Did you know the birthplace of these foods?

  • 28 Jul - 03 Aug, 2018
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Cookery

Burger: New Haven, Connecticut

Louis Lassen, an immigrant from Denmark, opened a lunch wagon in his New Haven backyard in 1895. According to legend, the burger was born when a local businessman came to Louis' Lunch five years later in need of a fast takeout option. Lassen grilled a hand-rolled patty made from his proprietary blend of five cuts of hand-ground steak trimmings and placed it between two slices of toast. One heart-warming theory about the added cheese is that a Pasadena, Calif., cook named Lionel Sternberger served a homeless man who'd obtained 15 cents and asked for a burger with everything. The chef included cheese and from that day on sarcastically sold the Aristocratic Burger at The Rite Spot. Another version says Sternberger added cheese to cover up the side he burnt.

Hot wings: Buffalo, New York

This spicy finger-staining snack was invented in upstate New York in 1964 by Teressa Bellissimo, who owned the Anchor Bar and is believed to be the first person to coat chicken wings in cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and butter, and serve them with sides of blue cheese and celery because that's what she had on hand. Her husband told The New Yorker that they'd wrongly received a shipment of wings and she had to figure out a way to make use of the mistake. Her son sang a different tune. He says he'd been partying with friends and asked his mom to make them a midnight snack and hot wings were the result of that request. All three have since passed, so we'll never know which story is true.

Goo Goo Clusters & MoonPies: Tennessee

Goo Goo Clusters, the first combination candy bar created commercially, were born in 1912 when Howell Campbell Sr. and Porter Moore were testing new ingredients in a copper kettle at Nashville's Standard Candy Company and landed on the sweet-tooth satisfying combo of milk chocolate, peanuts, caramel, and marshmallow nougat. Over in Chattanooga, five years later, Earl Mitchell was experimenting with ways to fulfill a Kentucky coal miner's request via one of the bakery's travelling salesman for a snack "as big as the moon." The solution? Two round graham crackers filled with marshmallow and dipped in chocolate that was originally sold for five cents. By 1929, the bakery opened a MoonPie-specific factory to meet growing demand including WWII troop rations.