30 Fun Food Holidays to Celebrate This Year

iStock.com/neirfy
iStock.com/neirfy

Whether your dietary tastes stick to the old standards like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or a liquid diet of absinthe and wine, there's a food and drink holiday for you. Here are 30 of them that you still have time to celebrate in 2019.

1. January 23: National Pie Day

Take today to enjoy a classic apple or pecan, or try something new.

2. January 25: Burns Night

Burns Night, named for Scottish poet Robert Burns, celebrates Scottish culture, literature, and cuisine. Break out the haggis!

3. February 2: National Tater Tot Day

A pile of golden brown tater tots
iStock.com/zkruger

Take National Tater Tot Day to reconsider what might be the finest form of fried potatoes.

4. February 9: National Pizza Day

You already crave it every day, so take February 9 to treat yourself to your favorite slice (and learn some of the history, too!).

5. March 5: National Absinthe Day

There's a lot of talk about absinthe's history and the myths therein. Luckily, we've got those covered—and debunked.

6. March 7: National Cereal Day

Cereal first, then milk. Learn your history.

7. March 17: National Corn Dog Day

This March, celebrate with one portable, fried, meaty treat. But first, learn about the anatomy of a corndog.

8. April 2: National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a plate atop a blue and white checked tablecloth
iStock.com/joebelanger

Who doesn't love this classic childhood snack? Eat one today, and then get the answer to something you've wondered since childhood: What's the difference between jelly and jam?

9. April 7: National Beer Day

Be sure to correct your misconceptions about beer before having too many on April 7 (or even the night before on New Beer's Eve).

10. April 19: National Garlic Day

We all know it's supposed to keep a vampire away, but did you know these 11 facts about garlic?

11. May 11: National Eat What You Want Day

Woman picks out a dessert in a bakery
iStock.com/tomazl

Though it's definitely not healthy, this is a food holiday that we want to celebrate more than once a year.

12. May 16: National Mimosa Day

A staple of any brunch menu. Celebrate with a glass ... or two.

13. May 25: National Wine Day

As you're enjoying a glass of cab sav or chardonnay with friends this National Wine Day, drop a few of these wine-related facts.

14. June 1: National Doughnut Day

A woman eating a pink frosted donut
iStock.com/kokouu

One of two National Doughnut Days celebrated every year. Why are there two, you ask? We've got you covered.

15. June 4: National Cheese Day

There are so many different types of cheese to celebrate. Here's a quick refresher on how two dozen of them got their names.

16. June 21: National Smoothie Day

Put all your favorites together, blend them up, and check out some of the best smoothie art we can find!

17. July 6: National Fried Chicken Day

Not all fried chicken is created equal. Before finding the best in your state, learn about how it used to be made.

18. July 14: National Mac and Cheese Day

Man eating a bowl of macaroni and cheese
iStock.com/KoriKobayashi

You can thank none other than Thomas Jefferson for popularizing this delightful dish.

19. July 15: National Ice Cream Day

Our third president also had a hand in making ice cream a thing—in fact, according to the Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia, "he can be credited with the first known recipe [for ice cream] recorded by an American," and it probably stems from his time in France.

20. August 3: National Watermelon Day

They're 92 percent water, and 100 percent delicious—and you can eat the whole thing, which you should definitely do on National Watermelon Day.

21. August 24: National Waffle Day

Would it be a surprise if we told you that Jefferson loved these delicious discs so much he brought back four waffle irons from France? He liked to serve them with (duh) ice cream.

22. September 20: National Queso Day

Not just cheese dip, queso (or chili con queso) is a Tex-Mex dip served with tortilla chips. It's been called "the world's most perfect food," and we can't disagree.

23. September 25: National Lobster Day

Grilling lobsters on the barbecue
iStock.com/Instants

On the day celebrating this brightly colored crustacean, consider these fun facts about the clawed creature.

24. September 29: National Coffee Day

Make the most of this National Coffee Day with some of our favorite coffee hacks.

25. October 14: National Dessert Day

Treat yourself.

26. October 17: National Pasta Day

Young boy eats a plate of spaghetti
iStock.com/pinstock

There are myriad ways to celebrate National Pasta Day, so why not consider some of these unique pasta shapes?

27. October 26: National Chicken Fried Steak Day

This delicious dish is a delicacy across the American South, and certainly worth taking a day to celebrate.

