Everyone has a favorite cuisine, but we don’t usually think twice about where it comes from. Although we normally have a basic concept of where food originates from, you might be surprised to learn that this isn’t always the case.
In order to determine if some well-known dishes that are adored all over the world are indeed as authentic as we believe them to be, CDA Appliances has done extensive research on them.
Here are some of CDA’s favorite unusual food genesis stories that may make you doubt everything!
Doughnuts, in our opinion, originated in the USA (New York).
Greek cuisine is the true origin of doughnuts.
Several well-known American companies, including Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispie Kreme, have gained international recognition solely as a result of selling this fantastic confection. However, doughnuts are not the American superstars you may have believed them to be. The first doughnuts as we know them today were generally introduced to New York by Dutch settlers from Europe, even though they lacked the iconic ring shape (or New Amsterdam as it was known then).
But the doughnut’s origins are in Greece. The so-called “loukoumades” are actually tiny doughnut balls dusted with honey and walnuts. They are regarded as the oldest dessert ever documented, having been given as “honey tokens” to the winners of the inaugural Olympic Games in 776 BC.
Italy is where we believe ice cream originated.
Ice cream’s true homeland is Mongolia.
You’d be excused for assuming that since the Italians are famed across the globe for the excellence of their ice cream and gelato that they were the true creators of this delectable sweet delicacy, but you’d be mistaken. According to the legend, Mongolia deserves the honor.
It’s true that the ice cream we know and love today wasn’t intended, and it all happened by mistake. According to legend, Mongolian horsemen would transport containers filled with buffalo or yak milk across the Gobi desert as food, but when the temperature dropped and they rode, the milk would freeze as it churned. The popularity of this novel frozen milk/cream beverage increased in the 1200s as the Mongol kingdom grew, and Marco Polo is credited with bringing the concept back to Italy at the end of the 13th century.
France is where we believe croissants originated.
Austria is where croissants actually originate.
The delightful flaky pastry-based breakfast food that is so deeply ingrained in French culture, whether you want it sweet or savory, was really invented in Vienna, Austria.
It makes sense why the Kipfer is said to as the croissant’s “spiritual ancestor.” The pastry was first described in the 12th century. According to several historians, the crescent-shaped confection dates back to the monastic bakeries and was produced as part of pagan traditions to commemorate Easter.
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Spain is where we believe churros originated.
China is the original origin of churros.
Can you imagine a Spanish dessert without conjuring up images of churros? They aren’t technically Spanish, but they have become a worldwide staple of Spanish street food.
a version of the popular Chinese breakfast treat known as youtiao, which are mildly salty rather than sweet. The deep-fried dough strips were introduced to Spain via Portugal in the 17th century, where they were transformed into the sweet delight we know today by piping the dough with a star-shaped nozzle.
Italy is where we believe pasta originated.
China is the original origin of pasta.
Sorry, but this one is also off-limits to Italy. According to legend, pasta noodles began to gain popularity in Italy about the 13th century and were likely brought there by European explorers. The Arab nomads who brought the first varieties of pasta from Asia to the west are likely responsible for those explorers’ discovery of egg noodles.
The usage of durum wheat is what distinguishes Italian pasta from other types of noodles, though. Since the first century BC, egg noodles have been a mainstay of the Chinese diet. However, the method was improved, durum wheat was added, and pasta noodles became more widely available, adaptable, and economical. They also tasted well when combined with native cuisines from the Mediterranean region, solidifying their place as a cultural mainstay in Italian cuisine.
Bangladesh is where we believe tikka masala is from.
Where tikka masala actually originates: the UK (Glasgow).
When it comes to misperceptions about the origin of food, it appears that Scotland and Western Asia may have some form of trade arrangement.
It is commonly known that chicken tikka first appeared in the Indian subcontinent during the Mughal Empire and gained popularity about 1600. The situation with tikka masala is different. Tikka masala is a saucy, rich, and creamy dish, in contrast to the often dry dish of spice-marinated meat that is grilled over coals in tikka. An Indian chef working in Glasgow during the 1970s is credited with creating the dish that Westerners now recognize as a classic Indian/Bangladeshi delight.
India is where we believe vindaloo originated.
Portugal is where vindaloo actually originates.
When it comes to “local” cuisine, Portugal doesn’t seem to get the recognition it merits.
Vindaloo is not one of the many Indian dishes that have been imported and modified over time. The Portuguese meal Carne de Vinha D’alhos, which features marinated pork in wine vinegar and garlic, is thought to be the inspiration for this popular Indian takeout staple.
This beef meal, which had been popular in Portugal for decades earlier, was brought to the Goa region of India by Portuguese settlers in the 15th century. Indian cuisine did not employ wine-vinegar; instead, tamarind, black pepper, and cardamom were created locally. The inclusion of chili peppers was perhaps most significant since it left a legacy for Portugal’s hegemony in South America.
Sweden is where we believe Swedish meatballs originated.
Turkey is where Swedish meatballs actually originate.
Would shopping at IKEA be the same if Swedish meatballs weren’t present? Based solely on the name, you could currently consider them one of the Scandinavian nation’s most iconic exports, but they actually originate in Turkey. That is, the recipe claims to. The concept of forming meat into balls to make it easier to consume is not original—China has been doing it for centuries—but the Swedes preferred the Turkish version.
According to legend, King Charles XII brought the Turkish recipe to Scandinavia in the 18th century. Turkish meatballs, or köfte, are made with beef and lamb and commonly used components such onions, eggs, parsley, panko, breadcrumbs, and salt for flavor. Nowadays, Swedish meatballs are typically made with pork.
Where we believe fish and chips originated: the UK.
Portugal is where fish and chips really originate.
Fish and chips are perhaps the most well-known product of the British coastline. It would be difficult to find a seaside community without at least one chip store. In fact, fish and chips have become such a British institution that Winston Churchill excused it from rationing during World War II. It might surprise you to learn that fish and chips are actually Portuguese, not British.
In the 1400s, while they were fleeing religious persecution, it is reported that the Sephardic Jews of Portugal brought a traditional Andalusian dish called peshkado frito to the UK. Before the Sabbath, whitefish would be fried in a light coating of flour, and as the potato became popularity in the 1800s, they constituted the ideal side dish. You now understand the origin of “fish and chips Friday”!
Scotch eggs are said to originate in the UK (Scotland).
Scotch eggs’ true homeland is India.
The origin of these meaty, eggy beauties flying the Scottish flag is unknown, but they appear to be concealing the fact that they are not at all Scottish.
This picnic staple is believed to have drawn largely from the Nargisi kofta meal, which was first described in Indian culture circa 500 BC. A hard-boiled egg is wrapped in seasoned kofta meat and then fried to make nargisi kofta (sound familiar?). When the British travelled across India centuries later, it’s possible that they came across Nargisi kofta.
The Scotch egg as we know it today is said to have been invented by the London department shop Fortnum & Mason, which promoted it as a traveler’s snack in the early 18th century. And even while they might not have “created” them, they undoubtedly made them more well-known. However, the origin of their name is frequently contested. One version holds that they were so named in honor of the Scots Guards, who were thought to have tasted the snack while stationed at a nearby army barracks.
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