and lives.