Oh Mycelium! 9 Things You Can Do With Mushrooms Besides Eat Them

Mushrooms are quite divisive when it comes to eating them as food. People either love them or hate them. People that love mushrooms, rave about the endless recipe possibilities, citing the thousands of varieties and spend a lifetime trying to convert family and friends. 

A simple button mushroom or even a shitake may not pique the interest of a taste denier, but there is much more to mushrooms than pleasing your taste buds. Mushrooms (or more widely fungus mycelial networks) are the subject of many scientific interests and discoveries.

We’ve collated an illustrated guide to the myriad of uses – everyday, and spectacular – of mushrooms. Read and learn about their different uses so that you can preach at the dinner table the next time you’re chomping on that wild mushroom risotto…

Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms)


Ok, so let’s get a controversial one out of the way. Magic mushrooms (mushrooms containing varying strains of psilocybin) have hallucinogenic properties – psychedelics which can alter perception, mood and thought. Psilocybin is thought to boost the brain’s connectivity, syncing areas of the brain that would not normally communicate.

There are reservations about the safety of using these mushrooms and they are now considered a controlled substance in many countries, but there is also evidence of them having been used over centuries in multiple cultures, especially in religious ceremonies in Central America. 

According to anthropologist John Rush, magic mushrooms may even explain Santa! He states that Shamans in Siberia used to bring gifts of mushrooms to households during winter. The ‘Spirit animals’ of these Shaman were – wait for it – reindeer. 

The mushrooms in question were the classic white and red of Santa’s outfit, and ingesting these could possibly make you think the reindeer were flying…this may be a bit far fetched, but we love a tenuous link.

Complementary Cancer Therapy and Immunity Boosters

Mushrooms have been used in medicinal form for thousands of years, prized for their antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, cardio-vascular-protective, antidiabetic and hepatoprotective properties. 

In recent years, varieties of mushroom such as Turkey Tail have been found to have immune boosting properties that give some hope of them being effective in the fight against some cancers. 

The research is still in question, but according to one 2014 review, it would appear that compounds called polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and polysaccharide-K (PSK) have potential to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. 

Encouraging findings indeed. Who knows where the next decade or so of research might lead us?

Fertiliser and Fuel

Not mushrooms themselves, but rather the spent mushroom substrate. The mycelial and surrounding organic matter left after growing mushrooms, can be used as a good fertiliser!

Spent substrate can be used to feed and grow worms, which in turn are great for composting and general soil health. Japanese scientists have also discovered a way to produce a liquid hormone from this substrate, which helps to promote cucumber, tomato and soybean growth.

Mushroom substrate can also be used to produce biogas. It can sustain the long-term propagation of bacteria, which in turn create methane. It is thought that 3-5kg of substrate could create enough biogas to support the daily usage of an average sized family.

Cosmetics Enhancement

Using Ganoderma Lucidium (or Red Reishi) as an example, mushrooms can be used in cosmetics to supposedly combat:
  • Skin ageing
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Inflammation
Again, polysaccharides pop up as the important ingredient, coveted for their derma-protective and healing properties. 

Clothing and Leather Substitute

“Would you like a new bag?”

“Oh, I don’t have MUSHROOM left for anything else in my closet”…

Ok, so terrible jokes aside, you really can make bags and shoes and other garments out of mushrooms! 

You may have heard of pineapple leather, and now there is mushroom leather, or muskin leather as it’s known. This eco-friendly alternative to animal derived leather is made from the mycelium of reishi and pearl oyster mushrooms, or the giant caps of Phellinus ellipsoideus, a variety of mushroom that feeds off trees in subtropical forests.

Mushroom fibre based textiles offer a super soft material, which also has the additional benefits of being antimicrobial, vegan and carbon neutral. An increasingly viable alternative garment material, mushroom leather has attracted the attention of fashion powerhouses such as Stella McCartney and Adidas.

Compostable Packaging

It is impossible to ignore the growing concern worldwide, for the amount of single use plastic waste and unwanted surplus packaging that goes into landfill every day. Scientists have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to try and find a solution to our waste pollution crisis. And mushrooms might just be the answer!

Unlike styrofoam for example, mushroom packaging consists of 100 percent biodegradable and renewable material that can be recycled directly in and by nature. 

Mycelial matter can be grown within a matter of days, to provide competitively priced, water resistant and insulating packaging. This packaging is deemed completely safe for the packaging of food and can also break down and compost within 1-2 months. 

