The United States of America is a melting pot of different ethnic cultures and hence in that respect is considered to be one of the most diverse countries in the universe. The cultural cuisine is marked by the influence of different cultures and is difficult to actually say which one stands out to be a symbolic representation of American culture. But before one can delve any further it is important to understand the root significance of what is it like to be American or the American way of life. What is the American way of life all about ?
Or, what is Americanism all about and how does it permeate it’s way into defining certain kinds of food onto an iconic level. Imagine food being granted the iconic status of being truly American! An average outlook on the part of most Americans, is that they generally like and prefer food that is cheap, quick, and convenient regardless of whether it is purchased from a supermarket or a fast food store. In other words, cooking or buying food is never expected to be a hassle- it ought to be fast, easy, “with minimal or economic sacrifice” (Ikerd,2009).
The characteristics of America’s food culture are cost, convenience, and appearance. Let us take a look at some of the foods that have acquired an iconic brand status of being truly American. These foods have a sense of place and a signature style as being a symbolic representative of a place / region in America. What one generally gets to hear about is hamburgers, French fries, potato chips, e. t. c Apart from just the usual common food/snack varieties that are popular, and if one were to really look harder for a search- there are regional / locational foods that have shaped the thought process all across America.
Apple Pie, New England Clam Chowder, Pastrami (New York), Shoofly(Pennsylvania), Smithfield ham(Virginia), Po boys (Louisiana), Fajitas (Texas). a) Apple Pie: is considered to be a European import and has come to stay in America for centuries and been perfected over the years. An American Apple pie is homely and rustic in appearance. b) New England Clam Chowder: No trip to Boston is complete without a proper bowl of clam chowder. A proper chowder is deep and aromatic, with layered flavors atop a porky foundation (Bonne, 2009) c) Pastrami (New York): Pastrami is man’s mastery over meat.
It begins with a simple slab / plate of meat — a cut which is different from the grill-and-serve of the obvious hunk of a cow, needs the much needed transformation. It is then subjected to a dry cure process: salted with a good portion of cracked black pepper and maybe with a little sugar and spice — which rest on the meat as it is left to be smoked. When it is finally ready- whole pastramis are steamed for quite a few hours before serving. d) Shoofly pie (Pennsylvania): is a fruity pie and quite a tasty one.
It is crusty with molasses and crumbs. The crumbs add texture to the dense and rustic pie rich with molasses in taste. According to popular Amish folklore one is reminded of the fact that the name derives itself from an activity that refers to the constant need to shoo away flies from these succulent and juicy sweet treats atop which are the generous pools of molasses that lay formed. d) Po-boys (Louisiana): This a generally considered a workaday food meant for hungry and hardworking people trying to meet ends.
It’s discovery is attributed to two brothers viz. , Benjamin and Clovis Martin, who ran a restaurant in the city’s French Market. Eating a ‘Po-boy’ is quite an unforgettable sandwich treat. WORKS CITED Ikerd, John (2009) “The American Food Culture” Retrieved on 29th May, 2009 <http://www. kerrcenter. com/nwsltr/2005/spring2005/food_culture. htm> Bonne, Jon (2005) “10 Foods that make America great” Retrieved on 29th May, 2009. < http://www. msnbc. msn. com/id/8392312//>
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