"Dude, I was camping and forgot my spork — I almost starved!"
"Oh, great. You opened the wine bottle but didn't finish all the Grüner. How are we supposed to close it up again so the wine doesn't spoil?"
"I have a dining room full of brunch customers, dozens of eggs, and a pot of boiling water, but the egg poacher broke. Guess I have to send everybody home. Wait. You can poach eggs without an egg poacher? Shut up! Eggs Benedict for everyone!"
Bet you hear stuff like that all the time, right? Yeah, sure. The fact is that as many essential inventions and discoveries as there have been in the world of food and drink throughout the eons (check out The Daily Meal's picks for the 50 most important), there are just as many failed, pointless, and flat-out stupid culinary gadgets cluttering history's kitchen drawers.
You know them too well. You've seen these flimsy, plastic gadgets dice, splice, and not suffice on late-night television in between those infomercials for magic abs and sculpted thighs. In fact, you may have bought a few of the things before it dawned on you just how useless these one-trick phonies — uni-taskers, we call them — really were. Hey, we all make mistakes in the kitchen.
As we took time to carefully identify and consider the 50 most important inventions (and discoveries) in food and drink, we couldn't help but think about their opposites, too. We're not necessarily talking about the dumbest kitchen inventions ever (though there are a few of those), but inventions that embody true mediocrity when it comes to culinary ingenuity — gadgets demonstrating, if nothing else, that it's all about the art of the pitch, and that people will often happily purchase what they already own.