What Is American Food and Cuisine?

What Is American Food and Cuisine?

What Is American Food and Cuisine?

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American FoodsPhiladelphia, PA - When potential diners peruse any restaurant's brief description, they likely get a sense of what type of cuisine can be found on the menu. Chinese, Thai, Italian, Japanese. These all conjure up visions of favorite entrées filled with spices, meats, vegetables, etc., authentic to the lands from which they came. But what about Americans? What exactly is American food?


What Exactly Is American Food?

Most Americans would rattle off a list of well-known dishes, most served at baseball games, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries (something in the name begs to differ), and apple pie!

Frankfurt, Germany, Hamburg, Germany, etc. With closer inspection and investigation the truth becomes clear. Apple pie, hot dogs are also known as frankfurters, and hamburgers originated in Germany. Even grandma's old-fashioned apple pie hales from Germany and French Fries were actually first served in Belgium.

To find genuinely authentic American food, the first Thanksgiving would be an excellent place to start. The pilgrims celebrated the harvest with foods the Native Americans provided and taught them to grow and cultivate. Maize (also known as corn), beans, squash, venison, fresh fish and seafood from the coast of New England, cornbread, cranberries, blueberries, and, yes, turkey.

These are a few of the genuinely authentic American foods. Today, genuinely Native American foods are created with native plants, grains, and spices, including wild ginger, miner's lettuce, juniper, and a native version of quinoa, a variety of amaranth, little barley, may grass, and sunflower. Native Americans of the northwest prepared dishes using salmon, and seafood, mushrooms, venison, duck, rabbit, and ground acorns for flour.

This is not to say that over the centuries, particular foods have not been "Americanized." Many delicious dishes have grown out of the combination of Native American ingredients and ingredients introduced by many immigrant cultures.

At the 1942 Texas State Fair, Neill Fletcher combined Native American maize and a frankfurter, deep-fried it, and stuck it on a stick to create the first All-American corn dog. Since then, many "American" foods have been made through deep frying, including potatoes, chicken, Twinkies, butter, and even Oreos. Other dishes served first in America include S'mores, the Reuben Sandwich, The Cobb Salad, and Baked Alaska.

Finally, to identify genuinely American food, it is a good idea to seek out those dishes that bear the name of the region in which they were created, including Buffalo Wings, Philly Cheesesteak, and Tex-Mex.

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