Our favorite foods of today have a secret past

Food Flash explores the wild world of food news, from the health benefits of red wine to why dark chocolate is actually good for you.

Some of our most favorite foods today have a secret history — and many were not popular in the past.

Here are just a few of the once-controversial foods that have since become adored:


The avocado is everywhere today, from guacamole to toast. In the early 20th century, however, it was known as the alligator pear — and it did not sell well. Years later, advertising paid for by California farmers touted how healthy avocados are, and people became hooked.


Until the mid-19th century, the lobster was just another pest — the insect of the sea, if you will. Lobsters were considered unappetizing and inedible and were sometimes fed to imprisoned people or used as crop fertilizer. Today, they grace the finest linen tablecloths.


The grain has taken the world by storm, but 20 years ago, this superfood was snubbed. In Peru and Bolivia where it is produced, the wealthy wouldn’t be caught dead eating quinoa, as it was notoriously a food of the poor.

Portobello mushrooms

Until the 1980s, these were considered too ugly to eat, and farmers either tossed them or took them home. A brilliant marketing trick gave the common and unglamorous fungi an Italian-sounding name, “portobello,” and the rest is history.

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