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
4 Seasons, 50 Episodes
October 26, 2015
Food, Reality
Cast: Michael McKean
Watch Episodes

Food: Fact or Fiction? Full Episode Guide

  • Cozy up with a bowl of chips because host Michael McKean has the scoop on favorite dips. He'll discover that guacamole wouldn't be good without a mailman, queso almost started a civil war and chocolate fountains are full of physics.

  • Waffle irons, stand mixers, and refrigerators are featured by Michael McKean.

  • Michael McKean finds out if Yule log cakes can keep evil at bay and if panettone was actually created by a Tony.

  • Michael McKean finds out how appetizers found their footing during Prohibition; that a king turned tapas into a tableside treat; and why food could really use people's hands.

  • Michael McKean reveals the truth behind dishes. He uncovers what it took to make turducken tick, how it takes more than magic to get soup inside soup dumplings, and how cake and pie have come together to save the world.

  • Michael McKean goes on a journey of some super stuffed foods. Discovering if bao are good enough to save someone's necks, if toasted ravioli are a big stuffed lie and whether knishes could once land someone in jail.

  • Michael McKean uncovers the stories behind some favorite baked goodies. He reveals that cupcakes are edible equations and explains how the whoopie pie nearly caused a civil war.

  • Michael McKean celebrates Halloween by investigating some wickedly tasty dishes.

  • Michael McKean goes into the wild to hunt for meat myths and fresh fish fibs. He calls foul on duck a l'orange with its so-called French origins and throws a line at wicked tuna to find out how people got hooked on tuna melts.

  • Michael McKean makes everyone's birthday wishes come true as he celebrates the best holiday of the year. He discovers that birthday cake was born during a revolution and that a bowl of Chinese noodles can bring you more birthdays to celebrate. Michael then continues the party by learning how eggs take the cake in Ghana.

  • Michael McKean skips breakfast and forgets about lunch so he can get to the bottom of brunch. He discovers how eggs Benedict was blessed by a pope and that we may have a melty mishap to thank for the croque monsieur. Michael concludes his mid-morning meal investigation by explaining how a saucy starlet named the bloody mary.

  • 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.

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