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United Dish of America?

Professor Salt Nov 3, 2010 03:09 PM

We were in a Mexican restaurant last night eating chile en nogada, which is arguably the national dish of Mexico. England has curry, which is arguably their national dish, were it not for the fact that it's co-opted from its former colony.

Does America have a national dish? Something that originated here, and is loved and obsessed over all over the country? What are the candidates? I vote for BBQ.

  1. s
    shoeman Nov 3, 2010 03:13 PM

    Pepper Pot Soup?

    18 Replies
    1. re: shoeman
      mucho gordo Nov 3, 2010 04:09 PM

      REALLY!!! I loved it but haven't seen it anywhere since Campbell's stopped making it for some unknown reason decades ago. I had it last when I was a kid back east. Where is it still available?
      For some reason I think it was comparable to what I now know as Menudo.

      1. re: mucho gordo
        shoeman Nov 3, 2010 05:04 PM

        The City Tavern in Old City.

        1. re: shoeman
          gaffk Nov 4, 2010 04:07 PM

          Yep, just checked their website, and they do serve pepper pot soup. They refer to it as "West Indies Pepperpot Soup," so maybe not really American?


        2. re: mucho gordo
          gaffk Nov 4, 2010 11:51 AM

          Mucho-looks like Campbell's still makes it:


          I believe both menudo and pepper pot use tripe as their base?

          1. re: gaffk
            buttertart Nov 4, 2010 03:23 PM

            Yep, tripe.

            1. re: gaffk
              mucho gordo Nov 5, 2010 09:35 AM

              It says "Product of Canada" on the label so it might only be available there. I haven't seen it here in about 50 years,
              I always thought there was a similarity between it and menudo.

              1. re: mucho gordo
                buttertart Nov 5, 2010 09:41 AM

                Except menudo tastes good.

                1. re: mucho gordo
                  Will Owen Nov 5, 2010 12:39 PM

                  I loved Campbell's pepper pot when I was a kid. It is available here in the US, but the grocer has to order it (as is also the case with Scotch broth, my other favorite). It just ain't the same, though - those nice big cubes of tripe that the old recipe had in abundance are now tiny and scarce. However, living as I do now close to any number of Latino markets, and in possession of a Bookbinder's cookbook, all I need to do is get off my butt and make some.

                  Yes, Mrs. O and I love menudo too, but around here that's pretty easy to find!

            2. re: shoeman
              Professor Salt Nov 3, 2010 10:00 PM

              I've never heard of Pepper Pot soup. Grew up near New York City and live in So Cal now. What is it, and where is its home base?

              1. re: Professor Salt
                gaffk Nov 4, 2010 05:55 AM

                I believe it's a Philadelphia thing; my grandmother loved it (though she called it "peppery pot"). If I recall, it's a very thick soup made with a beef base and veggies and, of course, lots of pepper.

                I believe the City Tavern to which shoeman refers is the Old City Tavern in the historic section of Philly that is known for its menu of colonial Philadelphia foods--it would make sense you can find it there.

              2. re: shoeman
                melpy Nov 4, 2010 11:53 AM

                I think more of the nation would have to be familiar with Pepper pot soup and I for one am not.

                1. re: melpy
                  FoodChic Nov 9, 2010 11:01 AM

                  Never heard of it from Montana, to Michigan, to Illinois, to Missouri, to Texas. Never heard of it at all.

                  1. re: FoodChic
                    gaffk Nov 9, 2010 11:30 AM

                    As I pointed out, it's a Philadelphia thing.

                    Here's a link from the ever-esteemed wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadel...

                    1. re: gaffk
                      huiray Feb 15, 2011 06:13 AM

                      So in that sense it probably wouldn't qualify as a "national" dish...

                  2. re: melpy
                    alliegator Nov 17, 2010 06:11 AM

                    Born and grew up in Pennsylvania, lived in Arizona, Georgia, SC, and Texas and never heard of it until now.

                    1. re: alliegator
                      alkapal Nov 18, 2010 04:19 AM

                      i never heard of pepper pot soup growing up in sw florida, except when i was a teenager i'd look at the cans of campbell's soup in the grocery store. there it was, pepper pot soup!

                  3. re: shoeman
                    Teknotic Nov 4, 2010 09:43 PM

                    I live in Seattle and have never had pepper pot soup, or even seen it anywhere.

                    1. re: Teknotic
                      Randallmarquis Feb 14, 2011 07:49 PM

                      Yup... born and raised Canadian... now in SoCal. Pepperpot sure is tripe, and the 'pepper' aspect was to add flavor to something that generally had none.

                      And it got us kids to eat one more layer of the beasts we raised on the farm. Nose-to-tail... it's all about the best utilization of our beasts.

                  4. gaffk Nov 3, 2010 03:17 PM


                    3 Replies
                    1. re: gaffk
                      melpy Nov 4, 2010 11:55 AM

                      Probably although I don't know if obsess is the best way to put it.

                      1. re: gaffk
                        justdorkin Nov 5, 2010 02:51 PM

                        this would be one of my guesses. what a shame.

                        1. re: justdorkin
                          hyacinthgirl Nov 8, 2010 11:54 AM


                      2. gaffk Nov 3, 2010 03:17 PM

                        Better yet . . .Toll House cookies.

                        1. ipsedixit Nov 3, 2010 03:32 PM

                          Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

                          1. Eric in NJ Nov 3, 2010 03:34 PM

                            Meatloaf and mashed potatos

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Eric in NJ
                              Teknotic Nov 4, 2010 09:44 PM

                              Meatloaf is from Eastern Europe. Don't get me started on mashed potatoes lol

                            2. h
                              Harters Nov 3, 2010 04:22 PM

                              I think the defining of a national dish can really only be undertaken by those looking at a country from outside and not by those looking from within.

                              As a Briton, I might disagree with a view that our national dish was curry (in fact, I would disagree). But, when I read posts by Americans on the UK board, it's what they want to eat when they visit London (it's always London, not the rest of the country). So, in that, our national dish is defined by others - because that's how others perceive British cuisine.

                              Therefore, on the same lines, when I think of American food, I first think hamburger. I suspect much of the rest of the world might think similarly.

                              18 Replies
                              1. re: Harters
                                smartie Nov 3, 2010 08:14 PM

                                I am also a Brit but live in the US so I would say it would be difficult to have a national dish because I might be inclined to break it up into areas - Southern fried chicken, hot dogs, Maryland crabs, New England chowder and so on.
                                I guess if you are an outsider thinking America I would probably agree with Harters that a hamburger is the ultimate American food.

                                1. re: Harters
                                  Professor Salt Nov 3, 2010 10:13 PM

                                  You have a very good point about the outsider's POV, and admittedly, the first thing I thought of was burgers too. But I have an argument for that vs. BBQ, below, and that's why I lean toward barbecue. Well, that, and I'm a contest BBQ cook, so I'm heavily biased, lol.

                                  1. re: Professor Salt
                                    Harters Nov 4, 2010 04:01 AM

                                    Well, Prof, I sort of find it hard to disagree with you. My earlier comments excepted, when I visit America, what I want to look for is BBQ. We can get good burgers in the UK but we just don't *do* BBQ at all, in the Amercan sense. Love it.

                                    FWIW, "BBQ" is a multi-purpose word for us as in "Would you like to come for lunch on Sunday, We're having a BBQ. I'm going to BBQ some steaks on the BBQ".

                                    1. re: Harters
                                      JayL Nov 5, 2010 03:10 PM

                                      Some parts of the US consider bbq exactly the way you just put it...as a verb. In other parts of the US (especially actual bbq territory) the term BBQ is a noun...and has nothing to do with steaks or burgers.

                                      1. re: JayL
                                        taos Nov 15, 2010 11:51 AM

                                        That's true. I'm a native New Englander and around where people say they're going to a Barbeque they generally just mean they're going to cookout -- an event where there will be some kind of protein cooked on an outdoor heat source.

                                        The whole Barbeque (I don't even know how to spell it) thing, with the sauce and the specific kinds of grills and the rubs and stuff is not really done here except by people who have tasted it elsewhere, like the south and imported it.

                                        As for the United Dish of America, I'd have to go with hamburgers.

                                    2. re: Professor Salt
                                      guilty Nov 12, 2010 08:21 PM

                                      As a native American who has traveled to the UK, I would never think of curry as England's (or the UK's) national dish. I do seem to remember the "typical English breakfast" making quite an impression on me, however.

                                      I grew up in the Northeast, and I would argue that barbecue is not a national dish. At. All. Hamburgers and/or chocolate chip cookies seem closer to the mark for me. But really, this is such a large and diverse country, I'm not sure this question is answerable.

                                    3. re: Harters
                                      smartie Nov 4, 2010 05:30 AM

                                      how about an English breakfast for the UK? (Scottish, Irish and Welsh of course added to this)

                                      1. re: Harters
                                        Perilagu Khan Nov 4, 2010 07:19 AM

                                        I'm a Yank and the first thing I thought of was a hamburger. And I suspect most Americans--as opposed to most Hounds--would also nominate the burger.

                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                          Passadumkeg Nov 4, 2010 10:44 AM

                                          And I'm, as you once called me me, a Yankee (and now, once again a New Mexicano). And I must agree with the burger and fries, in all its incarnations, as the most popular "Merican food.
                                          How can "Over 12 Billion Served" be argued with?

                                        2. re: Harters
                                          Teknotic Nov 4, 2010 09:47 PM

                                          I've never been to England myself, but if I was to say what I think the national dish is there, I would go with meat pies. Would you say I'm close? And while I would really like to go to the UK, I don't think I'd spend much time in London. I'm much more interested in Cornwall, Manchester, Scotland, etc.

                                          1. re: Teknotic
                                            Harters Nov 5, 2010 02:26 AM

                                            Teknotic - Manchester is my metro centre and I agree folk could have a good holiday in the north west - and get some good eating in as well.

                                            As for meat pies, much as I love them, I don't think they hit the OP's definitions which includes the "obsession". I still go for fish & chips - there are national competitions over them (last year's regional winner was only 10 minutes drive away from me)

                                            1. re: Harters
                                              FoodFuser Nov 5, 2010 02:51 AM

                                              What fish do they use, since depletion of cod?

                                              1. re: FoodFuser
                                                Harters Nov 5, 2010 03:23 AM

                                                Still mainly cod or haddock. There are regional differences - cod is generallly preferred in the south and haddock in the north (although in my area, it's also cod). You do see an increasing number of chippies just selling "fish" - presumably they are buying whatever white fish they can at market.

                                                (My apologies to the OP - my contribution here seems to have sent the thread off on a tangent about British food. Not my intention.)

                                                1. re: Harters
                                                  Teknotic Nov 6, 2010 06:46 PM

                                                  Tangents are fun =D

                                              2. re: Harters
                                                guilty Nov 12, 2010 08:22 PM

                                                Oh yeah, fish and chips for the UK. Definitely.

                                                1. re: Harters
                                                  huiray Feb 15, 2011 06:18 AM

                                                  I think of Fish 'n Chips when I think of food in Britain, followed by "THe Full English" (meaning THAT breakfast).

                                                2. re: Teknotic
                                                  taos Nov 15, 2010 12:04 PM

                                                  I would also vote for Shepherds Pie as the national food of England.

                                                  1. re: taos
                                                    huiray Feb 15, 2011 06:19 AM

                                                    I think of Shepherds Pie when I think of English PUB food...and also Steak & Kidney Pie.

                                              3. scarmoza Nov 3, 2010 04:25 PM

                                                Turkey, gravy, and all the fixin's (especially all the fixin's) and pumpkin pie for dessert.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: scarmoza
                                                  Professor Salt Nov 3, 2010 10:04 PM

                                                  Yeah, that's a good candidate. Hard to argue with turkey and fixin's.

                                                  Wanna hear something odd? I learned recently from a Brit (English reporter for BBC) that his family celebrates Thanksgiving with pretty much the same roast turkey and gravy. I think of T'giving in the context of the Puritans escaping England and thought it was odd that the English celebrate the same holiday with the same main dish as their social outcasts. Harters, can you verify that T'giving is celebrated in England with roast turkey? Does pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce also show up on the table?

                                                  1. re: Professor Salt
                                                    Harters Nov 4, 2010 04:06 AM

                                                    Prof - We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here. The reporter will be pretty much a "one-off" in doing so.

                                                    Turkey is the Christmas lunch meal. Cranberry sauce features - but only in fairly recent years. It's not at all traditional. Jarred sauce has been around for a while but it is only in probably the last 10 - 15 years that we've seen fresh or frozen cranberries available.

                                                    1. re: Harters
                                                      Professor Salt Nov 4, 2010 09:58 AM

                                                      That's what I thought, thanks.

                                                    2. re: Professor Salt
                                                      FoodChic Nov 9, 2010 11:04 AM

                                                      Turkey dinner with all the fixings is a pretty good nomination.

                                                  2. f
                                                    Floridagirl Nov 3, 2010 04:30 PM

                                                    Thanksgiving Dinner for holidays
                                                    Pot roast
                                                    Meat loaf
                                                    Smithfield ham

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Floridagirl
                                                      guilty Nov 12, 2010 08:23 PM

                                                      I'm a native American (though not American Indian) and I don't think I've ever eaten a pot roast. I've had ham exactly once. In a little (cough) over three decades.

                                                      1. re: guilty
                                                        alkapal Nov 18, 2010 04:21 AM

                                                        ham once and never pot roast. wow.

                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                          jmckee Feb 16, 2011 07:14 AM

                                                          Kind of surprising.

