The variations on East Coast clam chowder are deliciously numerous. The official state pie of Florida, this sassy tart has made herself a worldwide reputation, which started in -- where else? Or the mysterious "La Dama de Azul," a Spanish nun named Sister Mary of Agreda, who reportedly never left her convent in Spain but came back from one of her astral projections preaching Christianity to Indians in the New World with their recipe for venison chili. What it is: A jack-of-all-trades salad that includes avocado, cheese, chicken, tomatoes, bacon, a hard-boiled egg, and French dressing. Cobblers emerged in the British American colonies and remain beloved today. Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/Getty Images. Do you care, or do you just want to ladle on that peppery white gravy and dig in? Beef burritos, nachos, cheese dip, and fajitas are often on the brain when one suggests going out for Mexican food. Paul Morigi/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for Smithfield. Invented by: The cooking staff of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg’s sanatorium, who mixed hydrogenated vegetable oil with peanut paste to make it easier to feed patients. It's hard to believe, but it all began with a simple mistake. Braised beef and vegetables -- the perfect warming hot pot. That was 1922; not quite 100 years later, peanut butter is an American mainstay, often paired with jelly for that lunchbox workhorse the PB&J. Today we eschew the venison they most certainly ate, and we cram their three days of feasting into one gluttonous gorge. Instead of cooking something new, he and friend Sid Grauman threw together the kitchen’s leftovers. Chinese, Thai, Italian, Japanese. Trail mix: fueling hikers across the United States. Or perhaps the brainchild of Arnold Rueben, the German owner of New York's now-defunct Reuben's Delicatessen, who came up with it in 1914? People who didn't grow up eating them wonder what the heck they are. Add all the granola, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, candied ginger, and M&Ms you want. Apples aren't even native to the continent; the Pilgrims brought seeds. The fajita is thought to have come off the range and into popular culture when a certain Sonny Falcon began operating fajita taco stands at outdoor events and rodeos in Texas beginning in 1969. Which means folks make gravy," says The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook. Twinkies are known for their durability and shelf life -- rumour says they could survive a nuclear attack. There's a perfect beach for every week of the year. For that we owe a debt to a similar sausage from Frankfurt, Germany (hence, "frankfurter" and "frank") and German immigrant Charles Feltman, who is often credited with inventing the hot dog by using buns to save on plates. Less rhetorically: why does Piedras Negras, Mexico, just over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, host The International Nacho Festival and the Biggest Nacho in the World Contest every October? It's the home habitat of the blue crab, which both Maryland and Virginia claim as their own. This answer is based on that, mostly. Now get the rubber apron on because we're going first. Beef, turkey, chicken, venison, buffalo, even ostrich, alligator, yak, and emu. 2020 Complex Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Use red cedar (it has no preservatives), and cook slow, for that rich, smoky flavor. Thin-crust pizza made in a brick oven has its place, but if you lust for crust, nothing satisfies quite like Chicago-style. What it is: A mixture of corn and beans served in a cream or milk sauce. Whatever the history, you'll find plenty food for thought at the annual Banana Split Festival, which takes place on the second weekend in June in Wilmington. And let's not forget Kansas City, where the sauce is the thing. Most credit chef Manashita Ichiro and his assistant Mashita Ichiro, at L.A.'s Tokyo Kaikan restaurant, which had one of the country's first sushi bars, with creating the "inside out" roll that preempted Americans' aversions by putting the nori (seaweed) on the inside of the rice and substituting avocado for toro (raw fatty tuna). It’s pretty much a national sport. Lightly seasoned with salt, basted with melted butter, and grilled over a live fire, it's traditionally served with a thin clear gravy and Delmonico's potatoes, made with cream, white pepper, Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg -- a rumored favorite of Abraham Lincoln's. Beef brisket, bottom or top round, or chuck set in a deep roasting pan with potatoes, carrots, onions, and whatever else your mom threw in to be infused with the meat's simmering juices, the pot roast could be anointed with red wine or even beer, then covered and cooked on the stovetop or in the oven. Grill skirt steak (faja in Spanish) over the campfire, wrap in a tortilla, and you've got the beginning of a Rio Grande region tradition. Among other firsts, the restaurant served the "Delmonico Steak." We're not going to touch that one with a three-meter tong, either. Which might be why Charleston's The Post and Courier opined in 1952 that "Given enough [grits], the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight about. Ground rules: acknowledge that even trying to define American food is tough; further acknowledge that picking favorite American items inevitably means leaving out or accidentally overlooking some much-loved regional specialties. Consider Kit Carson, whose dying regret was that he didn't have time for one more bowl. Whether you have it Creole style or Cajun, Jambalaya is a delicious dish. They're the favored hot breakfast in the so-called Grits Belt, which girdles everything from Virginia to Texas and where the dish is a standard offering on diner menus. Lunch counter, traditional, gourmet, sliders, Kobe. The chef's salad originated back East, but American food innovators working with lettuce out West weren't going to be outdone. The thing to remember here is that the stuff is American food rocket fuel. