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21 foods and drinks you never knew were named after real people

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The INSIDER Summary:

  • INSIDER found the funny, bizarre, and historic origin stories behind the names of 21 popular foods and drinks.
  • Cobb salad was named after the owner of the Hollywood Brown Derby, who created the salad from leftovers he found in his fridge.
  • The Shirley Temple was, of course, named after the pint-sized starlet, although she supposedly disliked the drink herself.


What's in a name? You may already know that the Earl of Sandwich supposedly invented his eponymous meal in the 18th century, but did you know that bananas foster, Granny Smith apples, and Caesar salad were also named after real people? And no — the latter is not named after Julius Caesar.

INSIDER rounded up 21 popular foods and drinks that were named after real people, as well as the fascinating, funny, and sometimes downright bizarre origin stories that go with them. 

Keep scrolling to get a slice of culinary history. 

SEE ALSO: 9 foods you never knew were named after real places

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Arnold Palmer, named after the popular golfer

The late Arnold Palmer "invented" this simple mocktail by mixing his wife's homemade iced tea with lemonade. He loved the concoction so much that he was known for taking a thermos of it with him almost every time he went golfing. By the 1960s, the drink was already known as the "Arnold Palmer."



Bananas Foster, named after a New Orleans crime-stopper

Bananas Foster — caramelized bananas over ice cream — was originally invented in New Orleans in the early 1950s at a restaurant called Brennan's. Brennan's owner, Owen Brennan, challenged his chef to create a dish using bananas (a major import in New Orleans at the time), and Chef Paul Blange created this fiery dessert and named it in honor of Richard Foster, the New Orleans Crime Commission chairman and Brennan's good friend.



Caesar Salad, named after a Mexican restaurateur (not the Roman emperor)

Most people assume that the Caesar salad is named after Julius Caesar, but the salad's name actually comes from Caesar Cardini, a Mexican restaurateur who invented the dish in Tijuana when he was running out of food during a 4th of July rush in 1924. He allegedly staunchly opposed putting anchovies into the salad, which many recipes call for. 



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