Food Network

June 20, 2009

American Food

Filed under: Food — Tags: , — tcchuffel @ 10:03 pm

By Carrie Smith

American Food

American Food

What is American food anyway? The common answer is burgers, hot dogs and apple pie but apple pie is actually European, so are burgers and hot dogs really all we have to offer? In Texas they will fry anything, pile some batter on it and throw it into a pot of grease and any given Texan will tell you it is the best they have ever had. Make it easy to eat while walking and wrap it in paper and a New Yorker wouldn’t much care if it were just a stick of dough with “red sauce” as long as you sell it from a cart on the street for less than $5.00 they will claim that no city on earth makes it better! Put anything in a tortilla and a Californian will eat it, call it Cajun and Louisiana will serve it with sweat tea, slap some BBQ sauce on and Tennessee will claim it originated in that state; does the US even have one universal style of food we can call our own? In short, not really.

American food is mostly divided by region, much like voting the north east is different than the mid west is different than the south is different than the west coast is still a little different than the south west; from sea to shining sea not one person will give you an answer that doesn’t very by state or at least by time zone. We have southern food, which is most definitely an American original but that isn’t even the same in all southern states. In Texas (which can be debated as the south or the south west) you have the original fajita in Kyle TX and hill country BBQ Brisket, in Louisiana you get Cajun food, soul food and specifically in New Orleans you are blessed with Creole. In Tennessee it is BBQ pork, in Virginia it is Ham, in Georgia it is grits…is there even one specific southern food? Sweat Tea of course, country gravy maybe but most southern states have a difficult time agreeing what good, quality, American southern food is. In the northeast you have Maryland crab cakes and clam chowder, in the mid west you have Chicago hot dogs and corn on the cob, in the north west you get Washington clams and in the south west it is green chili (chili verde), so what is American food?

America Food

America Food

American food, like America is as diverse and varied as the streets of New York City. We have all kinds of people and all kinds of foods, in a country as large as the United States with the freedom of choice from who your President is to what color of braces you want your food to get stuck in it would almost be un-American to narrow it down and make people agree on one specific type of food. Right there with free speech we Americans are blessed with a free press and the freedom to choose by region, state or individual person what kind of food we call our own. Though many will simply say “fast food” as an immediate response to such a question I beg it is not so. We are not just a Fast Food Nation as the movie suggest, we are not void of culture and we are not all war mongering, self centered obese people in ball caps either. What we are is a wide Varity of things, to complex and diverse to be narrowed down into one classification. We are the contents of a melting pot, the image of a collage, we are a sponge; we are America and nearly nothing universally conforms us to our neighbors other than the freedoms we share, not even the foods we eat.

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