The United States is home to people from all over the world. With so many people from such different backgrounds, it”s no wonder that American food is so varied. From Philadelphia cheese steaks in the north to gumbo down south to incredible steaks from the Midwest, American food has something to offer every palate.
The Origins of American Cuisine
Like the regions of America, American food has been greatly influenced by immigrants from other countries. In fact, many of the foods that we consider to be American have their origins in other cultures.For example, hot dogs and hamburgers are both based on traditional German dishes that were brought to America by German immigrants. One of the reasons that so many people consider these American foods, however, is that our culture embraced them and altered them to suit our tastes.Here are some other American foods that are rooted in other cultures:
- apple pie (rooted in European fare)
- chowders (rooted in European cooking)
- tacos (rooted in Mexican cuisine).
American Foods by Region
While hot dogs and hamburgers can be found throughout the United States, other American foods are more specific to particular regions of the country. Here are some of the regional American foods you could taste while traveling across the country:
- The Midwest: With its vast grain fields, the Midwest is known for its beef, pork, corn and grains. Be sure to sample some cheddar cheese in Wisconsin and pork tenderloin in Iowa. In Cincinnati, Ohio, you can sample the local specialty: chili piled high on spaghetti noodles.
- The Northeast: With its large population of Italian immigrants, you can expect to get great pizza, calzones and pasta in the Northeast.However, American food in this region doesn”t all originate in Italy. Try a cheese steak in Philadelphia and dine on crabs in Maryland and lobster in Maine.
- The South: The South is known for its sweet tea, fried chicken, corn bread, biscuits and barbeque. You can also sample gumbo, jambalaya and Tex-Mex dishes in the South.
- The West: Western cuisines feature a variety of American foods, from the California sushi roll to fresh salmon in Oregon to San Francisco”s sourdough bread.
Cook Your Own American Food
Here are a few American food recipes for you to try at home.
Buffalo Chicken Wings
- 24 chicken wings, tips removed
- 1 bottle hot sauce, such as Frank”s Hot Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. margarine
- 6 cups vegetable oil
- Heat oil to 360?F in a large Dutch oven.
- While the oil is heating, place the hot sauce and margarine in a small pot and heat until warm.
- Working in small batches (approximately six to eight pieces at a time), place wings in the oil.
- Fry the wings for approximately 10 minutes. They should be golden brown and cooked through.
- Place wings on a plate lined with paper towels. After they have drained, dunk the wings in the sauce for a few seconds.
- Repeat steps four and five for remaining wings.
Southern Turnip Greens
- 2 bundles fresh turnip greens (You can find these in the produce section of most grocery stores.)
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 4 strips of bacon, diced
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Roughly chop the turnip greens.
- In a large Dutch oven, fry the bacon to render the fat.
- Add the chicken stock and turnip greens and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook for approximately 30 minutes, adding water, if necessary.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.