A Lively History of Coffin Bread
By Bethel Afful
Coffin bread is a retro Taiwanese street food invented in 1959 by food stand owner Hsu Liu-Yi. He sold chicken liver chowder encased in deep-fried toast. When one of Hsu’s customers—an archaeology professor—made a comment about the toast bowl resembling a coffin, it became the dish’s namesake.
In the latest episode of Food History, host Justin Dodd tells us the story of coffin bread, a dish that is not nearly as morbid as its name suggests. You’ll learn about the role wheat played in international diplomacy, the Chinese Civil War’s hand in Taiwanese cuisine and culture, and the food science that makes frying such a tempting choice for chefs around the world.
Watch the full video on YouTube, and subscribe to Mental Floss for new videos every week.