The United States of America is one of the world’s largest and most diverse countries, so it makes sense that it its culinary traditions are similarly broad. Over the course of American history, food and food culture in the United States has been influenced by many different countries. American food is now a worldwide phenomenon and American food and restaurants can now be found in just about every city on the planet. We’ve put together some of our favorite recipes for your enjoyment.
But one thing that America is famous for its love of fast food: the cuisine of convenience. Since the postwar era, the United States’ meteoric rise to world prominence has caused a similarly explosive growth in interest in these foods. American fast food tradition has been shaped by the influence of poor out-groups such as African Americans and Latinos. Today, America’s embrace of the foods of convenience has never been stronger.
One particularly interesting and unique type of American food comes from deep in the bayous of Louisiana. After the US purchased the Louisiana territory from France in the nineteenth century, the French Acadians from Canada fled south into the new territory, where they joined existing French colonists, freed African slaves, and new American settlers coming from the east. There, in the swamps and bayous of the Mississippi Delta, they created the Cajun culture, a hybrid creolized group that still exists today and is famous for its unique and interesting culinary tradition.
Chicken Po’ Boy Recipe recipe
A po’ boy is the Louisiana Cajun word for sandwich, describing a type of submarine sandwich made on a soft, baguette-style roll. Seafood is a very common ingredient for these sandwiches, but is by no means the only one available. Roast beef is quite popular, and another common ingredient is chicken. In this zingy chicken po’ boy recipe, a fresh cabbage slaw is paired with fried, cornmeal-battered buttermilk chicken breast strips. This chicken po’boy sandwich is served with the traditional mayonnaise dressing on the bread, the fresh crunch of the chili, mint, and cilantro in the cabbage slaw are the perfect counterpoint to the hot, juicy chicken. Don’t forget the tabasco!
Chicken and shrimp gumbo recipe
Gumbo might just be the prototypical creole food dish. Gumbo is a very thick stew, enriched with a dark roux and flavored with the Cajon “holy trinity” sofrito of celery, bell peppers, and onions. This rice-based soup is flavored with sausage and pork, and usually includes some shellfish as well. This gumbo recipe is made with chicken and prawns, making all the ingredients relatively accessible in a normal grocery store. The roux thickens and enriches the broth, but another important ingredient for texture is the inclusion of okra, the slightly-slimy vegetable creates a very thick broth. Don’t worry, even if “slimy” sounds like it might be unpleasant, it’s really very enjoyable. Serve this gumbo with a nice crusty French baguette and, of course, the requisite tabasco for extra spice.
Reuben sandwich recipe
American food has always been influenced by its immigrants, and this sandwich is no exception. This sandwich was invented by Jewish immigrants to the United States, who took some of their traditional corned beef and put it between two fat slices of rye bread. Topped with melted swiss cheese and some sauerkraut, along with a little Russian dressing, and you have something to die for. Consisting of Irish-style meat on German bread with swiss cheese, German sauerkraut, and Russian dressing, this Reuben sandwich recipe is a true triumph of America’s culinary melting pot.
Eggs benedict recipe
Even if they share a name with the most famous traitor in American history, but we know an eggs benedict will never betray us. This vegetarian twist on the classic eggs benedict substitutes gently sauteed spinach for the classic Canadian bacon or ham. Enriched with a decadent hollandaise sauce and you’ve got yourself a breakfast worth forsaking the republic for.
Fried buffalo wings recipe
Which chicken wing is your favorite? Are you a flats person or a drummets person? We gotta say: we’re equal opportunity buffalo wing enjoyers. Crispy, crunchy, spicy: what’s not to love about buffalo wings? Here, crispy fried buffalo chicken wings are tossed in a spicy butter and hot sauce mixture, then served with creamy, funky blue cheese dressing. Don’t forget the carrots and celery!
Rocky road fridge cake recipe
Fridge cake is what happens when an ice cream cake goes just a little bit too far. Not quite cake, not quite ice cream, this decadent and chocolatey rocky road fridge cake is held together not by vital wheat gluten as in an ordinary baked-style cake, but by good old saturated fats and temperature. Studded with marshmallows, cookies, walnuts, and bittersweet dark chocolate, it’s certainly a treat and a half, but you might need a nap afterward.