Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What is St. Louis known for?

While most of our culinary history, the culinary history of the world, is mostly made up of coincidences and synchronicity, there are some things that certain cities or cultures can ultimately agree upon.  Somewhat.

I remember hearing about the history of Buffalo wings. There are four general accepted origins of that type of food and all of them claim to be first and none of them will back down.  Similar and dissimilar to this, St. Louis has some general grip to the claims on foods that they state; also thanks to the World's Fair.  The World's Fair of 1904 was a BIG deal.  It was a culmination of everything new and of the West as well as the World, brought together at one location. Cultures brought their clothing, smiths brought their weapons, inventors brought their inventions and cooks brought their foods.

Now while you may be thinking to yourself that you know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who invented these things, that may be, but this is the first time that it was ever made public. Sure, I may have invented the chocolate brownie, but if I never told anyone or showed it to anyone than it didn't matter. Now, off of a good website:

So, what was invented here?

Toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, prosperity sandwich, pork steaks, the concrete dessert, peanut butter, the slinger, Provel, St. Paul sandwich, Brain sandwich, whistle, Vess and 70up sodas.  While this list may fill you up, TUMS were invented in St. Louis as well.  Now, could someone around the world thought of just cutting their pork a little thicker and thus creating pork steaks?  Sure, but no one knew about it until someone in St. Louis started doing it.

Now the above list is just some things that were invented in St. Louis, probably because no one else thought of it.  But at the World's Fair, some things were invented elsewhere but were first shown off, to the world, at the fair.  For example: ice cream was invented by the Arabs as earlier than the 13th century, but the idea of placing ice cream in a waffle cone was first introduced at the Fair. Ice tea, Dr. Pepper and Cotton candy were also introduced at the Fair.  Although why no one ever thought of placing ice in hot tea and making a cold tea drink is beyond me, but the others were all new.

So there you have it and as a friend suggested and as I was thinking, if Tony does come to STL, he should partake in at least some of these STL traditions and inventions.

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