Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"True" History Tuesday - The Swedish Chalupa

Most all people believe the deep fried tostado dish known as the chalupa was invented in Mexico.  It certainly seems like a part of Mexican cuisine, but surprisingly the dish was actually invented in by a Swede in Russia in 1895.  Swedish entrepreneur and engineer Willgodt Theophil Odhner is responsible for filling masa dough with chicken, onion, chipotle pepper and green salsa and frying it up.  Odhner had spent years in his lab creating and perfecting the Odhner Arithmometer.  The arithmometer was basically a large pinwheel mechanical calculator.

Before inventing his calculator, Odhner added things up by lining up avocados, tomatoes, cilantro leaves, onions, limes, Corona Lights and masa tortilla chips.  He’d count and count.  This process really took up a lot of space on his lab tabletops.  It also made him very hungry.  It was just not the best way to add.  Sometimes he would lose count simply by eating a chip and then he had to start all over again.  This frustrating process inspired his creativity and eventually led to the invention of his calculator.  In celebration, Odhner went to his deep fat fryer and fried up the masa dough and put all the other ingredients on top.  It smelled really good so he ate it and exclaimed, “muy bueno, Очень хорошо and Väldigt bra; Jättebra!” 

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