Mushroom packaging is very versatile in regards to moulding to specific shapes and sizes, and is super lightweight.

What’s not to love?!

Furniture giants such as IKEA already use compostable mushroom packaging.

Construction and Building Materials

Harnessing the properties of mycelium again, it has now been found possible to “grow” living bricks that are as strong as concrete! Mushroom bricks are made by combining mycelium and chopped up corn husks

There is a lot of pressure on the construction industry as a whole to look at their carbon footprint and to invest in greener, more sustainable materials and processes. Concrete tops the list as an unsustainable material, using tonnes of energy and water to create it from raw materials.

Mushroom bricks may be the answer to replacing traditional building materials, now that they can be made as strong, cheap and quick to produce but easily broken down when no longer needed, without leaving a trace.

Mushroom Death Suits

Death is a touchy subject. People don’t like to stray too much from tradition when it comes to considering what happens to us (our bodies) after we die. 

There is much ceremony surrounding death and saying goodbye to loved ones, and we concentrate on almost preserving the bodies (unless cremated) in a fancy, expensive casket, dressed in their finest attire.

The reality is that when buried, we will eventually become part of the earth again.

Overcrowded cemeteries are becoming a large problem for densely populated areas. A need for space, but also a desire to ‘return to nature’ more quickly without leaving a footprint has spurred research into burial suits that will aid and speed the breakdown of the body into the soil.

Death suits made from mushroom spore-infused thread, will sprout mycelium which will hasten the breakdown of matter and digest the contents of the suit, leaving no trace and no toxins unlike traditional burial methods.

Portobello Battery

Ok, so this is like when we used a lemon as a battery in science at school yeah? Well, no.

Scientists have discovered that Portobello mushrooms can be used to make very good graphite alternative lithium-ion batteries that may have a better lifespan, and even get better with age!

The production of the batteries leaves out all of the harsh, corrosive chemicals such as hydrofluoric and sulphuric acids – negating hazardous waste. Best of all, these Portobello mushroom batteries will almost entirely biodegrade when disposed of.


So the next time someone pulls a face when talking about mushrooms, remind them that they are magnificent, multi-purpose magic umbrellas of potential and they should watch this space. 

Alright, that sounded a bit threatening and they may not be eating mushrooms any time soon, but they may well be living inside one or wearing them in the future! 

You’re more than welcome to use our illustrations for your own content, all we ask is that you credit CDA.eu and link to this article as the original source.

Foodie Facts: Surprising Food Origins

We all have a favourite food, but where that food comes from isn’t always given a second thought. Of course we usually have a general idea when it comes to the origin of food but what might surprise you is that food origins aren’t as obvious as they seem.

With that, we’ve taken a deep dive into some popular foods that are loved the world over to discover if they really are as authentic as we think they are. 

Here’s ten of our favourite fascinating food origins that might just leave you questioning everything!


Surprising Food Origins - The Croissant - CDA Appliances

Where we think croissants are from: France

Where croissants are really from: Austria

Whether you eat your croissants savoury or sweet, the delicious flaky pastry-based breakfast treat that’s so deep-rooted in French culture, was actually created in Vienna, Austria. 

The kipferl is noted as being the spiritual ancestor of the croissant and it’s easy to see why. Many historians believe the crescent-shaped treat goes back to the monastery bakeries and were baked as part of pagan customs to celebrate Easter – with the pastry first mentioned in the 12th century.

Fish & Chips

Surprising Food Origins - Fish & Chips - CDA Appliances

Where we think fish & chips are from: The UK

Where fish & chips are really from: Portugal

If there’s one thing the British coastline is famous for, it’s fish and chips. You’d be hard pushed to find a seaside town that doesn’t have at least one chip shop. Fish and chips have become such a British staple in fact, that during World War II, Winston Churchill exempt the dish from rationing. But it might be surprising to hear that fish and chips aren’t British at all, but Portuguese. 

It’s said that the Shepardic Jews of Portugal bought a centuries old Andalusian dish called peshkado frito to the UK in the 1400s when fleeing religious persecution. White fish would be fried in a thin coat of flour ready for the Sabbath and when the potato became popular in the 1800’s, they made the perfect accompaniment… Now you know where “fish and chip Friday” comes from!

