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Aug 19, 2014 02:42 PM

What "typical American Foods" would you serve to foreigners?

If you had to serve a dinner of typical American foods to French people, what would you serve? What if they were Italians? Or Chinese?

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  1. To the French, a Dungeness Crab Louis with an Oregon Pinot Gris.

    3 Replies
    1. re: GH1618

      Dungeness Crab Louis is a typical American food?

        1. re: carolinadawg

          Where I come from, it is. If you must serve something which is typical everywhere, I suppose you are stuck with meat and potatoes. I would rather serve some regional thing which is an American version of something familiar to them.

      1. Depending on the season...bbq, fried chicken, shrimp, cornbread, collard greens, peach cobbler, tomatoes, corn on the cob, ham biscuits, brunswick stew...

        27 Replies
        1. re: carolinadawg

          Damn you said everything I just thought of except for Gumbo.

          1. re: carolinadawg

            Buttermilk Pie, Chili, Mac and Cheese

            1. re: carolinadawg

              Well, we each have our regional bias. (Southern food is great, but it's not the only "American" food.)

              1. re: pikawicca

                Never said it was...the question was, what would you (meaning me) serve.

                  1. re: pikawicca

                    I didn't "question" it, I simply asked about it because I wasn't familiar with it. Chill.

              2. re: carolinadawg

                There is also here in the Midwest, pork tenderloin sandwich, fried biscuits with apple butter, and wonderful corn and tomato dishes. Many of us also love grits.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  Tell me more about this pork tenderloin sandwich. I've made pork tenderloin burritos and sandwiches each once. The meat was too tender, did not really enjoy it. How do you guys do it out there?

                  1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                    In Iowa, I believe the pork is breaded and deep fried before being sandwiched. Here in Northwest Wisconsin, pork shoulder is slow cooked, shredded with a fork, seasoned with BBQ sauce mixed in and served on a bun with a side of cole slaw or potato salad. You see it at every pot luck, graduation party, etc.

                    1. re: elegraph

                      Yep, here in Iowa the pork tenderloin sandwich is pounded out, dredged in breading and seasoning, and deep fried. It's usually served with french fries. Jonesy's in Solon, IA serves absolutely the best I've ever had but that was nearly 20 years ago. What we fix at home is pork tenderloin slow cooked in a crock pot, shredded, and has barbecue sauce mixed in and served on a bun with potato salad on the side but coleslaw is great with it too. We, probably incorrectly, refer to it at home as pulled pork.

                    2. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                      The tenderloin is sliced thin and then run through a tenderizing machine that stretches the meat to epic proportions. It's then breaded and deep-fried and served on a hamburger bun which is about 1/4 the size of the meat. A totally insane concept, but everyone loves it.

                        1. re: DebinIndiana

                          Woderful indeed. And it's even better and more flavorful if made with sliced pork shoulder butt rather than loin.

                          When I lived in Iowa, that's how I always had it.

                        2. re: pikawicca

                          I googled: "midwest pork tenderloin sandwich,"
                          I NEED one of those. I literally laughed out loud when I saw it. Never seen anything like that. Totally epic! Why has that not migrated out west, those would be a hit I'm sure.

                          1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                            My husband loves these sandwiches. Might have to go on the menu again soon!

                            1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                              I agree. This should be everywhere.
                              I feel the same, or perhaps more strongly, about the availability of beignets outside of New Orleans.

                              1. re: EM23

                                I think that regional food should stay regional. Beignets in New Orleans, pork tenderloin sandwich in the mid-west, stone crab in Florida, etc.

                                And your regional specialties are what you should be feeding to your foreign visitors.

                                1. re: 512window

                                  I agree -- they wouldn't be special if they were available everywhere!

                                  1. re: 512window

                                    I can get a good loaf of sourdough here in NY, but I’ll still want to eat sourdough when I’m in SF. I can get a respectable jambalaya and hurricanes at a Cajun restaurant around here, but try to stop me from ordering both in New Orleans. And just try to keep your stone crabs in Florida - I got a guy on the internet who will ship them to me same day.
                                    As long as people travel and relocate, so too will the food traditions they take with them. And, borrowing from Martha,that's a good thing.

                              2. re: pikawicca

                                I had my first pork tenderloin sandwich when my sister moved to Bloomington Indiana. I helped her move and she said that we had to go to this place in Franklin, Morgantown or Martinsville and get a pork tenderloin sandwich.

                                I had no idea what it was and when the waitress served it to me I looked at her as if "where is the rest of the bun" My sister looked at me and laughed.

                                1. re: Kelli2006

                                  I live in Bloomington, and you can get a great pork tenderloin sandwich right here in town at Upland. (They also have great fries to go along with it.)

