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Fast food

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Fast Food of America

Have you ever enjoyed a hamburger, sitting on a lawn? May be you're against all these hot dogs and cheeseburgers, because it's a junk food. Anyway, it is always interesting to find out something about the origin and history of such trifles, which make our life more comfortable. They really make life more pleasant, especially outdoors, don't they?


It’s impossible to imagine American take-away food or snacks without popcorn. Clear as a day, it is made from corn. But what about the first part of the word “pop”. Actually, when you put a kernel of corn on a fire, the water inside makes the corn explode. This makes a “pop” noise. That is why we call it popcorn. It’s an interesting thing to know that not all corn pops. A seed of corn must contain 14% water in it. Other kinds of corn have less waters and do not pop. The American Indians, who popped corn a long time ago, knew that special sort. They introduced corn to the first settlers. In 1620 when Pilgrims had a Thanksgiving dinner they invited the Indians, who brought popcorn with them. Since that time Americans continued to pop corn at home. But in 1945 a new machine was invented that changed the history of the product. The electric machine enabled to pop corn outside the home. And soon movies started selling popcorn to make more money. The famous American habit of eating popcorn at the movies is well-known. Many people like to put salt or melted butter in their popcorn, some preper to have it without. Either way Americans love their popcorn.

The Hot Dog

The original name of the hot dog was the frankfurter, after the German city of Frankfurt. In the United States frankfurters, sausages on buns, were first sold in the 1860s. But for Americans the name “dachshund sausage” seemed to be a good one for the frankfurter. In actual fact, a dachshund is a dog from Germany with a very long body and short legs. Dachshund sausages first became popular in New-York especially at baseball games, where they were sold by men keeping them warm in hot water tanks. The men walked up and down the rows of people and yelled “Get your hot dachshund sausages here!” And in 1906 the newspaper cartoonist Tad Dorgan saw the men with the dachshund sausages and got an idea for a cartoon: he drew a bun with a dachshund inside – not a sausage but a dog. The cartoonist didn’t know how to spell the word “dachshund” and under the picture he just wrote: “Get your hot dogs!” The cartoon was a sensation as well as the name. If you go to a baseball game today, you can still see sellers walking around with hot water tanks and yelling, “Get your hot dogs here! Get your hot dogs here!”

The Hamburger

An obligatory item on the list of fast food, the hamburger has no connection to ham, but with the German town of Hamburg, which was famous for its ground steak. German immigrants to the United States introduced the “hamburger steak”. At the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, hamburger steaks were served on buns for the first time. It was convenient and tasty and became a usual way of eating hamburgers.

But how did the hamburgers become the most popular, most typical American food? The introduction of the bun is the important part of the answer. Another important part, due to which hamburgers have become well-known and favourite all around the world is McDonald’s, the fast food restaurant. The first restaurant was opened in San Bernadino, California, in 1949 and hamburgers were the main item on its menu, as well as the hamburger remains the main item in all McDonald’s restaurants today.


Coca-Cola The world famous fresh drink Coca-Cola first was an all-purpose medicine, made in 1886 by a druggist from Atlanta, who made a brown syrup by mixing coca leaves and cola nuts. The syrup wasn’t a success and then another druggist, Jacobs, had an idea of selling Coca-Cola as a soda fountain drink. He mixed the syrup with soda water. Soon everyone was going to soda fountains and asking for Coca-Cola. An immigrant from Ireland, Asa Candler bought the recipe of the drink and having registered the company, became its father in 1892. In 1899 the first bottling factory was opened. The shaped bottle, as we know it today was invented in 1916 to protect the trademark. And again the World War II helped to make Coca-Cola popular outside America, when the Coca-Cola Company sent bottles of the drink to US soldiers fighting in Europe. It became so popular with the soldiers that the US Army asked the company to start ten factories in Europe. It’s a curious thing but of 1903 coca leaves were no longer used in the drink. The exact ingredients and the quantities are not known – the Coca-Cola Company keeps its recipe a secret.

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