A large influx of German immigrants came to the United States in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s seeking either religious freedom (such as the Amish, Mennonites, and Dunkers), the chance to establish Utopian Communities (such as The Amana Collective), or political freedom (especially after the revolutions that wracked Germany in 1848). The vast majority of German immigrants settled in the Midwest (including the Western Tier of New York State). They brought their local cuisine (and beer-brewing prowess) to America.
Among the Germans' innovations was "Beef on Weck," a sandwich made with fine roast beef and horseradish served on a kummelweck roll topped with pretzel salt and caraway seeds. Beef on Weck is a delicious, blood-pressure raising mainstay of western New York's culinary heritage.