Ice Cream

Surprising Food Origins - Ice Cream - CDA Appliances

Where we think ice cream is from: Italy

Where ice cream is really from: Mongolia

The Italians are known the world over for the quality of their ice cream and gelato, and you’d be forgiven for thinking they were indeed the inventors of this delicious sweet treat but you’d be wrong. That accolade actually goes to Mongolia… or so the story goes.

OK, so not the ice cream we know and love today, and it happened completely by accident too. It’s said that Mongolian horsemen would carry buffalo or yak milk across the Gobi desert in containers as provisions, but as the temperature dropped and they galloped, the milk would freeze as it churned. As the Mongol empire expanded in the 1200’s, so too did the popularity of this new iced milk/cream thing and it’s said Marco Polo took the idea back to Italy at the end of the 13th century.


Surprising Food Origins - Pasta - CDA Appliances

Where we think pasta is from: Italy

Where pasta is really from: China

Sorry Italy, you can’t have this one either. It’s said that pasta noodles were gaining popularity in Italy around the 13th century and were most probably introduced by European travellers. Those travellers likely discovered egg noodles thanks to nomadic Arabs who were responsible for bringing early forms of pasta westwards from Asia. 

What does set Italian pasta apart from other noodles though, is the use of durum wheat. Egg noodles had long been a staple part of the Chinese diet, dating right back to the 1st century BC. But, the refinement of the process and the addition of durum wheat made pasta noodles affordable, versatile and when dried, gave it a long shelf life, it also tastes great when paired with mediterranean native foods – firmly rooting it as a cultural staple in Italian cuisine.


Surprising Food Origins - Doughnuts - CDA Appliances

Where we think doughnuts are from: USA (New York)

Where doughnuts are really from: Greece

Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme are just a couple of big American brands that have made a global name for themselves purely through the sale of this incredible dessert. But doughnuts aren’t the American all-stars you might have thought they were. Though they didn’t have the distinctive ring shape, the earliest version of the doughnut as we know it today, is generally traced back to when Dutch settlers brought them over from Europe to New York (or New Amsterdam as it was known then). 

But Greece is where the heart of the doughnut lies. Loukoumades as they’re known are essentially small doughnut balls covered in honey and walnuts. They’re considered to be the oldest recorded dessert too, dating right back to the first Olympic Games in 776 BC, where they were presented to the winners as “honey tokens”. 


Surprising Food Origins - Vindaloo - CDA Appliances

Where we think vindaloo is from: India

Where vindaloo is really from: Portugal

It’s starting to feel like Portugal doesn’t quite get the credit it deserves when it comes to “native” food… 

While many foods have been taken from India and adapted over time, Vindaloo isn’t one of them. Considered an Indian takeaway favourite, it’s said that it’s very name is actually a garbled pronunciation of the Portuguese dish, Carne de Vinha D’alhos – a meat dish that’s marinated in wine-vinegar and garlic. 

This meat dish was introduced to the Goa region of India by Portuguese settlers in the 15th century, having been widely eaten in Portugal for centuries before. As wine-vinegar wasn’t a thing in India, locally produced ingredients such as tamarind, black pepper and cardamom were used instead. Perhaps most importantly, the addition of chilli peppers served as a legacy for Portugal’s empire by way of South America.

Scotch Eggs

Surprising Food Origins - Scotch Eggs - CDA Appliances

Where we think scotch eggs are from: UK (Scotland)

Where scotch eggs are really from: India

It’s unclear how these meaty, eggy beauties came to fly the Scottish flag, but they seem to be doing so with a bit of a secret… they’re not really Scottish at all.

It’s thought that this picnic favourite was heavily inspired by the dish Nargisi kofta, which was first mentioned in Indian culture around 500 BC. Nargisi kofta is made up of a hard-boiled egg that’s encased in spiced kofta meat, which is then fried (sound familiar?). It’s likely the British encountered Nargisi kofta whilst travelling through India centuries later. 

The London department store Fortnum & Mason claim to be the creators of the Scotch egg as we know it today, marketing it as a travellers snack in the early part of the 18th century. And while they may not have “invented” them, they certainly popularised them. How they came to get their name is often disputed though, one theory is that they were named after the Scots Guards stationed at a local army barracks where they developed a taste for the snack.

Tikka Masala

Surprising Food Origins - Tikka Masala - CDA Appliances

Where we think tikka masala is from: Bangladesh

Where tikka masala is really from: UK (Glasgow)

It looks like Western Asia and Scotland might have some sort of trade agreement when it comes to food origin misconceptions.  

