People Explain Which Foods Make Them Wonder 'How Did Anyone Realize This Was Edible?'
Image by Patou Ricard from Pixabay

Think of all the various foods you eat. Picture all the fruits and vegetables, the animal products (if that's your thing), the grains, oils, and fungi.

Would you have eaten any of those without knowing others did before you?


That was the question on peoples minds throughout a recent thread on Reddit. They imagined what it must have been like to decide to try all these foods for the first time.

Were people bored, starving, stupidly courageous, or winning a bet? Maybe all of the above.

Redditor DreamedJewel58 asked:

"What food makes you go 'how the hell did they find out this is edible?' "

Many people immediately turned their sights to the foods that, besides a particular sweet spot, are completely toxic. What went in to finding that sweet spot?

Trial and Error

"Cashews are hilarious. Literally every part of the plant is poisonous, but the nut isn't once toasted."

"At least a half dozen dudes probably died figuring that one out"

-- DeanWarren_

Know the Lay of the Land

"That one tiny sliver of the fugu fish that won't kill you. . .hopefully. . ." -- Kepheo

"Yeah and it numbs your mouth still or something I heard. That's way to sketchy for me. I'll stick with regular ole tuna rolls and eel I think." -- appleparkfive

Let Water Do the Work

"Cassava" -- Tingusspinguss

"Yeah like this thing right here is super poisonous, but if you soak it in water for a few days and cook it you should be good, also don't use the water it soaked in it's now full of cyanide. Who figured that out?" -- Coolnessmic

Others were more amazed by the bizarre preparation methods that go into some of the foods we know and love.

Deliciously Spoiled

"Cheeses: Blue cheese, Linberger, and 'head cheese'. 'Oh theres stinking, rotten milk in the bottom of the milk bucket? …I'll taste it!' "

-- bleuberypi

Assumedly Just Didn't Want To Waste It

"Gumbo. What person burnt flour for two hours on purpose?" -- Wooden-Discount7884

"A genius (or someone like me: formerly known as "smoke detector man" by my roommates for liking things too crispy)" -- Czernobog243

Rotting Right

"An Icelandic delicacy, it's 'fermented shark meat' "

"Now, it's reasonable that people would figure out that sharks were edible. But what thought process led to digging a hole in the ground, throwing the dead shark in, pissing on it, covering up the hole, and leaving the corpse to rot ferment for several months before digging it up and eating it?"

-- AdvocateSaint

I Have No Words

"Kopi Luwak, the coffee bean that is fed to civits, digested, shat out, and then brewed into coffee. Hey Jim we're out of coffee! ….hold my beer"

-- gharr87

And others offered up examples of foods that they simply couldn't understand.

Why? Just why?

Scooping Out Slime

"also oysters 'hey i found a rock with snot in it let's eat it' " -- HurricanRocker

"Feel similarly about sea urchin."

"A long time a guy some dude saw the spiky little thing and thought, "Hm. You know what? This probably tastes amazing." -- BigBaldPurpleTitan

Worth the Stings

"Honey"

"the first guy to think to himself 'them bees must be hiding something, I just know it.' " -- shroomheadfloridaman

Layers to Penetrate

"Coconut…how hungry and desperate were the first people who managed to find those edible? I'm surprised they weren't used as a weapon tbh." -- Plantayne

"Definitely this. A coconut in the store isn't like a coconut on the tree. There's a big, tough fibrous husk outside the fruit that requires sharp tools and/or a lot of effort to get open. I've done it and it takes a sh** ton of work. Don't know why anyone would go to that effort just to see what's inside." -- bdbr

Durian

"Durian."

"It’s spiky and is the size of a basketball. Falls off the tree when it’s ripe and if you happen to be under it then guess you’ll die?"

"It smells like leaking gas on a good day, but in bad days it smells like diarrhea."

"To get to the meat of the fruit, you need to be able to split the spine between the sharp HARD shell."

"Also, it’s like the forbidden fruit of Asia. You’re not allow to bring it into hotels or anywhere because it can cause a panic if people smell it thinking there’s a massive gas leak. Or that something died."

"But boy, it is sweet like nectar and velvety if you’re brave enough to try."

"Oh, and if you live in the states, depending on which states, a fresh one costs between $75~$100."

- Welpididu

A food didn't have to be fancy for people to be fascinated by it - all sorts of things ticked people's boxes.

Bread

"Bread."

"Somebody had to figure out that the grain had to be milled, then somebody had to figure out other ingredients including the yeast that makes it rise."

"Lotta science, critical thinking, and experimentation involved in coming up with bread."

- moinatx

Toxic

"Potatoes.. the ancestor plant is toxic."

"They had to cultivate the plant for years to make one that didn't make you sick and wasn't bitter by selectively planting from the tastiest of each harvest."

- Oryihn

The Madness Of Mushrooms

"Mushrooms man."

"Some will kill you, some will make you smell colors, others go really well on a steak."

"I always wonder how much trial and error had to go into this as some mushrooms can be fine and others poisonous while looking exactly the same."

- twerking_for_jesus

"Mushrooms. This one is good on salads, this one is super deadly, and this one will get you high. Good luck!"

- Bitchcat

Tree Blood

"Maple syrup."

"Not only did someone decide to eat tree blood, but then in a twist they boiled it for many hours to get real thick tree blood."

- RingoStarkiller

The Chocolate Process

"I've always wondered how people discovered how to make chocolate."

" 'I found some poop looking beans inside of this giant nut looking thing, I left 'em out in the sun for 5-8 days, dried them for a week, took the shells off, roasted 'em, grinded 'em, added some sugar, milk, cocoa powder, cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, lethicin and vanilla and then molded it and cooled it, you won't believe what I got!' "

- pomskiesxx

Meat Jello

"Jello with chicken/ham in it. I mean, I get that they needed to use the jello to make food go further, but...yuck!"

- loulori

However weird and ill-advised these early experiments with food were, all I can say is thank goodness those bygone ancestors put in the work instead of me.

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