8 Popular Foods and Their Origins


Is there anything better than food? Probably not. A well-cooked meal can make your entire day and give you comfort when everything else in life seems to get you down. Some foods are considered to be universally tasty and good, which elevates them to a certain status of myth.

CDA Appliances took the liberty of taking some of these popular foods and illustrating where they actually came from. Bon appetit!


If you were thinking France, you weren’t exactly right on this. The Austrians were 400 years sooner in inventing this delicious pastry. So the next time someone French pretends it’s the most iconic food associated with their country, school them!

Croissants | 8 Popular Foods and Their Origins | Zestradar


Italy! Nope. In fact, pasta was invented in a country where it’s literally impossible to get a proper pasta dish in a restaurant. Go figure. Pasta was actually the next step in the evolution of Chinese noodles, so we have to give credit where credit is due and say pasta belongs to the Chinese.

Pasta | 8 Popular Foods and Their Origins | Zestradar

Fish & Chips

While the British are usually associated with pubs, football, fish and chips and leaving the European Union, one of these things isn’t actually a British classic. Fish and chips were invented in Portugal – at least the method for making the fish was. Chips didn’t gain much traction until the 1800s, which is when the British perfected the dish.

Fish & Chips  | 8 Popular Foods and Their Origins | Zestradar

Swedish Meatballs

That’s right, the one thing to make a trip to IKEA bearable, the one food that has an actual country reference in its name, wasn’t actually invented in Sweden. The meatballs are based on a Turkish recipe predating the invention of IKEA and Swedish interior design by quite a few centuries. 

Swedish Meatballs | 8 Popular Foods and Their Origins | Zestradar


While New York is indeed the place to turn the doughnut into the colorful dessert it is today, the first invention of a doughnut predates even Jesus himself. In fact, the first doughnuts were used in 776 BC to reward the winners of the Olympic Games. So while they didn’t look anything like the doughnuts we know today, they were in fact invented in Greece nearly 3000 years ago.

Doughnuts | 8 Popular Foods and Their Origins | Zestradar


Yet another deliciously unhealthy treat, churros were invented in China. We usually associate them with Spain and Hispanic countries, but they’re actually based on a salty Chinese breakfast called youtiao. The Spanish (or Portuguese, history isn’t sure) just turned it star-shaped and sweet.

Churros | 8 Popular Foods and Their Origins | Zestradar

Ice Cream

When someone says “ice cream parlor”, your mind instantly drifts to Italy. And while the Italians have indeed perfected the art of their gelato, ice cream was invented – by accident – about 100 years earlier by the Mongolians. Marco Polo allegedly took the idea back to Italy, where it was perfected.

Ice Cream | 8 Popular Foods and Their Origins | Zestradar

Tikka Masala

While the specific chicken tikka does in fact originate from Bangladesh, the actual dish was made for the first time in Scotland. That said, it was created by an Indian chef working there, so maybe we can agree that it’s still an Indian dish and not a Scottish one?

Tikka Masala  | 8 Popular Foods and Their Origins | Zestradar