Chicken tikka definitely originated in the Indian subcontinent during the Munghal Empire (the area now known as Bangladesh), becoming popular around the 1600s, that is well documented. But tikka masala is a different story. Where tikka is usually a dry dish of spice-marinated meat that’s cooked over coals, tikka masala is saucy, rich and creamy. It’s said that in the 1970’s, an Indian chef was working in Glasgow, and it was there he developed the dish that Westerners have come to consider a solid Indian/Bangladeshi treat. 

Swedish Meatballs

Surprising Food Origins - Swedish Meatballs - CDA Appliances

Where we think Swedish meatballs are from: Sweden

Where Swedish meatballs are really from: Turkey

Would a trip to IKEA be the same without Swedish meatballs? Based on the name, you could probably consider them one of the Scandinavian country’s most emblematic exports these days – but they actually come from the region now known as Turkey. Or at least the recipe does. The idea of rolling meat into balls to make it more manageable to eat isn’t unique (China has been doing it for centuries) but it was the Turkish offering that the Swedes loved the most.

The Turkish recipe is said to have been brought to Scandinavia in the 18th century by King Charles XII. Known as köfte, Turkish meatballs are made using beef and lamb with common ingredients such as onions, eggs, parsley, panko, breadcrumbs and salt for taste – Swedish meatballs these days are usually pork-based.


Surprising Food Origins - Churros - CDA Appliances

Where we think churros are from: Spain

Where churros are really from: China

Is it possible to think of Spanish dessert without thinking of churros? A firm staple of Spanish street food cuisine across the world today, they aren’t actually Spanish at all. 

A variant of the Chinese breakfast favourite, youtiao – which are actually slightly salty rather than sweet. The deep-fried strips of dough were brought to Spain via Portugal in the 17th century – where the star shape nozzle was used to pipe the dough into the familiar churros profile and turned into the sugary treat we know today. 

———- We hope you’ve enjoyed this little foodie history lesson, if there are any other surprising food origins you’d like to share with us, please do so!

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to depict the origins of popular foods, much of the information available is speculative given the time frames and therefore there’s no real way to know for sure, so please bear this in mind.

You’re more than welcome to use our images for your own content, all we ask is that you cite CDA.eu as the original source.

National Sandwich Day – Britain’s Favourite Sandwich 2020

Now, we know British Sandwich Week is celebrated between 17th – 23rd May but in 2020, a certain pandemic put a bit a damper on things. That doesn’t mean the celebrations should stop though, oh no… 

The 3rd November sees National Sandwich Day, and whilst it was originally an American celebration, it’s definitely spread and is fast becoming an anticipated date in the diaries of many across the globe, including the UK! These days, it’s often referred to as World Sandwich Day due to the global appreciation for sandwiches, and we can see why the world would want to celebrate this marvellously delicious creation – the possibilities are endless!

With National Sandwich Day on the horizon and our mouths watering at the thought of digging into our favorite sarnies, we wanted to have a little fun and find out what Britain’s sandwich eating habits are, and we have to say… some of the answers were rather interesting!

Not only that, of course we also wanted to find out what Britain’s favourite sandwich is, so we let 400 people tell us what makes their perfect sandwich… the result may (or may not) surprise you!

  National Sandwich Day - Britain's Favourite Sandwich 2020 - CDA Appliances  

And Britain’s favourite sandwich is…


1st Place – Cheese and Onion (12%)

2nd Place – Tuna Mayo (10%)

3rd Place – Cheese and Ham (4%)

A simple yet comforting choice, it certainly has its place on our table!  Despite meat-based sandwiches being at the top of the list across most of the age groups we surveyed, cheese plays a huge part in shaping our favourites – accounting for 28.5% of all the individual ingredients chosen! 

It seems we’re a butter-loving nation too, with a whopping 78% of respondents agreeing it has to be the foundation of every decent sandwich. And we have to take sandwich construction seriously. It appears there is an optimal amount of fillings for the perfect sandwich… two, to be exact! A huge 45% of the sandwiches shared had two fillings, we can’t argue with that!

One thing we did find fascinating was the trends between generations. It appears the younger generations aren’t the militant vegans they seem to have gained a reputation for, largely choosing meat as the main ingredient for their favourite sandwich. Gen X and Boomers on the other hand, preferred a more veggie/fishy vibe. 

