Fifty Minute Classroom

May 25, 2022, 16:42
Ending the Year on a High Note

Ending the Year on a High Note

06 December 2021

Test your knowledge with a fun food quiz for students and instructors alike.

By Adam Weiner, JD, CFSE
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It’s been a crazy year. Our students and we as instructors have adopted and changed everything on a moment’s notice. Not just once, but many times this year.

I thought I would end the year with something fun for you and your students. A quiz! Now, before you (and the students) start groaning this is just for fun. Please note, I am not a food historian. I strived to make sure the answers are correct, but if one of your students finds I am wrong on a fact or two, then kudos to you for being such a great instructor giving your students the knowledge—and confidence—to challenge something they read on the internet.

If you need additional holiday inspiration, see the list of previous 50 Minute Classroom holiday articles at the end of the quiz.

  1. Caesar salad was created in what country?
    a. Italy
    b. Mexico
    c. Greece
    d. United States

  2. French fries come from France. True or False?

  3. German chocolate cake was invented in Germany. True or False?

  4. Sandwiches were created because of an earl who didn’t want to leave a card game. True or False?

  5. Hot dogs are originally from:
    a. United States
    b. Germany
    c. Poland
    d. England

  6. American cheese was created in Switzerland. True or False?

  7. What do pumpkins, tomatoes and chili peppers all have in common? They are all _____.

  8. What ingredient was not in the ORIGINAL Tollhouse Cookie recipe created by Ms. Wakefield in the 1930s?
    a. Flour
    b. Chocolate chips
    c. Sugar
    d. Butter
    e. Eggs

  9. The big burritos now being served throughout the United States with rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, salsa, meat, vegetables, etc. and wrapped in foil were created in the same city that created fortune cookies. True or False?

  10. For a substantial time in the United States, lobsters were served in jails and prisons. True or False?

Bonus question for extra credit: Although seaweed salad is becoming more popular with poke bowls, seaweed is still a very uncommon food ingredient in North America. True or False?


  1. B - Mexico. As the legend goes, Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack friends went into a restaurant in Tijuana past closing time and demanded dinner. The chef, named Caesar, put together a salad based on the few remaining ingredients left in his kitchen after a busy weekend.

  2. False. French fries were created in Belgium and the word “French” was used because of the French style Julienne Cut.

  3. False. German chocolate cake was invented in Texas.

  4. True, or at least that is the legend.

  5. B - Germany. And, by the way, hamburgers also originate from Germany although they were served without bread or buns. There are many places in the United States claiming to be the creator of hamburgers served in bread or buns.

  6. Both true and false work for this one! There is some good authority American cheese was created in Switzerland in 1911. However, the Kraft company claims to have created it in 1903 but did not commercially produce it until after, you guessed it, 1911. Researching this one will take you down a cheese rabbit hole.

  7. They are all fruits. Yes, a chili pepper is a fruit because it contains seeds. My daughter had a professor in college who said, “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

  8. B – chocolate chips. Chocolate chips were not invented when the original Toll House Cookie was created. Ms. Wakefield, in making the first Tollhouse cookies, broke up pieces of a semi-sweet chocolate bar into her batter. When the recipe was published and sales of the semi-sweet chocolate bar took off the manufacturer added a tool to help break up the bar. Several years after that the chocolate chip or chocolate morsel was created.

  9. True and that city is San Francisco. Don’t believe me? According to Wikipedia: Burritos have existed for a long time in Mexico. The first written reference in the United States is from the early 1900s on a menu from El Cholo Café in Los Angeles. However, the Mission-style burrito is actually fairly modern—the late 1970s-- and comes from San Francisco. Although there is some dispute on whether fortune cookies were invented in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Hawaii, most sources point to Benkyodo Bakery in San Francisco in the late 1890s or early 1900s.

  10. True, very! Basically, until the Civil War lobsters were considered “trash” food.

Bonus question for extra credit: False. Algin from brown seaweed and agar from red seaweed are widely used in commercially prepared baked goods, dairy products, candies, salad dressings, sausages and even ice cream. And, it’s been that way for many years.

Additional 50 Minute Classroom holiday articles that may interest you:

Taste Something New for the Holidays
Profit and Fun with Gingerbread Houses
Teaching International Cuisines Through Holiday Traditions

Adam Weiner, JD, CFSE, has been a culinary instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 17 years.