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12 Seemingly Foreign Foods That Were Actually Invented in America

12 Seemingly Foreign Foods That Were Actually Invented in America

There are a lot of seemingly foreign foods that were actually invented in America, and you may be surprised by a few of them. Take, for example, the well-loved Häagen-Dazs. Certainly sounds exotic, but, it’s not. This premium and delicious frozen treat hails from Mr. and Mrs. Mattus of the Bronx, New York. Disappointed? Well, I’ve got news for you. There are a lot of “foreign” foods that you love that are far more local than you think.

1. Fortune Cookies

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    Where You Think It’s From: China

    Where It’s Actually From: California

    Although the fortune cookie’s inventor is under some dispute, it is known that the cookie recipe itself is based on a Japanese cracker called senbei. The fortune cookie was popularized in the early 20th century, but as Jennifer Lee noted in her New York Times article, “[T]here is one place where fortune cookies are conspicuously absent: China.”

    2. French Dip Sandwich

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      Where You Think It’s From: France

      Where It’s Actually From: California

      Thinly sliced roast beef on a French baguette dipped in mouth-watering a-jus hails from the good ole’ U S of A. Two Los Angeles restaurants claim the invention of this sandwich. One is Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet, and the other is Phillipe The Original. Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet contends that the sandwich was invented in 1908 while Phillipe The Original says the sandwich was invented by their chef, Phillipe Mathieu, in 1918.

      3. English Muffins

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        Where You Think It’s From: England

        Where It’s Actually From: New York

        Samuel Bath Thomas, of Thomas’ English Muffin fame, developed the English muffin in the late 1800s. The family had the name of Thomas incorporated in 1919, the year that Samuel died. The trademark muffin is now made by Bimbo Bakeries.

        4. Pasta Primavera

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          Where You Think It’s From: Italy

          Where It’s Actually From: New York

          There are no less than three people considered to have invented pasta primavera. The trio, Ms. Maccioni, Mr. Giobi, and Jean Vergnes, were all connected in some way to the owner of Le Cirque, Sirio Maccioni. In any case, the dish was introduced in the 70s and has been a favorite among pasta lovers ever since.

          5. General Tao’s Chicken

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            Where You Think It’s From: China

            Where It’s Actually From: New York

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            The sad fact is that most Chinese foods popular in the U.S. don’t originate from China. This sweet and spicy dish was introduced to Chinese restaurants sometime in the 70s. Cashew chicken, orange chicken and dozens of other beloved Chinese dishes are completely unknown to the Chinese themselves.

            6. German Chocolate

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              Where You Think It’s From: Germany

              Where It’s Actually From: New York

              German Chocolate was originally referred to as German’s chocolate, because the guy who first made the dark, rich chocolate was Samuel German. The chocolate was made in 1852 for the American Baker’s Chocolate Company. What about German Chocolate Cake, you ask? That recipe originated in Dallas, TX. The recipe originated in 1957 from a housewife named Mrs. Clay.

              7. Chimichanga

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                Where You Think It’s From: Mexico

                Where It’s Actually From: Arizona

                While it is widely argued over who actually did the inventing, the resulting chimichanga was a burrito accidentally dropped into a deep fryer, right here in America. There are at least three originating stories, one that we will likely never know. One story is that the fried burrito got its debut in 1937, while another says it wasn’t invented until 1957.

                8. Swiss Steak

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                  Where You Think It’s From: Switzerland

                  Where It’s Actually From: somewhere in the U.S.

                  The name derives from the method of tenderizing a tough piece of meat. It’s actual origin is unknown, besides the fact it can be traced to have started and been popularized by someone in the United States.

                  9. Cuban Sandwich

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                    Where You Think It’s From: Cuba

                    Where It’s Actually From: Florida

                    While similar to a sandwich found in Cuba, the Cuban Sandwich originated in Tampa, FL in 1880. In 2012, the sandwich was dubbed the “signature sandwich of Tampa.” It is believed that workers in area cigar factories were the first to invent the Cuban.

                    10. Vichyssoise

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                      Where You Think It’s From: France

                      Where It’s Actually From: New York City

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                      This creamy soup is said to have been invented by a French chef, Louis Diat, in 1917. In 1950, Diat was interviewed by the New Yorker and was quoted as saying, “In the summer of 1917, when I had been at the Ritz seven years, I reflected upon the potato and leek soup of my childhood which my mother and grandmother used to make. I recalled how during the summer my older brother and I used to cool it off by pouring in cold milk and how delicious it was. I resolved to make something of the sort for the patrons of the Ritz.”

                      11. Russian Dressing

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                        Where You Think It’s From: Russia

                        Where It’s Actually From: New Hampshire

                        The mayonnaise- and ketchup-based dressing was invented by James E. Colburn. The dressing was invented in 1912 and originally contained the Russian ingredient, caviar.

                        12. Doritos

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                          Where You Think It’s From: Mexico

                          Where It’s Actually From: Disneyland

                          Doritos were first introduced in the “Casa de Fritos” in the 1950s.  They are cut and fried from tortillas and use a Mexican spice for flavoring.

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                          Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                          • (1) Research
                          • (2) Deciding the topic
                          • (3) Creating the outline
                          • (4) Drafting the content
                          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                          • (6) Revision
                          • (7) etc.

                          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                          2. Change Your Environment

                          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                          6. Get a Buddy

                          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                          Reality check:

                          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                          More About Procrastination

                          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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