Food Facts & Lore

A Breakfast Road Trip

us towns with food names

You’re familiar with foods named after places. The Philly Cheese Steak comes to mind, as do Hollandaise sauce, Key Lime pie, Canadian bacon and Gruyère cheese. The list goes on and so do the opportunities for future blog articles. Today, however, we contemplate places named after food, and give a new twist to the expression, “Breakfast on the town.”

The entire array of morning, noon and night meals has provided inspiration and history for the naming of places, but breakfast stands out with a complete menu, from coffee to bacon. Let’s begin with the brew.

HOT COFFEE, MISSISSIPPI – You may remember your favorite aunt by her most noteworthy habit. Your dad calls her by her real name, Barbara, but to you she will always be “Aunt Cupcake,” because of those delicious frosted treats you knew would be offered every time you visited. That is the gist of it for Hot Coffee, MI. In the 1800’s, innkeeper L.J. Davis became famous for the hot coffee travelers enjoyed in his establishment on the way through. The journey had been long and his Inn was a milestone worth anticipating. The town was named accordingly.

CREAM, WISCONSIN – Cream is in the state that is famous for its cheese and known as “America’s Dairy Land.” Rather appropriate, wouldn’t you say? Interestingly, most towns record an official name at the time of incorporation, but Cream is not incorporated. It is also elusive as far as finding details about its history, but we bet the locals would have a thing or two to say about this, and hopefully would appreciate the spotlight this article shines on them the time of a brief paragraph.

CITRUS HEIGHTS, CALIFORNIA – We could not ascertain the origin of its name but based on the official website for Citrus Heights we can readily imagine the qualities it shares with the bright orange morning fruit it brings to mind. A fresh orange juice is a warm welcome. From what we’ve read, Citrus Heights residents hold traditional hospitality in high regards. It is also part of one of the most seismically stable areas of the West Coast. An analogy with the morning juice’s down-to-earth goodness seems fitting.

TOAST, NORTH CAROLINA – Some say that “Toast” was a famous shade of brown for apparel in the early 1900’s, especially for men’s shoes. There is no record of a famous shoe store in Toast, and it was difficult to make a connection anyway. Based on other accounts, the local post office was once called the “Toast” post office, which would seem to suggest this was already the name of the town. A school principal may have come up with the name, though according to legend (or did it really happen?) a city hall argument over what to name the town resulted in a spur of the moment choice everyone finally approved.

TWO EGGS, FLORIDA – History played its part in the naming of this town. It happened during the Great Depression (1929 – 1939) when unemployment was at an all-time high and commodities were scarce. Many families resorted to bartering with each other and with local merchants to secure food and supplies. Many raised chickens, and so eggs were common currency for this exchange of goods. It is said that one local store became known as the “Two-Egg Store,” and this may be how this town earned it’s name, along with a reputation for neighborly kindness perhaps.

BACON, TEXAS – We’ve reach the “last but not least” moment. Bacon resides within the city of Wichita Falls. Bacon Switch road marks the spot, but it appears the town itself sizzled away into history, much to our chagrin. Is it not the perfect theme for a destination town, or a local diner with the best BLT in America? We’ll never know. The truth is, it may have been named after a person; a well-respected local tradesman maybe.

Researching this article brought to mind road trips, songs and movies: Fried Green Tomatoes, Spitfire Grill and Alice’s Restaurant to name a few. And that’s an idea right there for a tour agency, or another road trip movie. Just sayin’.