Food Facts & Lore

5 Foods That Were Invented in the US

What do you get when and Englishman living in Massachusetts develops the first iconic chocolate bar for baking? German chocolate. The year was 1852. The man was Sam German. He developed the sweet chocolate bar for Baker’s Chocolate Company. Here are 4 more foods you may or may not know were created in the United States.

Potato Chips –
1853. Saratoga, New York. Chef George Crum was working at the Moon Lodge when a patron voiced is dissatisfaction with French Fries he said were too thick. Crum offered thin, fried potato slices. Saratoga Chips were born, and soon imitated.

California Roll –
While many believe this is merely a Japanese delicacy with an American name, that is not entirely accurate. Beginning in the late 1960’s, Los Angeles chefs of Japanese origin came up with a variation on the Sushi Roll that would appeal to Americans who were not so keen on ingesting raw fish. They rolled the seaweed inside the rice, instead of the other way around, and filled the center with crab meat, avocado and cucumber instead of raw tuna.

Russian Dressing –
1912. Nashua, New Hampshire. Retired meat market worker James E. Colburn turned wholesale grocer came up with the original ketchup, mayo, relish and caviar concoction. There is some confusion as the actual original ingredients, and whether caviar, the inspiration for the Russian reference, was used at all. Some food historians believe that the relish inspired the name instead, as Russians were known to love this condiment.

French Dip au Jus –
1908… or was it 1918? The date is unclear, but the place of origin is certain: Los Angeles, California. Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet claimed to have come up with the French baguette dressed with onions and thinly sliced beef au jus in 1908. A more likely origin, if only because of a name, is credited to chef Phillipe Mathieu, of Phillipe The Original, in 1918.

Imitation is said to be the highest compliment, and great food inventions are duplicated and improved upon by nature, much to every food lover’s delight.