We're an American Band (song)
Did you trust your leader? You are probably courting or married because you enjoy having fun together. What are your concerns, fears, joys etc? But why debate it when you can just eat it? Each year we all donate a sum and pick the scholarship winner.
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The soul, you might say, of soul food. Legend has it that the first sale of Smithfield Ham occured in Notice "ham" comes before history, which really says something considering this hamlet of 8, was first colonized in Epicenter of curing and production of a head-spinning number of hogs, Smithfield comes by the title Ham Capital of the World honestly: The original country-style American ham was dry cured for preservation; salty and hard, it could keep until soaked in water to remove the salt and reconstitute before cooking.
The deliciously authentic cured Virginia country ham happens to have been the favorite of that famous Virginian, Thomas Jefferson. How do you make steak even tastier? Pan fry it in bread crumbs, of course. A guilty pleasure if there ever was one, chicken fried steak was born to go with American food classics like mashed potatoes and black-eyed peas.
A slab of tenderized steak breaded in seasoned flour and pan fried, it's kin to the Weiner Schnitzel brought to Texas by Austrian and German immigrants, who adapted their veal recipe to use the bountiful beef found in Texas.
Lamesa, on the cattle-ranching South Texas plains, claims to be the birthplace of the dish, but John "White Gravy" Neutzling of Lone Star State cowboy town of Bandera insisted he invented it. Do you care, or do you just want to ladle on that peppery white gravy and dig in? Salmon is delicious and nutritious -- what more could you want?
Guys risk life and limb fishing for this delish superfood. Unlike Atlantic salmon, which is Alaska salmon season coincides with their return to spawning streams guided by an amazing sense of smell to the exact spot where they were born. But let's get to that cedar plank, the preferred method of cooking for the many Pacific Northwest Indian tribes whose mythologies and diets include salmon.
Use red cedar it has no preservatives , and cook slow, for that rich, smoky flavor. Barring that, there's always lox and bagels.
A section of the world's largest California Roll. Whatever the size, this is America's favorite sushi. The avocado-crab-cucumber roll became a hit, and from that SoCal beachhead, sushi conquered the country. After leading the charge for the sushi invasion of the s, the California roll now occupies grocery stores everywhere.
The most humble of comfort food. Who would have imagined when the recipe for "Cannelon of Beef" showed up in Fannie Farmer's "Boston Cooking School Cook Book" that every mom in America would someday have her own version?
Fannie made hers with slices of salt pork laid over the top and served it with brown mushroom sauce. In her day, you had to cut the meat finely by hand; the advent of commercial grinders changed all that. However your mom made it -- we're guessing ketchup on top? And you were probably made to sit there, all night if need be, if you didn't eat all your beans.
A better threat might have been no meatloaf sandwich in your lunch tomorrow. People who didn't grow up eating them wonder what the heck they are. People who did grow up eating them and that would be just about everyone in the South wonder how anyone could live without them. Grits, beloved and misunderstood -- and American down to their Native roots.
They're the favored hot breakfast in the so-called Grits Belt, which girdles everything from Virginia to Texas and where the dish is a standard offering on diner menus. Grits are nothing if not versatile: They can go plain, savory, or sweet; pan-fried or porridge-like. Simple and cheap, grits are also profoundly satisfying.
Which might be why Charleston's The Post and Courier opined in that "Given enough [grits], the inhabitants of planet Earth would have nothing to fight about. A man full of [grits] is a man of peace. We have the third president of the U.
Thomas Jefferson to thank for this cheesy treat. The ultimate comfort food, macaroni and cheese is also the salvation of many a mom placating a finicky toddler.
Nothing particularly American about pasta and cheese -- except for the fact that on a European trip, Thomas Jefferson liked a certain noodle dish so much he took notes and had it served back home at a state dinner as "macaroni pie. Jefferson's cousin Mary Randolph included a recipe for "macaroni and cheese" in her cookbook "The Virginia Housewife. So whether you're eating a gourmet version by one of the countless chefs who've put their own spin on it, or just digging like a desperado in the pantry for that box of Kraft, give mac and cheese its patriotic props.
An American classic, best served with a view across the Atlantic. The Chesapeake Bay yields more than just the regatta-loving suntanned class in their sock-free topsiders. It's the home habitat of the blue crab, which both Maryland and Virginia claim as their own. When Baltimore magazine rounded up the best places to get the city's signature food, editors declared simplicity the key, while lamenting the fact that most crabmeat doesn't even come from home turf these days.
