May 18, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated May 18, 2021
What is unique about American food ?
In Anglophone literature, there is a fully-fledged branch of research dedicated to food in the thousands of books written in English by non-native speakers. Why the hype? Why the interest in foods? What difference does it make and what information does it reveal?
Food is not just to quench hunger and gratify our appetites. Food tells about people’s culture, religious background, personal desires, and much more if we pay close attention. That’s why studying food in Anglophone literature is so important; it adds to the knowledge we have about former colonies and the lives of formerly colonized people before and after independence. Food tells about the struggle those people face when migrating to first-world countries.
Food is a part of one’s identity. It is a defining pillar of the human being’s existence. You can tell so much about someone just by looking at his favorite foods and the like. This article will examine American foods and perhaps border on some characteristics of Native American food.
Is there anything unique about American foods?
One of the biggest unsettled issues is the definition of American foods. It has been hard to properly define American cuisine for almost all Americans and non-Americans alike. It seems that, unlike the established Italian, Chinese, and other well-defined cuisines, the United States of America does not have a unique culinary tradition.
Given the historical facts of how America came to be established, it makes sense that it lacks a traditional cuisine. Besides, immigrants who swept the states, especially during the nineteenth century, brought much of their national culinary traditions with them. The myriad of ethnicities, religions, and cultures influence American cuisine deeply.
The society that has been characterized as a melting pot can be identified in the fusion of ethnically varied foods, dishes, and flavors. The new American style, prevailing in all facets of life, takes recipes and plates from people of different nationalities and shapes them into a new way, regardless of its original significance.
So, the unique thing about the United States’ food is the fusion of different culinary traditions and the mixing of flavors, spices, and ingredients.
Parties involved in defining the USA food:
Well as we have seen there is no such thing as American food. The question is what are the defining characteristics of the states' food? And which parties influenced this American style?
"The first settlers had come upon a land of plenty. They nearly starved in it." This sentence from Waverly Root and Richard de Rochemont’sEating in America: A History,sheds light on the importance of native Americans’ influence on the eating habits of the new settlers.
The pilgrims came unprepared to the New World. They lived on what they found. They relied on the Native Americans to learn how to cultivate corn and beans, squashes and pumpkins, and hunt wild turkey, deer, and bison. They initially lived on Native American food. Soon later, however, they started cultivation of new European crops and introducing recipes from home to the New World.
One observer noted that“by the time America could be charted on a map, its cuisine had essentially been imported, grafted onto native rootstock.”
Later, Irish, Jewish, and European immigrants, in general, contributed to the formation of a mixed heterogeneous, yet complementary savory culinary tradition unique to the United States. Starting from the twentieth century, Arabs arrived in America and added to the myriad of colorful dishes. The spices and the traditional recipes became part and parcel of the bigger picture.
The bottom line can be found in food historian Adrian Miller’s confession that American cuisine can be defined maybe as "people coming into contact with other people, seeing what they do and borrowing their ideas. Synthesis is the American story."
The United States food is a combination of Native American food and every culinary tradition in the world appropriated into something new.
“As American as apple pie" is an expression that has come to mean something that is authentically American. Apple pies are considered totally of an American origin. How much of this is true can be disputed, however, the cooking techniques and the addition to the recipes have made certain foods definitely American. Changes done to known recipes and additions included in non-American plates have resulted in some uniquely American dishes.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, macaroni and cheese, and meatloaf are some of the strictly American foods. Barbecues and grilled food are certainly a unique American specialty. Styles converge and diverge throughout the states. The southern style certainly has the upper hand over all others. A certain combination of cuisines gained huge acceptance and turned into fully-fledged styles.
Some American breakfast foods
We all love to try new things and when it comes to food we are definitely fond of tasting exotic and unfamiliar dishes. Here is a list of the most popular American breakfast foods:
· Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich
· Bagel and cream cheese
· Bear claw
· Biscuits and gravy
· Bread pudding
· Breakfast burrito
· Breakfast cereal
· Breakfast sausage
And the list goes on. There are lots of American foods that can make savory breakfast tables.