American cuisine gets a bad rap in the international culinary world. People are too ready to dismiss it as being nothing more than hamburgers and French fries.
In fact, American cuisine reflects the blending of cultures, religions and ethnic backgrounds that make up the very fabric of the United States. You can take inspiration for your authentically American meals by recreating recipes that are common in each region and among cultural groups found in America today.
It would be fair to say that each state has its own plethora of recipes that are commonly found in households and restaurants there. Cuisine in Illinois, for example, reflects the state’s early settlers from countries like Poland and Russia. Pierogis are still one of the most popular dishes that you can find in this state.
Pierogis are filled dumplings made with flour, potato, shredded cheese and sour cream. They are filled with meat or vegetables before being boiled and then served by themselves or with brown gravy.
In states like Massachusetts, clam chowder is a staple dish that most New Englander’s have sampled at least once. Made with minced clams, cream, butter and vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and celery, it is thickened with flour and flavored with red wine. It is often served with fresh rolls or homemade bread.
While each state has its own set of recipes that are popular with most residents, cultural groups like the Amish also have their own recipes that they continue to serve to their friends and family members. A popular Amish recipe that has made its way into mainstream America is Dutch corn pie.
This dish is made with potatoes, whole and cream-style corn, boiled eggs, milk, and butter. The ingredients are combined to make a filling that is then poured into an unbaked pie shell. It is covered with another pie crust and then baked until golden brown.
Another popular recipe is Jewish apple cake. The cake batter is made with ingredients like all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, vegetable oil and eggs. It is poured over thin apple slices that are placed in the bottom of a Bundt cake pan and then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. When the cake has been baked and removed from the Bundt pan, it is then sprinkled with more sugar and cinnamon.
American cuisine can also be just as sophisticated as recipes found in France or London. Take, for example, ciabatta stuffing made with chorizo and mushrooms.
This dish is made with oven-browned ciabatta bread that is combined with sautéed chorizo sausage, shitake mushrooms, sweet potato, rosemary, sage, and garlic. These ingredients are combined with turkey or chicken broth and then baked. It is popularly served with turkey, roasted chicken or a pork or beef roast.
These recipes are just a few that highlight the richness and complexity of American cuisine. American recipes go way beyond hamburgers and French fries. Try out recipes that are popular not only in each state but also in cultural groups found in the U.S. today.