Wednesday, February 13, 2008

American foods

Before I came to Seattle, my idea of American food was Pizza, Hamburger, Fried Chicken, and beef steak. I am always interested in finding out what is American foods, especially what American think of American food. There are interesting descriptions about Cuisine of United States including histories posted in Wikipedia. (
I got an opportunity going to a dinner party to ask its guests what they think is American food. Their answers were: Fried Chicken, Pizza, Hamburger, corn on the cob, Pork & beans, Chile corn carne, Pumpkin pie, corn bread, barbecued beef steak, Gumbo, Turkey, roasted meats, mashed Potato, Broccoli, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Spam, Potato chips, nachos, peanut, Iced tea, Ice cream, cob salad, scone, Cereals, Cheez Whiz and Spaghetti-Os. Someone pointed out that many foods above originated from somewhere else. I researched a bit to find out the history of some of these foods which are not well known their origin.

Although many foods came from somewhere else, I found foods which were born in U.S. They are Corn on the cob, Spam, potato chips, Iced Tea, Cobb salad, Cheez Whiz and Spagetti-O’s. This is getting interesting!
One friend mentioned that American made unique foods by mixing together the best food of one culture and the best food of another. Another said that if the food is not authentic from other country, then it is American. Some had a hard time to think of any foods as American. I asked him what he had eaten at home when he was a child. I grew up in Japan eating Japanese food mostly and assumed he must have eaten American food at home. He grew up eating Norwegian foods at home. I realized my sons ate a lot of Japanese foods at home. 20.1% of Seattle residents speak other language than English at home. ( ) Seattle public school receives students from more than 70 countries and 129 languages are spoken in the schools.( United States are the large melting pot ( ). As someone said, American foods now seem to be the results of multicultural integration.
By searching American food using google, I found an article “10 foods that make America great”.( ) The 10 American foods listed in the article are ‘New England Clam chowder’, ‘Pastrami’, ‘Shoofly pie (Pennsylvania)’, ‘Smithfield Ham (Virginia)’, ‘Po-boy(Louisiana)’, ‘Fajitas(Texas)’, ‘Chicago hot dogs(Illinois)’, ‘Chile Verde (New Mexico)’, ‘San Francisco sourdough (California)’, and ‘Olympia Oyster (Washington)’.

My favorite American foods or restaurants are Dicks Hamburger and Milkshake ( ), Ivars Fish and Chips and white clam chowder ( ), Piecoras Pizza ( ) in Seattle. My favorite American cook book is Betty Croker’s picture cook book first edition from old aunt of myhusband.( I love old American recipes from this book and always the results are delicious.
If you read this, please write comment about your favorite American food.


Karen said...

Just thought you might be interested to know that, based on some work I have done, when asked “What is a typical evening meal” the highest overall choice in the US survey group was "Fried Chicken with Macaroni".

fumikob said...

Hi, Karen.
Thank you for your comment.
I am going to write the same topic in Japanese and will include the survey resuls to Japanese version. I need to describe more about each American food for
Japanese readers since some of my friends who read my blog have never been to US.

Richard said...

This is a pretty interesting topic as it really gets to the question of - how do you define American? America is a relatively young place that is mostly made of people and ideas that came from somewhere else and mixed it all together. One thing that really stood out in your blog to me was that there was no mention of Native American food! Wouldnt that be the ultimate true "American" food =) My daughter's maternal relatives are Chippewa and have some great fried bread and salmon recipes. I think they cooked a lot with what was available in the native landscape - nuts, berries, wild rices, deer, buffalo, etc.. True "American" cuisine??

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