                                                    2. Passadumkeg Nov 3, 2010 05:17 PM

                                                      All the above are imported foods.The real American meal would have to include native foods like turkey, corn, chiles, pinto or Lima beans, pumpkin and other squashes and peanuts. Try living overseas and try finding all of the above.
                                                      I suggest, not based on popularity, but on real American authenticity, a turkey mole w/ a side of pinto beans and a squash dessert.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                        Chowrin Nov 6, 2010 07:42 PM

                                                        collard greens go in there somewhere, I'd imagine [yeah, they're imported, but still!]

                                                      2. FoodFuser Nov 3, 2010 07:04 PM

                                                        The country's good dish is good ole' Brunswick Stew. From the original colonies of both Carolinas.

                                                        It implies the inflow of leftover BBQ. Hickory fired from those eastern-side forests.

                                                        It's got limas and corn from aboriginal succotash.

                                                        And okra from African Americans.

                                                        And good canned tomaters from those down-under Incans.

                                                        It's composite quintessential American Stew.

                                                        With coarse cornbread, of course.

                                                        Served on tables cloaked in cloth of red-white checkered linoleum.

                                                        Those folks from Kentucky might argue that Burgoo, a more squirrely-based stew,
                                                        could claim place as the quinty American Do.
                                                        They're really quite similar, Brunswick and Burgoo,
                                                        But Carolinas came ahead of Kaintuck in their Statehood.

                                                        Would that we could give an ask to Daniel Boone,
                                                        born in Piedmont Carolina
                                                        then blazed trail to the Bluegrass.
                                                        He'd be arbiter of which it is, Brunswick or Burgoo.

                                                        18 Replies
                                                        1. re: FoodFuser
                                                          Professor Salt Nov 3, 2010 09:48 PM

                                                          I love a good squirrel-rabbit-dove-whatever stew as much as the next guy, but burgoo and its related kin-stews are hardly national in scope. It's a local treasure and I hope more people learn about it.

                                                          I thought of hamburgers too because it was born here and it's ubiquitous. I suppose everyone has a favorite local burger ( In `n Out vs Five Guys, et al), but at the end of the day, it's a ground meat patty on a bun with minor variations. Same basic deal in South Korea as South Carolina, no? Burgers might be an American invention, but they've spread globally (especially the fast food variety) and they belong to the world now.

                                                          Burgers don't evoke the partisan passions of BBQ fanatics. BBQ has huge differences in regional styles from coast to coast, north to south. When's the last time you heard a Texan say "oh, I went to North Carolina and ate a burger, and man, those people wouldn't know a good hamburger if it bit them on the ass?" You will hear that kind of passion about BBQ. And unlike burgers, localized legitimately distinct BBQ styles thrive, even in this era of corporate uniformity of chain food.

                                                          Lastly - smoking meat is an age-old method of preserving meat found all over the world. But BBQ is a dish and a cooking method that evolved in the USA (hat tip to Mexico and the Caribbean for cooking over smoke, but barbacoa and jerk aren't the same thing). You really won't find American BBQ in other countries, and when you do, it's gonna be identified as American BBQ.

                                                          1. re: Professor Salt
                                                            FoodFuser Nov 3, 2010 10:46 PM

                                                            Agreed, evidential,
                                                            that these stews be provincial
                                                            But they pulse with a heart-race that burgers don't have.

                                                            Burgoo won't unite us.
                                                            Nor' Brunswick excite us
                                                            But they're dishes that go back
                                                            deep time in our land.

                                                            It's sad that it's burgers
                                                            and white-bunned acoutres
                                                            have become the face
                                                            of our nation.

                                                            Queuing in place at the drive-thru
                                                            ordering from people become speaker-phones
                                                            hoping the burger is properly done
                                                            the mustard and ketchup exactly in place...

                                                            We've picked up the pace
                                                            from our simpler space
                                                            where we savored the taste
                                                            of a Brunswick, or a good Burgoo.

                                                            Burgers will rule as efficient, fast fuel.
                                                            and their greasy and meaty seems perfect repast

                                                            But if question is of
                                                            our "United Dish"

                                                            I'd rather we hark back to days when the stove
                                                            was a slowly fired place and a stewpot's abode
                                                            of some Brunswick, or even some Burgoo.


                                                            1. re: FoodFuser
                                                              melpy Nov 4, 2010 11:59 AM

                                                              well done

                                                              1. re: melpy
                                                                Sue in Mt P Nov 7, 2010 02:43 PM

                                                                I LOVE it. Now back to my Brunswick stew....

                                                          2. re: FoodFuser
                                                            Passadumkeg Nov 4, 2010 02:04 AM

                                                            Sorry the quintessential American stew is posole. Seven hundred years of real red-blooded "Mericans can't be wrong.
                                                            ps ain't Brunswick in Germany?

                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                              FoodFuser Nov 4, 2010 11:35 AM

                                                              Pass', your post gives me pause to consider
                                                              the role that Posole might play as the National Dish.

                                                              First, the hegemony of a good slake-limed hominy
                                                              made from carefully cultivated dried and stored corn

                                                              Posole most certainly has claim on this continent
                                                              of being much older than upstart Brunswick stew.

                                                              Both the P and the B have good merits.

                                                              As to OP's first Q of our national dish,
                                                              the tide's building here of the Tsunami swish
                                                              of the white-bunned easy greasy Hamburger.

                                                              I'm one of those recalcitrant lads
                                                              who wishes this culture still had
                                                              more links to traditions when food was hard fought.

                                                              But it seems that today, as petrol we waste,
                                                              queued up at Mc'USA's drive-thru windows
                                                              in line to ingest that factory farmed feast
                                                              that drips grease from our chins to our SUV's seats.

                                                              We can't singlehandedly restore
                                                              the love of food lore
                                                              that delights in the lineage of Brunswick or Posole.
                                                              .... But we can, and yea always must, Wish.

                                                              1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                Perilagu Khan Nov 4, 2010 11:44 AM

                                                                There once was a man named Stromboli
                                                                Who reveled in a dish called posole
                                                                But when pressed for time
                                                                He'd gladly stand in line
                                                                At a McDonald's in suburban Albuquerque.

                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                  FoodFuser Nov 4, 2010 12:09 PM

                                                                  I met old Stromboli
                                                                  as he was rolling up pizza
                                                                  to be baked in a loaf, then sliced, now bears his name.
                                                                  He was also the author of a really good Calzone.

                                                                  His smile and his voice rang through a kitchen
                                                                  that reeked of tradition
                                                                  so much that I've serious doubt
                                                                  that he was one, slurping 'pon bun
                                                                  and greased meat at his local McDonald's.

                                                                  But hey, who am I to be judge
                                                                  of places where personal integrity might fudge?
                                                                  But with his reputation, tell me please, please,
                                                                  he was wearing a trenchcoat and hat and sunglasses?

                                                            2. re: FoodFuser
                                                              Chowrin Nov 6, 2010 07:43 PM

                                                              cornbread without the eggs is divine! I love it ranch style (Cherokee style, to tell the truth)

                                                              1. re: Chowrin
                                                                FoodFuser Nov 6, 2010 09:35 PM

                                                                Cornbread without eggs
                                                                parts through the haze
                                                                to days we just ate of necessity.

                                                                We ate batter poured
                                                                on griddle, or skillet
                                                                or even the blade of a hoe.

                                                                Be they Johneycakes, or Journeycakes,
                                                                simple preps of ground corn
                                                                can still be well savored
                                                                as gifts from the past.

                                                                1. re: Chowrin
                                                                  just_M Nov 6, 2010 09:39 PM

                                                                  you can make cornbread without eggs?! Is that like a hoecake?

                                                                  1. re: just_M
                                                                    Chowrin Nov 7, 2010 10:58 AM

                                                                    not at all. baked, way less sugar than generally called for (that'd make it too cakey), plenty of oil/fat. about half and half, flour to cornmeal.

                                                                    1. re: Chowrin
                                                                      just_M Nov 7, 2010 04:05 PM

                                                                      I'll have to try this - maybe with cream and of course bacon fat :-)

                                                                      1. re: just_M
                                                                        alkapal Nov 8, 2010 06:17 AM

                                                                        cornmeal, water, salt : mix it to a thick slurry consistency and let it sit at least 5 minutes. then pour into a hot skillet (with bacon grease and oil heated, too) and cook like a pancake. that is the BEST thing to eat with field peas and snaps, bar anything else in the world.

                                                                        (thank you aunt martha!).

                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                          just_M Nov 8, 2010 02:42 PM

                                                                          Love so much the many, many ways things can be prepared! This sounds simple and delicious. Thanks for another mind opener.... ah the possibilities! Love it :-D

                                                                          1. re: just_M
                                                                            alkapal Nov 8, 2010 04:26 PM

                                                                            if you make it a little thinner it gets "lacy" and crispier (because the oil bubbles up to create holes).

                                                                          2. re: alkapal
                                                                            guilty Nov 12, 2010 08:24 PM

                                                                            Isn't this a Johnny cake?

                                                                            1. re: guilty
                                                                              alkapal Nov 18, 2010 04:25 AM

                                                                              yes, but aunt martha called it corn pone (though "technically," pone is baked). i think "technical" distinctions really came about when cookbook writers or food ehtnographers took one regional variation in name over another -- and then that became "the" technique or preparation.

                                                                2. KaimukiMan Nov 3, 2010 07:25 PM

                                                                  Drive across America, what will you find? Hamburgers. Cheap burgers, expensive burgers, mass produced burgers, hand formed patties cooked on charcoal. But it's hamburgers hamburgers hamburgers from sea to shining sea. Great pizza in chicago, chowder in the northeast, bbq in the south, fusion out west, and plate lunch in Hawaii. But hamburgers everywhere.

                                                                  21 Replies
                                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                    Professor Salt Nov 3, 2010 09:55 PM

                                                                    I take issue with your localization of BBQ as a southern thing. Santa Maria tri tip is smoked over red oak in Central California and has a long tradition here. Southern California has a ranching tradition that's not as well known, but it's a historic fact that Californio (i.e. Mexican) settlers of the 19th century threw massive earth pit BBQ feasts. There's the kalua pig of Hawaii, which is related to the pit pig of the southeast.

                                                                    Obviously, there's the better known styles of BBQ of the South and Texas, and the nation's heartland of Kansas City and Chicago. North to South, coast to coast, you'll find people who cook meat over smoke with skill and passion.

                                                                    1. re: Professor Salt
                                                                      Perilagu Khan Nov 4, 2010 07:23 AM

                                                                      I don't doubt that one bit, but the cue joints are, I suspect, far heavier on the gound in CenTex, KC, Memphis, Alabama and the Carolinas than any other spots in the US.

                                                                      1. re: Professor Salt
                                                                        KaimukiMan Nov 4, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                                        I don't necessarily disagree with you Professor, but don't forget California is culturally a part of the southwest. And yes, people bbq everywhere across the country, and it is an important american dish, as is fried chicken, and beef stew, and many other things. I think that BBQ probably deserves second place. It is definitely as American as a hamburger - largely for the same reason. American's love beef. And while you can bbq chicken (and goat, and deer, and just about anything else that walks, flies, slithers, or swims) bbq is primarily a beef dish. Including bbq'd hamburgers.

                                                                        1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                          Perilagu Khan Nov 4, 2010 02:30 PM

                                                                          Few people love cue more than I, but I just don't think it has saturated all 50 states enough to warrant the title American's Dish. And actually, come to think of it, BBQ is a method, not a dish, which makes it even more problematic to award cue the title. Hence, which cue dish would it be? Texans love brisket and Carolinians love pulled pork. BBQ ribs, perhaps?

                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                            gaffk Nov 4, 2010 03:08 PM

                                                                            KM, I don't know that you can say BBQ is primarily a beef dish. In Texas and the southwest it seems most BBQ is beef. In the Carolinas, Virginia and the south, it's primarily pork. In Pennsylvania it is a mix of beef and pork, with a generous portion of chicken thrown in.

                                                                            But I agree with Perilagu . . .it is more a style of cooking than a dish.

                                                                            I would still say hamburgers--you can get them from McD's to Village Whiskey's burger with foie gras and the whole gamut in between.

                                                                            (Still don't know why no love for my Toll House cookie suggestion--definitely American. And who doesn't like a chocolate chip cookie?)

                                                                            I believe potato chips also originated in the US?

                                                                            1. re: gaffk
                                                                              Professor Salt Nov 4, 2010 04:08 PM

                                                                              Barbecue isn't just a verb, it's a noun. It's most certainly a dish.

                                                                              1. re: Professor Salt
                                                                                gaffk Nov 4, 2010 04:23 PM

                                                                                Prof, I'd respectfully disagree.

                                                                                When I hear hamburger, I think beef patty. I know it can be a turkey burger, veggie burger, etc., but it's always a patty of protein. Plain or adorned with cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion . . .the list goes on. But it is always a patty of meat\meat substitute on a roll.

                                                                                BBQ, on the other hand, can be beef, pork, chicken, wild game, wild fowl, etc. It can be served as steaks, burgers, sandwiches, ribs, flanks,, anything really.

                                                                                BBQ is how you cook a meat. It can be whole animals (pig roast) or taking an every day item like hot dogs and grilling them.

                                                                                Where I grew up BBQ was whole chicken breasts drenched in butter, thyme and rosemary served with fresh corn on the cob. As I got older I realized that was not the norm . . . just had an uncle who grew up on a Missouri chicken farm.

                                                                                BBQ is a style of cooking, not a dish. (And don't even get me started on the accompnaying sides in the regions.)

                                                                              2. re: gaffk
                                                                                FoodFuser Nov 8, 2010 09:12 PM

                                                                                Yes, on the chips.

