Fast, junk, processed: when it comes to American food, the country is best known for things that are described in words that are best suited to greasy, abrasive industrial production. But US citizens are more likely to be affected. USA They also have an impressive appetite for good things..
To celebrate your endless culinary creativity, we present to you our list of the 50 Most Delicious American Foods. We know you want to back out.
Ground Rules: Recognize that even trying to define American food is difficult; Also recognize that choosing American favorites inevitably means accidentally neglecting or overlooking some well-loved regional specialties.
Now put on your rubber apron because we're going first. Let the food fight begin:
50. Key lime pie
Key lime pie is a staple on South Florida menus.
Courtesy of Joe's Stone Crab Restaurant
If life gives you limes, don't make lemonade, make key lime pie. The official cake of the state of Florida, this sassy tart has earned a worldwide reputation, starting where else? - the Florida Keys, where the tiny limes that gave the cake its name come from.
Aunt Sally, the cook of Florida's first self-made millionaire, ship savior William Curry, is credited with making the first key lime pie in the late 1800s. But I could also thank the Florida sponge fisherman for probably originating the mixture of lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, and egg yolks, which could be “cooked” (through a chemical reaction thickening the ingredients) in the sea.
49. Tater tots
Tater tots are crispy fries.
Courtesy of stu_spivack / Creative Commons / Flickr
We love French fries, but for an American food variation on the potato theme - a beloved one at Sonic drive-ins and school cafeterias everywhere - consider the Tater Tot.
Note that it is often trademarked - these commercial hash brown cylinders are owned by the Ore-Ida company. If you had been one of the Grigg brothers who founded Ore-Ida, you would also have wanted to think of something to do with the leftover chips of cut potatoes. They added a little flour and seasonings and shaped the puree into little jars and put them on the market in 1956. A little over 50 years later, the United States is eating about 32 million kilos of these potatoes a year.
48. San Francisco sourdough bread
Sourdough bread is San Francisco's most beloved baked dessert.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
Sourdough is as old as the pyramids and it was not by chance that it was eaten in ancient Egypt. But the undisputed American favorite, and the most acidic variety, comes from San Francisco.
As much a part of NoCal's culinary culture as Napa Valley wine, sourdough bread has been a staple since the days of the Gold Rush. Once upon a time, there was a frontier age, miners (called “sourdoughs” for surviving on the material) and settlers carried sourdough (more reliable than other yeasts) in bags around the neck or on the belt.
Thank goodness that's not the way they do it at Boudin Bakery, which has been producing the bread you bite into in City by the Bay since 1849.
47. Cobb Salad
Originally made with leftovers, Cobb Salad is now one of America's favorite appetizers.
Courtesy of Jodimichelle / Creative Commons / Flickr
The chef's salad originated in the East, but American food innovators working with lettuce in the West weren't going to be left behind.
In 1937, Bob Cobb, the owner of The Brown Derby, was hanging around the North Vine restaurant for a meal for Sid Grauman of the Grauman's Theater when he made a salad out of what he found in the refrigerator: a lettuce, an avocado, some romaine lettuce, watercress, tomatoes, some cold chicken breast, a hard-boiled egg, chives, cheese, and an old-fashioned French dressing.
Brown Derby tradition says: “It started to itch. He added some crispy bacon, taken from a busy chef. " The salad went on the menu and straight into the heart of Hollywood.
46. Pot roast
Beef and Vegetable Stew - The perfect hot pot.
Courtesy of Kim / Creative Commons / Flickr
The childhood family Sunday dinner of baby boomers everywhere, pot roast claims a sentimental favorite spot in the top 10 of American comfort foods. There is a whole generation that would be lost without him.
Beef brisket, round bottom or top, or a plate in a deep roasting pan with potatoes, carrots, onions, and whatever else your mom threw in to infuse with the boiling juices from the meat, roast beef can be rubbed with wine red or even beer, then covered and cooked on the stove or in the oven.
Twinkies are known for their durability and lifespan; it is rumored that they could survive a nuclear attack.
Scott Olson / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
Hostess's iconic “Golden Cream Filling Cake” has been sweetening us since James Dewar invented it at the Continental Baking Company in Schiller Park, Illinois in 1930.
The Twinkie ditched its original banana cream filling for vanilla when bananas were in short supply during WWII. As if they weren't good enough anymore, the Texas State Fair kicked off the fry craze.
Dumped into hot oil or simply ripped from their packaging, the Twinkies become endearing with their name (inspired by a billboard advertising Twinkle Toe Shoes), their finger shape (pierced three times to inject the filling) and their evocations of recess from lunchtime. They were temporarily removed from the shelves between November 2012 and July 2013, when Hostess filed for bankruptcy. Now they are back and going strong.
It may not look appetizing, but the taste speaks for itself.
