Is There Really Such A Thing As American Food?


Julia Montenegro, Journalist

This might seem like a silly question, but the results may be surprising. Many foods that seem American really aren’t, and lots of foods that people think come from other countries that are actually American. This article will talk about American foods, non-American foods, and how America is such a diverse country. Food is something everyone likes, and there are so many different types.

Now you may be wondering “Well, what are some foods that really are American?” These foods take inspiration from other cultures, but America still contributed. Unsurprisingly, most of these foods aren’t terribly healthy. One of the most American foods there is, the corn dog. A delicious sausage covered in a thick fried layer of cornmeal batter. The inventor of the corn dog is named Sylvia Schur, she invented them in the 40’s. The second food is chimichangas. This dish took heavy influence from Mexican foods. Chimichangas were likely invented in Arizona in the 40’s. Woody Johnson claims he invented the chimichanga by deep frying a burrito as an experiment. Woody Johnson was the founder of Macayo’s Mexican Kitchen. The next American treat is Irish potato candy, potato shaped globs made of coconut cream or white chocolate fudge dusted with cocoa or cinnamon. Sometimes pine nuts are added to the outside to look like potato eyes. They were invented approximately 100 years ago. They were first made in Philadelphia, but it is unknown   who made them first.

Most “American” foods aren’t really American, they are foods from different countries that have been Americanized. So technically, yes there is, but it has just been Americanized. That’s why the U.S. is so diverse since there are so many different races and cultures that have been brought together, and food brings everyone together. Donuts, everyone likes donuts, but what you didn’t know is that they are Dutch. In the mid 19th century a New England woman was famous for her fried dough-balls garnished by putting nuts in the middle, and that is where they got the name Donuts. Now, that one is pretty common, but I bet you didn’t know that Fried Chicken is actually African. Fried chicken was made in most likely the early 19th century during slavery. Another jaw-dropping one is Barbeque. Barbeque is a typical summer food when you get together with people, most people think BBQ is American, but little did you know it actually originated in the Caribbean. Food is something everyone likes, and there are so many different types in the West Indies, barbacoa meant “grilling meat on a grate.” Imagine, a nice summer day by the pool drinking lemonade, and having some watermelon, not knowing, watermelon originated in Egypt? I bet you didn’t, I didn’t. Yes, Egyptians used to grow watermelons. Watermelon was later grown by white men during the era of slavery. 


America is just a giant blob of different food from cultures around the world. It is interesting to find out the history of American food, its roots, and how America has so many different tastes, but the most important thing is that all these foods are delicious. Food is an important part of life and culture.