There were so many contenders, but they couldn’t all make it into the Top Ten, so here are three we couldn’t fit in…
This tea is attributed to Charles Grey, English aristocrat and British Prime Minister from 1830-34.
As one version of the story goes, he had first been given some of the distinctive brew as a gift from a Chinese diplomat, following Grey’s abolition of the East India Company’s trade monopoly with China.
The tea clipper, a speedy trade ship, could be packed to the helm with tea, reducing importation costs and encouraging a mass consumption of tea in Britain. The tea master on Grey’s estate, Howick Hall in Newcastle, reportedly later added the Bergamot flavouring to disguise the lime flavour of the water.
Lady Grey, Charles’ wife, loved the brew and drank it often – she later got her own tea named after (a form of Earl Grey with lemon or orange peel oil).
The idea of taking two slices of bread and adding a filling didn’t actually originate with the man it’s named after, but he popularised it. John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich and first Lord of the Admiralty during the American Revolution was a prolific gambler.
His addiction reached a new level in 1762. When, during a 24-hour gambling streak, he asked for his meat to be put between bread slices so he didn’t have to interrupt his game for food. His friends then soon started ordering “what Sandwich ordered” and the name stuck.
A French writer, Pierre-Jean Grosley, forever enshrined Montague’s sandwich legacy, remarking on it in the late 1700s in his book, Londres.
The Roman Emperor Julius Caesar usually gets the credit for this salad, but it had nothing to do with him. The man behind its creation is in fact Cesare Cardini, an Italian born chef who immigrated to the US following World War I.
In 1924, he was running short of ingredients at his restaurant in Mexico, so – instead of disappointing his guests – he concocted a salad dressing made out of the ingredients he had left over.
There is a conflicting story, however, from Cardini’s brother, Alessandro, who claimed it was him who invented the salad. Either way, it became a very popular order at Cesare Cardini’s restaurant. Yet, their involvement was overshadowed with the erroneous claim that it went all the way back to Ancient Rome and Julius Caesar.
Find out which foods made our Top 10 – from Garibaldi biscuits to Beef Wellington – in the August 2015 issue of History Revealed.