Did you know the birthplace of these foods?

Spice up your dinner table with food that tastes as good as it looks.
  • 04 Aug - 10 Aug, 2018
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Cookery

The Shirley Temple: Beverly Hills, Hollywood, or Honolulu

A heated debate still rages on about the mastermind behind America's most famous mocktail. The Royal Hawaiian Hotel claims its bartenders first mixed the pink drink for the ringlet-ridden seven-year-old whose name the drink takes. Chasen's, a longtime celebrity haunt in Beverly Hills, contends that they first served it to commemorate the child star's birthday. The Brown Derby, another popular movie star also claimed to be the inventor. Ironically, the star's relationship with her namesake drink was far from positive. In the '80s, Temple engaged in a legal battle over the right to use her name with beverage companies who wanted to bottle pre-mixed Shirley Temple-flavoured sodas.

Cheesesteak: Philadelphia

Given that they're usually referred to as Philly cheese steaks, this greasy grub's hometown is the City of Brotherly Love. The frizzled beef (made by chopping the meat while it's still being grilled in oil) and onion sandwiches were originally served with pizza sauce instead of the now standard American, provolone, or Cheese Whiz at Pat and Harry Olivieri's Italian Market hot dog stand when they made the first hallowed hoagies in 1930.

Red velvet cake: New York City

Velvet cakes sans colouring were baked by Victorians in the 1800s using almond flour, cocoa or cornstarch to soften the flour protein and turn out finer-textured treats. By the 1930s, recipes for red devil's food cake (a.k.a., Christmas cakes) were circulated in West Coast and Midwest newspaper columns. According to the New York Times, a Waldorf Astoria archivist says the scarlet snack, then likely brightened by beet juice, debuted on the hotel's menu in the 1930s as well.

Oysters Rockefeller: New Orleans

As of late 2017, more than four million orders of Oysters Rockefeller had been served at Antoine's, the iconic 178-year-old Big Easy bastion of French-Creole fine dining where the seafood showstopper was first cooked up. In 1899, chef Jules Alciatore, the French-trained son of the founder, was faced with a snail shortage. So he smartly swapped escargot with plentiful and plump Gulf Coast oysters. His original recipe used watercress instead of spinach in a ratio that he supposedly took to the grave. According to legend, the dish got its name when a satisfied customer commented, “These are as rich as a Rockefeller.”