So, what other sandwiches are people fawning over?  There were some interesting choices. Some were a little more obscure than others, but we’re not here to judge! Here are some of the favourite sandwiches our team of 400 participants put forward that you probably won’t be finding on supermarket shelves any time soon (or maybe you will, who knows):

  • Lemon curd – A popular choice in Yorkshire, apparently.
  • Cheese and onion crisps with salad cream – I guess the cheese and onion element is still there…
  • Ham and pease pudding – They’d normally go together, so why not slap them on a sandwich?!
  • Bread and butter – Interestingly, this one came up more than once… 
  • Smoked mackerel and salt & vinegar crisps – This feels like one of those “don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it” sandwiches…
  • Spanish omelette – Because why not?
  • Cheese and onion sandwich filler with crispy bacon – Might have to try this.
  • Bacon, Brie and carrot chutney – DEFINITELY trying this.
Sandwiches have been around for centuries and there’s not many places you can go these days where you can’t pick one up in some form. The vibrant history of the humble sarnie is varied and some may say quite intriguing, so let’s take a look at some fun sandwich facts:

  • Around 12 billion sandwiches are eaten in the UK alone every year.
  • The sandwich is named after John Montagu (1718-92), the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who popularised eating beef between two slices of toasted bread when he wanted something convenient to eat whilst gambling. Though somewhat hazy, he isn’t actually regarded as the inventor of the sandwich. The inventor is said to be Hillel the Elder, a Jewish Rabbi from the 1st Century A.D who started the Passover tradition of putting meat and bitter herbs between pieces of matzah.

    The idea was that meat represents abundance, the bitter herbs represent the difficulties of life and the matzah represents liberation and freedom – the metaphor being that all three should be taken together. The Hillel Sandwich is still a big part of Passover to this day.
  • The earliest reference to a bacon sandwich as listed by the Oxford English Dictionary, was by George Orwell in 1931.
  • The town of Sandwich in Kent, UK has no direct connection to sandwiches at all.
  • The verb “to sandwich” is over 200 years old and was first used in 1815 to mean “to have a light meal”.
  • In 2008, an attempt in Iran to beat the world record for the world’s biggest sandwich failed when the impatient crowd decided to eat it before it was measured… oops!
  • According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a sandwich can’t be called a sandwich unless it contains at least 35% meat (but no more than 50%)… nope.
  • The word “sandwich” is only used once in the entire works of Jane Austen. It’s in Mansfield Park, in case you were wondering.
  So there you have it! Lots of sandwich talk to get your taste buds tingling! What delight will you be treating yourself to this National Sandwich Day? Let us know!


You’re more than welcome to use the graphic for your own content, all we ask is that you credit cda.eu as the original source.

The New Celebrity Limited Edition Range from McDonald’s… Kinda

McDonald’s recently added the Travis Scott Burger to their repertoire, offering a twist on the beloved Quarter Pounder Meal. The rapper is known for his love of the fast food giant’s menu staple. As a result, the Quarter Pounder was upgraded to include bacon and lettuce as part of the month-long promo in collaboration with his label, Cactus Jack. 

It’s all well and good expressing the love with a collaboration, but what about paying homage to those famous names that have lived and breathed the fast food industry?

It’s no secret that so many big names from entertainment, politics and business had humble beginnings. Earning their keep flipping burgers, serving ice creams and dishing up other such guilty pleasures before hitting the big time. And we think that deserves some recognition because it just goes to show that you can do what you need to get by while still chasing your dreams. On top of that, if lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that believing in yourself when times are tough is one of the most powerful things you can do. 

With that, we give you the Celebrity Limited Edition range!

A new range of McDonald’s burgers, sides and desserts dedicated to a few of those whose movies have had us on the edge of our seat, whose songs we’ve sang at the top of our voices, and whose political resume has inspired us to believe that anything is possible. 

Because credit where it’s due, right?!

So, which one will you be treating yourself to?…

Barack Obama – Barack O’ Ribs Meal

Barack O' Ribs burger for McDonald's - CDA Appliances

You may or may not know that the 44th President of the United States actually started his working life scooping ice cream at the Baskin Robbins store near his grandparents Honolulu home. He said that it taught him some valuable lessons; responsibility, hard work and balancing a job with friends, family and school. All pretty handy traits of someone destined to be the leader of the free world. 

The Barack O’ Ribs meal is made up of a Chicago Italian beef patty topped with White House Honey Porter slow-braised ribs. On the side you’ll find Hawaiian fries: a generous portion of McDonald’s fries topped with smoky bacon pieces, charred pineapple, creamy cheese and BBQ sauce. This gets our vote!