Courtesy of Larry Jacobsen / Creative Commons / Flickr
The dehydrated meat crumpled almost unrecognizable - an unlikely source of so much taste pleasure, but jerky is a protein-rich favorite of backpackers, road travelers, and sandwiches the world over.
It's American food the way we like our wild food: tough and spicy.
We like the creation myth that he is a direct descendant of the American Indian Pemmican, who mixed fire-cured meat with animal fat. Beef, turkey, chicken, venison, buffalo, even ostrich, alligator, yak, and emu. Pepper-grilled, walnut-smoked, honey-glazed. Flavored with teriyaki, jalapeño, lemon pepper, chili.
Jerky is so versatile and portable and has such nutritional power that the Army is experimenting with jerky sticks that have the caffeine equivalent of a cup of coffee.
It doesn't matter how you drink your jerky - coffee or decaf; into strips, chips or strips, prepare to chew long and hard. You still have your own teeth, right?
Fajitas: the epitome of Tex-Mex cuisine.
Courtesy of Shutterstock.
Take some cowboys working in the fields and slaughtered cattle to feed them. Throw in the disposable cuts of meat as part of your take-home pay off your hands and let your cowboy ingenuity get to work.
Grill the skirt steak (strip in Spanish) over the campfire, wrap it in a tortilla, and you have the start of a tradition from the Rio Grande region. Fajita is believed to have gone out of range and into popular culture when one Sonny Falcon began operating fajita taco stands at outdoor events and rodeos in Texas beginning in 1969.
It wasn't long before the dish made its way onto Lone Star State menus and spread with its beloved array of condiments - roasted onions and green bell pepper, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, and sour cream - all over the world. country. . Don't forget about the Altoids.
42. Banana split
Banana is good for you, right?
Cindy Ord / Getty Images North America
As if the banana did you good. Still, kudos to the one who invented the ice cream variation known as the banana split. There's the 1904 Latrobe, Pennsylvania story in which future optometrist David Strickler was experimenting with ice cream in a pharmacy soda fountain, splitting a banana lengthwise and placing it in a long container.
And the 1907 Wilmington, Ohio story in which restaurant owner Ernest Hazard invented it to attract students from a nearby college. Fame spread after a Chicago Walgreens made division its signature dessert in the 1920s. Whatever the story, you'll find plenty to think about at the annual Banana Split Festival, which takes place on the second weekend. June weekdays in Wilmington.
Cornbread is popular across the country, but it's a Southern classic.
Courtesy of Alice Henneman / Creative Commons / Flickr
It's a mainstay of Southern cuisine, but cornbread is the soul food of many cultures - Black, White, and Native American - and not just south of Mason-Dixon. Coarsely grind the corn and you will have grits; soak the kernels in alkali and you will get ground corn (which we recommend cooking in posole). Finely ground cornmeal yeast with baking powder and you've got cornbread.
Southern hushpuppies and corn donuts, New England johnnycakes; cooked in a skillet or muffin tins; Seasoned With Cheese, Herbs, or Jalapeños - Cornbread in any incarnation remains the quick and easy on the go bread that historically made it a favorite with Native American and pioneer mothers and keeps it on tables across the country in the present.
Trail Mix - Feeding Hikers Across America.
Courtesy of Helen Penjam / Creative Commons / Flickr
"Good Old Raisins and Peanuts", GORP is the energy salvation of backpackers around the world.
Centuries before trail mix hit the bag and bucket, it was eaten in Europe, where hiking is practically a national pastime.
The thing to remember here is that the material is American food rocket fuel. Add as much granola, seeds, nuts, dried fruit, candied ginger, and M & Ms as you like. Just be sure to store it in a bear-proof container because hanging it from a branch in a nylon sack won't.
Whether you have it Creole or Cajun style, jambalaya is a delicious dish.
Courtesy of Gloria Cabada-Leman / Creative Commons / Flickr
Jambalaya, crab cake, steak gumbo ... what a dish could be so evocative that it inspired Hank Williams to write a party song for him in 1952 and dozens more to cover it (including everyone from Jo Stafford to Credence Clearwater Revival and Emmylou Harris) ?
The kitchen-sweeping cousin of Spanish paella, jambalaya comes in red (Creole, with tomatoes) and brown (Cajun, without). Made with meat, vegetables (a trinity of celery, peppers, and onions), and rice, Louisiana's flagship dish can be most memorable when made with shrimp and andouille sausage.
Whatever the color and secret ingredients, you can be sure of one thing when you sit down with your friends at a big bowl: motherfucker, you'll have a lot of fun in the swamp.
38. Biscuits 'n' gravy
American cookies are more like European buns.
Courtesy of @ joefoodie / Creative Commons / Flickr
An overpowering Southern favorite, cookies and gravy would be a cliche if they weren't so delicious.
