Your table witnessed a variety of home-cooked American cuisine this year. You have served turkey, pumpkin soup, hamburgers, steak, potato salad, cranberry sauce, and a whole lot more. Thank the American soil; we have the crops to create these American favorites. And after tasting different American foods, you would probably wonder what started American cuisine.
Different cultures influence food in America as it is a melting pot of different people with different ancestral backgrounds. America is best known for serving some of the best delicacies the world has tasted. That’s why US citizens have an impressive appetite. But how or what started American cuisine? In this article, we will talk about the history of American food and find out how it all began.
Introduction of American Cuisine
For a long time, some Americans and even foreigners believe that there is no such thing as American cuisine. For some they consider American cuisine as one of the delicacies that are hard to define.
Foods like hotdogs, burgers, and even pizzas have been defined as part of the nation’s palate. However, food experts and historians don’t always agree since there is a diverse movement of people in the American soil. The key, however, is that the history of American food reflects the nation’s history.
When you combine culinary passion and historical rigor, you need to consider; standardization, regionality, and variety. These themes help in shaping the entire history of the United States.
And since American cuisine is influenced by a large volume of immigrants, the impressive cuisine of America was instantly known to most countries in all parts of the world. From the Northeast to the mid-Atlantic – to Southern to Southwest, American cuisine is well-loved worldwide.
The people in America made what it’s like to eat an American cuisine these days – a unique and countless joints of steak houses, burger shops, and hotdog carts. American food is famous as most countries serve this cuisine on their table daily. Even in the Middle East and most Asian countries, one can never miss the goodness of American food.
History of the American Cuisine
American cuisine is known for its good quality. It has its staple ingredients that are always the key to any typical American food. However, defining the local cuisine is a different matter.
Let’s check out these five key improvements in the eating habits of Americans to truly understand what started American cuisine.
Americans Always Consider Sugar Healthy
People always prefer to eat food filled with sugar up until the late 1800s. After that, they consider oatmeal, dairy, meat, and sugar as staples. They are not always up for vegetables, and they don’t always appreciate vitamins until the 20th century.
Furthermore, Americans also prefer sugar and sweets over spices. They think spices could create indigestion. Spices and chili for them were considered “food for the poor.”
Food is Easy to Find in the Country
Wherever you are in America, food is in abundance. New English people liked to eat Turkey and brown bread. The people from the South like to eat greens, molasses, pork, cornbreads, and cornmeal.
The black American communities always have a way with their cuisine from the beginning. Their contribution to American cuisine from South to North was pervasive and has long been unnoticed. But in the late 19th century, their food is becoming more recognized and appreciated.
Americans Prioritize Food Education
Ideas about food have always existed scientifically. However, in the late 1800s, Americans began to keep a keen sense of learning how to cook and use ingredients that are known to be healthy. This is to avoid illnesses and diseases. And during that time, they gave importance to vegetables though it may seem to take time to cook.
Kitchens may seem like a laboratory to cooks. They utilize cookbooks, think of the nutritional value of the food they prepare, and put their hearts into cooking. These days, people can trust food ordered online as they know that whoever prepared their food knows about its nutritional content.
Industrial Development Added More Flavors
Because of industrialization and technological advancement, more and more flavors are introduced in America. Local food scientists play a part in the history of American food. Processed foods like powdered eggs and cake mixes may have existed before the Great World Wars, but processed foods have now reached new heights with industrialization.
In the Great World Wars, frozen foods and canned goods fed troops, but now, canned goods serve many families and are a staple in most pantries. Many would go to groceries to buy food, even the processed ones, as they are easier to prepare.
Immigration and Migration
Of course, the influence of immigrants played a big role in the eating habits of Americans. Migration and immigration are perhaps among the relevant factors that played an important role in what started American cuisine. It contributes to forming people’s eating habits and culture of food consumption.
While most countries in the world have immigration, America happened to have a large scale of this movement early on. From then up to now, we’re seeing large arrivals of immigrants from Eastern Europe, Italy, and Asia. Besides the native inhabitants of the country, these people are what make American food American.
American Food Categories
Now that you have a brief idea of the history of American cuisine and foods, here are six categories of American foods that we’ve identified. This identification gives you a better understanding of what started American cuisine.
There are various nuts, vegetables, fish, and livestock that are native to North America. Some of the foods were the “Old World” types. And come these days, where new world foods are also being introduced. Native foods usually come with three ingredients: beans, corns, and squash.
When diverse cuisines settle together in a country, it creates the best food mix. Such examples of ethnic blends of American cuisine are fortune cookies, chicken salad, and Fajitas.
Though the recipes may seem old, it also adapts to the new world ingredients. One example is cornbread.
Food fads and Generic Traditions
The history of the foods can be traced to the Old World. Examples of foods are Corndogs, Rice Krispies Treats, and even Chex Mix.
The American community always stirs up the taste of place. This might be based on the preference of the people or what’s in for their taste in a specific region or state. Like for example, in Texas, they have this famous Texas Barbecue that people go crazy about.
Foreign manufactured goods are often associated with the “United States.” The sky is always the limit, and you have a lot of food to choose from, from breakfast, lunch, to dinner options.
There’s no way you could miss the American Cuisine wherever you are in the world. It’s among the most sought-after cuisines, not only because of how tasty American foods are but because of its interesting history.
Now that you know what started American cuisine, hopefully, you appreciate it a bit more. After all, you are for sure are one of those who likes to eat these remarkable creations. American cuisine deserves to be recognized worldwide. And for sure, many people of different races can’t get enough of it.