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/Getty Images. The answer might be important for dictionary etymologies, but the better part of the secret to the Reuben is not who it's named after but what it's dressed with. There is a rich diversity in food preparation throughout the United States. The combination is then mashed between two graham crackers and eaten like a delicious, sticky sandwich. Invented by: Neil Fletcher, Texas State Fair entrepreneur, in 1942. Chunks of sweet lobster meat lightly dressed with mayo or lemon or both, heaped in a buttered hot dog bun makes for some seriously satisfying finger food. "Flat" (the stacked New Mexico style) or rolled, smothered in red chili sauce or green (or both, for "Christmas" style), enchiladas are the source of much cultural pride in the Land of Enchantment; they're particularly enchanting made with the state's famed blue-corn tortillas -- fried egg on top optional. It's just one of several Midwestern corn belt towns that vie for the title of Popcorn Capital of the World, but centuries before Orville's obsession aromatically inflated in microwaves or Jiffy Pop magically expanded on stovetops, Native Americans in New Mexico discovered corn could be popped — way back in 3600 B.C. It might not look appetizing, but the taste speaks for itself. Simple and cheap, grits are also profoundly satisfying. Annoyed, Crum makes the next batch with a little attitude, slicing the potatoes so thin, the crispy things can't possibly be picked up with a fork. Legend has it that the first sale of Smithfield Ham occured in 1779. Boardwalk style (mixed with fillers and served on a bun) or restaurant/gourmet style; fried, broiled, or baked, crab cakes can be made with any kind of crab, but the blue crabs of Chesapeake Bay are preferred for both tradition and taste. Have pork and green chiles ever spent such delicious time together? It was even Oberlin’s mandatory dining policy in 1838. Mouth-watering enchiladas -- are you hungry yet? Raise your flags, hold onto your PBRs, and read about some of the tastiest foods born in the USA. Meanwhile in Windy City, the steamed or water-simmered all-beef Chicago dog (Vienna Beef, please) is still being "dragged through the garden" and served on a poppy seed bun -- absolutely without ketchup. The New England classic that never gets old. Barring that, there's always lox and bagels. The traditional Louisiana sub is said to have originated in 1929, when Bennie and Clovis Martin -- both of whom had been streetcar conductors and union members before opening the coffee shop that legend says became the birthplace of the po' boy -- supported striking streetcar motormen and conductors with food. Facts about American Food 1: Coca-Cola. Alaska salmon season coincides with their return to spawning streams (guided by an amazing sense of smell to the exact spot where they were born). Local legend has it that Sally first put the pie together in the 1800s. Proust's madeleines? Pork or beef, slathered or smoked -- we're not about to wade into which is more embraced, what's more authentic, or even what needs more napkins. American food is like Jazz…there are more guidelines than rules, borrowing from other genres is normal, melding two things together commonplace, and experimentation or improvisation is valued. Comes from: Los Angeles (Photo: Flickr/Stu_spivack). Better yet, make the trip to green chile stew country and order up a bowl. Aficionados agree: no store-bought Russian or Thousand Island -- the sauce needs to be homemade. Pat and Harry Olivieri get the credit for making the first cheese steaks (originally with pizza sauce -- cheese apparently came later, courtesy of one of Pat's cooks) and selling them from their hot dog stand in south Philly. In 1937, Bob Cobb, the owner of The Brown Derby, was scrounging around at the restaurant's North Vine location for a meal for Sid Grauman of Grauman's Theater when he put together a salad with what he found in the fridge: a head of lettuce, an avocado, some romaine, watercress, tomatoes, some cold chicken breast, a hard-boiled egg, chives, cheese, and some old-fashioned French dressing. Andrew Burton/Getty Images North America/Getty Images. Courtesy Gloria Cabada-Leman/Creative Commons/Flickr. Comes from: Across the country (Photo: Flickr/ TheBittenWord). History didn’t record much about Aunt Sally, but its safe to say she is responsible for some of our best summer dinners. Lay's would ultimately merge in 1961 with Frito to create the snack behemoth Frito-Lay. On 8 may 1886, this product was sold for the first time in a Pharmacy store. Comes from: California (Photo: Flickr/David Huang). We love blueberries for how they sex up practically any crust, dough, or batter, maybe most of all in cobblers and that other all-American favorite, the blueberry muffin. From thence they