As sunshine threatens (watch this space) to break out across the UK we can celebrate the 100th birthday of one of the real treats of summer – the ice lolly.

It emerged by accident, when 11-year-old Frank Epperson left some home made lemonade in a glass, along with a stirring stick, outside on his porch one cold night.

By the following morning the lemonade had frozen and Frank was amazed to find he could pick it up as a solid block using the stick.

Years later, in 1922, the then 28-year-old Frank had perfected making the ice lolly – known in the States as a popsicle – and introduced it at a fireman’s ball. It was a sensation and by the following year had been patented and was on general sale.

The ice lolly is one of a host of foods that emerged by accident rather than design, with tea and sandwiches perhaps being the most famous.

Legend has it that 500 years ago the Chinese emperor Shen Nung was sitting beneath a Camellia sinensis bush when the wind blew some leaves into water being boiled by a servant. Shen Nung tasted the result and the rest is history.

Fast forward to 18th century London and the statesman John Montagu, also known as the 4th Earl of Sandwich, was feeling peckish but couldn’t bear to leave a card game. He asked his servant to bring him meat between two slices of bread.

Other players were impressed and asked for “the same as sandwich”.

Often eaten with sandwiches, crisps also emerged by accident and were originally intended to spite the recipient.

In 1853 George Crum, chef at the Moon Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York, became increasingly exasperated by a customer who kept returning his fried potatoes complaining the were too thick, too soggy or not salty enough.

Looking to send a message to the customer, Crum sliced some potato very thin, fried them to a crisp, sprinkled with salt and sent them to the table. Far from being offended, the customer loved them. Crum realised he was onto a winner and the Saratoga Chips brand still exists today, alongside many others.

It often takes a good shake up to arrive at a breakthrough and that was the case with the most famous of sweets made by the Bassett company.

Originally they were sold and stored as individual treats until one day clumsy salesman Charlie Thompson managed to spill a shelf full of the neatly ordered confectionary.

The resultant bright mix of shapes and colours proved inspirational and liquorice allsorts were born.

At SK Foods our aim is to bring you tasty snacks based on great food from around the world. Our chefs are constantly working on new ideas so by the time it reaches the shelves you can be sure there will be no mistaking the taste and quality.

About Jane Beesley
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.