Most of us lament the loss of a favorite restaurant food we can no longer get. Sometimes the doors have closed and they're gone for good. Sometimes they come back. What's lurking below the surface in our culinary DNA?

Thomas Jefferson's Ice Cream Recipe

Some of these recipes are so good they gain a life of their own. The Web is full of folks trying to crack, share and recreate the codes behind iconic foods like Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits, Taco Bell Mexican Pizza, Boston Market Meat Loaf and Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake.

Some companies and restaurants allegedly even go to ultra-extreme lengths to protect this valuable property.  

Even more fascinating to me is when these recipes are so good they outlast the restaurants that created them. The doors close and a lone piece of paper somehow survives, buried in a stack of documents or locked in a dusty trunk for years, until the right person comes across it. Then—just like the Jurassic Park scientists extracting “Dino DNA!” from a mosquito long-trapped in amber—a lost recipe lives again, like:

This Cake

This dessert

This absinth

All these

And many of these

With all the creative chefs and great restaurants that have come and gone over the years, it makes one wonder what other specimines lie buried in the culinary fossil record.

Have any? Do share…