have gone forth across the border, the continent and the world. THE HISTORY Tex-Mex food, as we know it today, is a relatively recent invention. Follow the. It was the pre-Columbian Maya who invented tortillas, and apparently the Aztecs who started wrapping them around bits of fish and meat. But calling it that is incorrect in and of itself – authentic Mexican food almost never incorporates ingredients like beef, cheddar cheese, black beans, and wheat flour. They were temporarily taken off the shelves between November 2012 to July 2013 -- when Hostess filed for bankruptcy. Our editorial content is not influenced by any commissions we receive. The original country-style American ham was dry cured for preservation; salty and hard, it could keep until soaked in water (to remove the salt and reconstitute) before cooking. The muffaletta might be the signature sandwich of Crescent City, but the po' boy is the "shotgun house of New Orleans cuisine.". For a rocking alternative, try peanut butter sandwiches the way Elvis Presley liked them: with ripe mashed bananas, grilled in butter. Peppered, barbecued, hickory-smoked, honey glazed. Hostess' iconic "Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling" has been sugaring us up since James Dewar invented it at the Continental Baking Company in Schiller Park, Illinois, in 1930. The salad went onto the menu and straight into the heart of Hollywood. Comes from: Michigan (Photo: Flickr/Connie Ma). It’s difficult to reconcile the popular imagery of helicopters dropping packages of staples into natural disaster-stricken communities with the fact that only 30 cents of every dollar taxpayers contribute to Food for Peace is spent on actual food . Skippy. To each his own, but everybody -- except those afflicted with the dreaded and dangerous peanut allergy and the moms who worry sick about them -- loves a good peanut butter sandwich. The soul, you might say, of soul food. At the point when a potential cafes scrutinizes the brief depiction of any eatery they likely get a feeling of what sort of cooking can be found on the menu. Courtesy Kate Hopkins/Creative Commons/Flickr. Whether he or his original chef Rudy Malnati originated it, one of those patron saints of pizza made it deep and piled it high, filling a tall buttery crust with lots of meat, cheese, tomato chunks, and authentic Italian spices. And you were probably made to sit there, all night if need be, if you didn't eat all your beans. As the seminal symbol of all great American-born Chinese grub, however, we salute the mighty fortune cookie. Still, kudos to whoever invented the variation of the sundae known as the banana split. When tomatoes come into season, there's hardly a better way to celebrate the bounty than with a juicy bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Made with meat, vegetables (a trinity of celery, peppers, and onions), and rice, Louisiana's signature dish might be most memorable when made with shrimp and andouille sausage. Invented by: Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham, to keep teenagers from thinking about sex. Can you feel the serotonin and endorphins releasing? We have a high-maintenance resort guest to thank for America's hands-down favorite snack. S'mores -- you can't just have one, the clue's in the name. Saratoga Springs, New York, 1853: Native American chef George Crum is in the kitchen at the elegant Moon Lake Lodge. besides french fries Pan fry it in bread crumbs, of course. Andrew Nestle reputedly got the recipe from her -- it remains on the package to this day -- and Wakefield got a lifetime supply of chocolate chips. The story goes that one night Cobb got hungry after work. When your love for popcorn goes that step too far... Stephen Chernin/Getty Images North America/Getty Images. Scottish immigrants brought the deep-fry method across the pond, and it was good old Colonel Saunders who really locked in on the commercial potential in 1930 when he started pressure-frying chicken breaded in his secret spices at his service station in Corbin, Kentucky, paving the way for Kentucky Fried and all the other fried chickens to come. Americans love nothing more than to munch on deep fried, fatty foods while multitasking. Flavored with teriyaki, jalapeno, lemon pepper, chili. Traveling salesman Herman Lay sold them out of the trunk of his car before founding Lay's Potato Chips, the first nationally marketed brand. And the 1907 Wilmington, Ohio, story, wherein restaurant owner Ernest Hazard came up with it to draw students from a nearby college. Join us on a 12-month journey to see them all, Behind the appeal of America's craziest fair foods, Tradition meets creativity: A new kind of Southern cuisine. Invented by: The Girl Scouts, who printed the combination in their 1927 guidebook. Wasabi anyone? It's an American food that's been around since the late 1800s, when Portuguese and Italian fishermen who settled the North Beach section of the city brought their on-board catch-of-the-day stew back to land and area restaurants picked up on it. The most humble of comfort food. There's the 1904 Latrobe, Pennsylvania, story, in which future optometrist David Strickler was experimenting with sundaes at a pharmacy soda fountain, split a banana lengthwise, and put it in a long boat dish. The Buffalo or Bison Native Americans in the Great Plains area of the country relied heavily on the buffalo, also called the bison.Not only did they eat the buffalo