In honor of National Corned Beef Hash Day, we are delving into the history behind this iconic American food. Corned beef hash became popular in America during and after World War II. Fresh meat was limited due to wartime rationing, so corned beef was often used instead. (Corned beef is so named because it is preserved using “corns” of salt.) The Hormel Company claims that it introduced corned beef hash and roast beef hash to America around 1950, but “hash houses” (cheap restaurants named after the food) existed well before the ’50s. In fact, “hash” has been a part of the American diet since at least the 19th century. And while it was once a wartime necessity, today corned beef hash is often enjoyed as a comfort food by many Americans.