Are you very familiar with American food and cuisine? You better be, because we always see it being paraded in front of us in American pop culture. Look at the way these very American food items are utilized and featured in many of your favorite movies and TV shows or mentioned in literary works—practically everywhere! Even painters also exhibit them in their artworks, no matter what their intention is. Yes, Warhol fans, you know what we're talking about!
But aside from these very obvious product-placement advertising methods, intended or not, people outside of America also get to know about these American food items from American restaurants that open branches in their places. No matter where you go on this planet, there's sure to be an American fast-food chain somewhere, or a casual-dining restaurant or diner. And if you enter supermarkets and grocery stores in other continents, it's a sure thing that America has also been exporting their goods to be placed on foreign shelves. No wonder the world also loves American food!
So, if you want to pledge allegiance to the American appetite, go ahead and see this quiz through. Hey, you should score high, okay? Go for it!
Americans love their apple pie, indeed, and you have to have a taste of it when you step into this very diverse nation. You can enjoy a slice of it as is, or put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of it. People are free to experiment!
People who love their pickled chopped cabbage, aka sauerkraut, better try tasting the classic Reuben sandwich. The sauerkraut is inside two loaves of rye bread where some corned beef are, together with slices of Swiss cheese and Russian dressing. Although the ingredients may sound like a collaboration from the European Union, trust that this invention is as American as it gets, because its origins are being claimed by “inventors” from Nebraska and New York City. No matter where it got started, Americans love it!
Perhaps Chicago natives responsible for the creation of the deep-dish pizza were trying their hand at reinventing the term "pizza pie," because their pizza can definitely give pies a run for their money. It’s not the usual thin or thick crust, but the crust must be deep enough to hold much more toppings in there, which makes a mere slice of this Chicago treat into a full meal, if you're of average appetite. Help yourself to more slices if needed!
No matter what kind of burger joint or diner you enter in America, trust that you will encounter their own brand and kind of cheeseburger on their menu. The traditional hamburger, with the beef patty and the lettuce and tomato slices, is made tastier with the addition of a slice of cheese. There are even some eateries that offer double slices of cheese, so indulge!
One thing that non-American tourists ought to know about America is that when they say barbecue, they mean ribs. In other nations, the idea of barbecue is having small chunks of meat on a skewer or stick, and grilled, and this style is visible in Mediterranean and Asian cuisines. But in America, what they truly mean by barbecue is a great slab of ribs, both pork and beef, so get a taste of it to feel the authentic American barbecue experience!
We’re very sure that American kids are behind the invention of one of the most American snacks there is—s'mores. It's reported that the Girl Scouts of America were the first to publicize a recipe for it, which is: roast a marshmallow over a camp fire, then hold it between two graham crackers and insert small pieces of chocolate from a bar like Hershey's, and you’re all set! It's as sweet as it is creative, so try it!
Europeans are big on sausages and frankfurters. So when a German immigrant used two buns to hold sausages while selling them, that entrepreneurial move produced an all-American icon we still cherish today. But you also have to try two great iconic hot-dog places when visiting the U.S. of A. on either coast: Pink’s in California, and Nathan’s Famous in New York.
When we say chowder, that's a kind of soup that's actually very thick due to the cream or milk mixed into it, with some vegetables and crackers in there as well. The New England clam chowder kind is similar, but of course clams are added, along with some diced potatoes and onions.
Peanut butter was first invented in the early part of the 20th century, and the peanut butter sandwich actually followed suit immediately. Eventually, someone improvised on this and added jelly into the fray, which produced the very American peanut butter and jelly sandwich we now know today.
Many American kids grew up on the simplicity of comfort food in their kitchens. One of those food items is mac and cheese, short for macaroni and cheese, which is elbow macaroni pasta mixed with cheese and cream. Sometimes, the most delicious things in life can be as simple as this concoction.
When you're inventing a kind of sandwich, trust that naming it after the place of its "birth" will give it more character and, of course, patriotic pride patronage. But regardless of the name, a Philly cheesesteak is always a winner for those who want their sandwiches very filling, very beefy, very greasy and very yummy!
If you ever find yourself attending Mardi Gras in New Orleans, you have to have a taste of Louisiana’s pride—the jambalaya. Carrying the influences of cultures that graced this fine state, the special, tasty dish usually consists of mixed vegetables, meat and rice, with some sliced sausages thrown in there. It’s a great staple in Cajun cuisine, so you have to taste it!
