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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 January 3, 2020

                          The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

                          The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

                          Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

                          The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

                          1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

                          Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

                           I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

                          To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

                          And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

                           2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

                          Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

                          3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

                          Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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                          4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

                          The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

                          5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

                          Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

                          6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

                          Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

                          7. Positive people smile a lot!

                          When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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                          8. People who are positive are great communicators.

                          They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

                          9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

                          One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

                          10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

                          Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

                          How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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                          I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

                          Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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