Adventures in Culture and Travel

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12 February, 2012

Uh Oh, SpaghettiOs are French.

There's a sci-fi show I watch, where in, one episode, the alien race slowly turns the human into one their species by slowly poisoning the human. By the time the character realizes, he sheds his earthly form and morphs into an alien. Likewise, Americans tend to frightened of the French. May the French forgive me for the comparison, because I'd gladly trade places with any of you, any day. That said, we all remember the recent "Freedom Fry" rebellion where Americans refused to eat anything with the word "French" in it. So wouldn't it surprise most of those individuals who hold a bit of franco-phobia, to know SpaghettiO's, the child (and adult) pasta dish in a can, has it's roots in France.

What?

Unlike the Italian Chef Boiardi who later changed his name to Boyardee for Americans to comprehend, and who ran what would later be a competitive brand owned by ConAgra, Franco-American, the company responsible for SpaghettiOs was created by a Frenchman named Alphonse Biardot. That's right, pasta, can be French. More importantly, sauces are very French, and Biardot's famous sauce was that of his Spaghettis à la milanaise, which he canned and sold, and became so popular that he sold the company to Campbell's in 1915. Of course, wanting to capitalize on the popularity of this "adult" dish, Donald Goerke, a food developer for the company transformed this French dish into kid friendly SpaghettiOs merely by changing the noodles to little round Os, after years of research.

So there you have it. For over 50 years, Americans have been eating, and feeding their children French food.

Uh oh, SpaghettiOs