I’ll buy you a steak if you read this

Yes, I'll have the prime rib, a side of fries and a chocolate milk shake

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Food critics can boast all they want about California wine, New Jersey asparagus, Colorado lamb, or American cheese, but tourists and even most Americans don’t travel around the USA to enjoy fine cuisine. America is mostly known for its show business, economic power and its fine way with guns and stupid foreign policies. However, people around the globe underestimate America’s food culture, and I am here to put things into perspective.

The first thing people get wrong is that they consider America one big country, but due to its size it truly resembles a continent, and its food reflects this. There are 6 main biomes that span over the 50 States: the Tundra, the Coniferous Forest, the Prairie, the Deciduous Forest, the Desert, and the Tropical Rainforest. Additionally, people tend to overlook how many cultures have migrated to America, all of which have shaped the food culture into what it is today: a giant melting pot. Something else which is rather important is that before the rest of the world was aware of America’s existence, Native Americans were feasting on potatoes, corn, tomatoes, chocolate, vanilla, pineapple, and many other indigenous foods. If you think about it tomato sauce is technically from America, because to make the first “Pasta Al Pomodoro” Italians had to get their main ingredients from America. Lastly, I believe that no-one will ever take me seriously if I don’t give some examples, so I’ll name a few 100% American dishes:

 

Starters

Roasted pumpkin seeds
California Korean pancakes
Pimiento cheese
Elderflower fritters
Buffalo wings
Rocky Mountain oysters (bull balls)
Crispy snoots
Fried alligator bites
Memphis-style coleslaw
Gumbo
Reindeer sausage
Rhode Island red clam chowder

 

Main Courses

Prime rib roast beef
Hawaiian Poke
Yankee pot roast
Kansas City-style barbecued brisket and burnt ends
New York strip steaks
Loco Moco
Meatloaf
Corn and beef casserole
Thanksgiving turkey
Texas Chili
Maple and rum-glazed pork roast
Buttermilk Fried Chicken

 

Side dishes

Harvard Beets
Macaroni and cheese (homemade)
Carolina rice pilau
Tomato Aspic
Succotash
Southern skillet corn
Eastern shore corn fritters
Savannah collard greens cooked with peanut butter
Hush puppies
Grilled Walla Walla onions
Fried okra
Southern Grits

 

Desserts

Apple-cranberry pie
Whoopsie pie
Huckleberry pie
Pumpkin pie
Pecan pie
Mississippi mud cake
Red velvet cake
Appalachian apple stack cake
Shoofly cake
Cheesecake
Chocolate chip cookies
Pecan Sandies

With this very long list, I hopefully gave you an idea of the variety of American dishes. You will probably recognize some of these and have no clue what others are, but the point is that they are all from different parts of the 50 States. Yes, some have been imported, thanks to immigrants bringing recipes with them to America but they have all been given an American touch. Something else you might have noticed is that I haven’t mentioned “The Burger”, this is because Americans actually don’t eat them that often. The only reason why people correlate the burger with America is thanks to movies and corporate companies (McDonald’s), this unfortunately publicized the burger and kept other more unique dishes covered. My advice is to go on a trip around the United States and dine where the locals eat, but if you don’t have time or the will I would definitely pick up this jam-packed cookbook: AMERICA THE COOKBOOK – A Culinary Road Trip Through The 50 States.

Here is a quote from the Brooklyn-based author:

“To those who have not discovered America, the phrase “American cuisine” is an oxymoron. True, the Standard American Diet is devoid of both meaning and fiber. But I wrote this book to refute this misconception that American food means homogenized processed blandness. I come to bury the burger, not to praise it.” – Gabrielle Langholtz

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