American Food Culture and Traditions From Around the World
Culture is defined as the beliefs, customs, knowledge, and habits a set of people share (Smith, 15). These are learned and not inherited behaviors. Culture is transferred from families to families down the lines. Each tribal group has its specific culturally cuisines and food habits (Para 5). According to Terry, a cuisine is a particular set of cooking practices and traditions, often related with a definite culture (4). Each cuisine encompasses food preparation in a specific style, of drink and food of particular types, to produce exclusively expended items or individual meals. A cuisine is normally named after the place or region where it was invented (Para 3). American cuisine has been inclined by Native Americans and Europeans in its early history. When compared to the northern settlements, the southern settlements were quite assorted in their agricultural diet and neither did they have a central expanse of culture.
In the 19th and 18th centuries, Americans came up with many new foods for instance; the Progressive Era (1890–1920) food presentation and production became more developed (Smith, 26). One trait of American cooking is the combination of multiple tribal or regional methodologies into entirely new cooking styles. During the 1980s, famous restaurants introduced method of combining cuisines that comprised of American styles of cookery with foreign essentials, universally referred as New American cuisine (Terry, 28).
The modern cuisine of the United States in the 21st century is mostly regional in nature.in other words, the foods of ordinary culture have been affected by the presence of these distinct cultures hence; the American food is a blend of many cuisines and cultures. In order to understand it, one must not only study the native foods and food habits of the many marginal sets, but also the relations between the mainstream culture and the way of life of these minor groups (Smith ,35).
Today, several foods are commonly considered as American, these are hamburgers, potato chips, hot-dogs, macaroni and cheese and meat loaf. There are also methods of cooking and forms of foods that are unique to a region. Southern-style cooking is called American comfort food and comprises of foods such as fried chicken. Tex-Mex, distinct in the Southwest and Texas, is a mix of Mexican and Spanish cooking cuisines and includes foods such as chili and burritos and depends heavily on frayed cheese and beans (Para,5). Majority American culinary methods are same to those in Western nations. Corn and wheat are the prime cereal grains. Traditional American cooking uses items such as turkey and indigenous foods used by American Indians and early European colonists. Italian-American cuisine often finally appears; in the form of Vietnamese cuisine, Thai cuisine, and Korean cuisine. German cuisine has a major impact on American cuisine, most especially mid-western cooking, with potatoes, roasts, noodles, stews and pastries being the most popular ingredients in both cuisines (Smith, 46).
The state of Louisiana, for instance, is known for its Creole and Cajun cooking. Cajun and Creole cooking are affected by French, Haitian and Acadian cooking, although the foods themselves are unique and original (Para, 7). Soul food, established by African slaves during the colonial period, is widespread around the South and among African Americans. Americans commonly prefer coffee to tea, with approximately half the adult population drinking at least a cup a day.
New England, also a cuisine in America is marked for having a major stress on seafood, a heritage inherited from coastal tribal groups like the Narragansett and Wampanoag, who similarly used the abundant fishing banks offshore for survival (Terry, 49). Meat is present though not as common, and is stewed in dishes. The Hawaiian and pacific cuisine is often considered to be one of the most culturally varied in the U.S. states, and also being the only state with an Asian mainstream population (4). resulting to the Hawaiian cuisine borrowing ingredients of a variety of cuisines, mainly those of Pacific-rim and Asian cultures, as well as native Hawaiian and a few adds from the Americans .Midwest Midwestern cuisine in America, includes everything from barbecue to the hot dog Chicago-style. African impacts came with slaves from West Africa (Smith, 67). Foods such as eggplant, chili pepper and many varied kinds of melons were carried with them from along with the incredibly significant starter of rice to the Carolinas and later to Louisiana and Texas where it became main grain of the region and till today (Para, 6).
Traditionally around the world. Italian Meal of the Seven Fishes, which originated from Southern Italy, has the Italian-American families celebrating the custom with multicourse seafood feasts of baccal, calamari and chockfull of seven kinds of fish (Morgan, 22). French reveillon is In French speaking countries. The feasts deep into the night and comprises of lobster, escargots, foie gras or oysters. Peruvian Noche Buena is found In Spain, the Philippines and Latin America. Peruvians decide on roast pig or turkey with a range of side foods like rice, fresh salads and apple sauce (Para 3). In the UK, Boxing Day, occasionally a day for awarding workers with presents, is celebrated after Christmas with a simple curry centric buffet mainly made from leftovers (Morgan, 35). German dinner goes down with roasted goose with potatoes, vegetables and confections like fruitcake. Irish dinner is similar to holiday feasts of the Americans; roasted poultry, potatoes, ham, and pudding are main meals.
Andrew F Smith. Eating history: 30 turning points in the making of American cuisine. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009. Print.
Bryant Terry. Vegan Soul kitchen: fresh, healthy, and creative African American cuisine. Massachusetts: Da Capo Press, 2009. Print.
James L Morgan. Culinary creation: an introduction to foodservice and world cuisine .Boston: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2006. Print.
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