Food & Nutrition

9 Quirky Facts We Bet You Didn’t Know About the Origin of Your Favorite Foods

Nebraska vs New York


There are two decidedly different schools of thought as to where the Reuben sandwich, a tasty blend of corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese—all blanketed in a couple of slices of rye bread, was created for the first time. Natives of Omaha, Nebraska, get blue in the face with rage if someone insists it was a New York invention. Their version has the sandwich first being created by Reuben Kulakofsky for his weekly poker game. New Yorkers, on the other hand, prefer to believe that Arnold Reuben of Reuben’s Deli first created it. Here are 9 foods that were created on accident.

Oodles of noodles

Caesar-Salad-Was-First-Served-in-Tijuana—and-8-Other-Fascinating-Facts-Behind-Your-Favorite-Foods Lisovskaya Natalia/shutterstock

Whether Marco Polo “discovered” noodles in China in the 1200s and brought them back to Italy or, as many Italians believe, they were already being enjoyed there, one thing is definite: noodles and pasta really caught on and today they still take center stage on tables all over the world.

Hungover people everywhere should give praise

Caesar-Salad-Was-First-Served-in-Tijuana—and-8-Other-Fascinating-Facts-Behind-Your-Favorite-FoodsOxana Denezhkina/shutterstock

A picture perfect place to enjoy some Native American cooking classics is Santa Fe, New Mexico, where your first foodie stop can be Tia Sophia’s. This humble diner, first opened in 1975, features nothing but good old-fashioned New Mexican cuisine at very affordable prices and is located just off the town’s charming and historic central plaza. Native American staples such as posole (hominy) are on the menu and can be revved up by adding some “Christmas,” a term coined in the 1980s by waitperson Martha Totuno, to mean both red and green chile peppers, condiments that are staples on every Southwestern table. Perhaps Tia Sophia’s biggest claim to fame is the invention of the Breakfast Burrito, which became such a hit that now it appears on menus across the U.S. and around the world. Learn the surprising birthplaces of 20 favorite foods and drinks.

Eat dessert first!

Caesar-Salad-Was-First-Served-in-Tijuana—and-8-Other-Fascinating-Facts-Behind-Your-Favorite-FoodsAfrica Studio/shutterstock

Boston has given us so much down through the years and one of its most famous creations is the Boston Cream Pie and Parker House Rolls. Both originated in the kitchens of the Omni Parker House hotel. Built in 1927, the historic hostelry originally opened in 1855 and claims to be the longest continuously operating hotel in the U.S. The Boston Cream Pie (actually a cake) now reigns as the official dessert of Massachusetts. When the Parker House opened in 1855, chocolate was mainly consumed at home as a beverage or in puddings. And there was no lack of chocolate in Boston, since America’s first chocolate mill had opened in neighboring Dorchester in 1765. Since colonial times, New Englanders have enjoyed a dessert called American “Pudding-cake pie,” but in 1856 when Parker House’s own Chef Sanzian and his bake staff drizzled chocolate icing onto sponge cake filled with vanilla custard, something new and sensational was born. Originally dubbed the “Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie,” this delectable dessert is now savored all around the world. On December 12, 1996, thanks in part to a local high school civics class that sponsored the bill, Boston Cream Pie was proclaimed the official Massachusetts State Dessert despite stiff competition from the Toll House Cookie, the Fig Newton, and Indian Pudding.

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