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    I seriously cannot stop thinking about these sandwiches, I want one so fucking bad. Anyone know if I can get one near or in the following cities: Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, or Denver. I'm in or near these cities frequently.

                                    1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                      In Mt. Angel, Oregon, about an hour South of PDX, there is a German restaurant that does a schnitzel sandwich that is a good stand in.

                                      1. re: jpc8015

                                        I want a schnitzel sandwich! Preferably veal but pork is okay.

                                        1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                          This place does pork with lettuce, tomato, and a creamy curry sauce. I bet they would leave the curry out if that isn't your thing.

                        3. I'm with chefj on gumbo for the Italians, or jambalaya.

                          1. Is this purely theoretical or practical? Sit-down single entree dinner or buffet? There are so many regional/typical American foods to choose from: Fried chicken, chicken fried steak, Boston baked beans and brown bread with raisins, Frogmore stew, crawfish boil, New England clam bake, soul food of all descriptions, Memphis barbecue, Maryland crabcakes, chili con carne, cornbread, Fried catfish and hush puppies, macaroni and cheese, lobster roll, sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, shrimp and grits, crawfish étouffée, jambalaya, The list goes on…

                            Can't decide? Not doing a buffet? Make them a Thanksgiving dinner; nothing could be more typically American. I wouldn't distinguish whether I was serving it to the French, Italians, or Chinese. Although we make them here and they've become part of our cuisine, I wouldn't serve our quiche to the French, our spaghetti and meatballs to the Italians, nor our stir-fries to the Chinese. Unless I were sure they would eat it and enjoy, I wouldn't serve anything heavy on dairy to the Chinese.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: mcsheridan

                              Totally agree. If there is one representative American dinner, it would be a beautifully-bronzed Thanksgiving turkey with stuffing/filling/dressing (depending on your background), gravy, cranberry relish, sweet potatoes and regional vegetable embellishments. Pecan, apple or pumpkin pie and a couple of good domestic wines? That will be something for them to write home about.

                              1. re: Chefpaulo

                                the French roast turkey with various stuffings (for Christmas, of course), and are absolutely mad for pecan pie.....

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  The english also do turkey dinners for Christmas

                                2. re: Chefpaulo

                                  I have to agree about Thanksgiving. Of my friends from abroad (even as close as Canada), the American meal they're the most interested in is Thanksgiving.

                                  1. re: Chefpaulo

                                    Sounds like the typical British "Christmas dinner" that I was treated to ad nauseum by vendors in the UK. Not sure the same is true in other parts

                                    1. re: Chefpaulo

                                      Very true. I made a full-dress Thanksgiving dinner here in Rome a few years ago, and my Italian guests were overwhelmed. I had recently been in Stockholm, where I bought US sweet potatoes. I had brought pecans from the US (I can find Karo here, with difficulty). I used the ancestral tablecloth and made everything as elegant as I could, another thing they weren't expecting from an American tradition. Italian turkeys are excellent, so that worked out nicely. The greatest satisfaction came later, when my cleaning lady, who had helped me stuff the turkey with my version of my Irish grandmother's stuffing, told me she had stuffed a capon similarly for her Neapolitan/Roman family for Christmas -- and they licked their chops.

                                      Then there was the terrace cookout last May. We had cole slaw and potato salad, hot dogs (which I had brought from New York), hamburgers, and barbecued ribs. Among the guests were some young teenagers, an Italian food anthropologist, and my Italian writing partner, Oretta Zanini De Vita. The young people and the food anthropologist liked everything. Oretta essentially damned with faint praise: she complimented the quality of the potatoes in the potato salad, which of course were Italian (Italian potatoes are excellent). The ribs were from our local pork butcher and were amazingly meaty and succulent, but none of the guests had ever seen them cooked slowly in barbecue sauce. They were a big hit. Dessert was homemade pecan pie. Everything was pretty much of a hit, but everything was a very high-quality, or at least homemade, version of its genre, and the person who showed the most enthusiasm was the food anthropologist.

                                  2. A traditional summer cookout - apparantly hotdogs are a novelty to many countries (don't bother to serve a US cookout to Australians, it's pretty much the same as an Aussie BBQ except with hotdogs instead of sausages)... or a clambake if they like seafood... or bbq with the fixins...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Kajikit

                                      +1 on the cookout. I have an acquaintance from Italy who was in the States for grad school. He says that one of his favorite "American" eating traditions is the cookout, even if it is just burgers and hot dogs. Sure, the Italians do it, but at places like the beach or on a camping trip, but not as a standard meal. Perhaps this is because Americans tend to have large back yards.