Origin of American Food

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Origin of American staple foods

On National French Fry Day, we pay homage to the thin strips of fried potato goodness. And while you munch on today's honoree, take a look at some classic American foods and find out how they came to be so popular on our dinner tables. 
Forget about French fries, this year National Fry Day is all about delicious Belgian Frites and Et Voila! Belgian Bistro is the place to be. Celebrating a day devoted to fried potato deliciousness, Et Voila! will give customers complimentary orders of the restaurant’s loved hand-cut frites all day on July 13, National Fry Day.
Et Voila! will give out orders of its crispy frites, prepared in the traditional Belgian style, during lunch and happy hour. Potato connoisseur and Chef Claudio Pirollo will also conduct frite-making demonstrations throughout the day. Pirollo will educate guests on everything from fry history (despite their name, French Fries were actually created by the Belgians), to picking the perfect potato, using GPOD potatoes for their crispness, to evenly hand-cutting each potato to create the perfect golden Belgian frite.
Frite lovers that can’t make it to Et Voila! on National Fry Day can get in on the action via Twitter. The Belgian bistro will give away several Free Future Frite Certificates over the course of the day to the restaurant’s Twitter followers. Followers will be eligible to win certificates that can be exchanged at a later date for complimentary orders of frites.

French fries

Known elsewhere in the world as chips or potato wedges, french fries actually originated in Belgium. American soldiers who ate the treat during World War I called them "french fries" because that was the Belgian army's official language, although "french" refers to the style of cut, not the nation. 
Frites patates frites pommes frites

Macaroni and cheese

The word "macaroni" and pasta and cheese recipes are found as far back as medieval Italian cookbooks. The third U.S. president was said to have served macaroni pie at the White House, and the first packaged mix hit the American dinner table in 1937.

Hot dogs

The hot dog's nicknames give us a clue to their origin. Frankfurters (sausage and buns) were served in Germany, while wieners, a sausage made of pork and beef, came from Austria. Coney Island dogs made their appearance around 1870.

Apple pie

What's more American than apple pie? The pastry has origins in England, dating back to the 14th century, and the Dutch version appeared a few centuries later. Americans have adopted the pie as one of its icons since the 18th century.


Hamburger's namesake came from Hamburg, Germany, where Hamburg steak was created, and it was enjoyed by sailors at European and American ports. Several people lay claim to the invention of the modern American hamburger, but there is little doubt that burger front-runners White Castle and McDonald's helped make the burger the popular food it is today.

Fried chicken

People have been frying chicken since medieval times in Europe, but easy access to lard in the 18th and 19th centuries in the southern United States helped turn the fried foul into a popular American food. Colonel Sanders of KFC brought the bird in a bucket to American dinner tables.

Chocolate chip cookies

The chocolate chip cookie was the creation of Ruth Graves Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn restaurant in Whitman, Mass. Rumor has it that she sold her recipe to Nestlé for a lifetime supply of chocolate chips. A variation of the original recipe is included on the back of every bag of Nestlé chocolate chips.


The original pizza was born in Naples, Italy, but the dough, cheese and sauce creation has become an American staple food. Many Americans are loyal to either the Chicago deep-dish or the New York thin-crust styles, and toppings are limited only by your imagination.

Potato chips

The popular history of the potato chip traces its beginnings to an unhappy restaurant customer in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 1853. The customer sent back his fried potatoes for being soggy, so the chef cut the potatoes as thin as possible, fried them to a crisp -- and the potato chip was born.


Popcorn has been enjoyed for thousands of years, starting with the Native Americans who discovered the treat. It gained popularity during the Great Depression because of the snack's low cost. Popcorn is now enjoyed at home as well as at sporting events and in movie theaters
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