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Nov 3, 2010 03:09 PM

United Dish of America?

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.

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    1. re: shoeman

      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: shoeman

          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

          Mucho-looks like Campbell's still makes it:

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

            1. re: gaffk

              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

                  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

              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

                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

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

                1. re: melpy

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

                  1. re: FoodChic

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

                    Here's a link from the ever-esteemed wikipedia:

                    1. re: gaffk

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

                  2. re: melpy

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

                    1. re: alliegator

                      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

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

                    1. re: Teknotic

                      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.

                    1. re: gaffk

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

                      1. re: gaffk

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

                      2. Better yet . . .Toll House cookies.

                        1. Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

                            1. re: Eric in NJ

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