After years of travel one thing we have come to realize is how important food is to having a sense of a region's culture. It is a common thread you can share with everyone on the planet and is usually a great reason to get out, chat with locals, and immerse.
|What else is as American as apple pie|
The US being a melting pot of many different ideas, cultures, and history has a wide array of interesting foods. After much deliberation and weeding through a long list we came up with, below are the top 5 foods I think everyone should enjoy that are either unique to the US or simply a food the US does really well.
I admit it..I am a pizza snob! Not one place we have visited so far, except perhaps Italy, has given me a full pizza fix. Nearly every country we have visited has some form of pizza and when you've had your fill of local cuisine sometimes you just want something a little familiar. We have sampled a lot of pizza and none of it compares to the New York style pizza we all love.
If you can get it in New York that is the best way but places like New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts also offer up some amazingly delicious pizzas. Some people also love the Chicago style deep dish pizza. Not a huge fan personally but if you get out to Chicago you have to give it a try.
I am a vegetarian so bacon is not something I partake in but my family loves it, and my country mates do to. It is evidenced by all the bacon themed foods you can get pretty much anywhere in the US. What used to be a breakfast food has now been expanded to cover breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizers, and even desserts!
I was floored when we came to the US last year, and ate a quick meal at Denny's, to see that they even offered a bacon sundae. Not my cup of tea but people seem to love it.
Deep fried something
If there is one thing Americans do well it is fairs and deep fried food. The last time I went to a fair in the US I was dumbfounded by all the different food options. What started as simply some french fries, corn dogs, and fried dough has morphed into a fried food free for all. Fried Oreos, Twinkies, snickers bars, even fried butter are on offer at most state fairs these days. I am not sure if its a good or bad thing but I know most fried foods are at least tasty even if their calorie count is what most people get in a week!
The other component to fried foods that is big in the US yet I haven't seen it any other place, is the chicken fried items. Chicken fried steak is a fried chicken coated piece of steak that has now been incorporated to chicken breasts and even bacon. I am not going to even pretend it's bad although I am pretty sure it's bad for you. If you eat meat be sure to try it out on the next US trip. Actually I am sure you can find deep fried veggies as well if you look hard enough.
Whether it is Peach pie in Georgia, Cheesecake in New York, or Key lime pie in Florida when you are in the US be sure to get your hands on some. Each area has their own signature pie so be sure and try them all. If you only have time for a few I would suggest the most American of American foods....apple pie, mud pie down south, and Marionberry a signature dish of Oregon.
Hot dogs and Hamburgers
Admittedly these are things you can get most any place in the world save for some Hindu or Muslim cultures but they scream American and are a staple in all summer backyard picnics from birthday celebrations to 4th of July parties. Both Rhode Island and West Virginia with their hot wienies and slaw dogs will blow your mind, seriously they are amazing. If you can eat one of these while enjoying a baseball game then you've hit the American past time mother load!
The list of American foods is long. It really should be a top 50 list or a by region list but for now I will leave you with this homework for your next trip. Let me know what you liked best and what should be added to the next list I make!