Cookies are traditionally made with butter or lard and buttermilk; the milk sauce (or “sawmill” or country) with meat fat and (usually) chunks of good fresh pork sausage and black pepper. Cheap and requiring only widely available ingredients, a meal of biscuits and gravy was a form of satiety for slaves and sharecroppers to face a tough day in the field.
“The southern style with sauces was born out of deprivation. When people are poor, they get by. Which means people make salsa, ”says the Southern Food Alliance community cookbook. The soul, it might be said, of soul food.
37. Smithfield Ham
Legend has it that the first Smithfield Ham sale occurred in 1779.
Paul Morigi / Getty Images North America / Getty Images for Smithfield
"Ham, history and hospitality". That's the motto of Smithfield, Virginia, the Smithfield of Smithfield Virginia ham. Notice that "ham" comes before the story, which really says something considering this village of 8,100 was first settled in 1634.
Honestly, Smithfield, the epicenter of curing and producing an astonishing number of pigs, is given the title Ham Capital of the World - many hams are named Virginia, but there is only one Smithfield, as defined by a 1926 law that says it must be processed within city limits.
The original rustic-style American ham was dry-cured for preservation; salty and hard, it can be preserved until soaked in water (to remove the salt and reconstitute) before cooking. The delicious and authentic cured Virginia ham turned out to be the favorite of the famous Virginian Thomas Jefferson.
36. Fried chicken fillet
How do you make the steak even tastier? Fry it in breadcrumbs, of course.
Courtesy of kennejima / Creative Commons / Flickr
A guilty pleasure, if ever there was one, fried chicken fillet was born to accompany American food classics like mashed potatoes and black-eyed peas.
A slab of tenderized steak breaded in seasoned flour and pan-fried, it is related to the Weiner Schnitzel brought to Texas by Austrian and German immigrants, who adapted their veal recipe to use the hearty beef found in Texas.
Lamesa, in the South Texas cattle plains, claims to be the dish's birthplace, but John “White Gravy” Neutzling of Bandera's Lone Star State cowboy town insisted he invented it. Do you mind, or do you just want to ladle in that spicy white sauce and eat?
35. Wild Alaskan Salmon
Salmon is delicious and nutritious, what more could you ask for?
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
Guys risk their lives and limb fishing for this delicious superfood.
Unlike Atlantic salmon, which is 99.8% farmed, Alaska salmon is wild, meaning that the fish live free and eat clean, glazing with Dijon mustard or real maple syrup is best. Alaska salmon season coincides with their return to spawning streams (guided by an incredible sense of smell to the exact place where they hatched).
Don't worry - before the fishing season, state biologists make sure many salmon have already gone upstream to lay eggs. But let's get to that cedar plank, the cooking method preferred by the many Pacific Northwest Indian tribes whose mythologies and diets include salmon.
Use red cedar (no preservatives) and simmer for that rich smoky flavor. Other than that, there is always smoked salmon and bagels.
34. California roll
A section of the largest California Roll in the world. Whatever the size, this is America's favorite sushi.
Courtesy of Chris Martinez / Stringer
Much more than entry-level sushi, California roll isn't just for the faint-hearted who can't eat it raw, though that's essentially the way it started in Los Angeles, where Japan's sushi chefs were trying to earn a head of. Beach. in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Most credit chef Manashita Ichiro and his assistant Mashita Ichiro, at the Tokyo Kaikan restaurant in Los Angeles, which had one of the first sushi bars in the country, for creating the “inside-out” roll that was ahead of the game. Americans' aversions to putting nori (seaweed) inside. of rice and substituting the bull for avocado (raw fatty tuna).
The avocado crab cucumber roll became a hit, and from that SoCal beachhead, sushi took the country by storm. After leading the charge for the sushi invasion of the 1980s, the California roll now occupies grocery stores everywhere. Wasabi anyone?
The humblest comfort food. Who would have imagined when the recipe for “Cannelon of Beef” appeared in Fannie Farmer's “Boston Cooking School Cookbook” from 1918 that every mother in America would one day have her own version?
Fannie made hers with salted pork slices on top and served with brown mushroom sauce. (In his day, you had to cut meat finely by hand - the advent of commercial grinders changed all that.)
Your mom did it though, are we guessing ketchup on top? He probably served up that dependable meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans.
And they probably made you sit there, all night if necessary, if you didn't eat all your beans. A better threat might have been not having a meatloaf sandwich for her lunch tomorrow.
Semolina can be pudding, breakfast or dinner.
Courtesy of Kate Hopkins / Creative Commons / Flickr
People who didn't grow up eating them wonder what the hell they are. People who grew up eating them (and that would be just about everyone in the South) wonder how anyone could live without them.
Grits, loved and misunderstood, and American down to its native roots. They're the hot breakfast favorite on the Grits Belt, which circles everything from Virginia to Texas, and where the dish is a standard offering on diners' menus.
Semolina is nothing more than versatile: it can be simple, salty or sweet; fried or in the form of porridge. Cheap, plain grits are also deeply satisfying.