                                                                                It seems that the chef, that evening,
                                                                                was a little bit pissed
                                                                                'cause some diners had sent back some taters
                                                                                he'd scalloped. and offered their table.

                                                                                So he sliced 'em real thin,
                                                                                fried 'em, and then,
                                                                                began the story of tater chips, now fabled.

                                                                              3. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                soupkitten Nov 4, 2010 09:23 PM

                                                                                bbq is a noun-- it's a pork dish. unless you're in texas, where bbq is beef, or, confusingly, a sausage.

                                                                                1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                  FoodFuser Nov 4, 2010 10:05 PM

                                                                                  I'm not gonna get in here
                                                                                  cuz there's no wider fray
                                                                                  than BBQ definitions
                                                                                  and traditions.

                                                                                  But I'll just one thing say:

                                                                                  BBQ is a word
                                                                                  that's both Noun,
                                                                                  and a Verb.

                                                                                2. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                  JayL Nov 5, 2010 03:17 PM

                                                                                  Couple things here...BBQ is not primarily beef...and you don't bbq a freaking hamburger.

                                                                                  1. re: JayL
                                                                                    KaimukiMan Nov 6, 2010 06:41 PM

                                                                                    ah but in some areas ANYTHING cooked on the grill over charcoal (or gas) in the back yard is barbecuing. i understand that half the readers of chow hound have just dropped to the floor, but indeed hot dogs and hamburgers are barbecued in backyards all summer every summer. Some prefer the word grilled, and I'm not interested in a semantic discussion, it doesn't alter the fact that people, many many people, do call it that.

                                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                      Passadumkeg Nov 6, 2010 06:44 PM

                                                                                      Oooooo, you're gonna get it! The correct word is grilled. Tut. Tut.

                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                        guilty Nov 12, 2010 08:29 PM

                                                                                        No really; in some parts of the country, "barbecue" is synonymous with "grill."

                                                                                        1. re: guilty
                                                                                          Passadumkeg Nov 12, 2010 08:33 PM

                                                                                          I was taught the BBQ Bible and converted. Arise from the depths of BBQ Hell!

                                                                                          1. re: guilty
                                                                                            FoodChic Nov 15, 2010 11:19 AM

                                                                                            Only in area's without true BBQ. I've lived in both. If it's not real BBQ, it's grilled.

                                                                                  2. re: Professor Salt
                                                                                    guilty Nov 12, 2010 08:28 PM

                                                                                    I am now on a crusade. I've lived in several places along the eastern seaboard. Barbecue is regional. And of course, NC barbecue is different from TX barbecue, which is probably different from St. Louis barbecue. Sorry.

                                                                                    Growing up in NJ, barbecue was something you (we) did maybe once or twice during the summer. The only barbecue restaurant I can think of coming across was Cracker Barrel. Which hardly counts. And I'd imagine that it is not ubiquitous in Maine or Vermont, either.

                                                                                    1. re: guilty
                                                                                      Perilagu Khan Nov 14, 2010 06:04 AM

                                                                                      But NC, SC, TX and KC cue, along with Memphis and Alabama, is all slow-smoked over indirect heat. That is the common denominator. Folks in Vermont or Oregon might chuck a burger on a grill and call it BBQ, but that doesn't make it so.

                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                        FoodChic Nov 15, 2010 11:20 AM


                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                          AgentLapis Nov 16, 2010 06:06 PM

                                                                                          As an Oregonian, I can vouch for that comment. BBQ is used more as a verb than a noun.

                                                                                          The local historical food would probably be planked chinook salmon. Though currently could be anything... the apple cider here is phenomenal.

                                                                                    2. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                      alkapal Nov 18, 2010 07:22 AM

                                                                                      burgers is it!

                                                                                    3. v
                                                                                      virtualguthrie Nov 3, 2010 10:27 PM

                                                                                      I don't think it's possible to argue for anything besides a hamburger. It's the most pervasive, recognizable and classic american food. Just about every restaurant that's not focused on ethnic cuisine serves a hamburger. BBQ is probably a close second.

                                                                                      1. a
                                                                                        AgentLapis Nov 3, 2010 10:51 PM

                                                                                        Depends on the region and what you're going for, really....

                                                                                        We have corn-derived substances in nearly every product out there (including virtually all meats) so I'd say corn first of all.

                                                                                        After that, perhaps all the industrialized food products out there.... think jell-o, boxed mac & cheese, kool-aid, condensed canned soup, spam.

                                                                                        Then there's the various ethnic cuisines that undergo major changes here.... pizza, sushi, burritos.

                                                                                        And true new-world foods.

                                                                                        My personal vote would be for a grilled cheese sandwich with cream of tomato soup. Maybe some collards done in a skillet. And molasses cookies, pie or a cupcake for dessert. Maybe some potato salad.

                                                                                        1. m
                                                                                          mattyboy Nov 4, 2010 04:53 AM

                                                                                          How bout fried catfish/hushpuppieis etc?

                                                                                          1. y
                                                                                            yfunk3 Nov 4, 2010 05:42 AM

                                                                                            Yup, hamburger with fries. BBQ, while very American, just isn't synonymous with all parts of the country. What makes it so hard to answer this question is that the U.S. is so much bigger and more populous than most other countries. If you look at the other big countries, it's hard to pin down one national dish for them, too (except the generic term "curry" for India...maybe borscht for Russia?).

                                                                                            Hamburgers can, indeed, be found everywhere (good ones, bad ones, mediocre ones) and it's pretty standard in its preparation and ingredients (not toppings, but what goes inside the meat and what meat is used). BBQ is just too diverse and has too many regional variations.

                                                                                            Fried chicken might be a close runner up, but there are versions of fried chicken from other countries, as well.

                                                                                            Oh, and for the UK, I would've suggested fish and chips...

                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: yfunk3
                                                                                              Harters Nov 4, 2010 07:09 AM

                                                                                              "and for the UK, I would've suggested fish and chips..."

                                                                                              So would I. Or roast beef.

                                                                                              1. re: Harters
                                                                                                Perilagu Khan Nov 4, 2010 07:25 AM

                                                                                                Yep, although beef Wellington also springs to mind, as do the meat pie and mushy peas.

                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                  LBJR09 Nov 4, 2010 03:51 PM

                                                                                                  Mmmmm mushy peas :-)

                                                                                                  Im going with the hamburger vote on this one though...that and fried chicken came to mind

                                                                                                2. re: Harters
                                                                                                  soupkitten Nov 4, 2010 09:25 PM

                                                                                                  +2 on fishnchips for england

                                                                                                3. re: yfunk3
                                                                                                  Professor Salt Nov 4, 2010 10:04 AM

                                                                                                  "BBQ is just too diverse and has too many regional variations."

                                                                                                  Exactly my point. Who said a national dish should be uniform or standardized? Adobo is the national dish of the Filipines yet every cook has a different twist on it.

                                                                                                  BBQ is as diverse as the American population, and that's something we should celebrate.

                                                                                                  1. re: Professor Salt
                                                                                                    Teknotic Nov 4, 2010 09:53 PM

                                                                                                    Everyone in Spain does paella differently too

                                                                                                    1. re: Professor Salt
                                                                                                      huiray Feb 15, 2011 06:32 AM

                                                                                                      But it's because it IS so diverse AND does not cover all 50 states in its prevalence or even meaning that makes the case for it being a "national" dish harder to sustain over the case for Hamburger w/ Fries.

                                                                                                  2. Pia Nov 4, 2010 11:07 AM

                                                                                                    Mac and cheese!

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: Pia
                                                                                                      justdorkin Nov 5, 2010 02:53 PM

                                                                                                      i am with ya Pia mac and cheese would be the national dish of at least children

                                                                                                    2. m
                                                                                                      MonMauler Nov 4, 2010 04:10 PM

                                                                                                      I vote for the hamburger. It's popularity has permeated all parts of this country, and it is undeniably an American dish. Every region, restaurant, and individual in the nation has their preferred burger - it has adapted to all tastes and cultures that comprise America.

                                                                                                      That said, I totally agree that BBQ is a technique that America truly revolutionized, and it is found and cherished across the nation. I just don't think it is nearly as ubiquitous domestically or exported internationally, as the classic American hamburger.

                                                                                                      I am a little surprised, though, that nobody has mentioned pizza. Sure, pizza may have been developed, and many say perfected, by the Greeks and Italians, but American-style pizzas are extremely popular nation-wide, and most major international cities offer American-style pizza. Pizza as it is generally known and eaten today may trace its heritage to foreign orgins, but it has become an entirely American food.

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: MonMauler
                                                                                                        Passadumkeg Nov 4, 2010 04:44 PM

                                                                                                        Now the next question where was the hamburger invented? I hear Hamburg, NY, some place in CT; why I hear even the Rooshin's invented it!

                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                          Perilagu Khan Nov 4, 2010 07:04 PM

                                                                                                          'Twas invented in Texas, of course. ;)


                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                            Passadumkeg Nov 4, 2010 07:26 PM

                                                                                                            Of course! So silly of me.

                                                                                                      2. s
                                                                                                        soupkitten Nov 4, 2010 10:06 PM

                                                                                                        i agree that the basic hamburger, perhaps topped w american cheese, would be the obvious.

                                                                                                        i'm just sort of shocked nobody's suggested chili? unless i missed it?

                                                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                          KaimukiMan Nov 4, 2010 10:33 PM

                                                                                                          yummm... chili burgers...LOL. and no, i don't think you missed it.

                                                                                                          1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                            Perilagu Khan Nov 5, 2010 09:28 AM

                                                                                                            Not a bad suggestion, actually, although what passes for chili up north would cause the average Texan to blow a gasket.

                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                              Passadumkeg Nov 5, 2010 09:30 AM

                                                                                                              It's hamburg bean stew please.

                                                                                                            2. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                              Teknotic Nov 6, 2010 06:49 PM

                                                                                                              Chili is from portugal

                                                                                                              1. re: Teknotic
                                                                                                                Perilagu Khan Nov 7, 2010 06:19 AM

                                                                                                                The chili I have in mind sure ain't.

                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                  alkapal Nov 8, 2010 06:18 AM


                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                    tatamagouche Nov 8, 2010 12:23 PM

                                                                                                                    Yeah, I'm a bit confused—what type of chili are you referring to, Teknotic?

                                                                                                                2. re: Teknotic
                                                                                                                  Bryan Pepperseed Nov 18, 2010 04:20 AM

                                                                                                                  The frugal Gourmet said it's from America.


                                                                                                                  1. re: Bryan Pepperseed
                                                                                                                    GraydonCarter Mar 1, 2011 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                    I just read an article that claims chili is a purely American invention.


                                                                                                              2. j
                                                                                                                jhopp217 Nov 5, 2010 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                I would say it's not so much a dish, but anything grilled over a flame could be considered traditional American, because it was a technique used by Native Americans. That being said, if you are asking what "dish" is synonymous with present day America, I'd have to say the hamburger. I'd guess to say that on any given day it is the most eaten item in the U.S. BBQ, in my opinion isn't as American as people think, because many cultures use pits or other vessels to slow cook meats and they've been doing it a lot longer.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Nov 5, 2010 11:04 AM

                                                                                                                  But do they slow-smoke large cuts of meat over indirect heat? That is the essence of true American cue.

                                                                                                                  And was American cue BORROWED from other peoples? Just because different people cook similar things in a similar way doesn't mean that those foods/methods aren't autochthonous. And if they are, then one could make a case for their being the "national dish" of whatever nation you're talking about.

                                                                                                                2. cayjohan Nov 5, 2010 11:20 AM

                                                                                                                  Even though burgers don't ring my chimes as much as they do for others, I'd have to cast my lot in with The Burger as the "American" dish. But I'd like to propose a lady-in-waiting: the American Breakfast. The truck-stop breakfast. Fried potatoes, eggs, some fatty, crispy meat. Toasted breadstuffs of your choice. It's everywhere: we go out to Breakfast All Day! diners, we reinvent it in sandwich form in every fast-food chain offering a morning meal, we make it for our families on weekends. Denny's Grand Slam and Perkins' Tremendous Twelve. The cheffy spins on hash towers topped with free-range basted eggs oozing yolk, sprinkled with frizzled meat bits. A brunch casserole that has all-the-breakfasty-tastes-in-one.

                                                                                                                  I think the American breakfast is at least in the running.


                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: cayjohan
                                                                                                                    soupkitten Nov 5, 2010 11:33 AM

                                                                                                                    totally! when we've had visitors from abroad stay with us, they are fascinated by the concept of "american breakfast" and have to experience pancakes w maple syrup at home, and the diner breakfast w eggs over easy, toast & bacon out at the diner. i will always remember a young french guy commenting "incredible!" on a plate of eggs, sausage and hashbrowns, served to him on a big buffalo china oval plate, with coffee on the side. he said the same thing when he observed americans ordering fast food at a drive thru and proceeding to eat while driving to work. it seems like "american breakfast," unlike a burger, is 1) *not* commonly available outside of the country and 2) offers some sort of real insight into the culture, for better or worse.

                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                      cayjohan Nov 5, 2010 11:48 AM

                                                                                                                      <<2) offers some sort of real insight into the culture, for better or worse.>> Yes! Totally, right back atcha! To me, it fits with the idea of American expansionism as agrarian, that Manifest Destiny, bustin' up the sod, movin' West sort of ideal. The folks plowing virgin prairie in Nebraska weren't eating delicate breakfasts of fruit and croissants, but the old-fashioned farmhouse breakfast that could keep you going when walking behind a plow. It's got a similar romantic streak to, say, the bopping burger drive-in of the 1950s - and in my opinion, as firmly entrenched.

