I recently learned that banana and mayonnaise sandwiches are considered a southern delicacy. A variant is the peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich. Or combining all three: the peanut butter, banana, and mayonnaise sandwich.
The Garden & Gun blog traces the popularity of peanut butter and mayo sandwiches (and presumably also of banana and mayo) back to the Great Depression:
Through the hardships of the Great Depression and the lean years that followed, peanut butter and mayonnaise kept many struggling households afloat. They were also the ingredients in a sandwich that was once as popular as peanut butter and jelly in parts of the South...
Newspaper clippings from the national heyday of the peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwich, a period that seems to have begun in the 1930s and continued through the 1960s, provide evidence that the practice of adding mayonnaise to peanut butter could have originated as a way of transforming rough-hewn nut butters into spreadable pastes.
In 1948, the Continental Can Company ran a series of magazine ads presenting "uncanny" facts about the history of canning. One of these facts was the great technological achievement from 1852 of packing an entire sheep into a huge can.
The ad didn't bother to say who exactly did this, but after a bit of googling I figured out that it was the French inventor Raymond Chevallier-Appert (1801-1892). Before Chevallier-Appert, canned food kept spoiling. He figured out that it needed to be cooked at higher temperatures. Here's the rest of the story from the Stravaganza blog:
Studying the problem, [Chevallier-Appert] decided that higher degrees of heat were needed in cooking. The apparatus called the autoclave, a closed vessel in which steam under pressure gave heat much greater than boiling water, had never been used for cooking food, however, and there was danger of over-cooking, because it lacked apparatus to measure and regulate the heat. Chevallier-Appert equipped the crude autoclave with another crude device, a manometer, which had been used for measuring heat in boilers. It would measure differences of only twenty degrees. He made it an instrument of precision, capable of measuring half a degree, and patented the invention in 1852. With greater heat, and an instrument to measure and control it, the difficulties of canning were overcome to such a degree that in June, 1852, Chevallier-Appert exhibited to scientists a whole sheep that had been cooked and sealed in a huge can in his autoclave four months before.
I don't think there are many weird-news-themed beers. But back in March, Cigar City Brewing of Tampa created a special batch of Florida Man beer. It's an IPA with hints of grapefruit, mango and passion fruit. However, they made only 3,000 bottles that sold for $9 each at select retail locations in Florida. So probably all gone.
Are there any other foods or beverages named after weird-news themes?
The Bible contains only one full recipe, which is given to Ezekiel by God (Ezekiel 4:9):
Take you also to you wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make you bread thereof… And you shall eat it as barley cakes, and you shall bake it with dung that comes out of man.
So you gotta bake it with human poop, which means it might not be to everyone's taste. Though God subsequently relented and allowed Ezekiel to substitute cow dung.
This was one of the recipes explored by the Rev. Rayner Hesse and Anthony Chiffolo in their book Cooking With the Bible (it came out in 2006), in which they set out to recreate the various meals and foods that appear throughout the Bible. Apparently they cooked up some Ezekiel bread, as an experiment, and Hesse said it tastes "like moldy bean sprouts." But he added, "You don't want to eat it. Never, ever. Let me emphasize that: Never."
Other treats to be found in the book include Locust Soup, and Locusts and Honey. More info at the LA Times.