Perhaps that is why The Post and Courier of Charleston opined in 1952 that “With enough [guts], the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight for. A man full of [guts] is a man of peace. Now isn't that just butter for your grits?
31. Mac and cheese
We have the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, to thank for this cheesy gift.
Monica Schipper / Getty Images North America / Getty Images for NYCWFF
The ultimate comfort food, mac and cheese is also the salvation of many moms who placate a fussy child.
Nothing particularly American about the pasta and cheese, except for the fact that on a trip to Europe, Thomas Jefferson liked a certain plate of noodles so much that he took notes and served it to him at a state dinner as "macaroni pie." .
Jefferson's cousin, Mary Randolph, included a recipe for "mac and cheese" in her 1824 cookbook "The Virginia Housewife."
So whether you're eating a gourmet version of one of the countless chefs who have put their own spin on it, or just digging desperately through the pantry for that box of Kraft, give mac and cheese your patriotic accessories. .
30. Maryland crab cakes
An American classic best served with views of the Atlantic.
Courtesy of ocean yamaha / Creative Commons / Flickr
The Chesapeake Bay does more than just the tanned race-loving class on their sockless topsiders.
It is the habitat of the blue crab, which both Maryland and Virginia claim as their own.
Boardwalk style (mixed with fillings and served on a bun) or restaurant / gourmet style; Fried, broiled, or baked crab cakes can be made with any type of crab, but Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are preferred for both their tradition and flavor.
When Baltimore magazine rounded up the best places to get the city's signature food, the editors declared that simplicity was the key, while lamenting the fact that most crab meat doesn't even come from its own home these days. . It kind of puts you in a bad mood, doesn't it?
29. French fries
America's Most Popular and Addictive Snack?
Courtesy of Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons / Flickr
We have a high maintenance resort guest to thank for America's favorite snack.
Saratoga Springs, New York, 1853 - Native American chef George Crum is in the kitchen of the elegant Moon Lake Lodge. A picky customer returns his fries (which are later eaten with a fork) for being too thick. Crum places a second, slimmer order.
Still too thick for the picky eater. Annoyed, Crum prepares the next batch with a bit of attitude, slicing the potatoes so thin that the crunchy stuff can't be picked up with a fork. Surprise: wafer-thin fries are a hit.
Street vendor Herman Lay sold them out of the trunk of his car before founding Lay's Potato Chips, the first nationwide brand. Lay would eventually merge with Frito in 1961 to create snack giant Frito-Lay.
Cioppino: Portugal meets Italy meets France through San Francisco.
Courtesy of LWYang / Creative Commons / Flickr
San Francisco's answer to French bouillabaisse, cioppino (cho-pea-no) is a fish stew with an Italian twist.
It is an American meal that has been around since the late 1800s, when Portuguese and Italian fishermen who settled in the North Beach section of town brought their catch of the day stew on board back ashore and restaurants in the area. they took it.
Cooked in a tomato base with wine and spices and minced fish (whatever was abundant, but almost always crab), cioppino probably takes its name from the classic fish stew from the Italian region of Liguria, where many fishermen from the region came from. time of the gold rush.
Get a memorable bowl at Sotto Mare in North Beach, Scoma's at Fisherman's Wharf, and Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro District. Don't feel bad about going with the "lazy man's" cioppino, it just means you're not going to spend half your meal breaking up shellfish.
27. Fortune cookies
Wondering what the future holds? Maybe it's time for a Chinese.
Courtesy of Tomasz Stasiuk / Creative Commons / Flickr
Culinary snobs like to look with their chopsticks holier than you at ABC (American-born Chinese) food, but we're not afraid to uphold the honor of American favorites like General Tso's chicken, Mongolian beef, beef. with broccoli. , lemon chicken, fried spring rolls and that nuclear orange sauce that covers everything sweet and sour.
Yet as a fundamental symbol of all great American-born Chinese food, we salute the mighty fortune cookie. Almost certainly invented in California in the early 1900s (origin stories vary between San Francisco, Los Angeles, and even Japan), sweet and buttery crescents are now found on Chinese joints around the world ... with the notable exception of China.
Okay, crispy cookies are still our favorite way to close out any Chinese meal.
26. Peanut butter sandwich
A peanut butter and banana sandwich, Elvis Presley's favorite snack.
Mario Tama / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
Creamy or thick? For everyone their own, but everyone except those with the dreaded and dangerous peanut allergy and moms who care a lot about them, love a good peanut butter sandwich.
First served to clients at Dr. John Harvey Kellogg's Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, the peanut paste was enhanced when chemist Joseph Rosefield added hydrogenated vegetable oil and called its spread Skippy.
That was in 1922; Not exactly 100 years later, peanut butter is an American mainstay, often paired with jelly for that lunchbox workhorse, the PB&J. For a great alternative, try peanut butter sandwiches the way Elvis Presley loved them: with mashed ripe bananas, grilled in butter.
