The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Food
Do a quarter million Swiss secretly eat cats? — In late November, a story circulated in the media claiming that a quarter million Swiss people "secretly" eat cats and dogs. The "wife of a Swiss ambassador" was reported as explaining that some people ate cats and dogs because of the high price of meat in Switzerland. But custom also played a role, because many Swiss considered stewed cat to be a traditional Christmas dinner. (You stew the cat in a pot with white wine, thyme, and rosemary.) Source: BBC Newsbeat The facts for the story originated with an animal rights group, SOS-Chats Noiraigue, which is campaigning for legislation… Continue…
Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2014.   Comments (0)

The Toilet-Paper Eating Mom — Jade Sylvester is a 25-year-old mother who craves eating toilet paper. She eats up to a roll a day. Her hankering for loo rolls began when she was pregnant, but didn't go away after she gave birth. She says that she often holds off going to the bathroom, because she knows that once she's there she'll start eating the toilet paper. Jade's story is the kind of offbeat human-interest tale that the media loves. And sure enough, the story has now appeared on a whole bunch of sites: NY Post, News.com.au, Huff Post, The Mirror, Metro, Lincolnshire Echo. But if you follow the story back to… Continue…
Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2014.   Comments (1)

Is it organic, or is it McDonalds? — Two guys (Sacha and Cedrique) from a Dutch show called LifeHunters visited a food convention in Houten where they offered the "food experts" in attendance samples of what they said was a "new organic alternative to fast food." In reality, they served bite-sized pieces of McDonalds food. The result: the attendees were not only impressed by what they tasted, but also a number of them said that it tasted much better than McDonalds fast food. One commented that, "you can just tell this is…
Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2014.   Comments (0)

Was artificial banana flavor based on the Gros Michel banana? — Artificial banana flavor doesn't taste much like actual bananas. It's sweeter and more pungent. And there's a legend about why this is so. The story goes that the difference in flavors came about because the artificial flavor was developed from an old variety of bananas called the Gros Michel. However, the Gros Michel succumbed to a fungus and ceased to be commercially produced. It was replaced by the Cavendish, which had a slightly different flavor. And so the artificial flavoring tasted like the original bananas, but not the ones we eat now. Is there any truth to this legend? Chris… Continue…
Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014.   Comments (1)


Champagne Tablets — Earlier this month, images of a new product, instant champagne tablets, went viral in France. They were supposedly the creation of the champagne label Veuve Clicquot. You drop a few tablets in a glass of water and a minute later you'd have a glass of champagne. The product had been given the name "Shh...ampagne". Yes, this was a hoax. And it was a hoax done without the permission of Veuve Clicquot, whose name was attached to the fictitious product. The phony ad campaign was the work of a Russian ad agency called Firma. I think it was one of those fake campaigns ad agencies sometimes… Continue…
Posted: Sat Aug 30, 2014.   Comments (1)

Fried Chicken Oreos — Fried Chicken Oreos are not a real thing. The photo of a bag of them that went viral this week was a fake. However, I don't think that the idea of Fried Chicken Oreos is inherently implausible. After all, chicken and waffles are definitely real (and very tasty). So why not have fried chicken oreos? Also, Oreos already come in many different, unusual flavors, such as cookie dough, candy corn, green tea ice cream, limeaid, orange ice cream, etc. So fried chicken flavor isn't that much of a stretch. However, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel checked with Weber Shandwick, who handle PR… Continue…
Posted: Sun Jul 20, 2014.   Comments (0)

The Rat Wrap — Photos of a rat found in a wrap ordered from Chop't (a New York sandwich and salad restaurant) have recently caused quite a stir on Twitter. Naturally, people are wondering if this is some kind of hoax, since claiming to find gross things in your food is a time-honored way of trying to shake down restaurants. (Remember the lady who found the severed finger in her chili at Wendy's!) Gothamist has been in touch with people at the law firm where the "rat wrap" was delivered to, who insist that there's no hoax on their end. And Chop't is saying that it doesn't believe this is the work… Continue…
Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014.   Comments (0)

Norwegian artist ate his own hip, maybe — Norwegian conceptual artist Alexander Wengshoel claims that following a hip replacement operation four years ago, he was allowed to keep his removed hip. So he went home, boiled the bone to remove the meat, and then ate the meat accompanied by some wine and potato gratin. He said it tasted like "wild sheep, if you take a sheep that goes in the mountains and eats mushrooms. It was goaty." Sensing that Wengshoel's story might be complete baloney, the reporter from The Local asked him if it was a hoax — apparently on the theory that, if asked, a hoaxer will readily admit he's lying.… Continue…
Posted: Mon May 26, 2014.   Comments (3)

What does mermaid taste like? — Found in Mermaids with Other Tales (1882) by Charles Henry Ross : a discussion of broiled mermaids. Apparently they taste like pork, which isn't surprising since (so it's said) human flesh tastes like pork also. But I wonder what wine pairs best with mermaid? BROILED MERMAID In the "Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences," John Jablousky says the skin of meer men and mermaids is of a brownish-grey colour, and their intestines are like those of a hog; their flesh as fat as pork, particularly the upper part of their bodies; and this is a favourite dish with the Indians, broiled… Continue…
Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2014.   Comments (0)

