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12 Seemingly Foreign Foods That Were Actually Invented in America

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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 January 13, 2022

                          10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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                          10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

                          A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

                          To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

                          1. Camping

                          A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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                          2. Staycation

                          You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

                          3. Island Getaway

                          People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

                          4. Fancy Resort

                          Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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                          5. Road Trip

                          The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

                          6. Charter a Boat

                          If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

                          7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

                          If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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                          8. Themed Retreats

                          There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

                          9. Working Honeymoon

                          Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

                          10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

                          Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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                          Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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