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Watch Food: Fact or Fiction?

Do carrots really improve our eyesight? Did the Italians really invent pizza? Did salt win the Civil War? On "Food: Fact or Fiction?" host Michael McKean explores age-old adages and uncover fascinating food mysteries that are baked inside everything we eat. From pancakes to burgers to apple pie, we will reveal the accidental discoveries, clever marketing ploys, and war propaganda campaigns that have flavored our favorite dishes with a spoonful of fact and a dash of fiction.

Monday 10:00 PM et/pt on Cooking Channel
3 Seasons, 39 Episodes
October 26, 2015
Food, Reality
Cast: Michael McKean
Watch Episodes

Food: Fact or Fiction? Full Episode Guide

  • Gear up and stake your tents, Michael McKean has set up camp and it's suppertime. As you warm by the fire, you'll glow when you hear that S'mores were built with girl power, learn why pilgrims were so full of Baked Beans, and discover why Beer Can Chicken may just be a waste of good beer. The stories behind these outdoor eats guarantee to stick to your bones.

  • Pack your bags and grab a map because Michael McKean is heading out on a tasty tour of America's most delicious destinations. He b-lines for Boston to find out if Boston Cream Pie is a half-baked lie, goes sightseeing in Cincinnati to find the best Greek chili, and fills up in Philly where the cheesesteak is being challenged.

  • Michael McKean serves up a heaping helping of history for a few deep fried favorites. Pull up a fry basket and see why Tempura is tied to Easter, learn what hushpuppies are keeping so quiet, and how Fried Egg Sandwiches spawned a breakfast revolution.

  • Michael McKean uncovers the wondrous ways behind some famous food clich├ęs. He takes a bite of humble pie to find out what makes it so modest, tries to track down the father of the "bun in the oven," and discovers that there's a scientific reason why everything actually tastes like chicken.

  • Join Michael McKean and special guest Joe Mantegna as they say 'I do' to Italian Wedding soup as we learn its maiden name, find out why cookies object to wedding cake, and learn how Italian Beefs might once have brought a few cops to your reception. These wonderful wedding chows are indeed timeless.

  • Michael McKean takes a bite out of crime and investigates how some of our favorite foods got mixed up with the law. He finds out why cheese is the most stolen food on the planet, that citrus has some bitter ties to the mafia, and that a hamburger can land you in the big house. You have the right to remain silent, but anything you eat, can and will be held against you.

  • Michael McKean flexes his street food, street smarts. Prepare to get your hands dirty as we discover the explosive history of tacos, see how shish kebabs forged an edible empire, and find out why ice cream didn't feel at home until it met the cone. So, strap on your most comfortable eating shoes and get ready to pound the pavement.

  • Somewhere over the rainbow, Michael McKean's dreams come true as he discovers some of our tastiest technicolor treats. He traces the origins of multi-colored macarons to some nuns on the run, reveals that a rainbow bagel may be a logo for love, and finds out that a colorful counterculture put the "smooth" in smoothie.

  • Great ready for some mealtime mathematics! Michael McKean cracks open the old geometry book and studies the shapes of some of our favorite foods. He discovers that a pasta's figure is hiding a culinary code, that the pattern on a pineapple may unlock the mysteries of the universe, and that a chocolate's shape can transform its taste. Put down your fork and grab a ruler because today's menu has some mouthwatering math.

  • On this episode, host Michael McKean sounds off on how a little sizzle can sell a lot of Fajitas and why we should slurp our noodles like their taste depends on it. And when it comes time to order, loud noise could land you in burger heaven. Listen carefully, because your food is talking, and you definitely want to hear what it has to say.

  • If you don't feel like cooking tonight, host Michael McKean gets the scoop on your favorite Take-Out dishes. He discovers that Pad Thai may have saved an entire nation, that pizza delivery is fit for a queen, and that General Tso was anything but a chicken. Turn off the oven and grab a stack of menus, because these stories will be delivered in 30 minutes or less.

  • Host Michael McKean does a deep dive into one of the most holy recipe books of all time: The Bible! He finds out which miraculous fish Jesus picked to feed the 5000, whether the Last Supper was a buffet blowout, and that reading the bible might actually be a piece of almond spice cake.

  • Host Michael McKean finds the reasoning for the seasoning in some sweet holiday treats. Help unwrap the mystery behind how Gingerbread Men turned into studs, how Hanukkah was given the gift of Jelly Donuts, and how drama shaped Christmas Cookies into stars of the stage.

