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Vintage Hockey Collectors Forum

Tim Horton Originally Sold Hamburgers

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Vintage Hockey Collectors Forum

Today, Burger King finalized an $11.4 billion deal to buy Tim Hortons, the largest fast food chain in Canada. According to the New York Times, "neither [company] is altering their franchisee agreements or business models," meaning you won't be able to buy a Whopper at one of the ubiquitous coffee and donut shops. The joint company will have "18,000 restaurants in 100 countries and $23 billion in annual revenue," but this all wouldn't have been possible had Tim Hortons stuck with its original plan: selling hamburgers.

In 1962, Jim Charade, an independent businessman who was having trouble with his own fledgling donut shops, met Tim Horton, a Defenseman for the Toronto Maple Leafs who sold cars in the offseason to make some extra cash (Charade bought a Pontiac from him). Charade tried to convince Horton to go into the food business, thinking that using a well-known athlete's name would be an ingenious marketing tool. The hockey player agreed, but he insisted on selling hamburgers, not donuts. According to The Globe and Mail, the two opened a string of burger joints that soon failed.

Charade convinced Tim Horton to give donuts a shot, and in 1964 the two opened the first Tim Hortons as we know it in Hamilton, Ontario. The closest Tim Hortons has come to selling burgers since then was when they test marketed a "hamburger donut" in Moncton. Maybe it's best they leave the burgers to the King.

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Big Questions
What's the Difference Between Vanilla and French Vanilla Ice Cream?
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While you’re browsing the ice cream aisle, you may find yourself wondering, “What’s so French about French vanilla?” The name may sound a little fancier than just plain ol’ “vanilla,” but it has nothing to do with the origin of the vanilla itself. (Vanilla is a tropical plant that grows near the equator.)

The difference comes down to eggs, as The Kitchn explains. You may have already noticed that French vanilla ice cream tends to have a slightly yellow coloring, while plain vanilla ice cream is more white. That’s because the base of French vanilla ice cream has egg yolks added to it.

The eggs give French vanilla ice cream both a smoother consistency and that subtle yellow color. The taste is a little richer and a little more complex than a regular vanilla, which is made with just milk and cream and is sometimes called “Philadelphia-style vanilla” ice cream.

In an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered in 2010—when Baskin-Robbins decided to eliminate French Vanilla from its ice cream lineup—ice cream industry consultant Bruce Tharp noted that French vanilla ice cream may date back to at least colonial times, when Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both used ice cream recipes that included egg yolks.

Jefferson likely acquired his taste for ice cream during the time he spent in France, and served it to his White House guests several times. His family’s ice cream recipe—which calls for six egg yolks per quart of cream—seems to have originated with his French butler.

But everyone already knew to trust the French with their dairy products, right?

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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science
Belly Flop Physics 101: The Science Behind the Sting
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Belly flops are the least-dignified—yet most painful—way of making a serious splash at the pool. Rarely do they result in serious physical injury, but if you’re wondering why an elegant swan dive feels better for your body than falling stomach-first into the water, you can learn the laws of physics that turn your soft torso a tender pink by watching the SciShow’s video below.

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