American Food!

  • metalxracr

    Posts: 761

    Jun 04, 2008 1:37 AM GMT
    Someone here at work was just talking about regional foods, and I got to thinking about American food.

    What is american food? I don't think hamburgers and hot dogs are from America, though I could be wrong.

    Perhaps Southern style BBQ places can qualify, but I don't see much out of the south. The ones I have seen that are not in the south are terrible! I only eat that stuff when I'm in Texas, though I did find a really good one in Venice Ca. on lincoln.


    In other countries do they have "American Food" restaurants like we have Italian, Chinese, Mexican, and so on.

    I know this sounds really ignorant of me, but I'm just curious. hehe
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    Jun 04, 2008 7:23 AM GMT
    McDonald's...? Kentucky Fried Chicken...? They seem to be historically American. And I don't care what people say, I like KFC.
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    Jun 04, 2008 7:35 AM GMT
    Isn't meatloaf and hamburger casserole American? What about Cajun?

    I do know that a lot of stuff my family makes is American since it's a blend Asian with American comfort food--rice is pretty much interchangeable for potatoes lol. My dad is a quarter filipino so he grew up eating a lot of rice, while my mom grew up eating potatoes so they compromised. Corn beef over rice is awesome and one of my favorites is biscuits and gravy over rice icon_smile.gif I don't how that could be anything but American.
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    Jun 04, 2008 8:03 AM GMT
    My housemate just left for the US for 6 months, so we had an American themed going away party for her.

    All we could come up with for food was hot dogs and donuts. Not very clever, but it's all that we could think of.

    No US themed restaurants here in Australia... unless you count McDonalds and KFC.
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    Jun 04, 2008 8:14 AM GMT
    Being the old fag One is. One remembers a time before American junk food started to pollute Oz. But our freeways, and HWY's are polluted with KFC. The Big gold M. Hungry Jacks, and Wendys too.

    In this land before the American junk food invasion. More kids at school where skinny too. But....now the American fat kid look is common down here too.

    How One remembers the ol' fish and chip shop, was a common sight in days before the american invasion of it's fast food outlets.
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    Jun 04, 2008 8:24 AM GMT
    We have a restaurant (chain of restaurants actually) called Ruby Tuesday in Mumbai which is supposed to serve authentic American food. Never got to try it out because it is infamous for its ridiculous pricing.

    I find this an interesting thread though. I mean what was American cuisine before fast food came into the picture?
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    Jun 04, 2008 8:46 AM GMT
    McDonald's, KFC, Wendy's, 7-Eleven, BurgerKing, Pizza Hut.

    Some local ones include Maxx's Fried Chicken, Jollibee, etc.

    Most of the above have compromised the American food to filipino tastes. Ketchup on the Chicken for example (instead of gravy), a sweet-sour spaghetti sauce, inclusion of rice in almost every meal, etc.

    It's weird, but I can't seem to like eating most food (especially meat) without rice. It just doesn't taste right. As semaj562 said for example, I find the taste of Cornbeef (or any sort of meat) alone pretty overpowering.

    For American food, yeah Cajun is pretty American (though more correctly French-American hehe). Cornbread, mashed potatoes, turkey, salmon, blueberry pie, erm... pancakes and maple syrup? LOL

    And of course... Apple pie! icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Jun 04, 2008 9:33 AM GMT
    Chili and bluecrab aren't american. And sweet potato isn't either. icon_confused.gif
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    Jun 04, 2008 10:18 AM GMT
    I think Americans do have some local cuisine...

    -BBQ is very American and original to the south

    -Soul Food (not exactly sure what it consists of, but fairly sure its American)

    -Hamburgers....

    lol.... Pizza, maybe? Pizza as we generally know it today is American, not Italian.



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    Jun 04, 2008 10:59 AM GMT
    American food is very regional, just like in every other country, different dishes evolve based on local ingredients and the tastes of the folks that live there.

    The South and Southwest have many varieties of BBQ as well as Soul Food, Cajun and Creole. The coastal states have tons of seafood based dishes, seafood or lowcountry boils, lobster rolls in the North East. In Michigan we have pasties ( the really good ones are in the upper penninsula )

    Dunno what California has... Granola maybe? icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 04, 2008 11:38 AM GMT
    Whiterabbit, what is a Pastie? I've seen them advertised in Michigan. I always thought of them as the little tassle things on the nipples of a stripper's boobs.

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    Jun 04, 2008 12:43 PM GMT
    muchmorethanmuscle saidChewing gum was invented in the US.


    Hm. Actually no. Chicle is Latin American, Precolumbian actually. From the Nahuatl word for the Chicle tree sap 'tziktli'. It's where 'Chiclets' got its name from.

    Foods that come from the Americas as a whole are, tomatoes, corn, strawberries, avocados, cocoa and potatoes. Some of these foods date back to over 7,000 years.

    Yep. A lot of the most important crop foods and spices were cultivated originally by native Americans.

    Tomatoes, avocados, peanuts, potatoes etc. are from South and Central America though. Corn is from the whole continent.

    However two food plants which solely originated from North America are sunflowers and strawberries
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    Jun 04, 2008 3:12 PM GMT
    When we think of going out for an "American" dinner, it's usually Mexican (Mexico IS in America, after all) or for a US-centric meal, a steak house.