Kind of makes you crabby, doesn't it? We have a high-maintenance resort guest to thank for America's hands-down favorite snack. Saratoga Springs, New York, A persnickety customer sends back his French fries then highfalutin fare eaten with a fork for being too thick. Crum makes a second, thinner, order. Still too thick for the picky diner. Annoyed, Crum makes the next batch with a little attitude, slicing the potatoes so thin, the crispy things can't possibly be picked up with a fork.
Traveling salesman Herman Lay sold them out of the trunk of his car before founding Lay's Potato Chips, the first nationally marketed brand. Lay's would ultimately merge in with Frito to create the snack behemoth Frito-Lay. Portugal meets meets Italy meets France by way of San Francisco. San Francisco's answer to French bouillabaisse, cioppino cho-pea-no is fish stew with an Italian flair.
It's an American food that's been around since the late s, when Portuguese and Italian fishermen who settled the North Beach section of the city brought their on-board catch-of-the-day stew back to land and area restaurants picked up on it. Cooked in a tomato base with wine and spices and chopped fish whatever was plentiful, but almost always crab , cioppino probably takes its name from the classic fish stew of Italy's Liguria region, where many Gold Rush era fishermen came from.
Don't feel bad about going with the "lazy man's" cioppino -- it only means you're not going to spend half the meal cracking shellfish. Wondering what your future holds?
Perhaps its time for a Chinese. Culinary snobs like to look down their holier-than-thou chopsticks at ABC American-born Chinese food, but we're not afraid to stand up for the honor of such North American favorites as General Tso's chicken, Mongolian beef, broccoli beef, lemon chicken, deep-fried spring rolls and that nuclear orange sauce that covers sweet-and-sour anything.
As the seminal symbol of all great American-born Chinese grub, however, we salute the mighty fortune cookie. Almost certainly invented in California in the early s origin stories vary between San Francisco, Los Angeles and even Japan , the buttery sweet crescents are now found in Chinese joints around the world That's OK -- the crunchy biscuits are still our favorite way to close out any Chinese meal.
A peanut butter and banana sandwich, Elvis Presley's favorite snack. To each his own, but everybody -- except those afflicted with the dreaded and dangerous peanut allergy and the moms who worry sick about them -- loves a good peanut butter sandwich.
First served to clients at Dr. John Harvey Kellogg's sanatorium in Battle Creek, Michigan, peanut paste was improved upon when chemist Joseph Rosefield added hydrogenated vegetable oil and called his spread Skippy. For a rocking alternative, try peanut butter sandwiches the way Elvis Presley liked them: Baked beans popularity in Boston lead to the nickname 'Beantown'.
It's not a cookout, potluck, or the end of a long day in the saddle without a bubbling pot full of them. Just ask the Pioneer Woma n, who waxes rhapsodic about the baked-bean recipe on her site not a version with little weenies, but how fun are they?
Yummy and plenty historical. Long before Bostonians were baking their navy beans for hours in molasses -- and earning the nickname Beantown in the process -- New England Native Americans were mixing beans with maple syrup and bear fat and putting them in a hole in the ground for slow cooking.
Favored on the frontier for being cheap and portable, chuck wagon, or cowboy, beans will forever live hilariously in popular culture as the catalyst behind the "Blazing Saddles" campfire scene, which you can review in unabashed immaturity on YouTube.
As the imperative on the Orville Redenbacher site urges: It's just one of several Midwestern corn belt towns that vie for the title of Popcorn Capital of the World, but centuries before Orville's obsession aromatically inflated in microwaves or Jiffy Pop magically expanded on stovetops, Native Americans in New Mexico discovered corn could be popped — way back in B. Americans currently consume about 14 billion liters of popcorn a year ; that's 43 liters per man, woman, and child.
Scottish immigrants brought the deep-fry method across the pond, and it was good old Colonel Saunders who really locked in on the commercial potential in when he started pressure-frying chicken breaded in his secret spices at his service station in Corbin, Kentucky, paving the way for Kentucky Fried and all the other fried chickens to come.
Nuggets, fingers, popcorn, bites, patties -- one of our all-time favorite ways to eat fried chicken is with waffles. And one of our favorite places to eat it is at Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles. Immortalized in "Pulp Fiction" and "Swingers," the L. Gone are the days when Catholics religiously abstained from eating meat on Fridays, but you'll still find clam chowder traditionally served in some East Coast locales -- not that it reminds anyone of penance these days.
There are time-honored versions of chowder from Maine to Florida, but the most famous and favorite has to be New England style: And there's even Minorcan from around St. The variations on East Coast clam chowder are deliciously numerous.
