The West Coast is known for much more than just the sun and surf; in fact, they have some of the best food in the country (well, maybe I'm a biased California girl). What many people don't realize is that the West Coast has introduced us to some of the most iconic and classic foods that we enjoy today. So the next time you swipe your gold card, or find yourself chowing down on any of these foods, think back to where it all began.
1. Açaí bowls (San Francisco, CA)
By far the most Instagram-worthy food since the donut wall, the açaí bowl started in the great state of Hawaii. After people realized how amazing these things tasted, California quickly picked up the delectable concoction and made its popularity soar. The açaí bowl looks like a dessert, tastes like a fruit smoothie, and will make you want to get out of bed on a Monday morning.
2. Sprinkles Cupcakes (Beverly Hills, CA)
Who doesn't crave something sweet every now and then? Sprinkles Cupcakes are the most satisfying thing for your sweet tooth. The company was founded in Beverly Hills, California and then quickly moved to Los Angeles. The frosting is made in house, and glazed on the top of each and every moist cupcake. Their signature is the little two dots on top of the cupcake, making it both cute and tasty.
3. Almonds (Bakersfield, CA)
Being the health nut that I am, almonds are my go-to snack. They are super healthy and filling at the same time and are the lowest calorie nut. Almonds are primarily grown in Bakersfield, California. Bakersfield has more than 400 miles of almond trees to grown the majority of almonds for the country. They also have more calcium than any other nut.
Almonds are basically the newest health food substitute. Almond milk, almond flour and my favorite, almond butter are just a few things you can substitute for almonds. We should all thank California for making this awesome snack!
4. Fortune Cookies (San Francisco, CA)
Whenever I go to my favorite Chinese restaurant, the fortune cookie is my favorite part. Despite the fact that these tasty cookies are iconic to Chinese cuisine, they actually started in a restaurant in San Francisco. If you ever make it to China, don't expect to find the fortune cookie at the end of your meal these are strictly American.
5. Rocky Road Ice Cream (Oakland, CA)
No one really understands why its called "rocky road" but the ice cream itself tastes like heaven (with bumps along the way). The ice cream has a chocolate base and is usually mixed with whole mini marshmallows and usually almonds but sometimes you will find walnuts or cashews. The ice cream was invented in a small shop called Fenton's Creamery in Oakland, California.
6. Green Goddess Dressing (San Francisco, CA)
This is my all-time favorite salad dressing to get at Panera. The dressing consists of mayonnaise, sour cream, chervil, chives, anchovy (sometimes), tarragon, lemon juice, and pepper. It has a creamy texture to it that coats every inch of salad.
7. Sourdough Bread (San Francisco, CA)
The biggest thing I miss about home is a bakery called Tartine. They are famous for their sourdough bread, which is made fresh every morning. They make everything from bread pudding to avocado toast, and even hot pressed sandwiches. You can get real sourdough bread anywhere but visit San Francisco has the greatest bread pudding or avocado toast you have ever had.
8. California roll (Los Angeles, CA)
Every time I order sushi, I will always order a California Roll, I can't help that they are so delightful. This roll came to be when a chef in Los Angeles, California, ran out of toro (fatty tuna belly) and had to replace it with avocado. After a few experimentations, the California sushi roll was invented in the late 60's. The roll we all know and love today consists of cucumber, crab meat and avocado.
9. Ranch dressing (Santa Barbara, CA)
Ranch was created in the early 1950's by a pluming contractor. He and his wife would serve it to their guests that they had on their Dude Ranch. It is something that you can put on everything and anything, from French fries to salads, and obviously veggies.
10. Fish tacos (San Diego, CA)
A California classic turned international. The fish taco normally consists of grilled or fried fish, lettuce or cabbage, pico de gallo, and a sour cream or citrus/mayonnaise sauce, all placed on top of a warm corn or flour tortilla. Limes are normally served with this dish to squeeze on top to give the fish a little extra kick. I will say though that the best place to get a fish taco would have to be Southern California.
Whether you love your morning coffee, or a nice scoop of ice cream one way or another the West Coast always has influence over what we eat. From the top of Washington to the bottom of California the West Coast is by far the best coast for all our foodie needs.