These Places In The World Named After Food and Vice Versa

The world is a vast and diverse tapestry of cultures, histories, and geographies. Over the millennia, humans have christened places in ways that reflect their experiences, aspirations, and, interestingly, their culinary preferences. Across continents, we can find intriguing locations named after food, offering delightful insights into the traditions and stories of yore. 

*Sandwich, England*

One of the most internationally recognized food names, the town of Sandwich in Kent, England, predates the eponymous delicacy. The tale goes that John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, desired a meal he could eat without cutlery while gambling, leading to the birth of the sandwich. However, the town itself has a history that stretches back to the Roman era, its name likely deriving from Old English meaning "sandy place" or "market town".

*Brie, France*

This region in northern France is renowned for the creamy cheese that bears its name. Brie cheese, known as the "Queen of Cheeses", has been produced in the area for over a millennium. The name 'Brie' itself is derived from the Gaulish word 'Briga', meaning 'meadow'.

*Champagne, France*

Another culinary contribution from France, Champagne, is the sparkling wine synonymous with celebrations. Only sparkling wine from this region can legally be called 'Champagne'. The name is derived from the Latin 'campania', meaning 'open country'.

*Bologna, Italy*

Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region and is renowned for its rich food culture. The city has gifted the world 'Bolognese sauce', and it's also the original home of 'Mortadella', a large Italian sausage that led to the American adaptation known as 'baloney'.

*Hamburger, New York, USA*

Despite its name, this town in the state of New York did not give birth to the hamburger. The etymology of the town's name remains debated, but its association with the popular fast-food item is undeniable in popular culture.

*Orange, Australia*

While this town in New South Wales isn't named after the fruit, it does have a delicious irony. The region is now a major wine producer and, interestingly, oranges are grown in nearby areas.

*Peachtree City, Georgia, USA*

Georgia is often referred to as the 'Peach State' due to its abundant peach orchards. Peachtree City is a testament to this legacy, even if its name isn't directly about the fruit.


As mentioned previously, the Portuguese named this country after the abundant shrimp (or ‘camarões’) they found in the Wouri River.

*Tortilla Flat, Arizona, USA*

This small town got its name from a flat place nearby where settlers would make their tortillas. Today, it remains a curiosity and attraction for many touring the Superstition Mountains.

*Sugar Land, Texas, USA*

Sugar Land’s name reflects its establishment as a sugar plantation in the mid-1800s. It was home to the state's largest sugar refinery and was built on the territory of the former Oakland Plantation, where sugarcane was grown.

*Tea, South Dakota, USA*

The origins of Tea's name remain uncertain. While it's fun to think of it as a tribute to the popular beverage, the town's name might stem from a series of miscommunications between early settlers and postal service officials.

*Olive Branch, Mississippi, USA*

The history of this city's name is a bit murky. Some say it's named for the biblical symbol of peace, while others believe it's named after a tavern, which bore an olive branch on its sign.

The names of places around the world offer us a window into the histories, cultures, and quirks of the regions. Food, as a universal experience, naturally finds its way into the nomenclature tapestry of our global geography. These food-named locales, from Sandwich to Bologna, from Brie to Tea, serve as delicious reminders of humanity's interconnectedness and our shared love for gastronomy. Through names, our palates travel, evoking the tastes and tales of distant lands and ancient times.