Americans prefer original recipes using brand-name products.
That's one of the findings from a survey conducted by Dr. Louis Grivetti, a nutritional geographer/professor of nutrition at the University of California, Davis.Many foods rated "authentically American" were introduced to this country from abroad. Thirty-five percent of those questioned said pizza is "extremely" American. Actually, it dates back to Roman times in a form similar to focaccia bread. Some historians say Thomas Jefferson "brought" macaroni and cheese from France. Nearly 60 percent argued that the hot dog (originating in Germany), is "extremely" American.
When food is concerned, the majority of consumers want the "real thing."
Commissioned by the folks at Hidden Valley Original Ranch dressing (who were thrilled with the results), the poll indicated that a majority feel authentic American food tastes better when prepared according to "back of the box" original recipes. No substitutions.
Incidentally, Hidden Valley Ranch dressing was selected best by a two-to-one margin.
Grivetti and company created a time line over 400 years that traces the key events in food history. Here's an abbreviated version of their findings:
B.C. 75,000-45,000 -- Asian hunter-gatherers reach North America
B. C. 4000 -- Key dietary staples domesticated
A.D. 1492 -- Columbus reaches Caribbean
1495 -- Columbus introduces European foods
1518 -- Fork first used as an eating utensil
1553 -- White potatoes, domesticated in South America, first mentioned in European books
1579 -- First introduction of cattle, horses, pigs and sheep into North America
1620 -- Pilgrims reach Plymouth, Massachusetts -- bring first apples to America
1643 -- First restaurant opened in America (Boston)
1690 -- Ketchup originated in China as a pickled fish sauce
1762 -- First sandwich invented by John Mattague, Fourth Earl of Sandwich
1796 -- Amelia Simmons wrote the first cook book in America
1801 -- Johnathon Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) active in American West.
1818 -- Tin can introduced to North America by Peter Durand
1819 -- First food canning business in NYC
1832 -- Orange and lemon trees shipped from Sicily to America
1850 -- Chewing gum first commercially manufactured in Maine
1851 -- First U.S. cheese factory. Ice-making machine patented.
1863 -- First breakfast cereal developed
1877 -- Milk bottle developed in Brooklyn
1897 -- John T. Dorrance prepares first canned soup concentrate
1904 -- Hamburger sold at St. Louis World's Fair
1916 -- First electric refrigerators sell for $900
1923 -- First American "supermarkets" in California and New York.
1927 -- Wonder Bread introduced
1929 -- Coin-operated vending machine patented
1932 -- Corn chips invented
1936 -- SPAM introduced
1938 -- Teflon discovered
1940 -- McDonalds drive-in opens
1941 -- M&M plain chocolate candy born
1944 -- U.S. candy consumption reaches 20 pounds per capita
1946 -- Frozen french fries are introduced
1949 -- Boxed cake mixes introduced
1962 -- Pull-tab can opener patented
1965 -- Tang, developed for astronauts, commercially introduced
1967 -- Compact microwave ovens for home use introduced
1972 -- Frozen yogurt introduced
1974 -- First supermarket scanners used
1975 -- American consumption of soft drinks surpasses coffee
1996 -- Olestra approved by FDA. Mad cow disease outbreak in Europe.
1997 -- Food irradiation of meat approved by FDA
1998 -- Potato sprouts carried aloft on the space shuttle Columbia produce the first food grown in outer space. Genetic engineered ingredients appear in commercial food products.