25. Baked beans
The popularity of baked beans in Boston led to the nickname 'Beantown'.
Courtesy of Marcelo Trasel / Creative Commons / Flickr
It's not a cookout, a potluck, or the end of a long day in the saddle without a bubbling pot full of them. Ask Pioneer Woma n, who raves about the baked beans recipe on her site (not a version with little critters, but how fun are they?).
Delicious and full of history. Long before Bostonians baked their navy beans for hours in molasses, and in the process earned the nickname Beantown, New England Native Americans mixed beans with maple syrup and bear fat and placed them in a hole in the pan. ground to cook slowly.
Beans, favored at the border for being cheap and portable, being a wagon or a cowboy, will forever live on hilariously in popular culture as the catalyst behind the scenes of the “Blazing Saddles” campfires, which you can cheekily review immaturity on YouTube .
When your love of popcorn goes too far ...
Stephen Chernin / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
As the imperative on Orville Redenbacher's site urges : "Everyone hails the super snack." The bow tie businessman set up his popcorn tent in Valparaiso, Indiana, celebrating his heritage at the Valparaiso Popcorn Festival on the first Saturday after Labor Day.
It's just one of several Midwest Corn Belt cities vying for the title of Popcorn Capital of the World, but centuries before Orville's obsession was flavored aromatically in microwaves or Jiffy Pop magically expanded on stoves. , Native Americans in New Mexico discovered that corn could be popped ... back in 3600 BC. C.
Americans currently consume about 14 billion liters of popcorn per year ; that's 43 liters per man, woman and child.
23. Fried chicken and waffles
The original and the best.
Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles
Scottish immigrants brought the method of frying to the other side of the pond, and it was the good old Colonel Saunders who really focused on the commercial potential in 1930 when he began frying pressure-breaded chicken 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.
Nuggets, fingers, popcorn, bites, patties - one of our favorite ways to eat fried chicken is with waffles. And one of our favorite places to eat it is Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles.
Immortalized in "Pulp Fiction" and "Swingers," the Los Angeles institution earned the stamp of approval as soul food when Obama himself recounted to Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" that he had appeared for some wings and waffles and was They had been swallowed by the presidential limousine.
22. New England Clam Chowder
Creamy New England Clam Chowder - Accept no substitutes.
Courtesy of Maya83 / Creative Commons / Flickr
Gone are the days when Catholics religiously abstained from meat on Fridays, but you'll still find clam chowder traditionally served in some places on the East Coast - not that it reminds anyone of penance these days.
There are traditional versions of clam chowder from Maine to Florida, but the most famous and favorite has to be the New England style: creamy white with potatoes and onions.
There is Manhattan: of course with tomatoes. And there's even Menorquina (from around St. Augustine, Florida): spicy with hot date pepper. The variations of the East Coast clam chowder are deliciously numerous.
Even the west coast has a version (with salmon instead of pork). With your handful of oyster crackers ready to toss, you might stop to ask yourself: What were the Pilgrims thinking when they fed clams to their pigs?
21. New Mexico Flat Enchiladas
Delicious Enchiladas: Are you hungry yet?
Courtesy of jeffreyw / Creative Commons / Flickr
It was the pre-Columbian Mayans who invented the tortillas, and apparently the Aztecs who began to wrap them around pieces of fish and meat. You just have to go to any Mexican or Tex-Mex place to see what those ancients did when someone dipped the tortillas "in chile" (hence the name).
Enchiladas "flat" (in the stacked New Mexico style) or rolled, topped with red or green chili sauce (or both, for the "Christmas" style) are the source of much cultural pride in the Land of Enchantment; they are particularly lovely made with the state's famous blue corn tortillas; fried egg on top optional.
S'mores: You can't just have one, the clue is in the name.
Scott Olson / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
Proust's cupcakes? We will do better in the memory of things past: s'mores.
Sticky, honeyed, warm, and sweet - nothing conjures up family vacations and carefree camping under the stars like this classic American fare.
No one seems to know if they were the first to roast marshmallows and crush them between graham crackers with a candy bar, but the Girl Scouts were the first to get the recipe in the 1927 Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts, transforming more than one Standard fire pit in a quintessential experience.
Sweetly celebrate August 10 - it's National S'mores Day. Sharpen those marshmallow sticks.
19. Lobster rolls
The New England classic that never goes out of style.
Justin Sullivan / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
Boiled or steamed alive (animal cruelty, some insist), lobsters pretty much define a great occasion in the Down East. And perhaps nowhere more than in Maine, which provides 80% of the clawed creatures, and where lobster shacks and lobster cakes are culinary institutions.
Butter melted into the meat of the knuckles, claws or tail - we love the simple. But the perfect side to a salty day in Vacationland would have to be the lobster roll. Chunks of sweet lobster meat lightly garnished with mayonnaise or lemon or both, heaped on a buttered hot dog bun make a really satisfying snack.
