Cookies Aren't American Baked Goods; Read Story Of Their Origin

American TV shows and movies are quite popular around the world. If it’s a family show or sitcom, the number of mentions cookies get makes you believe it is the national sweet of the country. However, the interesting thing to note is that cookies did not have roots in American culture.

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While the Americans love dunking their cooking in milk or Britishers take pride in serving them as a part of a high tea spread, the credit for the development of cookies goes to another country. Pop culture has definitely played a role in popularising variants of this sweet delight, it is time to trace the roots and learn how this beloved baked good, which is now savoured across the world, came into existence.

Cookies Have Persian Roots

If you have observed, cookies make an excellent travel food. Much like wafers, litti, mathri, and other fried and baked dishes, cookies can also last long, which is how they must have travelled from one country to another. The first mention of cookies was found in the 7th century AD when sugar became popular in Persia, currently a part of Iran.

Expeditions and wars led to baked goods land in the Mediterranean regions and European countries. Fascinating isn’t it? According to reports, cookies became an integral part of European culinary culture before the end of the 14th century. 

The baked goods were so popular that in Elizabethan England, a type of square short-cookies, came into existence and was widely consumed. It was made with egg yolks and spices. When the Industrial Revolution began and people saw how machinery made their jobs easy and gave them room to experiment, people started selling them commercially. Around this time, the base for all cookies was standardised to sugar, wheat flour, and butter (or oil).

When Did Cookies Arrive In America?

It is believed that when Europeans colonised America, they introduced the recipe of cookies to them. If you study American butter cookies, they are cousins of Scottish shortbread and English teacake.

As America developed, new flavours of cookies were introduced. As the railroad started expanding, people were able to get their hands on nuts and fruits. Even cereal-flavoured cookies became a thing in the 1800s. In the 1930s, icebox cookies gained attention with the growing popularity of electric refrigerators.

In the same way, cookies travelled to America, similarly, they came to India as well. It is believed that the recipe of cookies was brought to India by Arab and Armenian settlers. Now Indians have varieties of cookie recipes, including khara biscuits and naan khatai.

Anzac biscuit is an Australian cookie, biscotti refers to Italian cookies, rusk cookie is famous in Dutch, and Germans have zwieback. To everyone’s surprise, chocolate chip cookies were invented by mistake in 1937 by Ruth Graves Wakefield, and they soon took over the world.