                                                                                                                      1. re: cayjohan
                                                                                                                        Will Owen Nov 5, 2010 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                        We also have to remember that the original farmhouse "breakfast" was really an earlier midday meal - the farmer in question had already been several hours at his chores. He'd probably actually broken his fast at 4 am or so with some cold cornbread and buttermilk, or maybe a slice of pie out of the pie safe, and by 7 or 8 o'clock was ready for some real food. Unfortunately, we are now in the habit of getting out of bed and then eating too much. Mea magna culpa there...

                                                                                                                        We have too many diverse regions to claim a National Dish, I think. Even leaving any borrowed or imported dishes behind and concentrating on purely native-grown foods, we have corn and molasses, tomatoes and clambakes in New England, cornbread and fried chicken, burgoo and field peas in the Southeast, posole and green chiles and beans in the Southwest. We have the rich bounties of the ocean on three sides, the lakes to the north, the forests, mountains and prairies in the middle. To simply stop at the Great American Cheeseburger is like cutting the Gordian Knot: yes, it answers the question accurately, but evades it at the same time. It is the one American invention that can be found absolutely everywhere, but it's a damn SANDWICH, people! Not that I'm complaining...

                                                                                                                        1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                          cayjohan Nov 5, 2010 01:18 PM

                                                                                                                          Will, I'd spend some time agreeing with you, but I'm too consumed by the delightful thought of pie and buttermilk at 4 a.m. to think clearly.

                                                                                                                        2. re: cayjohan
                                                                                                                          FoodFuser Nov 5, 2010 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                          There's a wonderful description of farmhouse breakfast in Michener's "Centennial". The Pennsylvania Dutch Mom of the family Zendt had to feed about 6 hungry lads, and each morning she would have a spread of, as I recall, "six sweets, and six meats." His abundant description really captured the rhythm of the way that those farm folk started their day.

                                                                                                                          Reading that book back in the late 70's, when I too was a hearty hardworking young buck, my roommate and I would about once a month plan a spread that called a "Zendt breakfast." We'd arise before dawn, and holler at the top of our lungs "Zendt Breakast!!!", awakening the chickens, and thump hard on our chests, while feeding some wood to the stove. We'd spend about two hours cooking and laughing, and then we'd sit down to the greatest repast.

                                                                                                                          They're more infrequent now, those huge breakfast feasts, reserved for the winter and maybe just twice a year. And the sweets and the meats are down to two or three each. But when I set out to partake of the ritual, the picture of bouncing young bucks fills my mind.

                                                                                                                          I'll cast one of my votes for the American Breakfast.

                                                                                                                          1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                            FoodFuser Nov 26, 2011 03:35 AM

                                                                                                                            Making it this morning, with memories.

                                                                                                                    2. g
                                                                                                                      gfr1111 Nov 5, 2010 01:21 PM

                                                                                                                      It doesn't seem to me that the question of a national dish is fair, if one of the requirements is that it originated here. After all, we're an immigrant nation. Everything came from somewhere else, unless you limit yourself to native American dishes: anything with corn, squash, chiles, tomatoes, chocolate, turkey, etc., all of which originated in the Americas. I think that if it is a common American dish, then you should be able to count it as a national dish.

                                                                                                                      If you want a dish that uses lots of native American ingredients, then I'd suggest turkey mole, with a sauce made of chocolate and chiles, etc., poured over the native American bird, the turkey. The problem is that this dish is Mexican, not U.S.A. American.

                                                                                                                      Professor Salt's BBQ suggestion is good, but again, it originated in Mexico, not the U.S.A. You could pick something like fried Boston scrod with brown bread and baked beans, but, once again, the recipes for brown bread and baked beans probably originated in England and came over with the Puritans. Besides, can we really designate as a national dish a food or combination of foods that most Americans have never eaten or have eaten only on rare occasions?

                                                                                                                      Based on my criterion of what Americans actually commonly eat, I'd say that the BBQ suggestion is a good one, along with hamburgers, pizza, steak, and hot dogs.

                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: gfr1111
                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan Nov 5, 2010 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                        I believe you're the first person to mention the dawg. Mos' surprisin'.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                          smartie Nov 6, 2010 03:26 PM

                                                                                                                          nope I mentioned dogs a few days ago!

                                                                                                                          1. re: smartie
                                                                                                                            Perilagu Khan Nov 7, 2010 06:20 AM

                                                                                                                            Hosannahs to smartie!

                                                                                                                            **cue (but not barbecue)--a bit of foodfuser's hot doggerel**

                                                                                                                        2. re: gfr1111
                                                                                                                          Passadumkeg Nov 5, 2010 02:46 PM

                                                                                                                          gfr, you obviously are not from New Mexico. Deer or elk meat posole is about as "Merican as one can get. Or succotash from the Mid-Atlantic states. Salmon from the Northwest?

                                                                                                                          1. re: gfr1111
                                                                                                                            guilty Nov 12, 2010 08:34 PM

                                                                                                                            I'm pretty sure you can't grow cacao beans in the US. Except in Hawaii. And really, we just let them call themselves a "state" to take advantage of their surfing ;)

                                                                                                                            1. re: guilty
                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg Nov 12, 2010 08:44 PM

                                                                                                                              Where in Jersey, Dude?
                                                                                                                              What kind of food in Ironbound?
                                                                                                                              What is White is Manna?
                                                                                                                              What's a Grease Truck?
                                                                                                                              An Italian Hot dog?
                                                                                                                              Taylor Pork Roll?
                                                                                                                              A butter roll?
                                                                                                                              Just checkin'.
                                                                                                                              Bon Jovi & MEkeg

                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                Perilagu Khan Nov 14, 2010 06:05 AM

                                                                                                                                That damn near brought a tear to my eye.


                                                                                                                          2. 512window Nov 5, 2010 01:28 PM

                                                                                                                            I'd vote for corn on the cob.

                                                                                                                            It's a native food, that was enjoyed by the natives and now by everyone else who came here. It's a food that's best eaten fresh, so that we obsess with getting the freshest ears and consuming them as soon as possible.

                                                                                                                            No 4th of July picnic is complete without it, and you can't get more American than that holiday.

                                                                                                                            I grew up on Army bases overseas and good corn was the one thing that *everyone* lamented that they couldn't get. It was the food that they missed. You could get a hamburger, you could buy meat and barbeque it yourself, but you couldn't make corn on the cob without good corn.

                                                                                                                            18 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: 512window
                                                                                                                              Isolda Nov 5, 2010 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                              I think you're the winner! Every "furriner" I've ever met, both here and in his native habitat, has been surprised by the fact that we Americans eat corn on the cob. I'm guessing we're the only ones who do. That, and the fact that it originated here, are enough to qualify it as our national dish.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Isolda
                                                                                                                                512window Nov 5, 2010 04:37 PM

                                                                                                                                I was actually surprised to see how much corn is now grown in China, and they do eat corn on the cob, although also on a stick. But it's an oddity there, not a national dish.

                                                                                                                                1. re: 512window
                                                                                                                                  Isolda Nov 6, 2010 07:12 PM

                                                                                                                                  That's interesting. How do they season it?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Isolda
                                                                                                                                    buttertart Nov 8, 2010 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                    It's often grilled and served without much of anything on it, at least as far as I've seen.
                                                                                                                                    I think corn on the cob is the closest to a uniquely North American thing as it gets, but please remember NA is not just the USA. Canadians and Mexicans enjoy it too.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                      Teknotic Nov 8, 2010 09:54 AM

                                                                                                                                      Corn on the cob is now international. I found some in China. But they do it wrong!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Teknotic
                                                                                                                                        buttertart Nov 8, 2010 10:15 AM

                                                                                                                                        They've been eating it in China for ages.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Teknotic
                                                                                                                                          Harters Nov 8, 2010 10:47 AM

                                                                                                                                          In the UK, it was almost the height of early 1970s sophistication as a starter. Mrs H & I had it in the restaurant of the hotel where we spent out wedding night.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                            just_M Nov 8, 2010 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                            Now that's romance....two people gnawing on corn cobs, hahaha! No I'm sure it was cut off the cob right? Did the restaurant do it for you as they might create a cesar salad table side? Really my imagination is just all over the place right now. Please tell me and make it stop ;->

                                                                                                                                            1. re: just_M
                                                                                                                                              Harters Nov 9, 2010 02:08 PM

                                                                                                                                              In the early 1970s, we'd never heard of Caesar salad. And I dont think I've ever eaten one. :-)

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters
                                                                                                                                                buttertart Nov 10, 2010 05:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                They really only hit my part of Canada in the early '90s. Down to small roadside caffs in the countryside.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                          Jen76 Nov 8, 2010 08:00 PM

                                                                                                                                          I've had it grilled, dunked in butter and sprinkled with salt in Transylvania. Unfortunately, it wasn't very good. Could have been old. Definitely undercooked. Not sweet at all.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Jen76
                                                                                                                                            alkapal Nov 9, 2010 08:31 AM

                                                                                                                                            definitely old, then. fresh corn is crazy sweet.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jen76
                                                                                                                                              buttertart Nov 9, 2010 08:51 AM

                                                                                                                                              Was probably field corn. A lot of places don't grow sweet corn, field corn can be tasty IF you get it at precisely the right stage of development.
                                                                                                                                              Off topic, those Romanian food mags sound fun.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                Jen76 Nov 15, 2010 10:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                It may very well have been field corn. No way to know, but it was terrible.

                                                                                                                                                "Off topic, those Romanian food mags sound fun."

                                                                                                                                                They are fun! I tell my husband I'll learn to speak the language one food word at a time. We just hit up the MIL to send us more.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jen76
                                                                                                                                                  buttertart Nov 16, 2010 05:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I love buying food mags when I travel.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Jen76
                                                                                                                                                Perilagu Khan Nov 9, 2010 08:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                I'm guessing the corn oozed a red fluid directly you hung your fangs into it.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                  Jen76 Nov 15, 2010 10:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                  Haha! Phoenix would be a very dangerous place for a vampire to live. Last time I checked, I didn't turn to dust (or sparkle) in the sun. ;)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Jen76
                                                                                                                                                    Perilagu Khan Nov 16, 2010 06:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Actually, I was referring to the Transylvanian corn.


                                                                                                                                    2. justdorkin Nov 5, 2010 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                      Mcdonalds would be our national food group.

                                                                                                                                      1. o
                                                                                                                                        orangefleabait Nov 5, 2010 05:13 PM

                                                                                                                                        the snarky voice in me wants to say genetically modified foods, but i'll let it rest.
                                                                                                                                        i was leaning towards hot dogs through out the hamburger/breakfast rants, which are good....
                                                                                                                                        i was thinking hot dogs or corn dogs, but then i read corn on the cob.
                                                                                                                                        it has my vote. i crave good corn, i haven't REALLY fresh corn in years.
                                                                                                                                        and, it is a new world crop.

                                                                                                                                        1. Karl S Nov 5, 2010 06:10 PM

                                                                                                                                          It must involve corn. Corn is to America what rice is to much of Asia.

                                                                                                                                          Cornbreads, in all their glory. Basic Amurkan types. about which there is much passion:

                                                                                                                                          1. Southern cornbread (white cornmeal, in lard or bacon fat, in a hot skillet, little or no flour/sugar)

                                                                                                                                          2. Northern cornbread (yellow cormeal, in oil or butter, in a pan, flour and sugar in varying degrees)

                                                                                                                                          3. Jonnycakes (southeastern New England, an ur-cornbread using white flint cornmeal and no flour/sugar in the batter - but they can be put to savory and sweet purposes, the latter commonly with that very American condiment, maple syrup) and hoe-cakes

                                                                                                                                          Honorable mention: Spoonbreads (where cornmeal goes to heaven; two different kinds - ones with separated eggs and ones with non-separated eggs) is arguably a pudding not a bread.

                                                                                                                                          Grits, btw. is porridge, not bread.

                                                                                                                                          * * *
                                                                                                                                          Honorable mention for a complete and indigenous approach to a feast: the clambake (in New England, that means a firepit in beach sands, with rocks, rockweed, lobsters and clams, corn on the cob, et cet.). Done well, there is nothing quite like it, especially on late summer evenings at the ocean's edge.

                                                                                                                                          * * *
                                                                                                                                          And popcorn would be the national snack: an indigenous food, still largely made at home (though fewer and fewer people make it outside a microwave, sad to say).

                                                                                                                                          1. alkapal Nov 6, 2010 03:00 PM

                                                                                                                                            the hamburger is clearly the national dish. it is ubiquitous, and loved by (almost) all!

                                                                                                                                            1. tatamagouche Nov 6, 2010 04:48 PM

                                                                                                                                              "Arguably" is the operative word. Pueblans might say it's the national dish; I bet Mexicans outside Puebla wouldn't necessarily.

                                                                                                                                              National dishes are marketing tools, not a true reflection of the pinnacle of a nation's cuisine. As soon as you name one, someone's going to come up with another that's just as legitimate.

                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                Isolda Nov 6, 2010 07:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                Well, then, we need a national dinner party rather than a national dish. :)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Nov 7, 2010 06:22 AM

                                                                                                                                                  But pinnacality need not be the sine qua non of the national dish. Ubiquity and general appreciation across all sectors of society would seem to be better identifiers. And by those lights, the humble burger takes the fig.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                    tatamagouche Nov 7, 2010 08:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                    I hear you, PK, although even if you use ubiquity and general appreciation as your criteria, there will still be a number of legitimate candidates. I like lsolda's idea.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                      alkapal Nov 8, 2010 06:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                      i'm totally stealing "pinnacality."

