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American Cuisine

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Archibald, May 20, 2006.

  1. Archibald

    Archibald Member

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    An old question that has recently surfaced in my mind since reading the entire "US waiters' worse conduct" thread (although mostly unrelated to this specific topic) is why my fair country lacks a developed cuisine? Our neighbor to the south; that being Mexico, has its own unique cuisine with a great deal of culinary sophistication (no mention of Taco Bell please), yet here in the US we are limited to a few national victuals such as BBQ, hamburgers, pancakes and grits.
     


  2. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Southern cuisine, and to a lesser extent Tex-Mex/Southwestern, is a legitimate cuisine of its own. Being from Texas, barbecue is an essential part of my diet.
     


  3. Archibald

    Archibald Member

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    Southern cuisine, and to a lesser extent Tex-Mex/Southwestern, is a legitimate cuisine of its own. Being from Texas, barbecue is an essential part of my diet.

    While I enjoy southern food tremendously—the barbecue especially, it does not constitute a cuisine. Fried catfish, fried whiting, fried okra, sauteed okra, pit barbecue, hushpuppies, biscuits with gravy, etc.: These dishes from one to another are not distinct enough or contain the variety to be considered a cuisine.
     


  4. Flame

    Flame Distinguished Member

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    US is such a mishmash of various cultures, both european and not, that it becomes hard to define a cuisine.

    Gumbo and cheese-steak perhaps?
     


  5. alflauren

    alflauren Senior Member

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    Then what exactly is your definition of a cuisine? The USA is a pretty big place, and each of its regions right down to the city level has its own local traditions. There isn't much of a national cuisine apart from burgers, etc., but when you really look at things, that's the case with most places.

    In the US, we boil down all of the world's cuisines so that they appear to be one. i.e., Americans see cuisine from anywhere in France as "French cuisine," but French food is regionalized as well. Southwest France loves the duck, and eastern France is Franco-German food, with sausages, kraut, and the like.
     


  6. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    In the US, we boil down all of the world's cuisines so that they appear to be one. i.e., Americans see cuisine from anywhere in France as "French cuisine," but French food is regionalized as well. Southwest France loves the duck, and eastern France is Franco-German food, with sausages, kraut, and the like.
    Well put. I think American Southern cuisine is as distinct and "legitimate" a cuisine as, say, French Provençal.
     


  7. LabelKing

    LabelKing Stylish Dinosaur

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    How about California pizzas and Napa champagne?
     


  8. Archibald

    Archibald Member

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    Well put. I think American Southern cuisine is as distinct and "legitimate" a cuisine as, say, French Provençal.


    You consider the southern method of frying and covering already greasy food with white gravy which only derives any of its flavor from yet more grease; the basis of a cuisine? Please do tell us about your first hand experience with French Provençal cuisine"”and Southern American food for that matter.
     


  9. tiger02

    tiger02 Militarist

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    Oh boy, here we go. Where's that boxing emoticon when I need it...
     


  10. Fabienne

    Fabienne Distinguished Member

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    eastern France is Franco-German food, with sausages, kraut, and the like.

    Never, ever, say that to an Alsatian or a Lorrain.
     


  11. Fabienne

    Fabienne Distinguished Member

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    Oh boy, here we go. Where's that boxing emoticon when I need it...

    While we're at it, I would like to request an emoticon with a halo.
     


  12. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    what makes a burger innately inferior to a burrito? what makes a pancake inferior to a quesadilla? A1 steak sauce inferior to salsa....etc etc.

    i think you being a little too grass-always-greener about it...the US has invented its share of food, just when you live there it loses whatever exotic appeal it may have.

    Most people here hold Vietnamese food in very high esteem - and I like it too - but trust me, it has lost any sense of being exotic to me after 2.5 yrs here. I crave the stuff you criticise.
     


  13. globetrotter

    globetrotter Stylish Dinosaur

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    I have not doubt that there is an AMrican cuisine. there are dishes, like sweet and sour pork, and chicago pizza, that are so far removed from their originoal influences as to be a totally different species, but there are also things like buffalo wings, the hamburger, pancakes, a wide variety of salads, the ice cream sunday, pies, fried chicken, bar-b-q and others that are true american foods.
     


  14. Jen

    Jen Senior Member

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    You consider the southern method of frying and covering already greasy food with white gravy which only derives any of its flavor from yet more grease; the basis of a cuisine? Please do tell us about your first hand experience with French Provençal cuisine"”and Southern American food for that matter.
    [​IMG] What's with the hostility toward the South? Are you a New-Englander or something? I must inform you that Cracker Barrel is as poor a representation of southern cooking as Uno's is of Chicago-style pizza. Southern food is not my favorite, but with its soup-style vegetables usually seasoned with some sort of salt pork, corn bread (not sweet), iced tea (very sweet), and baked fruit desserts (think cobbler) I do believe that it qualifies as a cuisine. (At least as much as Bavaria does with Kraut, Scnitzel, and Wurst)

    By the way [email protected], all the sources that I can find indicate the the burrito is actually an American invention, probably the quesadilla too (think LA or southern Arizona). They certainly borrow from traditional Mexican cuisine, but the bread was always made from corn, not wheat.
     


  15. Fabienne

    Fabienne Distinguished Member

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    I have not doubt that there is an AMrican cuisine. there are dishes, like sweet and sour pork, and chicago pizza, that are so far removed from their originoal influences as to be a totally different species, but there are also things like buffalo wings, the hamburger, pancakes, a wide variety of salads, the ice cream sunday, pies, fried chicken, bar-b-q and others that are true american foods.

    American pancakes are a version of Scotch pancakes.
     


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