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10 “American” Foods That Are NOT American Inventions (I’ve Been Fooled My Whole Life)

10 “American” Foods That Are NOT American Inventions (I’ve Been Fooled My Whole Life)

We like to think of ourselves as being pretty original here in America, but unfortunately some of our favorite “American” foods, are not even ours. Here are 10 foods you might have thought came from America, but don’t.

1. Apple Pie

    I hate to break your heart right off the bat, but yes, the phrase “as American as apple pie” is a lie. The first recorded apple pie recipe was written in 1381 in England and it has been a popular dessert there ever since.

    It’s possible that, other than our own egos, Americans have come to think of apple pie as our invention because back in the day when we were just “the Colonies”, apples were much more abundant on America’s east coast than in England, and we were therefore able to make it much more often over here as a result.

    2. Hot Dogs

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      Another “American classic” that is a total, food-stealin’ lie. The sausage itself comes from Germany (though the exact region or city is still disputed), and the whole putting the frankfurter in a roll thing was brought to the U.S. by a Polish guy named Nathan Handwerker. Just because frankfurters in buns became wildly popular in America doesn’t mean we actually invented the thing, but since Handwerker did immigrate here, you can pretend it was all us.

      3. Macaroni and Cheese

        There’s an old rumor than Thomas Jefferson’s many accomplishments included the invention of macaroni and cheese — again, false. He did, however, encounter the delicious dish while abroad in Paris and northern Italy and promptly began importing it when he returned home to America. At a state dinner, Jefferson served the cheesy concoction, and the association stuck.

        4. Chicken-Fried Steak

          You would think that something that sounds like one animal deep-fried inside another animal would be a purely American invention, but much like the beloved hot dog, chicken fried steak was brought over by immigrants, specifically German and Austrian ones in Texas. Of course, today’s version is a bit modified, but the original idea was from our Germanic brothers and sisters across the Atlantic.

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          5. Gummi Bears

            Another German invention: gummi bears. A man by the name of Hans Reigel, Sr., started the Haribo company in Germany in 1920, and by 1922 he had come out with Gummibärchen, aka “gummi bears”. Haribo also makes a variety of other gummy/jelly treats, including “gummi worms”. Americans just eat a ton of gummi bears, we didn’t come up with them.

            6. Chocolate, in bar form

              The chocolate bar is another food that the Motherland actually invented, not us. Fry’s Chocolate Factory in Bristol, England, made the first chocolate bars for mass consumption in 1847. Even the next version of the candy bar, which most resembles what we see today, was invented in Canada, not the U.S.

              7. Bacon

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                Bacon has been around in some form or another since way before the American craze hit. Ancient Romans ate a dish called “petaso” that somewhat resembled what we consider bacon, but the actual term “bacon” was the popular Middle English word for any pork back dish, starting around the 12th century. Eventually, “bacon” came to refer to the food we know today in the 17th century. Bacon isn’t a new food in the slightest, and most definitely not an American concoction.

                8. Mayonnaise

                  While mass-produced jars of lardy goop might seem American, the French can take credit for this one too. Mayonnaise started selling in France in the mid-18th century, thought the name “mayonnaise” has disputed origins. France’s claim to mayonnaise is shaky itself, since the French sorta took the general idea from Spain, and if the Greeks were mixing oil and garlic, could they have been mixing oil and eggs before the French or the Spanish? Either way, America can’t claim it.

                  9. Ice Cream Cake

                    Nope, ice cream cake isn’t a Baskin-Robins original. This is one of those dishes that evolved over time, starting with a popular Renaissance dessert of cream and biscuits. By the Victorian era, frozen cream aka ice cream had made its way to Europe (after the Chinese had been eating it for centuries, possibly millennia) and the popular ice cream “bombe”, ice cream in special shapes from pre-made molds, often had biscuits and cakes added to them. Recipes for something more closely resembling today’s ice cream cake appeared in the 19th century, and that’s how the cake that every American kid had on their birthday in the 1990s came to be.

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                    10. Dinosaur-shaped Nuggets

                      America did invent the chicken nugget, but it’s the Brits who shaped them into dinosaurs for our childlike delight. Bernard Matthews, of the food brand by the same name, was the first to sell mass-produced turkey nuggets in the shape of dinosaurs in the late 20th century.

                      Featured photo credit: Apple Pie/Muhammad Shahmeer Athar via flic.kr

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                      Last Updated on February 11, 2021

                      The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

                      The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

                      Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.

                      Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.

                      1. Humans Of New York

                      Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.

                       2.  Paris in Four Months

                      Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.

                      3. Civilized Caveman Cooking

                      George Bryant offers up more than his love for cooking Paleo cuisine as he shares more about life, joy, and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon.

                      4. Andrew Knapp

                      Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Find Momo, and stars his border collie.

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                      5. Idafrosk

                      Ida Skivenes has developed a knack for food art. From the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Strawberry Fields Forever, she has recreated it all with food.

                      6. GrandmaBetty33

                      Grandma Betty is fighting cancer and is inspiring others to smile and be happy in life. She brings a smile to your face instantly and is like having your grandma right beside you.

                      7. Maya_on_the_Move

                      Tania Ahsan captures the world of her cute bulldog, Maya, on her adventures in New York. Maya makes appearances that will make you smile, laugh, and inspire you to go out and create something special.

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                      8. Leoleoparis

                      Leo captures the life on the streets of Paris. Most of his work is done in black and white, offering that iconic Parisian look.

                      9. Jacob Santiago

                      Jacob Santiago creates stunning, vibrant images around New York City, showcasing the architecture and streets. I’m sure you haven’t seen the streets of NYC like this before.

                      10. Julie’s Kitchen

                      Julie Lee showcases how everyday produce can create colorful art designs. At first glance, you think it is just a design; then, a second take illustrates that it is really fruits and vegetables.

                      11. iloveplaymo

                      iloveplaymo brings together photography and Playmobil toys in action. The images are up to date with current world events and everyday life.

                      12. “Red” Hong Yi

                      Red Hong Yi loves to paint without a paintbrush. Her style uses daily items to create lovely images.

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                      13. Alexis Diaz

                      A breathtaking artist from Puerto Rico who loves to paint murals. Alexis’s work is featured all over the world.

                      14. Murad Osmann

                      Murad Osmann is a music video producer, but his claim to fame on Instagram has been his photographs with his girlfriend leading him by her hand.

                      15. Simone Bramate

                      Simone Bramate is a storyteller who just so happens to take delightful photos as well.

                      16. Willie Kessel

                      Willie Kessel brings beach life right to your smartphone. Amazing surf and lifestyle images that take your mind off of all of the work and stress in your life.

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                      17. Nick Ulivieri

                      Nick Ulivieri is a talented photographer who loves to capture the windy city of Chicago and skies, especially during storms. His images are gorgeous and make you realize how wonderful life really is.

                      18. Jo Jerry

                      Jo Jerry’s landscape photos around Santorini, Greece, make you want to book a flight immediately. The bright colors and simplicity in the images make his photos stand out from the rest.

                      19. GoPro

                      GoPro uses fan-sourced images on their account that are all captured with a GoPro. Creativity to the max is used in these images and range from the grocery store to incredible surf.

                      20. Vin Farrell

                      Vin Farrell is a creative who works on the agency side for large clients and has a knack for photography. His iPhone captures amazing aerial images around NYC and the world.

                      Featured photo credit: Andy via flickr.com

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