Forget the name of the first UK Prime Minister to live at 10 Downing Street; do away with the dates of London's oldest Underground station; and make peace with the fact that knowing every street to feature on Monopoly is never going to be actually useful. Instead, turn your eyes to these five fun facts about London's food identity. These are the real pub facts you need know about this nation's capital...

Fortnum & Mason created the Scotch egg

There's nothing Scottish about Alan Partridge's treat of choice. London's poshest department store claims it invented Scotch eggs centuries ago, as a practical snack for aristocratic travellers heading off to their country houses for the weekend. Just like you picking one up from the corner shop before boarding the Megabus to Plymouth, eh?

People feasted on top of Nelson's Column

London's coolest dinner party took place in Trafalgar Square in 1833, just before the statue of Nelson was hoisted onto his column. Fourteen stonemasons involved in the monument's construction climbed up to the top of the plinth, and tucked into a banquet with a spectacular view.

Made in London by Leah Hyslop

Find out more about the history and present of London's food scene in Leah Hyslop's book Made in London, out now

You could once buy gin from a vending machine

In the 18th century, London fell into a destructive love affair with a cheap new spirit from the Netherlands: gin. When the authorities tried to limit the spirit's sale, a clever fellow called Captain Dudley Bradstreet installed a cat-shaped sign outside his house, with a pipe hidden underneath the cat's paw. Gin addicts looking for their next hit would pop a coin into the cat's mouth, and the good captain would pour a trickle of gin down the pipe for them to catch in their mouths.

Pineapples were the Kardashians of the 1700s

All sorts of exotic goods were once shipped down the Thames for wealthy Londoners to buy and show off to their friends. In the 1700s, a curious-looking New World fruit called the pineapple was the talk of the town – so much so that people would pay thousands of pounds to rent one for their dinner parties. Who needs a celebrity guest?

Pimm's was invented to flog oysters

London's favourite summer drink was born as a clever marketing ploy. In the 1820s, a man called James Pimm ran a struggling oyster bar in the City. Trying to drum up custom, he came up with with a refreshing, gin-based drink to wash the shellfish down. He called it 'Pimm's No. 1 cup', and the rest is history.