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan Nov 8, 2010 06:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                        I advise against using in mixed company.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                          alkapal Nov 8, 2010 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                          i guess i'd better be careful how i pronounce it, huh?

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                          FoodFuser Nov 8, 2010 07:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Careful. Don't let that word get out. The TV networks are looking for a word to rev-up the now static "reality TV"

                                                                                                                                                          It's not that I'd object to the term "pinnacallity TV"... heck, I just watch PBS. But to know that we're up there at the apex of the needle... gosh, perhaps I should lay in some Survivalist supplies.

                                                                                                                                                    2. e
                                                                                                                                                      ediblover Nov 7, 2010 08:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Overall, I'd have to jump on the hamburger bandwagon.

                                                                                                                                                      But, as I was thinking about all the food we have here, one thing came to mind and I thought, "Only here would we serve that." The Deep-Fried Twinkie. No other nation is obsessed as the U.S. is with dipping both good and bad food in hot fat.

                                                                                                                                                      I'll proudly say that the hamburger is our national dish. But, the deep-fried x probably says "America" (It's gluttonous, questionable, but curiously satisfying and demanded) more than anything else.

                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ediblover
                                                                                                                                                        smartie Nov 7, 2010 10:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                        the Scots do deep fried Mars bars! (never tried one mind you).

                                                                                                                                                        What about deep fried brie or camembert, and Scotch eggs to name more types of fried fat?

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: smartie
                                                                                                                                                          Lizard Nov 9, 2010 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Actually, it's likely that the Scots started to deep fry Mars bars after the joke about their frying them started. When it comes to a nation that loves its battered foods, I'd say Scotland over USA, at least for the relatively uniform love of the fried-- and because it was only once I moved here that I encountered battered sausages, battered hamburgers and battered pizza, to name a few items regularly dipped in hot oil.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Lizard
                                                                                                                                                            Harters Nov 9, 2010 02:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Lizard is right. The deep fried Mars bar dates back to 1995 and is claimed to have been invented, as a joke, by the Haven chippy in Stonehaven, near Aberdeen.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: ediblover
                                                                                                                                                          Karl S Nov 7, 2010 11:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Lots of cultures around the employ deep frying as a major cooking technique. It's just that Americans have an abundance of food types that have historically been dear (such as lots of meat, refined sugar, et cet.)

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ediblover
                                                                                                                                                            alkapal Nov 8, 2010 06:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                            the uk does serve deep-fried twinkies, too. looks like our greatest food innovations get exported. <cough, cough>.

                                                                                                                                                          2. f
                                                                                                                                                            funniduck Nov 7, 2010 03:45 PM


                                                                                                                                                            43 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: funniduck
                                                                                                                                                              soupkitten Nov 7, 2010 05:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                              national dessert is another subject, isn't it? i'd have to go with american apple pie. cherry pie and fruit crisps would place, as would choc chip cookies.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                gaffk Nov 7, 2010 05:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                For sweets, Toll House cookies--the original chocolate chip cookie never disappoints. And of course, nothing is so American as apple pie. A toss up.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                  alkapal Nov 8, 2010 06:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  i'd have to agree.

                                                                                                                                                                  favorite cookie: toll house
                                                                                                                                                                  favorite pie: apple

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                    smartie Nov 8, 2010 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    pecan pie definitely American - where else has pecans?

                                                                                                                                                                    ditto Key lime pie

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: smartie
                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Nov 8, 2010 04:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      Er, Mexico too. Remember the American Southwest, even Texas (!) was once part of Mexico.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                  yfunk3 Nov 8, 2010 06:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Is one of the criteria for "national anything" that the dish be invented in the country? Because I don't think a lot of the desserts (fruit pies of any type, for instance) would qualify?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: yfunk3
                                                                                                                                                                    Perilagu Khan Nov 8, 2010 06:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    That something be totally indigenous is a mighty tough standard to prove, let alone achieve, because no matter what dish you mention, somebody will claim it was invented somewhere else. This goes a fortiori for a nation such as the US, which is almost constantly innundated by immigrants.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                      yfunk3 Nov 8, 2010 08:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm not talking about "remote origins" (such as steak tartare vs. hamburger), but "actual origin", like with the apple pie (it's British, and that's how it made its way to the States). Certain cookies like chocolate chip would still apply as American in origin, as would foods like cornbread, bbq from any region, you get the idea.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: yfunk3
                                                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan Nov 8, 2010 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        Yeah, I hear ya', but I guarantee somebody will claim (perhaps with some justification) that chocolate chip cookies, cornbread and BBQ first appeared elsewhere than America and that we just "borrowed" them. You just did the same thing with apple pie, which many people regard as the ultimate American dessert.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                          Karl S Nov 8, 2010 09:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          The apple pie that came over with early colonists did not have the flaky crust we associate with American apple pie. It had a much firmer and less palatable crust, designed more for preservation than eating pleasure. A lot of European foods changed when confronted the very different climate range in North America (colder winters, hotter/muggier summers, much sunnier, et cet.), not only in terms of crops and animals but also in terms of preservation issues.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                            yfunk3 Nov 8, 2010 10:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            The main point of my initial apple pie argument is that it's not JUST ubiquitous in the States because there are countries with their own versions (pies, tarts, other stuffed pastries). There's really only one "version" (so to speak) of the hamburger: Ground beef patty between two pieces of bread, and that is seen as quintessentially American in any country. I WASN'T saying that a hamburger is basically a sandwich, and sandwiches were invented in England, so hamburgers could be claimed by the English, blah blah blah. I was talking DIRECT origins.

                                                                                                                                                                            Karl S, in its essential form, apple pie is the same as it was when it was invented by the English, despite not having any added sugar when it was first documented:


                                                                                                                                                                            It's the pastry that's changed, and changes regionally, not the pie or the method of baking and assembly itself. It's still a pie.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: yfunk3
                                                                                                                                                                              Karl S Nov 8, 2010 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              But pies are not unique to the English. Italians have apple crostatas, which are much closer to what modern Americans eat in terms of crust than early modern English crusts were.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: yfunk3
                                                                                                                                                                                Passadumkeg Nov 8, 2010 11:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                If McDonald's has apple pies, it has to be 'Mericun. Deep fried no less.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: yfunk3
                                                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Nov 8, 2010 11:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure particular desserts are any more ubiquitous than particular savories. Take even the hamburger--I'm pretty sure patties made of spiced ground lamb have been topped with yoghurt-based spreads and shredded vegetables and eaten between flat breads in the Maghreb/Middle East for centuries. One could make a respectable case that there is little substantive difference between that dish and a hamburger. But that is why I would argue that a dish need not be indigenous (or nationally unique) to qualify as the national dish. The burger is as American as it gets.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                    yfunk3 Nov 8, 2010 11:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Fair enough, which is why I asked the question in the first place! :o)

                                                                                                                                                                                    Karl S - That wasn't my argument at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: yfunk3
                                                                                                                                                                                    tatamagouche Nov 8, 2010 12:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I thought hamburgers were invented in Germany?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Nov 8, 2010 01:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      In Hamburg, not Frankfurt or Vienna; they were a bunch of wienies!

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                        yfunk3 Nov 8, 2010 05:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        If I remember correctly, named after a "Hamburg steak", but not put between a bun or bread until it reached the New World, I believe? It's hard to even pinpoint the origin of the American hamburger, as there are a bunch of people and places claiming its invention in the United States alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: yfunk3
                                                                                                                                                                                          tatamagouche Nov 9, 2010 06:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I believe you're right. The fact that the origins are hard to pinpoint only adds to my uncertainty about this whole exercise.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Which begs the question as to why I'm contributing to the thread at all. Just to be a pain, I guess! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                  gaffk Nov 8, 2010 03:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  That's why I specified "Toll House cookie" rather than just chocolate chip cookie. Everyone understood "toll house" meant chocolate chip, but it's a recipe with a true American provenance.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                    funniduck Nov 10, 2010 08:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    I feel pretty confident that no other country will ever try to take credit for smores.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: funniduck
                                                                                                                                                                                      FoodChic Nov 10, 2010 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Or the corndog.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: FoodChic
                                                                                                                                                                                        FoodFuser Nov 10, 2010 10:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Corndog: Texas State Fair, circa 1945, and dang proud of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                                          FoodChic Nov 10, 2010 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Not really.


                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: FoodChic
                                                                                                                                                                                            FoodFuser Nov 10, 2010 01:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            So sorry if my timing might have been wrong
                                                                                                                                                                                            of corn batter encrusted
                                                                                                                                                                                            then deeply fried dong.

                                                                                                                                                                                            While absurd, if pulled from the frozen compartment
                                                                                                                                                                                            of your average everyday grocery store,
                                                                                                                                                                                            A Dog well delivered from.
                                                                                                                                                                                            those deep State Fair Fryers
                                                                                                                                                                                            melds into memory
                                                                                                                                                                                            irregardless of timeline..

                                                                                                                                                                                            They gain Majesty from being dipped so Majestically
                                                                                                                                                                                            into the fresh prepared batter, where Corn meets of Dog,
                                                                                                                                                                                            But still, Mea Culpa,
                                                                                                                                                                                            that I didn't get gulp of
                                                                                                                                                                                            sweet history of battered-fried cornbread-encrusted,

                                                                                                                                                                                            They are recent, but timeless.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Duly dipped in the fryer" Majestic Corndog.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg Nov 10, 2010 02:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm a hot dog junkie for 50 + years, chile dogs, kraut dogs, Chicago dogs, Mexican dogs, Norwegian dogs, Finnish dogs, Bolivian dogs, but I have never eaten a corn dog. Some things just seem unnatural.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                gaffk Nov 10, 2010 03:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I was with you until "Norwegian dogs, Finnish dogs, Bolivian dogs." What are they? And no, I've never eaten a corn dog (nor have I felt tempted).

                                                                                                                                                                                                Damn, now I have a craving for a Texas Tommy . . . I haven't had one for

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Passadumkeg Nov 10, 2010 04:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Texas Tommy in Asbury Park?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sorry, I went international dog. I forgot the curry wurst.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Holly is my hero.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                    gaffk Nov 10, 2010 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    No, Texas Tommy in Philly. I guess on the grand scale, not far from Asbury Park, but we Phillyufians are more South Jersey associates.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Don't get the Holly reference.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    And still want to know what Norwegian, Finnish and Bolivian dogs are. (I'd hate to think I'm missing some good options.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Nov 10, 2010 05:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Holly Eats.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      A Norwegian dog has a mayo shrimp topping.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      A Finnish dog is inside a ground beef and rice deep frid pastry (liha pirraka).
                                                                                                                                                                                                      A Bolivian dog has kraut, avacado and mayo.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      South J, the land of the panzarotti.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Used to geyt my It. sagsage on 9th St.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Go Muhlenberg!

                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                  funniduck Nov 8, 2010 06:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  why is it a separate subject? it's still a dish, isn't it? even if it isn't savory.
                                                                                                                                                                                  You're probably right that apple/cherry pies and chocolate chip cookies are more recognizable American sweets, but every time I break out smores at a BBQ with international friends/students, they are fascinated when I hand them a marshmalllow on a stick to toast and then make into a sandwich with chocolate and graham crackers. That and wet bottom shoofly pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: funniduck
                                                                                                                                                                                    Perilagu Khan Nov 8, 2010 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    "wet bottom shoofly pie"

                                                                                                                                                                                    A dessert of constant sorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                      dingey Nov 9, 2010 06:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Perilagu Khan, where have you been all my life?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: dingey
                                                                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan Nov 9, 2010 07:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Watching the same movies as you, but in different theaters.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                        funniduck Nov 10, 2010 08:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Am I missing something? Why sorrow?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: funniduck
                                                                                                                                                                                          linguafood Nov 10, 2010 09:41 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          it's a movie reference. or song, more like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: funniduck
                                                                                                                                                                                        guilty Nov 12, 2010 08:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree, dessert totally qualifies.

                                                                                                                                                                                        And smores are pretty great and definitely distinctly American, though I suspect plenty of American have never tried it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        And really, shoofly pie is also distinctly American, but very regional. I'm going to have to try making one soon . . .

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: guilty
                                                                                                                                                                                          mamachef Nov 13, 2010 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          I didn't know desserts qualified too! Strawberry shortcake!! I hope nobody already said that.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                            Perilagu Khan Nov 14, 2010 06:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            If they did, I'll beat 'em up for ya', mama. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                              mamachef Nov 14, 2010 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes, PK - and then you and me will go stuff down at Beard Papa's or Tartine! We got a date?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                Perilagu Khan Nov 14, 2010 06:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm grabbing my lid, my shades and my jacket. If you arrive before I do, please order me a large, black coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal Nov 18, 2010 04:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                              i had a dream with strawberry shortcake last night, except the base was made of zwieback with sesame seeds (which were quite tasty little cracker treats in any event). now THAT'S what happens when you read too much chowhound -- and are up too late! ;-).

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                mamachef Feb 22, 2011 07:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                It sounds like a much much better dream than one of being chased by that horrible little strawberry shortcake doll.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. FoodFuser Nov 8, 2010 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I think we should consider
                                                                                                                                                                                      the simple meat pie,
                                                                                                                                                                                      folded in half moon,
                                                                                                                                                                                      and crimped on it's edges.

                                                                                                                                                                                      It's a favorite food of dear Sammy Sosa,
                                                                                                                                                                                      the baseballer who hails from American Samoa.
                                                                                                                                                                                      If named after him, it would be a tonguetwister:
                                                                                                                                                                                      the "Sammy Sosa Samoan Samosa."

