Origin Story

Like your favorite superhero, these iconic dishes came from somewhere. In our Origin Stories series, we go deep into the backstory of some of our favorite dishes. Where did it come from? How has it evolved? How and where can you experience and explore the dish.

Origin Story

Tacos: The Original New World Food

A taco is simply a tortilla wrapped around a filling that is eaten by hand. But that’s just the beginning. It’s also an incredibly popular, accessible and versatile dish that transcends borders and time. The history of tacos goes back to the pre-Hispanic era before there was a Mexico or a United States.
Origin Story

Bánh Mì: Vietnam’s Iconic Sandwich a Fusion of East and West

Whether it’s the classic PB&J or the savory cheeseburger, the sandwich is a lunchtime staple that can be found in any American school cafeteria. As a child of Vietnamese refugees, I grew up with a different kind of sandwich from many of my schoolmates, a sandwich that has made a name for itself as an iconic Vietnamese food: the bánh mì.
Origin Story

Poke: From Hawaii With Love

Sushi was once considered unimaginable to most Americans—who in their right mind would want to eat raw fish?—but similar to how sushi made its way into the mainstream, poke is following in its footsteps decades later. 
Origin Story

Margherita Pizza

The concept of the Margherita pizza is simple: baked dough topped with tomatoes, basil, and cheese. Yet this Italian idea is the basis for every regional style of pizza that America has today, and without it, America’s $45 billion pizza market—and a large part of its food culture altogether—would never have existed at all.
Origin Story

Loco Moco: Hawaii’s Ultimate Comfort Food

Loco mocos are the food of the people. Important things to know: They are most likely consumed from a three-section disposable plate, though artisanal, upscale versions have been known to exist. Loco mocos are designed to satisfy in a uniquely Hawaiian style—meaning filling satisfaction first.
Origin Story

Appreciating Pho

Just like American cooking wouldn’t be the same without hamburgers, or Mexican would be a different cuisine without tacos, Vietnamese food wouldn’t be what it is today without pho. Pho—a clear soup with rice noodles, beef or chicken, herbs, and a bone stock broth—is a daily staple in Vietnam.
Origin Story

Biryani: Rice, Spice and Everything Nice

If all of South Asia were to be characterized by just one dish, we’d argue it should be biryani. In case you’re not familiar with it, at its most basic, biryani is a rice casserole: one that’s layered with meat, seafood, or vegetables, then flavored with warm spices, herbs, and gravy, then cooked over a low flame, sometimes with a cover made from dough.