Advertising
Advertising

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

    Advertising

      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.

          Advertising

          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

              Advertising

                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.

                    Advertising

                    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

                      More by this author

                      20 Motivational Quotes of the Week to Brighten You Up 8 Things People With Hidden Depression Do 5 Essential Illustrated Guides For the Kitchen 20 Easy DIY Art Projects for Your Walls 20 Really Cool Google Features You Probably Don’t Know About

                      Trending in Food and Drink

                      1 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go 2 Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brain Health And Brain Power 3 15 Brain Foods You Should Be Eating Regularly to Keep Your Mind Sharp 4 These 25 Healthy Meal Ideas Can Be Ready in 30 Minutes or Less 5 17 Weight Loss Recipes That Are Incredibly Nutritious and Super Delicious

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on May 21, 2019

                      13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                      13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                      Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

                      Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

                      Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

                      1. Stress Eating

                      I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

                      While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

                      I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

                      If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

                      How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

                      2. Nail Biting

                      Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

                      People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

                      Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

                      For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

                      Advertising

                      3. Hanging out with Naysayers

                      We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

                      Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

                      Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

                      4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

                      Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

                      While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

                      Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

                      Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

                      5. Smoking

                      Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

                      In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

                      Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

                      Smoking risks

                        6. Excessive Drinking

                        All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

                        Advertising

                        According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

                        • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
                        • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
                        • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
                        • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
                        • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

                        If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

                        If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

                        7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

                        Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

                        If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

                        A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

                        “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

                        And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

                        While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

                        Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

                        Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

                        8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

                        There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

                        Advertising

                        In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

                        Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

                        Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

                        9. Watching Too Much TV

                        I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

                        Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

                        Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

                        It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

                        10. Being Late

                        Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

                        Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

                        Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

                        11. Being in Bad Relationships

                        Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

                        I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

                        Advertising

                        Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

                        12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

                        Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

                        Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

                        Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

                        By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

                        Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

                        13. Focusing on the Negatives

                        In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

                        Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

                        Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

                        And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

                        The Bottom Line

                        So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

                        Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

                        Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                        Reference

                        Read Next