A Guide to American Food
It’s no secret that American cuisine is full of delicious dishes that could easily conquer your senses. However, many people are not familiar with what exactly these preparations consist of, or when they first appeared on the menu.
5-Minute Crafts will show you the most popular foods in the United States and their characteristics.
1. Banana bread
Banana bread is basically a moist, sweet bread made of mashed bananas. It’s believed that this bread originated in the nineteenth century after housewives discovered a leavening product known as pearlash. With the rise of baking powder and baking soda, banana bread became even more popular in the 1930s.
💡 Although this bread was invented in the United States, it’s often found in Vietnam in 2 different varieties — baked banana cake and banana pudding.
2. Buffalo wings
Buffalo wings, as their name suggests, originated in Buffalo, New York. It’s believed that they were first introduced by a bar owner who received chicken wings by mistake. Since she didn’t know what to do with the wings, she deep-fried them and served them in a spicy sauce along with a blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.
A cheeseburger is a variation of a hamburger, in which the meat patty is topped with a slice of cheese. In the beginning, the original choice for the cheeseburger was American cheese, however, cheddar, Swiss and different types of blue cheeses were used later for this dish.
Regarding its origins, it’s believed that the cheeseburger was created by a 16-year-old cook at a restaurant in Pasadena, California.
4. Chicago-style pizza
It’s said that in 1943, a couple of descendants of Neapolitan immigrants opened a pizza restaurant in Chicago, where they served a new variety of the traditional pizza in a deeper dish with inverted topping layers of cheese, tomatoes, and meat, along with a crackling crust.
Nowadays, the Chicago-style pizza has become one of the most important culinary icons in Chicago, and it has spread in popularity around the world.
5. Chicken nuggets
Chicken nuggets consist of small portions of breaded or battered meat slurry, which can be deep-fried or baked. This popular preparation was invented in the 1950s by Robert C. Baker, a food science professor at Cornell University, with the purpose of increasing poultry sales.
6. Clam chowder
It consists of a creamy stew made of sweet onions, milk, potatoes, clams, and chunks of salt pork. Clam chowder originated in New England, Massachusetts, and is considered one of the most typical American dishes.
💡 In California, clam chowder is often served inside a bowl made of sourdough bread. This variation is said to have originated in San Francisco, where it became a signature dish of this city.
7. Cobb salad
The Cobb salad consists of a mixture of chicken, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and bacon. It’s believed that this preparation was created by Robert Cobb, the owner of the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, California, who is said to have eaten this dish as a late-night leftover snack.
8. Corn dog
A corn dog is a piece of processed meat placed on a stick that is then covered in cornmeal batter to be deep-fried. Although this preparation is believed to have become popular in 1942 at the Texas State Fair, there are claims that it was invented by vendors at the Minnesota State Fair in 1941.
Nowadays, corn dogs are widely popular, and they’re often found at carnivals, sports arenas, and food courts, usually enjoyed with mustard, mayonnaise, or pickles.
Gumbo can be either prepared as a soup or a stew, which consists of a mixture of meats or shellfish, cooked along with different vegetables and herbs. It’s traditionally enjoyed over rice as a main course.
10. Hot dog
Hot dogs originated in 1869 in Brooklyn, New York, where an immigrant from Frankfurt would sell steaming sausages tucked into bread rolls from a rolling cart. The preparation was so well-received that he decided to open his own restaurant afterward.
Although different theories describe the origins of hushpuppies, one of them says that this preparation was used by hunters and fishermen to distract their dogs and prevent them from disturbing their prey.
12. Key lime pie
Key lime pie is a dessert made of a sweet and sour custard consisting of key lime juice, eggs, and condensed milk, which is then poured into a graham cracker crust and decorated with sweet whipped cream.
This preparation originated in the Florida Keys, where Henry Perrine began to plant Key limes in the 1830s.
13. Lobster roll
A lobster roll consists of cooked lobster meat covered in melted butter and tucked into a long hot dog roll. This preparation can also include lemon juice, lettuce, black pepper, and salt, typically served with French fries or potato chips on the side.
Although there are different claims regarding its origins, the lobster roll is considered a specialty of the state of Maine.