Americans love food, they love eating but feel guilty about it later. They are very conscious about health, but end up eating junk food, which leads to obesity. The first food that was brought to the continent was potato. Other foods like pizza, hot dog, hamburger were brought by the immigrants. What ever food the Americans eat, it defines the kind of life the American community lives today.
The Hamong immigrants from Laos, Vietnam brought their own ingredients and traditions to the American table. Squash vine leaves, bitter melon, curvy kukuzi squash. Italians, who came in early 1900, adapted their native cuisine to suit American palate, by adding lesser spices and more meat to pasta and pizzas.
Even Chinese food, which was made popular in the West Coast in the mid 19th century, made adventurous dining for Americans in chopsuey, chowmein which hardly resembled original Chinese cuisine. American liking for Asian foods made way for Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Indian cuisine to merge in mainstream American cuisine.
Though Latin American food, like Nachos and Tacos are greatly popular, Mexican food does not have as much demand. Krishnendu Ray, a professor of liberal arts in the Culinary Institute of America writes that the “socio-economic background of the immigrant from a particular country plays a major role in the eagerness with which America embraces their foods”.
Travel has made the world a smaller place. Tourists having tasted the Asian foods in their visits to the countries want to recreate those cuisines, once they are back home.
With modern transport and international trade, availability of the ingredients is easy. Though ‘authentic’ food may have a limited fan following, the adapted versions are embraced almost by the entire nation.
Around mid 18th century Anglo Americans emulated English Eating habits engaging English receipes, fancier dining and kitchen equipments.
This way they asserted their status as British subjects. It is for this reason that changes in tariffs made it difficult for them to have access to the ingredients that go with English cuisine. It made them fight the American Revolution to protect their self interest.
1. How America Eats by Sara Skalaroff.
2. A Tasty Melting Pot (1) by Michelle Andrews Posted 8/7/05
3. A Tasty Melting Pot (2) by Michelle Andrews Posted 8/7/05 Pg 2 of 2
4. Old ways in a New World by Jay Tolson.