The fabulous time to lick your fingers in Maine is during shack season, May through October, and every August when Rockland hosts its annual lobster festival . Suggested soundtrack for a weekend of shacking: “Rock Lobster” by B-52.
18. Buffalo wings
Buffalo wings are topped with cayenne pepper and hot sauce.
Courtesy of Larry Hoffman / Creative Commons / Flickr
Long before Troy Aikman became Wingstop's pitcher, the people of Buffalo, New York, were enjoying the hot and spicy wings that most agree came from the hand of Teressa Bellissimo, owner of the Anchor Bar and who for the first time threw chicken wings with spicy cayenne pepper. sauce and butter in 1964.
According to Calvin Trillin, the hot wings could have originated with John Young and his "mambo sauce," also in Buffalo. Either way, they came from Buffalo, which, by the way, doesn't call them buffalo wings.
If you think your kitchen table or couch in front of football represents the extreme in wing eating, think again: every Labor Day weekend, Buffalo celebrates its great contribution to the nation's pub food with the Buffalo. Chicken Wing Festival.
17. Indian fried bread
When Indian pan fry meets tacos ...
Courtesy of jeffreyw / Creative Commons / Flickr
If you've had it at the Indian Market in Santa Fe or a powwow or town anywhere in the country, you're probably salivating just thinking about it.
Who would think that a flat piece of deep-fried or deep-fried yeast dough could be so addictive?
Tradition says that it was the Navajos who created fried bread with the flour, sugar, salt and lard that the government gave them when they were moved from Arizona to Bosque Redondo, New Mexico, 150 years ago.
Frybread is a calorie bomb okay, but drizzled with honey or topped with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, cheese, and lettuce for an Indian taco or all on its own, it's an American Indian staple not to be missed.
16. BBQ ribs
BBQ Ribs - The classic with sticky fingers.
Courtesy of jonobacon / Creative Commons / Flickr
Pork or beef, spread or smoked: we will not go into what is more accepted, what is more authentic or even what needs more napkins. There are cooking competitions across the country for your own judging pleasure.
But we will admit that we are supporters of pork ribs. The capital of Rib 'Cue? We are not going to touch that one with a three meter clamp either. We will only follow the signs of the smiling pigs in the south, where the tradition of gathering for barbecues dates back to before the Civil War and serious attention to the finer points of the pig earned the region the title of Barbecue Belt.
Outside the belt, Texas is making its way to a claim as the epicenter of barbecue (beef) - check out the 'taco-rich town of Lockhart. And let's not forget Kansas City, where salsa is the most important. But why debate it when you can just eat it?
Don't tell us this doesn't make your mouth water.
Courtesy of stu_spivack / Creative Commons / Flickr
How many sandwiches have your initials?
When tomatoes come into season, there's no better way to celebrate generosity than with juicy bacon, lettuce, and tomato.
Food guru John Mariani says BLT is the no. 2 America's favorite sandwich (after ham), and no. 1 in the UK.
Bread can be toasted or not, crispy or mushy bacon, iceberg or other lettuce (but iceberg is preferred to impart crunch and not interfere with flavor), and mayonnaise - good quality or just forget it.
The provenance of the BLT is unclear, but a remarkably similar club sandwich appeared in the "1903 Good Daily Cleaning Cookbook." The sodium level gives a healthy mindset pause, but BLT tastes like summer, and who can resist that?
14. Apple pie
Apple pie is a staple of American culture.
Eric Thayer / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
According to a pie chart (seriously) from the American Pie Council, the apple is truly the US national favorite, followed by pumpkin, chocolate, lemon meringue, and cherry.
Not to burst the patriotic bubble, but it is not an American food of indigenous origin.
Food critic John Mariani dates the appearance of apple pies in the United States as 1780, long after they were popular in England. Apples are not even native to the continent; the Pilgrims brought seeds.
So what is the problem with the association of stars? John Lehndorff of the Pie Council explains: “When you say something is 'as American as apple pie,' what you're really saying is that the article came to this country from somewhere else and was clearly transformed into an experience. U.S".
And you're saying that Americans know something good enough to be an icon when we eat it, with or without cheddar cheese or vanilla ice cream on top.
13. Fried cake
Frito Pie: not a cake, but Fritos with chili on top, served in the potato chip bag.
Courtesy of Paul Sableman / Creative Commons / Flickr
Even the most modest chili has legions of fans. Think of Kit Carson, whose last regret was not having time for one more bowl. Or the mysterious “La Dama de Azul”, a Spanish nun named Sister María de Agreda, who reportedly never left her convent in Spain, but returned from one of her astral projections preaching Christianity to the Indians of the New World with his venison chili recipe. .
