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Old 01-07-2008, 09:16 AM   #11
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what is an "American" dish?

since almost Anything I can think of originates somewhere else, well.... KFC may be an exception :P
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Old 01-07-2008, 11:20 PM   #12
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I'm not sure if I fit in this category, because I am an American, but I have been living in another country (Mexico) for almost two years. I find that the longer I am here, the more I begin to rely on simple Mexican ingredients, e.g., we eat more tortillas than bread as time goes by. Some ingredients are hard to find, but we get hungry for old fashioned potato salad sometimes and I scour around searching for sweet pickles, black olives, and mayo that does not have lime juice in it. I tried making some beef stroganoff the other night, but could not find the right kind of egg noodles, and the beef I used (arracherra - sliced thin for carne asada) just didn't make the transition very well. All in all, the availability of good fresh food here outweighs any disadvantages, but we still miss a few of our favorites.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:52 AM   #13
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LOL - other than Native North American dishes using totally North American ingredients ... what "American" dishes are truly and totally originally "American"?
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:47 AM   #14
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Same can be said really for Australian dishes too, other than some of us eat our native marsupials and other animals. Most of our cuisine is European or Asian based. Most of the Aboriginal dishes aren't served outside of Aboriginal communities/families, although some native fruits are making their way into the supermarket shelves in the form of chutneys and jams
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Old 01-16-2008, 04:40 AM   #15
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Michael, FtW really hit upon it. We are such a diverse country that it is almost impossible to say something is "American" food. I've travelled the entire country, by truck, and you simply cannot say that New England Boiled Dinner is "American", or Gumbo, or Santa Barbara Barbecue is more American than South Carolina Barbecue. How about Hawaiian Chili Rice? I make Tourtiere every holiday season. Many of these foods are derivative of the countries our great-grandparents. Many of us don't even really know where our great-grandparents emigrated from. If you visit Boston, you're likely to get an entirely different flavor of "America" than if you visit San Francisco or San Antonio. But all are American. Yumm yumm, what a rich history!
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Old 01-16-2008, 07:29 AM   #16
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True, what exactly is "american food"? Quite vague, as most of them borrow the idea from the cuisines elsewhere.

did you know "Fetuccini alfredo", "Chicken parmesan", "Spaghetti with meatballs", "caesar's salad" and such are rather American than Italian (these dishes won't be recognised in Italy and if you order them here they wouldn't know what you are talking about!) ?

Anyhow I have made blueberry and banana nut muffins, peanut butter cookies and brownies which are probably typically american, they all went over very well with my Roman partner and his friends.
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Old 01-16-2008, 08:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
Michael, FtW really hit upon it. We are such a diverse country that it is almost impossible to say something is "American" food. I've travelled the entire country, by truck, and you simply cannot say that New England Boiled Dinner is "American", or Gumbo, or Santa Barbara Barbecue is more American than South Carolina Barbecue. How about Hawaiian Chili Rice? I make Tourtiere every holiday season. Many of these foods are derivative of the countries our great-grandparents. Many of us don't even really know where our great-grandparents emigrated from. If you visit Boston, you're likely to get an entirely different flavor of "America" than if you visit San Francisco or San Antonio. But all are American. Yumm yumm, what a rich history!
To me, that makes them *all* American Local variations turn into new dishes. As an example, southern European stuffed cabbage rolls are just stuffed grape leaves using local ingredients, but I wouldn't call them a Middle-Eastern food.

However, I think it's more common for Americans to make foods from other countries than for non-Americans to make American food, because most of us are descended from immigrants and our newly America forebears brought their cooking traditions with them.

I was having lunch at a Greek festival with work colleagues several years ago and someone wondered if people overseas have similar American festivals. I said I didn't think so because the Greek festival was put on by the members of the Greek Annunciation Church as a celebration of their heritage. Except for military bases, I don't know of anyplace overseas with large concentrations of Americans who would feel they need to remember their heritage with a festival. Or, for those of you who live or have lived overseas, am I wrong about that?
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:08 AM   #18
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I couldn't agree more. Right now in my fridge you'll find leftover beef stroganof, coq au vin, and a giant bowl of kimchee. Good all-American fare! I once live for the better part of a decade in Hawaii, where a local (Korean-) American family made, of all things, potato kimchee. It was delicious, but I rather doubt anyone in Korea would recognise it. This is what makes American food what it is; that is taking native ingredients and ethnic methods and turning it into something entirely different. Cincinnati chili tastes remarkably like Greek spaghetti sauce in Virginia, but nothing at all like Texas chili, which tastes nothing like green New Mexico chili. No one of them is better. They are all great in their own way.
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Old 01-17-2008, 03:19 AM   #19
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since I live most of the time in K. and part of the time in TX I'm slowly learning to convert between the US (imperial system, I believe is what it's called) and the metric system. An electronic scale that measures in grams and oz at the same time has really been a time saver as well as owning a large measuring cup that reads both in oz and ml. And I've finally learned how to eyeball a kilo of meat and veggies (2.2 lb---6 cucumbers 1 kilo :) My biggest complaint, too, is not being able to find everything but it's still an adventure to try new things
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:25 PM   #20
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GotGarlic - I'm not sure if this answers your question, but there are a few hundred Americans and Canadians who live here in Bucerias, MX. We have an annual "Rhythmn and Ribs" festival that is held in the town plaza and attracts both expats and locals. We use it to raise funds for local charities. There is also an annual chili cook-off, where everyone brings their own recipe - also a fundraiser. There is lots of wonderful Mexican food available here, but we also have a Chinese restaurant, a few Italian restaurants and even a German restaurant - all owned by people from those countries. There is a restaurant in Vallarta that serves "American comfort food" and last year I went to a restaurant in Beijing called Grandma's Kitchen that serves grilled cheese sandwiches, meatloaf, hamburgers, fries, milkshakes, etc. Most of the patrons were Chinese, of course. Americans crave "American" food wherever they are, even if it is derivative.
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