Records and Facts

Food Origins, Where Did Some of Our Favorite Foods and Snacks Come From

Origin of Pizza

Photo by [earl53] morgueFile

Ahhh, Food, we can’t survive without it. Have you ever thought about the origin of some of your favorite foods?  Things like bread, pizza, cheese, ice cream, and potato chips?

Of course I was having another odd random thought and began to wonder about food origins and where some of our favorite foods came from.

So after a little research, I came up with some fascinating facts, and I can’t keep them all to myself. So I wanted to share with you what I’ve learned about these foods.

The Origin of Bread

We talked about bread before on Odd Random Thoughts, but our main focus at that time was on the Myths and Superstitions about Bread. So this time we’re going to discuss the origin of bread and how it came to be.

Firstly, loaves of bread were discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs some 5,000 years old. Of course it wouldn’t be fit to eat at that age. But it does tell us bread making has been around for thousands of years. In fact you can see some of these loaves of bread in the British Museum, but believe it or not, this was not the start of bread.

Occording to research, bread originated sometime in the Neolithic Stone Age. Back then, they were making bread that was actually considered solid cakes. They would use barley and wheat that was crushed by stones to create their cakes of bread.

Amazingly archaeologists have actually found some of the stone age millstones that were thought to be over 7,000 years old! You can also find many references to bread in the Bible, and we all know most of that information was written a very long time ago.

So the next time you’re enjoying some warm bread and butter, just count your lucky stars it isn’t 5,000 years old.

The Origin of Pizza

Pizza, one of America’s favorite foods. Where pizza came from is something many people may argue about. Everyone wants to claim the fame to this marvelous food creation. But let’s take a look at some facts about pizza and it’s origin.

Pizza is what’s known as unleavened bread, and records indicate this delicious edible has been around for centuries. According to historical writings, ancient Egyptians, Greeks and the Romans all were using flat unleavened bread to put things on. They would use it for a base much like we do today to hold our toppings.

Who Invented the First Modern Pizza

Neapolitan restaurant owner, Raffaele Esposito holds credit to the invention of the first modern pizza.

His invention, called Margherita, was a combination of a pizza crust, layered with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil.  This assortment of goodies resembled the Italian flag because the ingredients, when combined, showed colors of red, green and white.

He created this pizza in honor of Queen Margherita di Savoia, to commemorate her visit to Naples in 1889.

The First Pizza in the United States

Gennaro Lombardi opened the very first pizzeria in the United States in New York City. It was located on Spring Street and the doors were opened in 1905.

Oddly enough, credit for the first deep dish pizza belongs to Ike Sewell, a Texas businessman and Ric Riccardo. They opened Pizzeria Uno in 1943.

Who Invented Cheese

Of course a good pizza is nothing without the stringy goodness of cheese. So we have to discuss the origin of cheese, after all it is one of my personal favorites.

This is something that goes way back. All the way to 4,000 BC. It seems that cheese was some sort of an accident that happened due to Sumerian herdsmen leaving their stock of milk in dried calf stomachs too long.

Apparently the milk had combined with the rennin that was present in the calf stomachs which caused the milk to curdle. Rennin is a natural enzyme, and this combination turn the milk to cheese.

Homer also discussed cheese during the 7th century BC in the Odyssey. Greeks would use a wicker basket to separate whey from curds to create their cheese.

Britain’s first blue cheese was created by Mrs. Frances Pawlett in the mid 1700’s. This marvelous variety is still sold in Britain’s market place today.

The Origin of Ice Cream

Ooooh, the wonderful cold delight of a big bowl of ice cream. Ice cream is a favorite of many cultures and is eaten year round and is included in many desert dishes. So where did ice cream originate?

Nero, a first century Roman emperor, began all this madness by having buckets of snow brought down from the mountains. The snow would be mixed with red wine and honey and served as a treat at banquets.

But the Chinese also had their hand in creating ice cream during the first millennium. They created some sort of half frozen fruity flavored ice creams. Marco Polo had brought back recipes for this concoction to Venice and the ingredients consisted of snow, fruit pulp and fruit juices. Sounds delicious!

Food Origins Ice Cream

Photo by [Max Straeten] morgueFile

When Was Milk Added to Ice Cream

Ice cream, as we know it today, is a combination of milk, eggs, sugar, condensed milk etc. But so far we’ve been talking about snow being the main ingredient.

It wasn’t until 1672 that milk was first added as an ingredient in ice cream. When combined with the snow it came one step closer to what we all know and love as ice cream. This variation was first served to King Charles II in England.

What is the Origin of the Potato Chip

Potato chips, one of our favorite snack foods. What better way to end this post than with potato chips? I figured by this time everyone is probably ready to raid the pantry, so let’s end with a good one.

The potato chip was invented in 1853 by an American restaurant owner named George Crum.  Take note of the last name, after all, when you get through munching on these bad boys, that’s usually all that’s left…lol

Crum invented potato chips as a resolve to Cornelius Vanderbilt’s complaint about the french fries in Crum’s restaurant being too thick. This all went down at Crum’s Saratoga Springs, New York, restaurant.

Of course Crum wasn’t very happy to hear about his fries being too thick, so his answer was to deep fry paper thin potato slices and see how those went over. Vanderbilt was very pleased with his solution to the problem and the chips became quite famous. These thin crispies became known as “The Saratoga Chips”.

When Where Potato Chips First Marketed

Potato Chips were first marketed to the public in 1926. The United States was the birth place for mass marketed potato chips and were sold in wax paper bags by Laura Scudder.

Scudder had invented an air tight wax bag, which was designed to keep the chips fresh. The bags were made by ironing pieces of wax paper together, think of how much time that must of taken. But before she invented these neat little bags, potato chips were sold in metal tins and didn’t keep the chips very fresh. So you had to eat them fast, which wouldn’t really be a problem I don’t suppose.

Here’s a neat list of  10 Common Misconceptions About Food Origins I found, that has some more interesting facts about food.

So now that I’ve shared my research on food origins and where some of our favorite foods and snacks came from, let’s talk about your favorite foods and snacks in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “Food Origins, Where Did Some of Our Favorite Foods and Snacks Come From
  1. Yah Gwenn, these could make some great trivia questions. I think it’s quite interesting that most of these foods we consume the most are things most people rarely know their origin. I guess not everyone is interested in where their food originated from, but I think it’s some cool info.

    Thanks for stopping by!

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