Ever wonder where the American culinary classic meatloaf really came from? Would you believe the dish can be traced back for centuries? This week, the Atlantic delves into the culinary inspirations behind the simple meatloaf. An ancient Roman cookbook featured a budding meatloaf combination, as did 17th-century French cooking and the culinary works of the 18th century Pennsylvanian Dutch. But the Industrial Revolution was key to meatloaf's longstanding place in our cuisine, along with the invention of the mechanical meat grinder. The dish then thrived through the Depression and other economically difficult times.