If you’re a fan of Eating History, you probably know Gary Mitchell by his nickname, Old Smokey. Mitchell is a history buff who also considers himself a vintage food expert. Thanks to the History channel, he’s gotten a chance to put his skills to the test. Along with his co-host, Josh Macuga, Mitchell entertains viewers by trying out old foods – some of which may have expired before he was born. Throughout the show’s first season, Gary has eaten all sorts of interest things, and there’s a lot more he can’t wait to try. Keep reading for 10 things you didn’t know about Gary Mitchell.
1. There’s A Story Behind His Nickname
On Eating History, Gary only goes by his nickname. Since Mitchell is obviously a food guy, some would assume that the nickname has something to do with the popular grills and smokers of the same name. However, the nickname Old Smokey actually comes from Gary’s collection of old tobacco and cigarettes.
2. He Has A Special Appreciation For Old Military Food
When it comes to vintage food, there’s a specific area that really caught Mitchell’s attention. He developed an interest in military foods after his collection of old tobacco began to grow. Naturally, he became curious about how the food rations tasted. Surprisingly, he says that many of the old military foods he tried were actually pretty good.
3. He Wants To Try 5,000 Year Old Honey
There are lots of old foods on Gary’s list of things to try. 5,000 year old honey is at the very top. In an interview, he said, “The 5,000-year-old honey that was dug up in Georgia. It’s the oldest thing I could possibly eat. I would love to be the person who eats the oldest food in the world. The environment was so different 5,000 years ago. The bees that made this honey could have been so different. I would love to know if it would taste pretty much like honey does today, or if there is something unique about it.”
4. He Got His Start On YouTube
Before Eating History, Gary was sharing similar content on his YouTube channel. Many of his videos include reviews of old foods and drinks. Mitchell started the channel nearly 10 years ago and has gotten over a million views.
5. An Old Corn Chip Is The Worst Thing He’s Ever Eaten
If you had to guess the worst thing Gary Mitchell ever ate, a corn chip probably wouldn’t even cross your mind. Surprisingly though, an old corn chip from 1979 is exactly what left a bad taste in his mouth – literally. When describing his experience eating the chip, Mitchell said, “it was like trying to eat a bunch of crushed up medicine or something. It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever put in my mouth.”
6. He Loves Spicy Food
If there’s one thing Gary Mitchell definitely isn’t, it’s a picky eater. Old foods aren’t the only things Gary Mitchell is willing to try. He also loves spicy food and is down to try spicy foods that other people are afraid of.
7. He Only Likes Corned Beef Hash That Was Made Before A Certain Year
It’s not unusual for people to try to eat food because it reaches the expiration date. However, Gary Mitchell actual prefers to eat certain foods long after the expiration date has passed. He told an interviewer, “One of my favorite meals was corned beef hash from 1985 or 1987 to about 1994. It’s one of my favorite meals, but it can be no newer than 1994.”
8. He Has A Patreon
If you’re looking for some exclusive content from Old Smokey, you’re in luck. He has a Patreon account where people can donate money to support his YouTube channel and also get access to some cool behind the scenes pictures and clips.
9. He’s A Texture Person
Even though there are a lot of things Gary is willing to eat, he also has his limits. He is bothered by the texture of certain types of foods and doesn’t like things that tend to be slimy. With that being said, he has no interest in eating things like oysters or eyeballs.
10. He’s Careful About What He Eats
I know it may seem like a contradiction to say that someone who eats decades old food is careful about what they eat, but it’s true. Gary understands the risk of eating old food and tries to be as careful as possible. Eating really old food can result in botulism which can cause illness or even death. For that reason, Gary Mitchell and Josh Macuga suggest their viewers don’t try doing what they do on the show.