American food

Ok I’ve had it.

Yesterday my wife was watching one of those chef competition shows on the food network.

One of the judges, an English woman if that matters, opined how she was not fond of “American food”.

When did it become commen knowledge that “Americans eat hot dogs an Mc D’ burgers?”
I can think off the top of my head several dishes that are distinctly American and are world class cusine.

Please help me fill out the list.

Starting on the east coast I think a good New England clam chowder qualifies.

Lets dash down a few states and talk about fili gumbo.

Commercial foods, hmm what about corn flakes?

C’mon guys lets see em.

You called?

Philadelphia Cheesesteak comes to mind

Eh, I have a hard time getting worked up because an English woman doesn’t care for American food. I mean, she’s English, so it’s not like she’s got a culinary leg to stand on. Ok, that’s probably a bit unfair since there is plenty of British food that’s good. However, I don’t think the English are known far and wide for their culinary contributions to the world. Now the French on the other hand…ooh la la.

There are plenty of good American meals though I’m unsure how many are unique to the United States. We’ve had quite an influx of immigrants over the years but we also have influences from the native occupants.

The trouble is that almost any dish can become world class if prepared properly and world trash if prepared improperly. While a hamburger may never be considered world class cuisine they’re pretty darn tasty if you use good ingredients. Barbecue is excellent and it takes some patience and skill to turn a brisket or a pork shoulder into something tender, juicy, and tasty.

However, I’m hardly a gourmet. While I certainly appreciate a fine meal now and then, and I’m willing to pay through the nose on those rare occasions, I’m hardly an expert. I do like some of the commercial foods in Europe a bit better than what we have in the United States. The chocolates, and other candy, are typically better over there and I prefer some of their sodas because they’re not as sweet.

When it comes to cooked meals I don’t think they have a whole lot on us. Hell, go to England and you’ll see just how popular places like Taco Bell, McDonald’s, and Kentucky Fried Chicken actually are.


Southwestern cuisine as prepared in, say, Santa Fe. A good blend of Mexican with indigenous.

People who think of American food as just hot dogs and hamburgers are simply ignorant.

Well it’s rude and unreasonable to dismiss everything the nation has to offer. Just like the many, many, Americans that do the same to British/English food. I’ve eaten excellent and very poor meals in the States, just as I have in England, and Spain for that matter.

And therein lies the image problem with American food in the UK, I should imagine. Popular with the hoi polloi, certainly. Popular with foodies, food critics and the like? Of course not. But until good American food is exported ignorance is not going to be fought. Keep sending us McDonalds/Subway/Bud/Coors and we’ll never learn, will we?

Oh, good Lord, where to start? First off, a good plate of barbecue (pork, not beef, you Philistines.)

There’s gumbo, a hearty plate of soul food, or a juicy steak.

For dessert Key Lime Pie or New York Cheesecake, or a bowl of hand-churned ice cream.

Top it off with a glass of sweet iced tea and you’re all set.

This is not exactly a new topic to me. I’ve really tried to classify a single American cuisine, but the best I can come up with is six distinctive cuisines.

New England (Boiled Maine lobster, Yankee pot roast, clam chowder)

Southern (Fried chicken, fried fish, banana pudding)

Tex-Mex (Chili, tacos (American style), fajitas)




A couple of years ago, I visited my college roomie (a Salvadoran-American who lives with her English husband in Middle of Nowhere, Kent) right after Thanksgiving. She was homesick, so I cooked an entire typical Thanksgiving dinner - roast turkey, mashed sweet potatoes with ginger, pineapple, brown sugar, and cinnamon, homemade whole-berry cranberry sauce, brussels sprouts, and chocolate brownies for dessert. As I was short on time and certain ingredients, there was no homemade bread, and no pie, and no bourbon in the sweet potatoes, but they invited a couple English friends over, and everyone loved the food.

Clearly, she feels that American food hasn’t been boiled nearly long enough :stuck_out_tongue:

Given the widespread aversion to Brussels sprouts, this is no mean achievement!

Well, come to think of it, my friend’s husband sort of turned up his nose at the sprouts…sounded like he thought they were poor-people food. I like them, myself, but for some reason tend to eat them only at Thanksgiving. But these were very fresh, cut straight off the stalk. Yummy with just some butter, salt, and pepper.

(Hmmm, maybe the other guests were just being polite. But they really did rave about the cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes.)

Then of course, there are a number of dishes that were invented in American kitchens. The Cobb Salad, Lobster Newberg, Bananas Foster, Eggs Benedict, Salisbury Steak, etc.

Pork? Excuse me, turkey is the best there is.

You forgot about Midwestern – casseroles (tuna-noodle, green bean, etc., anything with cream of something soup), Jell-o molds with stuff suspended in them, corn on the cob…

Maryland crab cakes. Pardon me while I drool…

Clearly, Eva Luna, I need you as my new best friend. I even like Brussels sprouts! Come on over!

I am ignorant, but what did you eat that was excellent in England?
Blood sausage, toad in a hole and boiled bread come to mind.
Hey, I said I was ignorant of their cuisine. :slight_smile:

I agree that these are all American foods and cooking styles. I think, though, that the OP was hinting at the fact that many forgien cultures think of (perhaps incorrectly) American food as “fast food/microwavable/snacks”.

Well, let me say… Clam chowder… New England style, is a treat… love it with cornbread (hey is that "fusion cooking?)

Traditional BBQ/Smoked meat… YUM!

Philly cheese Steak (Well the doc says not too often, but, I will give up a few yrs of life for that!)

And just what the hell is WRONG with a “snack”?

Oh sure, the chef can whip up a nice plate of Coq au vin in just 2 hours or so, and it will only cost me $45…

But sometimes, I want a munchie and I want it now… and I don’t want to put on a suit and tie to order it… and I would like to get it with out refinancing my mortgage. Potato chips, Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, French Fries, Little Debbie Cakes, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza (In 1/2 an hour or is free!)…Wow!

Beverages have been largely exculded from this… Americans gave us Coca Cola, Beer in Cans, Wine in Boxes, and coffee.

Yes Coffee…

If not for “US” Know-how and initiative, do you think that the delight of Cappicino would have spread afr beyond its Italian roots…?

If you want authentic ethnic, America has welcomed the world, and both preserved and modified (IE Pizza) the original forms.

On the other hand there is always Haggis…


Good thread, but basically, I’d say forget the dumb-ass and just go on. Clearly, she hasn’t a clue. Don’t wate your time.

(Not that there’s anything wrong with a grilled hamburger just dripping grease on a mell-toasted buttered bun with…Nevermind, and I just won’t think of a chili dog wiht…Or shrimp creole…OK, I gotta stop.)