  • It's a blast from the past as host Michael McKean clues us in on some fabulous 50s favorites. Hop in the hot rod and find out if jiggly Gelatin was the original way to keep up with the Joneses, how Meatloaf was a cut above the rest, and why Deviled Eggs may just be the greatest treat the church ever pulled. Whether you're a greaser or a grease fire, these stories will light you up!

  • Don't forget to bring some form of ID because host Michael McKean gets the scoop on some famous dishes that were named after actual people. He finds out that Bananas Foster was created out of corruption, the Caesar Salad started a family feud, and that Fettucine Alfredo was once used as mouthwatering medicine.

  • Host Michael McKean sorts out the problematic pedigrees of some of our favorite foods. We'll find out if German Chocolate cake is iced with a grammatical error, if the real father of the French Dip will please stand up, and if English Muffins were spawned from some star-spangled batter. When it comes to the birth certificates of these deceptive dishes, make sure you read the fine print.

  • Join host Michael McKean as he figures out why some classic culinary combos are a match made in heaven. He discovers that grilled cheese and tomato soup found love at a school cafeteria, that our brains are wired to crave peanut butter and chocolate. Then, he finds out that there's scientific proof that chocolate and caviar have perfect chemistry.

  • Grab your flashlights and duct tape because host Michael McKean uncovers the truth behind the world's greatest edible emergencies. He discovers how a massive blackout in New York City led to the decadent Blackout Cake, that Tapioca pudding is no good at puddin' out fires, and that a tidal wave of sweet molasses nearly broke Boston.

  • Host Michael McKean enlightens us on a few divine dining delights. He finds out why we should we be handing out cake instead of candy on Halloween. Then McKean discovers that Valentine's Day candy hearts were once used as medicine. Later he figures out whether Corned Beef can really bring any Irish luck on St. Patrick's Day. Saints or sinners, this episode's foods are truly sacred.

  • Step right up, as host Michael McKean juggles carnival classics with reports that will amaze and astonish. His big top tales feature whether cotton candy is at the root of a cavity scheme, if popcorn kernels rescued the silver screen and if saltwater taffy pulled itself into the center of a huge legal battle.

  • Host Michael McKean shuffles carnival classics with tales that will amaze and astound.

  • Host Michael McKean takes a journey around the US to unlock the tales behind our favorite state dishes, including what baked Alaska has to do with Alaska, who put the Big Apple in New York cheesecake and if the California roll originates from California, Japan ... or Canada!

  • Myths about spicy foods are explored by host Michael McKean, who finds out who discovered the chili and determines whether hot wings actually connect people together.

  • Host Michael McKean takes a peek at how some popular food combinations got combined. Michael tracks down the beginning of peanut butter and jelly to the trenches of World War II, sees how spaghetti and meatballs traveled from Italy to America and learns if chicken and waffles came together following a late-night jazz set.

  • Host Michael McKean investigates how some favorite eats changed from paupers to princes. He researches lobster's prison past, whether creme brulee was constantly the cream of the crop, and if champagne's fizz almost burst its bubble.

  • Host Michael McKean mixes words to get to the bottom of some well-known food phrases. He learns if the extra muffin in a baker's dozen could save a baker's life, what's really so cool about cucumbers and if you can actually butter someone up.

  • Host Michael McKean starts a sandwich discussion and cuts the crust off some "deli-cut" questions. He learns if the sandwich was actually named after a man named sandwich, the correct title for an Italian sandwich and if the burrito is on the table of sandwich court.

  • Host Michael McKean offers thanks for our favorite Thanksgiving food. He reveals whether the turkey or the country came first, how burnt marshmallows ended up on sweet potatoes and if a lawyer abandoned his career to put cranberries in a can.

  • Host Michael McKean follows rainbows to describe how our food's color can leave us tickled pink or feeling blue.

  • Host Michael McKean sorts the good from the bad on some downright evil food tales. He uncovers whether beer's spirits were placed there by witches, if the pretzel is devout or if its tale is full of twists and if the heavenly-tasting angel food cake is actually just a little devil.

  • Host Michael McKean reveals the "hole" tale of everyone's favorite middle-missing baked goods. See if donuts helped promote the end of World War I, if the secret to New York bagels stems from the city's water and how bundt cakes went from headlining brunch to saving lives.

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