The Japanese might frown upon the idea of the California roll, but enterprising Japanese sushi chefs in California had to reinvent their original homeland’s product to "acclimatize" it to the tastes of their new homeland. Thus, a California roll, known in other places as California maki, doesn't have any of the raw fish of traditional Japanese sushi. Instead, it's filled with very Cali produce such as avocado and cucumber, also with the rice on the outer roll.
In America, when they say "soul food," that usually integrates food items that are deep-fried and are very tastily prepared, such as fried chicken. And combining chicken and waffles together is one example of what America claims as soul food. While many places in the U.S. offer this dish, you can visit Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles and taste their version for its origin story.
When you grind some corn and boil it, then you just produced a very flexible dish called grits. This is very much present in Southern cooking, and you can enjoy this plain or mixed with some other ingredients like eggs, cheese, chopped onions or whatever else your heart and tummy desire. You can eat it alone or together as a side dish of main meats or seafood, like shrimp or bacon or even toast.
At first glance, it doesn’t immediately look like a salad, but you will see that Cobb salad is indeed salad if you take a closer look. That’s because, unlike other kinds of garden salad where the leafy greens and other ingredients are served whole or in small sliced parts, the Cobb salad has everything chopped to pieces—the romaine and iceberg lettuce and endives, the tomatoes, the hard-boiled egg, the chicken breast, the bacon, avocado, cheese and chives. Add some vinaigrette into this mix, and you're definitely good to go!
Part of American Southern cuisine is this biscuits and gravy mix, which obviously consists of soft dough buttermilk biscuits with flavorful meat gravy poured over top. You can find Southerners eating this for breakfast, either alone or with some sides.
One of the greatest American comfort food items is meatloaf, which is made up of ground beef and other ingredients and spices mixed in there. It's cooked in a loaf pan, which gives it that loaf-like shape. Upon serving, Americans usually eat it in slices, topped with some sauce or gravy, or just simple condiments like mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce or anything else that the eater wants to add in there.
People who are not familiar with jerky might have encountered it as packets of beef jerky being sold in many convenience stores around the U.S.A. Yes, that's the same, although jerky these days is not just exclusively made of beef alone, but can also be made of pork, lamb, goat, turkey, even deer, alligator and kangaroo!
When in America, try the very versatile cuisine of the New England region, comprised of the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine. In particular, Maine's great sandwich contribution to their region's eclectic menu is this lobster roll, since the Pine Tree State produces majority of the lobsters consumed in the country.
As its name implies, cornbread is made up of corn, and it's particularly a favorite in the Southern part of the U.S. But just because it's bread doesn’t mean it's entirely baked; you can actually prepare cornbread fried or steamed, and it can be made into muffin shapes as well.
Did you know that some U.S. states have an official pie, like Florida, for instance, which identifies the key lime pie as their official state pie? That's because the kind of lime they use for this pie, called the key lime, is a smaller kind of lime native to the Florida Keys, so of course it's bound to become part of their cuisine somehow.
Fans of slow cooking are sure to have made a pot roast dish at least once or twice in their lifetime—or even more, if they're very American! To prepare this, chunks of beef should be placed inside a slow cooker or a crockpot, then chunky slices of veggies of your choice are added, usually carrots, parsnips, beets and onions, but some people are known to add potatoes, to simmer with the meat as they all become tender, producing juicy gravy while they’re at it.
Yes, indeed, the famed Buffalo wings, a favorite bar chow among bar-hoppers worldwide, originated in New York state, particularly in a place called Buffalo. While the original concoction was hot and spicy, thanks to the hot sauce made of cayenne pepper mixed into the chicken wing parts, some eateries now offer a milder version of Buffalo wings for those who can't stand spicy food that much. Sacrilege, perhaps, but at least people get to taste a bit of New York through them wings!
Tater tots is actually a trademark name of a product that's made of grated potatoes, like in hash browns, only they're prepared very small and come in cylindrical shapes half the size of an average thumb. But true to the "unspoken" tradition of making a registered trademark synonymous with the item it sells, tater tots are now known globally as these yummy deep-fried potato-based side dish or snack.
The famous Boston baked beans are made up of stewed beans with thick sauce, often mixed with molasses in it, as well as some cut-up pieces of bacon or pork. But you don’t need to go to Beantown to taste this specialty, since baked beans are now sold in cans, shipped to grocery stores worldwide.
