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American Cuisine

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United States of America - Cooking and Food Edit

Overview of American Cuisine History Edit

Ship

Traders had a big influence on American cuisine.

The cuisine of the United States of America (USA) is characterized by diversity and regional delicacies. Each region of the country has been affected by several cultures as well as evolved on its own. Some people say that there are so many influences that the term “American cuisine” is inappropriate, but it has become a beast all its own at this point in history.

Before the Europeans settled Native Americans nourished themselves on what the land permitted them to grow as well as Turkey, Deer, fish and other native wildlife. After the European discovery of North America the natives gave the settlers an idea about the three main elements of their cuisine: corn, beans and Squash. In exchange, the newcomers gave Eastern tribes European diseases that they were not ready to contend with. However, the three vegetables later defined American cuisine.

Another major turning point for American cuisine was the days of the "melting pot" in the early 20th century. Even now families who trace their lineage to Irish immigrants in New York who live in Ohio have their own blend of the old and new. Stories such as these repeat throughout the United States with the 'set' changing a bit (New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, etc.) and the immigrants being from any number of nations around the world.

A good example of this would be salads. There are three major types of salads and what is in them and what they come out like, and what you put on them differ entirely. Presentation is rarely the same and so if you read something in our collection of recipes that makes your toenails curl because you'd never do it that way, keep this in mind.

In short, American cuisine is much like Monopoly. Every family has their own way of playing despite what the official rules may say. When it comes to good food I'd like to think there is no wrong way to make it as long as everyone is entertained and good memories are created for all.

Cuisines of the United States Edit

Map of America

Map of America - Click to enlarge


The main factors that determine the variations of American cuisine are climate, ingredient availability, immigrants and neighboring countries. Weather conditions affected the styles of cooking all over the world and the United States isn't an exception. Some plants can be grown only in certain areas; some animals need specific conditions for living and so on. The settlers and immigrants brought cooking concepts from their home countries and adapted them to the local environment. The best example would be Mexico, which affected the recipes of the Southwestern states. Many dishes have very old roots but are vastly different from the original much as the roots of a flower do not resemble the blossom, but one is inherently related to the other.


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Each region of the country has its own recipes and cuisine.

By Geographic Area and Style:

Food Glossary Edit

The American recipes have, in most cases, special names. Some foods are recognized by the name of the region in which are made. Preparing an American dish involves knowing the ingredients. In other countries this ingredients might be known under alternative names. Hence, the best way to make an American food is to use exactly the elements that are used in the United States. The Food Glossary provides a list of the ingredients, along with photos and their different names.


Preparation Methods for American Cooking Edit

The American preparation methods are not entirely American. Some of the methods are used all over the world. Though, some foods require being prepared in a specific manner. There are dishes that have to be fried until they have a certain color, others that require precise amounts of spices or sauces.

The best known preparation techniques are:

Special Equipment for American Cooking Edit

Usually, cooking an American food does not imply the usage of special equipment. Each dish is to be prepared in a certain way. The cakes require trays in which are baked, the fried foods suppose the use of a pan, and so on. The utensils are also different from one region to another. The rustic dishes will need equipment while the more complex foods will involve other tools. Since the development of fast food, microwave ovens seem to become more and more popular. This shortens the cooking times, while not always making the food healthier. However, this couldn't be considered American cooking equipment, since it is used in many other countries.

American Food Traditions and Festivals Edit

Americans never miss an opportunity to celebrate their food, by either eating hot dog's at a ball game or organizing a festival to honor a certain food. There are very old traditions related to food and new ones do not delay to appear. One of the best-known traditions is Thanksgiving Day, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November. This is also one of the eldest traditions, as it was celebrated for the first time in 1541. It has its origins in the European harvest festivals and implies a special dinner. Other important festivals in the United States are Maine Lobster Festival, the National Goat Cook-Off, the Apple Days, Cuero Turkey Festival and the World Chicken Festival. Cheese festivals and chocolate festival are not something abnormal and usually there are contests organized in these occasions. It can be said that in the United States are as many festivals as foods.

People in American Food Edit

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