    Lately, we've got all kinds of foo-foo restaurants springing up that serve $35 worth of politically-correct (i.e. incorrect) attitude with $1.35 worth of tasteless food. But I guess that's California cuisine.
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    Jun 04, 2008 3:21 PM GMT
    If it comes from the broken down components of corn and petroleum, it's American!
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    Jun 04, 2008 3:35 PM GMT
    I think of steakhouses as quintessential American food. (Outback, Texas Roadhouse, Austin's, Lone Star, etc.)

    And if I never go in another one, it'll be too soon!
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    Jun 04, 2008 3:38 PM GMT
    Sedative said[quote][cite]muchmorethanmuscle said[/cite]Chewing gum was invented in the US.


    Hm. Actually no. Chicle is Latin American, Precolumbian actually. From the Nahuatl word for the Chicle tree sap 'tziktli'. It's where 'Chiclets' got its name from.
    [/quote]

    Actually for the modern day chewing gum yes, however chewing gum dates all the way back to the ancient greeks who used the resin of the mastic tree.

    It terms of what american cuisine is. Id have to really think and look into. There are regional recipes but it is still all americanized foods. Even cajun food originated from an area of canada. The only meal that I can think of being solely invented in the US is the hamburger, but if you go to the origin of ground beef well that goes back to ghengis khan and what is known as todays steak tartar.

    Most restaurants that serve "American Cuisine" is actually americanized cuisine. But then again america is considered the melting pot.

    If it comes to food I know a lot about it, more so because of my love for cooking. Watching shows like "Good Eats" on the food network help add useless trivia knowledge to my brain.
  • metalxracr

    Posts: 761

    Jun 04, 2008 8:50 PM GMT
    closetsinger saidWe have a restaurant (chain of restaurants actually) called Ruby Tuesday in Mumbai which is supposed to serve authentic American food. Never got to try it out because it is infamous for its ridiculous pricing.

    I find this an interesting thread though. I mean what was American cuisine before fast food came into the picture?


    Ruby TUesdays! hahaha I have never eaten there either, but watching their commercials grosses me out. Their food looks like it's full of fat and preservatives.

    It's real greasy and I think it's them that have those really thick bacon strips... gross! It disgusts me just thinking about it.
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    Jun 04, 2008 9:02 PM GMT
    What a jaded view of American food. I mean is fast food all you can think of. Depressing and very dismal. Sometime this site seems like a bunch of whiners...

    BBQ, Soul Food, real grilled hamburgers, mac and cheese, Cajun food, Tex-mex, catfish, hushpuppies, hominy, grits, certainly steak and pork are more american, Thanksgiving dinner, maryland crab cakes, Shoo Fly pie, PA Dutch pot Pie, coca-cola, fried chicken, chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy,California cuisine as a styled cuisine is very american. Buffalo wings!



    and don't forget those ingredients that are indigenous (or were) to america. avacados, chocolate, peanuts, mangos, pineapple, corn, Vanilla (mexico), chili peppers.
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    Jun 04, 2008 9:23 PM GMT
    To me southern food (eg. grits, fried chicken) and cajun food are distinctly American cuisine.
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    Jun 04, 2008 9:37 PM GMT
    basically, its everything other cultures created, even if the ingredients originated on this continent with the native americans... then we add grease, hormones, and preservatives; we figure out the cheapest way to quickly mass produce, store almost indefinitely, then distribute everything. even the most 'american' foods were invented or inspired elsewhere... so i'd say 'american' isn't so much a food type as it is a food style- the style being fast food and tv dinners, inhuman portions and enough transfat to give a cow atherosclerosis.
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    Jun 04, 2008 9:38 PM GMT
    corn and tobacco are probably the most 'american' things though, since the native americans gave them to the world.
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    Jun 04, 2008 9:52 PM GMT
    Lapinblanc said In Michigan we have pasties ( the really good ones are in the upper penninsula )


    Excuse me, but my Cornish Nationalism requires me to point out the Pasties are *CORNISH*.

    ::raises the St Pirran's cross::

    czarodziej saidbasically, its everything other cultures created...


    I do appreciate the point, but the beauty of america is its diversity and the beauty of american cuisine is in the fusion.... we have had a similar thing in the UK: Italian + Indian == Balti, South African + Indian, Japanese + english (don't even ask!)

    There has never been a culture that has not been influenced or downright stolen other culture's food.

    Come to Cleveland and go to Lolita in Tremont. It's the perfect example of this phenomenon (and one of the best restaurants I've ever been to... and I've been to loads!).... cuisine ought not be spelt with a capital C; food is to be enjoyed after all!
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    Jun 04, 2008 10:04 PM GMT
    Don't the Germans have a fair claim to the Hambuger? Or am I being foolish?
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    Jun 04, 2008 11:16 PM GMT
    The vast majority of 'Americans' are immigrants, and so leads to the conclusion that the vast majority of dishes are also immigrants.

    Hot dog = German
    French fries = French (I think it was Thomas Jefferson who brought the recipe from France that became the French fry)
    Apple pie is likely German, but does it matter? Every culture has stuffed things inside of dough.

    The secret of the Pastie, which comes from Cornwall, is the rutabaga, which comes from the word 'root bag'. I think it goes that it was a root sold out of a bag, or some such.
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    Jun 04, 2008 11:19 PM GMT
    Sedative saidChili and bluecrab aren't american. And sweet potato isn't either. icon_confused.gif


    Um, sweet potatoes are very American. It doesn't mean we have some exclusive license to them, but they are a usual part of the most typical American meal, the Thanksgiving dinner.