Over the past few centuries, California has been home to some very popular and world renowned food items that are commonplace today. While many of these origin stories are in dispute amongst cooks, restaurants and other states, most of the items presented below are popularly known to have been created right here in the Golden State.
Monterey Jack Cheese
Originally made by Mexican Franciscan friars living in the city of Monterey, CA during the 19th century; Montery Jack was then sold by a man named David Jack, to which the Jack part of the cheese’ name comes from.
Although it’s exact origins are in dispute, many place the Palace Hotel in San Francisco as the source of this dish of pasta, poultry and cheese. It was named in honor of the opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini who was a ffrequent guest at the Palace Hotel.
Possibly inspired by a similar cookie found in Japan called Omikuji, Makoto Hagiwara of San Francisco is usually credited as the first person in America to distribute the cookies at the Golden Gate Park Japanese Tea Garden. Today, however, they are often attributed to being a Chinese invention
Like many foods on this list, the original source of this dish is disputed, but generally Robert Cobb of the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles is credited for being the creator of this salad of Eggs, Avocado, Tomatoes, Chicken, Onions, Bacon and Blue Cheese after
French Dip Sub
Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet and Phillipe the Original, both of Los Angeles, claim to be the home of the popular sandwich, which offers a side of Au jus for dipping. The creation stories are also in dispute, but most people believe that a roast beef sandwich that accidentally dropped in a pot of meat drippings and served to a local policeman or firefighter who liked the end result was the source.
San Francisco had fishermen from all over the world working in its wharves. Fishermen from Genoa, Italy were responsible for creating the flavorful dish of crab, mussles, clams and other items freshly caught from the bay in a tomato and wine based broth.
Many places across the US claim to have created the first cheeseburger, but many credit Lioenel Sternberger at the Rite Spot Sandwich shop in Pasedena as the originator of this popular burger variation.
The concept of sourdough bread itself can be traced to the ancient Egyptians, but due to its taste, durability and ease in finding ingredients,it became popular with gold rush miners in San Francisco and has been popular since. It’s unique flavor comes from wild yeast (Candida Milleri) and bacteria (Lactobascillus sanfranciscensis) endemic to the area.
Did we miss anything else? Is there anything you were surprised (or not surprised) to see? Let us know in the comments below.
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