Meatloaf – The History, The Mystery, and The Glory


Meatloaf is a staple in the American diet, but it’s also a bit of a mystery. Where did it come from? Why do we eat it? What’s it made out of?

While no one’s entirely sure when meatloaf was first created, it’s been around since at least the fifth century. Found in an early Roman cookbook, it called for minced meat instead of the slices and chunks that were the norm. Meatloaf made its way to Germany and Belgium along with its cousin, the Dutch meatball, and German immigrants brought the recipe with them to America, though that recipe is a little different than what’s used today.

The recipe brought over by the Germans originated from scrapple, a dish made with ground pork and cornmeal. It wasn’t until the early 20th century with the industrial revolution and invention of the meat grinder that meatloaf became what it is today. Usually made out of ground beef and stretched with bread crumbs, crackers, or other grains, it was extremely popular during the Great Depression because it was cheaper than other meat dishes. Americans still eat it today for its cheapness and tastiness.

Zia Diner Santa Fe Restaurant Classic – Meatloaf

The Zia Diner, a Santa Fe restaurant since 1986, serves meatloaf on its menu. The classic comfort food dish, meatloaf is a popular item on the Zia Diner menu line-up.