I was wondering what you consider true or representative American food. Like if you opened a restaurant in another country, what would you serve? What do you think has enriched the world?
My thoughts is that while the history of America is not that old (we know little about the native culture and cooking due to the way the colonization was executed) but the multiple colonization efforts did create a unique culture.
Out of this I consider some of the most notable:
Cajun cooking: the result of a mixture of French colonization with the sense of spice imparted by their Caribbean slaves, this cuisine is one of my favorites. Also things like jambalaya are gaining the level of international fame that dishes such as paella have.
Whiskey. Oh... yeah. Mmm...
Appalachian cuisine: I consider it to be the next trend... farm grown soul food with rich ingredients rooted in welsh and English settlers (rich gravies and great pies) who spent nearly a century in seclusion. While many "traditions" have been interrupted in the united states (for example the prohibition ruining American beer traditions) people from these states have centuries worth of doing what they do very well.
Tex-Mex: originators of many staples of both Mexican and American cuisine where Mexican immigrants and American innovators who seem to tap into the ghost of the once Mexican Texas. Things such as nachos, the "taco" and chimichangas (fried burritos and tacos) originate from Texas. Also Texas has a unique grilling tradition which makes Texan iconism common in steak houses all over the world.
Other American foods:
one of my faves, Tri Tip Sandwiches
Hamburgers, fries & shakes!
Pizza (the Italians laugh at our American rendition)
Jello Salads (a la 1950's)
Turkey dinner with all the trimmings
Southern cooking, things like collard greens and grits and stuff like that.
Great stuff. Now that we are getting into more "urban" territory let me add the sub. The steak and cheese... the meatball... man...
Also good point about pizza. While personally I prefer a good rustic pizza I would be lying if that huge, thin crusted "new york style" pizza that is completely smothered in peperoni has not changed the worlds perception of how things are done.
I'm right there with ya Bang! Add to that list fried okra, fried squash, chicken & dumplin's, biscuits & gravy, fried green tomatoes, & banana pudding! I wish my grandma was still able to cook! I'd be knocking down her door to get some of this food!
If you want authentic American food, need to go to the Native Americans who were here first. THe other foods in this country are merely adaptations of the European or country of origin of those who immigrated here and settled, then took their culinary habits and used native food items to enhance them.
Do you know of any good resources for native and naitive inspired cooking?
Great list! When we were in Greece this summer we met a wonderful Italian couple. Kristina asked me "what is American food"... I said pizza and hamburgers. Wish I had had time to think of a list like this.
Not much, but at least it's a start: Native American Culinary Association
Nice, nice links. I've been studying them for a while and I feel like I am kinda starting to form an idea as to what makes their cuisine but I still want to keep an open mind untill I can suck it all up. The naitive situation in america pains me so much, not something I would normally get into but it really does, especially since my alltime favorite president was of dark skin (an indigenous boy raised by priests who would eventually separate the church from the state...). He coined the phrase I live by: "El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz" or "respecting the rights of others is peace".
Good Thread Lugaru!
Note that the colonization of North America was started by the French/English/Basque exploitationof the Grand Banks of Newfoundland in the "chase for cod"...
Historically, there were umpteen "Catholic" holidays where "meat" could not be eaten, most simply because Europe could not produce enough for its burgeoning population, and a good many "immigrants" came for the protein of North America's unspoiled game population...
Even today, you will find reference to "horse" being eaten in Europe (unthinkable here! Feed it to dogs and cats!) Japanese and Chinese will (theoretically, at least!) eat just about anything short of "dog's lungs and wolf's livers"...and witness how we have successfully run out of too many species by over hunting, logging, ill thought out farming practises etc...(Check out Farley Mowat's "Sea of Slaughter" for a good read on how this, historically, happened!)
I have a few recipes stashed away someplace for Bannock, pemmican etc...if you like, PM me and I can pass them over, after a bit of searching!
Most N American recipes are variations on European, African or Asian themes, supplemented by huge quantities of proteins and fats, that we can access and afford, and "they" can not even "access"...
If somebody here asks me for something "American", I go out of my way not to serve hamburgers or hotdogs.
Colesla is now sold ready made in the supermarket, It is actually called."American colesla".
What I make that Dutch people go crazy for are coffee cakes, brownies and muffins.
Variations are available here, in mix or fresh form.
For meals I usually cook something out of one of my "American" cookbooks, a pasta dish or such and name it American.
As for the Native American cuisine, I have had fry bread and pemmican. Didn't they do jerky as well?
Yes, and "BBQ", too!
in keeping with the "original" Americans:
corn, squash, and beans (the Three Sisters)
don't forget a bagel and a schmear (cream cheese)!!!!!! oy!
some truly Native American foods:
Beans and their cousins
Great Lakes Fish
Smoked Great Lakes Fish
Cedar Planked Fish
Tomatoes (they were considered poisonous in Europe and were unknown in Asia)
Dandelion (for salads and wine)
Catails (the plant)
And there are a great many natural herbs that originated in the Americas
Sour Grass (grows wild in my lawn, but few know what it is or how to use it)
Numerous mushrooms such as the Morell
Sasafrass, Sasparilla, Birch Beer, Wintergreen, and Root Beer (all from the U.S. and all simillar in flavor.
File' as in File' Gumbo
And you can keep your ocra, thank you (everone can't like everything) :wink:
Pristine drinking water (my well produces incredible water and the Great Lakes hold the majority of the World's fresh water).
I could go on, but why bother. This is a land of abundance and we are wreking that abundace at an incredible rate (heavy sigh
And the list goes on. :cry: )
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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