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Food Culture: Did You Know

Cultural Influences

The United States is known as a melting pot of people and cultures—an identity that often extends to the kitchen.

Some foods are known for being all-American—the phrase “as American as apple pie” is commonly used to invoke the iconic nostalgia of classic American culture—but have origins in one of many immigrant populations that made their homes in the US. Take, for example, apple pies, which were introduced to the New World by German immigrants.

American cuisine is easily considered a hybridization of many flavors from around the world. Italian-American and Tex-Mex (American-style Mexican) cuisines are imbued with American variations of traditional foods, as are cuisines from other parts of the world.

Chinese restaurants serve General Tso chicken and fortune cookies—both Americanisms—while American-style sushi is available at both Japanese restaurants and many to-go venues.

Given the multi-ethnic population of the United States, enclaves of ethnic cooking conserve the flavors of their origins.

Cultural festivals often include street food that celebrates the heritage of local communities.

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