What foods are uniquely American?

This thread, which discusses student complaints about cultural appropriation and ethnic foods in Oberlin College’s dining halls, got me to wondering:

If the goal is to serve food that hasn’t been culturally appropriated, then what food would that be?

What foods are uniquely American? This will be hard to define, I know, but you can certainly argue your case for whatever food you care to nominate.

I suspect we’d all agree that pizza is right out, for example. But what about the California roll? Depending on who you talk to, it’s believed to have been invented in California - but by a Japanese chef. So is it uniquely American? Or is it just a lame imitation of traditional Japanese cuisine? Dunno. If it’s not uniquely American, then what is? Even classic southern barbeque is a mutation of native Caribbean cuisine.

Fried chicken? Maybe not.

So what are the nominees?

Chicken balls

Corn dog

Chicken fried steak? Sweet tea?

All that deep fried weirdness that you see at State Fairs.

Cotton candy?

And I think pumpkin pie.

Maize Corn.

Breakfast cereals.

Waldorf Salad.

There’s a reason it was used in Fawlty Towers as a dish ordered by an obnoxious American.

At that, Cobb Salad.

How about a Philly Cheesesteak? Maybe a Reuben?

Fry bread

We should maybe mention New England Clam Chowder (and Manhattan Clam Chowder, and Clams Casino, and Oysters Rockefeller).

Corn bread. Heck, corn PUDDING.

Eggs Benedict.

Chips and french fries



You’d probably have to do item by item research to figure out if Minnesotans or Scots fried each one first.

Fortune cookies.

Cajun is French-Canadian. It was brought down south from Quebec at the time when french and brits really hated each other and french said fuck it and immigrated from St Lawrence river

Chili con carne, apparently.