For many international students who have never been to the United States, and have only seen it in a movie or on a TV show, American food may seem to be primarily pizzas, hamburgers and French fries. While these foods are available and are very popular, the question of “What is American Food?” can’t be answered simply with a list that includes a handful of dishes.
This is to be expected of the country that is the third largest in the world; foods within the US vary greatly between different regions of the country. For example, in the northeastern region where seafood is popular, lobsters and clam chowder are a couple of popular dishes there. In the southern states, food like grits, cornbread and southern fried chicken are famous. French and African cuisine also came together with other food traditions during the early years of the United States history to create Cajun and Creole cuisine in Louisiana.
Known as the melting pot, America and its food are influenced by people from all around the world. Due to the large number of Mexican Americans, Mexican cuisine was mixed with American cuisine and the Tex-Mex food genre was created. Sushi, which is a Japanese food, has also changed since it first arrived in the United States. When a Japanese restaurant opened a sushi bar back in the 1960s and was having trouble selling the idea of eating raw fish to Americans, the chef substitute avocado in place of the raw fish and eventually created the California roll which is today credited for popularizing sushi. Today, many varieties of sushi rolls are available that did not originate in Japan.
This trend of mixing cultural food continues today, a more recent example is Korean tacos which have become very popular. As the name implies, it is a combination of Korean style barbecue and the Mexican taco, it is spreading around the country at a quick pace. So what is American Food? In my opinion, it is the unique combination of cuisine from different cultures in America.
For students who want to come and experience the United States first hand but don’t know which college or university is the best fit for you, check out the Study in the USA section of our website to research your perfect school!