Even the West Coast has a version with salmon instead of pork. With your fistful of oyster crackers ready to dump in, you might stop to wonder: What were the Pilgrims thinking when they fed clams to their hogs? It was the pre-Columbian Maya who invented tortillas, and apparently the Aztecs who started wrapping them around bits of fish and meat. You have only to go to any Mexican or Tex-Mex place to see what those ancients wrought when someone dipped tortillas "en chile" hence, the name.
S'mores -- you can't just have one, the clue's in the name. We'll go you one better on remembrance of things past: Gooey, melty, warm and sweet -- nothing evokes family vacations and carefree camping under the stars quite like this classic American food. Whether they were first to roast marshmallows and squish them between graham crackers with a bar of chocolate no one seems to know, but the Girl Scouts were the first to get the recipe down in the "Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts," transforming many a standard-issue campfire into a quintessential experience.
Celebrate sweetly on August It's National S'mores Day. Get those marshmallow sticks sharpened. Boiled or steamed alive -- animal cruelty some insist -- lobsters practically define a great Down East occasion. Melted butter on knuckle, claw, or tail meat -- we love it simple.
But the perfect accompaniment to a salty sea air day in Vacationland would have to be the lobster roll. Chunks of sweet lobster meat lightly dressed with mayo or lemon or both, heaped in a buttered hot dog bun makes for some seriously satisfying finger food. Fabulous finger-licking lobster time in Maine is during shack season, May to October, and every August, when Rockland puts on its annual lobster festival.
Suggested soundtrack for a weekend of shacking: Long before Troy Aikman became pitchman for Wingstop, folks in Buffalo, New York, were enjoying the hot and spicy wings that most agree came into being by the hands of Teressa Bellissimo, who owned the Anchor Bar and first tossed chicken wings in cayenne pepper hot sauce and butter in According to Calvin Trillin, hot wings might have originated with John Young, and his "mambo sauce" -- also in Buffalo.
Either way, they came from Buffalo, which, by the way, doesn't call them Buffalo wings. If you think your kitchen table or couch-in-front-of-football represents the extreme in wing eating, think again: If you've had it at Indian Market in Santa Fe or to a powwow or pueblo anywhere in the country, you're probably salivating at the very thought.
Who would think that a flat chunk of leavened dough fried or deep-fried could be so addictive? Tradition says it was the Navajo who created frybread with the flour, sugar, salt, and lard given to them by the government when they were relocated from Arizona to Bosque Redondo, New Mexico, years ago.
Frybread's a calorie bomb all right, but drizzled with honey or topped with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, cheese, and lettuce for an Indian taco or all by its lonesome, it's an American Indian staple not to be missed. Pork or beef, slathered or smoked -- we're not about to wade into which is more embraced, what's more authentic, or even what needs more napkins. There are cook-offs all over the country for your own judging pleasure. But we will admit we're partial to pork ribs.
The Rib 'Cue Capital? We're not going to touch that one with a three-meter tong, either. We'll just follow signs of grinning pigs in the South, where the tradition of gathering for barbecues dates to before the Civil War and serious attention to the finer points of pork earn the region the title of the Barbecue Belt. Outside of the belt, Texas smokes its way to a claim as a barbecue beef epicenter -- check out the 'cue-rich town of Lockhart. And let's not forget Kansas City, where the sauce is the thing.
But why debate it when you can just eat it? When tomatoes come into season, there's hardly a better way to celebrate the bounty than with a juicy bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Bread can be toasted or not, bacon crispy or limp, lettuce iceberg or other but iceberg is preferred for imparting crunch and not interfering with the flavor , and mayo -- good quality or just forget about it.
According to a pie chart seriously from the American Pie Council, apple really is the U. Not to burst the patriotic bubble, but it's not an American food of indigenous origin. Food critic John Mariani dates the appearance of apple pies in the United States to , long after they were popular in England. Apples aren't even native to the continent; the Pilgrims brought seeds. So what's the deal with the star-spangled association? The pie council's John Lehndorff explains: And you're saying Americans know something good enough to be an icon when we eat it, with or without the cheddar cheese or vanilla ice cream on top.
Even the most modest chili has legions of fans. Consider Kit Carson, whose dying regret was that he didn't have time for one more bowl. Or the mysterious "La Dama de Azul," a Spanish nun named Sister Mary of Agreda, who reportedly never left her convent in Spain but came back from one of her astral projections preaching Christianity to Indians in the New World with their recipe for venison chili. Less apocryphally, "chili queens" in s San Antonio, Texas, sold their spicy stew from stands, and the "San Antonio Chili Stand" at the Chicago world's fair secured chili's nationwide fame.
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