I was making a cheese ball a while back (recipe here) and got to wondering about Philadelphia Cream Cheese. It’s been around for forever, it seems. 127 years, it turns out. I have a sister who lives in Philadelphia, so I think it’s cool that they have a cheese named after the city. Except the cheese isn’t made in Philadelphia. In fact, it wasn’t even invented in Philadelphia. It was invented in Chester, New York, by a guy who thought his cheese needed an urban name and wanted to, apparently, capitalize on Philadelphia’s renown for delivering quality dairy products. Kraft bought the “Philly” label in 1928, but as near as I can tell, this cheese has never been made IN Philadelphia. Hmph.
That got me to wondering about other products named after cities and towns, and if they were invented or made in the cities named after them:
Baked Alaska – Although there are earlier variations on this ice cream and cake dessert, this version, and it’s name, were created in New York, at Delmonico’s Restaurant, in 1876 to commemorate the Alaska Territory purchase.
Boston Cream Pie – Yep. Invented in Boston. (That’s one.)
Coney Island Hot Dog – named after Coney Island, but invented in the midwest, (say it aint’ so!) although it’s origin is a little murky.
Worcestershire Sauce – Originated in Worcester County. (Yay!)
London broil – U.S. origin, circa 1931. Maybe in Philadelphia? (I hear this is not a way of cooking beef that is well known IN London?)
Speaking of London, how about:
Yorkshire Pudding – yep, invented in Yorkshire.
And back to our beginning city:
Philadelphia Cheesesteaks were invented in Philadelphia. In fact, if you’re ever in that great city, I suggest a stop at Pat’s or Geno’s on the South side for a sandwich.
So it seems most foods are actually named for the places where they were invented. Not sure why that makes me feel better, but it does. And I think that’s enough fun for today. It was fun researching these, but now I’m hungry for cheesesteak and pie. :)