Bonfire Night is all about Guy Fawkes’ attempt at a revolution, and whilst the closest we’re getting to the Houses of Parliament is using HP Sauce on a fry up (check out the history behind the famous sauce here), we want to celebrate the Gunpowder Treason by telling you about the four of the most revolutionary dishes in history. Dishes that changed and reshaped the culinary world as we know it.
French Revolution – the croissant
Liberte! Egalite! Marie Antoinette!
What if we were to tell you that the quintessential French dish, the one food that you just can’t help but pronounce with an exaggerated French accent is, in fact, originally Austrian. Pretty shocking, huh? (try saying croissant in a German accent – it really isn’t quite the same).
Well the croissant, or kipferl as it was originally known, was an Austrian pastry popular in the late 1800s. It was brought over (and made famous) by Marie Antoinette, the last Queen of France before the revolution.
Marie Antoinette was originally Austrian and was shipped over to France at the young age of 14. Like most teenagers, she wanted some home comforts whilst away (apparently palace life isn’t all that it’s made up to be) and so she had her chefs rustle up some kipferls. Kipferl is the Austrian word for crescent (due to its shape) and to fit in, M.A translated it into French, creating the … Croissant. Et Voila. There you have it, the dish that is equally great with butter and jam in the morning and stuffed with cheese and ham for lunch. A buttered bundle of goodness, that’s a teeny bit decadent, just like its creator.
Artistic revolution – Avocado on Toast
We bet the first word that pops into your head when you see ‘avo on toast’ is Millennial. Followed probably by brunch. What you probably don’t know is that the dish was actually invented by famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali.
That’s right, Dali had strong opinions on food and published a cookbook, which started with what we reckon is one of the best sentences of all time: If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive, and far too impertinent for you. Say it how it is Salvador.
His version of the classic hipster dish is as weird as you’d expect, and it includes lamb brains, vinegar, Tequila, cayenne pepper and beef bouillon. Stick to art Dali, and we’ll stick with the classic Avocado, toast and poached egg combo.
Mexican Revolution – Nachos
Invented by Ignacio, ‘Nacho’ Anaya, the chef at a small restaurant on the border between Mexico and Texas in 1943.
When he saw a group of military wives stranded in the town, he took them in and offered them all that was left in his kitchen: tortilla chips (which he fried), jalapenos and cheddar cheese. Add a dollop of sour cream and, ‘Ole!’ you have your Nachos.
The ladies were blown away. They told everyone about the dish and before you know could say ‘extra guac’ Nachos Especiales were being eaten everywhere in both America and Mexico.
American revolution – Nuggets
Nugs. Nug-nugs. Nuggies. Nuggets. Nuggzilla. Nuggie boos. Chimkin nuggers. Chicken Nuggets. Chickholas Nuggbert. Call them what you will, but one thing is undeniable: everybody loves ‘em (especially if they are dinosaur shaped).
Whilst it’s normally thought that ‘Maccies’ are the genius behind the nugget, records show that the inventor of everyone’s favourite form of chicken is none other than (drum roll)… Robert C. Baker. A food science professor at Cornell University in the States.
Baker came up with the chicken nugget in 1963, eighteen years before the little beauties appeared on the menu at the golden arches.
Bite sized, filled with flavour and versatile, the chicken nugget (originally an alternative to the burger) soon became to the people’s favourite takeaway treat. From its humble beginnings in the 60s its popularity grew and grew until it became a true pillar of our society.