Less apocryphal, the "chili queens" in the 1880s in San Antonio, Texas, sold their spicy stew at stalls, and the "San Antonio Chili Stand" at the 1893 Chicago World's Fair ensured fame. national of Chile.
We really love the American ingenuity that added corn chips and cheddar cheese to make the Frito cake, a kitschy treat you can order from the bag at the Five & Dime in Santa Fe Plaza, the same physical location as the original Woolworth lunch counter. what occurred to him.
12. Po 'boy
Po'boy: the best American sandwich.
Courtesy of Exile on Ontario St / Creative Commons / Flickr
The muffaletta may be Crescent City's signature sandwich, but the po 'boy is the "home of the New Orleans kitchen shotgun."
The traditional Louisiana submarine is said to have originated in 1929, when Bennie and Clovis Martin, who had been streetcar drivers and union members before opening the cafeteria which, according to legend, became the birthplace of the po ' Boy, did they support the striking tram. bikers and drivers with food
"We fed those men for free until the strike ended," Bennie was quoted as saying. “Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would say, 'Here comes another poor boy.'
Enjoy everyone's beloved sandwich in its seemingly endless variety (the traditional fried oysters and shrimp are second to none) and fight the invasion of chain stores at the annual Oak Street Po-Boy Festival each fall.
11. Green chili stew
Green chile stew is a traditional New Mexico dish.
Courtesy of stu_spivack / Creative Commons / Flickr
Have pork and green chilies ever had such a delicious time together? Green chili stew has been called the queen of New Mexico's winter table, but we don't need a cold winter day to eat this fragrant favorite.
We like it anytime, as long as the Hatch peppers are roasted fresh. Order them from Hatch Chile Express in Hatch, New Mexico, the Chilean capital of the world; They come roasted, peeled, seeded, chopped, and frozen.
Better yet, take the trip to Green Chili Stew Country and order a bowl. Whether you eat it in New Mexico at a table near a kiva fireplace or on your own kitchen table, the aroma and taste are to die for, and the comfort level is remarkable on the resurrection scale.
10. Chocolate chip cookies
The chocolate chip cookie was invented by American chef Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1938.
Courtesy of Ted Major / Creative Commons / Flickr
Today, the name most associated with the killer cookie might be Mrs. Fields, but we actually have Ruth Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn, a popular home cooking spot in the 1930s in Whitman, Massachusetts, for thank you for all the love shared. via chocolate chip cookies.
Was Mrs. Wakefield making her Butter Drop Do cookies when, without bakery fudge, she substituted them for a Nestle semisweet chocolate bar cut into chunks? Or did the vibrations from a Hobart mixer throw a few chocolate bars off a shelf into your sugar cookie dough?
However, the chocolate chips ended up in the batter, a new cookie was born. Andrew Nestlé allegedly obtained the recipe from her (it remains on the package to this day) and Wakefield received a lifetime supply of chocolate chips. Can you feel the release of serotonin and endorphins?
9. Blueberry cobbler
Shoemakers emerged in the British American colonies and are still loved today.
Courtesy of LeaningLark / Creative Commons / Flickr
Zapatero, also called drop, growl, and buckle charm, began with early settlers without an oven who invented the bottomless crustless fruit plate that could be cooked in a pan or pot over a fire.
They could have been showing a mocking and revolutionary middle finger to the motherland by making a sloppy American version of the refined British fruit pudding and steamed dough. Cobblers become doubly American when made with blueberries, which are native to North America (Maine practically has a monopoly on them).
We love blueberries for how they sexize pretty much any crust, dough, or batter, maybe especially in cobblers and that other all-American favorite, the blueberry muffin.
8. Delmonico steak
The famous Delmonico's, where the steak magic happens.
Courtesy of Joshua Kehn / Creative Commons / Flickr
There are steakhouses across the country, but perhaps none as famous, with a universally acclaimed steak named after him, as the original Delmonico’s in New York.
The first restaurant called by the French name, Delmonico's opened in 1837 with unheard of things like printed menus, tablecloths, private dining rooms, and lunches and dinners. Among other novelties, the restaurant served the "Delmonico Steak". Whatever the excellent cut (today's restaurant uses boneless prime rib), the term Delmonico's Steak has come to mean the best.
Lightly seasoned with salt, drizzled with melted butter, and grilled over high heat, traditionally served with a thin, clear sauce and Delmonico's potatoes, made with cream, white pepper, Parmesan cheese, and nutmeg, a favorite Abraham Lincoln rumor. .
7. Chicago-style pizza
Deep dish pizza is a Chicago specialty.
Scott Olson / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
Naples gave us our first pizza, but the City of Big Shoulders (and even bigger pizzas) gave us the deep plate. Legend has it that in 1943, a visionary named Ike Sewell opened Uno's Pizzeria in Chicago with the idea that if he made it hearty enough, pizza, which until then had been considered a snack, could be eaten as food.