Gwen Stefani – The L.A.M.B Burger Meal

Gwen Stefani L.A.M.B Burger - CDA Appliances

Given that Ms Stefani is a life-long vegan, working in a Dairy Queen before unleashing her distinctive vocals on the world seems pretty unbelievable, but it’s true. We can only assume that serving up all of those creamy treats only made her more determined to get to where she wanted to be. 

A meat-based meal just wouldn’t seem right, so the L.A.M.B burger is of course totally vegan with a seitan lamb style patty, dairy-free tzatziki and avocado enveloped in a charcoal bun. But, if the burger isn’t quite cool enough, add some glittery extra long Harajuku fries on the side. Quite possibly the trendiest meal you’ll eat, of that we have No Doubt.

Jeff Bezos – The Prime Rib Burger Meal

Jeff Bezos Prime Rib Burger - CDA Appliances

Did you know that the world’s richest man’s first job was flipping burgers at McDonalds for just $2.69 an hour back in the early 80’s? Not bad for a man who’s added $67 billion to his net worth so far this year, and it’s only October! And while Bezos has his fingers in many pies these days (owner of the Washington Post and space travel company, Blue Origin to name a few), his biggest (and probably most controversial) accomplishment is of course, Amazon.  

So, we present to you the Prime Rib Burger. A succulent prime rib patty topped with a fried egg and edible gold leaf… well… because, why not? Served with regular fries. No frills. No fuss. In stock. Same day delivery.

Madonna – The Madonna McFlurry Collection

Madonna McFlurry Collection - CDA Appliances

The queen of reinvention has had a somewhat checkered past, but she’s made it work. In the midst of it all, Dunkin’ Donuts was how she paid the bills when she set out to make her fortune having fled Detroit for New York City. It didn’t last long though as she was fired for squirting sauce at a customer! I guess we should be grateful it didn’t work out there, because where would we be without Like a Virgin and Vogue (among many others) gracing our cheesy music playlists that we secretly love?

We’re pretty confident these additions to the McFlurry family would be just as iconic as the musical megastar they pay homage to. Papa Don’t Peach is fruity in every sense of the word, with rich clotted cream ice cream, real peaches and mango sauce, this one will get you in all sorts of trouble… deep. If you’re looking for a more classy, indulgent affair, then the Material Whirl is what you need. A classic Mcflurry with strawberry sauce, buttery shortcake pieces and rich chocolate bites. Because diamonds aren’t a girl’s best friend… ice cream is.   

Mark Hamill – The Pies of Skywalker

The Pies of Skywalker - CDA Appliances

Another McDonald’s alumni who scored his first real job with the fast food chain when he was just 16. But that wasn’t the end of fast food for Hamill. While pursuing his acting dreams in Hollywood, he also worked at Jack in the Box to make ends meet, but he was fired for doing character voices while manning the drive-thru… It seems putting in all that practice paid off and the silver screen gods were looking down on him, because not long after he landed the role of a lifetime as Darth’s favourite kid, Luke Skywalker.  

And what better way to celebrate such a win than with pie? But not just any pie, the Pies of Skywalker. Sink your teeth into a Hoth Cherry Pie which is full of hot cinnamon, cherry and vanilla custard filling, with a light dusting of snowy icing sugar. Or, if that’s not quite sickly sweet enough, a Wookie Dough Pie is where it’s at with its rich and “Chewie” double chocolate chip cookie dough filling. May the sauce be with you, you’re gonna need it. 


Prefer to flip your own burgers instead? Why not check out our range of hobs? With an array of ceramic hobs, gas hobs and induction hobs to choose from, you’ll be flipping all day! 

DISCLAIMER: This piece is just a bit of fun and purely conceptual, all images are for illustrative purposes only. We are in no way affiliated with any of the brands, personalities or names mentioned. You’re more than welcome to use the images for your own content, all we ask is that you cite cda.eu as the original source. 

Gender Switch: Iconic Household Brand Mascots Redesigned

So many household brands that we’ve come to know and love over the years have cemented their place in our home with the addition of a quirky mascot. A defining, relatable character that champions the brand, a familiar face on the shopping aisles of the supermarket – all designed to catch and hold your attention. 

Generally, you might not give a brand mascot much thought, but when you look past all the bright colours and charisma, there’s one thing that seems to be quite obvious about the bigger picture – where are all the women at?! 

