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The United States of America is a melting pot of immigrants from all around the globe. They bring their prized culture, heritage and all of their traditional cuisines.
Some will think that American food consists of hotdogs, hamburgers, fried chicken and pecan pies, but while these are classics, they are not staples for everyone. An American family’s food traditions can be homemade bright red tomato sauce with fresh handmade egg pasta. While another family’s food staples can consist of freshly cooked beans, handmade flour tortillas, stewed meat with red chile, and an array of freshly made salsas from mild to spicy.
The US has also evolved even further by the act of sharing recipes and people wanting to try new types of cooking in their kitchen. This has added to the broad scope of cuisines that make up America.
BBQ, Barbecue, or Bar-B-Que depending on who is writing it has a complex history. BBQ describes not only a type of food but a method of cooking. The gathering that results from the food being cooked and the type of meats or vegetables being cooked also adds to the complexity of the BBQ.
The word Barbecue is derived from a pre-Columbian Caribbean language called Taino. It would have described the method of cook sliced meats over an open flame. Today in the USA, we have barbecue from all over the world, right here in every city. There is Texas BBQ, Korean BBQ, Vietnamese BBQ, Kansas City Style, Memphis style, the list goes on and on.
With just as much variety, the sauces change with the zip code. The sauces from some regions tend to be sweeter while others tend to have more vinegar in them.
Famous BBQ Chefs like Aaron Franklin in Austin, TX have started sharing the secrets of how they cook their most famous dishes. He even has a Masterclass where he walks you through making his famous Texas Brisket step by step. Most of the time you can get the ingredients directly from your local grocery store. The biggest challenge might be finding a smoker, but there are ways to make them or adapt grills that you may already own.
Whatever the case is BBQ is only one complex food fare in the US along with so many others that have their own long history. Keep reading for more cuisines that now make up what the food staples in the US are.
While tacos are traditional Mexican fare, some would venture to say that America has adopted the taco as well. The classics tacos are still carne asada and grilled chicken, but chefs around the country have expounded on this venerable favorite adding Asian short ribs or Korean beef, Chicken Curry, even sushi tacos.
This folded vehicle for deliciousness has really seen a renaissance in the last decade. Their new birth is a result of their ease to make. Generally consisting of a few simple ingredients like meat, some shredded veggies and a sauce, sometimes spicy and sometimes not. There are so many ways to be creative when making tacos, you can change the type of meat, replace the meat with mushrooms or squash.
You can add cheese, which some will say is not a true taco while others will praise the condiment. The veggies on top can completely change the flavor profile. You can make the taco crunchy or soft, even altering what the tortillas are made from.
Whatever your favorite taco built is, this is one American staple that evolves to whatever you want to make it. But, its deep roots of Mexican cuisine will never change like the delicious homemade warm corn tortillas, freshly off the grill marinated meats, and the condiments of quick pickled onions, freshly smashed avocado and a chile habanero salsa.
Whether you find comfort in fried chicken and red beans or biscuits and gravy, these are food that generations of Americans have grown up eating. Most of these dishes developed from traditional food of Cajuns, Appalachians, Creole and Floribbean people.
Common ingredients generally include sugar, flour, milk, and eggs. Early American colonists brought new ingredients to the mix like eggplant, okra, rice, and not to mention a plethora of new spices.
Traveling across the southern United States, it’s easy to see the West African, Spanish, French and Mexican influence in the foods that define southern cuisine. Though there are so many influences for this style of cooking, the ingredients tend to be simple.
Online communities like YouTube has thousands of cooking channels from where to learn any or all of these cuisines. While hiring a private cooking instructor can also be easy with Superprof.
A cooking tutor can show you how to make anything from the savoriest fried chicken from scratch to fall off the bone chicken tiki masala. These dishes are a blast to make and even more enjoyable to eat at the comfort of home.
Considering all the different places people have migrated to the US from and all the foods they bring with them, it’s easy to see how trying your hand at multiple cuisines could be really fun.
The best part of going to new restaurants is trying their take on something you have tried before. Maybe their variation made the flavors work better than before. Maybe the restaurant combined recipes that you never thought would work so well together, but they do.
If you are looking for a culinary instructor Superprof is a great resource. With its collection of chef instructors from all around the country and world are interested in helping people learn and explore the culinary world around them.
After a few lessons, your food knowledge will start expanding and you will start to distinguish specific spices and flavors in your meals. You will start to look at a plate in a restaurant and think ‘I can make this.’ Tutors help take some of the mystery out of cooking for yourself or for your family. It is totally manageable and a skill that is completely worth it.