American Cuisine

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

  1. Archibald

    Archibald Member

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    [email protected],

    With all due respect salsa simply means "sauce" in Spanish (which I do not speak) and comes in a myriad of varieties in Mexico including: Salsa cruda, picante, salsa fresca, salsa rojo and salsa verde, these are to be made fresh so comparing them to A1 which I have always had served out of a bottle from some unknown factory is simply absurd. You haven't seemed to grasp the original intent of my question and your reading off of the Taco Bell menu doesn't help this perception.

    I never said that I don't enjoy hamburgers, or barbecue, or biscuits with sawmill gravy; but these dishes (and others not mentioned) are not varied enough or developed to the point of refinement (in the sense of taste) to be classified as a cuisine in my lexicon. Salty and fried are good on occasion, but is this what the basis of a national cuisine rests on?"”It would seem so by the responses I have received thus far.

    American food contains words, perhaps enough of them to form sentences but far from the amount required to write a novel.

    Jen,
    I am not a New Englander nor due I feel any hostility toward the south, in fact I find southern food charming in the limited doses that are required to sample all its offerings and do not judge it by the food served at Cracker Barrel.
     
  2. Jen

    Jen Senior 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.
    You forgot to mention peanut butter!
     
  3. Jen

    Jen Senior member

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    Alright then,
    Define cuisine
    [email protected],

    With all due respect salsa simply means "sauce" in Spanish (which I do not speak) and comes in a myriad of varieties in Mexico including: Salsa cruda, picante, salsa fresca, salsa rojo and salsa verde, these are to be made fresh so comparing them to A1 which I have always had served out of a bottle from some unknown factory is simply absurd. You haven't seemed to grasp the original intent of my question and your reading off of the Taco Bell menu doesn't help this perception.

    I never said that I don't enjoy hamburgers, or barbecue, or biscuits with sawmill gravy; but these dishes (and others not mentioned) are not varied enough or developed to the point of refinement (in the sense of taste) to be classified as a cuisine in my lexicon. Salty and fried are good on occasion, but is this what the basis of a national cuisine rests on?"”It would seem so by the responses I have received thus far.

    American food contains words, perhaps enough of them to form sentences but far from the amount required to write a novel.

    Jen,
    I am not a New Englander nor due I feel any hostility toward the south, in fact I find southern food charming in the limited doses that are required to sample all its offerings and do not judge it by the food served at Cracker Barrel.
     
  4. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    You forgot to mention peanut butter!


    correct on both points, jen
     
  5. Fabienne

    Fabienne Senior member

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    You forgot to mention peanut butter!

    Peanut butter in the form of a sandwich, perhaps, but Americans surely did not invent peanut butter or paste. It's been present in many cuisines for centuries.
     
  6. Fabienne

    Fabienne Senior member

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    My opinion is that the cuisine of the United States was shaped in great part by its settlers, its original inhabitants and its neighbors, as others have said. And it is regional. Yes, the dishes have evolved from their origins over time, substituting ingredients from the new world, for example. My question is, for those of you who are American: do you or do your parents and grand-parents make it a point to keep it alive?
     
  7. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    Peanut butter in the form of a sandwich, perhaps, but Americans surely did not invent peanut butter or paste. It's been present in many cuisines for centuries.


    one would think - my understanding (and this may be wrong, but I have a fairly high confidence level) is that this is something that was developed in american and co-opted in many parts of the world. I think that this is like chilis, so firmly ingrained in other cuisines that it seems incredible that it is a new world product.

    sorry

    There are many claims about the origin of peanut butter. Africans ground peanuts into stews as early as the 15th century. The Chinese have crushed peanuts into creamy sauces for centuries. Civil War soldiers dined on 'peanut porridge.' These uses, however, bore little resemblance to peanut butter as it is known today.

    In 1890, an unknown St. Louis physician supposedly encouraged the owner of a food products company, George A. Bayle Jr., to process and package ground peanut paste as a nutritious protein substitute for people with poor teeth who couldn't chew meat. The physician apparently had experimented by grinding peanuts in his hand-cranked meat grinder. Bayle mechanized the process and began selling peanut butter out of barrels for about 6¢ per pound.
     
  8. Fabienne

    Fabienne Senior member

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    I have made the following (A sample), which to me are American in their execution, regardless of their origins:

    Jambalaya
    Gumbo
    Cranberry sauce
    Pecan pie
    Barbecue sauce
    New England clam chowder
    Muffaletta
    Muffins
    Blueberry pie
    Persimmon pudding
    Mint Julep
    Corned beef and cabbage

    And the list goes on.
     
  9. Fabienne

    Fabienne Senior member

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    one would think - my understanding (and this may be wrong, but I have a fairly high confidence level) is that this is something that was developed in american and co-opted in many parts of the world. I think that this is like chilis, so firmly ingrained in other cuisines that it seems incredible that it is a new world product.

    sorry

    There are many claims about the origin of peanut butter. Africans ground peanuts into stews as early as the 15th century. The Chinese have crushed peanuts into creamy sauces for centuries. Civil War soldiers dined on 'peanut porridge.' These uses, however, bore little resemblance to peanut butter as it is known today.

    In 1890, an unknown St. Louis physician supposedly encouraged the owner of a food products company, George A. Bayle Jr., to process and package ground peanut paste as a nutritious protein substitute for people with poor teeth who couldn't chew meat. The physician apparently had experimented by grinding peanuts in his hand-cranked meat grinder. Bayle mechanized the process and began selling peanut butter out of barrels for about 6¢ per pound.


    That's what I meant, the sandwich.
     
  10. tiger02

    tiger02 Militarist

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    So there you have it, American cuisine is built on the backs of men with bad teeth who couldn't chew meat [​IMG]

    Methinks Archibald:cuisine::Mr Pollock:service

    F--isn't corned beef and cabbage Irish?
     
  11. Jen

    Jen Senior member

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    I have no particular desire to keep alive "American cuisine" per se, but there are certain recipes of my mother and grandmother such as candied yams, (unsweetened, buttermilk) bran muffins, and potato casserole that I certainly intend to continue to make even as I adopt new styles in my kitchen. However, I do not have any compulsion to cook certain foods for "archival" reasons.
     
  12. Fabienne

    Fabienne Senior member

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    F--isn't corned beef and cabbage Irish?


    No, the Irish used pork meat for that dish. Treated in much the same way.
    Now, Irish-Americans...
     
  13. life_interrupts

    life_interrupts Senior 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?

    Gumbo is an Akan (Ghana) term for okra. The core ingredients in Gumbo are rooted in Ghana/Guinea Bissau/Senegambia. Single-pot meals common in the region.

    Cheese steak is a truly American phenomenon.
     
  14. countdemoney

    countdemoney Senior member

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    Corn on the cob is a favorite summer treat for me, and a very US and Midwestern, "dish".
     
  15. JBZ

    JBZ Senior member

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    No, the Irish used pork meat for that dish. Treated in much the same way.
    Now, Irish-Americans...


    My off-the-boat Irish father-in-law would agree with this. However, he does love the corned beef version.

    Another item I always associate with the U.S., and specifically the Northeast - maple syrup. Also, boiled lobster. I realize that neither are uniquely American, but they can definitely be associated with a New England style cuisine.
     

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