Whether it is a Family get together, hang out with friends or a formal meeting all are incomplete without fast foods. They have become an important part of the day to day life. But, do you know from where these delicious food items and their fascinating names have come from. I think they are so delicious that we only bother to take a bite of it instead of thinking about their history. But believe me, their history is as fascinating as they are. Let’s peep back into the history of these seven yummy food items.
Pizza- The cheesy comrade
How the steaming pie with hot bread, melted cheese, simmering tomato sauce, spicy garlic and sizzling pepperoni got its name as pizza? It has an interesting history. The Pizza we’re all familiar has originated in Italy. Specifically, baker Raffaele Esposito from Naples is often credited with creating the first Pizza. They gave it the word pizza which is Italian version pie. Esposito became so famous that he was called upon to make a pizza for Italian King Umberto I and Queen Margherita in 1889. That pizza made with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, is still known as pizza Margherita. Later pizza made its way to Spain, France, England, and the United States via Italian immigrants. It was made popular after World War II by the soldiers fighting overseas.
Burger- The crispy Saviour
Remem same need of 19th sailors of seaport town of Hamburg led to the discovery of Burger but they called it as Hamburger after the name of the seaport Hamburg. It consists of a cooked patty of ground beef sandwiched between two bread halves, usually in the form of a round bun. Then the hamburger made its first U.S. appearance at the St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904 where it got its short name as Burger. The hamburger is one of America’s favorite foods now.
Tandoori Chicken- The lavish affair
Roasted chicken marinated in yogurt, generously spiced, having a meat of its trademark red color, enough to enthralls our senses. The Tandoori chicken is for sure a must have. The dish is credited to Kundan Lal Gujral, from Punjab who is a refugee from Pakistan after the 1947 partition. He opened a restaurant in Delhi which is famous for its special chicken dish served on the bones and cooked in the cylindrical clay oven known as the tandoor. Tandoori chicken quickly became popular throughout South Asia and the Middle East and nowadays also in Western countries.
Biryani- For the rice lover’s
The deliciously rice dish Biryani is derived from the Persian word Birian, which means ‘fried before cooking’ and Birinj, the Persian word for rice. Many historians believe that the Persian biryani was brought to India by the Mughals and was further developed in the Mughal’s royal kitchen. There are many legends of Mughal’s and Nizam’s associated with the evolution of Biryani. One of the popular stories is related to Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Shah Jahan. Once the Mumtaz visited the army barracks, she found that many of their soldiers were undernourished. So, she asked the cook to prepare a dish with meat and rice. And there came the Biryani.
French fries- the best side dish
You will be amazed to know that the French fry is not French. The origins of the French fry have been traced back to Belgium. Here the poor villagers living in Meuse Valley often ate small fried fish they caught in the river. When during the winter the river freezes they use to fry potato slices as the source of food. American soldiers posted in Belgium were first introduced to French fries during World War I. The official language of Belgium army at that was French thus the American named the delicious fried potatoes as “French fries.” The name stuck in the minds, and decades later also we’re giving credit to the wrong country.
Pasta- the creamy meal
Pasta is typically a form of noodle made from an unleavened dough of a wheat flour mixed with water or eggs and formed into various shapes. the modern cheesy pasta we know was first described in 1154 by an Arab geographer, Idrisi, as being common in Sicily a town in Italy. The word ‘pasta’ came from the Latin ‘pasta’ meaning ‘dough or pastry cake’. The pasta was originally eaten plain boiled but the idea of using tomato sauce to give pasta its flavor was revolutionary. The consumption of pasta has changed over time due to factors like low prices and ease of cooking. Once being a small, simple item, now often eaten in much larger portions and as part of complex, sophisticated dishes.
Manchurian-An Indo Chinese invention
Delicious veg/nonveg balls in spicy gravy are the first impression of in our minds. But do you know the word came from Manchuria which is a region in Northeast Asia? People here used to make dishes of meatballs in saucy gravy. But the Manchurian as we know today is an invention of Chinese restaurants in India. In 1975 Nelson Wang invented this dish. Wang had started from the basic ingredients of an Indian dish, chopped garlic, ginger, and green chilis he next added Soy sauce instead of Gram masala followed by cornstarch and the chicken itself. Then later on many variants came into existence like a mushroom, baby corn, veggie ball Manchurian.