History of Munchies: where your favorite munchies came from

History of Munchies: where your favorite munchies came from

CultureApril 15, 2014

A look at where it all began for those scrumptious, mouth-watering munchies you love so much. We never thought history could make us so damn hungry.

Mac and Cheese

To uncover the secret behind the dish that’s served as a nutritional supplement for college students and a munchies cure for many, you’d have to go all the way back to 13th century Italy and look inside the “Book of Cooking.” De Lasanis, as many historians refer to it, was a dish with square sheets of pasta cut up and doused with melted parmesan. Helpless to its decadent characteristics, the dish quickly became a favorite throughout Europe and eventually made its way to the land of the free. Some historians credit Thomas Jefferson with introducing America to mac and cheese as he frequently dined on the golden delight while in Italy, eventually hauling a pasta maker back to the states to make his own cheesy greatness.

In 1937, and following the end of the Great Depression, Kraft Foods would forever blow the minds of stoners when it introduced boxed mac and cheese as a fast, filling and inexpensive alternative. That same year it went on to sell 8 million boxes and begin the slow decline of American health.

Nutella

If given the chance, you can bet we’d smear our bodies with Nutella simply because it’s that good. Unfortunately, it’d be an expensive body rub. Nutella hasn’t always been this opulent, however. In the 1940s, chocolate rationing for World War II caused a shortage of the delicious goodness and a spike in prices. Pietro Ferrero, an Italian baker and diabolical bastard, had the brilliant idea of extending the life of chocolate by adding hazelnuts to the mix. He called it pasta gianduja. Originally served in loaf form and wrapped in tinfoil, pasta gianduja was sliced off and placed on bread. Kids didn’t fall for the bullshit, eventually eating only the chocolate slice and not the bread, forcing Ferrero to turn his creation into a spread called “supercrema gianduja.”

His manipulation of chocolate soon turned into an edacious addiction spurning a service by Italian food stores called “The Smearing” in which kids could bring their slices of bread for a smearing of “supercrema gianduja.” In 1964, because we’re guessing the name wasn’t easy to pronounce, Ferrero changed the named to Nutella. And in 1983, Nutella came to the United States where it would soon be smeared on every … single … thing.

Taco Bell

Before the double decker tacos, cheesy gordita crunches, Doritos locos tacos, nachos bell grande, and Mountain Dew binders, Taco Bell was nothing more than a Mexican pipe dream for a young tortilla visionary named Glen Bell. The entrepreneur began by tossing hamburgers but eventually graduated to folding tacos, opening Taco Bell in 1962 in California and offering an assortment of Mexican specialties and fourth meals. Call it what you want to call it, tacos and burritos aroused the masses and proved five ingredients arranged in a complex matrix of Mexican greatness could alter the way Americans did fast food. PepsiCo purchased Taco Bell in 1978, making Glen Bell one of the richest men in America. Talking Chihuahuas and Alamo-style restaurants set the foundation for T-Bell to team up with KFC and Pizza Hut, guarantee that no child would be left behind in obesity nor a prurient stoner left without a midnight taco fix.

Today, Taco Bell operates 5,600 franchises throughout the world, offering a wide array of breakfast, lunch, dinner and inexorable GI tract problems.

Chips

Buy a bag of chips for a stoner, and you just bought yourself a friend. Nothing satisfies the insatiable hunger when high quite like a bag of fried love. Historians bestow the honor of stoner savior on George Crum, who in 1853, fried up the first potato chip. Angry that a customer rejected his thick-cut French fries, Crum sliced the potatoes extra thin and fried them until crisp. The customer loved them and thus began another contributing factor to the decline of American health.

Crum eventually kicked the bucket, and a man by the name of Herman Lay stepped in to corporatize the potato madness in 1932. With Lay’s potato chips successfully greasing up millions of hands, Lay came across Charles Doolin who at the time had his own little side project creating Fritos and Cheetos. Like two chips in a fryer, they joined forces creating Frito-Lay Company in 1961. And in 1966, after witnessing customers at a company-owned restaurant fanatically devour tortilla chips, they began producing Doritos in the most expensive company expansion to date. Today, Frito-Lay owns 75 percent of the chip market and 99 percent of every stoner’s heart.

Cereal

Before Tony the Tiger and Count Chocula influenced generations to devour copious amounts of sugary grains, Dr. John Kellogg and his brother stumbled across the greatest stoner invention to ever hit the kitchen. In 1886, while the Kellogg brothers pursued their Seventh Day Adventist mission of ridding the despondent world of beef and disease through vegetarian force-feedings in their sanitarium, they accidentally forgot a batch of scrumptious boiled wheatmeal and left it out for the night. The next morning, when they attempted to crush the stale wheatmeal, it broke into small wheat flakes (the precursor to corn flakes). Mixed with water or milk to tenderize the crisp flakes, they were a hit.

Like all happy family stories, the brothers eventually sued each other over company strategy, direction and whether or not stoners would want Corn Pops. John, worried that the trivial invention would tarnish his medical reputation, sold his shares to Will who went on to found the Kellogg Company in 1906. After that, some elves, tigers, vampires and crocodiles joined the breakfast club, changing the way kids — and stoners — looked at breakfast, lunch and, well, dinner.