How many food "specialties" are unknown in the country they're believed to come from?

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Joined Jan 11, 2002
In a recent thread I asked about Muffeletta and found out that it's an "Italian" sandwich specialty...or, better, an "Italo-American" specialty since in Italy it's totally unknown (as I have explained, the sound of the word makes me figuring a polecat sandwich:p )

This is only the last "Italian" recipe I've found out here for the first time in my life, being popular abroad but unknown it Italy. Apparently, this seems to happen due to two different reasons: either the dish has been invented by Italian emigrants after having settled in their new country, or, although born in Italy, it has become popular for some reason among the foreign tourists and "exported" in their country (Nemo propheta in patria! ;) )

So, I wonder how many recipes exist in the world which are actually unknown in the country they're told to come from, and why!
As for Italy, they're the first ones I can remember:

1) As I said, Muffeletta. Not only it's totally unknown (I did an online search, and the WORD itself doesn't exist in Italian) but it's also unknown the "Italian Olive Salad" which seems to be the most characteristic feature of this sandwich! I mean, the "Giardiniera" is typically Italian, but it's not particularly rich in olives..

2)GENOA SALAMI! :eek:
By Gosh, we don't have anything like that! The only Salame that's really born in Genoa is the so-called "Salame di Sant'Olcese", which is very fresh, sweet and tender and it's usually eaten with raw broad beans, fresh pecorino and dry white wine.
The "Genoa Salami" I had in US seems more to come from Calabria, where those red and spicy salami are very diffused.

3)Cioppino. If I remember well, this has been the very first thread I posted under...although the name sounds like our "Ciuppin" (and probably comes from it) the dish is not the same, so if you order it in Italy you'll get something different from you're looking for.

4)Fettuccine Alfredo! We have had another thread about this...although born in Italy, this dish is almost unknown here as it comes from one of the thousands of "tourist traps" in Rome, the restaurant Alfredo, which isn't that popular here. Someone told me that it was the favourite restaurant of an American movie star (or someone like that) I can't remember, that "imported" the recipe in America (hope I remember right)
BTW...this is just the reason why the restaurant "Zeffirino" (that is an average one and, among the other things, owned by non-Genovese people) is the most famous Genovese restaurant abroad...because it was the favourite place of Frank Sinatra!

Those are the first examples coming to my mind, but I'm sure many other exist, not only "Italian" but also "French" or "American" or everything else, and I'm curious about them...

Pongi
 
467
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OK, CC...but what is a French Toast?

What about Russian Salad (assuming that you Americans call it the same way:D )?

Pongi
 
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1) Chop suey can’t be found anywhere in China.

The dish was invented on August 29, 1895 by the chef oF visiting Chinese Ambassador Hung-chang Li in New York City. Others claim that the real name of the dish is "Lee Gone Chop Suey," after General Lee Hon Chung, who visited Japan 74 years ago. Legend has it that it was too late in the evening for the chef to serve a regular meal, so he combined his left-overs in a stir-fry concoction. The general liked the taste so much that the dish was named after him. Common belief, however, is that chop suey is the English pronounciation of the Chinese words tsa-sui, meaning "mixed pieces," a dish created by the early Chinese immigrants, who were untrained cooks. It comprises bits of meat, bean sprouts, onions, mushrooms, etc. cooked in their own juices and served with rice.

2) The same goes for Singapore noodles. The take-out menu favorite, which consists of stir-fried rice noodles, pork, shrimp, vegetables and egg in a spicy curry sauce, sounds like something that would come from Singapore -- but it’s not.
 
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German Chocolate Cake!

After some web-surfing I found the following info, duplicated in several sites. The quote below is from "Linda's Culinary Dictionary" and the link is: http://www.whatscookingamerica.net/Glossary/G.htm

"German Chocolate Cake - German Chocolate Cake is an American creation that contains the key ingredients of sweet baking chocolate, coconut, and pecans..

History: The cake took its name from an American with the last name of "German." In 1852, Sam German created the mild dark baking chocolate bar for Baker's Chocolate Co. The product was named in his honor - "Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate." In most recipes and products today, the apostrophe and the "s" have been dropped, thus giving the false hint as for the chocolate's origin.

The first published recipe for German's chocolate cake showed up in a Dallas newspaper in 1957 and came from a Texas homemaker. The cake quickly gained popularity and its recipe together with the mouth-watering photos were spread all over the country. America fell in love with German Chocolate cake."
 
