A Brief History
On August 14, 1880, work on the Cathedral of Cologne was finally finished after it had been started 600 years earlier! One of the most iconic landmarks in Germany, the cathedral survived World War II despite having been hit by at least 14 bombs in the many bombing raids on the city. Allied bomber crews even used it as a navigation point. Nonetheless, the product most often associated with Cologne is, of course, Eau de Cologne, a perfume. Many products are associated with the names of cities. Here 10 of them are listed, in no particular order.
10. New York-Style Cheesecake, New York.
This god-like and ultra rich creation is made with heavy cream, cream cheese, sugar and eggs and is not for those watching their waistlines. It is often served with a thin layer of sour cream sweetened with sugar and flavored with vanilla on top. (Honorable mention to both Chicago-Style and Philadelphia-Style cheese cakes.) History and Headlines Note: In the U.S., National Cheesecake Day is July 30, so mark your calendars.
9. Budweiser Beer, Budweis, Czech Republic/South Bohemia.
“Budweiser” means beer from Budweis. Early forms of “Budweiser Beer” were originally made in the 13th century for the Holy Roman Emperor. Today, the American brewer Anheuser-Busch is at odds with the Czech brewer over the name.
8. Sheffield Steel, Sheffield, England.
In the 1800’s, Sheffield developed a reputation for making the highest quality steels, including crucible steel and stainless steel. Although both of those steels had older origins, the modern versions were perfected in Sheffield. Unfortunately, the demise of the English coal industry has also hurt steel manufacture in Sheffield. The name, though, still indicates a high quality grade of steel. (Honorable mention to Solingen Steel, Solingen Germany.)
7. Daquiri, Daquiri, Cuba.
One of the staple cocktails, the Daquiri consists of 9 parts white rum, 5 parts lime juice and 3 parts sugar syrup, originally served with cracked ice. Granulated sugar was probably used at first and can be substituted for the syrup. It was in the small village of Daquiri, Cuba where an American invented the drink. Today the cocktails are commonly shaken, and various other fruit flavors can be used in place of lime, e.g. Strawberry Daquiris have become particularly popular. Daquiris can also be made without alcohol for those who prefer them virgin-style. (Honorable mention to the Manhattan and Long Island Ice Teas.)
6. Chicago-Style Pizza, Chicago.
Chicago-style denotes either stuffed pizzas made in layers or deep dish pizzas with crusts as much as 3 inches thick! These pizzas are very filling and are often topped with extra cheese and chunky tomato sauce. History and Headlines Fact: There is also a thin crust Chicago-Style pizza. It has a crispy crust as opposed to the thin, soggy crust of the New York-Style pizza which also gets an honorable mention.
5. Crab Rangoon, Rangoon, Myanmar (Burma).
Alleged to have Burmese roots, this fried treat is almost certainly an American invention of the 1950s, possibly of Trader Vic’s restaurant in San Francisco. Consisting of a mix of cream cheese, scallions and crab meat (probably mostly imitation crab meat), it is wrapped in won-ton dough and fried. Most Chinese and Thai restaurants in the U.S. feature these as appetizers with various dips. (An honorable mention goes to Peking Duck.)
4. Denver Omelet, Denver.
Omelets are made from beaten eggs which are quickly fried and folded over. Denver omelets include the additional ingredients of diced ham, onions and green bell peppers and are one of the most commonly ordered breakfast meals. Sometimes diced red peppers and, or cheese are also added. (Honorable mention Quiche Lorraine.)
3. Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Philadelphia.
Cream cheese is not a cheese that is matured but is instead meant to be eaten fresh. It was developed in the U.S. on the basis of similar European soft cheeses and has been around since the 1700s. The city of Philadelphia acquired a reputation for making superior cream cheese, and in 1880 the brand name Philadelphia Cream Cheese was born. Now marketed by Kraft, this white creamy cheese is used a lot in dips, cheesecake, in Crab Rangoon, as a sauce thickener and is often smeared on toasted bagels.
2. Philly Cheese Steak, Philadelphia.
A Philly Cheese Steak is “Frizzled beef, onions and cheese in a small loaf of bread.” Of course you could throw on some green pepper slices if you like, or even hot peppers. Invented by Philadelphia hot dog vendors Pat and Harry Olivieri in the 1930s, Pat gives credit to Joe “Cocky Joe” Lorenza for adding Provolone cheese to the sandwich. Depending on where you go, variations of the sandwich may include additional toppings such as mushrooms, salt and pepper, oil or butter, mayonnaise, hot sauce and other condiments. History and Headlines Salute: The author of this article would like to nominate the 3 above-mentioned sandwich mavens as some of the most important Americans of all time and extends his gratitude to them for their invention.
1. Eau de Cologne, Cologne, Germany.
Actually invented by an Italian in 1709, the original product was a citrus-based perfume. The most famous of today’s Colognes is 4711, invented in the 18th Century and currently manufactured by the German company Mäurer & Wirtz (formerly by the Mülhens family company, then by Wella AG and lastly by Procter and Gamble). The name 4711 is actually derived from the street address where the original German manufacturer was located. 4711 is one of the oldest fragrances in the world to be continuously produced. Cologne is also used as a generic name for fragrances consisting of 2 to 5% essential oils (or extracts) of various citrus flavors and/or flower and herb oils in a base of diluted ethanol. History and Headlines Fact: Tobacco oil is also sometimes used in cologne. Eww! History and Headlines Note: For any offenders out there, please be advised that it is not necessary to pour gallons of this stuff on yourself before you board a plane! The editor of this article would also appreciate if people just stopped wearing perfumes and colognes altogether.
Question for students (and subscribers): What other products can you think of? (We here at History and Headlines think mostly of food!) Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Maxwell, Brandt. The Largest U.S. Cities Named After a Food: And Other Mind-Boggling Geography Lists from Around the World. Santa Monica Press, 2004.