Most of us have pictured ourselves traveling the world, stopping in France where we take in the Eiffel Tower and sip lattes while nibbling on a fresh baked croissant. Hold that thought for a moment because it turns out that this flakey and buttery bread treat is not actually French.
It’s true, you’ve been living a lie your whole life. Of course, it’s one that isn’t your fault, it’s a misconception that has been pushed on television, in travel articles, in food blogs, the list goes on. It turns out this delightful treat actually hails from Austria. It was born in the 17th century of Austria and was introduced to France sometime in the 18th century. In France, the croissant and other morning pastries are called viennoisere which is actually French meaning “things from Vienna”. Yep, the French knew the whole time and just let us go on believing a lie. Check out a brief history done by the Smithsonian Magazine here.
While the true history of the croissant surprises some, it is far from the only food that has a mistaken origin. French fries are also often believed to hail from France, but again, this simply isn’t the case. These delightful fried potato sticks actual come from the smaller country of Belgium, and this explains why Belgian fries are always delectable, because they started the trend and know how to do it best.
Ketchup is often thought to be as American as apple pie, but again, this is simply incorrect. Ketchup actually comes from China. It is derived from a sauce that was made from fermented fish but as it traveled the globe it was altered until it became a tomato based product loaded with vinegar.
Finally, a crowd favorite, nachos. While they were actually invented in Mexico, they are not a Mexican treat. The dish was created when Mexicans were trying to find a dish that pleased the American palate, thus making them a bit more appropriate on a Tex-Mex menu instead of listed as a true Mexican treat.
Weather you believe it or not, we live in a global food world that shares and reshapes recipes as each country sees fit. Some things stick in countries better than other creating a special place in the hearts of its people, but they still hold their origins from other locales.