Pranks a lot, April Fools’ Day food jokesters – CNN
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine’s restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart’s desire, we listen up.
For some people, April 1 is just another day. Others see a world of possibilities on April Foolâ€™s Day. You can make this the day to: Install an air horn as a door wall protector, or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish. Then there are the food-inspired pranks. For instance, replacing Oreo cream filling with toothpaste, or experimenting with mayonnaise-filled doughnuts. (Thanks to boredpanda.com for these inspirations.)
Of course, I want to hear any brilliant April Fool/Food jokes that anyone has perpetrated. In the meantime, letâ€™s salute some truly epic ones.
Capitalizing on the out-of-hand artisanal trend, the online magazine The Bold Italic reported last year on San Francisco’s “newest small-batch movement: artisanal air.” The story followed Jason Munchausen, a bearded, bespectacled, cardigan-wearing artisan on his journey to create mason jarâ€“bottled handmade air.
Jason was â€œfed up with the regular old nitrogen-oxygen blend. â€œSo corporate,â€� he bemoaned. The article included plenty of photos, including one featuring Jason’s “air production machine” and describing his five different air flavors, including Breakfast Blend and Vintage Whiff.
Burger King made headlines on April 1, 1998 when they announced in USA Today that they would start selling the “Left-Handed Whopperâ€� with the same ingredients as a regular Whopper, but with everything turned 180 degrees so it would fit more comfortably in the left hand. Supposedly, thousands of customers asked for the Left-Handed Whopper before Burger King announced it was a prank on April 2.
Taco Liberty Bell
On April 1, 1996, Taco Bell took out full-page ads in six national newspapers to announce that they had purchased the Liberty Bell and that, henceforth, it would be named the Taco Liberty Bell. The prank created such outrage that National Park Services was overwhelmed by calls. As a gesture of goodwill, the chain donated $50,000 toward the bell’s upkeep. Many people were still upset by the joke, claiming that it defaced a national treasure, but a Taco Bell spokesman defended the ad, saying, “Think about how much recognition we’ve given [the bell] in this one day.”
Thomas Edison’s Magical Machine
One of the earliest food-related pranks occurred when the New York Graphic reported on April 1, 1878 that Thomas Edison had invented a fantastical machine that could change soil into cereal and water into wine. The Graphic called it “a machine that will feed the human race!” and the article was reprinted and praised in other publications all over the country, until the paper printed a story a few days later letting their readers know it was a joke.
Perhaps the most famous food prank of all time occurred in 1957 when the BBC news show Panorama reported that southern Switzerland was harvesting spaghetti from the trees, and even included a video clip showing a Swiss family plucking pasta from the trees. It was probably the first time TV was used to stage an April Fool’s prank, and the response was enormous: Hundreds of viewers called the BBC wanting to know how they could get their own spaghetti tree, to which the station responded, “Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.”
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