Many mascots have been around for decades and as the advertising industry was predominantly male led, branding definitely had a more masculine bias. But, when male brand mascots outnumber female mascots two-to-one, is there still a place for this approach in today’s society? 

As new brands forge their way into our homes, it would seem that the industry is in fact moving away from gendered branding in favour of a more neutral approach where gender parity becomes a priority, and rightly so. Women aren’t defined by the colour pink anymore and men like to cook and clean, too. 

With this in mind, we asked the question… is there still a place on our shelves for the older, established brand mascots? 

With International Women’s Day on the 8th March, we wanted to do something that would cast a light on these outdated brand mascots and level the playing field a little bit. While we certainly don’t want to reinforce female stereotypes, we do want to point out that women are capable of being strong enough to represent cleaning products for tough jobs. They can be mischievous without being sexy and they like to eat food, too…

Toilet Duck

Toilet Duck Mascot Gender Switch - CDA Appliances

A somewhat household essential, the Toilet Duck brand (and all of its pseudonyms) has held its place in many bathrooms around the world since the early 1980’s. While the branding and mascot for Toilet Duck took a more adrogenous form in the beginning, it actually became more masculine over time, leading to the muscular, imposing incarnation we see today. This almost feels like a backstep on the journey to advertising neutrality. 

Mr Muscle 

Mr Muscle Mascot Gender Switch - CDA Appliances

Another household cleaning brand that began life in the 80’s, Mr Muscle was reported to “love the jobs you hate”, backed up by ad campaigns featuring a somewhat effeminate male character eager to get stuck in. Again, over the years, this image has been transformed into a more literal representation of the name and the mascot is now portrayed as a large, muscular male superhero ready to save the day.


Pringles Mascot Gender Switch - CDA Appliances

The stylised cartoon character of “Julius Pringles” has become just as iconic as the saddle-shaped crisps themselves. With his wide moustache and bowtie, the character seemingly represents a traditional gentleman, one that would be in the upper levels of social class – suggesting that Pringles were deserving of a higher status than other crisps. 

Green Giant Sweetcorn

Green Giant Sweetcorn Mascot Gender Switch - CDA Appliances

The Jolly Green Giant has represented tinned sweetcorn since the Minnesota Valley Canning Co came up with the concept in the late 1920’s. Since then, little has changed as far as his image goes. A towering figure of strength and typical masculinity, the chiselled jawline and strong legs promote good health, while the colours used signify natural goodness. 

But the Jolly Green Giant wasn’t always so jolly. In the early years he wasn’t well received as he was deemed too scary, he had to be “softened” with a sunny smile and a more inviting posture to add a certain level of tenderness to his image. 

Rice Krispies

Rice Krispies Mascot Gender Switch - CDA Appliances

The mischievous elf-like trio known as Snap, Crackle and Pop were created way back in the early 1930’s. But, it wasn’t until the late 1940’s they were reimagined with youthful, more proportional features to appeal to a younger audience. 

High energy mischief seems to be their game, but the idea that only boys are capable of this is something of a falsehood. On a side note, it seems that there are very few branded cereals that promote a female mascot, is it time the industry as a whole had a complete overhaul?

Captain Birds Eye

Captain Birds Eye Mascot Gender Switch - CDA Appliances

An icon of 1960’s food advertising, the captain has represented frozen food since the brands inception. Generally depicted as a clean living, older sailor with a white beard, it’s a very typical representation of what we’d expect a naval captain to be. These days, the role of captain is no longer reserved just for men and an increasing number of women continue to take up the position.


Kellogg's Frosties Mascot Gender Switch - CDA Appliances

As we mentioned before, the female of the species are seriously underrepresented when it comes to breakfast cereals. Tony the Tiger has become somewhat of an icon since his debut in the early 1950’s. The character we see today was created by a group of former Disney animators, and was the result of a competition run by Kellogg’s to come up with a new mascot for their latest cereal. Interesting fact, that same group of animators also designed The Jolly Green Giant and Snap, Crackle and Pop.


Homepride Mascot Gender Switch - CDA Appliances

Fred the Flour Grader (as is his full name) has been the smiley, bowler hatted mascot for Homepride since his creation in 1964. Promoted as “mums special helper”, he’s seemingly capable of saving any family from meal time woes, the character has even been turned into a range of kitchen products and utensils. Interestingly, Fred had been on a 15 year hiatus until Homepride decided to bring him back in 2014.

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