Remember Little Miss Muffet who sat on her tuffet so she could eat her curds and whey? Well, if she was from the Midwestern U.S., we can bet that she'll be eating cheese curds, too, but the deep-fried kind, since that's how they prepare it there. Visit a Culver's restaurant branch and get a taste of authentic cheese curds in the region there.
Chocolate chip cookies are definitely going to make it into an all-American food fave list, simply because Americans love eating them! Some of the popular brands that make them have actually crossed borders already, letting global consumers taste American-made chocolate chip cookies, thanks to Keebler, Famous Amos, Mrs. Fields and of course Chips Ahoy!
A hamburger is a hamburger, but if prepared in a smaller size, then it's known as the slider. Usually, when you order a slider in restaurants, they don't give you just one, but they serve it in twos or threes, or even more, depending on the restaurant's marketing styles. Be sure to pass by a branch of White Castle to taste their trademarked version of it.
When talking about American soul food, fried chicken would definitely be a food item present in that categorization. And thanks to a certain Colonel Sanders, the humble fried chicken to come out of Kentucky was one of the first efforts of introducing this American soul food to the world.
For those looking for carbs in their breakfast, you will typically find hash browns in many a breakfast plate all over the U.S. These riced and fried potatos are a staple in many households, restaurants and of course American diners. Food historians traced the mention of this food item in American culture as far back as the late 1800s, so we're definitely sure this has been around for a very long time.
Strictly speaking, a cobbler is a kind of dish, somewhat like a deep-dish pie as well, because it technically has a crust underneath and over the dish, then the inside is filled with fruit-based fillings just like pie. The cobbler dates back to the time of the American colonies, actually, because the settlers there improvised on what they knew of their original land's baking styles and produced the cobbler as a result. These days, cobblers come in one-fruit styles, such as the peach cobbler, blackberry cobbler and of course the famous blueberry cobbler popular in the Southern U.S. states.
People who aren't such fans of chunky slabs of meat could eat the very American pulled pork, wherein the barbecued pork is served shredded. Some people eat this as is, while some put it between bread, making the yummy pulled-pork sandwich. People who cook this at home could use a typical fork to do the shredding of the meat.
Corn dogs are called as such because the batter used to make them is made up of cornmeal. The whole hot dog is dipped into this batter, then deep-fried. Depending on the vendor, it usually comes skewered in a stick, but there are also small bite-size corn dogs sold without the sticks. This is a very popular snack and street food found in beach sidewalk stalls and fairs all around the country—and also the world now.
Who knew that you can make cakes out of seafood? Citizens around the Chesapeake Bay are proud that their area produces crab cakes. The Maryland crab cake should be an item added on to any foodie's bucket list, and it's best to sample it in the Old Line State itself, or even in Virginia where they make these as well.
America has many favorite snacks in its pantry, and potato chips are certainly one of these faves! When it comes to favorite brands, though, a recent consumer goods survey showed that Herman Lay’s famous product tops the list, with Ruffles coming in second, while Pringles and Kettle Brand are also somewhere near the top.
Records show that the BLT, or the bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwich, appeared in the consciousness of Americans as far back as the early 1900s. So it's no wonder that this special sandwich is counted by Americans as one of their top-five favorite sandwiches in the land.
Thank experimental American entrepreneurs for inventing the ice cream dessert known as the banana split in the early 1900s. This all-American fave can also be replicated at home; just get a banana and literally split it into half, length-wise, and put it on the side of a scoop of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream row, then drizzle with chocolate or caramel syrup, then add some chopped nuts. Then, of course, don't forget the cherry on top!
Can you imagine watching a big Hollywood movie without munching on some good old popcorn in a bucket? That shouldn't be the case, since both popcorn and American movies—at least the commercial kind—share close historical timelines of invention. Popped corn as a concept appeared in the American landscape in the 1840s, about the same century cinema was "officially born" in France in the 1890s, and the two met in the U.S. pop-culture landscape at the turn of the century.
It's funny that the Chinese-oriented fortune cookie is identified with the U.S., but that's what’s great with America being the so-called melting pot of many cultures. Many lay claim to the origins of this chewy item, but it's a staple seen in American Chinese restaurants only, and it's not actually a tradition in China.