What is the most American food 1

The history of US cuisine - food culture

Most people equate American cuisine with fast food. Somehow right - and again not. Drive-ins and microwave dinners are US inventions, but there are - and have always existed - ethnic kitchens that merged in a very special way in the “melting pot”. The Dresden students Matthias and Markus have traveled in the footsteps of Eating in America go and present their results in terms of food culture on a website, eatinginamerica. Thank you for letting me publish excerpts of your work here!

America's food - as diverse as its people

The immigrants who helped build America also brought their different ways of preparing food with them. This created a food culture that we now call "American Food". In addition to English settlers, French, Spanish, German and Italian new citizens are among those who enriched their new homeland not only with their specific culture, but also with their food traditions.


The Spaniards shaped the Mexican cuisine in particular, which spread from the southwest to almost every part of the USA. Italy in particular has a lot of dishes that almost every American would describe as originally American - American-style pizza and various types of pasta.

The former slaves who brought their way of cooking with them from Africa also contributed to the diversity of American cuisine that exists today. For example, the widespread use of peanuts in the United States is due to their influence. Finally, there were and are various religious groups, e.g. Quakers or the Amish, who immortalized themselves in American cuisine.


US Culinary History: When Did It Start?

Of course already with the natives, the North American tribes, some of whom hunted, but also knew a lot of cultivated plants. When Columbus ‘successor, the Spanish conquistadors of the 16th century, set foot on the continent, they discovered the“ Indians ”(they thought they were in India) and at the same time tomatoes, potatoes, chiles, corn and beans. These and many other vegetables and fruits have since conquered tables all over the world.

What we understand today by Mexican cuisine is originally a conglomerate of Spanish and Indian dishes. This collection of two different cultures consists of old indigenous recipes and a new Spanish way of preparing meat. This particularly includes cooking and frying with fat.

English influences in American cuisine

About a hundred years after the Spanish (1607), the English established their first permanent settlement in Jamestown, Virginia. In order to consolidate control over the colonies, the English crown set up the so-called "Joint Stock Companies" to recruit settlers. However, these became rare until the companies offered free land. That changed the situation quickly. The colonies expanded and the first tobacco plantations were established.

The English brought their typical robust food with them and mixed this with local ingredients, for example turkey, lobster, clams, maple syrup and almost always with corn. This is how dishes like Indian Pudding, Boston Brown Bread, Clam Chowder and Maine Boiled Lobster were created, which still make up the charm of New England cuisine.

The famous story of how Native Americans helped English settlers through the winter by showing them how to use the local fauna and flora led to one of the most American celebrations: Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving. It has been celebrated since 1621, and the food that still covers American tables is a result of the influence of Native American culinary art on English cuisine.

In the US southern states: Culinary influences from Africa

Further south, people benefited from the moderate and mild climate, which allowed them to have a larger number of vegetables. The food was still English, but rather “southern” in terms of seasoning and cooking. Africans who came to America involuntarily as slaves introduced the barbeque, all sorts of pastries and lots of greens.

They also brought important cooking techniques with them, such as smoking meat, frying vegetables and preparing spicy sauces. In this way they played a significant role in merging English, African and Native American cuisine into what is now called Southern cuisine is known - simply because they were the ones who worked in the kitchens of the south.

Book tips for friends of the USA (Amazon links)

Typically American. How Americans became what they are.
Faux pas guide USA: right through and around
America Cookbook: Los Angeles. The cult recipes. Hollywood Kitchen for your kitchen
The American dream: to the USA with a green card or a visa
Bake in the USA: American bake: cheesecakes, pies, tarts & more
Everyday Life in America - Living and Working USA: Practical Guide for Newcomers
New Cook Book (Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbooks)
USA: 50 states. 5000 ideas. Road trips, national parks, metropolises. Ultimate USA illustrated book
California Cuisine: 100 trendy bowls, fresh drinks, healthy snacks
This is how they are, the Americans: The foreign understanders of travel know-how
America - The Cookbook: The Best from Alaska to Florida

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