Miracle Machine wine maker — Several weeks ago, some wine-industry veterans (Kevin Boyer and Philip James) announced the invention of a gadget that would allow people to make wine at home in only 3 days. They called it the "miracle machine." The gadget seemed somewhat plausible, given the existence of home-brewing kits for beer. Plus it was promoted by a slick video and accompanying website. So over 600 media outlets took the bait and reported it as news. But yesterday, the "inventors" issued a press release…
Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2014.   Comments (0)

Martha Nasch—the woman who didn’t need to eat or drink — In September 1934, Louis Nasch, a department store painter living in St. Paul, Minnesota, alerted the press to the fact that his wife, Martha, hadn't had anything to eat or drink in the last seven years. She hadn't slept either. And yet she was perfectly healthy. Louis explained that he decided to go public with this information because "I do not want people to think I am starving my wife." Louis and Martha Nasch Upon being questioned by the press, Martha insisted it was true, though she conceded that she realized "the world will not believe me." To back up her claim, her husband,… Continue…
Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014.   Comments (11)

Sinatra Burgers — In 1966, Dean Martin contributed a burger recipe to The Celebrity Cookbook, which was a collection of recipes by celebrities put together by Dinah Shore. Martin's simple recipe was as follows: MARTIN BURGERS 1 lb. ground beef 2 oz. bourbon---chilled Preheat a heavy frying pan and sprinkle bottom lightly with table salt. Mix meat, handling lightly, just enough to form into four patties. Grill over medium-high heat about 4 minutes on each side. Pour chilled bourbon in chilled shot glass and serve meat and bourbon on a TV tray. In 2010, Martin's burger recipe, scanned from The… Continue…
Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014.   Comments (0)

Celebrity Salami — A new website has many people slightly puzzled. It claims to be producing artisanal salamis made from lab-grown meat from celebrity tissue samples. So it's kind of like a celebrity version of Manbeef.com (from way back in 2001) — except that it's celebrity beef and the human meat is grown using in-vitro meat production. Salon.com got a response from "Kevin" on the BiteLabs team who explains that "the site is partly a commentary on food culture, the ethics of meat, and 'the way…
Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2014.   Comments (1)

Hidden Valley Ranch Scented Candles — [via reddit]
Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2014.   Comments (0)

Cardiff Giant Wine — Sort This Out Cellars has announced the imminent return of its Cardiff Giant Wine, which it describes as "one of our most popular wines ever." I've come across quite a few hoax-themed beers (Bigfoot Ale, Nessie's Monster Mash, Jackalope Ale, etc.), but not many hoax-themed wines. I always assumed that wine marketers thought that hoaxes were too low-brow to appeal to the sophisticated tastes of wine drinkers. The illustration of the Cardiff Giant on the wine label comes from a poster…
Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2014.   Comments (1)

Christmas Tinner Update — Thanks to "anonymous" who posted a comment to my recent post about "Christmas Tinner" (the entire Christmas day meal in a tin), alerting me to this video in which "steviejacko" has a can of the stuff, opens it up, and eats it. This suggests that, at the very least, someone created a prototype of this product. In the youtube comments, steviejacko says: "The one shop where it is available in basingstoke is sold out, it was done as a trial to see how much interest there was, it wont be…
Posted: Mon Dec 16, 2013.   Comments (1)

Squirrel Meat For Sale — These North Omaha homeowners keep signs outside their home advertising fresh meat (squirrel, raccoon, fish, etc.). But no one seems to have ever bought the meat. So are they really selling it? Or are the signs just there to give their home a little curb appeal? Health Officials Worry Rabbit And Squirrel Meat Are Being Sold Illegally kptm.com Fish, raccoon, and squirrel are now on the menu, but who's buying it? "It hasn't come from a USDA approved plant to where it's been processed…
Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2013.   Comments (0)

Christmas Tinner — Game.co.uk is selling something they call "Christmas Tinner," which it describes as "the ultimate innovation for gamers across the nation who can’t tear themselves away from their new consoles and games on Christmas Day." It's an entire Christmas Day meal, from morning to night, conveniently layered into one tin: Layer one – Scrambled egg and bacon Layer two – Two mince pies Layer three – Turkey and potatoes Layer four – Gravy Layer five – Bread sauce Layer six –…
Posted: Sun Dec 08, 2013.   Comments (1)

eMeringue — If you need a meringue top for a pie, and you need it fast, then look no further than eMeringue.com. They're the "Internet's #1 meringue delivery service." Their fleet of eMeringue trucks are gassed up and ready to hit the highway, to deliver your meringue top directly to your door. eMeringue was an April Fool's Day hoax by the Motley Fool investment people. But it dates back to 1999, so I'm impressed that they've kept the site up all this time. If you look at the eMeringue welcome…
Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2013.   Comments (0)

Rat-Milk Cheese Redux — Back in 2005, I posted about the website of The Federation of Rodent Cheesemakers, promoters of rat-milk cheese. That website is suddenly back in the news, thanks to an article in Modern Farmer, "Rat Cheese: Internet Hoax or Future Delicacy?" The author (Sam Brasch) acknowledges that the Rodent Cheesemakers site is a spoof, but then he seriously addresses the question of how to make cheese from rat milk. He notes that you would need a lot of rats: "You’d need an army of 674 rats to…
Posted: Fri Nov 22, 2013.   Comments (0)

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All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.