as food, but they also used much of the buffalo for other areas of their lives. However your mom made it -- we're guessing ketchup on top? All you need is a sleeve of graham crackers, some marshmallows, a bar of chocolate, a good-ol’ American campfire and you’re set. Whatever the size, this is America's favorite sushi. Because it was there that Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya invented nachos when a gaggle of shopping wives of American soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan arrived at the Victory Club restaurant after closing time. We like it anytime -- so long as the Hatch chiles are roasted fresh. A persnickety customer sends back his French fries (then highfalutin fare eaten with a fork) for being too thick. We'll go you one better on remembrance of things past: s'mores. The sodium level gives the health-minded pause, but the BLT tastes like summer -- and who can resist that? Naples gave us the first pizza, but the City of Big Shoulders (and even bigger pizzas) gave us the deep dish. And you're saying Americans know something good enough to be an icon when we eat it, with or without the cheddar cheese or vanilla ice cream on top. Po'boy -- the ultimate American sandwich. Cioppino: Portugal meets meets Italy meets France by way of San Francisco. In celebration of Independence Day, we’ve rounded up the best dishes that actually took form in this country, thanks the gastronomic ingenuity of our forefathers. Take some vaqueros working on the range and the cattle slaughtered to feed them. Our favorite rendition might be the way they do cheeseburgers in New Mexico: with green chilis, natch. Lee did extensive research to write a book about American-Chinese food called "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles." Hot dogs are a staple of American street food -- sold at carts and stands across the country. You've still got your own teeth, right? Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America/Getty Images. A very Americanized burger. '", Enjoy the beloved everyman sandwich in its seemingly infinite variety (the traditional fried oyster and shrimp can't be beat) and fight the encroachment of chain sub shops at the annual. Even the West Coast has a version (with salmon instead of pork). Corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing -- the ultimate combination for the Reuben sandwich. There's Manhattan: clear with tomatoes. Almost as iconic (and if you ask most kids, as delicious) is the turkey TV dinner, the 1953 brainchild of a Swanson salesman looking to use up 260 overestimated tons of frozen birds. Green chile stew has been called the queen of the New Mexican winter table, but we don't need a cold winter day to eat this fragrant favorite. Even the most modest chili has legions of fans. This is a list of American foods and dishes. INSIDER Hamburgers may be known as an American fast food staple today, but their origin story dates back to the growth of cattle domestication in Hamburg, Germany, during the 12th century, according to the History Channel.There, meat patties are known as frikadellen or buletten. Native plants combine with the ethnic diversity of the United States to make an extensive (and delicious) array of unique American foods, and many states officially recognize food symbols. It's American food the way we like our wilderness grub -- tough and spicy. And there's even Minorcan (from around St. Augustine, Florida): spicy with hot datil pepper. Courtesy @joefoodie/Creative Commons/Flickr. Let the food fight begin: If life gives you limes, don't make limeade, make a Key lime pie. "Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would say, 'Here comes another poor boy. They’re so American we even celebrate National S’mores Day on August 10th each year. Americans are spending much more on snacks like protein bars, chips and beef jerky, while overall grocery spending has remained almost flat, according to … The Chesapeake Bay yields more than just the regatta-loving suntanned class in their sock-free topsiders. "The Southern way with gravies was born of privation. The ultimate comfort food, macaroni and cheese is also the salvation of many a mom placating a finicky toddler. No joke: He got the idea, he said, from tidily packaged airplane food. Courtesy jonobacon/Creative Commons/Flickr. Nothing complements a baseball game or summer cookout quite like a hot dog. The Actual Origins Of 11 "American" Foods. Cobblers become doubly American when made with blueberries, which are native to North America (Maine practically has a monopoly on them). The cheeseburger became popular in the 1920s and 1930s. San Francisco's answer to French bouillabaisse, cioppino (cho-pea-no) is fish stew with an Italian flair. Who would have imagined when the recipe for "Cannelon of Beef" showed up in Fannie Farmer's 1918 "Boston Cooking School Cook Book" that every mom in America would someday have her own version? Epicenter of curing and production of a head-spinning number of hogs, Smithfield comes by the title Ham Capital of the World honestly: lots of ham is called Virginia, but there's only one Smithfield, as defined by a 1926 law that says it must be processed within the city limits. Grits are nothing if not versatile: They can go plain, savory, or sweet; pan-fried or porridge-like. Made of "frizzled beef," chopped while being grilled in grease, the Philly cheese steak sandwich gets the rest of its greasy goodness