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Thursday, May 26, 2011

The 10 Most Epic Food Fights: Who Invented What?

Posted By on Thu, May 26, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Chicago has deep-dish pizza. Florida has key lime pie. And don't mess with Texas; it's got a real zeal for barbecue. But what if someone or somewhere else took credit for your favorite regional food? It's a full-on food fight. SFoodie is finally going to settle the score in the 10 most heated food disputes of all time. Remember the Civil War? This is like that. Only bigger. And with Sloppy Joes.

10. Donuts: Camden, ME vs. the Netherlands

click to enlarge BRYAN OCHALLA/FLICKR

Sometimes tinkering with a classic is the way to create the next best thing. And that's exactly what 16-year-old Camden resident Hanson Gregory did with the donut in 1847. Fried dough desserts had been around since Dutch immigrants came to North America, but Hanson wasn't satisfied. The donuts he knew were too greasy and raw in the center, so he punched a hole in one. Bam! Problem solved! And what's the classic image of an American donut that we have today? It's a fried ring, not a frilly twist or ball covered in powdered sugar ala the Dutch. This round goes to the American teenager who demanded better of his fried dough.

Winner: Camden, ME

9. Bloody Marys: George Jessel vs. Fernand Petiot

click to enlarge KRISTEN TAYLOR/FLICKR

Is a Bloody Mary technically a food? Some say it's a meal in itself. There are a ton of vegetables in there, right? It's basically a salad, you guys. Well, whatever it is, it's been curing American hangovers for over 60 years. In 1939, New Yorker George Jessel was written up in the local newspaper for creating a new drink that was half tomato juice and half vodka. Bartender Fernand Petiot followed up on the concept by adding salt, pepper, Tabasco, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. A food battle over who was the true inventor soon ensued. Unfortunately for George, half vodka, half tomato juice is not the iconic recipe for a Bloody Mary.

Winner: Fernand Petiot

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Julia Langer

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