                                                                                                                                                                                      Then his most classic utterance could be re-refrained:
                                                                                                                                                                                      "Samosas, like baseball, have been bery good to me."

                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                                        alkapal Nov 9, 2010 08:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        fuser, you are itchin' for a new thread, my friend!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                          FoodFuser Nov 9, 2010 02:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          A Life lived with simplicity
                                                                                                                                                                                          comes down to complicity
                                                                                                                                                                                          with the crisply crimped edges
                                                                                                                                                                                          of the humble Meat Pie.

                                                                                                                                                                                          The wafting aroma
                                                                                                                                                                                          of a well made Samosa
                                                                                                                                                                                          can cause tears to well in the eyes.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. FoodChic Nov 9, 2010 11:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Fried chicken and apple pie?

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. r
                                                                                                                                                                                          rHairing Nov 10, 2010 05:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          OK....I'm torn between burgers and corn. So can we have both like fish and chips??? I grew up eating both. To this day, popcorn is my favorite snack. I've rediscovered burgers thanks to places like Ray's Hell Burger here in NoVA. Don't make me choose!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: rHairing
                                                                                                                                                                                            yfunk3 Nov 10, 2010 06:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh, caramel corn...that can be an American thing, right? :o)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: yfunk3
                                                                                                                                                                                              buttertart Nov 11, 2010 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Good point, haven't seen caramel corn anywhere outside of North America, and it's more popular here than in Canada.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal Nov 12, 2010 12:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                i love the kettle corn. is that just a new variant on caramel corn?

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                  buttertart Nov 12, 2010 05:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Does seem to be a fairly recent thing, a woman I knew started talking about how much she liked it around 2005 or so. We had candy popcorn when I was a kid (in Canada) - sort of like frosted mini-wheat sugar coating, colored pink. It was mainly consumed by girls. No caramel popcorn except from the States - Poppycock in tins was my first experience of it. maybe the Kraft people had recipes for it on the shows they advertised on (remember the sepulchral voiceovers and disembodied hands? used to freak me out when I was little) but it didn't really catch on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jen76 Nov 15, 2010 10:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pretty sure kettle corn is not a "new" phenomenon. It's been around for a very long time. My mom loves it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                    smartie Nov 13, 2010 07:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    we always had sweet popcorn in the UK at the cinema - the salty version was not in my childhood in the 60s and 70s and I don't know when it was imported from the US. It was not caramelized just sweet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: smartie
                                                                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Nov 13, 2010 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sounds like what we had, although it was the salty stuff in movie theatres - the pink stuff was sold in individual snack bags.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                        smartie Nov 13, 2010 07:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        it wasn't pink I don't think so anyhow. Used to be in bags then in those machines but always sweet for years and years.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Passadumkeg Nov 11, 2010 03:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Since we are "In God We Trust" (all others pay cash), the UDA must be the (un)Holy Trinity, Hamburgers, Pizza and Hot Dogs!

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Perilagu Khan Nov 11, 2010 06:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  What about the good old American hoagie? Known far and wide and loved by all and sundry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  22 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                    jhopp217 Nov 11, 2010 06:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I know it goes by many names, but are you a Philadelphian? It's the only place I know it as a hoagie

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                                                                                                                      Perilagu Khan Nov 11, 2010 06:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Heh heh. I'm from Lubbock, Philly's kindred spirit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                        gaffk Nov 11, 2010 09:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hoagies in Lubbock? Who'd have thunk it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Perilagu Khan Nov 11, 2010 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hoagies, by whatever name (subs, heroes, grinders, torpedoes, etc.) are found all across the US and that's one of the things that should put them in the running for the UDA. But I believe the classic American hoagie has ham, bologna, American cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and oil and vinegar on a long, white roll.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                            soupkitten Nov 11, 2010 10:39 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            all across the country? all across the country, where? i've never heard of the thing you're talking about, and it sounds vile, to be honest. like something at a subway chain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg Nov 11, 2010 11:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              And what is more 'Merican than chains? "money talks, nobody walks"...

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Perilagu Khan Nov 11, 2010 12:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oooooh, Subway! Evil, evil,evil! Pfffft...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  gaffk Nov 11, 2010 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Agreed . . .evil. And Quizno's . . .pure evil!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal Nov 12, 2010 12:06 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    what is most evil about quizno's is their bizarre ad creatures. someone is doing some bad drugs at that ad agency.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    """These characters come from a man named Joel Veitch, who makes television shows for Britain's Channel 4* (according to his Web site, www.rathergood.com). On his site, you can see these creatures in a January 2003 video clip, in which they sing about loving the moon, marmots, cheese, dirigibles, and several other nouns. The clip, which calls the characters "spongmonkeys," seems pretty clearly the basis for the Quiznos ad. (Quiznos says a guy from their ad firm received the clip in an e-mail from a friend and decided it was perfect for a new campaign.)""" http://www.slate.com/id/2095868/

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh, that explains it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                gaffk Nov 11, 2010 11:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nope. Classic hoagie (here in philly): provolone, cappicola, genoa salami, shredded lettuce, whole tomato slices, onions, salt, pepper and oregano with oil (never vinegar) on a long, crusty Italian roll.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Nov 11, 2010 12:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I think that's what's called an Italian hoagie. The American is basically the same but with ham and bologna instead of cappicola and salami, and American cheese instead of provelone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    soupkitten Nov 11, 2010 12:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    no really, not trying to pick a fight or anything, but i live in america, and i've seen what Gaffk describes, and you call an "italian hoagie" for sale regularly in italian-american joints and corner delis/sandwich places, pretty sure dh has ordered one a few times. . . but i've never seen what you describe and dub the "american" hoagie/grinder/sub/whathaveyou. i wouldn't bet money that the sandwich you describe would have any legs beyond a limited local area. uh, a local area populated by elderly depression-era survivors in search of a $2 meal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oh crap, please read this post in a light and kidding tone. it's about a baloney sandwich, and i don't have my panties in a knot about it, just sayin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Nov 11, 2010 03:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What PK is describing is a Maine Eyetalian Sandwich; they even put 30 weight motor oil on it wrap in in tar paper and set it on the dashboard of the cah to let it age a bit; wicked good, Chummy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      My favorite billboards: We serve Italians
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Eat a Fresh Italian today

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        tracylee Feb 28, 2011 01:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That sounds as bad as: "Take home a Large Hawaiian!".
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I did that once and he wouldn't go away until I dropped him back off at the mall where I found him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tracylee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          alkapal Mar 2, 2011 06:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          did he at least give you a lei?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            tracylee Mar 2, 2011 12:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Not that kind ;-). But he did flatten the tire on my scooter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nothing against Large Hawaiians, of course, I lived with a different one for a couple of years and got to learn tons about various foods from the islands.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      gaffk Nov 11, 2010 01:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      True, it is an Italian hoagie, but that's the standard here. I don't recall ever seeing an American hoagie and certainly have never seen one with bologna. (Maybe they have them and I just blocked the memory; I've certainly never been with anyone who ordered one.) Of course, there are also cheese hoagies, turkey hoagies, tuna hoagies, etc., etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        512window Nov 11, 2010 03:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's certainly not unknown in the western US, but it's not beloved. We'd go for tacos or burritos, and I bet the South would go for barbecue sandwiches long before we would look at a hoagie as food that defines the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: 512window
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Perilagu Khan Nov 11, 2010 05:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Okay, I'll concede that the American hoagie may not be America's ur-dish, but the Italian hoagie may well be. And let's not kid ourselves here, the "defining" dish is not going to be high-tone fare. The burger is not exactly something that would reduce Escoffier to stupefication.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            FoodFuser Nov 11, 2010 11:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The American hoagie
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            served up by Subway
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            was a cheap way to eat while in graduate school.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oscillation between the "Tuna" or "Meatball"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            was a way to get Veggies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            as I chomped in my starving student stall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Memories of those days
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            has lessened the crave
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and it's been quite a while
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Since I've done Subway at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But they offered a niche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            allowing of which
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I could cram down day's serving
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            of carbs and of protein
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and olives.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg Nov 11, 2010 08:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              From Philly to Me. w/ different meanings, ingredients and means of consturction. In Maine an hoagie is a hot melted hame and cheese and the cold cut abomination is an Eyetailian.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              My intermural team in College in Penna. was George's Hoagie Shop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: jhopp217
                                                                                                                                                                                                                pickychicky1979 Nov 11, 2010 03:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am from southern IL and we called them a hoagie too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. coookie Nov 11, 2010 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              the KFC double down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. mamachef Nov 11, 2010 01:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Campbell's chicken noodle soup and a PBJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Passadumkeg Nov 11, 2010 03:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Campbell's Tomato Soup and a toasted cheese sandwich (which I have not eaten in 50+ years).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gaffk Nov 11, 2010 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Campbell's chicken noodle soup & saltines with butter. Takes me back to my childhood.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Nov 11, 2010 03:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not Philly Pepper Pot Soup?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gaffk Nov 11, 2010 03:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No, one must be very healthy for "peppery pot."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Chicken noodle & saltines were for sick days (although it varies . . . my sisters were tomato soup and rice people.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have to admit, I still have 1 or 2 days a year of chicken noodle & saltines. And 1 or 2 days a year of pepper pot. Everything is relative ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      mamachef Nov 11, 2010 03:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Campbell's c.o.t and a grilled cheese was my favorite rainy-day meal of all time, Pdk. But I do remember Campbell's Pepperpot soup, and I enjoyed it as a child in Ohio. I remember it had little bits of barley and carrot and tomato and I think lamb. Haven't seen it in maybe 30 years though.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        buttertart Nov 12, 2010 05:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I think that's Scotch broth, dearie. Canned Pepper pot has a very strong and distinctive smell. Scotch broth is much nicer, as far as I'm concerned.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mamachef Nov 13, 2010 07:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You're so right, bt. It was Scotch broth. Gawd I'm getting olllllld.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      guilty Nov 12, 2010 08:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh wait, can I change my vote (again) for PBJ? Though perhaps with all those fatal peanut allergies, this one is already obsolete . . . I never ate it with chicken noodle soup, though. Ick.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4. Perilagu Khan Nov 12, 2010 01:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chicken and dumplings, perhaps? Strikes me as one of the most quintessentially American comfort foods, and as far as I know, it is enjoyed in all 50, to one degree or another. On top of that, I love it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      34 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Passadumkeg Nov 12, 2010 01:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yankees don't eat dumplings, that's why they are so taciturn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          gaffk Nov 12, 2010 01:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If not for my reticence, I would agree.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Passadumkeg Nov 12, 2010 02:36 PM


                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              alkapal Nov 18, 2010 04:32 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              """If not for my reticence, I would agree.""""

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              well done, gaffk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                FoodFuser Nov 18, 2010 04:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I feel sorrow for them
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                never plowed into dumplings,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                thickened broth,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                shredded chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It is ultimate eats
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If done well in rendition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Nov 18, 2010 06:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Plowing into dumplings--that just about catches the spirit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    FoodFuser Nov 18, 2010 01:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This dish, I feel sure,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    was done in those times
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    before dear John Deere
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gifted sharpened steel plow.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The texture of dumplings that encourage a grunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    takes us back to those times when instruments were blunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    and we labored in sweat as the soil we peeled
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    to plant seed, and cultivate grain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "The Stew", of whatever composition, rendition,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is something once cooked in a hole in the ground.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Before there was metal to provide a real pot
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    that had mettle to take dancing flames from a fire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In our old atavistic aboriginal days
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    we dug a deep hole and lined it with leather.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Then water was poured in the pouch.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And from nearby hot fire people transferred hot rocks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    from the coals to the pouch, to give simmer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There was no other way to bring things to a boil.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Creation of stew was surely a toil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hot rocks, leathered pits,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A fowl of some kind,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Dumplings made from a freshly ground grain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I give thanks, in these good modern days,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    that cooking up sumptin'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    of good Chicken n' Dumplin'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    can be done in Crock Pot, and not Pit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Perilagu Khan Nov 18, 2010 05:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      "The texture of dumplings that encourage a grunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      takes us back to those times when instruments were blunt"


