It’s no secret that some of the planet’s most popular dishes and food brands hail from the USA. But once they’ve achieved world dominance, their humble beginnings are often forgotten. We take a step back in time to find out the origins of our favorite American foods and how they’ve taken the world by storm.




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One of the world’s most loved and trusted food brands, Heinz begins its story in 1869, when business partners Henry J Heinz and L Clarence Noble launched Heinz & Noble to sell horseradish sauce. The US got its first taste of Heinz ketchup in 1876 and only 10 years later it was launched in the UK. The company grew quickly and it broadened its range to soups, sauces and even baby food.




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In the 1990s Heinz decided to expand its operations east and started distributing its products in countries like Russia and China. Today, the company exports Heinz Beanz to 60 countries, however, its most popular product still remains the Heinz tomato ketchup. The famous red sauce is available in more than 140 countries around the world and the company estimates that 650 million bottles are sold globally every year.




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Purportedly invented in 1943 in Chicago’s Pizzeria Uno, the deep-dish pizza has long been a symbol of the Windy City. First, the dough is parbaked before it’s stuffed with layers of cheese, pepperoni, tomato sauce and more cheese. After its invention, the new style of pizza soon took off and many of Pizzeria Uno’s cooks and employees moved on to open other successful pizza places in Chicago.




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The original Pizzeria Uno is still open in Chicago, and the Uno Pizzeria & Grill chain owns more than 100 locations around the US and beyond. The love for Chicago deep-dish doesn’t end in America either – many pizza restaurants around the world now feature deep-dish pizzas on their menus, while Chicago Town is one of the most-loved frozen pizza brands in the UK.




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Since 1952, millions of people around the world have been starting their day with a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Today it remains one of the best-selling cereals in America and internationally, with its loveable mascot Tony the Tiger earning it extra fans. In the US there are plenty of tasty variations on the original too, including Frosted Flakes with Marshmallows and Cinnamon Frosted Flakes.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


It wasn’t until the 1970s that the abbreviation BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) came into common use – but fast-forward to today and it’s hard to find a deli or a sandwich shop that would shy away from the classic combo and its catchy name. It’s long been recognized as a national favorite in both the US and the UK.




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Oreo cookies have gained a lot of popularity thanks to the weird and wonderful flavors and limited editions that are available around the world. China, Indonesia and Japan are known for having the taste for more unusual flavors like green tea and birthday cake. China is also known for doubled up flavors like orange and mango or raspberry and blueberry. In Chile and Argentina you can get your hands on banana and dulce de leche Oreo.




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A version of a Cosmopolitan could be found in cocktail recipe books as early as the beginning of the 20th century – however, it wasn’t until 1987 that the modern-day Cosmo was born. Largely credited to Toby Cecchini of The Odeon in Manhattan, the cocktail was given a fresh spin and saw Absolut Citron and Cointreau mixed with cranberry juice and fresh lime juice.




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


In 1886 pharmacist John Pemberton, inspired by simple curiosity, mixed a fragrant, caramel-colored liquid with carbonated water and gave it out for Jacobs’ Pharmacy’s customers to sample. The new drink was such a hit that the pharmacy started selling it for five cents a glass and the rest is history. After decades of success with Coca-Cola, the company developed more drinks like Fanta and Sprite, however, it was the Coca-Cola that slowly but surely conquered the world.




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Given Ben & Jerry’s worldwide appeal, it’s hard to believe that the ice-cream titan had such humble beginnings. The company began in the 1970s with two men (Ben and Jerry, of course) and a scoop shop in a renovated gas station in Vermont – word spread quickly, though, and over the next couple of decades Ben & Jerry’s became a household name. Described by Ben & Jerry’s itself as “the World’s Most Popular Pint”, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, came onto the scene in 1984.




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The well-loved flavor was actually a customer idea, but Ben & Jerry’s saw the sweet suggestion as a no-brainer and soon whipped up a recipe. It was an instant hit, in pint form by 1991, and across the pond in the UK by 1994. Ben & Jerry’s is still widely credited with inventing the cookie dough ice cream flavor, and it’s ubiquitous today in supermarkets and parlors around the globe.




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Whether you prefer them as tasty snack or as an easy accompaniment to a TV dinner, tater tots are an American classic that the world has got on board with. They’ve been known by different names around the globe over the years – “oven crunchies” in Europe and “potato gems” in Australia – but ultimately they’re the same thing: fluffy bites of potatoey goodness deep fried until golden brown.




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The name and the product itself was the invention of frozen food company Ore-Ida, which now sits under the Kraft Heinz umbrella. Founders F. Nephi and Golden Grigg dreamt up the potato nuggets in the 1950s as a way to use up leftover potato created when making French fries. Decades later tater tots had become Ore-Ida’s signature product in the States, and offshoots are still well-loved around the globe.




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Although the history of the humble sausage can be traced to a time way before Columbus sailed to the New World, the American hot dog was born a little later. Either wrapped in bacon, covered in cheese or topped with chili, the classic frankfurter and bun combination was invented by German immigrants in America. It is widely believed that the first hot dog – then known as ‘dachshund sausage’ – was sold out of a food cart in New York City in the 1860s.




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


Eggs Benedict is such a quintessential brunch staple that even McDonald’s based its breakfast hero Egg McMuffin on the recipe. The classic combination sees a toasted English muffin topped with Canadian bacon and a poached egg all slathered in hollandaise sauce. But many variations of the dish exist, including eggs Blanchard, which substitutes hollandaise for béchamel sauce, and eggs royale which sees the Canadian bacon switched out for smoked salmon.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.




Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


A reference to Buffalo, New York rather than an actual buffalo, the wings were invented in 1964 at the Anchor Bar (pictured) by Teressa Bellissimo. Three versions of the story exist: one, her son came in late with his friends and demanded a snack; two, the bar received a wrong delivery of too many chicken wings; and three, Teressa’s husband came up with the idea of serving a quick meat snack at midnight on Friday (at the time Catholics used to eat only vegetarian or pescatarian on Fridays).




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Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.


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