The Hoax Museum Blog
Cardiff Giant Wine
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 10, 2014
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 created by the sideshow banner artist Fred G. Johnson in the 1930s or 40s. But I'm not sure Sort This Out Cellars realizes this, because the…
Christmas Tinner Update
Posted by The Curator on Mon Dec 16, 2013
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 available now for 2 weeks and even then it will be pretty scarce."
Squirrel Meat For Sale
Posted by The Curator on Thu Dec 12, 2013
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 properly, stamped and inspected," Gaube said. Neighbors said the homeowners have lived there for years and the signs have been there just as long. "They're really…
Posted by The Curator on Sun Dec 08, 2013
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 – Cranberry sauce Layer seven – Brussel sprouts with stuffing – or broccoli with stuffing Layer eight – Roast carrots and parsnips
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 22, 2013
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 page, you'll see a photo of "eMeringue chef Serge LeGrenouille." My wife is the food geek in the family,…
Rat-Milk Cheese Redux
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 22, 2013
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 produce the 31 kilograms of milk one dairy cow puts out each day." But if you had that many rats, they might produce…
Posted by The Curator on Fri Nov 01, 2013
Soylent describes itself as "food without the hassle." It's basically a protein shake. But unlike most protein shakes that bear notices warning that they're not intended as a food substitute (merely a diet supplement), Soylent claims that it is a food substitute. You can live on this stuff. According to Fox News, the makers of Soylent chose the name as a playful reference to Soylent Green, the well-known 70s sci-fi movie about human cannibalism. However, Soylent doesn't contain human meat. Which is to say that Soylent is NOT a hoax or a joke. Even though it may sound like one. (I, for one, was confused for…
Posted by The Curator on Fri Aug 09, 2013
Back in 1939, Lee M. Roberts won the University of California lying contest with the following discussion of the nation of Vinegaria: The Vinegarians are a peculiar people whose government has existed largely on the income from a national pickle monopoly. Vinegaria is ideally situated for the support of this industry as it is entirely underlain with large subterranean caves. Pickle farmers plant cucumber seeds on roofs of caves and they grow through the surface, avoiding the necessity for plowing the ground for planting. Through a peculiar chemical disturbance in the ocean bed the sea has an unusual briny quality — exactly right for making pickles. Until last year only sour pickles were…
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 31, 2013
Slightly in advance of April 1st, Scope is introducing Bacon Mouthwash. From their product info page: Scope Bacon is the newest addition to our line of products. It tastes like bacon, while still killing 99.9% of bad breath germs. And, it keeps your breath minty fresh 5 times longer than brushing alone. Does Scope Bacon make my breath smell like bacon? No. Scope Bacon just tastes like bacon while you swish, but leaves your breath smelling minty fresh 5 times longer than brushing alone. Is Scope Bacon a sufficient replacement for my breakfast? No. Scope Bacon contains zero nutritional value and does not serve as…
How to make cotton cakes
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 29, 2013
Back in the 19th century, food pranks were very popular on April Fool's Day. And one of the most popular forms of trick food was the "cotton cake." Instructions for how to make this delicacy were reported by Jane Eddington in the Chicago Daily Tribune on Apr 1, 1929: One of the older American cooking jokes of the days was the cotton cakes. I heard a woman tell how to do this in an up to date way, imitating what her great grandmother did who made cotton cakes and sent them around to her neighbors on April Fool's day. This woman has had fame as a cook, and this is what she…
Fake Chinese Walnuts
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 19, 2013
Chinese consumers are being warned to watch out for fake walnuts. Scam artists are apparently taking empty walnut shells, stuffing them with bits of concrete and paper, gluing the shells back together, and then selling them as real walnuts. [treehugger.com, ministryoftofu.com] It seems like a very labor-intensive way to make what can't be a lot of money. But I guess it's enough money to make it a profitable scam. This isn't the first fake food product we've seen from China. In the past we've heard about fake pig ears made out of gelatin, steamed dumplings stuffed with cardboard instead of pork, soy sauce made from human hair, and
No meat in Nautabökunni?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Mar 05, 2013
In response to the widening horse-meat scandal in Europe, Icelandic food authorities decided to conduct tests on some of their country's own food products. They didn't find any horse meat, but to their surprise they discovered that one brand of beef pie, Nautabökunni, contained no meat at all. Or, at least, the pies had "no mammalian DNA." Instead, the pies contained some kind of vegetable matter masquerading as beef. The company that makes the pies says it's dumbfounded by the results, and has asked for more tests, questioning the accuracy of the initial ones. The co-owner of the company is quoted as saying, "I'm not saying that this is chock-full with mincemeat, but we use…
Horse milk taking the gourmet scene by storm!
Posted by The Curator on Fri Feb 22, 2013
Horses, of course, do produce milk. And horse milk is considered a delicacy in some cultures. However, this site extolling the virtues of horse milk seems pretty clearly to be tongue-in-cheek: taste test show that consumers clearly prefer horse milk to dog and cat milk, and we know that consumers are tiring of ordinary bovine lactation. Clearly, horse milk is no flash in the pan. As a gourmet food, horse milk is very expensive but worth the extra cost. Unlike cows, horses have only two teats and a 1,400 lb. mare will produce less than a quart of the precious liquid each day... In the dairy industry it has long been observed that there is…
If you kiss someone at Chipotle do you get a free burrito?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 14, 2013
The rumor going around is that if you kiss someone while standing in line at Chipotle this Valentine's Day, you'll be rewarded with a free burrito. But on their facebook page, a Chipotle rep refers to this as a "a bad Internet rumor." Someone else wanted to know if they kissed the burrito itself would it be free. Chipotle says you're free to kiss the burrito, but you're still going to have to pay.
Prisoners request kosher meals
Posted by The Curator on Sun Jan 27, 2013
Columbian.com reports that there appears to have been a dramatic increase in Jewish prisoners at Washington State prisons, based on food requests at these institutions. The evidence: in 2011 approximately 1 percent of the inmates requested special kosher meals. But now, 2 years later, almost 11 percent of inmates are requesting them. Federal law requires that the state honors religious dietary requests. The problem is that the kosher meals are more expensive than normal meals — $6.80 more expensive per day, for each request. However, "experts are dubious of some prisoners' sincerity." That is, they doubt all these prisoners really are Jewish. Gary Friedman, a former Jewish corrections chaplain and "a leading…