Flavour Revolution – Cotton Candy

Daunting Debuts

Cotton Candy was first introduced to the mass public at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, There, it sold 68,655 units at 25-cents per box (which in today’s money would be approximately $6 each). To say it was a success, would be an understatement. That got me thinking about other famous items that were first unveiled at World’s Fairs or similar events. Here are some of the notable products we may never have known had it not been for masses of people gathering in the name of advancement:

Disneyland Attraction Technology (1964)

Walt Disney played a massive role at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, presenting a number of the technologies that would later become fixtures at his theme parks, namely Audio Animatronics. The Disney company created two awe-inspiring experiences for visitors to the event, with the It’s a Small World ride, and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln show. As a Disneyland fan for close to my entire life, I must heap great praise on this turning point in the park’s history.

Hangin with Tinkerbell

Broadcast TV (1939)

Any casual observer of this site knows of the Sip Advisor’s love of television. Well, it all began here, with RCA President David Sarnoff, choosing to put a TV on display for the start of the fair, including broadcasting President Frankiln Roosevelt’s opening address. As if people’s minds weren’t already blown, colour photography, air conditioning and even Smell-O-Vision were introduced to the public, although I think they’re still working out the kinks to that Smell-O-Vision concept.

Telephone (1876)

My love-hate relationship with phones (I love MY phone, I just hate everyone else’s!) wouldn’t be possible without its unveiling at the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia. Who could have imagined then, that phones would become portable, let alone be able to accomplish so much with, while out and about. Other items to be featured at the event, included the typewriter, the steam engine, Heinz Ketchup and Hires Root Beer.

Electrical Outlet (1904)

With developments in electricity rapidly coming down the pipeline, all folks needed was a place to plug in all their future appliances and gadgets. Thanks to the 1904 World’s Fair civilization was introduced to a whole new way of harnessing power, which still exists today. Now, if only companies would stop making unnecessarily large plugs, which take up so much space that you can’t get another cable into the same outlet… and don’t get me started on European adapters!

Going Places Outlet

X-Ray Machine (1901)

This device can be credited with saving an untold number of lives and advancing medical technology in a number of avenues. Interestingly, the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo was infamous for the assassination of President William McKinley. After being shot by gunman Leon Czolgosz, doctors were afraid to use the X-Ray Machine on McKinley to locate the bullet, due to fear of adverse side effects… instead, he died from his wounds eight days later.

Touchscreens (1982)

While touchscreens are all the rage today, they were actually first introduced more than 30 years ago, at the World’s Fair in Knoxville. You’d have to imagine that this advancement blew a lot of people’s minds, given they were still fiddling around with rotary phones and such. Why it took so long for the technology to be developed before most of us had it in our hands is likely due to costs. For example, Sega had planned to follow the Game Gear with a touchscreen device, but had to scrap it.

Chuck Norris Touchscreen

Ice Cream Cones (1904)

1904 was a big year for revelations in the snacking industry. Along with cotton candy, ice cream cones also made their debut. While I’m not the biggest ice cream buff, preferring my iced treats to be in bowl or cookie form, I can’t say that I’ve never enjoyed a cone (preferably waffle) covered with all the necessary goodies. I wonder how the original cones held up given even nowadays, you often end up with ice cream all over your hands. Perhaps they used materials back then that are illegal now.

IMAX (1970)

For everyone that’s ever suffered motion sickness from these monster movie screens, you have the 1970 EXPO to thank. It figures that Japan would be the debut site of this technological wonder, but it should be noted that the film (Tiger Child) was produced by a Canadian company. I have never felt so proud of my country than right now! The IMAX might have been rivaled by the large moon rock on display at the American pavilion, recently returned from the second trip to the moon.

Flavour Revolution: Funhouse Cocktail

Some other more “minor” debuts of note at World’s Fairs include Cracker Jack (1893), Dr. Pepper (1904), the Twinkie (1940), and Cherry Coke (1982). It should also be noted that one of the world’s most famous landmarks, the Eiffel Tower, was built for the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, while other notable attractions were also erected for a city’s turn to host the world, such as the Space Needle in Seattle and Science World (aka that golf ball looking building) in Vancouver.

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March 24 – Red Alert

Border Jumpers

About 75% of the Canadian population lives along the Canada-U.S. border. This is a tease for these Canadians, as the United States gets products that just can’t be found up here and what you CAN find in both countries usually comes in at a much lower price point south of the border.

