Are you a frozen foodie? Take the TV dinners quiz!
Too busy to cook? Since the 1950s, TV dinners have served as a quick and easy way to feed the family a complete meal without spending hours in the kitchen. Take our quiz to see how much you know about the story of the classic TV dinner.start quiz
Question 1 of 20
What main course was featured in the original Swanson TV dinners, which were first sold in 1954?
... The first TV dinners were created to help Swanson sell an excess stock of frozen turkeys. When the company released its famous TV dinner in 1954, the meal consisted of turkey and cornbread stuffing, peas and sweet potatoes arranged in a three-compartment tray.
Question 2 of 20
Rationing of this metal helped fuel sales of frozen foods during World War II.
... Tin rationing during WWII helped fuel sales of frozen foods. Not only was canned food harder to come by, it also required a greater number of rationing points than frozen foods, which were sold in cardboard packages.
Question 3 of 20
How many TV dinners did Swanson put out during its first production run?
... Swanson originally planned to manufacture just 5,000 TV dinners in 1954. Thanks to unexpectedly high demand, the company ended up selling 13 million TV dinners that year. By 1959, Americans were spending half a billion dollars each years on frozen dinners.
Question 4 of 20
While Swanson created the TV dinner, this company's founder created the quick-freezing process that made TV dinners possible.
... While conducting scientific research in Canada, Clarence Birdseye noticed that fish caught by the Inuit people froze almost as soon as it was caught, and it still tasted fresh months later. He adapted this idea to develop a quick-freezing process that allowed him to form his own frozen foods company.
Question 5 of 20
Fact or fiction: Swanson was the first company to sell frozen dinners in three-compartment trays.
... Fiction: Before Swanson, several other companies sold frozen dinners in the classic TV tray. Quaker State Foods, which operated out of the Pittsburgh area, sold more than 2.5 million frozen dinners before Swanson started to produce the meals in 1954.
Question 6 of 20
In what month can you celebrate National TV Dinner Day in the United States?
... Every September 10th is National TV Dinner Day. This holiday should not be confused with National Frozen Foods Day, which takes place each March 6th.
Question 7 of 20
About what percentage of new microwaveable food products fail each year?
... Around 90 percent of all microwaveable products introduced each year fail to take off. This failure is largely due to uneven or unpredictable heating, resulting in exploding veggies or soggy French fries.
Question 8 of 20
Fact or fiction: The secret to freezing food lies in freezing the product as slowly as possible without letting it spoil.
... Fiction: Speed is the key to quality frozen food. When food freezes slowly, large ice crystals form. These ice crystals have a negative impact on the quality, taste and texture of food when it's reheated.
Question 9 of 20
How much does the average American household spend on frozen meals each year?
... According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average U.S. household spends just under $79 each year on frozen meals.
Question 10 of 20
Where did people first come up with the idea of freezing food as a means of preserving it?
... The ancient Chinese stored food in ice cellars as early as 1000 B.C. The ancient Greeks and Romans later used compressed snow to keep food safely stored.
Question 11 of 20
Fact or fiction: The Smithsonian keeps an original Swanson TV tray as part of its collection.
... Fact: The classic Swanson TV tray is such an iconic part of American history that the Smithsonian keeps one in its collection. The Smithsonian's 1954 tray measures just 7 inches by 9 inches by 0.75 inches (17.78 centimeters by 22.86 centimeters by 1.9 centimeters).
Question 12 of 20
How much did the first Swanson TV dinners cost?
... The original Swanson turkey dinner cost 98 cents and took just 25 minutes to cook. While the original TV dinner featured three compartments, the company added a fourth compartment for dessert in 1960.
Question 13 of 20
What percentage of evening meals in the U.S. come from the freezer aisle?
... In the U.S., about 16 percent of evening meals come from the freezer aisle. From 1990 to 2011, the amount of U.S. grocery store space dedicated to frozen foods doubled.
Question 14 of 20
What year did Swanson switch from aluminum trays to plastic ones for their frozen dinners?
... When Swanson TV dinners came out in 1954, they were sold in aluminum trays. By 1986, more than half of all homes had microwaves, prompting the company to switch to plastic trays.
Question 15 of 20
Fact or fiction: While Birdseye came up with the industrial quick-freeze process that made frozen dinners possible, the company has always stuck to selling frozen vegetables rather than a full range of frozen foods.
... Fiction: When Birdseye began selling frozen food in 1930, the company sold frozen veggies, as well as 18 different cuts of meat, fish and even oysters.
Question 16 of 20
Looking for a healthy frozen meal? WebMD recommends choosing a frozen dinner in this calorie range.
... Stick with frozen meals in the 300 to 500 calorie range, and choose dinners with 10 to 18 grams of fat to keep your diet in check.
Question 17 of 20
How many frozen meals does the average American consume each month?
... The average American consumes six frozen meals each month, or 72 per year. In 1981, 72 percent of dinners were homemade. By 2010, that number had dropped to 59 percent.
Question 18 of 20
Performing this process prior to freezing helps maximize the quality and taste of frozen veggies.
... Enzymes in vegetables remain active after freezing, which can negatively impact the texture and taste of the food. Blanching, which is the process of very briefly boiling the vegetables prior to freezing, helps to deactivate these enzymes.
Question 19 of 20
When were the first frozen meals designed for microwave steaming introduced?
... In 2007, Healthy Choice introduced a line of frozen meals which were designed to be steamed in the microwave. Steaming helps to reduce cooking time, and many consumers believe that steaming makes for healthier frozen foods.
Question 20 of 20
Which company leads the market in single-serve frozen meal sales?
... Stouffer's leads the single-serve frozen meal market, followed by Banquet and Weight Watchers. TV dinner creator Swanson holds slightly more than 3 percent of the market with its Hungryman line of entrees.
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