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What is the word favored by the li'l sparks--"epic"? Epic it is. Epic poetry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        FoodFuser Nov 18, 2010 06:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am speaking cook's truth, because sometimes the texture
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        of dumplings in mixture
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        are a solid thick chew that engenders a grunt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But it's always a good grunt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        to calibrate whether
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's more Pasta or Biscuit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        or what the hell ever.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The simplicity of stew, now named Chicken and Dumplings,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        of simmered old fowl, and best ground-grain concoctions,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Has been with us a very long, very long while.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Though I'd say it reached Apex and arched toward it's Apogee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        when my Auntie both showed me, and wrote down the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll not claim a Zenith,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        nor dish most Promethe-ish,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But Gosh Darn my Aunt made good Chicken n' Dumplins.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Perilagu Khan Nov 19, 2010 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          You do speak the truth. My dumplings have a texture closer to beef jerky than matzoh ball. A great, dense, silky chew, if I may be so bold to say that so early in the morning.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Nov 18, 2010 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Flour balls? Really? Or is it nostalgia? I think I'd prefer bulls's balls. I guess I'm just not the muffin man ( who lived on Druey Ln.). Being an open minded liberal, however, I will order chicken and dumpling at my next available opportunity. Can ya get 'em in menudo or posole?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Perilagu Khan Nov 18, 2010 05:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There's gotta be some kind of Messkin' dumplin'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tatamagouche Feb 15, 2011 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, there does. I Googled it but I'm only finding Mexican-themed twists on chicken & dumplings—anyone?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              gaffk Nov 12, 2010 02:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Honestly, I have never had chicken and dumplings. I'm not sure I've even seen it on a menu. I've had chicken, I've had dumplings, but never the twain have met.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Passadumkeg Nov 12, 2010 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I've seen it on menus in the south and southwest, but have never eaten it either!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Nov 12, 2010 05:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Bloody hell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Passadumkeg Nov 12, 2010 06:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ethnocentrism is a blinding disease. Heh, heh, heh.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mr Dumkeg, his students ask, "What do you mean that the rest of the world doesn't eat a lot of beef?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Perilagu Khan Nov 14, 2010 06:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Proudly ethnocentric and taking it all in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Passadumkeg Nov 12, 2010 06:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ps I am looking forward to eating chicken and waffles, some time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Salt fish with pork scraps over mashed potatoes is the real 'Merican meal say a daughter of the Mayflower.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Argument ended.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        gaffk Nov 13, 2010 01:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not to yuck someone's yum, but thank god our food sensibilities (not to mention storage and preserving abilities) have evolved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: gaffk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Passadumkeg Nov 13, 2010 03:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My elderly neighbor in Maine makes me salt fish and potatoes w/ pork scraps. I really enjoy it a few times a year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            buttertart Nov 16, 2010 05:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's like a big Newfoundland and other maritime provinces traditional thing, reversed: salt pork and cod cheeks/throats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg Nov 16, 2010 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I love pan fried cod tongue and cheeks. Very Norwegian too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Too bad the Atlnatic cod has nearly gone the way of the passanger pidgeon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Read Marc Kurlansky's Cod.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  KaimukiMan Nov 12, 2010 04:23 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  coming in from the 50th state.... what's a dumpling? nope not a common dish at all here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    guilty Nov 12, 2010 08:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Wait, I'm from the northeast, and for me "dumpling" is Chinese (or maybe American Chinese). What am I missing?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: guilty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Nov 13, 2010 07:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It's a dough similar to baking powder biscuits, dolloped on top of a stew of some sort, covered and simmered until done. Sorry boys but me dear old Canadian mum raised me on those.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        soupkitten Nov 13, 2010 07:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        quite right. soup w dumplings would be no thang where anybody of british isles, german, eastern european ancestry settled. chx & dumplings is on the home meal rotation plenty of places north of mason-dixon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Nov 13, 2010 07:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My Peoria born and bred BIL's specialty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Perilagu Khan Nov 14, 2010 06:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yeah, that's fairly close to the way I learned to make it from my mom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          First thing I do is make a chicken broth spiced with bay, rosemary and black peppercorn. Tear the chicken into bits with my fingers and return to the broth. Make a fairly stiff dough out of milk, egg, shortening, salt and lots of flour. Roll into quarter-inch sheet and slice dumplings roughly 2 inches by 1 inch. Reheat broth and chicken to near boil and add dumplings. Cook for approximately 10 minutes and serve in bowls with S & P.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is a soupier version than you'd find up north, I imagine.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Passadumkeg Nov 14, 2010 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I just got done wishing "Dogracs" a happy birthday and confessed that I had never eaten dumplings. He said he'd make me some just like his mother in Elgin, next time he comes out. Making yellow corn bread to go w/ my pumpkin and green chile soup. Now that's an all American meal!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              buttertart Nov 16, 2010 05:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Peoria one is quite soupy. My mother's varied according to the stew.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jen76 Nov 15, 2010 10:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is what I grew up with in Wisconsin, too. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal Nov 18, 2010 04:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oh what i'd give for a pot of my mom's chicken and dumplings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                but, PK, your version sounds about right. i like it with lots of black pepper shaken on at the table, too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                your dumplings must be smaller than those made by mom, as hers took longer than 10 minutes, iirc. i couldn't wait for those little puffy clouds to be done! i'd almost burn my tongue to eat the first one as soon as possible. http://food.thefuntimesguide.com/2008...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Nov 18, 2010 06:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Remember well BTS (Burnt-Tongue-Syndrome) occasioned by wolfing down steaming bowls of fresh chicken and dumplings. Never has a medical condition been so delightful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Passadumkeg Nov 12, 2010 02:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fish cakes and beans for breakfast, the original American food from the cradle of American Liberty; New England. Wicked good, Chummy!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. KaimukiMan Nov 14, 2010 08:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              While hamburgers do win the title, for one day every year there can be no doubt that Turkey rules the roost. North, South, East, West and everywhere in between. Alaska to Florida, Maine to Hawaii and even in far off Guam and American Samoa, on Thanksgiving the Uniting Food is Turkey. Baked, Roasted, Barbequed, Grilled, Smoked, Fried, or baked in a pie (even if its mock turkey) it's still turkey day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              25 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Passadumkeg Nov 14, 2010 09:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Turkey mole! I'm not a fan of the GENETICALLY ALTERED SUPER TURKEY! I'm not sure we'll have one this year. I'm thinking an elk roast w/ juniper berries and a tart red chile "gravy". Pintos and corn bread on the side. Last year was lobsters and scllops. Both are very American, just not corporate American.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ya gotta be a Dumkeg to be a lefty today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Nov 14, 2010 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Turkey doesn't taste any different in 2010 than it did in 1970. This is nothing more than a bugaboo conjured up by the anti-corporate scare-mongers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Passadumkeg Nov 14, 2010 04:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You, as usual are correct. Turkeys don't taste any different than 1970; they were tasteless crap back then too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was in college in Pennsylvania Dutch country and the landlord of our farm house (No hippie jokes, we were being Hemingwayesque.) and I got to see how badly turkeys were raised even back then. I admit I am spoiled by wild turkey, the bird, not the bourbon, but I do not like turkeys that can't walk much less fly! Bland corporate meat. I'd rather at a chorizo burrito. And give a lot of thanks that it wasn't turkey!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Perilagu Khan Nov 14, 2010 04:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I hate to break it to ya', old buddy, but we can't all get out in the sticks with our Savage Stevens and blow away a bird for dinner. For the vast, vast majority of us that is just not feasible. And that being the case factory farming is a necessity. It is a necessity to feed a nation of 200 million or whatever the population is these days. Now maybe the food doesn't taste exactly like the stuff the pioneers and the Indians ate, but I'm not complaining. Contrariwise, I'm grateful that we all have a wide variety of generally high quality food to eat. I suppose that is part of what Thanksgiving is all about.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Teknotic Nov 15, 2010 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Or maybe instead we could all learn to eat less meat. Especially considering that the American diet consists of much larger proportions of meat than is medically necessary. If you're really concerned about being able to get enough protein (even though most Americans consume much more protein than they need), you could eat beans. They have a larger protein content with less fat, calories and cholesterol.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Teknotic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Perilagu Khan Nov 15, 2010 10:53 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Or maybe we could remain a relatively free nation where people eat whatever the hell they want without governmental minders inserting themselves into our kitchens. And incidentally, I don't eat what is "medically necessary" (how's that for a soulless term?), I eat what makes my life pleasurable. If that means a few fewer months in the nursing home at the end of my rope and a few more disgruntled left-wing activists, so be it. I'll not lose any sleep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Passadumkeg Nov 15, 2010 10:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lard is misunderstood!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            ps I do agree w/ you on your BBQ defination. {:0]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Perilagu Khan Nov 15, 2010 12:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pass the pertatas and praise the Lard, I always say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              linguafood Nov 15, 2010 12:15 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It also means horrific "lives" for the factory animals you consume. But I guess you don't care about that, as long as it tastes good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Ethics go a long way.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Perilagu Khan Nov 15, 2010 01:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry, but I'm not wealthy enough to buy "ethical" meat (and most people are far poorer than I), and I'm nobody's vegetarian. If my ethics don't rise to your lofty standards, I'll not lose a single moment of sleep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  linguafood Nov 15, 2010 01:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You don't have to be wealthy to buy happy meat, if you can live without having meat every single fucking day. I'm far from wealthy, but the idea of a creature suffering for my dining pleasure makes me lose my appetite, and yes - perhaps even sleep.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It's your prerogative not to. After all, we both live in a country where to do or eat whatever you like seems to be the epitome of 'freedom.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Perilagu Khan Nov 16, 2010 06:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Actually, given that eating is about the most personal thing one can do, this is the essence of freedom. But if you value your "ethical superiority" to such an extent that you are willing to cede away your essential freedom and indeed impose your version of ethical superiority upon others, so be it. You're better suited to an ideological autocracy such as the late, unlamented USSR than a liberal democracy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    PS--One could make a very powerful case that producing a superabudance of cheap food which allows the poor and destitute masses to eat reasonably well is far more ethical than transfiguring a load of bovines and having those people go hungry. But you go your way, pal, and I'll gladly stay as far away as possible from you and your ilk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal Nov 18, 2010 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                """"Or maybe we could remain a relatively free nation where people eat whatever the hell they want without governmental minders inserting themselves into our kitchens."""""

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                oh PK <swoon> i knew why i love you so much!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              guilty Nov 18, 2010 05:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I eat neither farm-raised nor factory-farmed animals. And somehow I survive. And eat happily. With pleasure. And with less impact on the environment (including square footage used for farming) than a meat-eater. Weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm not saying you should eat like I do, but the word "necessity" doesn't really apply.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: guilty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                alkapal Nov 19, 2010 05:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                don't feel guilty....
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                your generosity has allowed me to take up that "environmental footprint" you ceded.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Nov 19, 2010 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've got dibs on Linguafood's ceded enviro-trampling.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal Nov 19, 2010 06:31 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    lingua has ceded some trampling? dang, i didn't know! you snooze, you lose.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      linguafood Nov 19, 2010 08:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      very cute.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Karl S Nov 15, 2010 11:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, actually, my parents don't remember the turkey of the 1920s, 30s and 40s fondly. It was expensive and not to their liking. Soldiers in WW2 who were not on canned rations got a slice of turkey and the rest was veal covered up in gravy, because veal was cheaper (it was a byproduct of dairying that was later managed down in scope, shall we say).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Authentic didn't always taste better.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: KaimukiMan
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mamachef Nov 14, 2010 09:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But.....I think that if it only pertains to being One Day Every Year, it can't really be in the running as a National dish?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Passadumkeg Nov 14, 2010 12:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How about the snacks that accompany the T-giving and weekend football games! They must be "real 'Merican". What are they; I haven't a clue. But I feel we are getting to the crux of the issue.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              About to go hiking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mamachef Nov 14, 2010 04:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Spinach Dip in a Bread Bowl, then, qualifies just as well. And speaking of getting to the crux of the matter.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Passadumkeg Nov 14, 2010 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Communion wafers?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gaffk Nov 15, 2010 11:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Funny, I generally see football game snacks of nachos, wings, chips & salsa, etc. I don't think I ever saw anyone bring communion wafers ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    alkapal Nov 18, 2010 04:46 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    spinach dip in bread bowl, spinach dip in bread bowl, nah nah nah nah nah nah -- it's ALL MINE, bwaaahahahahahahaaaa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Teknotic Nov 15, 2010 10:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would say maybe the National Dish of the USA (Canadians and Mexicans find the term "American" for those of us living here to be extremely offensive, and rightly so) is anything that you can purchase premade in a plastic container at the grocery store. In order to qualifls y though, it should contain maltodextrose, high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin and monosodium glutamate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I would say that (as depressing as it is) these processed foods are far more common to the average US citizen than even some of the common staple food items that have otherwise been suggested. Most Americans eat more Kraft Mac n Cheese, Cheetohs, Hamburger Helper and grocery store deli food than they do hamburgers, BBQ, roasted turkey, etc. Although hamburgers are probably a close second =P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Teknotic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Passadumkeg Nov 15, 2010 11:07 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As an United Statesian, I eschew processed junque food, but like my meat.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As a registered Commie Pinko Liberal, I eat what ever I want.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                PK, sometimes times the far left anf the far right go so far as to actually meet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perilagu Khan Nov 15, 2010 12:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Perhaps we were seperated at birth. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Teknotic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  soupkitten Nov 15, 2010 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  so lemme get this straight. . . according to you, heritage food has no value. one example: the french should no longer regard cassoulet as a ntl dish, because the average french citizen eats other things on a daily basis?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Teknotic Nov 15, 2010 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was only joking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: Teknotic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    gaffk Nov 15, 2010 01:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    So glad I am not an average US citizen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Teknotic
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      alkapal Nov 18, 2010 02:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      """"""I would say maybe the National Dish of the USA (Canadians and Mexicans find the term "American" for those of us living here to be extremely offensive, and rightly so) is anything that you can purchase premade in a plastic container at the grocery store""""""

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BAH! you just offended all of us on chowhound!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      and the term "ugly american"? that's only for (USA) americans, right?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. GraydonCarter Nov 16, 2010 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The Hamburger as our identity as seen by others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanksgiving Turkey as our identity as seen by ourselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Chinese Food is as ubiquitous as it gets, our version of UK's curry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I could make a case that it would probably be have to be a dish that appeared in Fanny Farmer's 1896 Cook Book. Like Parker House rolls.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GraydonCarter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        buttertart Nov 17, 2010 05:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Parker House rolls - good one. Unfortunately some people are playing fast and loose with their essential nature these days - cf Tom Colicchio in this month's Saveur.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. alliegator Nov 17, 2010 06:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would jump on the wagon with burgers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Both my exchange students from the past years thought that fried chicken was definitely THE american dish. I could see where they were coming from with that, even though I never picked up buckets of KFC, you do see a lot of it on tv.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tatamagouche Feb 15, 2011 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Although fried chicken is said to have been brought to the States by Scottish immigrants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            alliegator Feb 16, 2011 06:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That's interesting, I had no idea. Although after a vacation in Scotland a few years back and seeing firsthand their proficiency at frying anything to make it tasty, I can't say I'm surprised :P