28. November 21: National Stuffing Day

If you're worried about celebrating the right food, make sure you know the difference between stuffing and dressing. 

29. December 8: National Brownie Day

Whether you prefer the middle piece or an edge piece, celebrate National Brownie Day by learning about its origins.

30. December 30: National Bacon Day

Sizzling hot bacon cooking in a cast iron skillet
iStock.com/VeselovaElena

End every year with a generous helping of the internet's favorite food.

UK Burger King Restaurants Will Stop Giving Plastic Toys With Kids' Meals

Leon Neal/Getty Images
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Fast food companies don't have a reputation for being eco-friendly, but through small changes made in recent years, some of the biggest names in the industry are working to reduce their environmental impact. Just a few weeks after introducing the meat-free Impossible Whopper, Burger King announced a new policy for its United Kingdom locations. As CNN reports, UK restaurants will no long include plastic toys with kids' meals.

The change comes after two sisters from the UK started a petition on Change.org calling on McDonald's and Burger King to stop distributing plastic toys with kids' meals. Ella and and Caitlin McEwan, who were 9 and 7 respectively when the petition launched this summer, wrote, “children only play with the plastic toys they give us for a few minutes before they get thrown away and harm animals and pollute the sea." They went on to say: "It’s not enough to make recyclable plastic toys—big, rich companies shouldn’t be making toys out of plastic at all." Their online petition has received more than 530,000 signatures.

By cutting plastic from kids' meals, Burger King estimates it will avoid wasting 350 tons of single-use plastic a year. The chain has also installed containers in its UK stores for collecting old plastic toys from customers, so the material can be recycled to make playgrounds. The UK represents just a fraction of Burger King's market, but according to the company, non-biodegradable plastic toys will be phased out of all locations by 2025.

McDonald's has had a different response to the McEwan sister's petition. Instead of doing away with plastic toys completely, UK restaurants will give customers the option to swap toys for fruit with their Happy Meals later this year, and then allow them to opt for books instead for a period in early 2020. Meanwhile, in Canada and Germany, some McDonald's restaurants are experimenting with going totally plastic-free. The more sustainable restaurants feature paper straws, waffle cone condiment cups, and burger wrappers made from grass.

[h/t CNN]

How to Make 3 Delicious Fall Cocktails

Mental Floss Video
Mental Floss Video

As the leaves start to change color, it’s time to put away the White Claw and the rosé …OK, sure, you can drink whatever you like whenever you like. But if you live in a temperate climate, part of the fun of changing seasons is falling in love with new beverages and meals that complement the weather. That’s why we asked Eamon Rockey, the Director of Beverage Studies at the Institute of Culinary Education, to craft three cocktails that are perfect for fall. 

Pumpkin Spice Flip Recipe

Ingredients:

Blended Scotch
Maple Syrup
Pumpkin Puree
One Whole Egg
Cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Add 2 ounces of blended scotch to a cocktail shaker
  2. Add 3/4 of an ounce of good maple syrup
  3. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of pumpkin puree
  4. Crack 1 egg and add to mixture
  5. Add one piece of ice and shake vigorously, to emulsify the ingredients
  6. Add ice to the top of your shaker and shake again, to chill and dilute the drink
  7. Double-strain into a cocktail glass. You want all of the volume and richness of the egg, without any solid matter or shards of ice. 
  8. Garnish with freshly grated cinnamon and serve

Four Apples a Day Recipe

Ingredients:

Calvados
Rockey’s Milk Punch
Hard Apple Cider
One Granny Smith Apple

Instructions:

  1. Add 1.5 ounces of calvados to a mixing glass
  2. Add 2 ounces of Rockey’s Milk Punch
  3. Stir with ice to chill
  4. Strain into a wine glass
  5. Top with 3 ounces of hard apple cider
  6. Garnish with fresh apple in any style you like

Old Fashioned Recipe

Ingredients:

Bourbon
Angostura Bitters
Simple Syrup

Instructions:

  1. Add 2.5 ounces of bourbon to a mixing glass
  2. Add 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
  3. Add 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup (50% sugar, 50% water)
  4. Add ice and stir, to chill and dilute the drink
  5. Strain into a rocks glass containing a large cube of ice
  6. Finish with a freshly cut twist of orange peel

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