Curious about where the first cheeseburger was created? Ever wondered who invented the California Roll? Wonder no longer…
Our friends at Forage and Pasture have uncovered seven popular foods that were invented here in L.A.
article by Forgage and Pasture
Los Angeles is a city obsessed with story-telling and also with food, and that fusion means there are as many origin stories about food as there are ground-breaking reboot concepts for the next movie blockbuster.
Some tales are true: tacitos (in a delicious avocado sauce) were first introduced to America at the tiny Olvera Street food stand La Cielito Lindo in the 1930s, and they’re still sold there today.
Some are true but in dispute: French-dipped sandwiches were invented in LA, but was it at Cole’s, or was it at Phillippe’s? Hey, relax, they’re delicious in both places.
Some claims are more dubious. LA invented the doughnut hole? There’s no evidence for that at all, anywhere. Hey buddy, who cares, LA did it because LA says it did.
Here are our seven of the best, true or kinda false as they may be:
Chia: the Chumash original superfood
chia seed superfood (or Itepesh Pinole)
Turning back the clock to the time before tarmac and tires, charred seeds found at ancient millingstones in the Santa Monica mountaints and at hearths long buried in the Malibu Canyon attest to the creation by the Chumash of this highly-prized paste or soup, caled Itepesh, high in protein and fat, made from wild chia sage.
How was this superfood made? The seeds were separated by thrashing the stalks with sticks and bare feet; then they were parched with hot coals or pebbles in baskets or clay trays; pulverized in a bedrock mortar into a meal and then mixed with water into a mush called pinole.
They say a teaspoon provides enough energy for a whole day’s foraging on the trail…
It was an experiment, OK?
the cheeseburger (a Highland Park experiment)
A fellow called Lionel Sternberger is reputed to have invented the cheeseburger in 1926 at the age of 16 when he was working as a fry cook at his father’s Highland Park sandwich shop, The Rite Spot, and ‘experimentally dropped a slab of American cheese on a sizzling hamburger.’ And voila!
The Korean Short Rib Taco: And it was, like, Whoah!
Korean short-rib taco
Chef Roy Choi and friend Mark Mangeurs came up in 2008 with the Korean short-rib taco, after a hard day’s night of celebration. Chef Choi remembers roaming the aisles of Koreatown’s Gaju market, ‘grabbing things and putting them in the cart.’ Choi added kimchi and a cabbage slaw with soy-sesame chili. ‘I put it together, and we all took a bite. It was like, whoah.’
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