9,209
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I'll bet Vienna sausages fall in this category. At least I hope so! Such an elegant city, such inelegant sausages... :eek:
 
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Pongi,
do you know why it's called Russian salad? I remember making it for some Bahamians and they got very excited at the thought of having Russiand salad. I had to hastily explain that it may not be Russian at all - it was just that the Spanish, Italians and Greeks called it so.
 
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My recolleciton of Salade Russe (Russian Salad) was a mixture of peas, carrots and maybe some other root vegetables cut into small dice (brunoise??), enrobed in mayonnaise. There may have been some hard-boiled egg involved, too.
 

pete

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Pongi, though I do love this thread, there are many dishes that are considered to be ethnic yet were created here, in the states, I do have to point out that the Muffeletta was, in fact, created in the USA, just by italian immigrants, the same goes with cioppino. These dishes are quite well documented in having their origins in the US.

but since you started the thread, how about most of the foods found in Mexican restaurants here. I have never worked with a mexican who had ever seen a taco as most Americans know it. Or nachos, or chimichangas (deep-fried burritos). And many staples on Chinese restaurant menus are Chinese-American inventions, including fortune cookies!
 
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Except that muffins do come from england.

I would vote for Danish pastries; in Denmark they are known as Viennese pastries.
 
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How about that 'Irish' specialty, corned beef? Ask about corned beef in Ireland, and you'll get many puzzled looks!

Far as I've been able to read about it, when the Irish immigrants came to NY, they settled in many of the same neighborhoods as Jewish folk; brisket was a common item at the butcher, and the Irish took it and adapted it for their own.

And, although I've never read anything about it, my guess is that a lot of the 'Pennsylvania Dutch' and German recipes are those created here in the states by the German and Dutch immigrants, and are unknown in Holland and Germany. Hmmm, may have to make a trip to the library for this!
 
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Certainly unknown in Holland as there are very few Dutch folk in Pennsylvania;)

IIRC the Dutch in "Pennsylvania Dutch" is an Americanization of Deutsch, in other words German.:p
 
467
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Joined Jan 11, 2002
Rachel,
Actually Russian salad is a French dish.
It has been created by the French chef Jacques Olivier, who had been in the service of Czar Nicholas II.
After being escaped from Russia, he opened a restaurant in Wiesbaden (Germany) where invented the dish, naming it "Salade à la Russe" in honor of his former employer.
This is the reason why Russians call this dish "Olivier Salad" and NOT "Russian Salad"... :)
BTW, the original recipe is slightly different from the "basic" versions we usually have all around the world, calling also for roasted chicken cubes and (of course!) for sour cream in the sauce.

Something else?

Chicken Tikka Masala, one of the most popular "indian" dishes in Britain (Is it correct, Britcook?) is not really Indian. It has been invented in England by the indian immigrates to meet the European taste, adding a tomato sauce to the traditional indian chicken stews.

Another curiosity: as you know, Vitello Tonnato is an Italian dish. Probably some of you also know that it comes from Piemonte.
Well, many Italians believe that it's a French dish as in Italy it is often called "Vitel Tonnè"...very funny as this is not French (a real French name for the dish should be something like "Veau avec sauce de thon") but a mock French of obscure origin...surely NOT a Piemontese name:D

Pongi
 
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And then there's the concoction of rice, green peppers and tomato juice that's served as "Spanish Rice"...
 

pete

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Marmalady, though I am sure that there are some true "dutch" living in PA, the term Pennsylvania Dutch is, just like Britcook said, a bastardization of the word Duetsch. Many of the early settlers of Pennsylvania were of German origin, mostly from an area called the Lower Palantinate (which includes parts of the Lower Rhine, and some towns such as Bayern (sp?)). A large wave of these immigrants came starting in the late 1600's and through the 1730's, though the majority came in a span from about 1716 to 1739. These people were most often farmers (relatively poor and illiterate) who were escaping religious pursecution and war. These Germans boarded ships on the Rhine and went to either Holland or to England, from there they were sent to the New World, with ships landing all over the Eastern Seaboard, but especially heavily in Philadelphia. There these farmers moved into the surrounding countryside, with large groups settling in the places such as Bucks and Berks Counties and Northumberland (in the area of modern day Lancaster). These people Duetsch (German) in their language, but as often happens, outsiders heard it as Dutch and the name stuck.
 

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