9 Popular Dishes You Didn t Know Were Invented in America

California Roll:

Contrary to its name, the California roll wasn't invented in Japan but rather in the United States, specifically by chef Ken Seusa in Los Angeles. It features avocado, cucumber, and imitation crab with seaweed on the inside, unlike traditional sushi.


Despite its Mexican appearance, the chimichanga was reportedly invented in Tucson, Arizona. It's said to have originated when a burrito was accidentally dropped into a deep fryer at El Charro restaurant.

Cuban Sandwich:

This iconic sandwich, known as Cubano, was popularized in Florida among cigar factory workers. It features Cuban bread, roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles.

English Muffin:

Originally called "toaster crumpets," English muffins were adapted from traditional English crumpets by Samuel Bath Thomas in New York City in 1880.


Although associated with Mexican cuisine, fajitas as we know them with skirt steak, bell peppers, and onions cooked over high heat, originated in Texas among Tejano cattle ranchers who used throwaway cuts of meat.

French Dressing:

Despite its name, French dressing is not used in France. It's an American invention, characterized by a tangy, ketchup-based dressing with vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and spices like paprika and garlic powder.

Fortune Cookie:

Found in many Chinese restaurants in the U.S., the fortune cookie may have been invented by Japanese chefs in San Francisco or Los Angeles around the early 20th century. It became popularized during World War II by Chinese-Americans.

General Tso s Chicken:

Named after Chinese military leader Tso Tsung-t'ang, this dish is not of traditional Chinese origin but was adapted and popularized in the United States, particularly with a sweeter and crispier version for American palates.

German Chocolate Cake:

Contrary to its name, German chocolate cake was named after American chocolatier Samuel German, who invented the dark baking chocolate used in the recipe.