1. Piñata – A staple at any Mexican themed party, you may be surprised to discover that the birthplace of the Piñata is most definitely not Mexico. It was brought over to Mexico by the Spanish, but they didn’t invent it either. The Spanish stole the idea from the Italians, who in turn got it from China!
2. Croissants – Even the name of this tasty breakfast snack sounds French, but its origins are in some dispute. The ancestor of the croissant, the Kipferi can trace its origins back to 13th Century Austria. While the modern croissant itself was also created by an Austrian who founded a bakery in Paris. The popularity of his pastries inspired other French bakers and the French adopted the tasty pastry as their own.
3. Pasta – In Italy you can’t move for restaurants selling various pasta recipes, but the dish actually does not originate there. Pasta was introduced to the country in the 5th Century by Arab traders and conquerors. Also, you won’t find spaghetti and meatballs on the menu of any authentic Italian restaurant as it was invented for the American market.
4. Haggis – A well known symbol of Scotland, this peculiar delicacy of a sheep’s stomach stuffed with various parts of the animal was made popular by Robert Burns. Burns’ poem ‘Address to a Haggis’ helped to transform Haggis into a national dish in Scotland. But it wasn’t invented there, the earliest mention of Scottish Haggis was in 1747, but an English cookbook makes mention to the dish all the way back in 1615. You read that correctly, Haggis is actually English!
5. Bagpipes – While we’re on the subject of Scotland, let’s examine the origins of another national treasure, the bagpipes. The Scottish version of this instrument – the Great Highland bagpipe – is the most popular in the world, but again, it was not invented there. Statues of people playing bagpipes are common throughout European historical sites, such as a medieval bagpiper at the Cistercian monastery in Spain. There is even suggestion that their origins could be ancient, as there is mention of the Roman emperor Nero being a bagpipe player in 2nd Century AD.