For example, Cherry Dr. Pepper, used in today’s bevvy, has been available in the U.S. for a couple years now. In Canada, it is still advertised as a new product, having just hit store shelves in 2012. Cherry Coke, despite existing for decades has never popped across the border to say hi and same goes for Vanilla Coke (previously available in Canada), Mello Yellow, and unique spin-off flavours of Fanta, Mountain Dew, Snapple, etc.

If Gene Simmons is okay with it, why did Canada take so long?

If Gene Simmons is okay with Cherry Dr. Pepper, why did Canada take so long?

Pop (or soda as the Yanks prefer to call it) isn’t the only thing us Canadians have to chase down on trips to the States. There are a number of chocolate bars that can’t be picked up at the local Canadian convenient store. Pay Days (a Sip Advisor favourite), Coconut M&Ms, Butterfingers, and Heath Bars, form the bulk of this list. Although we do try to make up for Butterfingers by substituting Crispy Crunch and Heath by having Skor. And apparently, up north, we do have the market cornered on Coffee Crisp, Smarties, and Aero (all Nestle products)… even Kinder Surprise (eff the chocolate, I love getting little toys!). And I’ll never figure out why it’s two Reese Peanut Butter Cups in each American package and three in Canada… but I’m not complaining.

Recently I compiled a couple blogs about cereals and their slogans. For example, don’t bother looking for Trix in Canada… although perhaps the Trix Rabbit should take refuge in this country to avoid all the loser kids rubbing it in his face that the breakfast is not meant for him. I’m surprised the poor guy hasn’t gone on a breakfast-stealing rampage through an elementary school. Similarly, Apple Jacks cereal was once sold in Canada, but no longer share store shelf space. Cookie Crisp was apparently banned in Canada, which really pisses me off. How can a country ban Cookie Crisp, when its most famous culinary dish is the curd- and gravy-heavy poutine?

Poutine

Books, dairy (particularly cheese), meat, fruits and vegetables, cigarettes, gas, tires, and most junk food top the list of items that are way cheaper in the U.S. than Canada. Here are some other cross border notes:

  • Seagram’s Gin, despite once being a Canadian-owned company, is no longer sold in Canada
  • Canadian Netflix sucks compared to the U.S. version, causing many subscribers to manipulate their systems allowing access to the American subscription
  • Hulu and other TV and movie streaming services will not work in Canada, where we are told they are not available in our region… despite us sharing the same region as the U.S.
  • Stores you can’t find in Canada: Barnes & Nobles, Trader Joes, Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s, and Nordstrom’s (although rumour has it that at least one Nordstrom’s is crossing the border to downtown Vancouver and apparently the International terminal of Vancouver airport now hosts a Vicky’s)
  • Restaurants exclusively serving the U.S.: White Castle, Cheesecake Factory, In-N-Out Burgers, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box
victorias-secret-fashion-show

Yowza, we really need Victoria Secret in Canada!

Perhaps some of these items will finally be available in Canada with Target stores coming to the Great White North, but if not, I have no issues taking a trip down to the States to load up on Pay Days, Cookie Crisp, Victoria’s Secret lingerie (for Mrs. Sip, of course) and a meal or two at Jack in the Box.

At least we have Tim Horton’s, White Spot (in Western Canada), Ketchup Chips, Kraft Dinner, Swiss Chalet, and Hickory Sticks. I don’t really see Americans coming to our fair country for any of these items (although they should, especially for the White Spot Legendary Burger, Mmmmmm). Americans will probably just order most of these items online and have them shipped for free, while us suckers in Canada always have to pay extreme taxes and fees for the same service.

Drink #83: Red Alert

Red Alert Drink

  • 1.5 oz Whiskey (I used Crown Royal)
  • Top with half Orange Juice and half Cherry Dr. Pepper

To my Canadian brethren, I ask, what do you like to grab on trips to the States? To my friends from the south, is there anything you like in Canada that you can’t get from home? Do you even travel to our little country? Hit me back!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
I’m a big fan of the Cherry Dr. Pepper pop and it probably saved this cocktail It was neat to see the Orange Juice and Dr. Pepper mix together and luckily we were able to snap some good quick photos of the effect.