Whether he or its original chef Rudy Malnati originated it, one of those pizza patron saints made it deep and piled high, filling a tall, buttery crust with lots of meat, cheese, tomato wedges, and authentic Italian spices.
Thin-crust pizza made in a brick oven has its place, but if you want the crust, nothing is as satisfying as Chicago style.
A northern Mexican snack that has become a firm favorite north of the border.
Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
Diet Nightmare and Happy Hour Blessing - Could there be a more perfect, calorie-dense side to a pitcher of margaritas?
Less rhetorically: why does Piedras Negras, Mexico, just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, host the world's largest International Nacho Festival and Nacho Contest every October?
Because it was there that Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya invented nachos when a group of shopping wives of US soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan arrived at the Victory Club restaurant after closing time.
Maitre d'Ignacio improvised something for the girls with what he had on hand, baptizing his melty creation special nachos. From there they have crossed the border, the continent and the world.
5. Philly cheese steak
The Philadelphia cheese steak has famous fans, including former President Barack Obama.
EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP / AFP / Getty Images
It's such a greasy and time-honored hometown snack that the stance you must adopt to eat it without ruining your clothes has a name: "the Philadelphia Lean."
Made from “frizzled beef,” minced while grilling in fat, the Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich gets the rest of its fatty goodness from onions and cheese (American, Provolone, or Cheese Whiz), all of it. which is placed in a long locally made Loving Bun.
Pat and Harry Olivieri get credit for making the first cheese steaks (originally with pizza sauce; the cheese apparently came later, courtesy of one of Pat's cooks) and selling them at their hot dog stand in South Philly. .
4. Hot dogs
Hot dogs are a staple of American street food, sold in carts and stalls across the country.
David Paul Morris / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
Nothing complements a baseball game or a summer cookout like a hot dog.
That's why we owe a debt to a similar sausage from Frankfurt, Germany (hence "sausage" and "frank") and the German immigrant Charles Feltman, who is often credited with inventing the hot dog using buns to save on dishes. .
But it was Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker's hot dog stand on Coney Island that made the hot dog iconic. Every July 4 since 1916, Nathan's himself has hosted the International Hot Dog Eating Contest (current five-time winner Joey Chestnut took the title in 2011, eating 62 hot dogs and buns in the 10-minute facial).
Meanwhile, in Windy City, the steamed or water-boiled Chicago dog (Vienna Beef, please) is still being "dragged around the garden" and served on a poppy seed bun, absolutely no ketchup. .
3. Reuben sandwich
Corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing - the perfect combination for the Reuben sandwich.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
Who knew that sauerkraut could be so sexy? Was it the nighttime inspiration of grocer Reuben Kulakofsky, who improvised the eponymous sandwich in 1925 to feed poker players at Omaha's Blackstone Hotel? 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?
The answer may be important to the dictionary etymologies, but the best part of the Reuben's secret is not whose name it is, but what it is wearing. Fans agree: there's no store-bought Russian or Thousand Island - the sauce has to be homemade.
And you'll want thick hand-cut rye or pumpernickel, and a good pastrami or corned beef.
The cheeseburger became popular in the 1920s and 1930s.
Andrew Burton / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
Lunch counter, traditional, gourmet, sliders, Kobe. White Castle, Whataburger, Burger King, In-N-Out, McDonald's, Steak N 'Shake, Five Guys, The Heart Attack Grill. It's hard to believe, but it all started with a simple mistake.
Or so the people of Pasadena, California say, who claim that the classic cheeseburger was born there in the late 1920s, when a young chef at The Rite Spot accidentally burned a burger and put some cheese on it to cover his error.
Our favorite interpretation might be the way they make cheeseburgers in New Mexico: with green chiles, natch. Follow the Green Chile Cheeseburger trail .
1. Thanksgiving dinner
The Thanksgiving turkey is a staple of the American holiday.
Hiroko Masuike / Getty Images North America / Getty Images
No fancy centerpieces or lengthy family squabbles on that first Thanksgiving Day when the Pilgrims decided not to fast but to feast with the Wampanoag tribe in 1621 Plymouth.
Today we avoid the venison they surely ate, and we tuck their three days of feasting in a gluttonous gorge.
Despite indigestion, nothing tastes as good as that quintessential American turkey meal (roasted or fried poultry, or tofurkey, or that weirdly popular Louisiana contribution turducken), dressing (old sliced bread or cornbread, onion and celery, sausage, fruit, chestnuts , oysters, whatever your mom made sage was the best), cranberry sauce, mashed and sweet potatoes, that green bean casserole with fried onion rings on top and pie pumpkin.
Almost as iconic (and if you ask most kids, so delicious) is the Turkey dinner on TV, the 1953 brainchild of a Swanson salesman looking to use an overrated 260 tons of frozen poultry. No kidding: he came up with the idea, he said, for the carefully packaged airline food. We love those leftovers.