from onions and cheese (American, provolone, or Cheese Whiz), all of which is laid into a long locally made Amoroso bun. It wasn't long before the dish was making its way onto menus in the Lone Star State and spreading with its beloved array of condiments -- grilled onions and green pepper, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, and sour cream -- across the country. Don't forget the Altoids. Still too thick for the picky diner. An American classic, best served with a view across the Atlantic. David Paul Morris/Getty Images North America/Getty Images. The name comes from the phrase “gimme some more.” The tasty treat is still popular around campfires across the country. A guilty pleasure if there ever was one, chicken fried steak was born to go with American food classics like mashed potatoes and black-eyed peas. Less apocryphally, "chili queens" in 1880s San Antonio, Texas, sold their spicy stew from stands, and the "San Antonio Chili Stand" at the 1893 Chicago world's fair secured chili's nationwide fame. By Kaitlyn Wylde. The first diner called by the French name restaurant, Delmonico's opened in 1837 with unheard-of things like printed menus, tablecloths, private dining rooms, and lunch and dinner offerings. Who would think that a flat chunk of leavened dough fried or deep-fried could be so addictive? How many sandwiches get to go by their initials? Fabulous finger-licking lobster time in Maine is during shack season, May to October, and every August, when Rockland puts on its. This variety continued expanding well into the 19th and 20th proportional to the influx migrants from additional foreign nations. Courtesy jeffreyw/Creative Commons/Flickr. Courtesy Exile on Ontario St/Creative Commons/Flickr. But you might also thank Florida sponge fisherman for likely originating the concoction of key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks, which could be "cooked" (by a thickening chemical reaction of the ingredients) at sea. Buffalo wings are coated in cayenne pepper and hot sauce. The Twinkie forsook its original banana cream filling for vanilla when bananas were scarce during World War II. He took the opportunity to recreate the dish at his restaurant, Philippe, in 1918. After leading the charge for the sushi invasion of the 1980s, the California roll now occupies grocery stores everywhere. Who knew sauerkraut could be so sexy? Many believe that the name Hoppin’ John belongs to a crippled old man who sold peas and rice throughout Charleston. And maybe nowhere more so than in Maine, which provides 80% of the clawed creatures, and where lobster shacks and lobster bakes are culinary institutions. "We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended," Bennie was quoted. Just for fun, we present the following list of "National Food Holidays" (usually originating from and promoted by industry groups, clubs, and health organizations). Celebrate sweetly on August 10: It's National S'mores Day. We like the creation myth that says it's the direct descendant of American Indian pemmican, which mixed fire-cured meat with animal fat. Long before Bostonians were baking their navy beans for hours in molasses -- and earning the nickname Beantown in the process -- New England Native Americans were mixing beans with maple syrup and bear fat and putting them in a hole in the ground for slow cooking. Kind of makes you crabby, doesn't it? A little more than 50 years later, America is eating about 32 million kilos of these taters annually. And one of our favorite places to eat it is at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. In the mid-19th century, the fried pastries got their name from a New England ship captain's mother Elizabeth Gregory, who infused her dough with imported spices of nutmeg and cinnamon and put hazelnuts or walnuts in the center – literally, dough nuts . After a huge storm soaked the boardwalk, a young girl entered Bradley’s shop looking for taffy. Also charmingly called slump, grunt, and buckle, cobbler got its start with early oven-less colonists who came up with the no-crust-on-the-bottom fruit dish that could cook in a pan or pot over a fire. Courtesy LeaningLark/Creative Commons/Flickr. Unlike Atlantic salmon, which is 99.8% farmed, Alaska salmon is wild, which means the fish live free and eat clean -- all the better to glaze with Dijon mustard or real maple syrup. A peanut butter and banana sandwich, Elvis Presley's favorite snack. We really love the American ingenuity that added corn chips and cheddar cheese to make Frito pie, a kitschy delight you can order served in the bag at the Five & Dime on the Santa Fe Plaza, the same physical location of the original Woolworth's lunch counter that came up with it. But why debate it when you can just eat it? Comes from: South Carolina (Photo: Flickr/ Urbanfoodie33). Almost certainly invented in California in the early 1900s (origin stories vary between San Francisco. Courtesy Larry Jacobsen/Creative Commons/Flickr. Boardwalk, a new cookie was invented by: Presbyterian minister Sylvester,. Darned delicious that one night Cobb got hungry after work, burritos, nachos, dip. Tends to take on sweeter, heavier tones ( sweet and sour pork, fruit! Is delicious and nutritious -- what more could you want, yak, and every August, when puts. And fajitas are often on the the official state pie of Florida, land of the world in food throughout... 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