The Unexpected Origins of 5 Popular Foods



Sun, 20 Jun 2021 - 04:00 GMT


Sun, 20 Jun 2021 - 04:00 GMT

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Have you ever wondered about the origins of hamburgers or cheesecakes? There are certain foods and dishes that have grown popular associated with cuisine from a certain country while in fact they were originated somewhere else. With different emerging foods and dishes every now and then, and with food culture and cuisines now blending more than before, the real origins of some dishes have been lost or forgotten. So here we’re bringing you some unexpected facts about popular foods’ origins.


Though hamburgers have been long associated with American food, in fact, they are not. Hamburger was originated in Hamburg, Germany. Hamburger stems from “Hamburg Steak”, a salted beef patty. Hamburgers then arrived in The United States when some people emigrated from Hamburg.


They were named after Lord John Montagu, the 11th Earl of Sandwich. Well, here’s the story, Lord Montagu had a reputation across the British Isles as a notorious gambler who refused to take food breaks so as not to interrupt the game. Uncaring about table manners, plates, and silverware, he would eat slices of meat with his hand and mess the cards while playing poker. One time, and to make things less messy, he asked the servant to bring him the meat stuffed between two slices of bread. People sitting around him liked the idea and asked for the same as "sandwich". Ever since then, sandwiches have become such a food sensation popular all around the world.


Here’s a little surprise, no they are not French! The delicious treat which was served as a cookie was formerly known as kipfel. It originated in Vienna, Austria, and was likely adopted in France when the first Viennese bakery opened in Paris. The French made their own modification by incorporating their signature puff pastry to make it flakier and have become known in France as croissants.

Caesar Salad

Contrary to the belief that it was originated in Rome and named after Julius Caesar, in fact the recipe of Caesar Salad was developed by an Italian immigrant in Tijuana, Mexico. Caesar Cardini had a restaurant on a busy street, and the day he invented this salad happened when he was surprised with the arrival of a large group to his restaurant when he was running low on ingredients. His only option was to improvise with whatever he had in his kitchen. So, he tossed in romaine lettuce, garlic, croutons, parmesan cheese, olive oil, and Worcestershire sauce. As the guests were impressed, the words spread quickly, and then Caesar Salad became popular.


To your surprise, cheesecakes were not born in New York. Ancient Greeks were the first to introduce cheesecakes and archaeologists have found evidence of cheese molds dating back to circa 2,000 B.C.  The first ever cheesecake known as ‘plakous’ was made by using only flour, cheese, honey, and wheat. Later when the Romans conquered Greece, they modified it a bit by adding eggs to the ingredients. From there, cheesecake spread out to Europe, and eventually to Russia, North Africa, and the Middle East, and where each region added its own twist creating the cheesecakes that we enjoy eating today.  






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