Stop—save those leftovers!
Before you toss out the scraps or leftover bits of your homecooked meal, try to see if they can be used to make something new.
Because if culinary history’s taught us anything, it’s that even the most unassuming of ingredients can add up to something great—you just need to breathe some life into them.
Not convinced? Take a stroll through history, as we explore some of the most beloved foods with the least likely of beginnings. Just read on to learn more.
Whether you love French toast as a decadent breakfast dish or a sweet dessert-style indulgence, one thing’s for sure: we do not have it today if not for the resourceful methods of medieval Europeans. Even though the dish is traditionally associated with the French (incidentally, in France itself this dish is often known as “pain perdu,” or lost bread), it was a popular dish throughout the continent thanks to its ease of preparation… and, of course, its ability to turn dated, otherwise undesirable bread into something rich and delicious.
Who knew such a beloved dish could come about from old bread? This may have been where the treat started, but today French toast is something we pursue—getting the best bread and ingredients with which to prepare it. At Peach Valley Café, our French Toast is made using Texas toast, which we then top with warm syrup, cinnamon and powdered sugar for an extra sweet touch.
Biscuits and Gravy
If you love Southern cuisine, biscuits and gravy probably hold a special place in your heart—and for good reason! This dish is delightfully simple yet incredibly comforting, a great way to start the day (as you can do with Peach Valley’s Buttermilk Drop Biscuits & Sausage Gravy!).
But long before it was a beloved breakfast tradition, biscuits and gravy was an invention of necessity—a need to make the most of every ingredient in the kitchen. It’s said to have caught on following the American Revolution when food had to go even further to feed large amounts of people on a dime. The gravy in biscuits and gravy fit the bill because it offered savory sustenance without needing large cuts of meat—rather, it was made from the drippings, or leftover bits, of breakfast sausage. Mixing these drippings with flour and milk helped create the base for a dish that was easy to make and enjoy.
Bonus: Potato Chips
Even something you munch on pretty often—potato chips—was started out of the blue. In 1853, Chef George Crum of Moon’s Lake House was so frustrated by a guest who kept asking for crisper, crunchier potatoes that he took a batch and fried it to a true crisp. He probably planned to throw it away once his guest sent them back—but instead, this batch stuck won over the guest and of course became one of the most well-known culinary staples around.
Where would we be without these leftovers-turned-culinary classics? We don’t want to find out! The next time you’re cooking something special in the kitchen, be sure to keep an eye out for new, unconventional ways to use your spare scraps and leftover ingredients. Who knows? You might just create something you can’t live without.