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alliegator
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              tatamagouche Feb 16, 2011 03:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To back up your point:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mamachef Feb 22, 2011 07:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I was under the impression that it originated with Asian cooking. (Fried Chicken, that is.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                tatamagouche Feb 28, 2011 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It may well. But my understanding is that it was brought here to the US by Scots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. r
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Randallmarquis Feb 14, 2011 08:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'm a Foodie... and I'm Canadian.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've lived here in the U.S. for over 30 years. I say the BEEF is one of the great food products that this country can be proud.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For it to be EXTREMELY American, I would suggest the 'Cowboy' or 'Tomahawk' Steak is the finest example of a bit of Americana food found nowhere on the planet. Unfortunately, a REAL one will cost about $70 (just for one), but if you order it from 'Craft' in Vegas (at the MGM hotel), it runs about $250 or more on a plate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This offer of a true AMERICAN dish offers up the BBQ angle, The plains and grazing, the corn and grains, the quality of the meats, and the attention to raising beef correctly.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Seared over American woods (apple, mesquite, oak), fed on American grassland and finished with Plains corn in the feed-lot. Turn this baby into air-dryed aging over 30 to 40 days... French that 18-inch bone down until it looks like this photo (just saying):

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. huiray Feb 15, 2011 06:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Lots of suggestions and candidates, various comments about whether "origination here" is meaningful etc...but as many have proposed I would vote for Hamburger & Fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have not read every post in detail but it seems to me that a "national dish" also ought to have the attribute of summoning up the image of the associated country...and when I hear "Hamburger with Fries" I immediately think of "America". Even though it is also found in 'local' variants elsewhere in the world, the image of a (usually) beef patty with slices of stuff like tomatoes and/or lettuce and/or onions between the two slices of a bun, deep-fried cut-up sticks of potatoes, with ketchup on the side for the fries immediately conjures up the word "American" in my mind. More so than BBQ or even Hot Dogs or even Corn on the Cob.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              [The last one (Corn on the Cob), to me, might fit the bill more if the question were to be to name a food that is widespread and common in America but basically 'not done' or 'done as a curiosity' elsewhere in the world]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. FoodFuser Feb 15, 2011 07:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Corn on the cob, slathered with butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and also some boiled green beans.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Along with some crispy deep fried potatoes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and mayo embedded with sliced summer tomatoes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A salad constructed of pulled iceberg lettuce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                and a sizzling spattering beefsteak.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Passadumkeg Feb 15, 2011 08:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ah, hem FF. Pillsbury Crescent rolls?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    FoodFuser Feb 15, 2011 08:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've moved to the breadstuffs based on puff pastry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    as opposed to the Pillsbury Doughboy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It's an obvious shift after multiple times
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    of having your can peeled, then slammed on the counter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. n
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nyxpooka Feb 15, 2011 07:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tater Tot Hotdish! Woohoo!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. tatamagouche Feb 15, 2011 08:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It never occurred to me to play devil's advocate and argue with the OP's "arguable" claim that chiles en nogada is the national dish of Mexico. Isn't that pretty particular to Puebla? Even Googling "national dish of Mexico," the number one thing that comes up is mole (and that's undoubtedly arguable too).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Not trying to give Prof Salt a hard time, just feeding the fire...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Feb 16, 2011 07:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Isn't that because of the colors being those of the Mexican flag?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        tatamagouche Feb 16, 2011 03:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes, chiles en nogada contains the colors of the Mex flag, but that doesn't mean it flies in the rest of the nation. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          bbqboy Feb 16, 2011 03:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          If we're going with colors, how many red white & blue dishes are there in the USA?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: bbqboy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Passadumkeg Feb 16, 2011 08:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Strawberry-blueberry shortcake, the all American desert!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        KaimukiMan Feb 16, 2011 08:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It's sure not on the menu of 90% percent of mexican restaurants I know.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          scarmoza Feb 16, 2011 10:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I was explained that it's a dish that's specific to Mexican Independence Day season. I've only ever had it in Puebla. I think you could be right about it being the traditional dish of Puebla and not so much the rest of the country.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Suzlynnj Feb 16, 2011 06:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Well, according to the OP, chile en nogada is arguable the national dish of Mexico. In Mexico, tacos and tamales are ubiquitous, but not the national dish. By the same logic, hotdogs and hamburgers are ubiquitous in the U.S., but maybe shouldn't be a "national dish"? Anyway, I think there is too much regionalism to food in the U.S. to just have one national dish. Being a Minnesotan, the foods I would consider to be great American foods are things like wild rice soup, blueberry pancakes with chokecherry or maple syrup, tater tot hotdish, deep fried cheese curds, turkey with stuffing, gravy and cranberry relish, sweet corn roasted on the grill with the husk on and then the husk peeled back and dipped into a vat of melted butter, corn pudding, smoked thick cut bacon, and so on. I guess if I was forced to pick a national dish I would go with turkey with all the trimming. If I was forced to pick a Minnesota dish, it'd probably be something different.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Fun topic, thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Suzlynnj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Suzlynnj Feb 16, 2011 06:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            umm, and I can't forget walleye fingers and anything the church basement ladies made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Suzlynnj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              FoodFuser Feb 16, 2011 08:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              To find the full answer of national dish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              we must search to our memories to them were delish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There is pulse in the image of "church basement ladies",
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              whose array of fried chicken and their best deviled eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and their standing in pleated and neat cotton dresses
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              drew us into the feast which cool basement behad.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              After each trip through that great serving line
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              We rested, we burped.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              but then strode back in place
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              to do the whole thing maybe just one more time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I submit that the question of "National Dish"
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              is bestly be strained through a loose cotton dress
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              so that any consensus agrees with the senses
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              of open-armed marms in those gently cooled basements,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: FoodFuser
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Passadumkeg Feb 17, 2011 12:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What language do they speak?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For me they gooeroo Russian.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Spanish for Catholics in the southwest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And at my students' churches,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ancient Navajo, and Keresan.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But as a history buff,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fat ladies in kitchens
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Just ain't enough.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It's the foods that were here
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                When when the English & Spanish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Forgot green cards, oh dear!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Food grew form shore to shore,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Under purple mountains majesty.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Deer, posole, chile & beans,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Are the all American foods for me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tripeler Feb 17, 2011 01:10 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  After reading that, I had to stop, close my eyes and think for a few minutes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Then I read it again, and then once more, quite slowly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Such a great poem, Passadumkeg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Deer, posole, chile and beans --- indeed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  For me, okra fried in coarse corn meal is the real American deal, but I read someplace that okra came from Africa.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Tripeler
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    tatamagouche Feb 17, 2011 05:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My understanding is that okra was one of the plants brought over from Africa during the slave trade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Suzlynnj
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              GraydonCarter Feb 17, 2011 07:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              > wild rice

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Northern Wild Rice is the one food crop that can't really be grown anywhere else except the marshes of Canada and Minnesota, correct? It is harvested by knocking the seeds into your canoe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Is there any other produce item so endemic to North America?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: GraydonCarter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Passadumkeg Feb 17, 2011 08:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wild cranberries? Harvested in the same manner in the northeast, but not nearly endemic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have returned to NM, where I began teaching, many many moons ago. What affects me now is the ancient nature of the Acoma Pueblo, of which a large minority of my students reside. Acoma or Sky City is over a thousand years old, continually inhabited since the late 700's; the time of Charlemagne & Mohammed; English and the Romance langues did not yet exist. What I found profound, is that in many ways, the basic traditional diet has changed little. The traditonal foods are still based upon what was grown and hunted over a millenia; corn, pinto beans, chiles and deer or elk meat. Food for thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tatamagouche Feb 17, 2011 11:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yeah, actually, the 3 Sisters (beans, corn, squash) would be another good candidate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Passadumkeg Feb 17, 2011 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Deep fried squash blossoms????

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      jmckee Feb 21, 2011 09:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      At the restaurant of the National Museum of the American Indian, I had a dish called "salad of the 3 sisters." It was sensational, and I've managed to recreate it at home.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: GraydonCarter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    soupkitten Feb 17, 2011 06:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Northern Wild Rice is the one food crop that can't really be grown anywhere else except the marshes of Canada and Minnesota, correct? It is harvested by knocking the seeds into your canoe. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    GAAAAAAH!!!!! this is actually one food issue that will send me thru the roof every time. *deep breaths* yes, REAL wild rice is just so, mr. GraydonCarter, but sadly--no, the majority of so-called "wild rice" sold and consumed in north america is a horrible, inferior, travesty of a product. it's "johnson cultivar 'wild rice'" bred for its non-shattering characteristics, to make it into a cultivated paddy rice product rather than a foraged wild food. mostly it's grown in california, where the rice has to be put into artificial damp cold-storage for a period of months in order for germination to occur. normally something called great-lakes area winter would take care of that :( blech. uniform dark grain needles, hard as a rock, ridiculously long cooking time, muddy flavor. just disgusting, a completely different and inferior food-substance. real wild rice is one of the world's most perfect foods, and it's a shame that many people are eating an uncle ben's "wild rice" blend and thinking that they are experiencing it, cuz they are *not.* double frowny face, double phooey.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      huiray Feb 17, 2011 06:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What you say, together with its limited/localized true habitat, then renders this a less persuasive candidate for a UDA or even an ingredient for a UDA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        tatamagouche Feb 18, 2011 05:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Interesting. So what are good brands to look for?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          soupkitten Feb 28, 2011 11:30 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          thanks for your interest. sorry for the late response, and in advance for long-windedness. the galling thing is that afaik there is no nationally distributed "brand" of real wild rice in existence. i have heard that the eden company sells real wild rice but i have never seen this product in stores, perhaps it's more available elsewhere. for the most part, corporate agribusiness has taken to the johnson cultivar paddy rice in order to control the crop's prices, and pretty much shut *actual* wild rice, and the first nations and local foragers who have historically been dependent on the harvest for their livelihoods, completely out of the commercial picture. these folks now sell locally to people who know the difference between the two very different "wild rice" products (and who are willing to pay a premium for the foraged real deal)-- but i'd be willing to bet that the average american doesn't have a clue. something like 95% of "wild rice" consumed is actually this cultivated paddy product.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          what you will buy in the supermarket labeled "wild rice" is a cultivated paddy product. if you look at it you will see thick, uniform-color dark grains. the package will tell you to cook the grains for 30 or 45 minutes! LMAO! real wild rice of course has thin and delicate multihued grains indicative of genetic diversity, cooks quickly, "pops" properly, and is tender and flavorful. some folks can tell by tasting real wild rice which lake it comes from. it should properly be labeled "hand harvested wild rice," and perhaps also: "hand parched/wood parched." the faux product will be evasive about the harvesting method to obscure the cultivation method, perhaps saying "airboat harvested" as i've seen on some canadian farmed "wild rice" products lately.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          in the great lakes region you can buy real wild rice directly from native american harvesters, and at farmers markets, etc. where i live it's very easily purchased in bulk at co-ops, which are more common here and everyone shops at them. because real wild rice is a foraged product it is more expensive than the faux article, and like many foraged products there are good years and bad years. this past harvest was not great because the area had a lot of wind and rain-- the grains fell directly off of the plants into the shallow lake ecosystems, as nature has designed them to. the price of wild rice went up due to limited supply. . . you see what the commercial cultivators of the faux, "non-shattering" product are trying to avoid.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          if some hounds had an interest in buying or tasting real wild rice they could visit the area to get it (making sure to avoid the thick black grained faux product, which is misleadingly also sold here as "minnesota wild rice" to trick tourists into paying a premium for an inferior product). they could also search for "hand harvested wild rice" online-- there are many reputable tribal sources and harvesting companies who will ship the real deal. if i had to rec one source, i'd say you could do a lot worse than through winona laduke's white earth land recovery/native harvest site, where proceeds go to a nonprofit org which works to preserve traditional native foods and community health and nutrition:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: soupkitten
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Suzlynnj Feb 21, 2011 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I get my wild rice from Bemidji, it's very good, but as a kid my parents got their wild rice directly from the Native Americans. The Native Americans smoked the rice to preserve it. We had to soak it and rinse it to get the smoke flavor out, but it was so very very good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. re: GraydonCarter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          FoodFuser Feb 18, 2011 12:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          A few more to slide into sleek canoed bushel:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Those guardians of ages who took Teosinte to Corn.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - The Peruvian perspective as husbands of taters

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          - Lycopene legends who gave us tomaters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. RealMenJulienne Mar 2, 2011 12:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Come on guys, it is clearly General Tso's Chicken.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is deep-fried and sticky-sweet, two huge bonuses for the American palate. Every American I know likes or is able to tolerate General Tso's to some degree. I mean how could you not, it's fried chicken in sweet sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It has been altered far beyond its Chinese roots (if any actually existed), another longstanding American food tradition.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is pretty much the same from coast to coast. Walk into any mom-and-pop Chinese neighborhood greasepit and order General Tso's, and you know what you are gonna get. Can't say the same about burgers or barbecue, where even moving one state over might get you something totally different. Every little small town, even if it doesn't even have a McDonald's, probably has a sad little shack of a Chinese restaurant which will produce a version of the General which while it may not be good, will at least be recognizable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There you have it, General Tso's chicken is clearly the united dish of America.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: RealMenJulienne
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          tatamagouche Mar 2, 2011 05:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Except in some areas of the country it's called General Gau's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: tatamagouche
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            GraydonCarter Mar 2, 2011 08:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Heh, I was just going to say the same thing. I've seen General Xiao, General Tsao, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. b
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          betsydiver Apr 18, 2011 11:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          thanksgiving menu?

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