It’s time to find out 5 food origins that will surprise you like is Chicken Tikka Masala actually the UK’s national dish?

If I asked you about the origins of food like masala curry, croissants, or even pasta, your answer would be simple. India, France, and Italy, right?


Turns out, some food origins aren’t as obvious as they seem! Behind the Bite decided to take a deep dive into five popular foods across the globe to see if they really are as authentic as they seem. 

Here are some of our favourite food misconceptions from across the globe. These food origins might just shock you!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Where people think it’s from: India or Bangladesh

Where it’s actually from: the UK! 

There has been a lot of controversy about this dish, with many crediting the fragrant creamy curry to South Asia, and dismissing any notion that this dish comes from the UK. Finally, we are putting the age-old question to rest. Here is why Chicken Tikka Masala is the UK’s national dish. 

Chicken tikka is a dish of spice-marinated meat that’s cooked over coal, which originated in the Indian subcontinent during the Mughal Empire. But tikka masala is a different story, and was actually developed in Glasgow! Chicken Tikka is a dry dish, but Tikka Masala is rich and creamy. In the 1970s, an Indian chef was working in Scotland, and it was there that he developed the dish that Westerners consider a South Asian delight. Now I’m not saying that all the credit should be given to the UK… but if it was developed here, then they’re not wrong? 


Where people think it’s from: Italy

Where it’s actually from: China!

A dish famed for its different shapes (fusilli and spaghetti, to name a few of my faves), I’m sure it will come as a shock that pasta noodles actually originated in China!

European travellers returning from East Asia were thought to have introduced pasta to Italians in the 1300s, causing it to become a craze there! While Italian pasta uses Durum Wheat and other noodles don’t, it’s thought the Chinese egg noodle is what sparked the great pasta revolution. 

Baklava and Tzatziki:

Where people think they’re from: Greece

Where they’re actually from Greece and Turkey

No strangers to disagreements, Greece and Turkey are often in food wars about who invented what Mediterranean food. These dishes, among others, date back to empires that no longer exist, so the birthplace of them are naturally confused. 

Selay Colugo, a Turkish historian, said: “Battles of the cuisine between Turkey and Greece have been going on since the beginning of time. Its hard to tell where the foods come from but I think both countries have grounds to claim them, since in a way the origins are unknown. Most of the middle east eats these dishes, but each country just makes them in slightly different ways.”


Where people think it’s from: France

Where it’s actually from: Austria!

The French won’t be happy about this one, but turns out their beloved flaky croissants actually originate in Vienna, Austria! 

The origin of the croissant can be traced back to 13th century Austria, where it was originally called the kipferl, AKA the German word for crescent. Some historians believe the crescent-shaped treat dates back to monastery bakeries, baked as part of pagan customs for Easter celebrations. The croissant became French when people began to make the kipferl with puffed pastry, rather than traditional brioche. 


Where people think it’s from: Spain

Where it’s actually from: China!

A doughy dessert adorned by Hispanics, it seems the churro didn’t originate in Spain at all! 

Churros are actually a variant of the Chinese breakfast favourite youtiao, which was known to be salty rather then sweet.  These deep-fried strips of dough were thought to have been brought to Spain via Portugese travellers in the 17th century. With the passing of time, Spain modified the dish into the sugary, sweet and scrumptious dessert you taste today. 

Did any of these surprise you? Be sure to let us know of any other food misconceptions from across the world!